Sunday, 30 March 2014

Black Tie + Thrift + Dahlias

Two hours or so before Mr Fascinata and I went to our last Black Tie event, we were on a train in Sydney
(we live inter-state)
returning from visiting his mum's grave,
when he whipped the lovely invite out of his pocket and read the fine print, again.
Dress Code: Black Tie.
The following conversation ensued, "Flora, did you know tonight is Black Tie?"
Needless to say in 22 minutes, he had bought a suit in Sydney's CBD
and had it altered.
I kid you not.
I hate nothing more than shopping under pressure.
My pre-planning just tied me over to the Black Tie category. I was lucky.
Our latest event, was Friday night, a fund-raiser for the Women's Legal Service.
And, we were a bit more organised.
An evening of Dancing with the CEOs.
Think Dancing with the Stars...judges...the whole thing.
Six brave business inclined souls who learnt the rumba, jive, quickstep, waltz and more.
To be sponsored and cheered on under Brisbane City Hall's beautiful dome.
Raising over $60K.
From a generous and admiring public.
And, you have to love any function where a raffle ticket is a jewellery holder disguised as a shoe!
The Women's Legal Service is so valuable. Their lawyers give a certain time gratis,
and then the fee scheduling is supportive of low-income families and women who
otherwise couldn't seek advice.
Addressing domestic violence is a key focus.
In our own family history we have gaps and silences caused domestic violence.
A forty year-old family legacy that left five siblings
(five under nine years-of-age), without a mother after a tumultuous and violent relationship
 that still has no answers.
I often think about V and the pain of her sudden death, caused as much as we know
by a complication after surgery.
We'll never really know.

So, we gussied up and off we went.
I love Black Tie dress code because it is an excuse for feeling vindicated for buying things that
you have totally no need for (at the time of purchase).
Like when I bought these glitter covered shoes as quick as a fox in Barcelona from Zara (in 2011),
when Mr Fascinata was drinking a glass of Cava at a nearby café.
Here they are doing their very own fashion shoot, over-looking Las Ramblas.
I trotted the shoes out for the event.
They are impossible to walk in, and at one stage Mr Fascinata asked me if I was drunk.

 And, I wore my real housewives full-length sequin gown.
From Topshop, no less.
One click of the mouse on a Tuesday night, nearly a year ago and it was mine.
 For the princely sum of:
The purchase made no sense at all then.
I very nearly considered joining shoppers anonymous.
To make it my own, I flora'd up a piece of blue organza and made a corsage.
Fired up the heat gun for a bit of thermoplastic action.
Fluffed it around a bit. Pinned it in place.
If you are wondering, my earrings cost five dollars.
At a post-Christmas sale.
I am embarrassed to ask. Do you shop with a purpose or with no method to the madness?
What works best for you?
And, if you are wondering about dahlias the Queensland Dahlia Society was blowing its trumpet
at my local shopping centre, and frankly I couldn't resist.
What is not to love?



  1. Wow that dress is absolutely stunning on you! :D I find when I make crazy purchases they never seem to get worn - been through my wardrobe again weeding things out and it's a little embarrassing how many things still have tags on! Your purchase paid of beautifully though, what a fantastic dress for the occasion :) Sounds like a really fun night - even if it was in uncomfortable shoes!

    Away From Blue

    1. Yes....the tags on can make one feel a little guilty! I was starting to think 'why on earth did I buy that sequinned number??'.

  2. You both look amazing, stunning outfits!! The women's legal service is so very important indeed!! Looks like a fantastic event. Have a lovely week doll Xxx

    1. I really admire professionals who choose to specialise in difficult areas with funding issues. Would be harrowing at times. Thank you for your compliments.xx

  3. Flora, you and your husband looked SO GOOD! I love your dress and that flower was the added touch! SPECTACULAR. So glad money was raised. Domestic violence is still a big problem. Love the cause.

    1. Thank you, Sweet Kim. I am loving your make reviews! That blur cream sounds amazing!!! :D x

  4. You look fabulous Flora! Great cause. Sorry to hear there's a personal connection. Those dahlia's are so pretty!

    1. How good are the dahlias!!!? Felt fabulous in the Topshop number!! I think I upstaged a few George Gross and Harry Who numbers!!
      Yes, that personal connection ripped a family apart and saw five siblings all divided up and put into foster care or adoption. The amazing thing is they still all see each other today! Xx

  5. Gorgeous gorgeous dress and shoes Flora my dear! I had a pair like that waaaaay back when. They were from Mr Christian in Edward St and it was the 80's. Oh how I loved that shop. Alas, I charity binned them years before I realised that the likes of Mr Christian would never grace Edward St again....*sigh*....What a wonderful cause and what a treat to find use for random purchases. Do I make random purchases? Only all the time! Do I use them....ahem...mostly. You both look fabulous as usual!

    1. Mimi!!!! OMG!!! Mr Christian!!! I forgot!! I only ever afforded one pair! Weren't they amazing! Mine were the softest lime green and yellow leather. They weren't particularly robust....I wore them when I worked in Western QLD! On red dirt!!! Xx

    2. I had a pair of sky high mules that were real black Chantilly lace between two thin layers of plastic with a black leather rosette on one side, and the ones similar to your Italian shoe, that were bronze glitter with a gold and bronze swirl that wound around the ankle. Oh gosh they were glorious. How could I have allowed myself to be parted from them....*sob*...The only problem with Mr Christian was to enter the store and only leave with one pair of sublime and utterly unique shoes :)

    3. Mimi, your shoes sound divine. We HAVE to have coffee! We have too much FRIPPERY in common!

  6. Wow! love love love that outfit!

  7. Thank you, Cilla. :D it came up a treat...real housewife of Brisbane. ;D

  8. You look amazing!!!! lovely post!!
    Have a good week!!! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  9. Gosh I've died and gone to heaven with this post! Sequins galore, the show of leg, rosette arrangements with the netting and those shoes! I would wear those shoes with jeans and get my marginal utility out of them (my husband is an economist and i've used his terms to justify purchases.) Your Mr F is hilarious checking the invite and get it done! Good man to have at your side! Plus aren't dahlias cool? They are long lasting like carnations but have a more exotic presence