Friday, March 30, 2012

Pretty for the weekend

Photographer Amber Grey for Marie Claire China, the styling is uniquely modern but the composition recalls fashion photos from the 50s and 60s. Can anyone tell me who the designer is of those lovely floral frocks? Dolce & Gabbana maybe?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Purchase: Red Rose Dress

The Love Vintage Fair - at it's new location inside the Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park, Sydney - was on this weekend and I popped along for a sticky beak on opening night. In the process I picked up this lovely white cotton frock with a rose print (see close up) + pretty bows at the sleeve. Thanks Classic and Chic. I might just wear it to yet another wedding this weekend. Tis the season after all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grace Kelly Style Exhibition

Last weekend the husband and I drove all the way down to Lorne on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria for my cousin's wedding. On the way back we were lucky enough to make it to the opening day of the Grace Kelly Style Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, only hours behind Princess Charlene.
Whether or not you like Grace Kelly as an actress, or you care for royalty or not, you can't deny that Kelly influenced 20th Century Style. When your very name becomes an adjective for a certain type of simple and relaxed glamour - if you hear someone say that a look is very 'Grace Kelly' you immediately know what they are they are talking about - you probably do deserve an exhibition all of your own.
Courtesy of the V&A in London the Bendigo Art Gallery is currently displaying four rooms full of Grace's clothes, hats, gloves, handbags (hello the Hermes Kelly bag) as well as tonnes of photographs and clips from her films. A movie star for a short time before quitting the business, Grace made only eleven feature films in her career but was at the height of her Oscar winning popularity when she met and married Prince Rainier, regent of the tiny municipality of Monaco. The year that High Society was released and she wed her Prince in the 'Wedding of the Century' saw her celebrity reach its peak. Every element of her wedding trousseau was pored over, and many of those dresses and suits are on display in Bendigo, as well as costumes from Rear Window (Edith Head), The Swan (Helen Rose) and High Society (also Helen Rose). There is a replica of Grace's famous wedding dress (perhaps only rivalled by Princess Diana's wedding dress for icon status) - the most expensive dress ever designed by Hollywood costumier Helen Rose - as well as many stunning couture gowns Grace wore once she became a Princess. These had me mesmerised: there is Madame Gres (such as the green suit above), Balenciaga, Givenchy and tonnes of Dior and Marc Bohan. Marc Bohan was a huge favourite of hers; the silver dress in the state photograph above is a Bohan and is on display at the exhibition.

After finishing up at the Art Gallery we took a stroll around the sites of Bendigo, checking out the impressive architecture of the gold rush town. Here's me on top of the town's water tower.

And it was a little chilly for me in Lorne (although not so much for the New Zealanders who made up the bulk of the guests and bridal party) so for the wedding day I chose a dress I'd worn before, to the lovely Pia Andersen's 30th Birthday Party. In this case I paired it with my new Chloe suede pumps that remind me of Neapolitan ice cream and a sweet lime green 1960s purse picked up at the Vintage Fashion Emporium.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Inspirational Dresses

I've been loving what Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have been creating for Valentino since taking over the reigns of the prestigious house and this Fall's collection hasn't changed my opinion. Sometimes impractical but always beautiful their eye for detail is admirable. Just look at that embroidery on the the final dress I've posted here.
Sure it's not Valentino Garavani - the looks lack his grown-up glamour - but these pretty dresses certainly won't have Valentino turning pale.
In fact, considering his hue, that may well be nigh on impossible.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Smashing, positively dashing ...

Famed photographer, diarist and costumier Cecil Beaton had already been lauded for his costumes for the London and New York theatrical productions of My Fair Lady (starring Julie Andrews) when he was commissioned to create costumes for the film version. From the December 1963 issue of US Vogue comes this gorgeous preview of those very costumes, photographed by Cecil himself and starring the new Eliza Doolittle, fashion plate Audrey Hepburn. Says Vogue ...

the delicious dilemma we have here is simply this: When Audrey Hepburn, on the brink of the plummiest part of the decade, cast those great enrapturing eyes on the clothes Cecil Beaton designed for everyone else in the cast, she suddenly knew that 'Liza is one of those heroines with almost Nothing to Wear ... Shaw invented her long before he wrote Pygmalion, as a "rapscalliony flower girl in an apron and three orange and red ostrich feathers." Tatters and violets, that's what Eliza starts with. But Audrey Hepburn, before taking to those real garn rags, had one glorious whirl with the gilded-lily dazzle clothes designed for the swells and chiquerinos of the Acscot Chorus and Convent Garden.

The final result, of course, was an Oscar winning bounty of timeless beauty. And thankfully for us Audrey so loved that frilled dress with the organdie boa in the final image that Cecil created one for Eliza in mauve that she wore in the scene in Mrs Higgins' garden. Set in 1914, My Fair Lady covers the same period (and merges the same crowds) as Downton Abbey.

Don't you just love the shades of black, white and grey in the famous Ascot scene from the film? And the hats, oh my, the hats. Vogue says that with his hats Cecil Beaton 'blows life into the statue.'