Saturday, May 8, 2010

pools of colour, waves of joy are drifitng through my opened mind

When I was travelling, I really missed Sydney style. Casually cool families out on a Saturday, the dad in loose, low-slung denims with a couple of cool shirts layered over each other, great sunnies and a hat, his lady in some cool ensemb of stripped-back jersey basics, all cool greys and blacks with a dash of colour on her lips and great messy hair trailed by a bunch of adorable children in clashing colours and prints. They raggle-taggle all over the Eastern suburbs. 
Or clutches of long-legged almost-eighteen year olds pushing the limits with their take on eighties-nineties hybrid styles- bowler hats worn back on the crown of their heads, hair long (always) wavy or straight with a touch of muss, short see-through lace dresses over tights with Docs or teeny denim cut offs with a loose singlet, layers of chain jewellery, desert boots (scuffed, worn-out) and chipped nail polish. Or the bronzed, fit people you see lazing on beaches, the miles of pale sand and bright sunshine accessorised by bright swimming costumes and sunnies as big as windshields.  
I didn't realise until I left, but we definitely have a uniquely 'Sydney' style, and often by comparing ourselves to Paris or LA or New York or London, we play it down, as if what we do isn't as stylish. We talk about our fashion industry in comparison to other, more longstanding industries, always with a 'we're small but getting there' mentality. Maybe it's because we love an underdog in Australia and fight being a 'tall poppy' (see more here) so we position ourselves as less than we are. 

But I have been loving seeing Sydneysiders through the eyes of visiting bloggers this week. RAFW has been on so Susie Bubble, Tommy Ton, Garance Dore and (o so briefly) The Sartorialist have been in town. Here are some of my fave snaps they've taken of us looking relaxed, cool and Sydney-stylish:

The Sartorialist
 All of these girls are models- the black-and-white image is of everywhere-right-now NZ model Zippora, and I think the first image is of Rachel Rutt, unless I'm very wrong. These two crouched-down girls- Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Julia Nobis- don't they look like they're having so much fun? I can imagine they've just had a skim cap and a cigarette and were having a good old chat about whether lace-up ankle boots have reached too much of a saturation point now and if they should move on to new footwear. (A worthy question- I think they've got another month in them at least.)

These two are so stoked they ditched McDonalds for a quick coffee on Oxford St instead and will wait until The Sart walks away before praying that none of their teachers reads his blog. 
I like to imagine who the people in streetstyle photos are based on their clothes. The girl on the left- I'll call her Judy- is influenced by British style from the late 70s, based on her turban and dark lippy. I reckon she has a soft spot for punk and mod rocker style and probably owns fifty pairs of Docs. The reheaded girl, Diane, she's a cool cat. A bit more bohemian than Judy, probably saving all her pennies to go to the Coachella festival next year but for now they're both hoping to hitchike to Queensland to catch Splendour in the Grass so they can rock out to the Pixies and Grizzly Bear. They'll probably both play down how excited they are for The Strokes too ('so overrated'), but will lose the cool facade when Julian Casablancas takes the stage. I like that they skipped school and then got snapped by The Sartorialist- a couple of rebels, love it.

Garance Dore

I love the light in Garance Dore's images. Do you get the feeling, though, looking at all these images that every girl in Sydney is tall, lithe and gorgeous? Hmm...

These shots are from last year's RAFW. I remember looking at them, hunched up over my computer in Toronto, feeling like a proud parent that Sydney was having her time in the blogging spotlight. 
One. The Sydney Opera House is the perfect backdrop for a streetstyle photograph. I challenge you to think of a better one!
Two. Judging by her outfit and her location, I'm banking on that she works at Willow. I DIE. If I was richer than I am, I would live in Willow clothes and have an egg-shaped wooden swing chair like the one in the shop and call myself Willow and perhaps sleep in the stoop of the shop to be close to it... too far? or not enough? 
When I pay off my credit card debt or hand in my PhD (whichever comes first- who knows? Keeps things exciting) I plan to buy myself my favourite thing from the current Willow collection at the time. Until then, I keep myself sane (or insane?) by visiting from time to time and stroking every item in the shop. 

Three. I love a man in a pink woollen jumper.

 Tommy Ton (JAK&JIL)
Who knows who this lady is (except herself, duh) but I do know that someone is a Celine fan! Phoebe Philo is to the colour camel what Christophe Decarnin is to shoulderpads.

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