Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Gender-benders

If there was one thing clear in the last couple of years, androgyny is climbing steadily up the ladder of trends. One minute everyone was riding the boho train (blergh) and then tailored and structured pieces were sliding back into womenswear (thank god). The best thing is, it is now acceptable for women to not only take masculine clothes like tuxedo jackets and mens shirts and turn them into the female equivalent, but actually to go out and buy the mens version. As someone who has worn mens clothes in the past (a few t-shirts here, a few jackets there) this is an awesome moment. No more pretending you're buying clothes for the hypothetical boyfriend who happens to be the same size as you, excellent. 

Anyway, there are plenty of options for this look, and the first place to get ideas from is the past because all you need to do is look at the many women who have donned mens clothing in films. Some of the most memorable include Diane Keaton and her grounding breaking khakis in 'Annie Hall', Katharine Hepburn and the fabulous moments of masculine dressing in many of her movies and then there is Julie Andrews in the movie 'Victor Victoria' taking a more theatrical approach in her tuxedo's that are amazing! But boy oh boy if you thought that it stopped there... the Queen of the tuxedo has got to be Marlene Dietrich. She is the be all - end all to dressing with attitude. Just look at the following images, you will understand. Words just cannot explain really. 

Diane Keaton in the 1977 Woody Allen film 'Annie Hall'
Julie Andrews as Victoria Grant in 'Victor Victoria' 1982
Katharine Hepburn
Marlene Dietrich
All of these women at some point have really changed things for women. Both Hepburn and Dietrich made it acceptable for women to wear pants - so simple but so liberating. It's quite admirable. It also makes me want to wear top hats and bow ties (if only i didn't have a short neck). Take inspiration from women like these and go for it!

How do i achieve the rather masculine look you may ask? Well my friend, i shall tell you. Just follow these simple instructions.
  1. You must have the ATTITUDE that these women present. Shoulders back, chin up - just remember you are a very important and strong woman so let that exude from you.
  2. Have CONFIDENCE in yourself. One cannot stress the importance of this. There is no need to go through life with your eyes on the pavement. You are capable of anything, and to get what you want in life - show "the man" that you have chutzpah.
  3. And every wardrobe has a certain amount of 'necessity' items. It just happens that these items are also the vital basics for a masculine cross over. They are as follows;

·      The classic men’s white shirt – this will take you anywhere. Wear it with gorgeously tailored trousers in the office, team it with jeans and ballet flats for casual moments, or wear it by itself in the bedroom. The possibilities are endless.

·      The black blazer – a staple in many aspects. This versatile piece is incredibly on trend right now and there are many options in all price ranges in store at the moment. Wear the blazer in black or navy, or if you’re a little more daring try it in a nude or neutral colour. Team it with jeans in the daytime, and the chuck it over your cocktail dress when it’s time to hit town. Brilliant!

·      The men’s watch – I’ve been wearing one for years. The bigger the better really, it’s a statement piece yet so functional. I’m partial to the square face, but nice big round ones are growing on me. And they don’t have to break the budget. When wanting to purchase one check out local jeweler sales and sometimes chain stores stock them too.

·      The oversized cardigan – such a favourite of mine. Black, grey, navy and khaki are basic colours that you can wear with everything but burnt oranges, maroon and caramel will never let you down.

·      The jean – what ever your colour preference, what ever your shape, always wear a jean that suits you, not the trend. I have found my perfect jean in a dark blue, straight leg and medium waist height. I’ll wear them with anything, day and night. Own one pair of good jeans to hang lovingly in your wardrobe. To get the mens look in jeans, go for a slightly looser leg fit, higher in the waist and a little bit baggy. Team this look with fine layering, shirts and loafers.

·      Lastly – Brogue shoes – in season at the moment (perfect!) and easy to wear. Pair them with jeans, trousers, harem pants, skirts or dresses the possibilities are endless. They are a chic way to finish an outfit and everyone should own at least one black pair.

So my dear readers, I am very sorry for piling all of that on you in one post, I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment if you have any more suggestions. Good night and good gardening.

Tot ziens

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Colour me this

So if you had not already noticed, i am not a huge colour wearer. I live, breathe and dream in colour but my wardrobe is mainly black and grey. Sometimes it is easier to keep my self swathed in noir so i don't have to make so many decisions about coordinating my look. BUT if i were to wear colour this season, i would probably go completely mad and draw inspiration from the following...

Colour is so powerful so why not just go absolutely mad and wear a combination of colourful pieces even if they clash. Colour is about expression, it is about exuding a confidence and most of all it is about happiness. Chuck on a few pairs of colour beads, or wear some massive scarf that has a rainbow explosion of colour. Prints, prints and prints... it's always about the prints. Or why not wear colours you thought you would never wear together like olive green and turquoise (thats a personal favourite). Or if you have the kahunas, take inspiration for the Steven Sprouse photo and wear an outfit of one colour top to toe. I seen this done in red and white, but there is something about this fuchsia ensemble that is almost edible.

Or if you are little bit more conservative (like me) take a daring vibrant colour and pair it with black. These photos are from the Lanvin 2009 Spring RTW collection. Notice that Albar Elbaz uses blocks of colour in simple but structured pieces to get the most impact. So whether its emerald, pistachio, amber or crimson it takes baby steps to bring back colour into a wardrobe, so i'll keep you posted with how i'm going. Have a wonderful day.

Tot ziens

p.s the magazine clips i cannot remember the details, i will go hunting for them at some point. The all pink outfit is Steven Sprouse 1985 i think. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Collaboration station

Ello all.

As promised, the not-so-famed male perspective has arrived. I'll try and keep my posts as varied and eclectic as possible, but my fashion musings are dominated by vintage and styles from the past. And it is here that i shall start...

The recent re-emergence of vintage has seen mens fashion take off. By creatively adapting past trends, classical styles like all-American prep and the nautical weekender have once again become edgy. Although each look is unique, they often share style in the details.

The above three kick-ass looks, whilst distinctly different, share certain detailing that i reckon is essential when pulling off vintage. Starting from the bottom up, the length of the trousers is crucial. You'll notice that first two lads, wearing the trousers, both have a bit of ankle showing. This is a classical look (see desinger Thom Browne for a modern rendition) that can be achieved with either a clean, hemmed cuff or a rolled up cuff. The shorts: always above the knee, with the same hemming and rolling techniques apllying.

Next, where the trousers/shorts sit on your waist. Cmon lads, gone are the days of low-rider pants with satin boxers showing, get them up round your stomach where they're supposed to be worn!

Chuck in a shirt...not a tee! Tuck it in and button that shit up to the top. Add a tie if you wish. For a cool alternative, instead of your traditional dress shirt, use a polo (can't go past Ralph Lauren). This dresses it down a lil, for all you guys a bit scared of formality.

Lastly, and only because i thought i'd mentioned it first but hadn't, are the shoes. All of the above styles use a similar boat shoe, which is hard to beat. Also, depending on the length of the trouser, you can change it up with some old-school desert boots, big fan of Clarkes personally (

Right, enough of the rambling. Am thinking of doing a piece on the aforementioned Thom Browne soonish. Stay posted.

A presto

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

l'inspiration de jour

Well seeing as i am new to this i thought i might have a go at creating my own inspiration board, and because this is my first... NO LAUGHING... 

My favourites for winter are jersey layers, hints of leather and definitely chunky metal accessories - whether it is studs on your boots, chains around your neck or a great mens watch.

This is just a quick post, watch out for my next one on menswear for women.

Tot ziens

To Covet Christopher

Well boys and girls, if you thought that there was a tshirt that could possibly take over the world here it is...

Christopher Kane and is unbelievably cool primate tshirts are readily available to purchase here and they come in all sizes for men and women. But be weary, purchasing one of these will set you back approximately $410 (NZ) so i will be putting one on the christmas wish list for now. I'm usually only a plain black tshirt wearer, but there is something about the end chimp tshirt thats screams WEAR ME!

In other news, i will be collaborating with a great friend of mine on this blog to get a male perspective on things too. So keeping reading, heaps of stuff coming soon.

Tot ziens

Monday, June 15, 2009

From Chloe to Celine

Well as i was strolling through i came across Phoebe Philo's first collection for Celine. She had been designing for Chloe until 2006 when she left to concentrate on her young family and is now back in the fashion industry with a very strong entrance. Here are a couple of my favourite pieces. 

I believe that Winter is definitely about layering up, as you probably have guessed by now. It is so important to compliment your outfit of choice with a beautifully tailored coat. So therefore i would lovingly wear any of these, especially the elongated black tuxedo jacket. Her colour palette was also so chic. The staple black with accents of white, silver and an almost metallic caramel. But then just when you thought it was keeping neutral she also added is a shot of muted emerald green, electric blue and crystal embellished separates (see below).

I would actually wear all of these, especially the green dress. Each piece is so beautifully cut, considered and chic. There is something for everyone in the collection. Check it out at

I think thats all for now.

Tot ziens

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Les Hommes

This post is specially for a friend, who has some cutting edge duds. 

Images courtesy of Karen magazine and

I have found that a lot of guys, especially New Zealand guys have an issue with adapting to new and unusual trends. They are still stuck on the skinny leg jeans, the ked shoes and the graphic tee. But don't get me wrong, this is perfectly okay. Because if they are wearing the above that means there is no sign of the stubbies, rugby jerseys and sandals (even in winter). 

Come on boys. Keep up with the play. Venture into buttoned up shirts, blazers, rolled cuff pants and loafers. And if you're thinking that this is far to preppy then go for layers in blacks, greys, khakis and navy. 

Images Courtesy of 
Military is huge again. Think Sgt Peppers and don a leader-of-the-band jacket just like those seen on the D&G runway (2nd photo from left) or just start layering like Prada (first image) and Rag and Bone (last image). The possibilities are endless.

Dress your best boys, it counts. Put on the bow-tie (oh yes they kick ass!) shine the shoes and tuck in the shirts. Mens fashion is on its way up!

tot ziens

The Mistress of Seams

Everyone is talking about the queen of costume design once again. Coming back into the spotlight, Edith Head is becoming the inspiration for a new generation of designers.

I first discovered her a couple of years ago when i found the Shirley MacLaine "What a way to go" watch the trailer here...
Her costumes are awe inspiring. You must watch the movie just to see the pearl strand backless dress. Beautiful.

I've also recently bought the republished version of Head's book "The Dress Doctor: Prescriptions for style" and it is amazing. The big surprise in it was the gorgeous illustrations by Bil Donovan. His website is  you definitely need to check him out. Here are a couple of his illustrations found on 

They're stunning right?! Well off to lie around and read british Elle and Vogue. yum.

tot ziens

The men.

Yeah i know, im pretty useless at this thing so here we go for post number two.
Thanks to my great (and newly engaged!! congrats!!) friend i have added two more blogs to my list. Not only is it important to surround yourself with beautiful and inspiring pictures of women wearing clothes you potentially dream about, it is important to have the male version thrown in their too.

Paul Newman! care of . god i saw this photo and an entire collection of clothes sprang from the depths of my brain. he was just so beautiful and bad looking. the kind of combination that girls inherently go for. i love the way he is just casually perched on the sidewalk, smoke hanging out and him in sweet digs. idol.

And then there was Joseph Gordon Levitt! care of another version of the beautiful but bad boy. melt. i obviously have a thing for guys that smoke. oops. i think this is definitely a strong look for guys this winter. layering, the preppy edge and the sophisticated yet casual and confident "i've just thrown this on" look.  

and guys if you want a blog to follow, check this guy out there is something about him that is ridiculously cool.

tot ziens

Monday, June 8, 2009

In the beginning...

Who am i? 
Where am i going?
The answer... 
There never is one.
There is one thing that i know for sure. I was made to covert, obsess - live and breathe fashion. From here on in, i will subject you to what i am inspired by. BUT i will not limit it to fashion musings, i am also greatly influenced by music, literature and art.

To start this off i thought i would give you an idea of who i am.

No i am not Corinne Roitfeld - i wish i was though. If an image could summarise a person... this could be bang on the buck for me. I am dramatic, and my friends will attest to this. If i could live my life in black and white i would. I'm a monochromatic, structured and a classic dresser. I covert my black leather boots and my felt, zipper embellished, bomber jacket. 
I strive to be like Corinne, classic, chic and completely cool.

okay so i ran out of time. dang. i will post again. with more images.. maybe one of myself. we'll see.

tot ziens