Thursday, October 31, 2013

The New Me Maybe

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Risk of Sounding Vulgar

I've so much to report.
Lame but Adorable:
Like today my year 8 class put a v. Realistic Fake Tarantula on my chair in the classroom & waited breathlessly for me to go ballistic. Sadly for them I didn't as I could tell it was fake immediately, & besides, I'm weirdly not scared of spiders.
But I did wear it for the rest of the lesson. You can see a picture below.

A Non-Travel Tale:
Like on Sunday, I walked into the Chanel shoppe in Westfield Bondi Junction & bought my daughter Maeflower a 2:55 quilted bag in the large size. She deserves it. And she's a luxury item herself so she may as well carry one.
At the risk of sounding vulgar, the 2:55 (named after the month & year it was released - February 1955) was the price of a budget trip to Europe for a couple of weeks. Or maybe three weeks in Vietnam & Cambodia with a few nites at a luxury resort in Phuket thrown in.
I only mention this because travel seems to be the acceptable way of blowing all your savings at my age. If you blow it on a handbag people look at you as if you're unhinged.
Don't get me wrong, I love travel. But I love Designer Handbags more.
There, I've said it. It sounds almost as incomprehensible as saying you don't like watching videos of Yawning Baby Pandas.
Or maybe it's even a bit blasphemous. Like watching the Pope going to the bathroom.
But I comfort myself in the knowledge that more than 2000 people a day tramp all over Machu Pinchu & their footsteps are eroding the whole joint at a semi-alarming rate. And I'm not doing it.
I'm staying at home toying with my Designer Handbag Collection.

The Dress that Sounds Like An Ironing Aid.
In Australia, Preen is the name of a popular brand of spray- on ironing aid.
But in the UK, it is the name of a cult clothing label.
It's one of those brands that when ,say Gweneth Paltrow is asked who are her favourite designers, she might say, "well, my BFF Stella McCartney of course. Alexander McQueen ,Chloe & Preen."
So it was with great suppressed excitement & a soupçon of smugness that I casually tried on a Preen dress with the tags still on at my favourite Op shop, Bednobs & Broomsticks last week. Clearly, the volunteers at the shop had no idea because it was $15 & there was a whole lot of discussion about the rather vulgar ruffles at the sleeves. It was suggested that I cut them off when I got the dress home .
I smiled & nodded & dutifully paid my dough.
As soon as I got home, I tried the dress on & decided that the accordion pleated sleeves were a marvel of craftsmanship & creativity & I wasn't going anywhere near the dress with a pair of scissors.
Once that was settled, I consulted the internet & discovered that anything by Preen costs hundreds & hundreds & maybe even thousands of pounds.
I spent the rest of the evening basking in the knowledge of how much I'd saved. Much like how much good I've done by not going to Machu Pinchu.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'm Nothing Like French Woman

Today is Sunday.
Since childhood, I have frequently suffered from Sunday Afternoon Ennui which was probably caused by having to sit up & eat Roast Pork for Sunday lunch as a child when I had been told that it really wasn't pork which I thought tasted weird, but a New variation of meat called "chicken-pork".
My parents' ability to creatively bend the truth when it suited them was kind of adorable in a traumatising way.
While we ate, the TV was on. From memory, it was usually something excruciating like Celebrity Golf Tournaments.
By now you're probably thinking what an appalling Dickensian Childhood I had.
And I don't blame you for thinking that.

But Today was nothing like those long ago Sundays. I did not eat any Pig Products, although I briefly toyed with the idea of frying some bacon.
And the TV was silent.
But for some strange reason, I did experience a tiny soupçon of Ennui. OMG, I do love it when I spontaneously break out into Franglais, something I haven't done for ages!
Perhaps it is because I was reading in the paper today about Mirielle Guilano,the author of the popular book, French Women Don't Get Fat.
Sadly, I can't exactly remember what I was reading about her. But I do know that she says that French women don't get fat.
Apparently it's rude in France to have more than a sliver of cheese from a platter. And then they wear flat shoes which means they can walk everywhere or perhaps cycle & shop everyday for food which they have to lug up six flights of wrought iron Art Nouveau stairs to reach their bijou apartments to cook in their quaint kitchens. It sounds so adorable, I feel I've been transported inside the film Amelie!
I'm nothing like a French woman, although I do prefer flats but I can't cycle & my Art Deco apartment building has a lift installed.
And, quelle horreur, call me a Madwoman, but I do have a fondness for dieting.
After at least four months, maybe more , I'm still doing two days a week intermittent fasting.
Mondays & Wednesdays.
Whilst my colleagues happily spend their days shovelling in delicate pig tartlets & massive brownies, I nibble on julienned carrots & celery sticks.
Has it worked? you may be asking.
I must admit that I ask myself the same question.
Truth be told, I can't really tell. Some months ago, I banished the bathroom scales to a far distant shelf in a cupboard where they are waiting to be thrown out. So, I'm forced to scrutinise my silhouette at regular intervals to inspect for signs of shrinkage.
It's like my friend Marge who eliminated caffeine, sugar & alcohol from her life as part of an Ayervedic diet & instead ate loads of ghee & almond butter. At the end of three months, she wasn't sure what it did.

I've just realised, the Ennui has gone.
Thank you Della.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Never Wear a Pony Tail Smaller Than Your Nose

It is now Sunday early evening although it doesn't feel like it thanks to lousy, stinking Daylight Saving that everyone else seems to love, but I loathe. I'm one of those Old School types who likes to get to the end of the day when it's dark. I don't want to sit up & eat dinner with the tv on in broad daylight.
It feels wrong. Like watching tv in the middle of the day.
Another thing that feels wrong is the weather. It's now 34 degrees Celsius. And all day it's been blowing a nasty hot gale. And it's October.
But enough of what's wrong.
Let's move on to what's what.

Sadly, I'm using my iPad Blogger app so I can't organise my photos around my text. It's so crap that the photos just trail along at the end like some dreary afterthought.
If you can be bothered to scroll down to the photos , you may notice that I'm back in the classroom for the last glorious term of the year. Tomorrow my students begin their hateful HSC exam so all day I've been receiving desperate little emails with HEELP!!! As their title.
I've enjoyed throwing them tasty little morsels of mini essays that they can spew out tomorrow.

As well, I've been madly emailing my two o'erseas amigos, Trixie, who has been staying at the Savoy in London & visiting Sissinghust, the home of my ex idol, Vita Sackville-West, & Marge who is staying in a v v old Adobe (which has nothing to do with photoshop) in maybe Taos New Mexico.
In case you were wondering, I'm not in the least jealous of their exotic travels & am perfectly happy stationed next to the whiteboard in the classroom.

My big news is that I wore my hair out this week. I finally went to the hairdressers to have its twice-yearly haircut . In an effort to save money, I washed my hair beforehand but when, Jenny, the inscrutable hairdresser ran her hands through it, she grimaced & flatly said that it would have to be re-washed because it felt bad. Something about the shampoo & conditioner I was using not being strong enough. I don't even use conditioner as I've never believed in it. But I didn't tell her that.
I was revolted & immediately decided that in the interests of Public Health I needed to wear my hair out more often as maybe I was growing a birds nest in there or something.
So you can see the results in the photos.

So as I don't appear too Self Obsessed, quelle horreur, I've included a photo of three of my colleagues showing the importance of The Constant Application of Lipstick.

I'll leave you with a little hair tip that Rose, my lovely colleague gave me. "Never wear a pony tail that's smaller than your nose."

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I, Too, Was at Fashion Week, Or At Least It Felt Like It.

 What a time I've had.
New York, London, Milan & not forgetting Paris.
But who can ever forget Paris?

Thanks to the miracle of Modern Technology, we can all have the virtual experience of being Somewhere Else. And the Somewhere Else that I went to was outside the recent Fashion Shows. Sadly, I didn't exactly get inside the shows themselves,  but I was where all the real action was going on - Outside.
And as I've always considered myself an Outsider, I felt right at Home.
Here I am above, pounding the Parisian cobblestones with Emmanuelle Alt, the much-copied editor of French Vogue, who I guess is currently the epitome of  Effortless Chic, a much coveted elusive brand that is the Holy Grail of Fashion.
You know what I mean - that look that casually says, 'I have a v.v. full & fascinating life so I don't really have time to think too hard about how I look. I just throw a few things together at the last moment, & somehow it just seems to work'.
I am almost but not quite, puking in my mouth.
Note that Emmanuelle is wearing a simple tank watch, probably a Cartier & a simple understated  bangle, whereas I am wearing huge try-hard bangles with text on them as well as a huge o'ersized black flower which you can't really see in the photo, but trust me, is there.

And here I am in New York with Uber-Fashionista  Giovanna Battaglia. 
I was totally thrilled that we were both on the same Black & White Page on the day we were photographed together on our way to a show which of course I didn't bother attending.
I don't think for a moment that Giovanna's huge o'ersized Pilgrim  Fathers Belt impedes her Effortless Chic status, although it does look a little like she's leaning to one side with the weight of it.
But that's just probably my sour grapes for wearing those Nun Tights. And one too many strand of pearls.
If you'd like more of Giovanna, you could check out a blog dedicated to her called
I haven't really looked properly at it, but it looks interesting & besides I adore the name & would love to start another blog with a similar name - I Want to Be an Effortless Chick Dotcom. But I wouldn't dare because I can hardly post on this blog.
And I do love Della.
Even though I nastily neglect her at times.

 One thing that I was pleasantly surprised to note outside the shows was the appearance of Flat Heeled Shoes.
It almost felt that I'd actually willed this to happen. How could I have so much influence, I wondered?
Note that I'm not wearing my Ferrogamo Veras which  spend most of their time inside the box they came in because I want to keep them in pristine condition & also sadly because they are a tad tight across the toes.
Instead, I'm wearing marvellous thrifted Bruno Maglis which are stuffed at the ends with tissue paper because they're a half size too big & have a tendency to fall off when I'm nimbly hopping down the steet.

 The highlight of My Fashion Week came when Bill Cunningham, the famous street photographer wanted to take my photo outside one of the shows that I didn't bother attending.
I know, I know it looks like he's really photographing that Other Person & I've just muscled in.
But actually, Photographs Do Lie. It was me that he wanted, not her.

 It looks like I'm having a Jewelry Face Off (is that the right term? I wonder) in the photo above.
But I think the lady on the left won even though I've got those all those grey pearls wrung so tightly around my neck that I'm about to choke.
Perhaps it's Play Off?
Or Stand Off? Yes, stand off sounds better.

 Again, like the appearance of Flat Shoes, I was amazed at how my influence had spread across the fashion world. It was almost embarressing that this Effortless Chick & I arrived wearing almost the same Chanel outfit, only hers was a kind of bomber jacket with Chanel written on it & mine was an o'ersized rip off shirt with no Chanel on it that had probably been previously owned by an elderly member of the Double Bay Bridge Club.
But who would notice such things?

I've saved the Big Guns until last.
Above, I'm hanging out with Queen Anna Dello Russo who has an adjoining apartment in Milan just for her wardrobe. We couldn't get over how we had unconsciously channelled each other on the day by wearing similar green outfits & baroque accessories!

Finally, I'm crossing the road with Carine Roitfeld, the ex-editor of Paris Vogue & the Patron Saint of French Dressing, although I don't think her style is Quite Effortless Chic. Her shoes are far too complicated  for that look.
Who knew that Carine & I are v. close in age?

My Real or is it Realish life begins again on Tuesday with the start of Term 4.
As usual, the year is rapidly drawing to a close & I've already seen my first sign of Christmas in a shop.