New label celebrates 'squishy bits'
Women have great "squishy bits", and it's time we celebrated that, Nelson's latest fashion designer says.
Nelson media consultant Sarah Derecourt, who has bought Richmond boutique Stacey with her mother Chris Heaphy, has also recently launched her own fashion line Mighty Mighty.
The move into design satisfies a strong creative urge and a love of clothes that became apparent when she was in college.
"I was a clothes-obsessed, Gothic teen.
"Appearance was everything, to an embarrassing degree," Ms Derecourt said.
She also credits art history studies at school for her interest in fashion, and believes we now live in an unencumbered era where anything goes.
"We live in such a cool time. Clothing can take inspiration from any point in history, art or pop culture."
She also drew inspiration from her other love, being food, particularly its rich, ripe colours.
"We can choose to be curators of our own style," said the 38 year-old mother of two, former World of WearableArt model and fulltime media sales consultant.
Mighty Mighty might well have had its genesis in the pair of jeans she made her husband 15 years ago, but it takes its name from The Commodores' song Brick House [Mighty mighty just lettin' it all hang out].
"It's about not being afraid of your femininity," she said of the song and its inspiration for her design line.
Ms Derecourt is a strong believer in women needing to silence the inner voice that sometimes disables their self esteem.
"They need to find a way to tell that inner voice to shut up, and wear what they want."
Ms Derecourt said the essence of her creations were based on outlines and fabric types.
"I'm very much about silhouettes - structured pieces with floaty, feminine pieces."
Tops made of plastic-coated lace represented "pretty armour". Clothes also sometimes needed to be funny, but always useful. She was also aware of the need to design "smart clothes" that "got around the lumps and bumps".
"I like being a girl. We have nice, squishy bits and we should celebrate that. Sometimes we may like to hide them and sometimes we like letting it all hang out."
A small run of designs have launched the Mighty Mighty line, with help from pattern drafter and machinist Leeanne Anderson. They have created clothing with real women very much in mind.
"We found heaps of women won't wear anything that shows their arms."
To counter that, they were designing a prototype stretch tulle "shrug" to be worn as an undergarment beneath a short-sleeved or sleeveless outfit.
Mrs Derecourt's advice to anyone struggling with what to wear, is "if you can't dress for yourself, dress for your girlfriends, unless you have a partner who takes any interest.
"Think of someone you like the way they dress, and value their opinion, but the real test is to ask yourself, ‘does it look gorgeous'."
Mrs Derecourt said her one item of clothing she got the most comments on was $1 white leather skirt she got from the dump. She mixes and matches other clothing items with it, including one or two expensive pieces.
"It just comes down to caring, but I also think it's awesome that women don't actually care, and that they've got other things in life that take priority."