5 minutes with Lillian Khallouf: A Fashion-Forward Sydney Guide
Known for her sophisticated, feminine fluid cuts and simple silhouettes, Lillian Khallouf’s beautifully chic bridalwear has gained cult-following status on the Sydney bridal scene. A firm fashion favourite, her eponymous label – which combines luxury bridal couture with gorgeously tailored Ready-to-Wear – has been featured in every major publication, from Vogue Australia to Harper’s Bazaar. One of Sydney’s go-to bridal designers, we were lucky enough to sit down with Lillian to talk about the inspiration behind her renowned fashion brand, her dreamy travel destinations and a few of her favourite Sydney hangouts.
How does the Lillian Khallouf story begin?
My parents are the source of inspiration for my brand. I used their clothing manufacturing factory as my playground to collect fabric off cuts, which I then used to make outfits for my Barbie dolls.
How long have you been a Sydney local?
I was born in Sydney but have also lived in Syria and Lebanon, so between the moves back and forth, home in Sydney was between Marrickville and Bankstown.
"The brand is unique, sophisticated and feminine."
Do you have a favourite piece?
My favourite piece would have to be a sheer couture gown that was worn by Australian beauty icon Jennifer Hawkins. It came as such a surprise as she was featured wearing it in an exclusive fashion editorial in Instyle magazine only months after I had launched my first Lk collection.
What’s the influence behind your collections?
My heritage has been a huge influence on my career, which has transcended into my collections and the relationships I've forged with my clients. Having lived abroad from a young age, it was a challenge to fit in so, one thing I excelled in was the international language of fashion. I loved observing people from different cities; the way they dressed, walked and talked. Different things were considered cool from place to place.
It taught me how to mix and incorporate different ideas and looks. I also developed the ability to communicate ideas with women of all ages, sizes and styles. I wasn’t fixated on one look, it was all about the woman I was working with at the time. So, when I design my collection, I try and think of all the women that wear my pieces and incorporate them to create the Lk woman.
Your favourite Sydney hangouts
Adora chocolate in Earlwood. I’ve had their boutique down the road for 4 years, and ever since I’ve been hooked on their coffee; each brew comes with a handmade chocolate treat.
Jakey Boy Café on Norton Street, in Leichhardt. It’s convenient as it’s around the corner from where I work and train every morning.
In Marrickville, it's Labld.It has healthy and filling options and the coffee is fab, too.
In Bondi. Great on a Sunday and the beach views are a bonus.
Lunch on the go?
Fat Fish in Annandale. Delicious and have a great selection of fresh salads to go.
Toko in Surry Hills. Japanese is my favourite cuisine, and Toko is my go-to.
Oscillate Wildly in Newtown. It’s modern French cuisine and degustation only. It was such a delicious experience. I’m looking forward to taking a special someone there soon.
Local date night?
The Botanical in the Highfield Caringbah, on Norton Street, Leichhardt. Perfect for when I have a late night at work or catching up with friends after work.
Hemmesphere, Sydney. They have the best cocktail list; the Lotus Blossom is my one of my favourites. We usually book before we head out for a dance.
Ashin sushi train in Campsie. Great on the way home for a quick bite.
The Bayrun, Drummoyne. Its close to work and I enjoy the view; it sets my mood for the day.
Outdoor places to work out?
The beach. Especially in summer. I love to swim or go for long walks on the sand.
Favourite event space?
Icebergs, Bondi beach. I had my 30th birthday there, it was perfect.
Where do you go to …
Get away from it all?
The beach, or anywhere where there’s a water view. Earlier this year I escaped to Manly for a weekend and stayed on my own in an Airbnb – it was the best!
Hang out with the girls?
Nowadays, my home is my favourite girls’ hangout. Nothing beats a cheese and wine night at the Khallouf’s residence.
Have a romantic date night?
An intimate fine dinning restaurant, we went to Icebergs on a rainy Sunday night. I was really special.
Impress a client/visitor/date?
Bar Machiavelli, Rush Cutters Bay. Beautiful space with equally beautiful food.
I don’t have time to go anywhere, so my tanning girl and makeup artist always come to me. I get my lashes done in Marrickville.
Get your hair done?
I wear my hair natural all the time. But I owe my colour and treatments to my favourite colourist Sarah at Alchemy of Hair, Macquarie shopping centre.
Get your nails done?
USA nails on Norton street Leichhardt. It’s conveniently around the corner from my work.
Laser Clinic Australia for skin treatments, Bondi Junction.
Favourite staycation in Sydney?
Jonahs, Palm Beach. Great drive away from all the noise, and the stay and food sets the scene for a luxurious short getaway.
Your go-to holiday destination?
Mykonos, Greece. I’ve been twice and both times I stayed in Mykonos town. I love the energy, food and the beach.
Ultimate travel destination?
France, Morocco and Japan.
Next Australian travel destination?
Next overseas travel destination?
Japan during cherry blossom season.