Posts tagged ‘fabric’

7 March, 2010

The Hunt for Alice

It’s literally March (Hare) madness with the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  As magazines all over the world go to town with Alice-inspired spreads, I decided to have a quick poke around my house to see what I could come up with.

Given Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s wacky sensibilities, it wasn’t too hard to find things inspired by or inspiring elements of his tale.  Tea things – check.  Playing cards – check.  Potion bottles – check.  My household was also, surprisingly, well-stocked with white rabbits, though not of the kind I was hoping for.  I’d forgotten about the ban on Chinese milk goods a few years back which halted production of the White Rabbit lollies I’d grew up chewing.  However, I’m sure the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse would appreciate the puzzling nature of the Haw Flakes – edible discs made of the fruit of the Chinese Hawthorn – which I tossed in.

Results of my Hunt for Alice below.

The first ever film version of Alice in Wonderland (filmed in 1903) has recently been restored by the British Film Institute.

12 February, 2010

My Christmas Haul

Huzzah! My very own Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguins!

(I rather suspect these volumes featuring the very moral Ms Eyre, the March sisters and my favourite Austen heroine, that meddling, spoilt Ms Woodhouse will be admired more often than read.)

3 December, 2009

‘dignified but flippant’

Which is how Allen Lane‘s secretary described a certain Antarctic-dwelling flightless bird, adding that it would be an appropriate name for a company.

And so an iconic brand was born.

Penguin’s unwavering commitment to book design has deliciously manifested itself in the hardback clothbound releases of classics by Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and others. Designed by the fabulously named Coralie Bickford-Smith, these books dazzle, sparkle and enchant with their Arts and Craft and Art Nouveau references, candy-like colours and shimmering motifs.

Well, they did me, anyway.

Beautifying bookshops everywhere and, if Santa is kind, my own bookshelf very soon!

Photos of book spines courtesy of inpenguin.

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28 October, 2009

Toasty Textiles

The sun came out yesterday.  Excitedly, I piled out, with my cup of tea, some needlework and various bits and bobs, for a leisurely al fresco day, so my chilled limbs could soak up the well-missed sunshine and my skin could absorb some Vitamin D.

Approximately ninety minutes later, I became aware that the pleasant warmth had deteriorated into a vague discomfort.  I realised then that there were distinctive tan lines where my shorts ended and my thighs and arms had turned an unhealthy-looking lobster pink.  I scrambled out of the direct sunlight and spent the rest of the afternoon underneath the shade of the verandah.  A mistake to think that the harsh Australian sun is anything like its gentler European cousin.

On the other side of the world, the Toast Winter 2009/10 catalogue is out.  And reminds me of the snug, bright glow of October days in East London, spent tramping through piles of red, orange and gold leaves while swaddled against the oncoming chill in soft, warm woollens, a scarf artfully wound around one’s neck and a thick coat.

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3 October, 2009

Prep school

‘Preppy’ (short for ‘preparatory’) style originated during the 1960s from those elite New England schools of America and it’s never really gone away since. Countless fashion tribes, labels and socio-economic demographic groups the world over have adopted and created their own versions, or simply subverted preppy.

When I first visited Paris almost a decade ago, I was surprised that preppy (from casual to luxe and any other degree in between) was the style of choice for most of the city’s dwellers. Why was the flamboyance of the haute couture shows not reflected on the streets? When I got to know some Parisians, I began to understand that the city, where France’s political and economic power lie, was, for the most part, quite conservative. But the French, even while garbed simply, express their individuality, their taste, with little flourishes – an unexpected scarf fabric, a surprisingly heeled boot, a contrasting jacket detail. Minimalism is king in Paris, but minimalism with a subtle twist.

Shortly after, I discovered Parisian brand APC and its simple, beautifully constructed pieces.

It was love at first sight.

From Autumn/Winter 2009/10:

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2 October, 2009

I’m an Amish kindergarten lumberjack and I’m okay…

APC Madras Autumn/Winter 2009/10.  Part Scandinavian lumberjack.  Part 1970’s kindergarten mum.  A little bit Amish.  And French insouciance all through and through.  So much more lovely than Madras Spring/Summer 2009/10 which was all primary colours, monkey prints and romper suits. This season is truer to the main APC line.

Excitingly, I’ve discovered a lovely Melbourne store which stocks Madras.  Now all I have to do is work out my budget…

apc madras aw0910.v2

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4 September, 2009

Spring and Liberté

Thunderstorms, sudden hail showers and bursts of brilliant sunshine.  It’s spring as usual, in Melbourne town.  And a young filly’s thoughts turn to fields, frolics, flowers and… frocks!  And there’s nothing like a new frock to make a girl feel light on her toes, a spring song trilling in her heart, even as it’s pouring outside.

It will be a Liberty print frock for me this year.  Liberty prints are always perfect for spring – pretty but not country kitsch and evokes childhood memories of Ladybird books, school fêtes, tea parties, cupcakes and all things crafty.

APC came out with a few stunning creations earlier this year, for the Northern Hemisphere Spring/Summer 2009.

Tatum Liberty Print Summer Dress, A.P.C.

Tatum Liberty Print Summer Dress, A.P.C.

Poppy And Daisy Liberty Print Smock Dress, A.P.C.

Poppy and Daisy Print Summer Smock Dress, A.P.C.

Bourton Liberty Print Crochet Dress, A.P.C.

Bourton Liberty Print Crochet Dress, A.P.C.

Cacharel also celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in April 2009 with a re-edited collection of its original Liberty print collaboration of the 1960s.

Green Liberty Print Apron Dress, Cacharel.

Green Liberty Print Apron Dress, Cacharel.

Halterneck Summer Dress, Cacharel.

Halterneck Summer Dress, Cacharel.

Green Button Through 70s Dress, Cacharel.

Green Floral Button Through 70s Dress, Cacharel.

But I’ve found a couple of other lovely Liberty print dresses at Nadinoo, a British designer based in Germany.

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Or, maybe a frock won’t do.  Perhaps a scarf.  Hermés has jumped into the Liberty love-in with a range of Liberty print scarves which will be available soon.

(Image taken from the Guardian)

(Image taken from the Guardian)

Honestly! What’s a girl to do?

20 August, 2009

Old Skool

One of the great things about coming back to Melbourne is the incredible amount of stuff out there; plenty of Australian and, in particular, Melbourne designers, painters, artists, artisans, craftspeople bringing their incredibly stylish, creative imaginings into being.

This bag below caught my eye.  It’s from the Spring/Summer 09 range of Melbourne outfit, Nancybird.  Teal – check.  Old-style vintage print – check.  Retro bicycle – check. Vintage-looking camisole – check. Fresh-faced model with a high swinging ponytail – check. Summery vibes galore – check.

Hmm.

Perhaps it’s not just the bag but the whole image which I find so appealing.

Image from Nancybird.com

Image from Nancybird.com

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