Posted on 03 May 2016


Several dozen women, champagne flutes in one hand and camera-ready phones in the other, gathered around Susan Dimasi, MATERIALBYPRODUCT (MBP) Creative Director while she dressed and undressed Olivia Bell former principal artist of the Australian Ballet on a rainy Thursday night in the MBP working atelier.  These beautiful women were guests of the European Women in Business network (EWIB). 

MATERIALBYPRODUCT’s atelier and showroom in 12 Collins Street has been buzzing with activity this year. 2016 kicked off with three launch events.  “Nouvelle” showcased a new collection, “Classic” highlighted the traditional pieces and “Cool” reinforced our close alignment with contemporary art through the hand-painted series of scarves by Rosslynd Piggott. These February launches were followed by a succession of other events including the sold out NGV Women’s Association Annual Seminar on April 20 where Susan Dimasi reflected on the three pivotal pieces on exhibit in 200 Years of Australian Fashion.

The latest event was a celebration of the new and exclusive collaboration between MBP and the EWIB. With places booked out well ahead of the 21 April date. The MBP atelier, filled with 50 broad smiling women, became a cosy escape from Melbourne’s typically autumnal weather. 

The idea for the event arose when EWIB founder Janine Lum attended one of the launch events. Spellbound by the experience, she was immediately inspired to share it with her network. Janine invited these women who understand luxury and appreciate the special opportunity to be a part of the living history of MPB, a house crafting its way to heritage status. 

Taking the attendees through the workings of the atelier, Susan showed key looks from the new collection, MAGNOLIA, on Olivia Bell. Rounding off the evening, Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the National Gallery of Victoria Paola Di Trocchio, gave an informative talk on the last 200 Years of Australian Fashion. Paola has been on the MATERIALBYPRODUCT journey for the past 13 years. Sharing her knowledge of MBP’s heritage, ethos and fashion pedigree, Paola captivated the ladies with her insights into the NGV’s latest exhibition.  

MBP patrons have historically been established through word of mouth recommendations and invitation-only functions, often at the former cult destination Fitzroy studios. However, the new 12 Collins Street atelier has been in high demand with women in business networks wanting to connect discerning members with the opportunity to access ‘go-to’ Prêt-à-Porter offering first! Or invest in custom-fit wardrobes, curated by Susan Dimasi and crafted by the team of in house artisans especially trained in the MBP signature techniques.

From the 90s, high fashion was divided into two camps: the intellectual (led by the Japanese designers and followed by the Belgians) the opposite was the glamour camps, which are traditionally French and Italian. Susan has always rejected the intellectual label insisting that women are both intellectual and glamorous and do not have to choose to be one or the other. Collaborating with women such as those from the EWIB shares this core belief that intelligence and glamour—two supposedly polar opposites—co-exist in a true expression of femininity.  

MATERIALBYPRODUCT is more than a brand experience; it is a house producing a future heritage. The patrons who join the journey are integral to the brand and our future sees more courageous, adventurous and sophisticated women joining us to be a part of history in the making.  

Image: Catherine Cervasio, CEO Aromababy wears MATERIALBYPRODUCT THANK YOU LTD EDT scarf

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