Tuesday, 29 November 2011

You and Mrs Woo.

Mrs Woo and the strange adventures of Monika Viktoria.

It is interesting the way one’s seemingly straightforward and normal life can suddenly take a twist and transform in a way you had not previously imagined possible. I lived above a little shop in Paddington, when one day a few doors down a little clothes boutique opened up: High Tea with Mrs. Woo. Even the name sent my imagination to faraway places, and brought alive the thoughts of strange scents and voices, quaint sights and the heavy veil of mystery. Over time I acquired a few pieces from this delightful little place, always eagerly listening to the stories that went into the creation of the collections.

When my ordinary life was becoming a bit too mundane, the girls from Mrs. Woo released their newest collection, “No Fixed Address.” The idea of exotic places hidden away, waiting to be visited tantalized me. Cleansing your overly cluttered life and packing a few essentials into a battered suitcase and heading out into the wild world was a thought that seemed strange and empowering. But I could never do that. I was a comfortable little mouse in my burrow, my various collected hoardings grouped around me in a protective nest, comforting me and tying me firmly to a fixed address.

One day, with my seemingly comfortable love life unraveling around me like a messy ball of twine, I visited High Tea with Mrs. Woo to escape the confusion around me for a while. Belinda was always kind and quick with a hug when a down-trodden little mouse needed one. I perused the shelves filled with nostalgia and whimsy. My fingers flicked between the rows of beautifully tailored garments, when one in particular caught my eye. A long dress woven from soft silver - the colour of the moon and mist and your breath on a chilly morning. This was a dress for me. At the counter Belinda happily chatted away whilst she searched for the tag, then stopped in surprise when she read out the name. “Love among the ruins.” I smiled. How very appropriate.

A short while later I said farewell to my fixed address. I said farewell to my mousy hovel, packed a few essentials into a battered bag and headed out into the wild world. I’ve watched the sun rise over the steppes of Hungary, and watched that same sun set behind the golden hills of Tuscany. I’ve drunk “fire-water” with nomads and red wine in a stone villa hundreds of years old. I’ve seen the moon shine on the other side of the world, and for that, I will never truly be the same.

So far my adventure has been amazing – frightening, wonderful, exciting, sometimes lonely, often unbelievable, but always incredible and utterly beautiful. I remember the spark of inspiration that urged me to embark on this grand adventure, in the form of a soft dress that reminded me of whispers and sighs, designed by three incredible sisters, found in a little shop in Paddington.

To all the wonderful ladies at High Tea with Mrs. Woo, I send all my love, and can’t wait to visit you again sometime in the near future, a little bit stronger, a little bit bolder, full of smiles and laughter and bursting with joy at how beautiful the world can be. Lots of love...


I thought I would share this little tale with you about my adventures in Mrs Woo.

My much loved High Tea pieces and I have shared many an exciting adventure together… exploring the slippery cobbled streets of Amsterdam in the depths of winter, hiking the stunning forests and coastlines of Italy (hiking should only ever be attempted in style, yes?), wandering the ancient ruins of Ani under a blazing Turkish sun and becoming lost in the twisting alleyways of old city Baku beside the shimmering Caspian Sea.

But perhaps my most treasured High Tea moment was in the Tushetian Mountains of Georgia. After a seven day hike across the 3450m Atsunta Pass from the region of Khevsureti to Tusheti, past animist shrines, looming stone watchtowers and remote military border patrols, we arrived in the tiny Tushetian village of Shenako. It was with immense relief that I pulled off my dusty hiking pants, sluiced myself clean with icy river water, and donned my favourite High Tea skirt that I had managed to keep clean in my backpack throughout the journey. That night we enjoyed an amazing feast and joined our host villagers around a celebratory bonfire. Needless to say my High Tea skirt received many an admiring glance from the local ladies! 

All true! And I hope to have many more adventures in Mrs Woo!


inspiring stories are too many too list as i wear your gear to feel inspired and lo and behold, cart and horse... magic happens.

though i do remember this one time...

i was wearing a lovely woo collection of mint greens and florals, my best mates and i walked around the backyard of my parents house, and lo! there was just about everyone i love in the front yard, and my fella, dressed up in a bushrangers outfit - just one size too big. we exchanged pleasantries, and a few serious notes too, and then a huge storm erupted washing everyone into a fantastic tent that happened to be erected down the paddock. a few people sailed in on instruments, others on bicycles. a grand knees-up ensued and i didn't want to leave, to sleep or change, so i just turned my dress outside in, and voila! new energy was created to celebrate all night and day, and night and day. 

and another, 

i wore my mrs woo polka dot skirt to the Tamworth Regional Art Gallery to hear a fantastic artist talk. she was great. the art gallery manager and i got talking, my skirt being the first point of conversation. in my explaining that it was made by three amazing and inspiring sisters from Newcastle, the conversation expanded to inspirations and work, and the next thing i knew, she was showing me the back lot of the gallery! sitting there with all the old collections, she pulled out a magical piece of woven fabric, acquired during the last textile exhibition. i was just excited to be in the off-limits bits and see all the art hung up like drying tobacco, but seeing this piece of embroidery was like a special secret.


I love Mrs Woo for work. So much so that when I turn up in a new outfit, combination, or upside down/back to front variation, the inevitable compliment is now followed by a rhetorical Mrs Woo? Love it!


I always try to "Mrs Woo" when I have an important interview or class to teach.

Your creations are a talisman and they keep me strong and happy. The other thing that happens is people credit ME with your work... "Oh did you make your dress/top/skirt?" How lovely for me is that I ask you? I then slip into my happy spiel about you three and how I love you so much...Oh and the other thing... I like to take Mrs Woo on dates she is very good and important company! So there...


My collection of your wonderful creations has slowly been growing over the last few years, but with two little boys most of the time I just admire them hanging at the front of my wardrobe. I call them my "special" clothes and only wear them on child-free occasions so sticky little fingers and vomit do not ruin them.

Last saturday was one of these long awaited occasions and I was so excited to wear for the first time my "Miss Mary Mack" top on a shopping trip to Sydney. I had a fantastic day with my closest friends and i felt great in my beautiful Mrs Woo top. It is the small things in life that make me happy and wearing Mrs Woo clothes makes me smile from ear to ear :-)


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