Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The right to bare arms

While recently enjoying a vanilla latte (and not a quarter strength caramel latte, like the woman in front of me. Whether it was the caramel or the coffee that was at quarter strength, remains a Gloria Jeans mystery akin to their enviro-friendly non-recyclable cups), I decided to flick through Grazia magazine. Poor old Grazia hasn't had much of a welcome since launching a year ago (this week's issue is their birthday issue and actually reasonable value, with less carbs then a muffin, at $2.50) and I must say I find it hard to warm to. Flitting between waiting-room trashy celeb gossip and $700 shoes makes me queasy. But then I stumbled on an article on Michelle Obama - god forbid, she has been nicknamed Mobama. Michelle O takes up too much space apparently. Grazia isn't exactly Marie Claire when it comes to reportage, but this particular article just took the cake - the only interesting thing to report on the First Lady was the fact she has toned arms. Yes, despite being an accomplished woman and the wife of the most influential man on the planet, the whole double page spread was devoted to how you too can get toned but not muscly arms, just like Mobama. OH. MY. GOD. It's easy to see why glossy mags are in decline, with women growing increasingly disenchanted with thinly disguised advertorial, repetitive content and ridiculously unnattainable wardrobes/figures/lifestyles. This post from Liz Jones on the UK's Daily Mail site says it all:

"And don't get me started on the fashion pages. Remember that notorious feature in Vogue a couple of months ago when it told you all about new ways - the 'Grab', the 'Twist' - to carry your handbag? I mean, come on! We have had The Female Eunuch, The Beauty Myth, the Equal Pay Act, and this is the sort of twaddle that is still being fed to us?
Isn't it time they all tried a little bit harder to be on our side, to help us through the mire of recession rather than trying to brainwash us into buying ever more stuff we didn't know we needed in the first place?
We don't want to read about contstant doom and gloom. Reading about frocks and shoes and lippies is a way of escape, of girly pleasure, that most of us enjoy. But suggesting unwearable $1000 shoes are the must-have of the month, or that another "beach ready bikini body" special is something that we want or need is wearing thin. Women are tired of being told we're not good enough. I don't know anybody who can afford mountains of expensive handbags or wants to wear those must-have gold sequinned harem pants. Even the rehashed same-same covers, a result of limited and dwindling budgets, aren't inspiring women to even pick the magazines up off the shelves. Check out this month's varied and inspiring offerings (pics from Girl With A Satchel):

The last few months have been a constant Cameron/Kate/Scarlett overload (this month, it's all Cameron). IT'S BORING! I would rather see an anonymous model with an interesting face/outfit/pose and a catchy coverline than another celeb. I would like to put it out there that most of us have more important things going on in our lives then getting toned pinkie fingers. I'd bet you a Balenciaga bag Michelle Obama does. While I do stop to admire her outfits, I admire her person much more. Who seriously gives a fig how she gets away with sleeveless tops - when the American Contsitution was drafted, I would dare say this was not the Right to Bear Arms they were talking about.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spring is in the air!

Well it's freezing cold in July, which means Spring 09 has started to arrive (and I've just finished buying for high Summer, which I SO feel like doing when it's 8 degrees outside). This season, most labels are playing it fairly safe, but at least this translates to wearable, versatile pieces that will last more than a season. Not that any of it is heavy on the hip pocket anyway - here's a few key pieces from the latest arrivals that may incite drooling, so get out a napkin now:

Mimosa Goddess Dress, $129.95 it's black, it's simple, it has the most delicate of details and it's one shouldered. I can't stand people going without pants (I'm looking at you, 'Lady' Gaga. Actually I'm not. It hurts.) but going without a shoulder strap is a-ok. In fact, it's downright sexy in a non-boobs-up-and-out kinda way.

French Kitty Belle-Lisious Top, $59.95 I'm not a fan of their spelling but I am a fan of their cute prints - this little cami has umbrellas on it! Unleash your inner 5 year old and go all girly with denim shorts and a headband...aaaw!

Lucky 13 Asymmetrical Lace Dress, $119.95 Ring us up and ask for Shaz, then get her to say "Asymmetrical" - it's funny because she can't. Anyway, the "Astronomical" dress by Lucky 13 has been flying off the shelves (possibly literally, maybe she's onto something) around the country. It's a new take on the bestselling Bandage dress, with lacey cutout bits. Seriously sexy.

GRAB Loose Knit Oversize Tank, $59.95 this has that slouchy, too cool to care sorta vibe about it, and looks aweosme layered with other tank tops and a few dangly necklaces. The wide knit is light and the charcoal colour is a must-have - it looks especially cool contrasted against typical Spring pastels and summer brights.

Indy C Matt Bead Necklace, $14.95 Wear them in contrast to your outfit for a striking but not OTT statement - or heck, at $14.9 a pop why not wear all 3 colours at once!

Little Potty Red Shoes Pixie Dress, $209 I shouldn't even put this on here 'cos there aren't many left, but damn it's a pretty frock! One customer wrote in: "I just want to say I love, love, LOVE this dress! I remember asking you guys about it a few months ago if you were able to get it in. Which you were! Thanks! The best dress I've ever tried on. I look amazing!" It's fitted at the top with a flirty skirt, and the bold modern colour blocks make it edgy.

Birds of a Feather Here Comes The Sun Top, $49.95 You'll be humming the tune all day but this is just the piece to get you in the mood for Summer. We've actually got lots more Birds here waiting to be uploaded but it hasn't been shot yet (Ebony and assorted models are heading out on Thursday to freeze their bits off in an effort to bring you some springtime looks); and trust me, it is GORGEOUS! More on that later.

And you've probably noticed, but thankfully nobody minds, that we've had to up our famous $5 shipping rate by...wait for it..A WHOLE DOLLAR! Depsite tantrums, name-calling and endless phone calls we haven't been able to negotiate a cheaper rate with Aus Post so we've had to submit to their price rises. But it's still hella cheap for an overnight service, and don't forget that it's always FREE when you spend over $150!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Accessorising With Austen

As oddly addictive as Lost in Austen was (silly premise, brilliant execution, and god who wouldn't watch anything with Mr Darcy in it?!), and whether you're a BBC purist or a fan of Ms Knightley; there's something about Pride & Prejudice that just makes me melt.
Yep, I'm a softie at heart, and really I have a bit of a thing for tailored jackets and sideburns, Darcy style. Empireline dresses and brushing your teeth with chalk, not so much. Anyway, if your housemates refuse to let you hold regular Austen marathons, Penguin have come to the rescue with a range of mugs, notebooks and pencils that mean you can deck out your desk/room/house in all things P&P, but not in a tacky memorabilia sort of way - just a simple, retro-infused range to match back with their $9.95 orange classics series (to which I am addicted, depsite doubling and even tripling on several titles I already owned, P&P included) - talk about accessorising! The nice man at a local bookshop gave me some reusable Penguin bags to carry my collection, and they're heaps cooler than those pink Supre bags. But then, so is acne.

To wit - perfect sized mugs for steaming cups of tea to sip upon while reading on wintery afternoons (have recently added Wuthering Heights to my mug collection):

You can get these for $24.95 from ShopUntil, the Co-op Bookshop, and Readings.

Notemaker have these nifty journals (from $19.95), so you can pretend you wrote your fave classic work, and if you're feeling really in the mood why not grab a box of penguin pencils as well ($14.95)? Remember, the accessories maketh the woman...!