Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in sport (12)


The Truth About Boxing Day

Apparently, on the second day of Christmas, in Great Britain lords and ladies historically gifted servants and tradespeople boxes of Christmas goodies. Apparently. But I believe this is a hoax; a world-wide cover-up for the real truth. It is in fact a global holiday recognising the enormously enjoyable sport of boxing.

I haven’t done any boxing for a few years, and I miss it. So today in homage I give you my sterling silver boxing glove charms that swing right! and hook left! from my charm necklace. Aren’t they pretty?

I think I feel a New Year’s resolution coming up(per cutting) …


Pompoms A Clear Winner

Stakes Day (yesterday) at Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is traditionally a family day and a more relaxed affair. An Australian fashion magazine in a recent issue (that I have annoyingly misplaced) published a guide for dressing for the four days of the carnival, and suggested a neutral colour palette for Stakes Day.

I suspect most female attendees of the carnival were not paying particular attention to any themes except the obvious black and white for Derby Day, but I thought they were quite good for distinguishing outfits for each day. (Additionally, Cup Day was bold colour, and Oaks Day pretty, feminine details.)

This hat I’m wearing is by Australian label Mimco from a few seasons ago. It has a straw base on a headband, and three raffia pompoms attached; the one you can’t see at the back is lilac coloured. I remember seeing it in-store and falling in love with it – I find pompoms irresistible!

I was thrilled to come across the hat on eBay, purloining it for a mere $30

However, as an owner of copious hats already, the very expensive price tag made me pass on purchasing it. I couldn’t even plead the excuse of attending the races and needing a new, up-to-the-minute hat. Then a couple of years later I was thrilled to come across the hat on eBay, purloining it for a mere $30. It didn’t even look as if it had been worn. (I have <cough-cough> not worn it yet either, as it is an extravagant hat for everyday occasions, but one day…)

Naturally (neutrally?) the raffia begged to be paired with a fun, raffia-like fringed top I bought a little while ago in a thrift store. It’s a light-hearted touch for a family day.

Photo: October 2016


Pretty as a Picture (Hat)

Today was Oaks Day at the Spring Racing Carnival, which is also known as Ladies Day, and the pink rose is the official flower for the day – it can be purchased from flower sellers near the entrance of the racecourse. Today is also known as my sister Star’s birthday, and I was in fact celebrating the occasion with her and my two other older sisters.

However, this hat (bought in an op shop a few months ago) surely personifies the day’s theme, as it is coloured rose pink and resembles nothing so much as giant flower petals that have fluttered down and settled on the head. It looks different from every angle, as the sinamay has been crumpled into an asymmetric shape.

There is also a large exotic flower on one side which I disliked (such trimmings seem so common to me). It would look so much more elegant and sculptural without it. At first I thought that I would be able to remove it by ripping off the stitches, but unfortunately the milliner saw fit to glue it down to such a degree that ripping it off would destroy the sinamay at the crown. I am trying to reconcile myself to its existence.

the trim, and the wide brim, define this as a picture hat, also sometimes known as a ‘Gainsborough’ hat

In fact the trim, and the wide brim, define this as a picture hat, also sometimes known as a ‘Gainsborough’ hat (after the 18th century painter). The name derives from the way the broad brim frames the face and creates a ‘picture’. Other wide-brimmed hats are called cartwheels (usually worn flat) and halos (usually worn upstanding on the back of the head, like an angel’s halo also as seen in old paintings); both these styles were popular in the 1940s. Picture hats often were lavishly trimmed, as in the Edwardian era, so my single flower is probably quite restrained.

At any rate, it is an entirely frivolous hat, for though the brim is enormous, the loosely woven material would provide zero protection from the sun. But not all beautiful things need to be practical, do they?

Photo: July 2016


Brilliant Plumage

Supposedly Melbourne Cup Day fashions are all about bright, bold colours, so I took that as license to go to the nth degree. Therefore I am peacocking about in fine feathers and brilliant plumage: namely, a turquoise feathered bandeau and an emerald jacket that are both from the 1950s, and a modern flamingo pink silk blouse with cascading ruffles.

The hat I spotted, fell in love and bought it all in an instant from Etsy a few years ago, while the raw silk jacket and blouse are both more recent thrift store purchases. The hat really is a flamboyant piece, and although I did not go to the races, it is the perfect eye-catching accessory for such an event.

Photo: This week


Derby Day Bridle

Today is the Victorian Derby Day of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival, and I did not attend the races. However, since I will take any reason to celebrate the donning of hats, I am getting into the spirit with this 1940s headpiece.

On Derby Day it is traditional for ladies to wear black and white only; this headpiece is made from white seed beads and pale silver bugle beads (I assume metallics are acceptable). It would actually have been worn originally as a bridal tiara. The beads are sewn to a cotton or linen backing that is remarkably sturdy, and the headpiece fits firmly on the head.

It’s really very pretty, and on-point, as tiara-style headpieces are currently all the rage. I caught the train into the city this morning and saw quite a few racegoers – every woman I saw was wearing a tiara in some form; I saw not one hat. Even more remarkably, I did not fantasise about crushing any of them underfoot – they were all tasteful! It shall be interesting to see what else comes out of Melbourne’s collective closets over the next few days.

P.S. Some horse fancifully called Prized Icon won the actual race; the jockey was wearing strawberry pink-and-brown silks.

Photo: Today