Spring Racing... What you should be wearing this spring racing carnival...

Melbourne Cup is only a couple months away and for milliners it is all steam ahead to plan and execute their creations. I have been busy putting together my outfit for the all important Spring Fashions on the Field. This year I have put all my design and sewing skills to the test to produce, what I hope will be an award wining outfit. There are no sneak peeks, I'm afraid you will have to wait until the day before I reveal the finished look. All I can say is I have taken a leaf out of Audrey's book and gone for structured elegance. Kept you guessing I hope!?!

What I can give you are my tips on how to dress in style this spring racing season...

Chloe Printed silk-twill dress
You can't go wrong with monochrome. Black and white is everywhere this Spring and is very suitable for race wear.

Antonio Berardi Woven-paneled crepe dress

Floral prints are also an excellent choice for those that prefer a brighter look.

Erdem Ivy silk-blend jacquard dress


Race wear shouldn't be too reveiling. Skirts at knee length, no bustiers, strapless tops or plunging necklines. It isn't a night club, in fact Ascot in the UK has banded women from wearing strapless or spaghetti strap tops in the Royal Marquee.

RED Valentino Embroidered silk dress

Something elegant and sophisticated is the order of the day. Why don't you try some of the new 60's inspired dresses, or a midi skirt with a chiffon blouse? Just make sure you have a cami on underneath.

Roksanda Ilincic Hunter silk-blend crepe top


If you go to the races you must wear a hat, a flower or headband won't pass muster. It doesn't need to provide shade, it just has to be a knock out!

I favour hats made of fabric (preferably in the same fabric as your outfit) or raffia this Spring, I tend to find that sinimay hats look quite cheap, especially if the hat is mass produced. If you do tend toward a sinimay hat, try and add a personal touch to customise your look.

Shoes and bag should match in either colour or texture, as long as it goes with the rest or the look. Jewellery is also a consideration, minimal is best for a fusy outfit and a statement piece for something plainer. Think gold this season as your metal of choice.

I hope you feel armed and ready to embrace spring racing fashion this season! Have a little flutter and maybe you could win $800 like I did last year on a $10 mystery bet!

The Hat Affair Loves... Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is a legendary style icon. Her relationship with designer Givenchy created some of the most memorable moments on screen. The opening of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' springs to mind with Audrey in her LBD and diamonds.

It may surprise you when I say that the costumes I love the most are in 'Paris When it Sizzles'. They were timeless with there classic lines and effortless luxury.

This season the 60's have had a come back and elements of Givenchy's design's echo throughout many collections. Why not take a leaf out of Audrey's book and give some of this seasons looks a try...

Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy in 'Paris When it Sizzles'
Click link for source

Click link for source

Roksanda Ilincic sessler colour-block wool-crepe dress

Available at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Dolce & Gabbana cutout floral brocade dress
Available at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Audrey in Givenchy Suit in openning of 'Paris When it Sizzles'
Click link for source

Simone Rocha wafer-mesh dress
Available at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Audrey Hepburn in Pink Givenchy dress in 'Paris When it Sizzles'
Click link for source

Jason Wu leather and suede pleated dress

Available at NET-A-PORTER

Audrey Hepburn in White Givenchy dress in 'Paris When it Sizzles'
Click on link for source

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
flo stretch-sateen jersey dress
Available at NET-A-PORTER.COM

Audrey Hepburn images from various sources (see links)
All other images from NET-A-PORTER.COM

Spring is on its way... Gorman style...

Gorman Double trouble anorak and Bindi dress

Gorman Third eye dress
I think we can all agree that Spring is the season for colour. We can pack away the black and the brown and put on something with a bit more livelyness. I breathe a sigh of relief after the abysmal fashion that we experienced over Winter, is it any wonder that most of it still sits on the store shelf. After long shopping trips (I actually don't like shopping that much. I like to get in and out.) coming home with nothing, I concluded that the designers (or buyers, you can choose which) had lost their way.

Gorman Born to run tank
Gorman Blind ambition skirt

So it is nice to see that at least for Spring they seem to have gotten back into the groove. But lets face it we live in Australia where sun shines for most of the year, so of course Spring is going to be above and beyond anything they produce for Winter.

My rant aside as you know I love Gorman and this Spring looks very promising, fingers crossed that they have some more artist collaborations, the prints last Spring/Summer were amazing.

From your,

Gorman Girl xxx

The Pocket Square... A little taste of luxury...

Recently mens style has seen a resurgence in all things dapper, including the pocket square. Trend setters have been wearing these squares of fancy for a while.

Pocket squares are taking their place as a fashion staple for the dapper mens suit. Coming in an array of outrageous colours and prints, pocket squares are quite simple to make.

I'll show you how... All it takes is your fabric of choice, thread, scissors, a needle and a sewing machine. The best pocket squares have a rolled hem, this is easy to achieve once you know how. However some also feature a zig zag stitch in a contrasting coloured thread. So if you aren't confident with your hand sewing you might like to try this option instead.

Pocket Square with a Rolled Hem

Cut out your chosen fabric in a square 32 x 32cm. Using a matching thread sew a line all the way around with your sewing machine .5cm from the edge. Press with an iron.

Then take your needle and thread (now is time for the hand sewing!) and carefully fold along the stitching line then fold it again, so that it touches the back or wrong side of the fabric. (This is when you could do the zig zag option instead. Just top stitch the fold in the zig zag stitch, or even in a straight stitch if you prefer.) Then stitch the roll down by catching the stitching line to the back of the fabric. Being carefull not to catch too much fabric, so the stitch is invisible.

The corners are a little tricky if you would like a mitred corner. This requires you to fold the corner in and then each side of the fabric so that they meet, as seen in the photograph.

Just sew each edge, do each corner the same and voila! You have a finished pocket square!

'Hedonism: Pleasure is the greatest good'... New designs from Banks & Bell...

It has been a while since I have shown any of my hats, so I thought I would share a couple with you today. It seems that every time I make something new I want to push myself, which isn't such a bad thing. These two pieces were created with specific events in mind. However I had long been toying with using leather and wool together and I have been thrilled the result.

This collection titled 'Hedonism: Pleasure is the greatest good' has been inspired by architectural shape and form and the utilitarian minimalism of the 1940's. I wanted to created pieces that were beautiful with hidden depths.

Architect Frank Gehry was the idea behind the 'Merge' hat. I liked the way his buildings have a fluid movement about them and fold back on themselves.

'Merge' Hat p.o.a

Frank Gehry’s – City of Wine Complex, Northern Spain

'Fly Away With Me' was a play with the style of hats worn by airforce pilots during the second world war, interlaced with utilitarian shapes worn by women in the 1940's.

'Fly Away With Me' Hat p.o.a

If you are not aware I design and make hats under the lable Banks & Bell. Currently I am only stocking online, however I hope that in the future my pieces will be available in store. If you are interested in purchasing either piece, please direct your inquires to banksandbell@gmail.com

Architectural image from: http://freshome.com/2012/08/17/iconic-legends-the-10-greatest-modern-architects-of-our-time/

Winter is a time for... the trench coat

It has been a while between blogs, for which I have no excuse. Perhaps a lack of inspiration is the culprit. Summer fashion this year left me cold. However Winter has brought a fresh take on old favourites like the trench coat, with Burberry releasing a range of trenches using latext with great aplomb.

Burberry Gabardine Rubber Trench

At this years Red Cross Bindaring Sale (for those that haven't heard of it, the Bindaring Sale was started by a group of Red Cross volunteers in a garage on Bindaring road and has grown into a massive   annual warehouse fund raiser. Selling old, new and vintage clothing including boutique brands.) I was lucky enough to pick up a Burberry trench coat from the 1990's in almost perfect condition for $70. It has been my Winter staple ever since.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you are probably aware I am a milliner and a trained pattern maker with the sewing skills to match. These come in handy when you want create something different.

Latest on my sewing list is making pocket squares for my boyfriend. These small squares of fabric are so easy to make and dress up any suit. Stay tuned and I can show you how simple it is!

For now here are some more images from the Ricarda parade to wet the appetite...

Hat Affair Loves...Ricarda: the distinctive style powerhouse

On a cold Wednesday night Perth's stylish elite were out in force for an evening of fashion at Perth's ultimate style destination, Ricarda. In the surrounds of their Subiaco store, models walked amongst guests as they sipped on champagne and nibbled at bite sizes delicacies.

This winter's collections were all about celebrating colour and individual style. With an eye for detail Ricarda has pulled together a collection of looks further defining their distinctive style and high place in Perth's fashion scene. The parade featured designs from; Comme Des Garcons, Isabel Marant, Josh Goot, Proenza Schouler, Golden Goose, Zambesi and more.

It was hard to pick a favourite outfit on the night, they were all so different, oozing edge style. I also couldn't walk past their fabulous home-wares, there are definitely a few items that have caught my eye and I know just where they should go...

399 Hay St, Subiaco
Western Australia
Ph 9381 5446
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