Memory Lane

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 Top: Dorothy Perkinsremixed

Skirt: Ivanka Trump

Tights: Big W

Shoes: Aerosoles

This top is definitely an oldie but a  goodie.

I bought it in 2009, remixed it in 2010, and it’s still in my wardrobe, which is pretty unusual for me as I have a habit of “retiring” items regularly (and then often replacing them with alllllmost identical items further down the track. Idiot.)

I don’t get too nostalgic about my clothing. I’m hyper-aware of the 20/80 rule (apparently we wear twenty percent of our wardrobe eighty percent of the time), and besides I find the more stuffed my closet is, the harder it is for me to find something to wear in the mornings!

As a result there’s probably only a handful of items – like this one – that have survived cull after cull after cull. And usually they’re the items that are meaningful to me for one reason or another.

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This cardigan is the first piece of cashmere that I ever bought myself. I swapped over the boring blue buttons for some sparkly diamante ones, and dubbed it my “Tiffany Cardigan” because it’s an almost perfect Tiffany blue. In 2009 I discovered that my brand-new kitten, Suki, had put a couple of holes in it with her sharp little claws so I “mended” it with the bow appliqué.

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This skirt was given to me by Chitra Mangma of Chitra’s Closet in payment for being a runway model for her Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It was a hilarious experience, and there’s part of me that still doesn’t believe that short, plump, thirty-something year me, was on a runway. I still love the skirt, and wear it regularly, though sadly Chitra closed her doors earlier this year.

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This t-shirt is one of the only souvenirs I still have from the year I spent in London when I was 18. It was from a fabulous bus tour that I took around Scotland. I was kissed by a stranger, guest presented on a radio show, tried whiskey for the first time, walked around the ruins of my ancestors (Clan Mackinnon, represent) and had a Canadian teach me how to pull a Guinness in a bar called The Saucy Mary. It. Was. Awesome.

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This Sohomode dress is important to me for such a number of reasons. Firstly: it was one of the very earliest purchases that I made on Etsy, and it’s easily the one that I’ve worn the most often. I loved it so much I sent my best ladyfriends down the aisle in their own versions as my bridesmaids. More significant is the fact that because of this dress I got to meet the wonderful Louise, who isn’t just an amazing dressmaker but is also one of the most welcoming and generous people of my acquaintance. Meeting her and her family in their beautiful home in New York was one of the few bright sparks from last year and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to count her as a friend.

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This extraordinary dress from Eliza Parker was one of the first “gifted” items I’ve received for the blog, and I remember how blown away I was by the idea that people wanted me to wear their clothes. Jessica Tenaglia – the absolutely lovely designer at the helm at Eliza Parker - gave me this dress in person when I visited San Francisco with my ex in 2010. It’s an amazing colour, and it still gets a lot of airtime. I actually wore it last night to the Melbourne Writer’s Festival Opening Night Party!

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This is definitely the oldest thing in my closet. Actually, it’s even older than I am. My Mum tells me she wore this oversized plaid shirt when she was pregnant with me, and I can’t believe that 36 years later I still wear it myself. It’s soft as soft, and the seams are mended with the dodgy hand-stitching of a teenager who spent too much time with her knees tucked up under the hem. It’s as familiar and comforting as a hug from my Mum, and I always thought it would be beautifully cyclical if I could wear it whilst pregnant with my own child. Hopefully one day.

Check it out – here’s a photo of me wearing it whilst holding my newborn baby brother. He’s twenty-two now. Horrifying.

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How about you? Are there any items in your wardrobe that you’re holding onto for nostalgic reasons?

Uniqlo and Behold

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Blouse: Dorothy Perkins

Top: Uniqlo

Skirt: Ivanka Trump

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Chie Mihara

In recent years we’ve been seeing a lot of the big international fashion companies finally opening shopfronts here in Australia. TopShop, Zara, Gap, and most recently H&M are some of the big names giving our homegrown stores a run for their money.

I’ve seen the opening week queues out the fronts of doors, security guards and roped-off waiting areas and I have to admit that I don’t really “get” it. Especially as most of these stores have a big online presence, so I’m don’t really see the point of queuing for two hours to see a product that I can dial up on my mobile phone whenever I want to. H&M’s been open for a few weeks now here in Melbourne, and I still haven’t been (though to be honest I found their range underwhelming when I visited in New York. It might have been a different story if it was Old Navy or Anthropologie).

One store that I was excited to hear would be coming Down Under was Uniqlo.

Launched in Tokyo in 1984, and now with over 1300 stores globally, Uniqlo is kind of like the Ikea of the fashion world. Their clothing is predominately staples: Sweaters, jeans, cardigans. Socks and jocks. Collared shirts, and slacks. They use clean lines and classic styles, and what they lack in varying ranges, they make up for in colour choice.

They have a typically Japanese obsession with quality and control. So they design everything in-house, and also maintain a department that researches and develops new materials and technologies.

They source raw materials directly from chosen manufacturers, then spin, dye and weave their own fabrics in-house. This gives them ultimate control over everything like quality, weight and hue, but also allows them to keep prices low.

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I love the deep berry colour of this cashmere blend sweater, and it was cheap enough to be an impulse buy when I headed into Melbourne’s new Emporium shopping centre to check out Uniqlo’s first Antipodean store.

It’s thin, but warm, and has satisfyingly long arms (yay!). I bought the medium, and there are two sizes above that, so if you’re on the smaller side of plus then don’t underestimate Uniqlo – especially their knitwear.

It was a regular shopping location for me each time I visited New York last year, and I can tell that the Australian branch will be an essential go-to destination when my pay check is burning a hole in my pocket too.

A good news for Sydney-siders: you’ve got a Uniqlo heading your way, too. A pop-up store just opened in Pitt St Mall, and nearly 1,500 metres of real-estate has been put aside in the new Mid-City Mall for a store scheduled to open in the spring.