Thursday, February 23, 2012

catch on to cats eyes

A bit late coming, again. Forgive me, I went on holiday and have been seriously distracted by a new job. But you don’t need to know all that do you?
In December before I left I was on the hunt for a new pair of sunnies. I was not dissatisfied with my current pair, although as my collection grows the pairs that I was once so fond of find their way to the dusty bottom of my accessories draw. Of course at that point Ray Bans were still number one and some Le Specs rips offs are still in my handbag, but for weekends, summer vacays, and holiday lazing I needed something with a bit more sparkle.

What I found in December was the tip of the iceberg. This trend is in full swing. It’s retro-specs at their coolest, and you can thank the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and Nicole Richie for sending them towards our shores.

Cats eye glasses are the current epitome of old-school styling, bringing with them an element of both Hollywood glam and 50s geekery. You will find yourself, at least once, pulling them down with one arm and peering over the top for a flirty peek at yourself. It just has to be done.

I had been trying frames all lunch break, thinking I might resort to something larger, just to veer away from my usual path when I found these cats eye frames. Super cute with sparkles at the peaks, highlighting the elegant shape and giving the nod to LA bling. They were so flattering on my face I immediately decided they were the ones, but I think they’re something that work on everyone.

The upward curve mimics both high cheekbones and the current trend for gull-wing eyeliner. So they work with your face rather than hiding it. Stick with the oversized shades if you’ve got something to hide, but cats eyes will work in your favour in a better way, actually creating the illusion of angles if you’re currently lacking.

And if you’re not quite game to go full Kourtney, which I must say she’s taken the concept to the extreme, there are plenty of squarer frames that have the upward top edges you’re looking for without the tear drop inners.

The other thing I love about this style is that they don’t take your eyebrows out of the picture. A few years ago, before my discovery of the eyebrow pencil, Huge frames that hid my light eyebrows would have been a godsend. Now that I have them I realise they are very important to your face. Just look at the high-fashion models that have them bleached white and tell me there’s not something missing from their face. Apart from a healthy layer of fat, that is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

shoe crush: loafers

I’m a bit late on this one because I’ve been holidaying. Yes, you should be jealous. Unfortunately the time came to return to work, but in doing so I noticed that what had been an upcoming before Christmas had entrenched itself as a full-blown trend.

I myself unwittingly partook, buying these babies in Thailand.

But when I went to show off their glorious comfort and style combo I found I was behind the times. Just every female in the design department was wearing a version of the humble loaf. Not just wearing them, but putting my untouched beauties to shame with worn-in leather and scuff marks.

Although those design folks are usually one step ahead of the rest of us, they weren’t the only ones. Lovely ladies wearing loafers grace Lambton Quay, and there are loafs-a-plenty in the shop windows. This foot fashion is so far forward I wonder if it’s almost finished?
I hope not, because they’re a wonderful addition to the flat shoe family. Tired of embellished flats and sparkly slip-ons, I was attracted to the loafers for their fabulous sense of casuality.

They remind me fondly of a pair of moccasin slippers my father wore for a good ten years. (Footwear had a much longer life those days, he also claimed he’d worn the same jandals for 15 years, until his heels eventually met the pavement, and I happen to know one of his pairs of Dr Martins are as old as me, and still just as styley). And unless you’ve bought an invariably cheap pair, they have the look of being leather and well-sewn, even if they are not. Is it that by placing stitching on the outside that we are led to believe it will hold? Rather than being tucked away and secretly glued.

Loafers are also incredibly versatile. They’re perfect work-wear, brilliant “couldn’t give a carers” when paired with nautical top and jeans, and surprisingly soft under a summer dress.

I unfortunately made the mistake of buying mine just a snippet too small. In the world of the tiny-footed South East Asia, you have to take a few punts on sizes. Having a choice in either one size up or one size down of optimal, I decided I couldn’t live without them and better to stretch them out than slop around in a 40. I also didn’t want the lady to think I was a giant who wore size 40 shoes. There was something about the largeness of them that made them less attractive. So I went for the toe crushers, and after a few toe-seizing cramps they seem to have eased off enough to leave the house in.

So, take a standard black or refreshing tan. Add a chain or the ever-delightful leather tassel and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer-autumn transition shoe. There’s even a few statement options out there in bold colours, but I think a good loafer speaks for itself. It’s ultra-comfy chic, already in a store near you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

fashion, got it collared

I’m loving the charming 60s dresses and blouses that are around at the moment. It’s such a relief to see in the transition between Summer and Autumn, trends are moving away from as-much-skin-as-possible styles to demure and whimisical Sixties looks.

At the moment, it’s all about the collar. There are two looks going strong and they are both host a high neck line. Covering up can still be sexy, and these two looks work it in totally different ways.

Hot Librarian. It’s always up there on the guys’ secret fantasy list. Work your geek chic with billowy chiffon blouses with a pussy bow. Tee hee! I love to say those words! But that’s what they are.

The pussy bow is that ribbon-tie around the collar. It can be big or small, and both change the look of the outfit. I prefer the look of big and bountiful. It provides a sumptuousness to an otherwise refined look. Rock it with a pencil skirt and cinched in with an oversized belt, you’ll ooze sex appeal without the obviousness of skin on display.

Pussy bows also work great in contrast colours, and I’ve seen plenty of examples of cream and black combos. Shop at your regular one-in-every-colour outlet and you’ll find the reverse.

Monochromatic works with the other collar aswell – this is the whimsical, childlike peterpan collar. Often paired with swing or baby-doll style dresses, it is the cute-as-a-button appeal mixed with the naughtiness of being an adult. Your dress says innocence, but short lengths and glam shoes suggest corruption could be close at hand. Think Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny for fashion inspiration.

The peterpan can also be found on sweet blouses and sleeveless shirts. These are getting a bit more adventurous with colour, with cotton candy shades adding to the cute-factor. Pair with dark skinny jeans and you’ve got a fabulous mix of tight and floaty, sweet and sexy.

It's a combo that's hard to beat and accessible fashion at its best.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

bug bag

I’ve put this post off for about two years because I felt that the topic was beneath even the lowliest of fashion blogs. Being such an impractical trend, I believed it would go away on its own and I wouldn’t have to get antsy on the street and then antsier online about it. But it hasn’t. And two years on, people are still misusing the Country Road bag.
You know the ones. They’re big and floppy and canvas. They’re clearly designed to be overnight bags or gym bags. To be filled with shoes and clothing and held by the handles. It’s essentially an expensive duffel bag, but I’m forever seeing stupid people using them as handbags – as if it isn’t hard enough to find shit in your bag without having 100 litres of it to scrounge around in. Or stupid girls using them as school bags – where their books and pencils have gravitated to either end of the shoulder-slung sack, looking like a sad deflated bean emblazoned with an overpriced logo. And you know their parents have bought it for them, because that shop is waaay out of high school pocket money league. It’s just about out of upwardly mobile 20-something league.

What parent would buy something so ridiculously miscast?

What self-respecting fashionista would want such an oversized piece of baggage without it at least being a) in any way attractive or b) filled with handy pockets to store things like lipstick and cell phones?

The bag is one of the most practical of all fashion accessories. It’s sacrilege to utilise good space in such an obvious way. When you take your big handbag to work, is it to make some unworthy fashion statement? No, it’s because you want to take an extra pair of shoes, a cardy, your lunch, wallet, keys, phone, ipod, a book and half the contents of your makeup bag to work with you.

And as an aside, what bothers me even more are the ladies I see walking to work with a miniscule handbag, clearly the type that you take to town with only the four essential items inside, and then they’re holding on to another carry bag with all the crap they couldn’t fit in the first one! Even worse: if they’re wearing a back pack and still gripping the handle of their perversely small bag. It’s one or the other people! Back packs are also able to fit your wallet and phone and your tiny purse isn’t so great that you need to display it in conjunction with carting your parka or other pack-neccesary item

Fashion accessories like hand bags are fit for purpose people! That’s why you need to own several of them for varying occasions! Old biggie comes with me every weekday to work, and no one has to know that I’ve brought my lunch to work in a Jimbo’s cat food container or that I made a purchase from Valley Girl on my break. At the weekend, the essential four get swapped over into something smaller and shinier.

Take a moment to think about form and function. The sad grey bean has neither of these things if you’re using it as a handbag. Fill it with clothing and it’s instantly transformed into the healthy (although still grey) puff-chested pod it so longs to be.

Make a bag happy ladies.