Shoe News

A special mention must go to the following…

 Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodartè (photo from Jak&Jil)

Chanel clogs (photo by Garance Dorè)

I wasn’t too sure about the clogs at first, but after seeing these, how could you go wrong? Chanel never steers us wrong, right girls?  As for Nicholas Kirkwood, he just gets more and more daring with every new design.  Love him!


p.s. Happy Birthday Mummy, love you xxxx

Sources: Kirkwood from Jak&, Chanel by Garance Dorè.

Hedy Lamarr: Hollywood’s Most Legendary Beauty?

Legend tells us that Hedy Lamarr was the most beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen.
It is a fairly bold statement because when you look back, beautiful goddess were never something lacking on the silver screen.
Beauties such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and Veronica Lake. These ladies have gone down in Hollywood history for their extraordinary beauty.

Ava Gardner and Veronica Lake
Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth

But, Hedy was different…

Austrian born Hedy Lamarr’s career was dominated by male movie moguls from the beginning and she never stood a chance.  She is most famous for the first nude scene in a movie (Ecstasy,1932).  But she was so much more than this.  In Hollywood, she was usually cast as glamorous and seductive. Her American debut was in Algiers (1938). 

Her many films include Boom Town (1940), White Cargo(1942), and Tortilla Flat (1942), based on the novel by John SteinbeckWhite Cargo and in 1941, she was cast alongside two other Hollywood beauties, Lana Turner and Judy Garland in the musical extravaganza Ziegfeld Girl

The more I ponder, the more I see that her struggle was not very different from many starlets and their same drive for cinematic glory today.  Much like fashion today; it is constantly changing, not always understood and we are hard-pressed to keep up with it.  


Our Mountains Cottage (and its 15 Minutes of Fame)

I have written in the past of our home in the Blue Mountains, telling you tales of its renovation and the hard slog we put into the vast cottage garden.

Well the the exciting news is that all of our hard work has paid off!

Our home and our beautiful friends Zoe and Chi (and current tenants of the house) have been written about and photographed in Australian Country Home Ideas magazine (Vol 9 No 2).

The story and styling is by Zoe’s gorgeous and most gracious friend Emily Rickard, and we cannot thank her enough as it is most fortuitous as we are currently in the process of putting our beloved home on the market.  It is something that breaks my heart to have to do, but life is such that we have no choice.

I am so proud of our mountains cottage that I just had to share with you my fellow readers the gorgeous pictorial that features in the magazine.  

The facade of our beautiful mountains cottage. 

A shot of the kitchen shelves with all Zoe’s kitchen paraphernalia. 

Florist Zoe Ivory-Phan and her hubby, award winning sculptor Chi Ivory-Phan taking tea.  The story features about their life in the mountains. 


One of the guest bedrooms and a lovely shot of Zoe, Chi and their beautiful dog Mana on the front steps. 

 The master bedroom.

The storybook studio in the back garden.

Wish us luck that someone out there finds our 104 year-old historical beauty just as wonderful as we do so that it may be enjoyed by a new family very soon… fingers crossed!


Source: Australian Country Home Ideas Magazine.

Have you ever…

Lily Aldridge

… seen a picture of someone and it has made you just stop?

Her hair just made me stop.  The colour, the waves, the middle-part.  I just wish that I had hair like hers…

And to add injury to insult, can I just mention her brows as well?


Sources: I wish I could remember where I found this pic or who took it, maybe Garance Dorè … if you know, please let me know too.

Tributes to a shy and masterful designer

Tributes flow for Lee “Alexander” McQueen…

Donatella Versace: “Alexander McQueen… The fashion world has not only lost an icon but we have also lost a very special friend”
Philip Treacy: “In a world where every man and his dog is a designer, Alexander McQueen was the real deal. His talent was supersonic.”
John Galliano: “McQueen was daring, original, exciting. He shook up the establishment with his creativity and understood what it takes to be a great British ambassador for fashion. I admired him very much. He was a fashion revolutionary that, like me, made the journey from [Central] Saint Martins to Paris where he put his own unique mark on the industry. He will not be forgotten.”
Diane von Furstenberg: “Today designer Alexander McQueen passed away…His talent was immense and he will remain immortal in the history of Fashion.”
Karl Lagerfeld: “It’s a loss for the fashion industry. His story was one of success and talent, but that may not be enough to keep you alive.”
Jean Paul Gaultier: “I am really saddened by Lee’s passing on a human level, but also on the artistic one,” said Jean Paul Gaultier. “A great talent has left us and we will miss him and everything that he has done for fashion.”
Nicolas Ghesquiere: “I always had a big respect for his talent. My thoughts are with his family and his colleagues.”
Stella McCartney: “Lee was a fashion genius. I don’t say that lightly, and it is a total shock that I am referring to him in the past tense. He was a real friend. I will miss him as a mate, a peer, and as a true British talent, full of life and energy in everything he ever did.”
Frida Giannini: “I have always admired Lee. He had a way of approaching fashion — both as a tailor and as an inventor — that was all his own. He was an enormous talent whose creative genius will forever remain in the history of fashion.”
Giorgio Armani: “This news has come as a shock and greatly saddened me. The world has lost a very talented young man whom I have always respected for his outstanding genius.”
Christopher Bailey: “I am truly shocked and saddened by this tragic news and my thoughts are with Lee’s family. Lee was one of Britain’s greatest designers and was an inspiration to so very many people. His unique vision, charm and warm character will be greatly missed by everybody who knew Lee and by everyone touched by his extraordinary talent. I think every designer’s dream is to have that talent, that vision and that integrity.”
Marc Jacobs: “He is such a great guy and such an amazing talent that it is so devastating to know he is gone. I will miss him, and I will certainly miss the beauty that he created, and his vision and his world.”
Donna Karan: “It’s shocking to think that something like this could happen to somebody of that ability, who has that creativity and expression and love inside of him. There are very few people you look at who are icons of creativity.”
Prabal Gurung: “In a total state of shock about MCqueen’s death. he was inspiring, daring, creative genius and his death is absolutely heart wrenching. RIP”
Sophie Theallet: “so sad……….so much respect for you…RIP Mr ALEXANDER…..”
Matthew Williamson: “”I am shocked and deeply saddened by McQueen’s death. He was a genius and his talent was second to none. Like many others, I always cited him as a hugely inspirational leader of world fashion. He will be greatly missed.”

Domenico De Sole: “I loved him. He used to come to the house for dinner — he knew Eleanor and my girls well. At the last McQueen show I went to, the fall 2004 collection, he came up to me and hugged me, and he was crying. He was very upset that I was leaving. He was shy, but once you got to know him he was very open and he had a great sense of humor — he used to make fun of people. He was also a very decent man: He was unbelievably nice to all of the seamstresses in the factory in Novara [Italy] who made his collection. He treated them well and they loved him. He was just a fabulous person.”
Daphne Guinness: “He was the kindest, shiest, funniest person. And when the chips were down, he was there. He wasn’t a flake. You could count on him. I will miss him.”
Francois-Henri Pinault: “Alexander McQueen was one of the greatest fashion designers of his generation. His genius, sometimes provocative, admired and saluted by all, constantly opened new perspectives. Visionary and avant-garde, his creations took their inspiration from both tradition and timeless hyper-modernity.”
Hamish Bowles: “Alexander McQueen’s heartbreakingly premature death, at the height of his creativity and influence, has robbed the fashion world of a soaring and unique talent.”
Andre Leon Talley: “It is a great loss. It’s a tragedy for the fashion world. He was truly an innovator and a master. It’s just an extraordinary loss for all of us and a shock to the fashion world.  He had incredible talents and gifts and at the same time, he was a great poet. There are very few poets left.”
Anna Wintour (via statement): “We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen’s influence was astonishing — from street style, to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss.”
Alexandra Shulman: “McQueen influenced a whole generation of designers. His brilliant imagination knew no bounds as he conjured up collection after collection of extraordinary designs.”


Long Live McQueen

I have just heard the news.  I cannot believe it.  I am in shock.  

We can be thankful that we have many seasons of his impeccable tailoring and innovative creations to enjoy and pour over forever now.

We shall never see his genius again.  He was incomparable.  Is this the end of fashion?


Shall We Polka?

So a while back I wrote a blog about stripes.  My friend Sarah then suggested to me that I should write about polka dots.  To tell you the truth, I was a little dubious at first because to me, polka dots, spots (whatever you want to call them) are just so 80s.  I am still struggling with designers reinventions of the 80s – especially if we wore it the first time around, (did I really just admit that?).  

Emily Watson
Chloe Sevigny
Eva Mendes
Photo by The Sartorialist

Of course the ironic thing is that spots have now popped up everywhere on the fashion scene  and are currently quite the trend with designers like Dolce & Gabanna, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Sonia Rykiel sending them down their spring/summer runways.

So I guess these ladies don’t look all that bad, do they?   

Polka dots have always represented a sense of fun and frivolity to me, and not something to be worn if you want to be taken seriously.  The good news is that designers are taking spots in a different direction, mixing them with colours not seen before and the result is they are more than sophisticated, and very grown-up indeed.  Hooray!

Derek Lam 


Marc by Marc Jacobs

Be wise about your choice of spots.  Don’t over-do it, subtlety is key.  And if you’re feeling less than daring, why not start out with a scarf or hosiery?

I Wish to be a Bag Lady

I have been a fan of Anya Hindmarch’s Be A Bag for a long time.
I have wanted one ever since I first saw them in VOGUE.

The problem I have is two-fold.

a) It’s expensive
and, b) I know that after getting one, I’ll want another.

So what’s a girl to do?

Just thought I would put it out there… 


I Went Shopping Today

I had an existential crisis this morning.  I realised (finally) that my wardrobe was not geared toward living the life of a coastal lady.  My wardrobe was all about cooler climes – jeans, boots, sweaters, polo-necks, tights, leggings and scarves.  I have left that life behind now.  Any clothes that I had were worn out and not in keeping with coastal lifestyle.

The hardest part was trying to figure out what my style was in this climate.  I didn’t really know where to start, so I decided to treat myself like a styling client.  I asked myself the questions I ask clients, and then I went through my wardrobe with no holds barred.  Then I thought about what I like, what suits me and what draws me in when I am out there amongst the stores.  It helped a great deal because in amongst it all, I realised that what I needed was to unearth my old-faithful denim jacket!  I tend to archive quite a lot of my  wardrobe (because I try not to get rid of any of it) and I ended up with a short list of new items that I needed to add to my new wardrobe.

And so, off we went to the local shopping mecca, which on the coast is limited, but with an eye like mine, it’s not to hard to find what I need.  I had an arm-full of many items and then tried them all on.  It was easy to edit out what I didn’t need, and so I came away with a half-dozen new items.  Most of them tops, one dress and two pairs of pants.  I am satisfied that I have added to my wardrobe sufficiently until Autumn dawns in less than a month – eek!

I spend so much of my time looking at what’s out there that I had forgotten to keep an eye on my own wardrobe.  I knew that it was getting tough, it was getting harder and harder to find looks that I wanted to wear.  There were fewer and fewer things to choose from.  Some clothes where falling apart, some were out of date, some where just plain over.

It feels good to have some gorgeous new clothes to supplement my wardrobe.  Everything that I chose to buy fits within my current wardrobe so that I can mix and match with it all.  Most important, nèst-ce pas?

I thought I might share some of my influences with you, just because it’s fun to do so.

Stripes are everywhere this season, as I’ve told you before.  I am addicted and loving designer’s play on this classic. 

Khaki, khaki, khaki.  I’ve always loved it. The hard part is finding the right shade.  It has to be the right shade for me or there’s no point.

I loved Anne Heche’s wardrobe in Six Days Seven Nights (1998).  It suited her character perfectly, it was stylish, in-keeping with her fashion editor character, and as she was in the tropics, it was perfectly suited to the location.

Denim is going to be huge this spring and summer.  Shirts, jackets, jeans, pants, you name it.  Dig up your old jacket, you know there was a reason why you didn’t ditch it!

It’s always fun shopping for a new look.  This one took me by surprise, because I just hadn’t counted on needing to look for a warmer weather wardrobe for some time.  C’èst la vie!



Natalie & RJ

I have just finished reading Robert Wagner’s biography “Pieces of My Heart” and I don’t think I have ever read a more touching story of love and devotion.  Natalie and RJ (as he is affectionately known) had a bond that even divorce couldn’t break.  First married in 1957 for almost 4 years, and then again in 1972 until Natalie’s tragic and untimely death at 43 in 1981.

RJ never stopped loving her, even when they were apart, he was consumed by his love for her.  

I love this comment he makes about their enduring love:  

“Over the years, we would run into each other a number of times… These moments were always intense – it was as if everybody else in the room froze and the sound died away and we were the only two people still moving, talking and breathing.”

Natalie was a child star, making her screen debut at age 4 and soon starring in 1947 at age 9 in Miracle on 34th Street.  Her mother was probably one of the worst stage mothers I’ve ever heard of, even trying to impart her paranoia onto her grandchildren any chance she had.

Some of my favourite films of Natalie’s are:  Rebel Without A Cause(1955), Splendor in the Grass (1961), Gypsy (1962), West Side Story (1961), Love With the Proper Stranger (1963), Inside Daisy Clover (1965), The Great Race (1965), Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (1969).

Natalie’s favourite role was motherhood.  She had two daughters, Natasha, born in 1970 (with her second husband Richard Gregson) and Courtney, who was born in 1974 after Natalie and Robert Wagner remarried. 

Natalie with Courtney in 1974.

Natalie gave up her career for many years to allow herself to be a mother to her girls.  She reveled in motherhood, giving her girls a normal upbringing because she had missed out on of her own.  

I’m off now to rent Gypsy, I just love her in that film and the costumes, boy oh boy!


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