Kate Sylvester dresses up

The top is the ‘Roberta Dinner Shirt’. It is cotton, but given a wealth of finery which enlivens it. Old-fashioned lace techniques of thread-pulling coupled with very fine pin-tucking, back-stitching and steel rivets makes this a delicious work of art, yet supple and comfortable.

The dress is the ‘Harmony Skirt’, done in a colour Sylvester calls Summer Grey. An astonishing amount of careful stitching has enabled all the bands of fabric and shimmering gauze to layer and fall without any awkwardness, while a cotton lining performs the task of soft scaffolding. The skirt, even with the smallest movement, glistens and easily suggests something impressionistic, something painterly.

It could be a ‘Moon over Mudflats’ painting, or a photo of city lights taken through a windscreen in the rain. The illustration comes from the designer’s Summer 10/11 look book, and the garments are at Kate Sylvester, 32 Cuba Street.