Friday, November 5, 2010

favourite photographers vol v: baldovino barani

My god, where do I even start. Barani is the definitive fashion photographer for me - he has this incredible talent of both showing off the clothes and creating a visually arresting image despite the clothes. There is always a great theme, sometimes even a plot, to his editorials and they are just so cinematic and gorgeous and well-composed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

thoughts right now (she's been everybody else's girl)

Transitioning from student to prospective employee is absolutely terrifying. In about two months' time, I will no longer have the security of university. No longer will my days, months, years be scheduled around semesters and (avoiding) classes. Scary stuff. Granted, this is assuming I pass my units this semester, and I can't say that I'm not tempted to fail on purpose so I can postpone growing out of my student body (side note: was that some great phrasing or what? Damn. I'll have to try extra hard to not be so brilliant in order to get below 50% this semester).

I'm not worried about being incompetent. I'm not particularly worried about getting a job. I'm not worried about having a dismal future with no money or half-decent reputation to my name. But I guess there is a real sense of wariness and apprehension for any graduate, moving into the real world that our teachers love to go on about.

I think that journalism in particular is a difficult field to get into. It's competitive, and there seems to be a lot of luck involved - right place, right time, right person etc - when it comes to securing a job. There are so many talented people out there, and not just recent graduates, who are searching high and low for work. The worst part is that talent is never enough. Lots of great writers or broadcasters are jobless, and this combined with the rise of the internet makes it all a lot harder (which conveniently brings me to my next point. Curse my skills!).

The internet is both a blessing and a curse for journalists (speaking in the new-media sense, I don't want to get into the blogger/journalist debate here). On one hand, there are so many options and so much potential for success, purely based on its democratic nature. Literally anyone can start a website and secure an audience of some description. This can lead to anything. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many people doing the same thing makes it more difficult to get noticed. And this goes hand in hand with social networking; just look at the number of options you have - FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogs, Forums etc. Everyone is spread so thin, but people feel like they have to be everywhere in order to be noticed. Even I feel the pressure sometimes, and my blog isn't even a blip on the radar.

At the moment I feel very overwhelmed with my options. Do I continue this blog? Do I look to the future and start a more professional website? Should I have an online portfolio? What should I do to make the best possible statement? I've done a lot of reading on the matter and I've come up empty handed. Everyone's situation is different and I'm not sure of the best route to take from here. So my thoughts right now are "Hmm, decisions decisions!" and then a bit of a blank. I'm worried about making a choice one way or the other, and regretting it later. I don't know. This is probably the wrong attitude, especially since all these new avenues open to me are rather new developments. Perhaps past graduates felt like they had limited options, and here I am complaining about too many.

If there's anything I took away from my internship at the ABC, it's that I can do it. I had originally not been very interested in broadcast media (I feel more comfortable writing and not having to think about pictures or audio) but I was surprised to find how comfortable I felt in that environment. I have the skills and I am very ambitious. I guess it's all a matter of where or how I channel my energy. End rant (for tonight anyway).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

breaking news

I'm currently a week into a two-week stint interning at the ABC's Northbourne office here in Canberra. While at times frustratingly dull (there has been a lot of sitting around doing nothing), the experience so far has been quite illuminating in seeing how things work in the real world as opposed to breezy university world where you literally have weeks to come up with a story. So far I've sat in on morning radio programs, interviewed and cut stories for radio, written news stories for the hourly bulletins, spent time in the Raiders' gym for a sports story (where I couldn't keep a straight face because I felt like I was in a real-life porn film), met the wonderful Virginia Haussegger, sat with her in the studio as the 7pm bulletin was going to air, and nabbed my first ever freebie bag (a sack full of Garnier products from the Floriade media launch). So far so good I guess. Here's hoping this next week goes well!

[I love this Special Report editorial with Hilary Rhoda. Fitting, no? Plus we pretty much have the same colouring and eyebrows]

Friday, September 3, 2010


I don't even know where to begin when it comes to plugging Bitch Magazine. For those unenlightened, Bitch is an American-based (I'm not aware of any Australian equivalent aside from the fantastic Lip) feminist quarterly, with exceptionally good writing, mostly of the pop-culture analysis variety. It is by far my favourite publication, and during the lulls between issues there are always great blog posts on their website to tide me over. I'm posting this because they are constantly needing more promotion and funding and I'm trying to help spread the word for a truly worthwhile cause, in my own little way. I joined their B-Hive this morning (while happily drinking coffee out of my Bitch mug, above), and I'm hoping they reach their goal of 1000 members by the end of the year. So if you're even remotely interested in contemporary feminist ideas, please take a look at their site or pick up a copy of the magazine (most Borders stores stock it here). Bitches, unite! Or something wittier that I can't think of right now ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

lumps and bumps

[from the incredible Comme Des Garçons SS97 collection]

Monday, August 9, 2010

monday links: i'm old edition

- A great little video turning the "She was asking for it" idea on its head, here.

- The Sims Medieval Announced! Very exciting news for this Sims fan who can't find her Sims 3 disc. Can this be released, like, tomorrow? Please?

- An interesting article looking at the negative sides of Mad Men's treatment of female characters, here. Not sure how much I agree with these points but it's good to see some variety in what's written about Mad Men (ie: an article that is not wholly focused on Christina Hendricks' body).

- Another fantastic political ad from Get Up!, here.

- Hooray! Next year's Moleskines are available now. So keen to unwrap a fresh moley and get started on filling every page with lists and collages. Ugh, obsessed.

[image is a Polaroid of me, rather unattractively, blowing out my birthday candles at my 21st a few days ago]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

no angel came

This week, fashion brand Rodarte (designer sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy) announced a collaboration with MAC cosmetics. In today's world of high fashion meets high street partnerships, this announcement seemed perfectly normal, and the line was a sure success given the popularity of other similar projects. Instead, the Mulleavy sisters are now being met with a ton of criticism given the inspiration of their cosmetic line (linked to their previous fashion collection) - a road trip across the US border into Mexico - and subsequently the names of some of the products - eg: 'Juarez' and 'Factory' are nailpolish shades in the collection. Many critics are calling this distasteful, given the many social problems in the impoverished areas that the Rodarte sisters were inspired by, as well as the fact that these are cosmetic products, and have essentially no meaning beyond that, so why weigh them down with such heavy issues? Is this really raising awareness? MAC are now backpedaling after the uproar online and assuring customers that some proceeds will go towards charities in the Juarez area.

Obviously fashion, and more widely, art, wouldn't be where it is today without people pushing boundaries and finding inspiration in the not-so-peaches-and-cream parts of life. But under what circumstances is one "allowed" to use tragedy and the suffering of others as crucial elements of one's art? Personally I don't think there should be any rules about where to source your inspiration from, but the execution must be flawless. If one is to use say, the horrible situation in Juarez as the stimulus point for a work, I think the answer lies in the result. Is the final product successful in conveying a message or raising awareness? Or does is come off as a weak attempt at social commentary? Or worse, is the inspiration being used solely as a means to make money? This is where it comes in handy to be critical and informed.

I feel a bit foolish making a post about something I am decidedly undecided about but still. By blabbering about it with myself, I hope to eventually come to a point where I have a concrete opinion on the wider issue. In this case, I can see both sides of the argument, and as much as I want to side with the 'artists', I feel as a makeup line, it really doesn't send any kind of message other than the commodification of a tragic situation. Unfortunately for the Mulleavy sisters, I think their intentions are irrelevant in this instance. Obviously they did not go into this thinking to mitigate the horrific rates of rapes, homicides and constant gang/drug related violence in the city of Juarez - it's very likely that they wanted to draw attention to these problems. But as I said, the end result speaks for itself and from where I stand, this is an oversight on their part that has come off as very ignorant and too flighty to send the right message.

Monday, July 19, 2010

monday links

- A beautiful (but unsatisfyingly small) selection of fashion illustrations, among other things, by Sophie McKay, here.

- Tom Wants a Job, a really fantastic blog by a journalism graduate looking for a job in the industry. Funny and real, I loved reading through all the posts and I can't wait for my own Katie-Wants-a-Job, not blog but general experiences once I graduate.

- My Culture is Not a Trend, shedding light on cultural appropriation and its negative consequences.

- Selfridges department store is opening a 'Forever' shop, selling only items that have stood the test of time (think Burberry trenches, Hermes scarves, classic books and even Bic lighters!). Such a solid, modern shopping idea, I can't wait to see it. Read more here.

- This blog post about dogs made me cry with laughter for HOURS ON END yesterday. I couldn't even get through the comments because they were making me laugh so much. Just read it. Thank me later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

why judging a book by its cover ain't so bad

Typography, layout and design are all areas that you only realise the importance of when you really think about them. When you read the newspaper, a magazine, anything, you're taking it at face value, and your average reader will not question any of these elements. They are actually rather crucial elements to any given publication, and could sway a whole range of people to either read on or turn the page.

I came across Tush magazine on my travels earlier this year. I was sitting around at Charles de Gaulle airport waiting for a flight and I took my usual trip to the newsagent stand to buy reading material/chocolate. I instantly picked a copy of Tush up. Ranya Mordanova was on the cover and she is so striking. If I had taken five seconds out of my Ranya moment, I would probably have noticed that the magazine is written entirely in German, thus incomprehensible for me. I only realised this once I sat down to read it properly several days later, after much ooohing and aaahing at the gorgeous images inside. While first I laughed at my stupidity, I then realised that it didn't matter, because for me it was the visual hit that really drew me in, regardless of the quality written content it may or may not contain. It's so refreshing to see such original and arresting visual work, rather than the average, tried-and-tested presentation that most magazines have.

Tush magazine is just one publication that is proof of clever and beautiful design being able to transcend all kinds of boundaries. Locally, I think Russh is probably the best example. Their Style Icon, Fashion Album and Mix and Match pages are all fantastic.

[images are my crappy scans from the first 2010 issue of Tush]

Friday, July 2, 2010


So yesterday I scored this AMAZING Romance Was Born 'Pinhead' jacket on sale at My Catwalk and received it today in the mail (next day delivery is a girl's best friend). The collar and most of the inner lining at the front are covered with safety pins, and the back is slightly longer and beautifully sheer. Holy wow. This and coffee with old high school friends have made an incredibly gloomy (note the rain-soaked, now frizzy hair) Friday turn wonderful.

Monday, June 28, 2010

so ...

I may or may not suck at updating. Feeling pretty lazy at the moment but I should be back up to speed soon, with new and improved writing and photo posts. Hooray! Now to return to my bed which is the only palliative in my freezing house. I would definitely not recommend having a broken heating system in the middle of a Canberra winter.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

better than the alejandro video

Robyn is fucking awesome.

Monday, June 7, 2010

monday links

- A fantastic new food and fashion blog, Pumps and Rye. They have such a considered aesthetic, and some pretty amazing shoe choices.

- Green olive, walnut and pomegranate salad, a salad you could in fact win friends with. Hands down one of the most interesting and delicious things I have ever eaten. I had it with fried haloumi on the side too, also incredibly delicious.

- DIY Miu Miu collar. Pretty amazing.

- An interesting article from the Wall Street Journal which addresses a very interesting and pertinent question, Does the Internet make you smarter?

- My favourite of all favourite Buffy-related internet posts, The colours of BtVS.

- Also Buffy related, new blog The Whedoning tracks a fellow Whedonophile's rewatch of all Joss' shows consecutively. Hating myself for not thinking of this idea sooner!

[image from the new Givenchy campaign - so stunning]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Seriously. When did Miranda Kerr learn how to model for something over than swimwear? This editorial has blown my mind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

favourite photographers vol iv: sølve sundsbø

Sølve Sundsbø is incredible. He has so many different styles and techniques which makes it difficult to sum up his appeal in one go, so I won't even try. I especially love the pops of colour he injects into any given photograph, whether it be stark against a white background like a few of the ones I've posted, or otherwise. Whatever the style, his photos are always emotive and thought-provoking.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

notes on a scandal

So Royal Australian Fashion Week is over for another year, and once again I feel a slight disappointment. To preface this rant I'd like to say that yes I know, supporting local talent is important rah rah rah, but I think one needs to be picky and honest about what they like or dislike. Luckily blogging allows such honesty and I hope that there are others who feel comfortable expressing their actual opinions rather than saying that they loved everything which I'm sure isn't the case.

To be frank, I feel like some Australian designers take too liberally from the work of others, in some cases to the point of blatant reworking of another collection (usually from the previous international season). As someone who spends a lot of time looking at photos and videos of both local and international runway shows, this becomes clear pretty much every time RAFW comes around, and basically it fucking sucks. I'm not alone in picking up on this - Vogue Australia's Editor Kirstie Clements mentioned this problem in one of her Editor's Letters last year, and Alicia from Sea of Ghosts tweeted about it last month.

Obviously complete originality is impossible - Chuck Palahniuk's oft quoted 'Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known' line has informed my entire generation of that fact - but there is a line between being inspired by something and essentially using it. Last year there were blatant rip-offs of Balmain, Chloe and Givenchy. This year I can see many elements of recent Prada, McQueen and Marc Jacobs shows. Is this even conscious copying? Are Australian designers really that starved for ideas? Where is has the innovation gone? These are questions that a lot of people are asking themselves, and I think the only way to have them answered is for a change to happen.

Unfortunately this kind of thing goes on all the time; it happens overseas too (and this is independent to the trickle-down effect that we all know and love, I'm talking about "designers", not chain stores of any kind) but RAFW being a relatively small event which follows the international collections, it's all the more concentrated and pronounced.

You might be asking yourself, who am I to criticise? I feel like I'm justifying myself here but it's okay, no, important to be critical. If there's anything I have learnt at university, it is that every judgement is valid, at least to an extent. If I can make a critical assessment of Nietzsche for an essay, why not apply the same discerning eye to the big guns of the Australian fashion circuit for my personal blog?

I'm not saying that there isn't talent in the Australian fashion world - there is, and barrels of it. The wealth of potential is precisely why I would like to see more honesty in the designs and vision coming out of things like RAFW. This, I'm sure, would have nothing but positive effects on sales, credibility, and each label's fashion legacy.

On a more upbeat note, I love a lot of Australian designers for what they create, and I think these are the ones that should be supported most, by both the press and consumers. In my opinion, Arnsdorf, Karla Spetic, Romance Was Born and Dion Lee are leading the pack. Hopefully over the next few days I'll have time to post my favourite looks (a much needed burst of positivity to balance out this post, haha). Until then, you can see all the collections on the Vogue Australia website.

Monday, May 3, 2010

monday links

Only a couple today because I'm trying to be somewhat productive. This week is pretty much going to kill me. I have a shitload of journalism assignments to get on with, plus on Friday I am having a monster day in Sydney. I won tickets through Oyster to a Fashion Week show (Garth Cook) and later that night I'm seeing Tegan and Sara at Luna Park. If I wasn't so frazzled with stress, I'd be peeing myself with excitement.

- A politics article I wrote for uni was published on our Journalism School website. I usually do pretty average on news stories because I'm more of a feature writer, so it's nice to be recognised for not being completely hopeless at hard news.

- What the Fuck Should I Make for Dinner? pretty much speaks for itself/is brilliant.

- Keep up to date with Australian Fashion Week here on Twitter. I love all the twitpics being posted from the shows!

[image from the Madonna episode of Glee]

Sunday, May 2, 2010

holiday snaps

So after a ten day delay in London and Paris (it's a tough life), I returned home on Tuesday to a cold house and a great sense of relief. Getting back into things has been a little stressful but okay. There are only two more weeks of semester as of tomorrow so I have lots of sitting around time to look forward to after that.

I've been trying to upload these damn photos for some time now but Photobucket and I seem to have hit a bump in our relationship. I've painstakingly managed to bring these photos to you by way of a complex system of pulleys and weights (by which I mean, several websites and programs at once - it was THAT much of an issue). Obviously with several assignments looming I was more than happy to spend time doing that.

These range from food to fashion to crappy scenic shots, in Paris, London, Berlin and a bunch of Turkish cities.