Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brisbane - it's ok!

If you know me IRL, you may have heard me banging on about how crap Brisbane is and how glad I am that I have now moved to the far more awesome city of Sydney. This is mainly because I felt trapped in Brisbane for sooooo long that I had completely lost sight of any charm that it has. Also, it is a bit crap.

But about a month ago, I decided to go back there for the weekend. Not because I missed the place though - I went back because I missed the absolutely gorgeous people who still call Brisbane home. That's right. Not everyone has left Brisbane and those that are left there happen to be some of the most fab people that I have ever known.

What I did not expect, however, was that I would not only get to enjoy the company of these awesome people but that I would also enjoy some amazing shopping! Not exactly something you head to Brisbane for if we are being honest - the city's look tends mostly to comprise of denim skirts, singlets and thongs (for Summer) and denim skirts, singlets, ugg boots and a scarf (for those couple of days in Winter when it gets a bit chilly).

I wanted to give a shout out to a couple of shops in particular that I used to love to frequent when I lived in Brisbane and that seem to have gotten even more super over the last couple of years:

Dogstar is a local label that have made gorgeous, unique clothes for ages. And the current season seems to be the best yet. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be carried in many Sydney shops (that I have found, anyway) but they have a few amazing shops in Brisbane (City, Paddington, New Farm...). I am planning to take advantage of their online store in between visits to Queensland.

I picked up this skirt while I was there:
Source: www.dogstar.com.au
(Now obviously, it is not me in this photo - I look pretty cute in it but this model is way hotter and also taller.)

This skirt is from Dogstar's current season. I really love how they styled it here too. Not how I rock it but it is still very cool. I wear it higher on my waist with a little black cropped singlet that is tied to show the top of my belly and my ribs (and, conveniently, my new tattoo!). And with big boots. It makes me happy.

I wouldn't have minded grabbing the dress in the same print too and could have grabbed a few other dresses while I was at it but it was literally the first shop that I went into and I didn't want to blow all my cash before the weekend had even gotten started. Which is a good thing, because the next shop also liberated quite a bit of cash from me and it would have been a tragedy to have gone in there with nothing left in the ol' wallet.

Bessie Head
Bessie Head has been around for a while but it seems to have grown up a bit over the last few years. It now carries some of the most amazing labels (Deadly Ponies, Ellery, Friedrich Gray, Therese Rawsthorne etc etc) and the layout of the shop is dark and slick - perfect for inducing a shopping-frenzy that ended with me feeling a little dazed but very, very satisfied also.

They have a great range of accessories and other pretty things too. I picked up this little fella while I was there:

Sadly, their website doesn't really show much - but they have a blog!  It is pretty good too. Check it.

Now, I am not saying that this shopping extravaganza has changed my mind about Brisbane and that I now long to move back there or anything crazy like that. And obviously the shopping in Sydders and Melbs is still ahead of the game when it comes to fashion.

But Brisbane is catching up - and fast!

PS - Much love and thanks to my Brisbane shopping companions, Bron and Jas. You guys would make shopping in any city a total blast!  xox

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

I had a lot of trouble this year working out what it was that I wanted to get for Christmas from the husband. We tend not to do the whole surprise thing much because it usually leads to disappointment. So we ask for what we want off each other and then we are super-duper happy on the big day.

Now I ended up asking for some pretty sweet things and will be well happy when I unwrap them. But the things that I really, really, REALLY want for Christmas aren't the sorts of things he can get me. At least not from the new Westfields in Sydney... They are the more in the realm of "Christmas miracles" I'm afraid.

So in case there really is a Santa Claus, here is my actual Christmas wish list:

  • A job in New York (like a proper job - I am so not going to be able to live the way I want to live in New York if I work at Starbucks or in a book shop or something)
  • Blake Lively's teeth - and, while I am at it, her legs too
  • A good justification for how I can be a vegan and still have an addiction to gorgeous leather handbags and shoes
  • If I can't have the one above, I at least want a vegan Birkin handbag in orange or purple (hey - if Dior can make Natalie Portman some vegan shoes, why not?). Oh - that reminds me - some vegan Louboutins too!
  • A book deal - or a regular magazine column. For a magazine in NYC of course
  • An apartment that looks just the way I want it to and is a perfect reflection of my personality (oh - and I guess the husband's too) but without me really having to think about what that would look like. Preferably, the apartment would be located in Soho, the Village or anywhere in Paris.
  •  A pony
  • Skinny jeans that don't make me look like a giant, denim-clad carrot
  • The time to perform in musicals again (and a few choice roles wouldn't go astray - Eponine, maybe?)
  • Alexa Chung's wardrobe. And her aversion to food so I can fit into it all
  • A black pug dog and two black whippets (but they must get along with my cats!)
  • To be French (I am assuming this will come with the ability to speak French too)
  • World peace or something like that to balance out the superficiality of all the above wishes
SOURCE: The Daily Telegraph

Really - am I asking too much? Probably. But I have been oh so good this year so I am thinking Santa will bring me at least something from the above list.

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease let it be the pony!!!!

Merry Christmas you guys!!!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Festival insanity

So I would first like to acknowledge up front that I totally get that festivals are really the domain of the young - the awful, fearless, tanned, lean, non-working, long-haired young. And yes, maybe the following are merely the foolish ramblings of a bitter, no longer with it, 30-something who, a few times a year, likes to try to recapture her raging youth by seeing some bands in a field with about 50-odd thousands teens who are all high on life and various substances. 

And maybe I should just enjoy the bloody things rather than whinging about a) the fact that the tickets are SO expensive now; b) the line-up being crap and “not as good as they used to be” (you know, when you could see the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Bjork , Primus, The Ramones and the Breeders for, like, $40); how fricking YOUNG everyone seems to be; and d) how ridiculously and inappropriately all of these kids dress.

I get all of that. But I would still like to have a whinge, if you don’t mind – particularly in relation to the last point.

Honestly, though, what the hell are the kids at festivals thinking when they get dressed? I mean, teenagers look pretty stupid most of time – it is like part of the job description – but the level of stupidity seems to be cranked up to 10 at these events. 

There is this whole scene around festival dressing. The fashion magazines do these spreads on “Summer Festival Fashion” or some such crap so that all the girls who are heading to a festival know what to wear. I assume that these girls are only attending because their boyf or bff happens to actually give a crap about the bands and they are just tagging along to look cool by association or because they are being forced to – thus causing the dilemma that has seen them running to Cosmo or, if they are mildly cool in a predictable sort of way, Yen in order to work out what to wear to the Big Day Out.

As far as I can tell, the writers of these articles have never actually been to a festival. Or, if they have, they stayed in one spot all day and had access to some kind of magical toilet, unavailable to the rest of the heaving, sweaty mass, with a mirror, great lighting and a hairdryer as well as a never ending supply of super-soft toilet paper. For the rest of us, however, these misguided lists of the latest “boho” designer wear will only come in handy when you do, inevitably, get stuck in a stinky port-a-loo at the festival which ran out of toilet paper sometime around the second act.

Not only are the clothing and accessories that they suggest usually impractical, they also tend to be stupidly expensive.  Burberry gumboots anyone? Or how about a fringed sass+bide singlet? This doesn’t really take into account the fact that you will end up ripping off the boots because they make your feet all sweaty in the extreme heat and that you may decide, in your infinite, alcohol-impaired wisdom, to discard the singlet somewhere along the way too.

I always to tend to try to dress for festivals in way that makes the most sense in light of what intend to get up to on the day. If I am likely to be in a mosh-y mood, I will wear a t-shirt (shoulder coverage to stop me getting burnt and I usually pick a fitted one so it is less likely to get ripped or let some random’s hands up it), jeans (old ones so that it doesn’t bother me if I get blood or vomit on them and maybe with a belt if I think there is a risk that they could get pulled down) and docs or something similar (boots are necessary so I don’t lose my shoes and it doesn’t hurt as much when my feet get trampled). If I am unlikely to go in the mosh pit, then I might wear a skirt or shorts but it is never anything too fancy.  

But this is just what works for me - I don’t necessarily think it is what everyone should be wearing. So instead of coming up with my own list of things to wear to a festival, I thought I would come up with a list of things NOT to wear – all of which are based on things that I have seen girls actually wearing, usually with tragic, tragic results.

  • Don’t wear anything expensive or that you really care about – festivals are pretty crazy places and you never know where you (or your clothes) will end up.
  • This is especially true for accessories – designer handbags, sunnies, hats etc . Sure, you may have seen pictures of Alexa Chung rocking out at Coachella with her quilted Chanel bag across her body but she is richer than you are and her boyfriend is in a band so she probably has access to all sorts of great backstage areas and lackeys who will guard her bag while she dances around with Lou Doillon.
  • If you are going anywhere near a mosh pit or up front near a stage, don’t wear a skirt. (I am not going to say you will be “asking” for trouble but you may end up with a strange hand up your skirt and you won’t know whether it was the cute, indie boy next to you that you keep accidentally bumping up against or the feral, 40-odd year old on acid behind you who you have been desperately trying to get away from.)
  • Re-think that long, hippie dress that you think will make you look all whimsical and free – one trip to a port-a-loo will tell you why.
  • Avoid flip-flops or sandals – even if you don’t plan on moshing or dancing, your feet will get stamped on and you will walk through some questionable things. Your feet will also look minging by the end of the day.
  • Never wear just a bikini top – it isn’t that hot and you will receive a nasty sunburn and unwelcome gropes for all of your trouble. Put a shirt on for God's sake.
  • Heels/wedges don’t belong ANYWHERE near a festival. I don’t care which festival you are going to – this is just dumb.
  • Unless you plan on staying very still, don’t wear a crap load of makeup or it will end up sliding down your chin or all over your t-shirt before you even get through the gate. This is true even if Marilyn Manson is playing. He will understand. He is lovely like that.
Otherwise, go nuts and have fun.