Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Friday: Don't Look Back in Anger

I am still meaning to provide my Polo style guide (I went to the Polo last weekend and spent a few solid 10 minute sets wondering what to wear), however I really must fill you in on the gossip of the day. Somewhat more important, yes?

As you are probably painfully aware, I had an icky break-up not so long ago. Of course I put into action my own constant advice re break-ups - including elements from the Ali-inspired Project Dignity - as well as some very nice new lipstick thanks very much and before I knew it, not only was I back on my happy little feet but I had ALSO scored myself a lovely new boyfriend. But we all already know that.

However. Today's little story is not about the nice new boyfriend. It is about the not-so-nice ex-boyfriend.

It is a fact of life that when you have moved on, your ex will somehow find a way to reappear and set you off kilter - whether in a minor or majorly catastrophic manner.

Oh, I'm smiling? Great timing for my ex to reappear!

And so it was,last Sunday afternoon as I stomped the divets on the polo field. Right in front of me was the ex. Whom I walked past in fits of giggles with my girlfriend. OF COURSE! Remember how dignified Vivian from Pretty Woman was when she was accosted by George (Seinfeld name I know, but that's all I can possibly know him as)? I was channeling that.

Later in the marquee, my lovely friends formed a human shield to ensure he didn't come near me (this was after I'd advised them there was no way in Hell I'd be going over to exchange pleasantries myself). So that was that. No speaking, and no real eye contact to speak of. And I was quite happy with that outcome, too.

Not surprisingly, the following day I receive the electronic equivalent of a bird shitting on my head: a seemingly innocuous email from my ex-boyfriend suggesting a catch-up. Surprising as I was blissfully unaware it was going to happen, highly inconvenient as I now had a mess to clean up, and with the potential (potential, folks - and not realised in this instance) to ruin my day. A bird shit on the head I tells you!

The email caused a flare-up of all kinds of rage in me. How DARE he? How DARE he not have the balls to come and say hello to me when he'd seen me? How DARE he think he could even intrude on my lovely happy life again, when he'd caused me so much goddamn angst and confusion! How DARE he throw the "friends" word around!

Obviously this was my first reaction. :o)

As we know, the basic premise of Project Dignity is to ensure that one maintains her dignity in the aftermath of either a break-up or other romantic mishap.

So obviously stabbing out a furious email response is simply not an option. And by the time I got over the initial indignation, I was over it anyway. I was into solid "fuck you" and "haven't you got a hide?" territory. And THEN I thought "eugh, can I even be bothered with this person?"

So what do we dignified folk do next? On the one hand, he doesn't deserve my time. On the other, is a 30 minute coffee the more dignified and mature response? A very firm: hello, nice to see you (kind of), hope you're doing well so that when we do bump into each other again (inevitable, I'm guessing) it isn't weird, awkward or nasty.

I don't want to stoop to gutter warfare, and nor do I wish to invite him in to my life. I would merely like it to be coolly pleasant. It was what it was, I felt how I felt and that is kind of that.

So. To politely coffee or to not politely coffee? That, my dignified friends, is the question.

Favourite Covers

Straddling the Seasons with Style and Aplomb

God I hope I spelt "aplomb" correctly... I also wanted to use "straddle" because it is such an evocative word. Whether it's good or bad is really up to your imagination, isn't it?

I read this fantastic article on transeasonal dressing, which I felt obliged to share. Because dressing between the seasons can be confusing, particularly when the weather is totally whack. One minute there's a bushfire blazing on the outskirts of town in dry heat, the next it's pouring with rain and you're contemplating a return to opaque stockings and wool. Tough. All your questions - and more! - answered below.

Swap Coats For Trenches

Pack away your heavy coats and invest in a light trench. It will be your all-weather saviour. Trenches have all the tailoring of your favourite winter coat without the extra weight. Slip it on over a dress or jeans and a t-shirt for an instantly pulled-together look.

Swap Dark For Light

Cream, pale grey and tan are great colour options for this time of year. The key to comfort is layering, so choose pieces that you can peel off and on. Try switching a black blazer for a neutral tone and layer it over a sleeveless shift or silk blouse to instantly freshen your outfit.

Swap Tights For A Tan

Time to lose the opaque tights. I know! Make the transition easier by using a fake tanner (the daily spray-on/wash-off blends are fantastic emergency options) or try a pair of new–season cropped, slim-fit trousers. This style looks best with a single-breasted blazer, silk blouse or mid-length trench. Dial up the colour with a pair in hot orange, fuchsia or cobalt blue.

Swap Boots for Sandals

Ankle boots without stockings work well with dresses all year round but it's time to swap heavier styles for peep-toe pumps or flat sandals. This means a pedicure. You can update your entire look with one of summers' hottest nail polish shades: neon yellow or pink, pale grey or creamy coffee.

All images courtesy of guest editor, Paula Joye.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blame It On My Youth

They say that youth is wasted on the young... And who doesn't entertain a bit of a Benjamin Button kind of fantasy every now and again? Or a mad dream that like Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray we can somehow stop ageing.

I never expected to be who and what I am at 30... But I love it! And I don't think I'd have it any other way... Although wouldn't it be wonderful if we could capture our essence, and be/look/feel like this forever? I really don't want to grow old!

Harajuku Mini

If toddlers could understand current pop culture and the adult world's current thirst for designer collaborations, they would be breaking out the bubbles (in their sipper cups).

Gwen Stefani - in partnership with Target - has announced her new range of clothes: Harajuku Mini. Targeted at those who can barely walk, the range is still sure to run out the door. In scenes that I imagine will be reminiscent of previous Target designer ranges (there's quite a few - Stella McCartney, Zac Posen, Josh Goot, Jenny Kee, Napoleon (make-up - which is an ongoing job), Bloom and Collette Dinnigan for underwear) - frantic shoppers (in this case, mothers looking to Suri Cruise-ify their kids) will no doubt be clawing at the doors - and website - of Target in a bid to secure some of the frothy, colourful, Japanese-inspired creations.

As a very niece-proud aunt, there is a chance I may join in the madness, although I do have a serious aversion to queuing up and snatching things from the hands of other shoppers. So we shall see.

The line launches in the USA from November 13.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blue Shoesday

After the bushfires from last week - which caused all that haze across Queensland - have lifted, we are lift with blue skies and strong sun. Hooray! In honour of the sky... Blue shoesday!
The last two pictures are from the Missoni Spring Summer 2011 collection. So beautiful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Use and Misuse of Social Media

Madonna has seemed increasingly deranged to me - what with her Donnie Darko-esque Louis Vuitton campaign, all those sinewy ,yoga-refined muscles crammed into all those leotards, and the bad press following her split with Guy Ritchie (which I suppose was the point from the Ritchie camp).

This little sequence of events actually makes me like Madonna a little more.

Ok. Yes. What a bitch! Given flowers and she's all ungrateful and stuff. But still kinda hilarious. When she was pulled up on this, this was her response:

Mwahahahaha! Evil woman. The bitch image is hence cultivated. Further.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Friday: Make It Stop

Maybe it's the dark moon... I'm not sure, but I'm the throes of a most distressing fat day/s, and there is nothing to be done about it! And I am feeling rather frustrated that my weekend is now so over committed, that I don't have time to do the absolute bare minimum I had hoped. I just wanted to read some of the latest books I'm picking up this afternoon (thank you, Book Depository!) in order to get over the scarring left by A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon which I finished last night. I also wanted to finish the organisation of the wardrobe. But it is not to be!

I can only deal with some of the engagements thrust upon me with a bit of grace and charm...

And then hope to escape some other time.

Happy Friday guys. I hope yours is exactly as you hope it to be! xo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest Editor: Stop the Melting Make-Up

Yeppers, you now know it is summer down-under. And aren't I glad about it! This evening I will be completing the all-important task of banishing all my winter clothes to Wardrobe Siberia in order that I may bask in the glow of open-toed shoes and flimsy dresses. Hooray!

An important summer consideration that must be addressed BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE is the issue of melting make-up.

I know I've mentioned excellent new product Panda Eyes before, but I think we should also keep in mind the expert advice of Zoe Foster. Oh how we love her! And nice work to Ally who totally stalked her in New York. THAT is what I like to see! Although I do wish you'd been able to speak to her to tell her about Project Romance doing the rounds! Where is it, actually? Do we know?

Anyway. These are Zoe's wise words on melty, summer make-up.


When I am Going Out, I don’t use my face cream under my makeup, but I definitely use primer. This is for three reasons:

1. Too much moisturiser and eye cream can make the makeup slide off, and get up into the eyes and smudge things and irritate. Also, it can make foundation appear to sit on top of the skin, rather than melt in all flawless like.

2. My face cream has SPF 30 in it, which is not required at night, and can make the face look washed out in photos.

3. I use a moisturising primer instead, (Napoleon Perdis AutoPilot – gawjus), which does a great job hydrating and more importantly, will keep my makeup locked into place, instead of sinking into my hungry skin.


I say this because I often see friends using their sheer, day-time foundation or tinted moisturiser at night, and then become surprised when it doesn’t last, or when the rest of their makeup becomes overly accentuated by comparison. I keep one more-coverage, stay-put foundation for night (Revlon PhotoReady or Becca Foundation Stick), which I either use solo if I really need a full face of makeup, (say, a theatrical, smokey eye and bronzed cheeks) or blend with my sheer, daily foundation (Bobbi Brown Luminous) if I am doing more of a bright lip, say. It not only stays there nicely all night, but it acts as a terrific canvas for all of the colour cosmetics to sit on and really let their true pigments come through. (Make sure you use concealer too, over the eyelids included.)


This is a simple move, but a very worthwhiley one. You don’t even need to do it with all of them, sometimes I can only be bothered to do the cheeks, because to me, blush is what makes me feel most ‘done’ when everything else falls apart.

If you want that slap to really, R E A L L Y last:

Apply liquid foundation – set with loose powder (once you’ve applied all your other colour makeup – ESPECIALLY – important if you like a dewy look, because they never last, sadly, and loose powder keeps the glow but keeps it in place, too. I like Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder very much)
Apply creme blush with fingers – set with similar toned blush on a fluffy brush dabbed on top
Apply creme eye shadow with finger – set with powder eye shadow. (I highly recommend this step. A lot)


I am enchanted with bright orangey-red lips very much while over here in NYC (no one does better bright lip work than NYC girls, I am convinced of it – I saw the most magnificent lilac purple matte lip on a Rad Girl with short dark hair and a smattering of freckles today, by gads it was exciting. It’s like a living Nylon magazine here), but as we are all too aware theredline, they are a shit to maintain. So, I always start by filling in the lips with a lip texta or stain (Max Factor Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint 07 – the top one – for a peachy tone; Revlon Just Bitten gothic for red) and then brushing on my lipstick with a lip brush over that. Really lasts.


You don’t need to bring your whole makeup kit out, and applying a full face after four vodkas won’t look too crash hot anyway, toots. A foundation stick that doubles as concealer (to cover spots and keep the undereyes looking fresh and clean), some cream blush to liven up pasty-drunk-face, eye liner to re-do and re-sex-up the waterline and your lip product is it, I reckon. And some perfume, obviously. It’s sex appeal in a vial, you turkey! Take it with you at all times!


I can’t say why, but for some reason, the less shots of tequila I have, the less rank my makeup tends to go. Weird, huh. The other night, at this dive bar in Brooklyn, I had – and I hope you’re not eating as you read this – a pickle juice chaser after my shot of tequila. It’s what we’re famous for, the bartender said as he poured me a shot of the vile brew. It’s disgusting, I said, secretly thrilled that it took away the sting of the tequila but hating the briney flavour. My best ever tequila shot – and ask for it if you remember next time – was with cinnamon in place of salt, and orange in place of lemon. Legitimately tasty.

The primer and the powder will make the most difference if you’re too lazy to do all of it.


Naturally, I do NOT agree with the final point re tequila.

Of course, if all else fails... Whack on some sunglasses.

Shoesday: It Be Summer

As is fairly usual for Queensland, we have bypassed Spring (same as we bypass Autumn) and launched headlong in to Summer. And it really looks like it's going to be a scorcher, as opposed to last Summer's paltry, rainy effort, which sent me in to hiding. Although this obviously means the opposite to floods - bushfires (which have already started and cast a haze over South East Queensland). Neither are good. But let it be long, searing days of summer heat - absent serious natural calamity and brimming with pleasures of the mind and flesh. And let all our dreams come true. Pretty please.

Gosh. Does that last little prayer make me a pantheist? Pantheism often makes so much more sense to me than all that God business. Which makes me feel a little guilty about hating the idea of the carbon tax (because there are better ideas out there!). Pantheism and karma.

Err... So anyway. Today's Shoesday is NO SHOES! Because it's summer. Yeah, baby, yeah!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kinda Scary....?

Happy Friday: Coffees and Nanna Naps

Oh, and a few parties. Dammit.

I am dying to sleep. I have been sick with a hacking cough for close to a month and all I want to do is get better! I can't exercise, I am loathe to party too hard, and I'm racking up an immense credit card because all I have the energy for is internet shopping.

This weekend I shunt the new man off on holiday - which I'm kind of looking forward to. He is a night owl, and I - a devoted early bird - have been trying to be both night owl and early bird at once, and I believe this may be contributing to my not getting better. That, or I have whooping cough.

So while I will be showing my face at a few parties, it will be more about the catch-ups with friends. Coffee and/or tea depending on the setting.

And naps. Many, many naps. I hope.

The Letter D

This evening I'm participating in one of my favourite activities: a costume party!

HOWEVER. The party is for someone I don't know, this person being a friend of the new boy's. So while I generally make it my philosophy to dress as outrageously and/or skankily as possible (hey! you have to unleash your inner vixen every now and again, right?! I have waxed lyrical on this topic before, in fact), I also understand that social convention may require that I behave myself somewhat in order to get to know these new people - without alienating them with too much sluttiness or, worse, just generally being completely inappropriately dressed for the event. This is actually my worst nightmare, and was beautifully illustrated in Bridget Jones' Diary.

She did rock out her outfit, and she did do it with as much dignity as possible... Yet we all know that she was socially ostracised for the duration of the party.

The party is themed "D". I abhor "letter of the alphabet" parties. They symbolise (in my mind) rather significant narcissim (you shall all come dressed as something beginning with the first letter of my name! Oh, ok... You may come along as me - in fact: that's exactly what I want! Show me how you see me) and a complete lack of creativity on the part of the person choosing the "theme". I much prefer a real theme, but I obviously had no involvement in the planning of this party, so I can merely sit judgmentally (and in silence). I do hope - after this rant - that none of you readers have had a "letter of the alphabet" party. If you have, I'm glad I wasn't invited. :o)

Back to the matter at hand. The letter D. Originally I had a million different ideas, but eventually settled on Dorothy of Oz - primarily because I already own red shoes.* It's like when you go racewear shopping: you're either trying to find a dress to match the hat you bought yonks ago which you love with all your heart and have waited patiently to wear, or you're trying to find a hat to match your awesome new dress. Rarely is it pulled off with much success because it's very hard to match trans-seasonal colours with each other. Amateur error.

As it was in the case of my costume hunt.

* Adorable gay man and style guru (for a while, anyway) Carson Kressley once memborably (in my mind) said: "My mother said that only little girls and whores wear red shoes". I say: "Carson, you (and your mother) are so wrong! Red shoes are delightful when done properly. And Dorothy was certainly one of the early pioneers.")

So I hunted down a blue & white check pinafore and puffy sleeved white shirt. And I came up with: (a) an obnoxiously expensive hire costume (no!); and (b) the porn star take on Dorothy. I also discovered that stores no longer sell blue and white checked aprons, so I can't even try to do the craft, DIY version of Dorothy.

I have been forced to move on from Dorothy, as I was reluctant to fork out $80 for an event that others may or may not dress up for (I judge people who don't wear costumes to costume parties), nor am I prepared to look completely slutty** for a bunch of people I don't yet know.

So I have come up with Darlene the Diner Girl, based loosely on True Blood's Sookie Stackhouse - the ultimate in modern-day diner girls.

It's lame, isn't it? Although to my credit, she is being loosely combined with Frenchie from Grease.

If you can imagine that...

**I will be showing some cleavage: it's not all demure and boring. I have a "Darlene" name tag, a tray, a pink scarf and pink apron, purple wig and some of those crazy pink glasses from the era. I really need some rollerskates, but don't like my chances of staying upright. I have a hot pink push-up bra and a skin-tight white t-shirt.

Seriously. The things we do for love: wasting an opportunity for flashy tackiness? Unbelievable!

Shades of Black ... Swan

“…She was forced to grow up quickly, under a cloud of disapproval and casual violence (‘My mother was, shall we say, very hands-on,’ she says, drily). The mother, a Hungarian, was ambitious for her daughter to achieve success, first with ballet (cut short by illness), then later as a swimmer (scuppered by a foot broken while skiing with a boyfriend). An ex-dancer herself, Carmen’s mother was not pleased with the way her daughter was shaping up, and never lost an opportunity to demonstrate her displeasure. ‘I was a sad child,’ she recalls. ‘I just wanted her to love me.’ But life was hard. ‘We were so poor that my mother would often leave me in a foster home until she could raise enough money to rent rooms for us.’ Modelling helped them out of poverty. When little more than a girl, Carmen was earning $60 a week (equivalent to about £600 now), putting herself through private school, paying for her own orthodontic braces and secretly subsidising her adored father, an Italian violinist, who left home when she was small….”

Carmen Dell'Orefice - the oldest model in the world at 80 years of age - is truly fascinating. Here are some highlights from her career:

* She did her first Vogue cover when she was 16 (and earned just $7.50 per hour for her troubles!)

* Despite modeling, Carmen and her mother were poor. They had no telephone and Vogue sent runners to their apartment to let Carmen know about modeling jobs. She roller-skated to assignments to save bus fares. Carmen was so malnourished that photographers had to pin back dresses and stuff her body with tissue. Carmen and her mother were also accomplished seamstresses and made extra money making clothes.

* She was Salvador Dali's muse

* Her love life was a disaster: her first husband collected her weekly modeling checks (by this time she was earning $300/hr) and only gave her $50 from them; her 2nd husband dumped her when she quit modelling; she had one other marriage which ended after 9 years... later in life another fiance (4th hubby in the making) died before they could walk down the aisle

* On July 19, 2011 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of the Arts London, in recognition of her contribution to the fashion industry

* In the 1980s and 1990s, Carmen lost most of her money in the stock market. She was forced to auction off her famous modeling photographs from the 1940s-1980s through Sotheby’s. She again lost all her money after being swindled by the reprehensible Bernie Madoff just a few years ago.

Proof that a fabulous bone structure will keep you beautiful well past your youth...

Key to her lasting beauty is "self-discipline ... stay out of the sun ... not smoke ... not over-drink ... life in moderation - balance". If she gains a few pounds "you better believe I'll skip a few meals." Listen more here.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

J. Crew Women @ NY Fashion Week....

... is beyond fabulous. Makes me think... Please someone (aka current employer) make me redundant so I may take the clams and move to New York in time for the next northern hemisphere's spring/summer. Because THAT is the plan!

Some of the lovely new colours we're seeing for spring/summer (and even currently in stores here in Oz as new season clothes spring up on clothing racks) are pops of neon - mainly yellow, whether in a strong yellow or a more lemon-y sorbet-y type deal-io.

Pretty, huh? I really like this trend. I think the key to success is not to go too mental with the other colours you wear (which should be fairly muted in tone - muted silvers, whites, nudes... black will be too stark), and not go top-to-toe neon. People will get motion sickness looking at you. A lovely tan also helps...

Colour blocking is also huge. HUGE! A few stripes and a fairly unobtrosive print here and there is also allowed, but really I think the SS collections are saying that colour blocking is to be our new favourite pastime.

I would also like to announce that the colour green is having a moment.

J. Crew Man - Purely Gratuitous

I love men's fashion. And I love when hot men are nicely dressed. Thank you, J. Crew (and New York Fashion Week).