Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in jewellery (179)


Birds and Brollies

I love fun and kitschy pins and brooches and am amassing quite a collection. Most of them I have bought in Melbourne op shops (thrift stores); a very few bought online; and a couple are leftovers from my childhood (a crimson enamel and diamante butterfly) and teenage years (a frilled sea-serpent wrapped around a sword and swallowing the red glass pommel).

This pair, which I think are from the 1940s or 50s, I bought last Saturday in two different op shops. I was quite tickled to find the umbrella because I had been searching on Etsy last week for umbrella pins – if you’ve been reading this journal for a while, you know I go through quite a few brollies, so I thought it quite expedient that I should have one in brooch form. I also love birds of every kind, and already have a few others in my set, so the swan is a lovely addition.

I tend to wear brooches more in winter because so many of them are made from heavy metal, and weigh delicate summery fabrics down too much. Now that the weather has cooled at last, they shall come out to play!



How time flies! It is the first of May already, celebrated in the northern hemisphere as the spring festival of May Day. The holiday has its origins in Floralia, the festival of the Roman goddess of flowers, Flora. Of course here in Melbourne it is autumn, and we are finally entering proper autumnal weather when woolly layers must be considered, not the floral petal-like garments of spring.

So my floral wreath today is a modern tiara from Sportsgirl made of copper, and enormous floral earrings like pendulums, made from multicoloured sequins and crystals. I love costume jewellery when it does not take itself seriously and is not masquerading as the real thing – these earrings by Lovisa are very fun in a plastic-fantastic 1960s way. And yet, combined with the white ruffled blouse, this look somehow evokes the days of ancient Rome too.

Happy May!

Photo: March 2018


Life is a Bowl of Cherries

We are enjoying another string of summery days this week – so much for autumn – and what more summery way to celebrate that than to wear a sparkling cherry necklace?

I had to go to market today to buy not cherries, but coffee beans, and I wore this necklace along with some other cheerful red accessories and a checked navy and light blue 70s cotton sundress. The enamel and crystal necklace was an op shop (thrift store) purchase quite a while back, and it really is the cherry on top when it comes to accessories.

The lady serving at the coffee shop no sooner clapped eyes on me than she complimented my outfit, insisting I was the best-dressed person at the market today. “Are you going somewhere special, or do you always dress like that?” she asked me. I laughed, and answered, “I always dress like this.”

But even a trip to the market can be special, and why not? Life’s too short to dress dully: stop to smell the roses, and eat wear the cherries!


Earring in the New Year

Recently I’ve had a real bonanza on vintage earring finds in op shops (thrift stores).

The first pair that caught my eye (below) in a Sacred Heart secondhand shop were red and navy clip on baubles that are suspended on chain. The navy beads have dotted lines around the centre, so that they look like cricket balls. I guessed they were 1960s or 70s, so I thought $5 was a fair enough price for them.

The following four pairs were all bought on the same day, in two Salvos stores.

The very fun French flag hoops are made of enamel (70s or 80s?), and were the cheapest of the lot, costing all of $1. They were actually an afterthought purchase, serendipitously spotted at the counter in a sale bin while I waited for my friend to finalise her purchases.

The gold oval hoops and the snaky knot danglers that you see in swinging action are also metal, and both possibly 1970s. Each cost about $3, and were found at the second Salvos store.

And once more in the same shop, I made an afterthought purchase with the 1950s (or 80s?) jumbo pearl clip-ons. I was actually leaving the store when a staff member, busily stocking a display box near the entrance, showed me them to admire. I laughed aloud because they were so enormous, and immediately decided they were so OTT I had to have them. She and I both agreed they looked much better on than in the hand. I think these were $5–6, and worth it for sheer fun.

I remember when 1970s and 80s fashion was considered so passé, hideous even, but given enough time any era regains a lustre. Old things, taken out of their stuffy or old-fashioned contexts, become new again, especially when they are recombined with modern items or things from quite different eras. Tarnish transmogrifies into desirable patina.


A Fresh Start

What better jewellery, I thought, for a brand spanking New Year than a pair of earrings that sparkled with fresh, clear colours? These vintage earrings twinkle with bright promise in pastel colours. I am not actually at all sure which era they are from however – perhaps the 1950s.

I am very happy that it’s a new year, for I was done with 2017 and quite ready to dust off my hands and farewell it. I have a few ideas and resolutions for the coming year – some carrying on from the last – and simply feel inspired by the notion of a clean slate, all those empty days and months lying ahead, glimmering and shimmering mysteriously in the distance, like a mirage in time.

While pragmatism forces us to acknowledge our lives can’t all be a bed or roses, may we all feel inspired and motivated to look for the sparkle and magic around every corner. Here’s to 2018!

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