Through the Arch Window

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: Sportsgirl

Skirt: Jacqui E

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Pardon the shiny face and the flat hair! It bucketed down rain for most of today and I’m just feeling a bit waterlogged. Still, at least my awesome graphic print skirt still has a bit of fouff.

I spotted this one in the window at Jacqui E just before Christmas while I was doing some present-buying. They’ve been flying under my radar for a year or so because I don’t have that much need for corporate-wear, and everything else on their racks was just so same-samey that I stopped visiting the shops. More fool me, because it looks like there’s still a few gems to be found.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe skirt is fully lined with lovely deep functional pockets. The outer fabric is a cotton sateen, which really showcases the bold black and white print (that, full disclosure, kind of reminded me of the Play School windows). The pleated skirt was sewn flat for several inches below the waistband which made the pockets pull open in a not-terribly-nice way over my hips, but once I got the skirt home I just unpicked the pleats open and the result’s much more successful.

The wide black waistband means that I haven’t figured out any other way to wear it other than with a black top, so any recommendations would be great!

I can’t find this skirt on the website any more, so if you love it as much as I did your best bet might be to try some of the clearance stores.

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.

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