Australia’s Fashion Icons

It’s Australia Day! It’s the day we celebrate the countless reasons its awesome to be an Aussie. It’s the day that many of us will settle in to listen to the hottest 100 with a snag in a blanky and a lamington chaser (for our foreign friends this means listen to a once-annual radio show of the best 100 songs of the year, eat a sausage in bread then sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut). It’s also the day many of us will don our national costume of pluggers and a ‘wifebeater’ (flip flops and a navy tank). Yet the reality is that our home-grown fashion continues to develop and evolve. Australian designers are producing beautiful, luxurious products and holding their own on fashion’s global stage.

It must be acknowledged that Australian designs tend not to be of the budget variety; an unfortunate reality of operating ‘down under’. But there are most certainly sublime finds to be found, many worth saving your hard-earned AUD’s for. With this in mind, lovely readers, I give to you: 9 Australian Fashion Icons!


Sisters Nicky & Simone Zimmerman started their namesake label in Sydney in 1991 and attribute their success to their great relationship. When establishing their ready-to-wear collection, the girls made a brave move to mix swimwear with their outfits. The move was a success and Zimmerman’s swimwear and ready-to-wear is now stocked around the world including in Barney’s, Saks, Harrods and Net-A-Porter… as well as David Jones and their independent boutiques at home. In even better news, there’s still plenty available at half price in their end of season clearance on the Zimmerman website now. A sneak peek:

Zimmerman Good Love Drape Dress Zimmerman Drifter Scallop Frill BikiniZimmerman Honour Leopard Jumpsuit

1. Good Love Drape Dress $215 (from $430); 2. Drifter Scallop Frill Bikini $120 (from $240); 3. Honour Leopard Jumpsuit $260 (from $650!)

Carla Zampatti 

Italian-born Zampatti moved to Australia as a 9-year-old and at 24 released her first collection. The brand has cemented itself as an Australian powerhouse. It’s carried by both Myer and David Jones and has seen Zampatti snag an Order of Australia medal! Her designs are show-stoppers, combining classic with contemporary to make her a go-to for special events. The end of season sale has some epic markdowns:

Carla Zampatti JumpsuitCarla Zampatti ChemiseCarla Zampatti Gown

1. Onyx Crepe Enmeshed Jumpsuit $416 from $789; 2. Hibiscus Brocade Hepburn Chemise $280 (From $690); 3. Pearl Georgette Cleopatra Gown $380 (from $949)

Leona Edmiston

In 2001 Leona Edmiston went out on her own after previously being in partnership with Peter Morrisey. She’s grown the business significantly over the last 13 years and the brand now includes three lines for women (Leona Edmiston Frocks, a premium Limited Edition range plus a diffusion collection called Leona Edmiston Ruby) a children’s collection (Little Leona), plus shoes, handbags, jewellery, leg wear, sunglasses and a homewears collaboration with Myer. The sky’s the limit for Leona. Some current online steals:

Leona Edmiston - Paris DressLeona Edmiston - Paulette DressLeona Edmiston - Jasmine Dress

1. Paris Dress – limited edition $439 (from $795); 2. Paulette Dress $225 (from $345); 3. Jasmine Dress $279 (from $525)

Alannah Hill

Whimsical, bright and undeniably feminine, Alannah Hill built her namesake business from humble beginnings 18 years ago before walking away from the brand last year. In her wake she leaves an incredible legacy in the home-grown fashion favourite. I don’t own a lot of Alannah Hill, but I can never resist a wander through the store to look at the detailed, girly designs and always spectacularly presented assistants. On sale now, at 60%+ off:

AH - Fairy Floss DressAH - Finders Keepers BeltAH - Sweet Like Cinnamon Dress

1. Fairy Floss Dress $147.60 (from $369); 2. Finders Keepers Belt $35.60 (from $89); 3. Sweet Like Cinnamon Dress $131.60 (from $329)


40 years after opening their first store in Sydney’s Strand Arcade, Cue truly is an Aussie Fashion Icon. Year on year, Cue collects a bucketload of reader’s choice awards for their contemporary, flattering designs. Still family owned and *nearly* exclusively made in Australia, Cue is certainly this blogger’s go-to for wear-to-work fashion. New stock arrives weekly and many pieces go just as quickly as they arrive! Occasionally you’ll pick up a few items on sale, like these:

Cue - Pleat Yoke Shirt Cue - Twill Zip Front DressCue - Cut Away Shirt

1. Pleat Yoke Shirt $54.50 (from $109); 2. Twill Zip Front Dress $188.30 (from $269); 3. Cut Away cap sleeve top $90.30 (from $129)

Sass and Bide 

I recall vividly standing in Bessie Head with a friend, circa 2000, flipping through Sass and Bide’s lookbook for the coming season. It was the first time we were seeing skinny jeans positioned as a current fashion trend. I remember scoffing at how unlikely it was to ever take off. Within the year, several weeks worth of retail wages had been emptied into two pairs of ‘Frayed Misfits’ which took pride of place in my wardrobe as acquired must-haves and the most expensive items of clothing I owned. While it’s fair to say that denim probably paid the bills in the early years, Sarah-Jane Clarke (sass) and Heidi Middleton (bide) have evolved the label to be synonymous with easy-to-wear statement pieces; from bohemian to bedazzled. Some steals in their end-of-season online sale:

sass and bide - THE INVENTORsass and bide - TOO MUCH INFORMATION WHITE sass and bide - WITH CONVICTION

1.The Inventor – metal belt $90 (from $450); 2. Too Much Information $390 (from $590); 3. With Conviction $170 (from $350) 


Camilla Frank is only seven years into the Australian fashion game, but has experienced resounding success with her colourful, free-flowing, playful pieces which have wielded a spate of celebrity fans (and a spot on our list of envy-inducing instagrammers).  Bright and bohemian, her pieces are not for shrinking violets. Some finds in the end of season sale:

 camilla - weaving time camilla - bamboo avenue camilla - number 88

1. Weaving Time $359 (from $599); 2. Bamboo Avenue $317 (from $529); 3. Number 88 $539 (from $899)

Samantha Wills

Raised in Port Macquarie, Samantha Wills launched her jewellery brand in 2004 when she moved to Sydney. Since then she’s gone from strength to strength, including being named ‘break out star’ by The New York Times in 2011. Her designs have been seen on Drew Barrymore, Eva Mendes, Alexandra Ambrosio, Katy Perry, Pink and more. In the last couple of years SW’s line has expanded to include bridal pieces as well as a selection of stationery and a collaboration with Yellowglen on a sparkling named Peacock Lane. While her brand focuses around bohemian luxury – there’s a piece for everyone in her collection. Some current online steals:

SW - Love at Sunset Collar Necklace SW - It will Rain NecklaceSW - Endless Nights Turquoise Ring

1. Love at Sunset Collar Necklace $171 (from $285); 2. It Will Rain Necklace $60 (from $150); 3. Endless Nights Turquoise Ring $72 (from $120)


Founded in 1938, the design behind Oroton can’t be attributed to just one person. Nevertheless, the brand has embedded itself as one of Australia’s most popular fashion luxuries ever since launching it’s gold mesh in 1951. The line has since successfully expanded to include lingerie, jewellery, perfume and clothing and has recently moved into South-East Asia. Oroton has wicked sales, marking the majority of the store down by 50% twice a year. Even if you’ve missed sale time, hit the Outlet on their website where you can regularly find steals like these:

Oroton - Noble HoboOroton - Glamour Mesh HeelOroton - Hans Silk Pocket Cardigan

1. Noble Hobo $197.50 (from $395); 2. Glamour Mesh Heel Sandal $130 (from $325); 3. Hans Silk Pocket Cardigan $118 (from $295)

While there’ll likely always be a place in the Australia Day psyche for a pair of pluggers and a wifebeater, this January 26 I’d like to suggest there’s room to acknowledge our more sophisticated fashion accomplishments too. Happy Australia Day, sublime seekers… may your beer be cold, your snags be hot and the Australian fashion bargains be with you!


What are your favourite Australian fashion brands? Tell us below! 

The world’s most iconic beauty finds!

I can (and will) harp on about the things I think are fabulous, but aren’t you curious to know what the people of the world love most? Today, sublime seekers, I give you: the world’s most iconic, best-selling and clearly sublime beauty finds of all time.

It’s likely many of you will own at least one item on the list below, and very possibly all seven! Either way, read forth (is that a thing?) to learn the stories behind these cult products!

Benefit Benetint Rose-tinted Lip and Cheek StainBenefit Benetint

Who doesn’t love a two-in-one? Created in the 1970’s for an exotic dancer (allegedly to colour her nipples!), the original potion is still what’s on sale today. Benefit’s benetint is a kiss-proof, water-proof and incredibly sheer wonder for both your lips AND your cheeks! Brush or dot on and blend quickly for that “what has she been up to?” glow.
$55* in Australia available from Adore Beauty or your Benefit counter at Myer.
How popular? One sold every minute around the world.

Nars Orgasm

Nars Blush in Orgasm

This cult classic was designed by makeup artist François Nars designed in 1999 he “wanted something audacious, yet easy for everyone to wear” and allegedly spent months tweaking the levels of pink pigment and gold shimmer to create the final product that flatters every skin tone. No doubt bouyed by it’s cheeky name, the women of the world agree; if you don’t have your own orgasm, you’re doing it wrong.
$45* in Australia available at Mecca Cosmetica or your local Nars stockist.
How popular? Two orgasms every minute.

Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum

Chanel No. 5

The world’s most popular perfume is unsurprisingly, the iconic Chanel No. 5. In the summer of 1920, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel asked perfumer Earnest Beaux to create a “fragrance for a woman to smell like a woman, not like a flower”. Named “No. 5” as Coco allegedly preferred the 5th scent Beaux presented to her, it’s derived from over 80 notes! In the height of her stardom, Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed and famously replied “Chanel No. 5, of course”.
Available everywhere but beware imitations! $250 (approx) for 100ml. Also available in 25ml, 50ml and 200ml varieties.
How popular? Two sold every minute.

YSL Touche EclatYSL Touché Éclat

Invented in 1991 by YSL’s Terry de Gunzburg, Touché Éclat (pronounced toosh eh-clae) was the first under-eye brightener and highlighter of its time. It works by reflecting the light to leave your skin looking radiant and has been described as “like 8 hours sleep in a magic wand”. Most commonly used around the eye area, there are lots of tips available on how to make the most of this famous product.
$55* and available in 22 shades at David Jones.
How popular?  Six sold per minute.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising LotionClinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion

Clinique launched their Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion back in 1968 following an article in US Vogue discussing whether a proper skin care regime is the secret to great skin. US Vogue editor Carol Phillips, Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of Estée) and dermatologist Norman Orentreich worked together to bring cosmetics and dermatology together. The original formula prevailed for more than 40 years until it received an update last year in response to the different environmental needs of skin today compared to the 1960’s.
$49* for 125ml or $25* for 5oml at Clinique online or your nearest department store.
How popular? 14 sold every minute!

Loreal Elnett HairprayL’oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray

At it’s invention in 1960, the Elnett Satin hairspray became the first hairspray on the market that could be easily brushed out. It’s clean, soft and shiny finish makes it a favourite for red carpet events. For a long while it was only available in France, forcing hair fanatics to sneak the aerosole home in their luggage… but now you, dear reader, can source it here at home.
$9.95 for 400ml at Priceline.
How popular? 20 sold every minute!

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Great Lash Mascara

With an untouched receipe more than 40 years on, Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara was originally launched in 1971. It’s water-based formula gives you the ability to lengthen and build quickly to get anything from a lash-tinted look to full house glamazon. Maybelline credit it’s wet consistency and glossy blue-black colour as the secret to its success. And success it is; this is the world’s most popular mascara.
$12.95 at Priceline.
How popular? More than 40 sold every minute! FORTY! That’s one every 1.5 seconds!

Honourable Mentions:

  • Crème de La Mer was invented more than 50 years ago by a NASA scientest searching for a way to recover from his chemical burns and is infused with Sea Kelp. Celebs (Blake Lively, Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry ad the Jolie-Pitts) admit to using it by the bucketful. Lucky for them! 30ml of moisturising cream will set you back a cool $220. But don’t worry, the shipping is free.
  • Chanel Le Vernis “Vamp” is (surely?!) one of the only nail polishes to have it’s own wikipedia page. Launched in ’94 in at Chanel runway show, the polish was created to be the same colour as dried blood. It flew of the shelves, waiting lists followed and by the end of the year it alone had netted Chanel $1 million. The colour was discontinued then re-launched as “Rouge Noir”, a permanent colour in Chanel’s collection.
  • MAC Russian Red lipstick has become an iconic shade due it’s celebrity devotees. First donned by Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, the bold shade has since touched the lips of Dita Von Teese, Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Christina Hendricks, Scarlett Johannson, Christina Aguilera and Anne Hathaway. Wanna look like the famous ladies? Get yours now for $36* at your nearest MAC counter or online.

♥ AS

*Cheaper in the USA, peeps! Did someone say freight-forwarder?

Own any of these products? Are they worth the hype? What makes icon status in your beauty cupboard? Tell us below!