Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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New Bags: Approved!

Two recent-ish vintage finds have been added to my wardrobe: a 1960s snakeskin square-framed bag with a kiss clasp for winter, and a white cane clutch for summer.

The snakeskin bag is by Gold Crest, an old Australian brand about which I can discover nothing. It has quite a few pockets and partitions on the inside, so it is great for organising contents. The white bag has a leather clasp, and is by Laura Ashley – possibly vintage 80s or later.

‘an afternoon bag to wear with city ensembles and slightly dressy outfits’

In A Guide to Elegance (1964), written by French style guru Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, decrees that alligator is only for sports or travel ensembles – I’m not sure what she would think of snakeskin. However, of the bags she approves, the snakeskin bag would certainly fit under the heading of ‘an afternoon bag to wear with city ensembles and slightly dressy outfits’. Renowned Hollywood costumier, Edith Head, says one type of at least three bags should be ‘the ladylike leather bag to wear with suits and tailored dresses’. [From How to Dress For Success by Edith Head and Joe Hyams, 1967]

Dariaux frowns heavily on white accessories, and deems them suitable only for summer in a tropical city; however beige basket-weave for summer is perfectly acceptable: ‘a beige straw handbag, which can be of a rather coarse weave if you spend your summers in the country, or of a finer texture, such as Panama, if you stay in town. … [It] is an indispensable accessory to summery cotton and linen dresses.’

I am going to give myself a Pass.

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