Friday, September 24, 2010

Vale style inspiration, gone but not forgotten

Have you ever had one of those moments when you have no idea what to wear and then suddenly a flash of inspiration passes over you like a glossy vogue fashion spread and you find yourself launching into your wardrobe for a little bit of style heaven? No...bummer. It happened to me the other day. Wednesday. I was standing in the middle of the bedroom in my intimates considering the contents of the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world and feeling a tad sorry for myself. My grandma had died a week earlier and I had just returned from an unscheduled visit to Perth where amidst the support and love of my family I rode the gauntlet of emotion and memory. She was 91, although if you fancy yourself as a bit of ghost whisperer, pleased don’t tell her I said that...she really didn’t like anyone knowing how old she was except the year she turned 90, at which time she had a ripping party and told everyone who cared to listen. Gran, as most of us affectionately called her was a very big part of my life despite not seeing or talking to her as often as I should since I crossed the Nullarbor Plain all those years ago. Her influence on me however,...particularly the influence that involved those cute little lipstick samples from Avon (ding dong) has been and will be ever-lasting. The temptation in my sadness to drag a plain pair of brown-wide legged trousers and predictable shirt had been great. I was only going to work after-all, so what did it matter? So what if I vowed in public circumstances in January to glam it up for work, it wasn’t as if anyone noticed or cared (!). I even reached for those completely over-worn black patent shoes that had rather unwittingly become my staple AND by-passed the bling! I was tired... extreme emotion and a three and a half hour flight that arrived into Melbourne 45 minutes late and well into the night on my own with two grumpy and irrational children had done nothing to improve my darkened demeanour and the ensom I had chosen to wear that day was a clear reflection of how I felt. As I stood there fighting back tears, I thought of Grandma and was hit with a force of inspiration so powerful (remember the Prada handbag to the head), I practically ripped the clothing from my body and within two minutes (I had to leave the bedroom to retrieve the magic knickers from the suitcase in the dining room otherwise it would have been sooner), I stood in front of the mirror in an outfit that felt so glamorous it was almost a surprise to find out I wasn’t French!

Perhaps it was Grandma talking to me from beyond...we did share a birthday and Grandpa often remarked that we were very much alike. Come to think of it there were times when he said that, I’m not sure he thought that was a good thing ...usually when Grandma and I were paralytic with laughter over something he did not approve...AND she was a very stylish woman (even though she did insist on wearing her Australian-made inspired Avon wind-cheater and Fremantle Dockers cap when gardening). In her younger days, and believe me it wasn’t all that long ago she was always immaculately presented with a full face of make-up that was so skillfully applied you’d swear she wasn’t wearing any. She favoured top and tailing...her handbags matched her shoes and her clothes were always feminine, complimentary and coordinated. She loved belts...they were her accessory of choice and she sewed as though she was born cradling a Jenome in her slender hands. She had a walk-in-robe that my grandpa built for her...ah Dr Love??... which she always threw open whenever we visited for dress-ups and play and she would sit with me and my cousins and tell stories of years gone by as we went through her jewellery piece by piece. As far as my grandma was concerned, standing in front of one’s wardrobe regardless of size whilst seriously contemplating compromising one’s style because one was in a bit of snit simply would not do. So I took action, and here is what I did:

I took a black...yes black, but it’s a statement piece so its allowed, a-line Cue skirt with cleverly hidden pockets in the pleated waist band, which incidentally had received two last minute reprieves from ebay just because its Cue, and teamed it with my new orange and marble grey striped Veronika Maine jersey knit top with three quarter sleeves and neck detail. I added black tights...supporting statement piece (no pun intended) and patent black Steve Madden peep-toe heels with blood red mary-jane strap. My accessories consisted of a dangly pair of triple strand ear-rings with multi-coloured beads, which I made when making jewellery was the in-thing to do and two bangles in beige resin and black wood. To round it out, I added my burgundy Lucca bag and caramel coloured overcoat, also from Cue.

I call it my ‘Outfit by Grandma’...she was my style inspiration in so many ways for so long and although she may now be gone...she will never be forgotten. MFSxxx

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I'd love to have a conversation with you so please leave me a comment. MFS xxx

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