Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kill Bill killed me

I will admit I am well behind on this one. I have only just seen Kill Bill, and I really loved it. Uma Thurman is wonderful and the whole idea of female warriors is so appealing. The characters are both cartoonish and believable which reflects the portrayals by various excellent actors. As always Tarantino's violence is so outlandish that it is rendered comical rather than confronting, making this a very watchable film for someone who does not typically enjoy violence or gore. If you have not seen this film you really should.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion at the NGV.

The NGV is currently hosting an exhibition of photographer Edward Steichen's work. This man was phenomenon of photography He studied, learnt and experimented with every aspect of the craft and was tireless in his pursuit of perfection. He was an artist and yet, interestingly he also took work doing fashion photography and celebrity portraits for Vogue and Vanity Fair setting a precedent for artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino.
Such was the stigma at the time that the magazines he worked for offered to publish his photo's unsigned so as not to damage his image as an artist. But Steichen was just as proud of his magazine work as any other image he produced and insisted he be named as the image's creator. He worked with many of the most beautiful and famous people of the time and dressed them in the most beautiful clothes and created the most arresting images.
The exhibition itself has been cleverly assembled to showcase Steichen's photography as well as offering visitors examples of the couture from within the images. The two work harmoniously to take the viewer around the exhibition although, the contrast of the black and white images and the brightly coloured clothes is almost too strong at times.
The insight given on the plaques are well worth taking the time to read. Here are some of my favourites from my visit.
'In 1928, Vogue likened Chanel's little black dress to the Model T Ford. Both were reflective of an approach to design and living that focused on speed, efficiency and elegance.'

'This is the key to modern fashion photography. The fashion showed very clearly but the picture offered something far more important: an image of a woman at her most attractive moment.'

'To compliment her new lifestyle and activities the modern woman required a whole new wardrobe.'

'...confident, emancipated and stylish - the epitome of the Vogue reader.'

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Loving Karl Lagerfeld and his Books

There is no need to tell anyone how wonderful Karl Lagerfeld is. His passion for books is unparallelled. He buys two copies of every book he owns, one to use and the other to be archived. His home appears to be built of books. He enjoys book so much that he opened a book store in Paris to sell his favourite books.

He has published a book of his own now. It typical Karl style, he offers soundbites of opinion about everything; there is not a thing Mr. Lagerfeld doesn't have an opinion on and many of them are here. He is his usual controversial, uncompromising and eccentric self, which makes is pure joy to read.

Oh, for an hour (or 12) in this library...

Saturday, 26 October 2013

How to Fold a Scarf.

Hermes has come out with its very first App. and it celebrates all things silk scarves. While scarves were not the original product of Hermes (a saddlery to begin with) they certainly account for much of the business today. Their eye catching design and outstanding quality make them iconic. The scarves have always come with a booklet on how to tie them in various ways but, now we can all have some fun with Hermes without the price tag.

The App. is easy to use, simple and very cute. It offers you the chance to see a step by step guide on how to tie a scarf in a variety of styles, videos of the same, an album of Hermes scarf features and a Highlights Collection in which you can mark your favourites.

There is not much point to it but, it is a whole lot of fun and totally Hermes. Find it by search Hermes and download Silk Knots now.

The Take 2 Markets

If you've not yet heard of the Take 2 Markets you are about to get a BIG fashion tip. If you have heard of it but haven't yet been, then it's time to give it a try.
If you are like me and prefer your shopping to be done on gleaming surfaces and with sales assistants there to help you at every turn; then I would normally say that this is not for you. But, the reality of the Take 2 Markets is, it's worth going out of your comfort zone for.
These markets are organised by the same people who do the now famous children's markets and again, they set high standards, strict guidelines and attract top quality sellers and buyers.
Most clothing markets are very hit-or-miss when it comes to quality control but when the Take 2 Market states 'Overseas and Australian Designer Labels' they really mean it.
A recent experience for me yielded a pair of Prada kitten heels for $20, a Gorman striped dress for $10, an Italian merino wool jumper from Grace for $10, a vintage handkerchief top for $10, a BNWT Diesel cardigan ($600 original price) for $20 and a vintage Japanese dress for $50. And all that was on just one occasion, and for a person who is fussy and sized to not normally find anything at a market.
How the market manages to get such high quality is unfathomable and yet high quality they certainly have. It was surprising to see the standard consistently upheld by each and every stall holder. Even those selling imitation items were quick to point out what was the real deal and what was knockoff which means you always know what you are getting.
Some stallholders are selling off 'old stuff', others 'selling to buy' and many stallholders are vintage store owners who are there to connect with a new pat of the market. At the resent Take 2 in Malvern I regret not buying a vintage scarf from a man with an extensive range of vintage items who has a store somewhere, i only hope someone else is loving that vintage Pucci by now.

Tips for the Take 2 Markets:
Go early. They don't begin at an obscene time and it is worth getting first pick.
Talk to stallholders, they will help you a lot.
Get contact fro anyone who offers it, this will help you avoid non-buyers remorse.
Wear as little as possible so that you can try on without a change room (and slip on (and off) shoes.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Party with Georg Jensen

The latest Georg Jensen ad campaign, with Danish singer Oh Land, makes the viewer feel as though they have just burst in on a fantastic, fairy tale, extravagant party. As is photographer Tim Walker's talent, he has captured a moment full of life and movement and energy. There is a language of gesture in this series of images; people in transition, a par de deux, a kiss about to be shared, a laugh about to escape parted lips... With these images comes the undeniable temptation to join in and so, when Georg Jensen beckons, you go.

On a rainy Tuesday night in Melbourne, the Collins st store welcomed guests to join the party and view their new collections. Guests proved their strength of will and enjoyed the welcome respite to view, try and buy the gorgeous new jewels.
The staff at Georg Jensen are superb, not only do they know all about their product but they are passionate about them and the company they work for. There is such a sense of fidelity amongst the staff, they feel more like family than coworkers and Georg is some benevolent Grandfather who likes to ensure all his family (and their many friends) are having a nice time.
With delicious canapes and champagne to sip, it's hard not to be drawn into this happy family event. The store itself is sleek and modern but still feels so intimate, with dedicated spaces for styles and themes the sense of the room one peeks into in the ad campaign is found again in store. It was more surprising that there wasn't an open fire with matching sleepy dog than if there had been such was the intimate nature of the night.
The jewelry, of course, was incredible and leaving those sad orphans behind was the hardest part of the night (although, I must say, one new archive necklace will find its way home to me soon). The striking thing was that the archive pieces from the 1950s look just as contemporary, relevant and modern today. Trying on pieces designed to be work with tea dresses work with a leather jacket and gladiator heels. The timelessness is what has makes Georg Jensen such a relevant designer today. The pieces are heirlooms for and of every generation, to own them is collect past and future history.

The homewares simply can't even be mentioned such is lust they inspire, to imagine a table laid with Jensen pieces is a picture of perfection in elegance and style. A Jensen vase carelessly stuffed with wildflowers is a quintessential modern image and is just how is should be used; with love and respect but integrated into your life.
Visit Georg Jensen and enjoy the world they offer, you will never want to leave.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Shopping Craving

Does anyone else ever get the urge to shop? Not even knowing what you want to shop for, not that it even really matters,
 I had this experience just last week. I wanted to go to my local shopping centre and shop, for what I didn't know, nor did I care but I wanted to buy something.
A girlfriend of mine will often say at the end of a day's shopping that she wants to finish the day off by going home, dumping all her purchases out and rolling around on her new stuff. Such is her level of consumer joy and the anonymity of her purchases. It doesn't matter what they are, she reduces their status by dumping them out on the ground and then, diminishes it even further by referring to it as 'stuff'.
Much research has been done about the neurochemical 'high' experienced when shopping, our primal hunter-gatherer instincts are fulfilled and we release chemicals to reward ourselves for providing for our pack back in the cave. Except, I'm not sure too many cave dwellers need Chanel. The fact that I want it seems immaterial at the time and even less so when I get it home. The fact is, shopping fills a hole in our lives. I have worked very hard to get myself out of debt after being given a credit card much too young with a much too large limit. I confided this to a friend once and her reply was simply 'Why were you so unhappy?' The fact that maybe I was unhappy, or that I had filled a hole with 'stuff' rather than dealing with the issue had never even occurred to me.
Most men like to shop alone, while women prefer to do it is groups. I myself, prefer to do it solo. Partly, so I never have to hear the cost said out loud with witnesses present. I do then love to post my shopping on my Instagram feed and have all the lovely feedback role in. There is more positive reinforcement in that which is another layer of reward; getting 'likes' from friends, fellow bloggers and even total strangers is oddly satisfying. It says 'Yes, you should have bought that.' and it feels great.

And then there is online shopping...

Shopping without leaving the house or office, sometimes, without even getting out of my pyjama's. I love Net-a-Porter. Since I first discovered it there has not been a day since that my wish list has not been well stocked. Some days I transfer it all over to my Shopping Bag and then talk myself down off the ledge. Some days just putting in in my Shopping Bag is enough of a shopping rush that I don't even consider buying it.
Similarly, my Amazon lists are off the charts. In terms on online shopping my habits are a little different. when there is something I really want to buy I watch the Australian dollar against the given currency more avidly than a stockbroker and when the time is right I pounce.
The pleasure from the moment of purchase to arrival is untold.
I track my order twice daily.
I let the receptionist know to sign for it and get quizzed about what it is.
I get eh call to come and collect it.
I get to open it with my colleagues, we gush together.
I get to take it home and try it on.
I get to do the 'big reveal' to my partner.
It's magic time for about a week. Just slow unfolding pleasure.

But, that's just it isn't it? It's pleasure. Either immediate, across a week or even longer. Pleasure. Making me feel good and giving me a new something to love.

Friday, 11 October 2013


Recently, for the first time in my life I had my eyebrows tinted. Prior to this experience I was totally paranoiid about ending up with two catapillars crawling across my face, staring every person I met in the eye and making me look a freak. I had red that French women have their eyebrows tinted two shades darker than their hair nad this made sense when you consider the number of french women who do not colour their hair but, rather, have long, lustrious locks of the colour they were born with. On the same dy I had my brows tinted I had also had my hair coloured, dark, for the first time in many, many years. I was inspired by  of Australian vogue and my hairdresser did a stellar job of giving me highlits under my top layer for a subtle effect.
The problem was, my hair was now so dark having my brows two shades darker was totally unimaginable. The beautician suggested she start with a brown and then if it wasn't dark enough she would do it again in a darker shade. The first was certainly dark enough for me. The real revelation is really having brows for the very first time. Mine had always been quite pale and fine but now, they are dark and evident on my face. Many people have commented on my eyes or glasses since having them done and I have had to point out that it is  infact my brows that have changed.
I am still adjusting to my new look but I am certain I like it and will definately have them done again.

The above photos are: top: me without make up and below: me with make up and at eh bottome of this post me with make up and eyebrow tint. Please tell me your thoughts

The Bling Ring

If you are looking for a shopping spree for the eyes you need to watch The Bling Ring. When the expression 'Shop your closet' is used it tends to sound a bit trite but, if you're Paris Hilton or any of the other celebrities featured in Sofia Coppola's new film you probably really can.
The film highlights the level celebrity culture has reached with a group of teens wanting to be near celebrities, party like celebrities and have what celebrities have and it does this with a wonderfully simple technique - by glorifying them even further.
Coppola had the wisdom to not just fabricate the celebrity homes that were robbed but, to also put the celebrities in the film. Some of the victims of the notorious Bling Ring are known for their talents on screen, others are known for their ability to make headlines and sell gossip mags.

In particular, these celebs who are famous for being famous, are shown for being largely unaware of what they have and the need to protect it. Isn't it a wonderful metaphor for their lives. By camodifying their very existence, in no way could they have known the level to which they were letting people into their lives. Had Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian anticipated the level of scrutiny and criticism they would bring to themselves by making themselves known one must question if they would have gone down the path they did. Both women certainly seem to have accepted it and can live with it but, surely it is not always welcome or easy to accept.
Unlike a celebrity known for their singing or acting who are criticised for their skill in a field of entertainment, reality stars are critiqued for the way they live their lives. Multiple celebs have hitched their waggon to Paris Hilton in order to get the media's attention and the teens in The Bling Ring were doing the same thing; they became known for the celebs they were linked to. They were not with Paris on the red carpet but it was known by many that they had been in her home and this was both their making and their downfall.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Jackpot!

For anyone who has ever struggled to find a birthday gift for their partner, I have hit the jackpot. Every year I obsess about what to get my partner. I ask girlfriends, family, even my hairdresser for suggestions and amongst all that support I usually manage to come up with something pretty good but, this year, I outdid myself.
We have a little dog that we adopted from the pound about five years ago and we have always wondered what sort of dog she is. Almost every time we take her out someone will ask us what she is and everyone has their own opinion of what breed she must be. So, for my partners birthday, I had our dog DNA tested. Any vet can do it although it's best to pre-book so that your vet can prepare and have everything they need. The test itself is a simple blood test and it then takes 3-4 weeks for the result. So you may want to have it done early and get the results for the gift itself. The cost is no exorbitant and well worth it.
They say a dog is mans best friend and now the two friends in my life know a little bit more about each other. More than anything, the gift was really though out and tailored to my partners interests. Having a better sense of who his best friend is has made him so happy as did the fact that I though outside the box to come up with this gift. Because really, that is the most important thing.

Help! I need help.

People are quick to bemoan the evils of the Internet, to condemn the use of it as a playground for miscreants and deviants. All I can say is, they don't know what I do.

In the last week the Internet has taught me two valuable lessons. The first came earlier in the week when I finished a gorgeous Mozi candle. I have always hated throwing the glass votive candle holders away but they are typically so smudged with soot by the end that I no longer wish to keep them. In this instance the white porcelain had remained clean and struck me as a perfect toothbrush holder. The problem that remained was the residual wax at the bottom of the jar. That's where the Internet came in.
The solution was very simple and seemed all too easy but worth a try none the less. All I had to do was pour boiling water in, wait for the water to cool a little and the wax would pour out with it. Child's play. The greatest part was it really was that simple, it worked just as promised and I now have a lovely toothbrush holder courtesy of Mozi.

The second time the Internet helped me was preparing for an upcoming Crafternoon. I wanted to make friendship bracelets. Mostly because I love those brightly coloured wrist adornments, in summer they look so great with every outfit and in winter they have the power to lift your mood. I am always reminded of Elle McPherson who wears hers all year around, even with couture and it suites her personality and has become part of her style. Somehow it looks much better than the diamonds and pearls typically worn at these events.
So, I'm not a crafty person and growing up without sisters I never had someone to show me how to make these but now, I have a website that shows me 15 different styles to make  and I couldn't be happier. The Internet IS my big sister, she has shown me what to do in two important ways this week and I have wondered what people would do without her.