Ask Melbourne Darling: Best place to shop for Mother of the Bride dresses in Melbourne?

Dear Melbourne Darling,

Where can I find the best Mother of the Bride dress?

A mother of the bride outfit can initially seem like a daunting outfit to search for. In my previous styling experience I assisted a number of Mother of the Brides and after a while I would tend to hear the same things:

  • No white
  • Preferably not a black dress
  • Something that won’t clash with the outfits of the bridal party
  • Above all, something that is flattering and elegant

This may seem like you have already ruled out some of your favourite options but I want to show you that you can most definitely find a stunning outfit if you know where to shop in Melbourne!

Similarly to my post on finding wedding shoes in Melbourne, just like a mother of the bride outfit or any special outfit for that matter, when first embarking on a big shopping quest for the perfect outfit, I would always suggest not dismissing Myer and David Jones as your starting point. I find the department stores to be the quickest and most effective way to firstly get a sense for the prominent trends, styles and designer collections currently available. The exposure to a variety of different designers in the one place also makes the department stores the best first stop to allow you to start hitting the fitting rooms. Try on as many different styles as you can, as sometimes it’s the best dresses that don’t look great hanging limp on a rack but do wonders when slipped on the body!

I also want to point out that you may not want to wear a dress, and that’s absolutely fine too! Whether you decide on a perfectly paired two-piece suit, mix and match coordinates, prefer a feature skirt with a simple top and blazer or a gorgeous top and simple black pants set off by a remarkable pair of shoes, you want to choose something that you will be comfortable in and will make you feel and look your best!

After a visit to the department stores, you may want to check out the stand alone stores of the designers you liked the best as they may have a larger selection of new styles or matching coordinates and accessories in the same collection of the pieces you liked. Below are my top suggestions to get you started with the retailers I believe are reliable in regularly stocking a wonderful assortment of styles that can be beautifully suited (pardon the pun) for a mother of the bride outfit. Keep in mind, it will also depend on the personal taste of the individual, so I’ve tried to cater for some different tastes:

Coast London

Coast is still fairly new to the Australian market, only arriving to our shores in 2011. This actually works to our benefit, as Coast has saturated the UK market to the point that I have heard if you were to go to a wedding in the UK and wear a Coast dress, it would not be uncommon to see another wedding guest wearing the same outfit as you! However, it tends to be the opposite in the Australian market where their smaller presence works to our benefit. I still like to refer to Coast as the best kept secret when shopping for occasion wear in Melbourne, with their more traditional yet versatile range of fancy and feminine occasion wear pieces. (Check out their gorgeous collection of mid-heels! Comfy and funky!)

Put simply, Coast London was made for weddings and special occasions. They are a popular destination for bridesmaid dresses and create cleverly designed garments to flatter different body shapes with sizing ranging from a size 6-18. Many of their dresses also come with added practical features like detachable and adjustable straps, boning in the bodice, secret pockets and design features to allow you to wear one dress, multiple ways. Coast London in Australia is hard to find online, but I can tell you that they do have a stand-alone store in Melbourne Central (click here for more details) and a concession store in Myer Bourke Street. You can also buy Coast online at their global website and on ASOS.

Karen Millen

If Coast London is the girly, sweet girl next door, then Karen Millen is her sleek and sophisticated, seriously on-trend sister. Karen Millen, sister brand to Coast London, produce beautiful, ultra-modern floral and graphic patterns and statement prints in dresses and coordinates, usually created with perfectly matching clutches and shoes crafted from the same material.


Cue has become quite similar to Karen Millen with their focus on modern, sharp tailoring and darker colours for a more edgy yet refined style. Cue pieces sometimes appear to create a more corporate look, so offset this by adding some extra sparkle with statement accessories like a headpiece, cuff or necklace from Mimco.


If you are after something more suited for a day wedding, or something a little more casual or girly, Review is a great option for floral and colourful vintage inspired pieces. Accentuate a very soft and feminine look with accessories from Alannah Hill.

Charlie Brown

For something a little less structured but still makes a statement, Charlie Brown create spectacular patterns in comfortable stretch fabric that can be more suited for day weddings. They particularly produce outstanding maxi dresses too.

Anthea Crawford

Anthea Crawford stock an extremely sumptuous collection of striking dresses with delicate and ornate detailing. They make enough of an impact on their own so all you need to add is a simple pair of shoes and you’re done! Perfect for those who like to keep their accessories to a minimum.

David Lawrence

Alternatively, when less is more head to David Lawrence for more classic, understated pieces and understated coordinates. You can always dress up a classic with some fun accessories and keep it for years to come, creating an entirely new look with the help of on-trend accessories each time you wear it.

Now I wouldn’t be a Melbourne Darling if I didn’t appreciate how to wear a little black dress just as much as the next Melbourne girl, but if you do opt for black or a simple and classic style, don’t underestimate the power of a pop of colour using clever and playful accessories. If you are up for some colour, jewel tones like purples, blues and greens tend to suit most skin tones and make for stunning evening wear options. Alternatively, pastel colours, graphic prints and florals are wonderful choices for daytime, garden themed or more casual weddings.

Don’t forget about comfortable footwear too! For a long day ahead in heels, try a supportive stack heel, a mid heel or choose a shoe with lots of inner support such as the Airflex brand heels. Otherwise prepare to pack Party Feet or invest in a good pair of soft insoles. You’ll be thankful when you hit the dancefloor!

Here are some fantastic finds to inspire you you Mother of the Bride outfit:

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Purple

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Pink

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Blue

  1. David Lawrence Orchid Embellished Corded Lace Dress
  2. Mimco Flashback Clip
  3. Karen Millen Crystal Metallic Asymmetric Court Shoe
  4. Airflex Blake Nude Heel
  5. Anthea Crawford Garnet Sequin Embellished Mesh and Stretch Satin Dress
  6. Anthea Crawford Shiraz Stretch Velour Drape Gown
  7. Jo Mercer Zalia Heel
  8. Samantha Wills Love Like Libra Cuff
  9. Meri By Design Black Rabbit Fur Cape
  10. Review Dion Jacket
  11. Mimco Mini Origami Envelope in Blossom Pink
  12. Oroton Freshwater Pearl Earrings
  13. Coast London Ariel Shoe
  14. Lady Petrova Wonderland Coat
  15. Fillies Collection Pillbox with Large Flower
  16. Swarovski Bolster Bracelet, Atelier Swarovski by Christopher Kane
  17. Coast London Matilda dress
  18. Alannah Hill Close My Eyes Flower in Navy
  19. Samantha Wills Heart of Aries Earrings in Silver
  20. Coast London Jasmine Printed Shoe
  21. Cue Double Weave Origami Dress in Navy
  22. Karen Millen Graphic Stripe Suit Jacket
  23. Cue Stretch Satin A-Line Skirt
  24. Review Eliana Dress in Petrol
  25. Mimco Sporto Large Pouch in Absinthe
  26. Mocha Brighter Than Gold Earrings
  27. David Lawrence Sleeveless Synergy Print Silk Top
  28. Diana Ferrari Tanzy in Black Patent
  29. David Lawrence Synergy Print Wide Bangle

Happy Shopping Melbourne Darlings!

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Curvy Couture Roadshow Melbourne

Curvy Couture Roadshow. Image Via.

Curvy Couture Roadshow. Image Via.

The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) may have advertised its official dates as 17th – 23rd March, but one week later on Sunday March 30th, it was evident that celebrations of a sartorial kind were still in full swing! The Curvy Couture Roadshow was not only a series of outstanding runway shows, but the plus-size fashion runway event was the first of its kind as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program.

With a focus on showcasing a high quality selection of independent Australian plus size designers, the Curvy Couture Roadshow not only used accomplished and well known models including Laura Wells, Natalie Wakeling and special guest Hayley Hasselhoff, but also a selection of upcoming plus-size models that were quite new in the modelling industry or had never walked a runway before! What blew me away with this event was the strong and enthusiastic sense of encouragement and support from the audience for each and every design and model. I was so thrilled to have been a part of this exciting event, and honestly, even though I am not classified as plus-size myself, the fun, lively and supportive energy from all those in attendance, as well as the many well designed, genuinely flattering and unique pieces that were on display made this event my highlight of the VAMFF.

I honestly think that everyone in the fashion industry can take something away from this event. The Curvy Couture Roadshow truly captured the spirit that essentially, fashion should be more about, something that goes beyond whether you are plus size or not. Above all, fashion should be a fun way to celebrate bodies and the different shapes and curves it comes with, by adorning them with well made, stylish and flattering pieces that makes the wearer feel confident and beautiful.

Here is my run down of my favourite pieces from the Curvy Couture Roadshow, including some very spectacular names and brands in the plus size fashion industry to look out for!


Robyn Lawley Swimwear

  • Almost French Underwire Maillot One piece

The entire range of stunning swimwear by international model and body confidence advocate Robyn Lawley in collaboration with Bond Eye Swimwear were created with quality fabrics, great structure and cleverly designed shapes and cut outs. However, the favourite was always going to be this exquisite one piece. As worn by Miss Carter herself, in the famous shot of Beyonce in Brunswick (Melbourne represent!) as well as in her film clip for ‘No Angel’.

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Robyn Lawley Swimwear - Almost French Underwire Maillot One piece. Image Via.

Robyn Lawley Swimwear – Almost French Underwire Maillot One piece. Image Via.

Beyonce in Brunswick wearing Robyn Lawley Swimwear

Beyonce in Brunswick wearing Robyn Lawley Swimwear. Image Via.


  • Flocked Detail Merino Jumper (100% Merino Wool)

When it comes to getting dressed in Winter, there is always at least one time when you are left weighing up between warmth and style. That is why I loved this jumper from the moment I saw it! It allows you to get the best of both worlds, perfect to keep you warm whilst looking very chic indeed.

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Flocked Detail Merino Jumper Image Via.

Flocked Detail Merino Jumper Image Via.

17 Sundays

  • Take Me Away Sequin Trimmed Jacket

Because whoever said all denim jackets look the same and were created equal was wrong! This is the most stunning, flattering denim jacket I have ever come across. This cleverly designed jacket is made in a stretch denim that hugs the body and creates the ultimate flattering fit with gathered sleeves and a slight cinch towards the waist line to provide a more  hour glass shape. The added touch of the studded detailing provides a distinctive edge to a classic.

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17 Sundays Take Me Away Sequin Trimmed Denim Jacket

17 Sundays Take Me Away Sequin Trimmed Denim Jacket. Image Via.

 Meri By Design

  • Gigi Silk Cape

Meri By Design was all about sophisticated yet easy to wear and simplistic designs that make maximum impact. I loved how each piece made a statement on its own yet could easily be dressed up or down to suit many different occasions. Keep an eye out for their luxurious rabbit jackets and capes that made an appearance on the runway, (shown below) and will be available online and in stores soon.

Meri By Design

Meri By Design

Putting together a striking outfit becomes as simple as slipping on this silk cape, making clothing coordination so damn simple. Every woman should have one of these versatile silk cover ups readily available to add wow factor to any outfit. Throw on top of jeans and a cami or a LBD as your running out the door to take your outfit from So-so to HELLO! It comes in a variety of colours and patterns that make it super simple to match with many of your existing wardrobe pieces.

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 Meri by Design Gigi Silk Cape. Image Via.

Meri by Design Gigi Silk Cape. Image Via.

Misty Belvidere

  • Clairvaux Blazer

This blazer was exceptionally well made, from the flattering cut to the beautiful lining inside and the added quirkiness of the unexpected colours that worked to deliver one show-stopping blazer. I’ll admit, you can’t do this blazer justice until you try it on to really see its magic. Add a completely revamped, amazing new touch to your existing outfit, whether it be with a dress, pants, jeans or a skirt, this design really offers a remarkable new spin on a classic wardrobe staple.

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Misty Belvidere Clairvaux Blazer

Misty Belvidere Clairvaux Blazer

Iridis Cosmetics

Another thing that stood out, apart from the clothing was the makeup on all the models. Peta Gai, founder of Iridis Cosmetics was the make-up artist behind the gorgeous looks.  In particular, I loved the intense smokey eye she created for Hayley Hasselhoff as well as the choice of lipstick worn by Laura Wells, the colour is called ‘Plateaux’, a rich, high gloss berry toned, burgundy hue.

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Hayley Hasselhoff and Laura Wells Makeup by Iridis Cosmetics

Hayley Hasselhoff and Laura Wells Makeup by Iridis Cosmetics

Iridis Cosmetics Lipstick Plateaux

Iridis Cosmetics Lipstick Plateaux Image Via


That was my top five picks from the runway fashion, but there were so many more great designs on display. For more information on other designers that were at the Curvy Couture Roadshow, check out their websites below, or keep up to date with the Curvy Couture Roadshow and their plans for next year at

Embody Denim

Beyond the Sea Swimwear


Christine Kardashian


Miss Scarlett Did It

Professor’s Daughter

Bombshell Vintage

Curvy Chic Sports


Marij & Jean

Hey Fatty

Fox Parse

To witness some fantastic snippets from the day, have a look at this brilliant video put together by Danielle “Danimezza” Melnyczenko of



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Luk Beautifood’s Lip Nourish Lip Balm Review

‘A lipstick so natural you can eat it!’

That is the line I eagerly begin with when telling someone about Lük Beautifood’s Lip Nourish. My first experience with lip balm was in early Primary school when I managed to find myself in ownership of a Watermelon flavoured Bonnebell Lip Smacker. I can remember quite clearly it smelled so delicious, in fact, it smelled good enough to eat… and yes maybe I did try to test out that thought but don’t deny you’ve thought about it too, a quick lick of the lips and your tastebuds get a bit too excited over the hint of strawberry in the lip balm you’ve just applied!

As ‘delicious’ as most of our favourite lip balms smell, we often overlook the fact that majority of popular cosmetics contain a number of nasty, toxic ingredients. While the trend of superfoods and clean eating has made us become more aware to make smarter choices with what we put inside our bodies, most people would not think to reconsider the harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients we put on our bodies through our make-up and cosmetics, particularly our lips. There are debatable claims over the average amount of lipstick women consume in their lifetime, but basically, there is no argument in the fact that it is a substantial amount, substantial amount it’s a large amount of chemicals and harmful ingredients entering your body with each swipe of lipstick!

That’s where Lip Nourish offers a fantastic new offering in cosmetics. Created by food scientist Cindy Luken, Lip Nourish is a 100% natural, Australian made lip balm using real food ingredients. Staying true its perfect choice in name, The product that stays true to its name, there really isn’t a better word to genuinely describe this lip balm than beautifully nourishing. Lip Nourish contains natural substitutes for many of the usual ingredients in lip balms and lipsticks such as the use of sesame seed oil, avocado oil, honeycomb and spices.

I tried two variations, ‘Lemon and Mint’ and ‘Orange and Juniper’. They say old habits die hard so of course my first instinct led me to remove the twist top to smell the lip balms and I was delighted with the divine, zesty and fruity fragrance. Lip Nourish comes in a number of shades, all which contain a very subtle hint of colour that when applied, create a lovely sheer appearance that is not overly glossy, but provides a very natural gleam.

Lip Nourish Shades

Lip Nourish Shades. Image Via Luk Beautifood.

The texture is soft, creamy and rich but never sticky or too heavy. The product leaves lips well moisturised, but for those who have become used to the feeling a heavy coat of lip balm, you may find yourself frequently re-applying, as Lip Nourish quickly sinks well into the lips, leaving them soft, smooth and velvety.

The packaging needs to be pointed out as a feature in itself because it is absolutely adorable. Reminiscent of the care and nurturing that Cindy has proudly placed in this product’s creation and development, each Lip Nourish is carefully packaged in a colourful, reusable microfiber cloth that unravels to reveal it’s not so secretive, full disclosure ingredients list and an uplifting message from Cindy on recommendations for usage.

Lip Nourish is perfect for soothing your lips with moisturising goodness every day.  The broad range of easy to wear, soft and neutral shades will suit a large spectrum of skin tones, to allow individuals to easily find a perfect shade to accentuate and complement their own natural lip colouring.

Lip Nourish is an effective, natural alternative to your daily lip balm, or a fantastic substitute to lip stick for those that favour nude and neutral lip shades. At the mid-range price point of $24.95, it is a high quality product that can also make for great gift for younger girls being introduced to lip balm, or those that wish to get their eager hands on their first cosmetic product, due to the absence of the chemicals normally found in cosmetics, and the subtle colour and shine. I honestly am a fan of Lip Nourish because of its natural benefits and I loved the way it left my lips feeling well moisturised and velvet like. As a result, Lip Nourish is a product that has quickly cemented itself as a daily essential in my hand bag! Now I’m not encouraging everyone to start chomping on their lip balm like a Twix bar, but I will say that with Lip Nourish, your lips never tasted so good!

Lip Nourish is available to purchase online for $24.95 including free shipping Australia wide via the following link:

For more information, I found this video to provide great insight into Cindy Luken’s  inspiration and development of Lip Nourish:

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were provided to me for consideration but this in no way influenced my review in any way. As always, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion.

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