If you’ve got a hot date coming up or a fancy event that requires dressing to impress (yourself), you’ve come to the right place. These Australian and New Zealand brands are making stunning evening wear in modern and classic styles, with a focus on ethical and sustainable production. Read on to find out what they’re doing to make their collections with care.
1. Bianca Spender
Sydney designer Bianca Spender is a champion for onshore manufacturing so it’s only natural that all of her beautiful pieces are made right here in Australia. Spender is a strong believer in craftsmanship and longevity, and her collections reflect that. They often feature tailored women’s two-piece suits, evening dresses in classic (and sometimes oversized) cuts, and other corporate wear. It’s worth spending big on this brand. Find it in David Jones stores around the country.
A leader of transparency in the fashion industry, the Arnsdorf label is founded upon values of ethical production and sustainability. I love all of this label’s pieces, which often have a unique element of colour, fabric, or asymmetrical design with a minimalist appeal. Arnsdorf is designed and made in Melbourne.
Tengdahl makes beautiful lounge, luxury and resort wear from its workroom in Brisbane Arcade in Queensland’s capital. Founder Julie Tengdahl explains her journey of growing quickly before making a choice and change to stay small to have control over an ethically made product from start to finish. Find out more about the brand here.
This New Zealand-based label made its debut in 2016 on Net-A-Porter.com and quickly gained traction around the globe. The Maggie Marilyn collections are a range of dresses and two-piece suits in unique designs that aim to embody confidence and femininity. Maggie Marilyn has a special focus on sustainability and is committed to transparency in the brand’s supply chain. For this reason, the collections are all ethically made in New Zealand.
This Adelaide label has made a name for itself quickly with its unique designs and ethical values. The wearable luxury brand is ethically made in Adelaide and opts for natural fibres and low or no waste designs. Read more about Autark here.
Luxury womenswear label KITX has environmental sustainability at its core, with designer Kit Willow championing the cause from the top. After seeing the environmental effects of carbon emissions and the warming temperatures to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Willow decided her label KITX would make an effort to reduce unnecessary waste throughout the supply chain. To do so, she opts for natural fibres and recycled polyester and nylon to create unique resort and evening wear.
Designed and made in Australia, the MacGraw collections are a stunning range of luxury womenswear, offering feminine pieces for formal events. The dresses and coordinates feature patterns, ruffles and lace, giving every piece a little bit of luxury.
MacGraw pieces are a great option for less traditional wedding attire, fitting the bill for a bride or bridesmaid looking for a piece that is formal enough for the big day but also wearable for other occasions.
8. Viktoria & Woods
This brand said it best themselves when they explained their style as “effortless wardrobe staples with a pared-back modern feel.” The Viktoria & Woods range tackles luxury fashion with a casual, wearable vibe, offering tailored suits and evening wear in beautiful silks and linens. The collections are all ethically made in Australia.
9. Bec & Bridge
Australia’s Bec & Bridge makes pretty party dresses with a young and chic feel. Always on trend, the collections often feature natural fabrics like linen and cotton. Designed and made in Australia, there’s no reason to feel guilty for saying yes to a dress by Bec & Bridge.
10. Manning Cartell
This brand prides itself on creating collections of exceptional quality and sourcing luxurious fabrics globally. The luxury womenswear features bright colours and prints, taking inspiration from current trends and the ever-changing fashion landscape. Manning Cartell is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia and can be found in seven stand-alone boutiques and select retailers in Australia.