Saturday, February 28, 2015

this is not an ad

I swear this is not an ad for Dior. Well, THIS is an ad for Dior, but this post isn't. And this post isn't either. I'm just feeling it at the moment. I'm feeling Marion in the white, I'm feeling JLaw's tribal earrings (why oh why do you cost $500!!!! WHY), I'm feeling how fresh and modern and yeah, young and cool JLaw looks in this campaign. This is how to move stock. Imagine being a young professional with cash to burn (serious cash, I mean this is Dior we're talking about here), maybe you're a high-flying, jet-setting exec in Hong Kong or London, you're all business all woman, you're ambitious, that's you. Where would you go if you were looking for a SRS BZNZ outfit? Maybe you'd think Calvin Klein was the place for you, maybe you're a Celine sheath kind of girl. After seeing these ads, you'd be straight for Dior, no questions. A pair of those pumps, tribal earrings (why not), that sexy little Tuxedo dress. Seriously. Just open up a tab because you're gonna need it.



A few things first, just some little tidbits of information: 36% of Best Actress winners at the Oscars wear white when they win their golden statue (which has prompted many women to wear white as a talisman of sorts). Marion Cotillard doesn't have a stylist. Raf Simons' policy at Christian Dior is different to other fashion brands when it come to the red carpet. They focus on ambassadors over rampant, awards season placement. They have a few done deals: Marion, Jennifer, Natalie. The rest they leave up to fate. But they choose their ambassadors well. And their ambassadors wear Dior well.

When Marion Cotillard stepped onto the red carpet at the Oscars in this incredible Dior haute couture dress last week I had a moment of genuine fist-pumping fashion joy. I was sitting at my desk at work, reporting on the red carpet and I was adrift in a bedazzled, crystal-embellished hell of my own making. The awards season red carpet is staid. The same characters can be counted on to front up in an array of pouffy, shimmering, glamorous glitzy gowns by the same roster of designers (Versace, Elie Saab) in the same roster of colours (champagne, gunmetal). Which is why '#fashion' moments on the red carpet really do stand out. Felicity Jones at the Golden Globes, in a teal-hued satin gown of Victorian proportions, Emma Stone in a tuxedo dress with a sheer hem, Marion's white sheath dress with elaborate bustle train... All by Dior haute couture.

The red carpet needs Dior the way that fashion needs Raf Simons: because it's aesthetic DNA has modernity right at its very centre. There's something innovative about the way that Simons designs, and the way that these designs trickle down onto the celebrities who sport them on the red carpet and, quite literally stand out. Marion in her white dress at the Oscars was a vision because she was in, from some angles, a shapeless sack. A sack made of an incredible honeycomb latticework material, beaded all over, yes, but a sack nonetheless. That's remarkable because so much of celebrity red carpet dressing is just about pouring yourself into some too-tight fishtail hem dress and hobbling down the red carpet. Why shouldn't awards dressing be like this: glamour in a way that comes from confidence, style in way that comes from comfort. She was glorious in a way that movie stars in 2015 need to be. Not a drop of old school Hollywood to be found: a star for today and tomorrow. I feel like when, in 20 years time, starlets are dressing up for their first Oscars, their stylists will be saying things like "We want a retro look, you know, Dior haute couture, Marion with the bustle". Or at least, let's hope they are. Won't that make for a fun red carpet.


ps. yes, I'm fucking devastated Boyhood lost. Again, in 20 years time we're going to look back and be so embarassed that we rewarded showiness and pretension over modesty and patience. If nice guys finish last, the same can be said for nice geniuses, too. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

orange is the warmest colour

I really just thought that headline was clever...


Saturday, February 14, 2015


The particular friend that I go on road trips with has a lot of rules. Since we - my friends and I - always went in her car (it was air-conditioned and new and could fit an alarming amount of luggage in it, like one of those clown cars except with Country Road weekenders), we, not begrudgingly, went along with the bulk of them, mostly because we wanted the lift. No shrieking or wolf whistling. No questioning the route. No stop-offs at McDonalds ("I hate the smell of hot chips"). No Sandstorm

But once we got to our destination - a smoky, grass-smelling cabin in a valley beneath the Blue Mountains or a bright, light, clean-as-a-whistle beach house down the South Coast - all bets were off. We cranked the music up real loud (living in complete isolation has its benefits), we whooped at the top of our lungs, we danced dirty, we ate terrible food (one memorable weekend we seemed to survive on Starbursts and Red Rock Deli Honey Soy  Chicken Chips alone) and we didn't follow any kind of plan at all. The long weekends that we spent away were blissfully free of anything other than friendship. We stretched out on couches and read books. We painted our nails. We gossiped about people who annoyed us. We played card games. We drank lots of very bad mojitos. We took posed pictures using self-timers. We played wine-soaked games of Twister. We never set alarms. We didn't look in mirrors. We had silences as lovely and as comforting as the afternoon sun.

Female friendship is a funny thing. It can be toxic and messy, it can be unrewarding and frustrating. It can be dangerous. But sometimes - through no talent of your own, mostly by sheer good luck and maybe a little perseverance - you can find women with whom friendship is not only effortless but endless. Your relationship stretches out behind and ahead of you like the horizon, only further, much further. It doesn't matter if you've known her for a day, a month, a year, 10 years, 20 years. How long is a friendship bracelet? How long is a piece of string? Female friendship has it's own romance. Maybe romance isn't the right kind of word, but you know what I mean. Female friendship is so important, so damn special, that everything that it is is also somehow more than it is. It's power lies in its simplicity, the fact that it's romance is something you do without even thinking, the way you drop an I Love You without any pretense or game-playing, the way you feel when you're sitting with your best friend at a cafe, drinking great coffee and eating great eggs and you know, you just know, that you're going to spend the rest of your life with this girl.  It's the romance of whipping your hair back and forth on a dance floor. Eating too much, drinking too fast, feeling sick. The way you communicate in in-jokes and snarky asides. It's having someone to share with. It's Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss. It's the best, isn't it? 


Sunday, February 8, 2015


Kate Moss in Mademoiselle magazine

February is: sweet-smelling, juicy stone fruit, lying on rocks and dipping your toes in the water, all day long, a new pair of sunglasses every week, movies in the early evening, raspberries as big as your thumb, piles and piles of unread books, hair piled up at the top of your head, loose dresses, worn-in sandals, David Austin roses.... and, thanks to the beautiful Miss Belle Langford, Kate Moss. This Sydney-based illustrator (who also happens to the best, most fun partner in crime when it comes to drinking espresso martinis and smoking naughty cigarettes out the window) has created an Instagram exhibition dedicated to Kate Moss. Every day she's sharing a new drawing of everyone's favourite 90s super (she'll even take requests, she drew Kate with the pink hair by Juergen for me). My next request is this one: tweedy and sweet in an oversized knit an two tight plaits. That's going to be my Autumn uniform this year.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

house porn

Vogue US February 2015

Ah Fifty Shades Of Grey, doomed to fail before you even, ahem, got it up (off the ground). So many sex puns to be had, so little time. But okay, real talk, much has been made in the annals of the internet about the palpable lack of chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, so much so that the abysmal press tour for the film is threatening to eclipse its opening next week on, wait for it, Valentine's Day. Are people going to see it? Probably. If people read the bloody book, they'll sit through an hour and a half of Jamie Dornan's abs. What a chore.

I am not a cinematic snob. In fact, I'm the opposite. I fucking love trashy films. I am a huge fan of Fast and the Furious. My favourite film in high school was Sahara. (McConaughey pre-McConnaissance, Penelope Cruz as a WHO doctor intent on saving the world, Steve Zaan as the wise-cracking buddy). So yes, I'll probably see Fifty Shades Of Grey. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Besides, I have faith in Dakota Johnson. She's cute in The Social Network and she's great in this spread for Vogue US, which is more of an ad for mid-century furniture and house plants than it is a cover story, but hey, it looks real nice. All this is sort of a roundabout way of saying that, you know what, yeah, I'm gonna go see this damn movie next week. Probably on bloody Valentine's Day. How's that for a successful marketing campaign? 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

bright young things

Being the film buff that I am, one of the things I enjoy most about my job is interviewing celebrities. I get a kick out of speaking (mostly on the phone) to people who I have long admired/fancied/despised on the big screen. It's like they broke the fourth wall and reached through the screen to shake my hand. The other day I spoke to a bright young thing, a little starlet on the rise, Sophie Cookson of jolly good fun film Kingsman. She's a young Keira Knightley, right down to the cheery guffaw and the shy interest in fashion. Don't just take my word for it, read all about it here.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

the siennaissance

The Observer Magazine

You know how you never get over your first celebrity crush? The one whose Smash Hits poster you pinned to your wall? Whose every film you watched, whose every girlfriend you detested (Jake, I'm thinking about you). Well, I think there's something in the idea that you never fully get over your first style icon. Everyone has one. Think back to your style awakening. Maybe it was when you first picked up a magazine, Kate Moss staring languidly out from the cover, pages filled with homages to her rock-deshabille threads. Maybe it was on TV, maybe it was Mischa Barton, in flippy mini skirts and a mother-of-pearl Chanel bag in the O.C. Or maybe it was Sienna Miller.

I love Sienna Miller. I love her. I've always loved her. I've defended her through thick and thin - I even defended her for Factory Girl, to this day I am one of the eight people in the world who own that movie on DVD. I loved her in cowboy boots and a Balenciaga bag. I loved her in green with gold bangles up her arm, draped all over Jude Law at the Oscars. I remembered cutting out this picture from a magazine, sticking it in my locker at school, and wearing a variation of it every weekend: Chunky fur gilet, multi-layered cotton skirt, knee high boots and sparkly sweater. She was the first, the only. For years I scoured vintage stores and saturday markets (chai latte in hand), hair all messed up, chipped black nails, aviator frames on, listening to Razorlight and the Kinks, smiling a lot and feeling thankful that I had freckles and long hair and boxes and boxes full of chandelier earrings. I was obsessed with London, I was obsessed with fashion and I was obsessed with Sienna Miller. That first style icon informs your relationship with clothes forever. It makes you want to buy certain things, like certain brands (I lusted over so much Twenty8Twelve, for reasons you can imagine), try certain combinations... in perpetuity. To this day, if Sienna is on a magazine cover, I want it. When she carries a bag, I want to know what it is. When, in a Vogue UK profile (where she was described as "phenomenally pretty... a beatnik Tinkerbell", does it get better than that?) she wore an Isabel Marant navajo sweater, I wanted that sweater. Sound ridiculous, sound high school, sound Mean Girls-y? Yeah, I know. But thinking about first loves always makes me regress.

My longterm love affair with Sienna is a running joke amongst my friends. Most of them have known me since I had a moodboard full of pictures of her wearing green dresses walking her dogs in Primrose Hill. They know how it is. They've had to put up with me banging on to whoever would listen for the past few months about the impending 'Siennaissance' - a phrase I'm pretty sure I have coined - referring to the fact that after a year or so of self-imposed baby-making hiatus, everyone's favourite champagne bubble blonde, all honeyed limbs and perfect hair, the girl who never says no to a dirty martini and a handful of fags, is BACK. And how, with a bunch of good, seriously good movies (Foxcatcher, American Sniper, Unfinished Business), an even bigger bunch of good, seriously good magazine covers, cute kid and nice man in tow. But you know, for me, she's never really been gone.


Thursday, January 8, 2015


"Certain places seem to exist mainly because someone has written about them. Kilimanjara belongs to Ernest Hemingway. Oxford, Mississippi belongs to William Faulkner, and one hot July week in Oxford I was moved to spend an afternoon walking the graveyard looking for his stone, a kind of courtesy call on the owner of the property. A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image..." 

Joan Didion, "In the Islands"

I have to talk about this, only because it's pretty much the culmination of two of the things I love - admire, cherish, adore, fawn over - most in the world: Joan and Celine. It comes down to this, unless the next campaign star that Phoebe Philo has secreted up her (elongated, raw-edged) sleeve is Benedict Bloody Cumberbatch there's no way a campaign could top this in my books. So, forgive me this indulgence please. When the New York Times asked JD the Celine ads (she said she had no idea the ruckus she had caused on the internet yesterday) she said "I am fortunate to own a few [Celine things]" and that she lives near the Madison Ave store. Ahem. To borrow Joan's phrase: certain places, things, people, brands belong forever to whoever claims them the hardest, shapes them, loves them so radically that they remake it in their image. Joan, you just won Celine. Take it. It's yours.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

summer goals

Had this picture saved on my desktop forever. I guess I wanted to write something nice like I used to, 250 words about summer and salty lips and getting sunburnt on your knees and your elbows and your shoulders and sticky fingers from banana paddlepops (which are actually kinda gross in retrospect) and sand underneath your nails and beach towels with holes in them and sticking to the leather seats of your friend's dad's car... but it's summer and it's hot and I can't be bothered. I'm off to the beach. File this under: summer goals.