Deborah was born in 1960 in Rome where she grew up surrounded by centuries of culture. There were two strong influences around her; the love of art and the seductive allure of the sixties culture in film and fashion. Her paternal grandfather (a retired architect) would share with her his love of drawing through his archives of architectural studies for mansions he would never build, and her maternal grandfather introduced her to the glamour of the Cinema, having worked with stars like Fellini on the making of La Dolce Vita.
“Love of beauty came easily to me in these surroundings, I would draw constantly, and in my flights of fancy I would daydream that one day my drawings would come to life “
Clothing in the early 1960’s in Rome were more made-to-measure than ready-to-wear. Deborah’s father had his suits tailored and her mother had special occasion outfits designed for both herself and Deborah that were manufactured by a dressmaker
“I loved the process of having clothes especially made for me by a skilled dressmaker, watching my mother choose the fabrics and details, the dressmaker adjusting the design throughout the fittings, watching the dress take form, and finally, the joy of wearing the prettiest party dress that puffed out like a cloud when I jumped!”
Sixties fashions were colourful and bold and Deborah enjoyed the self-expression they gave her.
“My first love was a pair of bright orange suede shoes and the matching pinafore featured in the specialist children’s boutique “she recalls. Ready-to-wear clothing in department stores began to cater specifically for different age groups.
In 1970 the family moved to Australia and a new phase began. Fashions in Melbourne were very basic with little variety with the exception of the House of Merivale where Deborah would spend her precious pocket money on glam 70’s fashions. Retaining a European outlook and sensibility Deborah applied herself to the study of Fine art in painting before embarking on an Arts Degree specifically in Fashion at RMIT.
Graduating in 1985 she worked for various companies designing and manufacturing for the day to eveningwear market. The overseas travel associated with her work rekindled an awareness of global style, reminding her of the universal love of beauty in its many forms.
In 1994 Deborah launched her own label “Deborah Selleck Couture”, based at her Yarraville studio. She grew her business slowly and loved the flexibility of being able to care for her new baby while catering to her growing private clientele.
Her first Bridal collection was shown in conjunction with the re-opening of The Sun Theatre in 1994.The parade featured a range of designs based on corsetry with the emphasis on the hourglass shape and volumes of petticoats.
In !997 the Deborah Selleck showroom was opened in Ballarat Street Yarraville, the two storey Federation style building was to be the setting for several new collections and fashion parades over the next ten years . The parades showcased the evolving style of the Deborah Selleck Couture label towards a sophisticated, sleek elegance that had more to do with cinema glamour than traditional bridal shapes.
Setting a trend for sleeker more figure defining bridal gowns, Deborah Selleck Couture designs remain timeless classics. After growing her business, she found the perfect studio at 144 Stephen St, Yarraville. It has a sunlit showroom where clients can enjoy perusing the new designs in comfort and style.
In 2015 Deborah was invited to show a collection at New York Spring Fashion Week, with a select group of Australian designers. Her evening and bridal wear 'Flower Woman' collection, was received to public acclaim.
In between designing her couture gowns for clients, Deborah shares her love and knowledge of fashion with students at tertiary institutions around Melbourne.
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