Monday, October 27, 2008

Diva, Viva & Fifa

A friend of mine is currently visiting Hong Kong and we trekked out to Citygate - a mecca for outlet shoppers - for some much needed retail therapy on the weekend.. there she shopped up a storm at Diane Von Furstenberg and bought a few things including an amazing red coat and a pretty floral wrap dress (the style that DVF is most famous for). She has now become a huge fan of DVF!

Having been an admirer of DVF for a while (Lorelai wears a lot of DVF on the Gilmore Girls) I was very pleased to discover today that DVF has joined forces with DC Comics to launch the Adventures of Diva, Viva & Fifa. This comic book features 3 heroines wearing DVF clothes who are channeling their inner super hero to become 'wonder women' and achieve success in their daily lives. How cool!

The comic book and some other merch including T-shirt and bag are currently on sale at DVF boutiques and online.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Friday

Hello friends. I miss you guys. :o)


One of my favourites, Gwyneth Paltrow, has started a new blog called GOOP and it's all about 'nourishing your inner aspect' - i am not sure what that means. But from what i can gather it will be all about Gwyneth giving us her favourite travel, food, fashion and health tips.

At the moment you can only subscribe to a weekly newsletter but I believe it will be launched officially shortly. The latest newsletter arrived in my inbox this morning full of yummy recipes. The tuna sandwiches sound particularly divine!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here in sunny Queensland, we don't really have a change of seasons - it's either summer (my enduring favourite) or it's "winter", which to northern hemisphere folk is similar to their summer (except those in the Middle East - they've got summer sorted out there in the desert).

Perhaps it's my orb-obsession (i.e. the sun - catch up!), but yellow is one of my favourite colours, and nothing pleased me more recently than to see yellow dresses on the red carpet at the Emmy's recently held in the US, and to see several yellow dresses appear in the Sydney Morning Herald's shortlist of iconic red-carpet dresses.

Mellow yellow? I don't think so!

Becki Newton, Mariska Hagarty and Teri Hatcher at the Emmys
- Don't forget your tan in a can

Reese Witherspoon and her iconic yellow dress (don't forget it was an iconic moment also - Reese had just announced her impending divorce from whats-his-name and she was expected to show up either radiant or in rags looking miserable - lucky she chose radiant ... if not a little smug):

She also had great red shoes with this dress, but alas - not in the shot!

Renee Zellweger also made it onto the list in this little sorbet number, however frankly I think she needs a sandwich and someone to fix up that hem for her:

None of the Emmys girls wore red lipstick with their dresses, however I do love red lipstick with a yellow dress. I suppose a red carpet suffices, though... A tan really is the essential accessory to a yellow dress (compare Renee with Reese). Who better to show off a glorious tan, healthy body and fabulous yellow dress than Australia's own glamour-puss, Miranda Kerr? Here she is rocking yellow and white at the Caulfield Cup this Saturday just gone. She looks just like a glass of lemonade on a hot day - fresh, sparkling and effervescent.

The shoes are a tad Minnie Mouse, but somehow, it works.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Right On Target

I do love clever marketing folk.

Target has scored another bullseye with its latest additions to the Designers-for-Target program. After looking to revitalise Target's image as something other than the place to buy cute Bonds underwear and kids' clothes, Target borrowed Marks & Spencer's strategy (circa 10 years ago and borrowed by many more since - H&M with Kylie and Madge, TopShop with Mossy etc) and dove into commissioning a designer range to appeal to the cashed-up-price-savvy female market in the early 2000s. Designers to date have included Stella McCartney (who caused shopping mayhem and some of the most ridiculous frenzied shopping activity Australia has ever seen), Zac Posen, Josh Goot (underrated I thought - I bought a couple of pieces and love them still) and Collette Dinnigan (with her Wild Roses lingerie collection which is updated regularly and is absolutely gorgeous). Now Target is looking to diversify and use the same idea in different areas of the store: Jenny Kee with a typically bright, cheerful, colourful and distinctively Aussie-looking homewares range (including bean bags, prints for the wall, vases, bedspreads - you bloody name it!) and Napoleon Perdis with his "Set" range of make-up.

The Napoleon Set includes the Glam Set, Rebel Set, Jet Set and Vamp Set looks for the discerning female face. It all looks pretty whiz-bang, but I have to admit to being a tad surprised by the pricing - it's not as cheap as expected, with prices only about $10-$12 less than the premium Napoleon range. No matter, cheaper is cheaper I suppose. As for Jenny Kee's range - it all does look delightfully fun, and so fabulously Jenny Kee. Jenny Kee is one of those women you wish you were friends with - she's from an ethnically diverse background, was designing with full-on colour when Australia was boring and bland as hell back in the 60s, ran away to London after meeting the Beatles (and shagging John Lennon!) in Sydney, has been through the extremes in life: racist taunts, survived the Glanville train crash, Italian Vogue, divorce, the suicide of a lover, but has always stayed true to her Australian roots. I also love the fact that Jenny Kee has been made accessible to wider Australian shoppers - it's not an exclusive item in her Flamingo Park Salon - it's Target! In stores Thursday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recession Blues? I Don't Think So!

Oh boo hoo... Everyone is crying, i-bankers are preparing to jump from their Wall St perches. We are in the grip of a bust, "recession" is screeched as alarmists don their gloomy faces, knitted brows (botox, anyone?) and sombre tones.

I for one think it's a good thing. Here's why:
  • Shopping gets serious - we savour making choices again, our maths improves as we consider the better bargain, we weigh pros and cons, save for special items and enjoy them more once we finally get them;
  • There's always a fashion-luxe-revolution rainbow once the storm blows over - oooh yes yes it all seems very blingy and must-have right now, but recent struts down the catwalk reflect the economic dip. Hurrah to nods to post-war, depression-time fashions (mmm... 1920s perhaps?). But wait wait wait with bated breath for the luxe revolution signalling the end of sombre, tenuous times;
  • Vintage boom - recycle recycle, play dress-ups at your local Vinnies and in the bottom of your mama's wardrobe;
  • Wardrobes globally sigh with relief - less shopping = less strain on racks, and less clogging of drawers;
  • Stay at home and kiss - man-droughts may end the world over (hmmm.. maybe just Oz) as the i-bankers who ran for the green(back) hills of London and NYC return home jobless;
  • Make friends at work - tearooms enjoy a renaissance as workers share a frugal pot of tea instead of that daily la-di-da latte;
  • People will be less porky-pig and more lean Wile E. Coyote - where govt policy makers and parents have failed, the combined financial pressures of the credit crunch and rising oil prices mean more people (that includes fatty boom-bah kidlets) are walking to school/work (oooh yes obvious environmental benefits);
  • Cherish the (simple) life - dept stores and toy stores report that in the lead up to Christmas longer-life gifts like Monopoly, Dominoes, Scrabble are purchased in favour of the usual play-it-once-lose-interest, bells and whistles toys/games;
  • Embrace the vege patch & flower garden - play in the yard, make your own, build your own, throw dirt. Do it in spades.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dexter: Takes Life. Seriously.

I'm a discerning viewer - in fact, so much so, I don't even watch TV. I'm currently enjoying an obsession with Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD. It's really the best way to watch TV. Latest show I want to find the DVD box-set for - Dexter.

Dexter is based on a novel (Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay), and is focused on Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall - what's with the C?), a serial killer who works for the Miami Metro Police Dept as - what else? - a blood spatter analyst.

So. Who is Dexter? What's he all about? Dexter was orphaned at age 3 (and naturally has a secret, which is traumatic), and adopted by a Miami police officer who early on saw what a blood-thirsty fiend his adopted kid was. Instead of organising some therapy sessions, daddy teaches Dexter to channel his passion for death into the more palatable activity of killing people who deserve it (I wonder if Dexter would do a number on my very deserving ex?).

Dexter gets himself employed as a blood spatter analyst for the cops. Much work is done by Dexter's dad to teach Dexter to be "normal" and to have feelings and to be seen as a socially responsible adult - these teachings are known as the "Code of Harry" (similar to ART, but I suppose more sinister). The Code dictates that Dexter's victims must themselves be killers who have killed multiple times without remorse, and Dexter must have proof they're 100% guilty before he wields his axe. So far, so good. Then there are all the other characters, who I'm not so interested in.

Dexter of course, becomes a cult hero figure in his home town of Miami, as the town realises the "Butcher" (as the press dubs him) is killing other killers. Without further ado, a comic book character is created based on him. Excellent. I have always wanted someone to make me a comic book character since Seth made one for Summer on the OC... A sure sign of success in the cool personality stakes.

Dexter has of course attracted its fair share of controversy - after all, we're hoping Dexter sorts his stuff out without being caught, and it seems ok to get rid of bad guys off the streets in his unique way. But he's a serial killer! And that's where the irritatingly socially aware do-gooders get their knickers in a knot. Dexter has also been talked about for it's very cool marketing campaign:

In the UK, an SMS-based viral marketing campaign was conducted, with unsuspecting phone owners receiving the following text message:

Hello (name). I'm coming to the UK sooner than you might think. Dexter

Some time later, an email was sent directing the user to an online video "news report" about a recent spate of murders. Using on-the-fly video manipulation, the user's name and a personalised message are incorporated into the news report – the name written in blood on a wall by the crime scene, and a personalised message added to a note in an evidence bag paraded past the camera. I loves it!

In the USA, Series 3 was launched by a guerilla marketing campaign, with fake pop-up news stands in heavily trafficked public spaces in major cities across America - New York, Philadelphia, LA, Chicago and San Francisco. The stands featured Michael C. Hall on mock covers of high profile mags (Rolling Stone, GQ etc), plus chocolates etc wrapped in blood-red packaging. The stands appeared on the weekend coinciding with the airing of the first episode of season 3. For season 2? Custom-made fountains spurting fake blood. Gotta love good advertising.