Shared from the 2/28/2021 The Age Digital Edition eEdition

Well ahead of the curve in luxury womenswear

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Vivienna Lorikeet’s creations will feature on the Melbourne Fashion Festival runway.

A local brand is heeding the call for high-end clothing that caters to the most discerning, curvy consumer.

Huge gaps exist in the retail industry for plus-sized women consumers, even though the growth of that segment of the market has been well outpacing the growth in women’s clothing more generally.

A range of destructive assumptions combined with a lack of understanding means these plus-sized consumers are usually left out of the luxury fashion industry. Instead, they are often handed “upsized” versions of designs made for their size zero counterparts.

In Melbourne, the Vivienna Lorikeet clothing brand is determined to make the necessary changes in an industry that is failing one of its biggest demographics. As part of its efforts, the label is presenting a curve-only runway next month for Melbourne Fashion Festival 2021.

“Our brand’s core beliefs are that size does not matter, and proportions are everything. Consistently, our clothing is designed to enhance the natural beauty we have all been given no matter the size,” says Vivienna Lorikeet, the namesake and creator of the brand.

“Very rarely do brands create a curvy range from experience. They simply extend sizes by scaling up existing patterns, which were made to fit a size zero. This doesn’t work for women who are not ‘standard sizes’. Curvy women have a different body proportion, which requires carefully selected colours, necklines, sleeve lengths, etcetera, to achieve a more pleasing design outcome.”

Seeking to be a size-inclusive brand, under the Vivienna Lorikeet brand umbrella (which accommodates size 6-14), the company has expanded to include a curvy-sized collection, Luscious Beauty by Vivienna Lorikeet, for sizes 16 to 30.

The Luscious Beauty range features cocktail and evening collections set to take on the runway for the Melbourne Fashion Festival with Australian size 16-20 models exclusively.

The Vivienna Lorikeet team know from firsthand experience what elements of a design are going to be the most formfitting and flattering for the curvy body type.

“We use colours, design features and fabric to play a visual game that works with a customer’s proportions and makes them look slim and feel their best,” says Lorikeet.

To the Vivienna Lorikeet team of pattern makers, designers and seamstresses, this is not just about selling clothes – it’s about creating positive experiences with clothing for women of all shapes and sizes.

“Our goal is to show people that it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, you can very easily be curvy and beautiful. The fashion industry is slowly opening up to this concept, but still needs to come a long way in terms of curvy luxury attire,” says Lorikeet.

Vivienna Lorikeet aims to push the curvy runway out of its current lingerie, swimwear and casual attire bubble and into the world of luxury fashion by educating others on what designs work best and how great they can look.

“I want to grow a runway tradition that showcases specifically curvy women and fashion. The more people see it in its most fashionable way, the more people will get used to it therefore accepting it gradually,” says Lorikeet.

“On a global scale, I want to show the world that Australia is fashion forward and an inclusive country, accepting of all shapes and sizes.”

To watch Vivienna Lorikeet’s Melbourne Fashion Festival show, stream it live after 5pm on March 16 at melbournefashionfestival.com.au.

See this article in the e-Edition Here