Monday, November 29, 2010

hansel hands.

Something was lurking inside my letterbox for me tonight. Something savage and sharp. . .

All the way from Melbourne. . .
 Unfortunately, having skingers, the ring is too big! It keeps slip-sliding to either side and if I tilt my knuckle forward. . . ker-slice, down goes the Guillotine.
I love it still, and Candice, the designer, has offered to remake it for me which is so lovely of her. I bought it online, friends- I couldn't do without another violent looking ring, what can I say, I'm a monster.

You know what else? I have a friend called Sarah who just arrived back home from travels and a nursing volunteer program in India and she brought me. . .
the best bangle ever!!!! It's like a shackle and I love it!

So, all in all, a funny kind of day where two unexpected silver items wended their way to me. I feel very fortunate, and also a little frustrated at the skinny finger problem, but at the same time, rather fond of them, because they're mine and they're familiar even if they are narrow as twigs. 
I also realised that I have overlooked another entry in the fashionspeak dictionary- 'fashion forward.' Will it never end? And why does my brain collect these banalities? Questions without an answer, I think.

this just in from fashion's front line

white out
adjective and noun
What was once a humble item of office stationery has been elevated to the revered annals of fashionspeak. The 'go-to' title for a story featuring white or light-coloured cosmetics or clothing if they used 'trip the light fantastic' in the previous issue. 

Example: 'It's a White Out!' (followed by a sequence of white/light clothes in an arctic setting or a renovated loft full of white walls and bare floors, maybe with a queen sized bed with white bedlinen upon which the model lolls in a few shots.)

The energetic description for an item of clothing that is anything but. If something is 'go-to', it takes no effort to wear and it involves no risk factor. The use of this adjective indicates to you that you could wear it all the time because it is just so on trend, it will go anywhere and you can really dress it up or dress it down. See: black pants, nondescript heels or red lipstick.

Prints Charming

Example: You know it. An editorial featuring lots of prints. The more clashing, the better.

This post is dedicated to Meg Mason.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


 My beautifully organised desk.
The sky today.

Clothes: ASOS tee, ASOS pants, Biltmore hat, knock-off Chloe Wittner heeled sandals, neckalces from Alice Euphemia and Scarlet Begonia, respectively.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Fashademic Guide to Fashionspeak

Don't ever say I don't do anything for you.

'dress it up, dress it down
A useful phrase to use when the garment in question could be either dressy or casual. It often escapes recognition as the noncommittal statement it truly is because of the repetition of 'dress' which makes it sound pithy rather than ambivalent. Do not be fooled. This just means that the garment can be worn any way the wearer chooses and there is nothing much else to add.
See also: 'go anywhere' (as if there are some items of clothing that mysteriously do not go where the wearer does.)

Example: 'These stretch jersey bike shorts will really go anywhere. You can dress them up or dress them down."

'Fashion's front line'
The place where models, editors, photographers, stylists and buyers live during fashion week. Because Fashion is a war, you know, and they are placing their very bodies between the onslaught and us. What if a major sponsor sends camoflage down the runway? What if Carine Roitfeld walks past right as Tommy Ton shows up? What if you arrive late to a Marc Jacobs show and it started on time? These are the terrible situations they face each and every day in the line of duty.
See also: 'models off duty' (applied when models are wearing designer clothes in their own time rather than on the clock. A crucial distinction.)

Example: 'This just in from fashion's front line: bloggers sat in the front row again at Paris.'

'on trend'
A fairly recent addition to fashionspeak, 'on trend' is a favourite with shopping magazines and high street retailers the world over. It's like a sartorial version of that game Twister: right foot maxi dress, left hand cream cable-knit jumper. Then the fickle arrow of Fashion spins on the board again and it's time to reshuffle before you're left off-trend and in an awkward tangle with your face pushed up against someone's armpit.

Example: 'These khaki, canvas, peep-toe, wooden heeled, lace-up desert booties are so on trend.'

'... the new black'
'... the new black' is Fashion's self-referential way of saying 'this is stylish now.' Black could be the quintessentially Fashion colour- it looks simple, chic, and is universally slimming. The irony underpinning this phrase is that no other colour/print/cut/silhouette can ever seriously threaten black's timeless relevance so more fool the poor consumer who believes the spin. How many of you are there with a wardrobe full of hot pink, tiered skirts and lace bodysuits? If you see this phrase being used, assume that whatever it is will have a shelf-life of two months. Just less than a season, just long enough to drive you crazy with its ubiquity.

Example: Do you really need one?

'trip the light fantastic'
No-one actually knows what this means but it is a useful title whenever there is an editorial on light-coloured clothes or shots with lots of light filtered across the lense or if there's a beauty story on anything to do with lights or paleness or anything white or anything trippy.
See also: 'down the rabbit hole' (for anything fantastical or Alice-themed or vaguely related to bunnies); think pink (self-explanatory. Funny Face owes us a lot.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It seems that there is a little confusion.

Okay, overeager modern-day fashion. Let me break it down for you.

 Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin = iconic.

 Vivienne Westwood= iconic.

 Breakfast at Tiffanys + being a muse for Hubert de Givenchy = Audrey Hepburn is undisputedly iconic.

 Grace Kelly = uh, YEAH she's iconic!

 Katharine Hepburn? ICONIC.

Don't even get me started on Coco Chanel.

Every one of the Supers is iconic in her own right but en masse they represent the pinnacle of Eighties-Nineties modelling.

And heck yes Kate Moss is iconic. Not even a coke scandal could keep her down.

but Eniko Mihalik?

Sure, her career took off two years ago and she has been a campaign and editorial favourite ever since, but I don't think she warrants the 'i' word yet. What influence has she had on fashion, on modelling? how does she embody the zeitgeist? how does her influence go beyond who she is to represent some bigger idea or movement? how has she transcended or epitomised her time? 
She's cool, for sure. A good model with an unusual face. My problem is not with Eniko and her achievements so far, it's with the hyperbole underneath her name and the tendency of the fashion media to hysterically hype whatever they're producing to make it seem like THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EVER. It kind of undermines their credibility, don't you think?
And it irritates me no end.

Images from Google, as usual.

I'm sweating like a schvitz.

I don't even know what a 'schvitz' is, but I feel at times like this that only appropriated Yiddish will express my deepest feelings. My deepest feelings of being liquefied by the Sydney summer sun.

So yes, kids and squids, it's HOT today. I spent the morning drinking tea and scoffing vanilla and almond shortbread (Christmas time is baking time) with my friend Lizzie and her puppy Ziggy. I'm wearing a floorlength khaki cotton skirt and while it billows pleasantly around my ankles as I walk and generally makes me feel like some kind of romantic hippy it also does little to counteract the bakin' heat. I tied it up in a knot on one side but I was in Woollahra (sp?) and I think I shocked the TwinSet a bit with my lack of chic. This is what happens when I leave the Inner West, friends. Anyway that's not even the point of this story (did I tell you I think I spotted Tim Winton on the street? Totz did. Or else someone who looks incredibly identical to him. I played it cool, though, and waited until he had walked past to lean forward and hiss conspiratorially at Lizzie. I can only hope that he was out of earshot by then.)

Anyway the POINT of this post is to share a little editorial flashback from 2005 with you. It stars that erstwhile heartthrob Josh Hartnett (though I was always more of a Leonardo Di Caprio kinda girl. Don't judge) and everyone's favourite model of yesteryear, Gemma Ward.
Let's take a trip down memory lane, which is hopefully shadier and less sweat-drenched than this here day of 2010.
This is hot in more ways than one.

 Pedal pushers!!! Who remembers these? They swept my schoolyard circa 1997, hot on the heels of the cargo short trend. I had a denim pair with red piping (pedal pushers, not cargo shorts. That would be a super ugly breed of cargo short, no?) that were almost The Jazz but not as good as my friend Jess' pedal pushers which were the envy of the schoolyard. Or at least the envy of me. I can't look at them now without a voice screaming between my ears: YEAR SEVEN IN THE NINETIES! I don't think that's a place I want to go back to. Ima vote 'no' on this one, Gemma, but you still look incroyable so don't even worry about it.

Summer has swum lazily over our heads and it's here to stay for a while. this year, it's going to be unhurried, unexpected and above all, carefree I hope I hope I hope.

Images by Mario Testino for Vogue US

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm not fcking around.

I've been siphoning my words into my thesis and so, and so, and so. And so is explained the 'why' of why I haven't been exploring ideas on here of late. Since I last did a post on ideas, Google launched and Tumblr's first e-retail blog started but I just can't summon the energy required to think them through. 'Course they're important- they are the latest exploration of the possibilities for individualised retail that the internet offers- but I'm simultaneously weaving together a year's worth of ideas and reading. I'm also wildly distracted by the sunshine, in the grips of a recent mania for baking, and a desire to escape on a bus to Coogee to float in the ocean and soak in the sun (through a thick layer of 30+) as I do the Quick Crossword. It's almost holiday time, I guess.


I thought now might be a timely moment to answer a few questions I often get asked. So if you thought a PhD was a kind of hair straightener or if the last time you paid attention to fashion was when you were trying to decide what kind of dress (or suit) to wear to your year ten formal, then this is the post for you.

So, are you almost finished?
Uhm.... not even close. 

A PhD, what is that, like, a one year degree?
A minimum of three, my friends. Most students take between three and four but the earliest I could submit would be December 2012 but I'm in no rush. 

And you have to write a thesis?
Yep. A long one. 75 000- 100 000 words. Luckily, I like writing.

That's like a book!
Hopefully it will be one day.

So your thesis is on fashion. What do you think about what I'm wearing?
awkward silence

Give me a rating out of ten!
longer awkward silence in which I look at your outfit because that means I don't have to look at your expectant face whilst I invent an answer and deliver it in the least flustered manner possible.
That's not, really... uh... what my research is about.

Monday, November 22, 2010

either/or/doesn't matter.

Patty Huntington is doing great things over at frockwriter. Well, she has for a long time- she was among the first Australians to start a fashion blog. Anyway, she has championed model Andrej Pejic (an Australian by way of Croatia and New Zealand) since well before this i-D shoot but this was the first time that his image completely and totally stopped me in my tracks. As in, I stood and examined each and every photograph and then went back to the first image again. Gazing at his face, my eyes kept slipping between searching for the masculine and the feminine. His lips- his cheekbones- his hair- his presence. It's one pretty, extraordinary and pretty extraordinary face. Neither masculine nor feminine yet both at the same time.

The next trend for models may very well be beautiful androgyny as a reaction away from the hyper-feminine models that have been dominating catwalks and editorials this year (your Doutzen Kroes, your Alessandra Ambrosios, your Miranda Kerrs, your Lara Stones.) Freja, Daria and Abbey certainly haven't been wanting for work, but it will be interesting to see how the styling changes and how male models might be further incorporated into editorials directed at female consumers.
As an indicator of what might be sidling into a magazine near you very soon, I give you:

Givenchy FW campaign 2011 (photographed by Mert and Marcus)

Polaroids of Trimapee AW11 campaign by Jamie

Andrej (again) by Mert and Marcus for Vogue Paris September 2010

just so great.

I like to imagine that it was the impact of the kangaroo's sucker punch that knocked the man's camera right out of his hands. I like his argyle knit but fellas, avoid the white shoes with dark pants AT ALL COSTS. This is not a trend- nay, nor was it ever a trend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

changing my life with a wave of her hand

I'm going into my bedroom and I am not coming out until all of my ideas have been found.* They're spirited through notebooks and on scraps of paper, tucked into my wallet and written in the margins of articles all over the place. I intend to impose some kind of filing system on the stacks on my desk because while it may be a hardcopy of my brain, it is also hard to decipher what is what and which relates to how.

*Or until it's time for afternoon tea and a conference panel planning sesh at Becky's. Either or.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Introducing Cedric Rivain


And he does fashion illustration too-
Balenciaga 2007

Maison Martin Margiela 2007

Natasha Poly wearing Balenciaga, Margiela and Vuitton
Muse, 2009

Sasha in Jil Sander
Doingbird, 2008
Tao Comme des Garçons
Paris, LA, 2008
Paris, LA, 2008
The man himself.

All artwork by Cedric Rivain
Photograph of Cedric Rivain by Olivier Zahm