Author Archives: Fiona

Retail Therapy

Fashion that keeps you cool

Friday, January 17, 2014 /

Ok, I know this post is a little off topic for me but given the current heatwave and the lack of air-conditioning at my place I couldn’t resist sharing some of the funniest fashion pieces that I have come across. Hilarious!

The Japanese Ice Bra

My personal favourite. Wrong for so many reasons plus I’m concerned about the side effects?!

Japanese Ice Bra

Japanese Ice Bra (to find out more visit www.huffingtonpost.com)

Solar Powered Fan Hats

I have visions of the blade coming loose – that’s all I want to say.

Solar Powered Fan Hats

Solar Powered Fan Hats (www.squidoo.com/hat-with-fan)

 

Air-conditioned Clothing

I’d consider it, although I would request a more flattering cut.

 

kuchofuku-air-conditioned-shirt

Air-conditioned clothing (www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/video-air-conditioned-clothing-keeps-you-cool-saves-energy/)

 

Cooling Vests

Fun for the whole family and sports stars alike. I’m sure I spotted Maria Sharapova sporting one yesterday at the Australian Open and who could blame her. Also available in bandanas – now they should make a come back.

Cooling Vests

Cooling vests (coolbandanas.com)

 

Air-conditioned shoes

Sorry ladies, only available in Men’s styles.

Air-conditioned shoes

Air-conditioned shoes (designtaxi.com/news/355990/Japanese-Air-Conditioned-Shoes-Make-You-Cool-Literally/)

 

Style

3 Reasons to Embrace Printastic

Monday, December 16, 2013 /

I loooove print. Whether you have a penchant for florals or geometrics this season there is a print for everyone.

Printastic 2

L- R: Saba Citrus Floral Dress $249.00, David Lawrence Jonie Print Top $139.00, Saba Botanic Biker Jacket $299.00, Country Road Oriental Print Skirt $129.00, Country Road Leaf Print Tote $45.00, French Connection Jumpsuit $129.95.

Printastic 1

L – R: Sportscraft Drape Print Jacket $160.30, David Lawrence Atelier Reptile Blocked Hem Dress $299.00, Seed Printed Tote $89.00, Marcs Silk Scarf Print Shirt $169.00, Country Road Eden Double Strap Heel $127.00, Country Road Tribal Print Skirt $79.95

There are many reasons to embrace print, it’s is fun and expresses our style and personality but here are my top 3 reasons to embrace the PRINTASTIC.

Interesting colour combinations

Do you find putting together new or interesting colour combinations a little tricky? Do you avoid buying a particular colour because you can’t think what you would wear it with? Prints and patterns are fantastic for learning how to combine colour and often in unexpected ways. Use your printed piece as a guide and have fun combining it with colours already contained in it. For example, if you are looking to create medium contrast combine your print with a neutral tone from the pattern. If you wish to create a high contrast (wow effect) combine the print with one of the brighter or bolder colours.

When choosing a pattern or print don’t worry too much if not every colour is within your colour palette. It’s the 80/20 rule – only 80% of the colour in the print needs to be within your colour palette in order for it to be right for you.

Focal points

Prints make fantastic focal points. Focal points are elements of an outfit that attracts attention and can include a brighter or lighter colours, accessories (such as jewellery) or prints/patterns. Focal points are used to draw the eye to those areas we want people to look at – in most cases that is our faces as it makes us appear taller and leaner (bonus!).

Creating proportions

As print is a focal point it can be used to enhance your proportions by creating the illusion of width (yes we sometimes want to create width in order to create desirable proportions). For example, if your horizontal body shape is a triangle (the majority of women) where your bust is proportionately smaller than your hips then to create the illusion of an hour-glass figure (bust and hips are in proportion) you would want to create width above the waist and print is a fantastic way to do that.

Printed pants for example are great for ladies who are an inverted triangle (hips are proportionally smaller than bust) as they create width to the lower half of the body to create an hour-glass figure.

 

 

 

Image, Wardrobe

How to be Wonder Woman: Day to Night in 90 Seconds

Thursday, December 5, 2013 /

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:

Wonder Woman 2

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.

Wonder Woman 1

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!

Retail Therapy

The Revamp – I Heart DJ’s

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 /

David Jones Entrance

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.

Denim Boutique

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.

DJ's Denim Boutique

Concessions

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.

Ted Baker

Designer Labels

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.

Camilla & Marc

Shoes

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.

Kenneth Cole Shoes

Kate Spade

Accessories

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.

Bags

So if you haven’t taken a look I would highly recommend it. Scope it out and create the ultimate Christmas wishlist.

 

Colour

The Alternative to Black Shoes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 /

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.

Enjoy!

The alternative to black shoes - Printastic

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

 

The alternative to black shoes - Red

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.

 

The alternative to black shoes - Blue

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.

 

The alternative to black shoes - Grey

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.

Image

How to avoid feeling like an alien

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 /

Beings

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.

 

 

Retail Therapy

Spring Race Wear: Dash to the finish line

Monday, October 28, 2013 /

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.

Feminine

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.

Spring Race Wear - Feminine

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.

Au Naturel

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.

Spring Race Wear - Au Naturel

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.

Spring Race Wear - Fun and Flirty

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.

Classic Monochrome

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.

Spring Race Wear - Classic Monochrome

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.

 

 

Colour

The battle lines are drawn: Pastels v Brights

Monday, October 21, 2013 /

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.

 

Brights at work 1

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

Brights at work 2

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

Pastels at work 1

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

Pastels at work 2

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?

Image

Tips for Great Profile Shots

Monday, October 21, 2013 /

Print

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.

Colour

Monochrome

Friday, October 4, 2013 /

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.

Monochrome

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.

 

Monochrome - Play

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