If you do not know that ‘Dita’ is both a burlesque artist and a cardigan; if you do not believe in cleavage, and if you think that leopard-print is old-fashioned, read no further. This post is for Annabels who say “yes!” to black satin pencil skirts and plunging necklines, who want a mermaid tattoo and love faux fur. Wheels and Dollbaby is an Australian women’s clothing brand with an instantly recognisable, sexy and sleek look, a retro vibe, a rockabilly hint. The brand’s creator Mel and her muse (the Dita von Teese) know their audience and do the same thing season after season with panache.
I had only two Wheels items – a leopard print cardigan and a ringmaster jacket. Then I saw the Sergeant Pepper jacket and skirt. Military-look!. And that started my current Wheels obsession.
What is the most serious downside to living in Adelaide? Limited career opportunities? Undrinkable water? No. It is that there is very little Wheels and Dollbaby stock on the ground and the keen dollbaby must resort to online ordering. The brand’s sizing is notoriously erratic and, sometimes the quality can be disappointing. Will I be able to button up the rouge-noir Dita which I have ordered? Will the shrug fit?*
And… I don’t have a skirt to go with the cardigan, nor do I have anything to wear with the shrug. I need to buy more stuff. The velvet skirt or the satin skirt? The Holding Court dress dress or the top? I need help. So what does any sensible person with a first world consumer problem do? That’s it! Surf Friendface, or even Facebook.
I found a Wheels and Dollbaby discussion group and a swap/buy group on Facebook. Squeeeee!! Like-minded people to share with! But still online. We are just so far from Perth where the latest collection was launched and Sydney. where the main shop is. Then a member of the discussion group, Amy-Lee, had the brilliant idea of arranging a get-together for Adelaide dollbabes Amy Lee had arranged custom-made cut-price cocktails and snacks for us all at. Amy-Lee at just the right place – the very funky Thrift Shop Bar which hides its lights at the end of a Waymouth Street lane. I am afraid to go into Waymouth Street because I had a bad experience there which lasted 9 years. But in the interests of fashion and the rights of women who like slinky stuff I braved it.
Another problem with ordering online is that the photos do not do the wares justice. I was wowed by the Singapore Fling dress worn by the Kimberley Davies look-alike, porcelain-skinned Amy-Lee. I thought the Lara Stone was heavy and dull until I saw the long, leggy Jenna channelling Yvonne de Carlo in one. And flame-haired, feline beauty Alysha put the vavavoom into a leopard print Fifi. .And brilliant use of Honey Birdette ladies!
So now, as well as some skirts and couple of dresses I need something in the Kimono print, a Lara Stone (maybe the new one with the Salon des Fleurs embroidery), and where will I find a leopard Fifi? It’s only in black on the website and as I need a black dress to go with my shrug I don’t need another black dress. But then again the Salon des Fleurs Chinoiserie is very me. What shall I do?
But…oh no…I see on Facebook that the new collection will be out soon! I need the new gold Dita and a dress in the new blue/gold print and the new black bolero looks great. To go with all that of course I need many new shoes and bags and I will go ahead with those hair extensions and. Don’t even get me started on the makeup and shapewear and lingerie I will need.
Wheels and Dollbaby get-togethers are bad.
* They arrived today. My first (but I think not last Dita) is gorgeous. I need a skirt to go with it though.