Style Melbourne

Kookai VIP Evening South Yarra

Personally, I love my Aussie labels. Besides building on my sense of patriotism when I ‘buy Aussie-made’, no other overseas brands seem to translate as seamlessly into my life, taking into account our environment, local trends and variable weather. Think huge shaggy fur coats in our mild winter. Sweat stains much? But I digress. When thinking of iconic Australian brands, can anyone go past our world renowned clothing labels? Customers everywhere are clamoring for our clothes! And for one of the biggest names, think bright turquoise shopping bags boldly emblazoned with white letters spelling ‘Kookai’.

Self described as an ‘inspiration label’, Kookai has been around in Australia as long as I can remember. This label pioneered the layering concept so popular especially in Melbourne, and proudly markets its Parisian roots as a point of difference. Instead of mass producing hot-this-minute trendy clothes, buyers and designers carefully design and purchase fabrics six times a year and adapt it to the Australian lifestyle, to create timeless pieces that transcend the seasons.

Kookai has kept itself fresh over the years by constantly reinventing its image. Edgy and unique has become its catch cry, and its stocked range has now expanded to shoes, bags, accessories. Soon, a brand spanking new series of swimwear will make its appearance. I was particularly taken with some marcasite jewellery displayed, with a great art deco feel. And girls take note, you can now shop for formal gowns at Kookai! This lovely made-to-measure range of evening dresses can be seen at, and its phenomenal success is apparent; even making an appearance at the Brownlows. Kookai is a one-stop shop for everyone and all generations, stocking everything from grown-up styles to basic tee shirts, with an unconventional feel. Though, one constant has remained at this label over the years, color and dresses still feature heavily on its racks, as epitomized by creative director Danielle’s gorgeous bright blue maxi dress!

Kookai held a Christmas VIP event at its Chapel street store. The invite was extended to Kookai’s suppliers, and the night of festivites and hors d oeuvres kicked off to the tunes of a fantastic DJ, who incidentally was also a Kookai designer. As expected from such a special label, the night was warm, friendly and fun, much like shopping at Kookai itself.

Words – Amanda Phoon

Photography – Andy Lee

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