Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Exhibitions 1 Comment

The NGV has an interesting exhibition coming up next month – a subject close to my heart, investigating historical fashion through the clues they contain. From their website:

Fashion Detective takes a selection of miscellaneous garments and accessories as the starting point for a series of investigations. Using material evidence and commissioned fictions as alternate interpretative strategies, the exhibition is an encounter with the art of detection.

From fakes and forgeries to poisonous dyes, concealed clues and mysterious marks to missing persons, Fashion Detective offers a number of cases for close examination. Each suggests a specific path of analysis that encourages us to think differently about what we see and what we know.

Scrutinising fragments of information, Fashion Detective also puts some of Australia’s best crime writers on the case. Speculating on the evidence at hand, a series of new short fictions based around the works on display will introduce plots, characters and narrative to the exhibition in order to reveal fashion’s countless contexts.

Featuring approximately 60 garments and accessories Fashion Detective juxtaposes the testimony of curators, conservators and writers, and acknowledges the interdependence of story and object as well as the public fascination with the social life of clothes.

What: Fashion Detective exhibition
When: 9th May to 31st August. 10am to 5pm every day – closed Tuesdays.
Where: Where: National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road Melbourne.
Cost: free
More information See the official site.

Fashion Detective NGV 475


Coming up soon is the first Strictly Vintage market for the year.

It’s a simple formula – the best vintage in Melbourne, at the best prices. We keep the costs down for the traders which means better prices for the buyers. All in the fabulous Northcote Town Hall, with a tram out the front and a train down the hill. It’s a winning formula and a great day out.

Organised by Take 2 Markets and Circa Vintage. I’ll be bringing a selection of frocks that will all be $50 each, including some great cotton prints and the lovely frock below – plus handbags, hats, shoes and other accessories priced to sell.

What: Strictly Vintage market
When: Sunday 23rd March 10am to 3pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall, top of Ruckers Hill, High St, Northcote. Tram out the front, Merri and Westgarth train stations near by.
Cost: $5

Yellow 40s

Strictly Vintage is for vintage fashion & accessories from 1920s to 1980s. NO contemporary fashion. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole in Calendar, events

Hi all,

Very late notice here: apologies for not letting you know sooner, but I’m taking part in an event tomorrow night (tonight if you’re receiving this by email) as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

From the site:

Take2 Markets presents Blogger’s Banquet where Melbourne’s leading fashion bloggers will step away from their laptops to meet their readership.

Fans can meet their favourite bloggers, ask questions, take photos and indulge at the pop-up shop with fashion for sale direct from blogger’s wardrobes. Come along and get to know the person behind the blog!

I won’t be selling fashion – you can come to Circa to see the full range – but I will be offering free appraisals and advice on your vintage items. You can bring something from home, or something from another stall or better yet, wear it along on the night and I will be at your service to give you the benefit of my expertise!

Plus, I’ll have discount vouchers so you can pick up a special piece later from Circa’s city salon or webshop.

What: Blogger’s Banquet.
When: Wednesday 5th March, 6pm to 10pm.
Where: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote.
Cost:$5 entry.
More information: see the site.

Hope to see you there!

Banquet poster


It’s on again this year – and it’s bigger and better: from the in-box.

Over this early autumn weekend, Como’s ground floor will be transformed a boutique retro outfitter, laden with 20th century outfits and accessories to add to your vintage wardrobe! With an eclectic range of donated designer garments, haberdashery, accessories, millinery and men’s wear, the Vintage Clothing Sale has something for every taste and style.

This year our volunteer organisers have be inundated with donations, including a very special assortment of haberdashery for all the crafters, makers and collectors. Organised entirely by volunteers the proceeds of the sale will go towards the conservation and display of garments in the Trust’s extensive costume collection.

As with previous years, I’ll be appraising and pricing all the stock and they’ll be priced to sell.

What: National Trust annual vintage, designer clothing and haberdashery sale
When: Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March, 10am to 4pm.
Where: The Ballroom at Como House, Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra.
Cost: gold coin entry. Be early to snaffle the best bargains!
More information at the National Trust Como House site.

Here’s a pic of some hats at last year’s sale – rumour has it that there are a lot of great hats this year too.

National Trust Sale 1


If you haven’t yet seen the fabulous NGV exhibition on Deco fashion and Edward Steichen photographs, allow me to offer you an additional enticement – I’m presenting a talk on Deco fashion at the NGV:

Join us for an afternoon in the exhibition as we take a closer look at fashionable aspects of the ’20s and ’30s, including hats, shoes and jewellery. Hosted by Paola di Trocchio, exhibition co-curator and Assistant Curator, International Fashion & Textiles.

Speakers include Theo Hasset, bespoke shoemaker; Richard Nylon, Milliner; Nicole Jenkins, fashion historian, retailer & author; Anne Schofield, jewellery specialist and collector.

What: Art Deco Fashion Afternoon: Vintage Glamour
When: Saturday 22nd Feb (2pm – 4pm)
Where: National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road Melbourne.
Cost: free, but entry costs apply to the exhibition and you’ll need a ticket to get in.

Here is a pic I took of some glorious ’20s coats: more Deco fashion loveliness can be found here. Hope to see you there.

Coats 475
Photo copyright Nicole Jenkins


Thank you to everyone who came and visited Circa this week: not surprisingly, it’s been the busiest week we’ve had since moving from Fitzroy, and I’ve loved meeting you all, greeting old friends and sending out so many vintage pieces to happy new homes.

As a result, I’d like to continue the in-salon sale for another week of half price bargains. New stock is getting added every day. Come see us Tuesday to Friday, 12noon to 6pm or Saturday 11am to 3pm.

There will be final markdowns on the last day – Saturday – with tops and skirts from $10 and dresses from $20!

Plus – I’d like to extend the sale to the webshop. Everything on the webshop for the following week will be 20% off – everything including wedding gowns and rare antique items. The discount will be automatically calculated as you go through checkout. This also applies if you’d like to purchase any webshop items in the Melbourne salon.

It includes all new arrivals – see here for the latest vintage styles. More will be added during the week. Webshop sale closes 2pm next Saturday Feb 15th.

sale 475

Hope to see you either at Mitchell House or online! Shipping for web orders is a flat $15 per order, Express Post. This is refunded if you’d like to pick up from the salon.

Thank you for your all your support.


Golly, the last decade has gone fast – this weekend is ten years since Circa all began, with a vintage clothing stall in Chapel Street Bazaar.

Within a week I realised that I wanted something bigger, where I could help people choose the right frock for their needs and so a few months later my first proper shop opened in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. Since then there has been the addition of a webshop, and more recently, relocating into the city of Melbourne in the beautiful Art Deco building Mitchell House.

To celebrate this milestone, we’re going to hold a half price sale – everything in the city salon will be half price for the first week of February!

What: Circa Celebrates Ten Years – with a half price sale.
When: Tues-Friday 4th-7th Feb (12noon to 6pm) and Sat 8th Feb (11am to 3pm). NOW EXTENDED TO SAT 15th FEB!
Where: Circa Vintage, 1st floor, 358 Lonsdale St Melbourne – cnr Elizabeth St.

10th anniversary sale copy

The sale includes menswear, ladieswear, hats, bags, jewellery, scarves and other accessories. Items from the ’20s to brand new but in vintage style. Some items are from the webshop and some you’ve never seen before – most are below cost. Prices from $2.50. Highly unlikely to ever be repeated. Webshop is not included.

UPDATE: Half price sale continues in store for another week – finishing 3pm Saturday February 15th!


A wonderful new exhibition opened on the weekend at the Arts Centre: a sort of “Greatest Hits” of costumes from ballet, theatre and opera of the last, well, many decades.

From the site:
All that Glitters showcases costumes from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection that were designed to create a spectacle on stage. The exhibition celebrates the vision behind these costumes, the creativity and skill of those who created them and the show-stopping performances that brought them to life.

What: All That Glitters – Costumes from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection
When: 16 November – 23 February, 9am until late.
Where: the Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Cost: free.

As well as being very sumptuous and sparkly, I found the exhibition to be personally satisfying as it included a beautiful gown from the ’70s production of “The Merry Widow”. My mum brought the programme home after seeing it, and the costume sketches were my first inspiration to become a costume designer. This is the first time I’ve ever seen any of the actual costumes.

It also includes a pair of Baroque style shoes, worn for the ’70s production of “Don Quixote”, a ballet starring Rudolph Nureyev. Like many little girls, I studied classical ballet and seeing this production was a major treat. I was stunned to see a costume from this distant memory, on display.

More information at the Arts Centre site.

All that glitters 6

Gown worn by Jill Perryman as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly!, Gordon Frost Organisation, 1995. Designed by Tim Goodchild. Gift of Gordon Frost Organisation, Cultural Gifts Program, 2001. Arts Centre Melbourne, Performing Arts Collection. Photo Source.


I saw this exhibition some time ago and have been remiss in alerting you – so apologies for the delay, it’s finishing soon. No photos of my own to show you (strictly forbidden) but I can assure it’s well worth seeing, if you’re enjoying the fabulous costumes of the TV series or love ’20s style. Plus: Rippon Lea is a beautiful place and always worth a visit.

What: Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition
When: daily until Sunday December 1, 2013. Open 10.30am – 4.30pm (Last admission is at 4pm)
Where: Rippon Lea House & Gardens, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick
Cost: Adult $15, Concession $12, $10 Adult, Child $9. Family prices are also available.
More information: available at the National Trust site .

Miss Fisher's costume exhibition
Photo source Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Facebook page

From the National Trust site:
The popular ABC TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will return to Rippon Lea this spring with a major exhibition featuring the sumptuous costumes worn by the Hon. Phryne Fisher and her cohorts. The house and gardens, which features in the series as the home of Aunt Prudence, will once again be transformed as the doors open to the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition on the 7th September.

More than 30 outfits worn by the lead cast including Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis), Dectective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) and Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margolyes) from both series one and the soon to be broadcast series two of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will be showcased in the exhibition.

Visitors will be taken on a journey in to the creation of the many worlds of Miss Fisher with insight from Kerry Greenwood, the author of the Phryne Fisher mysteries series of books, Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox, producers of the popular ABC TV series and Marion Boyce, the costume designer for the TV series.

Thank you to the National Trust for inviting me to see the exhibition – my favourite costume was Jack’s wool gabardine coat with the unexpected red lining. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed that revealing detail before and now of course, it’s all I see.

I hope we get a third season! Friday nights won’t be the same without my weekly Miss Fisher.


Are you ready for summer? I’m giving my last talk for the year on ladies swimwear, and there’s sure to be lots of inspiration for what to wear on the beach.

Join Nicole Jenkins (award-winning author of Love Vintage, fashion historian and retailer) on a trip through the changing styles, fabrics and construction techniques of 20th century ladies’ swimwear.

What: Talk on the history of ladies swimwear.
When: 6.30 pm Wednesday November 20th
Where: St Kilda library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Cost: Free but please book by phoning 9209 6655 or on the website so you don’t miss out.
More information at the St Kilda library site.

I’ll be bringing along photos of assorted styles and actual swimsuits, so you can see and touch the different fabrics and see how they were made.

Hope to see you there!

1940s swimsuit

St Clare in elegant 1940s swimsuit, pretty enough to wear as a playsuit or sundress.

vintage swimwear2 475

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