Big Bling Little Ching

April 1st, 2018 | no comments

Fashion Hound

You don’t have to be a trust fund baby to be super chic!

Check out my latest Today Show segment to see how you can get a high end designer vibe for very little spend and I found it all at second hand at the Salvos.

 

The 90’s Called….

March 16th, 2018 | no comments

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The 90’s called…and they want their accessory back…but you know what I’m hands free and really feeling it!

I’m the first to admit the resurgence of the fanny pack definitely freaked me out, I mean I think my eyes are still burning from some of the bad looks from back then, now though it has a chic new edge.

Thanks to designer offerings from Gucci, Dolce, Chanel and co the humble bum bag has been blinged up and bought into a bold new fashion world.

Far from affordable however, I’ve dreamt up some eco and inexpensive ways to get the look without breaking the bank…one word THRIFT, oh and DIY, ok that’s two but hear me out.

I thought about shooting the steps for you, but really its so easy I don’t want to insult you because all you need is a glue gun and a keen eye. Here are some simple pointers in the right direction…

  1. Hunt around your local thrift store for wallets, small clutches, even plain cosmetic pouches that have a nice look to them – leather, patent or transparent is another big trend. I found this faux D&G wallet for a fiver.
  2. Next hit the belt rack and look for one which matches your wallet/pouch find – I used a stretchy belt for this bum bag but you could also select a nice leather belt or even a belt with a luxe stripe or pattern. Just keep it chic
  3. Embellishment is the key to making your piece look designer – gold hardware in particular will give it that high end feel. Look for earrings, necklaces, charms and trinkets that could be deconstructed then reconstructed on your DIY piece.
  4. Grab your craft weapon (also see glue gun) and craft it together. Put a strip of hot glue on the belt and attach the bag part – remember you will be wearing the buckle at the back now!
  5. Then it’s time to be creative – work out how the bling you’ve found can be placed to embellish and add that extra expensive feel. My Tip: The right earring could be used on the front of your bum bag to replicate a logo feel, you will just need to snip off the clasp with some pliers. Check out one of my recent posts designer DIY linked above for inspo.  Have fun being hands free!!

Chicks For Change

March 12th, 2018 | no comments

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Fashion that not only feels good, it does good…totally what the world needs now more than ever no!?

I feel so blessed to work in a space where it’s all about style being a force for change and in this instance

CHICKS FOR CHANGE to be exact.

May I introduce you to a wonderful campaign focused on empowering women in developing countries thanks to the Australian Salvation Army.

Easter is upon us, so for the month of March you can buy a $5 box of little yellow chicks for all your festive decorating needs. Crafter-noons aside though, this $5 does a great deal for women who don’t have all the simple things we take for granted like fresh water, medical care and education.

In support, I decided to put my fashion stamp on it and create two high fashion inspired looks utilising the little chicks.

I looked to the recent fashion week collections in NYC, Milan and Paris and dreamt up two stunning outfits for my girls Colleen and Vidya using all second hand clothing. Customizing was key, turning the chicks into a chic brooch for Colleens blazer and an embellished clutch for Vidya.

I also created Colleen’s on trend fanny pack using a small handbag, necklace, an old earring and a trusty glue gun into a designer inspired piece.

Campaign or not, I hope this inspires you to see fashion as a fantastic way to think outside the box and be you’re own chick for change

#FashionHound

 

 

Designer DIY

March 2nd, 2018 | no comments

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Fashion HoundFashionHound Some trends are exactly that…trends! Here today, gone tomorrow. So if you’re really feeling something you see in the style world why not try your hand at some DIY darling!?

Take the bum bag obsession right now, I mean I’ll be honest these things used to go close to giving me hives! They were so uncool and kinda reserved for daggy Dad’s with harry high pants or over zealous hero’s at the gym right!?

But somehow unbeknown to us mere mortals, fashion has somehow made them cool by emblazoning them with designer logos, bling and big price tags.

While I’d love a Gucci goodie I’d rather reserve my money for our upcoming honeymoon #ExcitedMuch and challenge myself to create my own.

It’s fair to say I spend a lot of time studying the collections, runway shows, fashion weeks and street style (Also see: too much time) honestly though it equips me with so much information and inspiration. I analyse the outfits, fabrics, colors, details and design then determine how I can recreate it in my own unique way.

For this bum bag I used a $2 patent leather Macy’s make up pouch, $5 stretchy belt and a cluster of brooches all found at the salvos. Trusty glue gun in hand, I attached the belt to the pouch to get the fanny pack effect and then pinned the brooches on in a similar cluster to the Gucci piece….et voila designer DIY!

Here’s my 5 Top Tips so you can get your crafter-noon on too 

  1. Think outside the box…just because an item has a generic or intended use doesn’t mean it can’t moonlight as something else. Brooches are one of the hardest working accessories in the business, yes you can pin them on a lapel but they also created incredible embellishment for me in this DIY. I looked at the bling on the Gucci bumbag and hunted for brooches that had a similar feel – four leaf clovers, beetles and bejewelled animals.
  2. Get yourself a glue gun – best thing ever, super quick and easy way to reinvent fashion finds…just be very careful of your fingers!
  3. Get to know your designer details – what are the logo’s or symbolism used in high end brands? Versace loves the lions head, Gucci has details like a horsebit and bugs (at present), Chanel is all about ribbon, pearls and that chain strap. When you are familiar with their aesthetic is easier for you to know how to get that feel.
  4. Thrift Shop – duhhh obvs, but seriously so many crafty opportunities in these havens and it’s a much more sustainable shopping option
  5. Study – street style and check out the catwalk shows – Vogue Runway is one of my favorite apps – endless inspiration!

 

Happy Fashion Hounding!

Photos by Bryan Marden

Make up by Shianna Ayoubi @makeupbyshiannaayoubi on Instagram

Borrow From The Boys

February 19th, 2018 | no comments

 

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Menswear worn a woman’s way…oh boy is it wonderful. I for one, am a repeat offender…it’s just such a cool look and super easy to achieve.

It’s a fashion trick that I return to, time and time again because it’s relaxed but with the right amount of raunch, am I right ladies!?

The white jacket I’m wearing in these photos is actually my husbands wedding tux reinvented. A quick push up of the sleeve and cinch of the waist with the seasons extra long belt trend and you’ve got that ‘one of the boys’ edge. In a time when women are taking back their power, it’s even more fitting (pun intended). I love how fashion can be a talisman for political and global relevance – we want how we feel to speak volumes in our style. Hells yeah!

If you don’t have a male’s closet to raid, hit your local thrift store instead – they are absolute haven’s and the men’s section is where it’s at. You can absolutely shop all the trends and do your bit for a sustainable planet to sister. Here’s a few ideas to get amongst it man…

Top 5 Tips to Borrow From The Boys 

  1. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED – Just because it’s a jacket or a collared shirt doesn’t mean it has to be worn that way. Try it off the shoulder, backwards, as a corset top over a tee or fitted blouse – Reuse, Reinvent, Remaster!
  2.  THE BIGGER THE BETTER – Throw the sizing label out the window and wonder at the cool style to be found in your local thrift store.Vintage tux jackets, on trend tweed, rock tee’s to die for and of course the classic white collared shirt (Check out my collage above for just a few of the way’s I’ve worn mine to date)
  3. CUSTOMISE – Slice, dice and decorate. Embellishment and eccentric deconstruction isn’t a trend that’s going anywhere soon. Patches are a simple place to start, check out your local craft store or online portals like ETSY and see what you can find. Rather than the usual bright, kitchy offerings I look for black, white, yellow or tonal sequins and beading to elevate my pieces – for me it just looks more expensive and fabulous, but totally go bright if it’s more your vibe. Most of the patches I’ve bought are a minimal spend and all you have to do is iron them on. 
  4. TAKE IT TO THE STREET – Is anyone else addicted to street style, like I am? Oh the hours I’ve lost…but also the money and clothes from landfill I’ve saved. I study the trends and then I think about what I already have or could thrift to replicate what I see. A simple search of ‘2018 street style’ or ‘NYFW’ will deliver you a serious dose of inspiration. 
  5. TEXTURE – Luscious layers, contrasting fabrics, cinched in waists with belts or bows, mixing and matching prints, a preloved brooch cluster on the collar – all incredibly easy ways to take menswear next level. It adds so much interest and one of a kind cool plus it’s the simplest trick in the book to look expensive without having to break the bank!

 

‘Dude looks like a lady’ yo!

#FashionHound

Valentines Day the Eco Way

February 14th, 2018 | no comments

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Happy Valentines Day Hotties!

While it’s a divine occasion to celebrate the ones we love, we shouldn’t forget about loving the one who brings us incredible amounts of pure joy – our lovely lady Mother Earth.

Big days like this can mean big spend and big footprint. Lot’s of packaging, roses covered in chemicals plus the pressure of buying expensive gifts and grand gestures..that’s not what true unconditional love is about.

For Lee and I it’s about the luxury of time, time to be together, talk and enjoy each others company.

Simple pleasures well spent but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. I decided to treat Lee with a decadent picnic and challenged myself to do it all zero waste, so I thought i’d capture it to inspire you guys too.

Here’s how I did it…

Clothing – Our clothing is all zero waste and second hand, Lee is actually wearing the ‘greenest tee on the planet’ from Kusaga Athletic which I then hand dyed with brown onion skins! (More on that in another post coming soon). The rest I found at the The Salvos 

Picnic Props – Op Shops are an absolute haven for homewares – cool little containers, beautiful baskets, wooden boards and silver vintage cutlery at a fraction of department store prices. I’d wanted a picnic basket for a while and was so chuffed when I found this gorgeous little specimen for $20, I also found some sterling silver servers for $10. The rest of the items you see here I had at home, reusing what you have is a great way to reduce waste.

Pinterest – I kind of avoided this app for a while because I was worried I’d fall down a hole of beautiful images never to be seen again haha, while it is a temptress I love it because you can find so many visual references that allow you to be inspired and then add your own creative flair to it. Define your search like ‘Picnic Date’ and then keep a folder of the feels you like, then before you go and buy think about what you already have at home that fits the bill. It’s actually helped me reduce my spending and waste ratio!

Slow Flowers – Inspired by our wonderful eco wedding florist Vanessa, I foraged all the flowers locally, taking cuttings from a gumtree in our street and a flower bush in our apartment block. I never knew that flowers could have such an impact on the planet but quite a lot of the flowers we buy are not only wrapped in plastic, but they are flown from overseas and treated with chemicals to make them last. Check out Vanessa’s work and be inspired by the Slow Flower movement!

Food – I always try to keep the packaging to a minimum when I buy food, or choose items in containers that can be recycled – like glass or paper/cardboard. I have my own produce bags to buy fruit and veggies from the supermarket and of course take my own reusable shopping bags to carry it all home in. Lee and I have reusable straws at home now and take them with us whenever we need them. My Mumma makes beautiful reusable napkins which is a another great way to reduce waste – you can also of course find these for next to nothing at your local thrift store. Sometimes packaging is unavoidable, but I aim to do the best I can.

Hats – Our chic chapeau’s are from Strandhatters – a great Sydney based small business preferencing sustainability in the products they sell. Lee’s Akubra is Australian made and my hat is a gorgeous brand by the name of Rosie Boylan, the one I’m wearing is hand woven by local women in Vanuatu, keeping their traditional work and art alive.

Venue – Enjoy all the spoils mother nature has to offer, head to the park, beach or even your backyard and be amongst nature, just be sure to leave the space as beautiful as it was when you arrived. If you see any waste, do your bit and TAKE 3 FOR THE SEA 

Love and Blessings from Lee and I xx

Beautiful images by our dear friend Bryan Marden

 

 

Fringe Festival

February 5th, 2018 | no comments

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No doubt about it fashion can be a fast and furious beast.

You snap up one piece then the next minute the trends reveal a new style star. They want it that way so you buy, buy and buy…but about 5 years ago my brain and budget became absolutely exhausted with all that – I decided to board the slow train and have never looked back.

Don’t get me wrong I adore watching the collections, checking out celebrity looks and street style is for sure my drug of choice, I just gather all that information and challenge myself to recreate what I see by using mindfullness.

Take this thrifted top for example, it was plain and playing it cool at the back of my wardrobe so based on the fringing trend I was spying everywhere I decided to give her a makeover, instead of hitting the high street.

Craft stores are a great place for reinvention, trims by the metre, cute embellishments and clever ideas abound. I bought this fringing for $7 and simply stitched it on to give this blouse a beautiful new lease on life. I doubled it up so the fringing had even more impact, you want it to swish and swirl right!!?

It now has a peace love and fashion freedom vibe and best of all I’ve saved money and prevented an item from going to landfill.

So before you buy new, have a look in your wardrobe and see what trends you could reinvent with some simple and savvy DIY.

#FashionHound

 

 

 

Happy Little Vegemite

January 26th, 2018 | no comments

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You are the Gold to my Coast.

The Vegemite to my Toast.

The Kanga to my Roo.

The BB to my Q.

The Wi to my Fi, The Sauce to my Pie.

The Harbour to my Bridge.

The Lamington in my Fridge.

The Holden to my Ute.

Australia you’re Beaut.

Today we celebrate our great nation and my wish is that we reflect on how we can be better to her.

Put your rubbish in the bin, say no to plastic, sit amongst nature, breathe and be grateful for all she bestows upon us.

Tread lightly and think heavily on how we can do more to protect our environment and it’s people.

Support community, slow down, Op Shop and love local artistry.

Delve into our incredible indigenous culture, swim in our abundant ocean and love our amazing animals

RESPECT

REFLECT

PROTECT

Happy Australia Day My lovelies…wearing thrifted Men’s shirt and burnt orange skirt from Salvos Stores

#FashionHound

PS Isn’t the Opera House Incredible!

Images Bryan Marden 

The Cutest Spot

January 19th, 2018 | no comments


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SPOTTED: One of the biggest trends for 2018 is polka dots and guess what your local thrift store is dripping with them.

On a single search I found this divine Sass&Bide ruffle trim offering for $10 as well as two navy dresses and a caramel skirt all in the print du jour.

Just goes to show you that second hand never has to mean sacrificing style.

So many of the trends we see in magazines can be found in preloved havens, it really pays to have a hunt around.

The lovely lace top I teamed with my skirt was also thrifted for a 10’er

The other great discovery I made recently is this heavenly little cafe in my hood. Cafe Parterre backs onto an antique store and is filled with one of a kind finds from around the world. Its so beyond charming, complete with a gorgeous little greenhouse and turn of the last century french chairs! A secret garden of sorts, that could absolutely pass for a slice of Paris.

The food is fantastic and the staff were so friendly responding to my random request to take photos, but seriously how could I not, especially when I was rocking chic second hand as well

I felt amongst fashion friends!

Support small business, sustainability and bring on the local love… in the cutest spot of course.

#FashionHound

Images by Bryan Marden 

Big Thank you to Cafe Parterre for being so gracious with your beautiful space

 

Let it SLOW…Let it SLOW…Let it SLOW

December 17th, 2017 | no comments

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Yasssssss (Mc) Queen it’s Christmas time and t’is also the time where the fashion pressure is on, but you know what I say

Hit the breaks and slow down this festive season.

My festive season began late November by way of my Hen’s night – I’m getting married next week!!! With all my special girls (and by girls I mean mostly my gay husbands!) gathering together to shower me with love and champagne I definitely wanted to look and feel cute. Ten years ago I would have just headed to the High Street and bought something new that I’d probably just wear once, now I always try to challenge myself to stop before I shop 

I looked at renting a dress and of course hunted around my local thrift havens for a frock, however none of them seemed special enough or close to my heart.

The runway shows and designer collections are always such a huge inspiration for me and I am low key in love (also see #Obsessed) with the current Alexander McQueen collection. So I asked my trusty dressmaker Jan if she could help me recreate the stunning black and red look you can see in the above collage and as you can also see we nailed it!!

The trousers and top I already had, the patches I found at my local craft supplier and the rest I thrifted from the Salvos. Jan told me to look out for fabric that had structure, so I found the perfect mid length skirt that she cut into a short asymmetrical piece to emulate the designer look. The sheer side panel was once a long line vest. We ironed on all the patches. I LOVE this outfit, it made me feel so special and expensive, yet the whole thing cost $80!

The second McQueen recreation was for the Daily Mail

I wanted to show their readers how super chic you can look in second hand and that designer looks don’t have to be out of reach. I adore the decadence of the embellishment on the Mc Queen looks and it sparked the thought that hmmm maybe I could get a similar feel with vintage brooches and boy did we what!! Isn’t it gorgeous. Picking a simple palate with a black pencil skirt, corset and a white tee for cool contrast the pins really pop and make a heck of a haute statement for less. Vintage brooches can always be found in thrift stores so start building your collection!

The moral of this style story, get your crafternoon on and give DIY a try.

Frost yourself with slow fashion this festive season

#FashionHound