Wednesday 2 April 2014

Floral Headbands and a Sixties Skirt

Autumn announced its arrival here with weeks of rain, in what I think of as distinctly Australian style. That is, each day would include both warm sunny times and heavy rain. The bright sky would cloud over to seem like evening in half an hour then thunder and lightning would arrive. We had a blanket of (thankfully small) hail stones that made it almost look like it had snowed (if you squinted enough).

The last few days have seen a much more enjoyable amount of sunshine, although it is still cool in the mornings and evenings, and mornings of classic Blue Mountains mist are beginning again.

The trickery of photography, the angles we choose to avoid the ugly parts of ourselves and our environments, entertains me, even as I engage in it. I like the convenience and personal feeling of taking photos at home, but it's actually quite hard to make my garden look good. Last winter, the removal of the three giant radiata pines left us with a wasteland, for the most part. Grass has grown back in most parts, but it is still patchy and it has a long way to go still.

Here you can see my gorgeous flourishing herbs and flowers, along with the remains of my very succesful cherry tomato crop, and the Project that is the barbeque area. We have removed the old rusty built-in barbeque, and the rotted wooden benches, but have yet to build the new ones or put the new barbeque in. It is making slow progress, but the barbeque area is one of my favourite projects, and I get very excited about it. Which confuses some people, who aren't quite sure why two vegetarians want a barbeque area at all, as though you can't cook vegetables outside.

Despite being mostly full of woodchips and weeds, I couldn't think of a better place to shoot my "Hippie" looks than in my own veggie patch, however humble.

Both of these headbands feature reconstructed artificial flowers on bands of plaited ribbon. The plaits (as well turning boring ribbons into something more interesting) give a bit of stretch that makes the headbands fit easily and comfortably.

I also wanted to show off this skirt, which was (before I started the Hats of the Past idea) my only genuine 1960s item of clothing. (It's still the most tasteful.)

My mother and grandmother have both worn this skirt, which was purchased in the late 1960s. It is by Australian designer Prue Acton. This was passed on to me when I was young, and I always called it my "hippie skirt". It is sublimely comfortable - the velvet is unbelievably soft. And although I haven't been able to do up the top button for over a decade, I don't let that stop me.

Prue Acton was a significant Australian fashion designer, who has now returned to her first artistic love - painting. From my brief research, she designed clothes from the early 1960s to the 80s, and designed patterns for Butterick, including this cute mini dress. After looking at what examples I could find online of her work, I think my skirt is still my favourite. This mini coat comes pretty close though.

This post is a part of a series: "Hats of the Past: a milliner explores history"


  1. I have also worn that skirt! Although if even you now can't do up the top button, I have no idea how I ever did. I tend to think of it as a 70s skirt.
    The headbands look fabulous.

    1. I think I was told 1968 or 1969, so I suppose it's much of a muchness. But it could be 70s. Who can remember exactly when they bought all their clothes :P

      I'm glad you like the headbands. Actually, I can see you in them, with your wheat-blond hair. A current you, but even more so a 10-year-old you :)

  2. Enchanting, sweetly beautiful outfit. I love a dark, eye-catching floral with a burst of serene, yet uplifting, white in the same ensemble like this. You look as though you should be crowned the May Day queen in this great outfit, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you! With so many colours in the skirt, white is definitely the easiest option to pair it with!


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