Designer Spotlight #4: Stella & Minx - Luxury Basics

"Refined simple luxury" is the essence of women's clothing label, Stella & Minx.

Founded in 2004, the Melbourne-based fashion label creates flattering, seamless, form-fitting pieces ideal for layering all year round.  Its collections are united by an understated colour palette of black, muted greys, whites and creams, occasionally accented with brighter colours such as ruby red, fuchsia pink and various shades of blue.

Recognised for its modern tailoring, intricate patterns, subtle detailing and effortless style, the label's designs transcend seasons to give the wearer a piece that will endure.

Editor, Michelle Larin, recently spoke with Stella & Minx's Creative Director, Shakeera Wallis, to find out more about the label's history, its production ethic and style.

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Q: Tell me about the creative brains behind Stella & Minx.

A: We're a small team passionate about design and obsessed with fit, finish and fabrication.  We collaborate with textile specialists in Italy and are proud of our innovative production processes.
Earlier this year, Emily Nasr joined the team as Senior Designer and bought with her a wealth of experience. Having previously worked as a designer in London, she's contributed a new perspective to the brand.
It's exciting times for Stella and Minx - we're heading in a whole new direction this year so watch this space!

Q: Why the name "Stella & Minx"?

A: The name is about the two sides we encompass as women: the "Stella" (the light, beautiful, sweet, day, extrovert, yin) and the "Minx" (the night, soulful, sensual, inward, yang). Our clothing reflects both of these aspects of femininity.

Q: How do you define the style Stella & Minx exemplifies? 

A: Our style is effortless, natural, timeless, graceful and feminine.

Q: What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?  

A: We love luxurious fabrics - the way such fabric feels against the skin and the effortless silhouettes it creates. We love to play with texture, contrast and patterning. We choose our fabrications carefully; silk, bamboo, wool, cotton and micro fibre are often used to best realise our vision.
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Q: All of your garments are made in Italy; is there a reason for this?

A: The majority of our range is produced in Italy, but not all.  We now work with manufacturers in Australia and Asia also. We initially began collaborating with Italian textiles manufacturers, as the quality of their product exemplifies a sense of luxury, attention to detail and fine tailoring. These attributes resonate with the women who aspire to wear our clothing.

Q: A woman would wear Stella & Minx to…

A: An opening event, a dinner party and, on occasion, to work.

Q: Who is the "Stella & Minx" woman?

A: The Stella & Minx woman is confident, graceful, intelligent, natural and ethereal. She appreciates design in every form and is a global thinker. She is always stylish and is concerned about fit, finish and quality in the clothing she wears.

Q: Which celebrities would you most like to see donning a Stella & Minx piece?

A: Lou Doillon, Arizona Muse, Monica Belucci, Marion Cotillard and Asher Keddie.
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Stella & Minx is available for purchase via the label's online store. The label is also stocked at selected boutiques across Australia and New Zealand. For a list of retailers, visit the Stella & Minx website or email info@stellaandminx.com.au.