Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dita's Von Follies collection for Myer

Dita Von Teese's second Australian lingerie collaboration debuted in mid-October with Myer. In explaining her shift to Myer, Dita stated that "Myer has really embraced the more distinctive and risque piece, so I really respect their sense of adventure and their belief in the collection. The line has evolved quite a bit since it's beginnings, and I've had much more freedom to create the kind of decadent lingerie I love to wear. The new collection capture the essence of retro glamour beautifully in a modern, wearable way."

There's been a move toward more wearable pieces, such as "Ingenue". Unlike her first collection, it's less cheesecake pin-up and more womanly charm. It's a bit more grown-up without being dull.

The quality of the lingerie has remained mostly the same, but the prices have slightly increased. Bras ranged from $50-75 and underwear $25-40 (which is outrageous for a g-string, am I right). Corsets and chemises average $145 and slips range between $85-115. So not a cheap purchase, but fairly equal to other mid-range lingerie lines. Unusually, this collection includes several slips in varying colours (a nice change from the boring beige).

Sheer Witchery longline corset

I think the quality has certainly improved for the chemises which are sturdy and if the price weren't so high I would have happily left with the Sheer Witchery longline corset. Elegantly understated, it provided a smooth foundation with great support, perfect for your holiday dress. However, I did think the hook-and-eye closure was a tad impractical and quite difficult to maneuver alone. Though it did make the corset delightful to strip out of. I liked that nearly every style had a few different bra options, from demi-cup, wireless, balconette, push-up or plunge. As an added bonus, if you bought a full set of lingerie you got a free lingerie bag to match! Thank you Dita!

Madame X

My pick of this collection is indisputably the Madame X lingerie set.
In her new perfume commercial, Dita wears Madame X and says she loves "strength and power in a woman" and that her fragrance is for both the "domina and the submissive" I think you could say the same about this lingerie set.

The lace has the slightest hint of violet adding some sheen and softening the blow of the black.

The Madame X suspender is exquisite and well above anything else you see in the Australian department stores. Thought it only boasts 4 suspender straps, the metal clips are attached with adjustable, sturdy elastic. The underwire bra fits well and the lace isn't too frou-frou to attract attention under your t-shirts. Meanwhile the wireless bra is both comfortable and alluring, the sexiest wire-free bra I've encountered! Importantly to me, the underwear wasn't just an expensive throw-away item. In this set it had as much attention to detail as the other pieces, with a sheer mesh back, satin and lace front, metal rings and adjustable waist-band. Comfortable and undeniably sexy.

Side by side comparison of the wirefree (top) and underwire (bottom) Madame X bra

Madame X bra: underwire (left), wirefree (right)

Since I bought my set, more styles and colours have become available, such as "Starlift" set in black. Though they weren't in store when I went, I am really impressed with the look of the "Savoir Fair" fitted chemises.

 It's great to see where Von Follies is heading. I'd definitely like to see Dita expand into pyjamas and lounge-wear. Hope you enjoyed my review. Let me know what you think of Von Follies!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Halloween and birthdays

The month began and ended with a High Tea

Supremely delicious snacks for the Opera House's 40th anniversary

Terrifying sky as the bush fires took their toll

Change of pace with short hair

Halloween (courtesy of Tim and Regan)


A 21st High Tea

Follow me at eccentricpickles

Hawk Walk

I've always been an avid animal fan. In my imaginary-dead-or-alive-celebrity dinner parties, Sir David Attenborough sits at the head of the table. So when I was investigating things to do in Bath, I couldn't go past the West of England Falconry Hawk Walk.
Worth it for the view of British countryside alone, the hawk walk was an excellent introduction to falconry. Surprisingly simple, it just the practice of letting the bird fly to the trees before returning to you, like a living boomerang! My bird for the day was Charlie the Harris Hawk, who was beautiful, playful but also surprisingly gentle. There are few things more stunning than watching a hawk circle the trees and then soar into your hands...or onto your shoulders... or on your head... 
A word to the wise, though I'd loved to have been decked out in tweed and tights, you will be called to walk through thickets and thistles, so it's best to wear some sturdy clothes and shoes. Also, you tempt the birds back to you with meaty treats, so just be aware of that if you are squeamish.
This was one of the highlights of my time in England, I thoroughly recommend it anyone.

And no, Charlie did not bite my finger.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sydney's Vintage and Retro Fair

Earlier in the year I chanced it for the first time as a model in the Sydney Love Vintage Fair. Though I was quite nervous it turned out to be a lot of fun, so when the talented Nora from Norafinds asked if I'd model in last week's Vintage and Retro Fair I couldn't resist. 
Nora styled three parades: Spring Fashion, Vintage Revival (which showed ethnic influences on fashion throughout the decades) and a Lifestyle Pop-up Parade (which featured a mix of day wear, lounge-wear and lingerie). Here's some shots from the Saturday shows taken by Justin Lee and check out the other photos on Nora's blog.
 Emma and I in lingerie at the vintage lifestyle popup

 Ethnic revival
Spring fashion
Thank you again to Nora for all her hard work and Justin Lee for the great photographs.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Artists' Ball

This image was kindly borrowed from the History Council and can be found here along with many more photos from the night.

The Artists' Ball was an event that captured Sydney's imagination in the early 20th century. According to The History Council of NSW the Artists' Ball was an outrageous event "attended by artists, photographers, journalists, authors, muses, models and society elites". It was a place for debauchery, insane costumes and ludicrous fun. One year the female impersonator, Tracy Lee,  and his friends wore such elaborate costumes that they had to hire a removal truck for their arrival, lest their headwear be damaged!
In honour of this extraordinary past and in celebration of History Week 2013, the History Council of NSW invoked the fantastic and recaptured the spirit of the ball. I was delighted to win a double pass to the event and who else could I take but the enchantress, Nicolette. In my opinion this siren deserves her own post!

Her hair was adorned by fresh roses and she wore a vintage 1950's gown with vintage Czech crystal cuff and ring. 

Set in the David Jones Ballroom, Nicolette and I spent much of the night enjoying the view over the city.

When we weren't drawing on the walls, of course...

Alannah Hill Heels
Vintage Glomesh Purse, 1930's Lace Coat and Feather Boa, 1950's Necklace
Modern Red Feather Fan
Poison Apple - handmade by me

The sartorially supreme Jesse and Tim from like johnny and june

Embracing the debauchery of the night.
The beauty in blue is Rebecca of Black Swan's Pond, read her take on the night here

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Paris is one of those places that people seem to love or hate.
Though I was never really taken in by the allure of Paris, I was still excited to see how it seduced so many .
Ahh... but when I got there, I admit, I was taken. Like some strange love affair, everything beautiful I adored, its dirty little secrets had me enthralled, and the things I hated, well, I ended up loving hating them as well. However, while I spent two weeks in Paris (such brief weeks), I didn't get to hit many vintage shops (if any), so here instead is my list of other slightly less-known Parisian attractions:
  • For a comprehensive and affordable introduction to Paris join one of the city's Free Walking Tours with Culture Fish. Free tours can be a bit hit and miss, depending on the day you visit, your group and your guide. However, both my chap and I were so thoroughly impressed with our City Tour (our guide was Mariel) that we decided to do the Montemarte tour the following day. On both tours you learn about the history, the people past and present and advice on what to do for the remainder of your stay. I'd suggest doing the tour on your first day in the city, that way you'll have time to return to places you loved!

     At the top of Notre-Dame
Oh the pastries... the many, many, many sugary delights! Excuse me while I faint from a fantasized-sugar-induced coma.
  • Ladurée: If you are a sugar fiend like me I will barely need to utter the word macarons for you to know what I am talking about, but if you are new to the game, this is the place to go! This is the place that captivated the world with their dainty pastel treats. Though I'm sure the title for best macarons is hotly contested, visit Laudrée patisserie on the Champs-Élysées and indulge in some of the desserts that France is famous for. Try not to spend all your holiday cash in a sugar-induced hangover on the way home.

Interesting side note: the locals call the Champs-Élysées the aisle of diamonds and rubies, named not only for its decadent stores, but for the endless traffic queues which colour the road red and white. 
  • Deyrolles: a small taxidermy shop in Paris established in 1831. Good for a quiet afternoon where you feel like something a bit different. It's not everyday you get to pat a polar bear or come face to face with a lion. My favourite pick of the shop were the two albino peacocks who looked elegantly down on us as we wandered about. 
Anyone feeling a Great Gatsby vibe after spotting those ominous eyes?
  • Lil Weasel: The Passage de Grand Cerf (featured in the photo above) is a delightful Georgian arcade with a beautiful glass roof and an array of odd shops. Settled inside is Lil Weasel, a quaint wool store with warmth and charm. The friendly staff are fluent in English, happy to help and there is a great selection of yarn colour co-ordinated for your pleasure! Mmm... organisation...
    I particularly liked the knitted hedgehogs and critters who lived snug in between the shelves. 

  • While you are there check out Le Pas Sage at number 1 which features unusual twists on old favourites. The food is fresh with generous portions. I had a gourmet "hot dog" with roasted baby potatoes (yum), my chap had a lamb shank. If they still offer it, get the chocolate desert. It has a delightful hint of Heston Blumenthal fun (think melting chocolate shells, secret stashes of poprocks and salted caramel mousse). You can enter the arcade via Rue Saint-Denis, just don't be put off by the fairly adult nature of this street's shops... It provides a delightful contrast between the quiet shopping experience of yesteryear and the unabashed sexuality and immediacy of today.
And speaking of raunch... 

  • Le Crazy Horse Paris: Opened in 1951, it still has that sexy hint of sleaze (you are watching naked women strut their stuff after all) but it's also small enough to feel intimate. See where Dita Von Teese guest starred and enjoy a less commercial cabaret. My only advice is that if you plan on having a drink, fork out for the additional VIP seating as you can't purchase any drinks if you are just in normal seating (and if you do they are ridiculously overpriced). 
Have you been to Paris? Would you like to visit? Feel free to ask me any questions if you'd like more information. 
Or even better, if you have been, tell me what you loved in Paris and where your secret hideaways were.

Paris looking positively Disneyesque

Hope you enjoyed my post on Paris, join me next time we voyage to Spain!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Evening With Our Designers

Last week brought with it The Strand Arcade's Evening With Our Designers! 
It's a great chance to treat yourself to some new spring/summer shopping (even if it is only window shopping)!

Indulging in some well deserved complimentary snacks! 

dress - Leona Edmiston
heels - Wittner
1950's bag - Portobello Market, London
1950's cape - etsy (part of matching set)

Trying on a dress from the Amy Taylor Collection

These glasses were my favourite find of the night, what do you think?


Monday, August 26, 2013

Old Hat Winter Warmer

Another month, another Old Hat shin-dig!
This event was hosted at Palmer & Co, a prohibition style speakeasy just off George Street, Sydney.
The gents wore suits, the women wore pearls.

I wore my Dita Von Teese Muse Showcase Dress with a peek of lingerie and black leather gloves

My drink of choice was the featuring gin, lavender syrup and lemon. Floral with a sour kick, elegantly served with a light froth and rose petal.