My OOTD Then – The Patchwork Flared Midi Skirt

Vivienne She, writer and creator of vivalaViv. Patchwork set outfits. Fashion portrait on location in Sydney harbour by photographer Road Wang.

1994, a year when I returned to Shanghai to officially end my short-lived marriage. Yes, that emotional trip was all about getting a divorce. I was in my early 20s. My mother-in-law had asked my sister-in-law to take me shopping, even though we could not be a family anymore, a full bag of new clothing was their way to say ‘thank you for once being part of our family’. And this set of patchwork outfits was among the garments we came home with on that shopping day.

Once my divorce was settled, I headed back to Taipei. A chapter was closed in my life yet another chapter began. Life went on as a divorced young woman, I celebrated being single again. Out of all the outfits my former in-law family gifted me, this patchwork set was my most loved. Later on, I moved back to Sydney and continued my single life. It was in Sydney where I organised a photo shoot with a Shanghainese photographer Road Wang. I wanted to document this set of clothing… after all, these items had sentimental value to me.

On the day of shooting, I wore the flared midi skirt with its matching top. I styled the look with a silver necklace, a present from my American friend Michael who brought it back from his trip to Nepal. I had my long black hair permed and did my best to channel a gypsy woman (Carmen), a Bohemian look. There was a pair of lace-up calf-high boots – in black that does not show in this image. Looking at this photo, I do miss my ‘Carmen’s hair’, and I wish I didn’t give this exotic necklace away…

In my upcoming post, I will share with you how I styled the same skirt 23 years later.

Portrait by photographer Road Wang.

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