Magnificent Obssesion

If you read The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend, you might have seen my smiling face in the Good Weekend magazine – an article about vintage clothing collectors written by Lee Tulloch.

First I have to take you back in time though, to 1989 when a young redhead lived in an Art Deco flat in Subiaco, Perth, drove a 1959 Rover 3 litre and had a whole room devoted to her hundreds of ’50s party dresses.

One day she picked up a book about a young New Yorker called Reality, who also collected ’50s dresses and gave them names: “Gina” for a polka dot frock, “Anita” was a strapless ballgown ala “La Dolce Vita”.

I was in love: finally someone who is as passionate about her vintage as I was! “Fabulous Nobodies” was my favourite book, and I’d read it in the bath whilst sipping my favourite drink, Creme de Grand Marnier.

I’ve still got it somewhere, much dog eared, it was loaned to numerous friends but always came home again to it’s rightful place in my over-crowded bookshelves.

Fast forward to modern times and the author, Lee Tulloch got in touch – could she interview me? Could she! It was a great honour to meet Lee – first at the Lisa Ho auction in Sydney, and then later at the salon, where we chatted about fashion and books for hours. She brought me a present.

A copy of the US edition…with a personalised dedication!

Can’t wait to read it Lee…or should I say, reread for the umpteenth time. “Fabulous Nobodies” is currently being made into a film – set in New York city in 1983, it should feature some great fashion. There’s also a Facebook page, with some great shots – the ’80s look a lot more distant than they feel.

So: yes, excited to meet Lee and talk about “Fabulous Nobodies”. I’m still amazed: reclining in my Subi bathtub, I had no idea what the future would hold for me.

But back to “Magnificent Obssession”, Lee’s article – it’s about five vintage collectors who all have wonderful stories and great photos, which for the Melbourne contingent required a studio shoot – it’s probably the costumier in me, but I love backstage goings on. Here are some shots of the studio and the shoot – Mike Baker is the photographer and I can only dream about having a studio like this.

My 1870s ensemble – soon to be appearing on the webshop.

Model Nina Haylia O getting dressed in one of Christopher Horne’s stunning 1930s ensembles.

Nina in 1950s and Christopher.

Candice DeVille with her Grandmother’s late ’40s fit and flare coat.

Candice, showing us how it’s done.

My 1870s with my 1970s Zandra Rhodes – a study in contrasts but hard to see against the black backdrop.

Nina, Christopher and I (a cropped version is my current user pic).

Modern photography.

If you’d like to read more about Circa in the press, I’ve recently added a page to the blog, with links for articles.


  1. yes I had a lovely read of this on saturday afternoon with my coffee ! loved the ‘behind the scenes’ pics as well !

    Kind Regards,

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