Wednesday, August 19, 2009

pretty bird

jenny lewis images, from top: under the radar rabbit fur coat promo, bust, american songwriter and nylon

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

life in soft focus

images via myspace

sébastien mazière
is a 29 year old photographer living and working in paris. he makes such dreamy images with their pensive heroines, softly diffused light and yellow-toned nostalgia. i love the way he has captured the girl in the fourth photo as the wind blows through her hair, her eyebrows raised and lips parted as though she is just about to speak. she looks so french and haphazardly chic.
i ran across some of these images in some magazine or other a year or two ago, and promptly cut out them out to stick in my little scrapbook of inspirations. they have stayed with me, because this is just the sort of mood i want to capture in my own photographs.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

what a beautiful day for a picnic

images via ebay, etsy, antique helper and vintage life network

"what a beautiful day for a picnic,
what a picnical day for a lark!
we will frolic all day
in the happiest way,
and we won't get back home until dark!"

(mickey mouse's picnic, 1950)

one of my favourite little golden books as a child was 'mickey mouse's picnic'. since hearing about minnie and mickey's carefully prepared picnic, which from memory involved pink lemonade and a chocolate cake (with a knife taped to the bottom), i have been rather fixated on the preparation of the perfect picnic. but it is only recently that i have become fascinated by vintage picnic cases. my attention was drawn to these kinds of sets a while back when my friend opened a totally unassuming suitcase left given to her by her grandfather, to reveal brightly colour melamine cups, plates, bowls, spoons, salt and pepper shakers and little containers all neatly stacked inside. what a lovely surprise! my fingers are crossed that one day i'll open a case at the op-shop to reveal just such a treasure.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

vintage coats via paris, 1960

i know that most of my fellow southern hemisphereans are looking forward to spring and would rather not dwell on warm and woollies any longer. nonetheless, i thought I would post these pictures from the 'cahiers bleus' autumn-winter 1960-61 lookbook, which i was lucky enough to find hidden in a box of papers at an antique store a while back, before coat weather is well and truly over. i love the stately glamour of these oversized vintage coats. i adore the way the fabric falls voluminously from the middle of the back, and the tulip shape it forms as it tapers to skim the hips. i love the swingy flared hems, the bracelet length sleeves, chunky jeweled buttons and luxurious fur collars. when out and about in cold weather, opportunities to expose the outfit underneath one's coat seem rare. dressing for winter can feel so repetitive when you only have one or two coats in rotation, therefore an extensive collection of wonderful outerwear is essential! my plan is to have some of these lovely illustrations framed, but in the meantime, here they are to inspire you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

gia coppola

images via the skullset

22-year old photographer gia coppola is francis ford coppola's granddaughter and sofia coppola's niece. she studied photography at bard college in upstate new york. i like the disjointed noirish narratives of this series, with its looming shadows and moody tones of black and white. like shuffled film stills, they hint at an uneasy story about a threatening presence that is always just off-camera. i'm interested to hear about her creative plans after graduating. in a family like that there's certainly a lot to live up to!

Monday, August 10, 2009

the art of the scarf

it is the source of no small sartorial embarrassment, that the more determinedly i strive for the casual elegance of a well-tied scarf, the more it eludes me. i have plenty of practice with the neck-warming winter variety. cold days call for folds of fabric looped generously around the neck twice and tied in front. no problem. but summer scarves, that seemingly simple and foolproof recipe for parisian chic, are impossible. i can spend a good 15 minutes, untying and retying, only to yank the thing off in frustration before i've even made it out the door. i think that the dimensions and quality of the fabric play an important role in making a scarf look 'right'. cheap silk and nylon don't drape well. too much fabric and the scarf resembles a neck-brace. too little risks strangulation. but most important, it would seem, is the correct attitude. one must try as hard as one can to make it look as though one isn't really trying.

i'll keep working on it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

being kiki

all images via the fashion spot

just what is it about kirsten? is it the milky white skin, the nonchalant hair, the seemingly endless parade of chanel purses? as she runs about LA in well-cut coats, easy-to-mix neutrals, striped t-shirts and flat boots, she seems like the kind of girl i could relate to. her everyday style translates to real life so perfectly. she keeps it simple and it works.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

red velvet cupcakes

my first ever red velvet cupcake was an embarrassingly touristy and nutritionally questionable breakfast at the magnolia bakery in new york city. (which I sneakily tried to photograph under the table, away from the withering glance of a local drinking her morning latte) their fame had preceded them, and they certainly lived up to the promise. i bought the magnolia bakery cookbook that day, but for the past few months it has been sitting prettily on my bookshelf, the pressure to replicate cupcake perfection seeming too great. but one night last week, when the usual hankering for something sweet hit, i decided to have a stab at the recipe. here is a video about how to make them right from the source, bobbie lloyd of magnolia bakery:

(if you don't have buttermilk in the fridge 
you can substitute regular milk mixed with an extra splash of vinegar- leave it on the bench for a few moments to thicken.)

i also devised a far more basic recipe for buttercream icing, which is quite a breakthrough for me. my freestyle icing attempts usually involve seemingly endless amounts of icing mixture, sticky fingers and a crappy result. this time, however, i did this:

you will need

  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk/ (or whipping cream for those people who have it on hand)
mix together sugar and butter on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

add vanilla and milk/cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk/cream if needed for spreading consistency.
those more ambitious types can follow bobbie's fancy recipe for more involved, complicated, and probably superior icing:


Friday, August 7, 2009

juliette hogan summer o9

all images via juliette hogan

can it be true that juliette hogan is not stocked outside new zealand? if the website is to be believed, some discerning australian and international boutique owners need to rectify this situation quickly. i love this collection. apparently the label has been described as "quietly sophisticated clothes that well mannered girls want to wear." i'm not sure if i am always as well-mannered as i'd like to be, but i have a feeling i'd get away with it if i was wearing any of these beautiful pieces. the hint of black bodysuit beneath the sheer flesh pink folds of fabric on the ballet dress makes the model look like a ballerina in quiet repose. and the elegantly floor-sweeping length on the pink skirt is so refreshing. i love the way pearls are worn with every outfit- juliette's clothes are obviously for the kind of girl for whom grandmother's pearls are a signature accessory. can you tell that's the kind of girl i'd like to be?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

kat macleod, i love you

all images via the jacky winter group

i want to live inside one of kat macleod's pictures. i can't get enough of her charming little illustrations that combine dreamy watercolours with quirky collage. the stylish and charismatic characters that inhabit her pictures are the girl i want to be. or maybe i'd rather be the talented and beautiful kat herself? if you want more kat, you can read a wonderful interview at the design files, see more of her work at the jacky winter group, and buy a limited edition print of one of these beauties via lamington drive