Thursday, 24 November 2011

Miss Midge's Guide to the Ultimate Christmas Party Dresses

It may be social-acceptable to refer to Christmas as the time of giving, but it is really the time to be frocking up and going out to as many fabulous parties that are humanly able to be scheduled.

Below I showcase my favourite outfits for this time of year to suit each side of your personality.

Miss Sophisticated

Miss Sophisticated has admired the finer things in life ever since she was playing with her silver Tiffany's baby rattle. She is confident and demands attention. She would not be caught dead in the same dress as someone else.

The Dress
Yoshi Jones Red Silk Dress with Obi Feature $415 -
D141 - Red Silk Dress with Obi Feature 

Perfect For . . . .
Formal dinner parties, work parties, client functions, and cocktail functions. Generally, for proving that you are more dignified than last year. After all, countless Jello shots and waking up on your colleague's bathroom floor was so Christmas 2010.

Perfect With . . . .
Strappy black heels and a black beaded clutch.
Miss Flower Fashionista

Miss Flower Fashionista likes nature and flowers – so long as they come in a vase or feature on a print designed by an upcoming boutique designer. She also has a social conscious- supporting up and coming designers counts as philanthropy, right?

The Dress
Penelope Red Hibiscus Wrap Around Halter Dress $200 -

 Hibiscus Wrap Around Halter Dress, Printed Cotton Summer Dress w A-line Knee Length Skirt, Gathered Halter Neck, Big Bright Flowers.
Perfect For. . . .
Daytime lunch engagements, an informal cocktail/work party and anything with the partner’s family.

Perfect With. . . .
Red, bronze or black accessories depending on the function.

Miss Innocent

Miss Innocent tries her utmost to be a wallflower. But who could not notice that cheeky smile?

The Dress
Elise Red Silk Dress with Blue Cherries $160

Perfect For. . . .
Lunch engagements, work parties and after work drinks with friends.

Perfect With. . . .
Bright cobalt blue suede pumps or ballet flats depending on the occasion.

Miss Sweetheart

Butter would not melt in the mouth of Miss Sweetheart. She is just the right balance of classic femininity and contemporary cool.

The Dress
Beverly Dress in Coco Rose by Heartbreaker USD$104
Corrine Pruette (Photo: , MUAH: Heather Moss)

Perfect For. . . .
Lunch engagements, work parties, after work drinks with friends and anything with the partner’s family.

Perfect With. . . .
White, cream or baby pink accessories.

Miss Sex Kitten

Miss Sex Kitten is hardly subtle about what she wants. She may only appear a few times a year, but when she does – watch out! She definitely takes no prisoners.

The Dress
Bardot Tight Dress by Hot Couture $190

Perfect For. . . .
Reminding the office hunk that you are all female.

Perfect With. . . .
Sky-high black peep toe pumps and a black clutch.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge


Labels We Love: Heartbreaker Fashion

I just adore vintage reproduction clothing and I thought that I'd share my favourite vintage inspired label with you all.

What I love about Heartbreaker Fashion is that it was originally a home business established my a mother and daugther team (Teresa and Amanda Becker) in California. They have now moved into factory premises, but have never substituted using high quality fabrics or workmanship. The garments are manufactured on-site so you can be guaranteed that no sweat shop labour is being used.

I first bought a couple of Heartbreaker dresses about two years ago. Prior to that, I really wasn't a dress girl. I basically lived in jeans, a nice top and heels or ballet flats. Looking back, I realise how unflattering that combination was on me- not too mention being the epitome of mainstream.

Most of the Heartbreaker dresses are A-line which are incredibly flattering and they look good on either  skinny or curvy girls alike. I love the patterns- you will not see anyone else wearing the same pattern unless it's from Heartbreaker as well. I always receive so many compliments when I'm rocking it out in a Heartbreaker dress.

It doesn't have to be a special event to wear a Heartbreaker dress. We have plain clothing Fridays at work so I am always wearing my Cherry Sweetie dress or one of my many Diner Dresses with ballet flats. I wear my Heartbreaker dresses when I go out shopping, to the movies or out to dinner. You can dress up your Heartbreaker dress as much as you want. They look great with high heeled mary-janes and red lips for that special occasion.

Below are just a small selection of the Heartbreaker dresses that I own:

Bernie Dexter Sweetie Dress in Black Badabing Cherry

Ludella Hahn ( Dress in Red Gingham (I wear it with red patent pumps, a red clutch and full 1950's make-up for a night out)

Diner Dress -BlackDiner Dress in Black (I also have it in Red)

Photo: kristincofer.comAimee Dress in Black

Ludella Hahn ( Dress (I have it in a beautiful bright blue)

Andrea VanLandingham  (  muah: Raquel Perez)Fifi Dress (I don't have this pattern but two discontinued patterns)

I highly recommend hoping over to the Heartbreaker Fashion website ( to view their full product range which includes formal event dress, tops, accessories, skirts and whatever else your little vintage heart desires.

Also on their website is a list of Australian stockists. I have purchased a majority of my Heartbreaker dresses from Hoola Hoop in Braidwood which is a great little family business about an hour out of Canberra. However, they have an online shop and express post purchases out straight away.

If anyone has any Heartbreaker dresses, I would love for you to tell me which ones and what you wear them with.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Go Occupy Yourself This Christmas

For the last few weeks, the news has focussed on the Occupy Wall Street/Sydney/Melbourne/Where Ever Else Movement.

To give a dumbed down version of the philosophy behind Occupy Sydney, people are trying to reclaim power from the super-rich 1% of the population by sitting in Martin Place with placards. Effective . . . . . . .

Oh, there are so many things that bug me about Occupy Sydney Movement as well as the Movement in general.

Firstly, I hate the fact that the “protestors” yell at corporate types like myself on my way to work because I am wearing a suit and therefore I must embody everything that is evil in this world (well... I actually do, but for entirely different reasons). 

The truth is I gave up 6 years of my life to study at university whilst my other friends worked menial jobs and went out drinking every weekend. I still make sacrifices to work the hours that I do (mainly sleep, social life and putting off breeding for as long as possible). People like me made sacrifices to get where we are and that is why motivated, commercial minded people are running the world- not the Arts students.

So protestors, if you are going to judge a book by its cover, first spend a day in my (fabulous but painful) shoes.

The other thing that really bugs me about Occupy Sydney, is that the “protestors” are “protesting” in their mass-produced clothing. At least the protestors of the 1970s had the decency to actually look like they completely rejected consumerism- and not like they are about to star in an Adidas commercial.

I really think the Occupy Movement has failed to convey the real message- how we can change the distribution of wealth through consumer power.

I am all for rejecting wide-spread consumerism and that is why I started this blog, to draw people away from mass-produced clothing and to support local and boutique designers. I am also a big supporter of Fair Trade – letting the farmers and their communities have a bigger share of the profits, instead of it all going to large corporations.

I bet many of the Occupy Sydney “protestors” will be buying their friends’ and family’s gifts from the various Westfields across Sydney, or purchasing iTunes gift cards, or purchasing the various other i-Whatever products that come onto the market and somehow necessitate camping outside the Apple store from the night before (the only thing that should be queued for are concert tickets).

I challenge you this Christmas to think small – as in supporting small businesses. Think about supporting your local designers. Think about shopping at market stalls and also think about shopping on online businesses set up by stay at home mums.

My favourite “little” businesses to purchase gifts for friends and family from are:

I challenge you all to stay out of the Westfields and Apple stores this Christmas.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Monday, 7 November 2011

An Afternoon of Pin-up Perfection with Sydney's Fabulous Miss Lucy Topp

I have always thought that 1940s and 1950s make-up (generically referred to as "pin-up" make-up) - with the flawless skin, the bright red lips and the perfect black eyeliner - is the epitome of refined and timeless sex appeal.

The three things that I love about the make-up from this era is that:
  • It concentrates more on accentuating the features than matching the make-up with what you are wearing so it is cost-effective as you do not have to own 101 different coloured eyeshadows and lipsticks;
  • It looks great with any outfit from khaki pants and a t-shirt (aka 1990's Gwen Stefani) to a sleek suit or work dress for the office; and,
  • It makes you feel just that little bit fabulous.   
Despite my love of this style of make-up, I must confess that I have never been great at applying it. My skin never looks flawless, my red lips bleed and my eyeliner is always uneven.

For months I had been trying to find somewhere in Sydney where I could learn the tricks of perfecting my pin-up make-up skills. I didn't want just any generic make-up counter at Myer or David Jones as they are usually more interested in trying to sell you hundred's of dollars of product as opposed to actually teaching you make-up skills or they have their own key looks for the season and are not interested in teaching you anything "outside the box".  Luckily I found Miss Lucy Topp (pictured above).
Miss Lucy is a Sydney based make-up artist that not only specialises in bridal, catwalk, special occasion and fashion photography make-up services, but she has had a long involvement in Sydney's vintage scene from doing make-up for pin-up photographers and holding pin-up make-up and hair workshops at her home and at various vintage fairs across Sydney.

A few weeks ago I had a three hour pin-up hair and make-up lesson with Miss Lucy at her Sydney home. It was three hours well spent! I learnt more about make-up application on this occasion than I had in the last twelve years of trying to teach myself.

Miss Lucy carefully went through foundation and concealer application, how to apply the perfect pink blush, how to get your eyeliner even (at last!!), how to set your hair to create vintage curls, how to create victory rolls, and how to master the perfect red lips (that don't bleed!).

One of the many great things about Miss Lucy is that she has not pledged her allegiance to any particular make-up brand so she is impartial when she recommends any products that would be of assistance in creating your desired look.  Since this lesson, I have been able to confidently re-create the look that Miss Lucy showed me.

 I highly recommend that you head over to Miss Lucy's website ( and consider booking yourself in for a make-up lesson.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Alternative Christmas Markets: Sunday 27 November 2011

Calling all Greasers and Pink Ladies!

The Sydney Rock 'n Roll & Alternative Christmas Markets are on Sunday 27 November 2011. 

These markets are a must for all those after great vintage, rock'n'roll, burlesque, ska and alternate clothing and accessories or those in the mood to jive to a few cool tunes or have a pin-up makeover (sign me up!!). It is the perfect time to pick up those unique Christmas gifts.


Jets Sports Club, 2 Holbeach Ave, Tempe NSW.
Catch the 422 bus from Newtown Station, or take a 10 minute stroll from Wolli Creek or Tempe Train Stations.


Market Stalls are open from 11:00am - 4.30pm
Music from 11.30am - 5.15pm

Entry Cost

Entry by gold coin donation.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Most Amazing Way of Creating Vintage Curls

This may just have to be the most amazing and hassle free method of creating vintage curls.

This gorgeous doll only uses an elastic headband, setting spray, a brush and hairspray to create the most gorgeous vintage curls- no heat and no rollers! It involves wrapping your hair around the elastic head band that is placed around your head and across your forehead (think hippie flower child). The hair is then wrapped around the headband and looks like a style in its self! She says that you can go out during the day with your hair wrapped around the headband and then take it out for gorgeous curls in the night- or do it at night for gorgeous curls in the morning.

The fantastic thing about this method is how quick it is. It genuinely should not take more than 5-7 minutes to wrap around the band and about the same to unwrap and brush out.

I think our days of pin curling and heated rollers are over!

Check out this video by thelipstickdiaries and her other videos on YouTube.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A Lesson about Reaching for the Stars with Lotus Mendes Designer Victoria Cheatham

We all have a dream, but not many of us are brave enough to pursue that dream.

This is certainty not true of Lotus Mendes designer, Victoria Cheatham. I had the opportunity to hear Victoria speak at my college yesterday. Can I just say, this is one truly inspirational and determined lady. She is also a designer to keep your eye on for Spring/Summer 2011.

Like most of us creative types, Victoria had a hobby that subsumed most of her spare time since high school.  Her hobby was jewelry making. Victoria spoke about going to Vinnies and purchasing pieces of jewelry. She would then stare at these pieces for hours before dismantling each piece and reconstructing them with a contemporary twist.

After high school, Victoria went to university but found that it was not fulfilling so she went overseas. After a couple of years, Victoria came back to Australia and finished university but still did not have a sense that she had found her place in the universe. Despite working various jobs in different industries and completing further studies, Victoria still knew that there was something missing. 

It never dawned on Victoria at an earlier stage that she was destined to be a jewelry designer. But seeing how passionate she was talking about her own label, that showed at Sydney Fashion Week this year, you wonder how she would have ever been happy doing anything else.  

Lotus Mendes pays homage to the warrior women within all of us. Despite taking 12 years to launch, Victoria never gave up hope of pursuing her dreams. With her goddess rings recently featuring in Grazia and InStyle magazine, all her hard work has truly paid off.

Victoria's designs can be found at Fringe Bar markets and on the Lotus Mendes website (

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Inspirational Fashion Photographs

This is a photograph of the actress Rita Hayworth in a mid-riff evening gown by designer Jean Louis. The photographer was Bob Landry.

Despite Rita Hayworth being one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood (to date might I add) and that the evening gown being quite revealing for the time, it still shows her innocence and almost youthful naivety.

I love this photograph as, unlike many fashion photographs, it shows some personal traits of the model. It helps to make the photograph more engaging and memorable.

 Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Monday, 12 September 2011

Buy the Girl a Pair of Pants: Why the Leggings Only Trend Continues to Annoy Me.

I know that I am a little late to the game on this one.

I have not just noticed that girls have seemed to have forgotten to buy pants for the last two years. I am writing about this now as, two years after this disturbing trend hit our shores, it continues to annoy me. A lot.

The most disturbing element to this trend is that most girls believe they actually look good in skin-tight leggings that expose every bulge and lump. Whilst being easy to style an outfit around, and available in every god-awful colour and print, they should really be avoided by 90% of the population.*

Leggings specifically do not look good on:
  • Anyone over the age of 16;
  • Anyone bigger than the size of a tooth-pick; and,
  • Anyone who insists on wearing full briefs underneath.
So, unless you are pre-pubescent with legs like a baby giraffe - PUT THE LEGGINGS DOWN AND BACK AWAY!

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

*Totally unscientific estimation

Rock 'n' Roll & Alternative Markets: Sunday 18th September 2011

Calling all Greasers and Pink Ladies!

The Sydney Rock 'n Roll & Alternative Markets are on this Sunday.

These markets are a must for all those after great vintage, rock'n'roll, burlesque, ska and alternate clothing or those in the mood to jive to a few cool tunes.


Jets Sports Club, 2 Holbeach Ave, Tempe NSW.
Catch the 422 bus from Newtown Station, or take a 10 minute stroll from Wolli Creek or Tempe Train Stations.


Market Stalls are open from 11:00am - 4.30pm
Music from 11.45am - 5.30pm

Entry Cost

Entry by gold coin donation.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Inspirational Fashion Photographs

Gina Lollobrigida is a famous Italian actress and an iconic sex symbol of the 1950s. This photograph was taken in 1952  by Haywood Magee for Picture Post magazine and it is still one of my favourite fashion photographs of all time.

What has always captured my attention with this photograph is its casual sophiscation. Despite the setting being rather unglamorous, Gina's hair being styled in a very relaxed fashion (especially for the 1950's) and her rather casual posture; there is still something beautiful and high fashion about this photograph.This photograph really deconstructs the notion that a fashion photograph has to be all about glamour- the perfect hair, opulent settings and catwalk perfect make-up.

Feel free to post your favourite and inspirational fashion photographs and tell us why they are special to you.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Perfecting Your Vintage Look

Most people neglect the impact that proper hairstyling and make-up has on an outfit. 

Appropriate hairstyling and make-up is particularly important when styling a vintage outfit as it really captures the essence of a decade.  There is nothing worse than seeing a girl with the cutest vintage frock but has GHD curled her own hair and then had her face attacked by the Napoleon Perdis girls (for my international friends, it’s the equivalent of looking like you had your make-up done by a drag queen or a pre-schooler with crayons).

I thought that I would share these two books with you.  They are the best vintage reference books on hair and make-up that I have found to date.  I purchased my copies from the lovely ladies at That Shop -!/pages/That-Shop/179136394420

With the hairstyling book, it has a step-by-step guide to achievable looks for a variety of hair lengths. 

The make up book also has step-by-step guides to achieving key looks from the silent movie era through to the 1970s.

Why not bring out these books at your next girls’ night in (along with the champagne and cupcakes) and practice achieving some classic retro looks!

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

This Season's “Lust Have”: The Platform

The platform was once considered the height of fashion (mainly by our mothers).

In the 1970s (or so I’m told – by my mother), the platform was the footwear staple equivalent to today’s ballet flats. Unfortunately, any attempt by shoe designers to reintroduce the platform back into fashion has created something equivalent to what you would see strapped to a stripper who is twirling around a pole in Kings Cross. Not flattering to say the least. Certainly not suitable for going on a shopping day with the girls or meeting the boyfriend’s parents for the first time over Sunday brunch.

Ladies, I am glad to announce that the style drought has now been broken.

When I was backstage dressing last weekend for ACP’s “30 Days of Fashion” parades, all the models were wearing the most fabulous platforms like the picture above.  They are definitely the “lust have” for this coming spring/summer.

It got me thinking of different ways to style platforms into a contemporary outfit.  Here are some of my suggestions:

-       With a shift dress that has a bold print for a funky work outfit;
-       With denim mini-shorts and a nautical striped top for a resort inspired outfit;
-       With tight ankle length pants to give the illusion of long, lean legs; and,
-       With your favourite LBD for a look that is totally now.

So ladies, go forth and raid your mother’s wardrobes- the platform is back!

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Designers we are loving right now - Penelope Red

I had the honour on Tuesday night of attending the fashion launch for Penelope Red's "Red Flora" collection at the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel. Let me just say girls- another season, another beautiful collection from Penelope Red. She never disappoints.

The designer behind Penelope Red is Penelope Bolkovsky (pictured above in the divine red wrap dress). Penelope is inspired by vintage clothing, old Hollywood glamour and 60's and 70's prints. Her designs are ultra feminine and full of colour.  Her outfits could easily take you from your office desk to after work drinks in a flash. Some of the designs that Penelope creates uses wonderful vintage fabrics that Penelope has sourced herself, so they are limited in number (which is part of their apppeal).

Penelope does not buy into the mass-produced culture and prefers to sew all her creations herself, sometimes with the aid of an additional seamstress. The construction of her garments is flawless which is in stark contrast to the shotty construction found in today's fast fashion labels. I completely believe that you get what you pay for.

So if you want to introduce some colour into your Spring wardrobe with quality garments constructed with love, please head over to Penelope Red's website ( to either order online or find out which markets she will be at.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Why . . . . hello there!

Welcome fellow fashionistas and trend-setters,

My name is Miss Midge and I am just a regular Sydney fashionista who wanted to create a blog to share my fashion-related purchases, thoughts, trials and tribulations (and not to forget- a bit of bitching) with all my fellow fashion-obsessed peers.

Although I am a lover of all the finer things in life (including Ferragamo Varina flats, Coach sunglasses and just about anything Chanel), I have a deep love of vintage items and finding great emerging designers (think Bondi Beach Markets and Paddington Markets). I have an utter disdain of “fast fashion” (think cheap and nasty clothing made of poor quality fabric aka Dotti, Supre, Sportsgirl and the like).

This blog will show you how to find great vintage pieces and how to style them into jaw-dropping outfits; share details of fabulous markets and emerging designers that I have stumbled upon in my travels for the next perfect outfit; review current trends and seasonal “must haves”; and discuss celebrity fashions.

So may you raise your glasses (of Moet in your perfectly manicured hands) and toast to living the rest of your life in absolutely fabulous clothes.

Your friend in fashion,

Miss Midge.

A New and Exciting Fashion Blog

A new and exciting fashion blog will be starting here shortly. So if you are a total fashion diva or just the slightest bit interested in current fashion trends, I highly recommend that you watch this space.