Sunday, November 30, 2008

Highballs & High Heels

It is not often these days, that one is invited to a cocktail party where you are ensured of both stylish company and an appropriate ambiance. This Saturday proved to be the exception, as I headed into Madame Brussels to meet with some blogging beauties for a delicious afternoon.

It was the perfect excuse to break out this frock which, although not yet seen here, has quickly become a favorite of mine. It is a late 1950's number in a light wool blend, with the most delightful shawl collar. The print is somewhat of a water coloured effect paisley in my favorite jewel tones. I discovered this gem in a huge vintage shop in Houston, which was primarily filled with 70's - 80's gear and lots of dirty looking second hand clothing. But the shopping gods chose to reward my patience and after getting rather filthy sorting through the dross, this little lady danced her way into my wardrobe. And yes, I did already happen to have the perfect purple pumps.

And so, with the promise of some scintillating company, and the rain clouds beginning their ascent, I headed in for an afternoon of Highballs and High Heels.

If you've never been to Madame Brussels, I'd recommend that you get together with your most stylish and witty pals, and spend the afternoon there pronto. If you go in for the dramatic and theatrical, this is the perfect place to play stage to your grand ambitions or perhaps to just take you away from it all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bold and the Beautiful

Outfit Details: Blue silk cocktail dress - Vintage Tina Varigos, Shoes - Valerie Stevens, Necklace - Vintage pearlized glass beads, Earrings - Diamond Studs, Fur - Vintage Mink, Diamonte hair comb, Lipstick - MAC Russian Red.

Now what am I all tizzied up for this time? Well, whilst I look for any excuse to break out the sequins and silk, it isn't something I do every Friday night as a rule. However last night saw the launch of Melbourne's newest modelling agency, The Alternative Modelling Agency. Founded by local gothic glamour queen, Samantha Shields, the agency is set to invigorate the local fashion scene with a new and vibrant style of personality. If you are sick to death (like me) of seeing your models underfed, homogenized and surly looking; you are sure to see more personality on the pages with Samantha's stable of beauties.

Last nights festivities began with Champagne and belly dancing before we moved onto the main event, an eclectic parade showcasing local alternative designers and the agency's new talent. I snuck in a few photos, but as I'm no keen fashion photographer they aren't the best, but I did want to share a little of the evening with you. You can read more about Samantha and the agency here in the Age.

After all that eye candy, those delicious cocktails and divine personalities, it was pumpkin time for me. Yes I was tempted to stay and party the night away, but with another round of cocktails scheduled with some delightful ladies for today, I chose to get my beauty sleep and do it all again. And that my friends, will be a story for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Perfect Pin Curls

Finally, I have another hair tutorial for you all. Today I'll show you how to create quick and easy pin curls using only bobby pins, a brush and a scarf. So no hot rollers, curling wands or other equipment necessary. How did I figure this one out? Well, during my recent travels, I found myself looking for a way to get structured curls and killer hair in the way I usually get with hot rollers. But of course, traveling light, I had no equipment what so ever. Thus the experiment began, and lo and behold, amazing hair the next day! I call this one my Veronica Lake hair, and it packs a serious glamour punch.

Here's some examples of this hair at work.

So slip into your slinkiest silky number, pop on your fluffy slippers and try this one on for size.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Matter Of Opinion

I am still on a mission to find my perfect summer shoes. Before I let you in on the details of these pairs, I'd like to garner your opinion. I'm going for comfortable, casual and somewhat vintage styling. So what do you think?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blue Bordello

*Picture heavy post - but worth it*

It has finally happened. The great bedroom decorating project has come to a close as I put the finishing touches to it this week. Given that my penchant for decorating is never ending, I'm trying to finish each room before tackling the next. So my plans for the kitchen spurred me on to complete the bedroom.

The limitations with this project were that I was attempting to work with floral blinds that are not at all to my taste, and a fairly innocuous mushroom carpet. The expense of replacing the blinds I just couldn't justify, so I had to find a creative way to work them into my style. They were originally part of a Shabby Chic meets Laura Ashley style of decoration that the previous occupant favoured. But it was just too insipid for me. After hours of wallpaper stripping, and a month or so of living with colour chips on the wall to aid in the decision process, I tossed the whole lot out and went on instinct with this fabulous blue. "Cossack Dancer" by Dulux. Not for the faint hearted, this colour caused many an odd look at the hardware store when I was asked what on earth I would be painting this colour!

To counter balance the floral in the blinds and give more punch to the glossy black furniture (which I also restored and painted), I chose this amazing Chinioserie print from Chesapeake papers. I have never ever wallpapered before, (that trend was happening when I was a child) so I called on the help of my grandfather who could hang this stuff in his sleep. So after much painting, changing all the light fixtures, re-upholstering, wallpapering and pimping all my furniture, this is the result!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fancy Fillies

Super Kawaii Mama and Porcelain Blonde

What a delightful and civilized way to spend a Monday morning. Today I met up with Porcelain Blonde for morning tea at the stunning Langham Hotel. With Miss One as our third, we enjoyed lots of delightful pastries, a wonderful view and very accommodating staff. After Miss One's efforts with the chocolate eclairs, we had to put the cleaning staff on notice!

Given that Melbourne's weather has recently taken a turn for the frosty, I had the opportunity to wear this gorgeous emerald green vintage jacket. A beautiful piece of 80's couture that after a little TLC, is now one of my favorite pieces. Yes, I probably should have taken some more detail shots, but I was having too much fun today to stop for all that messing around. So next time I promise.

Outfit Details: Vintage Couture Jacket - Maxi Librati, Skirt - SES, Shoes- Luca & Marc, Diamond studs and Monkey Brooch.

Porcelain Blonde taking Tea with Miss One.

And what a fun time we had! Strolling along the boulevard, we spied the gilded poles of the carousel and I couldn't help but make a beeline for it in all its kitschy glory. With a quick word to the operator, we hopped aboard, being careful not to lose our stilettos between the boards, and chose our ponies. And what a laugh! Riding around to that delightfully cliche carnival music in all our finery, we drew quite the crowd. Whether we seemed mad or amusing, it was smiles all over; and that is the best anti-age remedy I know.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Way We Wear

I woke up this morning to torrential rain, a warm bed and a strong desire to stay there. But there was an even stronger motivation to venture out into that diabolical weather. Today the Vintage Fair came to town. So I got up, got fancy and headed on over Williamstown for a visual vintage orgy.

Unlike many vintage, collectable or antique-y type events, this fair focuses specifically on the sartorial and all its many accompaniments. It is rather like a combination of being in a older relatives closet and a museum exhibition. The joy is in the hunting and the subsequent discovery of a hidden treasure just perfect for you. Your eyes do a quick scan and you find yourself drawn to certain colours and patterns, that your fingers are itching to feel. More often than not, this is an exercise in appreciation only, as the likelyhood of finding that darling organza poppy print dress to be just your size is not high. But in these instances, the inspiration is ample while the outlaying of precious cash is not.

Pair of 1890's children's boots. So tempting, but for $190 as a mantle decoration, I sadly had to pass.

I was eyeing off some stunning canes, in particular an amber handled, dog's head style number. Props are a wonderful thing to have, but the temptation to poke people, or whack stray children with it, would have proved to much for me.

This is just another reason that I so enjoy these vintage fairs. I may not find just what I am after, but it helps me to hone my eye. Is that really silk that you spy from fifty paces, or simply a nifty rayon? As in most cases, practice makes perfect, and shopping for good vintage is no exception. There also seems to be a shopping rule of thumb that, should you head out with something specific in mind, you will never find it. So it pays to have a back up lust list, but beware, mine seems to be taking on Biblical proportions. And today, my back up list came to the rescue in the absence of fashionable purchases. Enjoy.

Vintage table cloth in just the colours I'm planning to paint the kitchen.

One of a couple of Ladies Home Journal's I picked up, (circa 1952) I love all the advertisements in these and they even bring me more pleasure than the latest Vogue. (Shhh...)

Girl's Story Book. I read these by the dozen growing up and I love the perfect little world they illustrate. Everyone dressed so nicely, had lovely manners and even the naughty kids were relative angels. I am trying to build my own collection to read to the girls to compliment all the other morally suspect entertainment that is bound to come their way.

Illustration from the Girls Story Book. I think they may be a nattily dressed ladies rowing team. Either that or the timber industry was looking for a more stylish way to market their product.