Saturday, June 20, 2009

Currently Channeling - Matador

Bored of your winter drabs? Amp up your adornments to bullfighting proportions with heavy metal detailing and brocade.

Images (in order) Bbc, Afp/Getty, Jalouse mag, GQ Italia, Vogue, RackandRuin

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fashion Crash Test Dummy - The Pleather Effect

Erin Wasson in leather trou

Generally summing up images of Kiss and other eighties rockers, leather trousers are a look that I didn’t think would come back anytime soon. So naturally I was surprised when Erin Wasson, model-of-the-moment and just-about-everybody’s-style-inspiration was seen at an event sporting a pair.

Inevitably the rage for leather filtered through to the masses, with the leather often being replaced for pleather by those who can’t afford it. Having been a child in the eighties I never got the chance to try this trend the last time round, so I was determined not to let it pass me by this time. I scoured vintage shops and Trademe hunting for real leather pair, but gave up my hunt when I spotted a pleather version in a boutique in Sydney. They were in the habit of slipping down my bum a bit but they would do.

The item of interest sat in my drawer for almost two weeks before I found a suitable occasion to wear them. It was a casual dinner with friends who accept my sometimes strange attire, eating Japanese. And then the friend’s beaus turned up, and it wasn’t so intimate or casual. That was about when my pants ripped. In the crotch, as I attempted my first acrobatic act in them - of sitting down. I decided then that pleather pants were either the sort of trousers that one never sits down in; only stands all night looking cute in the bar, or this particular pair was just made very badly. Giving them the benefit of the doubt I suspected the latter. I told no-one about my breezy crotch, just wrapped my check shirt around my waist and finished my meal. I went home early that night.

The next day I shut myself in my room with the sewing machine and re-enforced every seam. I then added belt loops to help the pants stay up, and finally hemmed them up to fit with the current ankle length trouser trend. That night with renewed confidence I tried again. Going for the original Erin Wasson look I wore gladiator heels, a loose worn T and piles of heavy jewellery. This time my shiny pants were much better behaved and attitudes towards them ranged from exuberant back slapping and envious cooing, to sheer horror. Interestingly enough it was mainly men that hated the PVC.

After a bit of playing dress-ups, I realised that while being slightly clammy to wear for too long, these trousers are surprisingly versatile. Throwing on a casual T and some knitwear and flats with them one day works just as well as flouncing them up a bit with a ruffled blouse, a sassy tailored jacket and some strappy heels. Providing you steer away from the head to toe bogan rocker look and keep a feminine aspect to your outfit at all times, you’ll be well on your way to pleather success. Remember, plastic makes perfect.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Military Trend, Berlin

I'm aware that I need to dedicate a post to exciting menswear, as I have been collecting great inspiration and images for some time now. I couldn't wait to put this one up though, I am mildly obsessed with military jackets at the moment, and they are so much less tacky on men.

So boys, rootle about in the second hand shop, scour trademe, or joing the Salvation Army brass band just to get your hands on one of these jackets. Wear them as you would your leather bomber - with jeans, T's, and knitwear. A pair of rocking boots wouldn't go amiss either.

Image from Fashioning

William Street - the ultimate destination

In the suburb of Paddington, Sydney, is a quiet narrow street crammed with tired old two storey houses. But this isn't a tired street. This is William street, and hiding in these old houses is some of the most exciting shopping Sydney has to offer. These tightly packed together boutiques display the best of Australian clothing brands, jewellers, shoe makers and vintage clothing stores. The quality and beauty of the fashion in these shops is overwhelming. Down towards the end of William street positioned on the corner beneath a grand old tree, a local deli bustles with life, the locals all desperate for their coffee and enjoying the Saturday morning sunshine. This is a street where clearly everyone knows each other - children and dogs dance over one another on the pavement outside while sleek fashionistas nibble sweet treats and look on. Shop owners dart between each others' stores with gossip, samples of their wares and smiles. Conversations are held from across the tiny busy street.

Tatjana Vaune Salon
Amongst all this, the small but luxurious salon of Tatjana Vaune sits. Everything in this salon is elegant, from the smiling welcome, the flowers on the bench tops, to the whitewashed floors and chic antique furniture.
The salon's main service is hair, but a masseuse, a beautician and a nail technician are also available to look after you. Tatjanas' care for her clients is clear to see, she staunchly uses all organic products that do not damage the hair in ways that most commercial chemical based products do. Today I am lucky enough to experience the salon's amazing hospitality first hand, I am having a cut by the talented Sepher.

I'm lead up a narrow stairway into a basin room at the top of the house where my hair is washed. Sun streams in through the wide open window, and a stunning view of the tangling garden in full bloom adds to my immense feeling of calm and relaxation. My head massage is sensational and I nearly nod off to bliss land.
Downstairs, my hair is cut artfully and fashionably, and styled with a beautiful smelling organic pomade featuring lemongrass essential oils. I want to take some home with me. Sepher desperately wants to colour my hair in the new "re-growth look" trend, with darker roots and light caramel ends. I'm desperately tempted to try out the organic hair dyes, but I sadly have to rush for my plane. I leave forty minutes later feeling refreshed and pampered.
For the ultimate indulgent mini escape, Tatjana Vaune is a special serving of luxury tucked away in a street well worth discovering.
Tatjana Vaune Salon
34 William st, Paddington, Sydney
+61 02 9380 8183
William Street image thanks to Rachel E

Subscribe to the movement

Like the rebirth of the slow food movement, there has been a global shift in attitudes towards the craftsmanship of lovingly, slowly produced quality clothing items.

Enter Andrew McDonald, representative of the slow shoe movement on the Australasian front, crafter of fine footwear.

Based in William Street in Sydney, McDonald and his small skilled team produce a range of Ready To Wear footwear each year, allowing you to buy directly from their Paddington store or online. Their fame however comes from their made to order service, measuring your foot and working with you to create a shoe that fits you and your sense of style perfectly. With each pair taking up to 40 hours to make, these are the sort of shoes that will last a lifetime.

And not to worry, having designed shoes for Akira Isogawa and Pigs In Space, McDonald is very good at keeping up with current trends.

For more info visit Portrait by Bob Barker