Friday, 28 September 2012

Launching in Australia soon: Popbasic

I’m going to admit it: I am in awe of local entrepreneur Madeline Veenstra. Tired of her job at Queensland Treasury, she noticed a gap in Wikipedia’s fashion coverage and started up Wikifashion in her spare time until it took off and became a full-time job. She recently re-located Wikifashion from its Brisbane base (how did I now know this?!) to New York.

Now, her latest project is called Popbasic. Popbasic is a fashion subscription service that delivers a fabulous fashion parcel to your doorstep once a month. Subscribers will receive a wardrobe staple, two fashion items and a surprise each month. The cost of the service is between $50 - $100 per month, depending on the season and the contents. Even better, Popbasic ships for free to both the US and Australia! 

The services launches in October and I am seriously considering signing up. Though I do enjoy shopping, I'm feeling a little seduced by the novelty and the intrigue of having someone else steer my fashion choices. 
I also want to support a local entrepreneur, even though she may now be based in New York. I think this is such a cool project, made even cooler by the fact that it came out of Queensland. See the Popbasic website and sign up to receive a $10 gift voucher. 

 Image courtesy of Popbasic website. All rights to Popbasic.

Five for Friday no. 38

J.K. Rowling's new novel that is completely unrelated to all things wizard-y is out this week.  

Rom Com

Tie The Knot: advocating for a more stylish and equal America.

Most Terrifying Lamp Ever. 

Do I want this wardrobe OR would the pressure to have pretty clothes on display all the time be to much for me?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Symphonic flash mobs

I think they're amongst the most impressive of flash mobs. Do you have any idea how hard it is to lug around a harp or a double bass? Let alone timpani. Yet here the performers appear out of no where with their heavy instruments, enchant their audience and disappear into the crowd.

This one is my personal favourite: the Copenhagen Philharmonic perform as a flash mob in Copenhagen Central Station.

And here, a performance of Symphony No.9 (Beethoven)

A little closer to home: the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform with guitarist Justin Firefly Clarke.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Milan fashion week: RTW 2013

Speaking as someone who know nothing, it seems to me that Milan fashion week is the smallest of the big four. New York, London and Paris are all mega huge. Milan occurs in between and seems to be smaller in every way. Less attended, fewer shows - five or six a day rather than 10 to 15 -and so in my mind, a little quieter. Maybe a little more enjoyable as a fashionista because of that. I shall never know...

However, if you've ever been to Milan you will know that it is an unexciting city that breathes fashion. You walk the streets and it seems everyone is beautifully dressed, groomed and together. The women carry Louis Vuitton bags that they were given decades ago, but these bags are carefully tended to and loved so that many years later, they are still the epitome of personal style. I was acutely aware of this when I arrived in Milan as a backpacker with a good friend, both of us wear jeans and a t-shirt and looking pretty ordinary I have to say. 

Milan is significant because it is here that some of the BIG names show. Gucci, Armani, Prada, Versace are all Italian brands known the world over by people who aren't even interested in fashion, and they show in Italy's fashion hub.

Just like London and New York, Spring RTW equals Colour Colour Colour. Glorious Colour!

Gucci ran with the most incredible fuchias and wonderful retro 70s feel.

Love It! Gucci. Images courtesy of

 Alberta Ferretti’s feminine and sea-inspired pieces. Images courtesy of 

Emporio Armani. Images courtesy of 

There is more....

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Brisbane's first Scandinavian Festival

Today marks the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Danish Club in Brisbane (est 1872 for those who can't count). To mark the occasion, the Brisbane clubs of Denmark, Sweden and Norway came together to hold Brisbane's first ever Scandinavian Festival.

I haven't spent anything like as much time in Scandinavia as I would like to. I have a bit of a crush on the region. I adore Scandinavian design principles, the people are charming if too geneticaly gifted for my liking - why do they get olive skin And blonde hair And to be tall and slim? - and I admire them for their socially developed ways of thinking and political governance.

Some of the lovely artwork for sale. Owls, horses and reindeer.

I went along to the festival, however, in anticipation of the food.

Delicious Norwegian waffles with jam and browned goats cheese.
Swedish lollies and Danish pastries.

A couple of girlfriends and I arived nice and early before the sun got too hot and the waffles ran out. The festival was held in Austin Street Newstead, outside the doors of the Danish Club. There were market stalls, Norse huts and traditonal dancing.

 Beautiful traditional crafts.

By 11 the streets were packed and the lines for the roast pork sandwiches and icecream stretched through the street. I think the festival was a lot more popular than the organisers anticipated. But if the annual success of Paniyiri and Oktoberfest show anything it's that we love to celebrate all the diverse cultures that make up our national fabric. I hope the clubs count this first year as a huge success and maybe next year will be bigger. And in a park with shade.

Brisbane's first Scandinavian Festival: a great day out. 

 There were scores of people in traditional costume or else in national colours.

Boys playing what looked to be a traditional version of chess and main stage entertainment.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Five for Friday no. 37

For fellow XKCD fans out there: a Google Maps-like view of the XKCD world

Banksy art as animated gifs.

14 crazy places to travel to. I have added 13 to my travel list. I have already visited one of them.

Pamukkale, Turkey. 
I have photos of me wandering through these natural cliffs and pools when I was 5. 
I was adorable!
Speaking of travel, I have just discovered another fantastic general information website for people with Wanderlust.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

September project day 8ish: The Burrow

Stepping into The Burrow, the first thing I noticed was how good the place smelt. Of pizza and breakfast and fresh fruit and every good thing. I wasn’t even particularly hungry at the time but I immediately wanted to sit down and scoff something. 

I hadn’t tried The Burrow before now because they don’t open until 8:30am Monday – Thursday, which is was past my coffee-on-the-way-to-work time and because parking on Mollison street is damn hard to get. Turns out, they have parking behind the café! No excuse not to go for lunchtime pizza. Which I will do. Soon. Because the pizza menu for $10 a pizza looked scrumptious!

I got two take away coffees. The barista suggested that if I hadn’t tasted their coffee as yet I should have the house blend rather than the single-source Guatemalan that they had in stock. The latte was good, not very hot, and strong. Packed a real punch.   

Aside from that, the baristas were both nice, it was a relaxing place to be and it looked like it had comfortable regular clientele who like the place enough to go often and stay long. Always a good sign.

Regular soy latte: $3.80, that’s with 30c extra for soy
Smell: delectable
Parking: yes!
Inside décor: indie-café but nifty and nice and with lots of seats
Caffeine hit: much needed

The Burrow on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

London Fashion Week: Ready to Wear Spring 2013

London Fashion week wrapped up yesterday so I’m a little more on the ball with this one than I was with New York

The huge hit of the week seems to have been Burberry Prorsum, that ultra-British label who showed a glorious rainbow of colours, right to a finale of metallic trench coats that have ‘must-have-instant-classic’ written all over them. In direct contrast, Mulberry was muted. For the most part though, the collection screamed bright and wonderful English summer. All colour, glorious colour.  

Burberry Prorsum. Image courtesy of

Mulberry. Image courtesy of

If you want to go one place to check out London Fashion Week I say go to Vogue UK – or any of the other major fashion mag UK editions like Harpers Bazaar. But do so soon – Milan Fashion week is already underway and it might be almost overnight that Matthew Williamson is replaced by Dolce & Gabbana. 

Matthew Williamson. Image courtesy of

My absolute favourite was Temperley London.

Temperley London. Images courtesy of

For some fashion wrap ups, you can check out The Guardian, full photo shoots of the 103 catwalk shows on Vogue or there is of course the official London Fashion Week website. 

Street style on just about any fashion website in the world, but a few here at either Jak and Jil or Tommy Ton's tumblr, Harpers or Stylist UK.

Erdem. Image courtesy of

Anyone like to join me?

The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar. A reason to travel to Zanzibar. As if the name 'Zanzibar' wasn't enough...


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Miss or Ms?

Men don’t realise how easy they have it in the name department. You’re given one name and unless you get a swanky qualification or change your name by deed poll, you die with that name. 

Even without taking into considerations the possibility of becoming a Dr. or an Emer. Prof., there are times in a woman’s life when she has to make name-changing decisions, the big one of course being when she gets married. 

I have no such conundrum at the moment, however, the question I’m dealing with is this; am I a Miss or a Ms?

There comes a time in a non-married girl’s life when she somehow clicks over from a Miss to a Ms. There are professional considerations; something about the title ‘Miss’ is very girly and young and not really appropriate for a CEO. Women who marry but keep their maiden names often use Ms because Miss is firmly single whereas Ms is ambiguous. I know some 85-year-old ‘Miss’s’ and they are very firmly ‘Miss’. Never been married and the convention is not married = Miss. 

Whenever I join a mailing list or fill out a form and it comes to title, I don’t know what to put. To be honest, at the moment I don’t care. I use both titles, sprinkled across my official paper work.  For me it’s the age issue. Sometime around 30 you’re magically transformed into a Ms. Perhaps because people now longer sure of your partnership status, or calling you Miss sounds silly, I don’t know. I don’t care. But I’m interested to find out – are there any other 20-something women who are finding themselves drifting into 'Ms' territory without knowing why?

Marriage aside, when do you stop being a Miss and become a Ms?

Monday, 17 September 2012

NY RTW Spring 2013. A non-fashion-bloggers guide.

NYFW RTW Spring 2013 is over and done and London is in progress.

So already I’m behind the times.

But, as I did for 2012/2013 Couture I am blogging a quick wrap-up because the internet is littered with fashion bloggers of all kinds who do this for a living. Unlike me, who does it over a glass of wine in the evening. I like to think that makes it chic.

I can only imagine how manic fashion festival time must be. 4 cities, 3 weeks, thousands of people descending on each city from all over the world. It must work like a well-oiled machine. If you want a little insight into how crazy the days are fore the shows, have a schedule online

In general, is a pretty great site to run through the full gamut of fashion week.

Oyster Mag is always an amazing place to read and observe fashion.

Vogue Australia has the full round up of designer shows, also a ‘round up’ if you just want to see the best bits. 

Vogue UK also has a pretty amazing gallery set. 

I can’t get the Vogue US ones because I keep being re-directing me to Vogue Australia!
A couple of fashion bloggers I enjoy went along: A Pair and a Spare and A Little Bird Told Me. 

Two of the collections I looked at and got excited about were Orla Kiely and Nicholas Kirkwood. 

 Nicholas Kirkwood. Image courtesy of
I might try to be more on top of the next few fashion weeks. Though London is almost over already...

Only one or two of the dozens of shows at New York Ready to Wear Fashion Week Spring 2013

3.1 Phillip Lim. Image courtesy of

Victoria Beckham's show was apparently a huge hit. Image courtesy of

 Marc Jacobs. Image courtesy of

 Carolina Herrera. Image courtesy of

 Robert Rodriguez. Image courtesy of

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