Two of the busiest bees in the bizness - Limedrop's Clea and Nathan - have opened their second concept store, this time on the Melbourne Central linkbridge! It all happened in a mere matter of weeks but you can bet it looks fantastic - we don't know how they do it.
On a recent trip to Alexi Freeman's Collingwood studio (to pick up materials for our November windows), the camera was finally remembered and this is what it saw.
It is hard not to feel like a snoop in the designers' work spaces but there is always so much calling for a closer look - in Alexi's studio there are dozens and dozens of photographs and charming illustrations (his own), swatches and samples, tools and tape and all manner of nice unnameable miscellaneous things.
If you're wondering about the absence of long shots, that's because there are none to be had. Alexi's studio is bigger than a shoebox, and bigger than cupboard but not much bigger than a walk-in wardrobe - carefully organised but for sweet sections of decorative disorder. It is dominated by a large, white cutting table; the left wall is entirely obscured by fabric rolls and cylinders, bags and a hundred or more cardboard patterns...
... And then there are the tantalising racks of clothing - a catalogue of works past, present and future.
One of Alexi's talents is to put on a spot of spontaneous show-and-tell; visits of late have afforded a preview of the AF A/W 11 collection, as well as jewellery pieces being designed in collaboration with Tessa Blazey. (Alexi and Tessa have recently been selected as finalists in the Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award).
(Another of Alexi' talents - respect for the lining!)
Many thanks to Alexi for being so amenable to amateur photographers, and for lending us our lovely Diamondiferous window banners. Another online show-and-tell is due any day re the latest AF pieces to arrive at Milly Sleeping - be sure to come back soon...
The field is set but have you picked a winner? Will you choose for the colour, for the name, or for the connections?
October is over, which means Frocktober fundraising is also drawing to a close. Thirty-one sketches of thirty-one dresses are now on the front wall of Milly Sleeping. Several have been reserved but there are still many to choose from. I am collecting tax-deductible donations of any amount in exchange for the originals; all proceeds go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To see the finished sketches and find out more information, drop by or visit my blog.
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Pictured: Critter dress by Lonely Hearts;
Shirtdress by Mücke;
Rustling dress by St Clements;
Cotton Long dress by ESS Laboratory
Derby Day, Cup Day and Oaks Day are still ahead (along with many other smaller racing carnivals about the country), providing ample excuse for dressing up as you otherwise may hesitate to - something very feminine or fabulous, with oversized accessories? Milly Sleeping offers racegoers an array of both classic and unconventional options, including our beautiful new Kuwaii dresses, and gorgeous, versatile separates by St Clements. A new favourite is the St Clements Sumo skirt, pictured above with its long ties wrapped about the waist as well as up over the shoulder in an extravagant bow.
Another new favourite is the Alexi Freeman batwing dress, featuring his original Diamondiferous pastel print, digitally applied to lovely light slippery silk (the pictures above do not do really do the pieces justice today - let's pretend that's a crafty ploy to draw you in for a proper look). The AF matching silk scarves (in pastel and blacks/white) are two of several great offerings as far as accessories go, along with Problem Child's chunky chains and Romance Was Born's fanciful flourishes. WE HAVE NO HATS for your pretty heads, which is something of a shame although it's afforded a fun afternoon of internet raiding - you can find all of the above pictures of icons and their hats (as well as many more stunning photographs) by entering the following search terms into Google: Catherine Deneuve hat; Audrey Hepburn hat; Isabella Blow hat; Bianca Jagger hat; Yoko Ono hat; Camille Bidault-Waddington hat. Highly sophisticated? No. Highly recommended? Yes.
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Pictured: Kuwaii Undercover dress (RRP $337);
Kuwaii silk tie blouson dress (RRP $288);
St Clements Pump top (RRP $220);
St Clements Sumo skirt (RRP $230);
Problem Child Dynasty necklace - sml (RRP $120);
Lonely Hearts Deuce dress (RRP $302);
Romance Was Born frill (RRP $120);
Romance Was Born leather gloves (RRP $350);
Alexi Freeman silk diamond batwing dress with scrunch belt (RRP $396);
Alexi Freeman silk diamond scarf (RRP $114);
Limedrop vintage white Oxford pants (RRP $196);
Strange & Strange camisole (RRP $99);
Lui Hon white J. cardigan (RRP $308);
Lui Hon Emma sing-dress (RRP $248);
Romance Was Born Farthingale skirt (RRP $480);
Kuwaii silk T (RRP $209) worn with Limedrop Oxford pants;
Problem Child Dynasty necklace - lge (RRP $140)
Part-way through today's 'shoot' (now on standby: Milly goes to the races), I was stopped in my tracks by this unassuming Lui Hon singlet dress. I was going to use it as an under layer but, as soon as it was on the mannequin, it demanded a story of its own. I'd forgotten its asymmetry, and its general loveliness. The ties at the back obviously draw in the shoulder straps - the extent to which they're pulled alters the front of the dress as well -- the looser the ties, the more the front neckline relaxes and drapes.
We can guess that the Emma Sing was named for Emma who works with Lui, studies at RMIT, and occasionally drops in at Milly - Emma who is quite beautiful in an understated and very interesting way -- this must suit her to a tee.
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Lui Hon Emma Sing (RRP $254)