Forever New’s senior designer on creating bespoke pieces and dressing for Cup Day

Ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Our favourite part about the Melbourne Cup Carnival is scoping out what everyone’s wearing.

This year, Forever New has designed a bespoke dress for Lauren Phillips, which you’ll be sure to see captured in every Fashions on the Field recap.

To find out more about Forever New’s custom creation, we spoke to the brand’s senior designer Rosie.

How did the idea for creating bespoke Forever New pieces come about?

We’ve been creating bespoke pieces for the last three years. We wanted to showcase the talents of our team of in-house designers that are based in our Melbourne head office. It’s an opportunity to create custom one-off designs, outside of the seasonal collections we produce for Forever New, for some of Melbourne’s top talent.

What are the key differences between designing a dress specifically for one person, and designing one for theForever New customers?

When creating designs for the Forever New customer, we must ensure that it’s relevant for a wide range of tastes and bodies, whereas bespoke gives us the opportunity to fully customise a look for an individual, and push our designs further.   

Can you talk us through the process of creating this bespoke piece for Lauren Phillips?

In our first consultation, Lauren was keen to work with a statement colour for her Melbourne Cup look, so this was our starting point. Due to the bold colour, we opted to keep the design classic. We began exploring concepts from there, and ways we could keep it both classic but also youthful and modern.

Talk us through the choice of using such a bold yellow.

Yellow is feeling so fresh and strong for the upcoming season, as well as being the traditional colour for Melbourne Cup day. We also liked that it was an unpredictable choice for both Lauren and the brand. 

Where does the team draw its inspiration for designs like this?

We draw inspiration from all over but it really comes down to who we are designing for. For Lauren’s dress, we chose to use corset detailing through the bodice, which draws on rich historical references.

What are the key principals you stick to when designing for Forever New?  

We always put the customer at the forefront of our designs. We take into consideration where she is wearing it, and how she is wearing it. We always have a nod to the newest trends, but ensure that all designs go through the Forever New filter, so that the end look has the classic and feminine aesthetic that is the hallmark of our brand.

How does designing a dress for Spring Racing differ to designing cocktail wear?

Racewear is one of the few occasions to design for, that still has many dress codes and traditions to follow.  This is both fun and challenging, as sometimes having stricter parameters to work within will take you in a different direction than you might otherwise take during the design process.

When choosing a dress for the Spring Racing Carnival, what’s the most important thing to keep in mind? 

Don’t be scared to go bold! The Spring Racing Carnival is such a great opportunity to have fun and explore new looks.


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