Please Welcome: Divya Rao

I love nothing more than a designer who can deliver an individual twist on the current season, and Divya is showcasing best what Melbourne’s emerging design talent has to offer.

The Indian born designer released her self-named label and first collection in 2012 which featured elegant necklines, bold prints and delicate beading. Since then her label has made quite a name for itself and was featured in Fashion Trend and Indulge magazines, as well as gaining a spot in Gusto and Élan’s fabulous Brunswick Street store.

Her second line was launched in a preview viewing at Gusto and Élan on the 8th of June, and I had the privilege of attending. Divya’s ‘Midnight Madness’ Resort Wear line came to life, highlighting the need for her abstract printed tanks in any wardrobe. Favourites of the collection were the pashlea shift dress and the animal inspired sheer dress.

Her new range screams sexy, but remains simplistic in each piece’s bold feature print.
Divya’s first line is available online and in store at Gusto and Élan, with her second set to be available soon.

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This post was originally published on June 27, 2013.

Gatsby fever at Gusto and Élan

If there was ever an era that perfectly encapsulated style and grace it was the 20’s and the crowd at Gusto and Élan’s Gatsby inspired party on Saturday night were perfect replicas of the decade.

Flapper dresses, diamond encrusted headpieces, pearls, bobbed haircuts, cloche hats, faux fur and low-waisted dresses were on display as well as timeless suits worn by the beautiful men.
Designers of the labels on show would have been very pleased, as the beautiful millinery looked ageless on the equally stunning models.

Highlights of the collections were the dropwaist faux fur dress by Kathryn Beker and the lace dress by Sol Hermana. Both emerging labels, the pieces were just fabulous, summing up exactly what modern day 20’s style looks like, and what the lovely emerging Australian-based designers have to offer.

Not only did the models look amazing but so were guests, with designer of Marion Liese, Christopher Hamblin making an appearance, as well as friends and various fashion personalities. Everyone was dressed for the occasion and enjoyed browsing the newest labels on offer.

Some personal favourite pieces were Pelle’s latest leather collection, the Zhivago mercenary pant in grey and Sonya Kran’s big fold jacket and navy lining dress (worn beautifully by one of the models).

It seems we in the fashion world are experiencing a blast from the past, and it’s a nice one. To me, it’s apparent that since Spring 2012 we’ve seen designers such as Alexander Wang bringing back the old with a new spin. And although we have developed a new understanding of fashion as we grow as a culture, it seems fashion’s past will always sneak back into our wardrobe in some form or another.

But who says it’s a bad thing? Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaption of ‘The Great Gatsby’, a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in amidst the shift in worldwide fashion culture (1925), has brought on 20’s fever and it’s sweeping the side walk like the plague (a good one mind you). The stunning dresses, magnificent parties, encrusted jewels and pearls and freshly-shaven men are exactly what every girl dreams of having in life.

Something suggests that we have always been 20’s girls at heart, longing for a Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) to sweep us off our feet, and love us as eternally as he loves Daisy Buchanan.

So if you want to get in amongst the hype, head online to Gusto and Élan’s website or into their Brunswick street store in Melbourne to experience Melbourne’s fashion culture at it’s finest.

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This post was originally published on June 4, 2013.