Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in beauty (24)


Same, Same, But Shorter

I had my hair cut again last Wednesday. I decided I needed the chop a day or two previous, rang my salon, Lady Marmalade, and fortuitously my stylist had a cancellation the next day. Hurrah!

I knew I needed it cut off SHORT, but not quite as short as the pixie last year. I wanted a super-short fringe and for a while looked up pictures of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (I’ve always been partial to her do in that film). But it turned out it was not quite as short as I imagined, not even shorter than it currently was.

One of the pictures my stylist Alex used as reference for my haircutThen I remembered a fashion editorial from a few years ago that I knew I had put in one of my tearsheet scrapbooks – but where was it? I knew the photos were taken by Ellen von Unworth … I scrambled for half an hour or more and finally found the pages.

Another of the pictures – the back is exactly like this, pretty muchOf course shortly after I arrived for my appointment, my stylist, Alex, asked me if I had brought pictures. “Of course I have!” I told him. “I know how you love pictures.” He approved them, and after a consultation, started chopping away.

And voilà! Just like the pictures, only shorter! (You can’t see the back yet, but you will – I did lots of certified fresh photoshoots today.)

Photo: Last Wednesday


Je ne sais quoi

The Blue Hat, published in Femina, 1949Last year I visited the Christian Dior exhibition in Melbourne, which was quite spectacular. It was interesting comparing the styles of each of the designers who have headed the House of Dior.

They all like to say that while they have their own signature style, they wish to honour the spirit of the house, but I’m not sure if any of them really are completely successful in that respect. Of course fashion must move with the times, but Monsieur Christian Dior simply had that je ne sais quoi that is really epitomised in the illustrations of that other master, René Gruau, in these postcards bought in the exhibition shop.

Absolute perfection – that’s what it is.

Drawing for perfume advertising image, 1963


Extra Sugar

A few years ago, my occasional collaborator Sapphire and I transformed ourselves into anime girls to create a little humorous cartoon sequence. It was based on the premise that these typically skimpily-clad girls were drawn by male artists, and were TIRED OF IT. They’d had jack of glorified scanties and wanted to wear designer clothes. And they were prepared to fight for them!

Long-time readers of SNAP will not wonder where our costumes came from: out of my closet, which encompasses a multitude of wigs, accessories and sundry oddments as well as a vast assortment of vintage and contemporary clothes – almost anything you could imagine. A 1950s opera cloak? Tick! An 1850s velvet skating coat? Tick! A Victorian woman’s evening top hat? Edwardian underclothes? A pair of over-the-knee leather boots? A long, curly-haired pink wig? Tick, tick, tick! (Those who know my tiny apartment often exclaim, “Where do you keep it all?!”)

Once we’d worked out what our costumes were going to be, the really fun part was putting on our makeup. Sapphire had cleverly done her research and found some YouTube tutorials on transforming our boring human eyes into enormous anime eyes. I supplied an enormous quantity of makeup for the purpose (Sapphire enquiring, “Do you have white eyeliner?” “Yes!” “Liquid eyeliner?” “Yes!” “False eyelashes?” “Yes! I have everything!”). The only thing Sapphire had to bring was a pair of shoes, since she’s a size smaller than me.

Every time I put on false eyelashes for a special event – these ones are black feathers – I think they are such fun that I should wear them every day. Whenever I do wear them for several hours, I am so happy to rip them off as soon as I come home however. Everyone knows the pleasure of wriggling toes upon removing painful heels, but there is the same bliss in removing the weight of sticky curtains from one’s eyelids.

Click for larger versionWhen I opened the folder on my computer I laughed when I saw these out-takes and extras – how awesome we looked! We also took some Hipstamatic photos behind the scenes of the photoshoot: there is even one of me hurriedly repairing a pair of handmade earrings for Sapphire to wear that match her necklace. The red pom-pom headband I am wearing I also made. One of the other amusing vintage garments are the 1960s lace-trimmed petti-pants Sapphire wears under her blue dress. All the clothes we are wearing are secondhand items I sourced from various places, except for the over-the-knee socks, both of which were new, and the pink nylon tutu I have on.

You can see the original story Revenge of the Anime Girls here – I enlisted the help of a bemused male work colleague to do the hand modelling, and he was very forbearing about being kicked by two miniature women. Looking at all these behind-the-scenes photos reminds me how much fun we had. It might be time to book another date with Sapphire!

Photos: March 2013


New Do

This week I went and got my hair cut! I finally had enough of long hair – or at least what I call long hair, around shoulder-length.

While I have had a pixie cut before, it was a long, long time ago, when I was still at art school. Back then I got a new style and/or colour every time I had my hair cut so it was no big deal; but this time I was so peeved with my long hair, which makes me so hot in summer, I decided it would ALL come off. That would teach it to grow so fast! As my hairstylist Alex (the Director at Lady Marmalade) likes seeing pictures, I did some Pinteresting and found pictures of Winona Ryder and Audrey Tatou that I liked.

It's a pretty dramatic change, and while I have no regrets about cutting it off (hair grows after all), I did have a few qualms whether it would make me look old, as long hair is after all softening. Happily everyone who has seen it has been bowled over, so that’s reassuring. I don’t know how long I’ll keep it this short, but my hair grows extra fast so it won’t be long until I have to make a decision!

Photo: Two days ago


Hands Across the Table

A friend and I went shopping in a vintage bazaar recently, and one of the items I came across that delighted me was this little 1930s manicure set in the green so typical of that era. It instantly put me in mind of the classic Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray comedy Hands Across the Table (1935). Lombard plays a manicurist in the film, and she is wonderful, full of charm and biting wit. Her wardrobe is fantastic too of course.

I was tempted to buy this set, but I held back because I wouldn’t know what to do with half the tools, and the case was a bit dilapidated. So I contented myself with photographing it. Underneath is The Book of Kisses, full of literary quotes (I did buy that), and in the background a quaint watered silk doily press. (It amuses me that such an item even exists.) The silk was a shattered and stained, but retained a shabby beauty.

One can’t buy everything that appeals in a vintage bazaar, but it is so much fun looking.