Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

___________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs and artworks on this website are copyright
of So Not A Princess and must not be reproduced without permission.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

___________________________

Powered by Squarespace

Entries in colour (60)

Wednesday
Jul312019

The Little Red Cap

Red is one of my favourite colours, and has been since childhood, and I am instantly attracted whenever I see it, from clothes and accessories to interior décor and make-up. There is something so delicious about this rich hue: perhaps it reminds me of cherries and raspberries and the rosy apples of Snow-White fame.

Last year I missed out on purchasing a 1940s knit cap that sported two large crocheted pompoms by the ears, creating an effect of Princess Leia hair buns! It was adorable, and I adore pompoms too.

Then early this year this hat – also vintage 1940s – popped up on Etsy at Scarlet Willow Vintage, and I was immediately reminded of the knit cap, except in this instance this hat had two large bows by the ears instead of pompoms. It also featured the same kind of criss-cross lacing at the back of the head as had the other cap.

I lost no time in claiming this one for my own. (Interestingly the seller had photographed it upside-down, but I immediately recognised how it would look worn correctly.)

I own a lot of hats and try to wear as many different ones each season as humanly possible, but still I have managed to wear this one a few times already over the autumn and winter. There is something so delightful about its neat design – wearing a hat like this makes the day magical. It is such a source of wonder to me that hats are largely out of fashion and that more people never experience the joy of a topper  – but equally, that leaves more vintage hats for me!

Photos: June 2019

Sunday
Jun162019

Keep Those Peepers Peeled!

Who has Holy Fashion Grails? They are those rare, hard-to-find items – perhaps vintage, perhaps not – that you would give your eyeteeth to lay your hands on. I have a ton of them always lurking in the back of my mind, and they come to the forefront when I am thrift shopping, or trawling online marketplaces. I keep a shopping list for items on my phone to refer to when I am out and about – it can be easy to forget things in the heat of the moment when you come upon something else you didn’t know you desperately wanted!

A little while ago, on two separate occasions, I came across two things that had been on my wishlist for a while: yellow leather heels and a watermelon bag. They may seem strangely specific, but I am always on the lookout for anything yellow, so these patent leather heels by Aldo were an exciting find. I’d been looking on sale sites on and off for a while at shoes very similar to these, but couldn’t justify spending big on shoes when I already own so many. However, a pair of barely-worn shoes for under $10 were irresistible.

I first saw a gorgeous straw watermelon bag in a Melbourne boutique many years ago, but at around $100, I regretfully deemed it too much to spend on such a frivolity. Then last year I spotted one online, and that cost even more, even at the heavily discounted sale price. Then sometime later while shopping in a thrift store and waiting to pay for some other items, I spotted this hard-plastic version sitting behind the counter, waiting to be priced. While it wasn’t the covetable straw, I enquired, and a staff member returned to tell me it was only $9. It pays to keep your eyes peeled! I know plastic does not seem very desirable, but after all, Bakelite is a plastic, and vintage examples are extremely collectable now.

Other things I’m always on the lookout for are any 1930s items, a vintage pink-and-white striped dress, a 30s or 40s Hungarian embroidered blouse in white and red, a new old chenille bedspread, and hats of course.

It’s even more of a bonus when one finds great things in the thrift store: both virtuous recycling and a bargain! So always keep an eye out, you never know what you’ll stumble across when you least expect it.

Photos: July 2018

Tuesday
May282019

What I Actually Wore #0152

Serial #: 0152
Date: 19/10/2013
Weather: forecast 26.5°C / 80°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

It was a Saturday evening on quite a warm spring day, and I had a date with a friend to see the 1945 film Brief Encounter in a pop-up outdoor cinema at Federation Square. I had not planned to dress up, but my friend insisted I had to, so I wore a new secondhand dress I had bought on eBay, by Australian brand Witchery.

I have long liked woven ikat fabric, and also watered silk, and this dress combined the two effects prettily. It is a rather shapeless tunic and I wore it with a grosgrain ribbon as a tie-belt as a leather belt felt too heavy for the delicate silk fabric. Although it was still balmy, I took a wool cardigan just in case – another eBay purchase. It has Juliet sleeves – that is puffed in the shoulder and then tight to the wrist – and delicate patterns down the front. (My knitting knowledge is practically non-existent so I don’t know what that technique is called.) I omitted to photograph it on, but you can see the cardigan here.

As I was walking, I needed a pair of comfortable shoes, and I chose this ice-blue pair of wedges and took them on their first outing. I ended up giving them away to a different friend as they were too big for me. Sadly this is another brand that has since closed down.

I still own my other accessories: chalcedony earrings and pendant necklace, the turquoise ring which was a souvenir bought in Barcelona, and the green eelskin bag, which I bought from a thrift store. I was carrying it so much during this time that one of the straps became detached – it’s been languishing in a basket for quite some time, awaiting repair. The dress though, as much as I loved the print, I ended up giving away as I just didn’t like its shape. I do like the summery sorbet of colours in this outfit though.

Items:

Dress: Witchery
Cardigan: Nanette Lepore
Bag: vintage
Shoes: RMK
Necklace: Portobello Lane
Earrings: self-made
Ring: souvenir

Photos: January 2014

Saturday
May182019

What I Actually Wore #0151

Serial #: 0151
Date: 10/10/2013
Weather: 21°C / 70°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

As always, if I wear a lot of black, I add some pops of colour to brighten it. I wore this black and cobalt outfit to work, with the rhinestone cat ears headband added for evening as I was going to see a play at the Melbourne Festival. My friend, who came with me, was delighted by the whimsical headband.

The black knit top has a subtle lurex thread going through it; it and the skirt are both great basics. The top I bought from a warehouse store on sale, and the skirt came from a thrift store. I still own all of these items, except for the silver ring – a favourite – that slipped off my finger one day (in action like the One Ring, although it didn’t make me invisible!) never to be seen again. As the night was cool, I was also wearing my beloved white leather trench coat (you can see it in this gallery), which I forgot to photograph.

It was a fun night – the play was an enjoyable UK production of Brief Encounter, after the film – and one of the actors even complimented my outfit out in the foyer of the theatre, probably because of that eye-catching headband.

Items:

Top: Country Road
Skirt: Kenneth Cole
Headband: Diva, now Lovisa
Shoes: Mollini
Earrings: self-made
Ring: Roun (silver), souvenir (onyx)
Watch: Kenneth Cole

Photos: October 2013

Thursday
May092019

Delicious Apricot

You will not be surprised to read that the colour apricot, like orange, takes its name from the fruit. The word first used in English to describe the fruit was abrecock, from Middle French, but it was not used to describe the colour until 1851.

Orange, on the other hand has been around for a little longer, first coming into use three centuries earlier. But before the descriptor ‘orange’, such shades were described by English speakers as giolureade – ‘yellow-red’*.

Apricots and agate‘Apricot Candy’ rose, and paint swatchesFour different swatches for the colour apricot found in Google Images

Imagine then having to describe pale yellow-red! It’s no surprise that so many colours are simply named after an object – the only problem is that such things can vary in tone. Apricot is no exception – the fruit is variegated, and there are many variations of swatches available, but the shade is generally accepted to be much paler than the actual fruit. It is more yellow in tone than its sister shade, peach.

Apricot is a colour that I have never liked. In fact, the original concept of this story was ‘colours I hate’! For me, as I imagine for many others, it has always had connotations with bland, sickly 1980s interior décor (see below). Hideous – like a nightmare you couldn't wake from.

80s apricot interior design But a funny thing happened one day when I was browsing in a vintage bazaar with a friend. We conceived the humorous plan to each find the ugliest dress we possibly could, and try it on for a laugh. The chiffon apricot 70s dress is what I pulled out of the racks.

Unexpectedly however, once I had put it on, preened in front of the mirror and done a few twirls, it began to grow on me. Even my friend protested that I had chosen a dress that was not nearly as ugly as the one she had picked out (see below). 

My friend Sapphire and I try on some 80s dresses in a vintage bazaar in Geelong

The dress – the label declared it was by Elegance, which I have never seen before – was inexpensive, so whimsically I decided to buy it. I have even actually worn it out to an Opening Night at the theatre, with my pink Victorian cloak.

If you have light skin, there is a risk of looking naked wearing apricot and other such shades (who can forget Carrie and her ’naked dress’ in that episode of Sex and the City?), but there is no danger of that in this dress with its billowing sleeves and skirt. The dress has belt loops which are sadly bereft – I imagine it once had an extravagant sash. 

These sweet and pale tones were favoured in the 1920s to the 1940s for women’s lingerie – in such use, made from georgette, chiffon and satin and trimmed in pretty lace, were apricot and peach at the height of their powers. Delicious!

The colour has been seen in fashion since of course, especially in the 80s, when pastels, and brasher shades of coral and watermelon were the rage. It’s akin to Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year, Living Coral, and is already popular in interior design, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a renaissance of full-blown apricot-hued revival soon. I bet you can’t wait!

1930s lingerie1970s jumpsuits, Brooke Shields in the 80s

*From The Secret Lives of Colour, by Kassia St Clair, John Murray 2016)

Images found on Pinterest
Photos: March 2017