The House of Snowball – Cultured Couture

Vintage has a special place in my heart, especially ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s.

Recently while in Melbourne for the Grace Kelly Style Icon Exhibition, I stumbled across the most divine store – The House of Snowball.

The shop was a gorgeous jewel box filled with gems – elegant fashion and stunning accessories, I simply had to enter!

All whitewash floors and walls, with black clothes rails, giving a distinctive Parisian vibe.

It was a joy to behold.

The label, designed and created by mother and daughter team Louise and Kristie Coakley, is a homage to Norma Snowball (mother and grandmother respectively) who was a bespoke dress designer in Perth. I’m sure she would be very proud it carries her moniker.

Their design aesthetic is romantic, whimsical with a vintage inspired silhouette, with haute couture influences of Chanel and Dior.

“Of course it’s an absolute delight to work with my daughter” said Louise “I feel very fortunate and  as its turned out we have very much the same design aesthetic and sensibility for working with fine fabrics, with an attention to detail. I worked with my own mother from a very early age and we also had very similar connection with sewing and design.” Louise said.

These frocks would look gorgeous on almost any woman.

Perfect for business, cocktails, weddings, race wear, or anywhere that requires you to look and feel absolutely fabulous.

Their ready to wear, with couture detailing is full of simple, chic shapes in high quality fabrics. And yes, they also have an eboutique

They are currently phasing out their made to measure, you’d better hurry to get a fabulous one off piece!

Jill Taylor, part owner of the magnificent racehorse “Black Caviar” wore their Fiorella dress and bespoke brocade and silk hat, at Morphetville, SA, Australia when her horse was running there.

One of the Black Caviar owners, Jill Taylor wearing House of Snowball lemon and white dress and hat, accepting the Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner's trophy from Her Majesty the Queen at Royal Ascot on Saturday the 23rd of June

The mare has just won her 22nd consecutive race, The Diamond Jubilee Stakes – and before the Queen at Ascot in England. Jill Taylor chose to wear another ensemble by the design duo. Lucky for her (she’s the one looking delicious in Snowball white holding the winner’s trophy), and lucky for the House of Snowball.

What an introduction to the world stage!

After this success she should definitely choose the House of Snowball for all such outings in the future.

I also believe that any bride would love to wear the scalloped lace bolero in ivory or nude lace.

So delicate and romantic, it’s a perfect cover up for the ceremony, especially in a church or at the reception.

Don’t forget that Duchess Kate wore one on her wedding day. Demure and very sweet!

The team often uses vintage and antique fabrics, sourced locally and abroad for their one-off pieces.

The colour palate is just gorgeous, gelato pastels on a warm summers day!

I particularly love that their separate collars and cuffs can be added to completely change the feel of a frock.

A retro idea with a great modern twist.

The collar is huge this season as an accessory (just check out Louis Vuitton).

What a great way to mix up that old favourite little black dress!

Their delicious range of collars and cuffs have featured in Vogue UK, not just once but four times, and I would hazard a guess that number will climb.

Also in stock is an exquisite range of vintage inspired jewellery by UK designer Abbie Walsh (featured in Brides UK).

I couldn’t help myself and picked up a gorgeous brooch , love, love, love!

The bridal selection is very special, think Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face”.

The ballerina length is back.

Perfect for the discerning woman who is after a gown with a difference – no polyester meringues here!

Bridesmaids would be happy with any selection too, matched with a fab headpiece.

It is obvious that Louise and Kristie work beautifully together, such a lovely bond for mother and daughter to enjoy.

We tend to go on natural instinct and we somehow seem to always agree with each other in the end. We are both visual and can imagine how a fabric will drape or be made up” says Kristie.

This is evident in the cohesive collection.

The boutique has a wonderful feel.

Full of light, calm and classic, it is a breath of fresh air in a world where fashion is so disposable.

These pieces are definitely for keeps.

277 Coventry Street
South Melbourne
(03) 9696 1777

Tuesday – Friday 10 – 5.30
Saturday 10 – 5 and Sunday 11 – 4

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor The Culture Concept Circle 2012

NB: All images used with kind permission of the House of Snowball


1 Comment

  • Sheena Burnell says:

    Jo another fabulous column, and this place looks utterly di-vine, it’s on the list for my next Melbourne visit…whenever that may be!

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