First published on the Last Modified on the

Exquisite bohemian and romantic womenswear from South African-born, Australian-based designer, Collette Dinnigan

View recent Collette Dinnigan Clothing Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Collette Dinnigan Fashion Label Banner

South-African born Collette Dinnigan moved with her family to New Zealand at a young age, where she would go on to study Fashion Design and Textiles at Wellington Polytechnic. Following graduation, she moved to Australia and began her career in fashion, working for the Costume Department of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Sydney.

In 1990, Collette decided the time was right for her to go it alone, launching her namesake womenswear fashion label, Collette Dinnigan with a luxurious range of lingerie. The range was immediately well received and soon expanded to include a women’s ready-to-wear line that gradually expanded to include a children’s wear line, lingerie range, bridal line and a lower price diffusion line, ‘Collette by Collette Dinnigan‘.

Collette Dinnigan Amber beaded Lace DressCollette Dinnigan Angelique Sequin Dress

Known for the sexy romantic collections, the Collette Dinnigan brand has been a regular editorial feature in the fashion press, including Grazia, Marie Claire, Australian Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Russh and Madison. As of 2012 the Collette Dinnigan brand designs three main collections per year – three Collette by Collette Dinnigan lines; two bridal collections and three lingerie collections. The collections are available in some of the worlds finest boutiques, a full list of which can be found on the official Collette Dinnigan website.

Collette Dinigan Fashion Label – A Time Line Snaphot

1990:

  • Collette Dinnigan goes it alone with the launch of her namesake womenswear fashion label, starting out with a dry-clean only range of lingerie, which quickly gains the attention of the fashion industry. Her sexy romantic aesthetic is evident from the very beginning in the exquisitely detailed lingerie, which featured high quality French fabrics, hand embroidered in India by skilled craftsmen.
  • Soon after inception, the Collette Dinnigan collections were being snapped up by boutiques across Australia and New Zealand, as well as by the likes of Barney’s New York, Harvey Nichols and Hong Kong’s Joyce.

1992:

  • The first Collette Dinnigan standalone boutique opens on William Street in Sydney’s Paddington, soon becoming popular for the lingerie style dresses, delicate lace pieces and vibrant prints.

1995:

  • A second Collette Dinnigan standalone boutique opens on Chapel Street in Melbourne’s South Yarra, increasing the domestic profile of the growing womenswear brand.
  • Collette Dinnigan becomes the first Australian designer to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs De mode to show her collection on the prestigious Paris schedule.

Collette by Collette Dinnigan Buena Vista Maxi DressCollette Dinnigan Hevanly Havana Top

1996:

  • Collette Dinnigan is named as Designer of the Year at the Australian Fashion Awards.

1997:

  • As a testament to the growing popularity and influence of the Collette Dinnigan brand, Collette is appointed as an advisor to the South Australian Wool Board.
  • Collette is presented with the Louis Vuitton Business Award in recognition of her contribution to Australian industry.

1998:

  • There is more recognition for the Collette Dinnigan when she is appointed as Chairperson by the New South Wales Small Business Development Corporation – Collette was selected for her inspirational business acumen, growth and smart strategy within her own business.
  • It is a memorable moment in the Collette Dinnigan history, when Oscar winning costume designer Catherine Martin directs the Autumn/Winter 1998 show.
  • Prestigious auto company, Audi, appoints Collette Dinnigan as one of their first ever brand ambassadors. This led to Audi inviting the womenswear brand to show for the first time at Audi Race Week in 2007 – 2011 was the fourth year that Collette Dinnigan showed at the event.

Collette DInnigan Underwear CameliaCollette Dinnigan Underwear Chic Savage

2000:

  • The Collette Dinnigan fashion label celebrates its ten year anniversary with the opening of a third standalone boutique in London’s Chelsea.
  • London’s Victoria & Albert Museum features Collette Dinnigan in their prestigious series of ‘Fashion in Motion’ Exhibitions.
  • The Collette Dinnigan brand is named as one of Australia’s 50 Most Beautiful Exports, an achievement she replicates in 2001 and 2004.

2001:

  • Collette Dinnigan collaborates with UK retail giant Marks & Spencer to create an exclusive range of lingerie entitled, ‘Wild Hearts’ which proves very popular.

2002:

  • Australian retail giant David Jones invites the Collette Dinnigan fashion label to open in-store concessions in its department stores across the country.
  • In Paris Collette is presented with a Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World Award.

2004:

  • Inspired by the birth of her daughter Estella, the Collette Dinnigan Enfant collection is launched.
  • Cleo and Maybelline present Collette Dinnigan with the Best Celebrity Designer of the Year Award.

Collette Dinnigan Sequinned Scallop DressCollette Dinnigan Cecile Lace Dress

2005:

  • The ten year anniversary of the first Collette Dinnigan showing in Paris is celebrated with an intimate show at the Hotel de Crillon.
  • Collette Dinnigan is featured on a stamp issued by Australia Post as pat of the Australian Legends series.
  • Collette Dinnigan receives the Best Australian Designer Award from both Instyle and Marie Claire, as well as being awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Award by both fashion publications.

2007:

  • The Collette Dinnigan Bridal collection is officially launched.
  • Collette is honoured by G’Day USA at the Penfold’s American Australian Association Gala in New York.

2008:

  • The Collette Dinnigan brand teams up with Target Australia to design a collection of lower priced lingerie. Previous collaborators with Target have included the likes of Stella McCartney and Zac Posen.
  • Collette Dinnigan is honoured by the National Retailers Association with the Fashion Excellence Award marking her contribution to Australian fashion industry.

2009:

  • As well as being appointed National Fashion Ambassador for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, Collette Dinnigan receives the Madison Lifetime Achievement in Fashion Award.

Collette by Collette Dancing Birds DressCollette by Collette Dinnigan Silky Salsa Dress

2010:

  • To celebrate the 20 year anniversary within the fashion industry the diffusion line Collette Dinnigan is launched, with David Jones as the main stockist, rolling the collection out into 34 stores and building 7 flagship concept stores. The diffusion collection is also stocked by international online boutique Net-a-Porter and over 100 stores globally.
  • Collette is invited to be on the just of the 12th Annual Saint Tropez Antipodes Film Festival.

2011:

  • The Collette Dinnigan flagship store of Paddington’s William street relocates to Queen Street, Woollahra.
  • In recognition of her contribution to the global fashion industry, Collette Dinnigan is inducted into Massey University’s Creative Arts Hall of Fame.

2012

  • Collette Dinnigan partners with textile brand, The Woolmark Company for the Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 Paris collection.

Collette Dinnigan Diamond Sparkles DressCollette Dinnigan Bridal French Corded Lace Dress

Collette Dinnigan Fashion Label: Design Philosophy and Aesthetic

Best known for her flirty, feminine collections, all Collette Dinnigan garments are carefully handmade in Sydney to be shipped to an ever-eager clientèle throughout the globe. Her inspirations, which include film, music, photography, history, vintage ceramics, jewellery and fabrics, are evident in her romantic and bohemian collections that are timelessly elegant, feminine, delicate and finely tailored.

Trademark Collette Dinnigan themes include tulle, chiffon and lace, combining in dresses and gowns that are made to accentuate the female form, providing a sense of confidence, sensuality and individuality. It is the brand’s signature aesthetic that had attracted a number of celebrity fans, including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Charlize Theron, Anna Freil, Jade Jagger, Megan Gale, Elle Macpherson and Cate Blanchett.

Collette Dinnigan Emaunelle Silk DressCollette Dinnigan Metallic Georgette Dress

Visit the official Collette Dinnigan website, or view Collette Dinnigan Fashion Collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.

If you like the look of Collette Dinnigan, why not check out fellow Australian fashion labels camilla and marc, Sass & Bide and Therese Rawsthorne.






Connect:










AU_BEAUTY_300x250