Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in seasonal (141)

Tuesday
Dec042018

When Silver Louboutins Are Not Enough

It is seldom indeed that one might declare, “Silver Louboutins are not enough on their own!” But it might be at the height of the silly season, n’est pas?

When this occasion arises once a year, may I propose a pair of vintage 60s silver crystal shoe clips to remedy this untoward situation? Shaped like snowballs, pom-poms or what-you-will, these articulated beaded clips will shake merrily all the way to the party.

I found mine in a thrift store, but there are plenty to be found on Etsy new and old to delight the festive spirit. Start decking out those party feet now!

Tuesday
Nov272018

An Absolute Blast!

Eeeek! It’s getting close to that time of year! Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the big Christmas costume party at my workplace. Every year there is a different theme, and every year everyone goes all out – I work at a theatre, so everyone is on their mettle, and the pressure is on.

This year the theme is the 1980s, inspired by our final play of the year which is set in the 80s. But I can’t reveal what I’m going as this year (no spoilers!) so instead I shall relive my day of glory as Barbarella, for which I won an award in 2013.

The theme was the 1960s (not to be confused with last year’s science-fiction theme when I went as the Queen of Naboo), and I quickly chose Barbarella for a character. It was more difficult to choose the costume, not because there were so many, but because they were so skimpy and NSFW!

The picture above was my inspiration, partly because I already owned a silver metal mesh top (of course I do), and I set about obtaining the other accoutrements, including a black mesh body-stocking (which made it difficult to go to the bathroom), skirt, boots, and wig, all bought on eBay, and last but not least, a laser-blaster. I made that myself from a giant toy water-gun. (My cousin, who I am with in the third photo of the slideshow) went as Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s classic film, The Birds.)

When you scroll down below, you will see my cousin and I pulling the obligatory faces (starting with some Blue Steel) for a photobooth strip – we did have an absolute blast!

Photos: December 2013

Monday
Oct152018

The Cartwheel Hat

Now that the warm weather is here at last (hurrah!), I am already thinking, “Now, how can I cover up to prevent sunburn?” Big hats are the answer! I own a lot of big cartwheels, as very wide brimmed hats are known. The origin of the name is obvious, but they began to be very popular in the Edwardian era, in the years prior to WWI.

This hat I am wearing is actually quite wide-brimmed – wider than it seems in the picture, but, when you scroll down and see the next hat you it will seem quite paltry by comparison.

Now THIS is a cartwheel hat! I think it is as big as an actual cartwheel. It is woven from a very sturdy grass, and the edges are wicker. It’s quite heavy and unwieldy to wear, as well as uncomfortable on the forehead, which makes me suspect it was never meant to be worn, or perhaps it was a theatre prop. It decorates the wall in my bedroom.

One of the problems with cartwheel hats is that there is a lot of area that can easily catch the wind, and the usual thin elastic attached to the inside of the brim of most hats is not enough to keep it safely on one’s head. A ribbon is a better option, as the cartwheel has.

So, is this the biggest hat in the world, or what …?

What? What’s that you say? Jacquemus?

OMG. That thing is practically a TENT. Look how big it is! A whole family could shelter under there. No more beach umbrellas! You could take off like Mary Poppins with that thing on your head!

I WANT ONE.

Photos: March 2018

Tuesday
Sep182018

Let it Rain!

In a Melbourne spring, one must be prepared for rain at all times. Melburnians are famous for vigilantly checking the weather forecast no matter what the season, and many of us keep a tiny folding umbrella in our totes, or in our drawers at work against sudden need. I am no exception to this rule, and I own a formidable array of vintage umbrellas in different colours so that I can match my outfits.

This vintage 60s frilled umbrella is one of my favourites. I have owned it for a long time. I love vintage brollies for they are generally sturdier than their modern counterparts because their skeletons have more ribs, made from steel unlike the flimsy aluminium contraptions manufactured today. They are therefore much stronger in a high wind. However, mishaps can still occur, and last year they did.

I felt a bit dreadful about this, like a vintage murderer …

First of all, I lost the tip of one spoke, which meant that the covering pulled away. There are no umbrella repairers these days, so I came up with my own solution: find another vintage umbrella in an op shop and cannibalise it for parts! I felt a bit dreadful about this, like a vintage murderer, but I managed to find one – in a vivacious shade of lime green – that was already broken: it was unable to be opened. This made me feel better about hacking off its limbs. (It annoyed me that the op shop was still charging $5 for it, the same price as a functional umbrella, but I supposed it possessed, after all, what I required.)

Naturally, while I was doing this photoshoot and after amputating the silver tips, the umbrella suddenly operated normally! Typical. However, it must have been aggravating for the original owner if the umbrella was randomly becoming stuck – most inconvenient at the sudden onset of a shower. But I had what I needed and repaired the blue brolly, squirreling the remaining tips away.

… some time later another freak accident tragically occurred.

After all these misadventures, some time later another freak accident tragically occurred. One day, when I was walking along the street with the blue umbrella dangling from my wrist by its tassel, an aforementioned high wind suddenly gusted along and bizarrely caught the umbrella against my own limbs and snapped off the handle! Who would even expect such a thing to happen? I was quite indignant.

Fortunately I work at a theatre that has a Props department, and I paid a visit to its manager. He is an amiable man, and was happy to be of assistance. A few days later, my umbrella appeared on my desk, and when I saw him, he told me he had reinforced the shaft with a length of steel, and then had glued the plastic handle back on. What a miracle worker! He warned me to treat it gently henceforth, but it certainly seems very sturdy again – not that I plan a bout of play sword-fighting or anything anytime soon.

Hurrah! LET IT RAIN.

Photos: March 2017, September 2018

Thursday
Sep062018

Yellow All Year Round

Bright sunshine yellow is one of my favourite colours just because it is so cheerful and joyous, reminding me how glorious summer can be. It is even more wonderful to wear in winter, when sunshine is rarer, and one’s spirits – dampened by winter – need cheering. (I wrote this opening paragraph having forgotten the title of the last story, Yellow is for Summer—yellow most cdertainly is for winter also!)

This vintage 1940s hat is a recent purchase from the Etsy store Roads Less Travelled 2. After admiring it in my wishlist for a long time, I took advantage of a sale it had a few months ago and snapped it up at a greatly reduced price. It was still quite pricey, but I reasoned that I would never find such a hat again, since yellow was such a rare colour, and especially not one from the 1940s, my favourite era for hats.

It is made from wool felt, and features a fantastic tassel as well as the veil. The hat has a military aspect, apt enough for the era, and I like to wear it tilted at a rakish angle (the best way to wear most hats).

By the time it arrived from America, I still had time enough in the winter to wear it two or three times, which is good going considering just how many hats I own – it’s hard to make sure they are all circulated during the season, although I do try! Luckily I have at least three yellow summer hats to keep me going until autumn comes around again.

Photo: August 2018