Fashion: Interview with local designer Kelli Wharton from Talulah

myGC caught up with Byron Bay based fashion designer Kelli Wharton at the QT Fashion Week & Awards held on the Gold Coast over the weekend. The gorgeous blonde is the powerhouse behind TALULAH – one of Australia’s most loved fashion and lifestyle brands.

You are involved in QT Fashion Week again this year. What are your thoughts on the event?
This is our third time showcasing at QT Fashion Week. We are excited this year to be presenting two of our collections; TALULAH ready-to-wear and TALULAH Swim & Resort. Our brand was born in QLD and we love to continually support our home state, consumer and retailer by working with local talent to produce a Fashion Week that everyone can enjoy.



Who is the TALULAH woman?
The TALULAH woman is confident, imaginative and styles with a playful sensibility. Born carefree, she encompasses all that is to be woman; effortlessly chic, timeless and ultimately fashionable. Her diary is full; coffee with friends, dinner with family, social events and ambitious work commitments. Her enthusiasm is infectious, as she brings to life the flavour of the female lifestyle through her classic wardrobe pieces, vibrant prints and colour and signature outfits. Synonymous with style and elegance, the TALULAH woman celebrates the power of female fashion.

What was your inspiration for the new spring collections?
Romancing The Stone: The season returns to power dressing, presenting strong apparel combinations of box shapes, tailored shorts, structured sequins and high definition colour in exciting new print combinations, defining feminine sensuality. TALULAH spring dressing mixes American flare, sequin shine and bohemian luxe to make for aspirational styling and versatile wardrobe combinations. With an air of romance, she dresses beautifully in dynamic spring ensembles evoking dreams of discovery fit for the modern adventuress.

Crystal Tropics: The Crystal Tropics collection comprises of over 150 TALULAH pieces, celebrating TALULAH print, colour and creativity in a modern bohemian story that leads the designer brand into its tenth anniversary year. Designed for exotic vacations and spring ocean side escapes, silhouettes are soft and feminine juxtaposed with strong graphics, detailed finishes and silk fabrics, instilling confidence in its wearer. Splashes of spring florals play through colourful print combinations, decorating one piece bodices, beach sarongs, silk maxi dresses, paisley shorts and beautiful kaftans. Innocent whites whisper springs new romantic sensuality in crochet apparel, silk styles and sheer panelling, while colourful frills detail bikini separates that mixed and match prints for playful beachside combinations.
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What made you branch out and do a swim & resort collection?
After the successful launch of TALULAH swimwear in 2013, the expansion into resort wear was a natural progression for the brand. This category reflects a more relaxed approach to dressing, it is less structured and more playful than the TALULAH ready-to-wear line, yet remains true to our aesthetic in its print and colour ways. It allows TALULAH to be worn all year round, offering a lifestyle with seasonal collections and new apparel product categories.

You’re based in Byron Bay. Have you ever felt the pressure to move to Sydney or Melbourne?
We are very grateful to be able to do what we love and live in the beautiful surrounds of Byron Bay. Our collections are inspired by the coastal lifestyle and our business values are built on this lifestyle too. Living in Byron Bay our team is able to fulfil the creativity needs of the brand, while remaining close enough to our QLD origin and national business partners, retailers and talent. We also work globally with stockiest, consumers, media and celebrities which demonstrates how lucky we are to have the technology we do today, as it makes it possible to be a successful business in any part of the world.

Do you get to visit the Gold Coast frequently? What do you love most about our city?
Yes we do. We still call Queensland home. Some of our team members are also from the coast and the great thing about living in Byron Bay is that the coast is only a drive away. We work with lots of retailers, media and talent located on the Gold Coast, and some of our major brand partners including QT Hotels are also located here. There is a sense of community along the coast which is wonderful as you can see businesses work together to support each other and deliver to the consumer what they need.

What is your opinion on the way Gold Coast girls dress?
Contemporary, feminine and playful in colour and print. We are seeing some exciting transitions in style along the coast, with women beginning to explore their creativity which is showing through their style. Women are now catering for their individual fashion needs by aspirational dressing, mixing designer labels and trends, which is wonderful to see.

Any advice for local girls looking at getting into the fashion industry?
Experience, experience, experience! I suggest working for a fashion brand or business where you can understand the different roles that form a company and operate a fashion business day to day. Find out what area you enjoy; accounts, public relations, marketing, design – there are many sides to the business of fashion you can be a part of. Fashion can be fast paced and tough – so have a can do attitude and try and get involved in all opportunities that come your way to grow and explore.

What’s next for TALULAH?
We are introducing some beautiful new product categories, and have also partnered with some amazing designers and partners to produce new diffusion lines, to be released later this year. Watch this space and keep shopping online at to see what’s new.

For more on Talulah, visit