Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Monday
Jan172011

What I Actually Wore #0044

Serial #: 0044
Date: 17/09/2010
Weather: 16°C and cold
Time Allowed: 5 minutes

This was such an easy outfit to put together and required little thought. It was dictated by the weather, which was cold. I was working at the theatre company and would have to walk there through the Botanic Gardens, so reasonable shoes were a requisite.

The black linen skirt and striped jumper were a natural combination to create this storybook silhouette. I am not sure what to call this skirt shape: it is akin to a balloon skirt, in that the hem folds under, but the gathers are like the petals of a flower. A slim-fitting top is imperative; otherwise I really would look like a balloon.

I chose the blue suede boots for a bit of colour, and they are not too bad to walk in. The white enamel pussycat earrings add an extra bit of whimsy to a fun outfit. Red lips were the finishing touch, and my vintage red cape coat kept me warm. 

Items:

Top: DeCjuba
Skirt: Morrison
Earrings: Vietnamese souvenir
Ring: Autore
Bracelet:
eBay
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Boots: Robert Robert

Wednesday
Dec292010

What I Actually Wore #0043

Serial #: 0043 
Date: 17/09/2010
Weather: 15°
Time Allowed: 5 minutes, easy as 1-2-3

It is fun to be working in an office somewhere, rather than from home, as it means I dress up a little more. The black wide-legged pants are wool, by a brand called Ming which I have never heard of before. They are comfy, and warm, with wool flannel on the front, gabardine on the back, and a pin-stripe trimming the waistband. I found them in an op-shop for $25, and they are in very good nick. A bargain, I say!

On rare occasions I stumble across some item of clothing – whether by pressing my nose against the glass, or flipping through a magazine – that makes my heart palpitate so much that I determine I must own the item, no matter the cost. This was the case with the striped top. (The over-the-knee boots, and the harem shorts were other such items.) This Veronika Maine top was a bargain only in the sense that I loved it fiercely from the instant I saw it, and have worn it many times.

I love the boldness of the wide orange and taupe stripes; the asymmetric draping of the neckline; the cap sleeves. I am very fond of stripes – they always make me think of summer for some reason. Normally I don’t wear colours with black, but the extraordinary width of these pants demanded an equally striking top with character enough to hold its own.

I chose the ponyhair high-heeled mary-janes because they were comfortable enough for the 25 minute walk to work, up hill and down dale through the Botanic Gardens. Silver jewellery adds a bright touch to relieve all that black fabric.

High-ho, it’s off to work I go! (Carrying my Wacom tablet with me rather than a pick-axe.)

Items:

Top: Veronika Maine
Pants: Ming
Earrings: from Palm Beads
Bracelet: from eBay
Ring: Autore
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Shoes: Diana Ferrari

Monday
Nov222010

Black and White and Chic

Lulue has already appeared on the pages of SNAP a number of times, but only in the capacity of a model. One night after a boxing session, I took her to a bar, sat her down with a nice glass of red, and grilled her about fashion.

I love this black and white outfit of yours Lulue! I don’t often see you this dressed up either.

Thanks. I did come straight from work, although this is more dressy than usual for me. Actually, when I was putting the outfit together this morning, it was even dressier, and I had to pare it back. I originally tried a belt with the dress, but it looked too formal. It also made the dress much shorter, and inappropriate for work.

Let’s back up a bit. Did the outfit start with the dress? What inspired you?

Yes, the outfit started with the dress, as the weather was so gorgeous. In winter I wear this dress with tights and boots, but today in honour of the sunshine I went with bare legs (spray-tanned!) and heels. I decided to be more casual and ‘let it flow’, so I dropped the belt.

The dress has a really unusual shape, and I love the print – it’s so elegant.

I was pretty pleased today when someone thought it was by Scanlan & Theodore! It’s from a boutique in Canterbury I often shop in, Inzagi. It has an unusual triangular shape that forms these gathers on the sides, which I wasn’t sure about at first as I normally go for more classic styles. 

I was pretty pleased today when
someone thought it [the dress] was by Scanlan & Theodore!

It’s very cute – I love a bit of volume. The cardigan is certainly a classic though.

That’s from Country Road. I wore it for extra warmth, as the showroom can be quite cool. It has batwings, and bell-shaped sleeves that I really like. I’ve had the cardi for quite a long time, and it goes with everything.

Everyone needs at least one classic black cardigan in their wardrobe. I have at least two – one long, one short. I really like how well your accessories work too. It’s a great collection of jewellery.

The black bangle [not shown – Lulue brings the wrong bangles to the shoot!] is from Hawaii, and was a present from my sister who lives in Tahiti. It’s made from some kind of seeds – not sure if it should have made it through quarantine! It ties with a ribbon that matches the ribbon on the wooden chain necklace – also a gift, from a friend who bought it in a boutique on Chapel St. The black onyx pebble earrings are from Palm Beads in Greville St.

It’s great how all the jewellery matches so well, considering it all comes from different places. How about the shoes?

I don’t have as many shoes as you, and these were the only ones that complemented the outfit. The shoes are classic black pumps from Nine West, and were a bargain, reduced to $50. Eighty per cent of my shoes are from Nine West.

I love a good pair of jeans and a
t-shirt – anything comfortable
and casual.

I’m the same, but it’s Wittner in my case. How would you describe your style in general?

I would say very classic. I love a good pair of jeans and a t-shirt – anything comfortable and casual. I’m not into high-end trends – or at least, it takes me a while to catch up. I’m not really very extravagant – most of the time!

Is there anything that particularly tempts you to extravagance?

I have my eye on another pair of shoes from Nine West. I also love scarves and belts, although these days I tend to wear scarves only on the weekend, not at work. Otherwise I just wait until something catches my eye, and I’ll think about it for a while before I take the plunge.

So chic and classic, with a dash of discretion and a hint of sexy. Lulue is French after all. … Another glass of wine?

Thanks Lulue for swishing onto SNAP’s pages once more. 

Saturday
Oct302010

What I Actually Wore #0040

Serial #: 0040
Date: 17/05/2010
Weather: a cool, mid-winter day of 17°
Time Allowed: 5 minutes

It’s my first day on the job (a short contract job that is) in a design studio in Thornbury. This is an inner Melbourne northern suburb I have never before been to in my life. Investigating transport options, I discover that the bus stopping not five minutes from my home gets me virtually to the door.

Hurrah! This means I can wear precarious shoes to my heart’s content.

With this in mind I choose a new pair of purple suede ankle boots (so deliciously impractical). 

Two-tone grey; I love the perky patent bow of this belt.I also wanted to wear a new secondhand purchase: a black linen skirt that is a little reminiscent of a balloon skirt, but it tapers at the sides. I choose a soft grey wool top to wear with it. As it is slightly loose I pull out a favourite patent belt: I really like different shades of grey worn together. Silver Turkish coin earrings fit the theme.

These boots were NOT made for climbing rickety old ladders!

I rarely wear black with colours as it reminds me too much of brash Eighties fashion, but the purple boots are just the right coloured punctuation mark to this muted outfit.

It’s the first of many pairs of shoes with which I entertain the girls at the local Thornbury café where I have my lunch.

Items:

Top: Victoria Woods
Skirt: Morrison
Belt: David Lawrence
Shoes: Zoe Wittner
Earrings: Palm Beads
Rings: Roun
Watch: Kenneth Cole

Wednesday
May192010

Tenuous Threads

The NGV International’s current fashion exhibition is called ‘Drape: Classical Mode to Contemporary Dress’, and features clothing based on two styles of draping of fabric on the body: clinging and elevated.

The former – seemingly a far more natural and uncontrived method of fashioning cloth – is based on the classical garments of ancient civilisations. There is a ‘direct interaction between the body and cloth’ the NGV’s writer declares. Is this merely the result of ancient clothiers’ practicality?

Perhaps also in antiquity, these garments with their swathes of billowing fabric were far less revealing than modern examples of 20th century couturiers’, such as Ungaro’s silk jersey dress (below left) with its revealing cut-outs.

(Left) Emmanuel Ungaro, Dress 2003, silk jersey, silk chiffon, metal. (Right, from left) Jean Dessès, Evening Dress 1954, silk, bone, zip, metal, acetate; Dior, by Christian Dior, Ballgown 1953, silk, nylon, metal fasteners.‘Elevated drape’ is far more akin to sculpture: fabric whipped into a frenzy – like Kawakubo’s black meringue, forever frozen into stillness behind the glass (below left). It is supported by tulle. Other antique garments achieved their volume through draping cloth cunningly over rather more architectural constructs: crinolines or bustles.

(Left) Comme de Garçons, by Rei Kawakubo, Dress Spring/Summer 1997, cotton, polyester, nylon tulle. (Right) Dior, by Marc Bohan, Evening Outfit (tunic and trousers with cummerbund), Autumn/Winter 1977, viscose jersey.

‘Elevated drape’ is far more akin to sculpture: fabric whipped into
a frenzy…

My favourite garment in the exhibition – Paco Rabanne’s golden column (foreground, below) – harks back to a time between the ancient and modern worlds: to the Middle Ages, and Joan of Arc’s chain mail. Rabanne’s evocation is far more like liquid poetry than the harsh prose of Joan’s reality.

(Left) Paco Rabanne, Evening Dress c. 1973, aluminium, silk. (Right) Versace, by Gianni Versace, Evening Dress Autumn/Winter 1994, metal mesh, leather, lurex velvet; printed.It’s a rather tenuous premise on which to base an exhibition (almost as slender a thread as my comparison of Rabanne with Joan); notably the pieces are drawn predominantly from the NGV’s collection. But who has not thought fashion a rather frivolous pursuit at one time or another? It is still a very enjoyable exhibition to view.

The exhibition runs until 27 June, 2010.

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