Polaroids from The Pass

Okay, so these are technically Instax Mini photos, not Polaroids, but how else am I supposed to incorporate some alliteration into the post title? I took these photos on a trip to Byron Bay a few weeks ago and it was so nice to just chill out and enjoy the lazy beach days. It’s taken me some time to upload these photos as scanning them has been the biggest pain. For some reason or another I couldn’t get the colours right or there was too much glare or dust/scratches/other gunk from my scanner would show up on the photos. I also tried a few photo scanning apps on my iPhone but wasn’t too impressed with them either. After playing around with a few settings on my scanner these were the best I could manage. If anyone has any tips for scanning/digitising Instax photos (apart from “clean your scanner Soph”) please help a sister out!

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California Dreaming by Stephanie Kloss

When I first saw these images from the California Dreaming series by photographer Stephanie Kloss I immediately thought that they were vintage photographs. I mean, just look at all that classic mid-century modern architecture. Not to mention the era-appropriate ‘living sculpture’ who brings interest and intrigue to every shot. Imagine my surprise, then, when I realised that these photographs weren’t taken in the fifties and sixties aka the golden era of mid-century modern design but much more recently. The photo series features iconic examples of mid-century modern architecture including (from above) Case Study House #10, Frank Sinatra’s residence, and Palm Springs City Hall. You can see more of the series and Kloss’ work online at LUMAS Gallery and purchase prints here. 

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A Look At Obus’ Winter Collection

It could be argued that some parts of Australia never truly experience winter, so autumn/winter collections are superfluous. Personally, I look to autumn/winter collections as a lesson in layering and transeasonal dressing. And right now I’m really feeling Obus‘ new Forgotten Isles collection. Inspired by the Hebrides region in Scotland, the collection features an array of muted tones as well as the exclusive Obus prints that we’ve come to know and adore. There’s plenty of slouchy knitwear for layering as well as boots and accessories to complete your look. Whether you’re rugging up in Tasmania or dealing with a cool breeze in the tropical north, Obus has got you covered this winter.

You can shop and see more of the collection over on the Obus website.

[Images supplied]

Other Things

Hello? Anybody still here? It’s admittedly been a while since my last post. Sometimes blogging funks creep up on you like that. You’ll go to write a post but then feel like there’s already so much similar content out there. Or things just won’t come together in the right way so you end up abandoning an idea. Or you’re hit with cyclonic weather that isn’t really conducive to taking photographs. Then the next thing you know it’s been weeks since your last blog post. Oops. That’s not to say that I’ve been absent from the internet because, reader, I am still falling into as many internet rabbit holes as ever. These are some things that have piqued my interest lately.
– I love me some glitter earrings and for the month of April Each to Own  will be donating all profits from the sale of their ‘Bright Day’ earrings to the Tweed Mayoral Appeal Fund to help those in Northern NSW affected by floods in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.

– Did you know that millenial pink is a thing? While this colour trend has been on the radar for some time, I only came across this phrase the other day. Whatever you want to call it, I’m totally down with it.

– Autumn finally seems to have arrived and I’ve embraced wide leg crop pants for the season. I found a pair at Uniqlo and every time I wear them I get compliments (i.e. the ultimate litmus test that you have made the right purchase).

– There’s just something about motels that make them ripe for photographing. This collection of photographs of mid-century modern motels by Tyler Haughey is no exception.

– Anyone else listened to the S-Town podcast? I kind of missed the boat with Serial but I found myself hooked on this. So many feels/things I need to be resolved.

– Want to know what the best time to go to sleep is? There’s a sleep calculator for that.

– I’m always on the lookout for chocolate cookie recipes and I really want to try this Double Chocolate Cookies recipe from Plate Got Ate.

Image: Tyler Haughey via frankie magazine

3 Colourful Ways To Update A Plain Straw Hat

The straw hat is a staple in any summer wardrobe. Not only is it sun smart, but it’s also pretty stylish to boot. Most incarnations of the straw hat involve the classic combination of natural straw and a black ribbon band, either in a fedora or boater style. While you can’t beat a classic, sometimes you’ve just got to inject a bit of colour into your life. Luckily, you can easily give your tired straw hat a complete makeover in just a few short steps. From switching out the ribbon band to the addition of a raffia trim, these are just three colourful ways to update a plain straw hat.

DIY Straw Hat
First things first, you need a straw hat. You can get these pretty much anywhere, from secondhand shops to boutiques and everything in between. If the hat comes with a ribbon band attached, remove it before undertaking any of these DIYs. If the ribbon is glued on, blast the band with a hairdryer for a few seconds to melt the glue and then peel it off.

DIY Velvet Ribbon Band

Straw Hat DIY

What you need:

– Straw hat
– Around 1m of velvet ribbon, in the colour of your choice
– Scissors
– Glue (a glue gun or regular craft glue is fine)

DIY Straw Hat

How To:

1. Measure out and cut enough ribbon to surround the body of the hat. I just did this by wrapping the ribbon around the hat and leaving a little bit extra. Cut a smaller piece to form the bow – the size of which is up to you. Once again, I used my eye to measure rather than a ruler. Then cut a smaller piece of ribbon to wrap around the bow and band.
2. Create the bow by folding the ends of the middle length of ribbon behind themselves, securing at the centre back. Attach this to the longest length of ribbon, with the velvet sides facing up. Take the shortest ribbon band and fold it around the centre of the bow and the longest length of ribbon, securing it at the back with glue.
3. Once dry, wrap the ribbon around the hat, with the bow to the side. Cut off any excess ribbon.
4. Glue the ribbon directly onto the straw hat, with the ends meeting behind the bow for a clean finish. For something less permanent, you could glue the ribbon ends together and slip the ribbon on and off as you see fit.

DIY Pom Pom Band

Straw Hat DIY

What You Need:

– Straw hat
– Yarn, in colours of your choice. (Alternatively, you could also use other materials to create the pom poms like raffia, scraps of fabric, or plastic strips.)
– Scissors

DIY Straw Hat

How To:

1. Make the pom poms (or you can use store-bought ones). Because I am a bit of a pom pom fanatic, I just happened to have some at the ready. I also have a pom pom maker which makes things much simpler. There are also plenty of online tutorials to help you through the process.
2. If you’re making your own pom poms, make sure you leave a long enough piece of yarn when tying off the pom pom so that you can use this to attach it to the band later.
3. Plait the yarn (or any other materials) to create a band long enough to wrap around the body of the hat.
4. Tie the pom poms to the band, in the arrangement of your choice, with the pom poms to one side of the hat. Then tie the ends of the plaited band together to secure it in place. Alternatively, you could use a wider band and glue the pom poms on.

DIY Raffia Trim

Straw Hat DIY

What You Need:

– Straw hat
– Coloured raffia
– Scissors
– Glue

DIY Straw Hat

How To:

1. Unravel the raffia so that the band is at its widest (usually around the width of a ruler).
2. Cut three strips of raffia (or more, depending on how thick you want the trim) long enough to surround the edge of the brim of the hat. I once again used my eye, but you can use a measuring tape to be more accurate. Glue the top edges of the raffia together and let dry.
3. Using scissors, cut into the bottom edge of the raffia at 5mm intervals, leaving around 1cm at the top of the band.
4. Working in sections, glue the top of the raffia to the brim of the hat until the entire edge is covered. Trim off any excess and let dry.
And there you have it. Three easy DIY projects that will update your old straw hat in no time at all. I was also looking into dyeing a straw hat as another option but the time and effort that would require kind of put me off. Do you have any other fun ideas for updating a straw hat?


I Have This Thing With Glitter Earrings

At the beginning of the year I joked that my new year’s resolution was simply going to be “more glitter”. This was partially the result of the consecutive purchase of glitter earrings from Each to Own (the black teardrops and silver studs above) and Yippy Whippy (the pink squiggle ones) but I think it’s a pretty solid resolution/life motto nonetheless. Because I just can’t seem to shake off my attachment to glitter earrings, here are a few more I’d happily add to my collection.

Yippy Whippy Heart Earrings

Kate Spade New York Small Square Studs
Wolf & Moon Shard Studs

My 5 Everyday Makeup Essentials

When it comes to makeup I’m always trying out different brands in search of ~the best~ products. As such, I haven’t always had a set beauty routine or holy grail products that I’d happily rave about. Until now. I love having a sticky beak into other people’s beauty kits and makeup routines so I thought it was only right that I offer up the same opportunity. I don’t like my makeup to feel too heavy so some of the main criteria products have to pass is that they’re lightweight and easy to use. A few of these products I’ve only started using in the past couple of months but I’ve already decided that they’re here to stay. These are the products that I find myself using on the daily.

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I Spy: Wide Leg Crop Pants

We’re one day into Autumn and, despite the fact that summer doesn’t seem to be leaving us anytime soon, I’m already trying to piece together my Autumn wardrobe. While I’ve pretty much got my capsule wardrobe sorted, one thing I am keen to acquire is a pair of wide leg crop pants (I’m loathe to call them culottes because to me culottes are pants that look like skirts). These style of pants have been around for a while but I’m only just coming around to them now, mainly thanks to the appeal of those Jesse Kamm pants. I currently own a pair of silky wide leg crops that I love sick so am keen to make the transition to a more structured style. While pants are probably best tried on in person, I haven’t been able to find a similar style around these parts so will probably have to risk it and order some online.

Images, clockwise from top left: ‘Legion Pant’ by Rachel Comey and ‘Stewart’ Pant by Caron Callahan via Lisa Says Gah; Sailor Pant by Jesse Kamm via MNZ Store; ‘Lucie’ Cotton Pants by Caves Collect.


Books About Plants

As far as interior decorating trends go, indoor plants are back in a big way. While I love the look of lush indoor greenery, I’m not the biggest green thumb so I’ve found myself looking at plant books for guidance and inspiration. My most current acquisitions include Indoor Green: Living With Plants by Bree Claffey and an old beat-up copy of The Complete Book of Houseplants & Indoor Gardening. Luckily there’s no shortage of books about plants out at the moment and these are a few others that I have my eye on.

House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray; Loose Leaf by Wona Bae and Charlie Lawler; Urban Jungle by Igor Josifovic and Judith De Graaf; Wonder Plants by Irene Schampaert.

Do you have any plant books that you’d recommend for the aspiring indoor gardener?

A Look at Physical Sunscreens

Wear sunscreen. If there ever was a piece of beauty/skincare advice that needed to be reiterated, this is it. Especially so if you live in Australia a.k.a. skin cancer ground zero. Not all sunscreens are created equal, however, and since learning about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens I’ve made a point to stick to physical sunscreens wherever possible. That said, my personal view is that any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen at all.

When it comes to physical and chemical sunscreens there are some very noteworthy differences. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients and sit on top of the skin to deflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by absorbing and scattering UV rays. Physical sunscreens also generally have a much thicker consistency than chemical sunscreens and require more effort to blend in. For more of an in-depth explainer I suggest reading this
You’ll probably notice that a lot of physical sunscreens are also labelled as ‘natural’ sunscreens. I’m very wary of greenwashing and if you want to verify a product’s natural or organic claims it’s best to do your research. I’m assuming since most physical sunscreens contain mineral instead of chemical ingredients that this equates to them being natural. Up until a few years ago, the range of physical sunscreens was quite limited in Australia. Compared to the range of chemical sunscreens, it still is, but these days physical sunscreens are becoming more readily available. These are a few that I’m currently using, and my thoughts on each product.

Cost: $19.99 for 75g or $32.00 for 150g (I usually buy a few when they’re half price/on sale)
Where to buy: most supermarkets and pharmacies
Invisible Zinc is one of the more recognisable physical sunscreen brands around. In the past I’ve used the SPF30+ but decided to give the SPF50 a go this time around. It has that classic zinc/sunscreen smell which I don’t mind but it might not be to everyone’s taste. Like most physical sunscreens, it does require a bit of effort to blend in. I prefer wearing this sunscreen as a base under my makeup (tinted moisture or a BB cream, concealer, blush)  as it gives a matte effect and my makeup tends to stay put when I wear it. Perfect for sweaty summer days. I find that it tends to leave a residue behind, so I have to be extra vigilant removing it otherwise my skin can feel chalky afterwards.
Cost: $19.90 for 100g or $34.50 for 200g
Where to buy: online and selected pharmacies and health stores
If you prefer your sunscreen without that classic sunscreen smell then MooGoo’s natural sunscreen is worth a try. The fragrance is very mild and kind of oat-y/reminds me of almond milk. It applies relatively easily and doesn’t leave a noticeable chalky residue. I like to apply this sunscreen to my body and my face when I don’t intend on wearing any makeup (I have, however, worn it underneath makeup and it was fine). The SPF40 is a bit unusual as I’m used to seeing sunscreens labelled as SPF30+ or 50 but generally anything above SPF30 is good (see this explainer on SPF).
Cost: $15.95 for 100g
Where to buy: online and selected pharmacies
I hadn’t previously heard of this brand but spotted it in a pharmacy while I was doing a last minute grab for beach supplies. This sunscreen is probably my least favourite of the three. It has a lighter consistency and is much easier to apply than the other two, however, I found that on occasion white flecks would appear on my skin while swimming or sweating. The first time it happened I thought I didn’t leave enough time between application and activities but it’s happened a few times now. I also tried wearing this sunscreen under makeup and felt that my makeup slid off. While it’s an effective enough sunscreen, I feel that there are others that are much more up to the task.
The Verdict
First and foremost: all three sunscreens do their job. Sure, their SPFs differ but each product has the highest SPF rating for their respective brands. I’ve worn them in a range of situations from the beach to exercising to general everyday activity and have not been sunburnt once. That said, I do take care to stay out of the sun and cover up where I can. I personally prefer the Invisible Zinc and MooGoo sunscreens and will stick to using a combination of these products for the time being. Other physical sunscreens I’m keen to check out include those by Wotnot, and Coola.
Do you use physical or chemical sunscreens? Which do you prefer?

Disclaimer: the Moo Goo sunscreen was a free sample however all opinions and content are my own.

GOMA Turns 10

It’s no secret that the Gallery of Modern Art is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. If you’re in need of a dose of inspiration, entertainment, or bemusement (because hey, modern art) GOMA is currently running some excellent free exhibitions in celebration of their 10th birthday.  These include Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything and A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift. As well as newly commissioned artworks, if you’ve been a regular visitor over the past decade, you might recognise some artworks from previous exhibitions. These are just a few of my favourites from a recent visit to the gallery.

Sugar Spin: You, Me, Art and Everything 

‘Nervescape V’ 2016 / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter (Iceland/USA). This bold installation is probably the major drawcard for the gallery right now. Made of synthetic hair,  this multicoloured landscape cascades down the gallery’s cavernous walls. Best of all? You can totally touch it. If you look closely you can also see Left/Right Slide by Carsten Höller in the photo above which are, yes, slides you can ride down. Cheers to interactive art.

‘HEARD’ 2012 / Nick Cave (USA). These wearable sculptures are so fun to look at. While they’re mostly stationary, they do function in a performative manner. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to witness a performance but there’s a video in the gallery that shows them in action.

‘from hear to ear (v. 13)’ 2010 / Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (France). This musical installation featuring live finches is such a unique experience. Around 20 people are allowed into the space at a time to observe the birds. During peak times you might have to queue for a while to gain entry. I went on a  particularly busy weekend and waited about 20 minutes.

A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift

A collection of works including I Never Stopped Loving You’ 2010 by Tracey Emin (the neon sign that you can’t read up there, but I’ve taken a photo of it previously here) and the hyper-real ‘Bad Dad’ 2013 painting by Michael Zavros.

‘In Bed’ 2005 / Ron Mueck (England). 

‘PixCell-Double Deer #4’ 2010 / Kohei Nawa (Japan).

‘Biosphere 02, Biosphere & Biosphere cluster 05’ 2009 / Tomás Saraceno (Argentina).

Pip & Pop ‘ Rainbow Bridge’   

‘Rainbow Bridge’ from ‘We Miss You Magic Land!’ 2011 / Pip & Pop (Australia). I’m a sucker for all things Pip & Pop and couldn’t resist squeezing them into this post. These little dioramas have been featured in different parts of the gallery over time however nothing will ever beat the full room installation for ‘We Miss You Magic Land! a few years back.

Minimalist Beach Essentials by My Life Aquatic

Living in coastal Australia, it’s always important to have some beach gear handy. I recently came across beachwear and accessories label My Life Aquatic and quickly became enamoured with their simple edit of beach essentials (bonus points if the name is in any way a nod to Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). While my own wardrobe is not at all what you’d describe as minimalist, I do appreciate the need for quality basics. My Life Aquatic’s current offerings include a minimalist edit of breezy linen dresses, roomy carry-all bags, plain linen towels, and shady beach umbrellas. They’re perfect for those all about that minimalist aesthetic or just looking for versatile, fuss-free accessories.

[Images via Flaunter]

I Spy: Eyelet Details

Eyelets have long been a functional part of clothing but over the past couple of seasons we’ve seen them come to the fore as a decorative measure. Take Proenza Schouler’s Fall/Winter 2015 Ready-to-Wear, Sportmax’s Spring/Summer 2016 RTW, and Ellery’s Spring 2016 RTW collections for example. While the oversized eyelets evoke a sense of corsetry, the garments themselves appear to be far less restrictive. I don’t think I could ever pull off an edgy Proenza Schouler look but these are a few eyelet-embellished pieces that I could easily incorporate into my day-to-day wardrobe.

1. House of Cards eyelet midi dress from their ‘Body Shop’ collection
2. Joseph eyelet-embellished tee
3. Lover ‘Rover’ culottes (also available as a skirt and romper)
4. Staple the Label wrap top
5. House of Cards ‘Max’ mini skirt from their ‘Femme’ collection

New Year, New (Blog) Look

Hello there! Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far. To kick things off around here I thought I’d treat the blog to a bit of a makeover. Fresh starts and all that. It’s nothing too drastic but the main change is that the blog is now (should be) responsive on mobile devices. If you’re reading this on your phone or tablet then you’ve probably already noticed the change. Yep, I’m finally getting with the times. I’m still working out a few things but if you notice any glitches please let me know. I was waning with the blog posts the past couple of months but I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove of things this year. Here’s to an excellent twelve months ahead!

Last Minute Xmas Shopping in Brisbane

Who else is panicking that Christmas is this Sunday? As in only a few days away Sunday. If you’re a leave-it-to-the-last-minute kind of person when it comes to present shopping, and you live in Brisbane, then don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. Avoid the madness of the big shopping centres and support these smaller stores instead.

Avid Reader
193 Boundary St, West End
What’s in store: books on books on books on books. Grab a gift for the bookworm in your life and some summer reading material for yourself.

The Botanist
Shop 5, Bakery Lane, 694 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: all of the plant things! Think potted plants, planters, cut flowers, vases, and an assortment of decorative bits and bobs.

Flower Lovers
11 Hynes St, Fortitude Valley & 385 Sherwood Rd, Rocklea
What’s in store: more flowers than you can poke a stick (or branch) at. Give the gift of flowers this Christmas or pick up some greenery for last minute table decorations.

The Happy Cabin
58 Vulture St, West End
What’s in store: an edited selection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts. They stock brands such as House of cards, Kester Black, Status Anxiety, and Saltwater Sandals. If you can’t decide what to buy then you could always try one of their lucky dip prizes.

Molten Store
Shop 1, 49 James St, Fortitude Valley & Shop1070C, Ground Floor, Westfield Carindale
What’s in store: a glittering trove of jewellery and precious trinkets. Think celestial-inspired earrings, delicate rings, and ornate hair accessories. If you’re after a bit of Christmas sparkle, then this is the place to go.

19 Browning St, West End
What’s in store: if you’ve ever attended the Finders Keepers Markets then Nook stocks the kind of stuff you’d find there, only you can shop it all year round. Think fun jewellery, handmade ceramics, colourful accessories, and quirky greeting cards. If you’re lucky you’ll also encounter a shop cat.

104 Edward St, Brisbane City (above Le Bon Choix)
What’s in store: a thoughtfully curated selection of keepsakes for the home. Falcon Enamelware, PF Co Candles, Once Was Lost, Fog Linen, and Bondi Wash are just a few examples of brands you’ll find adorning the shelves of this very beautiful store.

Sunday Social
5d Winn St, Fortitude Valley
What’s in store: modern and vintage clothing, funky jewellery, and colourful accessories. It may be small in size, but this shop is brimming with goodies.

Violent Green
1/105 Albert St, Brisbane City
What’s in store: men’s and women’s streetwear, shoes, and accessories. You’ll also find things like prints by local artists, a range of pins and patches (including some favourites of mine by Georgia Perry and Coucou Suzette), Lomography cameras and accessories, and more.

Of course, there are plenty of small businesses that you could support in Brisbane (and as I’m wrapping up this list many more are coming to mind) but these are just the few that I frequent. And if you’re not in Brisbane, go out and support small businesses in your area anyway, no matter where in the world you are.

Scented Candles Vs. Diffusers

ECOYA review
I can’t resist a good scented candle and I’ve been building a bit of a collection lately. Maybe it’s because I’m becoming more of a homebody or maybe I’m just turning into a crazed candle hoarder (my aunty collected novelty candles so it’s in the genes). However, while chatting with friends the other day one of them half-joked that she didn’t use candles because she didn’t want to burn her house down. We all laughed but of course she has a point. No candle is 100% safe and any open flame requires constant supervision. Which is why I was pretty keen to see how reed diffusers stacked up against their candle counterparts. Enter: this Ecoya scented candle and reed diffuser gift set.
I hadn’t previously used diffusers but they seem like the ideal solution for the candle-adverse out there. You simply pour the oil into the decanter, pop the reeds in, and let the fragrance envelop the room. I had trouble pouring the oil into the decanter at first – I tried tipping the bottle at an angle but found that oil would trickle down the side. The best technique was to tip the bottle upright, covering the neck of the decanter completely to avoid any leaking.
Scent-wise, the candle and diffuser are basically the same. They have a similar intensity and there’s no noticeable variations in scent. If you fill up the glass decanter completely, it’s supposed to last you around one and a half months – so you have to be pretty committed to a scent – as opposed to a candle where you can control the burn time.
Overall, I think diffusers are handy if you want a long-lasting scent (unless you only use a little bit of oil at a time). I prefer being able to switch up my scents on the reg which is why I’ll probably always be more of a candle gal. Of course, if you can’t choose between the two you could always take the Â¿porque no los dos? approach with a gift set like this Ecoya one. 
ECOYA review

ECOYA review
[This Ecoya set was a gift from RY.com.au; all content is my own]

Australian-Made Swimwear

Summer is officially here in Australia and what better way to celebrate than shining a spotlight on some Australian-made swimwear labels? While some people dread swimsuit shopping, I am not one of them. All I can think about right now is how to best maximise my beach/pool time over the coming months. Gimme all of the lycra!  We’re pretty spoilt for choice here in Australia when it comes to swimwear and several new and noteworthy labels keep popping up each year. For this post I’ve decided to focus on labels that, to the best of my knowledge, manufacture their garments in Australia and partake in ethical practices. These are the local Aussie swimwear brands that I’ve got my eyes on this summer.

BAABY is an Australian swimwear label designed and made in Melbourne. All the designing and sampling is done in-house in Melbourne and every style is tested on various body types to ensure an ideal fit. All pieces are ethically and locally manufactured, and created using regenerated and sustainable luxury Italian lycra.
Camp Cove Swim is an Australian designed and made swimwear label founded by Katherine Hampton. The label is known for its fun prints and retro styling, with designs to suit a range of body types. All garments are ethically manufactured on the South Coast of New South Wales. All fabrics are printed in Sydney and recycled fabrics are incorporated into the lining of swimsuits.
Good Studios is a sustainable clothing and homewares label founded in 2012 by Anny Duff. The label focuses on ethical values and embraces sustainable practices wherever possible. The swimwear range is made from a mix of up-cycled or recycled nylon and extra life lycra and all garments are ethically manufactured in Adelaide.
If you’re after pared-back swimwear in classic, timeless cuts then this is the label for you. Founded by Tuyen Nguyen and Michael Lim in 2013, this Sydney based label is well on its way to becoming a cult Aussie favourite. Every piece is made and designed in Australia using the highest quality European fabric and many of the styles are made from recycled lycra.
Vege Threads is a low impact menswear and womenswear label founded by Amy Roberts. Their eco swimwear range comprises of a range of basic designs and is made using a mix of recycled nylon and extra life lycra. All of their Australian-made products have accreditation from Ethical Clothing Australia.

[Images, clockwise from top left: Baaby, Camp Cove Swim, Vege Threads, Good Studios, Her.]

Inspired By: Laurence Le Guay

In the midst of a spring cleaning frenzy the other day I stumbled across a few pages that I had torn from an Australian Vogue feature on Australian beach culture (I can’t remember what issue exactly but it would have been from around the mid 2000s). The feature showcased a range of photographs from more notable names such as Helmut Newton, but my favourites were these taken by Laurence Le Guay. I hadn’t previously heard of Le Guay and a quick google search didn’t turn up much up other than that he was Sydney’s leading fashion photographer in the 1950s and 1960s and also served as a war photographer during WWII. While these photos were taken back in the 1950s, what with the current trend for vintage silhouettes, they barely look out of place today.
Scroll and click to shop

[Images by Laurence Le Guay for Vogue, scanned by me]


Art Tea Towels

Owning a piece of art is always a bit special. While owning an original artwork isn’t necessarily the most affordable thing in the world, there are alternatives. You could look at art prints and posters but what about art tea towels? Yes, tea towels! More and more artists are offering up their artwork in tea towel form and it’s a great way to expand your art collection. Sure, they’re notably more expensive than your average tea towel but it’s not like you’ll be doing the dishes with them. Art tea towels are a decent size, look great framed, and have the added bonus of looking like canvas. One of my favourite artists, Rachel Castle, is famed for her fun tea towels and Third Drawer Down also stock a bunch of tea towels featuring works from a range of artists. While they’re not pictured here, I’d also recommend checking out Kara Rosenlund’s range of beautiful photographic printed tea towels and all the fun Australian-themed prints by Everingham + Watson.

Top row:  Belinda Marshall “Everything All At Once” tea towel from Frankie and Swiss;  CASTLE “Vegemite” tea towel
Bottom row:  David Shrigley “Life Is Fantastic” tea towel;  Del Kathryn Barton “Cosmic Crime” tea towel from Third Drawer Down (if you’re in Brisbane there’s also a Third Drawer Down concept space in the Gallery of Modern Art).

Have you seen any noteworthy art tea towels lately?

Styling a Casual Dress for the Spring Races

The Spring Racing season is pretty much unavoidable here in Australia. Even if you don’t actively go to the races, most workplaces hold sweeps for Melbourne Cup or even competitions for best dressed. While some racing events require a certain standard of dress, for the most part I like seeing people have fun with their outfits. Because there is such a thing as too many floral dresses and saucer fascinators. Since I rarely go to the races these days, when I do I tend to utilise what’s already in my wardrobe. This could mean anything from rehashing an outfit I’ve previously worn to a wedding to dressing up a day dress for the occasion. Here I’ve taken a casual cami dress by Milk It and given it a bit of a Spring Races makeover.

Reclaimed Vintage cap with DIY pom pom; Country Road collared shirt; Milk It gingham dress; Velvet ribbon from Lincraft; Falconwright clutch; Novo wedge heels.

Lately I’ve really been making a conscious effort not to buy things that I’ll only wear once and only introducing things into my wardrobe that have staying power. I’ve been eyeing off this gingham dress for a while now and it’s the perfect layering piece for summer. I’ll no doubt get plenty of wear out of it and I also like the fact that it’s made from recycled fabric. But how do I style such a casual dress for the races? With a little bit of trackside inspiration and a DIY touch, of course. A crisp collared shirt layered underneath adds a bit of polish and a velvet ribbon tied around the waist gives it some shape. Instead of going the usual fascinator route I spruced up a Reclaimed Vintage suedette cap by topping it off with an oversized pom pom. A cute clutch and wedge heels finishes it all off nicely.

Here are some other things I’d take into consideration when putting together an outfit for the spring races:

Pastels vs. Brights
Spring is the perfect season to embrace pastels. I tend to wear more pastels than brights however I am wary of outfits that veer into pastel overload. If anything I’d say add bright accents to a pastel outfit  to give it a bit of edge.

Monochrome vs. Floral/Patterned
¿Por qué no los dos? Why don’t we have both? I love a good pattern and I think they’re the perfect way to stand out from the crowd (although I’ve already stated how I feel about florals for the spring races). If you do choose to go down the monochrome path then doing so in a pattern is a great way to add extra detail to an outfit.

Dresses vs. Jumpsuit/Co-ords
I’ve only ever worn dresses to the races as it’s generally easier to put together a polished look in one (or maybe that’s just me, I don’t know). That said, I do love a good jumpsuit and wouldn’t put it past me to give one a go.

Heels vs. Flats
In day to day life I’m a flats person but for the races I always opt for a heeled shoe. And always an enclosed one at that (I must have read something about it in one of those etiquette guides once and it’s just stuck with me). Wedges and block heels are the way to go, though, because getting stuck in the grass in stilettos is the pits.

Fascinators vs. Alternative Headwear
Alternative headwear all the way. Fascinators end up looking so samey so I’m all for headwear that’s a bit quirky. I also love seeing all the OTT headwear that people come up with. DIY options are always fun and the last time I went to the races I whipped up a pom pom headband the day before (I really love pom poms you guys).

Bright Lips vs. Smokey Eye
I’d go a smokey eye but also not like you’re about the hit the club levels of smokey. This is purely for practical purposes as bright lips require upkeep throughout the day, especially what with all that champagne sipping and canapé eating, and I just don’t have the time/energy for that. Unless, of course, you’ve found the holy grail of long lasting lipsticks in which case help a sister out please.

What does your ideal race day outfit look like?

[This post was in collaboration with asos. All content is my own]


A Weekend in Coolum

Long weekends provide the perfect opportunity for a getaway but I’m usually slack at planning trips to coincide with them. I pay no attention to my calendar and then next thing I know I’ve got three days to fill and nowhere to go. Luckily the other weekend my friends and I got our butts into gear and booked a trip to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. Now, I haven’t been to Coolum since Year 6 school camp and all I really remember from that trip is a candle making class where we kept dipping our hands into the hot wax while the teacher wasn’t looking. I’m usually impatient whenever I head up to the coast and take the first exits to Caloundra and Mooloolooba because GET ME TO A BEACH ASAP. However, if you spend a little bit of extra time on the road towards Coolum, Peregian and Noosa you’re rewarded with some pretty stunning coastline. I’d forgotten how beautiful this neck of the woods (coastline) is. If you hate blue skies and crystal clear turquoise waters, look away now.

We stayed in a self-contained apartment at Element on Coolum which was centrally located and clean, spacious, and fairly modern.
There are plenty of dining and takeaway options along the main strip of David Low Way, adjacent to Coolum Beach. There’s also a shopping complex a few streets back with a supermarket and various other shops. While we were there we alternated between making meals in our apartment and dining out. 
During our stay we ate at the Coolum Surf Club which provided the best beach-front setting as well as Canteen Kitchen + Bar for lunch and afternoon cocktails. 
Other places that we didn’t get to try out included Compound Secondhand Surf & Espresso (it was closed on the Sunday) and Raw Energy (it was packed out on the public holiday Monday so we headed to Stellarossa instead where I waited way too long for my breakfast and the waitress couldn’t tell the difference between a latte/cappucino/flat white).
Spend all your time at the beach, duh (but also, be sun safe). If you can, however, manage to peel yourself away from the sand and surf these are some other things you could do:
The coastal walk from Coolum Beach to Point Arkwright is pretty worthwhile. It’s a leisurely walk and takes about half an hour each way. Unless, of course, you’re like me and stop at various points along the way to gawp at the scenery and take photos. It’s on this walk that you’ll also find your way to little coves like First Bay and Second Bay
If you’re lucky (we were) and it’s the right time of year you might be able to spot some whales splashing off the coastline. Point Perry is a pretty good vantage point but any spot high on the coastline will do.
If you’re feeling particularly active, hike up Mt Coolum for an even better view of the coastline.
Staying at Coolum also puts you in a pretty good position to make the quick trip up to Noosa. While we had initially planned one such outing, once we got to Coolum we decided it was too good to leave.

What’s your favourite local getaway spot?

Kester Black’s Birthday Suit Collection

Hands up if you love a nude nail polish? Hands up if you’re also not quite sure what colour “nude” is? Luckily we have Kester Black to the rescue who, in collaboration with Trophy Wife, have recently released their Birthday Suit collection of nail polishes. Designed to complement a range of skin tones, the neutral palette spans a spectrum of nudes from light crèmes to rich chocolate tones. In true Kester Black fashion, the six colours have cheekily been named Brazilian, Spray Tan, Solarium, Bronzer, Bare, and In The Buff. The collection is also accompanied by some stellar campaign imagery photographed by Sean Fennessy and styled by Jess Lillico. Hands up if you can’t wait to get your hands on one (or more) of these sweet nail polish shades?

The Birthday Suit collection is available now online and from selected stockists. 

[Images supplied, collage edits by me]


Orla Kiely AW16

Venetia Scott is without a doubt one of my favourite photographers. Every now and then she falls off my radar but then I chance upon some new imagery and I’m reminded of how much I adore her work. Case in point: the A/W 2016 campaign that she shot for Orla Kiely (which was also styled by Leith Clark so it was pretty much a given that it would be totally dreamy and whimsical). It’s total seasonal opposites to Australia right now but I couldn’t resist the pastel colour palettes and retro charm.

I Spy: Roses

Lately it seems that I’ve been viewing life through rose-tinted glasses. Not in the figurative sense of perceiving everything in my life in an overly optimistic way or even in the literal sense of wearing glasses with pink lenses, but more so in that lately everywhere I look I’ve been seeing rose motifs. From the luxe rose details in Gucci’s spring/summer and pre-fall 2016 collections (anyone else still obsessed?) to more DIY numbers (see images one and seven above for inspiration) this is a trend that can be pulled off no matter what your budget. Whether it’s a cute printed tee or an embroidered patch whacked onto a denim jacket, this is a floral trend I’m ready to get behind this season.

1. Rachael Wang’s Rose-sewn One-offs at Jean Stories via Instagram
2. Will You Accept This Rose?’ t-shirt by Ban.do
3. Pink Rose Pins by Big Bud Press (also similar here and here)
4. Satin Bomber Jacket by Big Bud Press
5. White Rose Patch by Inner Decay
6. Rose Embroidered Flats from ASOS
7. Up-cycled embroidered shift by Tessa Perlow

Watch & Wear: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian cinematic classic. With the news this week that Foxtel will be remaking it for an upcoming television series I thought it was fitting to revisit Peter Weir’s 1975 film. The film is a visual treat and it’s become a popular reference point for designers and stylists alike. I’ve even bought vintage blouses and dresses purely based on the fact that they looked like something straight out of the film. The above photo is from a deleted scene that I found on the National Film and Sound Archive website but I think it’s so beautiful that I had to lead with it. Here I’ve included some of my favourite stills from the film (it was hard to narrow it down to just a handful) as well as a round up of clothing perfect for recreating a little bit of that Picnic at Hanging Rock magic (or mystery) in your own wardrobes. While the strict Victorian-era dress codes are long gone the style cues of high necklines, flounces, smocks, and pinafores found in the film still easily translate to a modern setting.


Paper Vases by Octaevo

Sometimes you see something and think well isn’t that just nifty? That was my reaction after seeing these paper vases by Octaevo. The vases start off as a seemingly flat pieces of paper but once pushed in at the edges you end up with some very stylish 3D objects. The vases are made from a special waterproof paper but you’ll still need to place some sort of vessel inside to hold your flowers. So they’re more like a quirky disguise for your old jars and cans that double as vases. As someone who often uses random vessels to store freshly cut flowers, I’m all for these paper vases. The upcoming Craftsman Collection is a series of four paper vases featuring die-cut shapes and gentle curves. A range of small paper vases will also function as greeting cards, complete with envelopes and gold embellished notecards. You can take a peek at the current Mediterranean-inspired paper vases up on the Octaevo website with the new collections available from October 2016. 

[Images: Octaevo]

Obus Spring 2016 Lookbook

The spring collections from various Australian labels have been floating around for some time now and one of my favourites so far has to be the spring offerings from Obus. Bold prints, hints of pastels and geometric shapes mixed with classic staples – it’s basically a checklist of everything I look for in a wardrobe. The following are just a few of my favourite looks from the collection.

[Images: Obus]

Save Or Splurge: Hand Cream

Thankyou Vs. Aesop Hand Cream
When it comes to skincare and beauty products, it’s always a tussle between whether to save on an item or splurge for a little bit of luxury. While there’s always the saying you get what you pay for, you also want to be getting value for money. A lot of time you read about how when it comes to active ingredients there’s not much of a difference between products and that a lot of what you pay for lies in the brand name or packaging. I’m not particularly loyal to any brands so am always on the lookout for new items to try. Due to the drier weather recently hand cream has been a must so I was keen to see how the new Thankyou Botanical Geranium & Rosewood hand cream stacked up up against my favourite Aesop Resurrection Aromatique hand balm. 

Thankyou Vs. Aesop Hand Cream
Thankyou Botanical Geranium & Rosewood Hand Cream
I’ve been using Thankyou hand wash for some time now and they’ve recently expanded their product range to include body lotions and hand creams, among other things. I couldn’t resist the pink packaging when I saw this hand cream at the supermarket. It has a very sweet fragrance which immediately reminded me of those pink musk Life Saver lollies. I’m not sure whether this is a pro or a con yet as I don’t usually opt for sweet smelling things. It is pleasant enough though and doesn’t linger too much.

Price: Price: $6.45 for a 70ml tube.

Pros: The feel good factor, definitely. Thankyou is a social enterprise that aims to end the effects of global poverty – you can read about their 100% model on their website – and each product comes with a tracker ID so you can see what project your product has helped fund. As for the hand cream itself, it is vegan friendly and made in Australia from ingredients derived from nature. I also like the packaging and prefer this kind of tube over the Aesop one. It’s definitely better suited for stashing away in your handbag.

Cons: Due to the lightweight formula I find myself having to reapply it often. It’s pretty easy to go through the tube quickly. I think at the moment it’s only available in selected supermarkets in Australia.
Thankyou Vs. Aesop Hand Cream
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
This hand balm is like the gateway Aesop product. You buy it because it smells nice and is reasonably priced (relatively speaking) and then next thing you know you’re dropping hundreds on a new skincare routine. I’ve been buying it for the past couple of years now and the last time I bought it as part of the Aesop Auriga set which is super lush.

Price: $31 for a 75ml tube or $39 for a 120ml tub.  I don’t use it every day, only when the weather is particularly drying, so I find that a 75ml tube can last me a year at least.

Pros: The smell. Oh the smell. I personally love the smell of most of the Aesop range but I know that it may not be to everyone’s liking. I will also use any excuse to go into an Aesop store (I find them so calming) to try to get as many sachet samples with my purchase as possible (highest so far is ten). Plus this stuff is the business.

Cons: Aside from the price, the only downside to this product is the aluminium tube which I find is prone to tearing and leaking, especially when you’re crinkling it up trying to squeeze out every last bit of balm. 

Thankyou Vs. Aesop Hand Cream
The Verdict
It’s much of a muchness really. The Aesop hand balm is definitely on the pricier side but it’s a little treat that I’ll continue to buy for myself. It does feel more intensive than the Thankyou hand cream so I find myself using less of it. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this Thankyou hand cream any time soon but I might chuck their Botanical Rosehip & Sweet Orange one into my basket next time I’m at the supermarket for comparison purposes. In the meantime I’ll keep road testing more affordable hand creams in conjunction with using the Aesop balm.

Do you have any tried and tested favourite hand creams? Any and all recommendations are welcome in the comments.

I Spy: Slides For Spring

Okay, so I’m going to jump the gun here with my spring style posts. Because winter has been pretty much non-existent and the weather is screaming for open-toed shoes. More specifically, spring slides. Now, I’ve seen a lot of them labelled as mules but I’m under the impression that mules are close-toed shoes. And I am not on board with those kind of mules. So I’m going to side with slides for now. Whatever you choose to call them, I’m loving the minimalist, low block-heeled styles. They’re perfect for pairing with cropped jeans or boxy shift dresses. These are a few spring-ready slides that have taken my fancy.
1. Tan Slides by Seed
2. ‘Sophie’ Slides by Maryam Nassir Zadeh
3. Strappy Slides by Marais USA
4. Blue Suede Slides by Topshop
5. Blush Patent Slides by Jeffrey Campbell

Maison Balzac Mini Candles

Maison Balzac Candles
Scented candles are really one of life’s little luxuries. So much money spent on something that literally goes up in smoke. I was feeling a bit down the other week so decided a little pick-me-up was in order. I’ve been meaning to try Maison Balzac candles for a while now, but could never manage to track down their candles to check out in person. So I thought I’d take a punt and order their Ménage à Trois set featuring miniature versions of three of their best selling scents – La Rose, La Blanche and 1642. When I went to order them off the Maison Balzac site they had already sold out but I ended up buying them through The Design Hunter shop. Buying scented candles prior to smelling them is a bit risky (what if I don’t like the smell? Or I’m sensitive to the scent? etc.) but after looking at the fragrance notes for each candle I decided that the chances of me liking them was pretty high. Luckily for me, my gamble paid off. These candles are a floral dream.

About Maison Balzac: Maison Balzac is a collection of perfumed candles handmade in Australia. Each candle is developed as an ode to memories from founder Elise Pioch’s childhood in the south of France and is designed to evoke olfactive memories or experiences.
La Rose: Inspired by her grandmother’s love of roses, this candle is the floral-iest of the floral candles. With notes of tea rose, violet leaf and geranium, lighting this candle is like stepping into a rose garden in full bloom.
La Blanche: This candle is an ode to white flowers and winter citrus. It’s designed to recreate the perfumes of a florist’s atelier with subtle green notes of daphne and bergamot. The scent is fresh and clean and, despite winter citrus being an inspiration, it reminds me of the tropical summer evenings of my childhood.
1642: This candle is a bit moodier than the rest. It’s made in collaboration with Doctor Cooper Studio and is designed as an ode to 17th Century Vanitas. It awakes the perfumes of Adriaen Van Utrecht’s painting from the year 1642, Vanitas – Still Life with Bouquet and Skull. I love the entire concept behind this candle and the lush packaging is a bonus. 

Maison Balzac Candles
Maison Balzac Candles
Maison Balzac Candles
Maison Balzac Candles
Maison Balzac Candles

Bedside Table Inspiration

Right now I’m on the hunt for some new bedside tables. While browsing some stores online, I read a description for one design that was “Scandinavian style with an Art Deco twist”. At first I scoffed at the seemingly random mix of words but then I realised it was the ideal way to describe my take on styling at the moment – the perfect way to incorporate luxe vintage accents with a minimalist aesthetic. How did they know? So now I have decided that “Scandinavian style with an Art Deco twist” is going to be my jam. Whether this will make shopping for home decor harder or easier is yet to be seen. My bedside table checklist right now mainly consists of something in a timber finish with clean lines. Add some bedside greenery and boom: #decorgoals. These are some images that I’ve been looking to for inspiration. If you have any hot tips for similar bedside tables please let me know!

Top from left to right: Pop & Scott, Mr & Mrs White
Centre: West Elm
Bottom l-r: Lonny, DIY table by Burkatron

In Film: The Edge of Love

When it comes to films, for me, the costume and cinematography is just as important as the story. Give me escapism and aesthetics any day. I can’t resist the over the top glitz and glamour of a Baz Luhrmann musical or the beauty of a Joe Wright-directed period piece (seriously sometimes I watch Atonement or 2005’s Pride & Prejudice for the aesthetics alone). One period film that’s been on my mind lately is The Edge of Love. While the film itself is, in my opinion, forgettable, the costuming is pretty great. Perfectly coiffed curls and fitted vintage dresses feature prominently but my favourite outfits would be the more relaxed seaside fare – floral tea dresses and chunky knits topped off with wire-rimmed sunglasses, fedoras, and gumboots. Even though the film is set in the early forties, these outfits could easily be mistaken for nineties grunge or even noughties grunge revival. Either way, I’m really feeling these kinds of layered looks for the sunny winter days we’ve been experiencing here in Brisbane. 

[Screen grabs from The Edge of Love (2008) by me]

Amazinger Face by Zoe Foster Blake

Amazinger Face

After pre-ordering it sometime back in March, this little beauty arrived on my door step earlier this week. Amazinger Face by Zoe Foster Blake is a revised and updated take on her popular beauty book Amazing Face. For those not acquainted with Zoe, she’s a former glossy mag beauty editor, author, and founder of skincare brand Go-To. When it comes to getting the down low on all things beauty and skincare, she’s pretty much my go-to source (her explainer on the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is very very insightful). Much like her skincare line, this book features cute graphics galore, conversational copy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and, most importantly, relatable and easy to understand beauty tips for all.

Even though the title of the book alludes to only the facial region, it covers everything from hair to hands and nails. There’s information suited to all ages and skin types, as well as tips for VERY REAL LIFE SITUATIONS like how to fix a bad haircut (we’ve all been there) or how to do your face when you’re hungover (real talk). While I’ve only skimmed through the book so far, I can already tell it’s going to become a one stop shop for all my beauty needs.

What are your go-to beauty books? Any recommendations are, as always, welcome in the comments section.

Amazinger Face
Amazinger Face
Amazinger Face

I Spy: Tied Knitwear

Winter seems like it has finally arrived here in Australia and as a result I’ve been looking to bulk up my wardrobe with more knitwear. While perusing various sites, I’ve noticed a trend towards tied knitwear. Now, I’m not sure of the practicality of such matters (surely the ties would stretch or cause the body of the sweater to lose shape?) but when done right it can add some much needed detail to an otherwise basic wardrobe staple. From figure accentuating waist ties to dainty built-in neck scarves, these are some tied knits I’ve come across lately.

1. Side Tie Knit by Lover (also available here)
2. Front Tie Knit by Whistles
3. Neck Tie Knit by Country Road
4. Plaited Knit by Mesop
5. Waist Tie Knit by Viktoria & Woods

Sally Gabori Up Close

Hmm… has it really been nearly a month since my last blog post? I guess I must have been in the midst of one of those all too common blog ruts. However, there’s nothing that a trip to an art gallery can’t fix. The Queensland Art Gallery is currently holding a retrospective of the work of the late Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and it’s something to behold. The exhibition includes the artist’s early paintings as well as her collaborative works with Kaiadilt women. I actually found it quite moving and was struck by how a few brush strokes could evoke such an emotive response. 

Sally Gabori was a senior Kaiadilt artist from Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. She first picked up a paintbrush at the age of 80 and was famed for her use of colour. While her paintings first appear as abstract, they actually depict the land and seascapes of her homeland. I found this article particularly interesting where it mentions that during one of Gabori’s first gallery exhibits, those with a non-Indigenous background approached her work as purely abstract but when her grandchildren visited they were able to pick and name every spot that she had painted. 
While Gabori’s use of colour ranges from the extremely vivid to the almost monochrome, I was particularly drawn to the softer colour palettes in her works. These are a few close up snaps I took of my favourites.  


Inspired By: La Muralla Roja

Up until recently, La Muralla Roja was one of those things that I’d constantly scroll past on Pinterest or see being used as inspiration-style posts on Instagram, without knowing much about it. Until now. Built in 1973 and designed by Ricardo Bofill, La Muralla Roja is a housing project located in Calpe in the Alicante region of Spain. While other photos of La Muralla Roja seem to showcase its vibrant colour scheme, I’m really drawn to the muted tones in these images shot by Nacho Alegre. Something about the faded pink and dusty blue hues is so soothing. This is definitely something that’s appealing to my design sensibilities right now.

Image credit: vogue.com, edits by me

Albus Lumen at MBFWA

Photo by Flaunter 
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) is done and dusted but I’m still catching up on what exactly went down. I’ve been slowly making my way through the MBFWA coverage and one collection that really stood out for me was Albus Lumen. Even the name Albus Lumen – Latin for white light – conjures up images of clean and crisp designs. However, there’s a warmth to the collection in the form of textured suede, rich hues, and laced detailing. While the looks are minimalist in nature, it’s a minimalism that isn’t rooted in black and white basics. Instead, it’s a refreshing and sophisticated take on relaxed style. 

All photos by Flaunter

The Bucket Bag Edit

There’s no denying that the bucket bag is having a moment right now, largely thanks to the rise of the covetable Mansur Gavriel version. The silhouette is the height of casual style and the typically roomy design of these bags makes them ideal for stashing your everyday essentials in. While not all of us have the budget or patience to obtain the OG Mansur Gavriel bucket bag, there are plenty of other options out there. These are some equally stylish takes on the casually cool bucket bag.

1. Paper Moon Bucket Bag in Snow by Molten Store
2. Caramel Drawstring Purse by BAGGU
3. ‘Jules’ Vegan Leather Bucket Bag in Wine by Angela · Roi
4. ‘Abake’ Leather Bucket Bag in Bellini by Elk
5. Navy Leather Bucket Bag by Umbrella Collective
6. Drawstring Bucket Bag by Herschel Supply Co 
7. ‘Amberline’ Bucket Bag in Chambray by Skagen

Romance Was Born at MBFWA

Photo by Daniel Boud for Flaunter
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) has been taking place over the past few days and while my interest in the event has waned over the years, the one thing that always excites me is seeing what the creative duo behind Romance Was Born gets up to. This year was no different, with Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett delivering another visually riotous show. If my reaction to seeing the collection through a computer screen was anything to go by, I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience it in person. The collection, called ‘Whispering Angel’, was inspired by Liberace and features plenty of appropriately showy garments. While the Liberace references are clear to see (hello sheet music prints and keyboard fringed dresses), I’m also inclined to describe this collection as Phryne Fisher meets The Capitol. Feast your eyes on more images of excess after the cut.

All images by Daniel Boud for Flaunter

Books About Girls in Bands

I’m ashamed to admit it but we’re five months into the year and I’ve only completed reading two books. TWO. This is coming from someone who would regularly smash out a book a week back in the day. I blame Netflix. As such, I’ve made it my mission to get into the habit of reading more books on the reg. Right now my list of books to read is filled with stories about female musicians. It all started when I read Just Kids by Patti Smith, which quickly earned its spot as one of my favourite books of all time. I’ve recently bought M Train and Girl in a Band, which I cannot wait to get stuck into (the difficult part is deciding which one to read first). In the interest of grrrl power, and maybe starting an ad hoc book club of some sort, I’ve compiled a short list of books about or by girls in bands. Feel free to add any more in the comments section.

Just Kids by Patti Smith – “the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies”.

M Train by Patti Smith – “M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today”.

Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon – as a “founding member of Sonic Youth and role model for a generation of women… she writes frankly about her route from girl to woman and pioneering icon within the music and art scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s as well as marriage, motherhood, and independence”.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein – “this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll”.

Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus – “the first-ever history of Riot Grrrl, is a gripping narrative with a sound track: a lyrical, punk-infused chronicle of a group of extraordinary young women coming of age angrily, collectively, and publicly”.

How I Use My ghd Platinum Styler

A good hair straightener is a worthwhile addition to any styling kit. I was recently able to try out the ghd Platinum styler and it has proven to be quite a nifty little thing. When it comes to styling tools, a lot of jargon gets thrown about. You know, heating technology this and patented that. All very important things I’m sure but it usually just goes straight over the top of my head. The main things I want to know are: is the product easy to use, will it turn me into a hair styling guru (probably not but with some practice here’s hoping), and will it be something that I end up using time and time again? So far the ghd Platinum ticks those boxes. I’m not one to wear my hair pin straight so instead I’ve been using it to create a ‘do with a bit more movement. You know, those loose effortless waves that actually require some effort to create. It’s like the hair equivalent of no-makeup makeup. Read on to see how I’ve been using my ghd platinum styler.

ghd platinum
ghd platinum
ghd platinum

How To Create Loose Waves With a ghd Platinum Styler

1. Start with clean, straight hair (either blow dried or straightened), making sure you’ve applied a heat protective spray before any heat styling. Go for a heat styling product with curl enhancing properties for best results.

2. Now, the curling part is the bit that requires some practice. I watched many YouTube tutorials and tried and failed countless times before one day I miraculously just ‘got it’. The best way I can describe the action is to: grab a section of your hair, clamp the styler down, turn it on itself and rotate 180 degrees, then pull the straightener towards the end of the hair shaft, creating the curl. When you release it you should have a curl that looks something like in the third photo above. I probably should have made a video instead but, you know, hindsight etc.

3. Pin the curl up to help it hold its shape. Repeat the process in sections until you’ve worked all the way around your head. I start on the bottom half of my head and make my way to the top, pinning as I go. Let the pinned curls cool completely before releasing them. Then I usually work my fingers through to break up the curls and finish it off by brushing the waves out. A bit of hairspray probably wouldn’t go astray either.

My hair notoriously can’t hold a curl and they drop out quite easily, but I’ve found that pinning the curls while they cool really helps them hold their shape. I also swear that brushing the curls out with a paddle brush gives them a much nicer, more ‘natural’ finish. Other tidbits/lessons I’ve learned the hard way are:
Always Use Protective Products
For a while there I’d just skip using heat protective products. Either because I didn’t have any handy or I just didn’t like putting lots of product in my hair. These days though I always use a heat protective spray as it not only helps prevent damage but it also leaves my hair looking much sleeker after styling. I don’t have a particular one to recommend as I’m always trying out different products (if you have any favourites let me know so I can try them out). 
Work in Sections
As tempting as it is to go completely gung ho on your hair, a little bit of patience goes a long way. I’m a sucker for a shortcut and I’ve been known to just work away at my hair haphazardly and as quickly as possible. However, over time I’ve come to the realisation that working in sections is not only more effective but efficient as well.
Have a Backup Plan
Nobody likes a bad hair day. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have ever put a lot of effort into my hair only for it to look completely rubbish at the end of it all. So I always have a quick-fix backup plan. Did those planned beachy waves turn out to be a frizzy mess? Rub on some smoothing serum and turn it into a tousled low bun. Hair end up too straight? Work in some volume boosting powder to give it a bit more oomph, etc. Worst comes to worse, always leave enough time to start over.

[The ghd Platinum styler in this post was gifted. All content was based on my experience using the product]

I Spy: Australian Native Prints

Ever since I mentioned my love for native Australian flowers a few posts down I’ve noticed that native flora and fauna prints are having a bit of a moment among local labels. Designers taking inspiration from the Australian landscape is nothing new but the current trend is definitely something to take notice of. Romance Was Born’s 2015 collections Bush Magic, Cooee, and Opal Romance all drew on an Australian narrative. The Autumn 2016 collection from RYDER sees Australian botanical prints emblazoned on t-shirts, dresses, and leggings. The Fred Fowler x Gorman collection draws on the artist’s paintings that look at Australian native and introduced species in an abstract, layered style. A distinct protea print takes centre stage in Leonard Street’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. Edith Rewa’s illustrations all feature beautifully drawn native Australian flora and fauna. Vanishing Elephant’s upcoming High Winter 2016 collection takes a more minimalist approach with line drawn waratah prints. And I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. These are a few of my favourite takes on Australiana right now.

1. Australia Print Tee by RYDER (I’d also recommend checking out the Flora t-shirt, dress, and leggings)
2. Extinction Silk Dress by Fred Fowler x Gorman
3. Anemone Dress by Leonard Street
4. Cocky Lady Silk Scarf by Edith Rewa
5. Waratah Print Long Sleeve Shirt by Vanishing Elephant (there’s also a dress)

Ban.do Sticker iPhone Case

Sometimes you see something and you just have to have it. Case in point: this ban.do iPhone case. Pale pink with a bunch of cute stickers? You had me at fries before guys. However, the combination of cost/shipping/exchange rate would have left me well out of pocket if I ordered straight off the ban.do website. I tried to find this case in stores but came up empty handed, although I’m now well versed on where you can buy ban.do totes and tumblers around Brisbane. But then, THEN, the online shopping stars aligned in the form of Shopbop’s Friends & Family sale (which is finished, unfortunately). Now I have my super kawaii case and can use my phone in public with the knowledge that I’ll probably get mistaken for a tweenager.

Caves Collect AW16

In Queensland, the start of autumn isn’t really marked by the change in weather (it’s still sunshiney and as humid as ever) but by all the autumn/winter collections dropping in stores. Here I am still looking for lightweight linen and cotton tops and all I can see in stores is racks upon racks of knitwear. All this thinking about cooler weather is enough to get me reassessing my transitional wardrobe. The AW16 collection from Melbourne-based Caves Collect has me pretty excited for even the slightest hint of chill in the air. The collection is made up of a bunch of  transitional pieces and classic wardrobe staples. And skivvies. Lots of skivvies. As someone who flat out refused to wear skivvies as a child I am totally open to review my stance on such matters if they look as stylish as this. Caves Collect is currently only available via their website and all clothing and leather goods are made to order.

Images: Caves Collect

A Posy Full of Natives

Native flowers will always hold a special place in my botanical-loving heart. As much as I love a bunch of fragrant peonies or David Austin roses, there’s a quiet majesty in native Australian flowers. I may not get patriotic about a lot of things, but I’ll bloody well get patriotic about native Australian flora. While I’d like to say that I artfully created this arrangement, the truth of the matter is I picked it up from Coles on a whim. Who could resist the autumnal combination of the warm red protea (yes I do know that proteas are also South African), golden banksias, and silvery green eucalyptus? For #research purposes I tried to figure out exactly what kind of banksias these were. I narrowed it down to either the acorn banksia or woolly orange banksia but couldn’t differentiate between the two, so we’re just going to stick with a generalised banksia for now. Trying to name the greenery was beyond me as well and I could only pick out assorted eucalyptus and gum leaves. I also played around with my macro lens for my iPhone which resulted in some pretty trippy shots, which you can check out below and on VSCO.



Grown Facial Kit & Tinted Day Cream Review

Grown Alchemist

I rarely have allegiances when it comes to skincare brands. Having ~normal~ skin often means it’s hard for me to tell when skincare products are working or not. Occasionally hormones, stress and environmental factors will throw a spanner in the works but that’s about it. Not that I’m complaining. When it comes to skin type, I’ve struck it lucky. What it does mean, though, is sometimes I can be pretty lackadaisical with my skincare routine, especially in the summer months. Moving into autumn and winter, I thought it would be the ideal time to reasses my skincare routine. I decided to splash out and treat myself to a Facial Kit by Grown Alchemist. And by “splash out” I mean I had some credit remaining on a gift card and there was a gift with purchase deal so I ended up with $100+ worth of stuff for under $30. I’ve used Grown Alchemist products in the past so was more than happy to revisit the brand. Read on for my review of the Facial Kit and Tinted Hydra-Repair Day Cream.

Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser: Geranium Leaf, Bergamot & Rose-bud
In general, I tend to stick to mild cleansers that aren’t too drying on my skin. This cleanser hits the mark and smells pretty great to boot. However, I keep having to remember to rub it between the palms of my hands to emulsify the gel because I’m so used to foaming cleansers. If I’m feeling particularly spendy I might splash out and purchase the full-sized product.
Balancing Toner: Rose, Ginseng & Chamomile
I’ve never really gotten the point of toner. It always seemed like an unnecessary extra step and I’m all about simplifying routines wherever possible. I’ve never had problem skin and don’t wear heavy makeup so maybe that’s why I never had the need for it. I’m pretty indifferent to this toner but it does seem to work in harmony with the cleanser and day cream, leaving my skin looking and feeling bright and clean. 
Anti-oxidant Facial Oil: Rosehip & Camellia Seed
I first tried this Facial Oil a few years ago now. While I was quite happy with it at the time, I never restocked it after it ran out. I guess I just didn’t feel like my skincare routine needed a Facial Oil after all. The instructions recommend application morning and evening but I only apply it at night after using the Facial Cleanser and Toner. It leaves my skin feeling velvety smooth and is a lush treat especially now the autumn air is a bit drier and my skin needs that little bit of extra nourishment.
Hydra-Repair Day Cream: Camellia & Geranium Blossom
This Day Cream is probably my favourite product out of the bunch. It’s a treat to apply and absorbs into the skin easily. It leaves my skin looking matte which I really like too. 
Lip Balm: Watermelon & Vanilla
This lip balm was one of the first Grown Alchemist products that I tried. It’s basically an organic, cruelty-free version of the watermelon Lip Smacker of my childhood. The one downside is that the aluminium packaging means that if you’re not careful it can puncture and you’ll end up with lip balm leaking throughout your bag (speaking from experience here).
Tinted Hydra-Repair Day Cream: Camellia & Geranium Blossom
Look, I’m not well versed in makeup. My first reaction was to be sceptical of a one-colour-fits-all tinted moisturiser. In fact, I wasn’t even really sure what the point of a tinted moisturiser was? I usually use a BB Cream so I thought it would be somewhat similar to that. The formula is very sheer, which helps it blend into skin easily but doesn’t really do much in terms of covering up blemishes. I have noticed, however, that it appears to even out my skin tone although I don’t know if that’s due to the product alone or a combination of other factors. I’ve come to quite like it and use it for those no-makeup makeup days. If you’re looking for full or even semi-coverage this Day Cream isn’t for you. 
These days I’m making more of a conscious effort to support companies that are ethically responsible. Grown Alchemist is one such company that I’m willing to get behind. They are Australian Certified Organic, have a view to sustainability, and their products are free from animal ingredients and no product or product ingredients are tested on animals. The sleek, minimalist packaging will also appeal to the design-obsessed.
It’s understandable that not everyone is able or willing to shell out for the products at full price. The Facial Kit, at $69.95, is a great, albeit slightly expensive, taster of the products in the Grown Alchemist skincare range. If I didn’t have the gift card, I still probably would have bought the Facial Kit at full price as I was already familiar with the brand and looking to try new products. I’ll definitely be picking and choosing between what full-sized products I repurchase. 
Ultimately, if you like your cosmetics organic and cruelty-free, enjoy lush smelling skincare products, and are willing to spend a little bit extra on your skincare routine then these Grown Alchemist products are definitely worth a shot. Of course, it’s always worth taking your skin type into consideration and consulting with an expert to find out what products will ultimately work for you.

Grown Alchemist
Grown Alchemist

Baked Doughnut Recipes To Try

The other week I bought a doughnut pan and it has quickly become my favourite baking accessory. I’ve tried making baked doughnuts the hard way before, with a recipe that required yeast and without a doughnut pan (those chocolate glazed doughnuts pictured above), and that turned out to be an epic fail. The doughnuts ended up resembling another failed attempt I had at making pretzels i.e. not at all like they were meant to. So it would seem that any recipe that involves yeast is my downfall. That’s why when making baked doughnuts I now opt for yeast-free recipes. The doughnuts end up more cake-like in their texture but I’m totally down with that. I’m not really here for discussions on what does and doesn’t constitute a doughnut. I’m just here for the noms. So far I’ve stuck to the basics and only made baked cinnamon* and vanilla bean doughnuts. The following is a quick round up of baked doughnut recipes I’m keen to try out. 

1. Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts from Joy the Baker

2. Persian Love Cake Doughnuts from Twigg Studios

3. Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts from Pastry Affair

4. Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts from Ashley Marie’s Kitchen

5. Sticky Date Doughnut Sundae from Nodo Donuts

If you have any tried and tested baked doughnut recipes feel free to share them in the comments section!

*I used this recipe for the baked cinnamon doughnuts however next time I would make several tweaks to it, like reducing the spices in the doughnuts by a pinch, not dipping the doughnuts in butter to coat them, and reducing the quantities for the cinnamon sugar because I had A LOT left over.

SIRA Designs

SIRA Gift Tags
Is it weird that one of my favourite pastimes is wrapping presents? I’m always looking to up my gift wrapping game and while fancy wrapping paper is the obvious option, sometimes the wow factor lies in the finishing touches. I’ve recently been introduced to Melbourne-based boutique paper goods company SIRA Designs and their bold gift tags and cards definitely bring the fun to the party. Each design has been hand-drawn using pens and watercolours to create free formed shapes and lines. The result is a colourful collection of graphic patterns that will spruce up even the most basic wrapped gifts. The swing tags I’ve featured here are the leopard and multi confetti designs but there are many more to choose from over on the SIRA Designs website.

SIRA Gift Tags
SIRA Gift Tags
SIRA Gift Tags

This post is in partnership with SIRA Designs, a fantastic independent Australian label.

My Everyday Black & White Essentials

Black and white t-shirts are bonafide wardrobe essentials and I own way too many to count. One time I left a friend quite bemused because I insisted on changing from one style of white t-shirt to another before leaving the house (it made all the difference, trust me). I can’t stop buying basic t-shirts and am always on the look out for the one. You know, the one style that fits juuuuuust right and is super comfortable to boot. My current favourite style is the ‘Anyway’ tee by Assembly. They’re loose-fitting and boxy, making them perfect for tucking into jeans and pencil skirts. I picked up a black and white pair a few weeks ago and they’ve been on high rotation ever since. Another black and white combo that has been on high rotation are the ‘Stone‘ and ‘Terrazzo‘ nail polishes from the Kester Black x Beauty EDU collaboration. Together they’re a match made in monochrome heaven.

The Galentine’s Posy

It’s no secret that I love a good bunch of flowers. When the season’s particularly good (hello spring with all your beautiful poppies and peonies and what-have-you) it’s entirely possible for me to spend a large chunk of my monthly budget on assorted flora. Responsible adult-ing? I highly doubt it. Anyway, I’m thinking of starting a series where I share my latest floral fancies. The current edition is courtesy of a Galentine’s Day posy from a friend. Consisting of Geraldton wax, sea holly (yes I did just google image search “spiky flowers” to find out what they were called) and eucalyptus leaves, this is a dry-ish assortment that will last a fair while. Which is a major plus because there’s nothing worse than buying a fresh bunch of flowers only for them to wilt away after a day or so. Also, everything looks better in a Lovestar sparkle heart vase.

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