A Week Of Outfits With Deborah Gates From Stylish Murmurs
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention! Each woman takes her own unique approach slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Deborah Gates, the conscious fashion blogger and Instagrammer behind Stylish Murmurs!
// ABOUT DEBORAH //
Age | 52
Location | Victoria, Australia
Occupation | Human Resources & Events Management
Where To Find Her | Instagram and her website Stylish Murmurs
Favorite Brand | All the brands I am sharing here are favourites. Specifically Lulu Manna, Sassind, Noosh Jewellery, Motto, Cavaletti Gallery, Shortlist and I have just been introduced to Andiamo. I feel a strong connection with the brands I wear regularly. Most are small designer-directed businesses who are happy to speak to their customers, share openly about their production and supply chain and share a passion for producing responsibly.
Moving from years of fast fashion purchasing to responsible fashion about 2 years ago was a surprisingly easy transition. The more knowledge I gained, along with the understanding of the injustice that exists within the manufacturing of our clothing, brought me to a place where my approach to fashion purchasing needed to align with my personal values.
Up to this point, my fashion blogging and Instagram presence was purely focused on sharing daily outfits without any real direction or intention. The desire to change my own shopping habits brought about a new focus and I revamped my social media platforms to create a forum for sharing and discussing conscious fashion.
Wanting to make a difference, for me, is taking one step at a time, identifying where and what changes I can make, initiating and participating in the conversation, and being aware of the impact of where I choose to spend my dollars. Through blogging I have the opportunity to represent ethical brands and demonstrate that there are alternatives to the big fast fashion chains. One of my challenges when I started on this journey was how to source ethically-made clothing.
I would love to tell you that I never buy fast fashion, but occasionally I do. Sometimes it’s new and sometimes I will thrift fast fashion pieces. But I apply the same criteria to fast fashion purchases as I do to responsibly-made fashion: I have to love it and it must be something I see myself wanting to wear for a long time.
I like the majority of my wardrobe to function in a variety of settings. This outfit works just as well on Saturday running errands, as it does on a Monday at my casual office prepping for the week ahead. Pants and tunic are one of my ‘go to’ labels, Lulu Manna, who design and make in Sydney, Australia. The quality jersey fabric makes them wearable year round and they easily mix with other pieces in my wardrobe.
In the past couple of years I have rediscovered my love of dresses and enjoy irregular shapes and designs. I prefer designs that stand apart from trend because they tend to have more longevity in my wardrobe. Dresses make for stress-free mornings and I love being able to throw on a dress and go! This dress, from another Australian maker, Andiamo, combines Japanese design elements with beautiful fabric in my favourite colour.
My wardrobe is predominantly neutral tones and very little pattern. Stripes, however, are the exception. I am always on the lookout for interesting jackets and blazers and this jacket mixes a conventional banker’s stripe with an irregular shape creating an edgy element to office dressing. This jacket makes me feel suitably professional but also reflects my love of subtle avant garde vibes. My earrings here are handmade made by local maker Saff Collective.
Accessories are a really important part of my personal style and my preference is always for local and handmade. This simple relaxed linen dress from Melbourne-based label Sassind is a favourite and is the perfect back drop for the custom made Oval Dangle earrings, a kind gift from my friend and Noosh Jewellery designer Dianne.
These ‘petticoat pants’ are a recent purchase. They're made by Cavaletti Gallery, one of my favourite designers, which is located in a small town about an hour away where everything is designed and made in their small studio/shop. Fabrics are imported from Japan and the designs reflect a Japanese aesthetic. Possibly my favourite brick-and-mortar shopping experience, I can visit the shop to find designer, Leanne, in the middle of cutting or constructing a garment but she always has time for a coffee and chat about fabrics, design and all things associated with producing locally.
My style aesthetic is generally dressy and dressing is definitely an expression of my creativity. I might start with ‘casual’ in mind, but by the time the outfit comes together it’s often dressier than I planned. I wear these silk Sassind Harem Pants on the weekends and I also wear them to the office. It’s all in the styling. Both the pants and the Shortlist shirt are versatile designs, and responsibly made.
Taking daytime wear into evening by adding some sparkle! The long vest and slouch pants are items I frequently wear to work but adding the fun sequinned top and I’m ready for a rare Saturday night out. Motto is a brand I have been wearing for about 5 years and one of the first brands I discovered making locally. Motto recently moved some of their production off shore but frequently visit their factories ensuring safe labor practices.