Best part of the week? It was meeting fashion designer Heidi Middleton on a rare school night out with some of my girlfriends. There were bubbles. There was deep-fried food served with serviettes (always an instant party) and there was lots of laughter and chatter about sustainable fashion.
I saved up for a pair of Sass and Bide Black Rats (fancy ruched leggings) for months in order to buy a slice of the clothing label’s cool factor. They cost around $200 and you had to scramble to secure a pair. I worshipped those Black Rats more than my boyfriend in 2006.
I am kicking myself for recently giving away my leggings to an op shop. They had stretched and I stupidly thought they would never come back into fashion. You see, I have somewhat lost my way with my style and what I should/could/would wear on a daily basis. I am pretty comfy in jeans and Cons for work, but I am wondering at what age a middle-aged woman needs to grow up in her attire.
I used to wear only dresses from op shops, but I do not seem to have the time these days to scour for vintage treasures and since having my babies, my outfits take second place. But life is perhaps going full circle as I feel my pull back to authentic and original clothing.
Heidi Middleton is humble and kind and ethereal in real life. Cate Blanchett would play in her a movie. I could have stared at her all night in my crazy fan-girl state. She’s the sort of woman who is uber warm to other women and super cool but also kind and makes you want to run home and start sewing your own clothing.
The mum of two sold the Sass and Bide empire she founded with her best friend for a reported $80 million before setting up home in France. There, the idea of her new business came to her in the form of Artclub, a website that sells a curated fashion line and paintings.
“After selling Sass and Bide and moving to France I had some time to consider carefully how I wanted to re-enter the market and I could not hold back on the fact I wanted to create again,” Heidi said, addressing the Sunshine Coast audience.
“And this time around I have joined the fashion and the arts because I enjoy fashion and painting and working in other mediums so it is like my online atelier and I have also added my vintage items I have accumulated over the years.”
Heidi uses a lot of fabrics she has sourced from Europe including old curtains and bolts of vintage fabrics found hidden away, saying no one can have their head in the sand when it comes to sustainability.
Thanks Ms Middleton for being such a creative force and a kind soul. Meanwhile, if anyone finds a stretched pair of Black Rats at a local op shop please contact me – I need them back!
Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator.
For more from Sami you can hear her on Mix FM.