Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in feathers (47)

Friday
Feb052016

Where Hat Magic Happens

It will come as no surprise to any regular reader of the SNAP Journal how much I love hats, and what a rather large collection I own. Today, while organising the wardrobe for a photoshoot next week, I flitted through the millinery workroom where I work at Melbourne Theatre Company, and paused to breathe the rarefied air and take a few snaps.

It is really like an Aladdin’s Cave of millinery delights!

It is really like an Aladdin’s Cave of millinery delights! There are wooden hat blocks in a multitude of shapes; feathers, ribbons, tulle and other trimmings galore scattered all over; and vintage hats and cuttings provide inspiration.

This is where hat magic happens!

 

Monday
Jan042016

What I Actually Wore #107

Serial #: 0107
Date: 25/03/2013
Weather: 27°C / 80°F
Time Allowed: 7 minutes

I don’t remember where I first heard the fashion lie that pink and red don’t go together, nor do I recall when I had an epiphany that they in fact look great together – but they do! You may yourself have once come upon the statement that colours within the same family harmonise – perhaps in a fashion magazine – and it cannot be denied that pink and red are in the same ‘colour family’; ie, they sit next to one another on the colour wheel. So I love the bright splash of colour this outfit makes.

I love the bright splash of colour this outfit makes.

It was a fine summer day. As I often do, I decided what to wear while I was in the shower, and the outfit started with the skirt. The skirt is by New Zealand label Obi. While it has since been culled from my closet, I owned and wore it for years until the day I ruthlessly decided that frills no longer gave me thrills. (The frills do not extend to the back however.) For the same reason that tank top also disappeared from my wardrobe. 

The vintage 50s headband is made from velvet, with a net and a decorative bird made from feathers. Apart from this frivolity, I kept my other accessories in simple black. The patent vintage bag is a long-term standby, and the shoes are still in regular circulation.

While I am still firmly against the girlish superfluity of frills, I still like the simplicity of this silhouette – it manages to offset the decoration to a degree almost to the point where I’m wondering: Was I too ruthless after all?! Too late.

Photo: April 2013

Items:

Top: Jump
Skirt:
Obi
Headband:
Joseph Horne Co., vintage 50s
Earrings:
handmade
Rings:
onyx – souvenir from Vietnam, silver – jewellery label Roun
Watch:
Kenneth Cole
Bag:
vintage 70s
Shoes:
Gorgeous Shoes

Saturday
Aug022014

Gilty as Charged!

A while back I bought another useless but completely irresistible little trifle: a headpiece-cum-tiara shaped like golden feathers. The feathers are finely-detailed gold metal attached to a comb that slides into the hair.

Sadly, it is even more useless than I suspected, owing to the fact that it is quite heavy, and I don’t have enough hair to hold it up! Ideally it would rest on back-combed hair, or even a top-knot. As it is, one unwary movement and the tiara would fly off my head. Fortunately I purchased it on a sale website for only $4, so it is not a big waste of money. Still. I could have bought a cup of coffee instead.

Monday
May052014

An Autumn Love Story

A few weeks ago an anonymous reader wrote to me and asked me for some tips on what to wear to an autumn wedding that has a dress code of cocktail wear. She has looked online but only been offered ‘boring frocks of a single colour’, and since she has only been to spring and summer weddings, she felt a bit stuck for ideas. And, she also wondered, were clogs an appropriate choice of footwear?

I thought this was a great concept for a story, and I am actually going to an autumn wedding this weekend myself, although only to the ceremony. (Apologies this story has taken a while to put together and publish, I’d love to have been able to respond personally. If you do write in – and I would love to hear from you – please do include your email address so I can reply quickly!)

Firstly, the clogs. This may be a matter of personal choice. A higher-end fancier pair might be fine, but I tend to think clogs are fairly casual shoes. I love them myself, but I would probably prefer to wear something a little more glamorous. Something with a heel, maybe a shiny finish (patent leather, metallic details), or a bow perhaps, and a splash of colour (depending on the frock). Something festive. The shoe should also be appropriate to the venue – you might be uncomfortable in stilettos at a garden party or on a beach, for example.

If you want to get away from a plain-coloured frock, your best bet would be to go for a print, or colourful separates. If you a really keen on a colour that evokes the season, go for warmer tones, but do make sure whatever is closest to your face suits your complexion. Don’t be afraid to mix up the colours and go for an unexpected combination either, such as plum with turquoise, olive and violet as I’ve done here. (Although I might have gone a little overboard with the number of accessories.)

The clothes I am wearing in these pictures all came out of my existing closet (I might even wear one of these outfits on Saturday!), and are all in warm shades of pink, burnt orange, plum and olive.

Of the separates, the burnt orange skirt by Hannii (a now-defunct Melbourne label) tones in with a silk floral blouse by David Lawrence. There is actually no orange in the wrap blouse, but rather warm shades of pink and olive. The olive green hat is actually a bandeau with a silk organza bow and veil, and the beaded bag adds a little lightness to the outfit. I’m also wearing pink pearl bead earrings and a pearl ring by Autore. The pink shoes are by Nude.

The mauve velvet skirt by Warehouse is closer to pink than is apparent, and is teamed with a warm pink silk blouse by Forever New, another charity store purchase. I actually hunted down the skirt on eBay a few years ago because I was looking for a dressy skirt to wear to evening parties in autumn and winter – there seemed to be a real dearth of colourful party clothes for the cooler seasons in Melbourne at the time. The russet and plum hat is vintage 50s, and the bag is by Glomesh. The pearl chandelier earrings came from jewellery boutique Portobello Lane (also now sadly defunct), and the ring as before; the red shoes with their laser cut details are by Marchez Vous.

Ruffles seem like the perfect decorative touch for a wedding! The purple ruffled silk dress is by Rebecca Taylor (almost the same colour as the skirt), and I recently bought it in a charity store for $12. It is missing a belt however, and is a little big for me, so I’ve cinched at the waist with a scarf that has been in my collection for a very long time. It’s appliquéd with little circles all over, some of which pick up the violet tone of the taffeta bag by No. 7 (also a charity store find). My turquoise accessories include a vintage feathered bandeau, a chalcedony pendant on a silver chain, a turquoise ring (souvenir from Barcelona) and patent Tiffany blue heels by Nude (I just can’t resist that colour, aka robin’s egg blue).

The printed dress is by Cue, and I actually wore to an autumn wedding a couple of years ago. The day was quite warm and I didn’t even need my white faux fur shawl that I had brought with me. I’ve teamed it here with the same pair of warm pink heels seen above, although I originally wore it with black patent slingbacks.

All of these outfits may seem a little skimpy at first glance, but it’s easy to add some warmth with a pair of tights and a decorative jacket. If your clothes are on simpler lines, you can wear patterned or lacy stockings, but don’t overwhelm your look with too much detail. Don’t spoil a pretty outfit with a worn out workaday coat. A wedding is the time to break out a fancy jacket or coat – velvet is perfect for autumn. I adore jackets and coats and have a ridiculously vast collection, many of them vintage. Lucky I live in capricious Melbourne – there are plenty of opportunities to wear them!

Don’t forget your accessories can add interest and vibrancy to your outfit too. A wedding is the perfect time to have fun with a hat of some sort, especially if you are not accustomed to wearing them, or feel conspicuous or shy. No one will ever question a hat at a wedding! I am wearing a selection of three in these pictures. All of them are vintage 1950s, and two are made from feathers. (Feathers always seem so well-suited to autumn to me for some reason – perhaps because their fluffiness evokes cosy warmth.)

Your accessories don’t need to all match one another, or even exactly match your frock – why not try a contrasting colour or texture?

Most importantly: make sure your dress (and your heel height) will be comfortable for dancing in! I just loved swishing around in that 50s inspired Cue dress, with the big bow at the back of the neck – I think I was one of the last to leave the dancefloor at that family wedding of mine.

Enjoy the big day!

Monday
Apr072014

The Hat Collector

I own a lot of hats. I own so many I have to use an app to keep track of where they all are, and even then I often don’t have time in the mornings to retrieve one to wear. Those mornings I am sad as I walk to work with a naked head. What a pity hats for everyday wear are largely out of fashion still – they are such fun accessories to play with, whether they are frivolous or practical.

The half-hat, or bandeau, is one of my favourite shapes to wear. Similar to a headband, it is easy to wear with many hairstyles. Here is a small collection of largely frivolous hats – all but two are from the 1950s. The black satin trimmed with a rust ostrich feather, which is an evening headband, and the pink feather bandeau are both vintage 1940s pieces.

I do most of my hat shopping online, as unique (and affordable) vintage hats are more and more difficult to come by in Melbourne. These were all bought online from various sellers on eBay and Etsy.

You

Beaded with black and white seed beads, and trimmed with two red velvet bows, the first (above) is made from artificial straw, or cello.

Can

This little bandeau is made from two crescents that cross at the ends, hugging the head. The white feathers are delicately curled.

Leave

I am infallibly attracted to pleating. This French blue headband is made from two pieces of grosgrain ribbon, that have been pleated and then interwoven, and is additionally trimmed with a little bow on the top.

Your

The Forties are possibly my favourite period for hats. As they were not rationed during the war, hat designs proliferated and milliners were only limited by their imagination. I particularly love the wool-felt hats of this era, and own quite a few. This glamorous bandeau is made for eveningwear, from gathered black satin and draped with an ostrich feather. The brick red is such a sophisticated colour.

Hat

A sweet little Renaissance-inspired bandeau of stiffened and wired lace, this formal Fifties headpiece sits upright on the head. Originally a bridal cap, it would have been worn with a veil attached.

On

I am not an expert on plumage, but I believe this 1940s headband is made from pheasant feathers, dyed in two shades of pink – magenta and ballerina pink. This type of bandeau was extremely popular in the 40s and 50s, and is still relatively easy to find today. The bandeau curls into a little ball when it is not on the head, and came with its original box. 

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