Friday, June 24, 2011

Is Kate going to Glastonbury?

 Michael Eavis

I don't usually like to dwell on celebrity gossip, but I think that this story is great!

Glastonbury organiser, 76 year old farmer Michael Eavis, has reportedly banned the Playstation VIP Tent that Ms Moss and her posse usually take over.

The Daily Mirror quoted a source as saying: "Michael feels Glastonbury has already become too middle class and gentrified, and is adamant that the festival continues to attract a range of ages, ethnicities and classes.

And speaking about the PlayStation Tent, the source added: "For the first time, Michael has put his foot down, and the area is now notably absent from the site. He doesn't want big capitalist companies dominating the site, profiting off the back of his event. Similarly, Kate is welcome to attend but only if she mucks in with everyone else, and doesn't insist upon any special treatment."

Well, as a "previous life festival attender" I can totally see his point.  When I used to grace the festivals with my presence a good 20 years ago the "celebrity thang" hadn't really kicked in.  I think that Michael Eavis has made a good call in trying to "keep it real".

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vanessa Paradis...

It was 1987 and I was at high school, 14 year old Vanessa Paradis had just released her first major single, Joe le taxi.  We all loved the song and all the boys were "in love" with Ms Paradis!  Since then she has had a very successful career in music, movies and modelling.

Apart from her successful career she is also in the spotlight for her relationship with Jonny Depp.  They have been together since 1998 and have 2 children.

I love the pictures from this recent editorial shoot for ID Magazine, it's not often we see Ms Paradis sporting dark locks!

She really is another one that's too cool for school!

pics from ID magazine and Chanel 

Monday, June 20, 2011

En pointe and pregnant...

This ballet post is further to an earlier post I wrote about the centre tour of the Australian Ballet. As I mentioned in the previous post, soloist Laura Tong accompanied us on the tour and chatted about her life as a ballet dancer. In the article below, Laura describes what it’s like to be a ballerina with a baby on the way.  I wanted to share Laura's article with you as she was an absolute delight on the centre tour and I always like to support ballet.

I was nearly six weeks along when I finally realised. There were three days of The Nutcracker to go at the Sydney Opera House before the end of the 2010 season, and I was dancing with a tiny stowaway on board. Closing night arrived quickly and was full of emotion for the usual reasons: farewells to leaving dancers, elation at having survived the 40-odd shows of Nutcracker, and for me, the realisation that it would probably be a while before I set foot on the Opera House stage again.
The summer holiday spent with family was invaluable, and my husband (Tristan Message, an ex-dancer with The Australian Ballet and now a teacher at The Australian Ballet School) and I shared the exciting news with them, both because we wanted to and to explain the rather obvious nausea (crackers and vegemite aren’t my usual Christmas dinner choice).
A few weeks later I found myself back in the studio, ten weeks pregnant and trying my best to hide it! Other than the nausea (which thankfully was improving) and my ability to sleep ten hours a day, I still felt surprisingly normal, and easily slipped back into the regular routine of classes, rehearsals and conditioning. But how long would I be able to keep this up? I counted forward to the seasons of Madame Butterfly – I’d be 15 weeks during the Melbourne season, 18 (and a bit) in Adelaide. They seemed like arbitrary numbers, and I couldn’t really imagine what it would feel like to perform that far along, or what it would look like from the audience’s perspective. I would just have to wait and see.
Two weeks later I was finally able to share the news. My first stop was the office of Assistant Artistic Director Danilo Radojevic, who instantly broke out into a beaming smile as he congratulated me. Telling the dancers was easy, as it took all of about three minutes for my news to travel through the common room, dressing rooms and studios, helped by a few squeals of surprise and excitement. I was having so much fun telling my friends and colleagues that I almost forgot the challenge of the following weeks: how do you stay in peak physical condition for performing with a tiny human being growing inside you?
I quickly realised I would need some extra help from Body Conditioning Specialist Paula Baird-Colt. I discovered that as my bump grew, I would need to start phasing out strenuous abdominal exercises, as well as anything done lying on my back, so my all-time favourite, Tower Adductors, would have to be replaced with something else. In morning ballet class, however, I could keep doing anything that still felt comfortable, which for the time being was pretty much everything. I did stop and wonder from time to time what arabesque pirouettes or grand jétés must feel like from inside the bump, but decided that it probably couldn’t tell up from down yet so hopefully wouldn’t mind.
The Melbourne season of Madame Butterfly arrived, and although I was feeling distinctly pregnant, the flouncy tulle skirt of my ‘Kate’ costume, combined with a few extra bar lines (the rows of hooks in the hook-and-eye fastenings) seemed to camouflage things pretty well. My patient ‘Pinkerton’, Rudy Hawkes, managed to accommodate my ever-changing centre of balance and I was able to just enjoy being part of the beautiful story of Madame Butterfly.
Soon we were in Adelaide, and I had reached the four-month milestone. I was looking forward to dancing Suzuki, thankful for the extra panel our dedicated wardrobe staff had quickly added to my costume when we realised that I had ‘popped’. All of a sudden I started to notice the difference in morning class. I was no longer throwing myself across the room in grand allegro, pirouettes had taken on a definite elliptical quality and back bends were becoming a serious challenge.
My final performances for the year, however, were wonderfully memorable and extremely special. The knowledge that I was carrying someone else through the experience of helping to tell a beautifully heart-breaking story made the performances more real and almost visceral for me, even if the audience couldn’t tell the difference. In the back of my mind was the knowledge that it would be many months before I was back on stage.
At 20 weeks I settled into my ‘safe duties’ in the Melbourne office. I am still doing Pilates and a daily ballet class, (well attempting to), though my arabesque points decidedly at the floor rather than at the wall behind me, pirouettes are pretty much out of the question and on forward bends I get a little kick in my side (can’t tell whether it’s enjoyment or protest). I’m helping out with projects for different departments of the company. In the process I’m gaining a lovely insight into the commitment and passion that the rest of the organisation has, which allows us to present such beautiful shows.
I am engaged by the new challenges office work presents and incredibly excited about having a child, although it does feel a bit strange that something that has been a constant part of my life since I was 18 is now absent. Being on stage with the artists of The Australian Ballet is a very special privilege and one that I value deeply. It will be some time before I dance on stage again, but when I do, I look forward to dancing as a mother.

En pointe and pregnant

En pointe and pregnant
En pointe and pregnant

By Laura Tong

Friday, June 17, 2011

Life begins at 40?

This year, myself and a few of my friends turn 40.  It got me thinking, does life begin at 40?
Well there's lots of research to say that it doesn't, and lots to say that it does. I'm not going to go into too much detail right now but by the time we're 40, our life experiences should have cemented who we are and what we want. The financial security that most of us should have at this age gives us the freedom to make the choices we want to make and live the life we want to be living.

There are, of course, some amusing articles around that prefer to focus on the physical effects of middle age.

As English/American writer, Helen Rowland, stated:
“Life begins at 40 - but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.”

Very funny, it gave me a chuckle but I'll look to the positives, thanks!

So, what does turning 40 mean to our wardrobes?

In our teens it's pretty much about experimenting, I don't know about you but I had a blast! I was a goth and a new romantic in my teens, and probably went through loads of other "fashion stages" too.

Our 20's give us a change in that we've probably finished studying and have started working. Still able to experiment but with more cash, and possibly having to conform to dressing professionally.

Most of us should have settled into our "style" in our 30's. We may start popping out babies in this decade which means huge body and life changes, this is a whole subject to be tackled on it's own!

But what about our 40's? Personally, I don't want to look old and frumpy but I also don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb! Stylish clothes that fit well is the key here, I feel.
Knowing your body shape along with it's flaws and assets is vital, but  here are a few tips to get you going anyway:

Clothes that are too big/baggy can make you look overweight or frumpy, make sure your clothes fit! (I always get spotted by the people I don't want to be spotted by when I sneak out in my trackies and oversized hoodie, and I always regret it!  It really is just as easy to put on some jeans and a nice top, unless you're working out or are sick!

Don't be a fashion victim. Choose elements from a trend that you like rather than going "all out" and running the risk of looking like a teenager.  I love my leopard print ballet flats, but I only wear them with plain, simple clothing. 

Try and add a little colour.  Black and dark colours on the bottom half can be slimming but try to add a little colour elsewhere as we can start to look more drained as we age.

Keep it simple.  Don't pile on the fuss, keeping it simple can make you look incredibly stylish.

Make Up and Hair.  Make sure that your make up and hairstyle are updated.  An 80's perm can ruin a well put together outfit!

Be yourself.   Make the most of who you are and what you've got (unless you have a health issue that requires change).  An inner confidence will shine through and give a glow that make up and beauty products can't.  I'm a great believer in "beauty comes from within".  Age gracefully, it looks so much lovelier than surgical enhancement.

I have always admired the style of Kristen Scott Thomas (51) and Carla Bruni Sarkozy (44), they have impeccably good taste and always look so completely stylish.

kristin scott thomas photo 22

On a final and very fitting note, I would like to wish my lovely friend, Lyndall, a very Happy 40th Birthday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

too cool for school...


Paul Weller has designed his first capsule fashion collection in partnership with Pretty Green, showcasing his enviable style as a British fashion icon.
The first Paul Weller Collection For Pretty Green will have six limited edition items, all showcasing Paul Weller’s infamous personal style and sharp fashion sense.
The collection will be released for High Summer 2011 and will be available to buy on 23rd June from Pretty Green stores and online at:


"I've wanted to design my own range for some time, and Pretty Green felt like a good home for my clothes," says Weller. "I guess my main design reference is somewhere between 1968 and 1970. The clothes themselves sit between being smart and casual, with quality materials and tailoring."
- Paul Weller.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Winter Warmers

Dress by Arabella Ramsay
Photograph by Archie Sartracom for Yen Magazine.

I don't mind winter in Australia, infact I actually quite like it. Compared to winter in the UK, it isn't too unbearably cold. I love rugging up in cosy knits, boots and scarves and going out for refreshing winter walks.  I also enjoy snuggling up on the sofa with my kids, watching a movie and drinking hot chocolate.

I must share our favourite hot chocolate recipe as it's really very simple and extremely indulgent!
Heat milk on the stove in a saucepan, add half a block of chocolate (broken up) and stir until the chocolate has melted - it's divine! Half a block of chocolate usually does about 4 mugs worth of milk.  Add more or less chocolate according to taste...yummy...

Got my eye on these rather nice knits at the moment!

Donna Karan
Donna Karan, net-a-porter
Crumpet, net-a-porter

Vince, net-a-porter

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Behind the scenes at The Australian Ballet Centre...

Not only am I a lover of fashion, I am also a lover of the theatre and ballet, in particular the costumes.

The Australian Ballet Centre, in Melbourne, has opened its doors and is operating a limited number of tours showing the studios and costume workrooms.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I simply adore ballet costumes and chose a ballet theme as one of my final fashion design projects when I was studying.  Myself and a friend very excitedly booked our tour tickets and waited with anticipation....

We managed to get tickets for the first tour, it is virtually booked out already, and turned up at the ballet centre.  There was a meeting area near the box office where we had to wait.  Whilst we were waiting for everyone else to turn up we observed our surroundings.  When I say surroundings I mean ballet dancers on their way to class.  How physically distinguished they were, even in their everyday clothes! 

Michael Williams, Head of Wardrobe, has worked for the Australian Ballet for 35 years.  He lead us into the workroom where the costumes are made, not hugely dissimilar to the fashion design workrooms we studied in with lots of machines and pattern making tables.  The fabric storage room was huge and perfectly in colour order like a rainbow.  There were racks and racks of costumes being worked on by the permanent staff of 10.  I felt nothing but respect for these women as I know what skill it takes to make them, and how back aching it can be sat at a machine or workdesk! 

After we gazed in awe and chatted about the costumes we were taken to the school/studio part of the ballet centre where soloist, Laura Tong, chatted to us about life on and off the stage.  There were lots studios, some being used by students and some not.  One of the studios was full of the professional dancers of the Australian Ballet.  These extremely lean and toned dancers were doing their daily warm up making it look so easy and graceful.  It made me realise the amount of dedication it must take to become a ballet dancer.

The hour long tour concluded and it was a wonderful experience whether you are a costume or ballet fan (or both).

As there was a strict no camera policy, humph, I copied these photos from their website.  They are a true reflection of what we saw, including the Barbie and Ken hanging from the ceiling!