Wednesday, September 28, 2011

freaking me out.

I was reading fashiontoast yesterday,  and I came upon this funny little story. Rumi rocked up to the Topshop Unique show to find her seat in between those of Scott Schuman and Susie Bubble, the three of them positioned at the end of the runway and facing the photographer's pit.

In the words of Rumi, "we nervously laughed about being in the background of the images, and, well, now we are." True story.
It's like a world within a world within a world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wisdom sits in articles by Keith Basso

Some news: I have my very first peer-reviewed article shortly to be published! As a result, I have spent the better portion of this morning going over the proofs with a fine-tooth comb. I have now seen the page mock-up complete with pagination and the suggested citation and o jeez! It's so exciting!

The thought that people might cite me... or better yet, take issue with something I've said- marvellous. But as I'm a bit superstitious or have taken heed when warned not to count chickens before eggs have hatched, I will refrain from giving away too much information on the off chance that something goes awry before the volume is printed and bound.  
If and when that happens with my article included in the number, then I will boast proudly all over Fashademic and hyperlink in a very unsubtle manner in case you want to rush over and buy a copy (o, come on! You totally will.)

Meanwhile, in cross-referencing my cited page numbers (I do lead a thrilling life) I came across this gem. So here's one for all the post-grads out there:

As Isaiah Berlin remarked somewhere, it is better to write of things one believes one knows something about than to anguish in high despair over the manifold difficulties of knowing things at all. And better as well, having taken the plunge, to allow oneself to enjoy it. Doing ethnography can be a great deal of fun, and disguising the fact on paper, as though it were something to be ashamed of, is less than totally honest. It may also be less than effective. Current fashions notwithstanding, clenched teeth and furrowed brow are no guarantee of literary success. In crafting one's prose, as in going about one's fieldwork, it is always permissible- and sometimes highly informative- to smile and even to laugh.

-Keith H. Basso, "Wisdom Sits in Places: Notes on a Western Apache Landscape" in Senses of Place, 1996

What a year it's been!

The year is far from over- being only the tail of September and all- but the influx of balmy mornings, my sudden unstoppable hankerings for salad and finishing at (yet) another job have left me feeling reflective. (Not 'reflexive' for a change (academic joke! SNAP) (Sorry I said 'snap'.))

I started the year reading selling magazines at Mag Nation, where I impeded a shoplifter trying to filch four magazines at once, discovered L'Officiel Hommes, and made a brief cameo in Monocle magazine (apparently I looked "angry"; damn. I was going for "pensive".)

Then I embarked upon a brief career as a nanny that lasted about as long as Autumn. I did the 'school run' (even using that phrase made me feel like an Eastern Suburbs mother of three), mastered the art of Mighty Beanz battles, and also learned how to make a mean pikelet.

Then I stepped onto the other side of the counter as an admin assistant in one of the schools of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at uni. Here, I drank a lot of coffee, sympathised with a  lot of panicky students (who were hopefully a lot less panicky after our conversation), and saw first-hand just how much stationery Arts scholars go through (read: a lot.) It's been great, truly, but here I am about to assume a new role- one that I have always been curious to try. Shopgirl in a beautiful clothing store.

I won't tell you which one because you might come and visit and I would get tongue-tied with embarrassment that you have read my blog. Even though I'm stoked that you have, for some reason I get abnormally shy when I meet you for the first time. But suffice it to say that the clothes are DEVASTATINGLY LOVELY and I am thrilled to have a reason to linger near them all day. Which is not even to mention how lovely the other girls who work there are (read: very.)

Anyway, there you go. I am pleased to report that these changes are mostly due to changing circumstance and never because I've been fired (!) Jess told me once that every time we hang out I have moved house, changed job, or done something new to my hair and I guess that's true. At least it keeps things interesting. And maybe wading through four years on one project necessitates a little periphery change from time to time? DEEP.

For now, though, let's try not to get distracted by the psychological motivations underpinning my life choices and instead consider something infinitely more interesting: street style images from New York and London fashion weeks. 

Sometimes you have an opinion and then you realise you're wrong. Alexander Wang heel flaps, I never knew you until this moment. Or maybe like so many of us, they just needed to be seen from the right angle to shine (literally.)
 I want to believe that this is what I will look like in summer. But I know that even if I double denim a shirt and shortie-shorts, I will constantly shine with perspiration, my shirttails will elbow out of my waistband and... well. It might be uncharitable to myself to continue to catalogue the differences that will abound between this lovely model and myself. 
However- double denim. Feeling it. Ready for round two, summer wardrobe?

I love this photo. She seems so comfortable, relaxed and happy. Also- a 'how to' do sneakers with non-gym attire and do it right. 

It's Roz! Did you know this talented young lady also just won the Vogue Talent Contest and has her first piece published in UK Vogue this month? It's well deserved, as I'm sure all of her blog's readers will agree. Congratulations Roz!

Just enough 'Rosie the Riveter' to keep things interesting. 

Where to start with this photo? The Givenchy snarl, the cool coolness of TTH or the look of consternation on the face of the investment banker bringing up the rear?
Hanneli channelling the late Sixties and all I see is Orangina. I think it's the blue wall behind.

Well this is just fantastic for so many reasons. I want to be wearing the entire ensemb. Right now.
Lamé pants. That's all I see. There was a gold lamé skirt for sale in a vintage shop in Toronto three years ago that I didn't buy but SHOULD HAVE. Midi length, thin pleats, waistband that sat under my natural waist but above my hips. Three years and it still burns. These pants are just mocking me.
O hai Mary Katrantzou. Lookin' fine, girl. Also: double denim in the background, I see you there. It's still not over.
 This is just a brilliant shot...

As is this. 
Float on.

On (Literary) Criticism

The following is taken from David Cecil's Library Looking-Glass: A Personal Anthology. Cecil is speaking here of literary criticism but I believe the same could be said of any criticism of arts and culture:

[the literary critic's] aim should be to interpret the work they are writing about and to help readers to appreciate it, by defining and analysing those qualities that make it precious and by indicatiing the angle of vision from which its beauties are visible.
But many critics do not realise their function. They aim not to appreciate but to judge; they seek first to draw up laws about literature and then to bully readers into accepting these laws ... [but] you cannot force taste on someone else, you cannot argue people into enjoyment.


LFW: Giles

Dear Giles Spring 2012,
There's only one way to say this- you took my breath away.

In much of the criticism of style blogs by members of the mainstream fashion media, the sticking point is blogs' subjectivity. Style blogs are criticised as being breathlessly euphoric, their reviews of collections utterly subjective, and the bloggers' opinions are exactly that- only bloggers' opinions. Fair enough- though whether that is good or bad (or whether a value judgment at all needs to be made) is also a subjective position.

But then I come across Giles' recent LFW show, feel my heart drop out from under my ribs and settle somewhere on top of my stomach and I feel like a cliche (and, quite possibly, in need of urgent medical attention.)

Looking through the show was painful- I actually felt my heart constrict. I think I even forgot to keep exhaling, just taking air in and in as if I could somehow make more room for the supernova explosion inside my rib cage.

Is this love? I think, perhaps, yes. 
Truly, deeply, and especially madly.

 Images from

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LFW: Mary Katrantzou

I don't know quite what it is about Mary Katrantzou's latest collection that's kept me fascinated for the past fifteen minutes. It's not just the incredible colours and prints... maybe it's they rewrite the linearity of a woman's shape, writing new lines of form through the way the garments direct the eye. Designers messed with the perception of womens' bodies for years, of course; whether they're reworking what it is to present an identifiable self to the world (Gareth Pugh's effacing latex, anyone?) or playing with shape to draw attention to whatever body part is currently fascinating: the ankle, the shin, the small of the back. 

But here we have pattern and print coursing over and drawing the eye horizontally across a model's body with no distinction made between torso and arms; we see legs striding forward out of almost plumage, with a fan of fabric flowing behind like the tail of a bird of paradise. Unusual cuts draw attention to the decollete, to the thighs, and the prints themselves-! So luscious they're like summer fruits, making the tastebuds ache just to look at them. 
For me, this collection isn't as riveting as her interior collection shown last season but it's still well cool. And maybe more "wearable", if that matters to you.


  Images from

NYFW: Marc Jacobs

The caravan has already sprouted sails and sallied across the Atlantic but it is worth taking a moment to savour some of Marc Jacobs' more toothsome confections shown last week in New York.
What struck me most about this collection was not the Twenties vibe- of which much has been made, probably because of the early buzz surrounding Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Gatsby (which is currently shooting in Sydney, fyi. If I come across another report on how 'Leo' is 'dodging local paps' and talking to the prettier B-grade celebrities at various whatevers I'm going to batter myself senseless with a cloche)- but the edgy un-sexy/sexy parallel working down the runway.
He played with transparent- but instead of soft sheer, the likes of which have been everywhere from Chloe to he gave us what looked like skirts made of clingwrap, and bounced off the Mod lines and surprising versatility of transparent plastic shown at Celine and accessorised by Camilla and Marc and Jil Sander, amongst others, into something softer, grittier.
The collection, though executed with finesse, seemed to pulse with a 'can't-be-arsed' vibe, the asymmetrical hems and off-centre gathering smacking of dishevellement, which made a refreshing visual counterpoint to the polished West Egg dames sashaying down at Ralph Lauren.

Images from

Monday, September 19, 2011

poetic licence

Well, good morning! Another week raises its head and blinks around and, as usual, I have taken a 'soft entry' approach into my work which involves reading whilst having my notes virtuously stacked around me. I feel that the near presence of "legit" work gives me licence to read on wantonly because if the mood strikes to get productive (it sometimes happens...) then I can grab 'A Welcome for Blogs' and get my nerd on. Or else continue to read show reports, either or.

As it is, I have spent a very educational morning at Tommy Ton's proverbial knee. It was a strong and interesting NYFW this year but as interesting is regarding the off-catwalk ensembs of the event's attendees and well, well, well. It looks like collared shirts are having a moment, and how. 

Perhaps this is due to the 2010 reinvention of Equipment, Christian Restoin's iconic shirt label originally launched in 1975. People like Garance Doré and Carine Roitfeld have been shot in them and sung their praises and where they lead, you know you wanna follow. 

Buttoned-up, tied in a knot, tucked into a high-waist, sheer, semi-sheer, whatever you fancy, it looks like the collared shirt is storming a wardrobe near you. Preferrably mine, if we're talking Equipment. I recently bought my first (cause it won't be the last) in black silk and it's like a second skin, it's so comfortable. That sounds a little gross but I wouldn't lie to you, fashnerds. (And a tip from one impoverished addict to another- if you're Australian, is where you need to head for these beauties. I'm sorry, local retailers, truly, but I found mine for $50 less than the lowest price I found in a Sydney bricks-and-mortar AND have a better range of colours and styles. And free shipping. And your order is guaranteed to arrive within three days. I'll stop now.)

So without further ado, I present to you the evidence that the collared shirt is taking over the world one back at a time and will thus implicitly argue that this is a good thing.

This represents but half of the possible images I could have shown you, and does not even take into account all of the shirt-dresses I saw. It's like a global movement, people. At times I felt like I was in a Dr. Seuss book... "I can wear it with a hat, I can roll sleeves up like that. Checked and sheer and copper tin, I can match it with Céline." 

Yes, I rhymed 'tin' with 'Céline', what of it?

images by Tommy Ton for

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I just stumbled across this delightful Q&A with academic and self-professed Christian, Dr. John Considine. Interviewed by the Wornettes of independent Canadian fashion journal Worn, we learn the etymology of the word 'cravat' and have an opportunity to consider dressing to show respect for others and ourselves. 

As an aside, I truly believe that if more academics wore kilts on campus the world would be a more thrilling place. There's something so dashing about tartan, don't you think?