Monday, September 6, 2010

Shop your own wardrobe part 6: Morning tea with the Governor-General

A few years ago I was fortunate to par-take in a cocktail party at Government House when the 2005 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships came to town. I remember what I wore as if it was yesterday. A gorgeous black...yes black...I’d yet to really embrace Trinny and Susannah back blouse with cream embroidered lace detail, a stunning pair of cream coloured three-quarter length dress pants that didn’t quite do up because the BB1 baby-bump had popped out, and a pair of pointy toe sling backs I brought from goodness knows where! After the formalities were over, the then Governor of Victoria, John Landy, athletic legend, walked up to me...I was the closest, and introduced himself. As somewhat of an amateur sprinter in my younger days and completely familiar with the four-minute mile, I was so excited I teared up and ran outside to ring my mum to tell her all about it. I honestly didn’t think it could get much better than that until a couple of weeks ago when I received an invitation to a morning tea hosted by non-other than the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce. The mere thought of a potential was a group thing...had me sprinting, John Landy style to the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world to find something appropriate to wear because let’s face it, not only is she one of the most well-known, respected and considering the state of leadership in this country, powerful women in the world, she also has impeccable dress sense. It was a lot to live up to.

Now you all know that I love a good frock with a splash of colour, and lord knows my new BFF Diana Ferrari has provided those in quadruplicate. It would have been easy for me to throw on my tried and true burgundy number with the bishop sleeves and neck frill or brave the weather with a lovely short-sleeve brown piece printed with cherry red poppies (you have to see it to appreciate it, isn’t that right Mel? She has one too.) No, this particular shindig called for something chic, something elegant, something...neutral! So with the SATC 2 almanac in hand...don’t worry I completely by-passed the yellow and green striped tee, leopard print heels and the asymmetrical all-in-one with the harem pants and instead focussed my attention on the effortless white Ralph Lauren dress, Hermes purse with snake skin Manolos and boater hat that adorned SJP on her return from Abu Dhabi. Pity for me that I do not own a Ralph Lauren dress, Hermes purse or snake skin Manolos although I did once lay claim to a white boater hat that I am fairly certain found its way into a Mother Fox garage sale. But, how fabulous for me in that I know how to shop my own wardrobe and re-create a look with a whole new and different approach. Don’t you just love having a skill? Here is how I did it...

Simple dress in neutral colour: In lieu of not having a simple white dress, I decided on a classic black...yes we go again... pencil skirt that has been sitting in the SWITW for over a year awaiting a new zip. This particular skirt, which I might add should be a staple of every girl’s wardrobe, has been a favourite of mine for a good number of years. I brought it from David Lawrence about six years ago as part of a suit and it is one of those classic pieces that will fall apart before it dates. It has a very cute pleat detail at the bottom hem at the back.

In keeping with the unbiased colour scheme, I teamed the skirt with my favourite new blouse from Witchery. You know the one...just scroll down a few posts to refresh your memory. I had every intention of wearing a cream cami underneath, but shock horror, there was a stain that looked remarkably like baby drool smack bang in the middle of the bust line which could be seen, and so I went out on a limb and contrasted the sheer cream silk with a fitted black cami instead. SJP eat your heart out.

Grey snake skin Manolos: To add a touch of colour to the en som, I whipped on a pair of Ambra peeptoe panty-hose I picked up from Myer for 30 per cent off the lowest marked price, and my favourite pair of Steve Madden Mary-Jane sling-backs. I love these shoes. I can practically wear them with anything. I brought them in New York a couple of years ago from what was quite possibly the best shoe shop I have ever had the privilege of spending within. What a shame Dr Love didn’t quite share my enthusiasm.

Boater hat: Instead of head candy, I went with ear candy so accessorised with some dangly ear-rings with burgundy sparkles I picked up from Diva on a four for $10 deal and two wooden bangles from Bardot that cost $5 each.

Hermes bag also in neutral: This is where I broke from tradition and added a touch of MFS to an elegant SJP in the form of a burgundy tote from Strandbags. It’s not quite Hermes but it looked fabulous and contrasted well with the neutral theme and red mary-jane strap on the Steve Maddens.

Although it wasn’t quite the hot pink woollen suit with leopard print clutch worn and carried by most lovely and warm Quentin Bryce...yes I did get to talk to her and she is a very lovely...I’m sure she liked it too. Check it out:

Recent posts you might have missed:

I have a plan
And as for Sunday, I wore a neutral
So, what did you do on Saturday?

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