Letter from The Creative Director
I’m thrilled to unveil our Bastille Day collection, a beautiful celebration of the nation that deeply inspires us. If like me, you are a lover of all things French, then this collection is for you!
Exploring the iconic colours of the French flag, this collection’s silhouettes are thoughtful, elegant, and modern. I absolutely love our showstopper of the season, the Toile De Jouy dress, it’s so romantic and unique. The gorgeous photos you are about to see were shot on location in Paris and are modelled by the stunning Ujjwala Raut.
This issue also features an interview with Stephanie Tan, our senior designer, and myself, where we discuss the beginnings of the brand, our inspirations and this latest collection.
Vive La France
Inspired by the National Day of France, our Bastille Day collection is an elegant showcase of style. At the forefront is our breathtakingly beautiful Toile De Jouy Dress, crafted from cotton sateen. Striking and regal, this dress is set you make you a walking masterpiece.
“Paris Is Always A Good Idea.” — Audrey Hepburn
When In Paris…
…Do as the Parisian’s do! A striking celebration of the French flag, our latest palette is bold and beautiful. With chic wares to elevate your everyday style, c’est parfait for those who adore France as much as we do. Ujjawala is pictured wearing our Cotton Scoop Hem Jumper, Stripe Rayon Shirt and Bengajean 7/8th Skinny Leg Printed. Finish the look with our Quilt Crescent Crossbody.
Be inspired by the romance of our new collection. There you’ll encounter feminine frills, stylish silhouettes and infinite beauté— like our forever-chic Ruffle Trim Denim Jacket. Pair it with our new Jacquard Ponte Pant, Bleu Toile Silk Scarf and Jackie Tweed Tote Bag, et voila!
“Breathe In Paris. It Nourishes The Soul.”— Victor Hugo
IN CONVERSATION WITH
CEO Creative Director and Senior Design Leader Stephanie Tan
Over the years Blue Illusion has grown exponentially. From one boutique to 95 boutiques throughout Australia and NZ… Can you tell the story of how it all began?
DONNA: In the beginning, my late husband Danny and I started the business making sweatshirts. It was a very simple business model. Neither of us had a background in design but we both loved fashion. The first designer to work with us was a woman named Louisa in 1990, when we began to expand from leisurewear to dresses, tops, and cotton pants
Around 1997, we brought on another designer, Miranda, and that’s when we got really serious about the brand and business. We pulled back from our wholesale accounts, and focused on our retail stores, and growing those. In our first two years of retail we were really driven—we opened over 10 stores, and never looked back.
Blue Illusion often extends itself beyond just the clothing, with community and charity projects. Can you talk about what’s next on the horizon?
DONNA: My mother definitely inspired me to think bigger. She always did what she could to help others. That impression has always stayed with me. The more success Danny and I had, the more we wanted give back. Today I’m proud that as a business we’ve raised roughly $6 million dollars for charity. We’ve always chosen causes that are close to our hearts, and that’s always given me purpose in what I do. Our next charity event coming up is on the for IDI Baker, an incredible institute supporting heart health and diabetes.
Steph, how long have you been leading the Blue Illusion design team, and can you tell us about how your journey in the design team began?
STEPH: I have been with Blue Illusion for 4 1/2 years now. I actually first joined as a cover for someone on maternity leave, so it was initially going to be a short stay— but I thought what a great opportunity to join a great company. Over time the role evolved and became permanent, and I’ve had the privilege of working with a growing team of designers. Here I am, 4 years later, managing the team and supporting their growth.
DONNA: At the time we went from 1 designer doing absolutely everything, to now a team of 6 designers who work really well together. Which is incredible, and adds so much value to the team. It’s constantly evolving
What was the significance of creating the Bastille Day collection this year?
DONNA: Every year we celebrate Bastille, and the colours of Bastille. This year we were fortunate enough to be at the Bastille in Paris to photograph this collection.
STEPH: For me, every year is a new opportunity to do something different. I’m always thinking about how we can push the brand further with each year. This year really celebrates what I love about Paris. I can relate to Donna’s story about her first trip, staying in a small hotel. I remember my first trip, the upholstery at the hotel I stayed in was a charming Toile De Jouy. You can see that inspiration in this years collection. I really wanted to create Parisian feminine/classic style while keeping it relaxed and easy to wear. What I love about designing for Blue Illusion is that I have that creative freedom, the designs can be eclectic.
DONNA: Yes! It’s the element of surprise! We love creating special pieces that surprise our customer. We never want to feel like we are in a box. We aren’t too serious, we want to be fun, practical, and on trend.
STEPH: We push the boundaries, yes.
Can you tell us what your favourite pieces are from the collection and what you’ll be wearing them with?
STEPH: My favourite piece is the Toile De Jouy Dress, it’s very special to me. And I love the simplicity of the twist jersey top as well. I love a high neckline, its elegance. I also really love the tweed knit suit, it’s different, and a nod to Chanel
DONNA: Me too! I’ll definitely be wearing the tweed jacket, it’s so simple over a shirt with my favourite Bengajean or the matching skirt. It’s a bit retro and feels really on trend right now.
Bonne Fête Nat!
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Celebrating strength, style and most of all freedom, our Bastille Day collection recounts the romance of Paris and its vibrant energy. Photographed at the iconic Place Vendôme, Ujjwala pairs our effortlessly chic Jacquard Stripe Cotton Dress with our ever-so-sweet Abbey Suede Sling Back Shoe creating elevated elegance.
“If You Are Lucky Enough To Have Lived In Paris As A Young Man, Then Wherever You Go For The Rest Of Your Life It Stays With You, For Paris Is A Moveable Feast.” — Ernest Hemingway
We’ll Always Have Paris
A favori of the season, our Parisian-inspired Fringe Knit Skirt and Cardigan exude both elegance and charm. Crafted from our warming cotton wool blend, this set will transport you to the cobblestone streets of Paris! Complete the look with our Abbey Suede Sling Back Shoe and Coco Ink Quilt Bag for quintessential French style.