Our 10 Favourite Fashion Moments from Ladies in Black

This spring, we’re drawing vintage chic wardrobe inspiration from 1959 Sydney



The plush interiors of Goode’s set a dreamy scene for Lisa’s first introduction to sales ladies Patty and Fay. Donning A-line, nipped-at-the-waist black dresses, Patty and Fay look every bit the consummate professionals when meeting bright-eyed Lisa. A work-appropriate sleeve and conservative neckline completes the look.


What would a film set at the turn of the decade be without some ‘60s-inspired flapper costumes? Cork worked with a colour palette of blush pink and black to create a two-piece corset and dance bottoms set. A flurry of feathers formed an OTT train, which fluted out from the back of the corset. For accessories, a feather-plumed top hat, black pearl necklace and elbow-high silk gloves adds a touch of drama and femininity.


This choir’s ensemble was anything but matronly. At a swanky affair for Sydney’s fashion set, this choir was dressed in crisp, white capes to the knee, with a black petticoat. Pretty black bows accentuated the neckline of every cape, while Mary-Jane kitten heels imbued a little luxury.


With a smile as wide as her hemline, Lisa was positively beaming in this outfit gifted to her by fashion matriarch Magda. Celebrating pretty spring brights and floral motifs, Lisa’s outfit combines a duck egg blue A-line skirt with a butter yellow button up, accessorised with a black belt and silk neck scarf knotted at the neck - oozing European chic. Cork notes it was important to showcase skirts that weren’t too full, to reinforce a more modern approach to fashion.


A quiet moment by the fountain created an opportune moment to highlight Fay’s personal style away from her black uniform at Goode’s. The Dior shape was important to Cork, as it was a key silhouette in Australia at the time. A nipped-in waist and three-quarter length showed ankles, and helped put kitten heels, sling-backs or peep-toe shoes in the spotlight. Dresses in this style were commonly used throughout the film, with changing necklines each time to be age-appropriate and demure.


Two words: bucket hat. Cut from the same fabric as this tea dress, a Goode’s customer appears smug over her recent fashion find. This nature-inspired, abstract print looks to muted greens and yellows, complemented by soft, lemon yellow gloves and a bone-coloured handbag.


Smooth-talker Rudi (Ryan Ormond) ditches his usual three-piece suit when out on a romantic date with Fay. A light blue striped collared shirt matches the seaside location perfectly, while relaxed chinos and a straw fedora ensure Rudi still looks smart.


Cork successfully dresses each character according to their age and persona in the film, which could not be more true of Magda arriving at Goode’s wearing tortoiseshell cat-eye sunglasses and a leopard print headscarf. Sophisticated Magda wears this bold print with confidence and appears all the more self-assured as she bursts through the door.


Further solidifying the glamour of the late 1950s, this high-fashion customer channels a Hollywood siren in this strapless, Dior-inspired number. A cream hue complements her fair skin tone beautifully, while oversized blue flowers and foliage add visual interest. A thick black sash separates top from bottom under the bust, and is plumed at the lower back. Symbolising elegance, luxury and sophistication, this silhouette became iconic for this time period.


As their romance blossoms, so too does Rudi and Fay’s style. Seen here donning complementary tones, Fay’s style evolution throughout the film channels the late Grace Kelly, while Rudi a 1950s businessman. Fay’s strapless navy bodice gets a fresh update when a mesh overshirt with 3D flowers is layered on top. Bucking the pastel trend, Rudi dons a leopard print pocket square, signifying his vibrant personality.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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