Sass & Sportsgirl

I continue to be in love with armour, harnesses, embellished epaulettes, capelets etc as exemplified by the amazing Sass and Bide. (Did anyone else notice in “Gok’s Fashion Fix“, Brix used a Sass & Bide harness in her Glam Warrior look in episode 3?)

I know Papa Sucre is the latest range  fresh from London Fashion Week, but it’s the “Tomorrow the Great” range from which I’ll be snapping up pieces (if there are any left) when sales commence.

 

 

So where did I get the title of this post from?

Well, I went shopping the other day to pick up a few things for my upcoming holiday, andwas astonished to see an almost identical harness to Sass & Bide’s in Sportsgirl!  (See my Sass & Bide post here, and DIY statement neckpiece/harness here). Despite the fact it was really last summer’s look, I had to have it. Compare the two below:

  

Dear god! it’s similar. And looks even better from the back.

I tried it on with the Sass & Bide graphic print dress I bought earlier this year – and found they work really well together.

First, right way around:

  

…but back-to-front looks even better! Accessorised with a blue mirror necklace from Forever 21. What do you think?

So I call this my Sass & Sportsgirl outfit. I noticed the same Sportsgirl harness on ebay if you wanna pick one up for yourself.

Inspired by some of the embellished neckpieces of the dresses above, I got a much simpler and cheaper version in Urban Edge, seen here with a co-ordinating ring from Diva.

The fabric is such that it won’t crush when packed – a real plus when travelling! It also hangs loose from just under the bust, so will be forgiving as I consume my laksas, satays, curry mee’s, roti canai’s and more. It’s also glamorous enough to wear out to a swish restaurant or bar at night.  

At 3pm I fly to Kuala Lumpur and will be taking lots of pictures as I eat, shop and party. It might be a few days before I post them, but there will be postcards from Malaysia. See you on the flipside!

Fashion Shopping in KL and UK high street brands in KL

In just over a week I will be flying back to Malaysia, and apart from the food, one of the things I’m most looking forward to, is… SHOPPING!!!

Oh Kuala Lumpur, the malls, the malls…There’s a cool little summary here, or here is my post on KL shopping malls (from my last visit). I also recently discovered the similarly named Fashion Traveller, which has city shopping guides including one for KL – and a handy directory for where to find what designer brands in KL.

My faves are in the Bukit Bintang area of KL. Berjaya Times Square, Pavilion, Lot 10, even Sungei Wang/BB Plaza, and up in Little India, Sogo and Pertama. This time around I will have to explore the Suria KLCC – we’re staying at Traders on our last weekend, so that will be my time to hit that high-end area of shopping. I also missed Starhill Gallery last time, so that’s a must-see this time around.

I’m especially happy that some of my fave UK high street brands not in Australia have outlets in KL, and always have a nose around when I’m there.  I’m talking about Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Mango and Zara (which IS coming to Australia in 2001 – squee!)  So I just had to have a little peek at the webstores to see what’s up and coming…call it my “Things I Love Thursday” list if you will.

Top Shop

Ok, so I don’t really need another black skirt, but I love the unusual fabric on this one, as well as these lace leggings, and the lace bib necklace. Granted, bib necklaces are on the way out, but lace is certainly in, and it could zoozh up the neckline of a top or dress beautifully.

Not to mention, it was selected by Tommy Ton from the Topshop Freedom range, along with these fab and fierce rings.

 

And although it won’t get cool until next May, I’m tempted to stock up on these great shearling boots, although the red wedges and gorgeous rose-embellished platform shoes would be great for summer parties right now:

Dorothy Perkins

Maybe with my renewed interest in Dolly Kei comes a new appreciation of gorgeous paisley and floral dresses in jewel colours – I love these in turquoise, orange and purple:

They have a very vintage feel and could SOOO be styled up for the global traveller look too.

And these dresses in lace (so hot right now), tribal design and embellished looks also grab my attention:

Miss Selfridge

Moving onto jackets now, this military jacket, spotted mac and berry coloured turkey-feather jacket would fit into my wardrobe nicely (at least in the cooler months)

Although again, the lace ones are spectacular, and would work with my Victorian/gothic/steampunk and Dolly Kei looks:

Oh, and I was never really a fan of jumpsuits until I saw this “Gossip Girl Beaded Jumpsuit”, also from Miss Selfridge. I can just see myself swanning about in this of an evening, on my over-the-water bungalow at Sipadan, sipping a cocktail as the sun goes down…

OK, so black + embellished = love for me (so predictable, aren’t I?)

That’s probably enough online-shopping for now. The real stuff starts next week!

What are your fave online stores? Do you buy from them often? Or are you scared about sizing?

Goks Fashion Fix Series 3 has arrived

Well, I’ve had a bit of catching up to do after being offline for a bit, travelling and being sick. Something that snuck up on me while I wasn’t looking, but is terribly exciting is …. *drum roll*

Series 3 of Gok’s Fashion Fix!!

Ok, so it’s in the UK only, and I don’t know when it will air here in Australia or in the US, but AUNTY GOK IS BACK!! Love him or hate him, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

For any of you who haven’t seen Gok Wan’s splendid show, each week he is pitted against High-end Fashion Boutique owner and fashionista Brix Smith Start, to select and style catwalk outfits that encompass current trends.

The kicker is, she gets to choose from any label she desires, whether Armani or Rick Owens, Margiela or Erdem – but Gok can only select from the High Street – aka chain stores such as Topshop, H&M;, ASOS, Primark, New Look and River Island, to name a few. Indeed he champions these, as they are the stores at which the vast majority of (UK) women today shop.

However, what he does, which is so brilliant, is to customise each garment so that it has even more oomph and edge, using haberdashery materials and a bit of sewing. This is the magic of Gok – he does what a lot of us crafty fashionistas do. For those who don’t have the imagination to see a trend and see how to transform a garment to reflect it, Gok shows you how.

Each week they pick a few current trends as direction for their catwalk looks – such as the goth look, the floaty floral, the preppy look, the global traveller, and this week a big one was the utility look (see Gok customising the look below).

Gok and Brix both have 4 or 5 models go down the runway in a shopping mall – this is called the ‘Face Off”.  At the end, the audience members hold up cards to select their favourite – not knowing which ones were high street and which were designer.

Every time but one so far, Gok has won.

Brix Smith Start

Brix is no slouch in the fashion stakes, despite perhaps not having the cred of Alexa Chung, with whom Gok worked previously in series 1. Brix started off in showbiz in ’83 in legendary British band The Fall, before pursuing a career in fashion and presenting.

She has three A-list boutiques in Shoreditch and has an amazing array of videos on her YouTube channel, Start Television. Earlier this year she featured Stolen Girlfriends Club – ya gotta love that!

To be honest, her high voice and smug overconfidence sometimes irritates me, but you need a bit of conflict in a TV show, no? It makes the victory that much sweeter when Gok demolishes her with his finesse, as the crowd overwhelmingly votes for him each week.

Gok Wan, the man

As for Gok himself, he dropped out of the Central School of Speech & Drama in ’98 (still overweight and unhappy with himself) and set about re-inventing himself.

I admire that he worked hard to achieve his current litheness, going from a 21 stone schoolboy to the svelte dandy he is today. He doesn’t advocate starving, mind you. When asked for diet tips, he said: ” Never deny yourself anything. Everything in moderation. So if you want it, have it. Just make sure you compromise in other areas”.

Beginning with styling celebs such as All Saints, Bryan Ferry, Erasure and Wet Wet Wet (!) he moved onto styling for tv and magazines. In 2006 he was approached by Channel 4 to do “How To Look Good Naked” and it aired in 2007. The rest, as they say, is history.

His styling ability is one key to his success; but he nonetheless works hard to stay on top.

“Every month I get all the magazines. I still do mood boards, even after a decade of working in fashion. It’s like a muscle, you have to exercise it. I need to know what the designers are doing, I need to know the current trends, I need to know what celebs are doing, all that kind of stuff. I’ve got to be abreast of all of it. A stylist only works with what’s out there already, I don’t redesign stuff, so I have to be on top of it. And it’s knackering.”

On the other hand, it is his dapper yet warm and girlfriendly onscreen presence that is
the second key to his success. It is this warmth that puts the women at ease each week, as he addresses their body issues and proposes flattering clothes and capsule wardrobes for them.

Gok also has great onscreen chumminess with the celebs he helps style each week, often teasing them mercilessly.

He certainly has a distinctive voice, peppering his comments with words like “massively”, “bangers” and “rack” – here’s a fun look at Gok’s colourful vocab. And for shock Gok trivia of the day – he has slept with women as well as men (well, I never!)

But enough about the man. Back to the show.

What I didn’t realise, is that there is a fab website accompanying the show which includes those fantastic DIY’s, trends, stockists and more. 

How To’s – from sewing in shoulder pads to styling up a utility dress from an inexpensive trenchcoat, to making a gorgeous silver cummerbund.

Supplier Lists – tells you where to buy the fashion from each episode (esp from series 1 and 2).  Many stores are online, so worth a look even for non-UK peeps.

Get the look or featured products – is a bit like the above category, but it also shows you where to buy the items to customise your fashion, instores such as B.L Trimmings. Episode 2 screened on June 2 and featured 3 looks: Equestrian, Moroccan Bazaar and Floral Grunge – see the list of stockists here.

Below is the Global Traveller look, styled with items from Very.co.uk.

As the show progresses, and certainly, once the new series comes here, I’ll be checking back to see how he achieves each look – and also looking at where to buy things I suddenly discover I just ‘have’ to have.

Before I finish, I should share that Gok may not be as lovely as he’s cracked up to be. A few years ago, this article surfaced, “How to feel bad naked“, from a model who said she’d been treated badly. In it, Gok seems to be a misogynistic rich boy who just puts it on for the cameras, if you believe what you read.

I’m really not sure, but for now I’ll be a fence-sitter and live in denial, and just get lost in the onscreen persona who does inspire me tremendously.

Do you watch the show? How do you feel about Gok and his fashion?

Seduce & Cue Winter Warmers

I was waiting for Autumn to arrive so that it’s cool enough to wear long sleeves and jackets in Sydney – well, the cold weather is here!! I went to our storage area, and hunted under the bed, and got out my winter woolies – assorted skivvies, jumpers and COATS! Also a few Indian clothes, since the tribal thing is happening trend-wise (I’ll work them in somehow)

For now, some of my fave high-street buys. A number of these are short-sleeve/transeasonal – but it’s rarely so cold in Sydney that you can’t just layer up.

Seduce

I LOVED this purple dress when I saw it instore – the pointed studs on the shoulders are soo punk/goth – oh, and it comes in black for the die-hards.  The red dress on the right just has great clean lines (ya gotta be slim for the bodycon shape though!)

Or there’s this metal beaded shouldered cowl dress – great over thick tights and thigh high boots, or over leggings and ankle booties. The cowly draping means there’s coverage for our extra winter kilos – very forgiving.  On the drapey side of things, long cardigans are big news this winter, and the Seduce “Take it to the streets” cardi can be used with so many things.
For warm jackets, they offer this zebra striped one in fox fur, or a leather draped collar jacket, the “create a scene” wide armed coat, and the hooded knit.
There are great slim pants with side detailing…but what about the jacket!

Cue

And my solid favourite Cue has some amazing Wintery goodies instore too – check the W’10 Campaign and Design Room. I’ve been wearing the studded leggings for aeons now, but I love the turquoise furry coat and houndstooth jacket. There are fantastic dark grey, gunmetal, snakeskin and flocked offerings to add drama and texture to this season too.

The Myer Autumn/Winter launch and parade for 2010 showed us these beauties. That was back in sweltering March – now we can actually wear them!

3 great vintage shops you must visit in Shibuya (and one gothic one)

Many people into fashion and Japan now know about Grimoire which I wrote about here, but there are other vintage stores with similar aesthetics and offerings in the area. Valerie and I visited a few while in Shibuya back in March. Here are 3 more fantastic vintage shops you must visit while you’re in Shibuya.

Cabaret
As the name implies, there is a lush theatrical feel to the place, with red and gold baroque wallpaper, deer heads and furs, ornate gold mirrors, tutus, hats and chandeliers everywhere. There is a lot of glamorous clothing such as ballgowns and furs, evening bags and shoes.
Cabaret has a blog which list new items in stock. Stylists visit often for pieces to help with magazine shoots, and these too are detailed in the blog. Mags/mooks such as ViVi, SCawaii!, Glamorous, Zipper, JJ, Sweet, Forest Girl…just too many to mention.
As always, Style Arena does a great rundown on the store, with beautiful photos.
Coop Napoli 2nd floor 1-14-1, Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo  

TEL:03-3462-0022  
Business Hours:12:00-20:00

Rosy Baroque

Like Grimoire and cabaret this has an elegant feel, with clothes from the 20’s thrugh to 70’s stuffed together on hangers, lots of furs, tutus everywhere, hats, chandeliers, and so on. There’s a beautiful pink chair to rest in while your friend tries clothes on…or to rest your shopping purchases on while you trawl the racks.

Tokyo Arena profile on Rosy Baroque.

Hoshi Building 6th floor 1-12-14, Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 
Tel: 03-3463-7809 
Business Hours:12:00-20:00

Nude Trump

This one is a lot bigget than the others, and has a more modern feel to it, in that it has a lot of 70’s and 80’s represented. There are tons of shoes and boots, lots of blingy jewellery, uniforms and drag queen pieces. I liked the skeletons and other humorous elements in the shop. Overall it’s more hip and less elegant.

While you’re there, nip upstairs to check out the Trump Room, site of many a glamorous party and club.

Tokyo Arena profile on Nude Trump

Hoshi Building, 3rd floor 1-12-14 Jinnan, Shibuya
Tel: 03-3770-2325
Business hours: 13:00 – 21:00

And a store that is not vintage but new, original and gothic in  style:

Kikirara Shoten

Kiki is one of the people featured in the Gothic Lolita book, and has designed for years, her work featured constantly in Kera magazine, the Gothic Lolita Bible and Alamode magazine. Her blog is here. There are various sub-brands such as Dangerous Nude and Dangerous Deco within the Ziggyvamp company. However, it is the Kikirara Shoten store that we visited in Shibuya.

There are fantastic finds instore, although they are not cheap!

 

There is also an online shop, filled with one-of-a-kind corsets, hats, bags etc…so when they’re sold, that’s it. There are whole lolita ensembles:

 

But I’m partial to her hats and accessories. How about this super-tall tophat in leopard with cross and crown insignia?

or this Evil Queen neck corset?
 
3-7 Yamaguchi Building 2nd floor
Fsakuragaoka shibuya-ku TOKYO
TEL: 03-6677-4649
Business hours: 11:00 – 20:00
As for Dangerous Nude, the theme for the 2010 Summer range is Petit Horror, with new bat fabrics utilised; Spring 2010 was Girly Stripe.

 

I visited the store in Osaka last year and bought an awesome corset in argyle fabric- very Alice in Wonderland. It is well worth a visit.

1-16-10 Shinsaibashi Loncourt bld. 2.5F-1 nishi-shinsaibashi

chuou-ku osaka-shi OSAKA
Tel: 06-6245-1066
Business hours: 11:00 – 20:00 closed Thursday

For those in Tokyo now, Tokyo Decadance on May 29 will feature a Dangerous Nude fashion show.

And you can see a spread in Alamode Magazine, issue 4.