Good style

Makeover.

Dear diary, I promise to write in you more…

It’s time for a makeover.  Time to forget about the negative and focus all-out on fabulousness and positivity and all the things that make life great.  This means DRESSES.  Between Cannes and The Met Ball, I’ve been drooling over so much beauty that I couldn’t not be inspired and get onto it here.

Let’s start with The Met Ball.

Lupita Nyong’o – Custom Prada

There’s a million good things happening right here.  The movement.  The colour.  The contrast.  That smile.

Karlie Kloss – Oscar de la Renta

I adore this dress.  Strapless brocade is in danger of being boring but the metallic, the gradient from large print to small, the drape is just amazing.

Cobie Smulders – Custom Reed-Krakoff

Oh Cobie.  I love you.  I love this dress.  I would wear this dress if I were a thousand feet taller.  And browner.  And thinner.

Sofia Coppola

There’s something so relaxed, so old-world Coco about this dress.  It should be unflattering.  It’s ankle length, a-line, with mid-bicep sleeves.  And Sofia just glides in it.  Maybe it’s the vertical lines, the sequins, the pleating – or the beautiful and intelligent woman in it.  Who knows?

Stacy Martin – Custom Miu Miu

I have no idea who Stacy Martin is but this is what Miu Miu does best.  Young, fun, mixes it up beautifully, plays with colour.  I may kill for those shoes.

And from Cannes, there were not too many I liked – there’s only so many iterations of a ballgown you can see in your lifetime, but there was one…

Zoe Saldana – Victoria Beckham

I haven’t followed Beckham’s ranges at all, but this feels like a departure from the super tight, super structured garment that she usually does.  There’s a free-flowing easiness to this dress, with nods to the female form, femininity and minimalism that I just adore.

Et voila – makeover complete!

Love this little collection of dresses, there were so many lovely ones in there but these were my favourites.  A huge tribute to the designers, the construction people, and the stylists – so many hours goes into making a dress, especially a couture worthy one.  Techniques that are centuries old are kept alive by haute couture – may it never die.

(Images sourced from Style.com).

Who doesn’t love a bandwagon?

I bought a new vase recently for no reason other than it was adorable, went to buy flowers, and to my disappointment, found none in the shops I liked. This brought me back to the time I bought a silk bouquet for my wedding, and was met with my families collective horror. What?! Fake?! You can’t have fake flowers at a wedding!! They must be fresh! From a florist! A good florist!

Thinking I must have killed the Queen of England to attract such ire, I meekly went along and got a bouquet which were peonies, out of season and odd looking, and felt a bit disappointed. Fresh flowers didn’t live up to the hype. Luckily they photographed well. I kept my silk bunch which have been in a pretty vase ever since attracting favourable comments.

And now that my wedding is over and I no longer have to suffer under the weight of Highly Informed Opinions, I went straight back to the silk flower shop today and bought these beauties.

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The irony of the vase’s wording isn’t lost on me! I’ll have to spray them with perfume. I adore them. Status anxiety does not exist at my house, and after seeing Faux Fuchsia’s forchids, I knew that good style knows when to cross the boundaries!

I love my couch.

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This is my couch. It’s nearly ten years old and I bought it as a student after I moved out of home for the sole fact the whole thing was easily re-coverable with many Ikea options. They promptly discontinued it after I bought it and I was left with it’s original brown cover. The problem is that I love this couch. It is stupidly comfortable. Addictively comfortable. The cover had seen its day a couple of years after purchase but I just couldn’t. In a fit of decluttering spirit I decided one day to buy a new couch. Armed with savings and dedication, I looked everywhere. Expensive leather couches, every damn couch place in the state. I now know more than I need to about couches. But none matched up. I need butt-sink ing cushion filled soft goodness and it just wasn’t there.

Then I discovered there are businesses dedicated to recovering Ikea couches in custom fabrics. Who knew? In Australia that’s Comfort Works – my brown cover evaporated into a thatched grey arrangement for $350 with change left over for cushions. Aah. Decluttering be damned.

I hate ironing…

I hate ironing. I dont have the words to describe how much I hate ironing. Not quite as much as vacuuming but it’s my second most hated domestic chore. I think clothes should iron themselves. I am not domestically inclined in the slightest and struggle on a daily basis with clutter. Today our old iron gave in to scale and grot, and we bought a new one. It helped that Myer was on sale.

Wow. Dear lord. I still hate ironing but the difference now is that my clothes areironed instead of sitting in my cupboard waiting to be covered up with a cardigan or hurriedly shaken out with fingers crossed that no one will noticed. My clothes look pressed. I have discovered the magic that is continuous steam. Dear lord. Pants in a minute.

It wasnt the cheapest in the world at $199 but it’s already paid for itself in my eyes. Full price it’s $399 so in my eyes that’s practically free.

Home Dec Sunday

I spent the afternoon on a couple of small sewing projects that I’d been meaning to do for a while but that was right up there with ‘combine health insurance’ in terms of priorities. Something took over me today though and I dug around in my neglected fabric collection and threw together a couple of things. I use plastic supermarket bags as bin liners so I keep all of them – lately in an ugly drawer, so I made a bag holder. You shove them in the top and the bottom is elasticised so you can cram many in and pull out one at a time.

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The fabric is a screen print from Etsy that my sister bought me years ago, and my mother loves to collect bias binding from opshops for me, meaning I’ve usually got matching stuff on hand. The whole thing is so fast to make in that it’s just a square rolled and sewn along one edge, with some elastic in the bottom.

Now that the wind is picking up, the doors at home are slamming all the time so I made myself a pyramid doorstop for the bedroom, with the fabric again sourced from an opshop by my Mum. I love that she’s always finding me treasures!

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I tried to line it all up as well as I could to make it just as nice to look down at.

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It’s so nice to turn around a corner at home and see something pretty out of nowhere! I’m looking forward to Easter so I can get some more done!

Love.

Lately I’m on a work-clothes buying craze, which in some ways is pointless when you’re dealing with sick people because there’s always something that’s going to get spilt on you.  Like projectile vomit on my favourite pink cardigan.  Blood on my shoes.  Abdominal proteinaceous fluid on pants in spite of wearing a gown.  I could go on, but for your sake I wont.  In spite of this, I continue to buy myself nice stuff because a lot of the time, my job isn’t nice.  You’ve got to find ways to take the edge off.

So first I bought these:

Pour La Victoire Bre Flats

I’m having a huge thing for Pour La Victoire at the moment, the sizing is small but they’re so well made.  These look fabulous with everything.

I’m a huge menswear fan, with flashes of girliness from time to time but at work it’s all business.

Bop Basics Boyfriend Shirt

I admit, I bought it entirely for the sleeves.  I love them!  Anyone know where to find some ultra low-slung workpants I can tuck this into?

And I don’t mind a little bit of lace either – but just a little.

Club Monaco Clara Shirt

I think this one’s going to be a staple.  I have no idea who Club Monaco are but they make some nice stuff.  And I probably shouldn’t be buying silk in my job, but you only live once.

And what do you do when you think the Equipment Signature Blouse is just way too much money?  You buy a Madewell one instead.

Madewell Charlotte shirt

That should keep me out of trouble at work for a while!

FF Inspired Weekend!

Anyone who knows me in reality knows I’m a die hard Faux Fuchsia fan.  I’ve converted several friends and have taken to thinking a lot about the space in which I live.  I’d like to say I never have chipped polish, but truth is I never have polish because I’m not allowed to wear it at work (nurses have run after me, bottle of remover in hand as a medical student!) and my place never really rises to greet me, more it sort of slumps over with exhaustion just like I do when I get in the door.  Is it wrong that I’ve started thinking about specialising in General Practice just so I have the time to get out in a garden or paint my nails?  Or God forbid, join the most of the modern world in never having to do night shift?

I’ve had eerily fewer weekends to work this rotation which has had the nice effect of feeling like doing stuff on the weekend, you know, other than sleeping or cancelling on friends social do’s for the purpose of sleeping.  Years ago I bought a steam press at an opshop for sewing and rarely use it, but last weekend hauled it out to do my lovely organic bamboo total-waste-of-fabric doona cover that wrinkles when you breathe near it.

Here it is, working it’s magic.  Once you get the hang of it, it blasts large swathes of fabric into oblivion.

And here’s the doona cover on my bed…

As you can see, I rampantly under-cushion but I’ll fix that one day.   After all that work I then made a salad of orange, , rocket, fennel, pistachios and prosciutto dressed with some orange juice and balsamic.  I’m a huge fan of salads as meals.  Afraid it’s not enough?  There’s a reason why the French eat bread as a side!

Here’s a photo of my perfume collection.  I bought the one at the front in Grasse in the South of France where Fragonard has their factory.  If you’re in Melbourne you can buy it from Klein’s.  I love those kitsch sparkly animals – they’re a knockoff off Estee Lauders yearly perfume compact.  Mr G thinks I’m crazy.  At least my perfume shelf rises to greet me.

The perfume behind the front one is also by Fragonard.  In fact I’ve gone off generic designer perfumes completely after visiting the South of France.  They all smell the same to me now.  That won’t stop me repurchasing Boss Orange Sunset (the new one) time after time though.  It is the most worksafe perfume around.  I’ll upload my picutres of Europe one of these days.

In other news, I got an Asos order the other day.  Is it just me or do their tops run large?  I always thought a UK8 was a touch smaller than an Australian but I was proved wrong by swimming in them.

Time to go and destroy all my good work – am moving house in a week.

Some purchases – with pictures!

Still don’t know where my camera stuff is since moving, but since doing a rotation that is all shiftwork and all my free time being free when no one is around, I’ve done a ton of online shopping, so I’ll share the spoils.

Witchery sent me a $50 voucher recently if I spent over $100 so I obliged and bought this bag.  Their shipping rate of $17 nearly had me on the floor, honestly some US websites are cheaper, but I was glad when it arrived.  It sort of sits up and folds in on itself all at once and looks quite polished next to my old leather hobo that was used and abused for four years (which now gets resigned to travel-wear).  I don’t mind Witchery bags for day bags, this one is nice soft but sturdy leather and goes with lots.  Going from student to, well, [i]paid[/i], I’m starting by building up the basics first.  And apologies to the designer it likely ripped off, being Witchery and all.

Remember that craze for all things Parisian and French a year ago?  It was al about The Cherry Blossom Girl and superior French style and the amazing concept that you could wear designer shoes with chain-store fashion.  I didn’t have the money for designer shoes at the time, so I lived it through T2’s French Early Grey tea.  I’m sure it’s about as French as a French manicure (which is an American invention), but I drank my tea and bought fresh flowers and watched Gossip Girl and read French Women Don’t Get Fat and had a great time doing it.  I love T2 teas.  They always try to sell me canisters but I think their boxes look great stacked up so the tea just stays in the inconvenient plastic.  The website didn’t have a picture of the actual box.

Name says it all really.  I love Thai food, I love a coffee table book, and I love to cook when I have time – and COTD had it for $30 – what’s to lose?

I also bought a ton of books off Book Depository but that’s too many pictures.  Needless to say I’ll be reading up a storm.

Next pay, i.e. tomorrow, I’ll be investigating the exciting world of Shopbop and Marc by Marc Jacobs.  I have a lot of old worn stuff to replace.  But answer me this – if you buy a pair of mouse flats, how could you wear them?  Wouldn’t you want them to last forever?  I have been coveting these for years but I fear I would wear them to death in such a short time.  How do you not wear shoes?

She had style, she had grace.

I was saddened to see the usual crowd of happy-bashers out in force over Kate and Wills engagement.  According to them, Kate will now have to ‘be more in fashion now’, and less ‘boring’, and mon dieu, wear more makeup as she often doesn’t wear any.  Even her lovely hair wasn’t spared the viciousness from the unhappy masses.  The way I see it,  everything she’s done her own way has worked for her, so why change that?

And then I read The Sartorialist to find a comment on Natalia Alaverdian, a personal style icon, about she dresses too ‘safe’.  As if safe, whatever it is, is a bad thing.  It was Coco Chanel herself, great founder of easy chic and gorgeous minimalism who urged women to take off the last thing they put on.

Here are some shots of Natalia being ‘safe’.  There is something very elegant in embracing who you are as a person, and letting it show through what you wear – not the other way around.

I will never understand the great fear of being boring when all of us are so interesting as individuals.