Who has the Spirit of the Black Dress?


The Spirit of the Black Dress is a gala evening and ensuing exhibition run by a group of independent fashion industry professionals committed to raising the profile of emerging fashion and increasing international appreciation for Australian design.

Again in 2013 The Spirit of the Black Dress is a part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program; a great accomplishment for the independently funded and directed operation.

See the outline of the whole thing at my previous post here. 

The group is focused entirely on promoting emerging designers and bringing attention to exceptional talent in Australia. With a focus on sustainability, The Spirit of the Black Dress seeks to highlight how innovators ina rt and fashion are grappling with the modern day issues while exercising creative and timeless fashion design in the form of a black dress.


The designers participating in this year’s The Spirit of the Black Dress are…

Benjamin Ringuet of Ringuet

– a confronting fashion line that is both haunting and enticing, using expression to portray and reveal the emotion, passion and courage beneath the surface of anyone’s wildest imagination

– his distinctive style creates an illusion of recreation and motivates us to break free

– recognised for his raw artistic creations, he confuses, offends and intrigues

– Benjamin believes that fashion is much more a trend than a way of life; a chance to convey our beliefs and to communicate to the world what we really stand for

Christie Nicole Trowbridge

– an Australian born designer with roots in the Whitehouse Institute of Design

– Christie moved to New Zealand to work for Karen Walker

– her current collection, The Garden of the Black Rose is a perfect connection to The Spirit of the Black Dress

– Christie has included her lace gown, designed with the symbolism and botanical nature of the black rose in mind. She has framed her entry around her personal journey through self exploration, including notions of identity, emotional connections and elements of fantasy

– see her website at http://www.christienicole.tumblr.com

Jean Cooper of Pink and Grey

 Jean Cooper operates with an increased ethical consciousness and focus on her responsibility for the well-being of others and the environment

– her label, Pink and Grey is organic, vintage and couture, combining high quality delicate textiles in soft colours with fine tailoring

– she creates timeless boutique garments that capture the essence of childhood joy and innocence without ever losing sight of her ethos

– her entry is a classic, timeless, elegant black dress

Marion Liese and Christopher Hamblin of Marion Liese

– the designers aim to create a world where lingerie and fashion come together to create clothes that delight in the beauty of the female form

– they combine corsetry, tailoring and draping with the use of beautiful fabrics to deliver a fresh perspective

– they design for the confident woman who appreciates style and individuality

– they seek to design more about style than trends and hope to minimise the impact on the environment of their designs by stepping away from the fashion industry and consumer’s throw away mentality

– their entry dress is a form hugging micro-modal silk chiffon and silk satin trimmed dress

– see their website at http://www.marionliese.com

Naomi Tettman and Elke Doust of Tettman.Doust

See a profile on the two designers here, at this link. 

– their entry is a dress called Infinitum, a flowing 100% silk georgette ‘red carpet’ gown with a train

– see their website at http://www.tettmandoust.com

Kathryn Beker of Kathryn Beker

– Kathryn’s approach to fashion is sustainable and artistic

– she uses couture technique and the finest quality materials as they embody a fragile and haunting, imperfect beauty

– Kathryn collaborates with local talent and embraces modern technology while executing traditional techniques with fashion-forward cutting, draping and styling

– see her website at http://www.kathrynbeker.com

See a mention of her last appearance during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012. 

Renee Bock

– Renee works with natural textiles

– preferring to highlight and exploit the fragility of natural textiles, she aims to create awareness of the ephemeral and ever-chaning nature of each garment

– construction techniques employed are mathematical and geometric

– Renee’s entry is a one piece main construction draped around the a ‘fold’. Excess fabric forms into a ‘hyperbolic tesselation’ and is shaped to the shoulder and neck

Shannon Carmody of Shannon Carmody

– with a strong attention for detail and love for textured work using unusual materials, Shannon’s entry is an evening gown she designed as a student this year

– she has a great appreciation for art, craft, textile and music

Viviana Pannell of Basquesse

– a bid for self expression saw Basquesse born in 2003

– Pannell draws inspiration from the beauty of nature, art in all its forms and dreams, featuring ethereal, timeless beauty and assured femininity

– her entry is a two piece item made to look like a dress. The jacket features many interesting design lines and is closed at centre front all the while embellished with crystals

– see her website at http://www.basquesse.com

Cordelia Gibbs

– inspired by all aspects of life, Cordelia is interested in wool as sustainable fibre

– Cordelia is intrigued by the journey of fibres and the origins of recycled materials

– see her website at http://www.panacheinfashion.blogspot.com.au

The dresses are on display at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto for everyone to see for free from today (March 18) to April 1st.
The exhibition is open from 7am – 11pm – a perfect before-work or lunch-time pop in.

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