GEORGINA SAFE May 23, 2012
Lace a customer favourite ... designers Nic Briand and Susien Chong with a model wearing a piece from their White Magick collection. Photo: Lee Besford
WHEN it comes to lace it's a good girl, bad girl thing for fashion designer Susien Chong.
''Black lace means a totally different thing to white lace and I love that duality,'' Chong said yesterday. ''You can use the same lace in lingerie, which is very sexy, or on a demure dress for a very formal occasion, and that kind of extreme femininity is exciting to explore.''
Lace has been a perennial fascination for Chong since she founded her Lover label with partner Nic Briand in 2001 with a stall at the Bondi markets.
The pair learned the hard way that lace is also the favourite of Lover's customers, after they did a collection with no lace in 2007 that in fashion terms was akin to a rock concert without the band's hit song.
''That was early into the brand and when you are younger you are very ego driven about pushing yourself into different directions to explore who you are as a designer,'' said Briand. ''But … you realise it's not all about you, it's about your end customer.''
To this end Lover last night launched White Magick, a collection spanning a decade of white lace dresses from the brand's archives that have been re-imagined as a new retail offering.
A plunging V-neck dress worn by Miranda Kerr in 2005 - the finale dress from Lover's 10th anniversary show at Fashion Week last year - and pretty variations on cocktail frocks and goddess gowns are among the pieces in the range at the Lover store in the Strand Arcade.
''We were getting so many requests for white lace dresses from the archives that we thought it would be amazing to bring them back, re-interpret them and put them into a single new collection,'' Briand said.
While other designers diversify through diffusion lines (cheaper versions of their mainline), Chong and Briand have chosen to make their second line more high-end, with prices ranging from $595 up to almost $3000.