Collette Dinnigan on Hamilton for showing her wedding dress dash.

Designer Collette Dinnigan was on Hamilton Island this weekend to show her new cruise collection. Kate Waterhouse caught up with her to chat about her secret Italian wedding, married life with hotelier Bradley Cocks and juggling work with being a mum to seven-year-old daughter, Estella. What is your career highlight?
When I did my 10-year show in Paris. To me, that was a huge accomplishment because it shows that I have longevity but also that, creatively, the French still kept me on the [fashion week] calendar. They are so cutthroat; I’m not there as any favour. You must have an amazing wardrobe

I have an amazing archive collection at our office. It’s 20 years of every piece of our collection. It’s kind of like an extended wardrobe, with lots of memories. It’s quite nostalgic. How is balancing work and motherhood?
When you have a child, you become so incredibly organised and you lose a lot of chit-chat time because everything else becomes a priority. Will Estella follow in your footsteps?

A few years ago, I thought so – she was obsessed with fabric and making things but now I don’t know. She loves music, drama and animals. How is married life?

It’s great; it feels different. Suddenly, you can’t get annoyed with the person the same way you did before because you’ve made that decision to be together, so it calms you down in a way. It’s such a great thing to do, especially for Estella; it feels like ”Daddy Bradley” and she loves him. Was your wedding a magical day?
It was absolutely beautiful and I loved having little Estella there. I’m so glad I left it to the age that she really loved it. She was doing up all my buttons and saying everything I have always said to the models backstage when she has been there. Did you always know what you would wear?

No, because [the wedding] was such a secret … I was in India 10 days before and I just thought, ”I have to have a dress to pass down to Estella,” and so I had some silk tulle and I took it with me and we literally designed it there. I hadn’t tried it on until I brought it back to Sydney and everyone thought I was making it for a VIP client so I had no fittings. It’s like the story of the cobbler – no shoes on their children! When did you know Bradley was the one?

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