Strathbogie Shire Council

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Vintage Sparkle and Style in lovely Longwood

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

Karen Mizzi is a hidden treasure in the Strathbogie Shire.

Tucked away in Longwood with an amazing collection of authentic vintage dresses and her sewing machine, Karen works her magic in repairing, restoring and recreating authentic vintage dresses.

Karen started her business Divine Vintage Dressesin Sydney six years ago, selling garments out of her friend’s store The Vintage Drawer in Newtown, Sydney.

After working in the corporate space for 20 years, Karen decided she needed a change of direction.

She did an online marketing course where she was encouraged to explore her interests and creativity and this set the stage for a career in vintage fashion.

“I can draw and sew and I have a really creative side, so it is actually really ironic that I was stuck in a corporate job for 20 years,”

After reconnecting and falling in love with her highschool sweetheart Sean, whom she had lost contact with for 30 years, the couple decided they wanted to move to the country and have been living in Longwood for the last 12 months.

“It has always been my dream to live in this area, I think it is just the most beautiful part of Victoria,” she said.

Leaving the buzz of Sydney behind, Karen packed up her vintage collection and headed south to set up her business in Longwood.

“Longwood has such great character and history and it’s close to the Hume Freeway so we can get a city fix when we need one.”

The process of sourcing vintage dresses is an art in itself and often Karen doesn’t even know what she is looking for until she finds it.

She searches many online vintage communities she is a part of, as well as stalls and op shops until something catches her eye.

“The exploration is the most exciting part. I love being able to see that hidden potential in a dress and then nurture it back to its original beauty,” she said.

Once Karen purchases a garment, she works to bring the garment back to life.

In the six years that Karen has been working with vintage she has made quite a name for herself in the industry, selling her pieces to some big names, including a vintage robe to model and journalist Tara Moss and a black velvet gown to Australian actress Odessa Young.

Karen has settled into the Longwood community and saw no better way to share her love for vintage and promote her business than to host an exhibition.

The Divine Vintage Dresses Exhibition is happening at Maygars Hill Winery on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

The event will kick off with the exhibition launch on Friday, 9 June and the cellar doors will be open from 10am-4pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday for free entry to Karen’s personal collection.

“The collection will include 11 outfits, displaying a combination of high end, factory made and homemade garments, which will take people through a journey of the 1950s,” she said.

Karen is very excited to share her art with the community and has put a lot of hard work and love into the dresses.

“My favourite dress in this collection is one I spent three years restoring. It is a pale pink silk Estelle Allardale cocktail gown.

“The dress has glass bugle beads on the front of it and I transferred that original motif from the old damaged material onto the new fabric by hand.”

The evening will be a promising launch to Karen’s collection, complemented by quality wine, delicious canapes and great company.

Karen hopes the exhibition will mark the beginning of a change in direction for her business, as she hopes to venture into more vintage exhibitions, dressmaking and styled shoots in the region.

Bookings for the opening night can be made by contacting 0402 136 448 and tickets for the opening night are $15.


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