Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Thursday
Nov292018

Pearls of Wisdoom

Pearls are one of my favourite precious gems, and unfortunately pearls are fabled to bring tears. They certainly have in my case. I once was horror-stricken when the large Broome pearl fell out of my engagement ring – it was found, but the engagement was broken off (the right decision, it transpired). And now a couple of weeks ago I was devastated when I arrived home one day and discovered the mabé pearl in a favourite ring was smashed off!

Somehow it’s worse to find it half-smashed than lost altogether. In the latter case I might be able to console myself a little that some lucky person was enjoying it. Now, all I can imagine is that the fragments of pearl shell were crushed underfoot by some oblivious passer-by. Ironically, this ring was a gift from the same man, so perhaps it was doomed after all, though it took more than a decade for the day of its reckoning to come.

On Moh’s scale of hardness, pearls rate a 2.5–4.5 out of ten; next time, give me pure carbon, the hardest substance known to man. It just doesn’t have the same ring, though, does it?

Photo: November 2018

Tuesday
Nov272018

An Absolute Blast!

Eeeek! It’s getting close to that time of year! Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the big Christmas costume party at my workplace. Every year there is a different theme, and every year everyone goes all out – I work at a theatre, so everyone is on their mettle, and the pressure is on.

This year the theme is the 1980s, inspired by our final play of the year which is set in the 80s. But I can’t reveal what I’m going as this year (no spoilers!) so instead I shall relive my day of glory as Barbarella, for which I won an award in 2013.

The theme was the 1960s (not to be confused with last year’s science-fiction theme when I went as the Queen of Naboo), and I quickly chose Barbarella for a character. It was more difficult to choose the costume, not because there were so many, but because they were so skimpy and NSFW!

The picture above was my inspiration, partly because I already owned a silver metal mesh top (of course I do), and I set about obtaining the other accoutrements, including a black mesh body-stocking (which made it difficult to go to the bathroom), skirt, boots, and wig, all bought on eBay, and last but not least, a laser-blaster. I made that myself from a giant toy water-gun. (My cousin, who I am with in the third photo of the slideshow) went as Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s classic film, The Birds.)

When you scroll down below, you will see my cousin and I pulling the obligatory faces (starting with some Blue Steel) for a photobooth strip – we did have an absolute blast!

Photos: December 2013

Saturday
Nov242018

Impressed!

A few years ago, my friend Rapunzel bought this vintage 60s suede coat at a vintage warehouse sale for a fairly modest sum. The clothing, I believe, was purchased unseen by the container-load from America. While all the other clothing at the sale seemed to have suffered no lasting damage, this coat looked like it had been drenched in the brink. It was so wrinkled, and strangely textured as though it was encrusted with salt.

My friend, however, never wore it, saying she had never got round to taking it to a drycleaner, and didn’t like wearing coats for commuting anyway, as she tended to overheat, and so she was reluctant to spend a large amount on professional cleaning. She donated it to me.

I was pleased to accept the coat, but it couldn’t be worn in the state it was. I forgot to photograph it in its original state, but I would describe the texture as resembling a piece of paper that had been screwed up into a little ball, then poorly smoothed out.

I would describe the texture as resembling a piece of paper that had been screwed up into a little ball …

I took the coat to my regular drycleaner and asked his advice. With very serious face he examined the coat and remarked that it did look like it had fallen into the ocean. That seemed unlikely, but perhaps it had been splashed at some point in its life. He did not think cleaning it would improve its appearance – the two apparent stains visible on the right side (near the collar and the middle button) were actually abrasions of the leather, so cleaning would have no effect on those. He suggested pressing it instead.

Ironing leather! I have talked before about the importance of ironing, but it never would have occurred to me that it was appropriate to press leather. For a modest sum of $15, I agreed to see if that improved the look of the coat. When I returned to pick the coat up, I was very impressed (pardon the pun) to see the improvement.

This suede, mink-trimmed coat transmogrified from a sozzled 60-year-old harridan into a gently-used dignified dame. Disfigurements became faint scars proudly marking the stately passage of time, and the coat was eminently wearable. Amongst so many coats I already own, I still managed to wear it a few times this past winter, an excellent result.

Photo: August 2018

Wednesday
Nov212018

Bonus Barrettes

I discovered yesterday I had forgotten to include this closeup photo of my vintage hair clips, so you could see them in all their glory. Look at all the detail in the moulds! The red clip has little carvings, and the leaves on the green sprig are quaintly all different to one another. The three of them together make such a lovely combination. Grow hair, grow!

Photo: Last week

Tuesday
Nov202018

Apple of My Eye

Anyone ever watched the slow disintegration and decay of an apple core? It slowly turns brown, and eventually withers up into a bit of detritus. That’s kinda what happened to my old iMac, finally. The other week I tried to post a story, and I couldn’t even access the writing pane (what a pain). And today I was eating a Pink Lady apple and looked down at it to find half a wormhole. True story; not a metaphor.

Anyway, fortunately I already had a new iMac sitting in a box on my loungeroom floor, waiting for me to get off my lazy ass and set it up. Circumstance forced me into action last week, and I’ve spent days downloading new software, transferring data from the old dinosaur, deleting monstrously ugly fonts (the worms in this Garden of Eden) and the like. And oh how I love my new iMac! It connects to the internet and does stuff.

It just so happens that I can combine this love of Apples with my love of hats – this is what I call some kind of serendipitous happenstance! – and give you in homage a velvet and satin 1940s doll hat featuring an APPLE. Yes indeed. (I just pulled that one out of my hat!)

It just so happens that I can combine this love of Apples with my love of hats …

Ahem. I spotted this darling topper on eBay a couple months ago and found it too irresistible not to pluck it out of cyberspace. This type of hat is called either a “doll” or “toy” hat, the main feature being that it is miniature. These little hats were a popular style in the 1940s, and ranged from simple to very decorative, made from many different materials and featuring all kinds of trimmings, with or without half or full face veils.

Toy hats were often worn on a fun, jaunty angle, particularly tilting forward over the forehead, and were attached usually with hatpins. This hat has two tiny combs inside, but I don’t have enough hair to attach them to, so I’m waiting for some wig clips to arrive in the mail and I will sew them inside the crown. And then, she’ll be apples!

Thus, the only logical conclusion we can arrive at is that there are both good apples, and bad apples!

Photo: November 2018

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