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Thursday 29 November 2012

Jumpin' jacquard, luscious lurex, and twirling tulips

I have some special pieces I've been longing to show you in real life, but since that hasn't happened yet I decided to do a photo shoot last night. How much fun was that? - especially with these garments...

First up is a maxi skirt which I received from gorgeous Curtise of The Secondhand Years who got it from Terri from Rags Against the Machine in a circuitous transcontinental effort. (In this same package of love I also received a fabulous velvet maxi dress with a lacy sewn-in blouse featuring leg-of-mutton sleeves, here. Can you believe its amazingness?) Here is the skirt, first in closeup and then how I styled it.

  • vintage maxi jacquard skirt with rear zip/button enclosure, gift from Curtise and Terri
  • jacquard vest, hand-me-over, downsized three sizes
  • vintage jacquard jacket, thrifted, home-made (the price tag said "Mad Hatter at the Tea Party")
  • aubergine silk blouse, hand-me-over, many sizes too big
  • red wool beret, thrifted
  • brown crackle leather Miu Miu boots, thrifted
  • blue brooch, craft fair, sold as hat adornment
I wore a variation of this outfit a couple of weeks ago but was unable to photograph it that day even though I felt bee-yoo-ti-ful in it. The jacket is heavy like upholstery fabric - it can almost stand up on its own - and the skirt doesn't have any vents in the bottom which meant I had to take feminine steps thereby enhancing my wearing pleasure. My approach to this outfit was, if I'm going to wear one piece of jacquard, why not wear all my pieces at once? I call this "Runaway Chesterfield." (I always get confused between brocade and jacquard - I hope my use here is correct...)

The next piece I received in the same package. It is an absolutely delicious lurex capelet, special from Curtise. Oooh, she knows my heart well.

  • crappy dreamy shoes, retail, with vintage kimono-strip laces, gift from my friend Sharron
  • glitter bronze tights, retail
  • lurex dress, thrifted
  • lurex capelet, Curtise
  • red wool beret, thrifted
  • black long-sleeve under-T, thrifted
I haven't worn this ensemble out yet because the shoes, worn only once, already need sole reinforcement, hence the "crappy" descriptor, but this outfit is DEFINITELY an incentive to get that done. The capelet is very cool because it has little sleeve openings sewn into it. I would  need to wear a wrap or shawl of some kind over it for outdoors, thus adding to the drama and glamour of the sparkles.

And the finale, ta-dah, this is a gorgeous maxi dress with a tulip motif and beret which I received from awesome Ariane of Style Sud-Est.

Isn't this dress divine? At first I wasn't sure how to style it - the bodice is attached to the skirt in a zig-zag line you can barely make out in the first photo - but when I added the belt everything fell magically into place. This dress is so filmy and dreamy; it's the most fun to twirl in. You should hear the swishy sound. And the green beret, I have to thank Ariane for reintroducing me to this beautiful colour! I love it now with my white hair. The denim jacket turns this into daywear but the delicate hemline requires dry sidewalks. Thank you, Ariane!

That's all. Sorry for such a long post. I have woken up every day wondering if this is THEE day for any of these outfits and I'm glad I have finally photographed them to share with you. So hugs to Curtise and Terri and Ariane for making possible this post and my happiness wearing these amazing pieces.

When you're stumped by how to style an outfit where does you mind go first: scissors? scarves? belts? donation bin? I was tempted to shorten the dress and I'm so GLAD I resisted!!


  1. Beary: Hey, what made you keep going "WOW"?
    Me: My friend Melanie's outfits - SHE'S FABULOUS!!! (actual shouting)

    Dude. Seriously.

  2. I feel like you just took us on a little time trip from Victorian brocade through a 1920's glitzy speak easy to a 1970's
    be-in. Fashion time travel. Love it!

  3. Wow!!! What are you doing different these days? Did you start popping psychedelics or something? Whatever it is it's doing something amazing for you. Exhilarating, artistically inspired, WOW!

  4. I'm with Amber: Dude, seriously.

    All three are AMAAAZING! I love the jacquards all together - the skirt is GORGEOUS, the blouse DIVINE, the waistcoat and JACKET are exquisite.

    The lames are drapey disco perfection. Show us some moves!

    The floaty floral frock is MAGNIFICENT. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stunning frock on you.

    Dude, seriously.


  5. I can't stop looking at these creations. They are all mesmerizing.

  6. You have a magnificent talent or mixing patterns. They are all great mixes. I usually try a belt when attempting to make something work, then a jacket or some bling.

  7. Styling on the third picture! Wonderful! Perhaps you Vintage professionals vomit when you read this, but in the kind of dresses like the image below, I often cut out the lining fabric and let the dress be transperent. I think it moves better then.

  8. I don't know what to say, you look amazing in every single outfit, you absolute rock star! xxx

  9. Bravo!!!I'm really speachless, this is a no-comment post, I've been raptured and I'm still ecstatic, every outfit is a masterpiece and it makes me want to wear everything I'm seeing here!

  10. Runaway Chesterfield....I was going to say Brocade Bitch...can I? Lol! Yay for blogging buddies who get it right, few know our tastes better than bloggers, I reckon. My mind always goes to bangles and shoes for styling, I'm not much good at the layering thing like you are. Thanks for the compliment on my hands btw, I hate them they are the biggest in the world.xx.

  11. You are a style *goddess* - my eyes are doing a happy dance with these three outfits.

  12. Oooh I love that last dress! You really scored some lovely new pieces.


  13. Well, hush my mouth-- ain't you cute?! How delightful is that to receive these wonderful offerings from blogging pals. Long live blogging! Yeah!! (How do people know each other's sizes?)

    I too have a green beret, just like yours. I actually wore it last Sunday with my new black coat which was a GIFT from my pal Jo. I think it deserves a blog post. Yes?

    Cheers from Rosemary in England,

  14. Absolutely gorgeous pieces from generous blogging friends. Every photo has me swooning in admiration and unable to choose a favorite.

  15. All three outfits are fabulous. I love the jacquard mixes, and the lurex capelet is bang on for the festive season. As for the dress, what a pattern. I love how you've styled it with the black shirt underneath. What fab gifts from very lovely bloggers!

  16. 3 Thumbs up for 3 awesome outfits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think the difference between jacquard and brocade is: jacquard is tone on tone pattern and brocade is more woven and has stringy things on the back. But I could be wrong.

  17. Everything is just so gorgeous, what fun to receive such amazing goodies in the post! I love everything about the jacquard outfit - the jacket is ah-mazing! xo

  18. OK my turn now! Wow - Wow and Wow!
    OMG ! i was so right sending you that dress, it's just perfect for you and seeing you wearing it i see all the splendour of the dress!
    Green is stunning on you ! that beret is so, so so right for your skin tone - OMG girl i am just drooling all over my Ipad!

    Your pics are so nice, i like the way you posed, getting better and better - You are a rising star!

    Ariane xxxxx

  19. Jumping jacquard flash! I just knew that fabulous skirt was meant to be with you, you look amazing in your triple tapestry/jacquard/brocade/whatever it's called! Perhaps you could engineer a split in the skirt with your trusty seam ripper to facilitate a bigger stride, or are you happy to take teeny weeny feminine steps? I struggle with that, I like to take giant leaps for (wo)mankind!
    You found the perfect skirt to go with that lurex top - sparkles need more sparkles, they get lonely otherwise. I do adore a cape sleeve.
    And then POW! That beautiful floral frock from Ariane is just so beautiful! If something feels too dressy, I often tone it down with a denim jacket, it seems to make even an evening dress more wearable as everyday wear. Tricky now it's so bloody cold, though! Styling is a funny business, sometimes I feel I get it right when I just do it instinctively, and get in a tangle when I over-think it. You have a good eye, Melanie, trust your instincts!
    Have a delicious weekend, my friend. xxxxx

  20. You are so stunningly beautiful, Melanie - you look like fine art, and I always feel lucky and privileged to get to see your fabulous fashion and styling.

    I was hoping you'd share a few tips re your indoor lighting since it's always so good. I saw peek of your lamp in one pic. I know as an artist you may have equipment us non-artistic types don't have but I'd love to hear your tips that every day style bloggers might be able to use on cold icky days when the outfit is fabulous but outside isn't :)

    You completely make my day, Melanie! You can never, ever post too much.

  21. Woweee amazing outfits Melanie! I particularly love that green dress which looks incredible on you. You are the Queen of the Colour Pop and what an inspiration!

  22. I think I need to send you photos of a couple of things in my closet that I'm not sure how to style, because it's obvious that you can make any article of clothing look totally f**cking awesome!! Love you in Lurex, jonesing for you in Jacquard, and the tulip dress is simply scrumptious. What fabulous gifts - your fellow bloggers have excellent taste and know what suits you.

  23. I adore the colors of the maxi skirt! The prints look incredible together, especially the skirt/vest combo. They just meld together.

    I am crazy in love with your green beret. Paired with your pale hair and blue-blue eyes - ethereal!

    Admittedly, I often go straight for the scissors. I'm a DIY-cutter. Following that thought, I usually just donate. I'm not too ambitious.

  24. I love the print mix in the first look. You always mix things so interestingly.

  25. I love the luxury fabric of the skirts, and adore how you look in that dress, my dear Melanie, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  26. Fabulously fearless mixing! Makes me chuckle to think of my last post "boldly" mixing my green boots with a black and white striped dress. We have very different borders, for sure!

  27. I really don't know where to start! Maybe I should start by saying how gutted I am you live on anothe continent so we can't hang out, have tea, buy nonsense and talk about art.
    The Brocade/Jacquard is just divine, you're a work of art in itself. The clash of patterns look like a 60s sofa explosion and I love it

    The lurex will have me hunting on ebay for my own, though not sure I'll look as sexy as you!

    The maxi dress is beautiful, you've dressed it up perfectly for the winter but fingers cross for some hot weather next year so you can float around in it then too. You've been really spoilt and rightly so! xxx

  28. I love the outfit in the second picture. All the different patterns together in one outfit, that's awesome.

  29. The Last flower dress is so Nice!!! Wish I had a scarf like that:D
    And the last second lurex purple dress is so cute!

  30. 1. You are the undisputed queen of jacquard
    2. You are the queen of lurex
    3. That dress is fecking amazing!!!

    Your posts are refreshing! :o)

  31. Shoo-wee Melanie. You've got it going alright. Such wonderful gifts from blogger friends. I love the texture/prints mix-up in the first of the series that you've put together. But each one is great with its own personality and style. What a delight reading the Melanie blog in the morning!

  32. Such amazing beautiful gifts from cool women of the same awesomeness! I love that second outfit best, the shimmery bits you look hot! The odors on the maxi are banging babe! I had to laugh at the part about feminine pleasurable steps ;)

  33. Floral print dress IS divine!

    Come celebrate December with my Countdown to Kitschmas

  34. Waooooo! I love these prints... I transported to another era... And the glitter... That's great! I love your imagination!

  35. Luscious, every single one. You are a styling genius. XXOO

  36. Oh my gosh, how much do I love that brocade jacket...and the skirt...and that beautiful tulip dress? Melanie, you've outdone yourself!

  37. o MY gawd.You are truly, TRULY amazing and so bloody innovative and INSPIRING!!!
    I love every single piece, and the way you're wearing 'em....frigging AWESOME! You are so unique. I love that!
    I usually play around with accessories when I'm not sure...the scissors come later!!! What foot size are you,darl?

  38. "feminine steps thereby enhancing my wearing pleasure"... you are so funny Melanie, and I know you weren't even trying to be. :-) I LOVE that dress. AMAZING!!! You look awesome in everything here. Have a fantastic styling week! xo

  39. You look AMAZING in all three outfits!!
    I love the interplay of the jaquard patterns with each other!!
    And the green dress has such an gorgeous floral print!!

  40. This post wasn't long enough! How splendid you look- and what marvelous morsels of style!

  41. They've said it all. You just look amazing in everything you put on! M x

  42. Oh my God, I wish I could raid your wardrobe! That dress is definitely divine. The mix of prints is my favourite, though.

  43. The first 2 are my favourites. I love how you combined the first outfit in particular, it all just ties in together perfectly!!!

  44. argh! the last photo with the denim jacket and green beret. How do you come up with these combos? Wow. You give me courage and ideas...and an overwhelming urge to go thrifting to find cool items.


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