Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Big Love (Part Two)

Leopard blouse made by me from op-shop dress - $6
Eighties light denim shorts - $3.50 op-shop
Black leather eighties belt - $1 op-shop
Black patent leather wedges - $30 Wittner sale (were $170)

When you think of leopard, or cheetah, or ocelot or any other big-cat-derived print, what comes to mind? I'm betting most of you are envisioning something kind of slinky, maybe a wee bit slutty, a little punk rock or a lot Jackie Collins right now. Something like this:

Yes, think leopard and Beverley Hills Wives spring to mind, not Baptist Housewives - so how do you explain this:

This is one of the strangest dresses I've ever come across for the simple reason that it just doesn't know what the hell it wants to be. The top part is all hard edges and structure, the bottom part is all swishy and shapeless, and the whole thing is made out of a polycotton poplin of a thoroughly serviceable and distinctly non-glamorous nature. And then there's that leopard print.

Maybe, just maybe, if this was made out of some kind of slithery shiny satin I could picture it as the going out attire of some superannuated showgirl - but poplin? Poplin is the fabric for sensible blouses and bank teller uniforms, not aging sex kittens with too much gold jewellery and too many stories about the one that got away (he had a used car dealership, biggest on the Coast, wouldn't leave his wife in the end).

Yep, this frock was a feathered fish*, no two ways about it - so the answer to its confounding multiple personality problem was to divide it into separates. A structured blouse and a swishy skirt instead of one dress which was neither one thing or the other.

That's more like it!

I like this skirt a lot, I forsee it having a future which continues long after the weather cools down and the humidity drops to something approaching a level which supports human life. It has a nice slouchiness which can be quite ladylike, but also a has some "tude" (a truly appalling word, deployed by my husband ironically at our first meeting - but delivered in such a deadpan manner that I completely failed to register the irony and instead just formed an opinion of him as the biggest tool in the known universe.)

I think these giant platform wedges have transeasonal potential too - I can definitely see them with some tights. They have the same duality thing going on as the dress in its original form, but whereas it was a liability for the dress, I think it works for the shoes. They're shiny and super high and they're platforms - but they're also very comfortable and easy to wear, which makes them sensible and practical too. I can chase the little dude down the road in these, but feel like a foxy lady doing it!

Flash photo to show the detail.

Special note must be made of this black eighties top I op-shopped a couple of weeks ago ($2.50), it has an applique flower on it with leaves in...silver leopard print! I always like these kinds of eighties tops with that particular cut which can be tomboyish or pretty depending on my mood, and this one has a nice worn-in floppiness too.

So ends my first foray into the world of the long frumpy frock - although the simple fact that there are more of them in the world today than any other item (and that includes plastic shopping bags) means that I can almost guarantee this won't be my last ...

PS. The other day the little dude and I were trapped indoors all day while a mob of yobboes and hoons (are those words uniquely Australian, or are they more widely used?) rioted in the streets. In an effort to distract my stir crazy toddler I gave him a very haphazard face painting job with my old spare makeup. I almost immediately regretted my actions because suddenly it was like I was sharing the house with either a tiny scary clown straight from the pages of Stephen King, or the littlest jaded 1930s cabaret artiste!

* Read this fascinating article from the New Yorker if you want to know more about feathered fish, and the men who love them. Well not really, actually it's about movie marketing but it does give some insights into the strange, strange (and not a little scary) world I find myself in half of the time - and it does explain the whole feathered fish thing too.


Lavender said...

I can never seem to tread that line into good leopard print but I love your work. Its a gift.

I know my addiction to tights is wrong and unseasonable but I just can't stop! Most of my weekdays though are spent in the air-con car, air-con office and then back to the car again. Apart from a stuffy walk out at lunchtime when I could do with some of that leopard print poplin to change into.

pinkplasticgun said...

I was tempted to buy those exact same shoes (during the sale) but it looked really uncomfortable and the patent looked really shiny/cheap in the store. Now i regret it, they look great on you!

Blogette said...

Love the splitting the dress up, both the top and the skirt look gorgeous on you. Those heels are awesome! The little dude does look like a jaded cabaret artist! Super cute.

ginchyworld said...

This is one time where the parts were more than the sum of the whole.

Both pieces you made from the leopard dress look fab.

Sal said...

You did that bizarre dress a favor. Well played.

And I've never heard of a yobbo or a hoon, do tell.

WendyB said...

Awesome wedges -- and you KNOW how I feel about leopard! :-)

K.Line said...

OMG, the leopard skirt is AWESOME. And the dude is hilarious. In a vaguely creepy way :-)

A dreamer said...

hideous.. HIDEOUS. thats what a nun would wear on a night on the town.

so glad you chopped it into separates. the skirt looks amazing.

Pretty Little Pictures said...

I love the 'almost' sweet heart neckline. I've never been one to wear leopard print myself but i love it on other people!! And that is the cutest face paint ever!!

UberOriginal said...

That dress is truely one massive contradiction of almost every rule of dress design.Your talent of dividing them into 2 pieces makes them wonderful. A little leopard can go a long way :) xx

Emily Rose said...

I love what you did to the dress!! your outfits around it are great, too. and the little one is very very cute

thevintageyear said...

Wow, that dress looks infinitely better chopped up. I love the skirt part... it looks PERFECT with the diary-tee!

the likkle girl who wurves pwetty things said...

Hello Skye,
Are you going the save that adorable photo of the little dude to show his first girlfriend?

AusStyle gave me something that I'm now giving to you:- http://likklegirl.blogspot.com/2009/01/pop-goes-cherry.html


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-you've done a great job on the dress, turning it into a top and skirt, all the outfits now are really lovely, a good job done!

Home Girl said...

i agree with lavender u defo have a v special fashion gift, rescuing that dress from fuggliness and transforming it into excellentness. the top rocks with its rolled up sleeves and full-on 80's neckline. and the skirt is ace - i do so love the leopard. btw am so impressed with your abitity to child-wrangle in heels (and heat too) another gift!

red.door.read said...

you've done a rad job on the leopard print dress. it's so satisfying to reinvent something like that.

love the little flirty skirt especially.

2 thumbs up.

Hammie said...

those shoes!
So with you on the glamour mum/wedges thing ! For me they are like my hooves- just an extension of my little legs!
Poor old wittnet but hey great bargain!
as for the crazy groovy nun dress- the kids school is in an old convent house and yesterday I discovered a payphone in the cellar. Who were the nuns ringing? And why couldn't they just use the office phone? And the best bit? It is in a glass cubicle- for privacy as the others queued in the hall. Did they make pre-vow dates and then wear long leopard print dresses to go outand test their vocation?

Make Do Style said...

Good grief do you have yobbos in your neck of the wood!

The split asunder of the frock is good work. I really like the skirt with its black top and wedges.

Oh yes the poor dude - he's so cute for not realising what his mama did to him!!

Sister Wolf said...

My husband used the word 'gal' on our first date....and he wasn't being ironic. Hard to believe that I married him anyway!

Missa said...

Wow, I can't believe how perfect that applique tee is with your newly fashioned leopard skirt!

I've got a big frumpy dress of my own just waiting for me to find a spare moment to go at it with my scissors and sewing machine. I'm pretty excited about it and your last two posts have me feeling inspired :)

Missa said...

I can't believe how perfect that applique tee is with your newly fashioned leopard skirt (loving the Marilyn-esque wind shot,btw)!

I've got a big frumpy dress of my own just waiting for me to find a spare moment to go at it with my scissors and sewing machine. I'm pretty excited about it and your last two posts have me feeing inspired :)

Porcelain Blonde said...

Love the post title - I adore Big Love, one of the few tv series I watch!

And your imagining of the lady who once owned that dress was fabulous - and probably spot on (eek, unintended bad pun).

You look really hot in the shorts and wedges. You have the legs for them :) xxx

Annie said...

OMG, it totally rules as a skirt! You look soo cute in it like that!

fashion herald said...

wow, it's magic what you did to that dress. i know a borough full of hipsters that would fork out some $$ for that top.
and what are yobboes and hoons?

chloe said...

well, that was one ugly dress - you definitely improved it! i never seem to be able to do that, i don't see the potential in such things - too impatient i guess!
cute little boy you have there :) x

laurakitty said...

Much better! You did a great job!

pinkelmetpop said...