GROWN-UP MELBOURNE STYLE
On a recent trip to Melbourne, I hit the streets looking for inspiring stylish women to complement our previous reports on grown-up Sydney fashionistas. They weren’t hard to find.
And although each of them has a unique philosophy of what they find appealing and how they want to look, one thing unites all these gorgeous women – when it comes to fashion choices, age is not a factor. Amen to that.
If there’s attitude Melissa would like to banish, it’s the thinking that a woman has to change the way she dresses when she hits a certain age.
As owner and curator of the Albert & Victoria boutique in Albert Park, she is constantly encountering women who come in to her shop and sigh, “I wish I were still young enough to wear this.”
And they are usually years younger than Melissa, whose shop is filled with beautiful limited-edition vintage and modern pieces sourced from abroad that she would want to wear herself. The irony is not lost on her.
“It’s as if hitting 50 is the beginning of the end of their youthfulness and individual style, and that is not the case,” she asserts.
“It’s a matter of dressing for your shape and personality. You’ve got to be able to say, ‘That’s gorgeous, it would suit me, but I just won’t wear it the way the kids are wearing it.’”
Melissa, who reminds me of former Paris Vogue editor, Carine Roitfeld, is rocking a cotton men’s T-shirt, Indian scarf and delicate gold-and-lapis bracelet all featured in her shop along with Sportsgirl jeans and fabulous Italian gold woven-leather boots she found in an op shop.
She gleefully bucks the trend of covering her grey roots by lightening the ends instead. “I own my grey hair and wrinkles,” she pronounces. “I am what I am. I’m quite happy to be my age.”
Jennifer emerged from a dark Elwood organic grocery store as fresh as a summer breeze.
In Melbourne on one of her twice-yearly visits from Queensland to see her daughter, Jo – who described her mother’s look as “regal” – Jennifer was effortlessly casual-chic in a crisp cotton tunic top she bought from Zara in Edinburgh, a floaty cotton scarf from an outlet store in Bridge Road and Target jeans.
She is a discerning shopper. “I’m quite fussy,” she admits, her blue eyes twinkling. “And I don’t want to have to mortgage the house for a dress I’m going to wear just once.”
It was Jennifer’s bright open smile and stylish silvery bob that really caught my eye. “I’ve had my hair grey for about a year,” Jennifer tells me.
“I was hesitant to do it, but it’s just so expensive to have it coloured all the time and it grows so fast, so I always had dark roots.
Now people stop me in the street and say, ‘I love your grey hair!’”
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