Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Secret Raw Food Society

A friend of mine saw Kate Middleton up close in Brisbane when the Royal couple visited this lovely sun-drenched city as part of their wildly successful tour of Australia. Her key comments can be summarised as follows:
  1. She is actually quite tall - much taller than she had expected;
  2. She is much slimmer in person than even the photos of her suggest; and
  3. Possibly as a result of her slimness, she is a little too gaunt in the face, causing her to look a little older than she is (although in her defence, she does have a baby to look after).

I had simply, erroneously concluded that she must have been following the Dukan Diet (which was apparently the secret to her post-wedding transformation) like a maniac, however apparently the real secret is a diet of raw food.

Just like quitting sugar is now a foodie phenomenon, with cook books aplenty and celebrity endorsements left, right & centre, so too is raw food. With Kate Middleton now linked to the food movement, I have a feeling it may be about to gain in popularity.

Kate's diet apparently involves feasts of watermelon salads, gazpacho, goji berries, tabbouleh and almond milk as well as ceviche, a Latin American dish of raw fish marinated in the juice of lemons or limes and spices.

Ok... Lots of watermelon actually doesn't sound totally terrible

Raw food advocates are generally vegans who often have only one type of food at each meal, and who do not cook their food (they claim cooking food reduces the nutritional value of the food, and that cooking introduces certain enzymes which make the food difficult for the body to digest). Without getting too far into the science, most studies of raw foodies find that they are ... undernourished. And as we know all too well, one person's undernourished is another's supermodel (or princess, as the case may be).  Approx 50% of females who follow a raw food diet become so undernourished they stop having their periods (i.e. reduced fertility). For the sake of the royals, I hope Kate is proceeding with caution.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Louis Lust List

Michelle Williams is currently fronting up for Louis Vuitton's latest campaign for its new Lockit handbag. Chosen for her natural beauty and habit of choosing challenging film roles, she appears in garb from Marc Jacobs' latest collection, moody red lips and an awfully covetable choppy short-do.

At the risk of sounding greedy (why not, it's my Lust List after all), I want one of ALL of them. In particular, I am rather taken by this blush pink bag:

I think Louis Vuitton is gradually moving away from the blanket LV logo to a more discrete label which I heartily embrace. Dreadful counterfeits draped over the arm of swarthy tourists returning from a booze-soaked holiday in Thailand have done much to reduce the value of the logo en masse on a handbag, so the more subdued direction seems like a good choice. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Friday #GIRLBOSS


Sophia Amoruso has taken the women's business-book world by storm with her book #GIRLBOSS (it helps that the title is terribly Instagramable and Facebookable too...).

"I stopped feeling like I didn't belong anywhere, and realized that I actually belonged anywhere I wanted to be."

—Sophia Amoruso

Emerging from being a high school dropout, flaky shoplifter, unbalanced home life runaway and with multiple diagnoses for her short attention span (depression, ADD, the usual grocery list for teens who don't feel satisfied or who appear to be "lost") - Sophia Amoruso found something that grabbed her attention: vintage shopping and eBay ... (and hashtags, obviously)

From the illustrious confines of her now ex-boyfriend's apartment, Sophia Amoruso started an eBay store selling a highly curated selection of vintage pieces - which were also meticulously styled and, when sold, packaged and delivered to her quickly growing band of eBay customers. In just five years, the shop became an international style source that outgrew both eBay and multiple, ever-expanded warehouse facilities. #GIRLBOSS tells the story of how Sophia had her moment of clarity - during a moment of sloppy shoplifting and the possibility of a criminal record taking prime position on her CV - and her subsequent propulsion to starting her own international online store ( with loads of staff, a cult following, and of course lots of shiny gold coins in her bank account.

I am 3/4 through the book, and loving the frankness of her story, and the energy that so obviously oozes out of people with entrepreneurial flair. Although it doesn't offer up as many gems of wisdom as, say, Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, I think it's a pretty great story about how you can turn around your position in life, if only you try. She is clearly one brave mo-fo, doing most things by the age of 19 that most of us will never do in our lives. I also like the unconventional nature of her life - I think lots of people in the modern world feel constrained by how we're "supposed" to do things and Amoruso's path has been anything but conventional. I do like that she says she wishes she'd gone to university, but the reality for many is that they don't get that chance. It's great to see a story of someone spinning relative adversity into an ability to see clearly where life may take her, to change that course and to identify a talent that became a genuine passion (and happily a great money spinner).

I also really like her attitude to money - she's proudly frugal, doesn't pay for anything she can't literally pay for in that moment, and notes that she was too busy building her empire to be out on crazy spending sprees anyway.

If you're looking for a fun way to wile away a rainy afternoon, this book may just be it. Also, check out the #GIRLBOSS blog for some more great #girlboss stories.

Happy reading!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blake Lively

Blake Lively - best known for her turn as  New York's best dressed teenaged socialite, Serena van der Woodsen, and more recently for marrying Ryan Reynolds - has returned to the red carpet in a major way. She announced her arrival in sparkling form on the Met Gala red carpet - famously proclaiming she channels Gisele for red carpet events - and rapidly followed up her Met Gala gorgeousness with ever more triumphant appearances at Cannes.

Glittering in Gucci at the Met Gala

Upstaging basically everyone at Cannes with a dazzling array of couture gowns, Blake not only cemented her position on best-dressed lists everywhere, she also brought back boobs (real ones, or at least not enormous fake-looking ones) as a covetable feature of the female form.

In Gucci again at Cannes
In the waist-defining Chanel dress
The curvy figure hasn't enjoyed a fashion renaissance since what felt like, well... the Renaissance. With a brief resurgence of curves during peak Mad Men hysteria, buxom breasts quickly shrunk back to fashion's stock-in-trade waif and nymphette frames. Female models aren't quite as dramatically slim as 90s-era cocaine chic, but they remain sufficiently skinny for us to empty our pantries of choc chip biscuits and rue the days our parents bestowed us with B+ cupped chests. With 14C now the average bust size in Australia and the USA, I think it is suffice to say that the flat-chested dream is more accurately the exception rather than the reality.

Check out this fascinating map of average cup sizes globally. Holy Russia!

The fact is that breasts dramatically change how an item of clothing hangs, causing much angst in dressing rooms globally as shirts and dresses somehow defy glossy promotional pages' promises, and we are left with a front that is shorter than we may hope for, or the desired silhouette is simply unattainable. I'm still not entirely sure why we desire that ruler-shaped look, but we do. To the peril of Cherry Ripes and Magnum ice creams everywhere.

So I'm rather heartened by Blake Lively's proudly curvaceous red carpet appearances, and again I hope we see healthier and more diverse body shapes accounted for by couture designers and appearing on catwalks. The Devil Wears Prada very succinctly explained how it is that couture guides our mass-fashion clothing options, so it is essential designers get on board the Boob-exalting Express.

Magnificent in Gucci