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Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Statement Suiting

12th July, 2020

Traditional suiting is beautiful and an eternal style staple but it doesn’t mean it can’t also be fashion forward when it wants to be. This suit is something I was planning to wear to Fashion Week this year for the very fact it turned the concept of a suit into something that had a little more drama, and had a little more impact. The ruching detail on both the jacket and cropped pants give it a distinct point of difference and really steers the suit silhouette into something more modern and contemporary. While the statement sleeves, with its voluminous silhouette once again adds an element of theatre to this whole look.

As I was already working with such a striking suit I knew that my accessories couldn’t be too over the top. They had to be strong but also not too overpowering. I decided on a vibrant red Dior bag to help add a further pop of colour and add a more classic element to offset the edgy nature of the pants and jacket. A pair of Bottega Veneta heels help ground the look while gold Rayban frames are the perfect full stop to this ensemble.

Credits: Suit, Aje; Bag, Dior; Shoes, Bottega Veneta; Sunglasses, Rayban

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Fancy Flare

2nd June, 2020

I’ve been having fun playing dress ups with event looks of late — it’s a nice change from being in loungewear or casual gear all the time and has me excited for when things hopefully start resuming regular programming.

While classic tailored suits have a place in any woman’s wardrobe I also love it when the silhouette is reimagined, resulting in a fun, fashion forward look. This powder blue suit by Macgraw, is a modern interpretation of suiting and is such a great way to do such a look without it looking too formal. The bell sleeves adds a unique feature and a feminine touch, while the pearl buttons give it a softer vibe. With the jacket being such a statement piece, it was great to do the simple cigarette pant just to tame the look a little. I can’t wait to wear this to an event in the (hopefully) not so distant future!

This suit is so striking I wanted to pair it with accessories that also had a little bit of personality. Worked back with neutral mesh Bottega Veneta heels, it helped lift the outfit without overwhelming. While I couldn’t think of a cuter addition to this ensemble than a mini Miu Miu bag. Simple, elegant and diminutive—the ideal finishing touch.

Credits: Suit jacket and pants, Macgraw; Shoes, Bottega Veneta; Bag, Miu Miu


Your guide to new season suiting

23rd March, 2020

If the word suit conjures up images of corporate offices and board meetings then you might be pleasantly surprised at the current offerings available. Continuing on from suiting’s ascension as a modern, fashion forward staple of seasons gone by, this season suits are very much one of the most on trend items any woman can have in her wardrobe.

Banish thoughts of traditional cuts or boring hues, it’s time to think bold. Suiting colour palettes are very much adopting rich autumn/winter hues, think berry shades and forest green, while winter whites are also very much on trend.

While the classic suit silhouette has been reimagined with slit sleeves, cut-outs, and finishing touches including feminine bows and embellishments all featuring in new season drops. Also don’t limit yourself to ideas of a simple jacket and pants. You can do everything from tailored shorts and midi skirts to cropped tapered trousers and culottes. While there are also different iterations of suit jackets such as a kimono style coat or long line blazers. The sky is the limit and there’s plenty of experimentation to be done.

If you’ve never considered adding a suit to your wardrobe because it seemed too stuffy or boring, then it might be time to revisit the concept because there are so many gorgeous options now that will most definitely convert you.


6 big spring racing trends that you need to know

17th October, 2019

Are you gearing up for Melbourne Cup? Prepping your look for Derby Day? If you’re headed to any of the key racing events during spring racing then you’re no doubt considering your look. From headwear to shoes, accessories and the outfit itself, it can be hard to figure out what to wear that’s on trend, yet sticks to the specific dress code.

I’ve got a number of events to attend, not to mention my reporting commitments for 7 Racing, which means I have plenty of outfits to lock in and I have to be on top of what’s trending. This season there’s plenty of key trends to try and I’m embracing a number of them throughout the next few weeks. Here are a few of the big ones to look out for…

A sharp skirt suit is a great option for spring racing

Sharp suiting

Traditional suiting is always a failsafe but the best part of what’s on offer this season is that it’s being done in a fresh, modern way. There’s a suit iteration that will work according to every taste, budget and dress code.

I’m a big fan of bold colours when it comes to a power suit, particularly pink which is fun and playful but so contemporary at the same time. Also look out for interesting finishing touches such as contrasting lapels and statement shoulders which ensure that your suit makes an impact. If you want to add a touch of glam, embrace a little satin which can take your suit next-level.

Also think beyond the traditional pants and jacket combination. You can go for a skirt or shorts to change up the look and give it a fresh spin.

Mini accessories

The mini bag is such a huge trend and its diminutive presence will be seen everywhere during spring racing season. You can do a little bag that will hold your main essentials or alternatively you can go super tiny like this and really downsize what you carry with you.

Who else loves an 80s puffed sleeve?

80s revival

The 80s are back! This time around we’re embracing the key silhouettes from the decade including puffed shoulders, high necklines, cinched in waists and the bell sleeve. As far as accessories go embrace a little glam by adding a diamond belt to your look, whilst padded headbands are the perfect way to embrace the trend and tick the headwear box at the same time.

Modern millinery

Hats will always be in but we are seeing headwear runway trends also filter into racing dressing now. Hair accessories are huge at the moment and is one way to tick the headwear box in a different way. Think beautiful hair clips, bows, anything with pearl embellishments and a polished headband. If you’re considering wearing clips, you can double the impact by wearing two at the same time. It gives the look something extra and modernises it.

Working a pink and yellow colour palette into my look

Bold Colours  

Don’t be afraid to turn up the saturation during spring racing and embrace big, bold colours. You can opt for vibrant shades of orange, yellow or gold which can all brighten up any look. Alternatively adopt rich hues of purple and pink to lift an ensemble and instantly make it pop.

Longer hemlines

I’ve always erred on the side of conservative when it comes to outfits for the races and this year it’s made even easier by the popularity of longer hemlines. If you’re thinking of dresses or skirts for spring racing, go for a maxi or midi style to look on trend whilst ensuring that you respect the dress code at the same time. Win-win.


A chat with suit designer Effie Kats

21st June, 2019
(L-R) Effie Kats, Brooke Boney and Tanya Hennessy

As the founder of her eponymous suit label, Effie Kats knows a thing or two about great suiting. Having dressed everyone from Kelly Rowland to DJ Havana Brown and Sophia Cachia, she was thrilled to be given the opportunity to dress another strong woman: Toy Story’s Bo Peep. As part of the launch of Toy Story 4, Effie reworked Bo Peep’s traditional look into a suit with a thoroughly modern spin, debuting the looks at the launch on herself, the Today’s show’s Brooke Boney and comedian Tanya Hennessy (pic above). Here I spoke to Effie about working with such an iconic movie, the key to a great suit and the one mistake women often makes when it comes to choosing a suit.

What prompted you to want to collaborate with Disney for the launch of Toy Story 4?

I’ve always been such a huge Disney fan so when they approached me it was an instant yes. 

What inspired the design for Bo Peep’s look? 

I took various elements from Bo’s looks; her light pastels, her neckline, the frill on her pants, her cape—there were so many elements to draw from. 

How does it feel to be involved with such a beloved movie series such as Toy Story?

It was a very surreal moment for me, Disney was such a huge part of my childhood so to collaborate with them has been a dream come true for me. 

How long did it take to create Bo Peep’s new looks from start to finish? What’s involved with the process?

All three looks took a total of just under a month. There was a tailoring component for myself and Brooke’s [Boney] suits so they were produced in our overseas tailoring factory and for Tanya’s [Hennessy] look it was pattern made and produced in house by my pattern maker and seamstress. 

What was the catalyst for you starting your own bespoke suiting brand? 

Suiting started to come through in a big way, all the big fashion houses were heavily featuring suits in their collections. I felt there was no one really catering to women in Melbourne for suiting, particularly custom made suits. I’ve managed to capture a niche market. 

What inspires your designs? 

I want women to feel confident and powerful so with each client I meet with I think to myself how can we get maximum impact here? What’s going to make them feel incredible?

How does it feel to see celebs wearing your designs?

It’s a pinch-me moment every time. 

Who is one person you think wears a suit really well?

Gwyneth Paltrow

What are your tips for choosing a suit?

I always look at the quality of construction, the way it sits on the shoulders. I always opt for a slim sleeve (it makes such a huge difference) and of course the fit through the waistline. 

What are some mistakes people should avoid when choosing a suit?

A lot of women go up a size to cater for their bust and then it’s too big and shapeless everywhere else—but that’s the nature of the beast with off the rack suiting! 

What’s been the most challenging thing about starting your label?

Definitely establishing the right in- house team. It’s a process and I’m very lucky to have an incredible pattern maker by my side! 

What drives you?

My passion for the industry and my drive to always evolve and better myself. 

What are three things you can’t live without? 

Day time it’s quite casual and androgynous, night time it’s very clean cut and classic. I can’t live without my vintage Levi’s and my tuxedo blazer!