Saturday, May 30, 2009

Travel Blogs of the mildly amusing variety

Just a quickie to bring to your attention 2 amusing blogs from people you probably don't know, but might like to read about:

These Charming Men: Mat & Marky, who you have already met on here (and Sam, who in a previous life served great coffee) are doing their first overseas, let's-spend-all-our-money-on-duty-free-grog, romp around the US and Europe; which so far has involved some homeless people, a French Revolution vending machine and near-nudity at famous landmarks (with the promise of more to come). If you've been there done that it makes for a nice little dose of nostalgia, if not it might inspire you to avoid them should you be planning to head to the Northern Hemisphere anytime soon.

Travelscene: Cat W, my favourite travelling wench (who should have her own show), decided that a tropical getaway simply would not do these holidays and so headed off to Ghana for a 4 week internship at an English newspaper. Her 3-letter beau, Stu, all round nice guy and occassional pirate, has just headed over to join her for a romantic few weeks avoiding swine flu and other exotic illnesses, and basking in the Greek sunshine. Both of them update the blog which will make you want to hop on a plane quick smart, just not in economy class...

Friday, May 29, 2009

CHOICE: Clothing Size Irregularities

A little while back, Kate Browne from CHOICE asked me to answer a few questions regarding clothing sizes in Australia. You can check out my little paragraph and the entire article here, but for a quick summation watch the 3 minute clip as she goes in search of an LBD, with sizing in high-street stores placing here anywhere from an 10 or M to a 14.
I have been the same size since I was about 14 and decided to stop growing (oh womanly curves, ye do desert me!), so I am going to admit first up that personally it doesn't affect me hugely. I can pretty safely be an 8 or 10 or XS or S in every label. However, once you get past a 10, or indeed if you are smaller than an 8, the road to the perfect fit is fraught with difficulties. The whole sizing issue does affect me once I'm dressed for the day and start work - we get loads of emails daily regarding sizing, and spend a decent amount of time trying stuff on, measuring and generally getting the fit across a range of body shapes. If trying on clothes in store is hard, how in the hell are you meant to be able to buy them online?!
Well, it's not easy. Frustratingly, most labels either don't have or won't give out measurement charts (as another online retailer also notes in the CHOICE article). This is in part to deny their competition easy access to their sizing, which is fair enough, but for every customer email querying sizing, there are a number of Frockers tearing their hair out at the lack of information we have. (Not to say don't email us, please do!).
Standardised sizing won't work. Labels won't go for it as it would compromise design, and it would be an immensely difficult task. My vote goes for making it if not mandatory then at least expected that labels would make their size charts easily accessible instores and online. Come on guys, if one label does it, everyone else will have to, to keep up...even rough measurements work, to a degree.
So, when you're buying online, use any size charts that are available. We put them up when we have them, and we will of course measure things for you - but even these will be approximate, ye olde measuring tape is not foolproof! Another good method, if available to you, is to tory on things from different brands when you are out shopping, and then when you are seeking them out online (for a better price of course!) you'll know whether to go for an 8 or 12 or M or whatever. We keep a record of customer feedback to pass on to other customers - so if you have any, please tell us, and do your little bit of good for women worldwide*. I was as surprised as anyone to find that French Kitty has a pretty generous fit, pleased to see One Teaspoon scale their sizing down a bit to be more standardised, and glad that Blue Juice tops and jackets are consistent even if their pants are a bit big. So, speak up, ask away, we're here to help as best we can!
*Yes, there are more worthy causes on the planet at the moment. Issues of clothing size are not as pressing as say, climate change, but heck it's one facet of everyday life that could be made easier. Fingers crossed

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2009 MET Costume Institue Gala: The Model As Muse

Even if I was as famous as Madge, I'm not sure even then I would be brave enough to step out in this:

But then, if you can't go all out at the Met Ball, when can you? Kate Moss did:
Costume? Check, double points for being more subtle than Madge. Model? Check. Muse (not the band)? Check. yet again, she ticks all the boxes!*

Twitter has been going nuts today, with mentions of Turqoise all over the show - Cindy Crawford and Blake Lively both looked amazing (and I'm guessing Ms Lively's hand is placed so for modesty):

But not sure I can be as enthusiastic as Tommy Hilfiger about this (incidentally, I can't work out why guys like to show off his name on their undies. It's a bit like Borat meets the Fonz):

Here's Posh having a Lincraft moment (sorry, MJ):

Gotta love a vampish lip, and Rachel Weisz in her "punk princess" meets 20's screen siren look is so striking:

At least Tyra looks suitably shocked at the scroll on her head. Please tell me she didn't shave her head and glue the offucts onto her noggin? I usually love Tyra :(

And finally, in descending height order, four luminous lovelies and one black lace jumpsuit. Hmm.

*Kate Moss fan over here

Beware the Lancome Ladies

I'm still shaking from the attack. Such determination, resourcefulness and blatant force I have never encountered. Those Lancome ladies are really out to get you. Or your money.

The local Myer store is pretty shoddy when it comes to beauty counters. Short of helping yourself to products and attempting to walk out the door, none of the tight-skinned ladies will even look at you. Many a time I have been intent on making a purchase but have left empty handed and bought online or waited til the next Melbourne trip because apparently sorting tissues is a more worthwhile exercise then helping customers. But there is one exception, and that is the Lancome counter, perched in all it's overzealous glory right near the escalators which makes it hard to sneak past unnoticed. Especially if you're atttempting a free spritz of perfume without the sales pitch.

I know they work on comission and in all frankness it must be pretty shite, but the other day made me determined to use the fire stairs and completely avoid that portion of the shop. Most beauty counters in bigger city department stores are more than happy to let you play with colours and generally waste their time, which is a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. But don't even think about heading to this particular counter if you have a specific product in mind (in this case, my mother was after a restock on her foundation). We knew the exact shade, type and price and simply wanted a "shade no 3 please" and let's make like sheep and get the flock outta there. But nooo, oh lordy nooo...

"would you like a brush for that?"
"no thankyou I already have one"
"oh but not one like this, see how..."
"it's ok, I just bought a new one the other day" (lie)
"what about your mascara? I think this one would be..."
"thankyou, but I have one already which works really well" ( truth, I got it free from Sportsgirl and fobbed it off to her but apparently their makeup is stellar. One of my friends loves it)
"well you probbly don't need blush as your cheeks are a little flushed" (also truth, but not the best way to make a sale). Have you tried our bronzer?" (gets out sample and scary looking brush bigger than our mop)
"no thankyou, I don't really know how to apply it. Look, I have to get to work-"
"here let me-"
"please can I just buy this foundation, I really have to go"
*Charlotte transfixed by woman's uber pink lipstick*
Reluctantly, the single sale is processed. We turn to leave.
"let me just give you a quick sample of the bronzer-"
"no, really"
"here" (leans over and starts dusting face)
we back away; "no thankyou!! BYE"

woman comes out from behind counter and continues her attempt at bronzing. We start to walk, she follows, practically shrieking the benefits of this mircale brown powder and waving the brush. She actually succeeded in a few swipes before we managed to escape out the front, and hide behind a pack of bogan children. She stands in front of her counter, sniffing the air to see which way we went, before her heavily made up eyes spot another victim...**

**mild exagerration. mild.

Must've been a slow day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chaser: Balloons & The Vatican

I just heard this on the news and thought I'd share it:
I love Chaser. The stunt where they had a rave party in Supre would be pretty hard to top (piffle to that APEC thing) but this is up there. Julian Morrow said 'they knew where they were flying the blimp, but conceded it was hard to handle and may have needed L plates.' Plus, they were not aiming to fly it over the Vatican itself, just over St Peter's surely they can blame God for making the wind take it that way?