From 1940s

MSFW2015

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2015

It’s on again, and this year there are some nice events for us to see and enjoy fashion at its finest.   Running from August 28th (today!) to September 4th, here are some recommended highlights. Hope to see you at some of them.   The Dapper Guide to Vertical Melbourne – a free walking tour…

ACMI exhibition 900

[Exhibition] Orry-Kelly: Dressing Hollywood

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this one for a while, a new exhibition to accompany the film “Women He’s Undressed”.   Winner of three Oscars® (for Some Like it Hot, An American in Paris and Les Girls) and designer of costumes for a staggering 295 films (including Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon), Orry-Kelly is…

Lucy Secor

I’ve wanted to write about Lucy Secor for ages because every garment I’ve seen from this Melbourne label has been exceptionally well made. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who thinks they’re special – items can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. This lovely gown has just arrived in the shop – providing the perfect excuse for a little investigating. 1940s evening gown with beaded bodice and draped skirt. Now available online and in the Melbourne salon. Lucy Secor was a fashion label that opened…

Every day glamour

I have a thing for dressing gowns: they’re comfortable, relaxed and glamorous, protecting your modesty whilst enhancing your style. On Sundays I’ll wear one around the house during breakfast and assorted tasks, delaying the inevitable “dressing for the day”. They’re good for answering the door, collecting the mail and saying “hello” to your neighbours. I’ve even worn them to shops, cafes and nightclubs (over silk pyjamas or a slinky ’30s nightgown, please). Women used to have many dressing gowns in their wardrobe, along with their practical cousins: the brunch coat and the house coat, but nowadays these lovely garments have…

The Grand Tour 2015

So, yes, holiday! Tim and I have just returned from five weeks in Europe where we visited many cultural sites in Italy, France and the UK. A highlight of course was the opportunity to see some wonderful fashion exhibitions and I thought you might like to hear about them too – because even if you’re not able to visit them in person, they all have books and merchandise you can order online and they’ll send them to you. Ah, the wonders of the modern world. Plus there are many images online too, if you’d like to see more. First up…

[Ballarat] Heritage Weekend

Hello! I’ve just returned from a glorious five week holiday in Europe – here some instagrammed highlights including (shock horror) a change of haircolour. Yes, that’s right, no longer pink. I’m going to have to update my user pic – it’s also grown a lot longer, almost down to my shoulders so I can start styling ’40s dos again. Hurrah! I’ve missed my curls. There’s a lot going on at the moment so brace yourself for a few quick blog posts about upcoming events – here’s the first one, on this weekend! Wish I could make it but I’ll be…

[Exhibition] Stone’s style: Jessica Simon, a life in fashion

There’s a charming exhibition of a local style icon and fashion designer, currently on display in Ballarat. Here are some details from the website: Fashion director, clothing designer, retailer, philanthropist, world traveller and local style icon, Jessica Simon was a key figure in Ballarat’s fashion history. She played a managerial role in her family’s business, Stone’s Drapery Store (in operation 1860-1965), which was widely considered the place in Ballarat for fashion purchases, in particular wedding gowns. She hosted a fashion program on local television station BTV6, and designed many of the garments for sale in the store. Jessica was also…

A Gallivant Redingote

We have such wonderful resources to find information these days but sometimes what you seek can be elusive. I love to look up fashion labels, particular when I like the styles but often they use popular words and google can be unhelpful. Yesterday Becky Lou and I photographed new stock and this style from “Gallivant Coats” caught my eye: 1940s redingote – “hang on” is that what you’re thinking? “What’s a redingote?” I’m so glad you asked. A redingote is a light flared coat secured at the waist and based on historical riding fashions and has appeared at many times…

The Dakota and Bacall

In my ideal world, I would live at the Dakota. Archival image from Wikipedia, circa 1890. Built in 1884, the seven story Victorian European style building graces New York’s upper West Side with bohemian glamour. Originally there were 65 spacious apartments over seven floors, featuring between 4 and 20 rooms each. Above, under the rooftops were smaller rooms for servants. On the ground floor there was a large dining room where residents could either eat, or have meals sent up to their rooms via dumb waiters. Next door was a large stables (later garage) for the families who called it…

Vintage versus vintage reproduction fashion

One of the questions I most frequently encounter is that of vintage versus reproduction fashion. Now, as we know – real vintage is an authentic creation from a previous era. Reproduction is modern, brand new fashion, usually mass-produced and based on the style of a previous era. It can be a little confusing these days as some (contemporary) designers call their wares “vintage” when really they’re repros, and that with sufficient passing of time, the repros themselves become vintage. From the in-box: What do you think about modern companies reproducing vintage textiles? I just sold two excellent print dresses to…