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Candy Cane Girl

When it comes to red and white, the first thing I think of is peppermint candy canes, so of course this is a combination perfect for Christmas. That’s what the song says, after all: just a hint of peppermint and every single thing begins to feel like Christmas (Point of Grace). And then of course there’s Mr Claus’ traditional outfit.

White is my favourite non-colour. Since there are only two, that’s not saying much, but I love white in combination with other colours, my favourites being blue, hunter green, as well as scarlet. (I actually also like black more when it is paired with white.) Nor does the ratio of white to red matter – you can wear a lot of white with small accents of red, or the reverse. It always looks striking.

I also have a particular liking for red embroidery on white. Many years ago, I saw a beautiful white scarf, thickly embroidered with red, in the National Gallery of Victoria’s shop. It was very expensive, so I reluctantly put it down, but to this day it remains one of those purchases I regret not having made. I’ve searched high and low, on and offline since, but never seen anything remotely like it.

On one such search on Etsy, I came across this white silk peasant blouse with red embroidery around the yoke and on the cuffs. It is vintage 40s, and quite delicate, so I don’t wear it often. It’s also tiny – I have quite little wrists, but I can’t do up those cuffs!

Many of these other clothes are vintage too. The white wool jumper (sweater) beaded and sequinned all over is 50s. It has adorable beaded pompoms dangling from the hem, although a couple are missing; this was another Etsy purchase that I snapped up in a hurry (having learnt my lesson). Also 1950s: two different rabbit fur bandeaus, one of them with pompoms (irresistible!), while the red sailor hat is 1940s.

The other clothes are contemporary pieces: notably, the red cable knit dress is by Anthropologie, the white skirt by Witchery and the glittery red heels by Wittner.

I haven’t yet decided what to wear on Christmas Day, but I have worn white and red before. Perhaps this year I could reverse the proportions? It’s a delicious possibility.

Photos: July 2013

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