Collette Dinnigan was born in South Africa in 1966 and brought up in New Zealand. At age nineteen she graduated from the WellingtonPolytechnicCollege where she majored in fashion design. From here she moved to Sydney and began working for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) in the costume department. She worked on many films and television series and was praised for her attention to detail and the historical flavour she brought to costume design and fabrication. Her first label was that of Palladium which she launched when she was twenty-one years old. Palladium sold mid-market streetwear range to department stores across Australia. She was very successful but left her job when the pressure became too much. When a knee-injury left her temporarily bedridden she began to make lingerie for her friends. The exquisite range of silk fibres and French laces were so well received by her friends and family that she decided to re-launch her career in fashion design and start her own label. So in 1990 the Collette Dinnigan label was born. It became so popular that it was picked up by Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, and Joyce in Hong Kong and she now has three stores in Sydney, Melbourne and London as well as in-store boutiques in department stores around Australia.
Dinnigan has a unique style which she describes as being romantic bohemian and timelessly elegant. Her garments are usually very feminine, delicate and finely tailored. They are designed to flatter the body by accentuating postive body parts. Her style is suggestive rather than revealing which achieves a sense of confidence, sensuality and individuality. Her style can vary, but her trademarks include lace, tulle, and chiffon dresses, inspired by the art deco period. Dinnigian’s influences come in the from of past designers, cultural influences and studies of fashion. Classic designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, especially their attention to...
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