Monday, May 30, 2011

Signs of Life

Still feeling pretty shite, but big injections of sweet, sweet cheese* like this:



are helping me resurface, slowly. Oh how I wish it was candy pink summertime for us right now, not miserable Melvinian winter!

xx
Skye
*is that even possible, sweet cheese? Is it that kind with dried fruit in it that my mother used to serve in the eighties (probably with Campari)?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Under the Weather

Am having a day off due to having some kind of weird infection thing in my face which is making me feel extremely lousy. Bleurgh. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in by tomorrow, because this household is only functioning in a half-arsed way, without me on deck 100%.

UPDATE MONDAY: still feeling vile, so no post today either. Frankly I wouldn't be holding my breath for tomorrow either - even if by some miracle I don't feel like death warmed up, I will be up to my ears in housework restoring this place to some kind of order!

xx
Skye

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Elf Actualisation


Did you know that Santa's elves have to work hard all year making toys in the toy factory? It's a bit of a sweatshop situation, although they do at least wear safety goggles while working away. Their Elfish dialect is also somewhat different from the Cate Blanchett Galadriel kind.

xx
Skye (and the little elf dude)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Cape of Good Hope

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I op-shopped this amazing Irish wool vintage cape yesterday, and I am trying to decide whether to keep it, or try and flog it off on ebay or thereabouts. Current internal debate going something like this:

1. I don't really need any more winter coats or capes.
2. The vivid colours are beautiful, particularly since I am getting rather tired of never ending neutrals.
3. I have limited wardrobe space, and this is a tad bulky.
4. I've been hoping to find a vintage cape in an oppy for a while, so this is a bit of a result.
5. Although I'm tired of neutrals, I still have lots of them, and this doesn't work with them much at all.
6. So pretty!
7. Capes a bit of a one season wonder, so better to pass it on and profit now.
8. How often does something this lovely come along, and not cost a bomb?
9. Can always do with the money...
10. Pretty. Preeetty. Preeeettttyyyy. (said in manner of brain-craving zombie).

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Is it too retro? Or perhaps a touch Trekky?

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Violet, cobalt, emerald, aquamarine, turquoise. Sweeeet.

Ok, so what do I do? Do I keep it, or do I cash in? Am quite conflicted!

xx
Skye
PS. Tell me if you think it's awful, I won't be offended.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Replicant

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Yesterday I said I was a bit scared of a challenge I was undertaking for this blog, but, frankly everyone should be scared of this challenge. Not just scared, frozen with abject terror would be a more appropriate response. If I actually have any readers left, then this might just terrify them away once and for all. I also had to warn my husband that after this he may no longer wish to be married to me (thankfully he was able to overcome the horror, which is in itself slightly disturbing).

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Someone said to me the other day (well, someone on a forum typed it to me, anyway), in reference to my blog, that they could never get past the fact that I look like Kim from Kath & Kim. It's my own fault, I suppose, having posted this comparison collage:

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...here in the first place , but it set me to thinking about how I might go about de-Kim-ifying myself. After about two minutes of concerted thought I came to the conclusion that there is nothing I can do - if there is a certain Kimmishness about me, then I am stuck with it - so I might as well embrace it. And thus a blog challenge was born!

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T-shirt says "I should have been famous" but I flipped the photo, so now it says "suomaf neeb evah dluohs I" which makes about the same amount of sense.

I hit the tween section of the oppy with twenty bucks and swiftly assembled a nasty little pile of pink pvc and stretch pants. There were a couple of near misses - a pair of hot pink satin ruched track pants with "Dolly" in glitter across the bum had Kim written all over them, but were unfortunately a tad large. Also some plasticky kitten heeled thongs which tempted me with their clackyness, but were eight dollars and therefore out of my price range. I was actually kind of embarrassed and blurted out to the the cashier, "It's for a fancy dress party." (blatant lie), and she just looked at me blankly - I am sure she thought the seventies wool cape I bought at the same time was far uglier and weirder than my Kim Kostume Komponents!

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Because details are sooooo important for any outfit post - pink Cab 55 bag and Target strappy heels $4 each. Both 100% PVC (plus a little bit of bling).

I felt pretty pleased with my haul, but when I looked at the photos I realised that, despite popular opinion, I am not really all that Kim-esque and that being Kim is actually pretty tricky unless you are Gina Riley and therefore a bit of a comedic genius to start with. Putting on some bad bumster pants and sticking your gut out is not that hard (if you are as dignity/shame-challenged as me), but creating a character like Kim is much, much harder than it looks. Even if there is a resemblance from certain angles...

xx
Skye
PS. Kim-style whale tail. Sorry, this turned out a bit too Readers' Wives for anyone's comfort:

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PPS. This video has just reminded me of how the little dude was on Home & Away aged 6 weeks, just like Kim's ambitions for baby Eponnee Rae on Neighbours. I think my Kim factor may well be more than just skin (and PVC belt) deep:

Shanghaied

The shadow of Steven Seagal looms large in every way, and now it seems it has fallen upon retailing titan Topshop. How else to explain this:


"The Oriental Metropolis is the most glamorous place to reside this summer. Slinky halter necks, floor sweeping skirts, delicately embellished vests, and perfectly wide trousers come in opulent shades and bold prints. The orchid and the iris bloom in a heady combination of gold, black, white, fuchsia, jade and turquoise, creating a high-gloss 70s feel. A kimono and sky scraper stilettos are all you need to finish off this ready-to-party look."


...which showed up in my inbox the other day, sending shudders of disquiet down my spine. I feel that a chinese brocade upholstered cheongsam revival can only be moments away. Am I feeling good about that possibility? No. Do I want to revisit that particular chapter of my youth? Double, triple, no. Will I go dig up a shiny dragon and chrysanthemum festooned relic of the late nineties from some local op-shop and wear it here on my blog for the entertainment(?) of all comers? Well, yes, I think I will. What's more I will do my best to make the damn thing look as ok as I can. A tall order, but I will try. Promise.

Not today though. And I have another challenge cooking away too, which might just show up before the cheongsam challenge comes to fruition. Don't ask me what that is, though, I am a bit afraid of it.

xx
Skye
PS. Are we really still saying "Oriental", Topshop? Isn't that a bit incorrect in these 21st century days? I had a vaguely Chinese looking Barbie in a cheongsam, circa 1981, who was called Oriental Barbie, and even then that was a bit on the nose.
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PPS. Can't ever get enough of this:
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Baaaaa Humbug

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Beanie - $24.95 Sportsgirl
Cream cropped jumper - $15 Zara sale (LA)
Grey marle skater dress - $20 Sportsgirl sale rack
Dodgy faux suede wedge desert boot things - $70 random shoe shop
Grey ribbed tights - $10 Temt
Seventies sheepskin cape coat - $70 etsy

Take off that vintage sheepskin cape and I am such a chainstore chook today! Right down to the tights from Temt - who, despite being noted purveyors of sweatshopped PU from the PRC, have somehow managed to mislay a "p" of their own. I refuse to call sheepskin, "shearling" by the way - I'm not sure when this little linguistic shift occurred, but I am in denial about it. That cape is made out of the woolly skin of a sheep, gruesome but true, so "sheepskin" is a perfectly apt and sensibly descriptive name for it. Shearling may be less evocative of the abattoir, but what is it, exactly?

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The living embodiment of Ugg.

I think it's one of those global fashion conspiracies that happens from time to time. In this case a bunch of people (Burberry, I'm looking at you) needed a way to separate their $3000 sheepskin coats from the sheepskin carseat covers commonly sold by the side of the road by people with mullets, or the mangy ugg boot army that's been tramping across the world untrammelled for the last decade or so. Thus "shearling" was thrust upon us.

I'm onto them though.

xx
Skye
PS. If anything happens to me, then you'll know the international shearling cabal is to blame. Watch your backs, they'll stop at nothing!

Glitter Lizard & the Retro Dimension

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Snaky lurex sixties(?) cage sleeve top - $12 op-shop
Super tight black back zip trousers - $90 Elly M from some random Chapel Street shop

Bangs manes bouffants beehives Beatle caps butter faces brush-on lashes decal eyes puffy sweaters french thrust bras flailing leather blue jeans stretch pants stretch jeans honeydew bottoms eclair shanks elf boots ballerinas Knight slippers, hundreds of them, these flaming little buds, bobbing and screaming, rocketing around inside the Academy of Music Theater underneath that vast old mouldering cherub dome up there - aren't they super marvelous!

Tom Wolfe in "Girl of the Year" from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-flake Streamline Baby

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I'm Sammy the Snake, and I have to confess that I look and I sound like the letter S. Ssssssssss.

This is another Saturday-night-outfit reproduction, except that unlike last time I haven't made even the most cursory effort at reproducing my makeup and hair. That's because I had so much black panda eye makeup on (with big wonky flicks of catseye eyeliner too) that two days later I'm still wearing more than a trace of it, and it took about half a bottle of conditioner to get the matted and felted backcombing out of my hair this morning. I would have been a disaster in the decal eye/beehive era, with my hair perenially half-flattened, my raccoon eye makeup smeared halfway down my cheeks, and my false eyelashes tangled inextricably in my fringe.

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My arms, they just want to be freeeeeeee.

I don't usually enter what I think of as the retro zone - a place populated with luridly coloured (but not in a good way) polyester maxi dresses, purple crimplene flared pants, frumpy sixties bridesmaid dresses in lumpy gold brocade, drop-waisted eighties formal dresses with enormous puffy sleeves, and a multitude of other unpleasantnesses. There are lots of people in Melvin who are very committed to retro style of various kinds but, like wife-swapping, scrapbooking, or ferret-breeding it's not a hobby that has ever appealed to me. I am too lazy, for a start! I certainly wore my share of nasty faux Pucci poly playsuits and whatnot back when Lady Miss Keir was a sold gold style icon, but that was decades ago now, so this lurex top was definitely a bit of a departure.

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Camouflage.

My friend had a birthday party and the dress code was "Snazzy", and I knew she was contemplating sequins herself, so snaky and super shiny seemed suitably snazz-ified for a saturday night. I'm still staying away from those polyester frocks that smell like death and B.O. though!

xx
Skye
PS. Glitter Lizard & the Retro Dimension, I reckon would be a really dodgy covers band who'd do loads of KC & the Sunshine Band and "Oh What a Night", and there'd be at least one "kooky" guy in the band (bass? drums?) who be wearing a crappy afro wig and those plastic TCB sunglasses you get from the $2 shop. The band playing Baby Jane Holzer's party in Girl of the Year is called Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and they wear gold lame tights - and if I read too much of that stuff I'll start wanting to back comb my hair and wear panda eyes every day, and before you know it I'll be trapped in the retro zone and never able to make my way back to 2011...


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Sunday...

...with the Hungover Owls because I am a disgrace to the human race, and feeling like one of the shambling undead today. At least I did drag myself out of bed in time to take the little dude to a birthday party this afternoon, because when you're really hungover there is nothing like a community centre hall full of five year olds (forty of them!) to really make you feel alive.

xx
Skye
PS. Happy birthday to the Commander in Chief of the Babe Army too - 4.30am, champagne and a roof-top, I blame you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Los Alamos

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Eighties pale rose pink cape/robe thingo - $6.50 op-shop
Grey marle tank - $20 General Pants ages ago
Grey washed silk maxi skirt - $8 op-shop
Natasha black leather t-bar sandals - $10 (new) op-shop

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Haven't seen the old hobbit feet here for a while, so I thought I'd give them a moment in the sun.

Since this blog has lately become a never ending Melvin weather report, I am pleased to tell you that today was warm(ish) and sunny, and therefore the silk skirt emerged from its lair, blinking in the sunlight and unsure why its hibernation had seemingly ended so soon. I shan't say much more than that, though, as it's Saturday night and I have a birthday party to go to...

xx
Skye
PS. Husbandly experiment with vignetting on the camera kind of works, except for the fact that I look like I've just been exposed to some kind of nuclear explosion, or spent a couple of days in a solarium, lobster-stylee.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

E for Effort, F for Fail

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Isabel Marant wool skirt - $5 op-shop
Nine West black leather biker boots - $20 (new) op-shop
Alpha 60 marbled silk pussybow blouse - $6 op-shop

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I tried quite hard to dress like a grown-up today - a genuine, certified, over-18 adult person. Looking at the photos I think I may have ended up with another school uniform instead, despite my best efforts. My day today included taking the little dude round to the primary school for his first "transition to school" session, and I felt like I should make an effort to look like a responsible parent, and not the pretend adult/insolent schoolgirl that I feel like inside.
Apparently I got it wrong though, as the almost all the other mothers (except maybe a handful who broke the uniform code in some small way) were wearing jeans with knee high flat boots, a scoop neck top with a long cardigan over it, and had flat ironed hair in a layered bob just above shoulder length, or tied back in a ponytail. It's a perfectly nice sort of look, but as my husband pointed out "You missed the memo, Babe." I have a lifetime of memo missing behind me, I suppose a little more won't matter.

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Image attempting to convey = In charge of welfare of small human, and worthy of the challenge.

We had a parent information session the other night, and just sitting in the school hall listening to the principal talking brought out the disobedient teenage ratbag in me. I was itching to sms my friends, and had to turn my phone off because people were texting me and it kept beeping. And I had to keep myself from kicking the chair in front of me, and zoning out while staring into space out the window. The other parents seemed all very mature and organised and were asking questions about Naplan and school reports and "literacy coaching", meanwhile I was looking at the plastic dinosaurs and admiring the teacher's earrings. Can do better!

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Another failed attempt to capture true orangeness of lipstick. I think the photo does look sort of New Wave though, so that's something.

I don't think the orange lipstick really helped either, but I thought it might operate as a sort of secret signal to the other freak mums out there, so I'm not a social outcast as only person failing to wear knee high boots and faux fur trimmed gilet thing or ask questions about Naplan scores.

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Husband was concerned that the little dude would also be an outcast/teased so removed his beloved knitted hat at the start of the school session, but as the little dude is like a de-haired Samson without it, it had to be returned forthwith.

Love me, love my lipstick. Love the little dude, love his hat!

xx
Skye


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doneski

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Quintessential.

Somehow or other I seem to have stealth-collected enough Ken Done eighties scarves to actually qualify as a collection, proper. I don't really collect anything else, and I usually nip any nascent collections in the bud (the collecting side of me duels with the buddhist nun side, but rarely wins). There are five scarves now, which although not a large number, does seem too many to be justifiable as something to tie around my beach hat or whatever (which is how it all started) - it is definitely a collection, I think.

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This was the first one.

They have been steadily gathering for the past 3 years or so, turning up in op-shops or garage sales, all between fifty cents and three dollars. So long as they are under five bucks, in good condition, and are actual Ken Done (as opposed to Australis, which were Done knockoff GWP for a cheapie cosmetics brand back in the day) then they have a chance of a new home with me.

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There's a hearty splash of nostalgia with these, and a dash of Aussie pride, but I do genuinely like the graphics too - especially the colours. They are exactly my favourite sort of colours - quite vibrant but soft too. A step beyond sorbet, right into summer sunshine. Definitely Sydney sort of sunshine too, the following scarves actually manage to make me quite homesick, and I haven't lived in Sydney for nearly three years now.

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Of course I was reminded of these the other day when I came upon Susie Bubble's post about the Something Else by Natalie Wood with Ken Done collaboration. I really, really liked what I saw of the collection (anything un-neutral is really floating my boat at the moment), but you know what? I actually love the real deal even more - the un-reworked, original versions. So I'm going to keep my eye out for more, and the buddhist nun side of me is just going to have to deal with it. Of course I am no way in the league of this lady - she is really showing commitment to the cause (in more ways than one)!

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This is my favourite of the five - Sydney harbour on a sunny day - and it reminds me of my vintage bamboo daybed, piled with cushions in sorbet Ken Done colours. Can you see the harbour bridge shape? No wonder I love that daybed so! I actually think that one of these days I'll have the scarves made into cushions to live on it.

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xx
Skye
PS. I have to confess that I have already found the scarves a new pair of adoptive siblings, bought on ebay for $7 during a bout of late night homesickness. A set of Ken Done placemats and matching coasters, still in their boxes - the seller was in Perth, so I'm thinking they were an unwanted souvenir gift from someone's eighties visit to the east coast. What would be a suitably mid-eighties menu for a Done-inspired dinner party? I am thinking Campari for the coasters, and then maybe some kind of seafood terrine, or a crab quiche, and what else?

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PPS. I just realised that the Done pioneer in our family was actually the baby little dude, seen here in the Done koala jumper his doting granny bought for him in his first year.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bag of Spuds!

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Black leather Nine West biker boots - $20 (new) op-shop
Black ribbed Cotton On top - $2 op-shop
Cream H&M sundress - $8 op-shop

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Do you ever do this thing? The trying-to-make-summer-sundresses-suitable-for-sleety-cold-weather-with-black-top-and-tights thing? It only works some of the time, (just about never, actually), and if it does work, well, it's only because the dress in question wasn't ever all that summery to start with. This one just isn't convincing me, I'm afraid! Its natural habitat is clearly in amongst the daisies in some sun dappled garden - not trudging around catching trams on another dispiritingly grey Melvinian day. There's something odd happening in the bust area too, as (look away now if you are of delicate constitution) it's that time of the month when my boobs expand about three cup sizes, which is adding to the sack of summertime spuds situation.

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Irritating.

It all reminds me of that depressingly omnipresent early nineties thing with the spaghetti straps over the top of t-shirt, which Vivienne Westwood (I'm pretty sure, memory hazy) once disapproved of in an interview on the grounds of fugliness, and I thought "thank god someone's finally said it!" Didn't stop everyone in the known world continuing to wear them though...

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Look closely for push bike and play fort.

This Tory Burch leather bag is a classic example of a quandry I face from time to time in my op-shopping odysseys. It's a very nice bag, not really and truly my cup of tea style-wise (to be fair that cup of tea is kind of wide-ranging and poorly defined, more a swamp of soup, perhaps?), but five measly dollars. So the question is - do I buy it, and try to work out how to fit it into the swamp somehow? Or do I leave it there for someone who will love it madly (or more likely, sell it on ebay)? Ten dollars and it's easy for me - leave it - but five dollars and I get all conflicted for some reason.

Does this happen to you? Do you buy, or let lie? And why all the questions?

xx
Skye
PS. Here is a horrible flash photo of me and the little dude (with asos parcel on head) in the wild:

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Monday, May 16, 2011

1971 Represent!

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Zara stripe cotton knit jumper - $6 op-shop
Grey marle skater dress - $20 Sportsgirl sale rack
Ralph Lauren cable knit grey tights - $18 Bloomingdales clearance
Tan leather clogs - $50 Wittner sale

Short skirt + jumper = school uniform.

I suppose that anything reminiscent of a school uniform is squarely in mutton territory when you are a 1971 baby like me - except that I have officially declared muttonhood to be a redundant concept. I shall wear whatever I please for now and forever, and a big fat raspberry to anyone who would like to say otherwise!

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The shadow of insolence definitely still hovers.

As an actual schoolgirl, I was of the ultra-short-skirted, insolent variety. A crimp haired fiend festooned with cheap silver jewellery, chipped hot pink nailpolish, and perennially "on referral", which was the convoluted disciplinary system at my high school. I was generally on referral for the usual sorts of things - truancy, answering back, general insubordination, talking too much, throwing water bombs - but on one magic afternoon a teacher (Mrs Welch, I think it was) put me on referral for...flouncing.

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Here I am in my flouncing days - I used to wear that top to school sometimes.

She found me lingering and loitering in a corridor after the bell, told me to go straight to class and I proceeded to flounce off with very bad grace and worse manners, blonde ponytail and microscopic school skirt swinging insouciantly. Clearly this was the stroke of teenage vileness which broke the poor benighted camel's back, as Mrs Welch promptly went red in the face, roared at me to come back, and handed me a slip with the reason for referral listed (in big, black, rage-filled letters) as "FLOUNCING". I recall complaining to my mother about the injustice of it all, and being utterly baffled by her lack of sympathy for my plight.

I wish I still had that slip, I think I'd have it framed.

xx
Skye
PS. Do you see that lens flare? Do you know what it means? Yes, the sun has finally reappeared from behind the grey melvinian clouds. Hooray for vitamin D!

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Knitting Pattern

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TV for Sportsgirl wool knit dress - $70 (reduced from $225 or something like that)
Patent leather wedges - $30 Wittner sale (years ago)

Another cold grey Melvinian day (she says, in manner of broken record), and another exercise in warmth-maximisation for us. When in doubt (and freezing your arse off) go for the woollens, I say!

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The intricate knit and copper lurex are lovely, if you look closely.

When I bought this Coogi-esque wool jumper/dress on the Gold Coast, it seemed rigorously intellectual, and downright subversive in that land of hot pink hot pants, tangerine tans, platinum extensions and dodgy lower back tattoos. In Melvin it feels just a bit predictable in its black/grey wooly shapelessness, and although I do like the dress a lot, it has been demoted to supermarket-shopping-wear. I am starting to crave something from the little dude school of knitted pleasures instead. Or maybe just the hot pink hot pants!

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Op-shop handknit jumper $3

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Knitwits!

I probably should fossick around for another pair of wedges this winter, but I don't even wear these ones (first seen way back when) all that often, so the buddhist nun part of me says "Do not buy. The path to happiness lies not in wedges. Unless they are made of potato, and deep fried."

xx
Skye
PS. Does this not look like he has escaped from the pages of Vice?

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Foona Lagoona Baboona


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From Dr Seuss's Sleep Book.

xx
Skye (& the Foona Lagoona Baboona)
PS. that green fluffy thing is off my mop.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Lies Beneath

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Brown wool/cashmere nineties mini skirt - $8 op-shop
Khaki cashmere nineties tee - $4 op-shop
Liberty Bauhaus tote - $1 op-shop
Grey wool gloves - $14 Mimco sale
Camel cashmere scarf - $40 ebay
Navy wool duffle - $50ish Asos sale
Pleathery faux suede wedge desert boot things - $70 random shoe shop
Grey cable knit Ralph Lauren tights - $18 Bloomingdales clearance

What a lengthy laundry list of layers! Whenever I leave the house at the moment I cannot help feeling like a well-blanketed pack pony, weighed down with warm woolly bits and pieces, which I would love to shed (if hypothermia was not an option).

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My longtime partner in crime saw me in this nineties skirt, got that misty nostalgic look in her eye, and said "I remember back in the day, I made one of those skirts from an actual blanket." I had a bunch of those a-line mini skirts too, most of them blankety wool melton like this, but one of which I made from a pink mohair travel rug. It was about 3 inches long and held together with nothing but a giant kilt pin. I have a bad feeling I used to wear it to work. Thank the heavens for opaque tights!

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My dodgy pleathery wedge mutant desert boots are doing good wet-weather service so far. Their whole purpose in my life is to take the Melvinian rainy day punishment, so my non PU shoes can live longer lives. I am pleased to report that they are doing their duty in an admirable fashion, and not complaining about the unfairness of it all. Unlike me, I can do nothing but whinge about the f-reezing weather!

xx
Skye
PS. This post was also eaten by Blogger, I can't remember what I originally wrote, but I do know that I dashed it off in about two minutes - so have done likewise the second time around.