Author Archives: Fiona
Tis the season for after work events and the challenge of transitioning from work to play. You don’t actually need to be Wonder Woman and it’s not as tricky as you think – no spins or twirls required. It’s as simple as a little planning and playing with accessories.
Here are my top tips and a couple of examples of taking your look from day to night:
L-R: David Lawrence Sienna Notched Collar Crop Jacket $229.00, Veronika Maine Citrine Cocoon Dress $199.00, Trenery Clean Tip Tex Tote $329.00, Sussan Resin Weave Necklace $19.95, Joanne Mercer Snake Skin Heel $150.00, Veronika Maine Cocoon Dress $199.00, Peter Lang Circle/Teardrop Stud at David Jones $24.95, Sportsgirl Waterfall Necklace $29.95, Saba Jacey Snake Clutch in Blush $149.95, Marc Leather/Patent Wood Heel $149.95.
L – R: Sportscraft Peplum Jacket in Pink $299.00, David Lawrence Floral Print Gathered Neck Shell Top $104.00, Sportscraft Sateen Pencil Skirt in Navy $169.00, Sportsgirl Update Hoop Design Earrings $12.95, Kate Spade Flats Ring at David Jones $44.95, Marcs Leather Simone Satchel Bag $229.00, Mollini Nica Sandal $139.95, Sportscraft Peplum Jacket in Pink $299.00, David Lawrence Floral Print Gathered Neck Shell Top $104.00, Mavi Alexa Jeans $139.99 in Black Jeather, Peter Lang Double Circle Stone Stud $24.98, David Lawrence Leather Cuff $49.00, Karen Millen Textured Snake Leather Purse $125.00, Joanne Mercer Galactic in White $179.95.
Add or subtract
Swap a skirt for a pair of fabulous jeans or add/subtract a jacket to transform a dress or top into evening glam.
Pump up the shoes
Nothing says evening like heels but if they’re not your thing there are plenty of other options. The best party flats are metallic, embellished or patent leather. Mimco is a great place to find a pair as they often stock flat versions of their party heels.
Choose a piece of statement jewellery
This is where you can make the greatest impact – just add blingtastic. Choose a couple of accessories the night before and pop them in your clutch (see below) so you don’t forget.
Ditch the work bag
You don’t want to spend your evening lugging around a huge bag. Swap it for a small handbag or clutch.
Reapply (ok so this may take an additional 90 seconds)
Ramp up your day make-up by reapplying concealer, enhancing your eye make-up or adding a bold lip. Depending on the amount of make up that you like to wear you may need to allocate some additional time.
Enjoy the party season and remember dress responsibly!
On the 16th November David Jones Canberra Centre unveiled its much anticipated make over and it’s fabulous. Stocking iconic Australian and international labels in a gorgeously revamped store, this is Canberra’s one stop shop for luxury brands.
The lower ground houses childrenswear, toys, homewares, luggage and food. Stocking 50 children’s brands including exclusive labels such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Indie Kids by Industrie, mini fashionistas have plenty of choice.
The ground floor is an exciting collection of make up, skin care, lingerie, shoes and accessories. Celebrated brands such as Laura Mercier (a favourite of mine) and Philosophy are now available in Canberra.
It is on the first floor that my heart started racing when I scanned the 140 womenswear and 80 menswear brands and realised that there is something for everyone.
So, let me take you through the fashion highlights.
Yes ladies this is the place to score the perfect pair of jeans. Stocking labels such as J Brand (international icon), Not Your Daughters Jeans (that’s right – no need to share and she’ll be after yours – tell her hands off), Mavi – super flattering (on my Christmas wish list), Adriano Goldschmied, Lee, Levi’s, Guess and Nobody Denim. If you are after a second opinion you can take a full length picture of yourself on the social share screen and send it to your Facebook friends.
From Country Road to Veronika Maine, many of the top high street retailers have a presence. Even more excitingly fantastic international brands such as Ted Baker (gorgeous feminine tailoring) and Maison Scotch (classic and vintage styles from the uber cool Dutch outfit Scotch and Soda) are available.
Where do I start? It is so exciting to have brilliant designers such as Alex Perry, Collette Dinnigan and Ginger & Smart under the same roof. Department store exclusives include: Bec & Bridge, Camilla, Camilla & Marc, Collette by Collette Dinnigan and Zimmerman. If you are after the perfect party outfit look no further.
Enter shoe heaven! From Midas to Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole (a particular favourite for work) and Kate Spade how am I ever supposed to get over my shoe addiction? You will also find Australian brands such as Tony Bianco, Steve Madden and Mimco.
After shoes, my next love is handbags and the range is superb. Imagine ‘IT’ bags galore. Being surrounded by Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Armani and DKNY it was lucky I escaped without doing serious damage to my credit card.
So if you haven’t taken a look I would highly recommend it. Scope it out and create the ultimate Christmas wishlist.
Does your shoe collection reflect the dark side? Do you often buy another pair of black shoes because you think they go with everything? Mmmm I disagree, I find colour goes better with colour and black should be worn with black, white, grey and at a stretch navy.
I love to play with colour especially for shoes and bags. It ensures that your outfits have a point of difference and are never boring.
I have featured a few pairs more than once as one of the concerns that I often hear from clients is that if they invest in neutral or colour shoes that they will not go with anything else that they have. If you work with your recommended colour palette (more on that in future posts) you will have endless mix and match opportunities and every excuse to invest in non-black footwear.
Saba Printwash Dress $269.00, Mollini Nahini Sandal $139.95, Novo Idalee Heel in Mint $39.95, Country Road Jemma Patent Wedge $149.00, Mollini Yarni Heel $139.95, Wayne by Wayne Cooper Angelique Purple Patent Pump at Myer $149.95, Jigsaw Kensal Navy Sandal $199.00
Veronika Maine Linen Blend Tulip Dress in Summer Red $239.00, Diana Ferrari Tiffanie Black/White Snake Pump $129.95, Country Road Eden Double Strap Heel $169.00, Mollini Jerra Heel $149.95, Mollini Yarni Heel $139.95, Novo Shoes Idelia Heel in Taupe $69.95.
David Lawrence Mini Ottoman Cross Over Dress in Electric Blue $239.00, David Lawrence Crossover Strap Heel in Camel $189.00, Novo Shoes Idelia Heel in Taupe $69.95, Mollini Marsy Shoe in Red $129.95, Mollini Nica Sandal in Tan $139.95, Jigsaw Belmont Wedge in Navy $189.00, Miss Shop Trisha 2 Blue Pump at Myer $59.95.
Cue Lurex Tweed Dress $229.00
Jigsaw Windsor Slingback Pump $199.00, Country Road Jemma Patent Wedge $149.00, Novo Shoes Lilo Sandal in Pewter $69.95, Diana Ferrari Tiffanie Black/White Snake Pump $129.95, Wittner New York Heel in Pink $139.95), Mollini Ucal Sandal $149.95, Sachi Amelia Managing Blue Snake Pump at Myer $149.95.
Let me set the scene, you are shopping for a special occasion with a family member or close friend. You emerge from the change room to gasps and applause but you’re not feeling it. The fit is great, the colour perfect but you feel like an alien. You buy it anyway, and every time you pull it out of your wardrobe and try it on it never makes it out the door. The dress languishes guiltily in your wardrobe, reminding you of the money that you wasted on it.
It’s happened to me and I’m sure there are alien purchases hiding in your wardrobe too (perhaps even with tags on!). Forgive yourself, understand why it isn’t right for you and let it go.
So why do we get it wrong? There are three main traps that we fall into:
- Taking advice from people who don’t recognise or understand your style personality especially if you are not sure about it either.
- Imitating someone else’s style. An outfit may look great on your sister, friend or colleague but it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. After all you need to own the look.
- Being a slave to fashion. It’s all well and good staying on trend but if that means you flit from one fad to the next, not only will your bank balance take a hit but your wardrobe will not be cohesive or meet your needs.
So how do you get it right?
1. Define your style
It is often the first stumbling block that I come across with my clients and the most important to resolve. Understanding your style personality is the first step to creating a fun and functional wardrobe. I suggest buying 2 to 3 magazines (preferably fashion or lifestyle) and tear out pictures that appeal to you. The pictures don’t necessarily have to be clothing – hair, make-up or accessories all help with defining your style. Look at the pictures that you have chosen and identify a theme. Are you drawn to classic shapes and colours? Or, perhaps you prefer feminine styles with soft fabrics and floral patterns. It’s ok if you are drawn to a number of styles, as we are usually a combination of two to three style depending on our lifestyle.
Now that you have this information you can spot a potential ‘alien’ purchase and avoid it before it becomes another useless wardrobe filler. It is useful to do this exercise every few years as style personality can change over time with changes in lifestyle, work and budget.
2. Choose the right colours.
Do you find wearing certain colours lift your mood and make your eyes sparkle? You probably find that when you wear colours that really suit you receive lots of compliments. It’s what I like to call the ‘foundation effect’, the right colours give you a healthy glow, make you appear more youthful and reduce the appearance of blemishes and lines. A simple way to determine if a colour is right for you is to hold it up to your face and see what it does for your skin tone. Does it reduce redness, dark circles or blemishes? If so, you are on the right track.
3. Understand the shapes and styles that flatter your body type.
This is not about size, the aim is to create great proportions. Many of us focus on horizontal proportions but vertical proportions, face shape and scale are just as important when it comes to choosing the best styles to flatter you. Understanding the best lengths, silhouettes and scale of accessories will not only give you the confidence to try new things but also ensure that you always look fantastic. To get started I suggest that you try on those items that don’t quite fit or don’t work and determine what’s not right. For some items a slight alteration will fix the issue. For the rest….. it’s time to say goodbye.
It’s only a week until Melbourne Cup and no matter how you plan to celebrate, let’s be honest (well for me anyway) it’s about the fashion rather than the race. If you’ve left it to the last-minute, don’t worry, I have found great pieces that you can buy from the comfort of your sofa, during your lunch break or late night shopping this Friday (highly recommend it).
Just a few tips to creating a great look:
- Embrace colour! Unless you are rocking the ‘Monochrome’ or the ‘All White’ trend.
- Shoes and bags don’t need to match unless you are channelling ‘Monochrome’.
- If you find that you shop at the same places all the time, mix it up a little as you’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.
For those that prefer their look soft and sophisticated mix a bold colour with neutral accessories. This Alannah Hill dress can do amazing things: enhance your bust, minimise your waist and create a gorgeous hourglass shape. The soft pink heels and cream clutch are so versatile and right on trend.
Alannah Hill A Wonderful Thought Dress in Cobalt $389.00, Samantha Wills Sagittarius Skies Grand Earrings $190.00, Garcia Clutch in Cream at hardtofind.com.au $179.00, Jo Mercer Zoe Heel in Nude $149.95.
This relaxed silhouette is flattering for all body shapes, especially if you prefer to keep things simple. I’ve teamed this gorgeous dress with a pair of wedges, statement jewellery and fascinator. When choosing the colour for the head-piece I looked to the print for inspiration and chose a fascinator which picked up the coral and green tones in the dress.
Sacha Drake Kristella Batwing Dress $415.00, Blue Illusion Jardin Fascinator $105.00, Jigsaw Cluster Bead Bracelet $59.00, Country Road Andi Wedge $149.00.
Fun and Flirty
Ok, so I’ve cheated a little – I have just purchased this dress for an upcoming race event. I love the fun and flirty nature of the print, especially the pop of ‘hot pink’ which I have then used to match the shoes and head-piece. I used to be a peplum sceptic but I have been surprised by how flattering it is for most body shapes.
Leona for Leona Edmiston Gingham Rose 3/4 Sleeve Peplum Dress at Myer $100.00, Mimco Plisse + Pleat Headpiece $169.00, David Lawrence Ellis Lizard Clutch $269.00, Topshop Rebel Pink Mirror Heels $83.00.
Perfect for Derby Day this look is chic and elegant. I love the dress for its simplicity and the fact that it is great for work or play. If you want to play with this look substitute the belt or bag with a brighter version such as cobalt or hot pink.
Target Secret Sculpt Dress $59.00, Diva Vintage Fascinator $20.00, Veronika Maine Foldover Clutch $174.30, Sportscraft Gabriella Snake Belt $48.00, Florsheim Poca Dot Black $160.00.
I know which I favour but perhaps that’s because when I don a pastel hue I appear ill, hence a great sick day colour for me, not that I condone that. However, I do appreciate pastels and what they have to offer: soft, feminine and understated. Brights on the other hand lift my spirits and create a sense of fun and playfulness. For others, brights willhave you running in the fear that you may be noticed.
So for whichever side you are drawn to (and perhaps it’s neither or both) I do understand that it is sometimes a little tricky to translate these into looks for work so let me show you how.
Witchery Longline Slim Jacket in Red $200.00, Veronika Maine Monochrome Mini Dot Pant $159.99, French Connection Necklace $60.00, Wittner Topper Heels $140.00, Sambag Olivia Cobalt Grainy Leather Bag $370.00
Karen Millen Colourful Shift Dress in Green $375.00, Joanne Mercer Miranda Sandal $149.95, Marcs Simone Leather Satchel $229.00, Portmans Bone & Metal Bangle Stack $30.00, Ziggy Gold Pyramid Spike Earrings $69.00 at hardtofind.com.au
RM Williams Lake Torens Shirt in Pink $115.00, Saba Alicia Suit Skirt $169.00, LK Bennett Sue Suede Heel $310.00, Mimco Fibonacci Doc Bag $499.00, Mimco Novella Knot Choker $199.00
Saba Marissa Dress $229.00, David Lawrence Sienna Notched Jacket $229.00, Jigsaw Chiswick Tote $299.00, Cue Stevie Mushroom Sunglasses $90.00, Sussan Kingfisher Stripe Scarf $29.95, Nine West Isla Heel in Pink $129.95.
So which side are you on? Pastels or Brights?
I was lucky to work with a fabulous client a few weeks ago to create a portfolio of professional profile shots. The shoot was effortless not only because my client was a natural in front of the camera, but because she was very clear about her style and the image that she wanted to project. So if you are due some new professional profile shots here are my tips for ensuring that they are exactly what you want.
1. Be true to yourself
Don’t try to create a look or image that does not reflect who you are. You will appear uncomfortable and it will show.
2. Know your audience
It is worth familiarising yourself with your industry dress code to ensure that the image that you project reflects that. If your shots are too formal for your audience you risk alienating them and if they are too casual it may appear that you do not take your career seriously.
3. Hair and make-up
I have been guilty of not having my hair and make up done professionally and I have regretted it. You do need more make-up for photos as the lighting/flash will drain the colour and features from your face. I hate to have to say it but for photos most of us require more ‘air’ in our hair. Don’t be a victim of ‘flat hair syndrome’.
4. Review the photos
Ensure that you look at the shots before you finish the session to make sure that you are happy with them. You may find that a different pose or making small changes to your outfit will ensure that you capture the look you are after.
5. Work with an experienced photographer
Ask for recommendations and work with a photographer that has experience in taking professional shots. It is a great idea to meet or talk with your photographer before the shoot so that you can discuss the look that you want to achieve. It is not appropriate to use a photo from Friday night drinks taken by a friend or colleague.
6. Outfit choices – at least 2, even 3
What looks great in person may not look so great in photos. Changing outfits also means that you can create looks that are more or less formal and can be used for a range of purposes and clients. For example, sometimes you may want more formal shots for corporate and client purposes and at other times you may want to create a more approachable look for community engagements.
Most importantly, RELAX and enjoy being pampered.
Last week we looked at wearing white head to toe, but if that you made you nervous don’t worry – add a little black and you will be right on trend channelling Monochrome.
The best news about Monochrome? It’s simple to adopt and will not require a great deal of investment. Most of us already have great black and white pieces in our wardrobe that can be easily mixed and matched with any new purchases that we wish to add.
This season monochrome patterns include mostly geometrics, spots and stripes which complements the sharp lines and tailoring. You may also notice florals and more subtle patterns available which are great for casual to smart casual pieces.
Monochrome is fantastic for work as it creates a medium contrast level which will make you appear approachable, open and friendly. Depending on the contrast level that you require you may find that you need to incorporate more black than white in your outfit or vice versa. For example, I would need to wear the Veronika Maine Colour Block Pencil Dress (pictured below) rather than the David Lawrence Contrast Outline Dress to create the right level of contrast.
If you feel that the colour palette is a little plain for you add a pop of colour (preferably something bright). Great colours to lift your outfit include: yellow, cobalt, emerald green and hot pink. All are key colours for this season and readily available.
Clockwise from top: Veronika Maine Stretch Cotton Colour Block Pencil Dress $279.00, Piper Spliced Printed Peplum Top at Myer $60.00, Diana Ferrari Peep Toe Shoes $150.00, Sportscraft Michelle Pants $159.95, Veronika Maine Window Paine Print Skirt $169.00, David Lawrence Contrast Outline Dress $269.00, Saba Tokyo Large Day Bag $349.00, Diana Ferrari Black Suit Jacket $180.00.
From L-R: Sussan Oversize Mosaic Scarf $39.95, Target Large Canvas Tribal Print Beach Tote $20.00, Witchery Antoinette Gladiator Sandal $120.00, Country Road Square Print Shift Dress $249.00, Jigsaw Ladder Trim Top $79.00, Marcs Silk Geo Pant $189.00, Witchery Leather Sleeve Sweat $130.00, Sportscraft Polka Dot Skirt $135.00
Head to toe white – I can hear some of you cry in horror. Even the most loyal trend followers are wary but don’t be too quick to discount. Yes, it may be a little tricky to wear at work without looking like you are trying to channel Miami Vice. It may also hamper your social activities for fear of red wine, tomato sauce or grass stains. But, white is fabulous for summer – it is elegant and sophisticated; and at the same time easy and relaxed.
Firstly, you need to choose the right shade of white for you. If your colouring is cooler you should opt for bright or silk white (off white). Warmer undertones will find ivory and cream more flattering. To determine the best shade of white for you, take a range of whites and hold them up to your face (this exercise is more accurate without make up). Flattering shades will be those that make your skin appear clear and even – the foundation effect.
It is best to create a medium colour contrast for work; it seen as approachable, collaborative and friendly. A medium colour contrast is the combination of two or more colours that create a noticeable difference in depth (i.e. light and dark). Contrast can be achieved through layering, pattern and as a single colour against your skin. Therefore, it may be best to add another colour into the mix to create the right level of contrast for you. Great combinations with white this season include cobalt, yellow and magenta. As always, black, navy and red are classic partners for white.
Saba Hayley Jacket $299.00, Saba Wendy Drape Tee $79.00, Elk 2 Row Fins Necklace $55.00, Sportscraft Luxe Linen Skirt $135.00, Sportscraft Lily Cross Body Bag $199.95, Diana Ferrari Galore Heels $139.95
Country Road Frill Sleeve Broderie Dress $149.00, French Connection Laser Cut Sandal $149.95, Lacoste Pique Small Tote $94.00, Mimco Blooming Bow Studs $60.00, David Lawrence Nadine Sunglasses $139.00.
For work mix structured pieces with relaxed blouses and tops; this will keep your look polished and professional.
For play there are no rules (other than keeping a packet of baby wipes at hand) but if you want to add interest use a mix of textures such as linen, lace and sheers.
So yes, you will need to approach meal times with care and have your dry cleaner on speed dial, but you will look oh so stylish and on trend.