A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
I’m hosting another upcycling workshop next Thursday 18 April at Ashfield Library (fully booked but there is a waitlist) however, here’s something else for vintage lovers: Eleanor Keene, Historic Fashion and Textiles Specialist is teaching an 8-week course at North Sydney Community Centre on Tuesday evenings, starting 30 April.
Eleanor lived in the UK for 9 years where she studied a Masters in History of Fashion & Textiles, then went on to run the Costume & Textile auctions for Bonhams over there. She now lives and works in Sydney. Eleanor will be bringing along items to see and feel in the classes, and sharing stories from her years of working in the industry. This looks fab to me.
The campaign I’ve been working on with Vinnies finally launched across the nation yesterday, so now I can share some images from our fabulous fashion shoot back in August, styled head-to-toe with clothing & accessories from Vinnies stores.
This was such an incredibly fun project for me to be involved in. I’ll continue to be a Brand Ambassador for Vinnies – we’re making a series of web videos early next year with tips on how to update, alter and completely overhaul Vinnies clothes. Read below for more on the shoot & stay tuned for lots more news in 2013.
Vinnies was the first place I really started shopping and experimenting with fashion as a teenager, and it’s continued to provide so many of my wardrobe staples since then. So you can imagine how excited I was when they asked me to style the retail campaign (beyond). What wasn’t there to love? I was given carte blanche to all Sydney stores and told I could borrow anything I liked for the photo shoot. And I had the pleasure of working with the Vinnies marketing team to craft the campaign; a seriously inspiring bunch of people.
We worked out why people need Vinnies clothes – for work, casual and special occasions, and events such as music festivals – and sourced real people rather than models to show how they’re really worn. None of the images from the photoshoot have been retouched – they’re all as they were shot on the day. I love that we didn’t use models or retouching; these were real people with connections to the charity in one way or another, and it just felt right.
Photo shoots are always stressful because there’s so much riding on getting it right, but ours was a blast. I was creative director as well as a model, and loved every minute of it. We just had fun with the clothes and poses, and everything else fell into place. There were at least fifteen people involved – can you imagine re-scheduling that amount of people if we didn’t achieve the shots we needed? But the team at PMP Digital were professional and talented, as were our brilliant hair & makeup artists. The vibe was buzzy and fun but still completely relaxed.
Visit your local Vinnies to see some of the posters and advertising created with the shots from our campaign, and keep an eye out for booklets in Avant Card displays all over. They’re even running a competition to win $500 worth of Vinnies fashion and a day out with a stylist (yours truly) to help you spend it. Yes, that’s a whole lotta clothing!
Time to share my favourite things made with hand and heart again, and first on the list is Ginny & Jude Designs. Check out the latest vintage-inspired beauties by clever Miss Rabia Lockwood. Select pieces from the signature range of feathered headwear are on sale, as well as items from her seasonally-inspired ranges of clothing, jewellery, belts, knitwear and other assorted knick-knackery.
I couldn’t love the styling of these pieces more, made from feathers, felt, lace and ribbon both new & old… how gorgeous are they? Snap them up, I say. Make mine a beret.
It’s the unique theories behind a designer’s work I find most inspiring, such as Luella Bartley and her debut Daddy I Want A Pony collection back in 1998.
I met Rebecca recently, a graduate from the University of Technology, who shares the collection created for her course with me here. Based on how life on the road inspires the use of nature as shelter and protection, Rebecca used raw fabrics such as wool, cashmere and leather and created her own contemporary lace from alpaca fleece. Softer textures were inspired by the longing for comfort, warmth and familiarity when moving around or living out of a suitcase. The harder elements seen in the leather pieces suggest the natural human instinct for shelter and protection, hence the earthy tones. Apart from the shoes, this is all her original design work – designed, pattern made and sampled, with outsource assistance brought in for the final garments where specialised equipment was needed (dyeing, leather construction, etc).
I love Rebecca’s futuristic take on such old, raw materials, and her adventurousness with accessories. It’s something to keep in mind: even if your own machine doesn’t do the job, there are ways and means of having your ideas turned into reality.
Love the philosophy of this new Australian website, SOWSEW, which will grow brilliant as more people use it:
“Helping people to reduce their risk of creating waste and loss from expensive investments in fashion clothing and accessories. We aim to make available great opportunities for recycling fashion, and to keep everyone moving forward in style, hopefully without breaking anyone’s budget!”