Amy Galea, Stories
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Words from Collette Dinnigan: Obsessive Creative

by Amy Galea

As I was moving house recently, I came across these quotes by Collette Dinnigan that I had noted down when I saw her at the Sydney Writers’ Festival last year. She was speaking about her book, Obsessive Creative, but the interview also covered her career, where she collects inspiration from, and how she desires to ‘paint pictures’ with her work. She is one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, and yet she spoke with a sort of understated tone- she seems like the kind of person who will say the most beautiful things, without realising how poetic they are.

Here are a few snippets of her interview:


On her childhood (sailing around the world with her family):

“…that’s what we had, chaos, but love.”

On failure:

“I’ve never been afraid of failure… you learn and if you’re quick enough you change direction”.

On longevity:

“If you’re passionate about something, that’s what you go back to.”


On critics:

“I’m living in my own little world and I don’t always see beyond it.”

On cheap clothes:

“What I do isn’t quick, it isn’t fast, it’s not disposable.”


On where she gets her inspiration from:

“Maybe there’s been too much darkness and you need colour… there’s a story, and then with that story you build shapes..

… It’s really just dreaming, actually, where you want to go and where you’ve been.”


On her winter collections being her favourites:

“… they were bit more rock’n’roll… they had that feeling of naughtiness”.

PFW-2005On the ethics of fashion:

“We’re trying to eradicate poverty and yet don’t want to spend over $15 for a t-shirt…We’re creating beautiful things and doing terrible things.”

On what she would say to a man who will only wear clothes from Kmart:

“It’s not what you buy, but how you put it together.”

Images via penguinfashiondesigners, polkadotbride, thesharpestpencil, popsugar, thenewdaily.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetAmy worked in copywriting and company branding until she saw the light and began teaching high school students the joys of grammar and essay writing.  She currently resides on the South Coast of NSW and enjoys running away from home on a semi regular basis. She believes story telling and caramel popcorn continually make the world a grander place. In days gone by she blogged for literatico and she loves all the pretty things on Instagram.

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