Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Tim Burton really is the king of Halloween-type everything. Whether he meant to or not!

I was incredibly envious when Melbourne last year hosted an exhibition at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (developed in collaboration with the master himself) of over 700 of his gothically touching works, including paintings, drawings, puppets, costumes, storyboards and film. The exhibition came direct from MoMA in New York (double sigh!). The Centre is currently hosting an exhibition of another great favourite of mine - Margaret & David! (Of At The Movies fame! Did I have to spell that out??)

It's Margaret & David's 25th anniversary... While I want them to last forever, I would also really like to steal Margaret's job! See details of the exhibition here. Anyone off to Melbourne any time soon? You should check it out! Assuming your aircraft leaves the hangar, that is...

There's no cure. I know what my fate is.

There's a bit of a time commitment with these two videos (about 20 minutes in all), and I would suggest you watch this not at work - otherwise you'll be blubbing over your keyboard in view of your colleagues. I'm ordinarily fairly unimpressed with how the commercial networks deal with stories such as these - I find they seek to make you cry in a sort of exploitative kind of way, but you'll see that they've left the ham-fisting well alone here.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is an illness that is relatively enigmatic to the medical research community. Funding for important research is grossly inadequate (possibly due to the fact that at 1400 diagnoses in Australia per year, it's not as high profile as other terminal illnesses), and as a result, we are still some way from a cure for this impossibly cruel disease. MND is basically a degeneration of nerves in the body which results in a loss of muscle function. The mind is not affected, meaning sufferers retain all their senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) and their intellect is not impaired in any way. The progression of MND throughout the body varies, however it is terminal, and sufferers usually have between 3-5 years of life from initial diagnosis.

5-10% of cases are familial, with the remaining 90-95% caused by reasons unknown. Only further medical research can identify causes and, hopefully one day, a cure.

My mum's mum - my grandma - died of MND. It attacked her hands and arms first, which was so awful as she was an artist. We have half-complete paintings of hers hanging on the walls at home. Eventually, she was hospitalised for care and she soon passed away. I was only a toddler, so never knew her. Mum lost her mum far too soon. It makes me sad whenever I think about it - and it honestly is a lot.

Each year, I donate to MND research. It takes a little more effort than making a donation for, say breast cancer (which it's basically impossible not to donate to: it has an entire month of fundraising devoted to it, and significant mobilisation in the corporate world behind it with packets of Tim Tams, bottles of water, wash-your-car gloves (I have one) and pink ribbons etc for sale on every street corner it seems). While I wouldn't say not to donate to other charities, or that one form of medical research is more important than another, I suppose we take on a cause as our own - often for fairly personal reasons (or, you simply like the pen).

In my own quiet way (and now blogged about... does that make it quiet? I suppose not), MND is my cause. The 1400 Aussies who are diagnosed each year, and the 12 Australians who die per week of this illness would be most grateful if it became your cause this year, too.

You can donate here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saying Au Revoir

As people who have navigated the sometimes calm, often treacherous waters of relationships, I'm sure we all know for certain one thing: we can never read the minds of our partners/dates/friends. Strangely, I can generally guess what my parents thinking... ;o)

You may remember my previous post that contained this simple message: When love gets serious, say au revoir to old flames. Full stop.

Of course, this is evidently my own view on things. No two people will share the same principles or opinions - and it's finding the balance between views that you're comfortable with that can make a relationship work. But if one person's view is so polar opposite on something that is quite important to you, I wonder how much difference of principle you can tolerate?

I can't read his mind... But I'm happy to perve on him!

So these are principles I'm talking - and it can be anything. If you have some serious rules for serious love, and your partner has wildly divergent principles - do you put up with it? Can it work? Principles (supported by sound reasons for their development), unlike habits, are things to hold on to, surely? Many things in life are shades of grey, but when there are things that are simply black and white - why complicate them by entering the grey zone?

Sometimes things are simply black or white

Spell It Out

Kate Sylvester AW12 The Secretary Collection from Garth Badger on Vimeo.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Friday: Early Halloween

It's almost the weekend!

As you know, I do love a good dress-up party. To celebrate a new home and new flatmate, Halloween is coming a week or so early to Brisvegas, as we warm the house... And hope not to have any deathly coloured drinks spilt on our lovely white carpet.

Brainstorming sessions have been held, and as we know, inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places ! I've decided on Black Swan (I found my pointe shoes in a box... It seems natural!). I'm trekking out to the outer, outer suburbs of Brisbane to find myself a tutu. I am horrified at the cost of 6 layers of tulle, so I feel my trek will be worth it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Amy Winehouse in Reverse

If you have time (6 minutes!) to watch this, it's really rather sweet. From drugs and psychiatric wards to music as redeemer, James Rhodes' story is awfully inspiring. Talk about following your bliss!

Note: James Rhodes is currently touring Australia. See dates here.

There's Something About Mary

Mary Katrantzou describes her Spring/Summer 2012 collection as "Man meets machine meets mother earth, an army of petal, metal, print". Inspired in part by American artist John Chamberlain's sculptures of crushed-cars, and melding pixelated mismatched prints with neat, structured design, function and form both win out in this latest collection.

The 28 year old Greek-born designer is on a rapid trajectory, with none other than ADR stepping out in her designs (as well as A-Listing fashionistas including Keira Knightley and Alexa Chung)and a collection for Topshop snapped off the racks earlier this year.

Her background as a textiles designer is gorgeously highlighted in the darling cocktail dresses of her latest collection.

Asymmetrical shapes, bright colours, mini lampshade skirts... What more could a girl want?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jak + Jil for Oroton

Check out more here. I love how this brand has reversed its fortunes!

Happy Friday: Belated Everything

Hey guys... Yes. It's late. I'm generally a solid (and reliable, in my opinion!) 15 minutes late to most things.

Anyway. If it was Friday today, I would have said: Happy Birthday to all my very many Libran friends! Seriously. There's a lot of you! Happy birthday. I love you all and miss the distant ones so much. xoxo

Many of you have now joined an elite club - the Dirty 30 Club. I am rather enjoying it, and all that pressure of turning 30 is off. We can all relax now - the next milestone is 5 years away!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Speaking of Books

Does anyone remember The Bride Stripped Bare? Which caused such a fuss in Australia, and resulted in the unveiling of Nikki Gemmel as the author - which caused much angst for her at the time.

I really enjoyed the book, didn't understand the controversy, and always hoped for more.

Well. For a change, one of my wishes has come true! Nikki Gemmell has a new book out - a follow up to Bride - called With My Body. Listen to her discuss it here.

Shoesday: The Traveller

Ah travel. It is truly food for the soul. I so wish I was headed somewhere exotic, or culturally decadent, or stunning in its untouched beauty. Alas, I sit at my desk and watch the Brisbane River, Brisbane's cultural precinct at South Bank and the ferris wheel spin. Not really all bad, I suppose. :o)

However, Ms Ali IS travelling, and she is doing the mandatory packing cull. I am notoriously bad at this, however I can give you some words of advice:

* Huge YES to the compression stockings for the flight. Not only do they aid in circulation, I have found that their ugliness can be cause for conversation with cute guys on the aeroplane. True Story. It happens every time (trick is to pull them on on the aeroplane, while cute male traveller is taking his seat - much humour and bewilderment ensues). Note that you need to be able to wear your delightful flat shoes with the stockings, so no thongs! (And frankly, when headed to Paris, no thongs at all!)

* Books - I finished A Visit From The Goon Squad a few weeks ago and it is wonderful! And it's the perfect flight book as it's engrossing, a rapid page turning read, and really should be read all in one burst. I'm also currently reading One Day (after seeing the film) and I'm loving it! Another page turner!

* Wonderfully pretty, soft, light-weight scarf that you can wear with anything. Meh. You'll probably buy one. However they're great for flights (if you're a cold traveller like me) and the perfect thing to have in your bag to keep you out on the streets of your interesting foreign city for longer. I am also oddly fascinated by observing the commute home from work of people in another city. Usually by then it's getting dark and a little cold... Cue scarf.

* Shoes. We need to talk about shoes. Because it's Shoesday and all. I always pack a pair of high heels and never wear them. I still maintain that you definitely need a pair! Whether you take them or buy them o/s is an entirely different matter. Remember you will be surrounded by Zara! And generally exciting other Parisian shops. So perhaps you'll buy a pair - you'll be on trend at a minimum. Best thing is, when you're back from your travels and someone asks where your shoes are from, you can breezily say "Oh these are just from Paris" and giggle wildly on the inside as you say it. Best feeling ever.

My main advice re heels is not to go for the uber skinny stiletto (if you're partial to them in the first place). They will get stuck in the cobbled streets, and the heel will wear down like a mo-fo. Go for something with a solid heel, soft leather and comfort. Kinda like these:

Too bright?

Also: flats. I don't think this needs to be discussed in detail. We always walk for miles when we travel, and comfortable pretty flats are essential. Please, no runners - we are not middle-aged folk on a coach holiday. We needn't look completely like a foreigner (our face and hair and accent will do this for us). Please be pretty.

Have a fabulous trip!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Do You Know What This Is?

Nail. Art.

Scary-arse nail art. Can you imagine having those things on your fingers? Talons, I tells ya!

Paris Week

Paris Fashion Week has just finished, so the blogosphere is alive with fashions from the streets of Paris. In other Parisian news, Lisa Curry Kenny's daughter is a dancer at the Moulin Rouge (Lisa considers the Moulin Rouge to be the Olympics of dance... not sure about that, but it is quite an achievement! Screw all those people who sniff down their nose at wearing a bejewelled g-string and high heels to work! PRUDES!); and Ali will be there in just over a week's time! Woot!!! I wish I was heading to Paris!

In order to live vicariously through Ali, and to (maybe) assist her in seeing what the peeps are wearing over there currently, here are some great shots of fashionable darlings as they sashay the streets of that lovely, croissant-lined city.

Of course, it is not a street style retrospective without a shot of ADR.

Really - she's so awesome. And those legs!

Hopefully Ali will find some delectable, well-dressed men in her travels:

These are my favourites: