Monk House Design

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Dress Up

We're so in love with our new shop installation by the gorgeous Stephanie Downey from Dress Up! Inspired by the American author Joan Didion and her 1979 book of essays, The White Album, we are dreaming of an LA getaway with nothing but the bare essentials and a rusted up old Cadillac...

We asked Stephanie a few questions about her new range which is in store now.

When did Dress Up come to fruition? What drove you to become a designer and how long has Dress Up been operating?
I started the label soon after graduating from RMIT in 2006, so around 7 years now. I was very young so didn’t really anticipate how challenging running a business would be, which was probably a blessing. The need to be constantly making things and the satisfaction of seeing people wear and love my clothes is why I started, and what keeps me going.

What would you say is the ethos behind Dress Up clothing?
To create clothing that a girl can feel confident and comfortable in, pieces that have a timeless style and don’t comply too heavily to trends. I like the idea that my pieces should be worn and loved to death.

What is the most exciting aspect of running your own fashion label?
I love the manic energy that occurs when I’m creating a new collection – transforming a whisper of an idea into something tangible.

Can you tell us a little bit about your current range in store?
‘Some Dreamers’ is suggestive of a contemporary woman’s archetypal wardrobe; offering classic silhouettes with a focus on comfort and subtle detail. The polo neck, denim jacket and jean, classic trench, circle skirt and slim trouser are relaxed by soft, natural textiles and refreshed by an understated femininity. 

Can you tell us a little bit about what has inspired your installation at Monk House Design? 
The collection was inspired by Joan Didion’s essays documenting the 1960’s and 70’s in California; in particular an excerpt from ‘The White Album’ in which she records the routine packing list used for her frequent research trips. Like Didion’s writing style, her list is pared back to the bare essentials, a philosophy I was attempting to encapsulate with the clothing.

Photos by Elise Wilken