Monday, November 27, 2017

We can be heroes










Wearing: Romance Was Born silk bomber jacket and marvel blouse, vintage dress, Asos flats and yellow pom pom earrings by Strange Magic on etsy.

I panicked when it came to choosing a pair of shoes for this outfit- you'd think that by now I would have accumulated a variety of suitable shoes to choose from but when I look through my shoe boxes I am always disappointed. Except by the Sophia Webster heels and desert boots which I adore, but there are days where I just want my feet to be comfy and slouch around the house in a pair of flats. It seems everywhere I look flats play are either very conservative, or come in various shades of musk pink with little else. A recent game changer are the metallic and fur-lined loafers inspired by Gucci, but even they would not be suitable for this outfit. So I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. If anyone has any amazing shoe recommendations that won't break the bank, I'm all ears!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cherry Bomb







Wearing: Romance Was Born top, Marques Almeida striped pant, Dr Martens boots and cherry earrings by Strange Magic on etsy.

Halloween has come and gone, but these amazing pants arrive last week so I'm going to where them anyway and deal with the naysayers drawing comparisons with everyone's favourite Tim Burton villain Beetlejuice. I had been eyeing off a pair of amazing brocade trousers on eBay (the ones with thick black ribbon laced down the side) and am so glad I didn't end up getting them. 1) Because I couldn't afford it and 2) because I wouldn't have been able to squeeze into them anyway! I'm kind of glad that everything worked out, but still sad these are the only flared pants I currently own, but you can be certain I will be taking steps to remedy this in the future. What do you want in your wardrobe? A coat that will last a lifetime or a pair of statement earrings? What's been sitting in your shopping cart, gathering digital dust for over a month?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Rise of Influencer Marketing

There was a time when the heroes of journalism were the voices of cool reason and the scientific communities resounding view on important issues such as climate change, the bleaching of coral reefs and melting of polar ice caps was taken at face value. Communities used to exclusively seek counsel from their local GP for medical advice, and alternative therapies were no substitute for pharmaceuticals. Within a ten-year period, all that seems to have changed– but how did we arrive at a point where we now have alternative facts and opinions taking precedence over scientific research and fact-checked news? 

Since 2010 and the introduction of blogs which chronicled what people ate, where they shopped, the clothes they wore and their views on popular culture, we’ve experienced a paradigm shift from print magazines to people power. It’s great in that now the Internet is more democratic, everyone has a voice, and can express their opinion. Although the majority of ads we see on the subway, on billboards and in shops continue to bombard us with a very narrow vision of what it means to be the ideal man or woman, there’s more evidence to suggest people respond more positively when they see themselves reflected in advertising. For that reason, more and more brands are collaborating with influencers, rather than creating content and measuring the response of the consumer. ‘Real people’ are starting to replace traditional models, and the catalyst to this change is social media, particularly Instagram. The platform has made it easier to quickly share a snapshot of your life, cultivate a dense social following and leverage your online profile. More and more people see Instagram as a tool they can use to build a personal brand, with reports the highest earning influencers are paid tens of thousands of dollars for a single post. You might think the only people who stand to benefit as influencers had already become a house-hold name before the app was created, but you’d be wrong. In fact, many creatives such as photographers, artists and fashion designers are among those who have benefited the most. Nutritionists, fitness experts and personal trainers have also been quick to adopt social media as part of their online marketing strategies, using the platform to increase engagement and even collaborate with other brands. However, they're not going it alone, with many influencers choosing to pair with companies like Submit Core, WME Group and Elegant Web who offer Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), web design and business services. 

A carefully curated image shared on Instagram fits in seamlessly with the other media we consume, and with many influencers opting not to disclose what is sponsored and what’s not, the line between advertising and an authentic post can easily become blurred. The addition of a watch to an outfit with the brand tagged, or makeup tutorial condensed into a minute featuring a contouring kit seems harmless enough. If the collaboration isn’t a good fit then there might be some short-term pain for both parties but overall it’s a practice that seems mutually beneficial for all parties involved, and a product gains exposure to a wider audience. Sharing pretty images online could hardly be considered detrimental to one’s mental health, however, I’m not the first to call into question this culture of perfectionism. It seems that the only images which seem to get traction are intensively styled, painstakingly curated and air-brushed to the nth degree. Increasingly, scrolling through Instagram gives us the same feeling we once experienced when flicking through the pages of a glossy magazine; a sense of alienation, isolation and dread. For that reason, the successful influencers are those which galvanize their community. They offer more than just a visually powerful image, but often package it with intelligence and wit. To take this practice one step further is to give their readers a platform whereby they can interact freely with one another, or meet IRL at events and start new friendships. Whether it be a live show in the case of Mama Mia Outloud, ‘summer camp’ experience a la Man Repeller, or seminar delivered by Constance Hall with tattooist included uniting a tribe of like-minded people is one of the more powerful and long-lasting offerings an influencer can make. However, the world of influencers is not without its villains. 

Belle Gibson, an Australian wellness blogger and author claimed she had received a terminal cancer diagnosis, which she had then cured through alternative therapies and clean eating. Gibson amassed a cult following, partnering with Apple in conjunction with the release of the Whole Pantry app in 2013, followed by a cookbook by the same name in 2014, published by Lantern Books (Penguin). It’s estimated that through the release of her book and app, Gibson had accumulated over one million dollars, using her social media profile to galvanise her online following with further claims of helping others experiencing fertility issues, depression, bone damage and other types of cancer. In March 2015 investigations into claims of charity fundraising and donations made to organisations supporting maternal healthcare in developing countries, children with cancer, and schools in sub-Saharan Africa. It was later found that as little as $7,000 of the supposed $300,000 had been donated to a total of three charities- with an $1000 donation made after just after Fairfax Media launched their initial investigation. Soon after her book was pulled from the shelves, with Penguin citing a lack of response from Gibson in light of the accusations. Since the first allegations of fraud, and certainly after these claims were substantiated, her base on social media began to collapse and in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald published in April 2015 Gibson confessed her cancer diagnosis was in fact fabricated and none of the claims she had made were true. But what became of the funds raised from her book? Consumer Affairs Victoria launched legal action against Gibson for breaking Australian consumer law, with Penguin Australia paying AU$30,000 in penalties for failing to fact check the book’s content. More recently, Gibson was force to pay AU$410,000 (US$310,000) for making false claims in 2014 about charitable donations made by The Whole Pantry. Despite Gibson’s fall from grace, there are other wellness bloggers who have readily taken her place, and even actress Gwyneth Paltrow has launched her own lifestyle brand, Goop. However, a Californian advertising watchdog group has also raised concerns over some of the more dubious Goop products, including their vitamin subscription box and a $165 perfume which claims to boost the function of the immune system. 

Personally, I’ve come to accept my Instagram feed now contains ads, both hidden and fully disclosed. While I’m aware that a product featured in a post by a particular influencer will sometimes drive to me a particular website, I can’t think of a time when I’ve committed to a purchase. It seems inevitable that I’ll fall victim to the influence of a social media maven, but I remain adamant I’ll never let influencer marketing inform any of my lifestyle or health decisions. Not unless they support their claims with a peer-reviews scientific journal article, but given the way things are going, it may be years before we see well researched journalism or scientific reports hold sway like they once did.

Cluster

Although having my wisdom teeth pulled out wasn't an enjoyable experience, I did pick up the most amazing pink aura quartz! Unfortunately it's not a naturally occurring mineral, and was actually made under laboratory conditions but it's still the pride and joy of my rock collection. The rest of my rock collection is being tended to be my parents back in Melbourne, but I can't wait to bring it back home when I visit them over Christmas. Now the only question, how and where do I display my growing mineral display? Hmm...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mercedes Salazar




I can't remember the last time I wrote about a new designer I discovered, just for the joy of curating their product and spreading the good word. Mercedes Salazar makes the accessories you wish you had either hanging from your ears or in your lap while sitting at a beachfront resort, drinking piƱa coladas. If you've been obsessed with the fruit-themed jewellery from Dolce & Gabanna but at a fraction of the price. That's not to say her pieces are inexpensive, with a pair of hoop earrings setting you back anywhere between $200-$300. That depends on your currency conversion, and if you aren't prepared to spend that much (and this is your first time here, this is not the blog for you). Anyway, I'm surprise the brand hasn't been featured on Man Repeller, although these days I can't say I've kept up to date with every Instagram post and piece of content they've produced in the last week, let alone the last month. The earrings take their inspiration from Salazar's native Colombia and are a sweet treat no matter what the time of year. It might be nauseatingly early, but I know what I'm going to ask Santa for Christmas this year!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rainbow






Wearing: House of Holland dress, vintage skirt c/o Trendlistr, Dr Martens boots and Marina Fini earrings.

I don't normally wake up in a good mood. More often than not, I am blurry-eyed in the morning, searching for that first cup of coffee and a malleable, mushy blank canvas. It takes a good hour or so to switch on, and I've developed the terrible habit of looking at my phone in that hour, rather than talking to my partner. Getting dressed in an outfit which makes me feel good is like looking at a compass, having a sense of direction and knowing where to go, in a manner of speaking. The more bright and colourful the outfit, the more energy I have to tackle the day. I recently had my wisdom teeth out, and getting dressed (like, really getting dressed with a sense of purpose) was not my prerogative. Surgery went for two hours and I'm still numb around the chin, and suspect I sustained nerve injury during the extraction. Although that all sounds pretty bleak, things could be worse and my closet remains my happy place. This dress and skirt combination which I have been dying to try out became pretty irresistible over the past few days.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Kitten Heels


Italian designer Marco de Vincenzo is known for his love of metallics, as well as geometry and often combines the two to create jaw-dropping boots and shoes. These kitten heel boots are quite conservative by comparison, but a safer choice than the Miu Miu screw heels slippers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Heathers









Wearing: Shrimps coat, thrifted kimono worn as dress, Dr Martens boots and earrings from Strange Magic on Etsy.

I'm still scratching my head over this one- why did I decide to dress like one of the girls from Heathers (1988) when it's been ages since I last watched that movie? Ever since I made these green pom pom earrings I've been dying to wear them with this Shrimps coat, and since I didn't have a pink dress I made do with this kimono I picked up at the local op shop for $2? It's still got a lot of life left in it, can double as a dress and the best thing about it is that it has pockets on the front! That seems a little trivial when this coat has some of the biggest, roomiest pockets I have ever come across but still, I'm all about the little victories at the moment.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Eyes Have It


There's the eccentric and then there's fashion mavericks like Anna Dello Russo whose peacocking game is unbeatable, especially at an event like Berlin Fashion Week. Me? I think I prefer the works of Romance Was Born, and their most recent collaboration with Del Kathryn Barton is as good as it gets.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Imperfect




Wearing: Romance Was Born shirt and denim jacket, jeans were a gift and Dr Martens boots.

In the golden age of social media where every image shared online is intensively filtered, photo shopped and curated is the most radical action one can take to upload a bad photo? I wouldn't even necessarily call these photos bad, but they aren't to a certain standard others might hold themselves. It was a windy morning, I wanted to try out this new shirt with a jacket from the same collection but did it work? Not really but it is authentic, it's how I looked that day and as for the weather it's something that's beyond my control. There have been times where I have agonized over which photos to share, and which ones to keep to myself but right now I'm happy just to go with the flow. You gotta take bad photos sometimes to get to the good stuff.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Compare the Pair


Bally has jumped on board the loafer bandwagon with their response to Gucci's sensational and yet sensible shoes. Don't get me wrong, I love a comfortable pair of flats but I still prefer those with a little bit more colour and imagination.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rose


Lately I've become pretty nostalgic, reminiscing about the time I dyed my hair red, how empowering that felt albeit short-lived. After many nights of having my partner roll onto my very long locks I've become more and more attached to the idea of a good haircut. It's taken years for me to grow my hair to this length, so I'm seriously considering dyeing my hair first and experimenting before a serious haircut. I don't think I'll go back to red though, instead I've got my heart seriously set on the colour pink, and possibly splitting it down the middle with pink on one side and blue on the other. Only time will well whether I'll commit, and if I can pull it off!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Blue Dragon






Wearing: Asos mohair coat and flats with a thrifted cheongsam dress.

I'm in shock it was cold enough to wear a coat this morning but after a few storms last week the temperature has dropped and I for one couldn't be happier! The second biggest surprise is that I haven't tried this all blue combination before but I'll definitely be open to more outfits like this one in the future. After months of sitting on my hands I still can't decide whether to embezzle this jacket or not, but the addition of any sequins or beads will probably be minor at this stage. Hopefully it rains a little more in the next couple of months and you may or may not be seeing this coat reincarnate!