Perfectly Protean

  Top: Variety Hour Studio

Skirt: Finki

Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

It’s been a whirlwind month, and I can’t believe that Christmas is breathing down our necks already. I’m looking forward to taking a break, and recovering a bit from the past twelve months. 2017 has been, to be frank, a bit of a bitch.

At least it’s ending on a high… my lovely Mister and I have finally put a deposit down on our very own place! So, one more move, one more Wall, one more change of address, and we’ll be in our Forever (for now) Home.

It’s exciting and a bit intimidating, and wonderful. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long now, and a life goal that I thought was never going to happen.

I’ll miss my little home here: it signifies the first time that I’ve lived by myself for any extended period of time and the first space that I’ve been able to make entirely my own. I’ve loved everything from the beautiful light in the sun room (I’ll miss having such a perfect place to take my blog photos!) to the tall ceilings, the deep bath… even the ancient oven. Well, maybe not so much the ancient oven.

I’m excited about the next chapter though, and excited about taking the next step in my life. I’m nearly forty – maybe I’ll start feeling like a grown-up now I’m also a home-owner (probably not).

Anyhoo…

This is the second top that I’ve bought from Cassie Byrnes of Variety Hour (you can see the first one here) and it’s rapidly become one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe. The baby protea print is from original art hand painted using pigment inks and gouache. Unlike my previous top, this one is made from viscose fabric rather than silk, and to be honest I prefer the heavy drape (it also doesn’t crease quite as much). It’s the same boxy cut, with dolman sleeves, and a tapered waist that hits me low on my hips.

I’m wearing the size L, but I was delighted to see that Cassie is now doing an XL in her tops, and I’m probably (definitely) going to try the larger size when I see the new range at the Big Design Market here in Melbourne in a few weeks.

Earrings: Next Romance

Speaking of markets, I bought these fabulous tassel earrings at the Finders Keepers market a month or so ago.

I’ve been pretty much living in my Comfy Earrings ever since I discovered them in August¬†but I couldn’t resist these after I saw them. They’re light and swishy and stytlish, and they’ll make a great statement piece to wear with some of my simpler outfits.

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Betty Doop

Top: Trenery

Skirt: Doops Designs (also available in cotton here)

Belt: City Chic

Shoes: Seychelles

I’m ashamed to admit that when I was younger I found Australian native plants desperate and scraggly-looking compared to their European counterparts. I preferred roses to gum blossoms, tulips to waratahs.

As I’ve grown up the beauty of the Australian landscape has grown on me. Every year I look forward to seeing the wattle bloom in spring, will pull over to cut a branch from a flowering eucalyptus. There’s nothing quite like the colour of the Australian sky.

Recently I’ve been on the hunt for more clothes and accessories with Australian native motifs, and my search brought me to Doops Designs, a gorgeous range of hand screen-printed textiles, clothes, and homewares designed by a local artist named Jane Newham.

I kind of want one of everything (Confetti! Banksias! Chubby bathing ladies!) but decided to start with the Protea skirt. It’s not an Australian native (thought it looks like it’s been teamed with banksias?) but it’s pretty close. The skirt is available in both a cotton and a silk fabric, but after some deliberation I went with the silk – it’s a bit more expensive, but I thought the soft drape would better flatter my figure.

The skirt is a very basic, boxy cut and has an elasticized waistband. It’s very simple and low fuss, but beautifully made and finished. I was surprised with the base colour of the skirt when I received it – I had expected it to be a much darker grey, but the muted shade is probably actually more versatile. It dresses up and down, depending on whether you wear it with a casual tee, or a more tailored short or blouse.

Doops Designs are printed with eco-friendly solvent free inks, use ethically sourced fabrics, and produced in a way to reduce their carbon footprint. Which is all lovely. And also lovely is the size range: Jane’s clothing is available up to an XXXL – an Australian size 20, or a 42″ waist (which can comfortably stretch larger).

An independent Australian textile designer, with ethical production values and an inclusive size range? More of this, please!