Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Australian Labels

Melbourne fashion is dominated by the need for layers and the ability to change up your 'look' to adjust to the temperamental climate and a palate thats forever based on black. Anywho, Australian brands that are iconic & a few brands I have plans to purchase from are:

Dizingof, the people I'm working for; really do kind of have an aesthetic I would describe as 'Melbournian'. A Palate saturated in black with a touch of avant-garde and an asian influence. I'm pretty excited about the new line theres at least 3 pieces that i'm pretty set on adding to my wardrobe.

R.M. Williams, they are the Eddie Bauer/Ralph Lauren/Shepler? of Australia with their specialty being their handmade/bespoke boots. They handle the high end & dress wardrobe of Australian ranchers, cowboys, and farmers. I owned a pair of their Millicent Cuban Heeled boots on my last trip that sadly went AWOL the week before I left. Bummer right? yeh, thats the understatement of a decade. I'm sure I'll fold and buy myself a new pair relatively soon (hoping for a sale!!)

Coogi, notorious enough to even be mentioned & worn by Notorious B.I.G back in the day. In my opinion they're kind of like cosby sweaters that have gone 'dreaming', know what I mean? I'm on the fence about this look. Not sure if I picked one up if I'd ever wear it out of the house and I kind of have my saints cricket jumper for that. Plus if I got one ten to one I'd wear it with my red suede fringe boots, and that would be A LOT of look.

Footie gear, Europeans have their football clubs (soccer) Australia; primarialy Victoria, has their footy (Australian Rules Football League). I have a St.Kilda jumper stylied after cricket jumpers but maybe I'll get a jersey too.

Jack London, is a men's store; but it's beautiful. I'm gonna end up with something from here I'm sure of it and it might be this jacket or a tie at least.

Country Road, is the word for Australian prep. I guess I'd compare it to J.Crew but honestly not all that familiar with J.Crew. The big thing is their duffel bags. I got mine the first time around and I still love it, though I'm always convinced that mine is 2x bigger than anyones? Are there sizes? I don't even know.

Crumpler, This is Australia's answer to TimBuk2 as far as I can tell. They've got some goo gear but honestly, I brought my TimBuk2 with me and it hasn't faile dme yet so I have no urge to replace it.

And in accessorie must haves: PAW PAW. this stuff is magic. It cost $4.95 at the chemist and works better than anyother lip balm in the world, I kid not. Plus it also can be used neosporin which is great if you're accident prone like myself.

"You are who you wear it's true. A girl's just as hot as the shoes she choose"

Lady Gaga

(belatedly edited and posted) So my new job has definitely edged me into a different view of the fashion industry but in some ways just made some things more apparent.

1- Women have mad body image issues. I get ladys in (yes I was tempted to call them 'broads') that are size 8s in AU sizing; American sizing is so weird, so lets say an aussie 8 is small, like a 2-4 small; and they talk about needing to lose a couple of kilos. It's madness. I had a few mates who thought that working this job would make me more self-concious, but if anything I think I'm less. For one, the sizing is still so arbitrary at times from garment to garment. And two, strangely; even if I look a bit rough at work people still assume I'm stylish - even more so then them. Guess it's part of the persona of the job but still - bit weird. Anyways, I'm more concerned with my customers looking good and spending heaps then doing an overhaul on myself.

2- Trends are boring, but hell so am I. I still think the perfect day to day look for me is boots, dark pants (jeans or casual slacks) a t-shirt or button down (or both) and a jacket. Yes this makes me androgynous as but I tend to counter it with my fabulous hair (which I won't cut short ever again (I miss my mane so) and make-up.

3- I've had a gander at the 'Man Repeller' blog and overall there is a divide between womens fashion in that 1/2 is attractive to men & the other to women, with a little cross over in between. The irony in my own situation is that if I lost weight and thus became more "attractive" I would actually wear more 'man repelling' outfits. To start with I already do. For example my father calls my glasses 'BC'* and many a man has questioned my taste in footwear. Well, if I lost 5 - 10 kilos it would be far worse. Baggy jump suits, 'boyfriend' jeans, big clunky boots, suits, maxi dresses and full length skirts, more t-shirts, ties, braces, massive Scarves. Ok- so I already do the scarves but you get the point.

4- dressing in your twenties as a woman is HARD. You're at that point where balancing classy/funky/sexy and how formal an outfit an outfit should be seems near impossible. And every work outfit turns you into a stewardess/secretary.

and as a side note, I haven't really gone shopping since I started working in retail. True story, now that I spend all day selling stuff to people I have no desire to have stuff sold to me, to window shop, or to even think about spending my hard earned cash on clothes. I still want my RM Williams boots but I'm not dying from the lack of them.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


so i haven't updated in AGES. my bad. I promise an epic return and better form in the future.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fashion - David bowie

Pre trial jitters:

So im on the train to the city. Ive got my highheeled boots with me in a bag ( i know, deja right? not gonna let a repeat of that happen even if i have to stash them in a library locker for a few hours.) anyway, chose to bring them because i find something tacky about red heels and black stockings. To the job trial im wearing my ochre jacket, jewel tones wrap around dress (another great item picked out by my mother; see the trend here?) and my black riding boots. Doesn't matter too much since they're gonna change me into clothes from the collection but he first impressions.

Walking out to the train station i did stop and turn around and put a slip on since the dress was clinging to my stockings - which i took as a positive sign. Im not totally uncouth, i just need to channel my mother ;p

Post trial:

first thought? "Thank god i wore the boots", feet are feeling tender.....

Instead of doing a one hour trial (apparently it was supposed to be 2hrs) i was in dizingof from quarter till one until a quarter till 5. The newer girl that was there said that that was a good sign. I have a second trial next week and if that goes equally well as today then i start training the next day apparently. Hm.
As Im typing this the tram Im on has paused outside the Brunswick st location. Weird.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"His clothes are loud, but never square. It will make of break him so he's got to buy the best, cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion"

- The Kinks Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Suddenly the other day I felt like I was falling into an antipodean adaption of The Devil Wears Prada. In my effort to find employment I applied at the Dizingof boutique on Brunswick St. The sales girl was very eager about me applying for the position and getting me set up with an interview. Literally within a half hour of me leaving the store she had called me with an appointment for an interview. Sounds good right? Let's add to the action of the narrative, let's describe the mise-en-scene. 

Dizingof is posh. The capital of 'Swish'. It may not have a location on Collins St but if I remember correctly it's CBD location is a door down from Hugo Boss. I have walked by this store and admired the designs but not even let myself in because It wasn't going to be my price point. So, when I did walk in at Brunswick St location I had my 'A' game on right? No. I had been rained on, was carrying my Country Road carry all bag, had slept the previous night at my mate's, was wearing the same outfit as the day before and sporting day old makeup. What was I wearing? Oh the height of sophistication for me. I had on my nice brogues, tight jeans, a paisley blouse and grey V-neck jumper. No idea what my hair was doing. Apex of fabulous, right? I did get an interview though.

Yesterday was my "interview". I say "interview" because it ended up being a 6-8 minute discussion. The interview was supposed to take place at10am at their QV location but there was some sort of last minute change and they needed me to come back at 12.30. Of course I said that that would be fine. I went down the road to the State Library and flipped through a Lucien Freud exhibition catalogue.*

Nothing like flipping through an artist who's work you really admire to bring home the disappointment in yourself for being worked up over a retail position vs. at home painting. Anyway I grabbed a cappuccino at Mr.Tulk's to pep myself up and went back into the unknown.

I walked up in what I thought was an outfit that hip-ly mixed classic and avant-garde. I wore opaque black stockings with my chocolate suede high-heel ankle boots, had on my black turtlenecked long sleeve dress with my fancy asymmetrical top i picked up in Port Fairy. To top it all off I wore my ochre winter coat, which my immensely fashionable mother picked out for me. I suppose i was aiming for art gallery owner but a little less black? Less severe? Well, it felt a lot like this:

She assured me for the trial they'd have something for me to put on. My trial is on Thursday afternoon, must bring my heels and stockings. I either blow her away or get 2 more chances to do so or no go. Of course I'm hoping that ACMI or one of the other gallery opportunities I applied for will save me from my own public humiliation but I kinda like the challenge. Is it the job I would have picked or would expect people to associate with me? No, but I don't plan on failing either.

It's not that I have a problem with fashion, in fact one of the reasons I moved back to Melbourne is that people give a damn what they wear out in public (I have a physical revulsion to sweat shirts and sweat pants). I love fashion blogs, picking up a Vogue and buying a ridiculous fashion item every once in a while. However I just don't feel 'stylish'. Part of that is due to the fact that I literally think I could spend the rest of my life in one set of clothes. RM Williams Cuban heels, Black skinny jeans, a black v-neck t-shirt, a dark or tweed blazer and a jumper for when it's colder. maybe i'd shake it up with a grey t-shirt or a button up for special occasions but, seriously. I may like dressing up, doing my hair, etc but I never feel more myself or more confident then in the afore mentioned outfit.

So, the gauntlet has been thrown. Can the cruddy art student turned nomadic graduate pull off being a posh sales girl/stylist?

Stay tuned to hear about the trial and the training. Hiring would be a lot like this right? Hahaha.

*Will talk about the Lucien Freud catalogue in a later post, have a review on it since I read it all in the 2 hours I had to kill.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"I looked at the Rubens and Rembrandts. I liked the John Singer Sargents. He told me he liked Turner. Never have I turned since then"

- Rufus Wainwright, The Art Teacher

Yesterday was an ARTday, not a Friday for me.

It was pouring rain yesterday, all day, so I showed up to the Brunswick Street Gallery looking like a drowned rat. Yes, this is partially due to the fact that I refuse to buy an umbrella. However, I have never had an umbrella and not lost it, and frankly I'm convinced they don't do all that much good. If it's raining you will get wet.

Anywho- I arrived at BSG to help install their current exhibition, and they put me through my paces. I installed 4 artists' works, and I have to say I was pretty happy with the installations. The one artist I helped who was actually there was super sweet and I hope to remain in touch with her. I enjoyed her work and her company immensely. I also hope that in the near future I'll be helping install my own work at BSG. They have a small works competition coming up that I plan to submit to. The space is a residential building that the two top floors have become the art gallery (the ground floor is a shop and two restaurants). Windy steps, high ceilings, well lit, and there is even one room that is painted the same ox blood red that my bedroom was when I was in highschool. I love it. They get a wide variety of work and change it over frequently, which I think is a good practice to keep the space more vibrant and dynamic.

After helping with the installation I booked it down to Federation Square to hit the Ian Potter (the NGV Australiana collection). They were having a NGV Members free entry to the Fred Williams: Infinite Horizons exhibition, and I just had to see the Upwey Landscape and Silver and Grey again. I also did some sketching so I could better understand how Williams was abstracting the Australian landscape and basically distilling it down to its most powerful elements.

Fred Williams is an Australian born painter, from Melbourne actually. His works, in my opinion, are some of the most beautiful interpretations of the Australian landscape I've ever seen. Probably my favourite. You can read more about him here on wikipedia, but I think I'll write up a review of the exhibition as well in the near future.

Anyway, met up with e at Fed Square and headed to 1000£Bend for some mulled wine and dinner. I had the grilled roo burger of course. Then we headed up to Brunswick St to go to the BSG opening and then split a slice of 'death by chocolate' cake at Joe's Garage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

“I’ve got Friday on my mind, I’m gonna have fun in my city”

- The Easybeats*,  Friday On My Mind

I've been delayed in doing an update (how many times do I make that statement), however here is the entry for Friday 18th to Monday 21st:

On Friday A couple of friends and the mrs. had tea and a pint at Pugg Mahones in Carlton before heading to Tullamarine to pick up "A", a high school mate of hers (and I'd say a mate of mine too) who was coming in to visit us from Canberra and go to the Florence and the Machine show. It was a bit of an adventure that evening. Going to the airport and not flying anywhere or arriving is weird for me. It's also tempting, despite my love for Melbourne; to go off on and adventure. I'm always tempted to go off somewhere. Seriously - so many times I've just considered buying a V-line ticket and seeing how it goes. It seems so irresponsible though....

Saturday we took A down to Brunswick Street for a little shopping and exploring. I bought that ring at the artists' market I've been eyeing for the last two months and picked up a cup and saucer from T2 with a gold chrysanthemum pattern on it. It's lovely and reminds me of my mum. That evening we had tea at Thy Thy a... Vietnamese? restaurant the girls favour. It was good food at a good price and they had the footy on. I got bagged out a lot over the weekend for catch bits here and there of the footy. shrug. After dinner we headed over to d's (whom had crashed on the couch) housewarming/birthday party at his new place. I always enjoy a good house party where everyone knows everyone. I always found uni parties kind of.... awkward. Do you make new friends? Chat with the people you know? Should you chat up your acquaintances and or that person in your class? Anyways, it was a whole lot of fun. I considered staying out with the boys and going into the city late that night but decided against it - I'm not sure if I do or don't regret that decision.

Sunday morning we spent some time down at the Victoria Markets, then had a bite at the pub then went to.... Florence and the Machine at Rod Laver. Awesome show, Florence Welch has an incredible voice that's even more powerful in person. She also seems to have the most adorable personality, she reminds me of my mate j.

Monday before A had to catch a coach to Tullamarine I showed her around the CBD, mainly stuff on and around Swantson St in a whirlwind walking tour. I think she enjoyed our jaunt and got to see some of Melbourne she hadn't seen before, least I hope so.
"A" snapping a photo on Hosier Ln

Later that day I got into VicRoads (the Aus equivalent of DMV, etc) to sort out my paperwork and appointment time to get my full Victorian Drivers Licence. I'm going to say far less painful then teh DMV and the people working there are friendly and helpful - which not trying to over generalise but, I mean..... some could compare the DMV to one of Dante's circles or purgatory.

* The Easybeats are actually an Australian group from the 60s known for Friday On My Mind as well as Made My Bed Gonna Lie In It