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It was just another winters day, as you would know, in Melbourne.

On 20 July 2022, an opportunity rang on my phone at around 9:30 AM. At first, I was delighted that the client had taken the time to browse my website and consult the design options. That was until the moment I heard why and for whom they were looking for ‘Australian Made Evening Gowns.’  – It was for none other than Jodie Haydon! …In case you can’t quite place the name, she is also the Australian Prime Minister’s Partner, with me now? Great!

Jodie haydon wearing a lucy laurita gown

Now, let me tell you, news like this, or rather, the opportunity, will throw you off your heels. But I tried to stick tight to my chair. For a moment, I wondered if I was dreaming or if it was an April Fool’s Day in the middle of July. I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and thank God I did!

lucy laurita designing jodie haydons gown

The Race Against Time – A Convenient Procedure

At first, I wondered how soon they would need the gown. And adding to my worries, we didn’t have as much time. You see, selecting designs, conducting dress fittings, and other essential tasks are challenging when you’re as busy as PM’s Partner. So, it wasn’t about me being available – It was about how I could fit into her availability to get the gown made to measure and fitting perfectly.

I didn’t know it was possible until I heard my children talk amongst themselves secretly:

My son asked his sister, “Do you think she (Jodie) has a second option in case delivery doesn’t arrive, or she doesn’t like it?

To which my daughter replied, “Of course, she does. But she has to wear mum’s dress!”

It was their confidence and trust in me that pushed me further. My daughter even helped make the belt for the gown. She’s my 11-year-old assistant; I tell you, she has a promising future.

Jodie haydon wearing a lucy laurita gown

The Remote Custom Service – A Life Saver

The Corona Pandemic was when we had to adapt to the changes, and I already had put in place a remote custom service that allowed me to work without offering in-person fittings. And that’s what helped me this time.

The initial consultation and design collection showing were booked at Momento Dezigns in Canberra for Saturday, but I received a call from the boutique owner Roslyn a day before, on Friday, that Jodie had already paid a visit. And with that, I received my instructions to prepare the gown: Although it would’ve been nice to have met Jodie in person, I knew we could do it remotely and alleviate the stress of travel.

Many things made the process easier:

  • Close work relationship with independent boutique owners.
  • Refined collection.
  • Customized design options.
  • Teamwork
  • Communication

The process only took one in-store dress fitting and another round of minor adjustments. That’s all, and the whole dress was done in 4 weeks.

Design Selection – Australian Made Floor Length Gown

The design selection was easier than you would think. You see, Jodie had already browsed about the Australian Made Evening Gown.

It was the Viva gown that piqued her interest. We combined Viva Gown with the tweaks of a Stardust Gown, and it worked magnificently.

The objective was to consider Jodie’s style and give a sense of ‘belonging’ to the gown, and that’s how the combined elements worked in unison for a beautiful dress.

sewing jodie haydons gown

For over 17 years, I’ve been working organically, designing gowns in Australia and more.

My primary assets were independent boutiques, business collaborations, and exposure I received from the events I supported. I didn’t have the needed resources and budget for any Google Advertisement to compete alongside the bigger names of event wear designers.

What worked for me was persistence, perseverance, and dedication. I firmly believe that as long as we are passionate about something and work hard, the universe works mysteriously to gift us for all the hard work.