Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in french (63)

Wednesday
Aug292018

Clear Gilt

On Monday, after I completed some errands in the neighbourhood, I happened to pass a thrift store on my way home. Naturally I had to go in.

I saw on a shelf what looked like a giant bottle of Chanel No. 5 and was exceedingly amused to discover that it was a hard plastic handbag! It came complete with a faux gold label and chain strap, and aptly, the stopper was the clasp. There’s no visible branding, so likely it was a whimsical but inexpensive purchase by its original owner.

It is a guilty purchase for me too, I must admit, for while I have always had a sneaking liking for transparent handbags, they are not very practical, and lose their aesthetic appeal when filled with an evening’s accoutrements – unless they happen to be very, very beautiful. That’s probably why it was in the thrift store in the first place.

Aptly, I have photographed ‘Chanel’ bag with bottles of French perfume, and it does look very pretty, oui?

Photo: Yesterday

Tuesday
Aug072018

Fashion Plates

If you have ever wondered why the photography on this fashion journal looks a certain way, or if there was any inspiration behind the artwork, here it is: antique fashion plates!

The look of SNAP was not a premeditated decision, but evolved out of necessity. Helping out a former colleague with a university project, I wrote and illustrated two stories on sustainable fashion for her. It all happened very, very quickly, and I had to take the photographs in my apartment with no background but a folding screen draped with a calico dropsheet, and I was the model to boot.

Nor did I have any photographic lighting, so to combat the yellow apartment lighting and dodgy shadows, I developed a style that deliberately emulated the illustrated look of fashion plates with strong outlines and tinted back colours.

In magazines, illustrations gave way to photography of course, and the publishing industry suffered a loss. Of course, there has been a slow revival of fashion illustration, and it has become more like art than merely graphic communication, which is all to the good.

However, there is great beauty in these antique fashion engravings, isn’t there? They look delightfully quaint. I also love how the figures have been taken out of their natural context, and stand against a plain background with no, or very few, props – just like a modern studio photography shoot. They inspire me more than ever.

Scroll down for more, including a Regency man attired in very high-waisted trousers!

Saturday
Jul142018

À La Mode

In honour of the French national holiday today, I bring you a Paris-inspired fashion editorial from the April 1994 issue of Australian Vogue, shot by the French photographer Pascal Chevalier.  

The Belle Époque-inspired fashion (some of it French) was photographed around famous sights of Paris, including Maxim’s Restaurant, the famous Art Nouveau entrance to the Metro and the Bois du Boulogne, a park in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

Bonne fête to my French readership!

[Click on the images for larger versions]

Sunday
Mar042018

What I Actually Wore #0137

Serial #: 0137
Date: 25/03/2013
Weather: 14°C / 58°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

It was a cold and very windy day, with gale force winds forecast for the afternoon. I had a hair appointment after work too, so I knew I had to dress warmly as I would be making my way home in the evening.

My old favourite Sonia Rykiel wool sweater! I loved how the stripes on the attached scarf tie were narrower than the body of the top. Sadly by this time the sweater was quite worn, and had a couple of holes in it that I had darned – one of the reasons I layered the cotton tee over it; the other was for extra warmth. And how I adore this vintage suede and rabbit fur coat, the ‘Zhivago’ as it was called in the 1970s – one of my all-time favourites.

I pulled my outfit together quite quickly, but as I had just written the accessories story for the Ten Commandments the night before, I deliberately thought about how I matched my accessories. I originally wanted neutral socks, but my favourite French brown ones were in the laundry basket, so I went with the red. A bit more lurid than desired, but only a little of them would be glimpsed (and you can’t see them at all in the photos). They annoy me all day as they’re supposed stay-ups that don’t stay up! The earrings are striped ceramic (they are not visible either, sadly in this case) and the ring turquoise – they were both souvenirs from Barcelona.

The tan leather lace-up boots are old favourites. My oldest sister has told me that in the 70s, lace-up boots really were lace-ups: there were no cheating zips up the sides like today. They took forever to take on and off, so you didn’t remove them until you had to.

At my hairdresser, the receptionist raved about my outfit – she said I looked gorgeous, like a little doll, and so creative. Hmm, not so sure about the doll part, but gorgeous and creative I’ll take! I still have all these items except for the two tops, but I actually still like this outfit.

Items:

Tee: Oxford
Jumper:
Sonia Rykiel
Skirt:
Ojay
Stockings:
The Sock Shop
Hat:
boutique
Coat:
vintage 70s, Stephen Dattner
Scarf:
souvenir
Earrings:
souvenir
Ring:
souvenir
Watch:
Kenneth Cole
Boots:
Joanne Mercer

Photos: October 2013

Tuesday
Feb272018

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