Fashion has power to empower

Photo from fashion designer Melinda Toomey's latest Dally and Leigh collection.
Photo from fashion designer Melinda Toomey's latest Dally and Leigh collection.

TO some it might sound trivial. But an outfit has the power to shape your mood, boost your confidence and empower.

No one understands this better then Dally and Leigh designer Melinda Toomey.

Raised in Nambour, now based south of Sydney, the young designer strives to create pieces that fill women with confidence upon wearing them.

"When you feel good in your clothes it can change your mood," she explains.

"They can uplift you create confidence and empower. I want to give that to woman."

Toomey launched her high end label Dally and Leigh in 2010 and describes her pieces as sophisticated and elegant. High-end, exclusive but with an environmental consciousness.

"As a young designer I'm conscious of both design and environmental impacts. When I created the Dally & Leigh image I decided it was very important to me that the garments always be made of natural fibres, earth-friendly products and manufactured locally in Australia," she said.

"I really wanted to keep it within Australia and support other local businesses.

A collection of 14 bronze statues, all in different poses, of a shirtless guy laughing hysterically might sound like a strange source of inspiration for a fashion collection but something about the art work struck a core with Toomey during a trip to Vancouver.

Her latest collection, Stance of the Laughing Statues, celebrates this spirit of playfulness. It reflects the symbiotic cohesiveness and diversity of the art piece.

"I wanted to play with the idea of different shapes and silhouettes together," she said.

This is the label's third collection. Her previous collection was a bridal wear line that featured not just wedding dresses but pieces for bridesmaids and flower girls.

Next up she would like to design a classy and elegant children's collection.

"A lot of children's clothes for weddings and events can be quite tacky, all polyester and taffeta. I would like to bring in some sophistication and class."

But women's wear will always be her main passion.

She describes a Dally and Leigh girl as "confident, sassy and empowered but also a bit of an earth child with a pure and happy vibe."

Dally and Leigh will feature at International Fashion Week as part of the Ethical Design Show on Saturday September 8 from 4pm at Novotel Twinwaters Resort.

Tickets are $55 available from


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Topics:  clothing fashion

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