All I want for Christmas…

Is it too early to request something for Christmas? That all I want for Christmas is a walk-in-wardrobe. Yep. That is my dream.

So enjoy some of these pictures, because I know I do:

Graham Moss designed

  I love the soft colours and the contrast with the art on the bathroom wall. This is a common layout for walk-in-wardrobe but I like that doors have been put on as it hides the mess of the clothes/bags/shoes and stuff.

Melanie Fascitelli designed

Melanie Fascitelli designed

Melanie Fascitelli designed

I love the idea of my jewellery all displayed for my daily pickings. Look at all the Hermes (orange) bags/boxes in the picture above, they would have cost a fortune! However, the neatly folded clothes would not stay neatly folded for long!

Celerie Kemble via Lonny Mag

Very glam, old school charm.

Celebrity Closets

I should not be surprised that celebrities have awesome closets (after all, some live in them).

Oprah's closet

This probably is not as ostentatious as it could be! I wonder if it includes the outfits she wore while filming the Oprah show…

Mariah Carey

I don’t really like her personal style, but her ‘dressing room’ is amaaaazing! It looks bigger than my apartment!

Ralph Lauren

A classic and traditional style. Quite like his label.

But at the moment, I’ll be happy with something like this even (but wardrobe should be ceiling height):

But somehow I don’t think the family kris kingle budget allocation would cover my dream wardrobe. Nevermind, I can just keep buying clothes to go into my dream wardrobe… So are you in love with closets as much as I am? What do you want for Christmas?

images: DecorPad; Leslie Fine Interiors; Stegbar


Top of the pops.

This weekend marks the end of my youth… Though, some might have said my youth ended a while ago… hardy ha ha. What am I talking about? Video Hits!

For those not familiar with the program, it showcased the latest video clips and completely unrealistic competitions (I don’t know who ever won them!). Over time the show evolved to having hosts and interviewing singers (Channel Ten had to place those ex-Australian Idol contestants somewhere).

I was among the many, whose childhoods was shaped by the program — not to mention my teenage years and my early adulthood. I would ritualistically turn on the telly and either plant myself on any couch or try to mimic the dance moves while cleaning… all while commentating on the chart parade with family, friends and housemates or whoever was around to listen to me.

According to Crikey, ‘historically, Video Hits was also one of the limited ways kids could explore their musical tastes in the pre-internet era. Unless you had an older sibling or hip friend, or dared parley with the intimidating punks staffing local record shops, you learned about music from Video Hits, as well as Rage, Smash Hits and TV Hits magazines, and commercial radio top 40 countdowns including Barry Bissell’s Take 40 Australia‘. Exactly! That was me! Pick me!

Apparently VH is the second longest running music TV show in the world; the longest running is the Eurovision Song Contest (Rage premiered in April 1987). But sadly, it has fallen victim to Channel Ten’s ‘restructure’ (or review, as it’s called in my workplace).

Farewell Video Hits, we had such a good time together and just for a bit of nostalgia, here is a bit of Britney before her meltdown.

Speaking of tops, another fast fashion label is heading to Oz, Topshop is rumoured to be opening in Melbourne/Sydney in 2012. According to dropdeadgorgeousdaily who cites ‘industry sources’, Topshop have their eye on a location at the Chapel Street Jam Factory precinct in Melbourne, and it is believed that the short list of Sydney locations include the outer-suburb Chatswood Chase shopping centre.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Topshop and H&M are watching Zara very closely. What will this mean for Sportsgirl? Portmans have already announced closing 15 to 20 stores (out of a total of 133). Is there room in our tiny market for these international labels?

Are you sad about Video Hits? Or are you a Rage fan? RAAA-AGE! Ra, ra, raaagggggeeeeeeeee!

images: Dave Lavington

A weekend away

Yes, it has been a bit quiet here of late.  Lots of things have been happening, much of it isn’t blog worthy. However, I did take a mini trip to Australia’s capital, Canberra. Before you roll your eyes (because I would), the place holds a soft spot in my heart for lots of reasons and last weekend I paid a visit and was presently surprised.

Lonsdale Street Roasters

I always, always start the day with a coffee, preferably a good one at that. Otherwise, I’m not human. Lonsdale Street Roasters provided me with that good coffee hit. Read other reviews here and here. Too bad it wasn’t here a few years ago, otherwise I might have stayed! Maybe. No. The food menu is limited, but provides some decent options like the ‘Cuban slow roasted pork chipotle coriander’ panini.

3/7 Lonsdale St, Braddon ACT 2612

National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery

In 2006, the Australian Government agreed to fund the expansion and renovation of the NGA. The expansion was three-fold consisting of the $20 million renovation of the existing building, the $68 million addition of further space, a new entrance and improved accessibility, and the $5 million landscaping of the surrounding area. That doesn’t even cover the cost of the art, though the total cost might only buy an insignificant Picasso. So I guess the renovation / expansion is value for money. The gallery expansion and landscaping makes a lovely stroll, pass the Australian High Court, to the National Portrait Gallery completing a new ensemble of arts and civic facilities in Australia’s Parliamentary Triangle.

Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600 –;

The Brodburger

I heard so much about these burgers from locals, or adopted locals. I was warned the wait was long, but friends were well prepared with a picnic rug and a lovely lake view. In due course we got our burgers. The hype surrounding these burgers is such that is not possible for them to exceed expectations, but they pretty much meet the expectations. The ingredients are top notch and the all important patty is hand made. The flavours balanced very well. Man of the house ordered the over-the-top Brodburger Deluxe: 2 x A grade gourmet beef patties, flame grilled, 2 x eggs, lots of crispy bacon. Topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and Spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli and tomato relish.

I think he ate a cow.

Bowen Park Carpark, Bowen Drive/Wentworth Av, Barton ACT 2604 –

A very big thank you to Ms C and Mr E for a fabulouso time xxA

images: Rummage: Warning Hipsters Ahead; Qantas: Travel Insider; Haycraft Duloy; Man of the house.

Kate’s getting married… again.

OK so the subject title may be misleading as I did blog furiously leading up to and the days after Kate (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) married. I try not to blog too much about royal weddings and resisted the temptation to say my two cents worth about the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlene as so much has been written, albeit, mostly sad things. I did have to post the picture below of former French President Jacques Chirac and his wife Bernadette Chirac (R) speaks with Iran’s former Queen Farah Pahlavi at the Monaco event. I wonder if they had polite conversation or discussed things like the future of Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei or nuclear power, disguised as nuclear weapons?

Where was I? Oh yes Kate as in Kate ‘fashion extraordinaire’ Moss. Kate blasted on to the fashion scene in the Calvin Klien jeans ads and started the ‘waif’ look, a physique you have to be born with. Coupled with dating Johnny Depp, there was no going back. Though, to her credit Kate has been able to transform herself to from waif/grunge to fashion chic right in front of us. I think she has survived because she can transform, and model, i.e. be a blank canvass for whatever is in season. She rarely gives interviews and hasn’t really crossed over into hosting or acting. Thank goodness she knows her limits.

Kate Moss in her younger days, but do you recognise the dude?

So, who would’ve thought she’s the marrying type?! I really did think she was just too cool for societal conventions, but I guess not! A few weeks ago, Kate married The Kills front man Jamie Hince and it was polar opposites to the other British Kate’s wedding earlier this year.

As predicted much earlier, she did wear a dress designed by friend John Galliano (despite his recent fall from grace) and he, a powder blue or light grey Yves Saint Laurent suit. The dress was sleeveless ivory bias-cut, with gold detailing, a long veil, and accessorised with a floral headband.

It could’ve been a wedding for anyone really, but with a guest list that included Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Cambell, Marc Jacobs, Anna Wintour,  Carine Roitfeld (I wonder if her and Anna are mates now that Carine is no longer at French Vogue?) and approximately 294 other  famous/beautiful people, it wasn’t your average wedding. Mario Testino was photographer of the day but that didn’t stop Terry Richardson posting some wonderful pics here.

Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs - critiquing a guest's outfit perhaps?

The question is, which Kate wedding would I have preferred to attend? This one would have been the party of the year. No doubt about that. Though it would have been the most stressful in figuring out what to wear with uber fashion designers, Vogue editors, photographers and stylists attending in abundance. Though, the Royals probably throw a good party too. I’m pretty sure I could have fit both events in my diary, no?

What did you think of Kate’s wedding and which one would you have preferred to attend?

images: Getty; AP

Something buttery and flaky.

On a rainy day, Man of the house and I went to South Melbourne to check out the Made in Japan’s KURA (warehouse) store. I love Japanese ceramics and when I visited a flea market in Kyoto, I loving bought a few bowls and brought them home. Sadly Man of the house has buttery fingers… and they were no longer… and the search was on for a few more bowls.

KURA has a great range of bowls/plates/dishes at reasonable prices with an extra 20% off, if you pay cash. I now have the perfect soup bowl and breakfast bowl (yes two separate styles of bowls, I’m not that fussy, promise).

Upon leaving, there was a new sign on the street, what was it? Was it a new homeware store, or clothing boutique? It was in a little alleyway, so it had to be good…. and it was.

Chez Dré has only been open for three months and yet, clearly word has spread, here and here and here. I walked past tables with what looked like yummy food, but I had a mission… the patisserie cabinet.

I love French patisserie. No. Seriously. I love French patisserie. Chez Dré had a beautifully lined cabinet fully of pretty patisseries, tarts and cakes a like. I tried the espresso eclair, lemon tart and chocolate croissant (not all at once, I swear). The eclair was to die for, the pastry and cream filling was the perfect ratio with pieces of thin chocolate on the top that adds a nice crunch. The lemon tart was not as perfect. The base and the consistency of the filling were perfect but the filling was too sweet as there wasn’t a balance of sweetness and tartness (gee, I’m a bit picky). The chocolate croissant was divine, buttery, flaky goodness… My only regret? I only bought one croissant. I should’ve bought the basket!! I will be back for more Chez Dré.

So, what are your favourite patisseries and where do you go to buy them? Will you be strolling to Chez Dré anytime soon?

images: e-yakimono; KURA; Chez Dré

Za, za, zaaza, za.

One Sunday, I finally took a sneak peak at the biggest fast fashion label, Zara. I did want to go much earlier but seeing the crowds detered me:

Outside Zara - Saturday 3pm

Outside Zara - Sunday 5pm

When I did end up going there was no queue, but upon leaving (empty handed), the queue had started. So, inside was still wayyyy too crowded for a leisurely browse and shop, but what stood out for me was the colour palette. It wasn’t a typical Autumn/Winter palette of black, camel and more black, but deep blues, emerald greens and bright reds, which is rather exciting for me. I have always been a fan of a splash of colour in winter. It lifts a look and the mood.

A great red pleated skirt that can be layered with tights and a sweater. I think it would look great with greys, camel and black… maybe even blues?

I always like a good printed blouse – wear to work with a black skirt or on the weekend with jeans.

How cute is this dress?
Wear as is or dress it up with a belt and some accessories.

A friend of mine suggested that they make people queue to build up the hype, like clubs… I don’t think so, but you never know. Anyhow, Zara has been open a couple of months here in Melbourne and Sydney; have you been? Did you buy anything? What did you like/dislike?

Tip of the day: I walked passed at 10am on a weekday and it was empty. Too bad I was rushing to and from a work thing.

images: Man of the house and

Swirling and twirling at the ballet.

So if you were wondering, and you know you were, why I have been quiet lately. Well unfortunately, I’m suffering from one of those modern day injuries that comes with sitting at a desk all day. Anyhow it’s not very exciting, but it does limit the time I should spend typing. Boo. I’ll try to post, but don’t forget me either!

Where was I? Oh yes, the ballet! Those of you that know me are probably sick of me going on about it… So if you’ve heard it all before, stop reading… after you’ve read this!

This was my first adult ballet and it was divine. The dancing, the costumes, the set design and the venue equated to a wonderful night. Who would have thought that I could be entertained without singing or dialogue? The dancing simply took my breath away, and for days after I was twirling around, very ungraceful, I might add. Whoever made fun of men in tights was obviously jealous or vision impaired. Male ballerinas (is that what you call them? Or maybe belleronas?) that effortlessly lifted and swirled around their partners made me swoon.

The Merry Widow is a story of a wealthy widow who has to chose between love and saving her country (pretty easy, really). It involves five characters:

  • Ambassador Zeta and his young wife Valencienne
  • Camille de Rosillon (French aristocrat)
  • Hanna (the Merry Widow)
  • Count Danilo (attaché and nephew to Ambassador Zeta)

Ambassador Zeta knows that his fatherland (or motherland), Pontevedra, faces bankruptcy if its richest citizen, the young widow Hanna (the Merry Widow), should marry a foreigner. To add to his woes, he knows there is flirtation between his much younger wife Valencienne and the handsome French aristocrat Camille de Rosillon. Zeta orders his attaché, Count Danilo, to ward off the money hungry horde of potential suitors swarming around the wealthy Widow.

To further complicate the plot, Hanna and Danilo are not exactly strangers. It seems that they had a torrid affair when Hanna was a poor farm girl, but Danilo had put an end to their affair at the insistence of his aristocratic parents. He is amazed at the transformation in Hanna and, in his confusion, mops his forehead with a handkerchief which Hanna recognises as the keepsake she gave him when they parted. He tells Hanna he has always loved her, but she thinking, he is only interested in her money, rejects him.

Hanna is holding a Pontevedrian soiree at her villa and the guests celebrate with their national dances as they all go into supper. But when Camille and Valencienne are caught during a rendezvous in the garden pavilion, Hanna gallantly takes Valencienne’s place. To assuage the Ambassador’s suspicions, Hanna announces that she and Camille are engaged. The astounded guests offer frigid congratulations and depart. Ambassador Zeta is upset as his country will fade into oblivion. Danilo is the last to leave and, in a frenzy, throws at her feet the handkerchief with which she had, a moment ago, retied their union. She picks it up knowing that he truly loves her.

The Pontevedrians have come to drown their sorrows and spend their last francs on the last night out. Gaiety prevails until Camille unwisely appears – hoping, of course, to meet Valencienne. The Pontevedrians, led by Valencienne, jeer at him. Her mockery, however, is more emotional than patriotic. Hanna suddenly appears and accepts Camille’s unwillingly offered arm. This is too much for Danilo who advances to challenge him to a duel but Hanna and Valencienne intervene. The Baron perceives, from his wife’s protection of Camille, that his fears are not without foundation and resignedly accepts the inevitable. All have left and Hanna stands forlornly alone. Danilo quietly returns and they dance romantically into the night.

Okay, so the story sounds a bit marshmallow but the dancing, costumes and set designs made the ballet a wonderful night out – the pictures just doesn’t do any justice. It’s next showing at the Sydney Opera House 10-28 November 2011… Buy tickets. Do it.

Have you been to the ballet? What have you seen?

images: Behind Ballet and Jeff Busby;