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What I wore: Corr Blimey

Hayley O'Neill

Have you ever seen a model on the catwalk or in a catalogue wearing designer pieces from top to toe and absolutely fallen in love with an outfit, but had no idea how to translate it into your own style? You don’t want to take anything away from the garment’s aesthetic, or the designer’s intent, but you’re no supermodel and so can’t just wear anything. The process of wearing designer garments and making them your own is fun and challenging, as I discovered with what I wore to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFWA).

In what is already an intimidating environment, I needed to feel comfortable with what I was wearing and how I looked. After all, attending MBFWA involves long days. I love local label Corr Blimey, and have seen how amazing their clothes look on models and others, so I wanted to try out their sculptural designs, even though they are very different to what I would normally wear. What did I have in my existing wardrobe that would work and how could I add my own personal style to Corr Blimey’s fashion?

Corr Blimey is one of Canberra’s most well known and long-standing independent fashion designer labels. I love their garments because designers Louisa de Smet and Steven Wright focus on innovation of design rather than ‘here-today, gone-tomorrow’ trends. They produce collections that are distinctive and memorable, not only because of the boundaries they cross with their garments but with the theatrical nature in which they are displayed. I wanted to do justice to such distinct statement pieces.

Personal style is defined by every piece of clothing you have bought, whether it’s with colour, patterns, style or an eclectic mix of all three. You may have been doing it subconsciously—without even knowing it—but you have been defining your personal style for years.

When you’re buying a designer piece, you’re making an investment in your wardrobe. You want the piece to ‘fit in’ with the rest of what you own so you get maximum wear out of it. This saves you money because you can rely on what you already have instead of needing to buy other clothes to complete the designer piece or make it work. It’s fabulous to work key designer pieces with items you already own and love, while expressing your personal style with ease.

Giving designer items your personal twist

Look One

I started off with Corr Blimey’s Crossroads dress, which retails for $400. This dress is a lovely linen-cotton blend, a transeasonal fabric that breathes well in summer and is warm in cooler weather. The dress features pleating detail which adds to the amount of fabric and so the piece is super comfy in winter.

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It’s a versatile, feminine piece—a baby-doll style—that can be dressed down with black tights, skinny jeans, boots, flats, or smart runners, or dressed up with killer heels and accessories.

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I added to the feminine style of the dress by adding my favourite autumn accessories, including a beautiful, black Forever New felt hat and black Witchery boots. I popped some red lipstick on, curled my hair and off I went.

Look Two

I love Corr Blimey’s Lantern Skirt, which retails for $300. It’s made of 100 per cent wool felt and designed to accentuate the waistline, giving everyone who wears it a small waist. It’s another versatile piece that can be worn with just a white t-shirt, leather jacket or pair of boots. Or it can be transformed into corporate day wear if worn, for example, with a crisp white blouse and a court shoe. It also looks great with a belt.

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I went for a preppy look. Playing once again on my feminine side, I layered a Forever New crop over a basic Oxford white skirt to accentuate my waist and body shape.

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I added some preppy accessories by pairing Witchery socks with Wittner loafers and adding a black Witchery watch as a final touch. The Lantern Skirt was so much fun to experiment with. You’ll be surprised at how easily it can be styled with pieces you already own, to make it work for your style.

It’s each to their own when it comes to fashion and style. Some people like wearing a designer head to toe and becoming a different persona. For others it’s about picking key designer pieces, such as those created by Corr Blimey, and making them work with an existing wardrobe.

See Corr Blimey at FASHFEST

Corr Blimey will launch their Propaganda collection at FASHFEST 2015 from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 May. This is the label’s third time at the red-carpet fashion event and this collection promises true excitement. Tickets on sale now.

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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