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Entries in bows (15)


What I Actually Wore #116

Serial #: 0116
Date: 17/04/2013
Weather: 19°C / 66°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

Well I will say this for myself: I certainly made some bold sartorial choices a few years ago! I look like a doll. This is not a compliment; however, it is fun? In hindsight, I think what I most disapprove of now is that velvet headband by Australian designer Alannah Hill. It’s plastered in multiple grosgrain bows, and that is what, in combination with my hairstyle, makes me look like a china doll.  

The silk blouse and pleated skirt are both vintage, and the polka dot combination is quite a fun mix of prints. You can’t see the lilac silk camisole underneath; it had some pretty gathers at the back, but sadly the silk shattered in one place and it became unwearable. Both the blouse and skirt have been retired from active duty since.

I was rather cold that day in this flimsy outfit, despite the lightweight blue vintage 50s coat I wore on top – but at least I looked cute. One must suffer for fashion after all!


Blouse: Milo’s
Clio, vintage 80s
Country Road
vintage 50s
Alannah Hill
ceramic, souvenir from Barcelona
ceramic, souvenirs from Barcelona
Kenneth Cole

Photos: January 2014


A Final Fling

A week into April, summer has finally ended, and it went out with a spectacular bang. Melbourne treated us to a last burst of sunshine and warm weather (29°!) and I decided that I ought to honour the day suitably.

Yesterday morning I considered my wardrobe, trying to decide which outfit should have a final fling, and I decided on cheerful pistachio and Kelly greens. This Phase Eight skirt and Icons top were bought from different thrift stores and months apart, and although the shades of green were slightly different, I was delighted to find that they both tied with jaunty bows at the back.

… I was delighted to find that they both tied with jaunty bows at the back

The straw hat with its raffia pompom is by Australian label Country Road (I fear they copied a Burberry hat from a season or two ago), and the two-tone woven leather slingbacks are by an unfamiliar French label, Bleu.C; I bought them on eBay a few years ago. I spotted a similar pair on Etsy, albeit in garish lime and orange,which states they are from the 1980s.

Fashion editors love to wax lyrical how flattering monochrome outfits are (elongating the figure), and I particularly like to pair slightly differing hues of a single colour, just to tease the eye. I like that out of these two greens one on the warmer side of the spectrum, and the other on the cooler: I think this is much more interesting than simply wearing lighter and darker variations of the same shade.

And now it’s a farewell to summer, and welcome autumn – and hello lovely autumnal layers!

Photo: Yesterday


Nights of Shining Glamour

Yesterday while I was frantically looking for historical images of women bedecked with bows (that I didn’t use anyway), I came across this lovely fashion editorial from a 1987 issue of Australian Vogue. It looks so quintessentially Eighties, doesn’t it, but a more sophisticated style than one usually thinks of – or perhaps that is just a trick of photography?

On the opening page of the fashion section, the fashion editor has written:

“As though by design – exactly what it is – dressing this winter has crystallised into two distinctly different images, as different as night and day, each counterbalancing the other, in an ideal blueprint for a modern woman’s life. There is the pared-down polish of looks made to move upward in corporate realms, to aid you in confronting your day with authority and competence. And clothes for nights of shining glamour, fantasies in taffeta and velvet, tulle and sequins, clothes cut out for nothing but pleasure.

There’s no better way to signal the flip side of your workday self than by the way you look. Shed your corporate carapace and emerge as another kind of creature, more fantastic than earthbound. Your transformation may come as a surprise to those who know you as a no-nonsense competent. Good. Who wants to be predictable? More important still, you may surprise yourself.”

Now I’m imagining a sturdy little caterpillar, working away by day, and a shining butterfly, frivolously beating through the night. Wearing bows, of course.

Tearsheets from Vogue Australia, May 1987; phographed by Claus Wickwrath


Beau Ideal

I have a volatile relationship with bows. At the moment, I am still deep in the throes of minimalism, so I am feeling dubious of anything too decorative and frivolous. Practical bows are currently acceptable, but froufrou bows are eyed with suspicion. Therefore, my own ideal bow is hand-tied, with a free-form, imperfect shape.

Last year when I did my big wardrobe clean-out, my criteria for culling was: “if it can be described as ‘cute’, or ‘girly’—it’s out.” A lot of things with bows (even innocent small ones) were ruthlessly tossed aside like old shoes (those went out too; the ones with bows were first against the wall).

The sleeves are silk chiffon, puffed, and finished with a bow. You can’t get any more horribly girly than that!

The black tee by Bettina Liano was one such victim. The sleeves are silk chiffon, puffed, and finished with a bow. You can’t get any more horribly girly than that! But then recently, while I was searching in my storage room for something to complete a costume piece, I came across the very same tee and something unaccountable happened: my heart softened towards it. I brought it upstairs and back into my closet! (Weak.)

The candy pink hat is vintage 70s, and it survived the cull (bows on hats are okay), as did the antique periwinkle silk chiffon bow pinned to my white blouse. I purchased that on Etsy, and although I won’t wear it at the moment, it is too pretty to be cast aside. It is in a favourite shade of blue too. But who knows—I rescued the black tee, so anything could happen!

Photos: March/April 2014

This tearsheet is from British Vogue from the last year or two. I’d now deem all those items too twee for me!


Did Aristocrats Eat Krispy Kremes?

Last year I did a short course in basic ceramics. I made the obligatory pots and bowls and plates, but I was more interested in my own agenda than the teacher’s. I planned to make some ceramic sculptures and jewellery pieces.

The sculptures were lifesize models of original glaze Krispy Kreme donuts. They turned out better than I hoped – and look good enough to eat (if you weren’t afraid of breaking your tooth on them).

The jewellery pieces consist of pendants and random earring dangles embossed with guipure lace patterns. Some are glazed green, some blue. The bow pendant above was almost an afterthought. Made from bisque clay, it is finished with a clear glaze, and slightly rough around the edges owing to my haste in modelling it at the end of a session.

I do like it however, suspended on a black velvet ribbon that is itself finished with a bow. The ribbon motif makes me think eighteenth century jewellery; its creamy richness of the fair skin of those voluptuous beauties who would have worn them. Those aristocrats were plump from indolence though, not Krispy Kremes.

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