A Day at Dior

In celebration of the prestigious fashion house’s seventieth anniversary, the House of Dior collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria to present a stunning exhibition of the label’s creations, by some great fortune, in my very own city. I only needed to take a quick train in order to see decades of Dior designs in the flesh, showcasing iconic pieces from each creative director who was assigned the opportunity to create art for the illustrious fashion house. 

It was immediately clear that each designer held an individual era in the house’s history, with the designs exuding the personality of the designer as well as the social and political contexts of the time. Despite the obvious contrasts between each designer’s era, they would often remain loyal to the original constructions by Christian Dior himself, reinventing those designs to suit their fresh visions. It emphasised the timelessness of Dior and why it has survived as an innovator in the world of couture. Of course, it also demonstrated that fashion trends tend to repeat themselves, whether that be for the better or the worse. 

The ‘fit and flare’ style will always remain timelessly elegant, and Christian Dior was a pioneer in this regard. Gowns and suits from seventy years ago can easily resemble current styles and trends which is a testament to his designs.

It’s difficult to ignore the controversy of John Galliano’s expulsion from the fashion house, and even more so to disregard the evidence of his poor character and then to celebrate his designs. Nonetheless, his reign as creative director was an integral time of Dior’s history and his bold designs contrasted heavily against his more demure predecessors. It’s very frustrating when someone with admirable talent turns out to be a knob.

The dress famously worn by Nicole Kidman at the Oscars. The fur on the dress’s edges are an interesting touch, and one I can’t help think was unnecessary.

The exhibition was spread across various rooms, so it was exciting to keep discovering new themes as the exhibition went on. It concludes on a crescendo with the final room showcasing the magnificent couture gowns. There was so much fabric, embellishments, colour and superior craftsmanship that accentuated their diverse couture history. It’s actually really fun to go around and choose which gown you would wear if you could!

Thanks to the appointment of Maria Grazia Chiuri as Dior’s creative director, feminism has been brought to the forefront of the fashion world, and not in the superficial regard where feminism is merely a trend. Fashion has always been a way for women to express themselves even if they don’t always have the freedom to do so in other respects, and having a woman who believes in gender equality as the director of one of the greatest fashion houses in the world is empowering for women everywhere. Her passion is undeniably manifested in her creations and strongly resonates with her female clients, indicating that the Parisian fashion house has an exciting future ahead.

I loved the exhibitions so much that I visited a second time, just so I could once again be surrounded by this abundance of iconic fashion. If you are visiting Melbourne or in fact living in the city, I highly recommend taking a look as it ends on 7 November. Thanks for visiting my blog! x

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Sunsets & Happiness in a Greek Paradise

Next stop: The Greek Islands; a place I have always dreamed of travelling to since watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Mamma Mia! In Crete we explored the remarkable ruins of the palace of Knossos and trawled through the marketplace in Rethymno; in Santorini we drank cocktails while staring in awe at the endless mass of blue; and in Naxos we ate cheese and relaxed on the beach till our hearts were content.  No matter where we went, the views were more spectacular than we expected and the people were always warm and welcoming. 

Crete

We were fortunate to have experienced the hustle and bustle of Heraklion, as well as the tranquility of the resort town of Rethymno. We spent a lot of time visiting archeological sites, as well as attempting to get used to the fact that we were on holidays.

Santorini

My partner Dan and I agree that this was our favourite part of the trip. When you glide towards Santorini on a ferry, the white buildings on the top of the cliffs appear as snow, and make the island look like a snow-capped mountain. EVERYONE raves about the beauty of Santorini, and I completely understand why. The pristine white buildings against the inviting blue ocean was a sight I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.

Naxos

We didn’t realise how big this island is, or in fact how good the food is. We tried to explore as much as we could in the three days we were there, but we always ended up gravitating towards the beach.

Athens

This was our last stop. The Acropolis was one of the most magnificent monuments I have ever seen, and it was so exciting to be among these buildings that were erected thousands of years ago.

Dan and I felt as though we had spent a decent amount of time in each place, which was important because we were able to experience the culture of the islands alongside taking the opportunity to relax and unwind. And when you’re in the Greek Islands, the best thing to do is to find a spot on the beach and enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the landscape with a cocktail in hand. And that’s exactly what we did for the duration of this leg of the trip, and we were never disappointed.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Check out my insta @ilikeyourshirt_blog. x

The Land of Harry Potter

Clearly there has been a lengthy unexplained absence, and the only excuse I have for that is, well, Europe (Europe, of all places!). I wish my excuse wasn’t as clichéd as Europe, but to be honest I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the countless Aussies spending the winter over by the beautiful beaches in the Aegean Sea, throwing back cocktails at the sunset and gorging myself on custard tarts. There are absolutely no regrets, and I feel as though it is my official duty to offload all of my gooey feelings of love and joy towards the wonders of Europe onto this blog. Please bear with me.  

The first leg of our grand old adventure was little ol’ London, England. It was a far cry from the highly anticipated sun-kissed beaches and cocktails, as we were greeted with grey skies and an unpleasant smattering of rain. But no amount of petty rain could keep us from seeing as much as we could manage in the 24 hours spent in London.

I was convinced this was The London Bridge but apparently not.
Tower of London (feat. boyf who blinks)
Buckingham Palace

After our far-too-brief stint in London, we headed outside the hustle and bustle and visited the quaint medieval village of Lavenham in Suffolk. Coming from a country of relatively modern buildings, this quiet village filled with crooked, timber houses was pretty exciting. Apparently some scenes from the final two Harry Potter movies were shot here! We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea in one of those medieval timber buildings, and it honestly felt like I had been transported back in time. It is remarkable how history can be preserved in this way, and that is something I really appreciated during my 4 days in England.

I would have loved to stay in England for longer to work out the mechanics of these higgledy piggledy houses, but my limited number of winter-suitable clothes had already been expended and we already had our flights booked for Crete, Greece. Plus, the cocktails were calling. So next stop, the Greek Islands!

Stay tuned for more European adventures by following me on my blog or on Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog. Thanks for stopping by! x

A 20s Soiree

A fabulous exhibition called ‘Night Life’ is on display at Rippon Lea Estate in Melbourne, featuring original fashion items from the 20s and 30s that were made and worn in Australia. The ‘roaring 20s’ manifested a time of economic prosperity and joy due to the conclusion of the War. Skirt lengths and hairstyles were shorter, and sequins and fine embellishments were all the rage. Although there was reluctance to adopt these new controversial styles that brought fashion into a less conservative era, they soon became accepted in the western world by the mid 20s. Even in the present day, the 20s are known to have produced some of the most desirable and chic fashion of the 20th century.

Elaborately detailed wraps and capes rose to popularity in the 1920s, as can be seen in the above picture where the sheer cape decorates this plain black maxi dress.

This dress exemplifies the look of the 20s with a dropped waist, skirt measured just below the knees, and fine embroidery with sequins.

Floral prints became popular in the 1930s, and obviously this trend was repeated in the 1970s. These historical fashion exhibitions present how trends will always repeat themselves, and how in our own lifetimes, we are bound to experience the same trends a few times over. Nevertheless, style will always be in fashion, and fashion these days is so broad that it is constantly integrating trends from different eras into single outfits. This is also demonstrated by the contemporary Melbourne-based stylists and photographers who have featured their work in this exhibition.

This collection of stunning clothes and accessories made me wonder about the fabulous and fashionable women who wore them. I would have loved to know the stories behind these outfits, and the exciting shenanigans that were performed in them!

Tassels, tassels, and more tassels. These vintage bags were hand beaded with gold clasps and exclusively worn for formal events.

As hemlines became shorter, shoes became an important feature of an outfit as they were constantly on display. These shoes appeared very small and narrow, almost meant for a modern-day child.

How I wish I could be transported into the 1920s for just one night to enjoy a sophisticated society party. If you are in Melbourne, I would highly recommend visiting this lovely exhibition that is open until 30 July.

Follow me on Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog for more fashion snaps and musings. Thanks for visiting! x

The Corset is Back

There is something seductive about a corset. Waists become smaller, hips become larger and bosoms become more pronounced. It has been a symbol of feminine beauty since at least 2000 B.C, when the earliest corset worn as an outer-garment was found to have originated from. And it has continued to evolve throughout the centuries, constantly being an icon of style while simultaneously causing slight to extreme discomfort until the end of the Edwardian era in the early 20th century. Perhaps the corset going out of style is a metaphor for the emancipation of women. But now that women in developed countries are mostly permitted to wear what they want, we want the corset back. Well, with a modern spin that is not lingerie-related.

The corset belt is a must-have accessory for every outfit – not just for old fashioned costume parties. Throw it on a dress, skirt, or shirt for instant shape, and just because it’s something different.

Corset belts can be big or small and come in all different shapes and colours. One that I find particularly gorgeous is from Witchery’s autumn range:

For my outfit below, I haven’t exactly put a modern spin on things. I have gone for the gothic-saloon girl look complete with a tulle skirt and lace leotard from White Closet, adding the corset belt separately. I love the loose levels of the skirt and how it’s sheer from the mid-thigh down, lightening up the all-black outfit.

Corset belt: ?

Skirt: White Closet

Leotard: White Closet

Earrings: Mimco

I have seen corset belts pop up everywhere in stores and online, so it’s time you tried it! I promise you won’t pass out or suffer from a broken rib. x

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200 Years of Australian Fashion Exhibition

So, a while ago before the whole surgery debacle and numerous exams, I visited the 200 Years of Australian Fashion Exhibition at NGV as you may recall from my previous blog post (it has been a while, so terribly sorry!). It was a beautifully presented exhibition showcasing an array of Australian fashion from as early as 1805 to present day, and truly captured Australia’s unique and impressive fashion scene. There were some of the most embellished and extravagant gowns I have ever seen from the mid-20th century, which contrasts against the abstract and colourful outfits from the 1970’s and onwards. The diversity and beauty of Australian fashion over the years is astounding.

Here are some outfits I could not resist taking snaps of:

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Earliest Dress Found, c.1805
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Evening Dress, c. 1907
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Ball gown, c. 1956
Evening dress, c. 1958
Evening dress, c. 1958
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c. 1967
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Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson c. 1970’s
Linda Jackson and David McDiarmid, c.1980
Linda Jackson and David McDiarmid, c.1980
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Romance was Born, c. 2015 and Discount Univer$e, c. 2015

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Toni Maticevski, c. 2015
Toni Maticevski, c. 2015

To remember the history of Australian fashion and the lovely outfits exhibited, I got sucked in to buying the fashion book. It provides a history of each period in fashion and how it reflected the social constructs at the time, and also features some of the most notable Australian designers of our current age.

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If you live in Melbourne and are looking for something worthwhile to fill your day, I highly recommend this. It’s open until July 31 so don’t miss out!

Want to see more of my personal style and fashion musings? Follow me here and on Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog ! x