Style Melbourne

LMFF Designer Award 2011: Behind the Scenes

Eight Australian labels – by a dozen designers – were put under the spotlight last week as judges Dion Lee (last year’s winner), Creative Director Grant Pearce, David Jones, Myer, Australian Wool Innovation and Vogue Australia deliberated upon who would be bestowed with the 2011 LMFF Designer Award. As labels Arnsdorf (currently o/s), From Britten, Lui Hon, Dress Up, Bassike, song for the mute, Laurence Pasquier and Ellery presented their capsule collections to be considered; we caught up with the Melbourne contingent for some insight.

Stephanie Downey – Dress Up – “I’m feeling a lot more relaxed than expected”

If you won the award, would you choose to go to Paris or Florence as you prize? Paris, I’ve been to Florence before.

Tell us about the collection you are presenting today. The inspiration is emotional. I wanted to create something still and calm… something natural and eerie and mysterious.

If you had to choose a fellow designer, who do you think might win this year? Jade from Arnsdorf. She’s a long time friend of mine so I’d like to see that.


Tim & Alex Britten-Finschi – From Britten – “really, really excited”

So where would you visit if you won the prize? I’m not even thinking about it yet (Tim). I like the romantic notion of Paris (Alex).

What are your inspirations for this collection? The Fritz Lang film ‘Metropolis’, ‘Gattaca’…oil, grime and soot. It’s all grey and tonal – not black but charcoal – about being textural and mixing fabrics.

What’s next for From Britten? We’re involved in the No Home film project.


Lui Hon – Lui Hon – “feeling like a bird let out of the cage”

So this is your second time being nominated, does it get any easier to go in front of the judges? I’m a little more nervous as this collection means so much to me. [Seeing the other designer’s work is like] looking at a point of view through their eyes, how they see fashion.

Can you explain your capsule collection on show today? The title is ‘Noise in my Head’. There’s a voice in my head telling me to “take complexity and make it simple”. It’s back to basics.

What can we look forward to from Lui Hon in 2011? I’m in the middle of Spring Summer at the moment. And at the end of March a new Lui Hon online.





LMFF 2011 Designer Award finalists
The Finalists L-R; Laurence Pasquier, Alex Britten-Finschi (From Britten), Trish Fairbairn (Laurence Pasquier), Tim Britten-Finschi (From Britten), Kim Ellery (Ellery), Mary Lou Ryan (Bassike), Melvin Tanaya (song for the mute), Deborah Sams (Bassike), Lyna Ty (song for the mute), Lui Hon, Stephanie Downey (Dress Up). Not pictured Jade Sarita Arnsdorf (Arnsdorf).

A Laurence Pasquier design

Zoe wearing a Laurence Pasquier design


The LMFF Designer Award for 2011 will be announced at an invite-only ceremony during the festival. The labels nominated will be showcased for the first time to the public at L’Oreal Paris Runway 2 at 9pm on Tuesday 15th March.

Fab photography by Scott Gick

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