A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Frock on Friday: the New Zealand edition

    Welcome to a brand new regular feature on Wee Birdy: Frock on Friday.

    I guess you could call me a frock girl. Until the birth of my first child, a classic frock was my go-to wardrobe essential for achieving an instant pulled-together look, especially during Australian summers. I love the simplicity of throwing on a frock, slipping into sandals and just GOING – with no tricky separates to assemble or layer.

    But when I started breastfeeding I realised that ripping off a dress and sitting semi-naked in the middle of a shopping centre wasn’t feasible, so I had to re-think pants and tops and skirts. It’s only been the last few months that I’ve started to look at frocks again with brand new eyes (and a larger waistline, ahem).

    I’ll be welcoming in the weekend with my pick of the best frocks around, and I thought I’d kick things off with one of my favourite New Zealand designers, Karen Walker. The dress above is from her new Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which is in-store and online now. The Bow Tie  Renaissance dress is NZ$750 and features signature Karen Walker details such as bows, quirky prints and ruffles and pleats.

    The inspiration for this collection was Jules Verne’s 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, “mixed with the decor­ative flourish of the Victorian age and a dash of Brian Jones-esque ’60s mod”. Quite. This is apparent in the brocade-look of the fabric, which is actually printed taffeta.

    Now, my single-income family budget doesn’t stretch to $750 frocks, but I try to keep an eye on Karen Walker’s mainline collection on eBay, and I look to her diffusion line, Hi There, at sales time. I just wish that designers’ diffusion lines weren’t automatically ‘younger’ versions of the main collection. Some more mature styles inspired by the main collection would be a welcome move for cash-strapped ladies aged 35-plus. I’ve also found that you get to a certain age (and bust size) where you can’t pull off a ruffled bib-front anymore. Know what I mean?

    New pieces from the spring/summer Hi There collection have just started to drop in-store and online over the past week. Here’s my favourite frock from the diffusion line:

    (I don’t want to come across as a wowser but this frock would be PERFECT if it was two inches longer. I think I’d be pulling at the hemline all day, willing it to lengthen.) Hi There Margo dress, NZ$215 from Karen Walker.

    What do you think of Frock on Friday? Is it a keeper?

    • little brown bird

      Love Frock on Friday. Also I’m In total agreement about dresses needing a couple more inches on the hemline. So much more flattering. Dresses rock 🙂

      • Anonymous

        They do indeed rock, and I’m pleased to hear I’m not too much of a grumpy old frump re. hemline. X

    • CateB

      Yes! Frock on Friday rocks.Margo’s sleeves are promising too!

      • Anonymous

        Sleeves – YES. Another must-have for this slightly older bird. X

    • http://twitter.com/scarlettheartt bri king

      Definitely a keeper! Some plus size options would be great too.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Bri, that’s great advice. I’ll definitely endeavour to include plus-sizes. X

    • http://www.jorpins.blogspot.com ejorpin

      Awesome pick for the inaugural post (though, like you, not sure I’d cope with coughing up $750, no mater how pretty the frock is!). I’m a recently converted frock fan – SO much easier than co-ordinates, which I can never co-ordinate… – so I’m looking forward to your picks.

      And a big YES to longer hemlines (we don’t all want to show off our thighs), and SLEEVES – how hard is it to add a sleeve on a frock people? A cute cap sleeve on a knee length frock = perfection 🙂

      • Anonymous

        I’m so so pleased to hear I’m not the only one concerned with slightly longer hemlines and sleeves. I have no idea why more designers don’t incorporate a good sleeve in all their collections. It’s the first thing I look for in a good frock!

    • http://ducklovesrooster.blogspot.com.au/ Georgina Clarke

      definitely a keeper. love it!

    • Sneaky Magpie

      Great new feature. And yes, please, more mature looks for wallet friendly prices. I am slowly moving from designer dresses to expensive high street which is grown up, surprisingly well designed and good quality in a lot of cases. I almost cried when my toddler wiped his berry mouth on my snow white Anglomania Sunday dress.