What’s in Leather?

Is fake leather any good? Is it really better for the environment than animal leather? Does it even wear well? These are the questions I asked myself before purchasing this Nanushka skirt made from polyester and polyurethane. The material is as soft as butter and more beautiful than any leather I have touched in my life. But it does bring up an important debate: is vegan leather really better than animal leather?

Vegan leather imitates real leather but is created from plant products or artificial materials. For example, some vegan leather is made from apple peels, pineapple leaves and recycled plastic. With a rise in those adopting veganism and plant-based lifestyles, vegan leather has made leaps and bounds over recent years.

From a durability point of view, I suppose you can’t compare synthetic materials to animal leather. I have quite a few leather pieces from my mum that are still in perfect condition. However, like all things, it is dependant on the quality of the vegan material.

I was a bit concerned when realising that my skirt is made from plastic, albeit extremely well-made plastic. Nanushka is renowned for their high-quality and fashion-forward vegan leather garments. There garments are certainly not cheap, which was why I questioned whether it would be worth purchasing this fake leather skirt in the first place. Plastic-made clothing poses an environmental risk if it ends up in water or landfill, as it releases toxic chemicals into the environment while taking years to degrade. But after doing more research I discovered that despite the environmental issues associated with producing plastic clothing, the environmental impacts of producing animal leather is still far worse. This is due to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture and the substantial land use. And of course for ethical purposes, vegan leather is the preferred option.

When I found this skirt at David Jones while shopping with my mum in early May, we could not believe that it was fake leather. I tried it on and absolutely loved it. And after conducting my year free of buying fashion in 2019, I don’t fall in love so easily anymore. So after weighing up the pros and cons of plastic-based leather I decided to go for it. After all, I’m not in the business of tiring over my clothes and chucking them out to the ocean when I’m done.

Skirt: Nanushka

Top: Kookai

Shoes: Topshop

Bag: Zara

I wore the skirt with a black cropped tank and Topshop shoes with funky white block heels that I purchased years ago. Topshop used to make the best mules.

Speaking about Topshop, Topshop’s parent company Arcadia has just entered into voluntary administration. Australia’s Topshop stores closed a few years ago so we’ve been devoid of Topshop for a while. But given the declining popularity of high street retail over the last decade, Arcadia’s collapse is hardly surprising. It doesn’t help that the owner’s reputation is problematic. However, it’s extremely sad to hear that over 13,000 jobs are at risk and that a brand with such a strong heritage may disappear. I expect that we will see many brands entering into administration in the next 12 months thanks to the bleak retail landscape and economic effects of Covid.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Clueless in Covid

Melburnians have just been told that we have two weeks to go until we have significant easing of restrictions. Essentially, we will be allowed to finally experience retail and hospitality which is a huge relief for business owners. It also means that we will be able to see our family and friends, which is a significant step for all of us. It’s disappointing that we don’t have access to these opportunities sooner as many of us were hoping. But when you’ve been in lockdown for months with seemingly no end in sight, what’s another two weeks?

I have plenty of outfits that I’m itching to wear out. But rather than waiting another couple of weeks to let them all breathe, I’m continuing to dress up at home. I dress up for virtual catch-ups, for dinner with my partner, or just because I feel like it. Non-surprisingly, it improves my mood significantly and prevents me from edging closer to that helpless mindset that results from living in an extended lockdown.

SO. Without further ado I decided to look to some of my favourite fashion films (which always spark great joy) and felt inspired to channel a Cher from Clueless get-up. How can you go past that that iconic yellow plaid ensemble? I don’t really own much plaid or yellow, but I do have a a matching black and white tweed outfit that has a hint of Clueless to it.

The entire outfit is Witchery, aside from the boots which are Tony Bianco. I had been crushing on the boots for months prior to buying them, and now gallivant around the apartment wearing them. Combat boots are always in style, but I love these ones specifically for the lace ups and sock-like appearance. They toughen up softer, feminine looks and can be worn with anything and everything. I think I’ve always had a pair of combat boots since I was 12.

I also purchased the matching tweed pants for the blazer as a more work-appropriate outfit. Both the skirt and pants work well with this white cotton shirt. A white shirt is definitely a wardrobe staple, even one as detailed as this. It’s nice and light, so will also be functional for summer with some denim shorts and the combat boots (of course).

I think I’ll try a The Devil Wears Prada inspired outfit next. Excellent fashion films are just so comforting in these times.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Linen Weather

When the warm rays of spring appear, I welcome the return of my linen clothes.

However, this dress is a new season purchase. I recently bought it from Witchery for the anticipated return to working in retail once restrictions are lifted. It also helps that I have an affinity for balloon sleeves and dresses that would look perfect when frolicking in a field of flowers. The more fit for unnecessary frolicking, the better.

It’s made from 100% linen and the sleeves are actually intended to be worn on the shoulders, but I prefer a bit of off-the-shoulder action. It makes me feel like a young lass from the old-timey times who didn’t have a whole lot to do a part from dress pretty and sit around in nature dreaming about a future husband. Not too dissimilar to current day in Covid, except I sit around and think about watching another episode of Younger (are two seasons in one day too many?).

Dress: Witchery

Shoes: Zara

Earrings: Witchery 

Not going to lie, I’ll probably engage in some hysterical frolicking when stage 4 restrictions are over. There’s much to look forward to when the weather gets warmer, including a bit more freedom.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Playing with Paisley

We’re still not getting out of lockdown anytime soon, so for now the clothes are staying in the wardrobe and the shoes are remaining in the boxes. Until the other day when I started playing around and discovered my clothes again. I was marvelling at all the vintage jackets I found in my mum’s wardrobe that I planned to wear this year. I then felt sad at the thought of a lost year, all those occasions missed with friends and family. But then I brightened up a bit by having a lil dress up. Clothes give me some much needed energy.

I almost forgot about this skirt until I had a refreshing squiz at my wardrobe. It’s from Witchery’s winter collection last year and I absolutely love it. It’s quite Etro-esque with the paisley. The pleats make it so easy to wear in winter with jumpers, jackets or cardigans, and then t-shirts in summer.

I finally got around to sewing on new buttons on this cardigan. I thought I would have gotten around to replenishing clothes that needed new buttons during the first lockdown, but I overestimated myself. I still haven’t even gotten around to watching season 2 of You. Life’s strangely busy when you’re not doing much.

Skirt: Witchery

Cardigan: Op shop

Top: Kookai

The weather’s a bit warmer, so I wore a little navy crop top underneath the cardigan. At least Melbournians can look forward to spring – especially now that we’re allowed public gatherings with up to two people! It’s picnic time.

Thanks for stopping by! X

I’m Still Lounging

In Melbourne we are almost halfway through Stage 4 lockdown and it’s starting to feel like this is the norm. Only the insta pics of influencers holidaying in Italy and Greece bring me back to reality. Even watching footy games and seeing people in the stadium cheering on their teams makes me remember that not everyone in Australia is in the same boat. Curfews and once-daily exercise allowances are only prescribed in Melbourne.

It’s nice to know that the other states don’t have to go through these arduous restrictions and shows us what freedoms we can enjoy when we eventually return to normal. We’re hopeful about the future, but naturally it’s still sad and incredibly frustrating. This is the situation we’re in and we have to deal with it as best as we can. We’ll get through it.

On the other hand, never-ending lockdown means that the loungewear is still getting constant wear. I bought a matching charcoal grey set from Witchery and it’s incredibly cosy for winter. People rushed into store to purchase the set when there were rumours of a second lockdown. They were smart, because its usability is unparalleled. It wears extremely well with minimal pilling and is beautifully soft thanks to the inclusion of cashmere. The drop crotch in the pants also facilitates some successful lounging, which is important when you’re doing a fair amount of sitting around.

This set is casual, but still nice enough to duck out to the supermarket with some white sneakers. The jumper and pants can easily be worn individually but obviously it’s a lot more fun to wear them together. So far I’ve been rotating between my loungewear, knit dresses, and occasionally the mum jeans with a toasty jumper. It’s still fairly cold in Melbourne at the moment, so warm and comfortable clothing is key. Flicking through instagram has made me salivate over summer fashion, though. I’m already looking forward to getting my flimsy white dresses out, even though I shouldn’t be hopeful that this will happen anytime soon.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Adventures to my Backyard

My knit dresses have been getting quite a workout in lockdown. They’re super comfortable and dressy enough to make me feel like being productive. They’re maybe even just as comfortable and warm as my loungewear, but look like I’ve put effort into my day’s isolation outfit.

I bought this one during the first lockdown from Witchery to add to my well-worn collection. I love the length, the turtleneck and the forest green colour. Better yet, the fabric doesn’t pill and it’s easy to hand-wash.

The way I dress in lockdown is definitely a lot less styled than this, but on the weekend I decided to get some long boots out and accessorise. Where am I going to with my boots and bag in tow? Absolutely nowhere. But occasionally it’s nice to get all dressed up and pretend.

I love the look of long boots under a long skirt or dress. That look has definitely dominated the catwalk in the last two years. These brown boots actually belong to my mum, but I borrow them from time to time.

Dress: Witchery

Boots: Edward Meller

Bag: Prada

Jewellery: Assorted brands

Thanks for stopping by! x

Vintage Pads

There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a fabulous jacket at the op shop.

I came across this find a while ago from a local op shop. It’s a pink and grey tweed coat with black buttons and glorious shoulder pads. Thanks to a recent 80’s revival on the runways, shoulder pads have made a huge comeback and their presence has been strong in the most recent 2020 shows. I used to cringe at shoulder pads and declare them as a regretful trend, but I’m pleased to say that my opinion has changed. I have now embraced shoulder pads in all their broad-shouldered glory.

The coat is a little oversized for me, but I’ve worked it with some straight-leg jeans and mules to give me some length. Underneath I’m wearing a simple cropped long-sleeve top from ASOS that I purchased yonks ago. The coat is perfect for warmer winter days and trans seasonal dressing, even if no one else besides my household members can see it for the meantime.

Jeans: Witchery


Shoes: Zara

The pièce de résistance of my second look is my mum’s jacket from the late 80’s. Once again, shoulder pads are everything. I love the pastel colours on the quilted fabric. Honestly, where could you find something like this now? The look reminds me of Isabel Marant’s Resort 2021 collection. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was looking through the photos of that runway show that made me remember this old jacket and the fact that I recently rescued it from my dress-up box. Yes, I still have one of those.

Jeans: Witchery


Shoes: Midas

I love this jacket so much that I’ll probably wear it everyday around the house. Maybe by the time lockdown restrictions lift, the weather will be nice enough to float around in civilisation again in these vintage finds.

On the topic of nice weather, I couldn’t help but take a photo of my partner in his warmer weather ensemble on the weekend when the day felt unusually spring-like. After having my instagram feed flooded with influencers enjoying summer in various parts of Italy and the Greek Islands, a sunny day above 16 degrees felt like a glimmer of hope for a hopefully warm and lockdown-free summer.

White linen shirts always remind me of summer. Didn’t he model it well!

Thanks for stopping by! x


Isolation Celebrations

I really need to become more creative for my post titles.

Last week I celebrated my birthday in lockdown, as many of us will do this year. Melbourne remains in strict lockdown and that won’t be easing for a long while still. Despite the limited options for celebrating and the inability to go out for an epic dance, I was determined to celebrate in style. Dressing up gives me energy and purpose, and I was not going to miss out on the chance to exercise my wardrobe on my birthday.

My birthday celebrations involved a delicious Japanese takeaway meal with my family and partner plus cocktails made by said partner. I ordered a cake for the occasion from my favourite patisserie and omg it was delectable. I was so excited for this cake and happily it exceeded all expectations.

I wore a black off-the-shoulder dress with red sock boots and my favourite pair of earrings from Bianc. My newest accessory is an espresso martini. 

Following on from my birthday, my partner organised for us to enjoy a special dinner from Attica – all takeaway, of course. The 10 course extravaganza was filled with native Australian flavours and was even accompanied by matched alcohol. We were given instructions to place some items in the fridge, others in the oven and a couple to be left at room temperature. Some dishes needed plating while others could be eaten as they were in their recyclable packaging. It was an exceptionally delicious and exciting evening.

We ate for a total of four hours – so we definitely made the most of it. It was a privilege to have this experience and make these memories in isolation. My partner did pretty well.

For the dinner, I wore a black jumpsuit by Guess with black patent leather Calvin Klein heels. Surprisingly, I’ve managed to get some good wear out of this jumpsuit despite its flamboyance. Jumpsuits aren’t always convenient, but this one is just so much fun to wear. Sometimes you just need to pop on a sparkly jumpsuit and commit to a four-hour eating fest! It does wonders for the soul.

Here’s to making more fun memories in isolation.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Masks, Social Distancing and Covid-Repellant Fashion?

Last week, Australian women’s activewear label Lorna Jane was fined almost $40,000 for claiming that a range of their activewear could protect against viruses and bacteria.[1] The Secretary of the Department of Health stated that such advertising could have “detrimental consequences for the Australian community” by causing people to become complacent and reduce the practise of recommended protective measures. Lorna Jane has defended its ‘LJ Shield’ technology, asserting that this technology has been in the works for two years and has undergone the required checks to validate its ability to reduce bacteria by 99.9%. Despite these assurances, plenty of consumers are not impressed, as this is the latest in the line of public controversies instigated by the activewear brand.

Then today I stumble upon an article in Vogue discussing the various companies investing in antiviral fashion technology.[2] I didn’t realise that technology in clothing could actually be capable of repelling viruses and bacteria, but apparently this is the 21st century.

Antibacterial clothing has been around for ages, and now due to Covid-19, companies have fast-tracked their testing. According to Vogue, Swiss company HeiQ has invented an invisible film for fabrics that kills 99.9% of the virus that causes Covid-19. Research has shown that clothes can act as a transmission route for viruses, and therefore the implementation of antibacterial technology can minimise your chance of catching the virus if it serves to kill the virus within minutes. This increases the functionality of clothes in a time when we’re modifying all of our behaviours to avoid catching the virus. And why shouldn’t fashion be used to act as another barrier to the virus, if possible?

LJ and HeiQ have allegedly confirmed that their technology is capable of doing just that, but this is where the fear of complacency emerges. Purchasers of antibacterial and antiviral fashion cannot abandon social distancing or remove their masks simply because their clothing affords them a layer of protection. Sellers of these products will need to explain how the technology works and include a disclaimer as to how it will not necessarily protect against transmission. If consumers are informed of the nature of the product and the need to continue to abide with other protective measures, then we should be celebrating this functional use of fashion. We have clothes to regulate temperature, protect against sunburn and to repel against water. It makes sense that clothes should also be made to shield against germs and viruses as we’re desperately seeking ways to protect ourselves during this pandemic.

The idea of antiviral fashion no longer seems so outlandish.

Thanks for stopping by! x

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-17/lorna-jane-fined-over-anti-coronavirus-activewear-claims/12468870

[2] https://www.vogue.com/article/antiviral-fashion-technology-coronavirus


We Must Shop Better

Modern slavery in the fast fashion industry has once again come to light following the investigation into Boohoo’s treatment of workers in the factory in Leicester. But this is certainly not a new issue. This has been happening in supply chains all over the world, and the situation has only been exacerbated by Covid-19. It is estimated that half a million garment workers in Bangladesh are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of order cancellations, which is in addition to the one million workers who have already lost their jobs during the economic downturn.[1] Even prior to the pandemic, 4 million garment workers in Bangladesh were suffering from low wages and unsafe working conditions that contravened their human rights.[2] Millions of these workers are currently being pushed into poverty and are at risk of starvation. It is recognised that this is also happening in India, Cambodia, Myanmar and now the UK.

Devastatingly, It does not look as though the situation will improve anytime soon. Fast fashion companies will continue to implement exploitative practices for the purpose of reducing costs in the supply chain as long as demand persists. Boohoo, H&M, Zara, Fashion Nova and Gap are just some of the fast fashion giants that have been accused of wage and labour violations, with few companies conforming to safer labour practices. But insufficient progress has been made, as it is simply not profitable for fast-fashion companies to pay living wages and adhere to fundamental labour rights while achieving staggering profits.

This is a purely systemic problem that arises as a result of the fast fashion model. It is not possible to sell cheap items without unsustainable and exploitative practices occurring within the supply chain. We have extremely affordable and on-trend clothing available to us 24/7, but at what cost?

I recall first discovering fast-fashion during my early teens when I was cultivating my love for fashion. I remember finding a pair of trendy jeans for $30 and thinking about how wonderful it was to be able to afford stylish clothing with my pocket money. It felt like the doors to fashion heaven had opened for me, as there was just so much clothing out there at affordable prices. I never bought a bunch of clothes and then sent them to landfill a season later, but I flocked to those stores and relished the bargain hunting. The environmental and human costs associated with my newfound joy were unknown to me. I did not realise the true consequences of such affordable and low-quality fashion until some years later. But despite these injustices being widely acknowledged for a number of years, Boohoo has allegedly managed to get away with paying their factory workers as low as £3.50 per hour until now – £5.22 less than the country’s minimum wage for over 25s.[3]

Consumers have the power to make sustainable and socially-ethical purchasing decisions. I acknowledge that shopping with fast fashion brands is tempting when faced with comparatively cheap shoes and clothing. And as I touched on earlier, the affordability of fast fashion meant that I could covet trends and celebrity styles as soon as they popped up on social media. But we also have a responsibility to know where we are putting our money, and no designer knock-off is worth human exploitation. As consumers, we have the ability to pressure these companies to pay their garment workers a living wage, to provide them with proper working conditions that adhere to their rights, and to treat them the dignity that they deserve. We also have a choice as to what to buy, and I would certainly urge everyone to reduce or eradicate their consumption of fast fashion. For some it won’t be easy to boycott these massive brands, but the act of at least minimising our support for fast fashion brands will be an important step for social justice and environmental purposes.

I recommend learning more by following @remakeourworld, @whomade.yourclothes and the hashtags #payup and #whomademyclothes on Instagram.

[1] Taslima Akhter. (2020, June 22). Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Are Being Treated as Disposable. Retrieved from https://www.thenation.com/article/world/bangladesh-garment-workers-covid-19/

[2] Ibid

[3] Kansara, V. A. (2020, July 10). Why Fashion ‘Slavery’ Is Making Headlines. Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/professional/boohoo-leicester-factory-scandal-fast-fashion-slavery?source=bibblio