If, like me, you attended school balls in the late 90s, you will remember the ubiquity of shot fabrics. My 7th form ball dress (for you young uns, that’s Year 13) was dark red shot with black, and damn if I wasn’t the fanciest pony in the pony parade.* It was like the duochrome nail polish trend in a dress, and apparently lodged itself deep in my subconscious.
This skirt, which is Marilyn Seyb via the gloriousness of Savemart once again, gave me such a jolt of nostalgia that I had to shell out the $9 and buy it. My decision was made even before I got to considering the swishy fabric and fun layered effect, plus excellent wide belt action. It’s rusty chartreuse, shot with lilac, and as you can see from these pictures, that dual effect gives the skirt additional depth and dynamism. I love to imagine who owned it before me, and why they bought it (fancy event? New job?) and wonder what led to them donating it to a clothing bin. I hope it wasn’t one of those shit magazine articles exhorting everyone to get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” (look, I just think that if you’re relying on your possessions to spark joy, you need to do some intense personal reflection).
To add to the intense nostalgia trip, I teamed this skirt with a top I (Mum) bought from Glassons in 1999. That’s right – this black slash neck sleeveless top is apparently made of the same material as nuclear fallout shelters, because it does not show even an iota of wear. I remember getting it because I wore it under a raspberry red angora jumper in a very open knit, which I loved, and which I especially loved because I then spotted an actress wearing it in an episode of Shortland Street. I shoved my thumbs through the sleeves to create that super cool 90s look of sleeves halfway down your hands. It was a time in my life you guys, a time in my life.
We’ve seen the Cotton On jacket before, and we’ll see it again. With this waist band I needed a jacket at just the right level of crop, and at this point I do wonder if I live in a Truman Show-esque world where there’s a costume designer who dreamt up this perfect jacket just for me. Let’s call her Wanda. Thanks Wanda. I hope it’s made out of the same stuff as the Glassons top, because I want to keep this jacket forever.
Can we talk about the state of shoe retailing in New Zealand for a second? (Ed note: and cue rant). Several months ago I suffered the brutal shock that is a broken heel, in my favourite black work pumps (which I had bought online from overseas). I had to limp out of the office to buy a replacement pair, and it was DIRE. I just want a pair of plain, black pumps with a decent heel height (I like 4 inches but I realise I’m an outlier, I’ll go for 3-3.5 if I have to) that don’t look like something you’d wear after you developed bunions and/or varicose veins. It was impossible. I ended up spending an indecent amount to buy a pair from [undisclosed retailer], that I really did not love and have ultimately tagged to hand down to a friend whose tolerance for a high heel is quite a bit lower than mine. I mean, I still remember how frustrated I felt – I can buy some ridiculous thing which laces halfway up my leg but I can’t buy a plain pair of workhorse shoes? WHY?
Anyway. Come last weekend I found myself in Ultra looking for a replacement for those disappointing shoes and I ended up buying these Ernest Wyler jobs. Still not as precipitous as I like (I need that heel to be both slightly higher and considerably more stiletto to feel truly at peace), they are at least patent leather so have a bit more vamp going on. Part of me thinks it’s time to buy a back up pair. Part of me keeps looking at the very expensive but amazing pair in my Iconic wishlist.
Finally, we come to that bag and the lesson it encapsulates. This one definitely has Gucci elements to it, and when I first saw it in Topshop I was VERY tempted. I was delighted to return to Topshop to check out the sale and see this guy chilling on his shelf, alone but for many of the same bag in the pink and mauve version.
I hesitated briefly between options but ultimately chose this one because it adheres to my rule of prints – the more colours there are (or in this case, prints and textures) the more things you can likely match with it. This bag has already been an excellent purchase, and I am only sad I didn’t buy it months ago when I first saw it. Yes, it is extremely trend-driven and it’s made entirely of synthetics, but it gives a huge amount of pep and polish to an outfit (the perfect combo, in my opinion).
*Until I got to the pre-ball and discovered my dress from Stax was also the choice of an acquaintance. I was EXTREMELY GRACIOUS, particularly considering I was 17 years old, and we did the thing where you make a joke of it. Great work tiny Megan and girl whose name escapes me now.