Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shoesday: The Ugly Flat

The Spring/Summer 2014 Ready to Wear collections heralded a disturbing trend for high heel lovers everywhere: the dawn of the ugly flat. Not as disastrous as the Croc, but still not capable of the elegance a lovely Jesus sandal can achieve when done right, we have been delivered the Birkenstock as embellished by fashion designers. In the case of Celine, the Birkenstock was bizarrely fur-lined, Marc Jacobs and Prada tried to tart them up with glitter and gems respectively, while others still (primarily at Marni) attempted to add a bit of height, creating Frankenstein's shoe from bits of a clog and huge chunks of a Birkenstock. Hideous.




I knew the trend had broken into the mainstream when I noticed - with jaw agape - that Witchery had a pair of slides in the distinctive Birkenstock form all set for Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Once the domain of the Granola-munching, long armpit hair cultivators among us, the slightly unwashed hippy can now expect to be joined - like it or not - by their sweeter smelling fashionista sisters this summer. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Friday: Fancy

The world is eating itself at the moment. Such awful news regarding the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine overnight.

To lighten things up, please enjoy the song that has been stuck in my head for the past few weeks, and which I must admit I've watched the film clip more than a few times on YouTube, referencing one of my favourite films of all time, Clueless.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Legs Eleven

Sarah Murdoch fronts Vogue Australia's August edition, marking her eleventh cover for the fashion stalwart. She is streets ahead of other regular Aussie Vogue covergirls, with Abbey Lee at 6, and Gemma Ward miles behind with 6 and 5 covers respectively. Sarah was apparently reluctant to appear on the cover, and was only tempted to do so on the basis that she had something to celebrate or important to share with readers.

Murdoch has recently been appointed deputy chairperson of the Australian Ballet, after having served on its Board since 2006. The Australian Ballet is currently running its "Out There" program, designed to take ballet to disadvantaged schools as well as teaching more general principles about the value of movement (and dance is one of the best ways to move, am I right?). 

The world of ballet - with its classical music, well-established story lines and emphasis on strict and perfect discipline - can be easily misinterpreted as impenetrable and of interest only to the most ardent of culture vultures (alternatively it could be viewed as being snooty and boring which at times is perfectly accurate). Attempting to turn that view on its head, Sarah states that "I never want to feel this company is untouchable to every single Australian."

In recent years, the Australian Ballet has taken great strides forward in making ballet more accessible to the general public - guest choreographers such as Graham Murphy playing with old classics (my all-time favourite choreographer and who created the most stunning interpretation of Swan Lake I have ever seen, although admittedly his take on Romeo & Juliet was entirely unstimulating), more of an emphasis on contemporary ballets as well as their "Behind Ballet" program which consists of emailed newsletters and short videos, and their recent collaboration with US and French ballet companies. 

Combining this accessibility with a proactive attempt to engage disadvantaged schools is truly admirable. For many kids, dancing is a beautiful way of escaping for a few hours. Ballet adds another dimension to this: it instils discipline, you learn another language (everything is in French), you learn to listen to and appreciate classical music, you are part of a team and you become physically strong. As I mentioned in a previous post, while I've been unable to do adult ballet classes due to the transient nature of my life at the moment, I do manage to get to a Barre class once per week. Although the classical music and French language elements aren't there, the discipline and the hard work bits are in equal measure - and the results speak for themselves. Defined arms and a happier lady now that I can still squeeze in some exercise that actually interests me (my attention span is dreadfully limited). 

So if you haven't tried out Barre yet, I still urge you to do it. But if all else fails, just head to the ballet. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Swift Goodbye

With some friends, you can pick up after months of not catching up - be it due to distance, career or family commitments that keep you apart - and it's like no time has passed. Alternatively, you might meet someone new, and there is an instant bond, and you find yourself in the blissful throes of being in the company of someone who understands you and enjoys hanging out with you in an entirely non-sexual way. In general parlance, it's called friendship.


With other friends, you may suddenly realise you have nothing in common any more, or worse, you despise the person you're sharing a glass of champagne with - and there's not much you can do until you've both drained your glass and escaped the tedium of your rigidly scheduled "catch up". Strangely, you often invest more time in this limbo-land of dutiful friendship and growing resentment than you do on the real, uplifting relationships in your life. 

I'm not sure if it's something as sinister as Mercury Retrograde or if it's simply another stage in evolution. Whatever the reason, a number of my girlfriends and I are finding ourselves in friendships that drain us of energy (Qi Vampires), and leave us feeling a range of emotions: angry that we wasted our time putting up with their crap, confused that we feel flat after spending time with them, or the more direct feeling of hurt, that we are somehow not interesting/fun/worthy enough to warrant a polite response to a simple text or email. 

All of a sudden we find ourselves in the awkward position of breaking up with or being dumped by friends we've outgrown or who have outgrown us. Unlike a romantic entanglement though, there don't seem to be rules of engagement (or disengagement) that we know to follow to preserve our mental health and feelings of self-worth as we extract ourselves from the friendship. We're rudderless when we suddenly  find ourselves being broken up with, or attempting to break up with, a friend who is moving swiftly into frenemy territory.