Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in shoes (123)


Sandal Scandal

Last summer I had to regretfully throw out some beloved sandals because I had worn them to death, but at least I could reflect that they had served me long and well. They were so worn out they couldn’t possibly be donated to charity – they went straight into the bin.

But what makes someone get rid of a perfectly good pair of designer sandals that they had just had re-heeled? A temporary leave of sanity? I cannot else answer this question.

I spotted (pun not intended) these Gorman chocolate brown and cream pony-hair sandals in a Salvos Store three weeks ago. Admittedly they are a size too big for me, but done up on the tightest hole they are wearable – not to mention very cute on! They are in excellent condition, with only one bit of faint wear along the edge of one vamp, and the heels had been completely replaced. (I must own I have cleaned up the insoles in Photoshop for the picture, but they also are not too bad.)

When I showed these to one of my friends, her jaw dropped slightly as I told her I paid $15 for them. “You got a bargain,” she told me, having tried them on new in Gorman. “They were very expensive.” That information does not surprise me. I normally don’t even bother entering the portals of this famous Australian designer store, for I can’t afford to shop there myself (neither can my friend – she was just in there admiring, but I prefer not to torture myself in such a needless fashion).

How to Clean Second Hand Shoes

A lot of websites will tell you to clean with rubbing alcohol, which is iso-propyl alcohol, and can be difficult to find in Australia. Methylated spirits (ethanol, or denatured alcohol) are perfectly adequate for the job. My sandals, being open and not much worn, did not need more than a wipe out with the methylated spirits.

For detailed information on how to deal with problem shoes (sneakers, or closed, smelly shoes), visit Wikihow.

Photo: This month



Recently my niece Bluejay and I decided to have a Twin Peaks marathon, ahead of the new series being released next year, especially because we had done one nearly twenty years ago (Bluejay is only four years younger than me). Yesterday we had our first session, managing to get through the entire first season. It was so much fun!

As far as style goes, Audrey Horne is – as she probably is for many others – my favourite character. Her cute, preppy look has become iconic over time. As Bluejay asked yesterday evening, “How is it that though Audrey wears the same kind of clothes as everyone else, she looks much sexier?” I laughed, and we decided that it’s because her clothes are closer-fitting, and her sweaters are mostly plain, rather than emblazoned with hideous 80s patterns. Any hint of subversiveness lies more in her character than in the demure clothes she wears.

“How is it that though Audrey wears the same kind of clothes as everyone else, she looks much sexier?”

The iconic Audrey Horne of David Lynch's Twin PeaksIt was very entertaining to see the fashions everyone was wearing – so sloppy and dowdy! So many enormous sweaters in earthy, muted tones. And the big hair! I asked Bluejay in astonishment, “Did we think they were dowdy back then?” I couldn’t remember wearing such clothes – I was at art school when Twin Peaks was first aired in Australia. “We didn’t dress like that,” Bluejay answered, “it was weird.” Well of course the whole show was weird! The fashion just gave it an extra dimension of strangeness.

The fashion just gave [Twin Peaks] an extra dimension of strangeness.

I’ve managed to put together an Audrey-esque outfit from existing items in my closet: I actually own a great many plaid pleated skirts, although I wouldn’t say I dress preppy at all! However, I do have a sneaking fondness for the look. Nor do I currently own any brogues or penny loafers – I had to make do with a pair of very high brogue-inspired heels.

Bobbysoxers are just so darned cute! Click the image to find out more about bobbysoxers and their entertaining origins.Interestingly, earlier in the week while researching 1950s daywear, I came across another section in my book Fashion: The Whole Story (Marnie Fogg, Thames & Hudson, 2013) about bobbysoxers of the 1940s, who wore skirts with sweaters, and the eponymous bobby socks with loafers. These rebellious teens were surely the inspiration behind Audrey’s look, along with shades of the 50s and 80s.

I was amused to note the first close-up of Audrey’s penny loafers as she enters her father’s chauffeur-driven car to go to school: black and white, and worn without socks – a saucier rendition of the look.

Her hair and makeup are also reminiscent of the 40s (the lack of bangs and side part) and 50s (the short curls). I pinned up my hair at the back and curled the shorter layers to emulate Audrey’s do, but her hairstyle is giving me some much-needed inspiration.

I can’t wait to see what David Lynch has in store for us – narratively and sartorially – in the new series!

Photos: This week


Just Like Kate

I know I have posted a lot about shoes lately (anyone would think I love them more than hats), but these ‘So Kate’ silver pumps by Christian Louboutin are so worth another shoe tale.

I bought them the day before yesterday, for the princely (or princess-y) sum of $4, from a local thrift store. Yes, FOUR DOLLARS. You can imagine I nearly fainted on the spot. Obviously the store staff did not know the label. There was also a pair of Gucci sandals priced at $25, but I didn’t like the look of them.

They routinely hide the second pair of good shoes out back at this store to prevent theft, but considering they had priced these so low, I’m not sure why they bothered.

There was a moment of fear when two staff members went to ferret out the second shoe that they wouldn’t find it, but happily it was unearthed. They were in very good condition, with only a very few scuffs. When I tried the pair on and they fit perfectly, I felt like Cinderella just like Kate.


Solo Sole Fixer-Upper

Who needs a shoe repairer when with sundry art supplies lying about the house, one can do some home cobbling in a jiffy?

Here is a pair of patent leather heels by Aussie label Wittner that I have owned and loved for years. They feature darling little bows that look like farfalle pasta on the slingbacks. One day I brought them down from the high shelf on which they had been stored, and found that the insoles had completely separated from the outsoles. As well, the leather had lifted from the heels. Disaster!

It looked to me like all they needed was a bit of glue and a heavy-duty clamp. I took them to my regular shoe repairer, and he expressed astonishment at their state. “Did you leave them in a hot car?” he wondered. “No,” I answered innocently, omitting to tell him they had been stored on a high shelf near a skylight (heat rises, after all).

I was utterly bamboozled when he quoted me $60 for the repair

He made disparaging remarks about the shoe manufacturing industry, then I was utterly bamboozled when he quoted me $60 for the repair. Sixty dollars! For a bit of gluing! You’ve got to be joking, I thought, and declined availing myself of his services.

I took the slingbacks home and laid out some newspaper and applied glue suitable for leather with a palette knife, then clamped them with several bulldog clips. It took me probably ten minutes to complete the operation; I left them for 24 hours before I removed the clips. Et voila! Le shoes, zey are fixed! And when I wore them they even held together – and still do.

Photo: September 2014


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

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