Viktor & Rolf – An uncomfortable morning with Fashion Artists

Viktor & Rolf jute and lace dress from the Russian Doll collection - Melbourne, Australia

 

Viktor & Rolf, the Dutch design duo behind some of the most elaborate and awe-inspiring couture pieces of our time, currently have a retrospective of their 25-year collaboration hosted at the National Gallery of Victoria. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I mean, by now every Australian fashion blogger and their dog have commented or reported on the exhibition. Most of my go-to fashionistas had already been, seen and posted about the exhibition before I got the chance to go this weekend past, and so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for.

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was just how much I wouldn’t enjoy the exhibition.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is no debating that the creations are breathtaking in their vision and construction. The genius of the design duo cannot be understated, and the way in which the garments are pieced together shows a real mastery of craftsmanship. I cracked a huge smile seeing the red carpet gown in person (a beautifully sculptural piece crafted from actual carpet), and I was honestly moved seeing pieces in person that I had viewed in magazines and being able to dissect them with my own eyes rather than through someone else’s lens.

However, as someone now in his thirty-first year on this planet, and as someone who is (reluctantly) being drawn into the minimalism movement, I had to stop and ask myself what the cost of these garments (and more over the cost of couture generally) actually is. (more…)

Camouflage – 3 rules in navigating the menswear jungle

I love camouflage as a pattern for textiles. Call me a rube or a redneck if you will, but I think camouflage is fascinating, and I love the way that it looks when incorporated into everyday outfits. Now, obviously, there are limitations. No one in the wold needs camouflage crocs (or any kind of croc for that matter), and head-to-toe camouflage is going to make you look pretty sketchy in most instances.

But then again, wearing head-to-toe of most patterns makes you look a little insane.

As I come to accept myself and my personal style a lot more with age, I have allowed myself to accumulate a few pieces in camouflage. I started with accessories, and have now worked myself up to actual garments. I even have a few other pieces on my list of wardrobe acquisitions (yes, I have an acquisitions plan for my wardrobe – and clearly a lot of spare time now that I am single) that I have already decided I will buy for myself in the new year.

I think that it is OK to wear camouflage outside of the military, but as I mentioned, there are rules of thumb that should be applied to ensure that you don’t wind up looking like a crazy survivalist. I thought I’d share three of my personal rules with you today, so you can think about creating your own. Realistically, these are rules for patterns generally, but camouflage is a good example to lead with.

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Skinny Jeans and Being 30

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Earlier this year, I found a pair of Skinny Jeans on ASOS.

They were gorgeous. Perfect shade of blue, very light distressing, ideal length and a little bit of moto-detailing that gave them an edge. I didn’t own anything like them, but ever since I saw the first image of Kanye West wearing the Balmain biker jeans I have always wanted something like them (only without the $10 K price tag).

And so when I saw these jeans on ASOS, for only $60 and in a size 38 (which to be honest is borderline my size these days – I’m more likely a 40 after trying to eat myself into an early grave over the past 10 months); I didn’t even think about the fact that they were listed as Skinny Jeans and I clicked my mouse a couple of times until the sale had processed. It wasn’t until hours later, when the skinny little bastards were already on their way to me by courier (which is, quite frankly, a terrible feature of shopping with ASOS now) that I realised what I had actually just done.

I had at thirty-years of age, just purchased a pair of skinny jeans. (more…)

Millennial Watches – elegant, affordable design

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The gorgeous design of Millennial Watches is a balance of pared back aesthetics and functionality. Pictured left to right: Midnight, Maple and Venus. Photo credit – Millennial Watches

 

What do you look for when you shop for a watch?

For myself, I don’t. I have something of a phobia of clocks and watches, and anything that reminds me that time is ticking by. It drives me insane, like Captain Hook (or was he more afraid of the crocodile?).

In any event, while I don’t wear a watch, I have shopped for plenty of watches in my time for friends and family, and I’m often struck by how inordinately expensive they can be, especially when you consider that your phone will happily tell you the time for no cost at all (and without that awful ticking sound). There seems to be a disconnect between quality, price and design where watches are concerned, with consumers rarely able to find a watch that ticks all three boxes.

Canberra Grammar student Riley Tanton clearly thought so himself when he established his company Millennial Watches. At just 17 years of age, Tanton has not only built his business from the ground up, but he has done so by creating a line of beautifully styled high-quality watches which he sells for just $59.70 AUD. What’s more,Tanton donates a percentage from the sale of every watch to charity. (more…)

Nomi Kids – A heart warming surprise close to Fashfest 2016

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Nomi Kids stole the evening and the hearts of the audience with a surprise showing of their debut collection on closing night of Fashfest 2016. Photo Credit – wearefoundau

 

Nomi Kids (pronounced know-me) was a surprise to round-out to the final show of Fashfest 2016. It was not billed in any of the Fashfest media, it was completely unannounced, and the first audiences at the National Convention Centre knew of the collection was a cryptic note in the programme announcing that the final designer would be replaced with a heart warming surprise.

And heart warming it was.

I mean, how could your heart not melt at the sight of first-time models being escorted down the runway by Fashfest models to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk? The kids walked in a collection of incredibly modern pieces in a very unexpected colour palette of grey, beige, black and white. There were asymmetrical cuts, perfectly matched accessories and a distinct lack of cutesy characters or messaging. All in all, this was a collection that I would happily peruse for my own wardrobe, just much, much smaller. (more…)

A close shave – trying the Mr Bond treatment at QT Canberra

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Yours truly in the chair at the QT Barber Shop for the new Mr Bond treatment

 

When it comes to grooming and taking care of my hair/nails/skin, I am woefully inept for a man of 30-years. I shave with a disposable razor I change maybe once a month, and I treat shaving my face with the same contempt that I do voting or paying rates. These are painful, unenjoyable but ultimately necessary evils that I try to throw myself through as quickly as humanly possible.

Thankfully the team at QT Canberra have got me (and anyone else in the same boat) covered with their fantastic QT Barber Shop. I was recently invited to experience the launch of their premium cut-throat shave offering Mr Bond – just in time for Fashfest 2016. The new treatment coincided with the arrival in Canberra of QT’s Head Barber, Kristian Jones, and so I was able to meet the man running the show as well. (more…)

fashionXhyatt – A truly personal afternoon of luxury at the Hyatt Canberra

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I was excited to be able to attend one of the Hyatt Canberra’s famous afternoon teas this Saturday past, for the launch of a very special event hosted by the Hyatt; fashionXhyatt

As someone who has lived in Canberra for over a decade now, I have heard of and attended afternoon teas at the Hyatt multiple times. It is the benchmark, or the golden standard if you will, for what an afternoon tea should be. Held in the impeccably styled Tea Lounge, afternoon teas are a decadent affair with sweet and savoury options beyond your wildest dreams, and of course a glass of bubbly here and there.

So, being invited to attend an afternoon tea that would also feature fashions from the latest collections of Fashfest allumni designers Zilpah Tart, Sovata, Karen Lee and Braddon Tailors; I was very quick to jump at the opportunity.

Fashion and food – does it get any better?

In fact, it does. (more…)