Lady Melbourne in a lion mask

Look what I found..

On our way back from lunch and a spot of shooting, The Gardener and I popped into a variety shop looking for candles but I ended up getting stuck into the masks and dress ups.

Lady Melbourne wearing Sussan lift and shape jeans

Winner of the Sussan ‘The Denim Story’ give away is…

You may recall that I blogged recently on my discovery of some great basics and very on trend pieces from none other than Sussan. Their latest offering and an exclusive for Lady Melbourne readers is their latest denim range which has just this week dropped in store.

Anyhow Sussan were so happy that I was happy with my recent purchases that they said, ‘How about we give a Lady Melbourne reader the exclusive jump on the denim range and a $200 voucher to spend.’

New beauty review: Clean teeth and radiant skin

New beauty review: Clean teeth and radiant skin

If there is one thing that I love in my beauty routine, it’s cleansing. I’ve spoken about various products that I use before, and I’m also not immune to trying out all manner of treatments in pursuit of a sparkling visage.

Two things came across my desk in January that piqued my cleanliness interest: the Oral B Black 7000 electric toothbrush and a microdermabrasion and neoOxygen facial at neoSkin.

White lace crop top with blue denim

White on Blue

I’ve been really inspired by white lace at the moment, if you’re not already you can check out my Pinterest page for all manner of pictorial loveliness on cotton dresses through to crochet bathers. We can’t always look like something off Pinterest now can we, but I think this lace cami from St Frock is a pretty good starting point.

Shiny, health, lustrous hair

Try this: Shu Uemura Hair Ceremony

Have you ever had a hair cleansing ceremony? Shu Uemura are now offering what they call their ‘Deep Ceremony’ at Oscar Oscar salons and I had the pleasure of discovering what it’s all about on a recent visit.

Lady Melbourne wearing Sussan dress

From Sussan With Love

I’ve never been a slave to labels, rather always looking for good quality fabrication and cut. It doesn’t matter to me whether something is op-shop, high street or designer, I’m more interested in whether the garment is a natural fibre, how it’s cut and where it’s made.
On the hunt for simple, modest and fashionable clothing to take with me on my recent trip to Jordan, I stopped into Sussan and found this shift dress that ticked all of those boxes.

Lady Melbourne wearing House of Harlow sunglasses and vintage dress

House of Harlow keeping me cool

These House of Harlow ‘Chelsea’ sunglasses were my sole boxing day sale purchase from In Her Shoes Boutique.

I allow myself one purchase each year so I don’t end up in the shops weeping over an empty bank account and bags full of things I simply don’t need. Last year I bought a Samantha Wills ring from St Frock on sale(see the blog post), and this year I noticed that In Her Shoes Boutique had put these up for the tidy sum of….$50. How’s that for my only bargain buy!

Lady Melbourne's blue and white interior

My blue and white obsession

I wonder why we develop a penchant for certain colours over others? I know someone who loves purple to the point where they wear it on their person every single day. I think she’s kind of eccentric, but then I look around my own house…

So are you drawn to some colours more than others? And have you ever wondered why?

Doing yoga in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Jordan Part II: Wadi Rum

“The map of this desert? It’s in my head,” our driver yells over his shoulder as we trundle through Wadi Rum in the darkness.

Not on a road, or a track, but rather over sand dunes and in complete darkness. Complete. Darkness.

Jordan Part I: An Introduction

‘You went where?’

‘Is it….safe?’

‘Why are you going to Jordan?’

These are just some of the immediate reactions I’ve experienced when talking about visiting Jordan. I suppose from and Australian viewpoint it is a long way away, and it’s nestled pretty much smack bang in the Middle East bordering Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. When you articulate it, the ‘Is it safe?’ question seems quite sage.

Before I write about my trip, I thought an introduction was in order so I can answer some of those questions and put the trip into context.

YSL jacket

The New Year

Happy new year to you!

I’ve taken a little break over Christmas and it’s been really great to reflect on the year that was 2013. I don’t do resolutions, rather preferring to look back on the previous year and improve/change/recharge.

2013 was a big year for Lady Melbourne with loads of travel and I’m looking forward to doing my top 10 posts for 2013 later today.

So do you make resolutions?

Nicole Fendel

Shop local and online at The Style Net this Christmas

The Style Net composes local designers in one place, where you can shop online with the warm and fuzzy feeling that you are supporting local, Aussie labels. It’s a fab idea where they’ve done the hard work for you combing the Internet to bring you the best designer, avant-garde and vintage online fashion boutiques and fashion trends by profiling them in a functional directory that is every bit as chic as the stores themselves.

Lady Melbourne’s Christmas Gift Guide 2013

It’s here- the annual Lady Melbourne Christmas Gift Guide! I do love to put it together, and it is such a pleasure to be able to bring you everything from hand made indie labels right through to a bit of luxury.
We are running a little bit behind this year, but the guide doesn’t just have to be used for Christmas, think of it as a nice little handbook for gorgeous things you can find online and beyond for either yourself or the loved ones in your life.

Oh and did I mention you can win it all?! Keep reading!

What colour should you wear to a wedding?

This week’s idea is around what colour means to you, and how you apply that to various occasions in your life. There are common traditions like black or dark colours for a funeral or a bride wearing white for example. And I’m aware that these traditions extend to all sorts of variations depending on your cultural or ethnic heritage.

But what about colour and occasions? I’m off to a wedding shortly and thought about what colour I should wear.

J.Crew: My editors picks for the Christmas season

One of the first stores I visited in New York was J Crew. Being an American institution operating 249 retail stores with a strong online presence, I’d stalked their necklaces in the weeks leading up to my trip. Ok I’d stalked their scarves, denim and blazers too.
They now boast an online presence where you can shop current collections with free shipping and free returns on all orders to Australia.

You can’t really go wrong for Christmas, so here’s my editors picks from their Christmas Gift Guide.

Bowerhaus Jewellery

Australian Luxury: BOWERHAUS

Bowerhaus is an emerging Australian luxury jewellery label featuring semi-precious stones and baroque pearls. I discovered them a while back but it’s not until I actually got my hands on one of their necklaces that I was able to see the true beauty in their work.

This is the ‘Gardenia’ necklace made with adventurine, jadeite and malachite with a baroque pearl and an 18K WGP Clasp.

A new one to watch on the Australian luxury accessories scene in my book!

Beauty Tips for Long Haul Flights

Flying long haul means different things to different people. Four hours on a plane may be your limit, or perhaps (and if you are Australian) you might be used to up to 14 hours for one flight.

Flying to New York from Australia for example will see you clock up 20 hours flying time. Kind of insane, right?!

As I’ve done my fair share of overseas travel this year I thought perhaps I’d share what I use pre, during and post flight to keep my skin, hair and nails in shape.

An Ode To New York

I wore this outfit for lunch on Sunday past and it reminded me of my time in New York. Namely because this is a vintage Diane Von Furstenberg dress that I picked up at the Chelsea Antique Garage that I’m wearing with a cuff that was given to me by my sister-in-law who also lives there.

I got around in outfits like this when I was there for six weeks earlier in the year (seems like an eon ago now!) and so that’s why this outfit, is an ode to New York.

The Seamstress by Maria Duenas book review

I was drawn to the plot line because it mixed mystery, espionage and fashion (who knew?!) and Duenas paints evocative descriptions of exotic locations. I was absolutely transported to Tangiers, Madrid, Tetouan and Lisbon of the 1930s but when I got there I found myself needing a more nuanced emotional story. Women who consistently get butterflies in their stomach, annoy me.

Have you read a good book lately? I’d love to hear what you recommend, it might end up next months reading!

Lady Petrova Dress

LADY PETROVA X LADY MELBOURNE

Here’s two amazing Melbourne labels you need to know about if you don’t already: Lady Petrova and Anna Davern.

One of my passions for the blog over the years has been the opportunity to bring you local Melbourne and Australian designers, and I’m so proud to have shot both designers current collections for this blog post. When I visited both of them in their store and studio respectively I thought that they were a match made in fashion heaven, even though they’d not been paired together before.

Should you help your ex hook up?

Imagine the bizarre sensation of reading an email from a woman who has met your ex boyfriend in a bar, and forgot to get his contact details. The boyfriend you thought you might once marry.

He mentioned you in passing, and thanks to Google she’s found you and now asks ‘would you be so kind as to pass on my details as I’d love to see him again.’

I actually laughed out loud, closed the email and walked away from my computer to make a cup of tea. Was this a joke?

On closer inspection of the email however, I realised that it wasn’t. This woman wanted my help hooking up with my ex.

Lady Melbourne

Darkness and Light

The Gardener took these photos, and they are just how I like them. Late afternoon sun, deep, long shadows and a filmic quality.

We work together with such synergy these days that I tell him the fashion story I want to tell, find the natural light I’m after and he does the rest. We have a time of day we call ‘magic hour’ where the sunlight is just right. I don’t like flash photography, and I’ve never had the equipment to light my own photography so over the years have learnt to shoot in natural light. It just so happens it’s his forte, so together I just love the imagery we make and the stories we can tell.

Summer Beauty Reviews

I get a lot of beauty items come across my desk, but not all of them make it to the blog. I won’t put just anything on my face- would you?!

Here are some recent arrivals that I’ve really been enjoying, from beauty classics through to new kids on the block.

The races, but not as you know it

Is your personal look or ‘brand’ more important than the occasion I wonder?
Ignoring a dress code, tradition or standard, says, ‘the way I look is more important than the occasion.” And let’s face it, hats are hard to get right and no one wants to end up on the pages of a celebrity mag being lampooned for what you’re wearing.

But if you are being paid to show up, or even if you’re not, the least you can do is look the part.

Oaks Day 2013

Melbourne Cup Day 2013

My beautiful millinery for cup day was supplied by Oscar & Wilde who are a Melbourne boutique with an in-house milliner. We worked together on this piece, me wanting something in soft blues that channeled something Kate Middleton might wear, only a little more flamboyant. Other than that I left it up to Jennifer

Reebonz Chanel Bag

Vintage Luxe: Chanel from Reebonz

There’s a new kid in town when it comes to authentic, pre-loved luxury: Reebonz. We’re working on a little project together and there’ll be some quite exciting content coming up featuring, well, a lot of Chanel. And we all love Chanel right? Even if like me it’s just to gaze at through the windows of a shop.

Sandgrens Swedish Clogs

I am very excited to welcome these Sandgrens clogs to my wardrobe all the way from Sweden of course.

Historically, few countries have cherished clogs as much as Sweden, which is where Sandgrens Clogs were originally founded as a leather tannery in the mid 1800s.

What I’m wearing to Turnbull Stakes Day 2013

It’s here: The Spring Racing Carnival 2013!

This Saturday at Turnbull Stakes Day will be my first race meet of the season and I thought I would kick things off with an all white outfit. It’s a huge trend for spring/summer but I thought more over it would be light and fresh.

Big Love Monday

As my gratitude project rolls on I’m really blown away by your contributions each week and I thank you so much. I’ve started to put together some memes with your quotes using images I’ve sourced from creative commons on Flickr and I thought I’d share at the end of the first month of the project. A little celebration of sorts.

Red tip manicure from Miss Fox

Shellac Manicures: Your questions answered

Will Shellac ruin my nails? Will Shellac strengthen my nails? How can I remove a shellac manicure at home?

These are all questions I get asked about my manicures, and I’m not even a nail technician! But I thought it was about time I answered some common questions to dispel myths and satiate your curiosity.

Boyfriend Jeans

The DIY Boyfriend Jeans

I thought I would give the DIY boyfriend jeans thing a go, after trying on a pair at To The Max recently. For $6 I’m really happy, I’m actually thinking about buying another pair to distress so I can photograph and blog about the process. Would you like to see?

The Green Chilli Dress

Do you like this green chilli dress? I love my clothing with a good dose of humour, so went I visited Fashiondacci last week to see what Kurt had in store, this dress jumped off the rack and said, ‘shoot me!’

My Favourite Mexican Embroidered Dress

I bought this Mexican, embroidered dress on Etsy some time ago but it is still absolutely one of my wardrobe favourites.

These photos are actually from this blog post about it, but I thought it was worth re-posting because I really love everything about them. The sunlight, the shadows, the vintage Valentino bag.

Why do we love shoes?

Why do we love shoes?

More than just writing blog posts about how wonderful said pair of shoes are, I thought I’d try and understand why we love them so much. I mean, why do we spend so much money on items that can sometimes only be worn once (wedding), may not fit but you buy them anyway (on sale) or that you know are impractical (stilettos that sink into the lawn at a garden party)?

Why colour analysis will change your wardrobe

Now that I’ve shot this new Boohoo skirt with this jacket, I actually think that proportionally it would look better with a cropped jacket. And shapes and how you wear them is something I’m learning more and more about at the moment, having recently had my colours done by colour and image consultant Jo Shiers of The Style Advisor.

MSFW 2013 Highlights

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week has come and gone for 2013 and I thought I would share with you some of the highlights I’ve seen for the week.

And there is a lot to see that’s for sure!

High Fashion, High Tea

Today I attended High Fashion, High Tea at the Park Hyatt here in Melbourne to round of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

It was a great way to end a hectic week of parades, showings and parties, but I loved every moment of it, specially seeing the Carl Kapp parade today.

Habbot Shoes SS 13 Launch

The unique Melbourne based shoe brand yesterday launched its fifth season collection whilst achieving a one year retail milestone in two Melbourne locations after four successful pop up stores. Annie has managed to grow her business in a fickle retail landscape without large financial backing instead treading carefully and strategically.

If the launch yesterday was anything to go by, the women of Melbourne are still very happy to spend money on shoes and I think it’s wonderful that it’s on Australian designed, made in Italy leather shoes.

Look The Part

So it’s spring but feels like summer so important to look the part. I can’t decide whether to put away my heater, pull out the sandals or hedge my bets because lord knows it could be freezing cold in November. Melbourne is a fickle mistress with her weather.

Stay In The Sunlight

Although when you look at an outfit like this, you could probably add opaque tights, stiletto ankle boots and a cropped leather jacket to transform it for a winter look. Because I live in a city where the weather changes so much, I’ve found that a lot of my wardrobe is interchangeable between seasons.

Boohoo!

UK online retailer Boohoo.com are moving into the Australian market place in a big way at the moment. Having just got back from their SS 13 launch that will be exclusive to Australian shores, I can tell you that the momentum is well and truly in full swing.

Jewellery from New York

As most of you would know I love, love, love jewellery and accessories having run my own accessories label for seven years. So I bought back A LOT of jewellery from New York when I was there in May/June.

Today’s (not so) Face

I loved the colours in this dress, and while I’ve styled it here with quite tough accessories, I think a pair of lavender, suede heels would look great with a slim, silver belt.

Or maybe you can give me your suggestions on how you’d wear it?

Today’s Face: How to create a simple vintage hairstyle

I am no expert when it comes to hairstyling, but over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with hairdressers and have tried to glean as many tips as possible. I’m also a huge DIY gal, watching how-to clips on YouTube or finding out to do things on Pinterest.

So here is a tutorial on how I create a simple, vintage looking hairstyle in just a few steps. It’s easier than you think!

Like A Lady

The day I tried on this dress in New York, it was 30 degrees and humid. It was hard to imagine that it was going to work on a winter’s day, but I’m glad now that I bought it.

I featured it in a post I did on why people love New York but it only got hotter and hotter and it sat at the bottom of my suitcase for the rest of the trip.

Shiny and New

It wasn’t intentional that I would shoot this jacket in the late afternoon sun, but now I’m looking at these photos I can see that it really needed to be under direct sunlight for the full effect of the foil leather to come to life.

It’s even better in real life, and while I’m wearing it casually here, it looks great all dolled up for a night on the town.

Today’s Face: Golden Ratio Brows

So I’m back at the Miss Eyelash studio in Elwood where I’ve been a handful of times before to see Emma, the founder of Miss Eyelash whose services are dedicated solely to eyelash extensions and care. Working out of the same studio these days is O’Connell of Golden Ratio Brows who brings her expertise as a beauty therapist and spa owner to Miss Eyelash’s range of services.

iRock Jewellery

iRock jewellery allows you to design your own piece of jewellery by mixing and matching their pendants, gems, chains, size and leather. But what’s really special is that you will be able to see exactly what it will look like with their online design tool.

Mix Up

A big part of why I started the blog all those years ago, was that I didn’t see the way I dressed represented in mainstream media. And I suppose it is hard to put ‘vintage’ or ‘op-shop finds’ on the pages of glossy magazines, but none the less I knew I wasn’t alone in how I mixed up my wardrobe with new designers pieces, high street fashion and vintage and second hand clothes.

Today’s Face: Pop!

Recently I had this comic book inspired manicure done by Sara at Miss Fox and while we were chatting away about what I wanted to do for the corresponding blog post, someone said, ‘Why don’t we just get Luna to do it?’
Who is Luna you may ask?

Road tested: Lancôme’s UV Expert BB Complete

BB and CC creams- what does it actually mean? I was curious to find out because I’d heard so much about these wondrous creams and their amazing properties. Primer, sunscreen, brightener, and makeup all in one, I set off to trial Lancôme’s UV Expert BB Complete along with 5 Lady Melbourne readers who I enlisted to give the product a go.

Selfies: What more do we want to see?

Now, in 2013 we have the phenomena of ‘selfies,’ and with that a growing trend for them to be taken while half naked and pouting. This is generally the domain of teenage girls, desperate for peer approval about everything from their looks to their dress sense. In a recent article published on The Age, Olymia Nelson wrote: “seeing some of these images can feel too intimate. It’s almost as though we’re peering through a window. Some photos may be of girls showing skin, or girls lying on a bed. Just about all are seeking some sort of approval from their friends. The aim is not to communicate joy but to score a position.”

I’m left wondering, what more do we want to see?

Times Three

When I read other blogs, I always enjoy the detailed photos, especially when it comes to layers or accessories. And I think it’s really easy to forget the same principal with your own blog sometimes. Case in point I had shot this post wearing the outfit as you see it in the top picture. But I knew that both layers underneath were interesting pieces in their own right, so I re-shot it trying to capture each layer individually.

Today’s Face

So here is this weeks installment of ‘Today’s Face,’ a new beauty segment on Lady Melbourne that really came about because you guys seem to love beauty as much as I do!
If you missed it you can catch last weeks here, otherwise lets crack on with today’s face which is more of a fun, evening look.

Lavender Love (and an apology)

I finally worked out today why I just could not put an outfit together last week and blog: it’s the weather. Or rather, my reaction to it once I arrived home. The day I left New York it was 36 degrees. I got on the plane from JFK to LAX wearing a strappy, cotton, summer dress.