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?

8 thoughts on “Just Be Cause

  1. First thought I saw your new post: She looks really avant garde :-). Black also suits you, but I still love your colourful skirts and dresses.

  2. I looooooove a batwing but unfortunately they don’t really suit my frame. You’re rocking that look! Very elegant and very much a ‘wear anywhere’ top.

  3. Hi there,

    My friend sent me the link to your blog. You see I’m the girl in the white dress on the runway at The Cause fashion show. I’d never (ever!) modelled before. I happened to be a customer when Dale Cornell asked me if I wanted to be a part of their fashion show. Having absolutely no idea what it entailed, I naturally said ‘yes’. The night before the show I couldn’t sleep. I spent the day of the show in tears and in the bathroom. I was terrified. All I could think was that I’d be judged for not being your ‘average model’ as I’m 5″0′ and a size 10-12. We put ourselves through such emotional torture about our appearance.

    Anyway I did my catwalk debut and it was all over in a matter of seconds. But what I loved about ‘The Cause’, apart from their ethical fashion focus, is that they celebrate women as beautiful as they are. Did you notice that the most beautiful women on that runway were the ones that ‘owned it’? The ones who accepted themselves as they were?

    Needless to say, the whole experience taught me that I’m alright as I am – and I have every right to ‘own it’.

    It was a pleasant surprise to find a picture of my modelling debut in your blog – a girlfriend saw it and sent it to me. Thank you!

    A great reminder that we’re beautiful – just the way we are.

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