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WA designer the talk of Tinseltown
The West Australian

As a fashion designer, Jaime Lee Major understands better than most the power a great dress can wield.

But combine that dress with a Hollywood awards ceremony, a ubiquitous indie-pop song and a TV viewing audience of 40 million and that dress can be life-changing.

The Perth designer is still buzzing from a "surreal" week in Los Angeles that saw New Zealand pop star Kimbra, dressed in one of Major's creations, accept two Grammy awards alongside Australia's Gotye for the song Somebody That I Used to Know.

The silk tulle gown, embellished with more than 2kg of freshwater pearls, caught the attention of powerful celebrity stylists and was featured on the front page of the New York Times after Gotye's triple Grammys win.

Major is now making the most of the exposure, fielding offers from major brands and lining up meetings with Hollywood fashion heavyweights.

"One brand offered to fly me from LA to Sydney for a dinner . . . how crazy is that," she told _The Weekend West _ from LA this week.

"To say it's surreal would be an understatement, I don't know where to begin. I've been approached by a number of celebrity stylists, but I only brought three dresses (to LA), so I'm more interested in meeting people and making new contacts."

Those contacts include fashion publicist and TV personality Kelly Cutrone, who manages the influential People's Revolution and with whom Major has been tweeting.

"She's in LA filming America's Next Top Model, I'll guess I'll have to wait and see if our schedules are compatible," Major said. "But nonetheless it's exciting to be on her radar."

She is also on the radar of Hollywood fashion critics such as Kelly Osbourne, who said the dress was one of her favourites, and Joan Rivers, who called it a "Jaime Lee Major Mistake".

Rivers, known for her acid tongue, said Kimbra's dress was the most "tragic thing to happen to the Grammys since they found Whitney Houston in the bathtub".

But Major laughed it off, declaring "sparkles can't win them all".

The Grammys experience wasn't complete without the legendary afterparties, which Major said were like being in a Hollywood movie.

"Adrian Grenier from Entourage smiled at me at one of the afterparties, and there were buckets of Cristal (champagne) everywhere we went," she said.

The Central Institute of Technology graduate exploded on to Perth's fashion scene with a sensational show featuring pink latex bodysuits at the Perth Fashion Festival in 2010.

But it is the collaboration with Kimbra that has given her the greatest exposure. It began in 2011 when the pint-size star fell in love with one of Major's dresses during a fashion shoot and asked to borrow it for her Parklife tour. She then wore a custom-made gown covered in Swarovski crystals for her first ARIA awards, an experience Major said she would never forget.

"We forged such an incredible bond the night she won her first ARIA," she said.

She also acknowledged Gotye for penning the award-winning tune, telling him on Twitter this week "you've changed my life, man".

Major, who is just 25, is now working on her next collection while looking for funding to stage a show during Couture Fashion Week in Paris in July.

In the meantime, Major plans to meet up with fellow Perth success story, band San Cisco, who are on tour in LA, before she returns to Perth next month.