Who are you?
Simmi De Luxe A.K.A Simone de Yong.
I like to design and create retro and kitsch inspired clothing, but I definitely didn't start out on this path.
Years ago I ran a home cupcake business in Mackay North QLD where I met an amazing woman named Anna (of Anna Dutton Couture) when she made my first custom designed 'Housewife' dress to wear to an audition and that dress literally changed my life!I'd just had baby #4 and still had 10kg of baby weight to lose but instead of feeling frumpy I felt fabulous! The dress was made perfectly for my shape so I didn't feel a need to hide my curves, in fact they made the dress look better!
When hubby and I relocated to the Scenic Rim, north of the Gold Coast, I began sewing so I could keep growing my wardrobe. I'd learnt to use a sewing machine when I was 6, and even though I was making work wear and dance costumes by 16, it had been 20 years since I'd last made a garment so I pretty much had to relearn the craft. There was a lot of unpicking going on!Anna quickly became my gal pal (because you don't let girls like that get away!) and introduced me to vintage repro fashion and I've been a convert ever since.
We'd built our new home in the Scenic Rim with a second kitchen so I could carry on my cupcake business but as fate would have it I became chronically ill, so plans had to change. Being sick gave me a lot more sewing time and I'd often post my garments on Facebook and Instagram, I then started getting messages from ladies asking me if they could order items from me and I realised I had a knack for this sewing thing!
Describe your fashion style.
🗣 It’s a mash up of rockabilly, kitsch and late 1950’s vintage repro…
I love the shape of clothing in the late 1950’s so I lean towards that area and combine it with my love of bright colour and patterns and then splash it up with bits and pieces that reflect parts of my personality, for example a recent dirndl skirt I made had sarcastic housewife images printed all over it yet it looked so sweet ha ha ha!
Who is your favourite style icon & why?
🗣 I don’t know that I have one? I make my own clothes and wear what I think looks good on me so I don’t really look to style icons, but I applaud anyone who has their own obvious style and confidently wears it without caring what others think.
Name your 5 essential fashion pieces
1. Properly fitted under garments- underwear lines and sad boobs can ruin the best of outfits in a second!
2. Mid or low black heels- as soon as you throw on a pair of heels you instantly lift an outfit, so a pair of low or mid heels in black are a good go-to pair of shoes for those days you don’t feel like wearing heels but still want to look your best.
3. Well groomed eyebrows- I attended a makeup course when I worked in a salon and the first thing I was taught was that well defined eyebrows will take any makeup to the next level, over 20 years later and makeup trends have changed dramatically but that one piece of advice still applies even today.4. Midi skirt- every time I need a new outfit, a pick me up or just see a fabric that I like then I whip up a new midi skirt (circle or dirndl) and I have an instant new outfit!
5. Confidence - it's not really a fashion piece as such but a woman who owns herself and wears her self confidence with pride gives off an air of awe that no item of clothing can offer. And I'm not talking about loud extroverted confidence that's sometimes worn like a bad fake tan, I mean the real "I'm not perfect but I like the person I am " confidence, that's the best bling for any outfit.
Do you have a special prized fashion piece in your wardrobe?
I have two!
My beautiful champagne satin wedding gown is my most loved piece, it was a simple and cheap formal dress that I had altered into a unique vintage styled gown reminiscent of the 1940’s. My wedding day was at the beginning of the 2010/11 Brisbane floods and even though we were flooded in and my hair and makeup were ruined, that dress was amazing!
The other prized piece is actually a costume that I made for my entry into Garterbelts and Gasoline Pinup Contest in 2014, it was my first time creating a costume and I made it from scrap fabric that I had in only 5 days as I was moving house at the time, I am so proud of it and even though I’ve no where to be able to wear it again I just can’t let it go.
What is something surprising about you?
I have a wall in my house dedicated to Hot Wheels cars that my hubby and I collect, all in their packages and in pristine condition.
Do you have a favourite sewing pattern? What is it?
Kind of. My go to sewing pattern is a dirndl skirt which most sewing enthusiasts know doesn’t have a sewing pattern rather its just one of those garments you make off the cuff. I love the way dirndl skirts sit on my figure and since I can whip one up in an hour or two I have a closet full of them!