Friday, March 15, 2013

The Velveteen Rabbit Dress

by Bats of Leisure 

Story Bought Dress asked Aoife Billings of Bats of Leisure  (the Melbourne based label which she runs with her brother) to talk about a dress from her most recent collection:

The Velveteen Rabbit dress...My favourite fabric is velvet and I was drawn to this particular one in a fabric store and on a whim forgot about all our previous ideas for dresses and bought it. At the time Aaron (who does the embroidery) was designing a Velveteen Rabbit tattoo for a friend, and we were discussing our love for that book ever since we were children, and we thought it would be perfect to make the bib of the velvet dress embroidered with a Velveteen Rabbit.

I feel like our Irish heritage is recognisable in our designs, and the common shape we use; long sleeved and gathered waist with a detailed "bib" may be influenced by Irish dancing dresses.
Bats of Leisure is a Melbourne based label, handmade by a brother-sister duo.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Robin Hood, A Mandate of Heaven 2012 Collection

 by Mandate of Heaven

Robin Hood, A Mandate of Heaven Autumn 2012 Collection (Part I) from mandateofheaven on Vimeo.

Mandate of Heaven is an independent design and art studio based in Brooklyn, New York. We produce two clothing lines, Mandate of Heaven Mint Collection and Opiate by Mandate of Heaven. Mint Collection pieces are one of a kind garments created from vintage, recycled and leftover fabric. Opiate pieces are small run or made to order garments created from organic and fair trade fabrics by ethically compensated hands. This presentation shows Autumn 12 pieces from both collections mixed together.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Story Bought Dress on Tumblr

An Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games look created by Lime Crime.

Story Bought Dress now has a Tumblr which you can follow here. I'll be blogging interesting images I see which fit into the theme of the zine.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Submit to Story Bought Dress

Submissions to Story Bought Dress are always welcome! Here are the guidlines for reference (updated September 2012):

Story Bought Dress is an online zine based in New Zealand which seeks to explore the stories of outfits and their wearers in creative ways. It features everything from poems and prose about fashion, to creative outfits and clothing designs.

Contributions from around the world are welcome. Please send your piece or any queries to storyboughtdress(at)gmail(dot)com. Please attach your piece as a word document and include a brief author note.

The zine is also interested in featuring the work of clothing designers - use the same email to discuss!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Loosed Women

by Carrie Murphy

for the hangers-on

Sableing-up alongside the night
with a smoky-eyed
slippery grin. Tongue with a fuzz like fur;
when the light hits,
a shower of sequins.
Rayon. Python.
Silk her up with a straw.

Tulle-ing around the morning, heels zipping
up and down. Fleece and wool
over the eyes and don’t look because she’s
poodling right out of her skirt.
Unlaced. Eyelet. Gauze and glitter.
Ombre-bronze and oops
her herringbone is showing,
slip, slit.

Tie-dyed up, reaming and seaming.
through a pleather pout. Seersucker.
She’s suede, she’s beading,
she’s shantung and
antique-ing over the edge,
a hanging thread, then
kisslock clasp.

About the Author: Carrie Murphy grew up in Baltimore, MD and received her MFA from New Mexico State University. Her chapbook, MEET THE LAVENDERS, appeared from Birds of Lace in 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Her/Your/Her Look

by Andrea Quinlan 

Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams 

We love Wednesday Addams' sarcastic and creepy attitude as much as the way she co-ordinates black velvet schoolgirl minidresses with chipped red nail polish and braids.

To recreate her look, choose childlike dresses with high collars, cuffs and buttons.

Look out for blacks, charcoals, whites, velvets and dark floral prints.

Black tights and washed out makeup will complete your/her look.

Sue Lyon as Lolita

Lolita is our favourite sulky starlet. Her wardrobe makes us green with envy as well. As Humbert Humbert, the murderer with a fancy prose style says, "What little girl would not like to whirl in a circular skirt and scanties?".

To recreate her look you can have your pick of crisp cotton shirts, denhims, sneakers and full-skirted 1950's style dresses.

Check out the vintage stores for Lolitaish accessories like heart-shaped sunglasses, tiaras and school uniforms.

Bikinis, babydoll nighties and woolen sweaters which have been lost in the woods will complete her/your look.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vintage Style with Story Bought Dress

by Andrea Quinlan 

I love 1920's style. My icons are flappers like Clara Bow, Louise Brooks and Zelda Fitzgerald. They looked so good when they were being bad.

My favourite thing to wear is 1950's dresses. I always look out for old issues of Woman's Home Journal and Woman's Weekly for inspiration. I wear my day dresses with punk rock eyeliner and glitter.

I'm very into 1930's depression chic. I have several feedsack dresses such as the floral one I'm wearing. Wearing dresses women made themselves from so little makes me feel inspired to try so much harder in everything I do.

1960's New Wave cinema is a huge influence on my look. I feel very Anna Karina in sailor dresses and pussy bow collars and Jean Seberg in jeans and pumps, even though I am far away from Paris.

I love 1970's prairie dresses like this Gunne Sax. It's true that they could be something out of a Laura Ingills Wilder book. I don't see that as a bad thing.

I enjoy wearing vintage fur. I know that fur is controversial and I certainly wouldn't ever wear a piece of modern fur, but wearing a dead animal from long ago feels like giving the animal a new life.

I love vintage lingerie. I'm a big fan of underwear as outerwear too. So many of those pieces are too gorgeous to be kept under wraps.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Woman Suit

by Loredana Tiron-Pandit

I am walking fast. Maybe the headache will be blown away by the chill in the air. Maybe the nausea will be obliterated by the effort of the fast movement. But then, all the sensations may very well stay with me. After all, I am walking toward the most critical event of my whole career.

This meeting will decide my future. I have to be strong. I have to be powerful. I can envision the six dark suits around the large table trying to pierce through me and measure my worth. The five men and one woman in that conference room have to see me as the indubitable winner. The visionary leader. The trustworthy colleague. The unfailing scholar. The good listener. The compassionate authority figure. The strong-willed manager. Which I am. I'm confident about that.

What I am worried about is what they might think of the outfit I felt inspired to put together today. The '50s silk pink scarf that I bought for 5 dollars at the antique market this weekend. The flowery ruffled skirt that belonged to my mom -- she is wearing it in the photo of my first day of school. What makes me anxious is how they might judge my loose and freely greying curls. What terrifies me is how they could react when they see that I really am a woman.

About the Author:  Loredana Tiron-Pandit is a writer and editor based in Massachusetts. You can visit her website at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


by Rachel J Fenton 

They fit perfectly. You can’t believe it.
‘This never happens to me.’
The assistant asks if you need a bag. Not any more, you think, and say you’ll keep them on. She kneels, and though she’s only removing the tag you still take it as a sign.
‘And your old ones?’
‘I won't be needing them anymore.’

You go back a week later. Your old ones are in the window. You can’t see the price on the tag, only the words: Once Worn; New to You. Someone inside the shop is pointing to them. You knock on the glass, shake your head and call out,
‘You don't want those, they were mine’.
She smiles.
You want to explain but it’s getting cold and you need to find a new coat – new to you – to go with the new you.

About the Author: Rachel J Fenton is a writer based in Auckland. She has poetry, fiction, art, photography, journalism and criticism housed in diverse publications, including: Blackmail Press; Otoliths; Horizon Review; The Literary Burlesque; Ramshackle Review; Ink, Sweat & Tears; Melusine; Eclectic Flash; Camroc Press Review; Tom's Voice; Camel Saloon; South Yorkshire Times; Eye of the Needle; Writer's Eye Magazine; and Airflow Magazine. She was shortlisted for the  2011 University of Maine "Ultra Short Competition"; "Fish 2010 One Page Prize" and longlisted for the 2010 "Sean O'Faolain International Short Story Prize". Links to published works can be found at:

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Week in the Wardrobe of Story Bought Dress

by Andrea Quinlan 

Today I'm wearing a 1920's red velvet cape from little red riding hood. It has deep pockets for my lipstick and credit card. The series of bite marks around the base of the hood are from the big bad wolf. I think it's just the thing for a walk in the forest alone.

Since it's a sunny day, I have dressed up in my 1950's blue cotton dress from Alice in Wonderland. It's ideal for the tea party I am attending. You're probably wondering about the marks on my white stockings? Well those are what you get when you fall down rabbit holes.

Today I have accessorized my checked picnic outfit with a C.1900 poisonous red apple from Snow White. It's so luscious, but so deadly. Never fear - I won't be eating it. I'll be far too busy posing for photos and frolicking to do such a thing.

I don't actually have a ball to go to tonight, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from wearing this 1940's pink satin ballgown from Cinderella. At least I won't turn into a pumpkin at midnight or get cuts on my feet from wearing glass slippers.

This 1930's silk dressing gown from Sleeping Beauty is the most glamourous thing to lounge around reading Harper's Bazaar in. If Princess Aurora had found such reading material, I wonder if her life would have turned out differently?

I'm wearing a Victorian crushed crimson crinoline from Wuthering Heights today. The damp air of the moors clings to the fabric, even though the sun is shining. The sleeves still bear the tears of broken hearts and anguished love, even after hundreds of years have passed.

I'm not actually wearing this wedding dress from Great Expectations today - I'm just posing for a photo in it. I guess that still means I'm wearing it, though. I love the cobweb necklace and beetle brooches Miss Havisham accessorized with, but I don't feel that waiting around in an attic is part of my story.