Friday 28 June 2013

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Margaret

Margaret Zhang from Shine by Three blog, after Theyskens' Theory, NYC, September 2012.

Absolutely adore the way Margaret has styled her hair here....paired with her delicate drop earrings and white dress it is such a pretty, soft look. And balanced with the street cool Isabel Marant wedge sneakers! 

Recreate Margaret's look (kind of):

White dress: Thakoon Addition ruched front shirtdress, Rag & Bone Adele dress, McQ Alexander McQueen shirtdress, Topshop Clean utility shirt, DVF Montana dress, or Ellery shirt dress

Drop earrings: Juicy Couture pave feather drop earrings, ASOS Pretty drop earrings, Lulu Frost pave earrings, or Topshop Premium earrings

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Xiao Wen Ju

Chinese model Xiao Wen Ju, after Band of Outsiders, NYC, September 2012.

A romper to get you through the hot (depending on where you live of course! London not so much ;) days of summer.

Recreate Xiao Wen Ju's look (kind of):

Romper:  Juicy Couture Terry romper, Rory Beca Crowd cami romper, Topshop casual playsuit, T by Alexander Wang paneled playsuit, Splendid colourblock romper, LNA Madison silk romper, Blaque Label sleeveless romper or Parke Edie romper

Flat summer sandals: Sol Sana Avery flat sandals, A.P.C. Flat sandals, ASOS Flock leather sandals or 3.1 Phillip Lim Jenny sandals

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Giovanna

Contributing Fashion Editor W magazine Giovanna Battaglia, before Stella McCartney (mostly!), Paris, March 2013.

Cameras, Cameras, Cameras.....everywhere!

Recreate Giovanna's look (kind of):

Metallic coat: Gianluca Capannolo gold coat,  Haider Ackermann metallic sateen coat, Paul &Joe Mandal metallic coat, or Marc by Marc Jacobs Romy metallic coat

Full skirt: Rochas pleated skirt, Moschino Cheap and Chic metallic skirt, Rochas metallic floral jacquard skirt, ASOS skater skirt in metallic or Rochas full skirt

Boutique 9 Justine Specchio pumps, Miu Miu pointed toe glitter pump, Manolo Blahnik metallic BB pumps, B Brian Atwood Malika pumps or Topshop Gwenda pointed court shoes

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Esther

Esther Quek, Group Fashion Director The Rake & La Femme magazines, before Carven, Paris, February 2013.

Thursday 27 June 2013

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Kelly

Swedish model Kelly Gale, after A Show, NYC, September 2012.

Thank you @Stephanie for letting me know her name!

Recreate her look (kind of):

Topshop Afly suede lace up boots or Rag & Bone Deacon boots

Tory Burch Ram head stacking bangle, Saint Laurent Antiope cuff, or Gorjana Teagan cuff

New York Fashion Week SS 2013

Before A Show, Lincoln Centre, NYC, September 2012.

Another way to style a utility shirt or jacket

Recreate her look (kind of):

Print tee: Christopher Kane Monster tee, Faith Connexion Rose print tee, R13 Concert printed tee, ASOS Reclaimed Horses tee, McQ Alexander McQueen boyfriend tee, Stylestalker Sci Fi Guy tee, or McQ Alexander McQueen printed jersey tee

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Elisa

Stylist Elisa Nalin, after Chloe, Paris, March 2013.

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Susie

Susie Lau from Style Bubble blog, Tuileries, Paris, March 2013.

Such a fun, happy look on Susie! Love the beautiful colour palette....

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Elena

Elena Perminova, before Moncler Gamme Rouge, Paris, March 2013.

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Clarice and Marine

Brazilian model Clarice Vitkauskas and French model Marine Deleeuw, after Jill Stuart, NYC, September 2012.

Love both these pretty summer dresses!

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Marie

Marie Myrhoj Jensen from Nemesis Babe blog, before Chanel, Paris, March 2013.

Love this sweet look on Marie! It reminds me of the movie Gidget staring Sandra Dee!

Recreate Marie's look (kind of):

Bustier top (if you feel a bit exposed wearing a bustier, add a light coat or cardi like Marie has):Elizabeth and James Candice bustier top (and matching pants), Alice + Olivia striped bustier top (wear with matching skirt), PJK Patterson J.Kincaid Scarlet bustier (and matching skirt), Alice + Olivia Floral bustier top, Topshop floral piped crop top (and matching skirt), Topshop spot cupped bralet, Christopher Kane printed silk bustier, Tucker floral-print crepe bustier (and matching shorts), Funktional offset bustier (and matching shorts), Nasty Gal Check it Out bustier or Minkpink Electric field bustier (and matching shorts).

Light coat: Topshop Daisy print side split coat, Rag & Bone Auckland coat

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Peony

Peony Lim, before A Show, NYC, September 2013.

Another lovely look on Peony..... inspiration on how to dress up a simple denim skirt.

Recreate Peony's look (kind of):

Rag & Bone/JEAN The Jackson V tee, Helmut Helmut Lang scoop neck tee, Monrow Tissue V neck tee, Splendid tee, or ASOS v-neck tee

Black suede pumps: Barneys New York Co-Op Harper pumps, Diane von Furstenberg Anette pump, Gianvito Rossi Camnero suede pumps, or Boutique 9 Justine pumps

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Eleonora

Eleonora Carisi, after Stella McCartney (wearing Stella McCartney), Paris, March 2013. 

Recreate Eleonora's elegant look (kind of):

Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, Pour La Victoire Veronica sandals, or Fendi Polifonia t-strap sandals

Paris Fashion Week SS 2013....Li Xiao Xing

Chinese model Li Xiao Xing, after Ohne Titel, NYC, September 2012.

Take the chambray shirt from yesterday's post, and team with a pair of high-waisted jean shorts! Double denim, double the cuteness :)

Recreate Li Xiao Xing's look (kind of):

Current/Elliott The Perfect Shirt, 7 For All Mankind Destroyed denim shirt, Mango bleached denim Western shirt, Textile Elizabeth and James Austin shirt, or Vero Moda denim shirt

Marc by Marc Jacobs short moto boots, Rag &Bone Harper Moto booties, Jimmy Choo Youth biker boots, or ASOS Absence biker boots

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Tilda

Swedish model Tilda Lindstam, after A Show, NYC, September 2012.

Recreate Tilda's look (kind of):

Print dress: Thakoon Additon printed shirt dress, Tibi Leona slip dress, See by Chloe printed dress,  Rebecca Minkoff Seattle dress, Topshop Tie Dye leather dress, Sam & Lavi Ruby dress, Finders Keepers You Sent Me Dress, or Myne Colby Shift dress

Vic Matie zipper booties,  Topshop Punk premium Chelsea boot, Rag & Bone Somerset boots, ASOS Premium Above All leather Chelsea boot or McQ Alexander McQueen leather ankle boots

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Tallulah

Model and actress Tallulah Harlech, before Giambattista Valli, Paris, March 2013.

Red head-to-toe....definitely not for shrinking violets....but if you can pull it off!

Recreate Tallulah's look (kind of):

Red coat/jacket: Giambattista Valli oversized boucle coat, Joseph Earl crepe blazer, ASOS textured blazer coat, or  Bec & Bridge Romantico Blazer

Red trousers: Giambattista Valli tapered pants, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Ara tapered pants, Stella McCartney Taylor cady tapered pants, or Trina Turk crepe suiting pants

Maiyet platform sandals, B Brian Atwood Femme Fatal platform sandals, Luxury Rebel shoes Whimsy platform sandals, Charlotte Olympia Paris platform sandals, or ASOS Halogen heeled sandals

Monday 24 June 2013

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Frida

Norweigan model Frida Aasen, after DKNY, NYC, September 2012.

Recreate Frida's look (kind of):

Chambray/denim shirt (a wardrobe staple!): Current/Elliott The Perfect Shirt,  MiH Jeans Safari chambray shirt (whenever I type the word "safari" it makes me want to go on one! Ahhh I can only dream ;), 7 For All Mankind Destroyed denim shirt, Textile Elizabeth and James Austin shirt, Mango Bleach denim Western shirt, Joe's Jeans Dandy woven twill button down shirt, or Band of Outsiders cotton-chambray shirt

Rag & Bone/JEAN Hyde Portobello shorts, T by Alexander Wang lightweight leather shorts, BB Dakota Bryn leather shorts, Urban Code leather shorts, Todd Lynn Da Gama leather shorts, ASOS leather shorts or Free People vegan leather shorts

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Leaf

Senior Fashion Editor Elle China Leaf Greener, Place Vendome, Paris, March 2013.

p.s. Is the backward headband a thing??? Have I completely missed this trend while hiding under the doona?!

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Bonnie

Chinese model Bonnie Chen, before Chloe, Paris, March 2013.

Sunday 23 June 2013

New York Fashion Week SS 2013

After A Show, NYC, September 2012.

Such a great look - adore the military style jacket - especially with her dramatic red lips.

Recreate her look (kind of):

Military style jacket: What Goes Around Comes Around Bragg army jacket, Kill City military jacket, Club Monaco Carol Parka, Alice + Olivia Farlie military shirt jacket, Topshop cropped army jacket, or Nili Lotan military jacket

Urban Outfitters Staring at Stars Ikat print skirt or Elizabeth and James Grant pattern long skirt

Ash Roses lace up suede boots, Frye Erin work boots, All Saints panelled Damisi boot, or London Rebel boots

New York Fashion Week SS 2013....Violaine

Velour magazine's Violaine Bernard, before Theyskens' Theory, NYC, September 2012.

The chicest way to carry your heels! And note Violaine's sweet little ballet flats? Perfect for running around the city/between shows :)

Recreate Violaine's look (kind of):

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Before Haider Ackermann

Before Haider Ackermann, Paris, March 2013.

Love. this. outfit. The colours are so beautiful....

Paris Fashion Week AW 2013....Joanna

Harper's Bazaar US Style Director Joanna Hillman, before Valentino, Paris, March 2013.

Recreate Joanna's look (kind of):

Leather pants (looking through my archives, I realised that I have quite a few photographs of Joanna wearing leather pants but the way she styles them - with different jackets, shirts or coats - makes each outfit seem unique and different. Excellent inspiration for when you are heading off on a trip and can only pack a few key pieces....): J Brand Ready-to-Wear Blair leather pants, Theyskens' Theory Perfitol pants, Maison Martin Margiela tapered leather pants, Les Chiffoniers mid-rise slim-leg leather pants, Topshop Boutique slouch leather trousers, Friend of Mine Tyson leather pants, Rag & Bone/JEAN Hyde Portobello pants, or 3.1 Phillip Lim tapered leather pants

Open back booties: Alexander Wang Dasha booties, Derek Lam Tate Open Back booties,or Reed Krakoff cutout leather and neoprene booties

Saturday 22 June 2013

Weekend Life....North Bundaleer, Clare Valley, South Australia

North Bundaleer Homestead, Clare Valley,South Australia, late April 2013.

The subtle signs were there: an absence of traffic lights, long stretches of charcoal grey bitumen almost empty of cars save the odd 4WD or ute*, paddocks dotted with muscular looking cows and grazing sheep, rusty old windmills turning slowly in fields shimmering gold in the afternoon sun. But the real indication we were in country Australia, and the source of much amusement and childish giggles between us, was the finger wave**. Those who have travelled in rural areas of Australia will know exactly what I mean. A car approaches from the opposite direction, both drivers assume the position - right hand at the top of the steering wheel with elbow resting comfortably on the window sill*** - and at the fitting moment each driver gives a lazy raise of the index finger in friendly greeting to the other driver. The most highly prized salutation being a raised index finger combined with the subtle nod of an Akubra-topped head.

And so with me keeping score (drivers who did not return the index finger salute were dismissed as rude or obviously not from around here) we made our way to our final destination in South Australia, North Bundaleer homestead. Located halfway between Adelaide and the Flinders Ranges, the glorious North Bundaleer homestead is on the cusp of the Australian Outback, and just outside one of Australia’s key wine growing regions, the Clare Valley. Turning off R.M. Williams Way (named in honour of the legendary Australian bushman whose boots are recognisable the world over) into the long driveway leading to the homestead, it struck me that this is the landscape that defines Australia in my mind. The sunburnt fields: a palette of golden brown, buttermilk and pale saffron against rich ochre coloured soil, the wide-open skies and rolling hills flecked with towering silver-grey gum trees and the paddocks sprinkled with thick-fleece Merino sheep and their tiny newborn lambs.  A landscape immortalised by artists like Hans Heysen, and given a starring role in the 1980 Australian film, Breaker Morant (albeit doubling for the South African veld), and a landscape that was ours to explore over the next three days.

A majestic pastoral homestead built in the early 1900’s, North Bundaleer had us enraptured from the moment we motored through the beautiful old iron gates….. and that was before we had even met the wonderful owners, Marianne and Malcolm Booth and their two adorable Jack Russell terriers, Archie and Tilly. Greeted warmly by our hosts (both two and four legged), we were soon ensconced in our exquisite suite (the “Red Room”) with its grand canopied four-poster bed, adjoining sitting room decorated in the Chinoiserie style and gorgeous ensuite bathroom. Although calling the bathroom an ensuite is perhaps understating things a little: the airy light-filled space is actually an entire room, a stunning conversion of the homestead’s former conservatory. Lined by windows (with half-blinds for privacy), it affords wonderful views of the surrounding hills, sky, treetops and walled formal garden whether you are luxuriating in the deep bath or splashing about under the freestanding shower. Contemplating just how many soaks in the tub I could squeeze in over the next couple of days without turning into a wrinkled prune, I was roused from my calculations by a soft knock on the door. Malcolm appears bearing a silver tray laden with goodies: Would we prefer to take afternoon tea in the sitting room or in the garden? The afternoon is a glorious one so we take our expertly made lattes and individual chocolate cakes out onto our private veranda which looks onto the garden. The eucalyptus trees and Bunya pines are brimming with birdlife: pink and grey galahs, brightly coloured rosellas, magpies and cheeky kookaburras, two of which keep a watchful eye on our movements hoping for a few leftover crumbs. Sated by Marianne’s excellent baking and recharged by Malcolm’s wonderful barista skills, we set out to explore the homestead with our new best friends, Archie and Tilly, in tow.

Set on 400 acres of bush and farmland, the grand homestead with its sandstone chimneys, dramatic deep-crimson roof, delicate lace ironwork and stately towers is awe-inspiring particularly when you consider that it was an abandoned ruin, occupied only by sheep and the odd snake, when Marianne and Malcolm acquired it in the late nineties.  Painstaking restoration took 3 years and was clearly a labour of love. Armed with photographs of the homestead dating back to 1910, a National Trust conservation management plan and a team of tradesman, Marianne and Malcolm worked tirelessly to return the homestead and gardens to their former glory. At the risk of sounding like Kevin McCloud****, it is obvious that North Bundaleer was never going to be just a home for Marianne and Malcolm but instead a chance to preserve a significant piece of South Australia’s rural history and create a legacy in the process.

A grand ballroom forms the centrepiece of the homestead with the 4 guest suites, a magnificent drawing room, dining room and library leading off it. Exploring each room, it is clear that Marianne, a former management consultant, has exquisite taste. Each room is beautifully decorated with antiques, paintings and books collected over a lifetime of travels (collectively the couple have lived in the UK, Ethiopia, Kenya, New York, Sydney, Brisbane and the Southern Highlands in NSW).  Chandeliers hang from the soaring ceilings, delicate period wallpaper (some rescued during the restoration process) line the walls, lamps cast a golden hue over each room, vases brim with freshly cut flowers and wonderfully-scented roses. It is sumptuous, yes, but the atmosphere is warm and relaxed rather than formal and stuffy.

Outside, a stroll around the walled garden reveals the source of those gorgeous roses: hundreds of David Austen rose bushes frame the circular driveway. At the back of the garden, lemon trees overflow with fruit, fragrant lavender and rosemary bushes are bursting with flowers and hum with the sound of busy worker bees. Just outside the walled garden is the Booth’s organic olive grove where we first spot the family of kangaroos that call North Bundaleer home. Despite my best stalking efforts, I manage only a couple of photographs before they bound off.  Rather despairing of my wildlife photography attempts, we return to the homestead where my spirits soon lift: Lucinda, an orphaned joey Marianne and her lovely daughter Katie are caring for, has awoken. Nestled in her cushioned fabric pouch, she is the sweetest little thing and on a par with Archie and Tilly as things I wish desperately to smuggle back to the UK with me.

As night falls, the homestead glows warmly with light. Candles and fires are lit, and soft music from the library wafts into the ballroom. At 6:30pm we gather in the drawing room with the other guests for pre-dinner drinks and canapés. Malcolm’s excellent sommelier skills are accompanied by canapés made by Marianne: smoked salmon with horseradish cream crostini, South Australian goats cheese with olive tapenade, and fried olives stuffed with gorgonzola. Our hosts are wonderful conversationalists and helped along with generous pours of Clare Valley wine from Malcolm, we are soon engaged in fascinating conversation that spills over into dinner. And supper really is something special at North Bundaleer. Served in the elegant dining room under candlelight (so flattering!) along a superb 18-seater Irish Georgian table, we are treated to the most delicious food cooked by Marianne in her handsome Aga. Local ingredients are the focus of each course with vegetables, fruit and herbs grown in the garden, eggs from their free-range chickens, olive oil from the olive grove, beef from their own herd of Shorthorn cows, and honey from a neighbour. Our favourite dishes during our stay? Meltingly tender rack of saltbush lamb served with a zippy capsicum sauce, green beans and spiced couscous, aromatic truffled mushroom soup, crispy skinned duck with pickled red cabbage, an impossibly light and fluffy chocolate soufflé (I spent a good few minutes quizzing Marianne on how to achieve such a feat….mine tend to deflate woefully in the middle), and the pièce de résistance, a decadent, buttery, perfectly caramelised apple tarte tatin with cinnamon ice-cream. Simply the best apple tarte tatin I have ever eaten.

Marianne also puts on a ravishing spread at breakfast: homemade bread and jams, freshly squeezed orange juice, poached fruits (silky pears in a syrup rich with cardamom and spices, and perfectly poached rhubarb), homemade muesli and yoghurt, together with a hot breakfast cooked on the Aga (an embarrassingly large serve of eggs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms which we both polished off leaving nothing for the ever-hopeful Archie and Tilly).


While the temptation is to remain at North Bundaleer just relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine, there is much to explore in the area. We visited the historic towns of Burra (where much of Breaker Morant was filmed) and Mintaro, and wineries in the Clare Valley. Further afield, the Southern Flinders Ranges, Port Pirie and Port Augusta are do-able if you have a little more time than we did.

Before we arrived, I mentioned to Marianne and Malcolm that I would love to see a sheep being shorn. They contacted their neighbours, the Ashby family, who run North Ashrose Merino and Poll Merino Sheep Stud, and who very kindly organised for a couple of their merino sheep to be shorn. It is hard, backbreaking work (my back was aching just watching) but the sheep were remarkably calm and relaxed while they were being shorn – I always thought they would be rather tetchy and indignant! I am so grateful to Graham and Tom Ashby for showing us around and introducing us to their magnificent sheep. I ♥ ♥ sheep.

Eat + Drink:

Breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea are taken care of at North Bundaleer but we also tried these places:

The Black Sheep, La Pecora Nera, Burra. Recommended by Malcolm, this is pizza straight out of Italy (the owner/chef is from Tuscany). It is utterly bizarre, in a very good way, to be eating proper Italian thin-crusted, wood-fired pizza doused liberally in olive oil on the edge of the Australian Outback!

Wild Saffron, Clare. Coffee addicts are catered for here ;)

Sevenhill Hotel, Sevenhill. A decent char-grilled steak although the service was a bit shaky.

Mr Mick, Clare. Another recommendation from Malcolm and Marianne. Unfortunately it was booked out the day we wanted to go (a good sign!).

The Commercial Hotel, Jamestown. A good Aussie pub to stop at for a refreshing beer or double-Sars (sarsaparilla). The lady behind the bar knew exactly what I meant when I asked for a double-sars!

*a “ute’ is a tray-back/pick-up Australian style of car most commonly seen in country areas where the tray can be loaded with hay, farm equipment, and most importantly, a blue heeler or Australian cattle dog.

**not to be confused with the other, rather more uncivilised finger “wave”

***I am not advocating that anyone drive with an elbow out the window though!

****from Grand Designs

We stayed as guests of North Bundaleer

Thank you also to the South Australian Tourism Commission for assisting with travel arrangements