It is not every day I get to swan about in a beautiful couture gown.
No, even before I had my baby, it was hardly the norm for me. As much as I love clothes and a good dressing up occasion, designer gowns were rarely on the menu.
And, while I’ve been pretty lucky in my clothing choices since becoming a mum, and haven’t had to make too many compromises to accommodate the demands of tiny mouths and fingers (although I often have to tie my hair up, because OUCH! a small someone likes to pull it), wearing something really, properly exquisite has not been a pleasure I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy for quite a while!
So when my friend (and mother of a gorgeous bebe just a month older than Jack) Estelle asked if I wanted to take some photos wearing Jason Grech with her, did I take long to think about saying yes?
Reader, I did not.
On the warmest, sunniest day of what was a pretty glorious winter-does-spring week, Estelle and I made a visit to North Melbourne, and had the chance to play dress ups in local designer Jason Grech’s couture gowns.
Not surprisingly, it felt really quite good!
I was also pleased to have the chance to visit the studio where the gowns are made. Not only is it a beautiful building, a historic space with high ceilings behind a terrace of double story Victorians and crisscrossed by cobblestone alleyways – something that has filled me with pure joy to see ever since I moved to Melbourne and found it full of these fairy tale-like worlds – it was a delight for me to see the designer’s work coming to life. Melbourne still has some fashion designers and their ateliers here, and while I might (ahem!) not be able to afford to buy bespoke designer pieces for everyday life, I love to see our talented, skillful local creatives supported and celebrated.
Speaking of which, just a couple of days earlier, I’d had the pleasure of visiting another creative studio, and met several great Melbourne designers. One, Anastasia La Fey, produces distinctive contemporary pieces, and also has a long held love of vintage and working with vintage materials, such as the Victorian ostrich feathers in the headpiece below. And who am I to say no to having a play something imbued with the history of an era I’ve been fascinated by since I was a little girl?!
First up were the sculptural burgundy gown for Estelle, and the sequinned and harnessed dress for me, complete with a row of tiny loops and buttons down the side, which I always associate with the 1930s and is one of my favourite details of that decade.
Then it was a quick stoll, with babies in prams, back to the studio, where we got our goth on!
As I said, it was a very sunny day, and also a very windy one (as is any day in Melbourne that ends in y), which really made the dramatic features of my dress come to life. Nothing like having your own personal wind machine for a wing + train outfit – at least when you’re facing the right direction!
It was an absolute pleasure to wear things made with such vision, detail, and skill, and from such beautiful fabrics, which draped and swooshed in a way that no high street frock ever could. And feeding my baby in sparkling couture is definitely a stand out memory!
Dressing up on that random weekday was a real joy.
all gowns by Jason Grech
all gowns by Jason Grech
special note: Jack’s adorable shorts by my friend and local Melbourne maker extraordinaire Cintia of My Poppet – thank you!