Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coles Mix Apparel & Jacqui E - similarities?

Couldnt help commenting on these:

Jacqui E for $90
100% poly 

Coles Mix Apparel for about $20
100% poly

They are not quite the same, but very similar, yes?

& the Jacqui E dress with a live body....nice....

I couldnt find this on the Jacqui E on their site, but I found a sister magenta version dress on their site for $140, also 100% poly (large price rise compared to the previous one, hhmmmm?)


Easy care poly.
Easy to wear - pop it on & go.
Slight A line means you can run for the bus!!
The sleeve is probably more versatile than a sleeveless.
Best to wear it skimming over the body & not too tight.
With a jacket and/or a coat, you can layer this for winter, so it then becomes wearable year round.


Keep the neck & ears free of anything that competes. Perhaps some arm candy if you're going to suffer bling withdrawl symptoms otherwise.

Love the tights & booties for the magenta version.

Body shape advice:

However if has big checks or strong horizontal stripes around your (too large) problem areas, then leave it in the store. Eg: the magenta dress has some distinct horizontal lines around the hips - these may serve to emphasis hips even more.  

In contrast, if the garment has strong vertical areas where you want to emphasise a slimmer body, then it will be a good buy for you. The magenta dress slims the waist due to the vertical oblong black section at the waist. Buy it if you want to slim your waist.

If the big checks or horizontal lines are around your (too small) problem areas, then make sure it follows you home.

If the elastic on the Coles top emphasises your belly or makes your hips look too big, then leave it in the store.

Do the blink test in order to check your eye movement & you'll know whether to take or leave it. 

NB: Coles has a 30 day money back refund (tags attached), since they dont provide change rooms....let the mirror at home be your guide.

And here are some of the inspiration photos, all SS 2012:

Sonia Rykiel:

Milly White Blue:



Friday, April 27, 2012

Dip dye jeans: Overseas designers being inspired by each other

If you have been following my posts (you HAVE been following my posts, haven't you?), you would remember how much I dislike copying (or the "inspired by" concept). 

I have grown to accept it at the "fast fashion" level - but when a designer is inspired by another designer, it get to me. 

I am not talking about how every season trends emerge and many designers show similar themes. After all, everything starts with the fabric mills & most designers are using similar mills, so there have to be some similarities (aka: trends). 

Nor am I talking about a designer looking though their archives and being inspired by the house's earlier work.

What I am talking about is when a designer does something unique in their collection and that unique aspect is copied by another designer a few seasons later.


Dries Van Noten - Womens SS 2011

The ombre jean - a white jean that is dip dyed a blue denim color at the hips & above.

Now this trend didnt take off in a huge way on the high street - a bit, but not much.

I saw it more frequently at the various fashion weeks.....

and again.....

Dries also did it in sleeves of jackets .....

at fashion week with an Hermes agenda....TDF....

So all is fine with the world, until now, when I saw a Saks 5th Avenue promotion for:

3.1 Phillip Lim mens pants for SS 2012.


Yes, different, but same & produced with sufficient time after Dries so that we know whose design came first.

Phillip Lim's provided the following information about the pants:

"They start out as simple ivory cotton trousers with a tab waist, but Lim dip-dyes them to create an ombré effect that begins blow the knees and gradations to solid black. Lim took inspiration for the collection from California’s skateboarding culture. It’s not a far cry from his Huntington Beach upbringing." 

They are AU228 on the Saks site.

He even has a matching ombre shirt....
This is AU228 on the Saks site.

This annoys me and so this post was to vent some stream.  ggggrrrr.

Val not a happy camper.

Black shoes do work with colourful dresses

A friend who is a Canberra (that's in Australia) stylist, Jane Allen said today that black shoes generally dont look right with colourful dresses. 

I totally understand where she is coming from. It makes lots of sense actually.

But I'd like to keep our options as open as possible & re-cast the statement as:

"Black shoes generally DO look right with colourful dresses AS LONG AS THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE SATISFIED....."

So what are those criteria?....the easiest way to demonstrate is via photos.....


Black shoes will look great with a colourful outfit as long as there is sufficient black in the rest of the ensemble to visually link the shoes to the rest of the ensemble. 

Kind of like matching bag & shoes in my nanna's day, but not so matchy-matchy.

The shoes can visually go back to anything - bag, belt, bangles, necklaces, colours in the fabric or the lining, hair accessories etc. Anything.

Eye movement

Underlying the content of this post is the concept of eye movement - what this means is that when you look at a person, how does your eye move? Ideally if they are well dressed, your eye should move reasonably evenly up/down & end up at their face. If it stops and *&^%^#%#Y at the black shoes, then those shoes need a re-think. I have plenty of posts about eye movement - its one of my most preferred labels because it is such an important indicator of whether someone is well dressed.

NB: You should be doing the eye movement test on yourself in front of a full length mirror every day.

Blink test

If you are trying to work out the eye movement and you are very distracted - ie: your eye isnt calm enough to be able to decide where it wants to go, then the blink test is what you should do. I also have plenty of posts about the blink test - another of my fave labels.
Face the person, shut your eyes for 5 seconds & clear your mind. Then open your eyes, staring straight at them. Where did your eyes move? If they $%$(*&) at the black shoes, then its also time to re-think them.

Again, you can do the blink test for yourself in front of the mirror.


Amanda Hearst on the right & Rose Byrne on the left in a Prabal Gurung fuschia number.

Amanda just doesnt have enough black for the shoes to go back to.

Rose does - in particular, the belt has sufficient width to mimic the width of the vamp on the shoe. It just works.

PS: Try to ignore the impact of the black carpet for Amanda  it makes her choice look even worse than it is....

Next, Camilla Belle - she links back the black solid pumps with a substantial belt. Score.

Again, Camilla Belle - yes I have a girl crush.

She gets it right with the sunnies, belt & pocket thingey (?).  Note also the shoes have straps & girly bows, so the belt stays thin & girly too. Now do you understand why I love this girl? 

Next, madam lash booties with wide "tough girl" belt. Even without the bag, this ensemble would work.

Fergie in a Christoforos Kotentos dress and jacket. The shoes go back to the black sections of the dress/jacket. Too easy.

Now, take a look at this - which do you prefer?

I hope you said the one on the left. The black colour of the shoes for the one on the right are just too out of touch for such a light floaty colourful dress.

Try to ignore shape differences in making your assessment - I am not trying to work out whether a pump looked better than a sandal or whether the frock fits better on one girl over the other.  For the purposes of this blog, just focus on the colour of the shoe. Having said, colour aside, a substantial pump may look out of place with a flimsy dress, but we'll cover that in another post!

Now take a look at Nicole Ritchie v Jennifer Aniston. Which shoe looks better? The gold/nude on Jen? or the black on Nicole? 

Did we all agree that Jen's shoe colour was better than Nicole's? I hope so! LOL!

Now look at the next three ladies.....the black shoes, as elegant as they are, look "off" with a glamour dress like that. Like her friends on the right, a lighter or brigher shoe would have been far more aesthetically pleasing.

The next one is a Victoria Beckham dress.
Firstly worn by Victoria - with a black shoe (small white trim) and a very boxy heavy VB bag. Before you give this one a score, scroll down....

to Olivia Palermo wearing the same dress.....

She understands that such a colourful number needs colourful accessories - banish the black.  Enter hot pink satin bag & animal pumps.

Gwyneth in a coral Calvin Klein with a neutral sandal & gold hard clutch.....

A black pump definitely would not have worked here. However she may have been able to get away with a very fine black sandal - only because the the black wasnt interfering with the coral/gold.

However, I dont know about you, but I dont like wearing something just because it doesnt interfere with other items I am wearing.I like to wear things things that go out of their way to enhance everything else I wear. So fine black sandal is out IMO.

Liv Tyler & Kate Winslet in Stella McCartney pull off black shoes because of the black scuba panel on the sides of their dress. Tick.

Finally, here is an interesting one - the coat & the tights stand out here - they are the highlights.

So why do the black shoes work? Because they go back to the black dress underneath the coat. The only other colour of dress that may have allowed the shoes to work is a dark grey/anthracite.


Benefit fragrance doll house

Strolling though Myer today, I couldnt help but stop at the Benefit cosmetic counter.

 They were showcasing their fragrances - and I took a few pics of the promotional material.

I thought it was so clever....a doll's house for the their fragrances.

There are 6 fragrances, so each has hanging in a different area of the house.

The front yard & a closet. 

The master bedroom....

View to the back patio and gazebo....

OK, so you've probably noticed I missed two rooms....the girl who said I could take photos  spoke to her manager & withdrew the approval....drats....

But not before I took a snap of Benefit's cute travel cosmetic bag.

You can see all the 5 fragrances here: 

They are all eau de toilettes

The reason I am saying 5 fragrances (& not 6) is because one of them has been discontinued.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shop radar: Dimmeys warehouse

Tucked away in Parramatta, in the old David Jones building, (which also used to be a factory outlet place too) is a warehouse store called Dimmeys.

Its the size of an Olympic swimming pool, no joke.

It carries everything at massively reduced prices. It opened in August 2011.

From their website I understand they can offer such cheap prices because they buy lots are discounted product lines that cannot be sold through their usual distribution network.

Reasons for this could be: 

Packaging/labelling changes
Order cancellations

Dimmeys carries everything:

Mens, womens & kids clothing & footwear
Home furnishings 
Laundry consumables & cleaning equipment
Books & cards & wrapping
Sewing stuff & fabrics
The kitchen sink

Their brands are both name brand and lesser known brands. 

They carry normal & plus sizes.

I wasnt allowed to photograph inside, despite arguing that this post would help their business as it would be placed on a shopping/fashion site. Go figure.

Seriously, if you are in Sydney CBD, check this place out. They also have a store in Toongabbie & in country areas & interstate.


All I can say is, dont walk, run, fast.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wittner inspired by Alexander Wang Anais Tassel Loafer AW 2011

When I stepped into Wittner today, I gasped. There in front of me was a shoe that said "hello, I have arrived".

It was an inspired shoe, but beautifully inspired. And I dont say that often!

The inspiration was the darling Alexander Wang, a 30 yr old Taiwanese  American designer who dropped out of the Parsons School of Design but whose designs are now stocked by the likes of Browns, Barneys, Bergdorfs, Neimans and the list goes on.     

His label embodies casually cool downtown mens inspired style, drawing inspiration from the nineties, French chic, and rock grunge—always finished off with a slouchy, rolled-out-of-bed edge. He also has a diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang and a line of footwear which usually produces towering platforms.

Did I hear someone say footwear?

Wittner certainly did......

Firstly, lets go back a few steps and check out a Wang loafer....

Oh, my - silver & metallic pink....its called Anais Tassel Pump & its gorg!

Look at the cute toes.....who would have thought a loafer would have cute toes....sigh....

For those of us with a slightly conservative 
streak, try the black version.

And then I died when I saw this metallic burgendy version. Outstanding combination of modern and traditional.

There were around $460 AU on various sites like net-a-porter and shopbob, but given they are AW 2011, most have sold out by now. I'd suggest ebay if you really must have them.

The Wang Tassel loafer has been used as inspiration by a few designers - 

Elizabeth & James  - "Stela"

This brand is the younger label for the Olsen twins, named after their sister and brother. 

It was $370 on shopbop. I think its a bit of a wannabe, frankly.

Here is the ASOS version.....not thrilled with this poor cousin.....

The Jeffrey Campbell "Zealous" wedge - similar feel but not the same.....

And the one you have been waiting for - the Australian Wittner version - Blaide.....ta da!!!!

Its $160, leather uppers, non leather sole and they have done a great job IMO. 

The heel is a 10 cm black heel & the inner sole is padded.

They call the silver colour, silver foil (how cool).

Available online.


I am a very fussy shopper but this has my seal of approval. Do you like it?