Thursday, March 30, 2006

Miuccia Prada for H&M?

True or false – we don’t know. Either way we always love reading about Miuccia Prada... (article published in Vogue today)

"...The rumour that the Italian fashion house is to follow Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney's hugely successful collaborations with the Swedish store has surfaced again, but still they're saying nothing. "We don't know anything yet and we're not expecting to know for some months," a spokeswoman for H&M, which yesterday announced a 21 per cent rise in profits for the first fiscal quarter of 2006 to £134 million, said. Asked last year whether she would consider the idea of working with H&M, Miuccia told that she wasn't anti it. "I have talked about it as they did ask me," she said. "I think it is an interesting concept and I would love to work on an entire collection using inexpensive materials..."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hats Off To Fall

Days are getting shorter in the Southern hemisphere, and as we speak spring’s just hitting the other side of the globe (lucky sods). We’d cue a few Brits and Yanks on their opinion on a warm AND fashionable fall/winter. After all experience is the name of the game, and these guys can tell a cold [read miserable] fashionista from a happy one. The Italians, on the other hand - though makers of the most stylish fashion in the world - aren’t much for the cold-blooded fashionistas. Prepared for a cold season, we’d snuggle up in our most comfy armchair to set up a plan we love to bits - a plan of fall’s essential wardrobe pieces. So let’s analyse the accessories we’ve picked and update our own ‘it-list’ for fall. Hats are first in this session.

1). Marc Jacobs’ mushroom hats we all know by heart by know. The fun 'mushroomy' shape is a refreshment to see, and adds tons of attitude to the rest of the outfit. Along with Jacobs, we’ve got 2). Burberry Prorsum’s flimsy ladylike hat. How can we not love this hat? It’s a celebration to women and a modern take on demure 19th century fashion. 3). Wunderkind with their ‘Oliver Twist-look-alike' hats are definitely worth a mention. That tomboy side in us still misses the days of tree houses, hopscotching and marble games. For cool autumn days we’d stick to 4). Raplph Lauren’s Highland hunting hats’, as Nicole Phelps so suitably worded it in Vogue. Come to think of it, this is probably our first choice out of the lot. It’s such a cool hat that arguably kicks Marc Jacobs’ puffy hat numbers. Now here’s a question to you all – what’s your favourite hat, and do you have a particularly cool place where you’d get your hats from?

Hats from left: Burberry Prorsum, Ralph Lauren, and Wunderkind

Monday, March 27, 2006

coolchiq on Neo-Goth

Quite a number of coolchiq visitors have come to our site through a simple Google search on skulls and fashion. Alternative/fun search combination, eh? The visitors are especially welcome considering how often we talk about this here (oh, it's got to be at least...once, we reckon). Nevertheless, seeing as this is such a popular theme, we thought we might as well advise you NOW where to find these goth-skull printed scarves and tunics (and how to get brownie points when listening to Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc...). Most of you will have seen Lindsay Lohan, Sienna Miller and Nicole Richie adopting this trend in one way or another. Here are a few sites where many of these designs, including Thomas Wylde’s famous neo-goth skulls can be found:

Friday, March 24, 2006

100 Years of Fabulous Weddings

Full title of the book: Bride & Groom – 100 Years of Fabulous Australian Weddings
By: Jane Hutchinson and Simone McKenna
Publisher: Geoff Slattery Publishing
Available when: Due 11 April 2006
Available where: At selected bookstores and department stores in Australia. The book can also be ordered directly through the publisher

Mention the word 'wedding' and most of us get a tad sentimental. Not only do we love howling our heads off at the beautiful ceremony, but a wedding makes a perfectly justified excuse for a full-on shopping extravaganza (glam after shopping cocktails included). Other great things about weddings are the food, the champagne and the chances to mingle whilst dressed up looking like a super puma.

Bride & Groom – 100 Years of Fabulous Australian Weddings is as the name suggests, a book primarily featuring wedding couples. As you all know by now, there’s nothing we love more than a great outfit. The book emphasises different fashions in weddings illustrated by 143 pages of character-filled photos. Sensitively presented, we get guided through unique stories behind each wedding couple’s outfits. It’s fun reading how dresses were chosen, what fashion time era influenced the choice, and the destiny of the frocks post wedding. Images of 70’s style ‘Sue-Ellen-Dallas’ dresses, and adorable little nipped-in waisted wide skirts are delicately presented in the book. The different eras are all represented, in a full-flavoured way that makes this book a real joy to read. Soon-to-be-wed couples should look seriously at this book – it’ll make ‘him-in-doors’ realize how that rock-sized diamond on your ring finger could be balanced.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tales of the Unexpected

London, February 2006. A hole-in-the-wall inside a doorway, leading off London Bridge tube station. The location, The Shunt Vaults, isn’t exactly the average fashion scene you’d expect to be a venue at London fashion week. Like most alternative fashion labels, there’s a bit of an edge to the production and the marketing technique involved. A choice venue like this, gives a fringe label an uncompromising touch to an already edgy image. We’ve briefly discussed Basso and Brooke’s work in the past. Known for their psychedelic colours and juxtapose designs, it’s difficult to say whether we like it or hate it. Strong colours and exotic prints aren’t always a winner... Given these are corner stones of Basso and Brooke’s direction, it’s not an immediate love-at-first-sight situation when you look at some of their past work. Admittedly the most recent collection – named Science & Fiction – is a high standard attention stealer that sticks to mind like chewing gum on a heel in Singapore. Tailored yet floaty, they’ve given a unique touch to fabrics, cuts and prints in their work. We'd say the strongest pieces from the collection are a few unique pieces that recall geometric shapes, abstract art and late-renaissance influences. Check out more of their images here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Somedays Fashion & Lifestyle Store

Somedays Fashion & Lifestyle Store
Where: 72B Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
When: Weekdays 12-6pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm


Being used to accessible department stores and strategically situated shops, a Saturday shopping spree can sometimes turn into a hideous experience... Swell sales people operating the store floors, blessed with an ego the size of a planet, and a sales technique focused on cash rich turn over. Need we say more? OK, randomly we’d be surprised by outstanding service, a wonderful environment, and genuine sales manner that doesn’t smell of commission. At such times we’re in heaven.

Walking into Somedays Fashion & Lifestyle store in Surry Hills is like a breath of fresh air. This airy concept store managed by Mattias Friberg, is introducing the approach ‘art gallery meets fashion boutique’, in a fantastic meeting point, just off Bourke Street. Throw in some cool jazz music, add an unvarnished 50’s style décor, and you’re close to the atmosphere this place unpretentiously delivers. Situated on the second floor, their somewhat anonymous existence has a wonderful charm all by itself. Here, their marketing technique is turned on its head, by word of industry people, fashion lovers and people who happen to walk by.

So what are you likely to pick up in a place like this? Well here’s the good news, fashionistas. Forget the traditional Glenmore intersection Ozzie labels. No offence, but there’s got be more than Sass and Bide, right? (though we love them to bits in all fairness...). Designs by Swedish fellow Maria Westerlind, NYS and POUR are stylishly presented in this spacious 150 sqm showroom. The three designers’ individual works fit in wonderfully, amongst charming teakwood display tables, and polished wooden floor.

Launched recently, they also stock a fourth label Cheapmonday. This make is a denim-focused brand, known for its excellent fit and controversial skull logo. Their core production Indigo Raw Drainpipe Model just got accompanied in this ozzie boutique by a set of new cool colours; Banana yellow, Dusty pink and Chinese red to mention a few.

Browsing through the show room is as fun, as it is a different kind of shopping experience. Taking your time through the art gallery, is a must when you’ve looked through their gorgeous selection of fashion pieces. And remember, when you're back to the busy life on Oxford Street again – there are places like Somedays, where you can simply just indulge.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Calling All Missoni Lovers

Some would argue that there are already an adequate number of luxury hotels around. But ask committed fashion lovers of Versace and Armani, and you’ll get a different story altogether. Based primarily on loyal clientele, these luxury houses have gradually expanded their businesses into home ware and conceptual life style stores. The most recent Italian fashion house to join this trend is Missoni. Like fellow clothing lines Armani and Versace, Missoni is now getting into the hotel business. Missoni plan to open their first hotel in 2007 in Edinburgh. Located in the multi-million development area of George IV Bridge and Victoria Street, the hotel will offer 130 rooms, a bar, restaurant, spa, fitness centre and boardrooms. Kuwait and Dubai are soon to follow thereafter, and if things go as planned, there will be quite a few Missoni hotels either opened or under construction by 2010.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Converse Traverse

Since our Converse DIY post the other day, emails have been pouring in about the "design your own"
Converse Allstars. One innovative coolchiq even sent us a picture of a pair she'd designed for herself... Way to go - definitely street worthy, don't you think? Apparently the rather rude text chosen for the heel stripe on this design, was disallowed by the Converse policy. In other words, keep your heels clean.

Oh, and a bit of final info on this subject - Converse don't deliver outside the US...yet. Converse Petitioners are encouraged to comment/sign up below.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Paddy’s Day – Lest You Think Any Other Way

Guinness, Blarney Stone, Shillelagh. Yes, we're showing off our vast knowledge of Ireland as you might have guessed. If you associate St. Patrick's Day with green lager and Irish stews, well, this is pretty much what it's all about in Sydney. Stuck in a city, full of Irish ex-pats on 17 March, there's no need to romanticise the glory of the day. The city's full of drunken people already, and going out tonight, we fear to be covered in hops, wheat and barley. A word of advice for everyone in the same situation - leave your Manolo Blahniks for another day, stick your most worn-out jeans on, go for something green on the top, and you've got a top class Paddy's Day outfit. If, like some of us, you have some Irish blood in you, just remember St. Patrick was a Welshman. Top of the morning to You! This shamrock label is available here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fashion iTunes

Can’t get enough of fashion? Then you should take a look at FLY’s podcast fashion DVD films. Get a quick fix of Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs or YSL for instance. The zero issue includes 14 short fashion films by established and emerging photographers and filmmakers. Check it out - it’s pretty good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hands Free At Gucci

Chain your wrist to your evening bag? Hmmh... rather the models than us. We’ve always given the bags of Gucci an approving nod in the past. Though we’re struggling to see the beauty of Autumn/Winter 2006 collection, introduced in Milan by Frida Giannini. Predecessor Allessandra Fachinetti’s fall-out with the fashion giant last year, couldn’t have passed many unnoticed. Though in spite of bad criticism from official sources, we’re hoping we haven’t seen the last days of Fachinetti’s excellent designs in a luxury fashion house.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Converse DIY

Quite a few websites let you design your own garments these days. Take Longchamp for instance, where we made up our own bag choosing unique colour combinations, size, accessories, etc. This time, we've come across Converse All Stars' 'Design It Yourself' section. Not that you'd think you'd need another design out of their enormous selection of styles & colours but it's still fun to see what you can create. Inspired by all of this, we came up with a few appearances to test our designer skills. Sadly to say, not one of them are particularly amazing... but what we'd love to see is a pair of high Converse All Stars polka dots - now why haven't they come up with this design by now? (If available, please let us know).

Friday, March 10, 2006

High Tea With Mrs Woo

A quirky name, exotic inheritance and three sisters' love for fashion design. These are some of the ingredients behind High Tea with Mrs Woo's fashion success. Launched in 2004 by Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong, these sisters have put together a unique combination of Western influences and Eastern charm. Brought up by Chinese Malaysian parents in industrial Newcastle, Australia, these urban attributes have clearly had a big impact on their fashion designs. Describing their own work as "...somewhat culture-clashing with a certain dramatic appeal..." is a close-defined summary that says it all. Knots, broken heart shapes and wistful prints are some of the key flavours in their most recent collection, named Under the Blue gum, available in stores now. If this collection is anywhere near as charming as their Au Revoir collection, we know we're in for a real treat.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fashion Exposed

Sydney Exhibition Centre is presenting Fashion Exposed, a big fair trade that'll feature 600+exhibitors. Showcasing the most recent labels and ranges, we'll get a good look at what spring/summer 2006/2007 has in store for us. See ya'll there!

What: Fashion Exposed
When: 12-14 March 2006
Where: Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thomas Wylde For Sienna

Not every designer lands with his first collection in exclusive Maxfield, Los Angeles. Not everyone gets a full page in Elle magazine right out of the blue either... Famous for the neo-goth skull prints, this designer's scarves have been photographed with Lindsay Lohan and Charlize Theron, but it's with no doubt Sienna Miller who's the leading muse for Thomas Wylde. Fashionistas along with us will instantly recognise the Academy Awards outfit; the shapeless, ankle length, 60's dress with the signature studded neck-piece. Turning up later on for the slightly more casual event, the Weinstein Co. party, Sienna looks just as glam in another Thomas Wylde piece.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fashion At The Oscars 2006

The first things that spring to mind, when flipping through the Oscar's fashion...

Best Blancmange
Uma Thurman, in Atelier Versace, with Fred Leighton jewellery. What was she thinking when she picked this colour? Uma usually looks stunning on red carpet events - though this was not it.

Most Inflated Balloon Dress
No doubt - Dolly Parton. What she's wearing? No idea, she completely overshadows her own outfit.

Biggest Déjà Vu Statement
Jennifer Aniston, in Rochas, with Bulgari jewellery. Didn't she wear this last year? And the year before that? Oh, and back in 1995 too...? Is her middle name Jennifer - LBD - Aniston?

Most Embarrassing Oops-I-forgot-my-jewellery
Hilary Swank, in a black Versace dress, with Chopard jewellery (apparently).

Biggest Positive Fashion Surprise
Jennifer Lopez, in a green vintage Jean Desses dress. Yes, she can actually look wonderful. Clearly she made a real effort for the evening.

Best Bride of Dracula
Keira Knightley, in custom Vera Wang (co-designed with Rachel Zoe), with vintage 1960's Bulgari jewelry and a Roger Vivier clutch. Somebody, please take her into the sun, or at least feed her broccoli!

Below: The Winner in the category Most Inflated Balloon Dress.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Trends For High Street?

It takes place every season; the international fashion scene that provides so much energy, inspiration and fun. The runway shows clearly set the trends for all retailers, fashion boutiques and up-and-coming designers worldwide. In a plugged-in world you can expect to find most of these trends in a H&M, Cue or Zara store within months. This is not a reflection on designers' lack of ability to produce complex, unique work, but the fascinating proof that style travels fast these days (hand-in-hand with easy and quick travel arrangements, and fast wi-fi broadband connection). After all, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Glancing through the collections, a few designers are instantly brought to mind on this subject. For starters, take Balenciaga. Top designer Nicholas Ghesquière's work has received tremendous reviews over the past years, and is one of these guys we're expecting to walk that extra mile for. Some of you may remember us raving about his latest collection in September last year. This season, Ghesquiere has taken a big step from last season's skinny jackets to short, checked tweed suits with stand away collars. An image tells more than a million words, but if Jackie Kennedy were here today, she'd just as well be walking down that podium wearing Balenciaga (or on a more realistic note; she'd be sat front row).

We know we've talked a bit too long on this post, so we suggest you just sit back and enjoy fashion at its finest moment - still crisp, delicate, and by today's standards, relatively un-seen. 'Coz no doubt you'll find this in a High Street shop near you soon.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When Fashion Goes Bonkers

Paris, RTW A/W 2006. You really have to wonder what goes on in the head of a top designer sometimes... In Paris we've seen a repertoire of fence-covered ladies, and mummified girls no other fashion capital would display. We'd normally be filing this under Couture; or at least a section where you'd expect extreme headpieces and ornaments. Understandably the great substance of a designer's collection, comes down to unique details and an overall outstanding presentation. But since when did fence masks and bandage covered faces become cool, quirky and fashion related? We can just about imagine the point of this display; the attention withdrawn from the model's faces puts focus on the clothes instead. We'll give Victor & Rolf and Undercover some credit for bravely putting their reputation at risk. We just don't see the point in sending out a bunch of mad-looking models no sane human being would want to go near.