Friday, August 29, 2008

The Edge of Love

Have you noticed all the florals in the shops lately? If you haven't, you're head is firmly in the sand or you have a vision problem. The retail chains have been churning out to tea-dresses and winsome, floaty pussy-cat bow blouses inspired by Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller's star turn in The Edge of Love - based on the relationship between poet Dylan Thomas, his wife Caitlin (Miller) and Dylan's childhood love, Vera (Knightley). The film is set in war-time Britain, where Vera is unveiled in the opening scene singing Blue Tahitian Moon in a bunker in the tunnels of the London underground.

A little cartoon-like, but as always Knightley is stunning - if a little starved.

The film has been criticised for being flimsy, convoluted, confused and a play on the truth (apparently Vera never had a sexual relationship with Thomas). I'm not entirely sure historical accuracy was quite what the film was going for. It is beautifully shot: variously in bomb-struck London (where the love affair between Vera and her husband - soldier William Killick (played by cutie Cillian Murphy) commences; and then at Cardigan Bay, Wales ,where Thomas' need to have Vera as his own intensifies.

Vera is soon picked by Caitlin as "one of those girls" - she who never stops loving her first love.

The study of the friendship - and ultimate betrayal - between Caitlin and Vera is fascinating. It's amazing to see the closeness - brought about first by both girls' mutual feelings for Thomas - ultimately ripped apart by Thomas himself. Matthew Rhys is a great Dylan - simultaneously charming, vulnerable, cruel, ungrateful and taking all he can from both his loves. Sienna is unrecognisable as Caitlin - I must admit to a new level of respect for her after the film (quickly got over that given her home-wrecking activities of late) and Keira is wonderful as Vera. As an interesting side note, Keira has commented on her sadness following the end of filming because she no longer sees Sienna despite their closeness during filming and promotional activities. Like "ships passing in the night". The trauma of war is vaguely demonstrated, but given how central that is to the events later in the film, perhaps there could have been more of a depiction on that point - without being unnecessarily gory.

Back to the clothes: Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley are decked out in gorgeous 1940s style: first as hip young things with seamed stockings and finger-curls in war-ravaged London, and later rambling the heaths of Wales in floral tea-dresses, chunky knit cardigans and high-waisted pencil skirts. My god it looks freezing there! The girls splash around in wellies and florals, warmed up with a woollen pea coat and knee-high socks - red lips in tact at all times. It's a fabulous look, but alas - a one season wonder I'm sure!

It's all about the friendship. Sadly, sharing husbands isn't the done thing in Western culture

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rock Chick Chic: Treggings

Ok rock chicks, it's London Calling (yadayada - insert more UK related rock cliches here) - as Winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, attention turns to the winter wardrobe. This winter's staple is leather pants - as tight as possible, and hopefully with some dark, moody eyes, loads of gold chains and some crucifixes a la Madonna circa Like A Prayer. These babies are hot, and so tight they've been dubbed "treggings" - a hybrid of trouser and leggings, wound around your thighs in a second skin of sexy, taut leather. Hot. Speaking of hot, summer approaching the southern hemisphere and all, means we'll have to view this vanity-defying trend from afar. Pair them with some grubby Cons and rock-tribute T-Shirts and you'll be the perfect Agyness Deyn wannabe.

As with every fashion trend, there are rules:
  • Leather's like denim - don't double up. If you've got leather pants you do NOT need a leather jacket. No coordinated ensembles folks, we're not off to preschool!
  • If you're a PC, cow-hugging vegan don't even attempt to do this in vinyl. Gross. Just get some BlackRats from Sass & Bide.
  • Don't go dominatrix on us. It's totally passe. Truly.
  • Beware the muffin top. Keep your waist-length the right height for you and make sure your top covers any excess, flabby flesh - not many of us are Kate Moss.
  • Think about who you're channeling and don't get your leather goddesses mixed up - are you Sandy from Grease - the good girl turned semi-bad/super-sexy? or are you Alison Mosshart from the Kills - the uber rock girl?
Sandy or Alison?

I'm with the band, bitches.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


And I'm not just talking about what they're wearing!

What the hell? Is this the future of Saturday nights - playing with Surface* tables in clubs? Aren't blackberries bad enough?

*Allow me to explain: Surface is one of the gizmos from Microsoft which is a surface, like a coffee table, which responds to touch - meaning that you can dump your mobile phone or your camera or USB or whatever other techno thingy you have, and transfer the information from that device onto the coffee table, for all and sundry to see. I assume these things are wired to the Internet, so you can very quickly upload Saturday night photos to your Facebook or MySpace etc while Saturday night is happening. You can also order meals with them (this is already happening in US hotels) and just by dropping your credit card on to the table, you can pay for something. You can even split the bill, by putting 2 cards on the table, and dragging menu items onto the credit card responsible.

Last week, Sydney-based digital marketing firm Amnesia received two Surface test units, at a grand total of $10,000 each and stuffed into 125 kg packages.

Apparently, the Rio hotel (I have no idea where this is - I'm sure Wiki will tell us) has introduced these things and not only can you do EVERYTHING with them, you can also do more (how is this possible, you say? because even when we think we can do everything, we can always do more) - you can even flirt with the person across from you in the bar. I don't know how. Sending a message or something I guess - maybe there are table numbers, and you can send a flirty message to Table 4. With a ;o) of course. I mean - who wants to actually interact in person when you can be all that you want to be and more over a computer. Soon we will just cut and paste clothes onto our computer image icon, cyber sex will replace in-person sex, and the art of talking will be relegated to cave men - something we've evolved out of.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's very cool what technology can do for us, but studies show that as we become more reliant on technology in our daily life, we also gradually erode our ability to interact with others. I love a good email/text flirt as much as the next girl, but I don't think a message from the guy at Table 8 is exactly what I have in mind for my next Saturday night out in a cocktail bar.

Friday, August 22, 2008

If I had...

Perfect legs I would wear these Alexander McQueen shoes every third Saturday night of summer ...

I would wear these most Thursdays for business lunches.

Viva Bris Vegas

Despite Brisbane's status as small country town in the capital city stakes, Brisbane is still home to some fashionable lurks. We have the ultra-sumptuous Emporium hotel with its divine bar (and gorgeous, all-male wait-staff), the uber-cool Bowery and of course the dark, funky corners of West End - Sling Bar, Rumpus Room, U-Bar and Lychee Lounge to name a few. Not to mention my favourite little haunt, One Degree, in the CBD. The latest offering in cocktail savoir faire is Limes Hotel - recently opened by Damian Griffiths in Fortitude Valley (aka "the Valley").
Limes combines 21 guest rooms (pitched at the modern, independent traveller) with a roof-top bar (catering for the young, professional hipster with a taste for cocktails). The rooms are sleek pads featuring the modern essentials: big bed + sensuous linen, kitchenette with working bench space, free Wi-Fi , iPod dock, 32inch LCD televisions, L'Occitane toiletries (yum!), complimentary in room beverages (now that's unique!) and brownies on arrival - just like home.

Fancy a sleepover of another kind? If you find your feet too tired to make the trundle out to a cab line, or you've found someone in the rooftop environs you'd like to get to know better, you can book a room for $99 after the dawn of the Witching Hour. Add to that the open-air cinema, currently showing cult '80s film classics, and you'd just about want to live there!

I Thought I Knew

When a girl marries she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one
- Helen Rowland

What a horrid thing to say. Maybe it's true, but who wants to admit that fact as you set your sights on a stroll down the aisle, as you begin to plan one of the happiest days of your life? No matter how many times your heart has broken, or how many times you feel you will never trust again, I know that in the end we will always have love. Or we will always search for it - and that quest in itself is so exciting. Surely smoothing away the sharp edges we erect around our heart is worth it? This morning I was listening to Love by John Lennon as I read this quote. I think John, although a tad rambling and yes a tragic hippy, got it right.

Love is real, real is love
Love is feeling, feeling love
Love is wanting to be loved
Love is touch, touch is love
Love is reaching, reaching love
Love is asking to be loved

Love is you
You and me

Love is knowing we can be
Love is free, free is love
Love is living, living love
Love is needed to be loved

So I will forget that my heart feels like a shrivelled dirty sock, and I will forget the past and remember that before I can be loved again, I need to love again first.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Flap

I'm in open plan hell... I'm so sick of desks and computers and wind and cold. I wish it was summer and I was sitting outside cooling off with a glass of lemon squash after a game of tennis. This wish reminded me of one of my favourite books (primarily for the era in which it's set, and for the trivia piece that it was first published on my birthdate in 1925) - The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby was turned into a film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. The two of them are absolutely divine in the film. Robert was dressed by Ralph Lauren, and you can really see from the 70s when the movie was made to today, how a classic outfit can really survive the vagaries of time.

Mia Farrow is stunning as Daisy

The outfits, more so:

And for today, occasionally designers delve back to the 1920s for inspiration, but not as much as I would like. Perhaps the 1920s are best untouched, I'm not sure, but it is odd that the Jazz Age isn't remade without more vim from the design world.

Spring 2008: Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, Christian Dior, Costello Tagliapietra, Daks, Rodarte, Moschino, Réyes, Roberto Cavalli and Yeohlee

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Newsbreak: Mimco Launches Shoe Line

Oh my LORD I'm so excited! One of my favourite accessories stores, Mimco, has just launched a shoe line! Mimco has for years delighted with its unique and quintessentially Aussie take on jewellery and handbags, with its fashion forward mix of nature's elements pearls, metals, leather and plastics blended into fun and practical items that live in your wardrobe forever.

Now, they have shoes!

As a stiletto lover, I'm definitely more drawn to the high heels in the collection. At $399-$450 a pop, you'd want to love the shoes. The main problem I see with them (and this is just from the pictures) the shoes are a little Witchery-ish, without the cheaper pricetag. We'll see how it goes, but provided Mimco can continue to design quirky, one-off type pieces with quality materials, I see this shoe line being as successful as Mimco's jewellery and handbag collections.

Lovable Glovables

Jenny, one of the contributors to this blog - who is yet to contribute (!!!) - is back from Tokyo for a quick visit. Japan is home to the quirky, and Jenny didn't disappoint when she brought back these crazy gloves as a gift:
Aren't they fantastic?! They're so soft and they feel amazing on - they don't have that strange "flock" lining which I have never, never, never understood. Having washed a lot of dishes and scrubbed a lot of stoves in my time, I know a good glove when I put it on, and these gloves are awesome!

These gloves are actually designed by Lindy Kummings, who started up the Glovables range in 2002. Lindy had spent most of her career in the property industry until she was struck down with a rare form of bone cancer in 1994. As a result of the cancer she lost parts of her hip and pelvis, leaving one leg shorter than the other. Not only that, she was told that there was a good chance she wouldn't survive the cancer. Bam! See you later cancer - she beat the illness, survived the chemo and the life-threatening operations. Putting her property career on hold, she started to think about what was important to her: and that was cooking and cleaning. Ok, no that's not true. She just decided to make cooking and cleaning more fun, so out came her designs! Check out the aprons! Adorable!!
Can someone explan the "half-apron" to me? Don't you spill most things on your chest? Like the pot bubbles and spits at your white business shirt? What purpose does the half apron serve?

Regardless of functionality - these things are cute!

You know you've struck on to a great product when the Chinese start ripping off your designs. There are apparently lots of copies of Glovables floating around. Don't be fooled! Buy the original, because Glovables has now been rolled into Grandway Honduras, a non-profit organisation which provides economic opportunities to children and women in Latin America. One of the initiatives of Grandway is a sewing factory in (you guessed it) Honduras. From the website, I gather these people are not being exploited, and that work and pay conditions are better than the countless sweatshops you'll find in Latin America. I hope so because they make some damn fine gloves there - they deserve to be rewarded!
And what of Lindy? In 2004 she was diagnosed with breast cancer - which she survived - but she rolled Glovables into Grandway Honduras so she could concentrate on design rather than design and running a business. You go girlfriend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I don't get it...

Now most of you know I am quite a fan of Katie Holmes and her style but... what has she been doing lately?

I get that she is a working mother and some days you don't feel like making any effort but then even when she does lately (see photo above from the premiere of tom's latest movie a couple of days ago) it even looks bad! she has some ratty looking hair cut now plus I am sick of seeing photos of her with her jeans folded up as well.. hem them or cuff them properly lady!

what's happened to her?
This is her in the good days...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow: Not In A Good Way.

This website just freaked me out.

This is so strange - so strange that a female would want to buy from another female a gift that was given to her by someone who once loved her, and no longer does (or if they do, it's totally unrequited - clearly!!). Isn't eBay enough? Do we have to publish the origin and the sad story behind the trinket? Isn't that like passing on a relationship curse? Is this really moving on?? Romance is dead to me today!

A Million Burning Kisses

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

So wrote Beethoven to a woman history forgot. Beethoven's love letters were found in his desk after his death, never addressed and never sent. It is thought now that his beloved was a married woman... Cad!

Sex & The City resurrected my interest in love letters when Mr Big quoted part of Beethoven's love letter to Carrie on their wedding day. Swoon! SATC also created a hole in the market - the book from which Big read - Love Letters of Great Men - was a fictional prop. Quick on its toes Pan MacMillan, like wonder putty on rental inspection day, saw the gap and quickly filled it after countless book-lovers searched their favourite bookshops for Mr Big's book.

But I wonder... Is the love letter dead? Is it relegated now to what is essentially a history book? I was recently on holiday and discovered the pleasure of writing letters again (OK, postcards - but I wrote a lot, and combined they would have amounted to a decent length letter. And there's no cut & paste in the world of letters - it was all original material). You often say things in a letter that you would never say out loud.

In highschool, I had 4 pen pals. I adored receiving mail, seeing people's handwriting, and the different stationary people use. I used to have a boyfriend who sent me love letters. Somehow the feelings were more intense and honest when they were expressed through ink and paper, rather than a thoughtless email. How much effort do we put into an email versus a love letter? In this instant gratification world of text messages and email, will we ever write love letters to each other again? Some emails from past loves I've kept, but not many. It's so easy to delete and wipe them from memory, but cards and letters I will never throw away. Perhaps that's why we don't commit things to paper anymore - maybe modern lovers are too self-conscious to commit things to paper, and too frightened to vocalise in an enduring way our feelings.

As a naughty girl poking through my mother's cupboard, I discovered love letters from one of her old boyfriends - not my father - who was fighting at the time in Vietnam. The story of what happened between them is amazing, and the expression of his feelings as a soldier involved in such a controversial war is irreplacable. I would never know their story (or realised that my mother had other boyfriends apart from my father!) had I not discovered the letters. One day, I think I'd like someone to stumble across my love letters and ask me the story behind them. But who will be interested in sweet-nothing text messages and emails?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Making the Mundane Fun

Shopping in new places always wakes you up to new labels, particularly in these times of internet shopping and blogs where you can sometimes feel like you've seen it all before.
Poking through the boutiques in Fremantle, Western Australia recently, I discovered two labels I hadn't paid any attention to before - Cath Kidston ( which is actually stocked in Peter Alexander; and Pylones of Paris. Both brands have used fabrics, concepts or art to turn basic housekeeping tools into fun little implements that are guaranteed to make you smile.

Cath Kidston is very English, with loads of roses and liberty prints to satisfy your most die hard Jane Austen reader. Her pieces are given a modern edge with bright colours, and extra details that make you want to go that extra mile when you boil the kettle in preparation for a nice cup of tea and a sit down...
Speaking of tea - these tea cups and tea cosy are ridiculously cute!

And what's more English than a pair of Wellies? Glastonbury Festival anyone?

Cath hasn't forgotten the children either... The fine tradition of high tea is established early here.

The Pylones of Paris range (I realised when I saw these little gems we have a Pylones vegetable peeler in our house! I hadn't know what it was previously) is a little more fun, with cute designs for the most boring of tasks...

Exhibit A - The dust pan&broom. Remade to Cinderella & Prince Charming.

No longer the realm of grey nomads and 70s road trips... The thermos revisited.

The lady grater.
Vege peeler (so obvious in hindsight)

Last but not least, the robot timer. Robot does the samba and sings when your time's up.


It's that time of every-4-years... The Olympics! It's a time for patriotism, a wish for better coordination, and a desire for the muscle tone of an athlete.

Here are some gorgeous pics of Lucy Liu from US Harpers Bazaar to get you into the spirit:

Christian Dior Christian Lacroix



Armani Prive Chanel