Gwendolynne’s ‘La Porte Enchantee’ from Melbourne Spring Fashion Week
There are few people whose name when it appears in my inbox, excites me more than Gwendolynne Burkin‘s! She is a designer whose creations speak to my own heart, drawing inspiration from the decadent days of the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Aesthetic Movement her designs are always instantly recognisable and absolutely breathtaking. Equally amazing are her catwalk show and fashion shoot styling – you must remember this dramatically romantic shoot (it reminded me of a John William Waterhouse painting!) and so when I heard Gwendolynne was to be the Opening Designer for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week I was excited, when I got my first glimspe I was positively floored……
The ‘La Porte Enchantee’ (The Enchanted Door) Collection is Gwendolynne’s most delicately and refined beaded collection to date. Each design is subtle, feminine, fluid and lightweight; so refined and romantic, the epitome of elegance. While many of the gowns feature elaborate embellishment they retain a delicate flow, complimenting and enhancing the natural silhouette. The inspiration for ‘La Porte Enchantee’ were more architectural sources than in the past, a Frank Lloyd Wright window becomes an crystalline snowflake pattern, a carved detail from a Christopher Dresser frieze becomes the pattern for the skirt and neckline embellishments, buttresses from a gothic cathedral become patterns on a flutter sleeve, evoking the fantasy and exoticism of the 1920s.
The subtle details in the beading draw the eye in to admire detail and craftsmanship. For this collection Gwendolynne has been working closely with a hand-beader trained in the French ‘Luneville’ technique. Through this intimate collaboration she has been able to refine the designs to perfection, choosing each detail, each bead, technique and thread to create a unique embellishment exclusive to the label. Her use of beautifully transparent fabrics such as silk georgette and tulle interplay with solid colours of the silk satin beneath, creating warm, rich tones of oyster, mocha and blush.
Sumptuous and completely swoonworthy! I have so much admiration for a designer who works with such intuition and shies away from fashion fads. It is obvious in each collection that she always remain true to her own sense of style and is constantly guided by her overriding principle of flattering the female form. Gwendolynne says “I like women to feel they are individuals and beautiful, and that they are able to wear clothes that suit them and enhance their natural beauty. I love designing for people who see their wardrobes as a collection of timeless heirloom pieces.
Gwendolynne you are my hero – and one day one of your dresses will be in my wardrobe!