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David Jones

Five Minutes with THURLEY

THURLEY head designer, Helen O'Connor, spends five minutes with us talking about her amazing spring summer 2014 collection.

Describe your label in one word?


What was your inspiration when creating your Spring Summer ‘14/15 collection? 

The costumes and characters of the Ballet Russes inspired my spring summer 14 collection. Thurley’s signature handwork and embroidery has been modernized with weightlessness and precision, influenced by the Russes choreography. A new kind of transparency courses through the collection from broderie anglaise to pointelle knits and strategically placed splicing, each offering a unique and intriguing way to expose skin.

Each piece in the Pirouette collection may initially appear effortless on the surface, however closer inspection reveals a detailed and intricate construction evoked by the deep and complex stories performed by the Ballets Russes.

Describe your favourite items from this season's coming collection? 

This season marks the return of the dress for me. Although I have always designed dresses, the past few seasons have had more of a separates focus. However this season my focus has been on creating very special limited edition dress’s for occasions, namely the Heartbreak dress, The Icebergs dress and the Botanica dress (all in selected David Jones stores now) perfect for a day at the races and also ideal for weddings. I have tried to design for a range of tastes and figures to make sure there is something for every woman in my collection.

What makes your label unique?

I think its my love of handwork, such as embroidery and beading. I strive to unearth ancient hand crafted techniques, that have long since died out. The challenge is to find artisans capable of re creating them and also to adapt them to modern tastes and lifestyle. It is this attention to detail and craft that truly sets the brands apart from the fast fashion market.

What will dominate your personal wardrobe this season?

I usually start by selecting a few key pieces to invest in that will work back with my existing wardrobe.  I am very much a believer in investing in long term pieces and building a wardrobe, rather than starting a fresh with fast fashion every season. As the spring delivery schedule begins way before the weather warms up I like to start the season by purchasing a jumpsuit, which is fun evening option that provides leg coverage, also a statement jacket update as its been a long winter of wearing the same jackets. As it warms up I will begin buying layering pieces such as long floaty blouses, crisp white shirts and knitwear to style back with existing classic tailored pieces and then around August I will begin to secure my favorite dress’s for the spring party circuit, I like to plan ahead!

What's on your mood board for AW15?

I am currently working on February and my imagination was captured by some beautiful illustrated woodland floral prints. It is this foundation that has influenced my romantic and feminine  fabric selection, which have been pinned to the other half of my mood board. I will be telling a fairytale inspired story for winter, I want all my customers to come along with me on the journey and find their perfect prince and happy ending!

Pictured above: Daphnia Onesie, Heirloom Onesie and Daphene Gown.