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We’re having a beautiful autumn, and I don’t want to take away from that. But let’s be real – winter is just around the corner. I’ve moved all my open toe shoes to the back racks of my wardrobe and moved my closed toe shoes to the front, I’ve polished my boots, and I’ve bought some sweaters. It’s a little bit of a bummer for me, because the entire middle part of the year makes me S.A.D. I love sun. I love beaches. I love the summery food and the long hours of sunshine.
However, winter can be cool too, just in a different way (I feel like I’m explaining an affair as I write this). While reviewing my shoe collection to put together a gratuitous shoe post for Julie, I realised that while my bright orange sandals with the stacked heel are the bomb, so are my purple suede “shoeties” with the ruffle on the front. So I decided to celebrate (and catalogue) “My Winter Faves: 2011″.
Oh, believe. I used to struggle to find boots to fit around my legs but apparently sitting in an office for 8 hours a day has bulked out my calves, and now I have a much wider range to choose from. My favourites are:
Which I appreciate don’t come up to my calves and so don’t illustrate my point. However, these boots are my fun new friend, and I enjoy people doing a double-take when they realise they’re different in the front and the back. One problem: the front is suede. So let’s hope for a dry winter.
They’ve saved many a dull outfit before, and they keep my neck nice and toasty (since my hair stops at the nape of my neck. Didn’t think that haircut through, really). Plus, you can find scarves for relatively little cost so they can let you get a bit more creative without breaking your bank manager’s heart. I’m told that faux fur scarves and collars will be big this year so it might be a good time to get thrifting.
Coral, we’ve had a good time. Sometimes you and Bronzer would get together and make a symphony of sun-kissed goodness on my face. But my tan is already fading, and so it’s time to say au revoir. It’s time for my old friends, burgundy and wine, to make an appearance. Starting with this pretty lipstick:
Corporate Femme (matte) by ChiChi. The packaging is horrendous, I grant you. I find little diamantes in my purse after using this and I’m kinda ashamed to bring it out in public due to the high level of cheap blinginess that’s going on. However, it’s the right colour for winter and the matte effect makes it even more fun. I feel like I should wear suits with huge shoulder pads when I wear this – and that’s exactly the attitude I need to get me out of the house on a cold and windy day.
Skirts that are inappropriate without tights
In summer, I like to keep my skirts at approximately knee length (for work – weekends are another kettle of fish). As we all know, as soon as you sit down in a fitted skirt, it wants to ride up your leg. This is not okay when you’ve got naked leg on display. However, in winter I wear tights that are at least 100 denier, and so I also wear skirts that are slightly shorter. Dunno why, but it feels less inappropriate to wear a skirt an inch or so above the knee when you’re wearing black tights.
My favourite “slightly too short but totally adorable” skirt is this one:
A bronze-coloured miniskirt in PVC from H&M. It is, unfortunately, a little too big around the waist because I wanted it to be a leetle teensy bit longer than my actual size was (which was more like a belt). However, in winter I wear a cardi with it, which disguises the waist issue, and with black tights and black high-heeled boots, it is the perfect party-dinner skirt. It’s totally the wrong colour and weight for summer, so this is one item I can’t wait for come May.
So really, although I’ll be sad to say goodbye to sleeveless tops, al fresco ice cream, my orange sandals and my retro sunglasses, there’s still plenty to embrace. And of course: a new season means new clothes in the shops and, if you’re so inclined, shopping trips with the girls fuelled by hot chocolates and cheese scones!
I think every lady has an arsenal of key items which they fall back on whenever they need to feel just a touch prettier. They run the gamut from cosmetics (expected) to websites dedicated to an adorable Scottish Fold cat (for your inner happiness, see: http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com/). After all, nothing says pretty like a girl with a smile on her face.
So, apart from the adorable Maru, these are a few of the things I am finding myself loving.
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. This stuff is the bomb-diggetty. Never have I had lips so chapped that this stuff couldn’t heal them, which is grand because in the past chapped lips have led to a resurgence in my eczema. It is like some kind of hippie magic, which I love, because sometimes you decide that tomorrow you want to wear bright red lipstick but you know that your lips are waaaay too chapped for that action – enter Lucas (who is Lucas? Is he single?) and his fresh fermented papaya. Buy from health shops.
Lindauer Limited Edition Summer “champagne”. This will come as a surprise to all who know and love me, because I swore off all Lindauer products after a wee incident in my first year at University involving tequila and a bottle of Lindauer. Turns out, they aren’t a good combo. However, the other day I got some jolly good news and my good friend and all-round bad influence Kerina suggested we drink to my success. Enter Lindauer at $10 a bottle. This is no good for the ladies who love the dry wines but its cheerful label and deliciously drinkable taste has added it to my arsenal. There’s just something about a glass of something sparkly (with the mandatory strawberry soaking for later) that makes the world seem brighter.
Butter nailpolish in “Chancer”, Orly nailpolish in “Glitz”. Both of which I have worn to work. Potentially metallic gold fingernails are a touch inappropriate for a lawyer, but watch my face and see if I care. I am deeply into metallic or glittery nailpolishes at the moment; they are tough to remove but they look so pretty in our summer sun! Thanks to Farmers Beauty Club for giving me a voucher at just the right time – at $30 each the Butter polishes are a bit of a sting to the wallet. The Orly polishes come in the convenient mini size for just $10.
Any song by Katy Perry. That girl knows how to sing an uplifting summer anthem. It’s all very well to love some little-known band who only play in basements and sing about global terrorism, but come summer you want to blast some sweet saccharine pop about how you’re great (baby you’re a fiiiiiiirework!) and walk around in the sunshine feeling uplifted. I only wish I had a jeep like Cher from Clueless so I could spread the Katy Perry joy everywhere I go.
Chanel Chance fragrance. So, in winter I wear Chanel Coco. Every day. And I was getting a bit sick of this and thought “why don’t I ever wear Chance?” Well, in winter it felt…wrong. It wasn’t musky and heavy enough for my winter feelings (i.e. everything I am around or touch needs to be warm). But then the miracle of summer happened, for approximately one day, and it was just enough to get me back on the Chance wagon.
Hydrating face masque. I am planning to write a whole bit about this, comparing a high end and a low end product. For now I will just say that air-conditioning is a cruel mistress and a hydrating face masque, slapped on while I paint my toenails and listen to my girl Katy, cures all ills. I wear as little make up as humanly possible in summer – which I know technically is no makeup at all, but that’s a topic for another day – so I may as well make sure my skin looks good.
Summer fruit and veges. Oh yes, after a long winter of f’ing apples and pears, we are finally at nectarines, strawberries, apricots, watermelon et al. I am going to eat my own body weight in strawberries by Christmas: believe it. In addition, it’s the season of fresh salads, avocado on toast with ripe sun-sweetened tomato and a whisper of cracked pepper, crunchy cobs of corn and capsicum grilled on the barbecue. All of this is good for the body and the mind. Shove as much of this down your gullet as you can before we’re back to pies and comforting pastas.
Shorts, skirts, breezy dresses. I am so sick of my jeans. If I wear another pair of leggings ever again it will be too soon. My white legs want to get amongst it and (controversially) really want a bit of tan. So, right after I slap on a layer of Piz Buin (the fake tan favoured by all women in my family) I will be getting out my denim shorts and I will be putting on a white shirt and I will be marching myself down to the beach to read a book. If the wind stays away I might wear that really cute white dress I bought two years ago and have only had the opportunity to wear twice.
So, that’s my list of cheeriness for this time of year. Naturally it would be totally different in winter – pies would be getting a lot of screen time for starters. I’d love to know what everyone else is enjoying at the moment (maybe we can all steal from each other!) – the more happiness the merrier. And Christmas is the season of merriment after all!
Christchurch pretties – I was excited to read about this clothes-arama in the Zest supplement of The Press today (p. 15).
Petticoat Lane is organising a Monster Garage Sale this Sunday 5 September 11am – 2pm, 16 Harewood Road Papanui.
The Press says: military uniforms, tailcoats, pre-50s corsetry, beaded cocktail dresses, stockings in original 70s packaging, jewellery, gloves et al – and for the lads, menswear from the 60s to 80s.
If you go, let us know what goodies you find! I’m hoping for a hussar jacket … and shoes.
A guest post from Bel.
I do love having the latest fashion news sent directly to my inbox. I don’t love when it is filled with body dismorphia, cliched clothing and tacky writing.
The immediate clanger here is the obvious ”enhancement” that has gone on with the image of the model on the bottom right.
Perhaps it is some snazzy move that I missed the week I skipped America’s Next Top Model, but as far as I am aware, Tyra has not yet let us all in on a pose that instantaneously whittles your waist down to the width of your head. Practically miraculous, especially when you have two other photos of normal-sized waist to compare it to!
Overall, it was just plain disappointing to get a whole e-newsletter devoted to touting the joys of NAUTICAL. Nautical, you guys! Did you hear? It’s in! It’s in this summer! And do you remember last summer? Um, yeah – just like then! What’s that? The summer before… uhhh… maybe?
Pardon? Ever since Jean-Paul Gaultier’s debut collection in 1976? Or maybe since Gabrielle Chanel busted out a top she borrowed from the sailors of Brittany back in the 30s? Hmmm… interesting points. Fashion is know for being cyclic, but really, trying to act as if as there is a trend popping up when we’ve had nothing but blue and white stripes flung at us for season after season seems to be taking it a little far!
And it must be said, I love me a good pun [see: above]. This is a trait passed down from my mother, who is also a Scrabble champion and cryptic crossword queen. But “I heart bouys” is weak on so many levels. For one, it just draws my attention again to the fact that they are trying to act as if this whole nautical baloney is new and fun and exciting.
It also taps into a pet peeve of the way mainstream fashion retail stores, which used to cater for women in their 20s with a professional focus, are aiming more and more towards the teenage market.
*Things that upset me more in the world than inconsistent branding:
- That funding for evening classes has been cut and Education Minister Anne Tolley has suggested as the option for refugees to New Zealand who were using this as their way to become proficient in English, that they will now be allowed to apply for student loans.
- That the food from Satay Kingdom in Left Bank is cheaper than the food from the Thai place on Cuba, but their portions are smaller and I always feel too stuffed after a Satay Kingdom laksa.
- Murray McCully. I really hate that guy so bad.
- Finally deciding to use a voucher and finding out that it has expired. Gahh!
It’s been a while since our last Pretty Pretty Party, and given my current homelessness, it’ll probably be ages until the next one, but never fear! If you need to freshen up your wardrobe, you can still get your swap on, next Sunday:
The Big Shwop
Sunday July 25
Venue: The St James Theatre, Courtenay Place, Wellington
Time: 10 am – 2.30 pm
Tickets: $20 from our website: www.thebigshwop.co.nz, or just turn up on the day
R 18 event as alcohol is being served
Bring up to 20 items of clothing
Tickets are $20, but because there are strict rules for what people can bring in, you know that the clothes will be good. Also, there’s all kinds of added goodies on the day. The way it works is that you drop off your clothes between 10am-12pm, you get to drink some Momo wine until 1pm while the clothes are sorted, and then you go shwoping with your vouchers (you get one for every item you bring in). Also, you’ll get a full size Trilogy product – Everything Balm for the ladies and aftershave for the gents, as well as goodies from Eco Store. Oh, and you can bring in your old cleanser to get a new one from Trilogy too. So I’ll see you there, yes? Awesomesauce.
I’m a huge fan of the Wellington Historical Costume Society. Those of you who have met the lovely Dreamstress at PPP parties will understand why. Leimomi is seriously awesome. So, it’s pretty safe to say that I am rather excited about an upcoming charity event which she’s hosting.
From the Streets of Pompeii to the Salons of Paris
Saturday, 19 June 2010 Time: 14:30 – 16:30
Location: St Andrews on the Terrace Description
Please join the Dreamstress and the Wellington Historical Costume Society for a fundraising fashion history extravaganza: From the Streets of Pompeii to the Salons of Paris- The Classical influence on Western Fashion.
Textile and fashion historian Leimomi Oakes will present a entertaining and informative talk on the way Greek and Roman art and fashion have influenced Western fashion from the 18th century to the 20th. The talk will be illustrated by 10 models in historically accurate recreations of period attire – from a 1770s robe a la francaise to a 1920s flapper dress. The talk will be fascinating, and the frocks will be fabulous – it should be an event to remember!
Proceeds to benefit the Wellington Free Ambulance. Tickets are $15 waged, $10 unwaged. Tickets will be available at the door, or can be purchased in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big question, of course, is what should I wear to it?
Today’s guest post comes from Bel, who is not a writer, she just drinks a lot about it. She blogs with Lou at sassy is convenient and is on twitter @BellaHM during business hours in personal capacity.
Taking our lead from The Telegraph‘s list of the Top 10 Most Iconic Dresses of the last 50 years, here is an equally unreliable and nonauthorative compilation of outfits and ensembles wore by humans, but inspired by the animal world.
This is what happens when pixies are allowed to attend red carpet events. At the 2001 Oscars, Björk not only wore a deliciously frothy white swan dress, but she also enacted laying an egg. What did it all mean? Who knows, I’m not asking – I can barely understand a word her cute wee face says.
HUMAN: Cate Blanchett
Another dress with a bird on it – and yet we find a rather different result. Best Actress nominee at the 1999 Oscars, Cate Blanchett wore this embroidered Galliano gown which manages to be both sweet and sexy. It would have been perfect to receive a statuette in – except she was ROBBED! ROBBED I TELL YOU!
The Oscars are shaping up as Hollywood’s favourite place to show their love for the animal kingdom. Cher is always one to make a statement, and in 1986, she and long-time fashion collaborator Bob Mackie drew attention to 1) Cher’s head, and 2) the national bird of Uganda.
HUMAN: Marion Cotillard
People say that the French are irrefutably fashionable and chic without trying, but it seems they are also susceptible to making their clothes look like their pets. In this case, I’m guessing Mme. Cotillard has a poisson d’or at home, and couldn’t resist asking Jean Paul Gaultier to whip her up something for the 2008 Oscars to match!
HUMAN: Isabella Rossellini
ANIMAL: anything that can mate
You’ve seen Green Porno, right? You guys, come on – it’s educational!!
HUMAN: Naomi Campbell
ANIMAL: anything that has fur
As a spokesperson for PETA, Naomi Campbell declared she’d “rather go naked” than wear fur. But in a recent ad campaign, she appears naked whilst wearing fur. Riiiiight. Wow, I guess you’d want to get your hands on a nice piece of jewellery to go with that outfit, huh?
HUMAN: Shania Twain
Shania Twain may have planted the seed that eventually sprouted into recent years’ “cougar” phenomenon. And that is even more unfortunate than her luggage-encompassing onesie.
HUMAN: Bettie Page
Bettie Page knew how to keep it real: she sewed her own outfits, did her own hair and make-up, and would accessorise a leopard print outfit with real leopards.
HUMAN: Grace Jones (possibly from outer space?)
Grace Jones has never let the dictates of human-based fashion restrict what she would put, or not put, on her body. That would be no fun at all.
HUMAN: Philip Treacy
ANIMAL: generally things with wings
Milliner extraordinaire, Philip Treacy is known for adorning the head of Isabella Blow and pairing his creations with the collections of Alexander McQueen. His sculptural works wouldn’t withstand Wellington winds, but still make me smile.
One of my favourite things to browse at museums is the historical clothes. One of my favourite museums in the whole world, although I’ve never been there is the Brooklyn Museum, because they are so fantastic with social media (read my notes from Shelley Bernstein’s talk at Webstock this year). And I think we all know how I feel about Polyvore. So imagine how great it would be if you could incorporate historical clothes from a museum into a Polyvore collection. Wait a second, Brooklyn Museum has done just that? OH MY GOD!
I spent a few hours on Polyvore—in awe—realizing the site was a perfect match for our American High Style exhibition, which opens today. I mean, seriously, we’ve got some great stuff in this show…imagine being able to remix dresses by Charles James, Norman Norell, Gilbert Adrian, Charles Frederick Worth, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jeanne Lanvin, Jeanne Paquin, Madeleine Vionnet, and Christian Dior…sounds pretty exciting, right? In typical Brooklyn Museum tech style, we had very little time to put this together, but I figured an e-mail to the folks at Polyvore couldn’t hurt. Turns out, they thought this was a perfect match too and were excited to work with us.
That sound you just heard? My mind being blown. So I got in there and had a play around, and here’s what I would wear.
Now please post your sets in the comments. If you mess up the HTML, don’t worry, I’ll clean it up for you.
The April 2010 issue of Australian Marie Claire comes with a $30 voucher card at Witchery. You just have to register your details online to activate the card. And there’s no minimum purchase amount. Just spend $30 on whatever you want!
I think you cn also ask for the card in store at Witchery. Details here.
This month’s Marie Claire also has some good reading:
Fashion bloggers invade Paris Fashion week;
Child-brides of Yemen given hope by a 10-year old;
and this month has a particularly good fashion spread photographed by Hugh Stewart.