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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
art & style 116 When Halle Berry sashayed down the red carpet for the premier of Die Another Day, her debut as a Bond Girl, she was wearing a gown by Australian designer Colle e Dinnigan. e dress was chosen for her by Phillip Bloch, a leading Hollywood stylist who has worked with stars such as Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson. "Australian designers make dresses that are irty and feminine," says Bloch. "Style Down Under spans the globe of fashion. From the romantic to the ultra chic, to the fearless -- Australian designers make red carpet shopping one-stop only." ere was a time when Australian designers weren't considered dressy enough to handle Hollywood premieres. But in the past few years, Australian fashion has been making its presence felt from Cannes to the Kodak eatre (where the Oscars are held). ere's growing interest in Australian fashion among hipsters and the alternative culture, with rock stars and emerging indie artists favouring the edgy wear of Australian style's cool brigade led by sass & bide. Style queen Beyoncé wore the label's spandex- embellished mini in black to the September 2009 MTV awards. e launch of Australian Fashion Week in 1996 at Sydney's Fox Studios, now named Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, was instrumental in focusing the local and international market on Australian fashion, and an impetus for designers to develop more seasonal and trans-seasonal ranges. Daniel Hill of IMG Fashion, the company who runs Fashion Week, agrees local fashion is in a strong phase. "Australian designers are renowned for their creativity and clever use of resources in generating a ordable and luxurious clothing. ey translate our unique lifestyle and create fashion that's fun and sophisticated," he says. fashion’s Getty Images a AUSTRALIAN FASHION DESIGNERS ARE STEPPING INTO THE SPOTLIGHT AS AURELIO COSTARELLA COLLETTE DINNIGAN CLIENTS: Rihanna (pictured), Sharon Stone, Tina Arena, Dita Von Teese, Tyra Banks, Melissa George, Padma Lakshmi CLIENTS: Halle Berry (pictured), Taylor Swift, Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet, Miranda Kerr Olga Kurylenko Originally trained as an architect, Costarella began creating his unique evening wear nearly 25 years ago and has been involved in New York Fashion Week and G'Day USA since 2006. In 2007 he became the first Western Australian to be listed as an official designer of New York Fashion Week. While he might be admired by cinema's leading ladies, Costarella continues to base his studio in his hometown of Perth. His commitment to focusing the global spotlight on Australian fashion has him employing 10 full-time and two part-time staff members and overseeing some 40 interns annually. Costarella's garments have appeared on TV shows Top Chef USA and America's Next Top Model and the UK's X-Factor. In November 2009 Costarella won Fashion Group international's International Achievement Award in Sydney. Collette Dinnigan found her fashion thread by accident. Born in Durban, South Africa, to bohemian parents, Dinnigan describes her family as "gypsies of the sea." She originally wanted to be a veterinary scientist but her mathematics teacher suggested a graphics or arts course. She applied for both graphics and fashion and thought she'd been accepted for the former. Only on the first day, when there was talk of tape measures and darts, did it occur to her that something was wrong. Her first collection was dry-clean-only underwear made from heirloom pieces of lingerie, and Australian stores didn't know what to do with it. Dinnigan's seductive "innerwear as outerwear" garnered a cult following. She opened her first Sydney store in 1992 and in 1995 became the first Australian-based designer to mount a full-scale ready-to-wear parade in Paris. This year she presents her 28th show in Paris, and she sells into 150 stores globally.