Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Set Your Chickens Free!!!!

Dead-&-Doesn't-Know-It Rolling Stone, Keith Richard made some memorable remarks last week about his attitude towards fashion. After reading in The Thoughtful Dresser that he, 'doesn't Do underwear' & doesn't know what happens to his clothes after he wears them, I was inspired to take this photo of one of my favourite action figures which came free in a McDonald's 'Happy Meal' in the days when I frequented fast food chains.
A few years ago I saw the Stones in concert in Sydney & was totally appalled by the sight of both Keith & the other really ugly one - Ron Wood smoking while attempting to play the guitar & then flicking the butts out at the crowd. No wonder he doesn't bother wearing undies.

Shivering Over Global Warming..

I don't understand Global Warming, I'm just scared of it. The weather in my neck of the woods is definitely weird. Thirteen straight days of rain & the coldest April day in 50 years. I'm rugged up like it's mid-winter with a Completely Thrifted Outfit - both dress & jacket are wool & I'm still cold. It was only a few weeks ago when I was wearing sleeveless, legless outfits like my favourite, again thrifted 'Spinelli' knit dress, featured at the top.
It's supposed to be a bit nippy again tomorrow, if I can believe Google weather. Pity, because I'll be outside all day at the school's Annual Athletics Carnival. That'll be a Sartorial Challenge!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thrifting Frenzy Blurs Judgement

My holiday is over. Back to work tomorrow. And it's a good thing. Maybe the solid routine of the classroom will restore some sanity. For the past two weeks, I've been in a Thrifting Frenzy, alternating between The Red Cross, The Salvos, The Wayside Chapel & St Vincent de Paul. The day doesn't seem complete without scoring some wonderful cast offs from one of these places. While I admit that I've picked up some mildly good stuff, I've also bought some Real Doozies, things that not even Kate Moss would look good in. You can judge for yourself in the pictures above.
The crunch came when I bought a heavily patterned pure wool dress for $12. Even though I suspected within the dark confines of the Thrift Shop dressing room that it just might be a little shapeless, I was nonetheless thrilled! But when I got it home I realised, yes, it really was shapeless, & no amount of adornment could fix it up.
But the good thing about Thrift Shop Addiction is that it's like Coffee Addiction - it's relatively guilt free. I'm addicted to two skim lattes , & a few thrift shop finds a day, which is a whole lot better than being addicted to heroin or gambling.
Now, that's a justification if ever I heard one!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thought for the Day

My Foxy Friends

Persistent rain can be depressing. It's been raining here in Sydney for twelve days. But saying anything negative about rain is almost blasphemous because of the drought. It still makes me feel lousy, though. Yesterday I stayed indoors most of the day with Fox News coverage of the Pennsylvania Primaries on mute in the background. I don't know what possessed me. Probably the rain.
After a while, I became fixated on the Female Foxy Talking Heads, so earnest, so talkative, although I couldn't actually hear what they were saying. But what really sucked me in was everyone's ability to pull these amazing faces, particularly the blond whose face was like a big rubber ball.
And their outfits! As I said on my flickr site, they acted as Style Inspiration in Reverse. After watching them I headed for my wardrobe to put something else on. Sort of made me feel better. And a little more smug.
But, as usual, the 'Bitch Fairy' was never far away. This morning, I was reading The Thoughtful Dresser & there was a posting about poor old Liz Hurley, who at 43 was complaining that the media only want to see her in a bikini. All sorts of enraged (I guess) middleagedwomen responded with nasty remarks about C list celebs, rampaging egos, maniacal self-obsession & underlying low self esteem (sounds like me without the C list). And then someone else piped up with a reminder that it is women who are the most nasty about other women. It made all the other comments, that up till then I was quite enjoying & agreeing with, look really stupid & awful.
Reminder to self: Don't be Such a Bitch!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Me & Louis Vuitton

Here's some great photos from 'New York' Magazine of fabulously expensive but quite wonderful jewels from 'Louis Vuitton'. I don't know how much they sold for, but probably more than I earn than in a year. Then there's some photos of my homemade jewels. I think mine are just as good.

Inside the Engine Room- Creating Jewels in my Studio.

I'm on holidays at the moment. It's a perfect opportunity to retreat inside my own personal 'Engine Room' & create some artworks & ready-to wear jewels. To be honest, I haven't been too productive so far. I've been much too focussed on flogging myself at yoga-style gym classes. In a bid to remove any trace of middleaged arms, I've done a whole lot of 'Downward Dogs' & 'Plank' poses.
But with less than a week left of the holiday, I've got to forget the arms & get my creative arse into gear. I've set a goal of making five necklaces by the end of the holiday. I'm taking some images of 'Louis Vuitton' jewels found in 'New York' magazine for inspiration. Peter, from 'Zinc', my local cafe, kindly showed me the pictures & said surely I could make something similar for a fraction of the price. What a challenge!
I'll show you the results when I've finished.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Makeover Madness!

I'm so loving all the kurfuffle over at The Sartorialist about the appropriateness of Sart, himself going up to some hot chick he sees in a shop or something, & because she's got sheer pantihose & Bogan Elf style bootlets on, offers to give her a makeover. Or maybe SHE asked him for a makeover.
Last time I checked (which wasn't v. long ago, I haven't got much else to do at the moment) there were nearly 600 comments made about Sart's offer. Most people made typical slobbering comments of the 'We Love You Sart & we'd love to get madeover by you' variety, & other people were up in arms. 'How dare He?' some cried; 'Isn't he supposed to be recording street style?' others asked.
I've always thought that The Sartorialist was a bit like the film, 'Mean Girls', with Scot, the Sart just a more sympathetic version of the Nasty Regina George.
But, with all the talk of Makeovers, I dragged out some photos of my daily outfits from last year & compared them to this year's crop. Maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see, but this year's outfits are better. Hours & hours pouring over thumbnails of funky outfits from all over the world ( well, not in the Third World much) on flickr's wardrobe remix has made a difference. I've posted some e.g.s. See if you can see a difference!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thought for the Day

More Adventures in Street Photography

If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I'm in love with Street Photography. It's the Creepy Voyeur part of me that's beginning to take over. The picture of the bloke in the pink sox was taken in the Sydney Art Gallery cafe last week. I was pretending to take a snap of my friend & colleague, Sue, but really I was snapping the Head of the Gallery, Eddie Capon, whose Signature Look is coloured sox. These dazzling pink ones seem to be lighting everything up around him, including the white chairs.
The other two pics were taken obviously with the subject's full knowledge. Her name is Elizabeth & she is a v. stylish city neighbour of mine. She's really vamping it up in her, what was called in the sixties , 'Shirtmaker' dress. Now THAT'S a term out of the vault. I really had to strain to remember it. Elizabeth has added a fab 'H' belt - no prizes for guessing what the H stands for. The boots are enviable. I think that Pope Benny has removed Envy from the Seven Deadly Sins.

Monday, April 14, 2008

'Architectural Digest' Visits.

I know it sounds really pretentious & wanky, but we've got a beach house & a city apartment. I'm not rolling in dough, & my job as a high school teacher is definitely not a Toy Job. And I'm not the sort of person who works because they've got to do something worthwhile & meaningful with their Life. Ugh! How disgusting!
We've only had the house since January so it's still a Huge Novelty. It's a modest 60s pole house on a hill with distant ocean views glimpsed through the trees on Sydney's Northern Beaches. It came with a whole lot of furniture including a huge flat-screen tv. that takes up one wall. B. insisted on decorating it. I'm hardly allowed to make any additions or changes to the decor. In fact, I'm barely allowed to put flowers in the vases. I think he's scared that I will take over & fill the place with old, rotting dolls, which is my Signature Decorating Style.
The Beach House is painted white. B. has filled the floor to ceiling bookshelves with gorgeous- looking hard cover books by zeitgeisty writers like Julian Barnes. For an English teacher, I am a lousy reader. I've only read one Booker prize-winning novel, "Atonement", & that was only after seeing the film, which I loved. On the upside, I do get to spend a real lot of time pouring over "Lear" & "Macbeth" & other weighty texts, which adds a lot to one's literary cred, although I can barely quote a line from any Shakespeare play & I always have to look at Cliff's Notes to remember the plots.
I'm sitting on the couch pretending I'm posing for an upscale decorating magazine. I can just see the Headline - "Architectural Digest Visits Middle Aged Teacher in her luxurious beach house!"

Motivational Image of the Day

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Studio Awaits!

I've just gone on a two week holiday from The Classroom. Not a moment too soon I say! I was getting really sick of being nice. I had also reached Dangerous Levels of Empathy & felt at any moment I could explode!
It's now Officially Me Time. Here's a few shots of my city apartment studio where I plan to hang out & listen to ABC Classic FM,drink 'Pellegrino' & eat Cardboard Crackers, while, Merlin-like, trying to make gold out of a sow's ear. What fun!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I've been voyeuristically enjoying all the stuff that lately's been written about French Women, not that it's new. I read the book, 'Why French Women Don't get Fat' probably a couple of years ago. According to the author, they only eat half of what is on their plate. I copied them, & lost six kilos.
I have a lot of views about the French even though I hardly know a French person & I haven't been to France since 1974. There's a proper French school in Sydney. It strictly follows the French curriculum & has the long summer vacation the middle of Sydney's winter. Maybe if you're truly French, it's always summer in July regardless of where you live in the world.
Some of my students were telling me that Baz Luhrmann, the director has sent his offspring there. What a wank, I say!
French Women Fever has really turned up a notch since that silly French President married Carla Bruni. I inwardly groaned when I read a headline calling her 'The New Grace Kelly' after she visited Britain & charmed the pants of Prince Philip who is now half-dead in hospital. I've posted a photo of her from my favourite blog The Thoughtful Dresser
Karl Lagerfeld doesn't think much of French women after they hit a certain age. According to Kaiser Karl, once they get older, on goes the beige. Yesterday, in honour of Older French Women, I decided to wear beige myself, something I've never consciously done before. To my surprise it was quite enjoyable. I wore a completely thrifted outfit - a vintage 'Spinelli' Italian knit dress & a beige knit cardigan. In fact, I enjoyed wearing beige so much that I'd like to go a whole week wearing nothing else. How thrilling!!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Babe & Me

This photo of Babe Paley, one of Truman Capote's 'Swan's' has got to be one of my all time favourites. I never get tired of looking at it. It was taken in the 1940s for 'Vogue'. Babe was a huge fashion icon for decades who sadly died of lung cancer. She still looks great smoking, though.
Everything that Babe wore was slavishly copied by women desperate to have a little piece of her personal style. She was the first person to tie a scarf (probably a Hermes) around the strap of her handbag. Later she said that she only did this by accident, but it didn't stop everybody & his dog copying it. In fact, they're still copying her.
I know I'll never be another Babe. Probably a good thing. I'm sure she'd never dream of wearing my huge homemade medallion 'Flapper' necklace & weird bubble-type top featured in the photo.

Existentialist Thought for the Day

Thursday, April 3, 2008

An Hour upon the Stage

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I've been teahing Macbeth. It's been going on & on & on, culminating with a viewing of Roman Polanski's creepy 1971 film version. Of course I end up getting sidetracked & telling the class all about how Polanski's wife, the beautiful actress, Sharon Tate was brutally murdered while eight months pregnant along with a bunch of other people by evil Charles Manson & his crazy hippie followers. The murders happened a couple of years before Polanski made his version of 'Macbeth', & the more I see the film, the more I think it is about Charles Manson & his brutal reign of terror.
My cheery 15-16 year old girls all take it in their stride & happily munch on chocolate 'Tim Tams' while watching catatonic Lady Macbeth furiously trying to scrub the blood off her hands.
My favourite bit of the play is the 'tomorrow & tomorrow' soliloquy. I've done drawings on the whiteboard to go with the speech. I've got the 'Life's a walking shadow' bit, the 'poor player who frets & stuts his hour upon the stage'
I'm wearing a v. bright outfit to counteract all the doom & gloom. Every bit of it is from the local thrift shop. I go there just about every day & it's starting to get to get out of hand.
Maybe I'm losing perspective. Becoming addicted to buying whole outfits that people have either died in or thrown out, all for under $8. It's certainly cheap thrills.