Karlie Kloss. Kate Waterhouse. Rachel McAdams. Anna Heinrich. They’re just a handful of the high-profile names who favour Australian fashion designer Rebecca Vallance for their glittering events, from red carpet appearances to a day at the races (Sylvia Jeffreys even wore Rebecca Vallance on her wedding day).
So who better to quiz on spring racing fashion trends than the designer herself? Style influencer Jasmin Howell caught up with Vallance in her Sydney studio as part of our FIAT 500 Fashion Files to talk bold colour, ladylike silhouettes and dressing celebrities of the likes of Karlie (catch their full interview in the video above).
“I always say that unless it’s a piece I would personally wear, we’re not putting it in the collection,” Vallance tells Howell of her exacting approach. “The product always has to be beautiful and on point, pushing the boundaries but staying true to our brand’s DNA.”
That DNA, as fans including Chrissy Teigen and Halle Berry well know, is marked by strong silhouettes and vibrant colours – the kind of statement dress that packs a punch IRL and stops your thumb mid-scroll on Instagram. “This racing season it’s all about bold colour, so we’ve got hot pink, orchid, a bright purple, pretty much any colour palette you’re after, we’ve got it for spring racing,” Vallance enthuses.
The new Rebecca Vallance resort collection, which drops in stores any day now and could have been made for spring carnival, features a head-turning hot pink and “a really out-there yellow”.
“We kept this resort collection quite young in its aesthetic – I don’t mean miniskirts or that sort of thing, but in terms of fun colours and having fun with texture,” Vallance explains. “We’ve still got our signature ladylike silhouette, but I personally like to wear a ‘done’ aesthetic in an undone way.”
As does Karlie Kloss – the statuesque supermodel chose Vallance to dress her for a recent big event, and making her a custom gown remains one of the designer’s most treasured ‘pinch me’ moments.
“Karlie was a gorgeous girl to work with and her measurements are quite unique, she’s so very tall, so we made a beautiful evening gown for her,” Vallance tells Howell, adding, “I try to design pieces that appeal to everyone, whether they live in New York or Paris or here in Sydney.”
Testament to the universal appeal of the Rebecca Vallance label is her ever-growing list of prestigious international stockists, from Net-A-Porter to My Theresa; Harrods to Harvey Nicholls.
“We’ve actually just been picked up today by Saks Fifth Avenue,” Vallance reveals. “It’s fantastic but you’ve just got to make sure you’re producing as beautiful a product as ever.”
As for her advice for aspiring Australian fashion designers? “It’s all about work ethic,” she says. “Nothing happens overnight. Working in fashion is more than a full-time job and I think you’ve got to love it for what it is, work really hard and be relentless.”