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Zilpah Tart: Dress Vivid

Wendy Johnson

When fashion designer Yumi Morrissey wanders about Canberra she’s always on the lookout for the perfect picture.

Not for a photo album or to upload onto social media. She’s looking for an image that can form a pattern. For fabric.

Vivid, the autumn collection by Zilpah Tart, is based around images Yumi captured near Lake Ginniderra and in the heritage-listed English Gardens in Yarralumla—bright autumn trees, with vivid coloured leaves.

This isn’t the first time Yumi has designed her own fabrics reflecting our special capital. Her first was a print featuring iconic Parliament House and another the highly recognisable Civic Fountain. She launched the collection made with these prints at Fashfest 2015. For spring she then focused her camera on blossoms from Tulip Top Gardens and Lennox Gardens.

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With Vivid, Yumi captured big, bold red leaves while walking through Diddams Close Park, Lake Ginninderra. The full tree image was also snapped around Lake Ginninderra, but this time in John Knight Memorial Park. Yumi discovered stunning yellow leaves she caught on camera in Yarralumla.

The process for making the fabric was slightly different with Vivid.

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“With the Parliament House print was created with small scale images, repeated over and over,” says the designer. “This time I worked on a bigger scale. To form the pattern, I flipped the larger image horizontally and vertically across the fabric. Then to fit in with the colours people wear in winter—more greys and lots of black—I changed the blue sky to a grey scale. This colour palette is easier to wear in the cold weather and the grey creates a stunning contrast with the bright leaves.”

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Another point of difference for Vivid is the design of some garments. Zilpah Tart’s three most popular styles of dresses are available in all three prints, but for winter Yumi has added long sleeves to some dresses and tops and has designed capes and outerwear. “I’ve also designed a few different neck lines, including a cowl neck, but with a twist,” she says. “It looks more like a scarf attached to the garment than it does a neck line.”

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For the first time, Yumi has also produced a range of Vivid loop scarves that can be worn three ways—long, looped once or looped twice depending on what you’re wearing. “They’re light weight so easy to wear inside, but warm when you’re outside. And scarves are such a great accessory. A nice change from jewellery,” says Yumi.

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Next up, Yumi will focus on a collection to launch at Fashfest 2016. She has applied for the red-carpet event and is waiting to hear if her application is successful. This will be her third time at Fashfest. In the meantime, Vivid garments and scarves are now available at Cardif Collective, the largest local fashion retailer in Canberra (second level, Cusack Centre, Green Square).

Zilpah Tart products are also available online. Yumi stocks handbags, cushions and scarves featuring the Parliament House pattern at the gift shop, Parliament House.

Find out more at www.zilpahtart.com.au

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author

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