Chocolate Orange and Northern Hemispherism

18 Jul 2014 Golden Point VIC 3350, Australia

I am huge fan of the film (and the book) Chocolat. I love the style of the characters and have been inspired enough by them to start a board on Pinterest in order to get ideas for my own wardrobe from it. View the board here.

Something I loved about the wardrobe in the film was that Vianne wore a very simple range of clothes. She seemed to have a reasonable range of possibly 5 complete outfits which she mixed very elegantly. She had a couple of tartan skirts that she tied in with simple blouses, wraps and cardigans and shawls. I am most interested in the outfit she wore on the night of the birthday party.

Today's outfit is a first attempt at building a Chocolat style outfit and the photos were taken some time ago at dusk in Ballarat when the weather was first starting to turn cold.

I think it would pay to make a note here that it is currently winter in the southern hemisphere, where Australia (and I) are situated. The world has an issue with what could be called 'northern hemispherism'. What is this? It's where out culture, internationally presumes that it is winter at Christmas. This is, for us down south, both strange and normal. It is strange because we're lucky if it is cold enough to sit outside on Christmas day. Usually it is so hot that everyone sits inside in air conditioned coolness. At the same time, root vegetables like those used for roasts are not in season and yet we still consume them like everyone else.

Cardigan: sold out - Review
Belt: Thrifted
Skirt: sold out - Modcloth
Boots: in store, somewhere in Oxford
Location: Golden Point, Ballarat
Photographer: Tegan Barnes

At Christmas time we also have a celebrated fat man in a red winter suit come and visit children. Adults always chuckle at what unfortunate soul has to put on the Santa suit and sweat out the stinking hot weather. Our Christmas decorations are still covered in symbols of snowflakes and we still dress up trees, but there is this constant cognitive dissonance in everything Christmas. It is so odd having a winter solstice festival in summer. It means our long winter has no festivals or excitement to brighten it up and give you something to look forward to and to fight the cold with.

When we were kids we got fake window snow (the sort you buy in a can and spray snow stencils on your window with) and we wrote 'Merry Xmas' on the corrugated iron awning above our lounge room window for the street to see. It melted in the hot sun and damaged the paint on the metal and for 10 years after (until someone painted over it) the merry message remained.

Other things that are very different include the summer holidays. We have our longer school holidays over the summer too, but for us this means December and January are the gap between school years. Easter is in autumn, instead of spring. Don't get me started about fashion. At the moment, Modcloth has these great summer things going on and everyone in Australia that loves their website would find it hard to participate in any of the online social sharing that goes on. It's hard to put together a summer look when you're worried about catching pneumonia. I'm lucky as being in Perth offers at least one sunny day per week in which to pretend the weather is mild for photos. This won't be possible in summer (Christmas) as Perth is hotter than sugar on a skillet and rugging up will result in certain unconsciousness.

On the plus side, when the big online brands have sales of their summer stock in the northern spring, we have the chance to snap up bargains before our summer season has even started. Most of the good stock is sold by then anyway, which is a bummer.

Knowing a little over 50% of my readers are from the northern hemisphere, hopefully this will have explained to you why my outfit styles may sometimes feel out of sync with your current season.

- L

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