Archive for March 2010
something bright and cheerful to finish off a perfect weekend. you know, in wellington the suburb of newtown has a reputation for being a bit ragged and a bit rubbish. but its rough edges make it all the more interesting after the relatively low-key bohemia of cuba street etc. and there is colour. a lot of colour.
as (sir) paul smith says: you can find inspiration in everything, and if you can’t, look again. amen to that.
happy week, everyone xxx
standard day-at-home uniform of grey AA t-shirt, calvin klein jeans, random metal belt and boots becomes ..
lunchtastic! faux fur jacket purchased last weekend at the terrific fast and loose vintage in karangahape rd, auckland .. with tom binns flying skull necklace and obligatory shades (from karen walker) ..
.. to the out-and-out ridic, avec crown lynn swan bought off trademe. which i did not take to lunch, just in case you are wondering.
the rockstar wondered aloud if i might be addicted to shopping.i told him i don’t think it’s that exactly. actual shopping? that endless trawl spending endless money for things you won’t wear, just for the sake of acquiring something new? a “leisure activity” as i think it’s considered now in britain? no. okay, i am not disciplined like the rockstar is, identifying something he needs, searching out a piece that is exactly what he wants, getting things tailored to fit perfectly, etc. i already have more clothes and shoes than i could possibly wear out in a lifetime, so one could argue i do not have a need to buy anything and that any item i purchase is a pure want, a compulsion even. so from that point of view, i suppose, i can see how he might say that.
but. here was my process on this particular day in auckland. i had been looking for the perfect faux fur jacket for a while, because i think it’ll be a useful alternative to heavy coats and parkas during this wellington winter that’s creeping up awful fast. as always, i prefer to buy second-hand if it’s possible. vintage clothes that have made it this far are likely to have been made in new zealand, rather than being sweatshopped somewhere; they will be well-made, having survived at least one owner; and they will not be instantly identifiable as something you purchased on lambton quay (which a waspish shop assistant described to me the other day as looking “more and more like an australian strip mall”, lol). one big disadvantage of shopping the high street in NZ: it has relatively few outlets, so everyone goes to the same places and everyone knows where you got a particular piece and how much you paid for it.
anyway, the vintage stores here in welli-lala had yielded pretty much nothing so far. so when i saw this beauty smiling at me from the racks at fast and loose (and let’s face it; something is always smiling from the racks of fast and loose) i thought, hello lover! it wasn’t so much a random grab as the end of a search for the exactly perfect thing. and as we know, vintage shopping is like that. send out your wish to the vintage fairies and, with enough patience and searching, your wish will come to you.
(as for the crown lynn swan, well. it’s an icon of new zealand design. i know they’re a little played by now, but i still love this kind of kitsch ceramic stuff. i have a big collection of those cabbage leaf plates in storage, in case you doubt me. what?)
i don’t think i am addicted to shopping, then, but i might be addicted to fashion. my eye is constantly searching out the new, the inspiring. it tires quickly and its desire for inspiration needs to be fed. this is why i love thrift/op/charity shopping .. you never know what you’ll find. go with an idea in your head, as i did, or a totally open mind, and have fun. because, after all, fashion is deadly serious but it should also be fun.
so let’s term it that way. i might be addicted to fashion. but in the end, all that is is an addiction to inspiration, to beauty, to fun. and in any case, addiction implies something that is damaging. i think in my case it’s entirely healthy. it makes me curious, creative and appreciative of the fabulousness of simple things, like the perfect colour of faux fur or the elegant sweep of a swan’s neck. and that, dear reader, is a good thing. well, i think it is, anyway.
as evidenced by my possibly-favourite-ever shoe manufacturer, melissa:
detail of the gorgeous box:
i have to say i am not *gagging* for the shoes themselves (although they could look pretty cute with jeans and a simple teeshirt) but the box is utterly precious. as the company themselves says, the total concept of a brand isn’t just restricted to the product itself but to the packaging .. because that’s the first impression a consumer gets of a product’s quality and its essence. i couldn’t agree more.
now, as for a pair of melissas that does make me go “ooh” .. check out these babies, the melissa ocean II (great heel height, right on trend, and i particularly like the bronze/gold combo, perfect for what the rockstar terms the perua rica or rich bitch look):
and then speaking of babies, well. this link may make you die of the cute, i warn you. but if you ever thought that vivienne westwood’s collaboration with melissa couldn’t get any better, it just has: dame viv + melissa for kids. check it. those miniature-sized lady dragons! eeeeee!!
(all images from the lojamelissa blog)
the autumn/winter collections are in store, coincidentally at a time when i have (a) hardly any money to spend and (b) a need to equip myself with a slightly more corporate wardrobe than i’ve been rocking this past few years. (i did say slightly. there will be no navy suits for *this* bunny, unless martin margiela makes a deconstructed one).
so instead of spending actual money, i present you with things i would buy if i could, thus indulging my magpie-like eye for the sparkly and new (ooh, a shiny penny!) here are three things i really, really want at this point in time.
exhibit one: the dress
the karen walker bunting dress. isn’t it beautiful? the rockstar actually picked this one out of a magazine, believe it or not. there is something about colourful prints on a dark background that men really like, it seems. and i like it too. although it isn’t exactly an autumn dress, it looks so fresh among all the nude colours and ditsy florals — or big shoulders and studding — that it feels like i’ve been looking at for ever :-/ i think with a base layer, thick tights and boots, this would transition through a wellington winter just fine.
exhibit two: the accessorything
this belt harness hybrid from kate sylvester is calling me and i may have to succumb. i love the dark brown, the raw edges of the leather, the solid hardware. it stops it all from looking too dominatrix-y for everyday wear, which is often a problem with these harnesses, i think. this would look equally fabulous over a blouse and skirt as it does over this divine oversized coat. and the socks and shoes! i die. thinking about it, there is something a tiny bit reminiscent of an old-style girl guide uniform about it, which is probably why it appeals. the rest of my guide uniform was pretty horbz, but i loved the belt. wish i still had it.
(also, snaps to kate for the fabulous lipstick .. and for always, always having great gothy-post-punky music playing in her stores. she rules.)
exhibit three: the totally lush and rich scent
well, i ask you: if you could smell like daphne guinness, why would you not? according to the fabulous review on now smell this (my favourite perfume blog) daphne has notes of bitter orange, incense, saffron, rose centifolia, tunisian jasmine, tuberose, iris, patchouli, oud, amber and vanilla. it is produced by comme des garçons, who consistently make some of the most interesting fragrances around. i sprayed it on a card at mecca cosmetica, sniffed it joyously and put it in my bag. for the rest of the day, every time i opened my bag i was assailed by this rich, heavy, spicy scent .. oh my gosh, just gorgeous. i want this. it is the kind of perfume that turns heads .. like ms guinness herself, of course.
anyway. that’s just a little of what’s been rocking my socks. for now, i shall lust on ..
(images from karenwalker.com, katesylvester.com, doverstreetmarket.com)
things i am really into today:
- watermelon juice. a brazilian delicacy and best made now in NZ while the watermelon is still fairly cheap, locally grown and plentiful. here’s my recipe: cut a quarter watermelon into large chunks .. seeds in (you can remove the seeds if you like, of course, but brazilian healthy types believe they’re good for the circulation. and also i am lazy). put into blender. add filtered water until it reaches 750ml on the side of the blender. (less water makes for a thicker juice, but it will be more like a smoothie and not so much like a suco brasileiro). blend. add a decent drizzle of honey (i usually add a two-count of squeezable arataki). blend again. pass through a sieve to get rid of the seed residue. serve. accept compliments.
- the men’s section in vintage stores. i scored a wonderful men’s dress shirt yesterday at fin in newtown. the whole front and cuffs is made of this fine honeycomb-weave cotton, and it was precisely the right size for me. another great score: men’s oxford bags from savemart in upper hutt. think laterally about men’s vintage: wide waists can be cinched, long sleeves or legs can be rolled (and in fact often look better that way). if the fabric is good and the drape works, you will look elegant. (yes, i need to do an outfit post. i will, i promise.)
- wednesday nights on tv3! new zealand’s hottest home baker (grayson, i love you! i so want you to win!) followed by project runway. you know, i am not sure this ever made it onto the main networks in the UK .. it was always buried away on some obscure satellite channel .. so i had never seen it. oh my god, best show ever. [edited: dayum, it's actually thursday nights! pox! but i have already set the mysky box, hehe]
- cute iphone apps! my current favourite is one called 30 kittens per second. cute and bonkers. and i’m kind of tempted by this. if only because the first line of the description made me LOL, as i believe the kids are saying these days. ”Does your iPhone need more kittens? We understand.”