Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FrockQ: Jenny Celebrin, Yunginz Shoes

Here's a new little segment we'll be featuring in the newsletters and also here on le blog - basically, we ask a few not-very-difficult-but-hopefully-mildly-interesting questions to people working in the fash biz, for no real reason other than being curious little stickybeaks!

This week the lovely Jenny, co-creator of cool kid's shoe label Yunginz gives us the lowdown on how she created and runs her own fashion brand:

How did you come to create Yunginz?
Bored and frustrated with the corporate world and the lack of flexibility in the workplace when it comes to full time working mums, I started seriously considering my options and racking my brain about what kind of business I could start up. Out shopping for shoes for a special occasion for my then 5 year old girl, the lack of ‘trendiness incorporating quality’ when it came to footwear options for kids was all too apparent, and it was at that time that I realised what I wanted to do. I teamed up with my friend Yolanda, and we now share the responsibilities of the Yunginz business – creating fabulous trendy footwear for kids.

What are your duties on an average working day?
I’m more the sales/marketing and strategic side of the business – so for me it’s day to day contact with customers (both end user and trade), creating promotional strategies, crunching numbers etc. Yolanda’s main focus is more on the company branding (including look and feel of marketing materials, website etc) and she has the (always frustrating) responsibility of accounting/finance. Then there’s responsibilities such as pickers, packers, warehouse upkeep and most importantly the core of our business – shoe design – and these responsibilities we share equally. In saying that, no decisions are made without both of us being absolutely satisfied and in agreement, it’s a great partnership.

Where do you begin when designing a shoe style, and how long does it take from the initial idea through to production?
This is by far the easiest part of running the business! Design and ideas just flow so easily, even when it’s not time to start thinking about it. Having a couple of seasons under our belts now we look at what we’ve done in the past and think about how we can go another step better. In a nutshell we’ll come up with a design, Yolanda will sketch it out, we’ll look at it and go back and forth a few times with different amendments or different looks in order to get it right. Once design is finalised Yolanda creates a formal design specification sheet (drawing and instructions) then we send this off to the factory for a sample to be created. Initial idea through to production usually takes 6-9 months.

What's your style philosophy when it comes to kid's fashion?
Don’t think about it too much or they’ll look overdone! I love buying the latest trends for my daughter, but I also love her input she has her own sense of style and it’s great to go with that and see what they come up with. Keep it as simple as you can, you can pick up great pieces at great prices, mix and match, but when it comes to footwear don’t always make the fashion aspect of shoes the only consideration. Kids feet need to be nurtured or all sorts of problems can occur, so think about the comfort aspect for them as well – that’s where Yunginz comes into play – trendy and comfort at the same time!

What cool styles should we look out for from Yunginz in Spring/Summer '10/11?
We’ve got a number of existing styles which we roll over from season to season, simply because they’re totally unique and unlike anything else seen before in the kids footwear market, the styles don’t really date (in our opinion what’s ‘in’ and ‘out’ does occur as frequently – not as much as adult fashion anyway.) We’ve got funky sandal styles ranging from a black Gladette for the more ‘out there’ edgy kind of kid, our Princess of Hearts’ sandal – a bright multi coloured strappy sandal with love heart cut out, to the more subtle Bali sandal with it’s natural tan leather strapping, plus other styles which certainly speak for themselves.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Street Style: Chambray

Denim-on-denim can look good in magazine editorial, but on the streets (in a non-prostitute way) it's pretty hard to get right. There's no reason you can't work a little bit of chambray into your wardrobe though - take these looks for inspiration:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Much Too Fun

I just had to share this quirky little jewellery shop with you - Muchtoofun is a creative collective from Glasgow that sell cute acrylic trinkets, as well as bags and homewares, with a very Scottish twist. As someone pining to head back Scottishside - despite the weather, and to Edinburgh, not Glasgow, to lessen the chance of getting stabbed - I might have to content myself with spending $13 on some Och Aye earrings, as opposed to $1300 on an airfare. But I really am a bit of a Peely Wally, so might grab that brooch too. And hello to yet another teapot necklace!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When Disney Is A-OK

(In which I shamelessly copy and paste today's post from, because let's be honest here, there's lots of good telly on Thursdays. Ahem.)

There are some things in life you can’t avoid. Death, taxes, and Disney are the first that spring to mind. Someone warned me when my daughter was born that we wouldn’t be able to withstand the inevitable branded onslaught, and despite my very best efforts a few things have slipped though my radar. A Tinkerbell costume, for one. Several packets of trademarked Band-aids, for another. And just recently, a fully-blown musical animation on DVD, otherwise known as The Princess and the Frog. My daughter is obsessed with it. There hasn’t been this much reverse-and-replay action since Shrek, and for a kid who wore headband Shrek ears nonstop for 6 months, that’s saying something.

So, in the interests of research, and also to put visuals to all the catchy tunes that have been emanating from the telly for the last few days, we sat down together to watch the whole thing. And I was pleasantly surprised. The Princess and the Frog is based on the classic Frog Princess story by E.D. Baker, and like all Disney flicks, there’s lots of singing, stereotypes and wide-eyed beauties. But in a good way, though – set in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the beginning of the Jazz age, the tunes are really pretty cool, and the beautiful heroine, Tiana, has a whole lot of what I believe Southerners call, “gumption”. The Prince is a charming foreigner with a lust for life, and the villian is a spooky voodoo man with a nifty dress sense. Plus, Oprah is in it, so it gets extra cool points right there.

You can probably guess the basic storyline and ending, but there’s nothing wrong with a classic, is there? Particularly when a trumpet-playing alligator is involved.

Even though the DVD gets a thumbs-up, I don’t really want to purchase all the merchandise that goes with it. But it’s easy to indulge their latest obessession with finds that are along the same lines – in true cartoon form, you just need to use your imagination!

1. The Frog Princess, by E.D. Baker, $7.25 from Book Depository
2. Big by Fiona Scanlan Clara Headband, $22.95 from Babysgotstyle
3. Ellie Bellie Kid’s Reversible Tutu, $79.99 from Metromum
4. Toy Trumpet, $37.95 from Rhythmic Kids
5. Cool Jazz for Kids CD, $14.99 from theabcshop
6. Gator Golf, US$14.99 from Amazon
7. Scruffy Dog Silver Ballet Shoes, $39.95 from Scarlettjadeandjett
8. Froggy Bow Hairclips, US$4 from Etsy
9. Prince Crown, $5.95 from thepartypeople

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cake (Fail) Wednesday

Nothing like the idea of a cosy winter afternoon whipping up a batch of warm, cinnamony scrolls to enjoy with a steaming cuppa. Nothing like the whiff of "burnt!" wafting through the kitchen to shatter your comforting Nigella-illusions.  They turned out more like rock cakes without so much cake in it *sad face* . But as consolation, the dough was delicious (use cinnamon and choc chips as the comments suggest) and I'm going to try again tomorrow, on a slightly lower heat. Or, I might just make the dough again and eat that.

Apple & Sultana Scrolls

(quite obviously, that is not my picture)

Melted butter, to grease
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1/4 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon!)
60g chilled butter, cubed
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
65g (1/3 cup) sultanas (or a handful of choc chips)
Plain flour, to dust
1 large (about 200g) granny smith apple, peeled, cored, coarsely grated

chocolate icing
45g (1/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs milk


Preheat oven to 200°C (nooo! don't! remember the oven gets over-excited and doesn't need to be so hot!). Brush a baking tray with melted butter to lightly grease.

Place flour, sugar and mixed spice in a large bowl. Use your fingers to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the milk and sultanas. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly incorporated and the mixture just comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead for 2 minutes or until smooth.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough into a 25 x 30cm rectangle. Sprinkle with apple. Starting from the long side, firmly roll dough into a log. Trim the ends (and eat them. Yummm). Cut crossways into twelve 2cm thick slices. Arrange scrolls cut-side up, side by side on prepared tray.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the chocolate icing, combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add the milk and stir until combined and smooth.

Drizzle scrolls with chocolate icing and serve immediately.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's results. If it's a fail, I'm sticking to failsafe apple muffins and nothing else.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Arrivals: Honey & Beau

It's our most grown-up label - not the cheapest, but definitely the one to turn to for killer pieces that you'll love forever:

It's long sleeved and warm, so it's sensible. It's got cool latte-coloured splcies, so it's modern, slick, and awesome.
It's such a beautiful shade of blue that you won't want to take it off. Our model Libby didn't, literally. She's been wearing it for days. Mybe we should say something?
Hardly going to break the bank, but if you're wondering how to get layering right, this is the piece you need. It's so darn simple - belted or worn loose, it'll look amazingly chic.

Hallelujah, it's colour! And a gorgeous berry one at that, coupled with a thoroughly modern silhouette. Yummy.

It's military, it's tweed, it's warm, it's chic. If that doesn't tick most of your winter jacket requirement boxes, nothing will!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trackpants Day!

Just in case you're wondering, there's no proper work going on here today, thanks to Lizzie's Long Weekend. In other words, a day of lounging about drinking steaming mugs of tea and reading in trackpants is on the cards. My trackpants come from Supre, and my slouchy sweatshirts from Bonds. High end , I know. It is possible to make your trackies into a high-fashion piece though (well, maybe not your trackies if they're from Supre, but a nice pair of slimfitting jersey pants along these lines might do the trick):

Bottega Veneta, Alexander Wang & Isabel Marant images from

Friday, June 11, 2010


Can there ever be enough places online to buy cutesy, one of a kind handmade goodies? Probably, but at the moment, the more the merrier I say. Enter Folksy, essentially a UK-based Etsy. It's actually been around since 2007 but I only just discovered it (and it's definite British charm). If you're crafty, they've got a neat Making section where talented folk can teach you how to crochet to your heart's content; and if you're selling what you've created, the Talking forum means you can ask pretty much anything you need to know about trading on Folksy.

Here are some random finds I got excited about today, none of which I need at all, but which I definitely want all at once:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gaga's Graduation Outfit

I only have one thing to post today. And it's this:

Now you've got to admire Gaga's boldness in outfits, generally. Even when they seem overly contrived and she looks a bit lost in them. Still, props for not being afraid to wear the utterly outrageous. But this lacey number is what she wore to her sister's graduation. It's a beigey, lacey pantsuit with hoof boots and a sensible sunhat. Not sure what her sister thought, and not sure if anybody paid any attention the graduation ceremony at all. I just can't stop staring at it. It's a total WTF-moment. Which, I guess, is always her intention. Thus, success!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday (Cup)Cakes

Wednesday has officially turned into cake day. By default, but still. This glorious little site came up on a social networking site that begins with F and ends in acebook, and it made me dribble. If you're needing cupcake inspiration, make mingmakescupcakes your first stop:

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Worst Brand Names Ever

The ABC's Gruen Transfer is back on our screens soon (yay!) and they recently posted this giggle-inducing little link on Facebook - perhaps some of these names got lost in translation, perhaps some are simply downright stupid. But they're all...awkward!