Help Vinnies Warm Up Victoria This Winter

Friday, June 10, 2016

The crew behind Vinnies Shops have spurred a movement to encourage you good people of Melbourne and beyond, to donate your winter gear in the Vinnies Victoria's Winter Warm Up.

Believe it or not, Vinnies Shops experience a shortage of quality winter clothes and accessories. When the cold weather arrives, much like now, many stores struggle to keep up with the demand.

Now we are in the midst of Victoria's cooler weather, Vinnies Shops ask you and fellow Melburnians to dig deep into your wardrobes, and donate your best winter woollies. Donated goods are either given directly to those in need, or sold in Vinnies Shops where profits fund local welfare and support services.

We all tend to hang onto things we just don't need or wear anymore, clothes that could be of use to someone else. So whether you've got an old coat that hasn't seen the light of day for a few years, a few too many winter scarves, or a woolly jumper that doesn't fit, now is the time to donate.

In order to spread the word, with the aim to get more donations into Vinnies Shops, I have delved into my own wardrobe, to see what I can part ways with this winter, and why.

Item 1. Army jacket
Where from: Friend gave to me, she found it packed in a box filled with electrical goods!
Why am I donating: I can't button it up! Alas too small for me.

Bye-bye Army Jacket.  Photo by Mr.7 (hence 'rainbow' thing)

Item 2. Black ankle boots
Where from: Second-hand from Vinnies. I bought these boots (below) to replace another pair of thrifted black boots that I wore to death.
Why am I donating: I've got way too many boots in my possession, so it's time to say goodbye.

B-bye boots.  I hope you find a nice new home.
What would you donate to help Vinnies warm up Victoria this Winter?  If you are VIC based, scour your closet and see what you can find; Vinnies Victoria will love you for it.


See also: 20 Dollar Outfit Challenge with Vinnies  and 10 Things A Limited Wardrobe Taught Me

The True Cost Film and Conversation Event: TICKET GIVEAWAY

Friday, June 3, 2016

On Wednesday 15 June 2016, Suburban Sandcastles will present an event in Parkdale (Melbourne), inviting you to watch and discuss The True Cost: a feature length documentary film that explores the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

The True Cost takes you deep into the not-so-pretty world of fashion. Be taken on an eye-opening journey through a number of countries, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums. The film features interviews with leading influences in the fashion industry: Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva. This is a story about clothing, but not in the fluffy-fashion sense. True Cost delves into the lives of those who make your clothes, and the impact your fashion choices have on the environment.

Following the film screening of The True Cost will be a Q&A discussion with two well-known names in Melbourne's sustainable fashion industry; Rechelle Coombes, Founder, Socielle Co and Leeyong Soo, Fashion Writer and DIY master!.

Event program as follows:
5.45pm doors open, nourishing food and drink available, local exhibitors
6.45pm film commences
8.30pm Q&A panel followed by prize raffle
9.00pm event concludes

The True Cost Film and Conversation Event takes place at: Shirley Burke Theatre, 64 Parkers Road, Parkdale, VIC 3195 

Tickets are $25 adult, $15 child U16, and can be purchased HERE.


Bridget, the event organiser for The True Cost Film and Conversation Event has kindly offered a double pass to giveaway to one Recycled Fashion Melbourne reader. Simply email erica @ with your name, and we will select a winner on Monday 6 June, 2016.

See you there!


ACMI Presents SCORSESE Exhibition in Melbourne

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What's your favourite Scorsese movie?  For me, it has always been Goodfellas. The 1990s movie based on the novel Wiseguy, remains in my top 5 'all-time' fav movies list. I don't know what that says about me, and my apparent love for glamourised crime (!) but Goodfellas, in my humble opinion, is one hell of an on-screen ride.

Goodfellas : 1990

That said, now that I've seen the SCORSESE Exhibition exclusive to Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), it appears I've got a whole lot more Scorsese movies to check out. The exhibition celebrates one of the most influential directors of our time; Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese and The Rolling Stones
Did you know, Scorsese has, to date, 60 director credits to his name? Who knew? Well known movies you may have seen; Mean Streets, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, The King of Comedy, Cape Fear, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island, The Aviator, Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street. Other movies, you may not know.

Scorsese's purpose in life was, and still is, to direct movies, demonstrated in his early childhood sketches, on display in ACMI's exclusive SCORSESE Exhibition. As a young boy, Scorsese spent much of his New York childhood at home or in his local cinema. His dream was to make films that honoured Hollywood yet retained much of the European traditions he grew up with.

SCORSESE Exhibition: Image c/o ACMI

In the SCORSESE Exhibition, you are given the opportunity to scour through 600 items of Scorsese's memorabilia, most of it sourced from his own private collection. Glimpse into the life of Scorsese's inspirational career, starting from his childhood and early family life. Enjoy movie snippets, behind-the-scenes photography shots of famed feature films, costumes, sketches, film scripts, storyboards and more.

SCORSESE Exhibition Image c/o ACMI
You will see five never-before-seen costumes from Scorsese movies you know and love; The Aviator, Hugo and Gangs of New York, all of which designed by Academy Award winner, Sandy Powell.

The SCORSESE Exhibition in Melbourne will run until Sunday 18 September, 2016. The exhibition is open 10am to 5pm every day, and until 9pm on Fridays. For tickets and more information, head to


Singin' In The Rain at Her Majesty's Theatre

Monday, May 16, 2016

Singin' In The Rain opened at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne last week, and it's an absolute corker of a show.

With an equal mix of humour and romance, the Australian production of Singin' In The Rain is everything you could want from musical theatre. The show stoppers are undoubtedly those scenes with the cast showing off their tap dance moves and impressive vocals. 

Not forgetting, this is the only performance you will see using an impressive 12,000 litres of recycled water used to create that famous rain scene on stage.  (The front two rows of the audience are given raincoats so they don't get wet!)

That said, the costumes and sets really did it for me.  The 1920s, is a fashion era I am most fond of, in which the story of Singin' In The Rain is set.

The glamorous costumes worn by blonde airhead lead character Lina Lamont are just stunning.  Think; sparkly evening frocks with plenty of sequins, pearls, impressive headpieces and oversized stoles.  Lamont is the ultimate Hollywood superstar diva.

The dancing girl performances are just incredible too, as are the outfits worn by those stage actress stunners.  Total babes:

I loved everything about Singin' In The Rain, and would see it all over again in a heartbeat.  You can see my full review on Meetoo.

Please don't miss out on Singin' In The Rain, the musical.  If you are anything like me, you will feast your eyes on those gorgeous vintage-inspired costumes, and adore everything about this incredible all singing, all dancing spectacular.

 Chose to wear: 
Shirt: Gifted
Shoes: Vinnies

Singin' In The Rain is now showing at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne until 2 July, 2016 before moving onto Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.  Book your tickets here.

Images: credit Jeff Busby


Womens Fashion Items From The Past That Never Date

Friday, May 13, 2016

Do you ever look at fashion pieces of yester-year and wonder why they didn't stick around?  I know I do. Every decade of the past has left something for us to embrace into the 21st century, although the majority choose not to wear old fashion.

The following, from the 1920s through to the 1970s are my personal picks of women's fashion items that never date. I wonder if you agree?

1920s: Flapper Dresses

Image: Lady Bohemia Vintage on Etsy

The Great Gatsby bought 1920s fashion back into the limelight again, with those gorgeous 1920s flapper dresses complete with stunning beadwork and sequins. 1920s was the decade when fashion trends saw an upturn. Flapper dresses were part of a new modern era.  Matched with long pearl necklaces and feathered headwear, flapper dresses forever hold onto the glamour of a bygone time.

1930s: Cloche hats
Angelina Jolie wearing a cloche hat in Changeling
Bell-shaped cloche hats never seem to go out of fashion.  Invented Caroline Reboux in 1908, cloche hats didn't really reach the limelight until the 1920s and 1930s. The name “cloche” is derived from the french word “bell”.  In 1960s and late 1980s, these hats were reinvented with a buttoned brim. Then, again in 2007, many designers added cloche in their collection.

1940s: Tailored women's suits

Classic 1940s suit seen via ChatterBlossom Vintage
Classic 40s suits scream style and class.  One might say, the early power suit?  This vintage look comprises of a suit skirt and a jacket stayed popular due to being comfortable and practical. In 1947, plain A-Line skirts with pleats became popular, too. 

1950s: one-piece swimsuits and Converse Chuck Taylors

1950s Swimwear seen via Vintage Dancer

Less is more?  I don't think so!  Throw me a 1950s bathing suit over a string bikini anyday! Swimsuits or bathing suits from 1950s were designed to add stretch to the tummy area and were used with bra cups and even boning.  I am sure you will agree, vintage bathers flatter the majority of female shapes, and add a certain femininity and glamour to our beaches.

Converse All Stars aka Chuck Taylors (sneakers), in my humble opinion, have not dated one bit.  It's funny as I'm writing this, I'm actually wearing pair of thrifted Converse boots!  Although Converse is close to a century old, it wasn't until the 1950s that Converse Chuck Taylors moved from athletic wear to mainstream fashion.  Since then, these classic kicks haven't faltered through fashion history. Long live the beloved Converse.

Vintage Converse seen via Pinterest

1960s: GoGo boots (knee high)

London models wearing Ossie Clark seen via EcoSalon
If you're a fan of  knee high boots, you will do doubt appreciate Go-Go boots of the 60s.  Knee high boots with short skirts were the thing to to wear back in the day, and you can see why.

1970s: Flares and platforms

Not just a style reserved for the women, men rocked flares (or bell bottoms) and platforms just as much as the ladies in the 70s.  The late and great Bowie for instance:

David Bowie rocking flares and platforms in the 70s

Flares are still loved by women around the world, and the iconic platform shoe is arguably the best footwear to wear with them.  Such a winning combo.

There's a lot to be said for the amalgamation of true vintage with contemporary, and thus it would be good to see some of the aforementioned women's trends incorporated into today's fashion.  Which picks are your favorites?   What fashion items from the past do you think never date?


The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What a delight to be invited as a guest to attend the media preview of The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition at the historic property Rippon Lea Estate. Despite being an incredibly wet night, which saw frocked up attendees hidden under a sea of umbrellas, the exhibition received a warm welcome from media folk and guests; my friend Annabel of Clothe and I, included.

The National Trust's stunning mansion, in all her splendor, is far cry from the dusty scenes of the Australian outback town of Dungatar, in which the story of the movie (and novel) is set. That said, the combination of the exquisite works of Marion Boyce and her costume team is well matched with Melbourne's grand suburban estate.

 If you have yet to see the 2015 award-winning blockbuster The Dressmker on the big or small screen, the fictional tale is set in 1950s Australia.

The story, based on the novel of the same name written by Rosalie Ham, follows Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage (played by Kate Winslet) as she returns to small town Australia, to take care of her ageing, mentally unstable mother. Tilly, now an accomplished dressmaker trained by Madeleine Vionnet in Paris, starts to transform locals with her stunning couture outfits. Tilly creates outfits for her town folk clients, which become more elaborate, daring, colourful and exceptionally stunning over the course of the story.

There is a darker side to the plot, which delves into themes of grief, abuse and revenge alongside the aforementioned creativity, but that's something you'll need to learn for yourself once you become familiar with The Dressmaker.

When you visit The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea House, you catch a glimpse of the lives of those who work in the costume department of a major movie blockbuster. In this particular case, costumes are priority. The phenomenal skills of Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson; the dressmaker's for The Dressmaker are absorbed into the outfits for the movie. Over 50 costumes worn by Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth and the rest cast from The Dressmaker are on show over two floors in Rippon Lea House.

Prepare to be wow'd by the impressive collection of gowns, skirts, headwear, capes, suits, brooches and more. Admire exquisite beadwork and detailing, feast your eyes over luxurious fabrics, precision pleats and cinched-in silhouettes. Enjoy behind-the-scenes costume making footage, and take your time to admire the great work of Australia's finest artmanship.

It is no surprise to hear The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition achieved great success when on display at Winchelsea earlier in 2016. It is without doubt, the same exhibition will draw in the crowds to Rippon Lea House between 22 April and 31 July, 2016.

Tickets for The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition can be purchased in advance online HERE.


This post is bought to you by Nuffnang

Reasons Why You Are Rubbish At Thrift Shopping

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Attempted but failed to second-hand shop? This is why

Bad lighting, musty smells, and aisles clogged with sloppy merchandise. If this is what you think about thrift stores, then probably you haven’t taken your time to visit one lately.

Thrift stores, charity shops, op shops; call them what you will, are all great alternatives for anyone who loves to find a bargain, or prefers to buy pre-loved over new for ethical reasons.

Want to add extra items to your wardrobe without spending a fortune? You know thrift shopping is the way to go. You can score countless pieces on cheap while playing your part to help the community and decrease environmental impacts. Though thrift shopping makes some folk feel proud of the bargains they find, others, maybe you, flinch at the thought of spending your money on castoff items.

Why You Are Rubbish At Thrift Shopping

#1-You avoid regular visits

You only becomes a master or an expert at something, when you practice. The same applies to second-hand shopping. If you don’t visit thrift shops regularly, then yes, you may not find anything, so you think you are out of luck. Visit regularly, and you will have more opportunities to find something suitable.

#2- You don’t hunt for quality fabrics and brands

With low prices on every item in such stores, the ultimate reaction would be to fill up with your cart with anything that catches your attention. Random selection is not always a wise choice. Remember that if you merely skim through clothes, you won’t pick out quality. You have to take your time and dig deep to spot the hidden quality gems. If in doubt, take a friend who knows what to look for.

#3- You are too lazy to shop at thrift stores

Lazy? Yes, because fast fashion is so easily accessible, you ask yourself why bother shopping second-hand, when you can buy new fashion for the same cheap price. Unfortunately, fast fashion outlets sell low quality garments, which often fall apart. If you think thrift fashion is not premium quality, ask yourself why top brands are donated, and still remain in tact? Particularly true vintage fashion, which lasts the test of time. When you choose to buy fast fashion over quality second-hand, you may aswell throw your money away. Don't fall into the all-too-easy fast fashion trap.

#4-You are scared to think outside the box

To avoid shopping for anything slightly different, you head over to the nearest high street shop and take note of the latest trend. Don’t look like a high street clone, try a new style or colour that you wouldn't usually. Remember that fashion moves in cycles, so what you think looks outdated, probably isn't! Besides, fashion trends aren't for every shape or size. Dress for you, not other people.

#5- You can't see past the first appearance

You should know that appearances can be deceiving. There is a high chance that you are bad at thrift shopping because you can't look past the first appearance of a garment. Don't pay too much attention to a garment's size label. Remember that brands vary in sizing, and clothing can also shrink in the wash (bonus for you, because second-hand fashion comes pre-shrunk and won't change again!). Also consider that different clothes with different styles have variable textures. Try on something first, before dismissing it due to the size label. Sizing aside, you might knock back a fashion piece because it bears a small hole, or needs to be hemmed to fit you. Again, don't dismiss for such reasons, even if you can't repair clothes or hem yourself, you can pay someone a small fee to do it for you.

Master the art of second-hand shopping and soon you'll be thrifting like a pro. Take your time, visit regularly, pick out the best or left-of-the-middle garments, and you can easily fool people into believing you bought your current outfit from a lavish mall or outlet. Others can do it, so why should you be rubbish at thrift shopping?  Get out there and op shop with the best of them. 


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