Alannah Hill

Alannah Louise Hill (born 26 March 1962) is an Australian fashion designer who has had notable local and international success.[1] Alannah began her fashion career at Indigo Boutique in Chapel Street, South Yarra in 1980. In 1997, in partnership with Factory X, Alannah created her namesake Brand - Alannah Hill. In 2013, after a legal dispute with her financial backers (Factory X) Alannah and Factory X parted ways. Factory X continue to run the chain of stores named after Alannah with no creative input by Alannah.

In 2014, Alannah launched a new clothing brand, Louise Love.

Hill's memoir, titled "Butterfly on a Pin", was published in May 2018 by Hardie Grant Books.[2]

Background

Hill was born in Franklin, Tasmania, but spent much of her childhood in the coastal town of Penguin. At the age of 16 she moved to Melbourne, Victoria where she hoped to establish an acting career. She did have one small acting role in the 1986 film Dogs in Space starring Michael Hutchence.[3][4]

Career

Alannah was cast as Girlfriend Number 2 in Richard Lowenstein’s 1986 “quintessential post-punk” Melbourne film Dogs in Space. In reference to her time as an actress:

“I had NO idea what I was doing on that film set! I kept staring into the camera unable to act, unable to focus, unable to accept that I didn’t have a name! I was an introvert trying to be an extrovert ~ I felt plain, unremarkable, almost as if I was slipping through the cracks of everyday life."[5]

Whilst waitressing in a cafe, she was offered a job at Indigo Boutique in Chapel Street, South Yarra, where she worked for fifteen years. It was here she created her first designs under the label Alannah Hill. She opened her first boutique in 1997, and with the financial backing of Melbourne-based business Factory X, established 42 Alannah Hill stores in Australia as well as being stocked in David Jones stores.

Alannah Hill's designs were distinguished by their girlish aesthetic, opulent embellishments and vintage romance. She is famous for her eccentric, doll-like look and has said she has never been seen without full make-up. [6] Hill's shop assistants were dressed to mimic the appearance of the designer, encouraged to wear rosy cheeks and red lipstick[7]

Her collections were stocked in prominent international department stores including Browns and Sefridges in London, and Henri Blendel and Bergdorf Goodmans in New York. In her memoir, "Butterfly on a Pin" she shares that the names of her designs were often inspired by phrases uttered by her mother. [8]

Of her designs, leading fashion Melbourne commentator Janice Green Burns remarked

“In a typical genre she was really unique. She revolutionised the concept of womenswear with a unique vision. It was feminine in a way that wasn’t saccharine. It always seemed very measured. Now it’s interesting to see how her background informed her ability to understand the creative process and understand her market.”[9]

Alannah Hill brand "lost"

On 15 August 2013, Hill announced she had walked away from her fashion business following a dispute with the label's owner, Factory X. They continue to operate the Alannah Hill stores, however, Hill will not design for, or have any further input into the brand. At the time of her announcement, Hill indicated that she wanted to continue in the fashion industry.[10] Factory X continue to operate the brand. In 2017, the brand was removed from David Jones stores. [11] It is currently stocked at Myer.

Louise Love

Hill created Louise Love her new fashion Brand in 2014. She currently designs for her small business and is working on her new Louise Love collection. She plans to launch a perfume and candle line for the Louise Love brand. In a press release explaining the new brand, Alannah remarked

'“Silk dresses, beaded evening and appliqued day cardigans, elegant sexy skirts and romantic blouses. The Louise Love girl loves beautiful, classic, fantastical clothing that creates chaos wherever she goes. She revels in a style of her own – with embellished deluxe yarns, imported European fabrics in exclusive original designs, witty larger-than-life accessories for the hopeful days and dark nights of all of our glamorous little souls.”[12]

Personal life

Alannah has four siblings[13] and she has a son, Edward, whose father is Karl Bartl, founder and designer of menswear brand, Jack London.[14] She is in a relationship with rock musician and record producer, Hugo Race.[15]

Alannah serves as an Ambassador to Sydney’s Centenary Institute of Science and Medical Research, raising funds for cancer research.[5]

References

External links