Graduate of Wellington Polytechnic, New Zealand, in fashion design and textiles. Early career – ABC costume department.
1990 – Collette Dinnigan launches her label with dryclean only lingerie that quickly garners her a reputation. Her signature is evident from the beginning in the sexy romantic lingerie and incredibly detailed clothes featuring French fabrics, hand embroidered in India by highly skilled craftsmen.
1992 – Collette Dinnigan opens her first retail store in William Street, Paddington, Sydney. It becomes the go-to destination for beautiful lingerie style dresses, delicate lace pieces and amazing prints, rapidly building a strong following. In 2011, it relocates to Queen Street Woollahra.
1995 – After establishing a successful store in Sydney, a second store is added in Chapel Street, South Yarra, Melbourne, adding to her growing reputation as a must-have label. Collette Dinnigan becomes the first and is the only Australian designer to have been invited by the Chambre Syndicale du Pret a Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode to show on the prestigious Paris schedule.
Collette Dinnigan becomes a member of the Chambre Syndicale Committee.
1997 – As her influence grows Collette Dinnigan is appointed as an advisor to the South Australian Wool Board.
1998 – The NSW Small Business Development Corporation appoints Collette Dinnigan Chairperson, chosen for her inspirational business acumen, growth and clear sighted strategy within her own business. Oscar winning costume designer Catherine Martin directs the A/W Collette Dinnigan show creating a magical fashion moment.
2000 – Ten years in business is celebrated with a third signature Collette Dinnigan retail store opening in Chelsea, London. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London honours Collette Dinnigan and showcases her label in their highly prestigious series of live Fashion in Motion Exhibitions.
2001 – UK super retailer Marks & Spencer invites Collette Dinnigan to create a branded collection of lingerie exclusively for their stores. Wild Hearts by Collette Dinnigan launches recording impressive results.
2002 – David Jones invites Collette Dinnigan to open in-store concessions.
2004 – The Collette Dinnigan Enfant collection is launched, inspired by the birth of her daughter Estella. Its trademark is quality, originality and sweetness.
2005 – Ten years of showing in Paris is celebrated with an intimate and exclusive lunch at the Hotel de Crillon. As part of the Australian Legends series, Australia Post issues a stamp featuring Collette Dinnigan.
2007 – Collette Dinnigan Bridal is officially launched, a formulation of decades of providing beautiful wedding dresses to brides seeking something unique.
2008 – As part of their collaborative designer program Target Australia invites Collette Dinnigan to design a collection of lower priced mass market lingerie, joining the ranks of Stella McCartney & Zac Posen.
2010 – To mark 20 years in business, collette by Collette Dinnigan is launched, a diffusion collection. David Jones becomes the main stockist rolling the label out into 34 stores and building 7 flagship concept stores. It is stocked by net a porter and in 2011 over 100 retailers globally.
2011 – Collette Dinnigan currently designs three main collections per year; three collette by Collette Dinnigan collections; two bridal collections and three lingerie collections. Collette was also honoured by New Zealand’s Massey University Hall of Fame and was one of five Australian’s invited to meet Queen Elisabeth at Buckingham Palace.
2012 – The New South Wales Government honours Collette Dinnigan with the 5th Australian Fashion Laureate Award. The award recognises outstanding creative and intellectual achievement in the Australian Fashion Industry.
The Collette Dinnigan Melbourne boutique is relocated from Chapel Street, South Yarra and relaunched in the fashion shopping precinct of High Street, Armadale. In addition, Collette Dinnigan launched an online boutique that currently ships internationally.
2012 also marked the year that Collette Dinnigan launched her collaboration with The Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary, designing a range of children’s Tutu’s that were sold in Target. Proceeds of the sales were donated to The Australian Ballets Kids Education Program.
2013 – Collette Dinnigan becomes the first Australian designer to show in Singapore’s Audi Fashion Festival opening the week alongside designers Carolina Herrara and Peter Pilotto.
Collette continues her ambassador role with the Australian Wool Institute (AWI) – which assists Australian woolgrowers.
Obsessive Creative – Collette’s first hard cover coffee table book on her life’s story and fashion career is released by Penguin Books Australia. The forward is written by super model Helena Christensen.
In October, Collette announces her retirement from Paris Fashion Week and downsizes her retail and wholesale operations (from 2014) choosing to only focus on licensing and special projects – primarily in Australia.
2014 – Collette continues to design for her diffusion brand, Collette by Collette Dinnigan, Collette Dinnigan Enfant & Hosiery, Specsavers Designer Eyewear and other special projects to be announced.
2015 – In September, the Museum of Applied Arts and Science (formerly Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney will showcase 25 years of Collette Dinnigan.