GEOCON High Society Masthead

What I Wore: Assemblage Project

Hayley O'Neill

On a daily basis we find ourselves asking the dreaded question, ‘what will I wear?’. The question takes on a whole new dimension when we have an important event coming up like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA). When the purpose of the event is to judge the new season fashion, the pressure of what you are going to wear can be quite stressful.

So when I was headed to my first MBFWA, I turned to local designers for help. The result? Three gorgeous, unique looks from labels you’ll soon be seeing on the FASHFEST catwalk. In a three-part series, I’ll show you how to get the look by incorporating some pretty amazing Canberra design labels into your wardrobe.


Mainstream fashion can be overrated; often we chose quantity over quality with the influence of fast-fashion retailers, but investing into good quality pieces can actually be worth it in the long run when it still looks brand new, years down the track. For the sustainability and longevity of the fashion industry in Australia, and in Canberra, aim to invest in good quality garments from local labels

Customers are spoilt for choice at Assemblage Project, located in the Ori building on Lonsdale St Braddon, with the selection of many designers that they stock. Owner, Karen Leehas a beautiful collection of new season pieces from her own label. She designs garments with sophisticated lines and timeless shapes that enhance the ever-changing body shape.

“I love designing garments that allow the wearer to express their own style whilst being comfortable and confident at the same time,” says Karen.


At the MBFWA Alice McCall runway show last week, I wore this beautiful one off piece that Karen created. It retails for $750, so you can imagine I felt rather honoured to wear it to such an event.


The detailing on this dress was a stand out for me, from the cut out shoulders, delicate net panelled sleeves, and intricately stitched gathering and pleating on the front; it has all the details required to create a show stopping outfit.



I paired this with my lace up Wittner heels, Witchery Clutch and Colette by Colette Hayman fan earrings. It’s a great example of how you can team designer items with high street fashion.


I wanted my accessories to complement the dress and not take the attention away from it. This dress is made out of a wool/polyester blend and can be worn by itself or with leggings for those chilly Canberra evenings.

Karen Lee will be showcasing her newest collection on behalf of the Assemblage Project at FASHFEST on the Saturday 16 May. Make sure you grab your tickets here so you don’t miss out on seeing it first.


Hayley O'Neill

Hayley O’Neill is a Canberra based fashion stylist and fashion editor for HerCanberra. Hayley works as a freelance stylist at Westfield Belconnen and Woden and began her career styling for The Work Diaries blog. Hayley has lots of experience dressing real people with every size, age, budget and body shape. More about the Author