Tuesday, June 21, 2011

past times

The National Library of Australia photo archives are such a neat little source for historical faaaarshion inspiration. And it's educational too- I didn't think 1930s gowns were ever terribly voluminous before seeing this photo:

Portrait of Madge Elliot, September 16 1935

There are quite a few rather poignant portraits of Aboriginal women from various parts of Australia, and I've noticed that for some reason they are often dressed in fairly funky repeat-printed garments:

Yuendumu, Northern Territory, 1958

Methodist Mission Station in Welpa, Queensland, 1957

Portrait of Nancy, Central Australia, 1946

Methodist Mission Station in Welpa, Queensland, 1957

I find the clothes quite appealing thought I suspect these weren't fashionable garments - perhaps missions gave them out?

p.s. How much does the woman in the last photo look like Grace Zabriskie?

Monday, June 13, 2011


My dad recently leant me his credit card so that I could buy a replacement for our old, kaput toaster. However after ascertaining that this toaster does not exist -

- I kinda lost interest in the set task. The episode has served to reinforce the fact that I should never, never never be given a credit card, though I like to think of myself as living in the tradition of Jack (of Beanstalk fame).

Behold my magic beans:

These matches are disappointing me!

Everyone shut up. Now, can we figure out how I can get my hands on these Alexander McQueen shoes:

The white is so beautiful and austere.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I recently became the proud owner of this sweet-as-pie swimsuit, The Dollar by local label Black Milk:

I actually hadn't heard of the label, designed by James Lillis, until Tavi of Style Rookie posted a picture of herself wearing Black Milk's sacrelicious Cathedral leggings:

Pretty dope, eh?

One of the things I find most interesting about the label is Lillis' accompanying blog, the surprisingly frank Too Many Tights. Remember in The Simpsons how Mr Burns finishes singing "See My Vest" by saying, 'I really like the vest!'? Well Lillis really likes the tights.

It's pretty incredible to be able to track the progression of the label, especially given that Lillis seems to have been largely self-taught as a designer and sewer (sorry, I can't for the life of me think of a synonym for that word). As someone who lives in fear of working with stretch fabrics, I was filled with jealous admiration while reading over Lillis' development as a designer and, I gather, the sole constructor of his garments during the early days.

If someone decides to write a history of this label, they'll have their work cut out for them. If the blog is true to real-time, then it seems that Lillis spent late-2008 and early-2009 creating the kind of metallic, often patterned leggings that are probably most readily associated with American Apparel. In fact Lillis makes reference to AA in one rather nice post in which he discusses the question of garment-pricing:

"And then you've got companies like American Apparel keeping guys like me honest. You know they're going to be doing stuff at a good price, and if independents like myself want to ask for more, we better have a damn good reason. You can't trade off your name - because no one's heard of you!"

Around about April 2009 Lillis' wares made great leaps in construction complexity, with the release of his Spiderman and Cage leggings:

And throughout the blog Lillis discusses in detail his approach to design and how he deals with the problems he encounters when trialing new fabrics and designs.

TMT posts range from being endearingly geeky to uncommonly (for the fashion world) canny. Take for example his October 2009 post, 'Let's All Be Racist!'

"Funny thing about talking about clothing manufacturing - a lot of people kinda go all racist on me.

Me: Yeah, got a lot happening at the moment. There has been a lot of interest in the Black Milk gear and I'm struggling to keep up with demand.

Person: Oh, I know what you should do - just hire and Asian for $2 an hour. Me: ... um... that's kind of racist, don't you think?

Person: No, not at all, those Asians, they'll work 16 hours for a bowl of rice.

I have had variants upon that conversation more times than I care to remember. "

After releasing The Dollar swimsuit in October of 2010 he blogged

'Now, I know what you are thinking: "Dollar leggings - you copycat! We all know Jeremy Scott did that like 2 years ago!!!" I know. However, (and don't tell Jeremy this) I think I can do them a little cooler.'

And I bet he could.

In June 2009 Lillis used a Star Wars metaphor to explain why he would no longer be personally sewing all the items he sold. While I do not doubt Lillis' dedication to creating well-made garments, I wonder if the shift to outsourcing labour has impacted on their quality output - I couldn't help but notice that the shoulder straps on my swimmers vary slightly in width.

But let's not end on a crud note. LOOK AT THESE RIGHTEOUS SWIMMERS.


This editorial by Benjamin Kanarek from Brazillian Vogue's June 2o10 issue is keeping me warm at the moment.

It reminds me a lot of a dumb computer game that came free with my first laptop. It was about a bug who had to run away from other bugs. I think it was called bugsy or buggo, or something. Anyway, the grass and sky looked exactly the same.

The idea of not wearing colour during Winter is totally strange to me. Though I don't do too much non-virtual shopping anyway, stores filled with twenty shades of charcoal and one 'burnt orange' don't make me feel any more inclined to go into shopping centres.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Ugly One.

I'm weirdly obsessed with this song and video:

I'm all about the lazy dancing.

I don't think Girls Aloud ever really made an impact in Australia, though for a while I thought 'Sound of the Underground' was the sickest thing I'd ever heard. Anyway, apparently Nicola Roberts was the ugly one of the group (so christened by Lily Allen, ooh hark at that!). I think she's the sickest thing I've ever seen.

All photos stolen from Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

made for talking

Current thing I want more than anything else in the whole wide world:

Metal-heeled cowboy boots a la Tybalt in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Remember the scraping noise they make as he stamps out the match flame? What a rockstar.


By Chris Hill, the seven deadly sins represented by Disney Princesses:

Neat, huh? I like the Art Nouveau fonts. And the concept. Also the execution.