Monday, September 26, 2011

An Unhealthy Obsession: Alexa Chung

The images I have collected of successful British model and DJ Alexa Chung is overwhelming to say the least, but I luckily only have about another folder's worth or images to go through before I need to do some more Internet scouring or I want to post a femme fatale post about Florence Welch; singer of Florence and the Machine whom I also seem to be developing an unhealthy obsession with. I think part of the charm of Alexa Chung to me at least is her name: that suggestion of exoticism and East meets West. I myself am half Malaysian and Caucasian so I suppose its comforting to see someone as successful and beautiful as Alexa Chung with a similar mixing of heritage. I reject the idea that I am a half-half freak. She's just so beautiful and makes everything look effortless. I'm also a sucker for blue eyes and she does eye-liner perfectly; something I have yet to master. This post includes my favourite pictures of Chung dressed in black, white and grey. She's so classy and chic. I love that sort of understated class about a girl and the fact that her styling is so unique. I really want to get my hands on some of the Alexa Chung for Madewell pieces but I doubt I will have any luck. 

I really should get on to try to draw some of these lovely images, but I'm still tied up at the moment with exam preparation and the like but in just two months the most rigorous part of my life will be over and blog posts will spring from me like a leaky boat.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lenko: 2010 Animal Sweater Collective

I was really excited when I first saw these. On a holiday wander and meander with friends through the city of Melbourne and popping into any store we fancied, we chanced upon Lenko in the Cathedral Arcade. We had meant to check out the vintage sellers and op-shop-poachers Retrostar, I loved their range of soft sweatshirt jumpers.My favourites were they toucan in a bright green and the lemur jumper with a dark burnt red/ maroon. I like the sort of trial and variation on the patterns of the animal designs, the rough sewn patterns and the button eyes. The previous range of jumpers couldn't hold a candle to all the colour that was available. 

When sorting through the piles of jumpers I even saw a purple unicorn, the only possibly a trial design they tested out before settling on the bright blue mane of the unicorn. I was heart-broken when the sold out and have tried to scour the Internet and eBay for anyone who was willing to part with their fantastic jumper and have not had any luck at all. 

I will not give up easily however, and I will own a lovely jumper from Lenko. My friends I promise you this. Lenko also stocks a range of lo-fi toy cameras by Superheadz, they source clothing and accessories from Lazy Oaf all the way from the UK and have lovely vintagesque stationary as well as brooches of lady gaga in plastic. Last time I checked they still had them, I hope they still do- they were really cool!

Karen Walker: Sunglasses Collection 2008

Despite the dodgy wigs which do not match the skin colour of the models and the odd curly beard here and there the 2008 collection of Karen Walker's sunglasses still manage to become the centre of attention in the Masters of Disguise collection. There is a larger focus on colour than the 2007 collection, tinted and coloured lenses to match curious and spectacular round frames. I am a big fan of the perfectly circular frames; alas my cheap pair (relatively cheap $80) was chewed up by my house family's pet bull dog in America. I'm still heart broken over that considering you can't get those sunglasses anymore and they didn't tell me about it till I asked where they were- they were going to tiptoe around that conversation.

Back to the sunglasses, not all of the Masters of Disguise collection images have been included in this post and if you are intrigued and I have caught your interest please head over to the Karen Walker website for eyewear and have a look at all their wonderful collections throughout the years. 
There is a heavy emphasise on a rectangular shaped frame which I am beginning to warm up to- although I do have my doubts about the frames and what they would look like on my face since I am a bit self-conscience about my nose and all the models have been blessed with delicate soft features. There are no strong and prominent lines about their faces. Always something to take into consideration with sunglasses, you may love what the glasses look like on their own as a piece of design or on someone else's face but they may not flatter and beautify your own face. 

I like their take on cat's eyes frames once again, the thicker frames on the outside of the glasses would also suit someone sporting eyeliner and bring attention to someone's eyes with dramatic make up. The sort of mauve tinted lenses also look nice, with what looks like gold coloured sides. 

I was very excited when I saw that Karen Walker had incorporated a tortoise shell tone into this collection of sunglasses, it's a lighter brown almost a browny-beige with flecks of black. The thick sort of more rectangular shaped Woody Allen frames (last image) are on of my favourites, I wouldn't mind having them to wear this Summer to protect my eyes. My mother is rather big on being sun smart and protection from UV rays. What could be sportier than a large pair of sunglasses by NZ designer Karen Walker?

The perspex bright blue frames tinted with a rose end shade the upper part of the face- I may just have to persuade mother that they are practical and beautiful and that I need them. 'Super Duper' as they are known are not for any old wallflower, they are bright and I think would suit an understated black gruneyg knit with denim shorts and sandals or you could dress them up and wear bright colours to show off like a peacock. Probably not versatile enough to be worn at night unlike some of the other pieces in the Masters of Disguise collection I doubt I would wear sunglasses at night anyway. I am far too clumsy as it is and will not hinder my eyesight and risk braking such beautiful sunglasses.

Karen Walker: Sunglasses Collection 2007


The 2007 range of sunglasses by New Zealand designer Karen Walker was her second collection in eyewear; and what an eye-opener it was. Walker managed to cleverly incorporate her defining and trademark motif within the designs of all of her sunglasses. The arrow along the sides of each frame hidden underneath masses of glorious hair as shown on her models.

The effectiveness of the campaign for Karen Walker's 2007 sunglasses range may be contributed to the bright vibrant flowers which break up the different designs and colours of each pair. The different shades of the flowers and they way the colours melt into the petals to form one whole picture emphasise the strict lines and contrast of the sunglasses against the skin of each of the models. I don't really like the square boxy sunglasses of this range; I much prefer the perfect round circular shapes and variations of the Woody Allen frame glasses in vibrant colours.

The cat's eye frames are also very chic; I imagine them fitting perfectly on Audrey Hepburn's beautiful face. They are more adult and refined but they are also made of the distinct plastic of Karen Walker sunglasses. The cat's eyes frames below are minimalist, not overdoing it and not accentuating the outside of the frame too much. I feel like there is an allowance for the wearer to have a bold eyeliner under the minimalist frames and draw attention to their eyes and accentuate them.

The 2007 collection was the second of many successful collections of eyewear designed by Karen Walker; although all the pieces could belong within the same collections and ranges her distinct use of strong lines and brightly coloured plastics combined with the trademark arrows darting on the sides of her sunglasses has established herself as a prominent designer within this field. Her collections go from strength to strength. Each collection seems to expand on the designs established by the previous collection but explorer different colours and materials. Despite the different approaches of the models wearing the sunglasses; they all seem to work and emphasise the bold design. The designs are so strong in the 2007 collection; or perhaps that is just clever photography and the use of backgrounds and flowers within the website which seems to bombard the senses with colour. Whatever flair there is about the collection; I covet anyone who has owned a pair and religiously uses Karen Walker's sunglasses.