Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Have what you want

Here's the best advice I have to give to anyone. Have the things you want. Buy the things that make you happy. Don't wait to be given them and don't ever expect anyone else to buy them for you. If you want it, work hard and buy it.
I gave this advice to a young friend of mine recently after a trip to Chanel, as we walked away she complained that she would never be able to afford to shop their and I explained that if she wants to shop in Chanel she can, that it will be up to her to decide on that.
I openly admit I have shoes, bags, jewels and a wardrobe that is the envy of many others. But I don't own my own home. I don't drive a fancy car and that doesn't matter to me. My library is vast, my mind constantly stimulated by new ideas, writers, words and images, because that matters to me.
If you simply want what other people have you will never be happy because there is no end to envy. But if you have what you want, or are working at getting what you want you will achieve happiness.
All too often we are told what we should want (and equally what we shouldn't) and often people are accused of superficiality because of the things they desire. But if those things make a person happy, what is wrong with that? Especially when a person has worked for it, not expected a handout or a free ride to get it.
There are many people in this world who have a lot more than me and I don't mind a bit. In most of those cases they have worked hard for it or are working hard to get it. I know what I want for me and I am working to get it and, I don't let others make me feel bad about it.
We are encouraged to be individuals, to express ourselves but, when we do we are open to criticism for it. Equally, as women we are encouraged to earn our own money, be independent and work hard for the money but then others (other women included) criticise us for how we spend the money we earn. 
We need to stop judging and be more supportive and less critical. Who has the right to dictate how others should spend their money? I will never let anyone tell me how to spend my money and I will never expect anyone else to pay for me.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Carine Roitfeld

I love everything Carine does. Paris Vogue, her book Irreverent, CR Fashion book and now there is a documentary about her! She is just so fabulous! Viva la Carine!

MSFW 2013

It has been an exciting week in Melbourne this week with all the fashion week fun. Racing from The Hub to the Town Hall for the Runway shows has been exhilarating, inspiring and really got Melbourne in the mood for summer. All we need now is for the sun to come to the party and we are ready.
It was a week of surprises where old favourites proved why they are just that and relative new comers really shone with new shapes, colours and styles. Shopping lists are being written and must haves emerging. Here is a pictorial summery of the week that was.

Love Aveda

My hair is transitioning at the moment. For a very long time I have been growing my hair. Long, long, long was my aim. Then, I tired of that and had it chopped off to shoulder length. It terms of colour, this almost obliterated the ombre highlights I had been working. Not a bad thing as I had felt they were dying a slow death anyway. So now I had a slightly graduated cut and the colour is again a work in progress.
But here's my point. The last visit to the amazing Tamara at Lou Salon on Greville st and her first question to me when I sat in the chair was 'What product have you been using?' She could tell immediately that I had switched products and that I had switched to an inferior supermarket brand.
For a few years now I have been a devotee of Aveda. Primarily out of a desire to use products a little more friendly to the planet but also, because of the way they left my hair feeling so good. At the same time I switch to Aveda I also started straightening my hair routinely. Expecting damage from a new, torturous hair regimen it was surprising how little damage there was when straightening was coupled with a high quality product.
In her book, Domestic Bliss, Rita Konig suggests having large bottles of good haircare products in your bathroom to give it an at-home-spa feel and it certainly achieves that. Stepping into a shower and feeling that you are spoiling yourself a tiny bit is so good.
So, switching back to Aveda is an easy decision to make. The result is worth every penny and makes me shudder to think that I ever contemplated anything else.
P.S. I'm off to Tamara next weekend for a post fashion week cut and colour so watch this space for a new look.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Grey Diamonds

For some time now I have a love of black stones. Onyx, agate and of course black diamonds. I have always loved jewellery, a passion I get from my mother who is known for her piled high bangles and jingle-jangle music she make with them. I have especially lusted after this Jan Logan ring after seeing Diane Keaton wear a similar one in The Family Stone. As far as I am concerned the bigger the better when it comes to stones and this fits the bill nicely. At almost six foot I can get away with some substantial jewels yet the same rings true for more petite women too. Just look at Iris Arpfel, she wears some of the largest pieces imaginable and does it with such a sense of individual style.

To add to my obsession I recently discovered grey diamonds, in this case the cut is even more important that others because they can look like dirty diamonds if not treated correctly. The cuts must be large and not too faceted so that you can see the intended colour. They look like an oyster grey when at their most beautiful and remind me of the timeless nature of diamonds.
I was watching a web video of Pamela Love recently, the New York based jewellery designer and when she was asked why she had gone into jewellery and not some other part of the fashion industry she talked about how she was drawn to jewellery because it is purely adornment; she explained that we must all wear clothes and shoes thus rendering them essentials but no one needs to wear jewellery. we do it just for prettiness sake, to feel special and to show wealth and position. This makes jewellery unique and unlike any other aspect of the fashion industry. It is pure luxury and weather given or purchased it does make us feel very special.
 Like Love's pieces jewelry marks out the individual in a much greater way than clothing can; it's more likely to be a one off piece and as a non-essential expresses the wearers character. Jewellery also becomes the heirlooms of our families; past from generation to generation. I have pieces from my grandmother, aunt and mother and with each wearing I feel the strength of these generations of women with me such is their talismaninc power. Pieces made by a far away friend make our distant geography seem so much smaller as a piece of her makes the journey with me on my day.
I honestly can't remember the last time I bought myself a piece of jewellery. I've had my eye on one for a while now, so I think it's time to go and buy it.

Love Camp Gyno

This is the greatest advertisement of all time. It is a simple business idea, that is, simply genius. I am yet to show it to a person who has not smiled and laughed with it. It takes the idea of Pussy Power to a whole new level. There is not a person who should not watch it. I have so many quotable moments from it, I can't begin to tell you. Nor would I want to ruin some classic lines for you.
Part of me wishes this company was in Australia just so I could get behind it and yet another part of me relishes that Australians are not so conservative that women and men can comfortably buy sanitary wear without feeling the need to hide it discreetly away.
All my siblings and I were expected to pitch in growing up and so my brothers all found themselves at one time or another, at the supermarket buying pads and tampons. They were not ashamed or embarrassed and they had seen the items at home enough that they always got the right ones.
My expectations of a boyfriend have always been the same; if you can't go to the supermarket and buy something for my vagina you don't get access to my vagina It's as simple as that.
My current partner began referring to my period (in his very American way) as 'my friend'. I soon put a stop to that, explaining simply that I had my period and that frankly, anything that made me feel a bit crap for five days was no friend of mine.
If you know any female I urge you to show this to them no matter how young or old. The older ladies will get a great laugh from it and the younger will see that getting their period is not something they should hide.
Great job Hello Flo.

Simple Acts of Kindness

I have the most delightful neighbour in the world. I live in a unit shared with three others and each week my neighbour puts my bin out for me. Without fail it stops me in my tracks as I rush out in my pyjamas near midnight to push them to the curb and it's already done. I breathe a sigh of pleasure and return to my cosy home.
Every time she does it I thank her and promise to return the favour but never get the chance to. It is really a very simple thing she does but at those moments it means the world to me. Rather like letting someone into traffic it is nice for someone else and makes you feel good for having shown some kindness.
In our fast paced and ever increasingly demanding lives it is too easy to only think of ourselves and to put our own priorities over others yet, in reality everyone is juggling just as much as another and so these little considerations can make a big difference in any one persons day.
My workplace consists of well over 100 people, here many staff will bring in lemons from their trees for anyone who wants them, herbs they have grown in their own gardens. One thoughtful person even photocopies a recipe with the herbs for those who need a suggestion as well.
I know someone who pop spare change into near expired parking meters to save someone who is probably rushing back to their car.
There are so many little things we can do to improve a persons mood and the chart of their day, things that cost us nothing and have no bigger impact than making someone see good and maybe smile.
Of course, you can go much bigger in your generosity. Baking for your co-workers morning tea is so rewarding. Everyone commenting on your lovely cake is magnificent. Spending a day working for a charity feeds your soul, I have worked in food kitchens feeding homeless people and distributed books to the homeless. One of the greatest moments in my life was watching a young homeless woman help an elderly homeless man select books and the two of them engaging in a conversation about books and reading.
Scientists have studied the psychology behind giving and have measured the endorphin release associated with donating to charity and doing charity work. The brain releases these pleasure chemicals to positively reinforce the activity; a neurobiological way to ensure humanity is humane!
When your own brain can reward you in one of most powerful ways for doing something kind for others, why wouldn't you?