“I love the creativity of fashion – from the selection and design of quality fabrics to the morphing of ideas into pieces that give not only confidence to the wearer, but also take a woman on a beautiful personal journey.”
Robin has always loved fashion. From growing up on a remote farm where she honed her sketching skills in the sand with a stick, created unique outfits for her Barbie dolls and reinvented her mother’s vintage pieces for her own wardrobe, she today heads up the design of Perth labels Breathless and Neleh & Heath.
As someone who has always been enamoured with the creativity and opportunity of design, Robin’s designs are not only steeped in elegance, but also imbued with an element of edge. This edge may be in a fabric fold, an exclusive digital print, a colour or even an overall vibe she’s designed into a piece.
With the 2011 launch of Neleh & Heath into the Breathless family, Robin has been able to step out of her traditionally structured aesthetic for Breathless to design a younger range of floatier pieces that mix unexpected materials, cutting-edge forms and on-trend colours and details.
With this change has come the freedom to explore a wider range of fabrics and create her own exclusive digital prints. “I love quality fabrics. We design our own fabrics and we source the best from all over the world – strong, luxurious fabrics such as silks, leathers and embroidered cloth. The fabrics we choose really inform the design,” she says.
Robin is unsure of the exact moment she decided to pursue fashion, instead it was a natural evolution. She studied Fashion and Textile Design at Perth’s Central TAFE and, among a number of awards, was selected for the Y2K Collections show at Australian Fashion Week in 1999.
She joined the Breathless team in 2001 before leaving for London in the mid-2000s where she enjoyed a stint in high-end retail. However, she couldn’t stray from the Breathless family for too long, and returned in 2007 to take up the role of head designer.
She fuses her high-end retail experience with her design knowledge and creativity to design pieces people want to wear, and involves the clever design team and Claremont store retail team in a collaborative process to ensure Breathless always meets the expectations of their dedicated customers.
“Our pieces cater to different lifestyles – we have occasional pieces, smart casual silk dresses and jerseys, as well as long gowns, mother-of-the-bride outfits and we design bespoke bridal gowns. While we release three new collections every year, we also keep key pieces, which we and our clients love, in stock from previous collections,” says Robin. “While I love evolving our collections, it’s also wonderful when a piece captures the imaginations and hearts of our customers so much that it can continue to live on.”
EXCITING NEWS Robin has been selected to join the Marc Jacobs team as an intern in early-2013 for a three-month design stint to create New York Fashion Week collections before returning to Breathless. We are all very proud of her and excited that her talent has been recognised internationally.