/ Issue Two

14/04/2004
I LOVE YOU

by Ishil Ihtiyar 

"Lover is all about utilising a feminine ethos with a strident rock'n'roll mannerism;  

it's lady-like without being prudish, and rock without the tramp."  

Jane Rocca, fashion journalist. 

Lover, is Sydney designer Susien Chong and her creative counterpart Nic Briand (Art Director for the label). Stirred by their obsession with popular culture past and present, Lovers collections have been inspired by characters such as Mallory Keaton from Family Ties, Cat Power, Francoise Hardy, Meg White, Jean Seberg and Winona Ryder. Chong explains, These women represent an effortless sense of style, natural beauty and almost childlike innocence about them - it is these qualities that provide a kind of genesis for each Lover collection.  

Malaysian born Chong, of Chinese /Australian heritage, completed a Bachelor of Design in Fashion at the University of Technology Sydney, and proceeded to work with the internationally recognised Australian label Zimmerman. After assisting for over three years, Chong created Lover in 2001, selling a nine piece collection at Sydneys Bondi Markets. The knowledge and experience she had developed working within the industry quickly became apparent in her pieces, which were implemented with detailed twists and high quality finishes .The response to her collection from buyers, the fashion media, stylists and consumers was overwhelming, hence she began selling her range to boutiques both nationally and internationally, from Auckland, London, Tokyo to New York.  

Lovers latest Spring/Summer collection, Melodies, is inspired by the psychedelic shapes and colours of The Beatles Yellow Submarine, the candy pink clouds emanating from a New York subway on the Velvet Undergrounds Loaded album cover, as well as the style and coy glamour of the female characters in a Jean Luc Godard films. Accompanying the collection is a short promotional film also titled Melodies coinciding with the delivery of the Spring/Summer collection. Collaborating with film makers and creative duo Ben and Nic Briand and featuring muse Junita Stein (lead singer of Sydney band Waikiki) the documentary shooting style gives the viewer an insight into the reality of a photo shoot set. Chong reveals, We ultimately want to make more inspiring films to accompany each collection and to continue to collaborate with musicians, actors and filmmakers we admire. 

The signature quirk and laissez-faire nature the brand emanates, Chong ascertains is a direct result of living in Sydney, the space, freedom and isolation. She affirms, We may be kilometres away from the major fashion capitols of the world geographically, but in terms of ideas we are on the pulse just as those in New York, London, Paris, Milan or Tokyo.

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