Madame Tay

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: The Cause Melbourne

Skirt: Madame Tay

Shoes: Chie Mihara

So, I think I mentioned that I went to the A+ Market a month or so ago, and despite supposedly just going along for a looksee I managed to walk away with a couple of awesome pieces, including this fabulous wax-print pencil skirt.

Madame Tay is a hobby clothing project from four women in Vietnam, Senegal, Canada, and right here in Melbourne Australia. They produce handmade, artisan clothing from small business tailors and craftspeople in Vietnam and Senegal. They’re keen to expand their range into plus-sizes, and their stall at A+ was a first foray in what I hope will become an integral part of their business.

I made a bee-line for their stand as soon as I spotted it (Prints! Colours!) and they had a wonderful variety of skirts, tops and dresses on offer in a variety of sizes. And because they do their own tailoring each of the pieces is highly adjustable. The side seams on my skirt have a good two inches of spare fabric, meaning that it could be very easily taken out for wider hips or a bigger bottom.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe fabric’s quite muted for a wax print, with deep plums, mustards and a jewel-like blue, but the thing that made this piece the one (among many!) that I decided I HAD to have was the glittery gold elements into the geometric print.

Frocks and Frou FrouThat, and the fact that when I put it on I realised that the team at Madame Tay had even included my favourite thing: a feature back! Frocks and Frou FrouI wore it with the wool blend batwing top that I bought at The Cause Melbourne, and this dainty little necklace from Totally Jewel. The colour of the stone picks up the colours in the skirt, and the geometric casing perfectly fits with the triangular  print on the skirt.

Frocks and Frou Frou

Just Be Cause

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: The Cause Melbourne

Pants: Jacqui E

Shoes: Carla Milani

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the launch of a fantastic new retail space in the basement of Melbourne’s Causeway House.

The Cause (naturally) is partly a retail space that showcases a range of upcoming local and independent designers, and also a small-scale manufacturing hub that boasts 14 industrial sewing machines, a fully operational sampling production floor, pattern drafting tables and plenty of cutting space. Basically everything you need if you’re an up-and-coming designer or fashion student looking to get a foothold in the competitive fashion industry,

It’s the brainchild of Dale and Sharmaine Cornell of New Model Beauty Queen; a independent Melbourne-based label that campaigns for sustainability, ethical manufacture, and body positivity (the brand is sized from a 6 to an 18, and the designers are happy to custom-size), and in true Melbourne fashion it’s down a laneway, behind an unmarked door, and down some mysterious looking stairs.

The CauseThe fashion show itself was great though a lot of the clothes were a little too avant garde for me (in keeping with The Cause’s ethos of creating “designs and wearable art pieces that move away from standard mainstream fashion”). There were seven designers profiled – The Cause, Straker, New Model Beauty Queen, Coco and Max, Designed In Brunswick, Jenny Robinson Creative Design & HID – and I loved that they sent models of a variety of sizes, shapes, ages and ethnicities down the runway.

Cause 2Theoretically I was just there to LOOK. I have a lot of clothes, y’know. But when I spotted the Magyar Top I couldn’t resist trying it on… and one I’d tried it on I had to buy it, of course.

Frocks and Frou FrouIt’s a divine shape: Batwing sleeves which taper elegantly into a 3/4 length that can be scrunched up the the elbows, a wide neckline that has a feature V at the back, the volume at the top counter-balanced by a fitted waist. The fabric is a wool blend, but it’s soft enough to wear next to my skin, and it keeps its shape admirably over repeated wears.

Frocks and Frou FrouIt’s become a wardrobe staple in the few weeks that I’ve owned it, and it teams as nicely with skirts as it does with today’s Audrey Hepburn inspired skinny-leg/ballet-flats ensemble.

¬†Plus – it’s sustainable, locally manufactured, independently designed, bought from a hidden boutique, and it’s BLACK. How much more Melbourne can you get?