Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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The Original Candy-Striper

When I was a little girl, I loved the English children’s storybooks about Milly-Molly-Mandy. They were written and illustrated by Joyce Lankester Brisley, and were set in about 1920. The stories are set in a quaint English village, and follow the simple, every-day adventures of the title character, who lives in ‘the nice white cottage with the thatched roof’. Her full name is Millicent Margaret Amanda, which is shortened for ease. (According to my Oxford Dictionary of First Names, Molly was actually an alteration from Mally, a pet form of Mary.)

The original illustrations were darling, as was Milly-Molly-Mandy’s seven year old style. She wears a simple pink-and-white striped dress, a straw boater, white socks and black Mary-Janes – a children’s unisex classic shoe that in the Roaring Twenties transmogrified into adult women’s shoes and have never gone out of style since. (Check out this gorgeous children’s outfit at Sewpony, made by a modern mum who lives in country Victoria.)

I wonder if here is the genesis of my long love of the short bob, Mary-Janes and striped clothing? Inspired by one of my childhood heroines, I’ve styled an outfit for the grown-up Milly-Molly-Mandy, who now of course insists on being called by her proper name. She’s grown her hair out, but she still loves pink and white stripes.


Fashion Notes

The short-sleeved seersucker blouse is from Australian high-street store Witchery, the pleated skirt is by Moschino, the punctured brogue-style, patent T-bar heels by Scooter, and the striped elastic belt is, I think, vintage 80s. I can’t believe I forgot to include the boater however! All of these items I bought second hand.

Photo: December 2016

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