Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vintage wedding dress from the 50s and 60s

I always think a vintage wedding dress is a great idea to make a statement on your big day. Also so much cheaper than something you'd find in the shops. I've added a selection from

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Australian fashion history

Wedding dress designed and made by Beril Jents 1952
Photo: John Hearder

Blue silk dress by Germaine Rocher 1955
Long pink evening dress by Hall Ludlow 1954
Just stumbled across a wonderful article by Mitchell Oakley Smith in The Australian online, April 1, 2011 on the meaning of haute couture and the impact it had on Australian fashion from the 1920s.
Here is an excerpt from it below.
For the full story go to

As Riley (a dress historian at the State Library of NSW) says: “Dressmaking and fashion are portable trades, and with the great waves of migration around the world over the past century, if someone had skill in a certain area, it was embraced no matter where they were.” And Australia is no exception, particularly with the influx of European migrants in the 1950s that saw a boom in dressmaking. Along with European food and culture came couture, or at least a version of it.
During the 20th century, workers and dressmakers came to Australia and set up fashion businesses, with fabrics and patterns brought from Europe. Two women, Paulette Pellier and Germaine Rocher, are widely noted as integral to establishing a couture industry in Australia. Pellier, previously a Paris-based dressmaker, migrated to Australia during World War I and set up  her own studio in Sydney offering pin-tucked, hand-embroidered blouses, which she also sold out of a Brisbane hotel room through the 1920s in a similar format to French houses’ salon shows. The 1930s saw Rocher and her husband escape Bolshevik Russia and arrive in Sydney with two French seamstresses, with whom she created a workroom in the elegant St James Trust Building. Rocher travelled to Paris every year where “she had relationships with the couturiers and was friendly with Balenciaga,” says Riley. “She was very stylish and was noted for the beautiful clothing she offered.”
Jones believes Australians suffered something of a cultural cringe as a result of the great distance between them and Europe. This was to be a contributing factor in our love of magazines, seen as a connection to the rest of the world. In 1946, the Australian Women’s Weekly sent its fashion editor, Mary Ursula Hordern, to Paris to report on the haute couture collections. There, she put together a collection of over 100 pieces for a Sydney-based fashion show and, while Australians couldn’t purchase from the collection, it stimulated  fervent shopping and kick-started Australia’s garment industry following the war’s depression.
“It really hit a nerve with Australians, seeing the whole package: haute couture on French models,” says Riley, explaining the sheer saturation it achieved as a newsreel of the show was screened in every Australian cinema. So successful was it that European houses began to identify Australia as a viable market for their goods and so licensing agreements were established between the likes of Christian Dior and department store David Jones. Pierre Balmain, another famous French couturier, visited Australia in 1947, creating a collection exclusively for David Jones. A decade later, rival store Myer brought the first all-Dior fashion parade to Australia, making the French couturier a household name.
However, as Katie Somerville, curator of Australian fashion and textiles at the National Gallery of Victoria, points out, Australian fashion hasn’t always been about what was made overseas. “Labels and dressmakers developed in their own right and were very much a product of Australia,” she says, noting the cascade effect of French haute couture that inspired many Australian fashion houses to offer a couture service. Jones agrees with Somerville, noting the likes of Chris Jacovides, Hall Ludlow and Beril Jents as key initiators in Australia establishing its own identity for couture. Jents had originally visited the fashion shows in Paris in the 1940s, having been asked to copy the patterns for the local market, but later set up her own studio and began creating clothes under her own name.
“There were some very wealthy women who wanted to look good for the ball season’s social scene,” says
Jones. “They loved fashion and getting dressed up.” Of course, much of the high glamour subsided with the informality of the 1960s but couture remained an integral part of the Australian fashion industry. 

I would love to hear from anyone with their stories on Australian fashion

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spring is in the air

Am seeing pretty floral dresses everywhere at the moment so thought I would share the lovely genuine 1950 vintage floral dresses I have for sale on
You won't spot any of these anywhere else.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A little glimpse of David Jones fashion history

I always get excited when I come across a gorgeous Australian-made vintage piece.
This original 1950s, pure wool, 2 pce outfit carries the David Jones label.
It was given to me by a dear friend whose stylish mother originally owned it.
I have listed it for sale on my website and hope it goes to a good home.
It is in a very desirable modern day size 12 also.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another vintage 50s little black dress just listed

I have just listed another classic little black dress by one of my favourite vintage brands Carlye. They were such a quality brand. It has alternating rows of inset lace and half-moon-shaped pintucking. I just love the double box-pleated skirt too. The belt isn't original and is not that old but is included. I think the gold trim sets it off.  If you care to have a look please go to

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Another perfect little black dress has arrived

Wow, 'New Look' styling at its best. This divine LBD is by Doris Dodson and looks to have never been worn with its original little tailored belt. Has wonderful red organza lining under the skirt to create the bubble hem. Available at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pretty in pink ... gingham that is

Top 3 photos copyright Carla Coulson

When I spotted the top three delightful photos by the lovely Carla Coulson taken at the Tuileries Garden in Paris recently I was reminded of a dress I have listed on

Pink gingham is so perfect for spring don't you think. Mine originates from the sixties, has never been worn and still has swing tags attached. Such a rare gem.

I highly recommend having a look at Carla's website and blog. Not only is she an acclaimed photographer who originates from Australia and now lives in Paris with her Italian husband but she is also a published author who has written four very readable books. On top of all this she is a thoroughly nice person.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New arrival ... ideal for spring wedding

I have just listed this gorgeous 1950s dress in mocha coloured lace and silk organza. The flower is original and just sets it off. So feminine and pretty, would make a divine spring wedding dress.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What a line-up of fashion elite

Saw this old movie made in 1958 called Bonjour Tristesse advertised recently and decided to record it. The cast included David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Jean Seaberg and Juliette Greco.
When the opening credits started I was thrilled to see the clothes were by Givenchy, accessories by Hermes and jewellery by Cartier. What a line-up of fashion elite.

It certainly didn't disappoint from a fashion, story and location viewpoint.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New arrivals

Sorry I have taken so long to post but hope these fab new arrivals will inspire my readers. I particularly love the vintage 70s garments by Australian designers Norma Tullo (tweed jacket with velvet collar and trim) and Merco Davron (black and silver long dress).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The perfect 'little black dress' has arrived

I've just listed this divine vintage 1950s LBD on
It's by Saba Jnr of California and is in lace and chiffon with nude acetate satin lining. Such a stunner.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Latest arrival

This divine original 1950s Pat Hartley dress is one of my absolute favorites. So sad it doesn't fit me as I would be wearing this one in the cooler months. For anyone interested it is approximately an Australian size 10 and is in a tan and black wool or wool blend fabric. Available for sale at