Thursday, June 30, 2011

Et tu, ETRO?

Etro is one of those labels that flies under the radar.
A theme contradictory to their bold design style.

Founder Gimmo Etro established the Etro label in 1968.  
As a leading designer of high-end textiles, Etro supplied couture houses including Armani & Lacroix before 
expanding into ready-to-wear in the 1990s. 
The Etro Family
Today Etro remains a family run business 
upholding its well-earned reputation for 
rich colorful fabrics, wild prints & signature bohemian style.

Love it or hate it. Where do you stand?

Printed Stretch Silk Dress at Net-a-Porter

Silk Patterned Dress at My Theresa
Sleeveless Panelled Dress at FarFetch

Silk Dress with Ruching at MyTheresa

Floral Print Stretch Twill Coat at Net-a-Porter

Ethnic Pattern Shift Dress at MyTheresa
Paisley Print Long Dress at FarFetch

____________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unexpected *SALE* Haul

Shopping locally for me is pricey and I rarely 
find things I love for prices I'm willing to pay.  
Instead, I stock up when traveling, on trips home to LA, 
and I'm a Master Online Shopper.
Really. I could win awards.

So when sprinting through my local mall doing errands, 
a clearance sign tucked into the back of a department store was a siren call. 
They tried their best to camouflage it, disguise its wares and keep it from the prying eyes of potential shoppers—but my eagle eye for sales, 
my sniffer of discounts led me straight in!

I cannot do the math for how much these pieces were reduced. 
It was 50% off of 50% with an additional 75%.
Any mathematicians out there? All I know is...Whoop! Whoop!
I'm a terrible photographer, but trust me...these rings are to die for. 
A triangle-shaped blue lapis stone (reflection!), 
a blue-ish grey round glass stone with intricate band, 
and the ring furthest to the right is a rose carved in matt black stone set in sterling. 
Each ring was $5AU or less and although my photos suck, 
I'm beyond thrilled with the yummy quality.

Here are the necklaces I scored:

The stones on the two outside necklaces are a smoky quartz. 
They are similar to each other and I couldn't decide, 
the price convinced me to buy both! 
The center necklace has a bronze finish with deco vintage-inspired glass beadwork. 
I likely would've paid full price for this, but to pick it up for $10—I'm still in awe!
 The grand total for all six pieces? 
I got change from a $50?!

Giddy with my new purchases I texted my man who said: 
  What? I'm there...

Those of you who are kind enough to visit my blog may know I'm a sucker for books. 
We nearly filled a trolley with our finds, we bought so many in this 80% off haul!! 
For anyone who buys books in Australia, you know how special this is. 
These are the fash-related babies I scored.
Aren't they fab?
 Look for upcoming reviews!

Last but NOT least:

Can you believe it? I picked these up for $3 each?! 
This was the best unexpected sale haul EVER! 
A late birthday present, or an early Xmas.
Either way....I love it!

What do you think? How did I do?
What's your favourite *uber-sale* find?
_______________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dress of the Week: Karen Walker...or Flannel?

Try as I might I could not decide. 
So, this time it is Dressology HQ's DRESSES of The Week.

Perhaps we can vote? Which dress do you choose?

First up we have this lovely Karen Walker Dress. 
Check out its gorgeous ruffled collar and hem detailing 
and the delicious red & white print. Cherrylicious!

Karen Walker's Betsy Cherry Dress $215NZ

Next up...Ordinarily I'm not a big fan of blue—or bows—but 
this sophisticated midnight blue hammered silk dress from Flannel with that amazing oversized bow has convinced me I've been wrong all along! Elegante!

Karen Walker Extract Dress $320
I love hearing from you all. It's such a pleasure!
Please tell me which you would choose 
in the comments section below. 

And if you're new to my blog, please follow, leave your details and I'll be certain to follow you back!

_________________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fairytales for Fashionistas & Vintage Vixens

This post began as a book review but evolved into something else once the research began. If interested in vintage fashion history or design education, this post is a must-read. About a month ago I stumbled upon a gorgeous not-for-profit used bookstore. Inside sitting on as shelf as if it knew I was coming, was this book, Dreaming of Chanel. How I didn't know about author Charlotte Smith, her two books or the fascinating story surrounding The Darnell Collection, is a mystery. But now that I know, I must share! 

BookVu: Dreaming of Chanel
Author Charlotte Smith
Illustrator Grant Cowan
Publisher HarperCollins, 292 pages

This gorgeous little book reminds me of a Hemingway novel with its breezy, vintage 
feel and dreamy stories about international diplomats, 
designers & socialites—and their clothes. 
Photo: HarperCollins
To give this book perspective requires a bit of background. 
Author Charlotte Smith inherited a vast collection of 
more than 5000 vintage pieces from her godmother Doris Darnell. 
The Darnell Collection as it’s known includes Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and 
countless other originals dating from 1790-1995. 
The Collection toured for many years with its original owner as a live “fashion talk.” 
The video below tells the story, but ends abruptly.

Author Charlotte Smith
Upon inheriting the collection, Smith found a catalogue of its history and presented this unique fashion perspective in her first book, Dreaming of Dior. 

Her second book, Dreaming of Chanel, is a follow-up that reveals additional snapshots of fashion stories that read like fairytales for fashionistas. 

Each page is a complete story, in 200 words or fewer, based on a person or an event with the clothing taking center stage. 

Grant Cowan Illustration from
Dreaming of Dior

The illustrations by Grant Cowan are undeniably amazing, and contribute greatly to this being not only a book on fashion, design and history, but also an art book.

If you are left like myself wanting to see actual photos of the collection though, pay a visit to the Darnell Collection blog for a peek. It would take years of work, but I would love to see the entire collection photographed with as much detail and information given as is available regarding designers, materials, value—online like a living gallery and design resource. So the world can see and appreciate it. 

I firmly believe a book should stand on its own and this one left me a bit confused at first, but always entertained. It was only after some research that I realized the gem I'd discovered in that little bookstore. 

This would be a lovely book club selection—seeing who selected which story as their favourite?! I can also see exquisitely fun dinner party based on its theme!

This is an absolutely enjoyable and delightful read with fascinating historical fashion value. Have a look at the blogs and video above and see if you agree.

Photo: The Darnell Collection

Photo: The Darnell Collection

1960's Pucci Shift Dress. Photo: Bertie Smith, The Darnell Collection
Vintage Chanel Suit. Photo: The Darnell Collection

Sleeve embellishment of a 1930's dress. Photo: Bertie Smith

_______________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WGSN Global Fashion Awards

In a long list of benefits the internet provides, one is the globalization of fashion. 
Never before have we had such immediate access 
to information, people, ideas, materials, cultures, product and design.

WGSN is a London-based trend forecasting agency that embraces 
the ever-shrinking world and debuted The WGSN Global Fashion Awards last year. 
The awards honoured notables such as Opening Ceremony, 
Levi's, Asos among numerous others.

This year's awards take place in New York on October 20, 2011.
The nominees were announced recently and the magic of social media  
helped spread the word at meteroric rates.

Here are some of the nominees. What do you think?

Global Brand or Retailer
Abercrombie & Fitch
Forever 21
Karen Millen
Kate Spade
Best E-tailer
Far Fetch
Gilt Groupe
John Lewis
My Wardrobe
Rue La La
The Corner
2011 Nominee Mimco. Photo: RagTrader

Most Influential Designer, Womenswear
Christopher Bailey, Burberry
Jonathan Saunders
Marc Jacobs
Miuccia Prada, Prada
Phoebe Philo, Celine

Most Influential Design Team
Club Monaco
Fred Bare
Rag & Bone

 Would you consider this a "global" event? Do you agree with the shortlist? 
Who would you vote for on the lists above? Or has anyone been left out in your opinion? 

And what would YOU wear to the awards?

As an aside, I think WGSN should include the country of origin for each nominee.

_______________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dress of the Week: Forever 21

How cute is this? 
Peaches & cream polka dot print 
with a partial peplum & kick-pleat on the pencil skirt.
Try saying that 3 times fast! 

Ruffled Pencil Dress from Forever 21, $25US

_____________________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Brunch with my Peeps

I recently had coffee with a friend and we realized that it was more than a year since we'd seen each other! She lives nearby, but busy lives unforgivably kept us apart.

This got me many other girlfriends had I not cuaght up with? 
That night I sat down with my calendar and texted, emailed or facebooked several friends I hadn't seen face-to-face in TOO long.

After setting the date & planning the menu came the best part. 
What to wear... Sophisticated & sexy? Fun & funky? Floral & fantastic??? 
Which of these best says "Brunch" to you?

Manoush Sequined Dress at The Outlet
Emamo Flamingo Kaftan at Net-a-Porter

Jil Sander on Browns London

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Dryad Checked Dress at My Wardrobe

Under the Canopy Dress at ModCloth

I bought the last one—the Grace Kelly.
Because...well, how could I not?

________________________________ Why not look your best every day?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BookVu: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

A Memoir of Going Home
Author Rhoda Janzen
Publisher, Atlantic Books London, 241 pages

I  thought it might be fun to review something a little different this time 
instead of another fashion how-to book. 

The title on this one sucked me in good and proper. 

A New York Times bestseller, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a witty memoir 
about non-practicing Mennonite author Rhoda Janzen going home
 after her husband dumps her for a guy he meets on 

Janzen provides an honest account of her unusual religious childhood, but her 
unfailing ability to find the humour in it all is what is most endearing. 
Oftentimes her life leaves you cringing with embarrassment as she reveals how her upbringing follows her into adulthood—influencing all of her decisions—from 
falling in love with an emotionally unavailable bipolar (gay) husband 
to her unreasonable fear of authority.  

Author Rhoda Janzen
Occasionally the non-sequitur ramblings are a bit long. And she’s breezed over serious topics such as her near-death car accident and subsequent recovery, losing her house & her abusive marriage. But the hilarious nuggets of "wisdom" from her somewhat batty mother and her genuine relationship with her sister touch the heart.

Combine this with an insider's view of Mennonite customs makes it worth the read. For example, her  bizarre (post-divorce) dating history and  anecdotes like "The Top Five Shame-based Foods for Mennonite School Lunches" which include a stinky meatball concoction she takes to school in a diaper bag. 

Contrary the book's title, there is no fashion slant, other than a closet clean out with her sister and a vague reference to how wearing homespun skirts growing up gave her a penchant for designer duds. Instead you get an appendix at the back with funny Mennonite trivia and recipes for the aforementioned recipes.

It's an easy read, good for a day at the beach, home sick with the flu 
or taking the train into work.  It's a bit like having a conversation with an old friend 
you haven't seen in years and years and you're given snippets of her life over coffee, but left without the full picture. In other words, a great way to spend an afternoon.

____________________________ Why not look your best every day?