Monday, February 25, 2013


Another big trend at the Oscars were the column gowns, showing off the perfectly gym-toned, meticulously dieted bodies of the celebrity world.

Anne Hathaway laying those pregnancy rumours to rest once & for all

See Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron below for more (with the sneaky addition of the train). Oh to have the discipline to not eat ice cream!

Train Station

One of the big trends on the red carpet was the train. Whether it was a column dress, a thigh-splitting A-line gown or a good old fashioned ball gown, almost every dress seemed to have a little (or large) train attached. As a woman hunting wedding dresses, I was most intrigued.

The thigh split + train was probably my least favourite take on the trend. Choose one or the other me-thinks. Somehow this two-toned dress with its fairly simple asymettrical accents had too much going on.

Cute couple coming through! (how adorable is a crooked bow tie? Ben Affleck knows the answer)

Ummm..... Bride alert! Jennifer Lawrence looked outrageously good

Another of my favourites - I have a thing for this shade of pink

Naomi Watts - another of my favourites... I can never choose but she is definitely in the top 2

Nicole - always a delight

Lady in Red

Jennifer Aniston look stunning in her red frock at the Oscars. I thought it was very Scarlett O'Hara-ish, and loved that she went for colour rather than her signature neutral palette or little-black-dress uniform.

I was also a big fan of her natural make-up (actually everyone on the red carpet was natural beauty-ish) and low-key acessories. The dress had a lot to say, let's face it!

Also rocking the red was super lovable Sally Field.

Monday, February 18, 2013

So Sad

This is Rihanna's latest single, Stay, and I just think it is so sad in light of the fact that she is back together with Chris Brown who (if you have been living under a rock) is a nasty piece of work who beat the crap out of her a few years back. And she just keeps on going back for more. Meanwhile - who knew she was such a good actress? Although something tells me she probably didn't have to dig too deep to find those feelings for this film clip.

Stay got me thinking about break-up songs, because this one just seems like a classic break-up song... At least for the sad phase of a break-up. From a music point of view, often this is where the best music comes in, but it really is a relief once you get to the defiant, I-am-happy-to-be-single round of songs (often cheesy) that are a key element in the break-up process.

Discussing it with Lovely Fiance, I mentioned how I felt ok listening to break-up songs and in fact sometimes really enjoyed listening to them (whereas sometimes the defiance anthems can get a bit much). And, being the genius sensitive deep-thinking soul that he is, he noted that we're ok re-hearing break-up songs because actually they are songs that comfort us. *smacks forehead*

So. Break-up songs are always as personal as the break-up itself, but tell me: what are your all-time top (favourite seems the wrong word to use somehow) break-up songs? I find that I can never use the same song for a different break-up, so I have quite a few, thanks to my rather chequered (mwahahaha!) past.

Here are some of my notable classics:

  • Blue Eyes by the Carey Brothers - beautiful song, perfect for a rainy day (or broken heart as was my case circa 2008) and it gave me that little kernel of hope re men - that a man might one day write such lovely lyrics for a girl like me (incidentally, I have blue eyes)
  • You Could Be Happy by Snow Patrol - actually this was from the same break-up as above, and really resonated with me because a dream to move to London died with that break-up. No regrets on that point - I would have been miserable if I'd gone anyway, and I needed my friends. But it causes a little wrench in the stomach when I hear this one... This one is definitely bittersweet - I still love it, but it takes me back a teeny way to where I was at that point and it wasn't very happy. 
  • Hallelujah the Jeff Buckley version - beautiful song, still a big favourite
  • Cocoon by Jack Johnson - listen to the lyrics and it truly is a song to be taken literally. Very self-explanatory. Aaaah.... Young, lost love and being dumped by my first emotionally unavailable boyfriend.
  • Love The Way You Lie collaboration between Eminem and Rihanna - I knew I was being cheated on. I was pissed off - mainly at myself for being in such a toxic situation. This song summed it up perfectly.
  • Why Don't You Love Me by Beyonce - in the case of this break-up (part of the Love the Way You Lie saga), I just skipped straight to the defiant stage. Beyonce, either as a soloist or in Destiny's Child form, has always been a big player in my anthem stage so it seemed fitting. 

I would have to say, if I was single currently that Taylor Swift would feature. There. I said it. It's embarrassing but it's true. Especially that song about never getting back together.

This here is a great list of basically every anthem to swear to honour thyself by and never make the same mistake again to.

Anyone care to add to these lists?

Monday, February 11, 2013

If You Love Tarantino

You will rejoice at Django Unchained. It marks Tarantino's return to fine, quirky form - combining his lust for messy, outrageous violence with politically incorrect humour couched by Tarantino's obvious gift for telling a great story.

Set against the backdrop of the violent and deeply unjust slave world of pre-Civil War America, we meet Django who is "purchased" by Dr Schultz, a prosperous and chirpy bounty hunter who delights in taking out the ragamuffins of the day. Upon realising Django's obvious skills with a musket, Django and Dr Schultz strike up an unlikely friendship bound by Schultz's promise to help Django rescue his slave wife Broomhilda from the clutches of the very nasty, uber bloodthirsty Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). What follows is pure adventurous fun (with the somewhat frequent cover-your-eyes violent scenes).

Less heavy handed than usual, I think the bright moments of humour - which honestly had the audience laughing out loud - truly shone, and alleviated the spates of darkness we encounter as audience. Random cameos - Tarantino with a broad Aussie accent happily astride a horse alongside John Jarratt (Wolf Creek's scarily effective menace) - and the lead characters (Leonardo DiCaprio, hello CRUSH even when he's despicable, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and the real star of the film Cristoph Waltz) provide a few hours of rollicking fun that was never slow and often surprised.

Christoph Waltz is a delight as Dr Schultz

The film has outraged Americans with its liberal use of the "N" word, however I wonder if the outrage isn't seated more in an uncomfortable reflection of a not-so-distant past reality that white folk would prefer to forget ever happened.

As per my usual behaviour following a Tarantino film viewing, I got the soundtrack immediately. Should I ever take up running again (Tracey Anderson said it makes your bum big... Could that be true?) there are some banging good running tracks that are mucho enjoyable, and send me straight back to the cinema, happily enjoying a classic spaghetti western with a firm handle on irony.

I also recommend you pay attention to the very silly names in this film: Broomhilda Von Shaft, Billy Crash, Lara Lee Candie Fitzwilly and Mr Stonecipher.

Django Unchained gets a solid 4 stars out of 5 from me...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Heavenly Creatures

Spring/Summer 2013 couture collections are on their way, and as always they are making me yearn for next summer, before this summer is even over. The delicacy of the lace, the subtle yet strong colours, the lady-like cut. This is all perfection. And seriously. Is there anything better than pockets in a dress?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday: Australia Day

Although I believe he is kind-of selling out by appearing in lamb-related ads for McDonalds (sorry, Maccas - did you know they're rebranding to Maccas in Australia? WTF), at least he continues to support Australia's lamb industry which, after the bushfires of the last few weeks, really needs a hand.

Without further ado, here is this year's Australia Day ad.

It's going to be a wash-out in most parts of Queensland as cyclone season is belatedly rolling in and causing torrential downpours along the east coast. I will be heading to the dry dust of western Queensland as I continue the search for a wedding venue...

Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Check Mate

Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2013 collection is all about the checkerboard. Inspired by artist Daniel Buren, the graphic has been used in bright, chirpy products - and definitely channels the sweetness of the early 60s. My favourite part (apart from the more than ample use of yellow) is the beehive hair-do with the white bow. I call it Edgy Cute.

At the show's launch in Paris, models descended the catwalk via escalator in orderly, precise fashion. Because nothing can go wrong when you're wearing Louis Vuitton, right? The checkerboard print has been a hit with celebrity red-carpet walkers, with Jessica Alba, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst all appearing in the print since the collection's launch.

I feel compelled to share with you these design notes. They really exemplify why it is that high end fashion out-classes (and costs loads more than) your run of the mill high-street fashion. 

Erm... Is there really room for a bust here?

As the daughter of a woman who can sew, I find this information absolutely mesmerising. I continue to wish I could sew...

Sewing information courtesy of The Cutting Class.

This Modern Wife

As I penned this little note to my fiance (!!!) yesterday - celebrating 18 months since our first date and 1 month since he popped the question - I suddenly felt a strange urge to clarify the word "wife". 

Old fashioned folk and people of certain philosophical persuasions may hold the view that a wife joins the jumble of property that a man may accumulate over his life, a person to birth children, cook Sunday roasts and attend to general house-wifely chores that neither overly challenge nor unnecessarily stress this asset the man has collected for himself. There may be certain expectations in the bedroom - although presumably not too daring - and certainly expectations in the social context: perfect hair, well-mannered and of a generally pleasing aesthetic and nature. Frankly, it would be pretty easy to be a Stepford Wife (minus that nagging feeling you could be doing something better with your time and brains).

Somehow, this somewhat archaic view of "wife" just isn't very me.

So what of the modern wife? What is she expected to be? Certainly something far more complex than our ancestors would have envisaged. Juggling a meaningful career with parenthood, maintaining a close circle of friends, continuing to be educated either at university or via an endearing book-ishness and of course a socially progressive wild-thing in the sack. All this without undermining the patience and ability to bake a cake, plait daughter's hair and fold hubby's socks - without complaint, except for that socially prized, badge-of-honour statement: "I am so busy". 

It makes me wonder why I clarified (and upgraded) just plain old wife to "modern" wife!

Both these options seem monstrous. Either way, there is a standard of perfection and long-suffering good humour that accompanies these stereotypes, neither of which is appealing. While I joke that I would happily bake cakes and iron all day if it meant not sitting in arctic-cold air conditioning for 45 hours per week being told what to do, I don't really mean it. I gain a lot from my work, and huge chunks of what I learn and derive (including a pay packet) lay the foundations of what I believe I will be as a wife, and where we go as an equal-shares partnership. 

Greater participation in the partnership of marriage is what (to me) sets the modern wife apart from earlier iterations of a wife. Where previously many women followed their husbands' careers to new cities devoid of old friends, more and more I see women's needs - be they career, health or lifestlyle related - taking priority in decision-making. Not only that, and possibly because more women than ever are balancing work and children, the importance of that woman's support system becomes critical in decisions to leave or move to a new city. For the time-poor woman there are caterers on hand to deliver dinner parties and kiddy events without (too much) judgment. Outperforming a husband in title or pay packet is totally fine (provided you're with a new-age husband). Best of all? Catching up with our girlfriends is now considered networking. 

While there are more expectations of the modern wife, she also has more choices - should she dare to embrace them. Perfection is an unfair benchmark that we set for ourselves, which is most certainly not assisted by an independent girl's phobia of asking for assistance or advice. 

Before this modern day bride-to-be thinks too much more about life after marriage, she needs to find a dress... And dozens of good helpers who can cook, arrange flowers and clean up confetti.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We Shop Together


They all looked amazing.

A Jolie Lot of Leg

Forget about best and worst dressed (although I count Nicole Kidman, Emily Blunt, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba in my top picks), I was far more interested in the trend set by Angelina Jolie at the Oscars last year: the leg, somewhat awkwardly jutting out from a may-jor split in a killer gown.

Top mention must go to the following leggy ladies at this year's Golden Globes: Halle Berry, Lea Michele, Heidi Klum and Eva Longoria.

Work it ladies!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shoesday: Clowning Around

Following on from yesterday's post about clown-inspired clothing, I feel that there is a bit of clown in Marc Jacobs' hi-tops (yep, still obsesed). The red toes and the colourful extras don't quite scream clown, but then again, you wouldn't really want your shoes to do that anyway, would you?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Oh. Em. Gee.

Since graduating from QUT's fashion design school in a blaze of glory in 2004, Gail Sorronda has been a stalwart on Brisbane's fashion scene. Continuously dishing up edgy new creations with a flamboyance that is as memorable as it is stylistically unique, Gail Sorronda collections never fail to disappoint.

Back in the day - the first Gail Sorronda collection, winning prizes all over the shop, and turning heads

As part of the ongoing revitalisation of the James St precinct in Brisbane's uber trendy New Farm, it seemed like a no-brainer for a Gail Sorronda store to open in the area. After being stocked for many years in Fortitude Valley's Blonde Venus, I for one am thrilled to see entire collections in the one, eponymous store. I vaguely recall reading that in the early days, Gail Sorronda collections were sewn up late into the evenings with a bit of assistance from her Vietnamese mum, with Gail's (her real surname is Reid) sewing skills honed by her mum's strong attention to detail and perfectionist approach.

QUT's Portfolio Director says of Reid that "every now and then a student comes along who just stands out from the crowd and Gail is one of these. Her energy is unquenchable and she has a very strong sense of who she is, which she brings to every aspect of her life and label."

The latest Gail Sorronda collection - Oh My Goth - is a playful take on the most sinister circus performer of them all: the clown.

Flippy dresses and high-waisted flared pants featuring colourful polka dots, teamed with darker accessories and cupid's bow lips in shades of dark wine provide an irresistible match of goth and girly, froth and shades of mystery.

The collection has been out for quite some time now (in fact loads of pieces are now on sale), and I remain completely enamoured with this dress:

Typically, it sold out in seconds (this is seriously the story of my life) because I hesitated. Damned me for stalling! It was rather expensive, with the price tag beginning with a 6 (and having two other numbers come behind it)... But I really should be willing to pay for these types of designs - quirky, memorable and in short enough supply to ensure we're not all walking around in the same outfit... I'm a fool!