Friday, 8 November 2013


Amidst the swirling vortex of children's birthday parties, school camps, interstate school trips and sports days, and all of the requisite organisation, cooking and washing, we managed to emerge momentarily to host a rather impromptu grown ups drinks party at our place on the weekend. The night before, I may have woken up in the early I'm sometimes prone to do......and when I couldn't get back to sleep I ventured downstairs for a cucumber (sliced, of course) to take back to bed to rest on my bleary eyes. The next morning, I was greeted by a cacophony of amazed childish utterances.....'what's this doing here'.....rather than the 'wow, you look ten years younger'.....which I was hoping would be the result. Oh well.

I couldn't resist and tizzed up the house. Fresh flowers from the garden:

Spellbinding peonies from the shop:

And then I resurrected the pink lanterns that I'd used to decorate the garden for my milestone birthday....a year or two ago. This time, I hung them down either side of the front door, comme ca:

Last time, I'd hung them under umbrellas which ran down the centre of the long table:

I wish I'd taken more photos of Saturday night however in the last frantic push to get ready, I accidentally dropped my husband's phone into the I had to graciously swap. Anyway, as is always the way, the party went off in the kitchen amidst the debris of bottles, glasses and platters:

All this week, while cooking dinners and supervising homework in this very same room,  I've been struggling not to giggle at the memory of one friend who utilised parts of the kitchen decor quite creatively....she discoed with a pair of antlers pilfered from the top of the mantelpiece....while she was also wearing the cow hide a cape.

I had a new was made of tulle. I've always secretly coveted a dress made of tulle so was overcome with wish fulfilment when I found this one......although my husband quite unkindly told me the next day that it may have done cruel things to the size of my derriere with it's pouffiness. No matter, it's still tulle. I tied two Hermes scarves around the waist to fashion a sash kind of thing. I've been doing a bit of this lately....tying two scarves together that is, today I tied the same two 90 and 70 carres into a long roll of scarf to make this.....a la one of the Knotting Cards from the stack I picked up in Lyon:

Anyway, while we are on the subject of dresses, I'm still reeling from the news that Collette Dinnigan, who has made some of my all time favourite dresses, is shutting up shop at the end of the year. My phone ran hot after the announcement with friends checking up to see how I was coping. One even went so far as to give me this as a present:

I haven't quite finished reading it yet....I'm eeking out every word and picture and consoling myself with the ravishing beauty of her work and the incredible story of her life. 

Dresses are so redolent of memory.  I couldn't help taking a trip down memory are some of the Collette Dinnigan frocks which hang in my wardrobe and some of their memorable outings. 

This was the first ever dress of hers that I acquired to wear to a birthday party for my husband. I also wore it to a romantic candle lit dinner at the Ayana Resort in Bali when we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I couldn't find a photo of me wearing it so here's one of my girls and her friend after they'd raided my wardrobe:

I bought this dress especially to wear to the Henley Royal we are in the Steward's Enclosure having lunch....while I was pregnant with our other daughter:

My husband took me to Melbourne for the day to choose this dress for my  40th birthday....and yes he endured sitting for long hours at a time in various ladies change rooms around town while a friend and I made the final selection.....although we did make sure to fortify him with a lunch....and wine at France Soir:

And here's the very same dress earlier this year rugged up with myriad layers to brave the chilly London weather for the Chelsea Flower Show

This dress was packed to take to India and here it is at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur:

And another that I wore to Derby Day last year which was originally intended to wear to my brother in law's wedding:

And one of my all time fave's getting ready to have lunch in Montpellier with a friend.....back when we fleetingly called Uzes home:

Last but not least, here's my most recent acquisition sported a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne with fellow bloggers Heidi from Adelaide Villa and Ms Faux Fuchsia:

I am going to miss Collette Dinnigan's dresses.....yet I hope that she manages to find the family time that she's looking for. There's an anecdote in her book about her husband teasing her 9 year old daughter about taking over the business when she grows up to which Estella promptly replied 'No way, that's too much hard work'. Children are perceptive little treasures aren't they.



  1. I feel rather sad reading this how you look but saying goodbye to a rather reliable supplier of frocks is distressing.

  2. love all your dresses and the settings and occasion it was paired with - especially the taj lake one! I think that is the very reason why even though i rarely wear all my dresses they are so hard to get rid of because I remember the time i wore it! Also waiting for Colette's comeback. Even if she doesn't she has done more than most! PS loving your play with scarves - I have never tied a 70 with a 90. Must experiment when I get a hand on my scarves again x

  3. romy you are such a beauty. i love your new tulle dress and i see you are growing your hair longer too, so am i!.

  4. Oh I love frocks. Your tulle one is beautiful and all the Collette's are obviously gorgeous by their very existence.

    I can never part with dresses - happy to declutter everything else but have a large selection of dresses. The way Farmgirl is going she will be about 5 inches taller than me so she will have a selection of mini-dresses to choose from.

    Hope you are well and had a fabulous party.

  5. hello darling, I wish I could have come to your tulle party and I LOVE the pink door. I thought of you too when I heard CD was shutting up sad. Luff all your frocks. And so many good memories x

  6. love the outfit retrospective R - I shall do the same as a tribute on my blog. Although it will be brief (I only own 1 CD dress!!). Party looks fab, know that panicky early morning wake up too well. Looks like it was a big success and lots of fun though if your friend was dancing with the antlers. Also love the tulle, men can have such a way with compliments sometimes too....!! Love all the pink decs, the flowers, and the fact that you're so nice to let your daughter raid your wardrobe for dressups with her friend xx

  7. Great post Romy ! Gorgeous girl in gorgeous frocks. Pretty amazing about CD but good for her

  8. What a fun looking party! Tulle dresses are wonderful. Sad to hear about Collette Dinnigan retiring. I was in Australia for the first time in August and visited David Jones. The Collette Dinnigan dresses were amazing.

  9. I can't believe she's not making frocks anymore ! I just really found her and having been stalking her stuff. I want to see your b-day tulle dress more! You have such great style and I love how you can wear that flower on the side of your head, Carrie Bradshaw on the beach

  10. the book by Collette Dinnigan looks wonderful!

    we've just marked it as a "to read" on goodreads.

    and your dresses are divine.

    warmest regards from sunny southern california


  11. Good on her for calling it a day for whatever reason it is. She's braver than I that's for sure

  12. Things been quiet on the Housewife front. Been a busy month? Crazy this week with kids on holidays and school speech nights!

  13. Been quiet on the Housewife front this last month! Busy time for us all with school speech nights and school holidays! My boys finished yesterday and 2 speech nights in the last week.

  14. Dear Romy
    Happy New Year!
    Can imagine you've been so busy with all the family over Christmas/New Year. But have missed your posts and reading about the life of a Hobart housewife. Loved all the Collette Dinnigan dresses in this post - and also loved meeting her in Canberra. Hope all is well with you all and that Father Christmas was kind. Pamela xx

  15. Missing your posts! (For what it's worth!)


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