Fashion doyen Leona Edmiston is the Australian Queen of the Frock. The celebrated designer, known for flattering feminine garments in rich fabrics (as well as her signature up-do), first came into public consciousness in the 1980s. Then followed her eponymous label and boutique stores across Australia. When not in Sydney designing in her Alexandria headquarters, Leona and husband and business partner Jeremy Ducker spend their free time in the Highlands at their beautiful rural home with twin daughters Dusty and Dylan.
My name is Leona Edmiston.
My life in five words is… Busy. Filled with everything I love!
I spend my time between Sydney and the Southern Highlands because… It’s such an escape from the craziness of Sydney to come to those luxuries of time and space.
I have been coming to the Highlands for… More than 20 years.
Our property here holds a special place in my heart because… We have put so much love and effort into it over the years and created a beautiful environment.
My favourite things to do in the Southern Highlands are… Going to the Bronte Tram and Dirty Janes, hunting for treasure.
Dusty and Dylan’s favourite thing to do here is… Going to Farm Club Australia at Werai to pet the animals. It has great atmosphere and yummy food too.
Followers on my Instagram page see images of… Lifestyle, inspiration and fabulous frocks!
When it comes to fashion, this is one truth I know… Fashion is fleeting but style remains.
You will never see me at the office without… Great accessories. I’ve always loved the extras that elevate an outfit.
My life philosophy is… Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.
My business philosophy is… Run your own race but be adaptable to market changes.
My all time style icons are… Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin. Polar opposites but both exemplary in their own way.
The most loved item of clothing in my wardrobe is… A vintage Leonard dress from the sixties. I wore it to my wedding party.
Every woman’s wardrobe should consist of… Frocks. They make dressing so easy.
The one piece of advice I give women when it comes to buying a dress is… Confidence is the best accessory, so if it feels great, buy it!
The most precious piece of life advice I have ever received was… Honey is more powerful than vinegar.
The qualities I possess that have helped make me a top fashion designer are…Resilience, tenacity and a passion for what I do, plus the ability to maintain a constant element of excitement.
When in the Highlands I always take visitors to… The Burrawang Village Pub, Bendooley Estate and Mount Ashby, but there are so many other great places too.
My special place in the Highlands is… Our home. It’s a constant source of delight.
I never leave the Highlands without… Bags of our own home grown fruit and veg.
The most precious things in my life are… My family.
The lessons I hope my children learn from me include… be kind, respectful and accepting of others.
If I hadn’t spent a lifetime designing and creating beautiful fashion, I might have… Been involved in interiors in some way, which I love.
The most surprising thing motherhood has taught me is… How busy it is!!! And that sometimes near enough is good enough.