Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in red (56)

Thursday
Jul122018

I See Red

Red is one of my favourite colours, it always has been. I think it may have started when I was a child. For proof, if you look through my Out of the Album section, you’ll see red features big, starting with me as a very cute little toddler in a red and white wool suit, and matching red shoes. (Is this why I love this combination so?)

Red bags and shoes in particular have been like fashion candy for me. This plump little bag that I use very often is made from buttery soft eelskin; the brand is Amorni. When I bought it second hand it looked as though it had never been used.

While my glove collection will never reach the proportions of my hats, I am beginning to amass quite a few vintage pairs. These red cotton Simplex gloves are vintage 50s, and feature decorative stitching forming a leaf pattern along the cuff and down the back of the hand.

The inexpensive Timex watch I bought purely for its striped wristband, but I bought it just in time (pardon the pun) when all my other watches were out of commission, requiring new batteries, or other repairs.

All of these items were bought in op shops – the red bag was what I refer to as a Holy Fashion Grail find: one of those desirable things one dreams of finding in a thrift store. But the colour red in general will always draw my eye – there are no connotations of anger for me when I see red!

Photo: May 2018

Tuesday
Mar132018

Venus x Abigail

There is such a joy in op-shopping when one stumbles upon a rare and fabulous find such as this 1970s Regency-inspired maxi dress with shirred bodice in tomato red with slit bell sleeves featuring prints of a hybrid Botticelli Venus-Flora figure. (No fashion journalist could ever have dreamed of penning such a sentence!)

I actually must credit a Vinnies staff member for bringing this priceless treasure to my attention, for in my excitement at finding another 70s dress (hand crocheted turquoise) I had unbelievably missed spotting this on the same rack! The lady declared it a quintessential 70s dress, and reminisced how she herself had worn such garments when she was young to her high school prom.

Someone whose chest was too ample to close the zip had actually altered the dress. The back had been opened up and sewn flat, and two sets of ties had been added to the back. I think the fabric for them had been cut off the hem of the dress, as the hem is not very well hand-stitched. When I got it home I unpicked all the stitching, hoping that it would fit me, and fortunately it does.

Of course the caped sleeves are mind-blowingly awesome, and I also love the little peaked shoulders, but the pièce de résistance is the printed lady. I immediately recognised her as Sandro Botticelli’s Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring depicted in the painting Primavera (painted in the late 1470s or early 1480s) – she’s the one casting flowers about out of the folds of her robe. But what is even funnier, I realised later, is that the head is that of Venus, flipped around, from another of Botticelli’s paintings, The Birth of Venus (1485)! (Was this the designer’s answer to avoiding copyright infringement?)

Primavera, Sandro Botticelli (late 1470s or early 1480s)The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli (1485)The label is Clementine, and states ‘dry clean only’, at which I scoffed as I laid it into a laundry tub of water to hand wash. It is probably a poly crepe, or at best, part rayon as well.

The dress really comes to life in movement. I am planning to wear it to the opening night of Abigail’s Party, a 70s period next on stage at the theatre I work at. It is exactly like something the titular character might wear herself. I shall have to make sure to swish and swan about just like her.

A scene from Abigail's Party (1977), Mike Leigh's film of his own original stage play (Abigail is wearing the red dress)

Photos: Yesterday (March 2018)

Tuesday
Mar062018

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!

Monday
Dec252017

Candy Cane Christmas

Yes, this is the actual jewellery I wore today at Christmas lunch with my family. Isn’t it wonderful? More Christmassy jewellery you could not wish for.

I bought these both from thrift stores: the necklace came from a Vinnies op shop in Geelong when I was visiting my cousin in October; she didn’t like it because it was too Christmassy and reminded her of candy canes – I retorted that was exactly why I loved it. I also love red and white together in general.

The candy cane earrings I found a week or two after that, in an Animal Aid op shop – rather amusingly after a trip to the dentist. The necklace is vintage I think, though I’m not sure on the age of either it, or the earrings. They were both greatly admired today anyway.

I hope you all have a wonderful day with your loved ones. I wish you all peace and joy this Christmas season.

Tuesday
Jun062017

What I Actually Wore #0132

Serial #: 0132
Date: 11/07/2013
Weather: 16°C / 61°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

There are some colour combinations that are easy to choose, and never fail: black, red and blue is one of them.

This outfit was put together like building blocks, starting with the kimono-sleeved dress. It’s really a summer dress, so I put a three-quarter sleeve grey top underneath. This is the trick with adding a fourth colour – it would have been too much to choose a matching blue, but the grey is neutral and subtle.

Blue tights printed with white stars add a fun touch; a more obvious – and storybookish – pairing would have been black and white striped tights. Red Dorothy heels, current favourites, sparkle on my feet. They are actually not very comfortable as they are not leather, which is more yielding, but they look fabulous!

The red wool jacket adds warmth, but I also wore on top my 1960s faux sealskin coat, and a velvet close-fitting cap. My jewellery – black onyx bangle and ring, silver bauble earrings, charm necklace and silver watch complement the colour of the clothing.

I had my bangs trimmed that evening, and one of the salon staff exclaimed in delight when she took my coat and saw my outfit. I looked so cute, like a doll, she said. It has never been my ambition to look like a doll, I must confess; I’d rather look like a woman. In fact, in later years on one of my wardrobe culls, the dress, the tights and the shoes all fell victim to my ruthless dictum: anything that could be considered ‘cute’ was immediately cut! I still have the jacket and the jewellery however. The haircut is long grown out, but I’m considering growing my pixie into a bob again.

Items:

Dress: Luella
Top:
Kookaï
Jacket:
Muii
Tights:
Sock Shop
Earrings:
handmade
Necklace:
souvenir and vintage
Bangle, ring:
souvenirs
Watch:
Kenneth Cole
Shoes:
Wittner

Photos: October 2013