Gwendolynne Burkin was born in Germany in 1971, raised in Adelaide, and has been based in Melbourne since 1989. Her first memory of making a dress was when she was six. Gwendolynne formally entered the fashion trade at 14 as a fabric sales assistant where she took on various dressmaking jobs. At 15 she was a fashion presenter for a children’s television show.
A budding entrepreneur, she started creating hats and selling them to chic Melbourne boutiques while she was studying fashion in the late 1980s. At 19 Gwendolynne graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where she completed a BA in Fashion Design.
Burkin accumulated almost a decade of professional fashion experience working for commercial and elite international and independent Australian businesses where she gained experience as a pattern maker, designer and machinist. Her signature label ‘Gwendolynne’ commenced in November 1997 and the first collection was launched at the Melbourne Fashion Festival New Generation Parade in 1998.
Gwendolynne’s designs: have won Fashions on the Field at the Dubai World Cup; were exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum Sydney; appeared in Mercedes advertising campaigns; featured in international Nokia and Sony advertising campaigns; have been commissioned for the Australian Ballet; are showcased at The Salvador Dali ongoing collection in Milan and have been seen on countless celebrities at red carpet events. Gwendolynne was also selected as the first Designer to create a range for Target Australia.
Gwendolynne Burkin has established herself as one of Australia’s fashion purists; she works with intuition, avoids fashion trends, and remains true to her own sense of style and obsession with creating beautiful unique designs. Gwendolynne design approach explores tradition in a modern context, each collection evolving in a well-versed blend of historical references.
Combining delicate fabric with antique-style trimmings, Gwendolynne's pieces are ladylike without appearing over the top - the styling is elegant, sensual and romantic. Gwendolynne’s intuitive approach to her work has resulted in a unique signature look with details that include luxurious couture hand embellishment (some featuring fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals) and exclusive fabrics (such as French, Swiss and Italian lace).
Gwendolynne’s relentless pursuit of timeless beauty appeals to contemporary brides who want to invest in designs that can be worn again. To complete the look, headpieces, veils, shoes and accessories can also be created. Long-term collaborator milliner Richard Nylon is situated exclusively at Gwendolynne’s salon and can tailor pieces to coordinate perfectly with Gwendolynne’s designs.
“I love working with beautiful exclusive fabrics and designing my own embellishments. My design philosophy is to create timeless beauty; I choose to work in small quantities in order to maintain quality, exclusivity and longevity.”
Gwendolynne has also showcased collections in Beijing, London, New York and Singapore; her ready-to-wear line has been stocked in Australia and internationally. Gwendolynne Burkin has developed an enviable reputation as a Melbourne-based fashion designer.