I’m so honoured to be in a position where I am surrounded by some of Melbourne’s most esteemed, formidable women.
Amongst a cultural landscape where media subconsciously tyrannises our decision making and where women are indoctrinated to a social theology that they have to dress a certain way ‘to make it in life’, I am awed by the strength and personal power of these women that I know. They are making their mark in their chosen career path and doing it with style, authenticity and a personal sense of leadership.
I really wanted to celebrate them, showcase their inner beauty and how it shines through in the clothes they wear, punctuated by my own quest for loving the self and honouring this through the clothes you wear. So how would I do this? By inviting these women to be a part of a fashion photo shoot wearing Micky In The Van and asking them to answer a series of questions.
Each one met up with me prior to the shoot at my store, The Estelle Store. It was there I gave them a rack of Micky In The Van clothing and asked them to create an outfit, without my influence, that best presented their own personal style. Taking a step back, I became so fascinated, silently watching over them as they sifted through the rack and trying on my pieces in ways that I had never thought about putting together… wow! So, outfits were set to go for the shoot!
Meagan Harding (another inspiring, strong and spirited woman in my life) was our photographer and the photo shoot took place at her studio on Monday, the 1st of December. What I adore about these women also is that they believe in the sisterhood as much as I do. So on this day, we met up with an eager anticipation, a buzz and giddiness, and uplifted one another admiring the outfit each one had created. Amidst my state of nerves anxiety, I once again took a step back for a moment so I could take a memory photo. This memory photo has Meagan setting up her camera and everyone else applying their make up, dressing and chatting with a warm spirit that filled the air. I also need to take a moment to thank my darling friend, Kristine Walker who assisted me on this day…. I just remembered to thank her, as in this memory photo she’s talking to the steamer asking it to work with her as she steamed the clothes!
I came up with the idea to do this photo shoot approximately a year ago and thought it would be amazing if one day I could do it but knew that logistically, managing to pull it off would be a hard task. I’m so grateful that each one of these women willingly and openly said yes to the idea when I first suggested it to them. They put their faith in me without asking any questions and for that I thank them over and over again.
The result of the photo shoot leaves me breathless, truly. The images portray everything that I wanted to convey and more. Meagan captured their truth in momentary pockets where they disarmed themselves and radiated. And of course, each image celebrates the dynamic beauty of each woman and showcases their interpretation of Micky In The Van to champion their own style identity.
In turn, I hope this creates a ripple effect. By this I mean, that as you see these images and read their answers you will respect and honour your own style and have the courage to tell your story through the clothes you wear.
Each day I will be posting images of each female with the answers to the series of questions I asked her. Today, is Marianne Rutherford.
I hope you enjoy the journey with the Style Alumnae.
Name: Marianne Rutherford
Occupation: Blogger, social media copy writer
What’s your definition of style?: Wearing what you really love and want to wear
You inspire and empower many women with your own style, who are your fashion icons and inspirations?:
Women from the past. At the moment I love the British aristocracy in 1930s India and Charles and Sebastian in the 1981 version of Brideshead Revisited. Yvonne Fitzroy. And Estelle, as she has a very strong, distinctive style that is instantly recognisable and all her own, and that is brilliant!
Why did you select this Micky In The Van outfit?: I chose this long, full skirt because the fabric is absolutely beautiful and the style is classic, with a modern twist, and is beautiful. I loved how it felt to wear and the way it moved when I walked (and climbed a ladder!) – it felt so dramatic, like a glamorous Victorian lady going about a double life. The top was a perfect balance for it, and I love the silhouette the full lace sleeves created with the full skirt. The obi tie at the waist really pulled it in and added some colour detail to it all – I loved it all!
What are three key items of clothing/accessories/footwear that you believe are must haves?
For me, at the moment, I need a trench coat, comfortable wellies (I’m learning to grow vegetables), and big hair!
What would be one essential piece of fashion advice that you’d like to pass on to the sisterhood?:
Be brave: wear what you want to, and, if you don’t like them, let trends be damned. And don’t be afraid of trying something new if you want to, or feel stuck in something because other people seem to like it on you.
What is a mantra/quote that you follow that has helped you with your success?
Wear what you love and what feels right at the time. Be proud of your differences!
Marianne wears Micky In The Van ‘Voice Of Hope Skirt’ and ‘Club Lounge Top’.