How to dress like Nina Proudman

This week I was lucky enough to get 15 minutes on the phone with the two creative people behind the costuming on Offspring.

I spoke to Michael Chisholm and Zed Dragojlovich last year (you can catch up here) but I was keen to catch up with them again this year with some burning questions about Nina’s wardrobe for Offspring’s fifth season, plus also some questions about Baby Zoe, Zara, Geraldine and Billie’s style.

Here’s what I discovered.

15 things you need to know about the Offspring wardrobe

15 things you need to know about the Offspring wardrobe

1. Nina‘s look for Season 5 has been purposefully simplified, taking into account Nina’s new status as a mum.

2. The costume designers like to keep things fresh and throw in a Nina look that’s a little bit different every three to four outfits. Hence the printed pants here.

3. The kidswear label Oishi-M approached Michael and Zed a few years ago about possibly being involved in the show. That approach paid off because Baby Zoe has been seen in an extensive collection of its designs throughout this season. “The label is perfect for a mini Nina with an eclectic match of prints and patterns,” the costume designers said.

4. Many labels now approach Michael and Zed about inclusion in the show thinking they have a Nina look but don’t. That look is a precise one that the pair has created. “We are always aiming to make Nina – Asher – look as good as possible.”

5. Some of the things we’ll see Nina wearing in this season have not even made it in store as yet. One of those pieces is a silk maxi dress by Lola Australia that is due in store as part of the label’s spring-summer 2014-15 collection. “We originally saw one of their dresses in a store and contacted them. Out of six of their samples, we worked with them to create a piece that is now called the Nina dress.”

6. Nina’s wearing of the Noosa Amsterdam shopper bag in this series came about after they first saw it in a boutique in Mt Eliza, Victoria. Michael and Zed contacted the Australian distributors and it’s quickly become the must-have handbag around and apparently now a three- month wait for more to arrive in Australia.

7. The grey shoulder bag featured in this episode was by Elk Accessories.

8. Nina’s chocolate brown and grey knee-high boots which feature this season were bought overseas.

9. Tigerlily has featured a lot this season because the collection contained plenty of Nina’s style of pieces. “We’ve always liked Tigerlily but it was a really interesting range they did this year. We were looking for dresses and sometimes it’s hard for us to find exactly the type of dress if we haven’t made it. Tigerlily nearly won hands down on all the long dresses and skirts. I think there’s something quintessentially relaxed, vivid (about the designs) and the weights of the fabric are amazing. I think they drape very well and I think you can see that on screen.”

10. If we saw Nina’s winter wardrobe, Zed and Michael think we’d see a lot of cashmere. “She loves cashmere, that we know, and she’d have a fantastic coat. Vintage Scanlan and Theodore would be where she’d head too. They offer really good colours and sublime finishings.”

11. They try and support Australian-made and Australian-designed labels as much as possible. “We used a bit of Cue on Billie and we include a lot of Bassike for wearing in home/bedroom pieces and they’re made from organic cotton.”

12. Both Nina and Zara have a boho style but there is a natural separation in the types of boho they wear. Nina is the more romantic bohemian; Zara wears stronger tribal and geometric prints with her longer, dark hair. “There’s a slight surfer influence … we thought she could definitely be a Byron Bay girl.”

13. Zara wears a lot of Free People and a bit of Tigerlily. Free People wasn’t available in Australia when we first started buying it overseas, now it is (you can shop via ASOS here).

14. Geraldine‘s look is one of North Fitzroy (Melbourne) intelligentsia. “She’s dressed in Lee Mathews, a lot of linens … sort of a Megan Park look, beaded silk and linen. A lot are overseas samples we bought and quite a lot are really good pieces from recycled shops – a lot of expensive pieces. Even though it probably doesn’t look it, they actually are.”

15. Billie: “She was rock ‘n’ roll, then she became corporate and then it became corporate rock ‘n’ roll. The Barbara Bui jacket with the studs on it was probably the perfect marry of the two – a couture piece with studs all over it.”  That jacket was bought at Myer at full price and Michael had to go to the producer to get that one cleared it cost that much. “We really wanted Billie to have something really special for those scenes.”

It’s a collaborative affair when you’re making shows like ours. There are not many shows like Offspring that come along where we can have a creative influence and sometimes have an effect on other businesses in a positive way. - Michael Chisolm and Zed Dragojlovich

Nina Proudman style

Nina’s outfit last night again had the Tigerlily label front and centre. The skirt is in the same fabric as the dress that Nina wore back in episode two. She teamed it with a cross-back, breastfeeding top/bra and a crochet knit top.

Billie’s amazing cropped butter leather jacket was custom made for the show. I’d love to know where her top is from. Anyone got any leads?

How to dress like Nina Proudman | S5 Episode 9

A little Nina Proudman shopping inspiration for you …

How to dress like Nina Proudman | Outfit inspiration

1. Betty Basics swing tank $19.95 @ Birdsnest  | 2. Fate knit $44.95 (on sale) @ Birdsnest | 3. Bec Stern earrings $35 @ Birdsnest | 4. Maria Rossi boots $299.95 | 5. Eb & Ive bag $149.95 @ Birdsnest | 6. Bec Stern necklace $55 | 7. Tigerlily maxi skirt $149.95

The de-brief (spoiler alert)

Just when we thought we wouldn’t need to further invest in Kleenex shares, the script writers roll out a tragic storyline involving a mum who dies while giving birth, leaving a bereft father holding his newborn daughter and Nina spun right back into her personal grief.

Too much.

Meanwhile Thomas is at Nina’s house cooking goulash and being probed by Billie. Disappointingly Billie didn’t ask the big question: where is his baby’s mum?

Billie has to ponder the question of parenting kids very early on in the Lawrence relationship and then is left processing feelings after getting an email from Mick, who’s coming back to Melbourne for a visit.

The coming back thing is a trend. Cherie was back this week, stirring up Clegg’s emotions and loins. Hope she stays around. Love Deborah Mailman.

Offspring Cherie Butterfield (Deborah Mailman)

Leo continues to prove to be the voice of reason, support and concern. Yes, he’s still my pick. I refuse to believe he’s been friend-zoned forever.

Zara is apparently obsessing over Alfie’s health stats … but is she? I hope, as Phillip questioned, that she IS applying to study medicine.

My favourite line came from Billie (to Lawrence): “You’re so chiselled. It’s like you’ve been carved out of some hot man stone.”

Over to you. Thoughts on the 15 wardrobe facts I’ve unearthed from Michael and Zed? Last night’s storyline? 

Photo credit: all images from the show are courtesy of Channel Ten

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  • Corinne McFarland

    I would love to know more about Cherie’s clothes. Particularly the white & blue top she wears in the credit roll.

  • Gigi

    Does anyone know the clothing brands Cherie Butterfield wears; as the clothing suits her figure and looks fantastic.

  • Kylie

    I was wondering why haven’t we heard about Thomas partner/wife Rocco’s mum. I think he will end it with Nina as to everyone having keys to her apartment or tell her to change her keys. My parents have keys to my house, I find it okay, Not many people would agree though. I love discovering new designers that are Australian and with offspring I have gained fashion sense with my wardrobe before Offspring i had no fashion sense I dressed like a dag but now everyone thinks I am stylish.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I have been wondering about that from day 1 – that would have been my first question if I were Nina! Glad that the show has helped you find your style!

  • Ariel Haddington

    Hi I would like to say I have just came across your blog and love your Nina posts wished I found it earlier. I have a question is the mimci wallet featured in the offspring on ten competition the same wallet she uses in series 5 as previous season was a nancybird brand. I am a bit confused as to whether the nina’s product are Ninas.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      She used to have a Nancybird Ariel and has got a new one this season.

      • Ariel Haddington

        Thanks for the reply, I would never have thought Nina would buy mimico. I thought Mimico was more billies style.

  • Natalie

    My husband parents live a couple of houses down from the proudmans home. I went to pick up my son from his grandparents place and spotted Asher and Matt “Nina and patrick” filming a scene. I think it was season 4. I rang my hubby and told him that I love I love my in laws. LOL

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      LOL – love that story Natalie!

  • Victoria

    Definitely Thomas fan.Leo a bit meh.

  • Louise

    That was also my favourite line. I was trying to remember it for your post today but it turns out that I didn’t have to!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Like minds Louise!

  • Dee

    Nikki, I didn’t see the grey bag in eth episode, where was it? Thanks :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      She had it at home, on the bench, looking for keys and then out slung over shoulder.

  • Laura

    I’m 100% Team Leo as well! The fact that he had a slightly dysfunctional encounter with Nina just makes him better suited to the Proudman family than Thomas, in my opinion.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I wholeheartedly agree Laura!

  • http://shewhorambles.com Reannon @shewhorambles

    The show needs to stop with the sads, its too much & I can’t take it!

    Great info too Nikki x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know!! And given that there are four eps left what are they going to throw at us?!!

  • Nicole Paul

    My favourite line of the night too…’hot man stone’!!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Absolutely!

  • LauraG

    Just watched recorded Offspring now and can I just say I laughed out loud at the opening breastfeeding scene…I am a BFing mother of 6 month old twins and that exact scene has happened to me more than a few times now :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Ouch Laura!!

  • Lara Tierney

    I absolutely love Nina’s style and how it has evolved to this season. I always wonder if Asher Keddie likes the pieces she wears and if her style is similar or totally different. Fantastic article, thanks and love you blog xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      From what I’ve been told Lara, Asher always has a final say in what Nina wears in conjunction with Michael and Zed. Thanks for reading!

  • mhclm

    Hey Nikki, nice article. I always love the clothes on every show! Adult Zoe looked gorgeous and I loved her cardi, shame it already sold out. Which prompts my question: I received my SY email at 2.30pm but then read a comment posted 7 hours ago? Do you send the emails in batches? Just wondering :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The email that went out at 2.30pm is my weekly email – and includes all that I’ve published on the blog each week and a little bit more. There is a daily one you can subscribe to (see the box above) and that sends out each weekday morning at 7am – and that just includes that day’s blog post. I publish here on the blog each week day at 5am so you can always just log on and check too.

      • mhclm

        Thanks Nikki, I subscribed to the RSS feed now, I must never have noticed it! I’m looking forward to it :)

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          Awesome!

  • Annie

    Hello again Nikki. What an episode last night. I loved it all. I was in tears through the birth and death scene. My hubby even had his mouth open while watching and couldn’t believe they’d have such a heartbreaking storyline. On to the Tigerlily skirt. My husband bought me the same one for $100 on sale from $170 mid to late last year. I really love it but it is completely see through. So much so that I feel a little self conscious at school pick up. I really love it though so I lined it. Now it’s not quite the same and I make a swishing sound when I walk. Not sure what is more irritating the swish or everyone seeing my underwear. I wondered if Kerry had the same proble?. Any advice? I’m thinking of re-lining it in a different fabric?

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s interesting Annie … what about re-lining in a viscose? Or wearing a slip skirt underneath.

      • Annie

        Thanks Nikki. Might try the slip option first.

        • Tiffany

          Buy a triumph nude shaping slip. I have the skirt to and it works well! Well done on your hubby grabbing skirt on sale!! Nice work!!

          • Annie

            Thanks so much Tiffany! I am going shopping to get one of those slips tomorrow and ditch the lining I think. Have a great day!

  • Anne

    I don’t watch Offspring but I do enjoy your posts each Thursday about Nina’s style (even though it would never suit me). I’m more Geraldine style in your list. I just looked at the Lee Mathews store, love love love :) but there’s nothing there in my size :( Do you know if there’s another designer similar to that who makes slightly bigger sizes?

  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia from Sonia Styling

    Such an awesome interview, thanks Nikki! Last night was full on for me – lots of tears! Confession: these last couple of episodes have me feeling uneasy for some reason – like I’m not sure about how the characters are evolving and where the show is going to go (I know that’s kinda the point) – I don’t know how to explain it…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know – it always gets like this this close to a series end. Scary the rollercoaster we’ll be on in coming weeks!

  • Juleso

    Did anyone else notice the wooden letters on the stairs in Nina’s house (they were behind Billie when she was talking on the phone). They spell out ‘LUCY’ – the actual homeowner’s daughter’s name. I’m surprised the set designers didn’t move them!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Very interesting and observant Jules!

      • Sally

        I noticed this too and was wondering who ‘Lucy” was? Thanks Juleso!

  • cyndichan3

    *Verily

  • cyndichan3

    Loved this episode. I bought a Verilily crochet top similar to Nina’s last night which I will look at with even more respect now!
    Does anyone know where grown up Zoe’s cardi is/was from?

  • Ninaesque

    I LOVE this show and all things Nina and Billie and so many of the other characters are evolving in such a stylish way, BUT… and some wont agree with me on this – recent ‘escapades’ by the owner of Tigerlily is leaving me a bit cold on the brand from an ethical perspective…

    • cyndichan3

      Jodhi Meares sold Tigerlily to Billabong about 10 years ago. So it’s OK to still love it and support a great Australian brand

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, as Cyndi said below – she sold in 2007- and now has a business called The Upside – upmarket yoga wear.

  • mia

    The only show i watch is offspring cannot be the last season. I heard asher say many more seasons to come at the logies this year.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Let’s hope so!

  • mia

    Which elk accessories bag has nina used. I received a grey elk bag for christmas and would like to know if it is the same.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I don’t know the exact style name Mia sorry.

  • Kim Ganfield

    Much has been discussed on other blogs that this is the last season of offspring….plots and character being wrapped up…..they have covered a lot of issues and it runs the risk of becoming boring if it goes on too long. It would be a strange episode if Tigerlily was not featured….just wish they were not quite so expensive. I think Thomas is much criticised and unfairly…..he is an escape from hospital business and sadness whereas Leo is always involved in it and is great in the friend zone. Nina needs a friend to discuss work with but needs an escape from it all….I think so anyway. On the matter of maternal death, it is not common from my experience but happens more than most would imagine with medical advancement and monitoring mostly from post partum bleeding and stroke/aneurysm. Will be a sad day when offspring ends :(

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I like your idea about the appeal of Thomas Kim. Yes, it will be a sad day when it ends. Re Tigerlily, do look out at DFO outlets (Lisa below saw a jacket at a Sydney one), also sites like SurfStitch do have sale items of Tigerlily.

  • countrymum

    Did someone say 4 episodes to go!? I really hope there’s another season. I’ll miss the show and your blogs! I love Nina’s style and I was a bit disappointed she only wore the one outfit last night! I did recognise the skirt material from previous show. Well it looks like she’s getting it on with Tom, but maybe Leo before season’s end? Billie is such a classic – she comes up with some funny lines. How lucky is she hooking up with that hottie Lawrence? and he adores her. Will be interesting to see what will happen with Mick now. Next week looks so funny. The whole family is made up with such quirky and different characters. Thanks Nikki for the opportunity for us to talk about it with others that love it too!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      As far as I know there are 13 episodes in this series – I hope there is another season! Thanks so much for reading!!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Thank you Nikki this interview with the costume designers of the show is really interesting,I think Nina would love cashmere too ,who doesn’t it is beautiful!I saw a Tigerlily jacket yesterday at DFO but it was too big half price and a lovely cream draped jacket with a border pattern.
    I am still on team Leo too,I am not sure about this Thomas bloke he seems to good to be true,something fishy there I think.
    I know what you mean about the tissues it was a sad episode,but I did enjoy the line from Billie,Lawrence is very chiseled and wears the most amazing jumpers ,they look like cashmere??Great post Nikki thank you X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh a shame about that jacket Lisa but not worth buying if too big! x

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        No Nikki,I have learnt not to buy if I won’t/can’t wear it from you X

    • Anna

      Lawrence’s sweaters are mostly cotton.

  • JennyB

    When has the mother dressed in Lee Mathews & Megan Park? Thanks,

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hi Jenny as my response below I don’t have exact times/occasions just what they were able to tell me in 15 minutes. They also finished on the show six months ago so are working on other things so they wouldn’t have an exact memory per episode either. These labels are meant to help with a clue to how they create the styles if you’re wanting inspiration yourself. Most of Geraldine’s is from recycled stores – originally expensive labels – but not available now.

  • JennyB

    When has alot of bassike been worn? Free People?

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Pyjama tops – things Nina has worn at home. They said that many of Zara’s pieces were Free People – I don’t have exact matches or episodes – it’s just a clue to her style.

  • http://www.styleonv.com StyleOnV

    Love the scoop Nikki. I have not watched this episode as yet. Hoping to do sometime today. V x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Look away and then come back x

  • Jojo

    I didn’t like her kissing Thomas. I was turning away saying no no no! That’s the couch she kissed Patrick on. Silly I know but Leo is truelly the one. Loved how he asked gently about what Patrick was like. He’s definitely got Nina’s back

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Leo is incredibly thoughtful – I agree!

  • Hayley atkinson

    I LOVE Nina and I LOVE her style!
    Love your Thursday posts too! :)
    Last night was so sad :(
    Next week looks like it will be funny though!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much Hayley. I want a bit of laughter next week!!

  • Wendy

    Great as per usual last night. I loved all outfits but did think she looked a bit too relaxed in the blue top with the halter neck. Leo is def the one, though Tom may be fun for a while. Next weeks Outlaws preview makes for a bit of Thomas spotting and looks like another classic episode! cheers Wendy

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Her style is always relaxed I think Wendy – except when out for the night. I’m looking forward to the Outlaws episode!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Her style is always relaxed I think Wendy – except when out for the night. I’m looking forward to the Outlaws episode!!

  • Kerry Stewart-Haynes

    Woo hoo .. I have that Tigerlily skirt (#7) .. bought it a few months ago and wear it EVERYWHERE. So comfortable and versatile x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It looks super comfortable Kerry!

    • Fiona

      Do you dry clean it? I heard today that it’s dry clean only..

      • Kerry Stewart-Haynes

        Hi Fiona .. label says ‘cold gentle hand wash’ so I just followed that instruction and then to dry on the line. Dries quickly. I avoid clothes that are dry clean only :-)

  • angie

    I was disappointed in Nina’s top last night- I just don’t think any professional woman would wear such a see-through outfit to this type of work place. Thanks for such an informative post Nikki- I visited the Tigerlily store in Byron Bay recently- would not have looked twice but had read about the label on your blog, and drooled over some gorgeous pieces.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s a particularly good store the label too Angie. Re the top, she did have a full cami underneath. Hospital professional seems to differ from office professional too I think.

  • Karen O’Keeffe

    Don’t know where Billie’s top is from…but I do have a Lee Matthews dress in the exact same pattern, and looks like the same fabric too? Hope this helps? I have had the dress for years!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think you’ve nailed it then Karen – is most probably Lee Mathews and may be vintage.

      • Karen O’Keeffe

        Awwww! Thanks Nikki ;)

        • JennyB

          Confused. Is it Lee M? or do we simply think it is?

        • JennyB

          Confused. Is it Lee M? or do we simply think it is?

          • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

            We think it is – mostly labels like this would buy the fabric as an exclusive print run – it wouldn’t be available now.

  • Natalie Kennedy

    I’m getting the feeling that with the return of cherie and darcy were tying up loose ends for the final ep. Is it approved for another season or is everyone else thinking this could be it too? :(

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I haven’t been told anything – I do know we’ve only got 4 episodes left of this season.

  • cilosophy.blogspot.com

    Thankfully, maternal sudden death is rare! I was very worried that a whole bunch of preggy women watching the show will have freaked out. That cardiac arrest scene was a rare offspring fail, for me (being a medical doc).
    But the rest of the show was spot on. Asher is magnificent. Love Nina’s new found strength and confidence

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’m glad it’s rare. Unfortunately I know someone who this happened to.

  • http://www.styleandshenanigans.com/ Vanessa

    Wow – what a great scoop Nikki. I saw some Tigerlily pieces at my local David Jones yesterday. The weight of the fabric does make for perfect draping for sure.

    Lots of tears from me last night. Sobbing in fact. It brought back Sybil’s death from Downton! Martin Clegg’s quirkiness and tenderness won the day for me and I loved the work drinks convo about Patrick. That was such a natural convo and I loved that none of the main players were in that scene but it was an important scene all the same. Love your work. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes it was interesting the comment about the draping – it made so much sense when they said it -Tigerlily does achieve that.

      You’re so right about that scene at the Tacoria – not the main characters but one that cemented those characters’ importance in the plot.

  • merliyn

    give a busy girl a job and she will do it well … that’s you nikki!
    good post and interesting insight into the creative team’s work.
    billie cracks me up and that was my favourite line too needed that light relief! billie has the questioner archetype!
    tissues for me … does that happen often in childbirth these days? pondering!
    there’s not huge chemistry between nina and Thomas even though he’s nice … leo gets my vote! I’ve still got Patrick etched into my visuals!!!… not hard! … <3 cheers m:)X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Merilyn! I don’t have stats re women dying in childbirth but I know of at least one case – a friend of a very good friend of mine lost his wife the same way – aneurism – so incredibly sad.