Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"You think you know fashion, well fashion's a stranger"

If you haven't already seen "Fashion is Danger" from Flight of the Conchords, you must watch it right now!

Playing around with some new op-shop finds. The poncho as overskirt thing was a complete accident. I was changing my top, (the lazy way without taking off the poncho) and it just fell down to my hips. I think it looks much cooler like this. 

I am also in need of an opinion about this dress I rediscovered the other day. I bought it a couple of years ago and started hacking into it...before getting distracted it would seem. Although it wasn't intentional at the time, I kinda like the idea of having just the one sleeve. I still need to finish the hacked one though. 
Should I make it into a little cap sleeve with the pleated shoulder stiffener showing?

Or make it completely sleeveless? One sleeve or zero sleeve? 
So many decisions!

I made the hallway my own little runway, hence the "I'm walking towards you and this is my serious face" shots.

Love Kaylene xo

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Bye, Hospitality, it's been one hell of a trip!

By now we are all well and truly aware that 2009 is Barbie's 50th birthday. What you might not know is that the very best tribute of all can be found right here! (Click on 'here'... the humble fashiondialogue Barbie tribute, though heartfelt, is hardly worthy of this description).

So obviously, I had to then research Barbie. Or rather, re-research. Again. Because Troll Barbie was a new and exciting discovery for me. Obviously, this lead to a rather drawn out and time consuming examination of all the Barbie dolls on the net. And right between the secretary and flight attendant Barbies was my very own patron Barbie:

Ahh, waitress Barbie. How all us hospo-pigs look up to your pretty pink self! You inspire, you teach, you are our idol. 

Unfortunately my own waitress uniform was not quite so flattering:
Yes. You are seeing this correctly. Irwin-esque safari shirts. Why, you ask? People, welcome to Outback Steakhouse! Where everything is deep-fried and served with genuine Australian... hospitality...

However, Waitress Barbie, your time in the sun has run out. Due to a rather ballsy move (especially considering that fun old economic crises we're in at the moment, and the rising unemployment in Wollongong and all) tomorrow night will be my very last waitressing shift. Hopefully ever. 

That's right, people, I'm beginning the fun journey into the world of a real job! Not sure where, or doing what exactly. As long as there is no table service involved. Unless I'm the one being served, I'm fine with that. So, in a wildly optimistic gesture, allow me to introduce my new Patron Career Barbie!

Though there doesn't seem to be an "editor" Barbie, "book publisher" Barbie, "writer" Barbie or even a "journalist Barbie", so I've decided to align myself with good old ambiguous "career girl" Barbie. Not sure if I'm down with the rather patronising use of "girl" here, but then I guess it is Barbie. No space for feminism or equality here, now is there?

... Wait a minute... This almost seems a bit of track...

... Is this a tangent?...

... ....

Yeah, I'm going to leave it at that.

Love love,

Comp-ashish-on...you're so witty Centine! No...really. You are.

If the temperature hadn't been 30 degrees Celsius today, this challenge would have been much more bearable. 
This one is to prove that I actually do own a Fair Isle knit...the colour is just wrong for this purpose though....come to think of it...this purpose is wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Fun with pom poms!
This is a vintage Bob Mackie silk coat from his "wearable art" range. I bought it on ebay about a year ago, and have never worn it (it's not the easiest piece to casually throw on with anything). But I knew at the time I had to have it, and now I know why.
This is the only leopard print I own, and it's a skirt...poor attempt.

I am fully aware that it looks like i am wearing naught but a pom-pom adorned hat, however I assure you that was not the case. 

So my conclusions after the Ashish Winter 2009 challenge: This look was fun for a while...and I love pom-poms, but i don't think it's a look I while be sporting any time soon. I do possess a sizable collection of pom-poms now, so I may put them to good use elsewhere. 

Compe-Ashish-On! (It's meant to sound like Competition, but it doesn't...)

Oilily scarf, Vintage dress and jumper.

Getting a little silly...

... and a little "seductive"...

Shoe Detail. Love these Toni Bianco's, even though I don't ever wear heels...

Funny little hat. Family bought it in China when I was a wee tot.

Best photo of the night...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Unanderra...a land of hidden treasures.

Here are a few more of our finds from our brief op shop escapade last weekend.

How come there's only one photo of you Centine? I'm sure I took more...maybe they were all bum bag photos.
I like this poncho thing...maybe cause it's primarily made of Ramie. It's always nice to wear some natural fibres. Too much polyester can make one feel constricted. The overnight bag is pretty handy too.
I get the feeling I'm going to be wearing this draped cardigan a lot this winter.
Cute polka dot double breasted vest. 
This T-shirt cracks me up! I don't think Centine approved of this one, but I had to have it. It's got little coin/medallion things sewn onto it, featuring the Eiffel Tower, Balboa coins and "patrona bavariae" coins, which apparently means "mother of Bavarians". Well there you go!
Sorry about the boobs close up...

Love Kaylene!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ashish Challenge!

You're on!!! Although I feel you have a definite advantage, what with your extensive collection of Norwegian knits and colourful tights. I have a few hidden gems up my sleeve though. Just you wait and see. 

-Kaylene xo

The Derivative of Ashish is fun!

You know I agree that the sources of inspiration in this collection seem rather obvious. The thing is that I still love LOOKING at the pictures. It's all so over the top and colourful, and fun, and exciting. It's like an epileptic fit in clothing. It's as if you open a pack of Neapolitan ice cream, expecting to know what it looks like, but instead of three stripes of flavour, it's mixed into a psychedelic swirl... Or a charming quilted rug...
(amazon.com, etc.usf.edu, cascadingthreads.com)

And I think the reason WHY I love it 'oh so much' is that even though I have quite a few individual items similar to individual pieces in this collection, I'd never think of wearing them like this. A Norwegian jumper with leopard and zebra prints? ABSURD! Two different acid shades of leopard print? PREPOSTEROUS! And yet... 

And yet I cannot help looking and staring and coveting this collection. I want it on my body. On. My. Body.

So, Kaylene, I'm setting us a challenge. Let us compete for the most Ashish-ish outfit. We have 48 hours to upload a photo. Loser buys first coffee next shopping trip...

Lovely love love,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ashish Mish Mash.

Centine, I am truly impressed with your Norwegian sweater. I had no idea you owned such a garment. You're full of surprises!

But now to the topic at hand. When I first saw that Ashish collection I couldn't look past the similarities in styling to previous Romance Was Born collections, more specifically the pom-pom adorned headwear. 
Namaste Collection
Garden on Eden Collection
(images from romancewasborn.com)

And when I saw the Ashish Norwegian knits I instantly thought of the Stella McCartney Fall 2007 collection:
(images from style.com)

So basically the Ashish Collection for me was just a mash up of these two collections with some neon animal print thrown on for good measure.  Now I'm not saying the results of such a combination were necessarily all that bad, just a bit derived. 
Ashish A/W 2009

See what I mean?

-Love from a slightly cynical Kaylene xo

Who Da Thunk It?

Oh Ashish, I love you so! The wildest, craziest, most colourful, most brilliant Ashish! And though I feel a little iffy about putting myself in a blog next to cheerleaders and Kate Moss, I simply couldn't find a more amusing Norwegian jumper photo than my own. Take that as a challenge, Kaylene! Try to out Norway me!

Norwegian Hugs,

Images from 

Diamonds are most certainly NOT a girl's best friend...

Australian Diamond Python. One of these dirty little bastards was on my deck yesterday. Obviously, I am now to weak to blog. Need hugs.

Love from a deeply shocked and upset Centine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fanny pack. Noun - A small pouch on a belt, for money and small articles, worn around the waist or hips.

Ever since seeing this amazing ruffled bum bag on Susie Bubble's blog last year, I've been desperately wishing to stumble on something equally as fun and practical myself. 
It must be almost six months now that I have been searching for the perfect bum bag. My criteria for this is basically something that:
 a) doesn't make me look like a drug dealer, and
 b) is most definitely inappropriate for wearing with tracksuit pants or bike riding.

So, you can imagine my jealousy whilst op-shopping on the weekend when Centine stumbled across her very own bum bag. Knowing Centine she'd probably prefer I refer to her new acquisition as a fanny pack. That's just how she rolls. 
Centine's fanny pack is more like a utility belt. It even has pen holders!

The op shop gods must have been steering us towards bum-bag nirvana, because upon entering the very next op shop, I found this leather studded beauty! I shrieked with excitement. The old ladies running St vinnies seemed very pleased to have such a content shopper in their store, and then tried to cash in on my vulnerable excitement by trying to sell me a Ken Done scarf. No luck ladies! The bum bag is all i'll ever need!

It was fate.

Bum bags all round = Happy Centine and Kaylene.

Love Kaylene xo

Monday, March 23, 2009

Graphic Representation of Violence and Torture in Steven Klein's Photography

additional images available at stevenkleinstudio.com

Hey peeps. Just gave this presentation for a Media and Communications class, and figured a theoretical discussion of Sex, Violence, Torture and Steven Klein would make a great post. Though I did delete a lot of the more boring, theoretical shit...

First appearing in the February 2009 edition of the French Vogue, Steven Klein's fashion spread, entitled "Lara Fiction Noire" quickly polarised its viewers. Featureing supermodel Lara Stone, these images imply physical violence in a domestic setting. Many people supported Klein's unique and uncompromising representations of domestic violence, while protestors claimed that the stylised images glorified and sexualised violence.

Before long, this series of images appeared on the Internet, spreading like a rash across blogs and forums. Three additional images, which had been removed from the Vogue publication, quickly alerted viewers that the magazine had censored out some of the more confronting images. 

Western societies have dramatically altered in their views and positions of death. "In earlier centuries, material death was experienced as a nearby reality, as corpses tended to be buried in nearby pits and graveyards, and decomposed bodies and bones turned up when new trenches were being dug. Moreover, criminals were executed in public squares". Death was a concrete and everyday occurance. However, in contemporary society, death as become a sanitized and private experience, occuring in dehumanized settings of hospitals or faraway regions of war. Public deaths, such as road accidents and natural disasters are quickly shielded from the public eye as officials cover the victims with cloths and hurry them into emergency vehicles. Death now comes with an obligatory hushed tone, it is a dirty word we hesitate to utter in public. It is a topic we can largely avoid. It is a shock when its ugly head appears in our lives.

Klein's photography refuses to comply with societies regulations. He describes his inspiration as the conflicting reactions we have to images of blood, pain, death and torture. "It was the mystery of blood, how it stir in us a primal reaction, be it religious, or that of horror and revulsion or viewing it merely as a biological fact. For me, the blood images are about how blood links the body and the soul" (Klein, theimagist.com). Klein's images exaggerate and beautify death and torture to such an extent that as viewers we are forced to review our reactions to these issues. In Geoffrey Gorer's essay "The Pornography of Death" he argues that the growing taboo around natural death has encouraged a resurgence of violent death in the media. These "fantasy representations offered to mass audiences as a kind of arousing image-culture of pornography" have become "entertainment". Our reaction to images of torture in popular culture are problematic and difficult to define. Emotions of indignation, protest, disgust are mixed with a desire to examine, to understand and to experience. "We react to these images like grinning monkeys, as human beings excited and aroused by the magnitude and novelty of the spectacle". It is this dual and conflicting reaction that Klein seeks through the portrayal of torture in a fashion magazine. We are disgusted by the images, yet the spread is intended to sell the clothing. We are expected to covet the clothing while spurning the behaviour.

The similarities in societies reactions to torturous images and pornography are undeniable. Both forms of images are considered adult content and shielded from the eyes of children. This is explored in this spread, as Klein utilises common motifs of sadomasochism and bondage to blur the lines of enjoyment and torture. In one particular image where Stone is handcuffed to the bed, a man in the background is kept in a cage. The sexualised violence of this image becomes a perversion. The framing of this shot is particularly revealing: both individuals are presented in a submissive role. The necessary dominant position required of a sadomasochistic relationship is purposely left unfilled. Through this image Klein is placing us, the audience, as the perpetrators, the perverts involved in the room. "A perversion is a form of revenge, even when the pervert gets hurt or humiliated in the process. For all the sex involved, a perverse act is an act of hostility and rage. It is an attack on the sex object - including the self". Klein incriminates both the model actors and the audience in this sadomasochistic scene. 

There is more, but after this it kind of descends into a theoretical argument of violence and has less to do with our good friend Klein.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Appreciation from afar.

Centine and I are very similar on many levels. We often find ourselves unknowingly lusting after the same clothing. We have very similar humour, and both appreciate soy chai lattes and op shopping. When it comes to matters of beach appreciation, I'm afraid we could not be more opposite. The closest i've come to a beach all summer is sitting here in my sunroom (at night=no sun) reading Centine's wollongong beach appreciation post. I too am a (ex) Wollongong-ian girl, alas, my white/near transparent skin is highly allergic to all things beach/sun related. I fully intend to follow gloomy weather around the world once I have the funds...and don't be concerned, I'll take vitamin D to compensate for lack of natural sunlight.

In my eternal quest for zero sunshine (and when I acquire aforementioned funds), I will hide my skin under the amazing designs of Hiroko Koshino.
SS 2009

And the following are from her most recent AW 09-10 collection:

This makes me want to wear more crushed velvet!

The traditional Japanese influence seems like a bit of an obvious one...but hey...I'm all for embracing heritage when the results turn out this good. 

-Love Kaylene