Saturday, October 25, 2008

What You'll Be Wearing (Eventually)

My favourite place to scout for new trends/styles/looks, both for my own guilty pleasure and in terms of buying for Frock You, is backstage. Ok, so I don't jetset New York, Paris, Milan, London on a regular basis and casually wander around behind the catwalk glancing coolly at fashionistas, but I don't have to. I can looks at them in the comfort of my pj's with a nice hot cuppa, thanks to the net (oooh groundbreaking revelation Kat, thankyou). Anyhow, you can bet your bottom dollar, or what's left of it, that the trends most likely to filter through to the everyday cool crowd will be found off the catwalk. Today's update from WhoWhatWear therefore had me wriggling in my (lace-up) boots:

Sorry for the shitty small picture (from WhoWhatWear)! Boots with socks, in fact shoes with socks will be in (or back, if you can remember the first time around) and it seems we should keep investing in yet more vests, an idea I love as I am more than partial to a bit of sleeveless coverup action. If you still have elastic headbands, get them out again as they also function nicely as ear-warmers on chilly mornings. Leather jackets and vests are again huuuge, and while I swore off leather for it's tackiness ages ago, if you invest wisely you will get a very cool, timeless wardrobe piece. Please don't get PU though. Or vinyl. Skinny denim or wideleg pants are the go, both styles made easier to wear when you're tall and model-esque but easily adapted for mere mortals too. In fact, a quick browse around the latest shows (and a handy reference guide from Net-a-Porter) shows trousers to be the piece du jour, replacing the frock! (The guide also helpfully points out that tops are also therefore back "in", which is good to know because I know I always plan on wearing my trousers bare-chested). Slouchy is in, prints are in, probably if you're a cool-cat model anything you wear is "in", but as long as you team it with lace up boots (short, tall, whatever) or daggy-cool plain trainers (go fo Cons, you can't go wrong, and they're often cheaper than their high-end imitators, which is just ridiculous), you too can garner a wisp of that effortless cool that is just so much more covetable than those stupidly high shoes on the runway at Miu Miu that make everyone, models included, fall over.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Vintage Advantage

Hear ye, hear ye, the ecomomeee is melting and people are carrying their office supplies in cardoboard boxes. The hour is upon us to rethink our spending habits and invest wisely. Does this mean we'll have to sort through mustry racks at Vinnies and rummage through boxes at garage sales ourselves, instead of luxuriously browsing through a funky vintage boutique, happily paying $50 for a 50c piece? (Hold your horses/fire, there's a reason for this) - "vintage" is so overdone, it's lost it's point. There is a line between Vintage and Second-Hand Crap from a few years ago (not decades) and most people don't know it's there. You know those pop vox sections in magazines? "Oh my jewellery is from Tiffany's and my bag is Gucci and my shoses are Loubs but my dress is vintage Miss Shop circa 2002". Pft. Stuff people chucked out last summer is not vintage if you re-buy it this summer. It's ecomonical if you buy it at Vinnies, stupid if you buy it at a vintage boutique, but it's. not. vintage. It's literally, last season. There are some awesome vintage stores out there, that source geniune vintage threads from Nanna's heyday, gorgeous well-made pieces in good nick. Props to these shops and people for having the eye for this, they do a brilliant job and I sure as hell couldn't do it. But then there are other shops/sites/ebay listings/pop voxes (voxi?) you wander past and sorta go, hmmm.....I didn't realise that pair of Payless evening shoes I bought for my year 12 ball in 2001 and discarded before the big move OS would end up in a shop window for more than I paid for them (they are, in a local "vintage" shop that's never open, probably with good reason). Just because something is from Vinnies, doesn't make it vintage. It shits me in the same way that it shits me when people claim they've "renovated" their kitchen, when all they've done is paint a DIY feature wall. The stigma of buying second-hand, buying economically, has only been partially lifted, it seems. We're possibly going to be forced by neccessity to throw it off with joyful abandon because it's no longer viable to fork out for the latest overpriced trends in Sportsgirl. Either save up for the designer original or admit your new jacket was $2 and from 2 years ago. Fashion trends do cycle swiftly, after all. Eco-everything is hot right now. Will a glossy fashion mag ever do an under $10 shoot? (No.) It's cool to be green, so why can't it be cool to show off your latest (non-vintage, admittedly last season but see how you've reworked it?) op-shop find. Surely this in turn will feed the buy-to-last ethos Nanna knows about into our consumer consciousness, thus keeping glam high end labels in business and potentially minimising factory child labour? Hey, it seems those vintage ideas were right on the money to begin with.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frock You Mid-Season Sale!

Now that the majority of S/S is in store, hell, why not reduce it all by 25% so that you don't need to stress about not being able to afford to look good during times of economic uncertainty. Help the economy recover: Shop! Use the code SPRING to get 25% off everything, from today til Thursday...get in quick!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christmas Couture Does Not Exist

It's started. My daughter must have some kind of kiddie-sense about it because for the past few weeks we've had to read the Night Before Christmas every night before bed, and I've had to start the "I'm ringing Santa to tell him you've been naughty and are not getting a bike" threats. I thought it ws cute until we waltzed happily into Myer to make the most of the current 25% off kidswear sale, and of course had to fight our way through the Christmas Dept to get there. IN EARLY OCTOBER. Talk about cashing in. Of course, she had a ball and seeing her litle face light up and the shop assistant's go pale when she started picking up the expensive reindeer ornaments was more than worth it. I can't wait to get the tree out and spend an afternoon decorating it, and then spending the evening vacuuming up all the tinsel. Personally, I love chrismas lights and all that jazz, though I do draw the line at life sized singing santas, but my partner belongs firmly in the "Christmas is a well deserved day off and all I want is a sleep in and a beer or 40" no-nonsense camp. So even though our neighbours will not doubt spend a small fortune at Bunnings on a tackorama extravaganza, our place might be a bit more...minimalist. One year I got excited and bought a tin of $2 fake spray-snow but I think it was just out of date shaving cream, because all it did was mutilate the tree in the front yard at Mum's house.

We do have a firm "Christmas doesn't start til December" rule. It's hard to strike a balance between the hyperorganised peeps who do all their shopping in the June sales, and the grumblers who wait til December 24 and then complain about the crowds and the fact that there's only $2 tins of fake spray-snow left on the shelves. But if you're after decorations and such and don't fancy Kmart, here are some online Xmas shops:

Seriously Christmas: they mean business. Check out this page for a jolly good laugh: I didn't realise there were country themed decorations! For a UN-inspired Chrissy, perhaps you could try a blurred nondescript gilted decoration from Denmark, a Reject-shop inspired glittery bauble from Hungary, or a fat warbling angel candle holder with token confused shepherd in the background from Italy. Poland apparently takes it's cultral direction from the Hungarians with oversized sparkly hearts, but my absolute FAV is the Swedish Santa. Check him out. Obviously they gave up on the IKEA instruction booklet he most likely comes with, and instead instructed the local kindergarten to find cotton wool, cardboard, that french knitting set a random aunt gave you last year, crack them open and just go nuts. I so want one for our Chrissy Lunch table. If he sings Abba, I'm buying all in existence and setting up a little group of caroling santas on the front lawn. Take that, Bunnings.

Celebrating Christmas gives us this little gem: for a jungle-inspired holiday season; or this centrepiece for a funky Chrissy day that probably will involve smoking the special plant your cousin brought along: .

To really confuse everyone, play a fun game of "guess the condiment" with these fabulous salt and pepper shakers from Everything Christmas: . Does Santa hold le salt or le pepper? Ooh the excitement! The website helpfully notes the shakers are handwashable, which is good to know because I do have a disturbing habit of continually putting my dishware in the washing machine.

Still, got to hand it to them, keeping the Yuletide spirit alive and well 365 days a year. Forcing upon us snow-themed decorations in 30 degree summer heat. Causing distress and heartache to chic homemaker magazine editors and Better homes and Gardens presenters the world over. Is it possible to have a stylish Christmas? Are we meant to? I sorta hope not. I can't see Miuccia Prada reinventing the paper Christmas hat anytime soon. As long as we can shop to our heart's content for winter-themed decorations in the hottest days of Summer, Christmas will always be Christmas. Bring on the mulled wine in an oversized embellished mug with reindeer antler handles, man!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Wombat Who Takes Cool Photos

This is Frock-unrelated, sarcasm-unrelated and celeb/fashion/supermarkets/piss me off etc-unrelated; but recently my daughter Charlotte won a local Cutest Kid's comp (except they didn't spell it like that, and we all know how I cannot stand mis-spellings so I refuse on principle to write it that involved too may K's and Z's) and the prize was a session with Photobat and the very talented Alan Moyle. Anyone who's taken pics of Tim Rogers, Adam Hills, Bill Bailey and Michael Palin, among many others, is ok by me. Add Charlotte McLennan to that mix and it's a superstar portfolio! Below are some of the pics he snapped duriong our session; I've nicked them off the BatBlog. We went a bit crazy during our viewing session and bought, like, everything, and we will possibly have to renovate our house and add more walls to fit all the pics on, but we were so enamoured with the natural and innovative shots we (or more accurately, I; my partner knows full well merely to agree with me in buying situations) couldn't help ourselves!

Plus, he gave us some vouchers to hand out to people who need pics (weddings, parties, anything) so let me know if you want one...and if you find out why this softly spoken and un-furry man's nickname is Wombat, please let me know that, too.

All pics courtesy of Photobat, and

Charlotte, in a typical thoughtful pose (finge not in nose, unlike some other shots)

Family Converse collection!

Our fav weekend pastime - Babycinos

Her babycino has been cropped out I think, but this is such a gorgeously timeless pic!

Daddy, Mummy, Charlotte!