Friday, 26 February 2016

A Crash Course to Australian Fashion Designers

With several Australian brands like Zimmermann stealing the show at NYFW, I thought why not compile a starter guide? So that when you rattle off the top fashion cities of the world, Sydney (hah, or Melbourne) will grace the list alongside Milan, London, Tokyo and Paris. Most of these designers hardly need this report to reach international acclaim, with most boasting a fanbase of celebrities.

Bec & Bridge, the product of the friendship between Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston. Their goal is fashion geared towards women through the base understanding of what they would need. (Pockets.. a million of those overlapping each other until they become the pants.)  In addition, they strike the line of wearable whilst flirting with a unique edge to set you apart from the crowd. Their idiosyncrasy lies in contoured lines and sleek silhouettes which emanates from every fibre of the fabric, very clearly the creation of this decade's fashion. The brand has reached international acclaim and donned by the most respected editors and bloggers alike. What I liked most was a sheer jumpsuit that seemed to be cut out from the heavens above, it's almost as if you'd become a celestial being yourself.

What happens when cookie cutter is the furthest definition of what you are? Simple. Take Jessie White's example and create your own fashion line. Shakuhachi is a reflection of her own sense of style. Rejecting formal training, Shakuhachi was born out of her own instincts. Over the years, it's been fine-tuned, blossoming into a refined maturity. The highlight lies in silk dresses, leather and distinctive embellishments. The manifesto is clearly portrayed in its pieces. Structured shirts tucked into paper bag shorts for an effortless sophisticated air, tough leather softened into a dress and embracing femininity trough their patterned playsuits. It's the perfect medium for experimentation with neutrals and familiar textures to keep from the details from being too overbearing

Sass & Bide is far from delicate. It is as bold and unabashed as an unstifled warcry. Established in 1999 by best friends Sarah-Jane Clarke & Heidi Middleton, it's beginnings are marked selling bespoke denim in London before progressively transformed into an Australian phenomena and eventually, hitting the runways in New York and London. They are multidimensional, oscillating from wildly experimental to safe denim. 

I would associate sass & bide to a sprinkle of pixie dust. When your outfit needs just that little touch of elevation. Case in point, the capelets above. Perhaps it's in the shoulders, but they seem to radiate with power and strength.  

Stylestalker is the epitome of effortlessness. And what it wishes to become is you, with fifty levels of confidence. Led by creative director Sue-Ann San, Stylestalker desires to be all encompassing of styles internationally, in a casual attempt of world domination. 

In my eyes, nothing can be defined as more effortless than knits. Thick jumpers you can hide under or throw on with disdained nonchalance. But all it takes is a careful pairing, preferably as unique or girly as possible that erases all traces of slovenliness. 

The solution the world desires, Finders Keepers the Label provided with its polished style. It is protected from age due to its playful modern elements that inarguably marks it of this era. A spin on lines, a different interpretation on cutting, results in a yield that keeps it fresh and very wearable. Perfect for office environments and even a casual coffee date. 

C/meo Collective aims to provide fashion of the future. Nothing screams more futuristic than bold shapes. With each collection, C/meo Collective is reinvented so that they can stand apart from one another. But together, a pioneer of fashion, embracing its mantra and projecting beyond current trends. C/meo Collective feels like a newly opened magazine. With its glossy pages and sharp faces that stare at you with piercing eyes. That level of elegance that seems to snap heads on the street. And yet, when the elements are isolated, it produces a level of approachability that anyone can obtain. 

Scanlan Theodore is modern elegance. Impressively, since its conception in 1987 it has remained faithful to its aesthetic. A brand that very much caters to the needs of women, understanding that we are not a hive mind but intricately layered. Thus, every facet is addressed to help mould her into the person she wishes to be. It rejects time by becoming time itself. Lace, structured leather jackets a colour palette on the darker end of the spectrum... this is how it will outlive the apocalypse. 
Aje, the lovechild of best friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Robnson. Effortless glamour, tough femininity and dishevelled elegance. Or the,' I just climbed three mountains simultaneously and I still look like a goddess'. The recycling of fashion is the rebirth of a phoenix. Always greater than its previous incarnation. A simple A-line skirt? Adorn it with sequins that beguile mesh. A bodycon skirt? How drab, make sure it's metallic and at the very least, please change the hemline to something of this era! but there's a reason why the full skirts of the 40s and structured shirts have transcended time, they result in undisputed grace.  

Sophistication. Timeless classics. These are the foundations of Camilla and Marc. And from this, a fanbase of stylish young women emerged. Carefully structured lines that appear like marble sculptures, as though you're the walking embodiment of art. A well tailored blazer is the instant and ultimate way to introduce elegance. Even worn over a t shirt is a challenge to claim otherwise. 

Youthful and feminine with underlying simplicity. No unnecessary embellishments. This is the label's purest definition of fashion. And the beauty of that is that it yields countless permutation. Do you maximise that vision with the barest of of styles? Or use that as juxtaposition contrasting it with the most wild of prints you can get your hands on against the soft canvas. At its core, Keepsake appears soft, but the interpretation is left to the whim of your own personal style. 

Kelly Davies-Green, Maya Clemmensen & Scott Davies are the design trio behind Sydney based label, Maurie & Eve. Named after Kelly and Scott's stylish grandparents Maurie and Eve, the implication that it uses style inspiration from decades past woven into its design. Proving to provide a strong pillar in their contemporary use of textiles, colour and silhouette. High necklines are one of many examples of sampling from a past age but it is the reinvented cutting of the skirts that beguiles its contemporary leanings. 

SIR is the foundation. A collection of minimalist elements whilst maintaining a feminine silhouette. Building upon fast trends and concreting them into everlasting fashion. Skirts with unusual drape, strong collars that sediment an outfit as well as a more subdued turtleneck for timeless looks and boats immense versatility.

Alice McCall is eclectic, in its embellishments, in its inspirations and yet, in spite of that, it remains a keepsake in one's wardrobe. McCall's roots began in London, selling one off pieces before securing a fanbase. The brand was born in 2004 and effectively launched at Australian Fashion Week. 

sass & bide and alice McCall are cut from the same eccentric cloth. But the tones of s&b are richer, gold, back with heavier emphasis on wearable accents. alice McCall can be summed up as wonderland. Even that playsuit looks remarkably like a playing card. It's quirky and refreshing, a far cry from minimalism, the general preference of most Australian designers.      

So that's your beginning course material for today. Compiling this together only made me realise the enormity of it all. I've really only barely scraped the surface. Ah and don't go on thinking that every Australian walks around wearing thousands of dollars worth of clothes, no, we're not all that wealthy. Which thus, only begs for more guides in the future. 



Saturday, 20 February 2016

New York Fashion Week: Zimmermann Fall RTW 2016

Credits: x,x
To see Australian brands make their definitive stamp on the world of fashion fills me with unbelievable pride. Our designers are known for their particular quirks and unique embellishments that make every piece one of a kind. Zimmermann brings is everlasting summer. A break from your humdrum life and allowing you to displace yourself into paradise. How it achieves this is from bold departure from monotone, playing with different textures to result in a prismatic effect and dipping into patterns such as paisley for maximum impact. So it's to no surprise, that this year's theme is maximilist. Prints upon prints without hesitation, a statement to be heard from the top of skyscrapers. A wonderful severance from minimalism with a vengeance. And it does this whilst maintaining its distinguishing femininity.

Ombre Tights
The idea of maximilism is to be as unapologetic as possible. But having a coordinated set appears paradoxically dissonance.  I feel that nothing emphasises a bold print more than a muted backdrop. But of course, it wouldn't be my taste if it wasn't the slightest bit unusual now would it? With this particular piece, as paisley itself can be slightly jarring, complementing colours would work best. A pastel pink instead of fuschia would be far more harmonious.

And this is how you bring casual glitter and glam to the office. 

I love oversized coats but they do have the magical ability of height thievery. What an ingenious reinvention. The fashion world is like a phoenix, continually reincarnating into a better version of itself. I just love how it manages to float across the hips in this cropped style! And with motorcycle jacket re-imaginings? Uh, someone kindly donate this to me please. A fainter print on the tights allows the entire look to meld more cohesively. 

Long coats carry power. Why else are capes worn by superheroes?

The details of this ensemble literally leap from the page. 

And if you feel tentative experimenting, knits are always a safeguard. I don't normally gush over shoes on the runway, but someone get me those boots STAT. I've been on the hunt for the perfect combat boots and it's clear I've been looking in the wrong place. I love pastel, o it should've been obvious. 

Just when we thought Zimmerman was getting a bit tame. 

Probably not suited for anywhere but Australia's mild winter.

With Zimmermann's stunning collection, I do hope it prompts people to seek out more Australian brands, there's certainly more ingenuity where that came from. 



Saturday, 13 February 2016

Accents: Spine Necklace by Eero Hintsanen

Picture your typical female villain. She never sullies her hands, she's the brilliant, unassuming mastermind. She operates kilometres away from the rumble, fulfilling her role as the needle in the haystack. And when suspicions arise, they come, knocking at her doorstep where she is always in a state of carefree confidence, dresses magnificently in a loose gown that trails across the floor like a serpent. This is what this jewellery is. Or to sum up, the ultimate Slytherin aesthetic. 

Accents like these, render a wardrobe the size of a mansion meaningless. Wear this with a mere t shirt and jeans .. and find yourself filled to the brim with unflinching strength. Versatile and transformable, that is my aesthetic. 

Eero Hintsanen, a designer from Finland, has extensive experience working with jewellery. There's a recurring theme in his work. Borrowing from nature, drawing within oneself, to act as an impenetrable fortress. Paradoxical, the nature of bones. Exposed bones are the furthest imaginable definition of a safehold, but here, they beguile power.    

Forget about seeking the perfect matching shoes or clutch with your ballgown and fetch yourself, this. 

Essentially becomes one with the dress and adds a macabre twist. Perhaps a more tamed version of wearing the bones of your enemies. But I'd imagine that greeting your adversary whilst donning it hardly suggests that coffee dates are on the table.



Wednesday, 10 February 2016

[Fiction Recreation] The one with too much Don

You have no idea how much I had to refrain from titling this 'don go breaking my heart'. I know, I'm impressed too. As it appears, part of the reason why I have a blog is to unleash my puns against mankind. Blogs have been started on less. Don or Donburi((丼) is a Japanese dish with meat, fish, vegetables etc, centred around rice. The types can differ by season, ingredients, region speciality and self-preference. As such, there is limitless permutation and the perfect foil to a barren fridge and pantry.  What I love about the Don is its simplicity and wholesomeness. All without comprising its cost. Time to abandon instant noodles as a poor student stereotype and adopt the don, it'd be far more healthier.

I won't go as far to proclaim that without rice I won't be full. From a visual standpoint, a bed of rice looks far more satisfying than potatoes. Ah yes, to me, rice is of utmost comfort. So when Shokugeki no Soma had an episode centred around the Don, I was elated. More combinations! New taste sensations with rice as its backdrop. It was perfect. I've found that with the recipes that serve as a background were easier to showcase on my Tumblr . It's also a place I've found to be more convenient to experiment without scrutiny or share something that intrigues me. As a consequence, it sacrifices cohesiveness for spontaneity. I've linked to all the recipes I've made there, to save from unnecessary clutter.

Hamburg Don
Loco Moco Don
Sukiyaki Don
Megumi's Don

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Ralph & Russo combined fairytale elements with modern couture, a unique twist here, another there. Acting almost like a good luck charm that if you click your heels thrice, you'll receive a surge of strength. Fairytas is magic itself. I'm crying. Externally rather than internally, breaking a cardinal agreement I made with myself. Every piece seems to breathe wonder. That gorgeous Star Cloak... is merely the primer.

Fairytas is a portmanteau of the latin word 'Veritas' which means truth and fairy.  The incredible designer, Jolien-Rosanne, designs all the costumes and accessories. Rather fortunately, she takes commissions. So if you've got the funds and a mere grasp of a idea, you have it. This.. this is all your dreams come to life. Have you always wanted to be Sailor Venus? Done. Sakura Kinomoto? Give us a harder one. A literal goddess? Is that even a question? Or how about, your very own fairytale?

I feel that there is a little of Jolien-Rosanne in all of us. Someone who possessed the talent, hope .. and determination to see past her discouraging initial result to make a name for herself. Her success I feel, is very seductive to our generation, in a time where we fear the dark unknown that is the future. Knowing this, I can't but feel even more endeared to it.

If I possessed the Stark Cloak .. I'm wearing it everywhere, including to sleep. It would make walking away in a huff far more theatrical and dramatic. Only, I think I'd have to lament the end 30cm to save it from the elements. Can you just imagine skimming your fingers across the fabric and feeling yourself blend into the night sky? Along with killer high heels, it'd be such an instant power boost. No one would be able to intimidate you. And you get to look like the overlord of the galaxy. I'm calling it now, the next century of fashion will be everyone looking like a mythical creature thus confusing the hell out of future historians trying to grasp an understanding of our era.
As I said.. this is only the primer. We're only at the tip of the iceberg with her jaw-dropping creations. 

Real. Life. Fairy.

A more softer and subtler Red Riding Hood. 

Which if anyone has seen Once Upon a Time could be far more elaborate. Who knew that being a peasant would allow such fine garments?

... A Lady Loki commission. Which was based upon the work of Deviantart artist Medusa-dollmaker. Consider me goddamn deceased and bury me in any of these creations.