Posts tagged ‘outfits’

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.

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:


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!

November 22, 2010

General sensory hedonism

(Just a little shameless plug: thinking about doing a giveaway; please read about it send me your thoughts here. Would appreciate it ^^!)

If you are/were an English major, or ever did any ‘classic’ English units, you most likely ran across Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which features copious amounts of effeminate male aesthetes eating chocolates, sipping wine and generally enjoying all of life’s shallow pleasures. The book can easily be read as a warning against hedonism (live for the pleasures of the flesh and your soul will pay!!111oneoneeleven) but I usually ignore that reading, reveling instead in the general displays of hedonism. There is a section in The Picture of Dorian Gray that describes all of Dorian’s little hedonistic pursuits: he collects jewels; paintings; goes to the opera; collects more things; fills his house with beautiful rubbish. (The declutterers among you may faint in despair at that last one XP.)

Let me confess now: I have a tendency to collect things. I actually go through quite intense phases of ‘must have them all!’ I used to play Maple Story (a rather dull and cutesy 2D side-scrolling MMORPG, but I love it) and every time a game event happened, in which players could collect limited edition items/weapons/what-have-you, I made it my mission to get the entire set. And I did, even if I had to trade a great deal of pixelated gold for a pixelated (overpriced) ‘rare item’.

My last phase was Lush, but I’m more or less done with that now — I only drop in to replenish skincare products when they’ve run out. (I’ll admit that that phase only ran out when I tried everything in the store. And I have, except for the things with jasmine, because I’m allergic to jasmine.)

Valerie, however, is still indulging in olfactory delights and an interest in perfume has begun to kindle — niche perfumes, particularly, which are unfortunately few and far between in Sydney. Today, we went to Mecca Cosmetica hoping to find Comme des Garcons’ Series 2 ‘Tea’ perfume, but our local didn’t have a tester out. Valerie did light upon CdG’s newest addition, ‘Wonderwood’, which is a nice woody scent — woody, a little spicy, and ever so slightly sweet on the dry-down.

I sniffed around but found nothing I liked better than my current fragrance, Miss Dior Cherie — I’ve been wearing it every day for almost six years now but I haven’t found anything that blends with my skin chemistry quite as well.

This is what I was wearing, by the by:

Oooh, dodgy pic. My apologies. The lighting in my room was horrible at the time.

All from Alannah Hill except for the belt, the hair bow and the necklace. The skirt is called ‘Lost in Headlights’. I think I’ve posted it before. Really one of my favourite skirts — I find that I end up trying it with everything. It’s surprisingly versatile. The cardigan is called ‘Flames to Dust’ — this season’s Alannah Hill has a recut, but I wasn’t too enamoured with them. (I have them in black/cream trim, red/cream trim and black/pink trim’ but I really want more.) And the cami is called ‘Adorable Wafer Girl’ and comes in a pale pink, which I have, and black, which I don’t. I really regret it — they’re really versatile pieces.

The necklace, which you can’t really see in that picture, is from Disney Couture. It’s gold-plated and reads ‘Fairest of them all’, and has a little red enamel apple. Here’s a close-up photo:

It’s a bit of a vain thing to wear but, in my defence, I got it as a gift. And it’s so awesomely kitsch; how could I not wear it?

November 20, 2010

There be dragons in that castle!

I’ve decided that Lazy Days are balanced out by Seriously Hectic Days. Today was meant to be a stroll in the park: an early visit to the Philippino Lantern Festival in Parramatta, and (perhaps) home to gobble all the food we brought. Indeed, the only hiccup seemed to be the fact that Valerie intended to go out in her pyjamas (a shirt with pictures of sheep). This exchange happened over chat this morning:

maybe you shouldn’t?
Valerie: I SAID I WOULD DO IT AND I’M ALREADY WEARING IT XD. Because i wore it to bed ^^
Andrea: LOL
Do you want to?
(Better question: why do you want to?)
Valerie: Yes
I do
wearing it now ^^
have an outfit of sorts
Andrea: you nutter
Valerie: they’re pyjamas? XD
Andrea: I can’t believe you’re trying to explain it to me.
Valerie: But I dont’ think they look as pyjama-y as my other pyjamas
which aren’t even fun looking. Also, i don’t have any other shirts like it XD
Andrea: yeah, you don’t. Because they’re pyjamas. No one makes shirts to look like pyjamas.

To be fair, when she arrived this morning, she looked rather cute. I unfortunately didn’t get a picture, but I’ll get one soon. Brown-khaki pants with brown knee-high boots, the sheep shirt (which is quite loose-fitting, has thick brown and white vertical stripes, with a sheep at the hem on the right and another near the neckline on the left), a brown hat and a black little square scarf around her neck. This is what I was wearing:

The skirt is a cheapie from Hong Kong; the argyle vest and cream blouse are from Valleygirl (bought a good four years ago and still looking pristine! Handwash all your cheap thrills and they’ll last a good while yet); the leather blazer is from BCBG Max Azria and is one of my favourite jackets, bar none. It was a bit hot for today’s weather but I thought I’d wear it out before it got too unbearably hot to wear again.

My accessories: Twitter stockings, which I’ve shared before, from Etsy; champagne pearl necklace; champagne pearl earrings; my beloved Sretsis glass bird ring; red hair bow.

So, even though Valerie was wearing her pyjama top, I suppose we didn’t cut too bad a figure.

Unfortunately, we left the festival almost as soon as we came. Valerie seemed to have an allergic reaction to something she ate and felt rather nauseated. (The poor thing hasn’t had an allergic reaction to anything before, and nausea is something quite rare for her.) It ended rather messily (won’t go into the details!) with me rushing up four shopping centre levels in search of antihistamines — I’m not familiar with Parramatta Westfield and the place is huge when you’re looking for something very ordinary! We went home after Valerie’s nausea passed and she felt well enough to move.

Let it be known now that if you are a worrier, a fretter, a mother hen of sorts to sick people, Valerie is not your ideal patient. After seeing her looking pale, flushed and dazed, I was quite understandably rather worried about her state of health after the episode had passed. I was quite content to tuck her in bed and simply sit at home all day. But Valerie wasn’t.

Two cups of tea later, she piped up, ‘let’s go to Top Ryde City!’

‘Why?’ said I.

‘Because we haven’t been there yet!’

(I still don’t know why ‘because we haven’t been there yet!’ is a reason to go to a shopping centre. Shopping centres are, by and large, all the same. Myer and David Jones may be on one side in Shopping Centre A and on opposite sides in Shopping Centre B, but this does not erase the fact that Myer and DJs are in both shopping centres and will more than likely have similar things.)

So off to Top Ryde City we went.

It was, like many shopping centres… like many shopping centres. I don’t think there’s much more to say about that, besides that it is brand new and the travelators are still bafflingly clean.

And like many shopping centres, it had Aldi, which is the usual grocery store to normal people but a haven of undiscovered treasures for Valerie. The girl collects Aldi catalogues as though they’re vintage baseball cards in mint condition.

I’ll concede Aldi has some weird and wonderful things at especially wonderful prices. Their Halloween fairy floss goes unrivalled and as someone who eats the stuff on a regular basis, this means that it is really awfully good. They had a fog machine for $40, which was so terribly tempting but let’s face it, what would I do with a fog machine?

This week, they have wooden building blocks for $15. Stuff of childhood, for $15! Nostalgia doesn’t get any cheaper!

With a bucket of blocks in our hot little hands, we scurried home to Bring Our Imaginations to Life.

First, we made a train. It was going to be a car, but it became a train. Such feats of engineering can only be accomplished with brightly coloured blocks, y’know.

Our brilliance led us on to more ambitious dreams: an aeroplane.

A picture tells a thousand words but this one is quite reticent. It just says: it failed miserably.

I’m not really sure where the aeroplane ends and the ‘just pile the blocks on!’ begins.

Eventually, it became a dragon:



If you think it looks innocuous, you are sorely mistaken. Any dragon that can BREATHE FIRE (and all dragons can) while being made of something that catches on fire at the drop of a hat, and yet not die, is seriously a force of immense and awesome power.

So awesome, indeed, that it invaded and took over this castle:

This elegant architecture-designed castle sits on an expanse of land not the size of a postage stamp but, rather, a reasonably sized ‘you have a parcel waiting at the post office’ card — a great beginning lot for a first-castle buyer or a good investment for those looking to break into the retail block market. This castle boasts views of the rolling green hills on the right and a busy bubbling blue stream-cum-moat, with a sturdy yellow-block bridge. Castle does come with dragon, so be prepared.

The lucky inhabitants of the castle will be able to live a pseudo self-sufficient life, as they will be able to seize all their foodstuffs from the neighbouring farm:

Our idyllic farm

And when you’re sick of hearty, homecooked food, you can dine at the Generic Conglomerate of Asian Food restaurant, which is designed to look suitably ‘oriental’ without being anything at all:

The restaurant is flanked by the Twin Pillars of General Exotic Mysticism and has an Inverted Triangle of Balance for some extra pizzazz.

Good, huh. You know you want it. Go go go to Aldi and make your own wonderful lands of wonder, all for $15. You won’t regret it.