Saturday, July 31, 2010

Frock of the Week: Green with Envy

I haven't actually posted a frock of the week for a while because, since those joyous couple of weeks of SATC 2 promo outfits, I've been thoroughly uninspired by what I've seen celebrities wearing. I'm considering changing the feature to a once a month one instead of once a week until the stars give up on their elaborately folded napkin like mini dresses in favour of the ladylike trend exhibited with such aplomb here.
Nicole Kidman looks gorgeous now that she has returned to her natural hue and red heads always look lovely in green. This frock is one of Prada's 50's inspired summer dresses.
While I was working in my hotel room yesterday I had the television on low volume in the background for the news updates and suddenly the film Cold Mountain came on. It reminded me of what an amazing book that was; definitely one to revisit. It was a pity the film didn't quite live up to it's inspiration, but both Nicole and Jude Law looked very pretty indeed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holly Does the Laundry

Style icons like Marilyn, Audrey and Brigitte continue to inspire fashion editorials all over the world. In this cute shoot for Swedish Elle photographer Jimmy Backius turns his lens on Holly Golightly doing the laundry ... in her socks!
One day before I die I will wear a bouffant. They look like a lot of fun.

Speaking of Holly Golightly, in October I'm lucky enough to be promoting a gorgeous new companion book celebrating 50 years of Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've already got a few samples on my desk at work and I can vouch that the book is positively scrumptious. I had to present the book at my work sales conference and so I was inspired to watch the film again recently.
While some of the themes in the film are a bit dated, Holly herself is still a breath of fresh air + the art direction and outfits remain divine. That film is always going to have a place in my heart.

Look out for a giveaway here on the blog come October.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Marilyn Goes to the Beach

I'm going to be all about the beach and ocean over the next few days, so I thought I'd post a few pics of beach babe Marilyn care of Maria's photo stream. She colourised these photos herself. Aren't they lovely?

A couple of weeks ago I read Andrew O'Hagan's The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Marilyn was an animal lover all her life and Maf was the last dog she owned, a gift from Frank Sinatra via Natalie Wood's mother (truly). O'Hagan's Maf is a Trotskyite, philosopher and an astute observer of celebrity and its pitfalls. His Marilyn is sad, of course, but also very sweet. I finished the book feeling as though she was someone I could have been friends with.

See you next week ...

Sunday, July 18, 2010


It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and each year, as my excitement at getting older diminishes (I'm now 32 but feel like I'm pretty much the same person I was when I was 22 ... just slower and a little more sensible), my befuddlement at the cruelty of ageing is tempered by the joy and love I feel celebrating the occasion with my friends and family.
Today I caught up with my dear friend Liana who missed my birthday get together last weekend because of a chest infection. Damn you winter.
For our lunch date I wore a couple of pieces care of the ladies at Coco Repose: a lovely sleeveless pink shell knit with appliqued beading and an orange boucle jacket which I actually picked up a couple of years ago and which I wear to death in colder weather.
Liana gave me a thoughtful and beautiful gift; the Yves Saint Laurent book that accompanied the recent retrospective of the great designer's work at the Petit Palais in Paris.

My friend Rebecca knows me too well. She bought me this book on vintage swimwear by fashion writer Sara Kennedy. Besides frocks, swimwear is my favourite item of apparel, and this book is a treasure trove of history and gorgeous pics.

And Helen, recently returned from a trip to London and Dubai, was prescient enough to remember my birthday and that I love the artist Banksy. Once I handed this book to the hubby for a peruse, it was very hard to steal it back from him.

Alas all these books are a little too lush for me to take to Fiji THIS WEEK (can you tell I'm excited??).
On the agenda for my long weekend on a deserted island is the new Jonathan Franzen, Freedom, which I was lucky enough to score an early proof of (by all reports it is amazing) and I'm finally going to read Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Considering how much I loved Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans it is almost criminal that I haven't read it yet, and now the imminent release of the movie version has spurred me into action. The trailer looks amazing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Direct from Berlin ...

Austrian designer Lena Hoschek has just shown her 2011 Spring/Summer collection at Berlin Fashion Week. Her collections of 40s and 50s inspired goodness always tickle my fancy and the youthful and flirty frocks featured in this collection are highly desirable.
You can see the entire show here. I'm not totally enamoured of the bondage elements (no doubt the inspiration for the Bettie Page like hairstyles and make-up), but I'm certainly loving the frocks I've featured here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

She's Got Legs

I saw this Miu Miu A/W 2010 campaign ad in a magazine today and thought wow, I want a pair of those fabulous square toed patent shoes. With frilly bows and heels that you can actually walk in. And those stockings are awesome too.
All four pairs of legs could have belonged to Twiggy circa 1996. A nice segue into my post about 60s models perhaps?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Valentino Retrospective

My invite to the Valentino Retrospective Past/Present/Future - opening August 7 at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art -arrived in the mail today. Lucky for me I'll be visiting Brisbane twice in August and fingers and toes crossed that I'll be able to find a spare hour somewhere to gaze at some of the worlds most beautiful and expertly constructed frocks. Here are a couple of samples from the collection:

Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1960 and 1959 respectively.

Spring/Summer 2003

You will note that I wore my orange nail polish today in support of the Netherlands only to be saddened and frustrated by their loss. My cousins in Holland tell me that the whole country is in mourning, but my sadness was somewhat dampened by the arrival of my brand new Kindle - along with this lovely invite - in the post today.
Swings and roundabouts, hey?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mad Anticipation

Mad Men Season 4 is only 2 weeks away from premiering in North America (why oh why do we lag so far behind here in Oz?), and I'm turning a little bit mad with anticipation. The ending of Season 3 had me breathlessly enthralled; there was so much nuance and yet so much happening that I had to watch the last couple of episodes twice.
I've been thoroughly enjoying Tom and Lorenzo's well informed ladies of Mad Men posts where each character's narratives have been broken down outfit by outfit. Now Tom and Lorenzo have put me onto Basket of Kisses which is an all Mad Men all the time blog that can keep die hard fans satisfied between eps.
It is a little bit like an extension of the Mad Men conversations I have with my mates Emma, Sonia and Michael.

The pic above is one of the promo photos for Season 4 - how exciting to see that Jared Harris as Lane Pryce is now a permanent cast member.
Betty, Peggy and Joan are all looking drop dead gorgeous and I decided to waste some Friday evening time looking for outfits I could buy to replicate their 1964 looks.

Betty looks polished in a brocade sheath not dissimilar to this lovely black one from Fab Gabs and also a little reminiscent of the swanky v-neck from Shrimpton Couture.

If you love brocade but can't resist colour, this hot pink number from Penelope Love is very 1960s mod.

I can see elements of this AMAZING 1962 Balenciaga cocktail frock (care of Rare Vintage) in Joan's floral wiggle dress. Everyday fashion is always a couple of years behind haute couture and their is something about the autumnal floral and the unique neckline which is making me see a resemblance.

It was tricky to find a 1960s wiggle dress exactly like Joan's - the off-the-shoulder neckline is gorgeously unique - but these two wonderful frocks from Vintage a la Mode look pretty darn Mad Men to me.

And this gorgeous yellow dress from Timeless Vixen Vintage might be 1950s, but it is so very similar to Peggy's sequin and chiffon number that I couldn't not include it. I guess Peggy - even when dressed well - has always been a few years behind the eight ball.
And as a vintage fashion fan, I can hardly judge her for that.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New/Old Polished Cotton Goodness

Brisbane based online vintage seller Vintage Clothing has just listed some absolutely stunning polished cotton floral sun dresses which, despite being over 60 years old, are still in fashion and probably always will be.
I was gushing over the Prada Print Collection a while back, but if you ferret around a bit you can find something just as pretty as Prada.
Check out the gorgeous details on these frocks:

Even more exciting is that each of these frocks - along with a lot of the other items in Linda's store - are new old stock with original tags. Whenever I come across an item like this I'm 1. excited and then 2. flabbergasted that such a gorgeous item could have been lying dormant in someones wardrobe for decades.
Sometimes I feel almost guilty about wearing new/old stock for the first time; it feels rather like vandalism. But the compulsion to parade a new purchase as soon as possible almost always takes over.
Oh, and this last frock isn't floral but I just had to post it because it is so darn awesome.
Prices between AU$300 - $400.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Repurposed Pairs

They just don't make fabrics like they used too and one woman who knows all about this is UK shoe designer Kitty Cooper, who left a career in mass produced fashion to start her own label;
utilising vintage fabrics, Kitty's designs are inspired by past ages and are super glamorous to boot.
Many thanks to the lovely Tiz of Greetz From Tiz for the recommendation and check out Kitty's website for the complete collection.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Frock of the Week: I Heart Summer Florals

I've just spent a couple of days in outer Melbourne where it was absolutely freezing. Okay, okay, freezing might be exaggerating, but it was really cold and winter and I are not very good friends. When I saw these pics of Drew Barrymore looking every inch the summery star, it had me longing for those warm days to return even more.
Love the 80s style sunnies too.