Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, Circa event, fashion parade 1 Comment

A little while ago we put on a fashion parade for the Australian Sewing Guild – this one was a little different to our usual formats, for a specialised audience and we combined the parade with my popular talk on ladies fashions of the ’20s to the ’70s.

Instead of me just standing up the front and showing dresses, the dresses were worn by models, who strolled around and let the audience touch the fabrics and see them up close.

It was a great success and I loved the opportunity to focus more on the fabrics, the construction techniques and the detailing than usual – here are some of the frocks as worn by our lovely models Apple, Carolina, Lola and Carley. Esther helped behind the scenes with dressing.

Here are some of the many frocks that were paraded: we took a few liberties with accessories: they’re not all period correct, but I think they’re suitable for each era to help create a look.

Carley looking very chic and summery in 1920s fuji silk day wear.

Apple in 1920s silk crepe with cutouts and embroidered detailing.

Carolina, stunning in 1930s silk evening gown – now available in the salon for purchase.

Carley in my WW2 Red Cross nurses uniform.

Lola in cotton print 1950s sundress – coming soon to the webshop.

Carolina in 1950s silk ballgown – this one is featured in my book “Love Vintage” and I now suspect it was made by Sydney couturier Beril Jents.

Carley in 1960s polyester dress with machine smocking – now available in the salon.

Apple in sheer floral party dress, early 1970s – coming soon to the webshop.

Lola in early 1970s cotton print Laura Ashley – everyone loved this one especially, we all seem to have worn something similar at the time!

A surprise finish was not a dress at all but Carolina in a silk pantsuit! Now available in the salon.

My favourite photo – the happy audience! The parade went really well and the feedback I got was wonderful. Here are some words from the National Newsletter about the event:

“Nicole spoke on the history of fashion and fabric through the 20th century and with four beautiful models paraded clothes from the ’20s to the ’70s…there were a lot of gasps of joy and no one wanted her to leave. As we said our goodbyes the audience were slow to leave, wanting to savour the moment a little longer”.

Thank you to Fay for inviting us to be a part of your event and sharing these great photos, the lovely models, Esther for dressing and Sue, the editor of the Newsletter – it was a lot of fun and a great to meet like-minded people. I hope we can work together again!

Posted by Nicole in 1950s, 1960s, Calendar, fashion parade, Talk 4 Comments

What: Charlotte Smith presents a talk and catwalk parade of classic Hollywood vintage couture from The Darnell Collection, of the ’50s and ’60s.
When: Saturday 3rd September 4.00-5.30pm
Where: BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.
Cost: $21.50, $19.50 concession
Bookings available click here to book online

Glamorous movie stars, jetset locations and fashions in the 50s and 60s will set the scene for a presentation on – and catwalk parade of – classic Hollywood vintage couture from The Darnell Collection, the subject of Charlotte Smith’s two fascinating autobiographical books, Dreaming of Chanel and Dreaming of Dior.

Elegant daywear and sumptuous evening gowns capture the mood of Hitchcock classics – think Grace Kelly, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren for a truly fabulous festival afternoon! Please note this is a 90-minute session.

This event is part of the Melbourne Writers Festival and More information can be found at the MWF website.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, Circa event, fashion parade, Vintage Fairs 4 Comments

As you know, on Saturday Circa held a vintage fashion parade at the Melbourne Vintage Clothing Show.

The room was packed – I didn’t want to obstruct anyone’s view so these pics are taken down the side…hence the sometimes unflattering angles… This is part one of my Melb Vintage Clothing Show, a second post will follow and also an edited video where you can see the front of the frocks.

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who helped make the event happen –

The fabulous Master of Ceremonies: Andrew McClelland.
The wonderful models: Candice, Kylie, Prue, Alex, Fiona, Eszter, Becky, Anna, Lux and Loretta.
The great backstage crew: Anniene, Cass, Esther and Erika.
The video camera operator: my darling husband Tim.
The invaluable Circa shop ladies for helping me get all the outfits together: Victoria, Esther, Erika and Kate.
Janel, the show organiser for inviting us to be a part of the first Melbourne Vintage Clothing Show.

The soundtrack featured select swing dance classics by Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. And now….the pics….as always, click on an image to see in full, click again to see in full size. Fashions from the ’20s to the ’70s.

For more pics from the parade, see Carli’s blog Konad-licious!. Thanks Carli! Chealse V on Flickr also has some great shots – and much better lighting too.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, Calendar, Circa event, fashion parade 8 Comments

What: Circa Vintage Clothing fashion parade of garments from the 1920s to the 1970s
When: 12.30pm Saturday May 28th
Where: Exhibition Hall, Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale.
Cost: free with entry to the fair.

Today I’m selecting garments for the fashion parade, and all this week I’ll be doing model fittings. Ideally, we’ll have eight models with three outfits each, making a total of 24 outfits. I’d like to dress ladies of different sizes so have picked out a wide range of styles including swimwear, a WW2 red cross nurse’s uniform and a Zandra Rhodes punk outfit. This will be the biggest fashion parade I’ve done for almost a year – and many of the garments will be available for sale at our stall at the Vintage Fair.

I’ll also be doing the commentary this time, so I can tell you all about the dresses and their stories as the ladies come out in them – I hope you can join us! Here are three of the frocks you’ll probably see – all three are from my private collection and featured in my book “Love Vintage”.

UPDATE: I’m pleased to report that Andrew McClelland will be Master of Ceremonies! Very pleased – this is going to be wonderful.

Photographs are reproduced courtesy Tira Lewis.

More information about the fair can be found at the official website.

Speaking of Circa’s stall – I’ll also be bringing some of the best dresses from the webshop so if there’s something there you like, and would to see it and try it on first, please email me and I’ll see if I can bring it along for you. In particular, I get a lot of requests to try on the wedding gowns so I’ll be bringing a rack of them.

Posted by Nicole in fashion parade 1 Comment

This week and next I’m doing model fittings for the salon style fashion parade that’s on next week at Cranlana – a rare chance to see couture from the Darnell Collection.

Here are some quick shots from the fittings of models Candice, Fiona, Eszter and Penny. On the day, each will be fully accessorised for the parade. These frocks are all from the ’50s and ’60s but there will be outfits from a variety of eras.

As always, click on each to see in full – I didn’t really cut off their heads!

If you’d like to come to the parade, there are still tickets available – please call the shop on 9419 8899 during trading hours (Wed-Sat 11-5pm) and we can take your details. Cost is $55 each and all funds raised go towards rebuilding the library of Cardross Primary School, lost in the recent floods.

Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Circa event, fashion parade, Vintage Fairs, Where to buy vintage 3 Comments

Ever since the first Sydney Vintage Clothing fair many years ago, I’ve been encouraging organiser Janel Morrissey to hold one in Melbourne – and finally it’s happening!

Janel’s Sydney fair is the best in the country – a true vintage event with people dressing up, dancing, hair and make up tutorials, talks and presentations and fashion parades. I’m so excited that she’s bringing it all to Melbourne and can’t wait for it to start. I’m posting this early because she’s still looking for Melbourne traders to exhibit – many will come from the Sydney fair, from all over the country. This is an event not to be missed!

As well, Circa will be hosting a vintage fashion parade at 12.30pm on the Saturday. More details about that to follow.

What: Melbourne Vintage Clothing, Jewellery and Textiles Show
When: 5.30-9pm Friday May 27th, 9.30am-5.30pm Saturday May 28th, 10am-4pm Sunday May29th
Where: Exhibition Hall, Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale.
Cost: Adults $14, Pensioner $10, Children 10-16yrs $5, Under 10yrs free, Family $30

Image courtesy Melbourne Vintage Clothing, Jewellery and Textiles Show

More information at the official website. If you’d like a stall, please contact Janel.

Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Costume Collections, fashion parade 4 Comments

A lot of people ask me about the Darnell Collection and Charlotte Smith’s accompanying book “Dreaming of Dior”.

A rare opportunity to see some couture fashion featured in her most recent book “Dreaming of Chanel” is coming up. This is a small, private affair, an event to remember, and also a fundraiser, to help the Cardross Primary School Library, that was badly damaged in the recent Victorian floods – all monies raised will be donated.

What: Dreaming of Chanel – a couture fashion event.
When: 10.30am, Thursday March 24th
Where: Cranlana, 62 Clendon Road, Toorak.
Cost: $55

Bookings essential: please call Circa on 9419 8899 or My Bookshop by Corrie Perkins on 9824 2990. Very limited numbers.

Click on the flyer to see in full.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, art deco, Calendar, Costume Collections, fashion parade 4 Comments

An intriguing event from the in-box:

Charlotte Smith, owner and curator of The Darnell Collection, the largest private collection of vintage couture garments and accessories in Australia, will continue her series of fashion lectures at the Carrington.

Charlotte will discuss fashion during the time Agatha Christie wrote many of her most famous mysteries. Guest will be entertained with conversation about Christie’s life, her inspiration and her famous detectives. A display of rare and valuable dresses from the ’20s will compliment a fashion parade of vintage dresses and accessories from the ’20s through to the ’40s. Following the catwalk parade a Q&A will take place.

When: Sunday February 13th, 2pm to 3.30pm.
Where: The Carrington Hotel, Grand Dining Room, Katoomba, NSW
Cost: $15 per person
Bookings: call 0416 463 331 or the Carrington on 02 4782 1111.

Click on the flyer to see in full, click again for full size.

This event is part of a Roaring ’20s festival on that weekend – there’s also a Deco Ball, history tours, a speakeasy, a classic car display and ragtime jazz. For more information see the Carrington’s events page.

Posted by Nicole in Circa event, fashion parade, Swimwear 4 Comments

We had a great time at the Wintersun festival – it was a bit like the best school camp ever: but for grown ups. At our rented apartment, it was Glamour Central as Tim and I shared with the wonderful Candice and Miss Carly of the Lindy Charm School for Girls. Boy do those ladies know how to look fabulous! I’m not used to applying my lipstick before breakfast: good thing I brought spares.

The week was pretty much spent hanging out with gorgeous lovely people wearing vintage clothing, and seeing wonderful ’40s and ’50s style bands, doing lots of walking, admiring amazing cars (more than I’ve ever seen before) and eating and drinking. Dreamy, huh? We were also staying opposite the beach but despite good intentions I didn’t manage to take that long walk along the shore: it served as a beautiful backdrop to all the action.

Soon into the week it was my birthday, so as a treat Candice did my make up and Chrissy from the Lindy Charm School did my hair: the result is my new avatar, I like it so much – of course, now I’m going to have to try harder to have glamourous hair more often, as it makes a big difference.

Highlights were the Circa swimwear parade and the ’50s style Cake Bake – here is a small selection of my pics of the week. Hope it gives you a bit of an idea of how much fun it was, and how much I’m looking forward to the next one.

As always, click on each image to see in full – and if you’d like to see more of my car pics, see Candice’s blog “Super Kawaii Mama” or more of my Cake Bake pics or some pics of the swimwear parade – see my previous post with images from the Goldcoast Bulletin.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with Circa’s swimwear parade too:
- The wonderful models: Sandy, Nicole, Laura, Candice, Tamara, Beverley, Izzy, Jasmine, Chrissy, Kesenya and Alannah (aged four).
- The gorgeous backstage team: Carly (hair and dressing), Nicole and Jodie (dressing), Ray (music).
- The fabulous Scott Baker for being the best MC and doing improvised Elvis moves when we had a bit of a backstage kerfuffle (can’t wait to see the video).
- The Circa team who repaired and restored and got everything ready: Esther, Victoria, Fiona and Marianne.
- The glamourous ladies of the Lindy Charm School for inviting Circa and helping us get it all together.
- and last but not least: the wonderful Wintersun audience for being there and being a part of it all. Thank you all!

UPDATE: Candice has edited this wonderful video of the swimwear parade – you can see it here!

Posted by Nicole in fashion parade, Swimwear 5 Comments

Our feet have hardly hit the ground since we got here on Monday – there’s been so much preparation for the parade but today the first one was one. Here are some pics by Jay Nel-McIntosh for Goldcoast.com.au. There are lots more too, and a video so stay tuned – as well, I managed to take some shots of the fabulous cars yesterday – which is lucky because today and tomorrow the hoardes have descended and you can hardly get a clear shot for all the crowds!

All pics courtesy Jay Nel-McIntosh – click on each to see in full.

These images are only of a small part of the parade: we had ten models plus adorable Alannah (age 4) and forty swimsuits from the late ’20s to the mid ’70s.

The second swimwear parade is on at 2pm tomorrow at the big stage in Godwin Park – get there early to grab a good position – after today’s success we expect it to be very busy tomorrow!
Official Wintersun site.

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