Monday, 30 September 2013

the power and the passion

80s-5

I was born in the 80s. It was a decade filled with risk takers and moneymakers, the rise of iconic trendsetters like Madonna, Brooke Shields and Alexis Carrington. Although technically I was too young to enjoy the 80s before neon lycra and friendship bracelets took over, I still feel its influence in a lot of my fashion choices. Strong lines, eye popping colour and bold statements. I recently bemoaned my lack of height to a friend, telling her I was too short to carry off a certain look and she wisely told me "yes honey, but you walk TALL" ... in my mind, that's what the essence of being a stylish woman coming of age in the 80s was all about, owning what you wore with pride. Even if you resembled a Christmas tree and never went too close to an open flame incase the polyester and hairspray actually lit you up like one!

It's with this aesthetic in mind, I felt the need to test my 2013 fashion boundaries with a little bit of of 1980's pinache. Given my love of blazers and collecting vintage pieces, I'm often inspired by the classic wall street power suit. This week's outfit is my modern take on that timeless look, it's bright and eye catching but lightweight and easy to wear. I found this blazer/top in the sale section of my favourite go to vintage store Zoo Emporium in Surry Hills and just HAD to have it. The puffy shoulders, peplum waist, wide lapels and double breasted button closure evoked Melanie Griffith in the timeless cinema classic "Working Girl.".  

Being a vintage piece, it's one of a kind and very difficult to find an exact replica of my jacket, but I have linked a few cute and thrifty Etsy finds in the links below for you guys.  Dig around your local vintage store and look for something that has elements of a current trend and isn't too costume-y.  If it's too big, take it to a tailor and have them fit it to you - a shortening of the sleeves, change of buttons or removal of shoulderpads is sometimes all it takes to update vintage clothes.  This look can easily be paired down with your favourite black skinny jeans and ballet flat for those slightly less adventurous... but if you want to turn those heads for all the right reasons - go hard or go home!

xx
chan

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(SHOP THE LOOK > Jacket: vintage - similar herehere and here; Shorts: Supre, Heels: amiclubwear.com, Bag: Colette - similar here , Ring: Lovisa - similar here)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

"Life is frittered away by detail"

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Sometimes simplicity is best. Most of the time though, I tend to ignore this sage advice and instead crash my way through the wardrobe, putting ridiculous over the top pieces together in a frenzy as if I'm some hybrid version of Taz Devil from Looney Tunes mixed with Fran Drescher (who by the way, was totally my childhood hero). In an attempt to reign in my crazy on occasions that call for a more understated casual outfit, I limit myself to one "hero piece" and on many occasions, it's been an easy choice to select from one of my many vintage treasures collected over the years.

The decision to start buying and collecting vintage clothing was for me, borne out of necessity. At 18 years of age I was like a lot of uni students interested in fashion, in need of cute outfits but desperately short of funds to afford a lot of what I saw in stores. Buying vintage was a way to express my fledgling individual style but also have well made pieces that stood out in a sea of flimsy fads. A lot of vintage that I've bought over the years had been through several homes already but still had life to give. When I had added to their history and their time was done, I would re-sell to a new loving owner. It's the circle of (fashion) life.

This particular floral print kimono style bed jacket had caught my eye at a large market/festival day spreading across a whole suburb in Sydney's east. I had been looking for something super relaxed and a bit feminine, something I could throw on and feel really pretty in. It had been upcycled, maybe from an old blouse or dress by the stall holder and just caught my eye with its pretty colours and soft pattern. I bought it straight away and never looked back. I always get compliments on this piece - maybe because it's so super feminine and flowy and a flattering silhouette, but that's what a good hero piece of vintage clothing should always do; get positive attention and inspire others to try your look. It's so eye catching on it's own that it makes perfect sense to team with a pair of my favourite slimming high waisted jeans, a plain greymarle tank and some nude platform heels. I had a little bit of extra fun with my vintage inspired sunglasses and cheery manicure but this is otherwise, an outfit where the hero piece does all the talking for you.

xx
chan
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(jacket: vintage floral kimono - similar here, top: Cotton On , jeans: Paige Denim, shoes: Rubi Shoes - similar here, bag: Colette - similar here, sunglasses: Mink Pink - similar here, rings: Lovisa - similar selection here, here and here)

Monday, 16 September 2013

LETS GET RIDICULOU$

burger-7

I have a confession to make.

I enjoy watching The X Factor.

I know. It's shameless, vapid television filled with over the top faux personalities, big hair and crying on cue but it's totally addictive and I can't help being sucked in every week. However, this love has not come without some side effects that have seeped into my wardrobe choices. As some sort of strange consequence of trying to block out the clown vomit that is Red Foo from LMFAO's wardrobe over the weeks, I think my brain has instead absorbed and interpreted some elements of his wackness as interesting, even endearing? In small doses of course!

So here is my interpretation of a fun, slightly ridiculou$ summer ready weekend outfit. I'm totally in love with this Forever 21 tank featuring a cute burger/fries/milkshake motif, paired with a midi length tube skirt in soft greymarle (btw my absolute fave new skirt length right now). Worn as is, it could easily just be a "throw on and go" outfit for running errands. But if you want to kick it up a notch, the chunky gold chain necklace and belt give it an urban glam vibe, which is offset by the ridiculou$ness of the pixel sunglasses and transparent neon tote. In an effort to keep it all looking polished, I chose classic red pumps and my never fail MAC Ruby Woo lipstick as finishing touches.

I plan on rocking this outfit anywhere that has fun on the agenda. I know it can still be a bit much for some, but I've tried to keep it easy to wear and I promise to never use another obnoxious $ symbol again. Cro$$ my ♡ . ok now I'm done.

xx
chan
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(Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Cotton On, Heels: Tony Bianco - similar here, Belt: vintage - similar here or go crazy!,  Bag: Ebay - similar here , Sunglasses: Ebay -similar here, Necklace and rings: Lovisa - selection here , here, here)

Monday, 9 September 2013

in one era, out the other

The wrap dress. Iconic must have item of the 70s. It made Diane von F├╝rstenberg a household name and women all over the world rejoice that there was at last, a stylish solution to their "fat day" problems. In those days it was all about plunging necklines, split to the thigh, just a touch [sic: bucket] of bronzer and a mink coat to top it all off baby! Fast forward to present day, everything old is new again and raiding your mum's closet is now standard practice for the efficient bargain hunter. But that doesn't stop designers from reworking the old shapes into new and clever shoppers like yourselves from finding fresh ways to wear an old favourite.

The 2013 incarnation of the wrap dress is still most appealing for its initial function: hiding lumps & bumps with clever draping and being versatile enough to wear day or night; on busy days, both. The dress I've used is a slinky knit version - paired with the structured shapes of a longline boyfriend blazer, cut-out ankle boots (which I've worn to death these past few months, they're THAT good) and classic leather tote, its overall look is tailored with a twist. Need a luxe update for drinks in the PM? Swap the ankle boots out for a strappy heel and in two shakes of a martini you're upgraded and ready to take some fresh selfies. 

P.S Farrah Fawcett hair is totally optional.

xx
chan


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(blazer: Forever New - similar here, dress: Supre - similar here and here , boots: Lipstik, handbag: Charles & Keith - similar here, belt: ASOS - similar here, jewellery: Diva - similar here and here )