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Dressing Up with Amanda Testa

Dressing Up with Amanda Testa

“I want anything I do to have oomph.”

In one short sentence, Sydney-based designer Amanda Testa has captured exactly what it is that makes her work so inexplicably desirable.

This woman has creativity pumping through her veins, and there’s a certain richness to every piece of her work – whether it’s an ornate bracelet, appliqued clutch, or a silk twill scarf.

Tiger Scarf - Amanda Testa

Gorilla Scarf - Amanda Testa

Butterfly Scarf - Amanda Testa

Inspired by the Rousseau-esque jungle animals she created for her silk and velvet clutch collection, Amanda has just released a range of enormous silk scarves that are lush, graphic and just as fierce as their original counterparts.

“I wanted something that looks equally beautiful hanging as a tableau on the wall as it does rolled up around the neck,” explains Amanda.

“Personally I never know what to do with tiny scarves - so the nice, big size gives you loads of ways to wear them - draped, rolled, knotted round the neck once or twice, as a turban or a bohemian head band.”

Her preference is to fold the scarf diagonally, then tie it jauntily around the neck so that long tails hang down to the side. This look is best, she explains, when one dresses entirely in black to maximise the impact of said scarf.

Amanda turned to Japanese folding screens for some compositional inspiration for these designs, and kept the same precise illustration style that characterised the appliqué in her clutches to keep her aesthetic consistent.

The project began life as a one-piece scarf collaboration with the team at Skarfe, but a collection quickly took shape. “Of course 'a' scarf became a range, because I do like to tell a story, and I do think people then have their favourites, like they do with the clutches. Plus I'd always had it in my mind to branch out and offer different types of accessories.”

Amanda applies the same dedication to detail and heartfelt panache to dress-ups, and has become famous in some circles for her Halloween efforts.

Today we share some of our favourite of her costumes.  There are many. Follow her on Instagram for more gold.

Krishna

Jewllery made from a cacophony of gold-painted cardboard, plastic buttons, chain and gold fabric braids, flowers strung with pearls, nylon mesh, theatrical makeup, vintage silk butterflies, serene outlook.

Madonna - You Can Dance

Velvet bolero with hot-glued frenzy of gold and red braids, crystal embellished satin bustier, two-dollar shop sombrero, chopped platinum-blonde wig coiffed by wildly talented friend.

Snake Lady

Foil lycra tube stuffed with wadding, constructed python puppet glove with leather tongue and acrylic teddybear eyes, fake orchids, fake eyelashes. 

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Amanda Testa’s silk scarf collection is available now.