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 beginning of our glorious winter and the remaining autumn leaves have inspired me to go a little vintage. I believe that the time of the transition between autumn and winter is the most stylish, and is when I feel most creative and compelled to take risks with my wardrobe. I adore the classical elegance that emanated from the decades of fashion preceding the 70s, and I tried to capture some of that grace through this 20’s-esque outfit. I felt like I was a woman in London waiting to take the train to visit my friend in the countryside, despite the fact that not one item of clothing is ‘vintage’, and they probably aren’t exactly historically accurate.
I wore my Zara blazer that I’ve loved since I was 14, a black sheer skirt which shows more leg than even the 20’s were accustomed to, and this vibrant orange scarf my mum gifted to me from Italy. The gorgeous tones of the autumn leaves inspired that choice of accessory, alongside my Prada bag and little felt hat. Actually, it’s mainly the hat that gives this outfit a vintage appeal, in addition to the leather lace up boots that seem to always be in fashion.
Velvet blazers are timeless and look particularly feminine and smart with long skirts and dresses. I think I’ll have this blazer forever, especially as I don’t have anything else in this colour in my wardrobe. Darker tones of green and red always appear instantly vintage, and work well with gold jewellery or accessories.
I kind of love the clash between the bright orange in the scarf and the burgundy tone of the bag. I attempted to tie it together using my burgundy lipstick (which is Revlon, by the way).
Skirt: White Closet
Hat: Princess Highway
You don’t always need to raid your grandma’s wardrobe to get the vintage look, although it most certainly helps.
Whether you’re op-shopping, online shopping or simply shopping, it’s important to buy smart, buy good quality and if you know how to use what you’ve already got then you will always have something decent to wear.
Check out my Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog for more of my personal style and fashion musings! Thanks for visiting! x
Do I need anymore silver shoes? My wardrobe says ‘no’, but my eyes always say ‘yes’.
During the inevitable online shopping spree I seem to enjoy in order to curb my pain after every surgery, I found these awesomely silver boots on sale on ASOS. Knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to wear them until three months after surgery, I bought them anyway. Because that’s what you do when you’re feeling sorry for yourself and don’t have the option of wearing nice shoes for a while.
So after a couple of months of eyeballing them, I finally sunk my feet into them and paired them with a black ponte Witchery dress that I bought last winter. White boots are also very on-trend this season (but not so much the go-go kind). A good way to wear a winter LBD is to jazz it up with some exciting shoes, rather than falling into the trap of wearing all black. Winter is too dark and gloomy already anyway, which is why we have fashion to light it up a little.
Shoes: River Island
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The Cannes 2017 red carpet shares a common similarity with the red carpets of most A-list event in the last couple years – an influx of sheer dresses that appear to be more revealing by the day. Originally made famous by Marilyn Monroe while signing ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ (and in the hilarious comedy Some Like it Hot, which I highly recommend watching), the sheer dress has become a controversial icon for the display of female sexuality while overtly challenging the use of derogatory feminine labels. It was then reclaimed by Kimmy K, and more recently has been making appearances on Bella Hadid who only just wore a breathtaking Ralph & Russo Couture gown at Cannes last week. Or was it a small piece of crystal-embellished fabric immodestly wrapped around her body? Either way, she looked like a beautiful ice princess, and I believe that men and women should be able to wear whatever they want minus any degrading and sexist comments. But at the end of the day, you don’t have to show your nipples or wear a g-string to conform to the sheer trend.
I found this sheer black and silver-patterned dress at an op shop (our Australian version of a thrift shop) for about $12. To be fair, it was on the pricier end of the scale for a second-hand dress, but it was perfect for me (being silver and all). I have been lucky to come across fantastic, modern-looking clothes at op shops that look as though they have never been worn and they usually tend to be in my size. Op shopping is like a scavenger hunt, and it’s so worth it when you strike gold and find something that you genuinely love at a bargain. There is no greater sense of satisfaction.
The striking silver print is matched with these metallic silver Nine West shoes that were a steal at $18 from their outlet store. My hips can’t yet handle walking around in these beauties, but in the meantime, they’re pretty to look at. Underneath the dress I wore high-waisted black shorts and a black crop top to leave the rest as sheer.
So there you have it. Op shops are not only useful for finding unique vintage pieces, but they can serve the purpose of finding inexpensive, pre-loved modern clothing that look as though they could have been produced in 2017 – especially because fashion trends just don’t stop repeating themselves.
Dress: Op Shop
Shoes: Nine West
Check out my Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog for more of my personal style and fashion musings!
The devil wears Prada – or so they say. When I was handed a Prada bag as an extraordinary congratulations-for-surviving-surgeries gift from my parents, I certainly went to heaven. In fact, my hips felt better immediately.
I love the fact that it’s red with a gold chain. I adore how it’s big enough to fit all the necessities. And I appreciate how it’s going to force me to stop wearing silver all the time, because let’s be honest, my silver obsession is becoming a concern. It’s amazing how a bag can possess so much superiority and significance, which is demonstrated by the fact that every future outfit component will revolve around this piece of Prada.
This was actually my Easter outfit for last weekend, where the family and I spent the day cracking eggs, eating plenty of food and collecting way too much chocolate. To cater for the mild temperature, I wore a blue cotton dress with light beige gladiator sandals. The earrings were courtesy of my grandma, since her hand-me-downs comprise of the only gold jewellery I own. I chose a simple dress to place the spotlight on the bag, as that’s what it deserves.
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Black clothing is simply too reliable and convenient. I can guarantee that my most-worn articles of clothing are black simply because they go with everything and don’t require too much thought. And although I always emphasise the need for a splash of colour in my blog posts, my laziness often prevents me from practicing what I preach. But not on this occasion.
When I found this gorgeous aqua clutch from Mimco with a hefty percentage off, my mum barked at me to buy it. I only hesitated because of the unusual colour, but it presented a fun challenge to construct an outfit around it. Perhaps more unusual than the colour is the fact that I find building outfits to be a delightful and earnest activity, but anyway we all have our hobbies.
With the clutch being the centrepiece, I chose a black off-the-shoulder Witchery dress made from neoprene (essentially wet suit material) and silver Nine West kitten heels so my recovering hips could be safe. Kitten heels are so underrated; not only because they are far more comfortable to do anything in than standard heels, but also because they still look elegant and give you some added height. Considering at this stage I had only just thrown away my crutches with glee, they were perfect.
I wore Mimco drop earrings with hints of blue to make up for the bare neck and to continue the blue theme in the outfit.
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
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
At the end of January, I embarked on my second (and last) surgery for my hip. It was basically a year ago since I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, and although it has been exhausting, painful and mentally draining, it has never stopped me from looking my best. Although on the surface it’s a simple and superficial thing to consider when dealing with a medical condition as debilitating as hip dysplasia, but fashion has remarkably helped me to cope. It has challenged me to be creative, to make the most of every occasion outside my house, and most notably, to look forward to the future. I suppose in an odd way it has given me a purpose. Nonetheless, it has to be said that I am undeniably fortunate in the respect that I can anticipate a full recovery with time, and I try not to take that for granted. The incredible help from my family and friends alongside my exploration through comfortable fashion has helped me get through the difficulties and to remain positive, because ultimately there is nothing more important than good health.
So, how does one dress with style after a sizeable hip surgery? Jeans and pencil skirts are a definite no-no. The same goes for most of my shorts, any light fabric dresses where the bandages will show through, and essentially anything that it difficult to manoeuvre in or rubs against the hips. So there goes most of my summer wardrobe. I have been living in brightly coloured genie pants and nighties, but they’re not really appropriate for out-of-the-house wear. So leaving the house is always a challenge, but it’s always good fun. Summer fashion with crutches tends to be easier as bulky coats and jackets combined with crutches is not exactly comfortable. However when it comes to travelling in a wheelchair (enabling me to do those shopping trips I so crave), clothes are much easier to co-ordinate. Short skirts or dresses should be avoided.
Today on a summer-y lunch outing, I settled on my mint Forever New A-line skirt and a comfortable singlet top from Witchery. A pastel pink bag and earrings were important additions, as were my super exciting silver loafers that no longer give me blisters. My hips were very happy, especially as I was wheeled around everywhere.
Skirt: Forever New
Bag: Forever New
Thanks for visiting my blog! I will elaborate on comfortable fashion in more posts soon to come. In the meantime, please check out my Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog. x
Fashion and feminism do not always come hand in hand; scores of women view fashion to be an oppressive sphere that attempts to convince women that the only way to be considered ‘beautiful’ is to conform to standards laid out by the dictators of the fashion industry, who are often men. Plenty of women regard Vogue Magazine, considered the fashion bible, as a beacon of sexism that undermines a woman’s worth. And let us not disregard the lack of diversification of the female body as plastered in magazines and seen strutting down runways in nothing larger than a size 2 mini-skirt. It is far from perfect or positive, and the fashion industry appears to exude a certain unattainable exclusivity thanks to celebrity endorsements and high fashion magazines. It is clear that the industry has plenty to work towards, and as someone who wants to work in the industry, it is an unsettling reality. Although it is necessary to acknowledge the negative aspects of the fashion industry, fashion itself is not a rigid and institution. For me, it is the most liberating medium I can use in order to express myself.
Fashion has been a facilitator of my exploration through feminism. In a world where women have historically had a lack of means to express themselves and communicate their thoughts, fashion has been used as defiance to their oppression. Some of the most iconic and outspoken women paved the way for change using the clothes they wore, setting aside cultural and societal conventions to make way for female empowerment. Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Josephine Baker and Audrey Hepburn are just a handful of women who each showcased unique and controversial styles, proving to women all over the world that being yourself and staying true to your values is a wonderful thing. Thanks to these women, others were inspired to push against their limitations and explore their capabilities in a way that led to cultural revolutions and the success of the feminist movement. It is remarkable that such power stems from style, which is essentially comprised of clothes, individuality and a hint of courage.
I’m not planning on instigating any cultural revolutions anytime soon, but I think I will start with using fashion as a way to summon confidence within myself. In the end, personal style showcases your individuality and is not indicative of what you can achieve. I would hope that when I choose to dress in a feminine way that I am not considered to be naïve or less capable, and if I want to dress in a way that is considered sexy, that my value as a person is not undermined and I am treated with the respect I deserve. It is most empowering when people can make decisions about the way they look without concerning themselves with the opinions of others or the stereotypes of gender, sexuality, age and ethnicity. And this is a message that must be relayed by the fashion industry.
There is no doubt that there have been notable changes in the industry. The androgynous look is on the rise, there is a growing response to the call for a greater variety of body shapes and skin colours on show, and there has been outward support for feminism by designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Maria Grazia Chiuri, who is the first female creative director of Dior. Despite being long overdue, these acts are crucial as they give people the confidence to embrace who they are and to explore that through fashion. Although I don’t need affirmation from high profile designers that the feminist movement is important and necessary, it does raise awareness of the fight for gender equality and garners acceptance. And supporting the movement for gender equality is something I will continue to do through self-expression as conveyed by my fashion choices.
NOTE: Care must be taken to ensure that the clothes you’re putting on your back to proclaim your feminism or self-identity is not contributing to the exploitation of children and women in the textiles industry, which is something I have learnt recently. Being a feminist means supporting other women and preventing their mistreatment, and one sure way you can do that is through shopping ethically. Click here for a list of how top fashion brands rank in worker welfare.