Liz Davenport: The Designer – 40 Years of Fabulous Fashion
Liz Davenport celebrates 40 years as one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers and business women. Since the Fashion Industries of Australia (FIA) awarded her Australia’s top designer in 1980 she has not looked back.
Liz has been a leading Australian fashion designer, manufacturer and retailer for more than 40 years. One of only five Australian designers to receive the highest fashion accolade – a Grand Award from the Fashion Industries of Australia, Liz Davenport also has an Advance Australia Award for ‘contribution to lifestyle through fashion’ and has won the Sydney Business Award for ‘outstanding women’s wear’. Liz Davenport stores have been in some of the most high profile shopping precincts in NSW, VIC, QLD & WA – as well as on Bond Street in London.
For almost three decades, Liz Davenport researched, designed and manufactured all of her designs in Australia. Liz finally gave in to the realities of the industry and secured an agreement with an offshore manufacturer to manufacture her clothes. “I still have 100% control of the quality of cut and the fabric but it means we can expand the company internationally with more competitive price points.”
Brilliant Use of Colour & Coordination
Liz is recognised for her brilliant use of colour. Every collection is underpinned by classic garments in block colours that cleverly coordinate with the prints.
“The use of colour and coordination is born from countless hours of experience, research and experimentation. We have made our name by engineering the right look for the right body shape and for the right lifestyle. I make women feel and look confident.”
“Women are often made to feel inadequate or failures because they dare to be bigger than a size 12. The average size of an Australian women is now somewhere between 14 and 16. It’s all about the dynamics of disguise. I enjoy making women who want to, look younger and slimmer. And if you happen to be tall, young and slim then the clothes are made to make you feel good about yourself.”
“After years of research on thousands of women including myself (who happens to have a very realistic, curvy figure), we realised that the standard measurements used in the Australian fashion industry are not true to size today. We have re-proportioned our sizes and made them more realistic.”
“The ‘average’ woman may spend her earlier years as a proportional size 10 or 12, but may well put on weight at the hips and waist but not at the shoulders as she matures. Too often the jacket fits, but not the skirt or pants.”
“Despite what most designers appear to do, once you hit size 14 you simply cannot just add a few more centimetres here and there and expect the look to work. It won’t. There are an awful lot of women who have been short changed in the design department” says Liz.
Liz Davenport uses fabrics that draw on modern technology which means they are low maintenance whilst combining easy-care performance with maximum comfort.
The Miracle in a Suitcase
In Liz’s former life as a fashion agent she spent days flying from city to city to attend appointments with clients. Her life today is even more demanding with international trips to source the best fabrics from around the world. The reality of air travel often means long waits at luggage carrousels or even longer waits at the Lost Luggage department.
The ‘Miracle in a Suitcase’ was born of necessity. It incorporates 22 cleverly coordinated transeasonal garments that can be packed into a cabin sized bag and will comprise hundreds of different outfits which can be worn from the beach to the ballroom. “I never wait at carrousels anymore” says Liz.
Even after 40 years in the business every garment that bears the Liz Davenport label is still meticulously developed by Liz herself. For almost a decade she worked in conjunction with two other top Australian designers, her daughters Katie and Jane.