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emclectic

Collaboration with She Visuals

A few months ago, I got to shoot with Shevaun from She Visuals – a high school friend and talented photographer. It never ceases to amaze me to see how far people have come since secondary school graduation. I sincerely cherish the time I was able to reconnect with Shevaun, being re-inspired by her work that seems to come so effortlessly. Shevaun’s photography captures what qualities I love and look for. Candid, moody, artistic, film-like, story-telling. With her natural talent and easy-going nature, we were able to shoot outfit photos that truly reflected what I would wear in that context. I had every intention of getting this up earlier, a post suited more for the cooler months. I guess with Melbourne, you just never know when a light (or heavy) coat could come in handy.

Photography: She Visuals

Pink coat: Topshop

Green coat: Alpha60

Top: Gorman

Layered turtleneck: American Apparel

Jeans: Topshop

Boots: Wittner

For more photos from this shoot: https://www.she-visuals.com/emclectic

Prancing in Proteas

When Gorman collaborated with artist Dana Kinter for their Autumn 2017 collection, I was stoked to finally see Australian native florals celebrated at one of my favourite shop fronts. I was so excited, I bought not just one, but two(!!) items from this line – both of which feature the Protea flower. After calling nearly every single Gorman store in Melbourne, I finally got my hands on this Protea dress in my size, and decided to showcase it on a day out and about to wineries where I was to take some fun photos of my maid-of-honour and her husband-to-be!







Photography: Gaby, Kenny, Myself

Steely in Winter

One of my goals for 2017 is to collaborate with more creative people, create more quality content, and return to my jewellery. What better way to start that off than to shoot with our engagement party photographer for a much needed face lift on the blog. I really enjoy the care-free candid approach Sean has with his photography and I wanted to showcase this with a small outfit post.

Although the purpose of our shoot was to present the outfit, we took a more intuitive approach. Dressing for the location as opposed to dressing for the fashion. It was cold and we were blessed with intermittent rain, but meeting with grassland in all its tranquillity made it all worthwhile. The wimsy tall grass straws and their soft awns leave little to be uninspired by. Never underestimate the warmth winter foliage can bring. 

wear that summer skirt in winter

I have an unusual habit of having the desire to wear summer pieces in the winter (and vice versa), and I think this is because I enjoy the juxtaposition of styles and dynamic these contrasting pieces could create when a cohesive element can be found. I wanted to play with this idea today.


This unique skort is a number from steelelabel.com – one of their sought after pieces which I actually wanted in the grey but could not locate anywhere in Australia due to its popularity. Nevertheless, I am glad I managed to get my hands on the red as it adds just enough colour to showcase the design. If I’m completely honest, I have not had a chance to wear this nearly enough times this skirt deserves to be worn. If you’re like me, and you have a few neglected statement skirts folded away in your closet, see how you can make the most of it even in the colder months!


This skirt is quite a challenge to wear in the winter season, as it is flowy, white, and thin (both in fabric thickness and quantity…if ya know what I mean). But there are two (perhaps fairly obvious) things I like to do when I want to wear a skirt casually during a cold day, without looking like a fool. Throw on a long sleeved top, a boxy knit, knee high or ankle boots layered with long socks for extra warmth. I chose to pair this skirt with a soft turtle neck long sleeve to match my black boots and off-set the feminine skirt. Rather than putting a coat on straight over, I prefer wearing large boxy knits (also with a high neck for extra-extra warmth) which creates the illusion of a smaller waist.


Photography: Sean Tak (@seantakphotos, @hithereheyhello)
Makeup: Myself
Skirt: Steele the label 
Jewellery: assorted, Lott Studio
Jumper: Country Road
Turtle neck: Dotti 

Our engagement party

Instead of retelling the events of the night, I thought I would try something different and share with you all this lengthy and somewhat stressful process planning the engagement party (not sure how I’ll cope for the actual wedding). All in all, I think we were pleased with how it all ended up turning out. Enjoy!

TIPS FOR HOW TO THROW AN ENGAGEMENT PARTY

1. Get a notebook/planner/bullet journal for all wedding related things to work out the following things.
I used my dark green TDE notebook. 

2. Set a budget

3. Work out what kind of party you want:

  • is it going to be during the day or night?
  • are you providing lunch/dinner/canapes/byo finger food/drinks?
  • entire venue hire or partial?Ours was held from 7pm, we chose to do this so that people could enjoy drinks and have a good night.

4. Other things to consider:

  • how many guests and who are you going to invite?
    We had around 100
  • how will you invite them?
    I used PaperlessPost and designed my own invitations to cut costs. I’ll be sure to use this app again for our wedding!
  • is there going to be a tab?
    Not a party without a bar tab!
  • is there going to be a cake?
    Yes, I tried to make one myself (even bought the tools for it), but decided it was too stressful, I wasn’t skilled enough to satisfy my own high expectations, so we decided to invest in one!
  • are you going to hire a photographer?
    Yes, professional quality photos are a must for an event like this!
  • are there going to be speeches?
    Kind of? Ours was improvised and casual.
  • is there going to be a DJ?
    We opted for mp3/Spotify to cut costs, as hiring a DJ would not only cost us money to hire, but additional costs were also involved to have them on site.
  • do you want a powerpoint slide?
    Yes! We had one projected on the top wall above the staircase to save room – it added a pretty cool effect too because it filled up the space and made it more interesting.
  • what kind of decorations do you want, and how are you going to acquire them?
    I love foliage and native flowers. I made sure these were sprawled across the entire venue. I also made leafy vine crowns for the bridal party!
  • outfit?
    I went for a simple cream Zimmerman floor length dress (it was on sale, so that was a plus)
  • where do you want to stay after the event?
    Do you need to organise accommodation? Kenny organised airbnb at an apartment just across the road! Which made it super easy for us to unload and transport all the decoration before the event started.

5. Once you have figured out the above, you can now start your research. Begin with your selected venues. Inquire the costs involved for all of them; this is when you’ll learn what additional costs need to be taken into account, and any services that might be complimentary.

We had our party at Lucky Penny, and understated venue (brunch place by day) with an upstairs function room. I particularly liked the white walls surrounded by weathered boards for the modern/rustic look. The major selling point for us was that the venue did not contain bolted down utables/chairs, it held just enough people (100), and it didnt contain strange nooks and crannies that could seclude people. We really wanted a place that would promote mingling without it being overly spacious. To place the cherry on top, the venue is self-decorated with foliage and contains a hanging foliage piece. 

6. Weigh up your options, decide what you would like to DIY to cut costs. 

I decided to DIY: table linen, foliage/floral decorations, hanging fairy lights, signage, neon sign, guestbook, photo booth station, flower crowns 

7. Once you have shortlisted your choices, decide what your priorities are on the night. Work out your costs, then lock and book in your decisions.

We invested in our cake and photographer – both being one of the major highlights of the night! Everyone loved Sean‘s friendly face and easy-going demeanor. He is thorough and just so easy to be “candid” around – no awkward moments…that’s a huge plus! I had a few anxieties about the lighting situation of our venue. Given the nature of our event, it did not at all promote airy light photos I typically enjoy. However, Sean was able to ease me of these worries through his confidence and competency, delivering amazing photos under dim, challenging tungsten lights. He was also kind enough to come to the venue a little earlier to give us a hand on setting up. It’s true what they say when they say it’s important that you can get along with your photographers – it’s even more true that you know the people you are working with care. He even packaged some printed photographs and wooden USB laying on a bed of dried foliage in a vintage glass box! Sean made sure he was able to get a few shots of me and Kenny, just as I had requested even whilst I was stressed and busy trying to entertain guests. But even amongst the hustle and bustle, Sean was not afraid to remind us and take us away to getaway and remind us what this is all really about. For this I thank-you!

It’s truly inspirational to see old friends share their work with the world, I’m not surprised why you’re successful at what you do Tam, artistic talent and attention to detail clearly runs in the family! Tam’s (Humble Crumble) Ispahan cake was also a crowd favourite – everyone loved the flavours of rosewater lychee and raspberry jam in the cake! For those who know me, they would know that these flavours fit me to the T.  The cake was decorated with an assortment of native flowers and leaves I selected from a local florist and the body of the cake was immaculately butter-cream coated with a concrete effect. This was Tam’s first concrete-effect buttercream, so she was a little nervous about the results. But for her first time she surely impressed and I was absolutely over the moon with what she was able to create. Thank-you for being so flexible and accommodating Tam!

I decided to get my make-up done by Kitrina (@kitrinavu), an old friend and colleague. I could not deny her skills and her good-eye for colour when I stalked and watched her build her own make-up business on instagram. She isn’t want to shy away from being creative with her looks, her modern edge is distinct and undeniably captivating. I liked how she made “runway looks” look so wearable! Thank-you so much for doing such an amazing job on my awkward face.

Tammy (@tiedbytammy) (and future sis-in-law!) did a wonderful job with my hair. As I had recently chemically treated my hair, I really did not want it to get into too much contact with heat or chemical products. She was very happy to oblige, and was very capable of working with minimal heat, whilst using organic products that are gentler on the hair. Tam does a brilliant job creating effortless ‘undone’ looks with perfect loose waves that frame the face. Thank-you for always being my designated hairstylist!

It was so wonderful to have been able to catch up and reconnect with old friends, and even better to know that I can support friend’s work! Knowing that I can rely on friends truly makes all of this so much more meaningful. A party that can seem so self-absorbed and so concerned with outward appearances, can be less so when you can support others in the process. I am so lucky to have such  talented friends!

8. Try not to stress. In the larger scheme of things, this is only one day/night. You have plenty more important things to invest your energy and life-savings in. Be reasonable with yourself, and make sure you just do the best you can to have a great time with great people around you! 

A few of my favourite shots from the night…

2016 in Review

2016 has been the biggest year for me, and certainly one of the best years of my life. We designed our engagement ring, bought a townhouse, and got engaged!

In all my years of blogging, I think I have always complained about my lack of independence. My parents would always set me limitations and treat me like an incompetent child. I had curfews, always scolded at about minute living habits (ie. cleaning my spaces in the house), and I always had to report my expenditure – whether or not I earned the money myself. This year, it was finally different.
As much as a new year means new resolutions, it is also about reflection.

  • I learnt, truly, how hard it is to earn a living. If I collected money for every time I was told about how lucky I am to be a teacher, or how many great holidays I have, or how they too wish to be a teacher, I would maybe be as rich as every other teacher I think deserves to be. Although every day of teaching consisted of work and after hours study, and each day with their unexpected challenges, I have learnt that instead of only being self-critical, I should also remember how many positive things came from just my first year of teaching. After having a student tell me I was an inspiration to him, and a teacher reporting that another student (known to be ‘stuck in her ways’) said she hopes I would be back teaching at the school the following year because I opened up the way she perceived things…made 2016 even more precious to me. It’s so incredibly rewarding when students themselves recognise you for your hard work and (as corny and repulsive as this sounds) completely surreal to know that you have made an impact on their lives.

  • I am continuing to learn about how many more things outweigh material objects and desires. And although I still have to work on recklessly spending, I do admit that I am getting better. I also acknowledge that when comes the time where I really need to save, I will. And it’s only taken me till now to realise that you don’t really understand the extent to which we need to save until we’re in such circumstances. Ever since buying our own place and getting engaged, I realised the sheer enormity of having a mortgage and how important it is to save for the basic necessities to live comfortably in our own home. As many of my close friends are at the same stage of their lives as we are, I see how vital it is to develop good spending habits, and that we cannot take anything for granted. Despite the heavy burden of financial responsibilities that comes with #adultlives, it is so absolutely thrilling to know that we can settle into a home after the wedding! So many girls have dreamed about their weddings since they were young, I don’t know whether I’ve really had this moment. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, I think it’s neither. Rather, I find myself being so much more excited about our place and to hopefully have money to decorate our own space, a couch to sit on, and a bed to sleep on…quite literally. Of course none of this is to say I don’t care about the wedding, it’s simply about reminding myself to keep my priorities in check.
  • Speaking of money, I also learnt and continue to learn that although money is important, I cannot be greedy. Sometimes enough, is really just, enough. If you have enough to get by, it’s a good amount to help you remember what and how to value things, experiences, and people. It’s true what they said, #moremoneymoreproblems. Yet, I do concede that my understanding of this is still a work in progress.
  • This year I also learnt a lot more about myself and the relationships I have with other people. I’ve learnt even more how they require work and good, regular communication!

It’s been a blast 2016. I hope that 2017 can be just as awesome (and hopefully less stressful).

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.”

The Proposal

As some of you may know already, I’m engaged! I wanted to share and document this very special day here on the blog. Kenny went to tremendous lengths to try and surprise me. Knowing someone for 10 years can make surprises very difficult to execute, but he did incredibly well. Although I by no means expected a proposal attached with all the bells and whistles, I appreciated so much how much thought and time he invested in this to make these moments an unforgettable one.

I know the following debrief might sound cold and distant, but I don’t want to bore you with all the verbose descriptions. I’ll try and explain his complicated plotting as concisely as possible.

– The day(s) before (Week of the 12th of December 2016) – 

  • Tuesday 20th was the last day at school. Kenny told me we would go on a surprise getaway on the 21st, and asked me not to ask him any questions. With great determination and urgency, Gaby asked me to get nails done with her on the 20th. Suspicion #1: They’re both either trying to make me think the proposal was going to happen on the 21st, or it was actually going to happen.
  • He had told me that the plan was to go to Geelong for the weekend(17th-18th) because there was a beer tour at the brewery on Sunday (18th).
  • Saturday was the day for previous exhibitors photoshoot at Brunswick Street Gallery at 6pm. We would then go straight to Geelong from there.

– Friday 16th of December 2016 –

We went to Chadstone to grab a couple of things. As we were walking around Chaddy, we noticed that one of my favourite stores had opened – COS. Kenny said he wanted me to find something for him to buy me as a Christmas present – perhaps an outfit I could wear to tomorrow’s gallery photoshoot and to Geelong (Suspicion #2).

 – Saturday 17th of December 2016 –

We went to Naked for Satan for drinks and tappas before the gallery. He carried the DSLR everywhere, as well as his bag, claiming that he wanted to take photos of me at the gallery photoshoot – and that he just ‘felt like’ carrying his bag (Suspicion #3). By now, I thought he might pop the question at Geelong by the waterfront (because he said that we should have a late dinner at Geelong and walk around the waterfront).

– How he proposed –

Little did I know, when walking up the steps of BSG, I noticed soft music playing from the gallery “You are my sunshine”. I then noticed the small gleaming candles lined up from the entrance into the gallery space. At the front of the entrance was a photo of Kenny holding a picture frame containing lyrics. At this point, I was just confused and was wondering why there was romantic music and candles at an exhibition photoshoot. I did not realise anything until I saw the rest of the setup, with more frames aligned on the sides to create a path, each sitting on top of a bed of my favourite green palm leaves, friends and family in each picture. I’m not usually a crier for sappy things, and I warned Kenny that I wouldn’t cry and apologised in advanced for my lack of tears. But by the 2nd frame, I suddenly felt a surge of emotions overwhelming me. Even though David was seamlessly taking photos and videoing us, tears still came gushing out of my eyes!

I couldn’t believe how much effort he put into the proposal. The gallery space which already holds so much meaning to me as an important achievement in my life, the clever theme being weaved through a frame within a frame within a frame (inception!), and the overall beautifully set up backdrop involving my favourite greenery (thanks Tammy & Aviel!). I could not have thought of a better, more well-suited proposal (I wish I could take credit for the idea! haha #credithog). You all know me so, so well.

I cried several more times throughout the night, I don’t think I’ve cried quite so much in the past 48 hours.


– The scheming –

  • Kenny asked the curator of BSG to get into contact with me about a Saturday evening visit to have a “chat”. However, I declined the offer as he told us our plans were to go to Geelong. This backfired badly for Kenny. The poor guy.
  • As a result, he had to construct a fake identity and pretend to be another person that works at the gallery. With this fake identity, he emailed me explaining that we had once met at the exhibition, and that they were going to set up a photoshoot with previous exhibitors. I asked if we could do it earlier, but was met with the response that it was only going to open at 6pm and that it would only take 5mins. They would make sure to book me into the first slot so that I could promptly leave.
  • Despite not remembering who this person was, I thought the name sounded familiar and that maybe I had just forgotten. He had me fooled there! Still, I did not make it easy for him.
  • I told him I would probably go, then we could go straight to Geelong afterwards. But even then, I was still unsure, and said that I would decide on the day. Ken was shaking in his boots.

– More Surprises –

Following BSG, Tammy organised for us dinner at Noir in Richmond. Their oysters were amazing. Afterwards, we left to go to our accommodation that was gifted from Tam at The Hilton in South Wharf. On Sunday we went for Yum Cha with Ken’s parents in the city. We then checked out of the hotel and left to visit Faith who helped us design our ring. I had not known till we got there, but there on her new studio front window, was a poster of our engagement ring design. It was so flattering to see how proud she was of the design. Tam then booked for me to get my manicure done at Missy Lui in Armadale (where the decor was amazing by the way)!

Sunday night, Kenny surprised me with another dinner. I thought we were going out, but instead we went back to his place where I was greeted with happy familiar faces. Friends gathered and decorated his front yard with leaves, the same frames at the proposal, candle lit bench top, balloons, and a bbq on the go! What a perfect way to end our special weekend.

– Thank-you –

I’d like to again extend gratitude to everyone who helped Kenny in this process. Special thank-you to: David for making time to document and record our special moment (images attached in this blog), Faith for the immaculate design of the ring and for tolerating my pedantry,

Special thank-you to:

  • David for making time to document and record our special moment (images attached in this blog)
  • Faith for the immaculate design of the ring and for tolerating my pedantry
  • Miriam for letting Kenny borrow the perfect space!
  • Tammy for sharing ideas with Ken, organising and setting up our special weekend
  • Gaby and Dan for helping with the set up and for being there!
  • Ken’s parents/family for helping set up the bbq
  • Christina, Phillip, Willy, Lina, Richard, Beven, Nghi for your support and also helping with the bbq!

Home Inspo

You can never be too ready when setting up yourself for the future. It hasn’t been until recently where I’ve really begun to take interest in my future home – you know you’re getting old when all your friends around you are getting married, moving out, and would rather shop in the homeware section over the clothing aisles. I guess that’s just it, being able to experience “the next chapter” vicariously through my friends has given me some good insight as to how seriously I have to save up in order to be able to gratify my expensive taste. I’ve also become aware of how difficult it is to envisage the kind of aesthetic you want your future space to be…it’s easy finding bits and bobs that you love, but putting it all together is a whole other learning curve of its own.

My style and taste is constantly evolving. Looking into the future now will give me time to discover what it is I like, what is practical, and what is long lasting. I always thought I would go the “minimalistic” route. But the minimalistic home isn’t, like all “minimalistic” trends, very minimal at all. Minimalism is a concept or lifestyle that demands simplicity, removing anything that is not a necessity and promoting things that are only vital. In the context of fashion, this suggests that things are low maintenance and essential. In reality, this has become nothing more than an aesthetic. It’s a trend which takes more effort to maintain and a lot more money to obtain. Take, for example, that white couch, that marble table, and those overpriced white dishes with gold brimming. Personally, I feel like the “minimalist” aesthetic has become too cliched, banal, and unimaginative.

Read more

Ancient Gorman

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A nonsensical update.

Unfortunately, as life would have it, I have been unable to spend more time on creative outlets such as this blog. When I do have free time, I am either lethargic, unmotivated or uninspired. Either that, or I feel the need to do extra work and stay even more ahead of schedule for my lesson planning – though I’m slowly figuring out that this becomes redundant as I find myself revising over the prep I had done the other week. Speaking of working in my free time, I don’t think I’ll ever get around to publishing my research in a journal as my access to resources has been completely cut off (due to not being a Monash student anymore – this is when you really appreciate how much free access to information we had as a student). I am completely annoyed with this, despite knowing that I can’t have possibly expected myself to work on a journal submission first year out on a new job and in deep water. Big, fat, URGH.

Term 2 holidays is in sight – my goal is to try and edit my research paper so that it is publish-worthy. I’m 99% sure it won’t happen because I have no resources. But I also want to be 99% sure that I gave it my best shot regardless.

I need to give myself a break. Read more

In Opinion

Rant

In The Australian newspaper, Natasha Bita reports John Vallance’s view on technology in classrooms as a “scandalous waste”, a distraction, and does little “except enrich Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and Apple” (thank-you Steph for sharing this article). His school prohibits students to bring their laptops to school to encourage uninhibited group discussions in the classroom, a move which is underpinned by the belief that “teaching is fundamentally social activity”.

Yes, school is a place where brains and brawn are developed – in fact I can’t agree any more strongly that talk and discussion is vital to the growth of learners. And yes, it’s true, students can’t write legibly, they play on their computers alone during recess, and their attention spans are virtually non existent. So I do agree that it is alarming that the Australian Curriculum is migrating its NAPLAN tests to the computer.

However, as much as I agree with this article, I think I hold some bias (as many others do) coming from a cohort who graduated just one year ahead of those students introduced to their own independent laptops for use in and outside of class. And I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that students have a lesser attention span, can’t spell, and write slower.

While I admire the passion and value Vallance has for teachers; “If I had a choice between filling a classroom with laptops or hiring another teacher, I’d take the other teacher every day of the week’’, the claim that teachers use technology to create the “illusion of having prepared a lesson” is a strong assumption. Personally, I think there is a growing emphasis on teachers facilitating learning and equipping them with the skills to use the tools around them more effectively. So, just because a teacher asks students to complete some research on the computer for a lesson or two does not mean they are “slacking off”. Might I add how important it is for students to be able to research and differentiate between reliable and unreliable information (the common-sense list goes on…). Our schools place so much significance on building independent long life learners – and well, computers and technology is a huge part of it.

Regardless, it probably isn’t all that constructive to criticise the use of technology in the classroom. We all know that technology is prevalent in all parts of society and the engagement (or disengagement) it does in fact bring is inevitable. And we certainly know that technology is here and here to stay.

Perhaps the kind of conversation we should be having is how to educate teachers to use technology in the classroom in meaningful ways that enhance learning, encourage innovation and creativity, so that we can eliminate one edge of the sword.

Value yourself too.

Recording a few more thoughts around the same ideas. I am human, negative feelings and experiences of inadequacy return all the time. Writing on this blog reminds me of just this – that we are filled with contradictions and paradoxes, and while it isn’t always a good excuse, it is part of the human condition. 
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I can’t say that I don’t chase for public affirmation through the amount of followers and likes I receive. It’s so hard to shake the deluded perception that the amount of people you have following your social media page equivocates to your value. It’s not so much about popularity, it’s about seeking recognition for the work that we do and the ideas that we create. As more and more time passes, and the more I re-experience the feelings of being unrecognised and unacknowledged – the more I realise how much more complex and difficult it is to suspend the desires for social-media gratification.

You must think – gosh she’s 24 and she’s still concerned with juvenile and superficial things such as these – does she not have better things to worry about?

Being one of the many young people who heavily indulge in the use of the internet, involved in it as a ‘blogger’, and someone who sees the internet as a platform for sharing ideas – it is almost inevitable to be concerned with these ‘superficial’ matters. The fact that social media is so heavily embedded in our everyday lives – the fact that we are teaching our children how to navigate and use the internet to our advantage; goes to show that the internet is (in its own right) a new language for our century.

So something that at first seems superficial, is perhaps not so superficial after all. This is important. We need to concede that ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ is a reality that needs to be addressed. We need to remind ourselves that these signs and signals are artificial constructs and do not determine or measure our worth.

And I must remember that I have more to offer than what number appears on my screen.

Don’t be that person on Vday.

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Valentines Day isn’t for everyone. And I’m sure that I posted a blog once upon a time, admonishing the idea of the annual celebration, and that the day should instead be about the love for one’s self or that everyday should be a day of love and appreciation. But instead of hating on people who post gaudy images of gifts and stuffed toys among a bouquet of overpriced short lived red roses, let’s all as cynics find a way to embrace the positives that can come from this special day – whether or not you’re hitched.

The day does not have to exclusively be about or for couples, which has been made abundantly clear by individuals particularly fond of promoting self-love. It’s a day that should, and I believe is increasingly becoming about universal love between friends, family, pets, the community, and even for the place or country you live in.

It’s so easy to: get caught up with your own life and problems, forget that others around you are probably enduring the same daily grind, take for granted or miss the small thoughtful gestures people might do for you. You may not see or understand the hype and excitement around Valentines Day, but the ruckus it causes could serve as a useful reminder to think about someone else other than yourself for a change, and may even prompt you to show your appreciation for the person who has shown you they care all the other times you were too busy dealing with problems life brings.

And what’s so bad about having a day that might reignite the flames of a relationship that has forgotten about romance? Although, of course, it should not take a particular day to motivate this kind of action, it might just be the saving grace for a relationship in dire need of some tlc.

So yes, Valentines Day is to some extent quite superficial – but it doesn’t have to be. It need not be adorned with sparkly what-nots or a hefty price tag or rose petals on top of bed sheets or bath tubs. Much like anything else in life, you’re in charge of making any day and every day a meaningful and worthwhile Valentines.

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We celebrated our 10th year together (as well as Valentines Day) over the weekend in Geelong where Ken is currently studying.

In Opinion

Do it for yourself.

Quite shamefully, I spend a significant chunk of my time watching vlogs on youtube. Often, these bloggers respond to their fan questions, with many asking them how they could start a blog or a youtube channel. Most of these bloggers say that you can’t start a blog/yt channel with the intention of getting famous. I always scoffed at the answer, because being the skeptical, cynical and pessimistic person that I am, I believed they were just saying what everybody wanted to hear. Like many “bloggers” out there they attempt to elude people from seeing how disingenuous the internet world can really be; it’s only too easy to place on a facade under the cloak of “fame”, and when a few hundred thousand followers can offer security from being exposed (I talk about purchasing followers here).

But after hearing the same righteous response again from yet another blogger, I began to believe this statement. Perhaps it was her conviction, but also perhaps this was the first time I properly reflected on why I blog and where my motivations come from.
I like to create things. I like to create them on my own. I like to have creative control over the things I make. I like having the ability to turn things that start off as just visions, into a reality. It’s a much more meaningful kind of satisfaction when I produce and design creations that seem like unattainable ideas concocted in my head or that money (or lack of it) simply cannot buy.

Creating content is my way of expressing my ideas visually. It’s the process I enjoy; and “posting” or “publishing” it for the world only supplies short lived gratification. Despite knowing that only one or two people actually pay any attention to the content I create, I do it regardless – why? Because more than anything, I do it for myself.

 

See the first vlog I am actually proud of, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more up sooner than later. Vlogs take ages to make, I have so much footage I have to cull through.

Linen Love

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. That place again. A blogger’s  blog – incomplete without the infamous outfit posts at the Royal Exhibition Building. Since we were there for the Big Design Market anyways, I decided to get in a few quick shots. I have been searching for a linen dress just like this one that wasn’t so ridiculously priced. When I came across this one I was ecstatic! design4Dress: Alice in the Eve | Bag: Benah for Karen Walker | Cardigan: Romwe | Sunnies: Ray Bans | Shoes: Wittner | Jewellery: Emclectic Collection, Karen Walker
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Facetwitt | Reblog Series #9

 

After reading through my old blog posts deciding which I should re-post, I didn’t realise exactly how most of my blog consisted of angry content. Reading back, I sound irrationally pissed off at things that I am probably guilty of myself – hence the repetitive “this is probably hypocritcal” slotted in almost every blog post. But for entertainment and memory’s sake – here’s another posted back in 2011. Read more

In Opinion

Flower Frown | Reblog Series #8

There’s something I really dislike about the ‘flower crown’ trend. Just something about it that really is just a little too over-the-top (while I understand that of course everybody has their own definition of what ‘over-the-top’ is). It just looks awkward on the head and if it’s one thing I can’t possibly understand is how people are willing to pay up to $80 for a botanical garden to be worn on their head, so large it looks like it could nest a whole colony of bees. Not entirely sure why one would like to walk around looking like a walking vase for any occasion other than halloween either. People seem to think that just because it’s Spring (and Spring typically calls a warrant for florals everywhere and anywhere possible), that an uncouth amount of artificial (or worse) semi-artifical (whatever that is) propped on the head means they’re suddenly in the privy of the latest Spring trend! (whatayouknow more flowers!) …Irritating.

Having said all that, just cos it’s not for me, doesn’t mean it’s not for you.

Happy Spring.

I actually like the photo featured above, but for what it’s worth, it should remain only in photoshoots.

In Opinion

THIS IS WATER | Reblog Series #5

In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.
We made this video, built around an abridged version of the original audio recording, with the hopes that the core message of the speech could reach a wider audience who might not have otherwise been interested. However, we encourage everyone to seek out the full speech (because, in this case, the book is definitely better than the movie).
-The Glossary

Read more

In Opinion

Good Old Neon | Reblog Series #3

Thought I might share some thoughts on this, it’s been a while since I’ve been inspired by a story – I think what’s written below can only be understood if you’ve read it before (it was meant for class, but thought this blog was due for a new post of some sort)…

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I found “Good Old Neon” to be particularly grabbing as it delves straight into the mind of the character. Although fiction, the monologue is presented very personally, reminiscent of a private diary or journal. Not only do we instantly become interested in this character’s story through his voice and the way in which he includes readers by referring to them as “you”, we also find that as readers we are drawn into this kind of intimacy. This attraction may be because we are so intrigued with honesty, we believe that the character’s thoughts are true – thoughts that have no space or time and yet somehow we are granted access to it.

Personally, I found the character’s struggle to escape the trap of his own fraudulence an interesting theme, since this seems to be an account of self-consciousness that we could more or less relate to (probably not this extreme though). Written in a style similar to that of stream-of-consciousness writing, as a reader I found myself become increasingly agitated with the constant overlapping and repetitiveness each time Neal realises or recounts the times he has undone genuine events with his self manipulative behaviour. For readers’ feelings to parallel with the frustration the character might have felt, may or may not have been the author’s intention.

In an interview David Wallace said, “I just think that fiction that isn’t exploring what it means to be human today isn’t good art” (18 September 2008) could assist readers in deciding what the whole point of this story is – perhaps it is to show how hopelessly inevitable it is for human behaviour to be paradoxical or contradicting.

Good Old Neon’s conclusion of the story, to me, was rather dissatisfying. Perhaps I was just naively expecting more closure. I hoped that it might have been found somewhere in between his writing of the letter to his sister and his skepticism that the act itself was also fraud – maybe even a “cheesy” character revelation of some sort that solves all of Neal’s “fraudulence paradox”. But in our futile search for reasons why the character did not go through with the suicide (because if he did, how could he have written his story), we eventually discover that the entire monologue were imaginary reflections constructed by “David Wallace” based on a picture of a classmate in his highschool year book.

 

(sources used: http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article09180801.aspx)

In Opinion

Special Possessions | Reblog Series #2

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You always see in movies a character who owns this one piece of jewellery that has sentimental value. You also notice that it’s the only piece of jewellery they are wearing on their body.

I always find it touching to watch and listen to the story behind these special objects, and I realised that there’s not much of that these days anymore. Yes there’s always that special gift from a loved one, but given how fortunate many of us are now, these gifts are easily overshadowed by other material possessions. In a contemporary world where the young are perhaps more concerned than they should be about style, fashion, and the latest must-have – that special something finds it difficult to find itself a permanent place on an individual’s body. It is constantly switched up and replaced with more special items, and its value seems to drop with every additional item one comes to possess.

It’s just a thought. Of course we can cherish many things at one time. It’s what makes us human. We could be mistaking our big hearts for greed (but which also makes us humans). We have a heart which constantly desires; its pace increases with the increasingly fast-paced world full of temptation. This is how it is. We possess more, and grow more possessive. No amount of possessions is enough, so I guess it’s only natural for  that special object to struggle to hold the most value at all times…

In Opinion

Texting étiquette | Reblog Series #1

There are many posts I wrote in my old blog on my opinions about everything and anything. These days, I have found very little motivation, or have had little desire to express any of my thoughts. As a result, I have been writing less. In an attempt to reignite critical thinking, I have decided to re-post my old posts to this blog as part of an “Opinion” segment to truly capture what the essence of this blog is about (more than pretty pictures, but hopefully also containing some thought-provoking content). Read more

In Art

A Clearer Vision

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Besides my little hiccup and dash of defiant behaviour, I have found my ground and admit (maybe hypocritically?) that I do not admire people who take undue credit. Above all else, I value honesty, and I can say un-hypocritically that I have never been dishonest about my work. For a long time I’ve been working towards designs that are more versatile but unique to the market. It was not until recently that I can truly say I’ve found my niche that stands a little apart from everyone else.

Polymer clay has always been a huge market. It is a forgiving medium and is easily accessible to crafters and artists alike. I have seen more and more great jewellers who form big beads of all different shapes, sizes and colours. However, often great designs get lost in the flooded business, making it more and more difficult to be “individual” where everybody seems to be drawing inspiration from one another left, right and centre. In my ongoing pursuit to be just a little bit different – I have since moved away from what is abundant in the market, and now moving towards a more stream-lined aesthetic that is delicate yet still reserves an element of the old.

My Delicates Collection draws from my older designs (such as The Original Links collection), shrunk into miniature size so that it’s perfect for layering. Its dainty quality seems to suit a wider audience whilst still preserving its unique nature. I hope that alongside my Diamond Project Collection, that this will stick as a permanent aesthetic to my brand.

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Thank-you to all of those who have given me continual support on this artistic journey! Please visit my site (emclecticcollection.com) for more of these delicates, with more colours coming later this season!

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Girl Talk

We’re on the edge of Spring here in Melbourne, but with our temperamental weather you can simply never tell if it’s edging forward or backwards into Winter once more. Transitional fashion trends can be tricky especially as it involves tricky layering of what are essentially Spring pieces. Some of the trends I’ve noticed are the long line sleeveless cardigans, lightweight trench ‘coats’, one-shoulder tops, wrap-everything, airy wide legged pants and bell sleeves. All in the colours of a simple palette of neutrals and light muted colours (similar to that of trendy fashion insta accounts). It’s funny how we see similar trends translate across all fashion/design disciplines.

I love lightweight trousers, especially paired with a good pair of heels. I have on the Tony Bianco ‘Dakotah’, which looks deceitfully UNcomfortable – how can a pointed shoe with a tall stiletto heel ever be comfy?

For context, I’m a size 5-5.5 and I have narrow feet. Although I seem to have tiny feet, this does not mean that shoes don’t hurt on me. In fact, nearly all pointed shoes cause discomfort despite my narrow feet. However, to my surprise, these heels are unbelievable easy and comfortable to walk in for a long period of time. They’re soft (thanks to the suade leather) and they’re 10cm tall, just below my heel-competency threshold. The added lace up provides support at the ankle also.  Honestly, I had started to think that this was just going to be a shoe that fills my trend-chasing desires. Thankfully, they fulfil so much more, offering practicality and an utterly flattering shoe fit for both the colder (shields them toes) and warmer months!

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In Inspo

Working towards a new aesthetic and aspiration

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I do not claim ownership of the images present in this post

This post previews some inspo that captures elements of the aesthetics around a somewhat new palette for my jewellery line this Spring/Summer.

I am so excited to work with the talented girls over at BigPictureStuff and the stunning Livia Lai on a future shoot! The girls at BigPictureStuff have sharp eyes and amazing with the camera, perfect for someone like Livia who knows how to work the camera with her natural poise in front of the lense as well as an amazing sense of style. Although these plans are still in the works, I am so grateful to have been able to meet such generous individuals willing to collaborate, share their ideas and help one another grow. This is such a breath of fresh air in this competitive and sometimes disingenuous market.1418636682986
This image beautifully incorporates a mirror to showcase TianStudios handmade silk scarves. The colourful prints is made as the star of the show with the model dressed simply and white background.
Hunter_LaceUp-4 IMG_5422-2 IMG_5432 IMG_6438Hunter the Label has their styling and photographs down to a T. Ps. can someone please buy their pieces for me? I love how the background and dulled earthy colours compliment the clothing but without taking away from the product. For me, the setting of these images work symbiotically with the clothing and makes the consumer want to be there and dress like that. I think this is the most important aspect of these shots. It portrays something that is wearable to the every-day person but it certainly does not sacrifice style. It embodies the  casual, laid back, ‘down to earth’ girl who carries herself effortlessly but fashionably at the same time. These are the ideas I hope the girls could help me capture but perhaps with a touch of high fashion/studio quality. I could do without the slight graininess of those photographs, a clearer and crisper photograph would display the smaller products like jewellery a little better. 
Nylons_HeatherLighton2014021 Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.06.06 pmI have also been a fan of Nylon jewellery for a while, their crystals incased with netting is such a great way of modernising bling – I noticed later than Swarvoski has done the same thing. Their shoot with Emma Downey (who I have a Instagram girl crush on) has an almost airy quality to it with the use of soft pastel colours in both the background and the make-up. The only way I could describe it is, conservatively fun? It uses colour but it’s subtle – a popular palette appearing in many Instagram account these days – and I am guilty of attempting to achieve this and being on the same bandwagon as this trend. Speaking of which – the below Instagram screen shots are among the few I would like to emulate in the shoot.
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Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 1.15.07 pmimage1xxl image1xxll I’ve been loving simple silhouettes and plain clothing, as well as the slightly ill-fitted kind you see at Gorman. These are the kinds of clothes I can imagine my jewellery being paired with. The image at the beginning of the post wears a simple t-shirt with a high crew neck, similarly, the above image also features a pale blue high crew neck tank – these go great with any statement necklace! (I also love her dewey make-up and hair!) While tops that bare the shoulders are suited to delicate pieces. IMG_5052Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.48.00 pm
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I intend to include the twiggy-make up (the eyes) to reference the pop art concepts that tie into the ideas behind some of the jewellery. Other ideas with makeup include the dewey face with a sift grungy eye and simple lips. Hair: pulled back tightly into a pony tail, or the totally opposite rout of relaxed, slightly messy to one side either tied or left down. I’ve yet to decide!

 

Will be back with another post of our Thailand trip when I find the time! Oh, and hope you all like my revamped blog! Please let me know if you can see all/most of the images, I think I’m still having some technical issues with that…

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Location Hunting

NEWFOUNDCONFIDENCEEver since the bloggers meet-up, I think I have been able to embrace what I enjoy doing more, even if, for now it’s just a mental thing. I definitely haven’t reached the point where I could shamelessly pose in a crowded public area just for the sake of an outfit photo just yet though. People always say, if you take your work seriously, others will take it seriously. This seems to be the kind of positive energy I’ve been feeling just from meeting like-minded people who are not afraid to do what they love doing. You gotta start somewhere right? I have driven pass this wall in the neighbourhood a million times, but never found the courage to take photos in front of it – now I have. And hopefully, I’ll locate some more nice walls to build this blog with a variety of outfit photos.

I took my strappy flats out for a spin today. I paired it with culottes, a basic T to pair it all down and a coat to keep me warm (not pictured). Strappy flats and culottes do indeed seem like a piece that is meant to be reserved for warmer temperatures, but after testing this ensemble today I can certainly say that yes, it works with a winter outfit! I am obsessed with all things strappy and feel like I want to buy more in different variations. With my fixation on strappy things, I also bought myself some dresses with strappy details…unfortunately I wasn’t 100% happy with the size so I’m going to have to send it back and order a larger size. So I don’t get to wear it to my Thailand trip like I had planned to 🙁 !!! I guess it’s better than keeping the wrong size. I’ll post about it once I get back from the trip, and hopefully with lots to say 😉

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xo, Em

Melbourne Bloggers Meet-up – Part 1

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I promised myself I would write more, so here I am, writing.

So… before the photo diary… I wanted to get this all down while the excitement and awe is still fresh!

It all started with a beautifully designed invite from Cherry (hope you don’t mind me sharing, it’s too pretty not to!)

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I’d like to hope that the public sees us as more than just girls who like to dress up, take seflies and pretty photos and probably spend too much time trawling through social media. I’m a skeptic and a cynic, believe me, I understand. But before you guys cringe and shudder, I can honestly say that this experience was both a privilege and an inspiration.

It’s incredible what can be achieved when like-minded people come together. It seemed like something that only existed on famous Youtubers’ channels from the US or on FashionBloggersTV.

Thanks to Charmaine and Cherry’s (the Collective Curators) incredible efforts to host a seriously legit event, we were all able to take “OOTDs” shamelessly(?) at the Stables of Como..for..would you believe it.. a full hour and a half. While I’m quite an introverted person, it certainly doesn’t take one to notice the rest of the public face-palming at our shenanigans – a group of 20 girls hovering over tables in order to get that perfect Instagram photo. It was definitely nothing short of amusing.

The venue (easy to get to and plenty of parking, perfect spot to take photos), goodies/care packages and name tags were not the only things impressive about the event that the girls went lengths to organise. What was also impressive was the fact that everyone turned up, and no psychotic pedo fell into the mix. I’m joking. It’s just that the world doesn’t really have a great track record with meeting people from the online world. So for that I give credit to the girls for having good sense.

What I loved the most about this was that ultimately, everyone I met was the relatable average joe (I mean this in the best possible way!); just normal people doing what they love, and supporting others with the same passion and hobby.

I swear I had a lot more to say before writing this post…so I’ll leave it for Part 2. I’ll include a few photos from today that I took with my iPhone (regrettably, I did not bring my dslr/vlogging camera with me today…damn I always ceebs at the last minute then regret it later on). Hopefully I can steal some photos from the others and share them with you all!

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Photo courtesy of @lawstore

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Our gorgeous hosts; Cherry & Charmaine

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Photo courtesy of @savoix

IMG_4155 IMG_4158 IMG_4160Stay tuned for part 2!

Yours truly.

My A/W Make-Up Picks

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So I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve been using lately, and my thoughts on them! I recently got my hands on the Stila “Eyes are the Window” palette. It took me a long time to get on the bandwagon as I was always so happy with my UD Naked palettes I didn’t feel like owning another one was necessary. Although my favourite palette is the Naked 3, I had been searching for a warmer earthy/red/berry toned combination. Since red-toned eyeshadow aren’t exactly the most popular, it was difficult to find a palette that included wearable reds that did not make you look like you were dressed as a vampire or got beat up the other night. But STILA did it. The “Pigalle” and “Jezebel” shades bought me, among the other wonderful colours that mix brilliantly with the warm tones I sought after. The shades are buildable (not overly pigmented) and of fine consistency (not as great as the Naked though in my opinion). Most shades are shimmery but hardly noticeable (I do wish that there were more mattes though – but I’ve found that the matte shades in the STILA palettes are harder to work with, not as pigmented, and harder to blend when used with eyeshadow primer). Moreover, I realised at MECCA that each STILA palette is encased in different mirrored covers – mine was rose gold, and others include a gold and/or silver. Who can say no to such beautiful packaging?

stila-front stila-underWhile this palette was the latest and greatest find for the season, it, of course, couldn’t be without the rest of my long-time favourites I use on a regular basis.

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Spidery doll-like black lashes can always be achieved with the trusty Benefit “They’re Real” mascara – definitely worth the price point and found that this eliminates the desire for falsies. A good primer is always a must for me, and the Nars eye primer has always been my go-to, trumping the UD potion primer. The Stila All Day Waterproof liner has been my utmost favourite for years. There are several reasons for this; the felt tip brush is just the right thinness, it is flexible not stiff nor flimsy, it doesn’t dry out and it’s pigmented! I’ve also been using the Nars soft touch shadow pencil – I probably don’t use it like it’s meant to be used though. I like to take an angled eye liner brush directly to the product, get it saturated enough to draw a soft liner to add definition to the eye with a slight smokiness. I’ve also been using the Chanel stylo more recently, it’s like a shadow stick but not as powdery and adds just enough lavender/pink brightness to the inner corners of the eye and the brow bone.

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I’ve been leaning towards a blush mid pink for the lips as opposed to the regular plum/red lip this season. This seems to give a more ‘mature’ or ‘my lips but better’ kind of refined, clean look. I love the texture and preciseness a lip liner can give. I usually don’t bother with lip liners but now I know what I’ve been missing out! The 24/7 UD liner is soft enough to wear on its own, and truly glides on the lips!

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I have used the SIGMA classic makeup brush set for years now, and they’re beginning to show age! (bristles shedding and handles cracking) So I decided to invest on Real Techniques Bold Metals brush. These were incredibly pricey and almost abandoned the idea of purchasing them. But then I yolo’d. These brushes don’t come in a set, and so had to be bought separately ($$$). Despite the hefty price tags, I decided to grab all but one (the large powder brush). Everything about these are beautiful, each feel like an absolute luxury, almost forbiddingly so. The brushes are dense and feel extremely high quality and durable. Personally, however, I do enjoy a brush with bristles that can be pressed and moved around the face more freely (these don’t do that so much because of how densely packed they are). Still great nevertheless and worth the adjustment.

wintermakeup-flatlayThis final photo features the Chanel universal cream bronzer and aqua vitalumier foundation I’ve used for as long as I can remember.

Hope this was interesting and gave you some ideas of what to purchase next for your make-up collection 😉

 

 

 

 

 

In Inspo

Aesthetics.

 

 

Found these photos on Tumblr, and fell in love. When I get my own house, and if it ever be possible, boy-o-boy do I wish it looked like this! But oops, I told myself this wouldn’t actually turn into Tumblr, rather something of the kind but with more content and careful thought (I’m finding it very difficult to word it so that I don’t sound like I’m slamming everyone who uses Tumblr or sound pretentious, lol).

Industrial, white walls, light neutrals that add a tiny bit of warmth which can easily be adjusted for fresh Summers and crisp Winters. I love the cool, minimalistic vibes the rooms in these photos carry because it’s not so stripped back to the point of feeling too clinical. I also love the nooks and crannies, the interesting angular architecture which, although absolutely stunning, I can imagine to be a pain in the arse to find furniture for. Nevertheless, something like this is what I’m sure to strive for (on a budget and when the time comes) to create a blank but not bare canvas which is eclectic and versatile for any phase/mood/aesthetic I might be into at the time.

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In Fashion

Trending: Tying the knot.

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It’s coming back and we all know it. Tying the knot – on shoes. What a great transeasonal trend that covers the toes but creates the illusion that you’re showing some skin by actually covering it with some string. It’s the old gladiator sandal but much more elegant and ‘chic’ if you will. Tony Bianco has released a few lust worthy heels from cut-out-esque for those who don’t like them too stringy (ie. “Lash”) to all-tied up (ie. “Avar”). What’s very much on the radar though is the lace-up flat. I think these are going to be all the rage, with (what I predict) many brands will replicate and make them dirt dirt cheap (Rubi Shoes). If you’re on the look-out for snatching a piece of this trend, I would wait until the more affordable brands release their version just incase it’s a trend we see come and go. Already, Therapy Shoes have released a pair for $60 – it ain’t leather, but it definitely competes with any others out there with that price point (available at our Emco Shoes store & online soon).

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“Ezard” from Therapy Shoes – Photograph taken by me.

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“Ezard” from Therapy Shoes – Photograph taken by me.

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Photo found on Instagram

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“Lash” Tony Bianco, Courtesy of @tonybianco

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“Avar” Tony Bianco, Courtesy of @tonybianco

I’ve never been much of a shoe lace-up person, always finding it very cumbersome to take on and off. However, I do have my eyes dead set on a pair of TBs that are lace-up without the kerfuffle. A zip at the back or on the side of any lacey shoe does wonders and makes it so much more desirable. 

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“Dakota” Tony Bianco – My Must Haves!

But it doesn’t stop there! I’ve seen the lace-up trend popping up on tops for that laid-back, minimal boho look – a must have for the Spring & Summer.

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Courtesy of @hunter_the_label

Outfit goals: Clothing with simple silhouettes paired with lace-up shoes, and delicate jewellery! Hopefully an ootd post soon ;)? Too bad the weather is still too cold for lace-up shoes though!

Blogger’s Block

Fashion Bloggers TV Season 2 has started following the lives of aussie icons; Sara from Harper&Harley, Zanita from Zanita.com, Nadia from Fairfax Journal and Amanda from Oraclefox – no mention of where Margaret Zhang from last season went though.

Despite what you might think, this post isn’t going to be about how much I envy their lifestyle, I do think that one of the reasons for this show is to show just how unglamorous the ‘glamorous’ life can be. Call me sensitive, but when watching it I feel some sense of anxiety creeping on – it definitely looks stressful!

Running Comments S2E01/S2E02

I raised an eyebrow when Zanita was trying to describe why she liked street style photography so much. As if they’re in a “jungle” and are “bird watchers”. I’m not sure how well describing females as ‘birds’ to be ‘hunted’ in a ‘jungle’ sits well with 21st century women…(lol)….I can poke fun at this show as much as I want – but I think writer Chantelle Schmidt does it well. Other than mocking them, I appreciate that they appreciate how lucky they are.

My take

More than anything, I think this show has made me realise even more how much I like curating things over modelling things. Being able to create and design images and products is one of the most satisfying things for me. Having others support or recognise you for it is just a bonus.

In Opinion

Back – With things to say.

I’m finally done with the semester, which means I have a bit of time to myself to get creative again, which includes, getting in touch with this blog again. I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts about my trepidations with making a ‘public blog’ and how it may effect my ‘professional image’. I recently came by a very stylish lady who is both a teacher and a blogger in Australia, and goes by the handle “whattheteacherwears”. I felt absolutely inspired and frankly, wish I came up with her idea! Does this mean students don’t stalk your every move? Does this mean they still might have respect for you? How would you keep such a public profile away from your students? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

So here’s to my never-ending attempt to keep this blog alive. To do this, I believe I need to make it a little more personal with regards to content. I guess it isn’t my ‘style’ to run a blog that is theme-based/ ie. fashion/reviews. I realise now that what really gets me going is my ability to rant. Yet, often it isn’t purely rant either. I enjoy a hybrid of things, outfits, opinions, food, lifestyle…it’s too difficult for me to separate them into neat posts like many other successful bloggers do so well!

Okay. Moving on…

So it’s been over a year since I started my online jewellery store. I am proud of it, and glad that I haven’t given it up. It’s a great creative outlet and also a rewarding one. However, things did not always run smoothly.

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We always hear the lines thrown around like – ‘true women celebrate other women’s successes’ etc. Whilst I am not against the sentiment of such phrases, hm, how do I put this so I don’t sound anti-feministic…it absolutely shits me that statements such as these have to sound so obstinately arrogant; as though to say that if you don’t support another female’s success, you are immediately a scathing bitch and should be shunned by the rest of society. First of all, what about women and men celebrating each other’s successes? And second of all, just because you’re a woman you’re meant to hug and be friends with everyone? Someone please re-play Emma Watson’s speech again.

This leads me to the undeniable big fat annoying elephant on this page. What am I complaining about exactly? If you know me, you know I like to speak in obscure and vague prose. But I don’t think I will here merely because I think this is an issue many ‘bloggers’, creatives, online users in general have experienced.

Here are the workings of my inner dialogue…

Is it just me – or has this person suspiciously gained a significant number of followers/subscribers each day? And why has the speed of its increase suddenly stalled? Why am I so obsessed with this? Just because they have many followers doesn’t mean that they are engaged. Should I buy followers to at least get my foot in the door? Is this ethically correct? Then again, who bloody cares? Apparently I do.

After many months of frustrations between noticing (whether it’s true or not) other people (I won’t name any names) gaining ‘inspiration’ from my collection, then turning around and saying others have ‘copied’ them without realising they have done the exact same thing themselves……..I have found peace in my own work, and continually try to remind myself why I started this business in the first place.

Admittedly, I have been tempted to purchase followers for exposure. But I ultimately do not feel comfortable doing this. It isn’t honest. I want to earn the things I work for, and sometimes what I get in return doesn’t appear in big numbers. I want people to appreciate the work, express and comment their thoughts not because I have a huge following, not for exposure, but because they genuinely like it. So many sentences starting with “I want”, and it all sounds very vain. But ultimately, being successful should not be about how many likes, comments, or followers you receive despite what social media and the internet has taught and told us. This blog post is here to remind me each time I doubt myself, and to tell you that just because I’m a female doesn’t mean that I have to support people who are not genuine.

In Art

The Internet is a Cultural Object – Brunswick Street Exhibition 2015

The internet creates an unparalleled encompassing experience. A mirage of democratic instant access to information. We crave this instant gratification: a like, a comment, a post – proving to ourselves that what we create is validity. 

The Internet is a Cultural Object. 

If our entire population suddenly ceased to exist in some major apocalyptic manner, and the only remnant to remain was a device containing the internet, what would the people of the future think of us, as they attempted to discover who and what we all were, all by looking through the internet exactly as it is today (thought provoking from Kate Geck).

The internet has become an expectation and a necessity. We cannot seem to tolerate lengthy periods of time without the immediacy of information – it has become second nature. Virtual object, capital, and existence has dissolved from artificial into real, and tangible.

In this exhibition, we seek to investigate conceptions of art practice, formalised aesthetics, and identity relationships with(in) technology. We additionally hope to question the role of autonomy, ubiquity, and how to engage critique within this ostensible collective that is the internet. How does our internet life alter social relations and raise questions about identity, privacy, and desire? What are our (false) expectations and assumptions in regards to transparency, digital capital, accessibility, and the ownership of information. 

Living within in the Internet complicates and continuously expands comprehensions.
There are so many questions: What are our new visual metaphors for self and subjecthood? Where is the activism? How does information loop and translate between interfaces and communicators? How does one own online digital data content and what does this ownership signify? How does the colour palette of a contemporary painter encompass their personal screen time? What happens when data is discarded and then reused? When does the Internet act as an independent agent? Who do see on google street view? What is intimacy?

We are constantly being during the internet, not before, after or without. 

The Internet is a Cultural Object investigates aesthetic formalisms, and socialised action, while considering contemporary arts practice as framed within internet as zeitgeist.

curated by Miriam Arbus.

Exhibiting artists include:

Claire Virgona
Kate Geck
Sarah Rhiannon 
Tansy Jana McNally
Tessy King and Niamh Minogue 
Jen Fullerton
Wyatt Knowles 
Heidi Stevens 
Courtney Blackney
Alun Rhys Jones 
Nigel Tan with Kevin Leong and Dylan Ang
S. J. de Rosa 
Cate Gowers
BK
Mark Payne 
Damien Orriss 
Siobhan Dodds 
Melissa Martin 
Maddy Anderson 
Emily Vuong
Eugene Mott
Richie Cyngler
Tunni Kraus, Brendan Bensky and Ronch Willner
Ree Hegh
Pierre Proske
Scott Anderson
Maeve Holmes

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O T H E R W O R K S
i particularly enjoyed

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In Art

Les Miserables Musical; Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne

Super quick run-down of my thoughts on last night’s experience (especially since I’m procrastinating from doing my assignments…)

Seated third row from the front,
seeing real tears in actors/actresses eyes,
listening to moving voices shaking you to the core…

Les Miserables must be one of the best musical production I’ve seen so far (and to some embarrassment I have seen many including: Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Cats, King Kong, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Grease).

Simon Gleeson was absolutely brilliant – even better than his co-starring role in Love Never Dies. I couldn’t have picked a better person to play Jean Valjean, my heart was with his character the whole time, and felt very sad to see him (very realistically) age on stage. The rest of the cast members were just as amazing. I did however wish that the songs sung by Marius were stronger, especially for Empty Chairs and Empty Tables – the character was well suited to him nevertheless, even though he did remind us of Sam Tsui/Max Schneider  on Youtube…
Although cheesy at times, the stage props and effects were very effective. The ‘homeless’ often popped out from the dark sides of the stage, gun shots often went off, and background projections to indicate passing of time and movement were used. I did particularly love the moving slums as there was a great sense of depth created on a small theatre stage through the use of layering. When Fantine bit one of the rich men in her prostitute scenes, I was very surprised where the blood in her mouth came from – especially since we were sitting so close I would have expected to see how that may have been done! Also (even though cringe worthy), I had no idea how or when Javert hooked himself to the ceiling for his suicide scene.
Eponine, whilst I do not deny her talent at all, was a little awkward to watch. I noticed that her style of singing and acting had a touch of “urban” or “gangster-vibe” with her regular shrugging and accented movements… I wasn’t sure whether that was her style, or deliberate for representing “youth” or the “next generation” depicted in the story (there were also some “modern” twists in some of the songs she sung also)…hm.
The humour was great – played very well by Lara Mulcahy and Trevor Ashley. All the cast in these humorous scenes were very in character and I enjoyed watching each and every one of them get fooled by Thenardier and Madame Thenardier. I was however a little confused about why the comedic figures in theatre have to be portrayed as “big” – after all, these people were meant to be poor. But I guess it makes sense if they were meant to embody greed and gluttony… I hope this does not come across as offensive or shallow.Overall, very good delivery of the plot line, some of which was sped up where appropriate. Singing was on point, especially in parts where multiple people would sing at the same time.

ps. Hopefully I’ll be back to posting more regular posts…as soon as uni finishes (not too long now!) Thankyou for reading 🙂

In Art

About the work

IMG_9603(Left to right: HASH, FLATLAY, POTD)

Synopsis of Previous Works. 

Much like the work I explored in my final year of my Visual Art degree, the canvas prints pictured above is a continued exploration of ideas about our online presence and our online identities. My previous work were predominately portrayed through the medium of video. They involved videoing impromptu interviews of strangers, documenting their response to questions that directly linked to the “Facebook profile”  without their knowledge. This meant that the prompts were taken out of context so to capture as authentic of a response from these people as possible. In doing so, I had intended to question the differences between our “real” and online identities. My previous work (in collaboration with Salina Sok) involved the reconstruction of people’s latest “Facebook status”. We recorded each of them verbalising these statuses, broke them apart, then putting them together in different video/sound sequences to create a narrative. This project highlighted the absurd, awkward and arbitrary nature of the “Facebook status/post” by attempting to display the dichotomy between the real and online presence.

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Microcelebrity 2 FLATLAY
Microcelebrity 3 HASH

These works helped to inform my most recent work. Pictured above is a trilogy of canvas prints of digitally constructed work. At first I was worried that the pieces were too contrived and fictitious. It wasn’t till later that I realised the medium and construction itself mirrors its concept. These images took a slightly slant on the concepts explored ini my video work. Instead of commenting on identities portrayed in the online world, I wanted to create something that was even more relevant today – that is the notion of “instafame” or “online fame” born from social media. I find it incredibly interesting how big the “online celebrity” is today, yet personally I would not go as far as to say that they are almost in the same league as the Hollywood actor/actress – but it certainly seems so since the internet and our computer monitors are becoming our new television! “Talent” is becoming an even broader term now more than ever – you can be popular simply based on how many hashtags you place in your caption, or your aesthetic taste. I watched an interesting interview which featured an “insta-famous” teenage boy, what was striking to me was when he said that it was almost “abnormal”, strange or unusual to not be taking “selfies”. From what I vaguely remember, I understood him to say that it is the selfie that let people into his life, allow him to share it and build that relationship. Reality TV and the act of “watching” or the “Gaze” is becoming more prevalent and openly accepted in our society. “Fame” is becoming more and more possible with the growing online community and businesses. But is there a compromise? Is fame just based on nice aesthetics? And are we placing less and less importance on genuine unique talent? Because what is ironic about the aesthetics is that people, lifestyle / fashion bloggers…what have you…think that they’re sharing something unique to the community. What they’re ignoring (in few/some cases) that what they are sharing is simply a reproduction of what we have already seen (on Tumblr, on Pintrest, on 9Gag, Reddit, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc etc etc.)

Down to the Nitty Gritty Details

So to represent these thoughts, and in the same vein as my jewellery, I created images in 4 repeating colourful squares to mimic Andy Warhol’s work and to make reference to reproduction of mass media. The hearts represent the hearts that appear on Instagram when you “like” something.

Microcelebrity 1 POTD: Photo of the day. Photographed is the infamous “selfie” pose on the I-phone. The content of the portrait is blank to challenge the idea that by sharing your portrait is to gain “deeper” access or connection about a certain individual’s life.

Microcelebrity 2 FLATLAY: The fashion/lifestyle online world is fraught with “flay lay” images. Upon basic google research, one of the rules to take a proper “flatlay” is to make sure that you remain consistent with the theme of the image. My version of the flat lay breaks this rule with the incorporation of the “troll” (or online troll if you will), with increasingly unnatural hyper real colours as the image repeats (or reproduces).

Microcelebrity 3 HASH: -Tag (click for outfit details). These tags have been collaged into the “ootd” to poke fun at what we “like” as users of such social media. The reoccurring theme of the blank person is used to emphasis the simplicity of social media fame.

If you’re interested to see this work in person, it will be up for viewing till the 30th of August at Brunswick Street Gallery!
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/285363214981614/

Thanks for reading! xo

Ootd#7: Cobalt

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So this may or may not be the last ootd post for a while because uni and second round of placements is looming. After taking these photos, I realised I didn’t focus enough on the details of my outfit (ie. shoes + jacket) never mind! I’m sure these pieces will appear again in another ootd post.

I absolutely love this cobalt blue turtle neck knit I got ages ago. It seems to go well with my complexion, and it’s warm even though it’s sleeveless! These slouchy drape pants are my new favourites (also worn by Nicole on Blankbird). I love the way she styles them with a cropped high neck top and loafers. Funnily enough, before this post, I intended on simulating her outfit. I went to Witchery not knowing I had bought the exact same pair of pants she was wearing in the photo (and on sale too, only $30!). I also found her shoes at the Wittner outlet store – unfortunately I couldn’t justify getting these as I already owned two pairs of loafers which were similar enough…it also didn’t look (or feel) as it good as it did on Nicole. Pooooh. Well, my loafers will do (or so I keep telling myself…)! Let me know what ya’ll think!

ps. Please excuse the hair tie around my wrist in some of the photos (oops), let’s be realistic – what practical everyday girl doesn’t do this? lol..

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Bomber quilted jacket: Portmans | Knit: Bardot | Pants: Witchery ‘Slouchy Drape Pants’ | Shoes: Wittner | Lipstick: YSL Glossy Stain no.9 / NARS Matte Lip Pencil ‘Roman Holiday’ | Bag: Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini Classic | Jewellery: Karen Walker, Jolie & Deen, Topshop

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Hobba Eatery & Bar is probably the best place we’ve had lunch so far. To top it off, it’s close to Chapel Street, but the parking isn’t as cray to find. Although I could be very wrong since we went on a Wednesday early afternoon. Apparently this place is crazy full on weekends. IMG_4949 IMG_4948 IMG_4944 IMG_4950 IMG_4955 IMG_4956 IMG_4958 IMG_4959 IMG_4960

I had the Confit Duck and Mushroom Croquettes, Ken had the Bubble and Squeak. Both are AMAZING. Their brown butter hollandaise hits the regular hollandaise out of the park. This will sound ridiculous cos it’s just a tomato, but the tomato in the Bubble and Squeak is so infused with flavour it instantly reminds me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Supper Gobstoppers upon tasting it! Definitely worth a visit for you brunch/lunch junkies out there, I personally think it is better than Hammer&Tong (for those of you who have been there, I talk a bit about it here)!

xo

In Art

Behind the Collection

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A bit of shameless self promotion here, but I thought I’d get to talking about some of the ideas behind the jewellery I make. It’s gonna sound like a whole lot of faff and pretentious crap, but I guess that’s inevitable coming from someone with an Arts&VisArts degree. Since this blog is akin to something like an online portfolio, a few purchases and the semester break has inspired me to share the concept behind my work.

The aesthetics:

It isn’t my first time making jewellery. I started making my own jewellery in year 8 with a group of friends for fun; we also sold them to a few of our peers for fun.
I’ve had experience working with metals and jewellery in my first year of my studies in Visual Art, but never saw it through because it was not what I initially imagined it to be.

It wasn’t till last year when I rediscovered  jewellery making after lusting over other Australian jewellers.

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The concept:

One polymer clay jeweller (without naming any names), claimed that the philosophy behind their jewellery is that they do not believe in “mass marketing”. I am by no means making any kind of accusation, but the popular geometric design seems to be reminiscent of jewels – something that symbolises desire, wealth, opulence. I therefore found it difficult to see how their jewels were not already loaded with implications towards mass marketing.

From these thoughts, I marked my folio with “Pop Art” and dabbled in the ideas of Andy Warhol’s works. In relation to the Pop Arts, I questioned other’s practice and the fine line between what is “Art” and what is purely and simply “reproduction”. Of course, and especially with fashion, it could be both. The line between art and mass production has been blurred for centuries and will always be reminiscent of the “Pop Art” aesthetic.

The “gem” shape has been scattered everywhere on Etsy. You can see them made in many different materials like wood and polymer clay in an array of colours and patterns. I began to wonder how I could set my own work apart from the others – and if I could do this to any extent, how do I present and convey my work so that this comes through? So far, I can’t say I have succeeded in doing this, but sharing this blog post with you all is one way of doing so.

Pop Art appreciates popular and material culture. I wanted this to be symbolic in the diamond shape – not just any geometrical shape. I also incorporated theme inspired jewellery – whether it be directly referencing familiar brands or other popular culture to further suggest that this jewellery is supposed to be holding a mirror up to contemporary society. By recreating the diamond shape into clay, reproducing something that is supposed to represent something valuable –  it becomes valueless as the same product multiplies.

To the future:

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I plan to make my online store more consistent by re-photographing my images so that they’re predominately the same.

The descriptions will also aim to gear towards “concepts and values” to match the philosophy behind my jewellery and place less emphasis on styling ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts or if you just want to say hi! Always keep an eye out on all my social media sites linked above for new products and posts!

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Shop | Instagram | Facebook 

Ootd#3: Winter Pearls

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Dress: Supre | Necklace: TopShop | Bar Earrings: Etsy | Watch: Marc Jacobs | Bag: Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini Classic | Lipstick: YSL Glossy Stain No. 17 “Encre Rose” | Shoes: Tony Bianco “Lorelle”

Last night we went to visit Omnom for dessert/dinner – thanks to Masterchef. Ken and I went for the Express Tasting on the menu which included two savoury dishes at the start and two desserts at the end. Let’s just say that Omnom is called a “Dessert Bar” for a reason. The savoury dishes were too sweet for my liking. While the salad was quite good, the rocket was just a tad bit too bitter. The duck and kale dish was a bit of a disaster as the duck was cold and bland, and nothing much else stood out on the plate other than the overall sugary taste.The dessert was awesome though, (esp the Basil Garden) but the Pinapple Verrine was odd because it had red pepper in it. For those who like a bit of strange in their meals (strange seating arrangements – included), maybe Omnom is the place for you. Even though it wasn’t that bad, I was seated on a pretty decorated swinging seat that hung off the ceiling. This would have been more fun (and much less awkward) if it wasn’t a chair that was shared with other couples. Dining was a rocky ride (can I say that?)

Overall experience:
Service – terrific
Food – 6/10

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Invisible toilets!

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In Opinion

fantastically bold or downright weird

I recently bought these Karen Walker sunnies off MyNetSale (pictured below). I haven’t posted any full photos yet because truthfully I don’t quite have the gall to show you all how crazy I am. I’m not exactly sure what spurred me onto these – it being aesthetically wonderful as an object alone, or its price tag. Most likely the latter – damn you discounts! You are all probably curling your eyebrows and wondering – what the F*cK was she thinking? – and I fear that in the not too distant future I will be thinking the same…

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(thumbnail images are not my own, as found on google images)

These babies were a steal though – retailing at $400 in stores, but getting it for $95 (including postage) on the 2 day sale online.  So I did a YOLO. Hopefully the same mentality applies when comes Spring/Summer when it’s no longer alright admiring them from (off) my face.

Also tried to convince myself that I would look like the following two people if I owned these sunglasses…(there’s is in the other gold/clear colour)… in my dreams?

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I’m pretty sure these sunglasses are not made to flatter faces, rather simply a statement maker. Karen Walker sunglasses are interesting (to say the least), the silver/metallic detail is tastefully presented with cutouts of intertwining Walker signature motifs. As for styling ideas? I think this would be best paired with a monochromatic outfit – black to stay ‘chic’. A more daring look could feature these with other patterns and bold colours to really take the style to a whole new level of cray (I might pass on this combo though). But for now, a pair of good denim jeans and a plain T might just do the trick.

For better or for worse, I will hopefully brave this piece of art out onto the streets of Melbourne and try to embrace as many odd stares coming in my direction……. or make a home for it pulled back onto my head. We’ll just have to see.

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Lo and behold… I returned them…

In Art

Portrayal Exhibition

Portrayal was a group portrait exhibition curated by Suzannah Henty and Miriam Arbus at Brunswick Street Gallery. Below is an excerpt from the exhibition description, and a list of artists who have contributed:

Portrayal, as an exhibition, will seek to situate itself within concepts of our contemporary inclination to examine/or respond to self (and) other’s images without preconceptions (gender, sex, race, religion, politics etc), and with a sense of the image provoking and dictating new contexts for itself.

Thinking about: self-directed/identified gender, post-gender, slippage in supposed categorical definitions (sex, gender, religion), the ability of a portrait to provoke political point, marital redefinitions, high/low aesthetic, Schizoculture.

Artists:
Bec Bigg-Wither
Rian Smit
Marianna Nigra
Greg O’Toole
Savina Hopkins
Ben Guy
Cal Alexander
Daisy Lewis
Joanne Braddy
Aleta Lederwasch
Siobhan O’Brien
Michele Newman
Tony Alston
Luisa Hansal
Justin A.F Perkins

I had the opportunity to exhibit at the gallery, however due to poor timing, I was unable to participate (which is a complete shame since the theme is so relevant to my work!) Hopefully I’ll be exhibiting some artwork soon……(eek!). The below are some of my favourite pieces.

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Spread across three walls are anonymous descriptions which match up to one of the portraits placed in the middle. I thought this was a clever way of depicting the way we see and judge people. How do we make the connection between someone’s life story, values, personality and their outward appearance? Does their expression say something? Their skin colour? Their age or gender?

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These paintings were done with inexpensive materials, appropriating popular images and reinterpreting them with a bit a mock humour to comment on societal issues. Four of the images pictured above can be seen from multiple angles.

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An incredibly loaded artwork which uses bandaids to create the form of a face. This work can be interpreted in many varying ways. My thoughts meandered towards the notion of ‘identity’ and the way it is constantly layered with hurt and happiness – we break and patch ourselves up again.

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A friend’s work, by Siobhan O’Brien (see more of her work and inspiration, here or here) explores gender stereotypes through a few family members. Each photograph has a narrative, and yet grouped together in a way that could create one cohesive story. Personally, I feel like this is successful because of how strongly contextualised the images are – these are, after all, a part of the way in which stereotypes are formed.

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I love the quality of the painting as it plays with both smooth and geometrical textures to capture light and form, but again (similar to the work with the bandaids) adds depth and meaning to the work. The faceted colours could indicate multiple facets of identity – and the naked form leaves no room for us to hide our true selves.

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We went to Hammer&Tong for lunch before this. It was a bit of a disappointment because we went such a long way, for a (dare I say) mediocre meal – even though the food was presented incredibly well! We definitely had to wait in line, it was packed. Seemed like it was a bit over-hyped, or maybe we just didn’t choose quite the right dishes.

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In Opinion

What I’m watching:

Among all the other crap I’m watching, one of latest series I’ve watched is The 100.

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I was very sceptical at first – thought it would have been a poorer version of the Hunger Games, because how on earth (no pun intended?) can a dystopian/post apocolyptic story be dragged out into a series? I was pretty sure that the plot would stall, with just death/teenage-romance/running around in circles to fill the gaps. I love this genre but couldn’t see how it could be unique from all the other futuristic films I’ve seen. But, I was very happily proven wrong. This series was something like the Hunger Games meets The Walking Dead (even though I’ve never seen it, forgive me if I’m utterly wrong about this). I’m not one for guts and gore, for all I know you all might be thinking “what the hell is she talking about?” because this is benign in comparison to other things you might have watched. But for someone like me who often watches brainless reality TV and sappy teenage dramas, The 100 is quite a stretch.
The show was not shy with the torture or violence, and I guess a big part of this made it less ‘teenage’ and more ‘adult’. The plot develops very quickly which means each episode was filled with drama; all without sacrificing character growth. I also appreciated the fact that we did not fall into a Peeta vs Gale or Edward vs Jacob bind (which I thought I saw coming). Like any other survival story, you would expect that it explores ethics, morality, power, authority, justice (to name a few). It was interesting to see the way the story balanced the power distribution between both males and females – they were all equally in command, and the “healers” were not typically women. What the show did well was being able to continually create suspense during and at the end of each episode. The cast was also very easy to look at – which is always a plus.
I think I completed this season within a week, which is a very short time for because I usually like to spare my TV shows and take my time watching them. This goes to show how impressive I think it is! I’m looking forward to reading the next book or watching the next season (whichever comes first – I can’t wait!).

In Opinion

“I just try to live every day…as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

About Time is by far the best romantic movie I’ve watched – and I say this as someone who has always been indifferent towards great romantic stories like the Titanic or The Notebook. Sweet, light-hearted, serious, funny, all at the same time – and I guess a romantic movie isn’t complete without one finding themselves balling in tears. All these emotions are provoked for atypical reasons unlike the usual romantic film, which is only one of the reasons why this film appealed to me so much! Although I’m sure there were plenty, the clichés go unnoticed. There was love and death, but not the Juliet & Romeo kind. There was time-travel, but not the Time Traveler’s Wife kind (albeit that was also a great movie). About Time explored much more than love between lovers, it was also explored love between family and friends through the concept of time-travel and fate. At first the movie might come across as quite artificial – where only the men in the family happen to possess the gift of time-travel. But if we can see beyond this, the film’s values become more apparent. The protagonist learns that although time-travel can be useful in changing major events in life, sometimes a compromise must be made. Instead he used time-travel to teach himself how to live every day like he would if he had time-traveled back to make improvements.

The film made fresh, what today has made trite – live every day like it’s your last / live in the moment / we only live once.

We’re all travelling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.

In Opinion

“She’s not just a computer” – Theodore

featured image courtesy of Thy Tran

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I am no film critic nor expert, but I just wanted to dedicate this blog post to Spike Jonze’s “Her”, and express how beautifully poignant I think this piece of work is.

I’m not sure if I can pin point exactly why I loved it so much, but I’ll give it a go.

First of all (hush) I did not watch it at the cinemas, and I regret that I didn’t. I was just worried that it’ll be one of those wanky art films that leave me in an unpleasant mood when walking out of the theatre. I have nothing against wanky art films (how can I be if I’m an art student, right?) I just prefer leaving them for home where I can watch it by myself in the comfort of my own room – so I can dwell, ponder, and be depressed all I want. Personally,  I look for action/comedic films to watch on the big screen. Anyways, I digress.

What draws me most about this film, is its concept; set in the future, where technology has been integrated into our everyday lives more than ever before. Filmed very effectively, not for one second do we feel a void when Samantha is present. Just because she is not a fully physically formed body, she is fully present in her embodiment as a real, conscious, unique and thinking voice. She is alive in Theodore’s face, and that can only be credited to Joaquin Phoenix himself. The movie really delves and deals with the sticky questions about love, life and relationships – how do you share your life with somebody? It comes to no surprise that we’re increasingly sharing our lives with people through our hand held devices; Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp. We sit at the restaurant dinner table with our phones in the palm of our hands, we are eating and sleeping with our devices. Dating websites are becoming more evidently successful, we fall in love with fashion and material possession through a screen device. What’s emitted through the device might as well be real and conscious, just like Samantha is realised in this film.

And so even if this film might strike as farfetched to some, even if, you’re scoffing and thinking “nobody’s that antisocial”. Think again, think again when you next go to a social event with friends and see that half of them are wired to their phones. Are we really that far off?

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In Art

Zack Seckler’s beautiful photography

When I first came across Zack Seckler’s aerial photographs, I instantly went on a hunt for more, hoping that somewhere in cyberspace there would be a higher resolution image so that I could use it as a wallpaper for all my devices. I fell in love with its etherial quality. If you visit his official website and read his “About” page, you’ll find that his humour reflects just as much in his photographs. He explores the extraordinary in the ordinary, the oddity in banal commodity, the strange in normality. It’s no mystery that his portfolio images are full of fun and irony, but also aesthetically beautiful with a great sense of colour and spacial relationship. What appeals to me the most is its simplicity; clean and even colour, and of course the way you have to sometimes look twice to see what’s really going on in the photo. I’ve always loved artwork that toys a little with the audience’s mind, that plays with perception and teaches us to see outside the box.zs21 zs20 zs19 zs17 zs16 zs15 zs14 zs13 zs12 zs11 zs10 zs9 zs8 zs7 zs6 zs5 zs4 zs3 zs2