Linen let live

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouTop: Trenery

Trousers: Sportscraft

Shoes: Airflex

I’ve never “done” linen before. I’ve always thought it was a bit rough, a bit unforgiving, and ridiculously easy to crush. But there was something really… inviting about this linen-blend shirt from Trenery. It’s made with viscose (which I’ve recently discovered is actually made from tree cellulose) which gives it a lovely softness, a smidge of stretch, a leeeetle bit of a shine, and less of a propensity for creasing.

It’s a collarless shirt – which works better on my full bust than those with collars – and the breast pockets are positioned nice and high, so they don’t create extra volume where I definitely don’t need it. The button placket only extends half-way down the shirt which I actually prefer (it’ll be a really nice piece layered under sweaters come the cooler months) and while the stretch meant that the gaping was fairly minimal I sewed it up, just in case.

The sleeves are designed to be rolled with little tabs to keep them at elbow-length, but they can be unrolled and buttoned at the wrist, too.

Frocks and Frou FrouI teamed it with some amazingly comfortable trousers from Sportscraft. The dove grey is a great colour for the warmer months, and it’s virtually impossible to find (especially above a size 14) so even though these were a bit dear I snapped them up as soon as spotted them. They’re on sale now, and don’t be put off by the bad review on the website – I suspect she’s talking about something else, because these aren’t cotton: they’re a linen/rayon/elastane fabric that has the textural effect of a linen, but the stretch and weight of a ponti. Also, she says “shirt”.

My shoes are from Airflex, and I was thrilled to find a pair of pointed d’orsay pumps that fit my wide foot. I bought them half a size too big, because the store I visited didn’t have any in my size left, and I’m kind of regretting it, because you can get all sizes online now (also on sale, le sigh)

My necklace is, obviously, from Made By Emily Green, and it lends the whole outfit a bit of softness and femininity.

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?