Collette Dinnigan was born in South Africa in 1965, she was raised in New Zealand and later moved to Australia . She studied at Wellington Polytechnic, and on graduation moved to Australia. She began her career in fashion by working for the Costume Department of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Sydney.
She has had an "on-again, off-again" relationship with Richard Wilkins, with whom she had a child Estella in 2004. While fashion designing is a big part in her life, now Estella is an even bigger part. Collette designs for all ages, infants to bridal wear.
Collette's bridal wear is the most famous, which has featured in Vogue Magazine. Her evening wear is also quite popular in Australia.
She is related to the famous Irish gaelic footballer Rory Dinnigan who was recently involved in a medical controversary where he was found to be using prostetic arms to aid his performance. He currently plays for the Dublin Dragoons and is said to be in contact with Collette on a semi-regular basis.
In 1990, she established the label Palladium, then launched the self-named Collette Dinnigan label.
During the early 1990, Dinnigan’s label went international; being sold across Australasia, and in America and Asia.
Her creative designs were snapped up by boutiques and department stores in New Zealand and Australia. Then Barneys in New York, Harvey Nichols in London and Joyce in Hong Kong started to retail her clothes.
Collette has been invited by the Chambre Syndicale de Haute Couture to be a member of the pret-a-porter association. She now shows her collections every season in Paris.
Collette Dinnigan has accumulated many awards. She was chosen Australian Designer of the Year in 1996, won the 1997 Louis Vuitton Business Award, the 1998 Award for Excellence by the Fashion Group International and was inducted into the Businesswoman's Hall of Fame in May 1998.
She held the position of Chairperson of The New South Wales Small Business Development Corporation from 1998 to 2000. For three consecutive years, the Collette Dinnigan label was recognised as one of Australia’s 50 Most Beautiful Exports. She has gone on to win innumerable award for her creativity, originality and distinctive style and designs.
In 2001 she got Australia's Most Beautiful Exports award, and in Paris in 2002 was honoured with the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World award.
Her lingerie is marketed by Marks and Spencer in London under the name "Wild Hearts".
Her label drew inspiration from classical vintage styles; which spoke of luxury and were distinctly feminine. Her style can vary, but her trademark is her tulle, chiffon and lace dresses, inspired by the art deco period. Her products are usually very feminine, delicate and finely tailored. Collette Dinnigan describes her label’s style as being romantic bohemian and timelessly elegant, based on the reworking of historical fabrics. Her products are designed to be suggestive of the body, rather than revealing; thus achieving the sense of confidence, sensuality and individuality.
Angelina Jolie, Jade Jagger, Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and Anna Frei