Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bye bye weekend, hello beautiful pics

Richard Avedon's Fashion was my wish list pick for my bookshelf last week and I was drooling over it yesterday as I browsed my local bookshop. Here are a couple of images of one of my favourite Hollywood icons that the great Avedon shot. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I saw Taronga Zoo's new baby elephant (cuteness overload) and was busy today taking pics of some of my favourite clothes. But more on that later this week ...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

(Wedding) Dress of the Week

My pick for frock of the week is model and fashion designer Milla Jovovich's stunning wedding dress. Who Magazine - the Australian incarnation of US People mag) - has the the official wedding pics of Milla and film director Paul W.S. Anderson's do. According to them the dress is Temperley London and they describe the fabric as "a white crepe de Chine with silk satin lining". Her veil was "cream tulle with hand stitched bugle beads."

The dress oozes effortless 1930's gorgeousness and I adore the open keyhole back and the bead work on the bust line. Along with the hair and the gorgeous bouquet, she looks a bit like a fairy princess who has just stepped out of an Edwardian children's book. This is totally not my look (these unforgiving 1930's style dresses don't do much for my figure), but I can appreciate how perfect it is on Milla.

Wedding dress talk provides a nice segue into bridesmaid dresses. After initially declaring we would forgo attendants at our wedding (mainly to save our friends the cost), the betrothed and I changed our minds and have selected a best man and matron of honour. My oldest and dearest friend Rebecca (I was bridesmaid for her five years ago) has kindly agreed to be my right hand lady. The bridesmaid dress shopping process was completely pain free and we picked up a beautiful dress for her yesterday at Sandie Bizy's studio in Annandale.

I know I just gave Sandie a big wrap on my Queens of Vintage story about Sydney's best vintage hot spots, but going there again yesterday I was reminded of how truly amazing her selection is. There is literally no filler in her store; each piece is one-of-a-kind lovely. Am I odd that spending time amongst all those beautiful dresses and items of jewellery and inspirational hats fills me with so much joy? Sandie was kind enough to pull out her original 1947 Dior for me to lust over (it is in amazing condition , sigh) and after I told her about my Ceil Chapman wedding dress she gleefully showed me her very own Ceil Chapman; a vibrant floral wriggle dress that would look lovely on my Mum, I think.

Sandie has a pic of the dress on her blog which I include here at my own peril. Go ahead and buy it, if you must!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The New 'It' Era

On the high fashion runways of the last couple of seasons it has been all about the 1980's. Now the 1940's is being heralded as the decade dujour. Both the 1980's and the 1940's were heavy on dramatic shoulders but where the 80's was often flamboyant, the 1940's was subtly sophisticated.

The September issue of US Vogue has a great shoot, styled by the uber talented Grace Coddington, that celebrates the 1940's and highlights the designs that will no doubt be knocked off and mounted in many a shopping mall window display soon.

Karen Elson looks very Joan Crawford here and utterly gorgeous.

These Balenciaga floral frocks are both a little bit 1940's and a little bit 1980's. Prints are definitely the business at the moment, and how did we survive before booties were in vogue?

It is quite fitting that model Karen Elson was chosen for this shoot as she is a big vintage fan, often seen out and about in unique pieces. She even co-owns a vintage store in Nashville, Venus & Mars.
For inspiration on how to wear genuine 1940's fashion, Fleur de Guerre is a UK model, event-planner and all round 1940's style obsessive and her blog, Diary of a Vintage Girl, is seriously worth checking out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sydney's Best Vintage Shopping

My story on Sydney's best vintage shopping is up now on the terribly addictive Queens of Vintage. Check it out and you might just discover a gem you hadn't heard about yet.

Queens of Vintage ferrets out some of the best vintage finds on EBay for you, celebrates foxy vintage loving girls of all persuasions from across the globe, and has loads of inspiring pics, instructional videos, great giveaways and much more.

Pic above from one of my recommended stores, Grandma Takes a Trip. The racks at Grandma have provided me with some of my most oft worn pieces. And the Bondi store is only a ten minute walk from my apartment. Very dangerous indeed!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

50's Fair Madness

And it certainly was madness as the normally serene Rose Seidler House in sleepy Wahroonga was transformed into something resembling the flagship Topshop store on London's Oxford Street on a busy weekend.

I won't go into the various trials and tribulations I went through in getting out to Wahroonga today, except to say I left my house at 9.30am this morning and finally walked through the gates at 1pm! I was definitely wishing I still had a car, but my one consolation is that I read three quarters of the first Sookie Stackhouse book Dead Until Dark (what it is about vampires lately?) while I waited for various modes of transport.

This was the queue when I finally made it to the house. As you can see the line was long, but it was breathtaking weather and I was delighted by all the women, men, boys and girls dressed to perfection in their best 50's duds.

The stalls, with everything from dresses, handbags, kooky home wares, records, magazines and more, made my heart smile and there was a camaraderie created by being in a space with so many others with a love for last century's most stylish decade.

I loved these cupcakes with 50's icons Audrey, Elvis and Marilyn on top. They were mighty delicious too.

The end of a long journey deserves a reward and considering there was no champagne on arrival (I believe they'd even run out of water), I decided to purchase these goodies instead.

Cute raffia purse in great condition which I hope to take for a spin with my high-waisted denim shorts or new high-waisted denim skirt, bought from Marnie Skillings yesterday.

Apricot floral party dress with matching three-quarter jacket, which fits me like a glove. This was from the lovely girls at Coco Repose, one of Surry Hill's must see vintage havens. I totally don't need this dress but I also totally wanted it. It might get an outing for a friend's wedding soon (any excuse) and I reckon I can mix and match the lovely jacket with many of my other dresses and jeans too.

The girls said it was their first 50's Fair and trade certainly seemed brisk. Fingers crossed many more of their dresses found their Cinderella's today. Normally you can find them at 82 Fitzroy Street in Surry Hills, Tuesday through Sunday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dress of the Week

I was about to give up on frock of the week altogether (for this week only, of course) when I spotted Leslie Mann in this vintage like Oscar de la Renta number from his current Resort collection. This dress is so Mad Men ... I just love it.
Whenever I spot Leslie out and about she always looks fresh and cute and she is so, so funny. Watching the scene in Knocked Up where she has the fight with the bouncer outside the club, I laughed so hard I almost cracked my face.
The whole Oscar de la Renta resort collection is pretty spectacular. It is a little bit Coco Chanel, has a twist of nautical and is a whole lot of pared back prettiness. You can check it out on his website. It will only knock you back about US$3,000 for a dress ... the cost of getting my laser eye surgery or the catering for my wedding (I'm laughing right now).
Thank goodness for vintage and knock-offs.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Willing Spring

Officially begins with this dress, purchased on Sunday at the Bondi markets. Last week I spent five days in Northern Queensland; five perfect, blissful days of sun, sailing, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, lying by the pool and eating lots and lots of good food (maybe not such a good idea when you have to get into a swim-suit everyday).

Thankfully I bought a little piece of QLD back with me as it was simply stunning here in Sydney on the weekend. I can smell the flowers beginning to bloom in my courtyard garden and this is just the kind of dress to wear to a picnic down at Ben Buckler or Centennial Park.

I don't normally wear black (see bodice of dress) but the mad print - big yellow flowers and latticework - and the cute halterneck cut, were too happy to resist. It looks great accessorised with yellow.

One of the best things about summer is the anticipation before the season. Swimsuits, strappy dresses, sandals and playsuits; I'll need plenty of these for my the forthcoming sunny season. I'll
even start wearing them before they are absolutely necessary, just to will the weather on.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dress of the Week

I'm really missing Awards season. I'd start wishing for 2010 to roll on, but that would mean missing the beginning of summer and hurrying my wedding even closer, a thought which fills me with unmitigated dread. Wedding planning is by turns both fun and painful.
Having said that Diane Kruger was memorably turned out for the LA premiere of her new flick, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (it actually hurts me to write that, as deliberate misspellings are akin to fingernails on a chalkboard to me).
Apparently this unique Versace Atelier bejewelled backless dress was designed especially for her. I imagine the plunging back would have offended some but I think, in this case, Diane just manages to pull it off. There is something classically sexy about an exposed or sheer back. Love the cute capped sleeves and black platforms too.

Regular readers of my blog would know that I'm not a big fan of Angelina Jolie's style, but she was looking pretty sexy at the same event (supporting partner Brad Pitt) in a Michael Kors strapless leather dress. With her svelte figure, it is hard to believe she gave birth to twins last year.
The ever stylish Diane is on the cover of the current issue of UK In-Style magazine and in the interview she reveals that she does her own hair and make-up for the red-carpet. Very impressive ... if I was a celebrity I'd definitely be outsourcing ... though I guess she was a top model. Back in the early days of modelling in the 40's, 50's and 60's (before the lovely Diane was born) models generally did their own hair and make-up and were thus largely responsible for how their "look" evolved.
In-Style have a behind the scenes video from Diane's photo-shoot on their site.

The Antonio Beradi dress looks amazing and would look totally rubbish on me. I guess that is why I'm a mere mortal and not Karl Lagerfield's muse.
Oh well; such is life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Own Piece of Vintage Hawaii

Has arrived! Bizarrely enough my Malia dress was quicker to arrive from Florida than some DVD's and books I'm waiting on from Melbourne. Go figure.

The print on the dress is too cute for words and it fits like a glove. The weather forecast for Sunday is an unseasonably warm 28 degrees, so it may get a public outing sooner than expected.

I promised a shout-out to the fabulous vintage vendor I purchased the dress from on E-bay. Denise from Magnificent Vintage has been operating for over thirty years and sells an impressive range of designer and non-designer vintage items in a variety of price ranges, with a particularly great selection of 60's and 70's frocks.

One of the best things about vintage is that because current high fashion is so cyclical -largely interpreting trends from the past - eagle eyed shoppers can dress on trend by buying directly from the past for a fraction of the cost of new designer duds, and at far better quality than the chain store rip-offs too.

In the midst of some truly disturbing 80's retreads, one trend that I'm loving at the moment is prints, from floral to pop-art and all manner of eye-catching loveliness in between. Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and design house of the moment, Balmain, have all been sending prints down the catwalk of late. Here are a few of the fabulous florals you can pick up at the Magnificent Vintage E-bay store right now.

A wool-blend floral mini-dress with pockets equals so hot right now.

I had to show the back-view of this gorgeous halter-neck which is very reminiscent of Oscar de la Renta's 2009 collection. It would look equally delectable on Joan Hollway of Mad Men or Scarlett Johannson.

The perfect spring party frock which is rocking a very now one-shouldered look.

A Pucci-esque strapless mini, this dress also has an adjustable sash in the back and some stretch, so it will hug your curves in all the right places.

I really like the print on this 70's dress which methinks could work for day or night.

These vintage purses are also super cute and definitely spring worthy.

And okay, okay, I admit that Hawaiiana isn't exactly on trend, but I just had to include this pink and green sarong dress because I love it. I could feel just like Rita Hayworth or Dorothy Lamour.

And the Aussie dollar is at 85c US ... very, very dangerous.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just purchased on E-Bay ...

And for only $30, this cute as a button Malia of Honolulu 1970's sundress. My betrothed says it looks uncannily like a number of my other pink summer frocks and he may have something there, but I've been dying to own one of these fresh, classic Hawaiian prints.

I feel like I'm one step closer to Hawaii.
And there are cheap airfares to Honolulu at the moment too.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Best Friend Forever Does Vintage

My imaginary BFF, the divine Ms Blanchett, rocked up to Australian Vogue's 50th anniversary this week in vintage Ossie Clark, sending vintage fashionistas all across the world into a flutter. As per usual she looks utterly gorgeous. I love that you never know what to expect from her style and yet she makes each and every look work in her own way. It must be a confidence thing, though her natural beauty probably doesn't hurt either (if only other 40 something beauties would eschew plastic surgery too ... Ms Blanchett is a walking advertisement for not spending money on manipulation).

Classic 70's Ossie Clark dresses are already highly collectible and in short supply. No doubt this latest red-carpet outing will push prices up even higher. Check out this gorgeous cerise two-piece Ossie dress I discovered on Enoki World.

And speaking of Enoki World, if you haven't checked out this online vintage site already, it really is worth a click. Not only do they have an enviable selection of vintage designer frocks and accessories, their product descriptions are so creative and witty, they really are miniature stories unto themselves. Here are a couple of my favourite items and a taste of their accompanying descriptions ...
Even the quickest of glances at an issue of Vogue from the 1960s reveals a tolerance for things less than perfect compared to now. You'll see girls with dirty feet in editorial spreads; blemishes, crooked teeth or a chipped manicure. And does any of it look icky? No. It is infinitely more believable than the airbrushed flawlessness we are forced to buy into now. We all know that if you pad around the house in tights with no shoes, your feet get a little dusty. So did Penelope Tree's. In a big fat Ann Demeulemeester world, less-than-pristine socks are a sort of hip accessory but we're not living in a big fat Ann Demeulemeester world, are we? We live in a world where our toenails are pedicured in the dead of winter, buried in socks. A world where a tan is not for the Seychelles-bound but for anyone who has the time to get sprayed. So what's your excuse for not being cute all the time? You don't have one unless your clothes suck.
(BTW I am completely obsessed with Hawaiian prints at the moment like this Malia dress and Alfred Shaheen too, but more on that later).

"The sun is bad for you" is a myth created by city-dwellers to make you feel guilty about living in the country, that's all. Buy a fabulous swimsuit, salve down with a tube of Bain de Soleil, bring a copy of Vogue and enjoy the summer. A splashy halter maillot for Bill Blass with a decorative front wrap panel that ties in a bow at one hip.

Summer's handbag contender - the Margaret Smith printed canvas structured tote. In the far corner, weighing in at less than a pound, dressed in the sky blue and lime trunks is the Margaret Smith handbag. In the other corner, weighing in like a wall of bricks is summer and sweltering temperatures topping 100 degrees. Ladies, when the bell rings, come out fighting.

They also have a fabulous page recommending fashion books, some of them out of print.

Clearly Cate B is Dress of the Week but I also have to mention this wonderful ensemble by Scarlett. I adore the print on her D&G blouse and her hair is Hollywood retro perfect. I could totally see myself wearing it, so am more than happy to accept Scarlett's cast-offs.
Hot shoes too.