Sunday, 25 August 2013

Love Sukin

Every winter it's a struggle to keep skin moist and happy. It is equally hard to make me happy as a customer when it comes to skin care. I have super sensitive skin on my face, sun damaged skin on my decolletage, dry patches on my elbows and a lot of skin otherwise. I am also very fussy about what I put on my skin and what is IN my skin care. We all know that the only thing that really matters to skin is the water we put in our bodies but, sometimes at a more superficial level our skin just needs a bit of help to look its best.
I have recently discovered Sukin at my local pharmacy. I was in buying Herome nail hardener and recommended it to the sales assistant who then in turn recommended Sukin to me. I love that the products list all the things that are NOT in them. All the unnecessary and sometimes bad ingredients that often make up our skin care products. All the products I have tried so far are light, simple to use and effective.
The fragrances used are very natural smelling and again, light so that they do not overpower you perfume or enter a room before you do. The Rose hip Oil (which is having a moment across the beauty counter) is easy to use and light yet rich enough. I would only wear it at night but I often slip it on as soon as I get home to let it take full effect.
The prices on these products is pretty amazing too given that they are so naturally derived. They are affordable enough that, like me, you can take a few home to try and see how they work for you.
Please note: None of the recommendations on this blog are paid comments. The author reserves the right to comment on, and recommend only what she really uses and likes. All products are tried and tested by the author but the products may not have the same results for others.

Monday, 19 August 2013

What I wore in a week

Inspired by this piece in the New York Times I decided to document what I wore for an entire week. I am an aspiring writer and a wild reader so this fits the mould nicely.

It began on Thursday, August 8th
I was heading in to work for the day so I went with black suede, studded Sportsgirl flats, black Jeanswest jeans that I have taken to folding upwards and inwards to give an ankle grazing effect, a plaid Gorman trapeze top with shoulder frill in black, grey and purple, black Country Road cardigan and Forever Now black coat.
In the evening I was heading to the William Mora Gallery for the opening of  with Mirka Mora and then on to a MIFF screening of Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorfs so I wore the same black jeans with my YSL suede peep toe pumps and black and white T by Alexander Wang knit.

Friday, August 9th
By the end of the working week just getting clothes on my back is a struggle. If I could go to work in my Pyjama's, by Friday I would. Instead I wore Flared blue jeans, a pale blue Ralph Lauren shirt and a zebra stripe Gorman jumper. I got a few compliments so I was glad I had second guessed the pj's.

Saturday, August 10th
Butcher, Green grocer, Supermarket and Dry cleaner. This equals the same flared jeans pulled on off the floor. A Breton striped cotton knit from France and ballet flats.
In the evening there was dinner at Jacque Reymond so it was time to dress up. A black silk Trelise Cooper dress that is embellished with silver netting and several black tassel's at the neck. this was accessorised with a Tiffany silver Torque bangle and a leather jacket. It was a little bit cool but still elegant.

Sunday, August 11th
Hampton street for coffee and a shop as well as the Esplanade Market. While the sun shone it was still cool so blue and white print peddle pushers form Portmans, a white T shirt and a navy wool Hudson swing coat. Effortless and comfortable just like you want Sunday to be.

Monday, August 12th
Back to work. Monday's are always the day when I am most inspired to wear work wear so today I wore a leather pencil skirt with black stiletto's. To add a bit of colour to the mix I donned a pale pink Ralph Lauren shirt and a chunky silver necklace.

Tuesday, August 13th
Feeling less inspired already so I wore a grey cotton skirt tights and ballet flats with a black v-neck jumper. Simple but effective. The skirt has pockets which is a huge bonus for me as it means I can run around at work with everything I need.

Wednesday, August 14th
Black, black and more black.
Black jeans (already widely mentioned with a black Sass and Bide t-shirt, black leather jacket (biker style) and black Cuban heeled boots. Some days I just have to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Jacques Reymond

Something very special happened to me yesterday. I had dinner at Jacques Reymond. Probably considered the greatest French restaurant in Melbourne it has a big reputation. Jacques himself has helped and challenged the aspiring chefs on Masterchef Australia many times and he always seems kind, encouraging and dedicated to his food.
The food last night proved this appearance to be much more than skin deep. the degustation menu is certainly the best option as it allows you to taste ALL of Jacques talent. Not all the courses are included her but the photos show the masters work. On this particular evening Jacques was in the kitchen and my friends and I got to meet him, go into the kitchen with him and ask him a few questions.
Without wanting to sound like a silly fan, it was a very exciting night and Jacques was so lovely to my friends and I we will always be grateful to he and his staff.
Jacques told us that the menu changes only twice a year, that any more than that is unnecessary when you have the right ingredients. He also shared with us that in creating a new menu it can be a timely process and that for days his work will come to nothing. Then, his senses will be inspired and in a day four or five courses will evolve. He tells that it is equally sensory and mental when he is in the creation phase but, that it always comes back to the ingredients on offer.
Not all the courses are here for you as some were simply eaten too quickly but, you will get the idea. I am no photographer but even my terrible photos show how genius this food is. Yum.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorfs

Have you seen this film yet?
If you enjoyed The September Issue, Bill Cunningham New York or Diana Vreeland The Eye must Travel you will love this. Fashion documentaries are almost becoming a genre of their own and rightly so. The producers know their audience and cater to them beautifully.
Unlike The September Issue there is no hero/villain relationship. Linda Fargo is a dream, Andrew Bergdorf is a dream, the designers rave about the store, the shoppers rave about the store event eh window dressers rave about the store.
This does nothing to dent the aspirational element of the Bergdorf Goodman name, probably exactly why they allowed this documentary to happen.

By far Betty Halbreich is the hero of the greatest element of the piece. She is an asset to Bergdorfs in her personal shopper capacity. She is endearing and lovable with a wit and brutal honesty that unnerves. It is claimed in the documentary that she told one customer uncertain about a potential purchase 'Well, it's ugly but, it's less ugly than what you came in so, you might as well buy it' and they did!
It seems not only are designers clamouring to get their wares on the Bergdorf shop floor, they are also clamouring to sing the company's praises. Michael Kors was making his clothes and running his own store when Bergdorf's asked him to come in one day. This single event seems to have launched the designer into mega-stardom. And it's not just him. Lagerfield, de la Renta, Zoe, Miyaki and Wang all happily lend their faces and voices to this film to speak with great admiration and fondness for the New York institution.
One must wonder at how such boundless adoration is achieved and if the film has it right it comes down to commitment and charm. Two qualities we could use a little more of in this world.

Touche Hombre

Latin and Mexican food is really having a moment in Melbourne. The days of Taco Bill and Old El Paso being the only offerings for such cuisine are long gone. There is an abundance of choice on offer for foodies to try and last night I tested out Touche Hombre.
This well positioned restaurant in Lonsdale st is a pleasant relief from the dominance of Greek food in this part of town. Nothing will ever replace Stalactites at four am for a souvalaki but, for a proper dinner the bar is raised a little higher.
Touche Hombre has well considered design with an industrial chic interior and lots of Latin influence in the colours and artwork. The sandwich board outside did mention tattoos but I'm not sure where that happened, the was no area for the purpose set aside.
A good margarita is hard to beat, especially in a salted glass. In this case it was a salted enamel mug which was very appealing. They also have authentic Mexican beers that a Mexican would actually drink (Corona is the Fosters of Mexico) and Dos Equis is the one to go for.
The staff can give you well informed suggestions from the menu which are really worth listening to. We wounded up having a lot more than planned but it was so worth it.
Here's a run through:
Fatty Lamb Ribs
Just as they say with a noticeable spice, a delicate sweetness and a chin dribbling fatty quality you will love. The meat falls off the bone.

It's limey, tequila-y, salty and alcoholic. If more really must be said it is delicious.

Rare Beef Tostadas
The flavour was superb on these. The beef was scrolled onto a tostada and was the colour of a sea shell. It was tender and delicately complimented by flavours of cilantro, avocado and lime.

Pork Belly Share Plate
A build you own experience with house made soft tacos, lovely pork belly, black beans, marinated green chili, char grilled pineapple, salsa, avocado and sauteed rocket. It was quite fun the make your own little creations and test out various flavour combinations but ultimately you want to put it all in there and eat. The Touche chef knows the flavours that work so trust in them and consider the ingredients you are presented with as mandatory

Chocolate, chili, Peanut Ice Cream
Two of the greatest chocolate, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies sandwiching ice cream that was so cream it must surely have been made with marscapone. I don't know for sure but, I do know I will be back for this.
Sorry, there is no photo for this. It was just too good!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Dior and Yamamoto

On first glance these two iconic designers do not have a lot in common. But the N.G.V. didn't see it that way when they held an exhibition of the two designers work because at very different times and in very different ways they were revolutionary.
Dior's New Look caused a stir in the 1940s because his use of fabric was decadent, he gave skirts volumes again, when you watch video of him working he didn't just make skirts bigger than big with pleats he look tops and folded them back and over on themselves to create dimension.
As we regard these pieces with a modern eye, it would be too easy to acknowledge the dresses magnificence but constrain it to history. But these dresses live! Monsieur Dior put pockets in his dresses. At a time of gloves and hats he had the insight to give women pockets! A place to put her cigarettes, her key or even a small purse. The perceptiveness of Dior is striking and it caused shock waves socially all over the world.

Similarly in the early 1990s Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto presented his first Paris collection. He caused stirs just like Dior with his grunge and street inspired collection. His pieces had holes in them, cocooned people and reminded the audience of homeless people all a far cry from the typical high glamour of fashion. And yet, it was a huge success and made the same kind of shock waves Dior have 4 decades earlier.
It just goes to show that revolution is always in the air and at any time we can be challenged.
Melbourne Fashion week is just around the corner, who knows maybe revolution will strike again!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Love Karen Walker

Karen Walker has created an amazing brand known all over the world. She is the creative vision behind her own clothing line, diffusion line for Myer, shoes, jewellery and eye wear. Her iconic runaway girl is recognized as a symbol of feminine freedom and a lack of pretension, she offers women a sophisticated wardrobe with a distinctly unaffected vibe.
Her latest collection is truly something to see. Walker has developed a distinct shape and movement to her clothes which run consistently across her line and yet with each new incarnation there is renewed interest and perspective. As a wearer you don't tire of her and become too comfortable with the work because there is always a fresh idea being explored yet reliably underpinned by that very essential Karen Walker-ness.
Take for example the black dress below. Open first glance it is a simple black dress but, the flare at the hip is slightly more generous than usual to give a more indulgent shape. The cut at the shoulder sits just so to reveal what must be acknowledged as a very sensual part of a woman. There is perfection in the simplicity.
 I can't stop loving this next dress. Firstly, it's a dress. I could live my entire life in a wardrobe of dresses (and for a week did so for this blog). In this one I imagine myself at the end of a hot summers days wandering down the street for a mojito in a pile of silver bangles and a scarf on my head. The free, breezy cut is classic Karen Walker. The cutout is sexy little feature. It has pockets (the best dresses do). It is so open at the arm it has a sportiness to it. Love.

 I will never stop loving a spot. Not even when I am 102. So this dress is for me. In fact, I may buy it now and still be wearing it at 102. That is what is so lovely about Walkers clothes, they reference other eras and thus can still live outside their own. I will wear it now with giant heels and when my hair goes grey I will have fabulous flats to pop out in. My hair will be pink, you'll see.

But why not? Walker breaks rules. I think without knowing her that she would love an octogenarian with pink hair wearing her dress. I can't think of a more discerning client nor a more fabulous life to seize the runaway girl within and fly in the face of our self imposed rules.

Please note: The images come from the Karen Walker Look book and are not the work of Chic Exchange.