Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shoes - strong woman or ladylike?

I became an aunty today!

My new niece is a pair of Michel Perry shoes.

Backtracking a bit, I have been helping a friend shop for her wedding dress.

She is a petite Asian girl so she needs the traditional (white-ish) dress, a tea ceremony dress & a reception dress. 1 event, 3 dresses & all the extras that go with 3 dresses.....How cool!

We found a beautiful reception dress this week. But I am bound to secrecy. However I am sure she will let me say that it was pretty as well as elegant and classy. An amazing combination and it was TDF on her.

Today we found the shoes. A stunning pair of Michel Perrys. Thats all I will say - but I am SO excited about my new nieces!!!! Until early next year, my lips remain sealed.

I did some research on Michel Perry as a result of my new family and found some photos of their cousins.


Although not a household name outside France, the designer has a hardcore following among serious shoe nuts. He has even been the shoemaker to French presidents (former presidents Jacques Chirac, Francois Mitterand and the very dapper Valery Giscard-d'Estaing were all clients).

Michel Perry actually wanted to become a painter and studied for a time at l'Ecole des Beaux Arts de Mons in Belgium before joining his family's shoe distribution business. Perry likens a woman's shoes to "lingerie that you can see" ("C'est de la lingerie qui se voit."). Words to warm every shoe lover's heart.

In 2007/2008 he celebrated his 20th anniversary as a shoe designer this year.

Here are some of the cousins.....

Spectator pump - for work, races - so ladylike....

Cherry strappy heel - creative work industry or races....

Strong, solid & reliable Mary Jane type, great for work!

Strong, solid and reliable with a cute pop of colour!

Great combo of colours for a picnic....on the red carpet.......


The Kate "tennis" dress in Sydney

Look! Its Donny Galea (today), a Westfield stylist holding up a frock!

Does it look familiar? Yep, its the same!
Its the dress worn by Kate Middleton at the tennis earlier this week.

Its Alice Temperley.

Its at Westfield Sydney's Christiensen & Copenhagen for $1,590.

This is the model in the window atm.

Pardon me if I dont know the details of the tennis match - sport isnt my "thing".

Notice that the photo of Kate looks amazing even though the dress has negative hanger appeal - the lesson here is try everything on - you never know until you wear it.

The style is easy to wear -

* wide straps hide bra straps
* vertical pin seams create vertical eye movement
* the tummy pleats are stitched down which is slimming by sucking in the tummy
* the all over lining helps to smooth over the body
* 2nd and 3rd level pleats are flirty & feminine

& there is a black version!

PS: CC also has a store in Sydney's Double Bay and in Melbourne's Doncaster.

They stock brands like Missoni (main line), Herve Leger (main line), Marchesa (Notte), Tibi, By Marlene Birger, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Mathew Williamson, See by Chloe, Majestic Paris, Erin Fetherston & more.

If anyone from CC is reading this - please add the label I have missed.

They also have the most amazing collection of silk scarves - Christian Lacroix, Victor & Rolf, Jonathon Saunders, Barbara Agnes & more....I die when I look at their scarves....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nicole Kidman wearing Switzerland in Sydney's Woollahra

Personally I love the way Nicole was dressed yesterday when shopping in Sydney's Woollahra with her sister Antonia.

It was obvious she had read my recent blog post about the benefits of neutrals being like Switzerland (because they go with everything in the wardrobe) and so she had stocked up for her Sydney trip.

After all, when you travel, getting flexibility from your wardrobe is important as the reduced weight, also reduces the fuel required for your private jet!

On a freezing cold day, Nicole and Antonia shopped for toys in Sydney's Woollahra with her sister Antonia in tow, sans their kids.

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Nicole wore a tailored long line charcoal grey coat with a single placket covering the button line, although the jacket looked suspiciously like it had a double breasted form.

She totally matched the coat with a grey cowl neck sweater in various pointelle sizes. Theses two pieces were made for each other in colour and fit.

Black leggins & high black army style lace up boots with black sunnies.

The pop of colour was her grape structured handbag - very minimalist in its feeling.

Loved the lot!

Apologies for not having the designer names - stay tuned....

No comment on sister Antonia other than very ordinary & I am not even sure her bag is real!

PS: Next time you are in Woollahra, check out the following ladies clothing stores
that I love!

& that suburb is a gold mine for homewears & antiques, although priced not cheaply....

There are three ladies clothing stores in Woollahra that I love, love, love.
They are:

Riada - relaxed corporate suits and separates with some edge, luxury knits, loafers, interesting costume jewellery

Artwear by Lara - loads of black & layered & assymetrical and goth items. I dont wear the look top to toe - I only wear one piece at a time with other classic stuff. Very interesting costume jewellery.

Attic - baby sister store to Arida in Potts Point - relaxed separates, boho feeling, luxury knits.

The kids store visited by Nicole was Kidstuff. It also has stores in Double Bay & Cronulla. It has amazing kids stuff that normal suburban toy stores dont have. It also has alot of the normal "normal" toys. Please check prices with the suburbs before you buy the "normal" stuff.

Shoes that go with nothing & therefore go with everything

Sometimes a statement piece is so unusual, so "strange" that it doesnt go with anything in your wardrobe, but that exactly why it looks amazing with everything.

A few years ago we were all talking about the "IT bag". Well the "IT bag" has now been replaced well and truly, by the "IT shoe". That is, its all about the shoe. Weird but wonderful enough to be like Switzerland (refer previous post)!

So, my lovelies, here is some shoe eye candy for the pleasure of your eyeballs.......

Christian Dior - I cant wear turquoise and gold near my face - so these are perfect for me.

Valentino Garavani - hello Lover!

Dries Van Noten -I dont have a bohemian bone in my entire body, but the colours in these sing out to me.

John Galliano - I'd wear these even if he is likely to go to jail

Casadei - I'd wear these with jeans

Balenciaga - this is SO typical Balenciaga, its lustworthy

more Balenciaga, more lust

Celine clogs - amazing on the basis that they are too ugly for words

Giuseppe Zanotti - clear crystals in theory go with everything, but these are so tacky so we will wear them with everything.

Charlotte Olympia - not only is this UK brand legendary, but these cute zebras are too cool for school!

Ladies - dont forget about my previous post about a coloured shoe drawing the eye downward.

So please dont forget to visit my earlier post on ways to minimise this downward eye movement yet still wearing your lovelies!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Neutrals are like Switzerland

I absolutely love this look on Bar Rafaeli - its fresh, transeasonal and youthful.
Does this look work for you?

I love how there is a neutral grey base (top, bottom, scarf), with pops of (different) colours in the jacket & the belt and there is pretty & unexpected blush pink shoes/bag. Neutrals look expensive so you can look like a million dollars without spending it. Happy dance!

I would give up my first born to have this outfit because each item is a neutral like Switzerland so it will get on with everything in my wardrobe. As a result, I will wear and wear each piece and so cost per wear (CPW) will be managed through the floor! More happy dance!

The only item I recognise here as designer is Bar's bag - a Balenciaga. I have a sneaky suspicion everything else is also designer - let me know via the comments if you manage to do a Sherlock on the rest of her outfit's origins.

In this post I will show you how easy it is to re-create this look at affordable price points. With each item I have selected, I have tried to give you two options in terms of style.

Jeans - a light grey wash

Skinnies - Levis Bold Curve Skinny ID $119AU in light grey - for the young-uns!

Lonsdale Bernard in light grey $100AU - for us with a fuller figure!

The denim jacket

A denim look cord trucker jacket from SurfStitch $100AU (think super soft and cuddly)

A classic trucker denim jacket from SurfStitch for $100AU

Light grey tee options

Grey marle tee - All Quitter from Glue for $50AU - loose (aka relaxed) for "fat days" - who me?

Grey tee with ruching to add interest & show off a trim tummy - from Forcast $29AU from $40AU

Ladakh ruffle tee from SurfStitch for $33AU from $55AU

Frankly this is my favourite top option - button the top of the jacket & have this peeking out from the waist down at the front - so feminine yet casual & (bonus), tummy hiding! I heart ruffles! This will also work well if you plan on having a smaller scarf or not wearing the scarf for most of the day.

The scarf accessory options

A David Lawrence 100% wool charcoal oblong scarf (no yucky viscose) - $79AU

A Banjo & Matilda 100% cashmere light grey scarf at $299 - the ultimate in luxury by the company which is owned by Elle Macpherson's sister in law. Yes, a serious investment, but you will have this forever. Just make sure you protect it from moths & critters as they tend to go for the good stuff (same applies for the wool scarf actually).

The belt options

There are many affordable thin tan belts on the market. Make yours in leather so it lasts well.

TIP: If you want it large enough to wrap around twice, buy two & wear them as one long belt.

TIP: If in general you prefer silver metals, buy the belt with a silver toned keeper. If in general you prefer gold metals, buy the belt with a gold toned keeper.

#1 option -
Element Dawn Leather from SurfStitch $30AU from $50AU

#2 option -
Drew stud belt from Oxford $45AU from $89AU

The Bag

A Celine inspired tote - from Witchery for $180AU from $300AU

Couldnt resist showing you the originals on a recycled site, ioffer.....cute little girls, eh?

I think Witchery did a great "inspired" job in this case.....

The Shoe options

A ladylike from Wanted called Hussy for $130AU

A sexy suede high heel to ramp it up from Witchery called Colette, new stock for $170AU

TIP: Three coats of light Scotchguard ladies, please!

A comfy wedge - a mock crock from Witchery - new stock for $170AU

Of course you can do a flat like Bar - ballet flat or loafer....

TIP: I also love how the bag and shoes arent matchy matchy (not the same leather), but they complement each other in their tone.

Oops, almost forgot - the sunglasses

An aviator style - again loads on offer from the real Ray-Bans to much cheaper.
The only thing to watch is the tone of the metal...if your face is better flattered by gold tones, then make sure the sunnies have that. If your face is better flattered by silver tones, then make sure the sunnies have that instead.

Frankly - if you hate aviators, most other styles will do - seriously - you dont have to copy every element exactly.

Do you like this look & can it work for you? I'd love to know.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Size 14 can be sexy - here's how

This post shows you how a size 14/16 can look more breathtakingly elegant and sexy than the scrawny size 2/4 that is modeling the garment.

Enter Kate Winslet....

Kate Winslet was in Madrid a few days ago to attend the YO DONA Magazine International Awards at El Matadero. She was there to receive an award for her humanitarian work.

She looked absolutely breath-taking wearing a Victoria Beckham AW 2009 gown - yes, 2009.

The simple yet stunning black body skimming long sleeve gown with a boat neck (to widen the shoulders), defined shoulders and embroidery detail at the waist, was teamed with a black and gold crystallized Judith Leiber bag.

Photo: Red Carpet Fashion Awards & Getty Images

And I loved the pony tail and drop earrings.


The moral of this post?

There is no way a woman of Kate's size and shape can do this look so perfectly without serious shapewear! I'd guess she is a size 12 - 14 Au? She has had a kid. But every lump & bump is smoothed over - she looks seamless literally -and her lines are dead smooth.

So what are the "secrets"?

*Up & down (slimming) eye movement

*Accentuating her waist

*Great quality, cut & fabric of garments (no tissue thin viscose, thank you very much)


Lets focus on foundation garments for a bit.....

In Australia - the best place for shapewear is the dept stores - Myer and David Jones.

Spanx, Shapewear, Miraclesuit, Playtex and Nancy Gantz to name a few.

Interestingly Kate Winslet appears to have nailed shapewear for most of her life - this isnt a one off best dressed... ....I think that she understands her body type (know thyself) & appreciates the importance of the right undergarments......see the following photos......

2009 Oscars

2009 Golden Globes - YSL

2009 SAG - Narciso Rodriguez

2009 BATFA - Zac Posen

Now I am not stalking her, seriously I am not, but I have noticed a change on her red carpet look over the last few years...prior to the above photos she used to wear softer fabrics....

What I think has happened is she has gotten savvier about what suits her & her fuller figure (by Hollywood standards) & is tending to steer clear of fine thin fabrics which aren't forgiving. Smart girl. I also think her foundation garments have gotten better. I will be taking a leaf out of her book even when it comes to a dress or a pencil skirt.

Some of the older looks are.....

2002 in Ben de Lisi - Oscars

2007 Valentino - Oscars

2005 Badgley Mischka - Oscars

2009 Collette Dinnigan - Bambi Awards in Germany

2010 Oscars in YSL

2010 Navy YSL at the Golden Globes

2010 in Stella McCartney at the Orange British Academy Film Festival

2011 Stella McCartney at a NY premiere - OK this one I didnt like - way too tight & the face/hair was too scary...

2011 in Narciso Rodriguez at a gala honoring photographer Mario Testino - loving those brushed to the side bangs too....

Help dear readers!!!!!

Can someone tell me who designed this please?
It was worn at the Cardboard Citizens Gala Fundraising Dinner on Saturday March 19 at Christ Church Spitalfields in London, England.

It sort of reminds me of a 1960 red Valentino (his first collection) worn by Jen Aniston in 2004 for an Along Came Polly premiere - but I have nothing else to go on.....Ok, so I am a Jennifer fan & I had to sneak this in.....