BeanScene Magazine

House mistress - Susan Dimasi

From the September 2015 issue.
House mistress - Susan Dimasi

The strength and endurance of a fashion house is predicated largely on its ability to establish a distinctive stylistic lexicon, as well as a commitment to producing garments of provenance.

By Stefanie Di Trocchio

Just 12 years into the establishment of Melbourne-based luxury goods house Materialbyproduct, Susan Dimasi has developed a unique sartorial vernacular.

In everyday speech, a sentence can be understood on the basis of the meaning of the words along with an understanding of its structure. In the same way, garments designed and made by Susan Dimasi, Creative Director of 21st-century luxury goods house Materialbyproduct, can be recognised with reference to its stylistic traits, as well as a familiarity with the techniques and processes she has developed for garment-construction.
With a workroom and thought practice born out of her Masters and PhD studies, Susan established Materialbyproduct (MBP) as a means to investigate and innovate systems for fashion design.

“I wanted to express a contemporary take on luxury,” says Susan, “so I set out to create a contemporary version of an old-school European house. More than a fashion label or a fashion brand, I set out to create a house that produces beautiful garments with a distinct language, culture and flavour.

“In a magazine like Italianicious, you can find equivalents with restaurants or wineries, cheese-makers and chefs. The way each creates something is distinctly their own style. It’s not just stylistic – there’s a methodology that goes right down into the DNA of how they grow their produce, how they prepare it, and how they put the final dish together. This means that when you taste, see or smell particular foods or dishes, they are distinct in character.”

The stylistic vernacular that Susan has developed is centred around garment structure and the way she uses functional elements as adornment. Fascinated with men’s tailoring, Susan has spent time training with Italian tailors in Australia and Greek tailors in London and uses techniques such as binding, hammering, punching, stitching, fastening and drape in an aesthetic as well as functional capacity. “The embellishment is the structure,” says Susan. “Beautiful cutting, beautiful detail, beautiful shapes, a seamless outside and inside – that is the embellishment.”

To read the full article, see the September/October 2015 issue of Italianicious magazine.

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