Monday, June 29, 2009

Knit twit

Missoni 1968

After 50 long years, Missoni is still creating their timeless and beautiful zig-zaged, striped, patterned, colourful and cosy knits. Dresses, coats, and sweaters; pullovers, chemises, trousers, and skirts - plus all those way-too-expensive but beautiful towels, rugs and blankets. I would trade my heater in any day to be able to wrap myself up in nothing but Missoni for winter.


As is the ACP rumour mill, it seems Australia's Harper's Bazaar and Grazia will be merging.

I'm not sure what it means for either magazine, but it appears Jamie Huckbody is out of job and so are a few other people. Bit of a shock to the system really.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yves St. Laurent’s Spring 2010 Men’s Presentation

Very few of these advertising films capture my attention long enough for me to actually pay attention (with the exception the Chanel No.5 short films, and maybe Sofia Coppola's romantic Miss Dior Cherie commercial). But this YSL narrative starring Jules, the 11-year-old son of its director and writer Samuel Benchetrit, is as funny as it is beautiful and sweet; and despite the très fabuleux satchel the kid sports, the film is less about the clothes and more about YSL's ever-so-cool factor. It's worth a watch, I promise.

Oil slick

These oxidized Gucci accessories have started to arrive in the Harper's fashion cupboard. I'm not sure how I feel about them. I hate the bag, but the hooker or absolutely fabulous? I'm torn.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How to assassinate the bible of fashion

Picture this: Anna Wintour has resigned. The sheer effort of keeping an immaculate bob and an unfeasibly large pair of sunglasses in place 24 hours a day has finally taken its toll. In a move that has shocked the fashion industry, American Vogue has appointed as her successor graphic-designer-turned-artist Scott King. For his first issue in charge, King decides that Vogue should have an anti-war theme. Oh, and it should also be free…

How I’d Sink American Vogue was a project that Scott King created in 2007, but I only came across these fake Vogue covers for the first time yesterday. As much as I love Vogue, poking fun of everything it stands for is rather entertaining on a raining Saturday afternoon.

Peaceful Kiwis

Apparently my good-old home country of New Zealand is the safest place to be in the world right now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh darling

Vogue 1950's

While researching a story today I came across this hilarious article which was published in Peterson's Magazine way back in 1861. I assume this was (like Vogue in it's early days), a sort of social gazette for young aristocratic women who wanted advice and assistance on how to be 'in style' at the time.

Here are some of my favourite excerpts...can you just imagine what these women would have to say about the Lady Gaga's and Paris Hilton's of the world today?

"Young ladies, when they get married, should not relax their habits of personal neatness and graceful deportment, always so charming and becoming in their girlish days, and which were thought indispensable then in aiding them to create an agreeable impression, and setting off, in the most engaging light, their natural advantages."

Vogue 1920's

"Nature for each has a different style, and each should choose what best becomes her, whether in her character of maid or matron. She should cultivate her taste by experiment and observation. She should educate the eye to the chase and beautiful, and thus she would become more competent to judge what is most judicious and tasteful for herself, without copying, as we are too prone to do, the dress of others, whose different style, manners, and appearance, render them wrong arbiters of the dress we wear."

Vogue cover, 1914

"Then, again, a great many women excuse their own carelessness by saying, 'Oh! It don't matter whether we make ourselves fine or not, our husbands never perceive the difference. They don't care a fig.' But the woman who acts on this shallow principle treats neither herself nor her husband with respect; she underrates her own importance."

Balmain in Vogue, 1940's

Friday, June 12, 2009

The September Issue

Last night the much anticipated (well by us, anyway) documentary The September Issue screened at the Sydney Film Festival, and while the 45 minute line (chock-full of Sydney's fashion elite and mega movie buffs) wound around three blocks, it was definitely worth the wait.

The film is an amazingly candid portrayal of the very weird, sometimes strained and extremely amusing relationship between Anna Wintour and Vogue's creative director Grace Coddington - and Grace totally kicks arse.

US Vogue September 07'. Styled by Grace Coddington.
The documentary's camerman plays model with Caroline Trentini - while Anna wanted to photoshop his 'tummy', Grace wouldn't allow it.

She is amazing. Totally cool, she trots around the Vogue offices in what look like a pair of Kumfs (she is 68-years-old after all), she's refreshingly honest about how much Anna pisses her off on an hourly basis and she is a major old school romantic who's not afraid to show how much it still hurts (after 40 years at Vogue) seeing her beloved shots get 'cut' by Her Highness. She is easily the worlds most influential fashion editor, and as Anna refers to her in the film "a genius", but I just love how genuinely lovely she is throughout the entire film.

US Vogue September 07'. Styled by Grace Coddington.

Grace modeling in her early 20's

Karen Elson plays Grace in Vogue's August 08 issue

Click here to see the photos I took of Grace Coddington and Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week a few months ago.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Basic instinct

Therese Rawsthorne S/S 09

Kate Sylvester S/S 09

Karla Spetic S/S 09

Ansdorf S/S 09

camilla and marc S/S 09

My week so far has been saturated with apricots, peachy creams and pink grapefruits with a touch of onion and cashew. All of these tasty things I'm very fond of when they're in their rightful food form, but when it comes to clothing, I think I'm missing out.

We've been getting ready for an upcoming Bazaar story on all things nude and it has made me realise that I have, in an entire wardrobe, one nude (which is really actually beige) item. One. The rest appears to make up a palette of grey, navy, white and black with a bit of higeldy-piggledy colour thrown in. How sad.

Alas, I'm now on a mission. When you're forcefully surrounded by countless Alia, Louis Vuitton, Lover, Fendi, Hermes and Chloe pieces, all in romantic, feminine, neutral tones, one is bound to get a bit inspired (read: extremly envious and a little bit depressed). But never fear, designers were extremely peachy keen at RAFW S/S 09, with the nude trend out in full force; so it seems we'll all have endless options when spring finally arrives some four-and-a-bit months away. But more importantly, they'll all be at a much lower price-point than the $39,000 nude Kelly bag currently sitting there, staring at me from the floor of the fashion cupboard.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bees knees

I have a very stylish friend who wears a pair of Karen Walker merino thigh-high socks effortlessly, usually with a pair of very cute cut-offs. Unfortunately when I try and rock knee-high, or thigh-high socks, I just feel like a silly school girl who belongs more in a Parisian private school than on the prairie. After stewing it over, I've decided my bob is working against me. The key to looking less Lolita and more casual-chic? A long, tousled mane, a comfy dress and maybe some cozy knits thrown in for good measure. Looking like Alexa Chung couldn't hurt either.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm leaving, on a baguette plane

The Hermes S/S 09 ad magazine

Can Hermes get any cooler? And Bruce, can I fly you back from Milan in this?


They are magical little places found every bedroom - so small and seemingly insignificant, but such beautiful places to sit and think, to daydream your life away bathed in warm sunshine or under glowing moonlight. You never know what you'll find on a windowsill - a candle, a bouquet of fresh flowers, a cherished perfume bottle, favourite books, a butterfly stopping by. I love the windowsills around our house, so romantic and thoughtful; full of memories.

Photo: Olivia Fleming

Photo: Olivia Fleming

Toot sweet

Mud cake with satin chocolate glaze.

I thought I'd share with you the best chocolate cake in the world, one that I made the other day with Bruce to many an 'ooohh', 'holy cow' and 'yuuuuuuuuuum'. Enjoy!


250g butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/3 cups water
1 tablespoon dry instant coffee
¾ cup plain flour
¾ cup self-raising flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten lightly

For the Satin chocolate glaze:
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup thickened cream

Grease a deep 19cm square cake pan, then line the base and sides with baking paper.

Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar, water and coffee in a medium saucepan; stir over a low heat, without boiling, until the butter is just melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl, allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to slow (150°C). Whisk the combined sifted plain and self-raising flours and cocoa into the chocolate mixture in two batches, then whisk in the eggs. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake in a slow oven for about 1¾ hours. Cover the cake pan with foil; cool cake in pan.

For the satin chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate and cream in a medium heatproof bowl, stir over barely simmering water until smooth.

Spread a thin layer of glaze all over the cold cake. Stand remaining glaze at room temperature until thickened slightly, then spread over top and sides of cold cake.

Sprinkle the top with decorations, if desired.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sheer genius

Wolford fishnets in W Magazine

To say I love stockings more than any other winter accessory is an understatement, but I was a late bloomer in the Wolford arena. I'd seen their stores in Milan, been tempted to enter even, but I pretty much thought $110 tights were a bit of a joke, even if they are supposedly the creme de la creme of legwear.

I mean stockings encrusted with gold? sure. But just normal opaques, really? Stockings ladder faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and you can cheat the chills with a $10 just-as-good pair from the supermarket. That's a whopper of a saving.

I guess I just didn't really get what the big deal was, and still didn't when my dad actually took me into New York's flagship store and bought me my first two pairs. According to him, they never ladder - yea right. Never is a very long time.

But, three months and a trillion washes later (actually in the washing machine, and not on the delicate cycle either) they are in one piece, have no pulls or any of that annoying bidding, are super-duper soft and are still going strong. Now I get it. Why buy 20 $10 pairs every winter when you can buy three Wolford pairs and never have to buy a $10 pair again. Sheer genius.

Julia Reston-Roitfeld wearing Wolford stockings in Page Six magazine

Wolford tights in Paris Match shot by Karl Largerfeld

Jessica Stam teaming Wolford hosiery with sneakers