All this talk of fashion and clothes and why some of us love ’em compelled me to head to Lisa Stack’s shop, Helix (conveniently located in Surry Hills where me and Scott now live). The shop is on Bourke St in what once would have been a corner shop dispensing lollies and milk and newspapers. Now it is filled with gorgeous dresses, skirts, trousers, tops in the most fabulous colours, with luscious prints. No vile pastels or lollipop colours, none of the hippy dippy crap that’s filling most of the shops hereabouts. I wound up buying two of Lisa’s tops and a pair of her silk japanese fisherman’s pants (so very very comfortable—I don’t think I’ll ever take them off again). And a circle skirt by Theresa Jackson made of embossed cotton. It’s shiny and makes me feel like a 1950s goth African fairy princess. Sigh. Much clothes happiness.
Here’s what I love most about Lisa’s shop, not just that her clothes are inventive and beautiful and comfortable, but that I don’t feel like a fool for walking in. In many botique shops I only fit into the largest sizes, and—you’re just going to have to trust me on this—I’m not that big. I’m not particularly tall or fat, and yet in cool shop after cool shop I barely squeeze into the largest sizes. Huh? And the shop assistants make out like this is somehow my fault. Does that make for shopping pleasure? No, it does not.
While I was at Helix three other women tried on clothes. Two of them much older than me, one much younger. One larger than me, two smaller. And here’s the thing: we all looked really good in her clothes. We had fun trying them on. We gossiped and offered opinions on what looked best on each other. It was a gas. I don’t remember the last time I had such a good time in a clothes shop.
And even better, Lisa’s clothes aren’t insanely expensive, are very well made, and last a very long time. What could be better?