The Model and Me: Sacha Drake summer 2011-12

Ever looked at a model wearing an item of clothing that appeals to you and dismissed the purchase out of hand?  Yep, me too.  Well, I’m here to tell you that you SHOULD get into that change room and give the object of your desire a try.  You may not look like the model (I don’t, I’m a size 14), but you never know, it just may look right for you.

So, on Friday I may have teased you a little bit about my latest maxi dress purchase. In fact I apologise as the teasing started way back in August when this dress appeared on the catwalk at the Mercedes-Benz Brisbane Fashion Festival.

I missed the show but there was no way I was missing out on this dress. NO WAY.

See, while others may have wondered whether it was best left for the tall, slender beauties of this world, I knew Sacha would not let me down.

Regular Stylers would know just how much of a fan I am of this Queensland designer … have been since long before I published my first blog post. So, when I saw the image of the Del Mar Dress, I knew it was destined for a lifetime of loving, starting with summer 2011-12.

To refresh you, here’s what Del Mar looks like on the model:

Sacha Drake spring-summer 2011-12 Del Mar Dress

Sacha Drake spring-summer 2011-12 Del Mar dress $265

Here it is in another colour variation:

Sacha Drake spring-summer 11-12 Del Mar $265

Sacha Drake spring-summer 11-12 Del Mar $265

And here it is on me:

Sacha Drake Del Mar maxi dress; Uberkate necklace; Country Road shoes; coolbabycool bracelet

Sacha Drake Del Mar maxi dress; Uberkate necklace; Country Road shoes; coolbabycool bracelet

Let me talk you through this miracle-working dress.

As is clearly evident, it has incredible powers. Incredible waist-making powers. The pattern of the stripes combined with the ruching works like a gold-medal-winning synchronised swimming duo to create shape and actually slim.

To be honest, when I first opened the package containing the dress, I had been a little concerned. The polyester spandex jersey isn’t overly thick. I was worried it would be too thin for a decent camouflage of my lumps and bumps but as soon as I lifted Del Mar over my head and it slid down my torso, skimming over my hips, I silently thanked Ms Drake. (Actually, I tell a lie. I punched the air and squealed)

She is a freaking genius when it comes to frocks that work for all shapes and sizes and this one is certainly no exception.

I’ve already worn it to lunch with girlfriends and this week, because it’s such a low-maintenance travelling companion, it’s coming to Sydney with me for the Beauty Directory Star Awards. I’ll team it with my white Country Road jacket … for a more professional look.

And yes, this dress will work dressed up with heels or worn with wedges or flats, depending on the occasion. I’ll do heels this week but the next barbecue with friends? It’s coming out to play in some blinged flats.

Can you believe the power of the shape of this dress? I know a few of my readers have already bought it. Very happy for more to join the club!


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  • Le_third

    love love love this on you – it works way better with decent lady lumps – loving! le xox

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hahaha – thanks!

  • Tanya Outridge

    You look absolutely gorgeous in this dress Nikki. Red hot mumma!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thank-you x

  • Jo

    Hi Nikki – can you tell me how tall you are?  just wondering how the length of this dress would compare on me.  also, what size is this dress you are wearing?  this dress looks amazing on you – i would love to get one as well. thanks!

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  • Anna Wolfe

    I am searching for the perfect Christmas dress to see me through a number of functions. Looks fantastic Nikki! I am having a MAJOR dilemma, I totally adore the colours on the black and rasberry coloured one (I’m a very dark brunette) but will it have a similar affect as the magical striped one?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Yes, it will because it’s in the cut and the gathering! Would be perfect for you.

  • KateW81

    Lovely photos.Looks like a young model huh…Thank you for sharing your article.

  • Jo

    Hi Nikki

    I have the dress (hunted it down) – i would have never bought it without your post.

    It looks totally amazing on and makes me look SKINNY.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, Jo … that’s incredible – and yes, it’s a miracle, that’s for sure!

  • Kelly

    Yep, I want to buy it.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      It would SO suit you Kelly x

  • Laney @ Crash Test Mummy

    I remember seeing this dress when you had spotted it on the catwalk. I love it! You’re looking super hot in it Niki 😉

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh thanks Laney x

  • Caz

    First time I have stopped by your blog (came via A Beach Cottage) and I’m loving it :-) I’m a huge fan of Sasha Drake as well and this dress is seriously stunning on you I absolutely love it:-) I’m not sure if I could wear it though as I’m 6’2″ and it could possibly make me look like I’m 7 foot?? Also on a shopping ban as I spent a month in NYC on a millinery adventure so I spent way too much money and have to be good for a while although I could possibly use “oh this …its one I got it in NY with my birthday money..I just haven’t worn it before” 😉

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks for coming over – I like your justification technique and I think we’ll be firm friends. Your NY trip sounds amazing!

  • Em

    Lovely, but unfortunately I have massive flabby arms which would look horrendous in this dress! If only there was shapewear for arms :)

  • Kim-Marie

    Lovely! Love your Veronica Lake do too x

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks! It’s an accidental one!!

  • Carren Smith

    Hey there Nikki!!! I want that dress!!!!! YOU LOOK STUNNING!!!!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      It’s a miracle dress! I know there’s one size 12 left at Zambezee, Mooloolaba, but might be too big for you x

  • Delia Timms

    Hi Nicky, My husband was asking me what I was reading so I explained “The Model & Me” and then showed him you and the model in the new dress. He said “That’s nice, I like it” (on you. A spontaneous compliment from him! What a great dress and it looks gorgeous on you!
    Australia’s #1 style advice site

    • Delia Timms

      Oops apologies for my spelling of Nikki!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh that’s lovely!!

  • MadamBipolar


    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Madam BP x

  • sandraw2580

    Wow! I think you had the photo’s mixed up? the third photo is the one where a model is wearing the dress! You look fabulous on that dress!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Aww, get away with you x but thanks!

  • Sarah

    Nikki you look so lovely in the dress! Your photo looks better than the one of the model! Will have to find out if this dress is available in NZ :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Sarah
      Thanks so much! See below for the stockist list – Cate from Sacha Drake posted a link to the stockists on the Facebook page.

  • Jo

    Vavavroom Nikki. You totally rock in this dress and so will so many “real” women. It ticks all the boxes and some. I hope SD have plenty in stock or they better be prepared for a re-run. Love your work. Jo

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, thanks Jo! Yes, there are have been a lot of inquiries at Sacha Drake today!

    • Jo

      Apologies Nikki. I thought I was Being original with my vavavroom description but it would appear I am guilty of Being a “Johnny come lately” so I gave it some more thought and I have failed to find a better description so I am going to stick with it with all due respect to the original author.
      I have a question for you – how does your head remain a fairly normal size with all the loving that is posted to you. You give it out and you will get it back!!

  • Brismod

    I totally would’ve said “no way” to that dress as it is worn by the model, but it looks absolutely fabulous on you. It really does. I’m looking for a formal dress for a couple of Christmas dos and a wedding, so I will check out some Sacha magic. xx

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I know – it’s incredible. Do check out Sacha’s collection. She really does know how to cut a pattern to suit a woman. And I love that I get to support a QLD designer too.

  • bigwords

    VA VA VOOM!! You look stunning x

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks hun xx

  • Carly Findlay

    You are gorgeous. I love how you wear clothes so well. This dress is amazing, and if I was not going to NYC I’d consider buying it. (And what happened to your shopping ban?!!)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Shhh … I just *needed* a couple of dresses to get through the party season 😉

  • Belinda

    Wow! Love it on you…..gorgeous!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks so much, Belinda x

  • Seraphimsp

    I am searching for the perfect Christmas dress to see me through a number of functions. I have to say I loved this on you Nikki. It is gorgeous and you absolutely rock it!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Sarah! This will be one of mine. Plus I bought a red Rosalie dress from Sacha Drake last week as well. Between the two, I’m covered!

  • Omega

    You are definitely rocking that dress!! I agree with other commenters, the dress looks lovely with some curves to fill it out! :)

    I’m going to have to search for something cut like this in red, I think..

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Good luck with the search, Omega, and thanks xx

  • Catherine

    Wow Nikki! You look amazing. That dress has super powers. Loving your hair also. Did you do it yourself?

    I’m so in love with the dress, but I’m on a shopping ban and can’t get it :( Oh, the pain!!!

    C xo

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh sorry about the ban! Would you believe that my hair is a brushed out blow dry and up do – two days after I had it done by my hair stylist for Melbourne Cup?!

      • Catherine

        Wow, that’s some serious super powers of a good blow dry and up do!!! Love it! Yeah, the shopping ban is for 6 months… I’ve lasted 2 months so far BUT within those 2 months I have spent gift vouchers, birthday money and today I bought some things from the op shop, so not totally being honest on the shopping ban… Hmmmm maybe I could find a stockist that does layby?!!! I’ve had my eye on this dress since you featured it in your summer wishlist post! Love your style Nikki.

  • Jodie

    I’ve had my eyes on this dress for a while – since seeing Louisa Claire modelling it! Looks fabulous Nikki.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Ahh … Louisa got on to it thanks to me … the life cycle of this dress started back in August!

  • Maxabella

    Youblook stunning, Nikki. I love this dress and I absolutely love your “model and me” posts! x

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Bron. Lovely of you to say x

  • Lisa Lintern

    Oh, this dress is divine. I’ve had my eye on it since the day you first told us you had your eye on it. Must have it. Repeat, must have it! It looks gorgeous on you. I love The Model and Me. xo

    • Nikki Parkinson

      haha, thanks Lisa … and you would look STUNNING in this dress. x

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  • Cate Backstrom

    It looks stunning Nikki!! Well and truly designed for you!

    For anyone else looking for the Del Mar Dress in the Turquoise Pink there is a stock list published on facebook here:!/media/set/?set=a.270714279640700.69602.112696192109177&type=1

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks for that Cate – great to see so many stockists getting this dress. My prediction is that it won’t last long!

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)

    LOVE the summer colours of this dress!! So flattering too. I can’t decide between the one you are wearing or the other colour combination. I love both.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      LOL … get both 😉

  • Kate B

    Oh it looks divine! I am having a MAJOR dilemma, I totally adore the colours on the black and rasberry coloured one (I’m a very dark brunette) but will it have a similar affect as the magical striped one?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Yes, the effect will be the same because of the cut and the ruching. You will also still get an inverted V from the fabric colour blocking so will create and enhance your waist.

      • Kate B

        Thanks Nikki – good to know. Still in a dilemma about which one cause they are both so gorgeous but good to know either one will have the same effect.

        Loving your blog, I’ve been reading for a few months and have already bought the feathers dress and now I feel a Sasha Drake purchase coming on! : )

        • Nikki Parkinson

          Oh, thanks so much and great to hear that feedback.

  • Christina @ Hair Romance

    Love this on you Nikki! That is some genius pattern, well done Sacha Drake! I agree with the others, I like the dress even more on you x

    • Nikki Parkinson

      It is so genius. I hope it’s a pattern that Sacha does again with a different fabric (hint, hint)!

  • Kelly

    I love that dress on you Nikki – you look better than the model!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, thanks Kelly xx

  • Norlin

    That is an absolutely STUNNING dress! Love both colours, but I think I’m more inclined to wear the one with the black top. Gorgeous!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      You would so suit the one with the black top Norlin – and it would look amazing on you x

  • Frankie and Nicole

    Looks fantastic Nikki! You’re giving that model a run for her money. Sacha looks like she creates beautiful products for people of all shapes and sizes..something that F&N aspire to do also! x

    • Nikki Parkinson

      You so do that with your designs Nicole. Loving the new navy and white range.

  • Kirsten

    Gorgeous! Love the colours and the style. It looks much better on you than the model!
    Might have to invest in something Sacha Drake myself :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

  • Hannah

    W.O.W. You look INCREDIBLE in that dress!!
    Do you think I can pull off those colours as a redhead? It would be PERFECT for my Christmas party… and a birthday party… and for Sunday brunch… and for shopping… for anything really :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Yes I definitely think so – red hair and the teal colour would be fab!

  • K

    Love the dress, i am going to BUY BUY BUY one, can you tell me if it is true to size? for example if I wear a 14 in countryroad, what size would i buy?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I’m a 14 in Country Road and this is a size 14 I’m wearing. To double check use the size guide on the Sacha Drake site:

      • K

        Great, thanks :-)

  • Fadra

    I forget that you have a whole lovely summer season ahead of you. I immediately thought I’m too short and have too much belly fat for this dress. But now I’m wondering if I could pull it off. I’m sure I’m still too short.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Check out the post I did about maxi dresses on Friday (link below) – height isn’t a problem if the style is not overwhelmed by too much fabric. This one is streamlined so would work. And yes … summer is just starting to make itself known over here!

  • Miss Pink

    Oh gosh that IS stunning.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Gosh, you are beautiful x Thanks.

  • Danielle

    A perfect item for your summer wardrobe and I love the colours.
    Goodluck in Sydney :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I love the colours too – colour blocking in one garment. Too easy. And thanks, Sydney will be fun.

  • Vicky

    Oh wow Nikki – this looks amazing on you… I actually think it looks better on you then on the model!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Very kind, Vicky. I love the illusion that it creates!

  • Megan @ Writing Out Loud

    I saw it on the model and shrugged… but on you Ms Nikki? LOVE!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      VERY kind, Megan … I just love what it does. Magic dress.

      • Kirralee Baker

        Totally agree with Megan. It looks way better on you with some lovely curves to fill it out. Super stunning!

        • Nikki Parkinson

          Thanks Kirralee x

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