Wheels and Dollbaby Get-Togethers are Evil

September 22, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Annabel Lee, AUSTRALIANIA | 4 Comments |

At the Thrift Shop Bar. Image courtesy of Natasha Buccella

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.

WDB Mermaid

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.

WDB-shrug WDB-Dita

[P is compelled to point out that “need” as used above ought to be understood as highly relative.]


  1. Reply


    September 23, 2015

    What lovely threads!
    (What is Friendface?)

    • Reply

      Lesley Jakobsen

      February 7, 2016

      Hi Amy, sorry, I should have replied sooner. Friendface is what they call Facebook on "The IT Crowd", which is a really funny UK show, if you haven't seen it. I hope you're still rocking the WDB!

  2. Reply

    Queen Gen

    February 7, 2016

    I think I need the rouge Dita too, and some friends to share the love with. I live in Sydney so I am lucky enough to be able to walk into the store if I get brave enough...but my budget is limited to second hand dollbabies so I would feel like a fraud.

    • Reply

      Lesley Jakobsen

      February 7, 2016

      You DO need the rouge Dita, Queen Gen. Keep your eyes on eBay. On FB I see that there are quite a few WDB get togethers in Sydney. That's a good way to make like-minded friends who are poor but look fabulous. When I visited Sydney recently I thought it was a good idea not to go to the WDB shop but I did find the Kitten d'amour shop.......And then yesterday my lovely mother-in-law (aided by my also lovely niece) gave me a WDB voucher for my birthday. YAY!

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