Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Friday: Tutu Appreciation

Every year, the Queensland Ballet hosts Tutu Day. Essentially you bring along your adorable daughters all tizzied up in a tutu and allow them run of the place to live out their wildest Sugar Plum Fairy dreams. I highly recommend attendance, and would give any adult $50 to show up in their own tutu. I still have a black tutu lying around and always think about wearing it... and then chicken out at the last moment because I think it would seem very strange indeed for a daughter-less woman to strut around in her black tutu simply because she can.

Garance Dore recently snuck behind the scenes of opening night for the New York Ballet Company's day before the opening night (as well as opening night, but those pics aren't up yet). The photos are glorious. Check them out here. Or below, because I have stolen a few shots for this blog's benefit.

Speaking of ballet... Have you seen Birdman? To me, Birdman is almost the male version of Black Swan. While it's less intense, there is still that theme of that inner voice - demonically personified - pounding its owner to reach great heights of perfection, success and personal achievement. It's an interesting film and has received a bunch of Oscar nominations. Worth watching and really interesting to see the "art" of acting (Edward Norton is so talented), but I really thought Emma Stone stole the show. She had that tragic air about her, and I found myself on edge waiting for something dreadful to happen. She also suffered some highly unflattering camera angles, but it didn't distract - she was fabulous.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Australia Day Weekend: Uptown Funk

Australia Day in Australia means (among a great many things), Triple J's Hottest 100. This year there has been great controversy (this is what happens in a democracy - the people vote the darnedest things like the PUP or Taylor Swift), but it's unlikely to distract from the happy times of the Hottest 100 surrounded by the smoky scent of lamb on a BBQ and beer spilt by the pool. One of my top picks is Uptown Funk which I am obsessed with. Happy Australia Day!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sneaker Pimp

A work colleague was visiting from snowy Switzerland not that long ago, and I asked him what he noticed about Australia, or what he thought had changed about Australia (he is an Aussie, but has lived abroad for several years). His response?

"I am completely weirded out by all the women walking around in exercise gear, and going to breakfast, lunch and dinner in sports clothes. What is with that?"

Karlie Kloss off to breakfast with Taylor

Too true. I used to be very guilty of this activity for a variety of reasons:

  1. I was genuinely about to go to / had just finished some type of exercise and either didn't have time to change, or simply couldn't be bothered (yep, lazy). This is related to the growth in the fitness trend that we've witnessesd over the past few years. Cross-fit, triathlon groups, Tough Mudder, swimming training, running club or good old fashioned gym junkie - as we are hyper aware to the obesity epidemic, we work out more. Also, I hear that cross-fit and tri groups are a great way to pick up.
  2. I had no idea what to wear, and my adorable Lorna Jane outfit needed to be worn. As fitness gear becomes more fashionable (think Mary Kratantzou and Stella McCartney for Adidas, Rihanna as creative director and fitness ambassador for Puma, the list seriously goes on), I think we have given ourselves a leave pass to wear fitness clothing outside the gym under the reasoning that our workout gear is no longer daggy old shorts and a paint-spattered T-shirt. We are fashionably fit now.
  3. Gym gear is ridiculously comfortable. No skirts slipping around on your waist and requiring constant re-positioning, no VPL, no high heels to rub your toes - it is pure comfort. You wouldn't go outdoors in your pyjamas or a tracksuit, but your gym gear gives you the same comfort factor without the public humiliation. 
While I have tried to ditch my gym-clothing-to-brunch habit, a lot of women are still happily doing it. All power to them I say! 

In celebration of sneakers, here are a few shots from Elle Mexico.

I think the happy middle-ground for the gym gear as outer-wear trend is sneakers with your usual day-wear. But that's just me. What say you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shoesday Stinker

Although the weather in Brisbane this weekend was decidedly brutally hot (described variously as a "stinker"), driving this writer to jump into her swimming pool fully clothed after walking for miles more than expected at midday, let it not be mistaken that I wish for summer to slope off into one of its customarily radiant sunsets.

No, no. Quite the opposite. Please stay Summer! I fear your departure as much as I fear a darkened, empty apartment after watching an episode of The Fall.

So of course this Shoesday we must celebrate Summer in order to convince her to stay longer (although the scientists say that this is fact anyhow).

Without further ado, Spring/Summer 2014/15 from various catwalks, mainly Milanese, because who does Summer better than the Italians?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Friday

2015 is officially happening! After a seriously fantastic holiday with family, friends and tonnes of food, it's back to reality (i.e. work). But apart from heading back to work, loads of other stuff has happened too!

The stars slinked it up in all their glittery goodness for the Golden Globes at the start of the week:

The week was book-ended with Oscars Nominations (Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel are the key nominees, with Lego (produced here in Australia) sadly - and somewhat controversially -  overlooked for recognition). I decided it was appropriate to throw back to Oscars of years past with this fabulous shot of Liz Taylor.

Champagne, tulips, diamonds and the top gong - what more could a starlet want?
On a personal level, 2 friends I set up about 2 years ago just had a BABY! Set ups so rarely work, but this one worked out in a MAY-JAH way! I feel almost as proud of the baby as they do!

I also reconnected with The West Wing (courtesy of Virgin in-flight entertainment). If you haven't seen the series, I truly recommend it. It is utterly timeless - the issues they cover are still so pertinent today. I put it in the PROPHETIC category.

I commenced watching Sherlock after I finally succumbed to the Benedict C hype after seeing The Imitation Game which I recommend on the strongest of terms that you GO. AND. SEE. Sherlock is also pretty great, although the episodes are 1.5 hours each, which is a commitment of time, but one that thankfully flits by thanks to the snappy dialogue and intriguing storylines.

Fascinating creature
Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fitness for the Fearfully Busy / Keeper of Funny Hours / Loather of Gyms

I love the Internet. I actually think it is better than sliced bread, but that's really only because bread goes mouldy after time, whereas the Internet just keeps getting better and better with time.

One of my major dramas last year was the ability to find the time to get to the gym to attend classes. I am not someone who can run on a treadmill, nor am I a huge fan of running deserted streets in the dark (be it pre-dawn or post-sunset). I am a fraidy cat of both the dark and strange people, so running alone is not, and has never been, an option for me. I am the girl standing towards the front of a class, frowning when someone blocks her view in the mirror (Vain? You betcha. But there is method to this vain madness - the only way you can work out effectively is to check your form), and frowning further when said person in front can't pick up the moves/is off the beat consistently. Some would say aggressive, I would say aggressive gym bunny with limited time in which to enjoy her work out. If you can't tuck jump, get thee to the back of the class!

Unfortunately, I don't make it to my class of choice very often, mainly because gyms frequently cater to people who are out of work and into their gym gear by 5:15pm and/or to the early birds who work out at 5:30am. I fill neither category.

Thankfully, 2015 seems to be the year of the online workout.

Tracey Anderson, that formidably fit trainer to the stars (Gwyneth is one of her biggest devotees, and who can argue with her excellent form?), is leading the charge with her video streaming subscription released this year.

Gratuitous Gwyneth-on-the-red-carpet shot

As her website attests, regardless of where you live - worldwide - you can access Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer through a series of weekly videos from Tracey, working out alongside her classroom clients (I expect these will be a step up from the Aerobics Oz Style girls I used to love watching back in the 80s). Ok, so at US$475 for 6 months it doesn't necessarily come cheap, but it is comparable to a gym subscription, and you have the bonus of variety as the videos are updated weekly (great for those with mindbogglingly short attention spans) and accessibility at whatever time of the day and wherever in the world that suits you (i.e. the living room, centimetres away from the Cherry Ripe you just ate).

Other live-streaming options include Ballet Beautiful, which allows you to undertake a customised Barre-esque class (you don't need a barre, just the back of a chair is fine). They also update the classes you undertake bi-monthly, and you have unlimited access to the streaming library, again from whatever device you happen to have at your disposal, wherever you find yourself on this gorgeous planet. Priced at US$39.99/month, this option is a little more accessible.

Actually, you don't need a leotard, ballet shoes or any other ballet clothing. It's just pretty to look at!
There are also a treasure trove of apps available for your iPad or phone. I have Pocket Yoga which I tend to do when I travel (you can change the settings to a small room, and the workout is customised to your space). What I like about this app, is that you can set your level depending on how you feel (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced), and you can choose the length of your session (30, 45 or 60 min).

I am also a big fan of the 7 Minute Workout (no points for guessing why!) - there are loads of apps for that, which offer basically the exact same workout.

Then there is the more involved Nike+ Training Club app which allows you to choose a work out based on your goals (get lean, get toned, get strong) and then your fitness level (beginner, intermediate and advanced). I have the app on my phone, however have never used it, mainly because I find you need bits of equipment, which suggests you should be at least a little bit organised, and be at the gym (or buy a medicine ball etc).

Somehow, I don't think the cushions off your couch will suffice for this one
All this talk of physical fitness is making me feel rather guilty, having just polished off a pizza after nailing my mum's Christmas cake earlier this afternoon.

The downloading starts tomorrow...