Emerging Designer To Watch Out For In 2021: Meet The Talented Meiyu Song

Meiyu Song was originally born in China, but grew up in Japan – she’s Korean Chinese. She moved to London in 2012, studied for 6 years in Central Saint Martins and she just graduated from University. She’s an emerging designer to watch out for in 2021.

Sassy & Co recently caught up with Meiyu to discuss her brand and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

My mum was a fashion designer. So since I was young, I was always interested in fashion and arts. She recommended that I go and study in Central Saint Martins which I think was the best decision I ever made.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I think being a designer means you can express your feeling and conviction not just by words also by work. Often, I found it’s difficult to tell everything by words to other people so I think this is the best way to express who I am.

Also, of course, I’m simply just enjoying the making and designing process. All of my stuff is hand made so the process itself will take a really long time. It could be physically very tiring but mentally feeling good once it’s done.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

Long work hours. I think it will depend on what kind of designer you want to be. Personally, I like designing both textiles and silhouettes by myself. I don’t really like using already existing designs. So I make everything from scratch which will be a long process.

I understand why fast fashion exists but I want to create the trend, be a real designer not just copy other people’s work. So although it’s a long process, I believe it’s worth it. I also believe that each collection’s concept is very important. Of course, fashion is about the visual so I need to make it visually beautiful and interesting but at the same time, if there is no meaning (concept) behind it, it will be so shallow and meaningless. We, designers can use our collection to send other people messages so why not do so?

Another downside will be the people. Honestly speaking not everyone in this industry is nice. It’s a very competitive industry so sometimes you have to deal with mean people. When I was a young teenager I thought “The Devil Wears Prada” was just a film so they over-exaggerated the fashion industry but soon I realised that they really didn’t. Actually, the director was being very generous.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My whole time in CSM. I saw how much people work. How passionate people are. It’s quite scary to know that it’s so normal to work 3 days without sleep before the deadline. Also, during my BA course (3years) except for a long vacation, I only went out with my friends or family about 5 times? I spent every single minute on my textiles and fashion.

Another thing will be London Fashion Week. I was an intern for APUJAN a few years ago. On the actual show, that was so busy and so many things going on. That was definitely a great experience.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Alice Wellbeloved. She was my tutor for the short course and foundation course. She works for high-end fashion brands such as Sonia Rykiel. She is a super energetic, lovely, and clever person. At the same time, she is very honest and says things in a very straightforward way. Some people say she is harsh but I absolutely loved it because she is always on point and it’s very easy to understand. Also, I didn’t pay for going to school to make friends with my tutors. What I needed was someone who could push me and make me learn things. I completely trust her; even when I did my Master’s course I used to contact her.

Although she wasn’t my tutor anymore she did give me so many important suggestions, opinions and helped me mentally. I was also her assistant tutor for Central Saint Martins’ summer course. She was a really nice boss as well. I just simply learned so much from her.

Another person will be Derek Lawlor. I did an internship for him. Although, we have totally different styles. I love colours. My collection is always full of colours but he tends to use black and white only.

However, I learned a lot of things from him and he was a very nice and kind boss. Not only did I learn a lot of skills from him, but he also did answer all of the questions I was curious about.

Right before the fashion show, I had to do a bit of overtime working but I was very happy to do it. He is kind of the boss who makes you feel you want to be part of his team and make the collection better and better.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

DIY skills. Not sure about other schools but CSM is definitely not the place to learn “skills/ techniques”. They make you think. Make you learn by yourself.

In this industry, I learned that nothing is impossible. Just DO it.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

As I mentioned before because my mum was a fashion designer, my family is very supportive. I also have a lovely supportive husband. Without their support, I couldn’t do it.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Probably, I will do more internships. Unfortunately, most of the UK fashion brands don’t pay intern students but you will learn a lot from them so I think it’s definitely worth trying.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Never give up. Nothing is impossible.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I want to work for few high-end fashion brands for a few years first then make my own fashion brands.

Beauty Industry’s New Frontier: How Technology Is Transforming The Beauty Industry Into A Virtual World

Digitally generated grey cubes floating against female designer with tape measure using virtual reality headset

The tech industry shows never-ending growth. Although it’s not a new concept, virtual or augmented reality has truly reached a peak in the last couple of years. It’s changing the way people interact with not only one another but the world. Previously having its main legs in the gaming world, it’s interesting to see that VR – technology is making its way into our everyday life and surprisingly, the beauty industry has hopped on this trend as well. With a focus on the beauty industry, we’ve looked at 5 reasons why the future of it is in a virtual world and discuss them below.

  1. One Location, Many Advisors

Millennials and Gen-Z are here to stay. They make up the population of the coming years and as the target audience, it has been established that they prefer taking beauty advice from their favourite socialites rather than in-store personnel. This not only gives them access to the advice they like even though they’re thousands of miles away from the advisor, but it also allows them to get advice on one product from multiple sources while never leaving the comfort of their home.

  1. Unrealistic Standards

With the standards already set, there’s no surprise that people who aren’t able to meet them will look for the easiest solution. Unless you’re a professional make-up artist, the chances of you achieving the picture-perfect look you’re going for are minimal. With so many app-based filters already available, most people simply turn to them to achieve whichever outcome it is they desire. The beauty industry isn’t a late sleeper and immediately jumped on this train to accommodate those who don’t know how to apply make-up. The ability to enhance your appearance on social media without needing any skills is very appealing, and the beauty industry keeps developing to keep up with this exciting trend.

  1. Experimentation is Fun

Another reason why the future of the beauty industry is leaning towards more advanced virtual reality experiences is because people like to experiment. Being able to try on different products without the hassle of actually applying them on and taking them off, keeps the process fun and people engaging.

  1. The “Try Before you Buy” Culture is Growing Rapidly

This mantra has become very popular amongst Millennials and Gen Z. Not being able to try something before purchasing it, makes many leave the store empty-handed.  Some beauty products can’t be made available as testers, not to even mention that tester products aren’t always in stock. A virtual beauty experience helps customers try out all available products, recreate complete looks, and order whatever product it is they like from an alternative store if one close to them doesn’t have stock. Keeping up with this demand is only possible in a virtual world.

  1. Virtual Reality is the Future

Virtual Reality is undoubtingly the future. The best reason to believe that the beauty industry will establish a future in a virtual world is simply because they’re adapting to changing times.

Although going to the store and interacting with another human being is an experience that is hard to beat, more people are leaning towards a world where they can be whoever they want to be without even getting out of bed. A virtual world offers them this opportunity and it’s only wise for the beauty industry to tag along.

The 5 Best Colour Trends We’ll Be Wearing in 2021

2020 still has more than a month left but has been a challenging enough year for everyone. Many regions are recovering from economic issues and massive unemployment. Various states have experienced civil unrest. As if that was not enough, this election cycle has been one of the most divisive and bitter in modern U.S. history. A way to a brighter outlook is needed. And the fashion industry is answering that call with colour trends for 2021.

How will the fashion industry create a better outlook?

Scientists have long known that color can affect mood, and designers are using this advantage. Hopefully, 2020 color trends encourage; relaxation from connecting to the earth, evoking warmth and comfort, refreshment, optimism, joy and conviviality, and soothing, restorative cleansing.

With this in mind, during the upcoming year, look for brighter and bold hues. You will see happy and bright shades, but also one that calm and soothe. Designers have chosen colors to provide hope, optimism, and playfulness.

Connect with nature for a down to earth grounding mood

Nature plays an integral part in our sense of balance and mental health. Connecting with nature to achieve this balance is not always easy, especially in the cities with the parks closed. To evoke nature, designers have gone to the tried and true technique of using earth-inspired neutral shades of greens, dark yellow earth tones, and cool orange hues.

Call forth the warmth and comfort of autumn

Picture yourself curled up on your favorite armchair in front of the fire, and you are wrapped up in your softest, warm blanket. In your hands, you have a mug of hot chocolate, and your pet is napping on your lap. To create this sense of comforting warmth, designers chose dark reds, rust, and pumpkin shades. Marigold has always been associated with autumn, and reds elicit a sense of home.

Arouse hidden energy to revitalize

Ocean inspired hues are the best choice for a refreshing feeling. Cerulean blues bring forth the revitalization of a clear, blue sky on a bright spring day. These shades are illuminating and stirring. Blues are also known to increase feelings of serenity and stability.

Rekindle optimism with bright and bold colors

Studies have shown that bright yellows increase positivity. They can also be joyful and friendly. Purples are sensual, while pink can be euphoric. Other shades of pink are also calming, hence the use of pink in the drunk-tank to calm occupants.

Elicit a sense of calm and restoration

Soft hues inspire restorative feelings and are regenerative and refreshing. Well-chosen shades are cleansing and anchoring. Mint is restoring, and mentholated greens are cooling and soothing. For a sense of calming, look for soft blues. These gentle colors can also provide a sense of anchoring and quiet.

From the catwalk to the sidewalk, 2021 will usher with it calm, optimism, and revitalization. Just what the doctor called for as we recuperate from this stressful year. Get the best mood-enhancing clothes from your favorite designers. Then you can walk down the sidewalk as if it was a catwalk.

5 Women’s Shoe Rules That Will Keep You Looking Totally Fabulous

Women love to buy and wear shoes and they can’t get enough of them. We tend to buy every pair of shoes we like. This shouldn’t be the case because we will end up buying things we don’t need. Before buying shoes, we should look for various aspects. Here are 5 women’s shoe rules that will keep you looking fab. Follow them and make a fashion statement!

  • Prefer Comfort

The first rule which you should follow before buying a shoe is that you must always look for comfort. If your shoes are too tight or too loose then you will feel uncomfortable in them. Always check three sizes before buying a shoe; one size smaller, your usual size, and one size bigger. Walk in them and try them at the end of the day when your feet are swollen. Comfort is the key to look good so if your shoes are comfortable then you will surely look great as well.

  • Buy Basic Colors

Another rule that no one will ever tell you is that when buying shoes buy basic colors. These colors go well with almost every color of the dress and look really decent. The basic colors include black, beige, fawn, nude, white, etc.  These colors suit every woman as well. Your closet must contain shoes of basic colors. If you have bought shoes in basic colors then you should go for colors like red, blue, green, etc. They also look really cool and sassy.

  • Ballet Flats are Your Best Friends

Whether you are a fan of heels or not, ballet flats can surely become your best friends as they are so comfy. If you are working as a woman, then you should own a pair of ballet flats because they are quite comfortable to wear, and they are used to dress up and dress down as well. You can wear them with your professional attire and with your casual outfits as well. They will make you look chic and you would surely feel great in them.

  • Find your Own Style

If you have seen a model on Instagram wearing a 4 inches heel and you want to buy one for yourself then you should stop. We think if we have seen something, we like we should buy it because if it looks good on others then it can surely look good on us as well. We should always remember that finding our own style would only help us to look great. We should only buy those shoes that look good on us and are super comfortable to wear as well.

  • Buy Shoes of each Type

Every woman should own shoes of each type. Your shoe rack must-have shoes of all types because we never know when we need them. Buy sneakers, flip flops, heels, ballet flats, and boots, etc. All of these shoes are used for different purposes. You can wear flip flops at home or while going out shopping. Heels are good for formal occasions or a professional environment. Similarly, sneakers can be worn while going out with friends and even for biking or hiking.

Rising Star Spotlight: Get To Know The Stunning Stephanie Hunt

Being a model can be difficult, often requiring people to make tough sacrifices. However, it can also prove to be a highly rewarding experience. For Stephanie Hunt, modeling has allowed her to travel around the world, get involved with high profile names such as Guess, Revlon, designer Melba Aros, Lady Jayne, Toscow Jewelery, celebrity hairstylist, David Babaii and magazines such as Camilla, RUSSH, Cosmopolitan, and FTV as well as meet a lot of interesting new people.

Stephanie has certainly proven that she can rely not only on her looks for her success but also on her focus, drive, and ambition. Added to that is a healthy dollop of good sense! ‘Challenges’ are a normal part of working as a model (“Modeling has definitely thickened up my skin!”) and to Stephanie, one’s attitude towards them will define you, “love and believe in yourself! I know that sounds so corny, but it can be really tough being around intimidatingly successful and gorgeous people and still feel as though you fit the bill.”

According to Stephanie, the biggest factor that determines how successful you will be is how much you want to succeed. Along with this strong passion, you should have a strong sense of integrity. Often, these values will have a bigger impact on your potential success than your looks. You should also take as many opportunities as you can, which will allow you to build your network. For many young models, a strong network is more important than seeing financial returns. In addition, it’s key to master social media. This is becoming increasingly important, allowing you to send a clear message to your fans. Once you’ve chosen your brand, use each post to re-enforce it. Social media also allows you to build a strong platform to get more people interested in your brand. You should use this tool to connect with your audience.

Stephanie’s early struggles with low self-esteem have served to spur this young entrepreneur ever onwards. She not only juggles her modeling career with her fulltime job but she also regularly volunteers at an animal shelter! It “serves as a great reminder of what my priorities should be, and what really matters in life. Having a  healthy balance between work, my personal life, and my volunteering has been the key to staying grounded for me.”

That healthy balance seems to be her recipe for success as well with many plans in the works for this talented (she speaks French and plays the piano!) young lady. But to Stephanie, it will always be “that with self-belief, hard work, dedication, and a lot of resilience, you really can achieve anything.”

Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The August 2020 Issue Of Sassy & Co Magazine: The Beautiful Liudmyla Tkachenko

Liudmyla Tkachenko is a stunning Ukrainian model who is currently based in Los Angeles. She grew up in a picturesque town stretching in the western region of Ukraine. Ever since she was a little girl, she has always dreamed of becoming an international model someday. Unfortunately, the economic situation in Ukraine was bad at the time, and since she had no connections in the fashion industry – becoming an international model seemed like an almost impossible feat. But Liudmyla was persistent though, despite her situation, she was determined to turn her childhood dream into reality.

Liudmyla’s first taste of the modeling industry came in the form of a modeling contract that was offered to her to work somewhere in China. Although China has always been considered as one of the most dynamic, and vibrant countries in the world, moving to work in China can often seem daunting because of the language barrier and cultural differences. However, Liudmyla really wanted to make things work with her modeling career hence the reason why she felt that she needed a deeper cultural immersion in the Chinese ways for the sake of her career. She decided to hone her Chinese language skills first so she started taking Chinese language classes. Eventually, she came to the point that she was actually quite fluent in Mandarin.

Since working as a full-time model in China, She has appeared in several high-profile commercials and magazines in Asia. Liudmyla worked as a full-time model for a few years in Asia mainly around Hong Kong, China, and Thailand before deciding to move to the United States to further pursue her modeling career. When she moved to the United States in 2016, she didn’t speak a word of English which was tough because she had to start from the bottom again. She, therefore, decided to study English in a New York-based language school while pursuing her modeling career at the same time.

Liudmyla’s persistence eventually paid off when she started scoring one good gig after another. Since working as a model in New York, she has appeared several times in New York Fashion Week. She has walked for high-profile designers such as Dan Liu, Terraza, and Oxford Fashion, among others, and she has also done photoshoots for high-profile fashion magazines such as the L’Officiel magazine, Marie Claire, MD Trends magazine, Imaginary magazine, and Marjen magazine. Furthermore, she was involved in several catalog shoots as well as several exciting projects. Her photos from the New York Fashion Week shows have even been featured in Vogue, Elle, as well as Harper’s Bazaar.

After modeling for two years in New York, Liudmyla decided to try her luck at acting by moving to Los Angeles. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has appeared in a Nike commercial, as well as a few alcohol commercials, and she also scored a role in an upcoming film called “The Nowhere Inn.” The movie is set to premiere in the Sundance film festival 2020. Currently, Liudmyla is studying at an acting school called Beverly Hills Playhouse hoping that this can be her ticket to more projects in Hollywood.

Starting from a humble background, Liudmyla was initially faced with poverty as well as other problems, but she learned how to overcome all that fate threw at her. She moved forward with a single-minded determination to achieve success. Having reached her goal of becoming an international model, she’s definitely a classic example of the results of hard work and determination.

Sassy & Co recently caught up with Liudmyla to discuss her journey in the modeling/fashion world and here’s what went down:

How did you decide to be a professional model?

I actually decided to become a professional model after I did my first photoshoot. I felt that I really enjoyed modeling so I wanted to pursue my modeling career full-time. In terms of inspiration, top model Natalia Vodianova is who really inspires me. Her success story shows that hard work and dedication to your goal will eventually lead to success.

What was your first big break in the industry?

My first big break in the industry was in New York walking for designer Dan Liu at the NYFW 2018.

What is your dream modeling job?

A photoshoot for the cover of Vogue magazine.

If you weren’t a model, what would you do?

Definitely something around the entertainment industry.

How do you stay fit and healthy?

I work out every day and I also only eat healthy food.

What’s your beauty and exercise regime?

I like going to the spa, as well as getting massages and facials. I also work out every day by going to the gym, hiking, yoga, and meditation.

Is there much work around for models these days?

With the Coronavirus situation still happening, honestly, there’s not much model work happening. But slowly everything is starting to get back to normal and hopefully, soon there will be a lot more work.

How do you deal with all the traveling required to be a model? How do you cure jet-lag?

It’s very important to drink a lot of water and get some rest if you’re traveling. I usually cure my jet-lag by going to the gym right after I arrive in a new location.

When you’re not busy modeling, what are some of your favourite things to do?

I like to go hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, and reading books. I also like getting massages and relaxing on the beach with a great book.

What are your favourite beauty products? what’s always carried in your purse?

The skincare line “Origins” is my favorite one.

What is your go-to everyday outfit?

Shorts and t-shirt are my go-to everyday outfit.

Given the competitiveness and the speed of the industry, how do you ensure you stand out?

Always be yourself and know how valuable you are. Self-love is very important.

Olivia and Pearl Just Launched Their Elegant Yet Sustainable Keshi Pearl Jewellery Collection

As the fashion industry continues to develop more sustainable practices, shoppers have increasingly been looking for consciously-made jewellery pieces; that’s where Olivia & Pearl comes in.

Olivia & Pearl is an up and coming sustainable pearl jewellery brand. It has just unveiled its’ latest jewellery collection and the collection is definitely pure luxury. The entire collection was actually inspired by owner Olivia Smith’s passion and love for natural beauty and the power of the ocean.

The Keshi collection is unique, distinctive, original, and one of a kind. Their dazzling rainbow tones and raw, sea-evoking form make pieces of Keshi pearl jewellery a highly prized collector’s items because of their matchless shape and individual beauty. It features raw and abstract shapes, inspired by ocean waves, sea-tumbled pebbles, and the stunning natural reefs.

Abstract and non-symmetrical in shape, Keshi designs give a bold and modern edge to products. Made from lustrous Keshi freshwater pearls, the jewellery has a refined organic feel and make a forward style statement.

Below are some of the photos from the Keshi Pearl Jewellery Collection courtesy of Olivia & Pearl:

Breaking: Bauer Media Just Axed 8 Big-Name Magazines Including Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Instyle

Eight big-name Australian magazines have just been axed by media giant Bauer Media Australia as the financial implications of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to wreak havoc in the media industry.

According to ABC, the magazines that will not be published anymore are as follows: Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, OK!, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and InStyle. Chief executive Brendon Hill also stated that there would be job losses as a result of the axing as Bauer Media Australia revealed that a massive decrease in advertising revenue plus travel restrictions are some of the major factors that contributed to the unfortunate decision.

According to ABC, Mr. Hill explained, “we, like many other media companies, have deeply felt the impact of COVID-19.

“No-one could have anticipated the swift, widespread and ongoing impact of the pandemic on our business and industry.”

“It has been a challenging time for Bauer and our team with exciting highs and devastating lows in recent months,” Mr. Hill continued. “We have been forced to reset and future-proof the business like all of the media industry has.”

5 Awesome Hacks That Will Change Every Budget Babe’s Life

It’s quite common for fashion-conscious women to always be trendy with how they dress up. They simply want to stand out in society with their fashion statement. While it’s true that Hollywood celebrities are the ones we typically base our fashion styles from, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to go to the point of buying the mega-expensive brands they usually go with. Thankfully that’s not the case and in real life and it is possible to look fabulous simply by incorporating the below mini hacks into your day-to-day life.

Thrift Shopping

There’s no better feeling than scoring a unique treasure from a thrift store that no one else will have. You can find a lot of amazing clothes on sale in thrift stores. All you have to do is to have the patience and the eye for the right clothes that will match some of your old outfits. Moreover, big department store chains also sell clothes on sale on an occasional or seasonal basis. You have to be updated on those things to be the first one to buy the good stuff on sale. Needless to say, the best things on sale are the first ones being sold. So, the saying, “The early bird catches the early worm.” really fits into this scenario. Macklemore wasn’t kidding when he told us to “pop some tags” because thrift shopping is definitely the cheaper alternative to finding some amazing treasures at a fraction of the cost.

Mixing and Matching

Don’t be afraid to mix and match outfits. If done correctly, you’ll be surprised at how it works wonders! Your old jeans might look new when paired with a different t-shirt or shoe style. Your vintage shirts or blouses will have a new look once paired with some accessories. This is the beauty of mixing and matching. Much like shopping is in our veins, women know that you don’t need to buy new clothes all the time to look more fashionable. The trick to refreshing your outfits is to make what you already own seem relatively new again. For example, that white jumper you wear every winter? Have you thought about layering it over a blouse or wearing the jumper under a pair of denim trousers? Small changes can enhance any existing outfit, so you don’t have to unnecessarily spend more money buying new stuff.

Fashion Magazine inspo

There are a lot of fashion magazines in the market today such as Vogue, In Style, and Vanity Fair, among others. You just have to be keen in observing the fashion styles of celebrities and get an idea from there. You don’t need to buy the exact brands they are wearing especially if you are on a budget. In saying that, try to avoid the urge to purchase under $10 shirts from just anywhere. Some shops where you can buy high-quality basics at bargain price range are ASOS, Jay Jays, Showpo and Katies ensures that the t-shirts you are purchasing look crisp, clean, and expensive looking. You also want to make sure you’re buying high-quality jeans, skirts, blazers. Places such as Jay Jays, Topshop, ASOS sell amazing jeans that are very affordable.

The Power of Accessories

We do not need to have a lot of clothes in our wardrobe just to flash a different look every time we go out of our houses. All we need to do is to buy neutral coloured clothes and heaps of accessories. Investing in accessories is much cheaper than buying lots of new clothes. Accessories can totally change the look and style of your clothes…transforming them into another kind of style that you never thought was even possible before. Accessories are designed to spice up a woman’s look, effectively making her come across as classy and sophisticated. Accessorizing is actually a cost-effective way of making sure that a woman does not grow sick and tired of her wardrobe because it’s just as good as buying new outfits.

Change Your Hairstyle

Your hair is your crowning glory…it can make or break you. So, if you want to look fashionably hot without going bankrupt, then, you need to do something with our hairstyle. A different kind of hair colour or style can instantly make a fashion statement. Also, do not underestimate what hair accessories can do. If applied correctly to your hair, they can make you look a million bucks.

Designer Spotlight: Find Out More About The Talented Lucy Laurita

Lucy Laurita is a Melbourne based fashion designer who has a wealth of expertise that can only be accumulated over time. Since launching her own label Leiela in 2005, her reputation for glamorous high fashion and exceptional personal service has continued to grow.

Recently rebranding the label to Lucy Laurita, her gowns are sold through various independent boutiques – she also offers a made to order service by private consultation.

Lucy is passionate about her involvement in the creative community. Over the years, she has made costumes for various theatre productions and was proud to be selected as the costume designer for ‘TITANIC The Musical.’ She also credits her incredible enthusiasm and drive to an unending love for what she does, a sense of humour, and the ability to never stop learning.

Sassy & Co Magazine recently caught up with Lucy to discuss her career in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

Tell us your full name and something about yourself.

My name is Lucy Laurita, a mum blessed with two gorgeous kids while balancing life as a fashion designer specialising in Women’s Event Wear. As any creative would probably know, it’s not a career, it’s a lifestyle. You live it with all that you are.

Australian born, with an Italian heritage, I’m lucky to have such a great cultural mix. I now appreciate all the things I didn’t appreciate in my youth and I’m passionate about embracing diversity and offering a hand up to those in need. I’m also proud to be a Mental Health Foundation Australia Multicultural Ambassador.

The Lucy Laurita Gown Collection is exclusively available at Momento Dezigns, SANA Boutique, and online at Frockaholics.com. The design aesthetic is classic, simple lines that enhance the natural beauty of the female form. The gowns are designed to softly fall over the body, elegantly gliding as the woman confidently moves.

When you look at my collection, you need to live the idea that together we have created a story.

Lucy Laurita Viva Gown Silver Paloma Sequin: Model Eryn Saunders / Image by Maurice Rinald

How did you get into the fashion industry?

My young self of about 8 years old decided then that I would grow to be a fashion designer.

Did they call me a dreamer? Yes, they did. Was it going to stop me? No.

My mother was a talented dressmaker who made all our family clothes. I was always in awe of her ability and her attention to detail in each garment she made but at the same time, I was a little annoyed that she refused to do more with her talent. She refused to teach me so I could only observe as she created.

I was shocking in my sewing classes in high school. I worked hard to put together a portfolio to end year 12, and I made it into the Melbourne Institute of Textiles (which has now been taken over by RMIT). I loved my years there, I made the most of my free time and I even got a part-time job as a workroom assistant for La Folie – a designer brand that was located on Chapel St South Yarra, Melbourne. It was here that I learned so much about garment construction. My boss was so patient with me and in hindsight believed I was capable.

How were you actually ‘discovered’?

My time at La Folie was coming to an end as the owners decided to move back to London. She asked me – “Lucy, who would you like to work for, where do you see yourself in the fashion industry?” How amazing was my boss right?

All I knew at the time was that I wanted to be creative, even theatrical in my designing but I had no idea of my niche. She made a call to Jenny Bannister. She’s an iconic Australian Fashion Designer, it just so happened Jenny was looking to hire a new design and production assistant and I fit the job description. I was in this role for 8 years till she began to wind down her production, it was that turning point in 2005 that I started my own brand, LEIELA.

Lucy Laurita Serena Gown Ivory Georgette: Model Eryn Saunders / Image by Maurice Rinald

What do you like most about being a designer?

The opportunity to make other women feel comfortable and confident wearing a gown. The way we dress and the way we feel in what we are wearing is very powerful, making a huge difference to our success hence affecting our mental state. We thrive when we feel confident and it is a privilege to see a confident woman in one of my designs.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

Not enough sleep, creative minds are always active. I do my best work overnight so when I’m in the midst of preparing a new collection or planning a runway show I’m awake till 3 or 4 am then up at 7.30 am for breakfast with my family.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

I would have to say working with director Mitchell Butel and The Sydney Symphony Orchestra creating gowns for “Funny Girl The Musical In Concert.” It was an honour to work with some of Australian’s most acclaimed talent. The cast included industry heavyweights such as Michala Banas, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Casey Donovan, Virginia Gay, Verity Hunt-Ballard, Dami Im, Maggie McKenna, Zahra Newman, Caroline O’Connor, Queenie van de Zandt, and Megan Washington. The show was held at the Sydney Opera House.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people each with their own interesting journey that has inspired me in some way. There is one that has been particularly memorable though. An intriguing gentleman knocked on my studio door in Ascot Vale, Melbourne years ago. He said he was in Melbourne for the day on a business trip and had found my designs online. He desperately needed a ‘Gatsby’ inspired gown as he was hosting a surprise party for his wife. He was a little vague about the details but very polite showing me and my assistant at the time a small photo of his wife to select a gown for her. We selected the gown and he kindly asked to have it shipped over to Sydney, so at that point, I needed to ask for his full name. He was Darryl Courtney-O’Connor AM, he was the founder of one of the biggest hotel chains in Australia and New Zealand, he was also the founder of the International College of Management Sydney as well as the Chairman of Tourist Corporation. I was blown away indeed, the reason for the ‘Gatsby’ themed party by the way just happened to be because part of ‘The Gatsby’ blockbuster movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed on one of his properties. Was his wife expecting a Gucci or Prada? I may never know but I’m sure glad he found my designs appealing.

Lucy Laurita Cameo Bubble Gown Silver Lurex Mesh Ice Blue Lining Front: Model Eryn Saunders / Image by Maurice Rinaldi

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

To believe in my ability as a designer and as an advocate for causes I’m passionate about. It took me a long time to associate myself with my brand. It was only a few years ago when I had a chance encounter with International fashion designer Henry Roth. He’s a TV presenter, a Project Runway Australia mentor and currently, in the process of authoring a book I can’t wait to read called ‘The Stories I Told My Son.’ He became my mentor and he transformed my brand to become my personal brand. With his encouragement and guidance, I was able to rebrand and introduce myself and my label as Lucy Laurita. Henry Roth gave me the opportunity to learn something that was not innate. To believe I had something to contribute, that I made a difference to others and I had earned my title as a fashion designer – to own my name as my brand.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, very supportive, they are always involved with the various projects I work on. The bonus is when my husband and kids get to get to come along to a stage show where I’ve dressed the talent. My kids gain valuable life experiences through being involved in charity events and meeting many talented Australians in the entertainment industry.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

More meaningful collaborations. I hope to continue joining forces with other creatives to do what we love and to be able to give back to our community. I am currently a Multicultural Ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia – I’m proudly raising awareness and helping to eliminate the stigma relating to Mental Illness. This is a cause I am deeply passionate about and will continue to support, hopefully making a difference by reaching those silently suffering.

Lucy Laurita Angel Gown Ivory georgette Back: Model Eryn Saunders / Image by Maurice Rinald


1. Last good movie I’ve seen: A Star Is Born

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Authentic Kindness. A kind heart always shines through and lights up a room.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Set up a sustainable foundation to assist disengaged youth.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Skydive.

Lucy Laurita Suraia Top and Skirt set: Model Ruby Wilson / Headwear Viktoria Novak _CBR Fair – S2020 / Image by Eric Red Photography