August 3, 2014

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One of my favourite writers at the moment is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I first encountered her writing in her Orange Prize winning book Half of a Yellow Sun and then more recently within the pages of Americanah. When I first heard BeyoncĂ©'s track "Flawless" I was stoked to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted talk (above) weaved through the narrative of Queen Bey's music. If you are keen to read more, check out her new ebook "We should all be Feminists"


July 14, 2014

Dear Diary

I'm working on a new show and I'm so so so excited!

Details coming soon x

July 6, 2014

The eyes have it!

When my friends from Luxotica were in town a few weeks ago for the SS'14 eyewear showings (post coming soon!) we met up at OPSM on Queen Street to check out how OPSM utilize the Optos Daytona Ultra Wide Digital Retinal Scanners in their eye exams. This imaging technology is next level! Optometrist Alice Ku (I totally recommend her) was able to capture a 200-degree view of the back of my eye. Super freaky but super helpful in detecting abnormalities and eye conditions. Alice was able to see from the image that my blood pressure was a little on the high side just by looking at the blood vessels in my eye. So intense! I'm sure my Mum will be pleased to know that my eyes are in perfect health :)
It’s never too early for people to get their eyes checked. The key is to detect eye conditions as early as possible, especially when 80% of blindness is preventable.” 
- Alice Ku, Optomotrist, OPSM Queen St.
Image: The back of my eye as captured on a Optos Daytona Ultra Wide Digital Retinal Scanner

I've also been on the hunt for a new pair of optical frames and a prescription alteration is always the easiest time to upgrade. I've always been a fan of tortoise shell but find that it can sometimes be a bit too yellow against my skin.

These lovely lavender and tortoise Prada frames grabbed my fancy when I was instore (softer tones than traditional yellow tortoise shell) and the awesome Luxotica team were kind enough to make them mine. I feel like I have the best dressed, and best cared for eyes in the city. A lovely experience all round!

Huge thanks to the team for hooking me up with a complimentary eye test and these fierce new frames!


June 23, 2014

First Moon Party

Hello Flo, the creators of the The Camp Gyno, are back with a new add and I was in stitches watching it. The team at Jezebel nailed their comment on the clip:

"This tween is so Judy Blume-ready to get her period that she fakes it with nail polish on a pad, prompting her mother to throw her a First Moon Party as "punishment." I wish these parties were actually popular in American culture – think of the tricks a "vagician" could pull off."
Absolutely brilliant!


June 12, 2014

Seasons and belonging

Images by {miss liz}

I find something so freeing when I remember that every season will end and every season will begin again. I reflect on that as both as an analogy for life and as a wardrobe rotation mantra! In life I feel like I am in a cycle of newness, where I need to be tending to my landscape and investing in good soil. Wardrobe wise, it is time to jump in puddles wearing my new purple patent rubber Dr Martens


May 25, 2014

Proenza Schouler x M.A.C

I have been counting down the days till the delicious Proenza Schouler x M.A.C collaboration hits counters. Tomorrow is the day! I was very lucky to receive some treats from this collection a few months ago and have been looking forward to blogging about it. Long time readers will know how much I geek out over beautiful cosmetics packaging and this collection gets a 10 out of 10 from me!
For the first time, the cool cleverness of the Proenza Schouler woman is captured in a collection of confident colour, featuring specially designed, limited-edition packaging.  Lipstick bullets, square compacts and Pro Longwear pencils gleam in a unique, luxurious metallic finish, while four Nail Lacquers glide on in creamy, urban hues.  Introducing NEW shades of Blush Ombre in Sunset Beach and Ocean City – face powders in cool pink and warm peach, fused into fuchsia and coral gradients.

How divine are these colour gradient compacts? I was blown away with the gorgeous ombre blush contained inside. Delicious! I also need to get my paws on the beautiful Proenza Schouler x M.A.C brush that has been released with this collection. Too pretty!

The Proenza Schouler x M.A.C range is available from selected M.A.C counters from tomorrow. This is a limited life collection so make sure you get in quick!


May 19, 2014

Admiring and Questioning the Pradasphere by Richard McCoy

Interning with the Elle UK fashion team mostly involves paperwork, endless emails and monotony. But sometimes marvelous things happen. It usually involves Mayfair, ping-pong balls and extended lunch breaks... But not last week! For some strange and perplexing reason I got an invite to the first day of the Pradasphere exhibition on the 4th floor of Harrods, a retrospective of sorts dedicated to the aesthetic world of the renowned Italian mega-brand. So I dragged my tired designer bones past the tourists and through that famous facade.

Now Prada is a brand that truly deserves a retrospective. The role that it takes at the top of the fashion pyramid is practically the stuff of legend. Every six months or so Miuccia Prada delivers not only a collection, but a whole new mindset; values and ideals to live and dress by. A visual thesis that leads the way through and helps determine the feel of the future, which then filters down through the fashion system. Sometimes it's perverse (the tiny sawed-off, Lolita plastic apocalypse of Summer 2010). Sometimes it's kitsch (Banana prints, denim and lollipop furs, from Summer 2011), and sometimes it's just plain NORM-core, a term practically invented by Prada in the '90. All were represented here in the series of glassed cases; breaking down the Prada codes into recurrent themes and threads that run through all her work.

These key themes ranged from Modernism (classic, minimal composition) to Excessivity (testing the limits of taste and extravagance), yet all hung together so beautifully given their disparate inspirations. What was striking about it all was how varied the work was, yet how similar. Every season Prada keeps the fashion world guessing. Her proposals are often unpredictable, and far from what she did the season prior. But when you see it all together, you begin to see the similarities, the recurrent motifs, and codes that all great fashion houses build into their identity. From knee-high socks and pumps, tied waists, heavy embellishment, to the mixing of plain and the mundane with the ornate and obscure.

The quality of the workmanship is astonishing and a true testament to the Made in Italy mantra. The fact that such artisanal work can be produced on such a large scale, and delivered to stores all over the world is staggering in itself. The handbags and shoes - the bread and butter of Italian fashion - are particularly striking, yet never seem forced or aimed for profit. It's that mix of commerce, desire, function, provocation and necessity that drives all good design, and something Prada is so skilled at wielding to her whims.

Unlike many highly regarded designers, Miuccia Prada is acuity aware that 'good design' is not always masculine, shapeless, functional and stark. Good design resides in asking questions of the roles of these qualities in combination with adornment, print, humor, context, beauty and yes... even sex. The idea that something feminine and sexy can also be intelligent, wry and loaded with meaning, is a quality expressed endlessly by Prada, and often escapes academics and 'serious' designers alike.

Case and point, the key Prada item has always been the skirt. Throughout the Pradasphere exhibition, the skirt is a prevailing theme, and is strongly represented in each of the themed cases. Sometimes sexy, sometimes demure and frumpy, Prada's work never reduces the human experience down to something clear and calculated. Instead Prada expresses the many different roles and facets of what it means to live today, not as a man or as a woman but as an individual.

Yet, for all the exquisite beading, prints, and delicious leather shoes and bags, and for all the ways that Prada challenges our tastes, and evolves our palettes and desires, I'm left wondering why she doesn't confront some of the more fundamental aspects plaguing the fashion industry. Prada works amidst a system that is highly racist, ageist and size-ist. Although her shows are becoming increasingly culturally diverse, I wish she would address these aspects as well as she dissects beauty, functionality and context. It's strange that someone who challenges so much aesthetically should be so mute in questioning the politics of age, ethnicity and size, especially when she has a PhD in political science.

Perhaps I'm asking too much of a fashion designer? Is it not enough to produce desirable product that confounds, compels and sells? Shouldn't we wish it fought a little harder on the side of the individuals who buy or aspire towards it? As always I'm not sure...

But Prada's work truly is in sphere of it's own... The only thing missing now is the The Miu-Miuseum, next year perhaps?

- Richard McCoy