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?

Town and Country

DSCF5513_2 DSCF5514_2 DSCF5519_2

 Cardigan: Glassons

Top: Uniqlo

Trousers: Lagamta

Boots Miz Mooz

It’s been a while since I reviewed my first piece from the Lithuanian fashion company Lagamta, but I mentioned in my previous post that I’d also received a pair of custom-sized trousers. These are them, the “Frostbitten” wool trousers.

Like my Fireside dress, it’s been made beautifully from a herringbone wool blend. Also like the dress, the trousers are unlined, so I’ve layered them over a pair of tights.

They’re a cunning cut, based on a pair of traditional riding breeches, with deep pockets and pleated folds at the hips which create a bit of a draped effect.

The legs are tapered, and the designers give each size a corresponding calf measurement (hurrah!) and add on their blog post that if your measurement exceeded that, then they would alter the fit accordingly.

I think they’re a style that probably would suit a taller lady better than they do me, but there’s a nice country-casual feel to them. I wore them on my trip down to Rye a few weeks ago, and they felt like the perfect weekend wear for tramping around the countryside, then curling up in front of a wood stove in the evening with a mug of hot chocolate.