Australian-born designer Shirley Straface recalls spending her childhood surrounded by stunning landscapes in rural Australia. She lived and became immersed in the contemporary lifestyles of Australian cities, including Perth and Sydney, before relocating to the U.S. and making her home in Boston, a city of dramatic history and culture.
Shirley worked for more than fifteen years in large multi-national companies as a marketer of high technology products. She changed career to pursue her passion in fashion, where she has melded both city and rural influences throughout her designs.
The hallmarks of Shirley's style are quality of construction, simplicity and fit. Her designs are predominantly a black and white base, as she believes these basic colors best compliment the female form through bold contrast, sophistication and elegance. She often extends her designs from this base by adding color, texture, embellishment and unique detail. Whether a black pantsuit with white grosgrain ribbon trim, tailored charcoal wool coat with silver silk lining or a wool crepe dress paired with rubber trim, Shirley's designs prioritize simplicity and style. Sophistication emanates from what is barely noticeable; such as labor intensive finishes of hand painted flower appliqués, intricate patchwork, or hand made leather belts and clutches.
By drawing from a lifetime of references, Shirley enjoys mixing the classic against the contemporary, and is especially inspired by city and landscape influences.