Twelve months ago, Melbourne was experiencing a summer that we Australians are known for: blistering hot days and no respite in the evening. The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed these hot days and nights, though there was definitely some variances. On 2 February 2014, while official temperatures recorded at the Latrobe Street observation station (now closed) reached 39 degrees (Celsius; 102.2F), in Croydon, Victoria – 45 minutes out of the CBD where the BOM observation station was at the time – temperatures seared to 44 – 45 C (111.2 – 113F). Needless to say, I was really questioning my choice of dress for The Mister’s brother’s wedding.
Four months earlier, in October 2013, I placed my first order with ModCloth. I ordered Tatyana’s Alika Circle Dress in Green (listed as ‘With Only a Wink‘ on ModCloth) to wear to The Mister’s brother’s February 2014 wedding. I was so excited to wear this, but as the day grew closer, I was wondering if I’d made the wrong decision.
Made from stretch bengaline and with a circle skirt, the dress was quite heavy. The boat neck lattice neckline meant either a strapless bra or a corset was required: I chose to wear a corset.
The day began early in our household. The Mister was Best Man, and I had booked Candice DeVille (also of Vintage Current fame) to do my hair and make-up. I was still quite new to vintage styling, and didn’t trust myself to do the job myself. Candice arrived shortly before 9am, and the temperature was already over 30 degrees. Our little flat was like an oven, but there was work to be done. The wedding wasn’t until 4pm but we had to be at The Mister’s dad’s house at 12pm for photos, then drive the 45 minutes from Caulfield South to Croydon.
I showed Candice my dress and accessories. While I love fashion, glamour and style, when I hire a professional it is rare that I go to them with a preconceived idea in my head. I like to let them work their magic. They are, after all, an artist. The end result was incredible.
After two hours in the chair, with hair inspired by Betty Grable and make-up like I’d never worn before, I was ready. Well, everything above my shoulders was ready. Candice helped me to get dressed and offer some styling advice. No to the crinny, but yes to both the coral coloured hair pieces: one was a comb, the other comprised of an alligator clip so we fashioned it as a brooch.
The wedding was outside in the full sun, though being family I was lucky enough to secure a seat underneath the beautiful white market umbrellas. Despite the shade I thought I’d perspire beyond anything I’d ever experienced, but I remained surprisingly cool. The venue had wet, cold towels and iced water for guests and were handing them around regularly. I placed one over the tops of my feet – pure bliss – and kept another to dab at my collar bones. I’d also packed a mini aerosol of Avene Thermal Spring Water (in place of the water I’d prepared above) that Candice had kindly brought along with her, knowing the extremities I’d be facing. I tell you, you don’t need air conditioning when you have mist in one hand and a fan in the other.
I danced a plenty once inside during the dinner reception but remained cool, calm and collected.
I’m yet to bring this beautiful dress out for another occasion, but I can safely say that the Alika Circle Dress certainly exceeded all of my expectations.
Dress – Tatyana at ModCloth
Shoes – Target
Bracelet, Brooch & Hair Comb – Equip
Earrings – Birthday Gift from The Mister
PS – It was nearing midday when Candice took these photos of me. The sun was high in the sky, radiating almost 40 degrees, but in the shade of the fig tree out front, it was marvellously cool.