Thursday, 25 September 2008

Waist of the time

Every season the same question - Where's the waist? Fashion editors are telling me to "Bring back the belt!.... this Spring/Summer its narrow, high and perfectly polished". Fashion TV are going with "wide low and super sleek". There's thick and studded, skinny and patent, high on the waist, way below the hip, metallic embellishments and faux skin. Hello complicated.
I figure the safe way out is to just wear one. I'm not sure where to place it exactly, what width it should be or what aesthetic constitutes this season. But from what I hear, we all need to belt up quick smart!  Cinch one high over a blazer or drape some leather low over a maxi gypsy skirt (ps. when did boho come back?). It seems if you're keen to make a major statement this season, add a belt (of any kind) and you'll bring instant fashion cred to any old outfit.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Random Emotional Setback

When I go through a break up I find the best possible way to deal is to avoid avoid avoid. If he drinks uptown I'm heading down. If we frequent the same gym I'm purchasing a tread mill. If he's Coles I'm Woolworths. If hes's Tesco I'm Sainsburys. There's no Ross and Rachel "lets hang out" scenarios here. You get the idea.

In saying so, I didn't cope so well when London Fashion Week decided to come to town. It was like my past reared its not so ugly head and I just wasn't ready for it. I wasn't wearing my best “run into your ex outfit” and I still hadn't lost that extra 3kgs that apparently reminds him of what he's missing out on.

I'd broken up with London a good 6 weeks ago. I'd been through the process. I'd cried, I'd packed my things, I'd had the painful goodbyes and will I ever see you again moments. I was over officially him. However, just when my new city and I were about to move onto the “not just a rebound but significant relationship” stage, LFW had to turn up looking better than he'd ever done before (how do they always manage to do that?). He took me by surprise. I just wasn't prepared for his grand return so soon. Everything looked so nice and shiny, like the new improved version. So edgy, trendsetting and of course so very British.

To cope with this return of the ex situation; I did what every red blooded, once heart broken female would have done. I splurged on an unnecessary item (tights in this case – I'm on a budget). Called my girlfriends for emergency happy hour cocktails. Drowned my sorrows and bored my support group with “why did I leave him again?” style questions. At least I didn't cut my hair.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Costume Department

I'm sure it never really intended to play such an important role in fashion history. Once upon a time it was only seen on Christmas Eve during a terribly drawn out ABC version of The Nut Cracker. Today, it's worn by toddlers worldwide at their fairy and goblin themed birthday parties. The most copied being the “soaked by a bus version” on the opening credits of a stupidly successful television series. It seems these days, if you haven't worn layers of tulle and tried to pass it off as a skirt you're not really 'fashion'.
Personally, I spent a good 80% of my upbringing wearing one (I have the toes to prove it). Therefore, have never been a huge follower in the real world. I tend to believe this soft, romantic, fairytale skirt has its place and that place is the stage. I admit, I was a fan of Carries tiered version but I've never had a hankering to replicate it. I've worn many petticoat versions under full skirts but never felt the need to expose them.
Due to my somewhat dramatic nature and love for quirky over accessorised labels such as Alannah Hill; I often find myself holding back with outfit choices in fear of crossing the line from outfit to costume. A red and white polka dot dress can look sweet; add a patent round toe Mary Jane and I'm getting paid by Walt Disney to have my picture taken with children. The tutu unfortunately falls into this 'costume' like category for me. In a conscious effort not to look like Swan Lake I have always opted to leave the tutu to the professionals rather than risk looking like an overweight version of Margo Fonteyn.
Today, however, in the snaps above, I've decided to push myself over the edge, cross the line and be a little bit crazy (said in sarcastic tone with jazz hands and major eye rolling action). Searching through the ballet cupboard, oh yes ladies this cupboard actually exists in my family home, I took the step, here's my best “tutu for the real world”- best keep an eye out for passing buses.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A project about an Australian runway

With 2 of the 3 finalists hailing from Queensland, there's no denying Brisbane is carving its own place in Australian fashion. Sunshine state resident, Lee Buchanan embraced rich royal blues and yellows, embellished brooch accessories and gorgeous embroidery fit for a Buckingham Palace ballroom.

However, it was neighbour, Juli Grbac (you heard about her here first!) and her self confessed "girly girl" dresses that won her the coveted crown. While judges were sold on the commercial viability of her frocks, I was loving her obsession with tailoring, fine fabrics and understanding of the female form. The wear anytime aspect of the collection was also ticking my box. I plan on investing in a few satin slips to be worn with opaques and pumps during the day and strappy jeweled heels come sun down.

This super feminine tiered number (grey, on model) was Julis star garment. I was also a major fan of the emerald and grape jewel coloured pleats that she injected into her show; giving the collection a little depth and shaking the muted pastels up somewhat. Look out for Julis spread in an upcoming edition of Madison Magazine. And if you're lucky enough to be involved in Melbourne Fashion Week, get yourself a spot at her show. No longer famous only for our enviable climate and big country town feel. It seems Brisbanites are putting their stamp on the style map, I have a feeling Grbac is just the beginning.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Kensington Gardens

The Peter Pan collar is back with a vengeance. I've been a fan since I was a girl (a small one; who didn't really want to grow up, but did). It now seems bloggers world wide are getting in touch with their inner J.M Barrie. If you don't have the patience for etsy or access to vintage fashion, I suggest you layer a round neck tight T over a long sleeved collared shirt (a small close fitting, flat collar with rounded ends that meet in the front would be best). Everybodies doing it (apparently).

Thursday, 11 September 2008

In a blaze of glory

Whether worn with jeans and a retro concert t shirt or over a floaty feminine maxi dress, the blazer always seems to pull together a look. High School saw me wearing an over sized moron blazer of sorts (fit wasn't high on the agenda at the uniform shop). I dabbled with major shoulder 'paddage' at my first job interview smack bang in the middle of the 90's. While last week, I gave way to the power of trend and added a tuxedo jacket to my already overcrowded wardrobe. 
I'm predicting SS08/09 will see the blazer grow some serious tails. I stole these from a family member who once loved a bit of hot shoe shuffle (let's hope he's hung up his tap shoes). I'm loving them casually with jeans and may attempt throwing them over a cocktail dress in the future. I admit, they're a risk and I could have missed the mark completely with this one. If so, I guess I'll be coming home with my tail between my legs (pun so intended).

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Here's looking at you kid

Today I'm in my home town. It's small - nice but small. My mother suggested a day out shopping, I said no. I explained I couldn't handle the small town staring "oooh look who's back". The small town gossiping "hasn't she put on weight". The small town looks "what on earth is she wearing?". My mother then sharply put me in my place. "They're not looking at you love, you haven't lived in this town for 12 years. They have better things to talk about than you, more interesting people to stare at and more scandalous people to gossip about. They don't even know who you are in this place". So I went, they didn't stare and I bought fabric. Lots of fabric. Lots of small town floral fabric. I'm not quite sure why. 

Monday, 8 September 2008

All wrapped up

For many years I've lived by the notion “if you have to tie it,  don't buy it”. It's quite a general, day to day rule if I'm to be honest. I accomplished the shoe tying skill a good year after my fellow class mates. I  still struggle to wrap odd shaped gifts and tie ribbons around them with only 2 hands. Let's not even start with my inability to use glad wrap successfully. Just imagine the level of fear involved with the terribly popular  “flatters every body shape” wrap dress. (Note to non dress obsessed readers: 99% of wrap dresses are made from jersey and of all fabrics this is the least forgiving. Making this iconic dress a triple threat. You have to wrap it around your person, tie it to the side and watch the lycra cling to last nights extra scoop of raspberry sorbet – c'mon, where's the fun in that?). In desperation, I once decided cut and quality could possibly be where my problem lay. Alas, not even a DVW could give these somewhat curvy proportions a pleasing silhouette.

Yesterday, however,  I was  convinced by my “wrap dress wearing friend” to once again try on the dress from hell. What a pleasant surprise. When I explained my woes to the sweetest store manager at Leona Edmiston (QP Bne) she explained, “the heavier the jersey (LE signature sleek jersey in this case) the more weight on the hem. The heavy hem then causes the dress to  fall down the body rather than stretch across it”.  I did a lot of smiling and head nodding having not a clue what she was on about. All I knew was that a discovery had been made, I was wrapped, tied and needed a lay-by form. Diane best watch her back, I think Leona's about to tap and unwrap her signature piece.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Everything old is new again

Trends come and go so quickly in this fickle world of fashion. One minute we all want to be sailors, the next Scottish dancers. Stripes, tartan, maxi, mini. One month our super skinnys are sitting below the belly button and the next we're pulling the wider leg option over our ears (exaggeration intended). So often I feel bound by the laws of seasonal trends. I need to become free of this as keeping up requires constant reading, watching and $$$$. The latter I most certainly am lacking currently.

Ironically the "old world" never really seems to go out of fashion. For some reason vintage (40 years and beyond) and vintage inspired can nearly always make an appearance, be respected and appreciated, even if it's not your thing. A slight nod to the bygone era (genuine article or reflective of our grandmothers wardrobe) and everyone is happy to pass it off as vintage rather than out of date.

Fashion week saw me prance around in this special number. A few observers commented "What a lovely dress - is it vintage?" "That dress is sweet, I bet it's thrifted and from London". Neither actually. It's Australian and brand spankin' new (no busted zips here ladies). It's just designed by a super smart lass who also agrees vintage never goes out of fashion and fortunately always seems to pay her bills.