Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Casual Vintage

I’m wearing:

-          Metallic Deco-patterned 80s cropped jumper (with Shoulder Pads removed) from Vinnies
-          Black tunic/dress from random op-shop in London (the label is Essence)
-          Jeggings from Target –folded up to look like cropped jeans
-          Vintage Lace-up Brogues from second-hand store in Brixton, London
-          Sunglasses from ASOS
-          Necklace from H&M in London
-          Headband from Diva

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainy Day in Sydney

Well it was with rather miserable weather that I greeted my friend Anna back to Sydney after her 18 months living in Europe. If it had been sunnier it would’ve been a perfect afternoon for drinks at the Opera bar for a Sydney-ish vibe to welcome her home. Determined drinkers that we are though, we went anyway!
So it was the perfect occasion to whip out my nice warm Welsh tapestry cape (Anna kindly took these pictures!). This was generously bestowed upon me by my cousins actually – one of whom lives in Wales and got me onto this amazing fabric. She collects the stuff and has tons of capes, coats, cushion covers and blankets made of the brightly-coloured, warm woollen hand-woven fabric.

It’s technically not tapestry as it’s woven but the intensely busy geometric patterns that are the signature of this fabric’s design does almost give the effect of tapestry – hence the name I guess!
This fabric is quite hard to come by in Oz and some pieces can go for a fortune on ebay but if you like to make a statement and be warm and snugly at the same time I definitely recommend sourcing something in the wonderful woollen Welsh tapestry fabric.
I’m wearing it with:

-          Black gathered tunic by New Zealand label Showroom
-          Striped long sleeve top by Mela Purdie
-          Black leggings from Next
-          Tartan brooches and red plastic bangles from Diva
-          Beaded peacock bag – thrifted from Vinnies
-          Black and Gold Zanita clogs from Funkis

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gisela Ramirez Rocks! AKA Fuck Flattering!

Last night I braved the miserable weather to head into the Eastern Suburbs where I was lucky enough to attend the runway launch event of Sydney-based plus-sized designer Gisela Ramirez

I only recently discovered Gisela when US blogger Gabi Gregg styled a photo shoot for modelling agency Wilhelmina models and included a selection of in Gisela’s designs in the shoot.

Since then I’ve been following Gisela’s Blog and coveting her wares at her online store. So I was very excited when she advertised her first ever runway show which was held last night at Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst.

The show was amazing! Gisela’s designs rocked and I want to buy them all right now! My favourite was the apricot spandex leggings teamed with her black bondage skirt. Because the apricot colour was almost skin-toned, it gave the effect that the model was naked under the skirt and was very kinky and in-your-face. I love. I want.

The event was very well-thought out and put-together with a broad selection of attendees in all shapes and sizes but all supporters of Gisela’s body-positivity message. There were gift-bags and free bubbles for everyone and it had a slight art show vibe probably due to the inner-east gallery venue. Here are some pics of me with my friends Hannah and Jessica Stone (yes, they’re twins and they’re hot) and Alex of Some New Place.  

There aren’t many pics of us as we got caught in an absolute downpour as we walked to the gallery – horrible weather last night! Hence we weren’t feeling our hottest – I certainly resembled a drowned rat!

I’m wearing:
-          Dress by Vivienne Westwood Anglomania from NET-A-PORTER (I used to work there when I lived in London, hence the only way I was able to afford it!)
-          Necklace by H&M
-          Belt by New Zealand plus-size label Caravan of Love (I’m not sure if this label is around anymore...the belt’s a few years old)
-          Black Wedge Boots – size 11 from Target
-          I’m also wearing magic granny-knickers underneath aka Trinny and Susannah shape-wear from Debenhams

Frances Lockie of Corpulent gave a great opening speech before the show.
She spoke about how a lot of the fashion industry in Australia that caters to plus-sizes is all about creating clothes that are “flattering” and “hide imperfections”. As Frances put it: “Guess what? I don’t have any imperfections” and with a bold declaration of “Fuck Flattering!” Gisela’s show got underway. Here are some of the pics:

The runway show also featured an appearance from plus-size model and entertainer Kelli-Jean Drinkwater

The show also featured entertainment: a feathery burlesque performance by Lala Gabor

The show finished with all the models doing a last lap in crop t-shirts emblazoned with Gisela’s Slogan: “Fuck Flattering”. I SO want one of those Tops!

And of course the designer’s lap of victory:

I thought the entire collection was fabulous, very wearable and it seems very reasonably priced on Gisela’s online shop for Aussie-made designs. I loved the way they styled all the looks but in spite of the ‘Fuck Flattering’ message am not sure I’d wear the spandex body-suits, cut away swimwear and sheer trousers in quite the same way it was styled!

For those not as bold as Gisela and her very hot models, I think everything shown was still very wearable for people like myself who love to layer: the sheer sack dresses  for example would look great over a long sleeved top and a pair of Gisela’s spandex Leggings for winter.

All in all it was a fabulous show: I was even lucky enough to win a door prize too! I got a $100 gift voucher for Big Shoe Zam! So thrilled as I have size 11 feet and have never heard of this shop before! So not only do I get to discover a cool new shop to buy funky large shoes but I get a lovely $100 gift voucher to spend there! Thanks very much to Gisela and Big Shoe Zam for this gift! I am coveting the Meg ankle boots.

Thanks Gisela! I wish you all the best with your label! I will certainly be encouraging everyone to shop with you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Queen of the Jungle

Gotta love a bit of animal print! Grrrr!

Here I am strutting through the jungle - aka the garden path - in my new leopard print maxi-skirt. This was a wicked find by Aussie designer Charlie Brown which I found at a second-hand store in Newtown for only $15 – quite the bargain! I think it’s actually an old style but with its maxi-length, leopard-print and fitted style, it fits in well with current-season trends.

I actually got it a few weeks ago but hadn’t worn it yet as it’s only a size 16 so it’s a bit tight on my size 18 arse and I couldn’t figure out what to team it with so that all the lumpy bits round the top of my thighs wouldn’t be visible. I just remembered this favourite old black mesh wrap-top by New Zealand label Euphoria which is just the right length and gives it a bit of a goth-y feel.

Going with the goth-vibe, the skirt and top are teamed with black platform-wedge ankle boots from Target, black leather fringe necklace which is actually a belt that I got from Brixton markets in London, Black “New Angelina Floppy” Hat from Sportsgirl and sunglasses from Asos.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

London Burning: Anarchy in the UK

It has been a terrible last few days for London town. I was particularly upset to see images of my old suburb, Brixton, being mobbed, ransacked and set alight. There was footage of shops less than 50ms from my old house being looted and destroyed.

Image from the Telegraph

My friends who are still living there were kept awake all night with fear, after triple-locking the doors they kept vigil to the sounds of rioters outside, sirens and police choppers circling above. They sent updates throughout the night via facebook and twitter. Judging from tweets and facebook status updates, everyone in London is terrified.

Image from the Sydney Morning Herald

I do not understand why this is happening. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s mindless destruction for destruction’s sake. It’s mainly kids who’ve been doing this. Little bastards. Don’t they realise how lucky they are to live in a peaceful country? They’re not living with war or persecution. They’re creating anarchy and fear just because they can.

Source here

Meantime, on a happier note from London: I had a nice delivery arrive from the UK last week: my luggage. Two suitcases and one tea chest showed up FIVE MONTHS after I shipped them. Ridiculous! Anyway, it took me several days to unpack and suffice to say, my wardrobe is now EXPLODING! In amongst all the clothes was my very precious stash of African fabrics that I purchased from the markets in my old London suburb of Brixton. The joyous colours and vivid patterns make me think of the wonderful smiling faces of the locals and the crazy vibrant church outfits worn by the African Mammas on a Sunday for church.

It was such a joyful, creative and colourful suburb with a strong sense of community that had strengthened immensely since the original Brixton riots 30 years ago. I was so disappointed to see that this violence had been brought down on the community for a second time - and not even for a reason. Last time it was an uprising against racist suppression by the police: this time it is for nothing but greed and ignorance.

The fabrics arrived in the same shopping bag that I purchased them in with the logo of the shop in which I bought them: Freeman Textiles in Market Row – part of the labyrinthine covered markets. It makes me think of the family that ran this little shop and indeed of all the other small businesses in the area, so many of which have been unfairly targeted by vandals and looters. I wonder how they will pick up the pieces, if their businesses will survive and how they will cope with their losses.

I think in this dark time for London, when the streets are plagued by thugs and dickheads, it’s important for the rest of the community to pull together, celebrate the positive things that they can and not let their spirits be dampened.

So to celebrate the positive, I've uploaded images of the bold, cheery prints of the fabrics from Brixton which serves as a reminder of the joyful, colourful and cultural spirit of the community that will overcome this hardship.

I’ll leave you with this amazing quote and symbol of hope from Counciller Steve Reed – Leader of that Borough’s Council (from this article). He refers to local business Ms Cupcake which was located a street behind me and I love this story!

“...I was astonished to find Ms Cupcake, owner of a bakery on Brixton’s Coldharbour Lane, out in Brixton this morning handing out brightly-coloured iced cakes. She told me this was no day to sell cakes, and she wanted to show the world the true face of Brixton –smiling, generous, and big-hearted. So she came out to spread a little love in the form of her cupcakes. That for me is what Brixton’s really about. And that’s why last night’s incidents will not scar our community. This is a community that is strong, cohesive, and proud of itself. No mindless thugs are going to damage that.”

I will have to get sewing with all these wonderful fabrics to create a sartorial tribute to Brixton, the amazing community and my time there!