28 September, 2010

A waspish waistish Dior(ish) dress

Last Thursday night I attended the premiere of a lovely independent film about the history of Collins Street (the most prestigious shopping street in Melbourne) called 'Boutique Magnifique' by Lesley Rosenthal. The invitation called for vintage dress, so I pulled out all the stops and squeezed into a Dior(ish) New Look dress . . .
Dior(ish) vintage black dress etsy - Shop: SybilStyle
New look black hat etsy
black gloves ebay
vintage brooch and earrings Callie Whelan, Melbourne and online (see below for her shop details)

This is a dress I bought on etsy a month or so ago and to be honest, I had to go to extra pilates sessions to fit into it (!)(the waist is only about 24 inches in my defence!). Before I got into the dress on Thursday evening, I had wait for my husband to get home so he could put on my waist cincher - on the second rung no less! (I have never usually gotten the cincher past the first set of rungs!). It was rather comical, me yelling at him 'go to the second rung, the second rung!" and he replied 'you're not that skinny!" (not a good thing to say to a woman who has had two children!)

Melbourne is known for its penchant for wearing black, so I thought this colour scheme would fit the theme of Melbourne shopping history.

You may notice that the netting on my hat is a bit frayed and broken,
I could take it off I guess but I sort of like it like that!

 The film itself was really interesting - a collection of interviews with various people who had operated shops in Collins Street - the former owners of The House of Merivale, a model who had worked for the designer Hall Ludlow, various couturiers and milliiners from the Block Arcade and, of course, the famous Georges department store. The lady who made the film, Lesley Rosenthal, is a real character and very passionate about her work. I did not grow up in Melbourne so it was really fascinating for me. There was a big crowd at the premiere (around 400 people apparently) and I met a lovely lady there, Lesley Phillips, who had also made the effort to dress up in vintage. She makes 1950's reproduction dresses (look out for her at the various vintage markets) . . .
 Finally, a close up of the lovely brooch I wore with my frock, it is my favourite . .

Vintage brooch: purchased from Callie Whelan, Vintage Jewellery expert and seller, Melbourne
You can buy her jewellery from Camberwell markets, at the Vintage Garage Fitzroy and online at http://www.huntedandcollected.com.au/.

 I know I have mentioned Callie before on my blog, but I would like to recommend her again, she is very knowledgeable and helpful and her jewellery is very reasonably priced. She also sells vintage men's cufflinks! I bought a beautiful 50's pair of cufflinks for my hubby at Callie's Vintage Garage stall and they cost me the princely sum of $15 - a bargain (and my husband loved them). I really like to support local people (not just  etsy USA!) so please, as Molly would say, do yourself a favour and take a look at her stuff.


  1. What an absolutely beautiful dress! You certainly look like you just stepped out of a new look photo shoot; love it. A cincher can be a very useful dress tool, I have been thinking about getting one myself! Any recommendations on particular brands or stores for quality cinchers?

  2. You make that dress look fabulous! Thanks so much for sending me the photos!

  3. That dress is fantastic! Cinchers make you look so good too - dresses fit that much nicer. How did you go wearing it for a while? The longest I've had mine on is almost 12 hours and I can tell you I was very relieved to get it off at the end of that day!

    I'm waiting on a girdle from ebay currently so I shall see if that is less painful to wear for extended periods (I want something I can wear all day)

  4. Thanks for those lovely comments! Antonia, I got my waist cincher from a Singapore supplier via ebay about 5 years ago but unfortunately it no longer seems to be operating. I like the cincher as it is quite soft to wear but the only thing is it does up at the back so you need someone to put it on for you (that's where a man comes in handy!). I have been looking for some front fastening ones. A vintage lady in Brisbane makes cinchers to order and they are very well made, but at $160-165 bit pricey. I think I will save up for one though as it is great to have them made to fit you, see: http://www.thelindycharmschoolforgirls.com/products.html
    Otherwise, there are some at http://www.debras.com.au/bras-popup.asp?strID=222&strcatID=shapewear.asp
    Thanks for reading and let me know how you go with the cincher!

  5. Thanks so much for your help! I will certainly check them out and let you know if I come across anything!

  6. You look divine! How was the film? I was in Melbourne last week, strolling down Collins Street. I never want to leave Melbourne but sadly I'm back home now...