Monday, May 28, 2007

Beauty girl of nature

Nina’s pieces are elegant and stylish, and appeal to those with a sense of occasion. Her burgeoning label has caught the attention of some of the industry’s biggest movers-and-shakers, including Damian Burke, head buyer of women’s wear for David Jones. “Nina Maya is young and fresh” says the fashion arbiter, who is currently showcasing her Autumn/Winter 2007 collection on the second floor designer level of David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store. “She has a great understanding of print and colour”.

A refined silhouette that creates a polished sleek look, the second Nina Maya collection, Autumn/Winter 2007 is centered on the dress, and for the cooler months, the feature coat. Ultra-feminine, romantic chiffon frocks contrast with more structures hourglass shapes. The main focus is the exquisite high-quality fabrics which include gold linen, finest quality merino wool, embroidered black sateen, silk velvet and Italian printed cashmere.

“I spend a lot of time sourcing and designing my own colour palettes and endlessly drawing sketches of shapes” says Nina.

Nina will continue to draw on her brand philosophy of quality fabrics by pushing her label creatively and bring back that stylish sense of sophistication.

Top of the Model

One of Australia’s newest sensational young designers, Nina Maya Skrzynski, launched her Nina Maya label in March 2006. It was a dream career start for a young designer – a high-end Italian fashion house offered to produce her first range which was in turn picked up by David Jones.

For Nina, fashion was always on her agenda.

She completed a design degree, majoring in textiles, at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney and then worked for a number of companies including Sheridan, Greenpeace and Mambo, designing sheets, T-Shirts and women’s wear respectively.

Heading overseas, Nina took on an internship with a textile firm in London, and then moved to Italy, where she lived as a child, to work for a high-end fashion house. Left to fend for herself, Nina started to design her own range. Her big break came when the owner of the company in Italy approached Nina about producing her range. This saw her sell the first season to David Jones which sparked a huge response from boutiques around Australia including Directions, Husk, Camargue and Francesca. The whole range sold out across Australia in a month.

After her debut season, Nina decided to sever the link with the Italians and set up her own company in Australia, also bringing production back home.

Very very Cool

Trelise Cooper

By giving her name to her brand, Trelise Cooper and her clothes are indelibly linked to luxury fashion excellence. Each season, revealing the latest Trelise Cooper collection is like the unveiling of a romantic and eclectic art exhibition. Every piece in the range has been lovingly crafted using diverse fabrics and finishes to the final exotic result which ultimately pleases both the wearer and the observer.

With touches of inspiration from movies, museums, history books, vintage clothes and stars of a bygone era like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Lauren Bacall, Trelise is constantly travelling and reading to find her next muse.

“I love adding historical elements to my garments while giving them a modern interpretation – a point of difference to the last time it was seen,” explains Trelise.

Sold in boutiques in the UK, USA, Paris, Rome, Greece, Singapore, South Africa and throughout Australasia the Trelise Cooper brand is an unmitigated success story. It is estimated that at any one time 50,000 Trelise Cooper pieces are in circulation around the world. In the US most Trelise Cooper sells before it hits the shop floor – fans snapping it up in exclusive buying sprees. In 2002 Hollywood actress Julia Roberts famously bought out the entire summer range in one go.

Since 1997 the Trelise Cooper brand has benefited from a yearly growth. But the bottom line has never been the chief motivator at Trelise Cooper Ltd headquarters - panache, talent and attention to flair ranks far higher in the priority stakes for the intuitive designer and her 75-strong staff.

VIP Bikini's Fashion

On the eve of Day 3 at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, Myer hosted an extravagant cocktail party at Quay restaurant for some of the fashion industry’s VIPs including designers, celebrities and high-profile media faces.

The exclusive crowd - including Myer Ambassador Jennifer Hawkins, Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman, Gail Elliott, Grant Pearce, Kirstie Clements, Wayne Cooper and Simon Lock - clinked champagne flutes on the open balcony overlooking Sydney Harbour, whilst Myer-clad models showcased the latest designs from camilla and marc, Karen Walker, Leona Edmiston and Nicola Finetti.

The picturesque location was perfect for the evening’s extravagant entertainment, as Myer treated VIPs to a sparkling fireworks display, bringing the RAFW crowd to a stand-still.

Thereafer, the fashion pack darted off to view the Spring/Summer 2007/08 collections from Arabella Ramsay, Nicola Finetti and Gail Sorronda.

View Vogue Australia editor, Kirstie Clements' video interview with Jennifer Hawkins from the Myer Media Lounge here. (May 7, 2007)