Dress, Memory – and a contest

Last night I hosted a wonderful, intimate event at Circa – a book launch for Lorelei Vashti’s new book “Dress, Memory”.

From publisher Allen and Unwin: “Dress, Memory…is a charming coming-of-age memoir in which every dress tells a story. As we grow older, how do we know what to let go of and what to keep?

Lorelei started collecting dresses in her twenties and found that every time she wore one it became more significant to her. From falling in love for the first time to playing in a band, from starting a career to moving overseas, every dress soon had a memory stitched into it, and she became as attached to each one as if they were the events and people themselves.

But what happens when the wardrobe gets full? Should you let go of the dresses you’ve outgrown, or try to hold on to them forever?

Dress, Memory is about a decade in dresses. Perceptive and poignant, humorous and heartwarming, it’s the story of growing up and growing into yourself. It’s about trying things on until you find the perfect fit.”


We chatted about our dresses and the stories they tell – and then Lorelei gave me a book for a lucky reader to win! See below for details.

Now here are some pics from last night.

Dress Memory Circa Vintage16
Lorelei and her daughter Winnifred (who also wore a beautiful vintage frock!)

Dress Memory Circa Vintage19
Jessie from Alternative Walking Tours, Clem Bastow and Sarah Trotter from Hearth.

Dress Memory Circa Vintage15
Alice Edgeley and Hanna Tusler from Tusler Bags.

Dress Memory Circa Vintage17
Marianne from Esme and the Laneway (my favourite fashion blog).

Dress Memory Circa Vintage18
Magdalena and Kitty. In the background you can see Lorelei’s ’30s frock that she’s wearing on the book cover.

Madeleine Adore – so nice to see you again Madeleine and your minty dress looks great with your red hair!

Clem Bastow's pic
Lorelei and I discussing the finer points of frocks. Photo by Clem Bastow.

This event was so fun, and it was great to chat with everyone – might have to steal your idea Lorelei and do my own book launch at Circa when “Style is Eternal” comes out in December.

If you’d like to win your own copy of Lorelei’s wonderful book, please leave a comment about one of your dresses and a favourite memory – winner will be chosen at random and entries closes this Saturday at midnight. Good luck!


  1. This sounds like a wonderful book & I cannot wait to read it.

    My favourite dress would be the 1940’s original that I wore to my son’s 21st party last year. Six months before the party I still hadn’t found it; although I knew what colour & what era I was looking for.

    What I didn’t know was that the dress would be found by a friend just six weeks before the date of the party & given to me as an undeserved gift!

    Not only was the dress a perfect fit but it was the exact colour & only required 10mins of attention from my dressmaker & a trip to the dry cleaners.

    In every photograph taken that evening I am smiling like a Cheshire Cat & that dress now holds great sentimental value for me.

    It has become the dress that I instantly want to wear to any milestone occasion; so much so that I do not envisage a time when I will be able to part with it.

  2. I have so many frocks and so many memories! How to pick a favourite!

    After careful consideration I think I have to tell the story of a frock that I made to wear to a dear friend’s wedding 21 years ago. Fire engine red, halter neck, quite short flirty almost full circle skirt. I love that frock, the happy memories of the wedding and spending the weekend with my very best girlfriends. Fast forward and my daughter (The Dancer) was looking for a red carpet frock to wear to a friend’s 21st party. Out of the archives came the “Where’s the Fire Frock” (named for the colour and my bad habit of running everywhere, most unladylike) and while The Dancer skipped around in it looking divine I tripped down memory lane to the wedding and my dear friends and the fabulous time I had.

    I have trouble reconciling that “Where’s the Fire” is now considered almost vintage when I wore it on trend!

    The Dancer didn’t wear it to her event in the end, a little bit too much fire engine for her liking. But we had a fun afternoon trawling through the Frock Archives.

    Off on a complete tangent, really looking forward to your new book 🙂

  3. I have a frock that my gran made in the 1950s. It’s a simple sheath with a roll-neck collar in a floral silk twill. It’s magnificent and my mother remembers the special events that Gran wore it to.

    Sadly genetics made me almost a foot taller and much wider than my Gran so I’ve never been able to wear it, but it’s still a much-loved treasure, carefully boxed and occasionally brought out and admired.

  4. Summer of 1983 – running through canefields in Queensland in a low cut 1950’s cotton frock covered in blue roses – with my first boyfriend!

  5. Thanks for your stories ladies: I love them all! Congratulations to Mish Young for winning via random number generator – Mish, I’ll email you now. Well done everyone and thank you for entering – Nicole x

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