Saturday, 30 June 2012

Street Spotting

I love walking down the streets of Melbourne and coming across a gentleman who has not only put thought into his outfit, but incorporated lots of detail with impeccable grooming and styling. Keeping the colours neutral, but adding pops of brights with his shoes, socks and bag is a really easy way to veer off the 'all black' look that we seem to be well known for here in Melbourne. I think it works quite well, don't you?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Grace of Bendigo

Last Sunday saw an end to what was a rather popular exhibition for the Bendigo Gallery- Grace Kelly: Style Icon. Beyond their expectations, the exhibit sold out weeks before it closed as fashionistas and retro glamour lovers took the 2 hour trek from Melbourne to go to regional Victoria and the charming town of Bendigo. I was so excited to be going back to Bendigo as the first time I went there, was also to see a costume exhibit at the gallery, but I fell in love with the old school charm of this historic town. I thought it was fitting that Bendigo became Grace Town, as the town itself has a grace about it. The exhibition was sensational but unfortunately you could not take photos inside. What I did learn is that Grace Kelly had a sustainable view on fashion, buying key pieces she loved and wearing them for years. She also knitted and painted her own nails and make-up as a Princess and I found that to be utterly refreshing. She truly had an eye for fashion and made anything look good on her.

The streets were lined with Grace Kelly banners for the exhibition, making it truly- Grace Town.
One of the landmarks that I always enjoy coming to is this beautiful old fountain that sits in the middle of the road. Why have a plain old roundabout when you can drive past and have a bevy of beautiful women wave you by. Yes, given they are made of stone and have water spurting out from underneath them, but that's beside the point. The wide open boulevard streets create such a sense of space and sky you almost feel like you can think straight, unlike the bustle of the city with skyscrapers closing in on you. As an architecture junkie, it is also delightful to see these historic buildings functioning amongst modern day business and shopping giving a sense that you have stepped back in time, even though you have stepped out of a regular store.
The gardens are also a definite stop on the itinerary with bold palm trees and a rose garden and greenhouse that makes you want to sit in it with a frilly full skirted dress on reading classic literature. 
Love the old signs and font
It was a day of frocks as on the way to the gallery, we passed another gallery space where artist Suzie O'Shea makes dresses out of paper and ceramic! Amazing. A lot of creativity and hard work has gone into those.

The clouds were out in full splendor on the day, and the sun decided to appear after being absent for too long, so felt very blessed with the weather. Amazed me on the way to just see wide open fields, mountains and swirling cloud formations.
Nothing beats a bit of a road trip, or should I say train trip, great architecture, nature and the glamour of exquisite gowns and a time long gone. A very memorable day. I do hope some of you were able to experience it.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

SPENCERLACY Pops Up To Delight The Senses

Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Melbourne womenswear label SPENCERLACY Style Lab, a new pop up store sensory experience aimed at enlightening the 5 senses in a retail space. For the brands first foray into a retail venture, they have done a great job in providing more than just clothes on racks, but a warm, welcoming space that offers the consumer something special.

For the sense of Touch- there was plenty to go around with garments beautifully displayed around the store. Great chunky knits that you would want to live in on a cold winters day, to patterned leggings and stretch pants as well as shirts with beautiful cutout back detail. I really love the colour palette of this collection as I think they are great basics you could easily incorporate into your wardrobe and would suit most complexions. I felt quite happy amongst them.
Guests had their sense of Smell uplifted with candles burning from Melbourne brand Plain & Simple while sounds came from the Style Lab soundtrack, which were exclusively mixed by Melbourne DJ Lauren Mac. It was a great atmosphere mingling amongst some very fashionable people enjoying great conversations.
A beautiful cabinet from Izzi and Popo who were in charge of our sense of Sight, fitted out the Style Lab with vintage furniture and bold pieces that certainly attract your attention upon entering the store. I felt I needed to introduce myself to our horned friend that watched over us from a great height. The cabinet was well stocked with bold statement pieces from Liberte. I had to divert my eyes from falling in love with too many things as everything in store is for sale, I mean everything, which can be hard for the wallet to comprehend. 
For our sense of Taste, we were in for a unique food experience. In the presence of chef Daniel Dobra from The Aylesbury it was an opportunity to pay attention to mastery and creation in its most mouth watering form, or should I say molecular gastronomy! Using liquid nitrogen to create chocolate mouse balls that were hard on the outside and smooth on the inside and these spoon fulls of Tzatziki and cucumber were so refreshing and it was a joy watching everyones face as they popped them in their mouth. Some very happy customers indeed.

My brogue partner in crime on the night was my fashionable friend James Nolen who was sporting these hot red brogues and blue pants and by coincidence I wore my silver brogues and red pants. Great minds really do shoe alike! Thought we made a nice pair.

For more information on SPENCERLACY, check out any of of the options below and if you are in Melbourne, make sure you pop in to their Style Lab at 124 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Winter Highlights and Indulgent Delights

Yes! Finally Winter is upon us. That means another year older for me, grey skies, frizzy hair from drizzle, eating without consequence- just add another woolly layer and none the wiser and it also means making an effort to accept the seasons and the impact it has on your energy, mood and motivation. The moody blues have a way of lingering like the grey skies, but as someone wise keeps telling me, don't fight it, work with it. Great time for indoor tasks like fashion scrap booking, baking treats, watching great old movies and inspiring documentaries and sewing and knitting your winter wardrobe. Very true, for if it was a sunny day, you would just want to go outside and play. Well, lucky for me, the sun did stay for two whole days while it was my birthday (I have it over two days just to be greedy as I was born late afternoon, so hey, that counts to start the 24 hours from there doesn't it?) 
So, after more months than I care to recount, I got up on my birthday chilly morning and put on the best 80's inspired aerobics outfit I could muster half asleep and actually went for a run to kick start my ageing motor. And even though at times I felt like my body would be found flat on the sidewalk from wheezing and the realisation I am still not fit, I kept at it, and saw the most delightful sights along the way with the beautiful light and autumn leaves still hanging on for dear life.
I also knew that what waited for me at the other end, was an indulgent, lets put the fat back on breakfast of Gluten Free (yes folks, birthday present of diagnosis of being a Coeliac Sufferer confirmed) Corn Bread French Toast with cream, maple syrup, cardamon, cinnamon and Honey Dew melon. Yum!

One should always try and co-ordinate their nails to their crockery, or just be glad when it happens by accident!
No thin spreads of jam for me- I like to see ripples! 
Nature never lets you down providing beautiful blooms from the garden to brighten the table.
The lesson here is to always look up! If you spend your life looking at the ground, or checking your phone while walking (you know who you are people), you will miss such magical delights like finding the most beautiful array of coloured birds sitting on top of the trees already glowing the most intense colour. It certainly was a birds eye view!
Everyday sights like traffic lights always look better in the late Winter light!
Two interesting signs I came across. Pity someone didn't do a spell check on the Internet before they sprayed this one, but I kinda like it, even though they did tarnish my favourite yellow wall. And two things not to be in life I guess are Boring and Stupid. Enough said.
Missing my cat terribly on my birthday, I was so excited when this new short haired stripey variety turned up in my letterbox. It looked pretty happy to me, but glad it came with instructions on how to look after it! 
And I'm not a fan of missing out on things that I love, so even with a Coeliac diagnosis, you can still eat delicious birthday cake! This orange flourless cake courtesy of my sister was so moist, it actually tasted better than heavy wheat ones. Do you think we put enough cream? 
I hope you all enjoyed your first week of Winter here and treat yourself with all manner of things that make you happy and nurtured. As for the Northern Hemisphere, well, I could celebrate my birthday on the 1st day of Summer had I been there, but you all have suffered through a long winter, so shed your layers and soak up that sun and kiss the waves and the sand for me till I meet them next!