The idea of the Little Black Dress is, I feel, often imaged in the shape of something slinky, well-fitted, possibly even involving glitter. For me, a LBD that will be reached for time and again is definitely a swing dress, something classic and timeless, even somewhat subdued by some people’s standards but easy to style into a knockout look for times I want to shine. The Lacey dress by Collectif more than fits the bill.
Collectif’s Nova dress was, it is safe to say, one of the biggest hits of their spring/summer line last year. It featured thin pastel rainbow stripes and sold out quickly. At the time I remember eyeing the cut and style of the dress shape with great interest, but as I’m not much of a pastel girl it wasn’t for me. I was very pleased, therefore, to receive their SS19 catalogue and to find that a red and white striped version was coming this season. Well, it’s here, it’s cut is all I had hoped for, and it’s ready to rock your boat (pun intended.)
I can’t be the only one who sometimes pictures a certain kind of dress I really want, but can’t find it anywhere. For a couple years now that has been my struggle for a sleeved black swing dress with a white collar. It sounds like something that you’d think multiple brands might produce, so simple but chic is the idea, and so well fitted to the concept of something we could picture Audrey Hepburn wearing. But no, instead, I have been destined to wait, to wait and to hope.
This season, finally, Collectif have answered my wardrobe prayers, and produced that perfect dress. She’s here–the Winona.
I like plaid. Big plaids, small plaids. Green, blue, grey, brown, red plaids. Subtle plaids, obnoxious plaids. I don’t think I’ve ever met a plaid I didn’t like, but admittedly the plaids that populate my wardrobe all tend to be rich or bright in colour, proud to be plaid and loud. I don’t yet have the kind of plaid that flies under the radar, that can host a dinner party without looking very seasonally eager. Well, I didn’t have that kind of plaid. Now, thanks to Sally, I’m Dinner Party Plaid ready.
Lady V London produce a variety of dress styles that have become staples of their brand, re-releasing them in new prints and colours each season. For lovers of a particular dress shape, that means ladies can stock their wardrobe with a piece they know works well for them in lots of different patterns and colours suitable for every occasion. One of Lady V London’s most popular and enduring dress cuts is their Hepburn dress, a classic ‘audrey’ style sleeveless dress with a modest round neckline and a long, full swing skirt. I’m somewhat amazed it’s taken me this long to try out a Hepburn, but I’m not surprised to find it’s as timeless and lovely as I would have predicted.
It’s September and the weather seems to have settled for long enough that I think we can finally call it; it’s Autumn! And while for many that means getting overexcited about Halloween, something I could not care less about, for me it means joyously waiting for the leaves to start changing colours (my absolutely favourite part of the season,) beginning to layer up, and the chance to dig out all my tartans from the back of my wardrobe. Tartans and plaids are my favourite part of autumn and winter dressing, hands down, so I was thrilled to see Hell Bunny offering us more new tartan lovelies this season. Oh Hell Bunny, I can always count on you to make me happy. Today, it’s with Irvine.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of vintage inspired companies in our little vintage-loving corner of the fashion world that produce beautiful designs for us to wear, twirl in, and generally fawn over. As someone who doesn’t have the time, money, accessibility or motivation to search out true vintage in my size, I am vastly grateful for and fond of these companies that produce modern examples of vintage styled beauty all over the world for likewise ladies who can’t have or don’t want closets full of true vintage.
One of my favourite such companies producing modern takes on vintage gems is Retrospec’d. Founded and run by two sisters, Sharon and Teena, they were inspired by their vast collection of true vintage to produce fabulous dresses for all woman, regardless of size or age. Retrospec’d produces high quality items that are made in Australia, all painstakingly and lovingly designed by that dynamic sisterly duo, right down to the perfection of every print and pattern. The result is gorgeous dresses that feel the most authentically vintage of any other reproduction company currently sharing the market.
This particular dress, the Enchanted Fleur Gigi, is a dress of that exact ilk, stopping my thumb in mid-scroll the first time I ever saw it because I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a true vintage piece. Despite my immediate love for it, it took me months and months before I finally got my eager little hands on it, but I’m so glad I did. Enchanted indeed!
If you’ve been following my blog for a long time you’ll be familiar with Love Ur Look. Like many other companies, I’ve featured them here almost every season since this blog began, but I’m sure if you looked back through my past reviews you’d recognise the pieces I shared instantaneously; because if there’s one thing Love UR Look knows how to do, it’s produce dresses that don’t look like anyone else’s.
Their dresses are always unique, often made in original hand-drawn fabrics or re-imagined vintage prints, and almost always featuring little design details I just don’t see anywhere else. Necklines that are shaped by atomic-inspired zig zag cut outs, bodices that feature layered fabric folds that give the word ‘structure’ a new meaning, contrasting panels layered over novelty fabrics with brightly coloured buttons. Whenever I see a Love UR Look dress, I can always tell the brand without needing to check a caption or a label or a website. Today, we’re looking at one of their more gentle, less novelty designs, in a flower print that shares my mother’s name: today we gaze at roses.
As much as I love colourful prints and patterns, I’m always a fan of any classic swing dress in black and white that can function as a style comfort blanket in your closet. Got a last minute invite to an event with a vague dress code? Trusty classic backup dress to the rescue! Not sure if anyone else will be wearing colour where you’re going? Trusty classic backup dress to the rescue! Feel like everyone else is going to be fairly casual, so you don’t want to be too extra but you’re also not willing to compromise your style entirely? Trusty classic backup dress to the rescue!
And one such dress is the lovely black and white Aurora by Dolly & Dotty. It’s swing, it’s striped, and it has pockets. What more could you ask for?