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Entries in red (56)


Sumptuous Stripes

James Galanos evening dress, 1955. From Fashion: The Whole Story, by Marnie Fogg (Thames & Hudson, 2013)If you knew how much I love stripes, particularly red and white ones, you would not be surprised to read that I nearly fainted with delight when I flipped a page in a book and saw this evening dress. It is from 1955, by American designer James Galanos (1924–).

This graceful gown is made from printed silk chiffon; note the nautical influence in the bathing suit style bodice and the insouciant knot in the overskirt. It is replicating a displaced middy collar. The term ‘middy’ derives from ‘midshipman’, a student at a naval academy, and is used to describe a sailor collar.

How I would love to swan around on the open sea in this!


From Fashion: The Whole Story, edited by Marnie Fogg (Thames & Hudson, 2013).

James Galanos evening dress, 1955. From Fashion: The Whole Story, by Marnie Fogg (Thames & Hudson, 2013)


Sporting the Colours

Today is one of Australia’s big sporting days, with the grand finale of the Australian Football League season played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a sporting venue that is very close to where I live. Thus, even when I don’t attend a game, I can experience the roar of the crowd, albeit at a distance.

I’m a nominal football fan these days, and my team (Essendon) wasn’t playing, so who to nominally support? It was the Western Bulldogs v the Sydney Swans. The choice should be easy after all: a Victorian team (the state in which I live) versus a New South Welsh team. But that would be too obvious. Then there were their mascots: bulldogs and swans; I definitely prefer swans – they are such amusing birds, and I see them every day in the botanic gardens across the road.

there was something of even greater – and more fashionable – interest to me: THE COLOURS.

But there was something of even greater – and more fashionable – interest to me: THE COLOURS. I decided my allegiance would attach to my favourite colour combination. The Doggies, with blue and white and red, and the Swans with simple red and white. Both classic colour combinations; both incorporating stripes of some sort (on jerseys or socks); and both having nautical connections. This would be tricky! Because I adore both, as evidenced already on these pages (click those links above).

In the end, although I didn’t attend the game, and only watched the final quarter on TV, I gallivanted around town in a subtle variant of the Bulldogs’ colours. And in the end, it was the right choice, because the Doggies won the flag after an exciting last quarter, ending a 62-year drought. It’s always nice to be on the winning side if one possibly can.

Fashion Notes

I’m wearing a mix of new and vintage, notably a 1940s red velvet hat, and a 1970s ribbed cardigan.

Photo: Yesterday


These Shoes Were (Not) Made for Bushwalking

I don’t just dance in my red shoes, I go bushwalking in them! What insanity is this? I hear you ask. It was unintentional. I went on an outing with my three sisters to the ranges, ostensibly for lunch at a French café, and wore an outfit for a perfect summer’s day, including a favourite red silk dress, a straw bag bought in Spain, and a brand new pair of laser-cut red heels.

We did have lunch, but also decided to take in the sights, and a little detour to walk in a garden … which ended up being at the bottom of a very big hill. Unsurprisingly, bandaids were needed at the end of this effort. Still, I looked good doing it!

Photos: February 2014


Dancing Shoes & Don’t Forget Me Blues

Somehow, red shoes always find me. I don’t go looking for them – they dance before my eyes and bedazzle and bewitch me with their loveliness. And then I wear them out, knowing more will throw themselves at my feet before long.

Here is the most recent pair that paraded before me in a Salvos Store. Soft leather with 2½" cone heels, the shoes by Akira have never been worn, and still had their price sticker on the soles – €65. I paid only $12.65 (or some odd price like that), which is a pretty good bargain. I call that a height fairly comfortable for walking about in too, without feeling hobbled by the end of the day.

The 1960s gloves are vintage, and are more of a deep periwinkle than they look in the picture. As much as I love the look of gloves, I often tend to forget to wear them, unless for warmth in winter. Made from nylon, these are certainly purely decorative, rather than practical – although mere decoration does not normally hold me back. What I need is a pair in forget-me-not blue!

Photo: August 2016


What I Actually Wore #119

Serial #: 0119
Date: 29/04/2013
Weather: 20°C / 68°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

I wore this outfit to go to a Hollywood costume exhibit with a friend. The hit item was the vintage 40s hat: everyone waxed lyrical about it, from my friend, random strangers, the male cloakroom attendant (who, to our astonishment, asked me if it was an antique Phrygian cap as worn by French revolutionaries!) to the various staff and customers in a textiles store I visited after the exhibition who also asked me if I had made it myself.

The hat is red wool felt, and features a tassel-like adornment of grey-blue flowers on long red stems. The same flowers are scattered on the top of the cap. The 1940s was a popular era for novelty hats of many inventive designs and shapes.

… the male cloakroom attendant … asked me if [the hat] was an antique Phrygian cap as worn by French revolutionaries!

That is what I most lament about contemporary millinery fashion: while there are wonderful and whimsical hats available, they usually come with designer prices. More affordable chapeaux seem to be limited to the ubiquitous fedora, newsboy, or a floppy 70s boho-style with a diamante buckle on the band – and even those mostly come in black, tan or grey, at least in this country. It’s so dull! What’s a hat-lover to do? (Shop online.)

The navy knit features a polka-dot bow on the neckline, and was a gift from a friend. It is 40s-style, with ruched shoulders, which didn’t at all suit her broad-shouldered frame. I eventually gifted this on to the very friend who joined me on this day’s excursion to the costume exhibition. The wool skirt was by Anthropologie, and was eaten by moths (curse them!); the cable socks came from ASOS; the bag is my standby 60s black patent; and the suede boots are by an Australian brand I’d never heard of, but which I bought from a sale website. My jewellery is a mixture of souvenir and eBay purchases.


Jumper: vintage
vintage 40s
ceramic, souvenirs from Barcelona
beaded sterling silver from eBay
vintage 60s

Photo: September 2013

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