Getting my mittens onto one of these delicious creations is at the top of my list this summer. For those of you (yes, you know who are) who claim that kaftans aren’t sexy, all I can say is TAKE THIS! House of Iluka has managed to create an entire range to dispute this claim. One of my favourite pieces, the Sunset Plantation long caftan, just screams ‘ADORE ME’, with its divine silk chiffon embellished with metal and glass beading. Designer/Owner Amanda Nelson has a gift with her fabric creation and selection of adornment, the outcome of which is both sensual and elegant. I’m loving this fashion house for it’s va-va-vroom factor, I can’t imagine any woman feeling less than goddess wearing one.
It is a fluid story of hand dyed kaftans, 70’s bell leg jumpsuits, broderie anglaise rompers, crochet wraps, floaty 4 way dresses, and an edited range of bright, classic 2 piece swimsuits. Each story or colour is represented and named after a city the designer, Amanda Nelson, has travelled through – steel grey is Manhattan, fuchsia is Phuket, the signature high-waist 2 piece swimsuit is aptly named the Bondi.
This was not a venture that was born overnight but over the course of years, after Amanda returned to Iluka, the label’s namesake and her birth place. She also took her time to perfect the craft of hand dying and beading of silks, which in the end resulted in depth and patterns that are uniquely House of Iluka. ‘It will always be a learning process, ‘ she said of her techniques, ‘sometimes the best way to make the perfect meter of fabric is to experiment, the most beautiful prints can appear by the most unusual treatment, like splashing bleach after lifting the silk from the dye to create this insane galaxy like pattern.’
All House of Iluka pieces are made in one size, with of course the exception of swimwear, due to Amanda’s idea of not putting women in big or small categories. ‘ It is about creating a collection that was comfortable, sexy and beautiful to mirror a summer south coast, ‘ she explained,’ I hope the women who wear House of Iluka can feel each piece embracing their body, as I find there is nothing more inspiring than seeing a woman feeling powerful and beautiful.’
The success of Amanda’s year old label is causing ripples internationally, with recent participation in the high-profile Mercedes Miami Swim Show in July, 2011, where she picked up stockists from the US and Europe.
I hope you enjoy viewing these beautiful pieces at www.houseofiluka.com.au