Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tragic hall of fame: Mulberry.

Burberry plaid might claim UK ‘It’ statues, but Tragic wants to direct your swoon to another accessories powerhouse…a little recognised hero of timeless design…the marvel that is Mulberry 

Established in Somerset circa 1974, Mulberry has always managed to marry tailored form with sleek function in the name of leather. For women and men, the label’s totes, luggage, purses, wallets and scarves have established luxury prestige without pretension. Classics like the Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ and ‘Mabel’ became iconic when on the arms of Kate Moss and Kate Bosworth. And historic collaborations with Bartley Luella in 2001 (before colabs were the new black) instilled the brand with progressive status. 

Mulberry’s latest partnership with English artist Julie Verhoeven sees delicate watercolours splashed across melt-in-your-mouth totes and clutches. If only Mulberry would open next to Zara then we’d be in fashion heaven. 

Do you lust after any unsung heroes of the fashion world?

Celebrity Fashion: Fashion Flash (Maxi Dress) takes a look at some celebrity fashion trends - Maxi Dress. 

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. By Melanie Moss.

Since when did swimwear get so flimsy? 

Remember the days when a bikini was for flaunting and a one piece was for eating lunch. 

It seems the impossible has happened and all of a sudden the bikini is for good and bad days and the one piece well that’s fallen into the realms of a lucky few. 

I’m not talking about your safe black halterneck low cut togs from Target, I’m talking about the Cutout. A pair of swimmers so daring that you have to be a cardboard cutout just to wear them! Slit to the belly button and sucked in at the sides, the new swimwear is looking more and more like Borat everyday - just add requisite chest hair. 

With no where to run to baby, no where to hide, it made me realise just how forgiving the humble bikini could be. Worn correctly they are designed to accentuate curvy hips and as long as you are flat out like a lizard sunbaking are quite flattering to a tummy even with a little excess baggage. 

Now its all about excess all areas with your attention drawn directly where you least need it. While the bikini draws our eye up towards the décolletage - helped along with a little Model Co shimmer spray and or tanning glove, the new cutout drags us due south to hips, thighs and buttocks and not in a Cindy Crawford workout way. 

Don’t be fooled by the fashion packs conviction that not only is the cutout this seasons answer to looking fabulous by the pool or that apparently body suits are back and why not save on buying both by wearing your cutout with or without a pair of pants. Would that be high waisted skinny leg jeans perhaps? Come on be serious people! Would any of you really be caught dead wearing a body suit and jeans Christmas Day? Matching bonbon hat anybody? Remember if you wore it the first time and I did with bells on, it’s a definite no the second. 

So where does one go if they don’t want to shop in the maternity section at Target or pour themselves and a years worth of Cadbury’s fudge brownie chocolate into a cutout one piece? I always take my clients to David Jones for swimwear. The change rooms are roomy and private! Nothing worse than a store that forces you to slink out to check yourself in the communal mirror is there! They carry a fabulous selection, we love Jets by Jessika Allen and yes she does do a fancy white cutout for those of you brave enough to try it. Lisa Ho is the pick of the season with divine navy halterneck togs with plenty of detail to draw the eye up. Fantastic price too! Why pay double for half the fabric I say! Match back with a crisp white pair of shorts and jeweled thongs for a permissible look at the Christmas table. 

For those of us looking down the baby belly gauntlet (or simply intend to eat enough turkey to inspire one) can try Baybeecino for their fabulous maternity suit by Madison Rose. A great piece in basic black, perfect for chasing the kids around a family friendly resort in Fiji. 

It is easy to be sucked in by fashion especially when it looks so tempting aka model lying beside Bondi Icebergs, cocktail in hand, poured rake thin into drainpipe jeans and a swimsuit I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kath or Kim giving a good hard go in a few months time but its always good to take a step back and remember what the first day of swimsuit season is really like. Doubtless you are a pale (literally) imitation of said model………………………..

Ebony and Ivory. By Alicia Pyke.

Hello toes! Yes, it’s officially sandal season and with it comes a whole new range of vivid nail polishes to test-drive. Bright sports-car red one day, a delicious pinky coral that reeks of decadent holidays in the sun the next. Ah, how I love seeing those gleaming discs of pristine colour whenever I glance down. 

No, this is not a column about overhauling your feet for spring since I believe in perennial pedicures and truly practise what I preach on that score. Rather, it’s about that stage most of us go through in which the weather forces us to get reacquainted with particular parts of the body that seem to go MIA during winter. 

As one of the palest women on the planet – is it any wonder I adore Dita Von Teese? – warm spring days mean adjusting to the sight of my ultra milky flesh peeking out from my mostly black clothing. Cardigan, schmardigan. When the sun shines and the wind drops I want to shrug of those outer layers and feel the balmy air on my skin just like the olive-skinned among us. Hence the ebony (my frock du jour) and ivory (my skin) look I’m currently rocking. 

Sure, I could hit the Holiday Skin, Dove Summer Glow or one of the other “gradual tanners” cluttering my bathroom shelves. Or even renew the standing weekly appointment with a spray tanning guru like I had a few summers ago while living in Brisbane. But there’s something about the early days of spring that makes it acceptable to venture forth with a moontan. Something that doesn’t happen in the middle of a blazing summer. 

My milky natural hue is not something I’m especially proud of, but hey, you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. And what I’ve got is a complexion that screams pure Melbourne in a crowd of Sydney perma-tans. By my estimation I’ve also got a window of about two weeks before this look gets real old, real fast. 

Not that I’ll be ready to show off my pale pins then. I still haven’t given up my tights but on the days I go for footless versions, those happy colours on my toes remind me long, luscious summer days are nearly here. 

And that’s when I’ll hit the tanning bottle. One step at a time please.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mary-Kate, Ashley and The Row

They made the ‘bag lady’ popular and built a mini empire on the back of ‘Tweens’, but Ashley and Mary-Kate have officially grown up. Last week, London department store Harvey Nicols hosted the launch for their latest label ‘The Row’, a collection that would have left many of their former fans with raised eyebrows.

Sheer tops, suspenders and more than a hint of chest characterised the Olsen’s first ‘Row’ collection (named after London’s Savile Row), revealed first at a top-secret show in Paris earlier this year. With 29 stockists confirmed world-wide including 10 Corso Coma in Milan, Isetan in Tokyo and Nicols, it’s a step up from their previous Walmart label ‘mary-kateandashley’.

The official launch at Nicols revealed $1700 cashmere tuxedo jackets and a $3220 Tuscan lamb coat to the applause of Peaches Geldorf and Amy Winehouse. Inspired by androgynous black-and-white Helmut Lang photographs, it’s a big leap up from the Walmart isles.

Costume change. By Alicia Pyke.

Sometimes when I’m dressing, I like to imagine myself playing a role. Just as actors garb up for a particular part in a play, so I like to prepare for the day or night ahead in theme.

Usually it’s a pretty large leap of imagination but that’s exactly what makes it fun in the first place. So humour me if you will when I think I’m channelling a Rock Goddess, Sexy Secretary, French Poet or some other fashion muse.

Rock Goddess naturally involves jeans and killer heels to catch a band while French Poet might just mean wearing a beret, scarf and scuffed boots on a rainy day. Russian New Money meanwhile only surfaces in the middle of winter on an especially chilly evening when I can get away with wearing the Ginger & Smart black rabbit fur hat I once purchased on sale for $10.

Girl Detective likes to gad about in the same deluxe belted trench coat Sexy Secretary also ventures out in. But that’s where the wardrobe overlap ends. Did you ever hear of Nancy Drew sleuthing around in mesh-covered stilettos after all?

I also like to employ the same role play when shopping for swimwear. It’s one way to make this hideous process slightly more bearable. Hollywood Starlet chooses a belted one-piece never actually intended to get wet with a floppy wide-brim straw hat, giant sunnies and perhaps a sheer scarf for a cover up. Hippie Lovechild however favours a bright bikini with a fabulous printed caftan and jewelled flats.

Yes, they’re often ridiculous descriptions for relatively simple outfits but the names make me laugh. Especially when I decide to share my inspiration du jour with friends.

But fashion is fantasy and this is my way of importing a little runway into reality. So who do you imagine you’re channelling when it’s time to get dressed?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Angels and Devils – The Right and Wrong Way to Dress for Fancy Dress. By Melanie Moss.

Have you ever been invited to one of those fancy dress parties where you aren’t good friends with the hosts and are not sure just how dressed up you should be?

I don’t know which option’s worse you either disregard the Super Hero’s fancy dress notice and end up being the Plain Jane in the corner while everyone else gets down and dirty in their Catwomen suits while you try and pass yourself off as Lois Lane or worse still you turn up in last years Play Bunny outfit and if you are anything like me you look more Sara ‘Bunny Ears’ Marie from Big Brother than Elle Woods.

So what is the correct protocol? How do you stand out from the crowd without wishing you had emptied a stiff drink first…..

Start by reading the invite properly or ask for clarification. If your host’s theme asks for Hookers and Hobos its not asking you to turn up looking like a beef eating linebacker.

Is the occasion heavily based around the fancy dress theme or has it just been tacked on at the bottom of the invite “so and so is turning 30 yada yada yada, wish you could join us etc etc etc, oh and if you fancy, turn up wearing your knickers on your head”

However, if the invite is written on Spiderman paper, lists a fancy dress rental store in Bondi and has a fine (run around the room with someone else’s knickers on your head) for turning up sans costume it’s a fair bet you can go out and rent that PVC miniskirt – or grab it our of your underwear draw.

As with all female beauty duties its always best to turn up with friends for moral support. Of course in this case you want to make sure that A) you are the only one wearing the Catwomen costume and B) you look the best in it.

A little confidence goes a long way. Walk in like Bridget Jones to a garden party and all the girls will be wishfully gazing at your cat-that-ate-the-cream smile and all the guys………well we know where they will be looking.

Have that stiff drink and settle in for an evening of sparkling flirtation and envious compliments.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The ones that got away. By Alicia Pyke.

Regrets, I’ve had a few. Among them is a tiny cream lace dress I wore with hefty boots aged 16 and a collection of glamorous vintage slips and nighties worthy of a silver screen goddess I really was too young to appreciate.

Sure, there are certain other items I wish I had purchased at the time rather than letting common or financial sense stop me but it’s the items I’ve loved and lost that continue to haunt me.

Clothes are hopelessly linked with emotion. No surprises there. Who doesn’t remember their first pair of heels or what they wore to graduation? Incidentally mine were black patent courts from Big W in 1987 and my high-school graduation frock five years later was a plum sand-washed silk sack Dad had purchased at Country Road as a gift. A $200 gift I felt very grown up swapping my usual Levi’s 501s and band T-shirts for. If only on that occasion. And while I’m not in mourning for these particular items, there are others worthy of misty-eyed memories.

Not that I’m alone. After recently complimenting a friend on her all-black matador-esque ensemble (yes, that was a compliment) she confessed she never enjoys getting dressed. Not since her Dad threw away her entire wardrobe after she moved from the UK to Australia with a single suitcase. Who knew one long-distance closet clean-out could rob a woman of a lifetime of sartorial pleasure.

Maybe it’s because the clothes she still misses had been lovingly fossicked for at markets. As the ones that get away usually are. For me, op-shop forget-me-nots include a burnt toffee suede jacket I can only hope went to a better home plus a cache of early Carla Zampatti, Robert Burton and Simona pieces I gave up collecting when downsizing to a studio apartment in my mid-20s.

But that’s not all. New pieces hurt too. I’m still sentimental over the silver Emanuel Ungaro lab coat that was my first big-ticket designer buy in 1998. And I’ll never forget the comforting familiarity of an original Remo Stripy Thing fisherman’s jersey.

What’s more I didn’t even profit from my losses since most of this divesting occurred B.E. – before eBay. Now if you love something, you can set it free. For a price, anyway.

So, what special pieces have you loved and lost?

Image Credits from top left: Simona, Carla Zampatti, Emanuel Ungaro

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Ode to the Maxi Dress. By Melanie Moss.


Oh maxi dress how fond of thee am I

Thy flattering jersey hangs softly at my side

You leave me free to butter my bread each side

As I don’t need to worry about the thighs I need to hide

I love a good maxi dress, have been wearing them for years. Born into a family without the best legs, they been my saving grace on many an occasion. I do worry about my daughter though as I pass on the family curse, although to look on the bright side I do have a smaller than usual waist…….

This summers fashion is built on the foundation made last season by designers with maxi dresses appearing on catwalks, in the windows of chainstores and even on the stage of Idol, not that I watch it…..

The trick to a good maxi dress is to play up your assets and hide the rest. You don’t want some unsuspecting stranger to walk up to you on the street, pat your belly and ask when you are due. Too much excess fabric isn’t good for anybody and in particular with the maxi dress.

The best styles to choose in this case are the triangle bust styles. Tree of Life have done a great range of printed maxi dresses this year in a halter style that brings the eye upwards. You can further emphasise what God gave you with an oversized necklace, try Dinosaur Designs or Diva.

On the flip side, a maxi dress can be great for pregnancy. Jersey is the pick of the bunch here and you need look no further than Just Jeans. Plenty of fabric in the bust, plus wide straps to cover those awful bras they make us wear.

Everyone looks good strapless especially those of us needing to add a little shape. Grab a cotton boobtube with built in bra from Supre and their printed strapless jersey dress with keyhole detail. Match with oversized earrings and diamonte flats from Country Road, grab a martini and sit by the pool feeling fabulous. Perfect for mums with toddlers, not only are you comfortable, you will be the envy of the pram pack for your effortless style.

You could even say that the maxi dress is sun smart and economical. By covering yourself from the neck down you are not only fashionable in the extreme but you are saving yourself from hours of sunscreen application!

What a clever little piece of clothing you are dear maxi dress…………….

Image Credits - Clockwise from top left: Primark, Virgo Fashions, Dinosaur Designs, CR Issadora Thongs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get THAT Dress.


Last week, Top Shop sent out a mailer to all its eNewsletter subscribers with the header ‘Get THAT Kate Moss Dress’. Just WHAT dress are they talking about? Let’s just say it has something to do with an old flame, a charity and 60,000 Swarovski crystals….

Fashion lore has it that 10 years ago, when Kate Moss met Johnny Depp (also known as the ‘Brad and Gwenyth’ era) she was wearing a 1920s vintage flapper dress. The romance might have fizzed, but the dress lived on – albeit under her bed. But a few months ago, Ms Moss shook out the beaded beauty and used it as inspiration for a Swarovski/Topshop collaboration.

Embroidered with 60,000 Swarovski crystals, 500 limited edition copies are to go on sale at TopShop’s Oxford flagship next month, and the original? It’s been auctioned on Ebay for the Prince’s Trust. Want to nab it? You need to be a size 6-8 and have around 5000 pounds up your sleeve. Ouch.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fact or Fashion. By Alicia Pyke.

I’ve been present at a lot of fashion shoots lately and what you see in a magazine has as much to do with the art of illusion as it does the clothes. Or the model. And I’m not even talking about Photoshop. Here are some of the tricks of the trade that routinely take place before a single frame is snapped…

· Sometimes it takes as many as three people to shoe-horn a model into a dress: one to hold the garment in place, another to bring the fabric together and one to work the zipper. Speaking of zips, whether you’re in a studio or at home, never rush these temperamental metal monsters. If it sticks try again in a couple of minutes. Persisting will only result in a tear or broken zipper.

· Squeezing into a corseted gown is even less pleasant. Did you know a model’s ribs can actually be lifted and compressed slightly to help with fastening the hooks and eyes? Ouch. According to one clothes horse, the bones settle back into position after the dress has been on a few minutes and breathing finally becomes easier. The same goes for breasts.

· If you’re looking at a photograph of model in a long dress and you can’t see her feet, she’s probably wearing thongs or trainers (if she’s tall and body-confident), balancing barefoot on her toes ballerina style (if she’s shorter or needs to elongate her body) or in some truly hideous heels the stylist doesn’t want anyone to know she called in.

· When it comes to foundation less really is more. The less foundation a make-up artist applies, the longer it takes and the more brushes are required to blend it. BTW, powder is on the outer. Experts are using the latest liquid formulations sparingly, working them right into the skin and blotting away any shine so there’s really nothing to powder down.

· Hair stylists use eyelash glue to stick temporary hair extensions on at practically every shoot. Even if the model has long hair several extensions about 7cm wide are usually placed at the roots beneath a layer of hair around the face and at the top of the crown to add volume. After a quick blast with a hair dryer the extra locks are secure enough to curl and brush like real hair.

So now you know…

Image credits: America’s Next Top Model, Fashion Magazine, Burberry.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sail Away With Me Hunny. By Melanie Moss.

Its Tuesday afternoon, you’re fed up and you’ve decided to pack up and go away for the weekend.

The best part about going away on the weekend is the lead up. You spend Tuesday booking the beach house, flights and food. Wednesday listing what you are going to wear, Thursday writing your cleaning list and washing enough undies then before you know it its Friday and you can waste the day emailing all of your friends telling them about your plans for the weekend.

Cleverly executed, a weekend away can take up your entire working week.

I consider myself an expert packer. I can cram enough for myself, husband and two cats in the same leather overnighter, throw it in the car and be ready to go in half and hour.

Packing for a weekend away is fun. There’s the expectation of the escape, the fun adventures you might find yourself on, the opportunities that may crop up and so on. The not so fun part is spending most of Sunday afternoon repacking rather than lying on the beach.

After heading off to Jervis Bay every second weekend in summer for the past 10 years I have learnt the hard way. We started with a boot full of junk we never used and have now finely tuned our gear into one bag, one beach bag and one booze esky.

Here’s how.

Be realistic about how many changes of clothing you are really going to need. You aren’t seriously going to change your outfit three times a day and if you can pack clothing that transforms from day to night all the better.

Limit yourself to one bag which must include shoes!! This was the biggest challenge for me, I always needed a pair of thongs, walking shoes and at least three pairs of heels. The thing about a weekend away is, you want to be as comfy as possible and perhaps a sparkly pair of thongs is a better option than skyscraper stilettos.

Keep your beauty routine to a minimum, wash and style your hair Friday and leave for the weekend. This cuts down on packing – shampoo & conditioner, styling product, hair straightener etc. If you do swim just leave the salt water to create curl and scrunch dry in the sun for the sexiest beach hair ever. Pack beauty essentials that do more than one job – bronzer for skin and eyes, lip stain for cheeks and lips and moisturiser with inbuilt sun blocks are all great ways to cut down. A friend of mine keeps sachets from magazines of perfumes and makeup for the ultimate throw away beauty kit.

If you have a child in tow I suggest purchasing a matching overnighter just for them. That way everything is separated, organised and most importantly stylish. I chose the baby’s overnighter before I bought the baby bag…….

Have a handy list of essentials ready to pack. I keep a separate beach tote in the car with togs, sarongs, sunscreen, body butter, white rubber thongs etc so its all ready to go. Then all I need to pack is my clothes and booze.

Try keeping it to the bare essentials:

Sarong – doubles as beach towel, skirt, pashmina shawl and the most fabulous dress when wrapped from your back, under your arms, twisted across the front and tied around the neck as a halter.

Beaded thongs that go from night to day

Bikini, the top can also double as a bra under a dress or full piece to wear with shorts rather than a singlet

Jersey maxi dress

Vintage slip for warm summer nights. Choose one that can double as an impromptu dress if needed – Fleur Wood is perfect

Oversized beads to dress up a swimsuit or outfit

Classic white shorts & a stripy singlet for Sunday brunch and markets go Country Road or Esprit

Throw in a book at the last minute, a nice long one for beach reading. If you haven’t read Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrel yet it’s a beauty!

Keep a colour theme running through the entire capsule and you will save time and excess baggage.

If you can manage to keep to this failsafe list, not only will you get home Sunday night satisfied that you wore everything you took, you only need to spend 2 minutes emptying your overnighter into the washing machine!

You can now spend Monday loading your pics onto Facebook and telling your friends all about your fabulous weekend!

Image Credits - Clockwise from top left: Kookai, Fleur Wood, Lana Ford, Wittner

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fashion Optimism.

The world might have wars and warming on its mind, but the fashion world is still one great optimist. At the Paris shows last month, some of the biggest names painted the fashion future, and it was bright.

Balenciaga was voted by many as leader of the pack, Nicolas Ghesquière’s floral armour had models iron-clad in bold silk mini dresses, capped sleeves and hand-span waists. He then doused them in peonies, hibiscus and chrysanthemum – talk about a floral revolution.

Another flower child, Stella McCartney created a virtual garden of cloth, with bouquet-covered silk voile jumpsuits, parachute blazers and silk georgette dresses. It was a garden party without the annoying neighbour…just embossed porcelain and iced-cupcakes.

Dries van Noton mixed flowers like they were cocktails but emerged without a headache. Combining tropical print with floral motifs and chunky jewellery, the collection packed more colour than 72 Derwents. Spring greens were splashed over violent golds, in a celebration of colour as much as it was a testimony of van Noton’s material skill.

Image Credits - All images from

Pack attack. By Alicia Pyke.

Call me schizo-fash-ic but I have an entirely new wardrobe worry this week: Packing Paranoia.

In a little over a month I’ll be relaxing on a remote island in the South Pacific with my favourite person in the world and nothing but snorkelling excursions, sunset cocktails, seafood feasts and trashy novels to consider. Mmmm, I can almost see it now.

But for one major detail – what I’m wearing. Yes, I know the location dictates it probably won’t be much but that makes it even more important to choose wisely. I also know I want to pack smart, pack light and pack to with a nod to my inner island princess without looking like I’ve been shipwrecked en route to a costume party.

My main problem stems from thinking I have to pack for holidays like I’m preparing for one of those fashion stories the magazines are currently brimming with. You know, “Seven clever pieces to mix and match over 10 nights in three countries”. Oh, did I mention in just one overnight bag?

It doesn’t stop there. Having styled many of these shoots over the years, I can’t ignore the urge to choose a strict colour palette to tie it all together. Like on the family holiday to Bali where I wore nothing but khaki, leopard, chocolate and coral, right down to bikinis, shoes and jewellery. True, I did seem a little uptight. Wonderfully coordinated though.

This time I’m thinking white, tan, cobalt and black with a few quirky prints and metallic accessories thrown in (carefully). So, will having a synchronised wardrobe ensure the holiday of my dreams? I doubt it, but that’s not the point. I can’t control the weather, the quality of the food or the crispness of the linen, but I can control what I take to wear. And have all the fun of shopping for it.

Maybe I should change my diagnosis to Obsessive Fashion Disorder?

Image Credits Clockwise from top left: Lana Ford, Camilla Franks, Wittner, Sunburn

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fat Free Accessories.

What if we said that you could indulge in creamy macaroons, whipped cream rings, choc-dipped banana and scooped ice-cream without gaining a gram? You can. It’s called Q-Pot

Hailing from Harajuku, Japan, Q-Pot is an accessories company with a major sweet tooth. Surprisingly, founder Tadaaki Wakamatsu has perfect pearlers, probably because the treats he produces are for fingers, necks and wrists – not mouths. In crafting each piece Wakamatsu studies the shape and
form of his subject in depth. Testing legions of biscuits, cakes and creams
(hard life!) to create the perfect whipped-banana rings or soft macaroon
necklaces. Sold from a chocolate covered store in Tokyo (or at Incu, Via Alley, Harry Highpants and The Outpost in Oz) the label is not just about fat-free accessories - but interaction between people. Food is something that every person in every country can connect over, without reference to language or even culture. See a choc-dipped banana hunk on someone’s index and it’s hard not to bite…

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vintage fashion is here to stay. By Melanie Moss.

My grandmother bought her first pair of jeans last month at the ripe age of eighty three. She felt very groovy walking into Susan and walking out with a pair of sensible slacks in denim.

Each night I kiss the photo of my Nanna with my grandfather looking very glamorous on holiday together in the 60’s. My favourite picture of her, she is wearing a knitted camisole and matching shrug, gloves and pearls, my grandfather in his beige linen suit, both of them footloose and fancy free.

I truly believe the fascination we have with vintage fashion comes from a desire to return to a time where ladylike dressing was the rule not the exception. With couture classics selling for more than ever in stores and on Ebay and celebrities clamoring for vintage gowns to set them apart on the red carpet it’s a phase of fashion I don’t see ending soon.

My grandparents were not well off, both coming from large families and in turn having seven children of their own but they and the kiddies were always dressed beautifully with my Nanna not leaving the house without matching handbag and shoes. She sewed her own and the children’s clothing and has proudly shown me photographs of her slim waist encased in smart skirt suits, twin sets and cocktail frocks that could easily feature in an Audrey Hepburn movie.

When I ask her how she managed to always look so stylish and sophisticated, she always comes back to quality over quantity. Money was spent on beautiful fabrics in classic colours that could be coordinated in many different ways rather than our throw-away-society habit of buying a new frock for every occasion.

But it isn’t just the stores in the cities that carry the best vintage, I was in the Blue Mountains last weekend at an antique store in Blackheath filled to the rafters with chiffon fifties prom frocks, button-up silk gloves, size six and a half patent pumps and mock-croc handbags. They even had vintage Tiffany’s!

With the Spring Racing season upon us, there has never been a better opportunity to snap up something special. Instead of heading into one of the department stores, why not try your local antiques dealer for an outfit reminiscent of another era when we dressed for femininity and not fashion.

Image Credits: Mode De Jour Zeigermann, Grandma Takes A Trip, BridalWave , Amazon

Collaboration Nation.

Here at Tragic, we talk a bit about colabs. So it seems fit to draw into the discussion one of the most epic local fashion/store collaborations of them all, ‘Designers for Target…style by design’

It’s become a sort of local fashion lore. When Stella McCartney released for Target in March 2007, women cued up around the block to catfight over her range. However, a month later, racks were full with mark-downed items.

Few before her had caused such a furore (T.L. Wood, Tina Kavalis and Alice McCall) but few had left the racks so full. Josh Goot has fared a similar fate, his fast fashion left lingering on the floor. Still, designers Yeojin Bae and Gail Sorronda have just released through the store, making a new season of colab creation.

So what are the benefits of a collaboration nation? On the up side, we have once inaccessible designers at market price. On the other? A trend-obsessed phenomenon that prioritises commercial clout over innovative design.

Image credits:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Paris Hilton Gets Her Gear On

Take one hotel heiress who became famous for being famous, and combine with a Korean sports label and what do you get? That’s right, it’s Paris Hilton for Fila folks.

Last week, the blonde American “beauty” renewed her estimated one million dollar contract to represent South Korean sportswear giant Fila Korea. Paris has been working with the brand since March 2007, and on a recent visit to the country proudly proclaimed: “I’m very excited to be in Korea. This is a great market for me…My favorite color is pink, so I wore this today,” before whisking off to host a charity party attended by Korean A-list entertainers as well as Beyonce Knowles.

Word on the Korean streets is that Paris is a decent pick for the promo due to her ‘sexy’ image. Pretty sure the tone was different back in the Rick Saloman days of 2004. But that’s yesterday’s news right?

Image Credits:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christian Lacroix On Show.

There are fashion designers, and then there are couture designers. Christian Lacroix is both. Over his 30-year long career, the designer has created pieces that have adorned red carpets the world over.

Recently opened at France’s Les Arts Decoratifs Museum Christian Lacroix: Histoires de Mode features 400 dresses, capes, coats and hats dating back to the 18th century alongside 90 designs from Lacroix’s own haute couture shows. Running until April 2008, Lacroix is rumoured to have gone through over 80,000 items to come up with the final 500.

Pieces from Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons along with postwar classics from Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin, and creations by early couturier Jeanne Lanvin are all included. So if you’re in France before April 20, put this in your itinerary.

Images from the exhibition and Christian Lacroix’s collections courtesy of Les Arts Decoratifs Museum and
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