Style Melbourne

Leiela Design Award & Fashion Mob

Finalists and fans gathered at evening and formal wear label Leiela‘s open studio on Sunday as the winner of their ‘Lady Accolade’ Design Award was honoured. Five young designers – Alexis Belcher, Irwan Wijaya, Rose Elizabeth Steele, Stephanie Carello of Alabakov and Stephanie Paladin – presented fully fledged gowns for judging by the Age’s fashion editor Janice Breen Burns, Artichoke editor Kate Rhodes and myself.

Stephanie Paladin was announced the victor on the day to squeals of delight by her supporters with her ‘Audrey’ dress deemed to fit in with Leiela’s streamlined, elegant aesthetic. The final year Whitehouse Institute of Design student looked back through old Audrey Hepburn movies for the inspiration for her design featuring a gently ruffled neckline and V-back in an inky hue. Stephanie wins $1000 worth of Leiela clothing and her dress design, for which she has naming rights, will be put into production as part of the Leiela line.

Leiela also took to the streets of Melbourne during LMFF, sending 13 be-gowned beauties on a tour of the city’s iconic landmarks. This ‘Fashion Mob’ turned heads as they left the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Town Hall, Federation Square and the Arts Center in their wake.  Weaving along Elizabeth Street, Swanston Street and St Kilda Road, the fashion pack enrobed in full length gowns and embellished with Chanel-style luxury tattoos by the Amazing Raymond (I recently tested out a sweet little jeweled bow on my forearm from the man himself), were captured on camera and film – if only we could swan around in gowns all day…

Images courtesy Melissa Hobbs Photography & Leiela

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