Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in pattern (192)

Saturday
Sep282019

Strong and Bold

In honour of the Australian Rules Football Grand Final match today, I bring you this yellow and black vintage 1950s dress, in the team colours of the Richmond Football Club, a club that has been running for more than a century. They are playing Greater Western Sydney Giants; in contrast, a modern team formed only a decade ago, whose colours are a rather odd combination of orange, black and white.

I don’t barrack for (that’s Aussie for ‘follow’) Richmond except for today, although I live next door to the inner-city suburb in which it was formed, and in fact Richmond East is my local stomping ground.

This is an outfit I wore in the summer of this year, with a 1950s cello hat, a 1960s bag, and modern patent shoes and belt. Richmond’s club mascot is a tiger, and I’m rather pleased the way this dress emulates a tiger’s claw slashes … if a tiger had decided to dip its claws in black paint and do some textile design! Previously I’d thought the pattern reminded me of the grasses of an African savanna, which is also apt.

Today I shall finish with Richmond’s club song:

Oh we're from Tigerland
A fighting fury
We're from Tigerland
In any weather you will see us with a grin
Risking head and shin
If we're behind then never mind
We'll fight and fight and win
For we're from Tigerland
We never weaken til the final siren's gone
Like the Tiger of old
We're strong and we're bold
For we're from Tiger
Yellow and Black
We're from Tigerland.

Go Tiges! Oops, the game is starting, bye!

Photo: April 2019

Monday
Sep092019

Roll-Up, Roll-Up!

Another type of cuffed sleeve is the classic roll-up. A tab on the inside of a long sleeve attaches to a button on the exterior when the sleeve is rolled up. Depending on the stiffness of the fabric, one can neatly fold it (literally roll it up) or simply gather it and allow it to fall in natural folds as I have done in this example.

This cuff should not be confused with the dressy cuff often seen on more formal sleeves and pant legs (both shorts and full-length trousers). Unlike the roll-up, which reveals the seam, this cuff is decorative, created from a separate piece of fabric and attached with the front side of the fabric facing outwards.

The roll-up is a casual sleeve, but also quite practical when you need to get your hands dirty. My silk smock blouse takes that concept to the nth degree with a paint splatter print!

Review all the sleeves in the gallery thus far.

Wednesday
Sep042019

Capricious spring!

How fickle is the Melbourne spring! Like this glorious 1970s dress, it has two faces. You don’t know what weather it will bring: one day it will be sunny and balmy, and the next a howling gale will lash about unsuspecting flesh – and sometimes this will happen all in one day. In fact, the last day of winter was more springlike than the first day of the new season.

From the front this dress is wonderful. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw its sleeves in the op shop. They were perfect for my sleeve story, for the pagoda sleeve (multiple tiers) was yet a gaping hole in my lexicon. In great delight, I took the gown into the changing room with me, but a nasty suspicion nagged at me that fate would rain on my parade.

In great delight, I took the gown into the changing room with me …

Thunder rolled as I was engulfed by rustling fabric, which I think it is most likely polyester, or perhaps a poly/rayon blend at best. I was right: the dress fit me to the waist – but that darned zip would simply go no further, and the back gaped open. (Because of this, in the first picture, the bodice is loose and should appear much more fitted.) There is a snowflake’s chance in hell that my torso would ever shrink so much, no matter how much weight I lost!

I would not ruin the dress by having it altered to be made backless, for instance, so now that I have photographed its splendour for posterity, I shall prepare to sell it and the income can go toward something in my Etsy wishlist.

Unlike the gown, the season cannot be traded in. This week will see a return to wintry weather, and we must grin and bear it – but perhaps not bare it all just yet!

Photos: September 2019

Wednesday
Jun262019

Reach for the Stars!

Here is a re-cap of my starry sequinned 1920s wool felt cap, teamed this time with the blue starry knit I bought more recently, and the same mother-of-pearl star earrings. The star shape or polygon is a not only a great graphic, but holds significance in many instances of art and culture, and regardless of how many arms the star has, impressions of astronomical stars provide the term.

I was amused to learn that in heraldry a mullet is a straight-sided five-pointed star – it seems to bear no relation to the favourite men’s hairstyle of the 1980s. Nor the fish. (The dictionary does not even include the hairstyle so I can’t ascertain its etymology.) Sometimes the mullet it is referred to as a ‘golden five-pointed star’ … On the other hand, a star with wavy rays is called an estoile, which is a much prettier word. More regally however, the mullet is an ensign of knightly rank, and the symbol is incorporated in some way by every order of knighthood, which raises it above its other more unpleasant associations.

Above all though, the star – especially employed en masse – conjures up the heavenly sphere, bejewelled and twinkling; Cecil Beaton’s celestial visions in the 1920s; and delightful paper moon photographic backdrops. Irresistible!

Nancy Beaton as a Shooting Star for the Galaxy Ball, by Cecil Beaton, 1929Unknown sitter, by Cecil Beaton, 1920sPaper moon in the Victorian eraPaper moon in the 1920sPhoto: June 2019
Other images found on Pinterest

Monday
Jun032019

Starry Tights

While we’re on the subject of stars, let me bring your attention to these amazing starry tights I once owned. I have often waxed lyrical about my love for long socks, but once upon a time I went through a phase of “tattoo tights” – that is, nude hosiery with printed patterns that gave the effect of a tattoo. (Imagine tattooing your legs all over with stars!)

I managed to amass quite a collection before my hatred for all hosiery made me abandon tights almost entirely for a few winters. These tights are by Leg Avenue, and not only did I have stars, but polka-dots and fishnets too! I have a strong feeling that I shall be soon investigating the basket of tights in my closet – there are quite a few unopened packages lurking in there. Stay tuned for more stocking shenanigans!

Photos: October 2013