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Local designer for the stars

Tumut local Daniel Learmont.

Fashion designer and Tumut local Daniel Learmont has been on the up and up years now – going from Batlow Technology School to studying in Sydney, to learning from the best and eventually opening up his own studio, Daniel Learmont Couture.

Last week he added a new feather to his cap: dressing the distinguished award-winning actresses of ‘A Place to Call Home’ at the Logies.

Daniel said the ladies got in touch with him to design their dresses, not the other way round, which he considers to be quite the compliment.

“I didn’t pursue them as a way of getting out there; they came to me,” he explained.

“They’d seen my work and they liked it. I’ve known Arianwen [Parkes-Lockwood, actress] for a while and I was arranging her gown for the Logies this year, and upon further conversation with the girls from the show they said were looking for something special as well.

Arienwen Parkes-Lockwood at the Logies, in a dress designed by Daniel Learmont.

“I met the other girls, and they were wanting something unique and spectacular, and decided I was the one to do it. Everything I do is custom made.

“It was quite daunting, but once I met with each individual lady they were so lovely. It’s such a great honour to do something like this. I was ecstatic, it was very exciting.

“I’ve always wanted to be a designer, from when I was little. That was my lifelong dream and it’s a long time coming but it’s finally come to fruition.

“Not bad for a kid from the bush!”

It took Daniel about three months to prepare the dresses, which are in exactly the kind of classic, glamorous style that he’s made his specialty. They recall the elegance of Daniel’s beloved grandmother, who has been one of his biggest influences.

The cast of ‘A Place To Call Home,’ with Sara Wiseman, Noni Hazlehurst, Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood and Jenni Baird wearing Daniel’s designs.

Some readers may be familiar with Rosa Learmont, an always fabulously dressed lady about town in Tumut back in the day. Daniel fondly remembers Rosa hand-making her own beautiful clothes with care and skill; something he emulates himself now.

“My grandmother was a really glamorous lady, she always looked nice and was perfectly turned out,” he said.

“She was always very well dressed and elegant.

“There’s that very classic glamour about the country – people in country towns don’t necessarily get dressed up very often, but they always get dressed up if there’s something on and they always look incredible.”

He may be creating custom-made dresses for celebrities and attending glamorous parties with his clients these days, but Daniel said he hasn’t lost touch with his country roots – especially since his parents are still living in Tumut.

“They’re over the moon! They’re more excited than me I think,” he laughed.

Noni Hazlehurst with Daniel during the three-month process of designing the perfect dress.

“They’ve always been very supportive of me doing what I want to do, and as long as I’m happy, they’re happy.

“I don’t get to go home to Tumut very often unfortunately, but I do miss it.

“I’m very proud of where I came from.”

Daniel Learmont designed the 2017 Logies dresses for Sara Wiseman, Noni Hazlehurst, Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood and Jenni Baird. All four are actresses in the TV show ‘A Place to Call Home,’ a period drama set in the rural Australia of the 1950s. It won the Logie for ‘Most Outstanding Drama Series’ on Sunday.

The cast of ‘A Place to Call Home’ accepting their Logie for Outstanding Drama Series last week.