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Interview with Lanette Porritt of INGRID HAYES

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AWA member Lanette Porritt is the successful designer behind fashion label INGRID HAYES. Read the interview to hear her journey in the world of fashion both here in Melbourne and in the US.

The AWA would like to thank Lanette for her donation of a "Little Black Dress" to the Memories of Melbourne event on 19 June. You too can pick up a lovely number for yourself - INGRID HAYES is offering AWA members 15% off RRP! See member offer for more details.



Interview with Lanette Porritt of INGRID HAYES:


With what parts of the US do you identify?

I have connections with both the northern and southern parts of the US. Little Rock, AR is where I spent my formative years, followed by attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where I received a Degree in Business.

Deciding then to take residence in New York City, where I trained and worked in Fashion PR whilst attending Parson's School of Design. Shortly after this my label began - INGRID HAYES. It was not long before one of the major Fashion Editors credited me by placing a full page of editorial with a picture and description of a design I had sewn together myself. It was extremely rewarding.


What brought you to Melbourne?


I emigrated in 2002 with my fiance, David an Australian, who was living in New York City at the time. We first met at a French Brasserie "Casimir," not knowing we lived only three blocks from each other and had some of the same mutual friends. We discovered we had the same appreciation of art, design, craftsmanship or anything aesthetically beautiful. After arriving here we married in that March.


Tell us about your business.

INGRID HAYES is a women's wear hybrid mix of limited production ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion. The design approach is artistic rather than trend driven, influenced by art, culture, nature and people.

Having now designed the "Italian Noir" collection, which is a series of exclusive black dresses made from the finest Italian Jersey. The dresses are feminine with a striking "edge," timeless and classic but always thoroughly modern.

My focus is on fit and quality, combined with subtle unexpectedness (my hallmark) like using sheer mesh as a lining or for detailing plaits and flounces.

By appointment, I take time with each client working one-on-one to assure each piece fits perfectly, choosing the right dress for their lifestyle. Practically designed using luxurious Italian Jersey with a feeling of cashmere, the dresses are perfect for travelling, effortlessly taking you from day to night. They are the Little Black Dress "LBD" that can take you anywhere.


Do you find a big difference in the fashion industry in Australia?

Seasons and the size of the industry would be the biggest noticeable difference. Australia uses fabrics which are lighter and trans- seasonal with silhouettes reflecting more of casual lifestyle mood, I find this area a personal challenge.

Whereas, in the New York winters you find heavier fabrics and lots of layering along with elongated silhouettes.


What is next for INGRID HAYES?


I will be creating new pieces to add to the collection with some pieces having more of a couture sensibility. In October I will be previewing the "Italian Noir" collection, holding two to three events in my boutique showroom.

Also, I am looking for a collaborative to preview the collection in a studio with other like-minded artist or designers, so if any of the AWA members know anyone, please contact me.



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