INSPIRED: Suffolk Park designer Lisa Burke models one of her Lisa Blue creations. She joins 19 other designers at the Byron Bay
INSPIRED: Suffolk Park designer Lisa Burke models one of her Lisa Blue creations. She joins 19 other designers at the Byron Bay

'Save whales' a fashion statement

By RACHEL AFFLICK

AT AGE 40, Suffolk Park swimwear designer and model Lisa Burke is new to the world of fashion. But she's already come up with a uniquely Byron Bay spin on it.

Lisa started developing her first clothing label, Lisa Blue, 18 months ago with the idea of blending her two passions: fashion and the environment.

Lisa said after swimming with the humpback whales in Tonga she made a promise to help protect them.

"I love fashion design and I thought why not put the two together? I give 25 per cent of my profits to protecting whales and dolphins," Lisa said.

"For me it's about being able to be beautiful and to be environmentally aware at the same time. I think that's very Byron Bay."

Lisa will be participating in her first fashion showcase this Saturday, when she joins 19 other local designers for the inaugural Byron Bay Couture Showcase.

Held at Byron Bay's Buddha Bar, the event will raise money for the three daughters of Billinudgel resident Kathleen O'Meara who tragically was taken away from them by meningococcal disease a few months ago.

One of the girls has cerebral palsy and the two older girls now care for her. They need a wheelchair-enabled vehicle to get her to medical appointments.

Organiser Tjintana Matahari said as a mother of three herself she had been inspired to help the sisters.

She said the other purpose of the Couture Showcase was to raise the profile of Byron Bay designers.

"One of our designers is a taxi driver with two young children. Her designs are amazing. I said to her: 'People like you I want to expose'," Tjintana said.

Attendees will arrive at 4pm and be presented with a complimentary glass of bubbly to wander around the displays of the designers' expo, checking out the fashion smorgasbord up close.

Then, on the stroke of 6pm, there will be non-stop entertainment with music and dancing.

The models will hit the catwalk at 7.30pm, and the evening is to be rounded off with a live performance from New York soul queen Lisa Hunt, who has made Byron Bay her home.

Tjintana said she was aiming to make the event an annual fixture, with a different local charity benefiting each year.

"We'll have artists, craft, anything that is available in Byron Bay," Tjintana said.

For inquiries phone 0405055615, or visit www.byronbaycouture.com



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