Friday, April 29, 2011

I am a fashion blogger cliche.


"Nineteenth-century domestic interior. The space disguises itself- puts on, like an alluring creature, the costumes of moods. The self-satisfied burgher should know something of the feeling that the next room might have witnessed the coronation of Charlemagne as well as the assassination of Henri IV, the signing of the Treaty of Verdun as well as the wedding of Otto and Theophano. In the end, things are merely mannequins, and even the great moments of world history are only costumes beneath which they exchange glances of complicity with nothingness, with the petty and the banal. Such nihilism is the innermost core of bourgeois coziness- a mood that in hashish intoxication concentrates to satanic contentment, satanic knowing, satanic calm, indicating precisely to what extent the nineteenth-century interior is itself a stimulus to intoxication and dream. This mood involves, furthermore, an aversion to the open air, the (so to speak) Uranian atmosphere, which throws a new light on the extravagant interior design of the period. To live in these interiors was to have woven a dense fabric about oneself, to have secluded oneself within a spider's web, in whose toils world events hang loosely suspended like so many insect bodies sucked dry. From this cavern, one does not like to stir."


"The Louis Philippe style: "The belly overspreads everything, even the timepieces."


"Apropos of a medieval armoire, this interesting remark from Behne: "Movables quite clearly developed out of immovables ." The armoire is compared to a "medieval fortress. Just as, in the latter, a tiny dwelling space is surrounded in ever-widening rings by walls, ramparts, and moats, forming a gigantic outwork, so the contents of the drawers and shelves in the armoire are overwhelmed by a might outwork." Adolf Behne, Neues Wohnen- Neues Bauen (Leipzig, 1927), pp. 59, 61-62

From Convolute I [The Interior, The Trace]

We were supposed to attack part of the extraordinarily long convolute on Baudelaire (whose wonderful visage introduces this post) but we ran out of time, as we ever do. So we spent a delectable hour enveloped in the solipsism, the comfortable clutter, the ineffable traces of objects lifted from plush trays, the fingertips of our minds running along gilt mantelpieces checking for dust and the eyes of our minds gazing around the small, spacious apartments that were worlds within worlds, an escape from the shock of the modern. Neurasthenia. 


Thursday, April 28, 2011


A Day in the Life of Yvan Rodic, Facehunter.

It's so interesting when Rodic says "I wouldn't call myself 'fashion photographer' because I don't think I am really working inside the industry, I'm working more just on the side, on the outside. I'm more like a social photographer." 
What a contrasting perspective to the way that streetstyle bloggers are often positioned by their interviewers and commentators, as the vanguard of fashion imagery. This disjuncture is really interesting, I think. A reader might look at the access Rodic has (he may not be allowed backstage pre-show in this video but he goes to fashion weeks, he takes photos of notable faces in the industry) and think that he is right in there, but Rodic sees himself as a figure operating on the periphery, and what he does is not even classified as 'fashion' but 'social'. Fascinating.

designs on my heart.

There are two- no, three- reasons I love Melbourne jewellery label Young Hunting.
firstly, the jewellery is boss.

 Quandary: book accommodation for upcoming conference or buy Mountain Ring? 

secondly, designer Candice Agius is so lovely she even remade my Guillotine Ring after I discovered (too late) that my fingers had gotten even narrower (how?) and was super gracious about it.

thirdly, the male model in the new 'La Luna' collection is a dead ringer for Mr Bingley.

Am I right? Of course I am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sometimes I can't tell if the things I remember happening actually did or if they're remnants of dreams. I got a jolt this afternoon because I realised I hadn't replied to a rather sharp email but when I searched my inbox, I found no trace of it. It wasn't deleted (I am a consummate email hoarder), it had simply never existed in the first place, a virtual virtual letter. I was relieved but also unsettled because I hadn't been able to distinguish between what was an actual occurrence and one that was ephemeral, unexperienced, transient.

I often don't remember whole dreams but rather very specific fragments: the colour of a red Duplo block or the length and texture of my boyfriend-in-my-dream's hair (just below shoulder; ombre; strawlike) or how I leaned back and said your name as we sat in the back seat of the car, the girl in the middle seat leaning forward so her dark hair drenched the back of her floral dress, but it was you-not-you. You had the scrubbed-cheeks and uncomplicated suburban daydreams of an unfamiliar girl so far from your cigarettes and high cheek-boned sophistication, and you didn't hear me anyway, your expression was uncharacteristically blank. 

Too confusing, this muted blur of sleep and reality, this collapse of future and present and past and imaginary. I dream days to come and they are as unfixed in my mind as days long past- I can't remember my kindergarten teacher's face; I remember better playing with my leaping old dog in a garden that never existed. How unreliable my memory, how sly and misleading and tricksy and shy. And how, too, it is imbued with colour and tastes and wild longings, familiarities, remembrances of events that were spun into being as I muttered in my sleep. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

other arms reach out to me.

I am going to the library to write down everything I know about this chapter already. 
Then I'm going to try to tackle Bourdieu's theory of distinction. 
And later, if I can muster the energy, I will find a moment to eat a piece vegan chocolate cake whilst standing on one leg in my kitchen.

fake moodboard

Sunday, April 24, 2011

come together.right now.over me.

Cause nothing says 'Easter' like a menagerie swooping down on an egg.

Happy Easter, dear readers! 
I hope you have a joyous day and if you are celebrating Jesus' resurrection today, you're in the company of millions of people throughout the world and billions of people throughout history and time exalting his name with you. 

image from an exhibition at Koko Black, Melbourne

Saturday, April 23, 2011

because there aren't really enough photos of me on the internet yet.

This is probably the closest I'll ever get to a cricket pitch.
What I like about this pose is how it highlights my excellent posture honed by days hunched over my desk. 
  I guess Joy Division were right after all: love did tear us apart.

Why go take photos of yourself beside a cricket pitch where poor, misguided souls are doing boot camp and finding time to laugh at you at the same time? Why not?
My favourite part of this is shaming myself in front of you via the abused Ferragamos. This is why I should not own nice things. I don't keep them neat and tidy and away for a Good Occasion but I live in then and this, unfortunately, means coming into contact with my ever-so-slight messiness. It's more fun that way but it also means that my future/possible daughter is going to cut me with her eyes when she sees that I didn't wear them twice then package them in tissue paper for her but that I wore those suckers all over town ten times and then threw them out. 
But future/possible daughter, if you're lucky I'll still have this soft-as-holding-hands jumper from Bec&Bridge that you can wear sometimes. But you're not getting those sticky paws on the Armour ring, I need it to vaguely threaten people wearing Lulu Lemon who snigger at my blogging activities of an afternoon.

Customised Supre skirt // Bec&Bridge jumper // Alfred singlet // destroyed, mutilated, heartbusted Ferragamo brogues // Akubra hat // rings are assortedly from Vivienne Westwood, Sportsgirl, Georg Jensen, handmade and given as a gift for my mother's 21st birthday, Harry Wragg vintage and Surry Hills markets.

photos by the delectable Isabel 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Sometimes you gotta just heave a sigh.
 Matthew Gray Gubler gazing tenderly at Natalia 'what a babe' Vodianova in the latest US Vogue

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You know who else is great? Robyn Givhan.

She writes,
McQueen offered a clear-eyed vision of the harshness of life that, perhaps, only the working poor—or those from truly meager circumstances—are honest enough to acknowledge. While other designers, from John Galliano to Ralph Lauren, were romanticizing workers, vagabonds, and corporate strivers, McQueen was more inclined to highlight their calloused hands, bloodied feet, and shredded dignity.

I recommend two things. One. see the McQueen retrospective 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' at the Met from May 4- 31 July; Two. read Givhan's full review of it here.

the cool of the morning.

I started with Cathy Horyn's elegiac rumination on the indecisive current circulating throughout fashion at the moment. She writes of the cacophony that is drowning out creativity and freshness, the deluge of commentating voices that swamp the ones that have something new to say. She asks where the discordant visions are, the ones that will provide an alternate vision to counter the rise of popular taste?
I don't read this as Horyn decrying popular tastes, more as a lament for all that fashion could be and has been in the past. At work underneath her post is the memory of Alexander McQueen, 'fashion's most contentious voice', who took his own life just over a year ago. Who will take up his mantle, his fury and resistance, the beautiful decay and ferocious vision of his work? The sense that permeated me as I read the article was that fashion has been taken up in the popular imagination, peopled by caricatures and pop imagery and icons who are remembered for images of themselves rather than their revolutionary work- what of fashion itself?
What is fashion currently telling us about where Western society is at, what we value, what we applaud and what we choose not to see? There are gifted designers creating beautiful collections, collections that seem to simultaneously capture and create what women the world over want to wear right now. Yet here we also are in a time when the industry seems to be in a state of flux- where there are gaping spaces left by leading designers who, for whatever reason, have left or been removed from the labels they have helmed; where we watch television shows about stylist's assistants and wannabe models and are thus fed a simulacrum of the fashion industry passed off as the real thing; where bloggers and young designers and photographers proliferate, all wanting to be the next big thing, the undiscovered gem who, with the right light trained on them, will sparkle into a star. We are surrounded by images of fashion but are lacking the expression of its visionary heart.
I want to experience the shock at the vulgarity of fashion, like they must have witnessed at the beginning of Chanel's career- women without corsets? in pants?! I want to read of outraged sponsors demanding designers rename their catwalk presentations because their original titles are too shocking as in the case of McQueen's 1998 'Untitled' show with models catwalking under streaming water lit by yellow light. The original name? 'The Golden Shower.'

I wonder how designers will react to the contemporary challenge that now confronts their profession. That is their job, after all- not simply to create clothes that we want to buy, but to make comment on who we are and what we value as people of our particular time. I don't doubt that designers can and will find new expressions for our times- I just hope that their work finds recognition, that it it manages to elbow through the deluge to mark the public consciousness. And that it will not be unvalued because it is not commercial and 'cute.'

Image from 'Unbelievable Fashion', Vogue UK December 2008 issue

Friday, April 15, 2011

on the flip side.

My cousin Isa and I have been having this discussion on and off for the past couple of weeks. She's here in Australia doing research for her MA in Social Anthropology and she has been taking photos of what she/we have been up to, some of which are posted below. People have have been critiquing her photos on Facebook, ribbing because her "fieldwork in Australia" looks so, so incredibly arduous- what with the brunches at Balmoral Beach and parties and drinks at The Commons avec moi. So, okay, fair point. But that's kind of the point, isn't it?
You document what you want to share, the fun stuff, the stuff that shows you looking semi-attractive rather than hawing like a donkey mid-laugh (uh, wanna see those ones of me? Just try not to be too jealz of my abundant poise) so other people may look at your photos or visual essay or blog and think that your life is pretty glamorous. There are no photos of me hunching over my laptop with grease hair, in my pajamas (o wait... there are. Thanks Is!), no photos of my bleary-eyed mornings rereading notes nor photos of me at work selling magazines and trying not to get crazy eyes when people mess up the carefully arranged Keep Cups (don't pull the lids off! -UGH.) nor the ultra-chic hours I spend reading at my desk and in the library and on my bed and on the bus. 
This is something I touched on in my departmental presentation last week- what we see on style blogs is carefully selected. They're not representative of the totality of someone's life but are a specific prism through which we glimpse what they want to share with us, their readers. The reason I bring this up is because I just happened upon a thought-provoking post by Elissa at Dress With Courage in which she documents reading other people's blogs and comparing her life to theirs. It instantly made me reflect on my own blog and how my own life might come across.
If you could see me now- lying in bed with a half-drunk skim flat white on the floor beside me, surrounded by tea-soaked tissues because my green tea had a run-in with my beside stack of Vogues, hair straggled up and in the loosest clothes I own because I'm sick, darn it, and can't be bothered. Well. Let's just say that a lot of work goes into blogging and that sometimes the images are just that- images. 
If this ramble doesn't make much sense, you'll have to blame my woolly-headedness. And perhaps surmise that like a superhero without my proper costume I am zapped of my powers. Let's pick that up next time.
For now, glamourously yours


I completely lost my power of speech.

When I'm sick, it looks like this:

and sometimes it also looks like this

Stills from 'Bright Star' and 'In The Mood For Love', two films you should make time for in your life, if you haven't already. I recommend getting mildly sick- suddenly you have all the time in the world.

jil sander jil sander jil sander jil sander jil sander

I long for this skirt. I pine for this skirt.
Words cannot do justice to the yearning I have for this skirt.


I know it sometimes seems like all I do is eat food but it's only half true, I promise you. 
I do also spend time reading things like this:

They fle from me that sometyme did me seke
With naked fote stalking in my chambre.
I have sene theim gentill tame and meke
That nowe are wyld and do not remembre
That sometyme they put theimself in daunger
To take bred at my hand; and nowe they raunge
Besely seking with a continuell chaunge.

Thancked be fortune it hath ben othrewise
Twenty tymes better, but ons in special,
In thyn arraye after a pleasaunt gyse
When her lose gowne from her shoulders did fall
And she me caught in her armes long and small,
Therewithall swetely did me kysse
And softely said, 'Dere hert, how like you this?'

It was no dreme: I lay brode waking.
But all is torned thorough my gentilnes
Into a straunge fasshion of forsaking;
And I have leve to goo of her goodenes
And she also to use new fangilnes.
But syms that I so kyndely ame served
I would fain knowe what she hath deserved.
- Sir Thomas Wyatt (1557)

Photos by Isabel, Stuart + me.