The Lady Of Melbourne

As some might know, I took a class called, “Advance Print Reporting” and I did a feature of Lady Melbourne, an incredibly stylish and fantastic fashion blogger based in Melbourne and I decided that I should put it here and share with you guys, whoever you guys are, that reads my blog.

So here it is, a 1200 word worth of Lady Melbourne. And please, go check out Lady Melbourne‘s blog. it is amazing and she gives some goodies occasionally.


NOTE: All photos used belongs to Lady Melbourne

With an enormous black rose worn sideways on the head and a 20s inspired frock matched with the perfect ruffled-collar trench, she stood out like a lily in a pile of daffodils at the Spring Race Carnival.

With such amazing style and fashion sense, she is not the woman that you would associate with the obsession for crosswords and the love for political non-fictions.

This is Phoebe Montague, owner of the award winning blog, Lady Melbourne.
Despite being a fresh graduate from journalism school in year 2009, she scored an impressive resume, from editor of Melbourne Street Fashion, contributor of the Lustable, judge for the Westfield Insider to the best fashion blogger in the Asia Pacific region in 2009.

When you type “Lady Melbourne” in Google’s search engine, the first hit would be her blog site.

And if you enter her site, you would be immersed into a world of affordable and fashion forward looks in a day in the life of Phoebe Montague, all inspired by the retro and the vintage, from 50s to 80s – something that made Phoebe stood out of the crowded online arena.

The most significant influence on her blog and sense of fashion was Gabrielle Bonheur Coco Chanel, the founder of Chanel and an international fashion icon.

“She was revolutionary in what she did for fashion. The effects are still felt today,” she said.

“Her use of fabrics, imitation pearls and gemstones allows regular women to dress with elegance that were normally limited to the aristocrats, was inspiring,” she said with a sudden admiration on her face.

The name, Lady Melbourne might also sprout from Coco Chanel, the lady who lunches.

Phoebe, being an admirer of Coco, might have just decided to be the “Lady for Melbourne”.

Her mother, grandmother and neighbours she grew up with were also part of her inspiration.

Phoebe explained that despite being the average middle class, these women were fabulously dressed and radiated a sense of elegance and style.

“As a child, I was in awe with the jewellery and outfits they wore, even the way they smoked cigarettes were amazing,” she said – her eyes reminiscing and a little smirk on her face.

Lady Melbourne was under the radar when she first started but one had changed it all.

In August 2008, she created a revolution and it was her first post that received more than 50 comments – she made an Yves Saint Laurent inspired black dress out of garbage bags and paired with a Chanel brooch.

This had redefined the word of “look for less”, which normally only includes the same high end fashion look but with lower price range items and also how to mix and match fashion from all prices ranges.

It was a Project Runway-esque challenge that was sparked by a conversation with a fellow blogger, Style Tyrant.

It blasted the roof of Lady Melbourne and soon after, it had a significant increase of audience, other than Mother Melbourne and His Lordship – her respectable parents.

But her skills are not limited to just writing, dress making and styling.

She is also a milliner and accessories designer.

“I learned my millinery skills through books and the Internet. Everything was self taught,” she said.

As for her jewellery making skills, she learnt it from one of the masters in London, Lara Bohinc, whose jewellery was worn by Madonna.

After a year spent with Lara Bohinc, she became a nomad, travelling back and forth between the United Kingdom and Australia for a few years – she has dual citizenship.

And all that time spent in London changed her.

It changed Phoebe’s perspective on fashion and was also a source of inspiration to her sense of affordable and sustainable fashion.

“In Melbourne, I only wear heels because I can drive around. But in London, you don’t. All you have is an oyster card – the Myki card of London – and you walk all the time,” she protested.

“So I learned that you have to be practical about what you wear. And Londoners do it with style,” she  noted.

In her nomadic years, Phoebe started her own accessories label.

It was quite a success before she was introduced to the concept of blogging where her true passion and life long dream lies.

She juggled the two during the nomadic years and finally settled down back in her birth city, Melbourne.

“I decided to stay permanently in Melbourne when I gained momentum in my blog,” she said.

It was evident that she did because what would Lady Melbourne be if she wasn’t staying and experiencing life in Melbourne.

“I can’t imagine myself in other cities like Sydney. Lady Sydney just doesn’t rhyme,” she continued with a cheerful tone.

In Lady Melbourne’s blog, perhaps the first thing you would notice is the simple but elegant header.

The header simply writes the name, decorated with a lady in a black dress for her “L”, a cocktail for the “Y”, a pocket watch for the “O” and ribbons tied neatly in the letters “D”, “U” and “R”.

All this little details in her blog, illustrates her sense of styling well – classic, simple and elegant.

The most recent post of this fashion savvier was the Frocktober, a campaign that supports ovarian cancer causes.

She challenged herself to wear frocks or dresses for the whole of October as a sign of support and to gain sponsors and donations.

Phoebe had always been a philanthropist, aside from this; she participated for a movement against puppy farming, the McGrath foundation for breast cancer, and a coming event for the environment, “Fair@Square”.

“I have always been involved with current affairs and issues especially for animals and women,” she said.

She felt that she could help even a little, through her standing in the industry now and she knows how it felt to have no one to call to.

Phoebe had it rough during the start but she endured and succeeded, and it is all thanks to her experience in high school.

High school was not a pleasant place for Phoebe because she was like no other girls in her school.

At a young age, she found her calling in fashion and she was fearless in choosing what she would wear to school without any concerns to what others thought of her.

She was the odd one out and this leads to harassment and bullying by her peers.

“High school was exactly like what you see in movies. It is just like ‘Mean Girls’. Some of them are merciless,” she said.

She was the Janice Ian of Mean Girls – labelled as the art freak and the quirky kid.

She did not care about what others thought of her, she knew that after high school, there is a bigger and wider world that is waiting for her – a world of acceptance.

“I hated high school. After graduation, I walked out and never looked back.

“Despite all the hardships, I have learned that you have to be tough. I’m sure I don’t look like it but I am, internally.”


Well, that’s all. What do you think. Leave a comment, please?

Au Revoir!


4 Responses to “The Lady Of Melbourne”
  1. GirlInoslo says:

    Thought that was on wonderful,and well written article.
    I really love her work as well:)
    she is amazing.
    Write more stories About her:)
    Have a good day.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] this is my second featured blogger. The first was as some might remember, Lady Melbourne aka Phoebe Montague that I posted back in […]

  2. […] this is my second featured blogger. The first was as some might remember, Lady Melbourne aka Phoebe Montague that I posted back in […]

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