Tuesday, May 1, 2012

31. MBFWA SS2012: Ginger and Smart

Is it a young Samantha Jones were seeing here? The unabashedly confident character on Sex in the City would be right at hoe in these pink slimline jackets and smokin hot cigarette jeans fitting only to a body of sin. Indeed, if neon pop and over the top are your fashion equvalent of fun, Ginger and Smart delivered yesterday with a celebratory show to mark 10 years of being in the Australian Fashion Industry which was staged at On Seven in David Jones.

It's a bold move by designer duo Alexander and Genevieve Smart to use neon which to date has only been used sparingly and spread it across an entire range. Does it work? Or more importantly does it matter? Whilst neon green brocade may be for the daring Samantha Jones' of the world only, the usual flamboyancy of Ginger and Smart extends to more sellable digital print shirts and skirts, anchored by some pretty hues of champagne silk.

Showing no sign of slowing down Ginger and Smart are even releasing a pod-cast each month, hitting up their favourite tunes which if you'll listen to, is as anomalous as the collection and who could expect anything less? In a competitive market one pulls out all the stops however it's refreshing to see Ginger and Smart continue with an aesthetic that bought them 10 years in the first place, with a calorific, mahicked up and crazy print or two.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss


30. MBFWA SS2012: Ksubi

The trucker style hats are back as the boys from Bondi bring with them quadruple amounts of double denim. From the shoes to the neckerchiefs which in some ways might be fitting of a painter, it's the small things that provide a point of difference from the layered denim bomber to the colour of each concoction which are all the same blue.

Hawaiian print on print usually fitting of retirees wearing Panama hats are in any case now becoming. Paired with cool kicks and modelled by the likes of Jerome Alarie and Rachel Rutt this is Bondi Beach wear fitting of designers George Garrow and Dan Single's band of friends from the stylish Christine Centenera to the motley skater crew.

With fashion so futile it can't be easy keeping up with cool, but Ksubi do it effortlessly and consistently, bucking trends and carving out new ones. Were not talking about a revolution here. Ksubi's collection get's no more detailed, intricate or complex in it's storytelling. It's just easy clothing with that little bit of Bondi edge.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss




Monday, April 30, 2012

29. MBFWA SS 2012: Miss Unkon

Miss Unkon is making wishes today. Onwards and upwards with her eye on the sky. You wouldn't know it by watching the show, unless of course you were able to look very very closely but behind each pretty filly's ear a small dandelion is painted and as anyone who's ever been seven can remember these are flowers of the wishing kind.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams said David Henry Thoreau. Life the life you've imagined. Certainly the designer Courtney Meyer is emblematic of that. The designer who's graciously playing host to journalists prior to her show is as much a dreamer as she is a doer but the jeunne fille of yesteryear has now grown up

Those musty dusty tones are all but done. The Navajo girl is still there, seen in delicate embroidery over frothy tulle skirting. In candy cane colours of peach, pink and blue there's an element of sex, it's only subtle. But as dresses give way to unabashedly short sheer shorties it would seem Miss Unkon is no longer frolicking in the fields

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss



Thursday, April 26, 2012

28. LIFEwithBIRD SS 12/13

There are two types of love. The ones that catch alight, solidify themselves rapidly and dissipate into nothingness just as fast and then there's the slow burn. Like a steeplechase at times, repeatedly challenged or through circumstances out of it's control, forced to make it's progress painfully slowly. In the same way that there are two types of love there are two types of labels and here we have LIFEwithBIRD.

It's been a quiet evolution for LIFEwithBIRD since 2001 when Bridget McCall and Nicholas Van Messner began the brand. Beginning with accessories followed by an addition of apparel 3 years later; their story chronicles one of hard work and dedication and so it must have been with some elation to reach the 10 year mark, a point which was celebrated with their Summer 12/13 show last Thursday.

Set within Sydney Opera House in a room redolent of a future apocalypse featuring the beautifully restored concrete beams of the Utzon Room and expansive views of Sydney Harbour, as the psychedellic punk funk sound of Yang Yang by Anika pumped from overhead speakers, there wouldn't have been a single doubt in the house that an equally strong performance was about to ensure.

There have been criticisms about a lack of cohesiveness, a lack of fresh ideas and I say bs. Raised fabrics both textured and tri-layered - think skirt meets singlet meets shirt, and ghost gum jumpsuits, the fluid nature of the print matching that of the garment hit high trend notes against the more commercially pleasing black bandage dresses and printed shifts, a cornerstone of LIFEwithBIRDS's past.

Whilst short suiting which featured predominantly throughout is nothing new, who could possibly pass up this violet interpretation of short shorts paired with loosely tailored sorbet jackets and matching print trapeze tees. One neon hue and sports luxe dress perhaps played homage to LIFEwithBIRD's future, a hint maybe at future collections as the grips of these two trends take hold.

And back to my initial reference of two types of loves and labels. I don't believe for a second it's been an easy journey from point A to B but at this stage and telling of the shows title, a reference to a beginning and an end I believe the quiet evolve is over and LIFEwithBIRD sans showstopping antics has gained a firm footing in the Australian market and is at a point of coming into it's own.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss


Thursday, March 15, 2012

27. Restaurant Review: The Apollo

In the same way that Sydney hasn't seen too many sunny days lately, the Republic of Greece has also been a far cry from the 5th and 4th centuries when the Athenians prided over having the most advanced economy in the world. Although by no stretch could Sydney compare itself to the struggle currently being faced by the Greek, if reports of diners booking for 6 and eating for 3 are anything to go by, our eating habits are clearly changing and unless your at the pointy end of town $175 set menus no longer wash.

A dining space like this belongs at the pointy end of town. Courtesy of Architect George Livissianis if not for the throng pulsing their way along Macleay Street to the double doors that mark the entrance of The Apollo, you mightn't even notice the nondescript 1930's building which was previously a stuffy, curtain drawn space. With the bladder seemingly ripped out, what remains is an interior of crumbly peeling paint which, however bare-bones makes for the most elegant interpretation of hole in the wall meets avant-garde.

Enter and be warmed by the light through each arched window but arrive early. However kindly Chris McNally may be to greet you from all observations The Apollo is in full swing by 7pm, it's balmy location beneath a canopy of plane trees a magnet for locals, grown ups and the chic set. Once in however, it's a seat at a smooth whitewashed table top or the U-shaped bar and what better way to take in the view than here, leaning against the marble and listening to the smooth jazzy tones of the late Ms Winehouse.

In a similarish way the food takes the same slant as the decor. Traditional rustic fare such as a Taramasalata Mullet Roe Dip ($12) comes served in a glass jar but with the most delicate spoon made of mother of pearl. Mopped up with a generous serving of warm pita bread, punchy and flavoursome as each bubble of salmon caviar bursts, a Saganaki of Cheese Honey and Oregano ($17) provides a delicious salty contrast to this otherwise velvety, rich dish which like the dip is served simply but with a pretty spray of purple oregano.

Order the Lamb Rib and Loin ($34), grilled pieces of succulent lamb, marinated, sliced thickly and served up with a pot of yogurt but if your stomachs on the small side be prepared to share. The Apollo's menu is practically designed around the concept and by fine dining standards this is a colossal dish, one worthy of Alexander and his Thessalian army who in Greek times and still remains one of the most successful commanders in all time history.

Did I say fine dining? Perhaps the definition needs to be reviewed. With waitstaff however fresh but clearly eager, the genius of Sam Christie of Longrain fame and Jonathan Barthelmess at the pans, The Apollo and it's delectable, price competitive menu and superlative taverna style interior shines a beacon for the Greek not doing so well back and home and is an example if any how in-spite of the industry with it's volatility, difficulty, and all round pain in the ass customers, a strong business acumen goes a long, long way.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss


The Apollo
44 Macleay Street, Potts Point
T: (02) 8354 0888

Images courtesy of Scott Needham

Friday, March 9, 2012

26. Restaurant Review: Bay Tinh

Lord knows getting around Sydney is tough enough but with the advent of cab to curb heels, show me a woman that say's 'I'd love to walk to dinner in my new Louboutin's' and I'll show you a liar, a drunk or a gold digger and lord knows there's plenty of those in Sydney.

The 'arkward shoe' has alot to answer for and for me this means hitting up some of Sydney's finest diners because they happen to be within walking distance of my Eastern Suburbs bubble. However as pleasurable as flashy warehouse conversions may be, it only takes a weekend of this to realise I'm living a champagne lifestyle on a very beer-like budget and having to wait two hours for a table .. at the bar .. for a kebab.

There's an alternate. An adventure. And a surprise at the end. Located over the bridge, Bay Tinh in Sydney's Crow's Nest is surprisingly a 20 minute drive to get to in peak hour traffic from Elizabeth Bay and presumably a nifty 15 minute scoot in non-peak hour traffic.

Bookings are accepted and BYO wine, as the french would say 'Tres Bon'. Did you know Vietnam was a French colony until 1954? Neither did I but as my date and I settle into our table and a lovely bottle of The Pawn 11' Pinos Gris ($26), a survey of the menu proves more than your typical Vietnamese type fare but one weighing heavily on the influences of French Imperialism.

Crispy Pancake gone wrong can be a sordid affair but our Crispy Pancake ($12.90) is both light, lace thin and full of crunch and munch. Stuffed Dried Mushrooms ($12) filled with prawn paste sit plump on a bed of cabbage accompanied by a delectable pool of hot oyster sauce.

The labour intensity of a Galantine of Chicken ($8.50) far outweighs this princely price-point. The bird; de-boned and stuffed with a mixture of pork and spice is so delicious it's hard to say where the succulent juices end and my drool starts. It's a good thing I'm able to pull myself together before the piece de resistance. Six Little Rice Cakes ($10.50) like wafer crisp cups each filled with a creamy prawn and coconut milk centre.

I didn't lie about the surprise as in our case we found it at the end. Past the kitchen Bay Tinh's main dining space opens out onto a plush cushion covered boudoir. With it's own tapas style menu and sommelier wine recommendations for each item listed, the mind boggles at what other experiences may be had, at this place that serves heaven on a plate and leaves room to buy more 'arkward shoes'.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

25. Stars and their Stylists

Dress sense is a funny thing.

I remember once thinking I looked banging in a red crepe de chine spaghetti strap Maxi which was paired with a matching red feather boa and crystal earrings. It was the 90's, and by all accounts received excellent commentary in-spite of the fact that at the last minute I decided to add a miniature diamante bindi to my forehead. Jeans to my highschool formal? I live to tell the tale.

Stars however, appreciating the fact that their appearance at the Oscars will be a representation of themselves on an international stage employ stylists, which regardless of their dress sense on day's off, is a way of telling the world they're the front-runners in fashion so well worth the dollars spent.

That said, employing someone to over-haul your style comes at a pretty penny. At around $5,000 - $10,000 per job, a celebrity stylists remuneration is enough to make any one of us want to quit our day jobs. I know for a fact one diva touring Australia this year has demanded a rate of $3000 per day for her stylist plus the cost of flights, hotels and clothes.

So who are these nameless faces? Often red carpet celebs will have on hand practically a roll-call of credits for their dress, shoes, bag and jewels, however it's almost a given that akin to some of the work we're seeing done on celebrity faces, admitting to having a stylist is as much of a fashion faux pax as admitting to a facelift.

Here at Daily Gloss we've listed 3 2012 Celebrity Oscar Stylists. Their clients, their history and how they came to be power brokers of style, controlling red-carpet fashion for A list clients. I for one will never have a stylist although in spite of all the seemingly ridiculous closet choices it doesn't stop me from vying to be one, and those inappropriate outfits still roll on and on.

Penny Lovell for Ginnifer Goodwin InStyle November 2010

1. Penny Lovell

Sporting similar brown bangs to her star client Rose Byrne, Penny worked as an assistant to the Fashion Director at Elle whilst freelancing for Conde Nast Traveller and Harvey Nicolls before a move to LA in 2003. In a recent interview with Madison the stylist is quoted as saying, 'For as long as I can remember, I've always been buying things from the Red Cross or Vinnie's. My mum used to think I was crazy and now I get to do it for real.

Clients include: Ginnifer Goodwin, Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne, Patrick Dempsey, Casey Affleck

2. Elizabeth Stewart

Based in LA and having worked in the style department of the NY times - for 10 years, as well as the Paris editor for W and WWD. Stewart, 47 seems as much of a risk taker with her clients couture as she is with her own dress. Styling her clients in Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Chanel, the stylist achieves a notable balance between elegant and edge.

Clients include: Cate Blanchett, Freida Pinto, Amanda Seyfried, January Jones, Kristen Davis, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams

3. Kate Young

Beginning her career at Vogue as an assistant 'for a million years', stylist Kate Young's most recent accomplishment includes flying the flag in a position recently held by Anna Dello Russo as the editor-at-large for Macy's INC collection. Favouring Givenchy, Jason Wu, Erdem and Celine, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Kate sits at #2 of Hollywoods most powerful celebrity stylists.

Clients include: Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Rachel McAdams, Selma Blair, Alicia Keys, Rachel Weisz, Diane Kruger

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

24. SS12 Lookbook: Louis Vuitton

As most little girls began their foray into romanticism with dreams inspired by Disney, it was often Paris that featured in the next stage of our fantasies as we matured and realised the chances of meeting a man who could both sing and fly a carpet were pretty slim.

Embracing novelty prints and typical Parisian colours of red, white and blue; model Arizona Muse is the star of Louis Vuitton's latest Cruise '12 campaign where the scene is set for her journey across Paris in a cafe before escaping to the Seine where she muses over a notepad wearing white sailor style pants aired with a loose Mandarin style jacket.

Featuring boat necked tunics and one incredibly on-trend neo-Gothic style gold collar - can I just add if there is one piece I'm vying for this season it's a beautiful collar - If only for each beautiful backdrop it's worth a little escapism to get lost in Louis Vuitton.

Written by A L F I E A N D E L L E for Daily Gloss