This past year has been a big one for Collette Dinnigan, what with a new baby; her first book, Obsessive Creative (published at the end of October); and a bridal business that's booming. And it got the designer thinking about where she is now and how far she's traveled in her twenty-odd years in the business. "This collection is very much about emotional contrasts, but at the same time I wanted to reach back to where I started," Dinnigan explained backstage before her Spring show. "It's a mix of color with a surprising twist." With that in mind, she named her collection for the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now."
True to her lingerie roots, Dinnigan's first looks out were cotton broderie anglaise, in a wispy dress or a simple, lacy T-shirt worn over eyelet shorts. Cocktail hour came up fast, though, bringing with it a splay of flowers: Diamanté ones spilled over the bodice of a wispy ivory dress or cropped up in a geometric pattern on a couple of short, silky numbers with black shoulder ties. Dinnigan showed six looks based on Woolmark's Cool Wool, which she custom dyed in vibrant harlequin blue for a dress with cherry-red floral appliqués or worked into daisy appliqués to bring texture to a red and beige calf-length dress. Of one look in draped beige wool with Swarovski beading and a plunging neckline, the designer commented: "This woman has the confidence to let her scarlet bra show." And while Dinnigan's finale of breezy maxi dresses would be right at home, in any color, at a wedding, they just might catch on for daytime, too.