Archive for ‘Alannah Hill’

April 20, 2011

In which I make excuses for not sharing

When this photo was taken, I had just eaten my way through a packet of fruit chews. Not extraordinary in the least — I eat entire packets of sweets often.

This may account for my desire to climb the stairs via the banister instead of, well, the stairs.

Stairs are so 2009, anyway. 2010, rather. Seeing as this isn’t 2010 any more, but 2011.

(I like how my little hat looks with this outfit. Very Romana II from the classic Doctor Who.)

I tried to save some sweets for Valerie. This is a snippet of what was left by the time she came back from her meeting with her thesis supervisors:

I REALLY TRIED I SWEAR.

It just so happened to be the first time* I tried the Natural Confectionery Company’s fruit chews… so, naturally, I had to try at least each flavour.**

Multiple times, in case quality control was lacking that day.

You never know, really.

Also, one’s tastebuds occasionally get overexcited by unfamiliar flavours, making one think that the raspberry flavoured chew is similar to Allens Red Frogs. Second time around, though, proves that the raspberry bears an uncanny resemblance to children’s red Panadol, which is THE FLAVOUR FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL EURGHH. I used to ask my mum to crush Panadol tablets and mix them with honey instead of taking cherry-imposter liquid Panadol. Yeuch.

(If you’re curious, the blackberry ones taste like blackberry Soothers; the lemon one is a more tangy version of Starburst’s lemon chew; and the orange one is a lovely smooth orange without the strange bitterness at the end that you sometimes get with the gummy dinosaurs by the Natural Confectionery Company.)

Time to distract you from the evidence of my inability to share sweets. CUE JOPLIN’S ‘THE ENTERTAINER’!

PICSPAM BOOYEAH.

(I fear the sugar is still coursing through my system. Skiing through my veins. Fwooohh, fwoooh. —That’s meant to be the sound skis make when slicing through snow, by the by.)

So.

My Romana-hat is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 10 collection and is called ‘My Little Boat’. It used to have a black grosgrain band but I replaced it with a bright navy one today. Rather shabbily, really, but it’s unnoticeable from afar. I was thinking of using a darker green but I didn’t have any on hand, so blue it is! Green might have been too matchy-matchy. We’ll see!

I’ve also trimmed my hat with a teal satin ribbon, and with a bright red grosgrain one, though I don’t think I’ve taken an outfit shot with the red trimming yet. Maybe next month.

My jacket is from Ralph Lauren. It reminds me a bit of my high school uniform but our blazers were navy, not tartan, so I can wear it without cringing too much. I like the way the yellow brightens the jacket’s palette — it would be a shade too gloomy without it, I think.

I tried to bring out the yellow in the jacket by pairing it with a yellow-cream pussy bow blouse from BCBG, and my ‘Look Up My’ skirt from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 10 collection. The skirt goes with an awful lot of things — I’ve worn it with pastels, and with black. And with bright reds (which I’ve yet to photograph) and now with deep greens and blues. Really very versatile.

My shoes are the boots I wore to graduation — the My Little Pavalova boots from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection. I’m in a My Little Pavalova phase at the moment, I think; I want to wear them with everything. With good cause, too; they’re awesomesauce.

Going to photograph my happy new purchases tomorrow, I think. I’m going to Alannah Hill (surprise!) to pick up a new skirt and a pair of shoes. I already have the shoes in red but I need them in black. Tomorrow is Break from Thesis Day and I will be hedonistic to a fault.

Maybe I will get macarons, too. Am still bitter over the crumbly fail they served us at graduation.

* My sister has just informed me that I have indeed had fruit chews by the Natural Confectionery Company and apparently came to the exact same conclusion. I dub this selective memory of mine ‘Goldfish Tendencies’.

** There was only one lemon chew and this photo shows only a tiny bit of yellow wrapping. This isn’t because I threw it out, but because Valerie finished her meeting as I was unwrapping the lolly. It was proving a particularly cumbersome exercise as my body heat had caused it to melt a bit, and so the wax paper was more or less embedded in the chew. Once I received Valerie’s SMS stating she was coming to meet me, I began scrabbling at the wrapper like a person possessed, only to find that it made matters worse. And so I panicked. And popped the lolly in my mouth, paper firmly stuck on.

I hope paper won’t be too difficult to digest.

April 18, 2011

Graaaaaduated!

I feel very grown up.

Not only did I get to march and tip my hat and wear wizard robes (that’s what Valerie calls them), but I had to wake up early and be at uni by 8.30ish.

CRAZY TALK. Who on earth thinks it’s okay for me to get up before 8.30 in the morning? Absurd.

I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.

Anyhoo. I’m wearing my very new and newest favourite Alannah Hill dress — the charcoal and pale blue Style Me Up Pet! frock from this season. It’s currently available in the black colourway on the online boutique (isn’t the online shop the worst thing ever for one’s wallet and wishlist?). I’m wearing it with the My Little Pavalova cola-coloured boots from the Autumn/Winter 09 collection.

These boots are amazing, by the by. I dashed across campus in ten minutes wearing them. They’re four inches. I’m more than comfortable in heels but I’ll admit that they’re not my choice of footwear when running a few minutes late. But these were fine. Very dashable. You should all have a pair, most certainly.

My academic gown is very stylish, with a swoopy wizardly cut and slits at the sleeves because… because, obviously. Attached to it is a hood trimmed in gold and white, which are the colours of my faculty. Gold for Bachelor’s degree; white for Arts. Can’t believe I picked a discipline that doesn’t have awesome bright colours. Poor planning on my part. (Though I would have graduated with a purple and gold hood had I finished law, I think.) Ulta3 Waterlily on tips and toes, and black pearl studs in my ears.

Oooh. And I have the trencher/mortarboard with very distracting tassel-y thing. Fabulous entertainment during the boring speeches.

I like that my father seems to think there’s an extra person between us. He is wearing Dad clothes, which I swear all fathers wear. Black pants, dress shirt sans tie, black blazer. My grandmother is next to me, wearing a fabulously bright brown and gold dress she made herself. She has a penchant for bright colours, and I think you can tell. And my mother is next to my grandmother, wearing a vintage dress that has rather cute and pretty detail. The white detail is a heart and diamond pattern embroidered onto chiffon (reminds me a bit of cross-stitch, but more fine) and the skirt has two very subtle box pleats.

You probably didn’t care too much about what they were wearing but who knows!

I would post more photos but they’re all graduation-y, which means they’re all nicely posed, ‘we are at an Event and it shall be Forever Commemorated Through Digital Media’ sort of affairs. This is actually the most interesting one (perhaps solely because my father is ruining the Special Event Pose; good man), and you can sort of see my dress and you can most definitely see my shoes. So. Win-win, really. Sort of.

I will be wearing the dress again soon and Valerie will take some happy snaps.

(Also. If any of you go to Macquarie University and are graduating this week — avoid the macarons. They are so disappointing. I made a beeline for them — shamelessly, actually, I was one of the first people to snatch one up — because I have a macaron addiction and they made me so sad. The macaron part of me crumbled and fell to pieces. So did the macaron, actually, which tells you how really-not-good it was.)

April 10, 2011

Yay, coat weather!

I have been a bad, bad blogger. I won’t bore you with the excuses; suffice to say, I have been so bogged down with work that I almost saved the draft of this blog post as ‘conferencepaper_v3’. Even though it feels like it’s all been work… it’s not all been work. (I would damn well hope so, considering how little I’ve produced.)

ANYWAY. No one cares about that (I’m boring myself just thinking about it), so! It’s almost coat season in Sydney and all my coats are ready to play. Too ready, really, as it’s actually a tiny bit too hot for my heavier coats, but any drop in temperature makes me want to take them out for a stroll.

I am wearing a pale silvery-blue dress from Fleur Wood (more detailed pictures of the dress here and here), which I think bounces with the grey in the coat quite nicely. I like how it peeks out at the neckline, though I do wish the snap buttons weren’t so very large and bulky… it disturbs the line a bit. But it’s not too obvious, so I suppose I’ll survive. (Or snip the button off, bwahahaha.) The blue suede shoes from Midas — you know, the ones to which I added a burgundy bow from scraps of bias tape. They’re never the right shade of blue, really; they’re always too bright or too warm or too cool a blue for whatever piece I’m trying to match it with at the time, but they seem to work when seen from far away. And when you can’t see much blue (like in this outfit). I find that it’s easier to co-ordinate hopelessly non-matching shades of the same colour by keeping them very very far apart. No one notices that the colours clash when one shade is on your hair and the other is on your feet. Very tricksy.

My stockings are cream with a very subtle mauve stripe. They’re called ‘Style Me Pretty’ and were from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 10 collection. I’ve almost thoroughly trashed this pair, but I’ve still got a spare in pristine condition. Almost too scared to use the spare because I don’t want to ruin them. I get ridiculously attached to my clothes. I find that these stockings are perfect when mediating colour clashes, too — the Fleur Wood dress and the shoes really don’t go together at all unless I have pink-y pale hosiery.

 

My coat is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 10 collection and is called ‘The Waiting Game’. It also came in a charcoal (you can see it here) but I have a Thing for red coats. I think it stems from having played the Carmen Sandiego computer games a lot. She had the most amazing red outfit in the universe.

…And I’ve just looked at the link to the charcoal coat and realised that my coat is officially orange, not red. Which has just blown my mind, because I’ve always thought of it as red. I suppose it’s a very bright, warm red. Like what the red Crayola pencil should have been, really. (You know. There’s the orange-red pencil, which is indisputably orange with bits of red mixed in; there’s the red-orange pencil, which looks like fire trucks and McDonald’s and Coca Cola and Maltesers packets and is indisputably red, and then there’s the plain red pencil which suddenly looks suspiciously plummy burgundy, because everyone knows that red = McDonald’s and fire trucks. I like the red now but it certainly didn’t look like a proper red when I was younger.)

The coat isn’t only red (that’s right, I’m going to insist it’s red), it has a bow. And bows make everything amazing. True fact.

You can’t really see the bow on the coat in these shots, can you? I think the bow is the Crowning Detail of Awesome. I remember seeing it in store and dying. And then trying it on and dying of heat exhaustion, because it was warm inside the store and I had just been walking at a fairly quick pace for half an hour. While wearing a leather jacket. I was almost put off this coat because it made me feel as though I had just donned a furnace but, thankfully, (ir)rationality prevailed and I am the very happy owner of one of the most twee coats in existence.

Look on the bow and say that it is not (one of) the most twee things in existence:

 

Okay, that’s not the clearest shot but the rest of the photos tend to feature me being a bit of a dork so… it’s this one or nothing. And, please ignore the fact that my beret looks like a giant melted marshmallow. I’m not quite sure how it ended up looking like that.

Speaking of marshmallows, do you know what is amazingly amazing? Marshmallows melted on chocolate chip cookies. Pop some chocolate chip cookies in the oven (toaster oven is best, really) and top each one with a marshmallow. Heat till marshmallow is all gooey goodness. Gobble. Enjoy. It’s like s’mores for lazy people.

February 11, 2011

White frocks and frolicking. And angels.

11pm and I promised a post up today.

Welcome to my idea of ‘making the deadline’.

I used to be better at this. I’m sure I was.  High school assignments finished before 10pm; undergrad assignments finished before 2am; Honours… erm. Started at 2am? Ah. I see. What a horrible development.

So! Time to bash out a post before 1am. Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see.

Did very little today. Met up with my thesis supervisor, scored a free book, and borrowed Doctor Who DVDs and Diana Wynne Jones books from the library. Entertainment for the week is definitely set!

Here are some snippets of my outfit:

The hat is Valerie’s. I was only wearing it because we had just come out of the car and she doesn’t wear her hats when she’s driving. My shoes are wonderful and are from Wittner. Their purchase came around as a bit of an accident, really — I went in to get this pair of heeled brogues and then came out with something else entirely. I have yet to find the ideal pair of heeled brogues. I think they need to feel a bit more sleek. And with a lower vamp. One day!

The bow was originally a brooch from Lovisa. I replaced the pin with an alligator hairclip and lo, instant hairclip or brooch. Nifty or what. My nails are sporting OPI’s All Lacquered Up, which is deep brown-based red. I think I might wear a taupe colour next time, just to let the champagnes and blacks bounce off each other differently.

The dress is from Alannah Hill and it is called ‘Devil in Disguise’. I’ve worn it before with a green slip underneath (here). This is actually one of the first times I’ve worn it out with its original cream slip. It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite dresses, particularly because of the movement of the skirt:

HOW IT FLUTTERS. IT MAKES ONE FROLIC, WHAT.

It wasn’t even windy, you guise. There was like. No. Wind. Just walking. How awesome is that. (or maybe there was wind and I forgot. I can’t remember.)

ONE LAST THING.

Who watches Doctor Who? Good. And who’s seen ‘Blink’, the weeping angel statues episode? Mmm. And WHO’S SEEN THE ONE WHERE THEY COME BACK? If you’ve seen ‘Blink’, you know what I’m imitating in the next shot. (Or is it more than imitating?)

If you aren’t a Doctor Who fan… there are these scary statues of weeping angels. They go around covering their faces and if you look away… BAM. YOU’RE DOOMED. (You really should give the show a try; it is really Quite Awesome.)

And those of you who have seen the Other Episode in Which They Appear (Time of the Angels? Or something?) — you know how [highlight between the tags — spoilers] >they get embedded in your brain when you look into their eyes? (And what negligence and asshattery from Moffat, giving us closeups of the angels’ eyes when Amy is stuck with the video image. NOW WE ALL HAVE ANGELS EMBEDDED IN OUR EYE MEMORY, MOFFAT; WELL DONE, YOU PRAT.) Yeah. Well. I looked. And…< [/spoilers]


 

Don’t. Blink.

 

(Also. I really need a tshirt that says ‘The angels have the phone box.’)

December 21, 2010

Au cabaret

Hello, lovelies! Apologies for my absence; it’s been a terribly busy time and I’ve been going through post-thesis depression, of sorts. (It’s like post-show depression, except PSD makes sense because shows tend to be fun — if mildly stressful — while theses tend to be stressful, with the odd injection of fun here and there.) It hasn’t helped that I’ve been working rather intensely on an article and that’s all done… and all done rather swiftly, too. One hasty minor edit and a sudden email saying, ‘right, you’re done; thanks; talk soon.’

Egad.

So now I’ve been flopping around, oscillating between happy bouncy ‘I’M FREEEE’ and ‘augh, I’m not doing anything.’ And uni is being an absolute pain because I somehow have to hand my acceptance forms in by the 23rd of December and I kinda don’t have them all yet because some genius thought it would be a good idea to send them by regular post during the Christmas rush and haven’t I jumped through enough admin hoops already dear God.

Rage-y rumbling thundercloud of rage dissipating now.  Melting away like ice in a brightly coloured cup.

Cups. I’ve been drinking copious amounts of pearl milk tea from Chatime. It’s much better than Easyway, I think; far less sweet and with a slightly stronger tea flavour. It’s all awesome. I’m the biggest sugar addict in the world and I’ve decided that Chatime, the less sweet milk tea, beats sugar-god Easyway. That’s got to make you curious.

You know what else makes me curious? When I’m going to start talking about my outfit and how I’m going to get to it. I’ve been flicking through the photos and not one of them has me holding milk tea in it. Travesty.

(There are three empty plastic cups of Chatime in my room as I type this, by the by. Two are mine. One is Valerie’s. Dear god the stuff is good.)

(I shall have some tomorrow. Valerie. I’ll bet you’re reading this instead of getting dressed. Chatime tomorrow?)

Here’s another picture of my outfit, while I contemplate a segue. (Has anyone seen Voyage of the Dawn Treader? I’m not usually one to complain about film adaptations, because a film is a text in its own right blah blah blah damn English major disclaimers. But this was really bad. Really very off. It somehow traded the preachy didactic-but-epic scenes for just preachy didactics. It all fell rather flat. —Oh, gods, do I suck at staying on topic or what.)

 

(You have no idea how amused and pleased I was to see my shadow. I’m such a child.)

See, this is the outfit that reminds me of the stage, not this one. (Okay, the little kidlet was right, though; the other outfit does look rather like a costume. It would have popped on stage so well. Would put Rice Bubbles to shame.)

I’m wearing Alannah Hill pieces, as per usual. The skirt is my very favourite, called ‘Lost in Headlights’ from the Autumn/Winter 2009. I’ve paired it with a black ‘Flames to Dust’ cardigan from Autumn/Winter 2008, and a cream cami called ‘Adorable Wafer Girl’ from Spring/Summer 2009. There’s a recut of the Flames to Dust/Puff the Magic Dragon/Tiny Dancer cardis in store at the moment, actually. I can’t recall what it’s called, but I do know that it’s slightly cheaper than the older versions — $229, perhaps? The material doesn’t feel quite as thick as the Flames to Dust pieces to me but I imagine it’d make it even more comfortable in summer.

I’m wearing suede black platform heels from Tony Bianco, and a cream bow belt I bought from eBay. The hat is the black version of the ‘My Little Boat’ miniature boater hat I wore with this outfit, from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. I have yet to hack the bow into something else, largely because I think the plain grosgrain band suits it quite well.

What else? My bag is from Forever New and was a birthday present from a friend. It goes with an awful lot of things and can hold my tiny Acer Aspire One netbook. (I have a thing for tiny electronic gadgets. Every time I walk by a netbook, I eye it, turn to Valerie and ask, ‘is that person’s netbook smaller than mine?’, and then am despondent when she answers in the affirmative.) I used to use it for uni and the only reason that is in the past tense is because semester has ended and I don’t go to uni (as often).

So much text, so few pictures. I weep for you, poor readers, wading through my rambles.

My cat photobombed me. Would you like to see?

His name is Star. He was the first cat I had since I came to Australia and he is pretty sure that he is First Cat in Australia, if not the President. (I have yet to break it to him that we are a constitutional democracy, not a republic.) He is rather spoilt, which is probably quite evident, as he got rewarded for his photobombing with a knuckle on the head (why do cats like strange things?). He is a very manly cat and likes to play it cool, but he has a high-pitched meow which sounds rather feminine. I suspect it causes him a fair bit of anxiety because he rarely meows. In fact, I only heard him meow about three years after having him, and he only meowed because he was at the pound and wanted out rather badly. (Long story short: he went missing for quite a while; we thought he was lost; searched everywhere; decided to check the pound and lo, he was there, for a neighbour brought him in. Don’t know why. Cats rarely get lost.) Now he meows on and off but only when there aren’t any other cats around. Poor sod. He’d feel much better if he just let go of this desperate desire to adhere to conventional masculinity XP.

December 16, 2010

Lacanian larks

Another blisteringly hot day in Sydney! I spent most of the day napping, because the heat makes me terribly sleepy. I think it was blisteringly hot, anyway; I suspect that quite a few others think it was simply a lovely day.

You’re mad if you do think that. Egad.

(Kidding. I tend to think it’s hot when it reaches 22°C.)

Scorching, ghastly heat notwithstanding, the bright sun seems to demand more colourful outfit palettes. I’ve been tempted to turn to my black and white pieces because I haven’t worn them in eons (winter makes me want colour, actually; I love colour in winter) but they don’t feel half as suitable. Proof, I think, that I should do away with my attempt to create a ‘neutral’ palette. Ha!

I’m very bad at doing conventional colours.

Really very bad. These are a couple of pages that Valerie and I did in our colouring book, post-Honours thesis:

 

I couldn’t bear to make the giraffe yellow and brown, because while yellow and brown is indeed a rather striking combination, yellow and blue and red is far more appealing. Particularly when it’s an animal. Valerie did the cow. It is blue because milk cartons are blue (or, rather, should be blue — some milk cartons are not blue and this is apparently quite the travesty) and cows, being milk-givers, must also logically be blue. According to Valerie, blue packaging makes dairy products taste better. Not being much of  a dairy consumer (save for copious amounts of cheese and ice cream), I really couldn’t say. Who knows.

We combined our colourin’ skillz to do the crab. I don’t recall much pre-colouring planning, save for agreeing that the crab couldn’t be red because red is the colour of cooked crabs, and cooked crabs are not underwater. (Crabs holding paintbrushes are likely to be cooked and dead , too.)

Colouring. It is good for the soul. I did not do any today, because my soul has been consumed by post-Honours academia. Damn them all. I want to go to sleep.

But I can’t go to sleep yet, because I have to show you The Things I’m Wearing. Here they be:

Arr.

One day, I will write you a post free of pirate slang (unless related to the post), geekery, internetz spellin’ and general syntactical splendour. It will be marvellous, and it will never happen. Sorry. I like pirates and I like mispelling things ‘ccording to teh intarwebz. The rhythm is fun. And it stops me from getting too serious. I can be so. amazingly. dull. when I’m serious.

Anyway. I am wearing a teal/pale blue (depending on how you see colours) Flames to Dust cardigan, from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 2008 collection. Underneath it is a pale pink camisole from the Spring/Summer 2009 collection, and its called ‘Adorable Wafer Girl’. I have a sprig of who-knows-what tucked into my cardigan because Valerie put it there for giggles, and one must humour one’s photographer sometimes, especially if one suspects that the photographer is Not Quite Sane.

The headband is called ‘Parking Lot Love’ from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It differs slightly from the ‘I Don’t Care for Pearls’ pearl headband from a previous season in that the pearls are gradated in size, so that the bigger ones are in the middle of the band. The bow itself is untouched (I know, huh?) because I haven’t really had a reason to replace it. The colours work well and I think that the emphasis on bigger pearls balances out the overly flamboyant bow. All in all, it’s quite a good piece as it is.

 

Have another picture to break up the brick wall of words:

My skirt is the ‘Look Up My…’ skirt from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It is my only tulle ballerina skirt and I think I need more. (I’m pretty sure it’s my only tulle one. Oh help.) It’s belted in with a pink leather belt, sprinkled with flowers in a row.

The belt is called ‘Daisy Chain’ and comes from the Spring/Summer 2009 collection. It was far too big for me and I took to making new holes in it with a knife. The kids next door saw me doing it through my bedroom window, except they only saw the flash of a knife every now and then and probably had no idea what I was doing. I suspect they had no idea, because they looked very scared indeed. I am rather fond of that memory.

My shoes are from Siren and dear me they are high. I’m quite used to walking in heels — I have quite the flexible foot and a rather high instep and arch, and I’m used to taking the weight of my body onto the balls of my foot (or the tips of the toes when I was dancing).

I usually wear heels around 4″ high, which is terrible for my feet, I know, but I am under 5′ and the boost in height means I don’t have to tiptoe too much talking to someone over a counter/reception desk/etc. These shoes, however, are 5″ without a platform. They’re still quite wearable but definitely higher than what I am used to. Not the sort of shoe I’d wear for a long city ramble. Just for uni and quick errands. (I hope none of you are podiatrists. Forgive me for I have sinned. Bad shoes are my vice — I don’t drink,;I don’t smoke; I don’t gamble; I don’t even go clubbing. Let me have my silly shoes!) Tip: if you cannot raise your heels off the floor by about an inch (by going onto the balls of your feet/your toes, without bending your knees), your shoes are way too high for you and there is no way you will be able to walk without imitating a newly born giraffe. Not a good look.

And here’s a collection of ‘goofy and dorky things I did today’ snaps. They actually occurred right after the shot that opens this blog post, so pop it into the storyboard in your head:

They inspired the title of this post — I saw my reflection in Valerie’s kitchen window and, with a nod to Lacanian mirror theories (in which, briefly, a child sees its reflection and identifies with it and lo, a notion of subjectivity is borne… or something. Not a fan of Lacan; too eager to fall into ‘child as a blank slate’ constructs) piped, ‘I’M A FAIRY PRINCESS’ and started wafting around. And ended with a suitably twee and fairy-like pose, for which I have no excuses. It was a twee outfit. The moment overcame the age, etc. (That line is from John Fowles’ French Lieutenant’s Woman and is one of the funniest books I have read, evar, and you should read it too. It is a brilliantly witty take on narrative, on genre, on writing conventions and it’s really just very good.)

I think I will have to avoid overly twee outfits  in overly twee settings for a bit, if this is the consequence. Bah humbug!

December 15, 2010

What you should spend your money on

Do you have a spare $30?

Good.

Then hie thee hence to ClearIT Online, at which these belts (in cream, black or navy blue) are available for $19 + $10 express shipping. I’m pretty sure I paid a hell of a lot more. (Maybe $29 + $10 shipping, but when you have to count every silver cent in the way I do, $10 is an awful lot.)

Thar it be! I have it in navy blue and black, and I want it desperately in cream but, alas, I am terribly broke and it’s either a cream belt (which will probably just be used when I don’t feel like using my other cream belt) or dinner next week, so. Fashion fades but starvation feels eternal.

These belts go with a huge amount of things and I imagine they fit most sizes. A belt is hugely important when you’re mixing and matching unpredictable colours and patterns — they’re the transition item that marks the change, without necessarily drawing a flat boundary.  The grey in your outfit of black and white that suggests a movement between pieces rather than just a lot of unrelated layers. I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

If you’re quite petite, the ties might be a tad too long but I can show you a tricksy way to wrap the belt around your waist so that it fits. (Leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.)

Just for the record, I’m not affiliated with ClearIT Online, Factory X or Alannah Hill (though I certainly wouldn’t mind a job offer…), just the usual happy customer/big fan who wants to share the love and little hearts.

And this belt has it, times three.

December 13, 2010

“Are you in a play?”

So asked a little girl, hanging over the edge of an escalator.

‘No,’ said I, ‘not at the moment.’

Not at ever, actually, because I would suffer immense stage fright. I hate being on stage unless I’m dancing. Maybe even particularly if I’m dancing, as I haven’t danced a step in a good five years and the stage is the last place I’d like to be if I had to relearn pirouettes. (Pirouettes were my weakness. I have no ability to spot.)

I’m not sure what it is about this outfit. Valerie and I ducked quickly out to go to the bank, and got some tea while we were out  (100g of Jasmine Monkey King tea and 50g of Lapsang Souchong from The Tea Centre). Most days, I get quite a few looks, largely because (I assume) I’m rather overdressed.

Today, I got stares. People’s heads swivelled to gaze after me when I had walked out of their line of vision. It was a bit baffling. I suppose my hat is rather flamboyant and my skirt is particularly frilly but I’ve worn brighter outfits before, I’m sure. Their stares didn’t bother me, as such — when you dress the way I do, stares kind of come with the territory — I just got a few more than usual and I can’t pin down the reason. I think I’ve desensitised myself to absurd outfits!

Here are some detailed shots:

 

Look at me, about to step into the pool! Tsk. My poor shoes. I was going to whisk away some yellow flowers (those funny little floating things in the pool) but then decided against it.

My skirt and cardigan are from Alannah Hill. The cardigan is called ‘Send Me Away’ and has a terribly detailed collar — scalloped edging, and then a rope of pearls sitting upon some cream braid, and then seed beads and matte sequins in rows.  There are also two ties that I do up in a bow, but I’ve tucked them in and inserted a satin teal bow instead, because… because I can, haha. I usually wear it as a hair bow but I needed it for a higher cause.

Using it as a sort of brooch, however, meant that I was without a hair bow. I never know what to do when I don’t have a hair accessory — I find they finish outfits off so well. So I took a mini boater hat — also from Alannah Hill, called ‘My Little Boat’ — and replaced the black grosgrain band with a loosely tied teal satin bow. I think I had Mrs Banks from Disney’s Mary Poppins in mind when I was doing the hat, although I know her hat looks nothing like this one.

The skirt is also from Alannah Hill (do I bore you when I keep repeating myself?), called ‘Mum I’m a Call Girl’.

Teehee.

I love it. It’s the sort of skirt I would wear if I were playing one of the whores in Les Miserables. It’s all flippy and dizzy and full of ‘wheeee!’ We are very happy together. I’ve been meaning to dye a pair of shoes a deep pink to match the darker frills, but I haven’t really had the time. It could be overly matchy-matchy, too. These shoes are those beloved pair of Midas blue suede shoes with the bow I attached myself. My blueberry and raspberry sorbet shoes. Om nom nom.

Valerie and I were asked by the sales assistant at The Tea Centre whether we were into steampunk, which surprised me as I don’t find my outfits very steampunky, nor Valerie’s. I suppose the general silhouette of this outfit recalls steampunk to an extent, but steampunk to me needs dirt and tears and probably shades of brown. Today’s outfit does have steampunk like textures, if not the colours — the rough silk of the skirt, for instance, and the collar of my cardigan has tattered netting. And there’s something delightfully whimsical and nostalgic about a giant teal bow perched on a mini boater hat.

Ideally, I’d have OPI’s Suzi Says Feng Shui on my nails, just to bounce a little more blue in to the middle of the outfit ‘picture’. I had and still have Ulta3’s Earl Grey,  which was yesterday’s procrastinatory manicure. I never do my nails in the morning, so I wasn’t really able to change. I should plan my outfits ahead of time to avoid this, really. I do like that Earl Grey is quickly becoming my interesting neutral shade — it’s quite quiet and unassuming but somehow demands a second glance.

Much unlike my outfit, apparently! Lol!

December 10, 2010

Things I cannot bear to give away

This is a very unexciting outfit. It is, however, a very important one in my wardrobe, as it is composed of pieces I had kept after The Great Wardobe Cull of 2006, Maybe 2007 I Really Can’t Remember.  At the end of high school (or maybe the first year of uni), I decided to do a complete style overhaul and gave away everything in my wardrobe save for one pair of jeans, two blouses, four sweaters/cardigans, three dresses (that my mother made me) and a jacket. My shoe collection also went down from 150 pairs to about five. (Actually fifteen, but I didn’t know that there were ten pairs sneaking around the house at the time.) This outfit is, more or less, a recreation of what I wore before I started building up my wardobe with Alannah Hill pieces. I wore it with my only pair of jeans at the time, but as I have no jeans any more, this plain black pleated skirt will have to do.

The blouse and vest are actually cheapies I bought from Valleygirl when I was on a high school student budget of about $30-50 disposable income a week. Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I managed to survive getting dressed with fifteen pieces (that didn’t always mix and match) and about $30 a week to spend.

I think I slowly started restocking my wardrobe over my first year of uni. I think, by the end of first year, I had bought another two dresses, a leather blazer, two cardigans and two skirts.

I obviously had some notion of restraint and moderation back then.

I was also more conservative what I wore and slightly less dizzy and tipsy in my demeanor, which means that you probably would be hard pressed to find photos of me doing this:

I’m wearing a pearl necklace and a red Mimco bow headband, but I forgot to take detailed shots so you’re going to have to put up with me imitating the blown-over bush. (Yes, that’s what I’m trying to do in the photo. It’s a fail attempt. Laugh not.) I think there’s a closer picture here, although it’s not very close-up at all.

My wardrobe is still fairly small — I think so, anyway. There are 35 pieces hanging up in my wardrobe and an estimated thirty to forty cardigans and blouses in my drawers, so sans accessories, I’m sitting nicely on just under one hundred pieces for both summer and winter.

I don’t think my wardobe collection tends to go much over that number — at the end of each season I tend to give away what I haven’t worn for a year. I’m trying to do that now instead of going to bed but it’s rather… trying.

See, there are two or three pieces in my wardrobe that have lived there for many many months without seeing (much) daylight. I know that I should give them away or sell them and try to recoup my money but I really like just having them. Terrible attitude. I keep telling myself that I will wear them but I really think  I should bite the bullet and just kick them out.

I’ll kick them out at the end of next year. Mid next year, even.

I’m hoping that I’ll think of a way to style these by then. If you have any suggestions, my happy little collecting personality will be heavily in your debt.

This is a Sretsis dress from their Metamorphosis collection (Spring/Summer 2009-2010). It was an absolute impulse buy because I was bored and felt like shopping during thesis-timez, which is the weakest excuse in the history of the universe, but I’m sticking with it. And, you know… it’s pink, it’s bouncy, it has frills that look like they’re about to coil into each other and implode from the pink frilliness of it all.

And I have never worn it. I really should. I desperately want to. But it’s the wrong shade of pink for the rest of my wardrobe and I have no idea how to style it. I’m considering putting it under my Alannah Hill coat in this post but it’s not very inspiring.

I also have this light coat:

It’s called ‘The Dead Girl’ and is from Alannah Hill’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. You’d think it would go with everything but I find it very difficult to work into my outfits, somehow. I think the brown trim demands a certain colour palette and I can’t quite pinpoint it. I bought the damn’d thing two years ago and only wore it once. It’s such a simple, classic little piece that I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to style it to suit me… eventually.

And there’s this Alannah Hill skirt, called ‘The Fanfare’ from Autumn/Winter 2009. It always struck me as possibly rather orientalist with fans and red and flowers (triple points if they’re meant to be cherry blossoms) but, hey, it’s not named something to do with Exotic Asia so interpret it as you will.

As a skirt, it flows really rather nicely. It’s a tad too long for me, though, and all I ever wear it with is a black and cream Flames to Dust cardigan (you know, that cardigan that I always wear) which is very nice but ultimately rather unexciting. I’m only keeping it as a ‘skirt I can wear to work, if I ever work’ piece, and even then, I can’t imagine it’d get much use.

 

 

I will do that damn’d cull. Soon. One day. I might even let go of the skirt. The first two items?

No comment.

December 10, 2010

Alannah Hill’s new look

Alannah Hill has paired up with artist Veronica Ballart for a revamp of packaging and store visuals for next season, which is an interesting and rather welcome turn. I’ve always liked the aesthetic of Alannah Hill boutiques but Ballart’s work emphasises the whimsical aesthetic of the brand — the frippery and frivolity of bows and frills and bows dressed in vibrant watercolour, like a particularly delicious J Herbin ink. This isn’t a lady of leisure in a sultry, sensual way. The aesthetic is playful; it’s daydreamy; it’s decadence and hedonism wrapped up in crepe paper made of crushed flowers.

I am getting Miss Dior Cherie deja vu, though Sofia Coppola certainly wasn’t the first to embrace the notion of flight and airiness with fairy tale femininity. Coppola, however, tends to play with pastels, creating a world in which streets are paved with icing flowers and rivers run pale violet. Veronica Ballart’s pink/violet/black palette is differently charming: capricious, fanciful and tinged with an effervescence that melts like fairy floss secretly spiked with wine.

Ballart, I think, will suit the label quite well. She brings lightness and movement to her work that I find quite appealing:

I’m particularly fond of the way the colours run into each other, which fits my impression of the Alannah Hill aesthetic rather well. Very few brands produce clothes in which you are almost encouraged to clash colours, mix prints and layer texture over texture over texture.

(And, just quietly, I’m heartbroken that the girl in the left top picture has lost three balloons. It makes gorgeous lines in the  piece but augh, lost balloons. The thought of losing my bobbing little rubber bags of helium made me very anxious when I was a child — I used to triple and quadruple tie the string to my wrist just to make sure I wouldn’t lose it. And, of course, when I got home, I went off to play and left the balloons, all forgotten, in the corner to deflate.)

(All pictures by Veronica Ballart.)