Brought to you by Nuffnang and The Sound of Music
There is a warm feeling that happens somewhere inside you when you know that everyone around you is in the same delightful moment.
The Sound of Music has been a part of so many childhood memories for generations. The iconic image of Maria, arms flung wide, atop a mountain with a look of pure joy on her face. It has been the cornerstone of many a classic movie channel, the songs part of many bedtime routines and it even makes an appearance in memes every now and again.
I finally saw The Sound of Music live on stage for the first time, under the twinkling chandeliers of the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, and it filled me with happiness.
The familiarity of the story makes this production a wonderful way to introduce newbies to musical theatre, the words want to trip of your tongue as you find yourself rooting once again for Maria to succeed in her quest.
Superbly played by Amy Lehpalmer, Maria is already a friend with a witty sense of humour and playfulness that sits perfectly in the role. Amy inhabits the character with exceptional style, the lilt of her voice striking just the right chord in so many familiar tunes.
The operatic power of Jacqui Dark in the role of Mother Abbess is sensational. Intense and moving, her performance built a connection I’d never experienced with this role, always having seen the Mother Abbess as a minor role. Instead Jacqui’s portrayal gave me a much greater sympathy for Maria’s story.
It was the beautiful 1930’s frock that first caught my eye when Baroness Von Schrader made her appearance. Bias cut coral crepe with ecru piping, it took me a moment to realise that the figure wearing the ensemble was Melbourne theatre royalty, Marina Prior.
The score for this production of Sound of Music is more than you expect, elegantly weaving lesser-known pieces through the narrative to give a greater spotlight to each performer. Bolstered by these numbers this production has a full and rich sense that makes this an unmissable event, one that for novice theatre-goers, will leave you feeling its familiar warmth.
The audience on opening night was exceptional, laughing, singing and even dressing up for the occasion as I saw a few fabulous dirndls and petticoats around us.
Now playing at The Regent Theatre in Melbourne, The Sound of Music is the show to make a real family outing of. I’m already planning matching alpine outfits for my girls and I!
“What should I wear?!?” is by far the biggest question we’re hearing as we countdown to the exciting Ballarat Heritage Weekend.
While some vintage stalwarts and BHW regulars have had their looks ready since last year, we can all benefit from some style guidance and suggestions for the perfectly primped looks to pair with the wide range of events.
Plus, there’s no specific era or niche for this event, which makes it such a delight to both dress for and people watch! You can take your cues from all manner of vintage and create a look and style that’s entirely your own.
Since dressing up is one of my favorite pastimes — and our mission for our Vintage Current Fashion Fair — I want to share my personal recommendations and style/event pairings to inspire your ensembles.
Enjoy these vintage styling tips and templates, as well as our new #VCFF vintage styling contest (details below). I can’t wait to see you rocking your own classic concoctions around this wonderful heritage weekend!
Daytime Style Tips
Vintage Current Fashion Fair + Fashion Parades = The Serious Shopper
Your dresses or tops should be button up or zip up, nothing should go on over the head. This gives you the ability to change quickly without worrying about messing up your hair or makeup (or the garments).
To handle cold mornings and nights but beautiful clear days, use simple layers. Opaque tights are one of my “go anywhere” secrets; they can be easily changed out for sheer stockings during the day and stashed away in your handbag.
With your accessories, keep it simple: scarves, bangles, etc., not loads of fiddly jewelry. And if you’re trying on outfits, you can also tie the scarf over your hair and face to protect the garment from makeup, as well as your vintage hairdo.
Hats add a classic style and interest while dealing with any wind or chill in the air. And of course, shoes that are suitable for walking, standing and browsing are a must. Even though there’s a City Circle tram to help you get from place to place, you’ll have a full day on your feet (perhaps two full days)!
Keep in mind the seasonal trends that will also inspire your look: tweed, velvet, boho embroidery, perhaps a dash of this year’s weekend theme … steampunk?
All of these tips, plus the examples in the style board below, will prep you for the Vintage Current Fashion Fair, where you can augment your collection and refine your look, and from there it’s a short hop to check out the beautiful fashion parades hosted by Charlotte Smith in the Mechanics Institute.
Tweed Ride + Carriage Rides = A Casual Afternoon Affair
If a leisurely bike ride, tea and scones or a late afternoon beer is on your agenda, a simply put together, casual look is in order. The Tweed Ride is a popular annual tradition, so a most excellent pair of trousers, and stylish sunglasses, are a must.
In the style board below, I’ve paired these wonderful slub tweed trousers with a 1950’s beaded and embellished cardigan, a camel wool suit coat and a brilliant pair of reproduction lace up boots. Classy, comfortable, practical and cozy, each of these elements makes the ideal blueprint for a head-turning autumn wardrobe.
Whether you’re traveling by penny farthing, horse-drawn carriage, double decker bus or the Circle Tram, you’ll look sharp and feel fine while taking in the historic downtown sights and events!
Dinner Date Style Tips
Fine Dining + Cocktails = The Smoldering Standout
Dressing for dinner is an art I’m very keen to revive. With so many stunning heritage venues to stage your dinner time debut, Ballarat is ready made to spotlight your wardrobe.
Be brave, be daring, be impressive. After dark, it’s time to add more luxury, capes, longer hemlines and statement vintage jewelry.
Make sure to book your dinner engagement in advance for time to enjoy a proper old fashioned cocktail and give everyone the chance to truly appreciate your upscale ensemble.
If you’re seeking recommendations, check out the style board below, and for dining ideas around Ballarat, consider the fantastic dining options we prepared earlier. As for cocktails, keep an eye out for our forthcoming post …
Evening Wind Down
Fireplace + Cozy Room = The Sleepy Beauty
After a big day of shopping, sightseeing and catching up with pals, having the right wind down look ready is quite a treat. I like to pack my favourite tea, a good book and a deliciously warm wrap or knit for these autumn evenings.
For an overnight stay, make sure to bring (or acquire) luxurious pajamas, a velvet robe, slippers and sleeping socks.
Other vital elements to consider include:
- Wide legs pants in cashmere, jersey or even a well cut fleece.
- Knit tops that reflect your style.
- A wrap, shawl or pashmina.
- Infinity scarf to avoid bulking up the look.
There’s no good reason that your off duty look needs to forgo the vintage influence, so I’ve taken some familiar motifs and worked them into the easy, comfortable pieces in the style board below. These outfits and concepts will send you off for a restful night, ready to meet the morning refreshed and ready for another day of vintage style.
For the Gentlemen
Beard Competition + Craft Beer = The Classic Chap
Gents come into their own at this year’s Ballarat Heritage Weekend, with the Beard and Moustache competition providing the perfect stage to show off their commitment to serious facial grooming, and the Hop Temple BBQ and craft beer events.
Dressing the part need not be painful (growing a handlebar moustache is not required). With a few choice accessories to reflect his personality and taste for the finer things, polishing up a winning look is a snap. Here are some ideas in the style board below to get him going down the right road …
For One Lucky Winner … YOU?
Social Media + Your #VCFF Style = Personal Styling Session
Now, if you’re taking all this in and worrying that your wardrobe is not up to the task, we’re adding a new twist to the Vintage Current Fashion Fair …
While you can find and buy gorgeous fashions like these from our wonderful VCFF vendors, I want to ensure that your hair and makeup styling are just as on point as your wardrobe.
We’ve added a #VCFF Personal Styling Session Competition to the mix!
Entering is easy — just three quick steps:
- Snap a photo of your Ballarat Heritage Weekend outfit (what you’re planning to wear, your dream look, or what you’re wearing throughout the weekend)
- Share it on Instagram or Facebook and tag @VintageCurrent (be sure to follow us!)
- Include three hashtags: #VCFF #CDVStyling #BallaratHeritage
We’ll select our lucky winner at random and notify them on Monday, May 9th, with all the details on how to redeem your session. Entries are open to anyone in Australia who ticks all three boxes above. Enter as often as you wish!
This special contest starts NOW and closes at midnight on Sunday, May 8, 2016. Good luck and we can’t wait to see you online and/or in person at Vintage Current Fashion Fair 2016!
With Ballarat Heritage Weekend close at hand, and 20,000 vintage enthusiasts converging on the charming historic city, we’re sharing our best tips for making the most of your visit.
So we’re dedicating part one of our special five-part “Best of Ballarat” series to those most critical biological needs: fine food and coffee.
Whether it’s before, during or after our Vintage Current Fashion Fair, here are our top picks for treating your palette right around the city …
Breakfast Pick: The Unicorn
The Unicorn is my pick for breakfast in Ballarat. The menu is full of unexpected and delicious choices (including vegan) and the artistic vintage vibe gives this venue a feeling of community. Situated in a stunning heritage building, the decor alone with its collectible vinyl is worth the trip. Be prepared to spend an hour or two simply reading the walls and taking it all in.
Verdict: A feast for all the senses! Make sure you take the time to visit the Ladies room, you’ll know why when you get there.
Lunch Picks: The Hop Temple, Golden City Hotel
With warm open fires, delicious craft beer and juicy burgers, The Hop Temple is a no-brainer for me. This is exactly the type of place that you can settle into for lunch and also make a night of (the next day, of course). The selection of craft beer here is something you must take seriously, none of this “just pop in for a pint”, no sir. Carve out some time to exercise your palette, bring your note book and get stuck into some serious tasting.
Verdict: Come for the beer, stay for the food and teach your palette a thing or two about the heady appeal of hops.
Right across the road from the Vintage Current Fashion Fair at St Patrick’s Hall, is the Golden City Hotel. Large, light filled and plenty spacious for big groups, this spot delivers on both the food and drinks menu. I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb wrap, as my partner made short work of the spring rolls. They have an excellent range to please every patron, plus great selections for kids, too. If you get in early you may even get a group spot on the sofa by the open fireplace!
Verdict: Try the warm thai beef salad or lamb wrap for something healthy and hearty.
Afternoon Tea Pick: Little Bird
There’s one cafe that reminds me so much of having afternoon tea with my Nana. Little Bird has become the go-to place for coffee meet ups for vintage fiends in Ballarat. Formica tables and chairs, old school cakes that look like they were lifted directly from the pages of the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook circa 1958, and a cozy diner feel set the scene. But the coffees and homemade sweets and delicacies are where you’ll find the most win.
Verdict: Perfect for catching up with coffee, cake and retro selfies.
Dinner Picks: Cafe Merkama, Craig’s Royal Hotel
Cafe Merkama may be one of the best kept secrets in Ballarat. Even many locals I’ve talked with had never heard of this little place. Opened only a couple of years ago by an Ethiopian refugee, Cafe Merkama serves simple, hearty dishes that encourage sharing and introduce your palette to an entirely new range of flavours.
Verdict: Perfect after a long hard day when you want comforting exotic food and a good chat with friends.
A beautiful heritage hotel that you’ll want to do a bit of swanning about in, Craig’s Royal Hotel offers an impressive dining experience. Often a bit of a roulette, gnocchi has never been high on my menu choices when dining out, but this one was so impressive we’re still talking about it a month later! The grilled gnocchi at Craig’s Royal Hotel Restaurant (“The Gallery”) recently took out the title for Best Gnocchi at the Ballarat Rural Lifestyle expo, so there’s even more proof. I highly recommend you put this one on your list.
Verdict: Make a booking for this one and check out the menu ahead of time to give you plenty of time to make a selection, as it’s so hard to pick a favourite. Finish off your meal with what I personally believe may be the best coffee in Ballarat. It’s so good in fact, that I asked the Barista to pose for a photo so you can find her!
Readers’ Choice: Share Your Ballarat Foodie Picks
We’d love to hear about your favorite dining spots as well, while we prepare for the big Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2016 (and many other visits). Where will we see you?
Please share your personal favourites and insider foodie tips in our Vintage Current Fashion Fair Facebook group, and let’s all enjoy and support the local winners!
Brought to you by Nuffnang & Dream Lover
David Campbell as Bobby Darin and Hannah Fredricksen as Sandra Dee in Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical.
I cannot imagine my world without Bobby Darin.
You may not know the name, you aren’t likely to know his story, but you will without a doubt know his sound.
It is in no small part that I owe my passion for vintage to the works of this man and his incredible talent, providing the sound track to so many of my most memorable moments. I can just close my eyes and drift away..
With great anticipation and excitement I’m thrilled to announce that in an all-new Australian musical, the life and works of this legendary man are being brought to life by David Campbell in Dream Lover.
In a goose bump inducing performance, David and his 18-piece big band knocked my socks off with his medley of Bobby Darin classics.
Staged by acclaimed director Simon Phillips, well known for Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and costumed by Tim Chappell, this production is set to become a huge hit.
Newcomer Hannah Fredricksen plays Bobby’s love Sandra Dee. Dressed in stunning 60s Hollywood style, Hannah radiates old school glamour.
Bobby Darin was a man of rare and incredible talent who’s star burned brightly and all too shortly. Composer, singer, actor, producer, Bobby’s contribution to the biggest hits of the 20th century cannot be overstated.
You may have heard many of his hits including Mack the Knife, Dream Lover and Beyond the Sea, but did you know he wrote and composed them?
Here’s a little something to paint the picture and get you in the mood. We’ve put together a special playlist – Listen Here
Wanting to be like his idol Frank Sinatra, Bobby eclipsed all expectations, having his songs recorded by multiple musical legends including Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Julie London, Ricky Nelson and Cliff Richard.
1960s Las Vegas and indeed Hollywood, proved to be an enraptured audience for Bobby as he became an iconic performer both on and off screen.
In 1961 he starred in the romantic comedy Come September with Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida and Sandra Dee. Bobby and Sandra became a real life couple, eloping in an intense whirlwind romance.
Beautiful, tragic, thrilling and glamorous, Dream Lover is set to be a Must See show.
So crank up the tunes and start planning for an epic vintage lovers weekend this Spring!
Dream Lover opens in Sydney in September 2016, tickets on sale now.
We’re giving away 3x double passes to a preview showing of Dream Lover in Sydney, in September 2016.
To enter you need to leave us a comment telling us which Bobby Darin song is your favourite and in what scenario you’d most like to hear it. E.G: Dream Lover on your wedding day.
Be as descriptive as you can and paint us a picture of your perfect Bobby Darin serenade moment.
Entries close May 5th. Terms and conditions here.
Brought to you by Nuffnang, The National Trust & Miss Fisher Collection
Stepping into the sultry, glamorous world of lady detective Phryne Fisher has just become one step closer to reality.
Phryne’s own award winning costume designer Marion Boyce has just announced the release of an exclusive, limited edition line of Miss Fisher accessories to charm and delight.
“Golden hour” was the perfect time to visit Marion at the historical Labassa Mansion, the stately home where episode 6 of the latest series 3 was filmed.
Including scarves, wraps, handbags and jewellery, each piece in this range has been lovingly created to exceptional quality standards.
The collection was designed to reflect Miss Fisher’s sense of irreverent elegance, taking cues from the colour palette and luxury of her 1920’s look rather than being overtly art deco influenced.
“These [fashion] pieces are all made in Melbourne, by the same team I use to make Phryne’s costumes.
Finding the fabrics was one of my greatest challenges, as in Australia it is just very limited, so I need to go back to one of my favourite places – the Shanghai fabric markets. I’ve been collecting trim for months and months.. it is all hand sewn.”
Cloth is very much a part of Phryne’s style, I use cloth as a character for her. She has this quite volcanic nature so fabric needs to announce itself into the room with Phryne. I’ve tried to incorporate that, fabrics with beautiful sounds.”
The jewellery collection, sourced from around the world, is all hand made in sterling silver with touches of marcasite, green agate and freshwater pearls.
These are timeless pieces that can be worn in a classic or cutting edge modern way. What we like to call Future Vintage – pieces you’ll keep forever.
There is a distinct hallmark of quality in all of these pieces evidenced by the drape, the weight and the finish. The shawls swing with purpose, hems weighted with superb trims. There is no “nasty Nylon” in this range.
“All of these pieces can transform what you’re wearing very simply. I wanted them to be devices so that if you need to dress up quite quickly for dinner, you can just have simple black dress or little top, then wrap yourself in this…. It has a great silhouette. You don’t need 65 new pieces of clothing, just one beautiful piece that can completely transform and make you feel a million dollars.”
It is no overstatement to say that with a few pieces of simple black in your wardrobe, this collection could enhance their beauty and purpose to an entirely luxurious ensemble. They make the concept of keeping a minimal wardrobe with exceptional accessories incredibly appealing.
Regardless of age or your existing closet, there is something in this range to suit every taste, from the extravagant to the understated.
The Miss Fisher Collection is available online now (yes, with international shipping) just in time for Mother’s Day. The range is also available in the National Trust retail stores as part of the travelling Miss Fisher’s costume exhibition.
For even more Miss Fisher glamour to add to your look, check out our Phyrne inspired 1920s hair and makeup tutorial!