Look who dropped in!

Thanks to my penchant for op shopping and whipping up my own wardrobe, it’s pretty rare for me to turn up anywhere wearing the same thing as anyone else. But great minds do think alike after all, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised about what Fabia had on when I met her last night on our way to Sustainability Drinks.

Drop-crotch pants? Check. Ethnic vibe? Check. How could we pass up asking a random stranger to get a snap of this serendipitous styling!? (We were in Federation Square, so the guy probably thought we were tourists passing through, hehe)

I’ve only ever worn these pants at their moment of purchase which was in a little village in Laos last year, because it’s difficult to get the (non fitted) waist to sit in a flattering way. I resorted to safety pins last night, but will have to think of some more reliable measure later. The Yao people, their rightful owners, simply bring a big fold to the front and then roll the waistband over and over. Here I am with the lady who sold them to me (read: miraculously produced them from somewhere in her house when I mentioned I wanted to buy old examples of hill tribe embroidery). That grin on my face is thanks to the massive red pompommy ruff thing edging the jacket. Why I did not think to buy one of those also is a mystery.

Here’s one of the lady’s gal pals and an astute businessman in the making. How could you say no to anyone wearing a hat like he’s got on?!
Back to Fed Square… these deckchairs were set up so people could watch the big screen (not that it was playing anything but ads?!) and it was another photo opp too good to pass up. Do I look like I’m on the deck of some glamorous cruise ship?

Sigh. I suppose not. I would have had to be reclining in a bikini, sipping on a drink with a little umbrella in it to be more convincing. But Melbourne has been COLD lately, so no bikini for me. Instead, here’s the breakdown of the outfit, for the interests of Me-Made-March.
Earrings: Salvos, $5
Grey top: free from an event in Tokyo, but I altered the neckline (it was a Henley top before). I’m wearing an old grey singlet from a 100 yen shop underneath.
Pants: made who knows when by a diligent Yao woman, they cost me about $60 US I think. 
Gold ring: $5 at a flea market
Bag: I made it from a skirt hem, an old obi, and special bulky wool (more here)
Shoes from Zomp and socks, I don’t remember, but I don’t think you’re dying to know anyway…
Blue jacket which I’m carrying and should have got a better shot of: $3 from jumble sale in Tokyo.

Black crochet bracelet: I made it. Here it is with a close-up of the embroidery on the pants. Apparently it takes about six months or more to finish enough embroidery for one pair of pants, and looking at the intricacy of the work, I’m surprised it doesn’t take more, given that these women usually live in villages with no electricity or mod cons and dye and weave the indigo material for the pants themselves too! Then again, I suppose they don’t get distracted by blogging, which gives them time to do things like this 🙂