Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Chic Exchange hopes you all had a wonderful 2013; that you reached your goals and challenged yourself in new and powerful ways.
What did you learn?
As a new year begins it is full of potential. New Years day is always a time for reflection and meditation on the past and the future. It is easy to focus on all that we failed to achieve but it is very important to think also about what you have done this year. Sometimes just getting through is an achievement when you consider all the obstacles faced throughout the year.
There are also likely to be goals you set that you have now achieved, what do you do with them? Does the bar get raised higher, to harder, better, faster, more? Or, do you move on to a new challenge?
 So take a moment and congratulate yourself on all that you HAVE done this year, and step bravely into a new one.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Ways to enjoy Summer

There are so many reasons to look forward to summer and to enjoy it. The long days, warm nights and feeling of sun on your skin makes everyone a little less strung out and much more free.

Fruit granita's are sublime, cooling, icy and easy to wander along with, they are the ultimate in summer cool.

Coconut Sunscreen
The smell of coconut sunscreen is instant summer. It is the beach, a tan and swimsuits. Not the terrible Reef stuff but good quality sunscreen that smells of coconut.

Prawns, oysters, fish, it doesn't matter what it is just cook it (on a BBQ of course) and enjoy. Of course, seafood also creates occasion for finger bowls, nothing chicer than a finger bowl.

Summer Fruit
All the berries and stone fruit at this time of year is divine. You can cook with it or eat it raw; it is so delicious. Christmas just couldn't be without the biggest bowl of cherries you ever did see. The plump red fruit with green stem, they're practically made for each other.

An outfit in a item
It seems sinful how many white summer dresses hang in the wardrobes of women all over Australia. Yet, when you realise the ease they offer in summer, it's almost a sin not to have a wardrobe full of them. The fact that you can slip one on and go is like a sartorial miracle after the layer of winter.

Bare Feet
On the beach or in the garden, the feeling of warm earth beneath toes is delightful. Walking barefoot along the beach is a cathartic experience enjoyed by all creatures great and small.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Interior Decoration with Bronnie Masefau

Wherever you live,you need to check out what your local library is doing. I don't borrow library books, I hope I never will. I like to own my books, revisit them, consider my underlinings, lend them to friends and family; all the joy that a book brings, I relish. And yet, I still go to my local libraries, because they have amazing guest speakers presenting on a wide variety of topics. Last night it was the turn of interior decorator, Bronnie Masefau

Bronnie shared with us her personal challenges in decorating, moving and providing a home for her obviously much loved family. I want to share with you some of her many pearls of advice.

Live the life you love in your home.
It sounds obvious but, lots of people create spaces around the images they have for a certain aesthetic or the way they want to live yet, the way they actually live is vastly different. You need to really tap into how you do live your life and which habits you enjoy. This will help you determine much of the look, feel furnishings and finishes in your home.

If you get storage right, everything else will follow.
Storage in the absolute number one priority in renovating or finding a home and it has a significant impact on the design and decor of the home. I can't imagine living in a home that doesn't allow me to have all my books happily housed around me. They tell me journey and offer constant inspiration, they are a must for me.

You don't HAVE to use white in small spaces.
A very dark colour can effectively erase a wall from the viewers eye, creating instead a dark, shady recess. This simple, yet clever visual trick can be so useful for a small home.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

I love... Kirstie Clements

Kirstie Clements was the very talented editor of Vogue Australia. Under her leadership the magazine was a succession of talented models, photographers and designers. Australian fashion and style really meant something to her and she advocated on its behalf all over the globe. She knew what worked for Australian women from international designers and month by month brought them together to inspire her readers. She never once doubted the intelligence and curiosity of her readers and gave them dreams and reality in every issue.

I love...Oodgeroo Noonuccul

Oodgeroo Nunuccal was the first Female Indigenous poet to be published in Australia. Her poetry is highly evocative of the experience of the aboriginal people. Her poetry is as much poem as protest. She was an activist and spokeswoman for her people. She worked tirelessly to promote and educate children about aboriginal culture.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I love...men

Just to balance it out, here are some wonderful men to admire too.

I love... Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, an amazing artist, a woman who never let her pain and suffering stop her from doing what she wanted in life. A person of great strength and humour. Her art is her living legacy of her life, her experiences and her many faceted life and love. She is the subject of her own art and a fascinating subject to many others who admire her.

I love... Josephine Baker

Performer extraordinaire. Baker shocked conservative society with her performances in Paris. She was a genius of dance and helped shift peoples attitudes about women and race.

Monday, 9 December 2013

I love... Diane Von Furstenberg

A living example of how, when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. And make lemonade Diane Von Furstenberg did, a whole lot of lemonade. She turned her can't into cans and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She married well, partied hard, stood on her own two feet, raised her children and built an empire. She loves her customers - women and she supports positive images and roles for women.

I love... Marchessa Casati

The Marchessa Casati is the second most depicted female in art (the first is the Madonna). She was a muse to a great many artists, she commissioned portraits of herself and she embraced every possible medium. Her life itself was art; she walked the streets of Venice at night with her pet panther on a diamond collar and leash. She had her servants covered from head to toe in gold leaf for the parties she hosted. She died her hair and put belladonna in her eyes to give them greater impact.

I love... Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland was the editor of Us Vogue. She was an amazing creative talent. She affected her own reality and mythologised her own life. For her, there was value only in the beauty of all things and if you didn't like something it was within your power to change it until you were satisfied. She was a woman who took charge of her whole life and everything in it, an influential powerful force.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

I love...Robyn Lawley

Robyn Lawley is such a beautiful woman. She is an Australian model. The funny thing is, in searching for these images it was hard to find one in which she was fully dressed. That is such an interesting  phenomenon given that her body has caused such discussion. She is so beautiful.