Wednesday, 11 October 2017

STRIPETASTIC

Stripes are having a rapid "comeback" and are everywhere at the moment but when have stripes ever not been in style? I think everyone has had a stripe in their wardrobe at least once in their life, purely because they are stripetastic!
MENS STRIPES 2017

Blazer, Shirt, pants & sunglasses: Oxford



I adore a good stripe. There is something about the nautical/Parisian chic elegance that makes me feel fresh and youthful. Revisiting the stripe for Spring/Summer is like visiting the beach house every summer. A MUST.

STRIPES IN MENSWEAR

Suit: Briggins
Shirt: Iuter

There is an abundance of stripe activity on the market with block-stripe knitwear or a wide-striped t-shirt showing up in almost every store I have been in. Predominantly sticking with the safe blue and white and red and white it is great to see the fresh new ways that stripes are returning to the shelves and my wardrobe.
OXFROD SHOP MENSWEAR
Blazer, Shirt, pants & sunglasses: Oxford

Fast track your way to the top of stylish pack with this easy pattern by teaming it with easy neutrals or spring/summer staples. You cannot go wrong unless you pick the wrong stripe for your body shape. Too fine will get lost in translation if you are wearing with a dominant colour or if you are of a larger build. Stripes horizontally will make you appear taller whilst horizontal, wider. The key to a good stripe is ensuring it fits well across your chest (both ladies and gents pay attention).

OXFORD SHOP STYLE
Blazer: Briggins
T-Shirt: Oxford
Shorts: Vintage
Shoes: Florsheim
Bag & Sunglasses: Gucci

The classic stripe is often not season-specific which means more bang for your buck whilst effortlessly keeping you ahead of the style pack. If you pick a lightweight knit you will be able to wear in winter when layering, giving you more options for your wardrobe.

Separate yourself from the crowd by trying individual bold pieces, such as blazers and strong coloured shirts and for the super brave, double up! You will be surprised at how clashing different stripes is on the forefront of men's style in Europe.

Will you be adding statement stripes to your spring/summer wardrobe this year?

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

RECAP - FANTASTIC FASHFEST

FASHFEST promised excitement and a feast for the eyes, and boy did it deliver! Remember how I said I would need sunglasses as this would be Canberra's opportunity to blind me? Well they did. It’s a total fashion experience, from the moment I took my prime runway seat, until I enjoyed my last sip of champagne at the after party, it was pure enjoyment that I consumed with absolute pleasure. 
FASHEFEST 2017 REVIEW


Imagine a Meerkat standing up, that was me as I watched the bevy of models head down the catwalk. FASHFEST was full of surprises and that is what fashion is.


It is great to see the support to the artists in so many fields from music, lighting, building, designers, make up and hair artists as well as models and designers, providing them with a stepping stone to national and ever-growing global fashion market. We are so lucky to have an event like this in Australia that showcases local and interstate and New Zealand designers, models, hair and make up artists and the industry. 


After the disappointment that was Melbourne Fashion Week only a few weeks ago, I was feeling a little deflated but after 3 days in Canberra I feel that my faith has been restored in Australian fashion and what can happen when you have a group of dedicated and passionate people work together to achieve a common goal. 

CANBERRA
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE


Once I stepped off the plane at Canberra airport with suitcase in tow, I promptly embraced Canberra by meeting with Karen Lee from Karen Lee Designs  learning about her love of all things black. Whilst I was at Assemblage Project in it's wonderful retail come studio space in the heart of Canberra, I was lucky enough to have a sneak peak at what would be showcased on the runway and see a fitting occur. The space is completely open with no hidden back rooms, exposing an all in one transparent design process. 

BEST FASHION ON DISPLAY IN CANBERRA
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE

From touring backstage and meeting with models, taking a seat besides the directors chair watching the wonderful hair and make up teams work and the creative process and nurturing environment was extraordinary. It was a pleasure to feed off the electric energy that I witnessed backstage that then surged onto the catwalk at National Convention Centre Canberra.
AUSTRALIAN FASHION DESIGNERS 2017
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE


As the morning rose on day 2 I had a meet and greet with Clint Hutchinson and was keen to learn more about how he and his lovely wife Andrea took the leap into the fashion arena and created FASHFEST. It was a pleasure meeting Clint and hearing many stories that I was so enthralled I forgot to write things down. Our conversation turned to Braddon Tailors and led to discussions about their bespoke formal and dapperly delicious suits, and everything in between. Not just for the gents. I was like a trend pig in heaven when I was shown a purple velvet men't suit! You can see the passion for customer service with small details such as personalised embroidery and over 2000 fabrics to choose from!

Over the course of three days I watched endless models parade some of the most colourful and innovative fashion that I have seen on the catwalks in Australia in a very long time. I chatted with beautiful faces of the festival who strutted down the white catwalk and had the opportunity to even be tutored about how to master the perfect catwalk bounce as you walk the 30 metres down the runway. There is some bright fresh faced young models who I will be watching very closely. 
FASHFEST BETTER THAN MFW
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE

It is always a pleasure seeing designers display their latest creations down the catwalk and many of these collections gave me a spine tingling experience. Onto some of my personal favourites:


Students are always a favourite of mine as the next wave of up and commers throw caution to the wind. The menswear within both of CIT shows was so refreshing and elaborate and cannot wait to see where some of these designers head after completing their studies. 
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE



The uplifting spectacle that blew me away and made me stop breathing. This showcase had everything! Sequins, more sequins, high waists, it was an army of ultra feminine that could easily be in a Beyonce film clip. it was FASHUUUUNNN!
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE


Glamorous and sultry dresses and pant suits in vibrant hues that showcase a woman's body. Keep an eye on this young designer, her attention to detail and construction is phenomenal and she uses colour is a fun fresh way. 


Comprising of designs ready for the consumer, personally I found the creative aesthetic to be Westwood like. Karen's designs do not follow current trends and what is in season and the strong display of black keeps everything chic and focuses on quality fabrics.



Designs that expressed diversity for the kiddies. There was some great pieces in this collection including a velvet mandarin collared blazer that I wish came in adult size. 



Clothes that had been executed to the highest standards with such fun prints that had been designed by Yumi Morrissey. I adore my colour and Yumi delivered an outstanding colourful collection that is just in time for Spring/Summer. 

Characteristics of European design and sculptural quality, it was refreshing to see uplifting colours and fabrics used in suiting for both men and women. There was so many pieces I was squealing internally for with their individuality and strong details.
FASHION SHOWS AUSTRALIA
Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE

Meeting industry experts and hearing their inspiring stories and them answering many a burning question I had, was a true highlight of the 3 days. There is an abundance of knowledge in this country, a level of skill and a willingness to collaborate and share information that flowed throughout the festival. 

Image: GFASHCOLLECTIVE

I have quickly come to the conclusion that there is no better stage or in this case, catwalk, to showcase so many wonderful emerging Australian talents. FASHSFEST promised and delivered the program, bridging the worlds between fashion, art and music. I returned home and marked FASHFEST on my fashion calendar for next year in bright texta and you should do the same.

Monday, 25 September 2017

PACKING 4 FASHFEST

In just a few days, Australia’s fashion lens will be directed at Canberra for FASHFEST. There will be plenty of fresh wardrobe inspiration on display both on and off the catwalk for the 3 days of festivities.

As I sit in bed sipping on my coffee, what does one pack for a fashion festival? Flying from interstate there is limitations to how much you can pack to run with the fashion pack. I would love to bring my entire wardrobe but unfortunately the plane does not have enough storage.


With a background in project management I apply the same principles to what I pack in my suitcase and plan, plan plan! Not being prepared can pose a problem. Considering weather at all times of the day to factor in coats and footwear selection, where events will be held, indoors or outdoors and of course purpose, will I be dancing the night away or sitting quietly at a stool at QT Canberra (likely dancing)

I always pack for the exact amount of days and the amount of events I will be attending. Typically two outfit changes a day and a range of items to be prepared for what may come my way without the need to over pack.


Planning looks ahead of time ensures more time is spent networking and meeting new people and keeping your eyes open for inspiration. Every look is planned in advance and with a busy schedule ahead of me at FASHFEST it is smart to do so. I tend to create inspiration boards or look book pages to easily see what pieces complement each other and how many items I will need to pack. It's a great way to see how one piece can be worn multiple times if needed, especially if you are a mood dresser like myself.




My selections dangle on the rack awaiting to be tucked into the suitcase for their hour journey north. There are some familiar pieces from some of my favourite brands that I wear constantly such as James Harper, Oxford and Jack London. Fashion is fun and freedom and I love being a little expressive or different at fashion shows. With such fantastic basics already in my wardrobe it is more a styling challenge of putting pieces together in a fresh and different way and jazzing the outfits up with some accessories.


Of course I definitely have some debut pieces in my suitcase for a fashion event. Who doesn’t love to feel extra fabulous in new things at a runway show or after party? I don’t bring any extra choices, what I pack must all work together in case I have last minute changes.

As you know I am a sucker for a pair of shoes and the hardest thing is packing a limited number of pairs and making sure I still have room for my hydrating masks, hair product and body tonics. First world problems but each piece that is packed must be worn.

I am one of those travelers who wear head-to-toe looks on planes. I always keep my airport look simple and classic. As I have said before, if the plane is going to crash I want to be in a decent outfit in the afterlife, not a pair of sweat pants. The airport look is also a great go to look for the three days. Effortlessly chic yet stylish. Perfect for dinners with new friends you meet at the catwalk if you need an outfit reserve.


My suitcase lays open on the floor haunting me with its emptiness and size whilst I apologies to the shoes I am not packing. Join me on Instagram and Facebook for up to date coverage of all the festivities that is FASHFEST and to see what I did finally pack in that 79cm case.

Monday, 18 September 2017

STATEMENT SOCKS

We’re living in the era of experimental fashion which is perfect for those who love to make a bold statement. That’s the great thing about statement socks, they pack a punk and are relatively inexpensive (depending on the sock you wish to sport).
STATEMENT SOCKS 2017
Blazer: Oxford
Shirt & Tie: James Harper
Pants: Department 5
Shoes: Ted Baker
Socks & Ring: Paul Smith
Sunglasses: Dangerfield


Everyone practically wears socks on a daily basis and even fashion minimalists can’t argue with this easy to style accessory. For men the statement sock is the equivalent of a statement necklace, a purse or handbag for women and when spending more than a few dollars on a pair you do want people to see them.

MENS SOCKS ARE THE NEW STATEMENT
Shoes: Ben Sherman
Socks: Gucci


Not just for women, the statement sock “trend” can easily be adapted to men’ fashion making every one of your outfits stand out! The “trend” is nothing ground-breaking and has been around for many decades, but the variety of socks now available, how you choose to style them is new. From embellishments to colours and patterns it is time for the bare ankles to move aside for this pepped up explosion of individuality.

Statement socks make every outfit stand out in the crowd. If you are more courageous and want to make a statement then this “trend” is for you.
STREETSTYLE 2017 MENSWEAR
Socks:Ted Baker

Wear them with confidence and pride by mixing them with a chunky statement shoe for a strong styling atheistic. Making your socks the focal point of your outfit is easy by wearing a minimalist ensemble. The key is to build your look from the feet up.

TOP FASHION TRENDS FOR SPRING SUMMER
Socks:Ted Baker


For those a little more daring and flamboyant, you definitely want to pair your socks with a great pair of shorts that end above the knee to show off the details of your statement socks. Summer is just around the corner, so it’s only natural to want to show off your legs with this great combination. Some may argue that this look is very geeky. Have you not heard of geek chic?



MENS WARDROBE UPGRADE
Socks &: Paul Smith

As far as office attire goes, sock experimentation requires a fairly simple getup (a tonal look is always a safe bet). Utilising a pair of your favourite loafers can take your look from drab to fab and reinvent and bring focus to your shoes.

Socks: Gucci


Before settling on a pair of socks, I recommended that you know what you want the socks to do. Do you want them to be the focal point, do you want them to contrast with what you are wearing, match or compliment. I am a firm believer in fit for purpose. The statement sock trend is going nowhere, choosing correctly is important, although fortunately this accessory is relatively cheap to purchase and dispose of.



It is time to get experimental and pimp up your ankles, the options are endless that you can try this summer. Have fun with your ankles and throw in a bit of colour, pattern, or print. 

More on Instagram

Monday, 11 September 2017

RECAP - MELBOURNE FASHION WEEK

Melbourne Fashion Week took over the footpath of Swanston Street for its annual week long offering that launches the beginning of Spring and Summer and the social season in which Melbourne comes alive. 
Melbourne fashion week 2017
Suit: Jack London
Shirt: Department 5
Socks: Gucci
Shoes: Ben Sherman
Bag: No Name
Sunglasses: Arockonalens

The fashion obsessed flowed into the Melbourne Town Hall to view the latest offerings from both designers and retailers with their glasses of champers in hand. It is always a great environment to catch up with your fellow stylish friends, see familiar faces behind a camera and meet new and exciting people that your normally only communicate with through your instagram feed. The MFW Bar meant serious business inside with its set up and exhibition space, which unfortunately did not flow outside to the claustrophobic outdoor area on the footpath either side of the entrance. 
Melbourne Fashion Week 2017
Courtesy: Mamamia


For dedicated fashion addicts there were a handful of people on the street that peaked my interest. Hoards of bloggers, influencers and wannabes presented their best offerings for the camera's as they circled the block. As you know the louder and more individual you are in your clothes, the more likely you are to peak the interest of the papz and be snapped. In this case I felt like I was stuck inside a photo shoot for a menswear suit catalog. After a week of viewing the street styles I was left with the impression that Australian menswear fashion is still relatively conservative, with not much evolution between seasons or even years. Thankfully there were standouts from the ladies who bought their A game to the footpath injecting understated chicness and colourful combinations whilst braving the chilly nights.
Melbourne Style at Fashion Week
Shirt & Blazer: James Harper
Pants: Department 5
Shoes: Lacoste
Bag: Doucals
Sunglasses: Gucci


Trends that dominated the footpath outside the shows:



Street Luxe - The number one dominating trend was the mixing of streetwear with high fashion. Of course all black ensembles were everywhere, and the opposite. All white was also present like a flock of seagulls searching for a potato chip. 



Florals - As Miranda Priestly so eloquently put it, florals for Spring. Groundbreaking. Let's move on.



Belts - Belts were everywhere. Some good, some bad and some that I will be happy to never see again. If I see one more GG gold belt I think I will scream as it has replaced the tiresome YSL tassel bag that every woman has been renting for the last year.

Men in Suts - When it comes to men's suits there were some stylish accessories to set off the slim tailored fits that were on display. Plenty of pocket squares and lapel pins which showed individuality of the wearer. There were minimal pleated trousers which have been huge in Europe for the last two years and plenty of loafers with no socks. Special shout out to the gents who took the stuffiness out of menswear and wore something a little different and didn't play it safe. Bravo.

Pretty Ugly Shoes - Delighted to see so many wonderful shoes with different hardware and embellishments in a variety of styles both on men and women. Thigh high leather tan boots on women with chunky heels were a regular staple. The elaborate shoes would not normally be considered pretty but the vulgarity and opulence was beautiful and refreshing to see in Melbourne. ADORE!

Fur - Fur accessories adorned everything from earrings to bags and shoes. Poor little critters will live on for seasons to come after being dyed in fabulous colours providing a lux
vibe to ensembles.

Men's street style Melbourne Fashion Week
Blazer & Coat: Oxford
Shirt, Tie, Pocket Squares & Shorts: James Harper
Sweater: Ted Baker
Socks:  Gucci

Most of the shows were exactly as I feared, producing safe visions of well groomed and pruned ensembles ready for the horse racing season in a few months. The flare for dramatics or igniting a point of difference was eliminated by many big designers that played it safe and delivering much of what they have for the previous seasons. However there were a few examples of inspiration and creativity that will be burned in my mind for a while. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for updates

Garage Runway - As much as I enjoy a good summer dress, there was a lot of black and muted tones or uninspiring patterns that were constantly reused. I understand ethical fashion and the need to be wise with materials, but without variety comes boredom. I have seen so many dresses inspired by Queen B's baseball bat twirling dress to last me a lifetime. 

Menswear Garage - Alike the aforementioned it was held in the basement of the Melbourne Town Hall, the likes of Amxander, Jack London, Autonomy, Chris Ran Lin and Dom Bagnato sent styles down the runway that unfortunately did not peak my interest. Following European trends with oversized bumbags across the chest and numerous patterned materials that were reused for different pieces, there were a few nice pieces but nothing that made me gasp. The overall vibe of the show was trying to be edgy with the model selection, music, skateboards and styling, that it all felt the same. I left a little deflated after this showing.

David Jones - The creative styling team behind the show should be commended for creating safe ensembles that would peak the interest of suburban housewives and gents who require a suit for the races. A huge retailer like David Jones do know their target audience very well and this showcased their knowledge of their consumer, right down to the YSL heels or The Kingsman inspired gentlemen that will soon appear on movie screens.

Premium Runway Four - Finally an injection of what fashion means to me. There were opulent embellishments, tassels, fabric choices, voluminous sleeves and dramatics in the styling including a little homage to good old Formation film clip. The line up of deisgners meshed well together although once again there was a little too much black on the catwalk for my liking, but it is Melbourne after all and black sells. 


Premium Runway - Closing - The saying "Leave the best to last" was true of closing night of the festival with some inspirational displays sent down the ice melting runway. In a week that started off rather underwhelming it was good to wrap the festival up on a positive note with some of Australia’s most popular labels such as Romance Was Born, solid stand out for me.

After a few seasons not attending what was Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and rebranded MFW, it was pleasant to see new ideas influence the program and inject some much needed innovation into the festival. Melbourne has serious pride in it's events and the team behind Melbourne Fashion Week should be commended for staying current and on trend whilst producing a solid program. A huge shout out to the volunteers who spent 12 hour days holding the festival together. Round of applause.

I believe that some of the designers need to lift their game if they wish to retain current supporters of their brands, or attract new customers. By the end of the week photographers were not on the streets, media pit at the end of the runway appeared a little thin and there were many empty seats in the town hall creating an underwhelming atmosphere. With Melbourne Fashion Festival receiving an injection of funding from the State Government recently it will be interesting to see if the fashion capital is big enough for both Fashion Week and Fashion Festival. Let the catwalk battles begin.