COUTURE, CRYSTALS AND CHAMPAGNE | A NIGHT WITH ALIN LE'KAL

BY MARIA THATTIL

It’s easy to become enthralled by a 150kg gown crafted with $980,000 of Swarovski Crystals.

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Housed by the George Ballroom, the ALIN LE’ KAL couture gowns infused beautifully with the charm of the 1860’s building. Think ornate high ceilings and heritage walls lined with tulle lace, feathers and millions of beads. Fashion lovers gathered to celebrate the Australian Launch of the ALK Haute Couture Week Paris Show.

Wearing LuluGracie earrings.

Wearing LuluGracie earrings.

Featuring the Spring/Summer 2019-2020 Collection, the exhibit showcased elegance, sophistication and confidence in ethereal gowns. A formal wear and bridal dream, the gowns pay homage to the sophistication and style of decades past, but with the femininity, power and edge of modern women. Some, very Carrie Bradshaw-esque.

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My date for the evening, my best friend and stylist Shannan Catania (@sshairr) and I enjoyed white wine and the fruits of a delectable cheese spread as we admired the creations and heard from the designer himself. What struck me most was the passion.

Wearing Mossman dress, Prada bag, Louis Vuitton belt, Mimco watch and Windsor Smith heels. Hair by Shannan at Hair Do, Myer Melbourne.

Wearing Mossman dress, Prada bag, Louis Vuitton belt, Mimco watch and Windsor Smith heels. Hair by Shannan at Hair Do, Myer Melbourne.

I’m someone who thrives on passion, fervour and energy and I love to see people light up when they talk about their dreams. At the Launch, it was clear to see how ALK has amassed his success. His artistic finesse is obvious, but what is lesser known is that behind the extravagance of his collections lie a history of family expertise and humble beginnings from a childhood dream.

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Amidst a room full of beautiful people and otherworldly couture, I found myself fixated on the sense of respect and admiration I felt toward a man who was able to turn his big dreams into reality. You could easily look at the near-million dollar gown and become transfixed by the glamour. But behind it is a person who spent 6 months planning and beading the garment by hand from his living room. A person who spent decades refining his craft, honing his couture construction skills and working toward a dream spawned at ten years old. His work ethic and passion saw him transcend national boundaries and achieve his international aspirations.

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This is the kind of energy I love being around. The stories I want to hear. The successes I look up to. Humble beginnings, creative expression and perseverance. I don’t aspire to be a designer, however I felt connected to a man I hadn’t previously met because of his unbridled creativity, conviction and tenacity. Irrespective of our fields and what we do, celebrating excellence and appreciating it where we find it awakens something in us. Listen to people who have fervour in their hearts and determination in their veins. Celebrate others who achieve their dreams the way that you would want to be celebrated one day when you achieve yours. Everyone has a story, you have so much to learn from others.

Leaving you with couture, crystals and champagne, remember to never doubt how far passion, finesse and self-belief can take you. A night with Alin Le’Kal was magic.

M x

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Alin Le’ Kal and Lana Wilkinson.

Alin Le’ Kal and Lana Wilkinson.

Maria Thattil