Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nick Von K: Jungle of Eden

Has ringing in the new year and celebrations left you feeling sluggish and hung over? Itching to start your resolutions and become a fitter, healthier and more simple version of your current self? To feed and encourage your inner nature admirer, bird watcher or animal lover the perfect solution has arisen- while searching on the Good as Gold online store and choosing what other item to buy alongside my Deadly Ponies Mr Lure I happened upon a fantastic range of necklaces using polished semi-precious stones as well as unusual animal tusks and antlers, bound using precious metals. I was very tempted to buy the panther necklace but then decided to buy a Stolen Girlfriends Club Bow ring for $50 cheaper than another online New Zealand store and could wait around/ choose another piece to buy from Nick Von K. I had been waiting some three or four years to buy the bow ring and since I saw it at the New Zealand airport when I was flat broke, I suppose that was the last straw really.

The acorn shape is true to nature and doesn't turn it into a caricature and is rather a true representation of this little nut. I usually don't the Tiger's Eye stone, but the grain of the stone is a perfect imitation of wood and the clashing colours of light gold and brown is my favourite variation. The great thing about Nick Von K and his mob is that there's room to choose the pieces you want and have a personalised order; these acorn necklaces shown here are in obsidian (black), pounamu (green), rose quartz (pink) and tigers eye (brown). If you have a personal preference or have something else in mind, you also have the choice of citrine, amethyst, adventurine, sodalite, clear quartz, smokey quartz, amazonite, crysoprase, red tigers eye and blue tigers eye, to name a few. 

For me, my Nick Von K journey and fascination began with the carved lines of this panther necklace in black water buffalo horn after having written about the Givenchy Fall/ Winter collection of 2011 which heavily featured the jungle cat in their designs of clothing as well as accessories. The fangs, large strong nose as well as flattened ears mounted on a silver base connected to 75cm of Sterling silver chain almost became mine.

I was delighted after my second day of university to find an enchanting email from the lovely chief of Nick Von K, Nick Klarwill thanking me about my little articles and gave me a run down of the maerials used for the powerful crved necklaces:

"I get everything produced in Bali where I handpick and sit down with the best local carvers I can find to do each specific design - as I see they have an affinity with my style and the idea Im trying to get across.
They carve everything from stone to wood, including the mammoth tusk which is dug up in northern Canada and Siberia - but some carvers are definitely better than others!"

Also, the black eagle head necklace and panther head necklace aren't made of onyx as one may assume.
"I should point out tho that the panther head (and eagle head) pendants are handcarved from black water buffalo horn, not onyx, which makes them actually quite light in weight."

Once in a blue moon I will find myself longing for days in old in which I could play with Doll's houses and run my fingers over there furniture in miniature. It appears however, that I am growing up and spent the last day of 2011 cleaning all the dust and junk from under my bed as well as the dusty walls. In the past two days I have added four garbage bags to the wheelie bin and am now incapacitated to clean anymore till collection day, two days away. I would love to properly decorate my room like an adult and add maybe a vanity or a french upholstered chair. Which leads me to admire the poise of this elegant and elongated cat sitting on a carved chair with detail in filigree accentuated by an oxidised touch. The two chair legs at the front in the shape of cats caught my eye and this is possibly my favourite from the Jungle of Eden collection. Your cat comes in a choice of either pounamu or turquoise, I may opt for turquoise myself.

As well as mammals and birds, there are aquatic creatures such as the octopus involved in a few of Nick Von K's collections and even this sweet little grasshopper ring. I never had a great affinity for bugs and I can't say they ever struck a chord of fear within my heart, (arachnids are not included) but I do like the mount of this sculpted beauty on the ring and the way at clings to the base. The carved detail on it's back as well as legs has a very exotic and Mexican appeal to it. It's a great statement ring for those who like to create gossip about themselves or who just enjoy the unique and unusual.

I love the paralysing stare of the Eagle, it seems so intense and yet it's just a mere carved object. The attention to detail involved for their pieces is fantastic, the carved end of the beak as well as the etched out feathers surrounding the neck of the bird is something else. Some jewellers wouldn't bother and would rather smooth it out but Nick Von K is willing to go that extra mile and use some of
the best black water buffalo horn and organic animal horns and tusks, strings them on Sterling Silver chains and gives you something to be proud to wear.

This carved orb features two polar bears grappling together in an embrace and is another piece I was considering getting myself as a belated Christmas treat but something struck me as odd when I read the description:

Hand carved mammoth ivory on 75cm stg silver chain

It reminds me of my sweet high school chum and best friend, Clare nicknamed the polar bear. I am probably more drawn to the design for her sake but that doesn't mean I don't love the design. I do believe that this is a special person out there, the one, that will make you feel whole like you never have felt before and that they complete you. When you find them, a great bond and unity is created and to me this is what these two hugging polar bears represents.

The last of the three snake head charms pictured above is made of rose quartz but the detail of scales is emphasised with gold inlay for a little extra glamor among such a poisonous and deadly symbol. I'm actually most captivated by the slit like eyes of the middle and smaller snake head in turquoise- it's paralyzing as well as slightly soaked in malice and the shade of turquoise is absolutely stunning in contrast to the silver mount and rectangular linked chain. The quality of the turquoise stone and without being riddled by lines of impurity it really allows the lines and detail of the scales as well as the sculptural snout and temple of the snake shine through- something that's so important when trying to market really gorgeous and unique jeweller. I can imagine it being modelled on an Indian snake charmers family heirloom- were it not for the fact it did originate from the creative mind of Nick Von K designer Nick Klarwill.

Prada S/S11

From the year that was so promising, playful but full of work for me came the gorgeous Prada Spring/Summer 2011 collection which caught my eye with its mesmerising stripes, gorgeous baroque sunglasses as well as wild printed patterns full of streaking water colours in vibrant colours. I loved the presentation of the models, their wavy hair slicked with hair spray as well as perfect side parts and neat little buns on the side. The colours were truly a feast for the eyes and the materials luxurious, especially those devilish fake fur stoles and the real ones too. The sunglasses were like small sculptures and the shoes which came in chunky platform brogues as well as swirly leather patterned high heels made me fall in love all over again.

The collection graced many many magazine covers, and was the toast of the town and the fashion world as far as resort collections were concerned. I myself loved walking around Chadestone shopping centre and peaking into the Prada boutique at the chance of pouring my eyes over the sensational clutches I longed to hold in my hands. A pity the collection was released at the start of Autumn in the southern hemisphere and I was busy and in the midst of my study. I had to time to work feverishly towards earning money for a chance to own a small piece of the collection.

At first it didn't appeal to me, but looking back upon it I have grown rather fond of the banana print which came as both a shirt or a skirt for the resort collection. At first it seemed odd amidst the stripes and colour blocking pieces but I now realised that the bold design and stark colours are what make it apart of the collection. There were many gorgeous as well as intriguing patterns in what seem to be painted designs which are thickly outlined with a thick black brush.

One fashion blogger was clever enough to make a paper homage to the large canvas totes of the collection using craft paper, blue, scissors and ingenuity. If I can't have something lovely from a collection, maybe I should follow in her footsteps and aspire to make tiny craft replicas of the pieces and keep them away in a hope chest or something similar. While I may hate the idea at first, who knows? The trend may grown on me. I should have joined my mother on a trip to the library when she offered to scope out craft books but I was in no mood and instead made good use of my time by cleaning my room a little. What I like is the clasp and yellow latch of the bag and the tiny fine liner detail which has cleverly etched out both the stitching as well as the engraved mark of Prada to give the final seal of approval.

I went gaga over the pink clutches and the use of stripes throughout the collection. This trio of clutches was what made me aspire towards scouring the Internet and online world for a piece of the action. Even if I had managed to scrap the money together, I dare say I wouldn't have found a use for it nor an occasion to use it. No, it's better I save myself for Deadly Ponies bags which are closer to my price range as well as necklaces in Sterling silver from some of New Zealand's finest brands in the business.
My heart is alight by seeing the pink, white and black striped fox fur stole held daintily with the striped dark green and canvas clutch. This is what suckered me into lusting after the fox stoles, the colour and the way they caught the light as well as the soft texture of the fur was to die for, but the clutches were more achievable in the way of price. Still, both pieces seem to have directed me towards canvas bags as well as fox tail charms and woolly key chains. Being eighteen years old it would be remarkable as well as foolish to spend my money on high price pieces from the finest of fashion houses. Instead, I should focus on study as well as operating blogs successfully and having them reflect my personal style.

New Year's Resolution: Goodbye McDonald's

It's salty, full of fat and sugar and can raise your cholesterol through the roof but unfortunately it's also very tasty and satisfying. Normally I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions, instead I try to improve upon myself for the month of January to set the tone for the busy year ahead and make time to do the usual tasks. Today was the last day of 2011; I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning under and around my bed and taking out as many as three garbage bags of rubbish from paraphernalia collected under my bed. I had also meant to watch three episodes of Doctor Who in a row while sitting on the exercise bike and pumping the pedals non-stop but after cleaning so much dust I had the keen sense of feeling filthy and had to take a prompt shower.

2011, the year that was held many promising events for me in my final year of high school. As a senior student and at the top of the food chain in the school grounds, there were many privileges my year level was blessed with such as exclusive costume days and the hyped up formal I think I reached my academic potential and was blessed with a SAT/ A Level/ ATAR score that will hopefully allow me into my institute of choice. I studied more than thirty hours a week and on rare occasions in the lead up to exams, forty and even fifty hours a week. Last year was all about hard work and preparation. This coming year, 2012 will be about socialising, becoming the person I want to be and being happy studying Science at Melbourne University.

While I have already managed to curb my fetish for fast foods and successfully have declined my mother's offer for artery clogging burgers and fries, my will has not been of iron and even looking at these photographs now makes me want to hurl myself at the fridge. Although, in my defence, my last meal was four hours ago and since then I have only enjoyed drinking water. Tomorrow and in the coming week ahead I hope to become an avid user of the exercise bike as well as lose the weight I have managed to put on since Christmas. I don't exactly feel good since I ate a very large portion of salad today and have managed to put on a kilogram since last night. A banana, two pieces of toast, smoked chicken slices with salad and coleslaw as well as a large serving of curry isn't exactly what I would call unhealthy food but the scales once again seem to disagree with me.

If I have the mindset of treating fast food as an illicit drug, maybe I will have a better job of avoiding it. Considering the awful effects pointed out by Morgan Spurlock's documentary 'Supersize Me', it's not too far to say that when over used and abused, fast food can be as damaging as say, smoking or alcohol.
A promising prospect on the horizon for 2012 along with less days of study is the opportunity to become a better basketball referee and take on at least one more shift, if not two. Maybe that will be able to counter any food I eat as well as earn money to buy pretty things and save up for Canada. The past year was brilliant, and I was blessed to share it with so many friends as well as loved ones and I hope 2012 can only be bigger and better, not just for me but for all of us. Also, if the world didn't end, that would be brilliant.

Where's Waldo?

Even after a whole month of having to endure Christmas carols with a shrill Rudolph singing, seeing baubles everywhere and thinking 'bah humbug' and delaying my own personal Christmas ritual of putting up the tree till Christmas Eve, the spirit oh the holiday seems to have effected me a whole week after the climax of the season. I have this strange love for things red and white such as the Julie West Fed 5B camera issued by Red Army Camera as well as this knitted scarf from the creative mind of Yokoo Gibraan. I saw this from a Facebook link just an hour ago despite it being listed for ten days now and I do love the name, bright red and white and cute links of the scarf. It's been named as the Peppermint link scarf, how cute.

It just reminds me of my love for "Where's Waldo" books, horizontal red and white strips as well as knitted hats and ugly sweaters. Even teamed up with a simple dress in a plain black it would look very charming and cute, the only thing that surprised me about the scarf is the very bright red and white yarn used in its design.

I think the scarf looks best when it's long and dangling rather than tight and doubled up around the neck, it just looks a bit much when clustered together in a knitted heap rather than letting the links come full circle. I admire Yokoo for starting not one, but two online Etsy stores as well as combining the best of making paper chains with knitting- something which she has transformed into an artform. With the money I'm saving in my piggy bank for future buys I hope to get a scarf from her sometime soon since I had had my eye on them for a while. Perhaps when the height of Summer passes and I can let my hair down again.

The Cambridge Satchel Company: The Classic

For those of us who adore pieces that can be used to brighten up any ensemble with the use of a clever colour blocking satchel, look no further than the classic coloured range from none other than the Cambridge Satchel Company. The Classic satchels from the British company which first started in 2008 by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomasare probably what they had in mind when they began. The satchels had been intended to be used by school children but had greater acclaim and favour with fashion bloggers. Brightly coloured and mismatching satchels with outfits using traditional shades of black and white instantly add pop and increase a person's notoriety. They come in a range of sizes starting at just ten inches and the greatest sizes reaching fifteen inches as well as colour combinations. From The Classic there are shades of black, brown, purple, yellow, red pink, green and navy.

My favourites from this collection include bright and bold fire engine red, poisonous looking purple that would be favoured by any respectable Disney villain and vintage (brown) which looks so cute when teamed up with a leather belt and a vintage dress. I find that as long as you wear your bag with confidence and a smile it doesn't matter whether it matches your outfit or not, it's all about looking like a lot of fun as well as charming with schoolyard style.

The pattern of the dress shown which incorporates random splotches of colour here and there as well as the bright red cardigan would traditionally be more suited towards a red satchel but I quite like the look of the purple bag. It adds colour to the outfit and creates an interesting contrast. I try to mix things up by wearing clashing patterns together but am often hampered by my mother and her taste in clothing. Her impeding on my sense of individuality when I am now at the age of eighteen and entering university is sure to get on my nerves far too much one day.

I was recently inspired by this photograph to finally pluck up the courage and by myself a Deadly Ponies Mr Lure hand bag charm which imitates a fox tail but is in fact made of wool. At first I was inclined to get the black fluffy charm as it would match many more bags in my arsenal but at the last minute bought the bright blue variation in a shade named 'Peacock'. I'm not sure whether it was my order alone, but that shade is now sold out. However, it means I wouldn't be buying a bright orange satchel anytime soon. Under no circumstances will bright blue and orange meet together and look charming.
The matching shoes and deep red satchel worn with knee high socks and an overall dress is definitely taking inspiration from the school days of old, but I can't help but feel that maybe lipstick in that same red colour would have rounded off the look a little better and made the overall effect more mature rather than overly playful. The clips on the side of the hair and braids on either side are a bit much, especially when sporting a look of short and cut locks.

That is one happy customer surrounded by what appears to be her adopted children made entirely of the Cambridge Satchel Company bags in a range of shades and sizes. While having just one satchel can work well considering their bright nature and the charming way they add colour to an ensemble, for some people, one is not enough and with limited editions collections and colours as well as collaboration pieces with Asos, one can not be too stingy when ordering satchels. If you'd like to think otherwise, perhaps she owns just one and the rest are presents for friends and family.

I love the street stalker style photographs of shoppers and their satchels. The tassel loafers, cinched waist of the dress, Peter Pan collar and satchel are channeling the vintage look successfully. My only criticism lies in her wooden doll pose as well as the shape of her sunglasses, but aside from the nit-picking everything about this photograph as well as the mood it evokes is perfection.

Knitted Hats

Since Yokoo has just released some of her new items and one featured a scarf made of alternating red and white links, I find myself longing for cold weather as well as comfortable knitted treasures such as these hats. While I don't own a knitted bobble hat with knitted pattern, I have every intention of going down to the massive vintage warehouse Retrostar Vintage Clothing and picking up the knitted beanie of my dreams sometime in January. If I managed to get my hands on a red and white beanie such as the one pictured above and ordered a Yokoo knitted scarf, I could dress up as a fantastic Wally/ Waldo decked out in knitted accessories as well as blue skinny jeans, perfectly round framed glasses and boater shoes.

I once tried to make my own pom pom but mucked it up considerably and was left with small pieces of red yarn cut to the same place leaving me with a stinging pain in my belly and bits and pieces resembling worms. Best to leave it to the professionals that can actually knit to save themselves and can make lovely beanies featuring whales and other creatures, more commonly deer.

I wish there were woods in my back garden, not like the Australian scrub everywhere in this country of mine that is an expanse of weird and wonderful bushes as well as trees covered in leaves all year round. I want carpets of red, yellow and brown leaves as well as rugged up coats and layers of clothing. I'm a creature that adores the cold, Summer always has been the cruelest season to me and unbearable to endure during the night when I'm trying to sleep. I'm in my element when I'm wearing lots of clothes all at once and can cover my neck and ears in a scarf or beanie. It's just occurred to me that I haven't seen my beloved Sherpa beanie in a good long while... and I know for a fact it hasn't been snagged on a branch and left for dead like this hapless knitted creation shown above.