Arcade Fashionistas!

The MBFF Brisbane Arcade Show on Wednesday night was a show stopper!

Sitting front row (again!!!! eep) in my slinky Maiocchi dress next to…. deep breath Lahnee… a Vogue Australia writer (if you know me you will know I consider media persons as celebs…just a little thing I do) I found myself in awe of the unique and differing designs.

Everything from Spring inspired prints to big bold hats, sexy knee highs and whimsical couture gowns! Brisbane is certainly holding its own in the world of fashion!

My picks….

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Ps … guess who else was sitting front row this night. The one and only make-up extraordinaire Napoleon Perdis and the Governor General! What a crowd 🙂

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Emerging into fashion!

As the MBFF Brisbane elegantly flows on, the week just keeps getting better and better!

And on Tuesday night, straight after the blushing brides, were the unique creations of the Emerging Designers who showed their wears on the round stage.

Complete with colour and bold prints, fierce new trends were certainly ’emerging’! The crowd was excited to see what these up and comers had to show and sitting front row in another Begitta outfit, I could feel a shopping spree coming on.

Here is what I loved most!!!!

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And here’s what I found out about one of the incredible designers, Erin Hassall!

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THE 28 year old, who showcased in the Emerging Designer Group Show, is constantly juggling a full-time fashion design career with a part-time professional golf caddying gig, and has just returned from her second trip to China this year.

“My partner (Jonathan Pepper) recently received his China PGA tour card so we’ve had a couple of trips there already, but in previous years his golf has taken us to Japan and America where I caddy for him,” Erin said.

The designer has gone from birdies on the fairway to another form – the Birds of Paradise flower, which she describes as the inspiration for her second new season range.

“I’m keeping with the bright colours and tropical theme of the flower and I have created some of my own prints this year, so I am really excited,” she said.

“I have a collection of silk kaftans, soft, floaty, shift-dresses and some summer jackets, basically a beautiful range of resort wear that is perfect for Queensland’s tropical climate.”

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Bridal beauty’s on the MBFF stage!

Day 3 of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival kicked off yesterday with some blushing brides (well stunning tall slender models wearing wedding gowns) and I was just about ready to run home and demand my hubby and I re-marry. Just so I could wear one of the dresses!

Photos by Ian Golding

Photos by Ian Golding

We had  a chat with the lovely Tammie Nitschke from Elizabeth De Varga

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started on this journey into fashion?

A. I’m from a small country town, raised on property with no shops for miles. Many of my clothes were hand me downs or homemade so when I got to an age where I could operate a machine by myself I would deconstruct and adapt, alter and remake the clothes my way! When I finished school I went to University to study Agricultural Economics. I ended up in a small mining town in WA, far away from anything fashion orientated – unless we are talking steel caps and kaki overalls. This is where I realised that I needed to go and pursue my love of fashion.

Q. What do you love about the industry?

A. I love fabrics and all things pretty. The industry is tough and the competition is fierce. Each day is different for me; I could be in the store designing and liaising with clients, fitting or merchandising. I could be on location at a photo shoot, I could be on a flight on my way to a store to sell the collection or in the studio viewing new fabrics, deciding on marketing, developing samples and new styles.

Q. How would you describe your style?

A. Stylish, distinctive, romantic. Detail is key in all of our gowns, be it a simple elegant sheath or a full princess gown. It’s all in the detail.

Q. Can you describe your latest bridal collection and where your inspiration came from?

A. Our latest collection combines romance and glamour. It’s a love affair of texture and detail. Our fabrics are key elements of inspiration. Sourced from the world’s great lace companies combined with silks, quirky intricacies of tulle and Swarovski pearls and crystals, hand crochet and diamante belt details. The palette is soft hues of shell pink and blush through to antique silks and magnolias.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. World Domination LOL! As our focus is high end Australian made couture bridal gowns it’s only natural to want to share my love of fashion and the label with the entire market so there is discussion around a ‘ready to wear’ line to appeal to all budgets.

Q. Fashion tip for brides?

A. Be true to your style. If you love all things big and bold then be that. If you love clean lines and sophistication then be that. Talk to an expert – get their opinions, utilise their knowledge. But ultimately you decide!

Here are a few of my fav gowns of the night!!!!!

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Myer Spring Summer 14 – my cc will take a beating after seeing you!

Red carpet, shimmering new Mercedes-Benz’, frocks, jocks and everything in between – welcome to day 2 of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane for 2013.

I was riding solo tonight for the much anticipated Myer Spring Summer 14 show and no-one was left disappointed.

The experience begins when you are greeted with grand marble staircases and smiling MBFF workers in the King George Square foyer of the stunningly refurbished Brisbane City Hall.

Heels’ clicking it was on to the Hamilton Lounge where Epicure put on a show with cocktails, canapés and all the glitz and glam you’d want from a VIP lounge.

Sipping on Ciroc Ultra-Premium Vodka and Stella Artois, Deakin Estate wines – ahhh what luxury on a Monday night!

After rubbing shoulders with the crowd I was ready to take my seat in row 2, VIPB17, my first seat for the week.

When you enter the main auditorium it is easy to lose your breath momentarily as the beauty of this room takes over. Its circular design with fluted pilasters reminds you of the Pantheon in Rome. The room’s focal point is a 23 metre high central lantern peering down over the elevated round runway. All of this part of the $215 million restoration which saw the Hall’s doors reopened after nearly 3 years in April this year!

The lights dimmed and the lovely Georgina Lewis from Network 10 took the stage in a stunning blue suit by YB J’Aime. Then it was show time!

Tall, slinky models primed to perfection strutted their stuff in the latest trends – including Myers leading lad Kris Smith who wowed the crowds!

30 minutes later applause erupted and the finale was over!

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But this post isn’t – I caught up with the one and only Wayne Cooper to chat about his new collection.

Myer Designer: Wayne Cooper (Wayne Cooper)

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started on this journey into fashion.

A. I was born in London, finished a law degree, but was always more interested in fashion so I decided to do an around the world trip, settled in Sydney, and started my own label in 1991.

Q. What do you love about fashion and the industry?

A. I love that every day in fashion is never the same. You are always working on something new and exciting and trying to design the perfect collection.

Q. What has been the best experience for you in this journey so far?

A. I have experienced many amazing things, met so many interesting people, including having Bono from U2 turn up to one of my after show parties. I have worked with amazing models like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, showed at New York Fashion Week etc.

Q. Who is your target market and why?

A. My target market is quite wide these days. When I started, my customer was younger but they have grown up and still want to wear my clothes. So now it ranges from 18 years – 50 years. But really my customer could be any age. My collections aren’t really limited by age, they are about a state of mind.

Q. How would you describe your style?

A. I like clean lines and strong silhouettes, sexy/sensual styles and most of my designs are event driven.

Q. Can you describe your latest collection and where your inspiration came from?

A. My summer collection, ACOUARELLE is a modern sportswear collection, full of colour.

Q. What is you’re the one garment you couldn’t live without?

A. Personally, a pair of Havaianas in summer, Converse in winter and black skinny jeans.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. To keep perfecting my Wayne Cooper and Wayne by Wayne Cooper lines and keep my customers happy.

Q. Fashion tip?

A. Add some of your personality to your look, take a few risks, and always flatter your body shape.

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MBFF Brisbane – lights, camera, fashion!

Well it’s finally here, the week us Brisbanites and fashionistas across the country have been waiting for!

It’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival time!

So in honour of this consumer fashion event I will be dedicating this week’s posts to the glitz and glam of the festival.

Kicking off the week is a bit of a profile on emerging designer Begitta, whose stunning Jardin de L’Amour | Garden of Love – Tea Dress dress I wore to the Designer Cocktail Reception in the Hamilton Lounge at Brisbane City Hall last night. And might I just say, what a night it was!!!!

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Emerging designer: Begitta (Begitta Stolk)

Shows: Emerging Designer Group Show, Tuesday August 27, 8.00pm, tickets from $37.

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started on this journey into fashion.

A. When I was nine, my aunty bought me a pink plastic sewing machine for Christmas and I made hats and dresses for all my dolls and teddy bears. I guess I have always been drawn to theatrics and pretty things. I started a business degree at Bond University but felt that it was a little too corporate for what I wanted, to start a fashion label, so I left and completed my studies in fashion in Australia and most recently in Paris.

Q. What do you love about fashion and the industry?

A. The industry is ever moving, ever changing and ever creative. We can express ourselves by what we wear and the perfect dress can make any woman feel like a goddess.

Q. What made you want to get involved in bridal fashion?

A. I adore weddings, weddings are a time to celebrate the love that you have for the man (or woman) of your dreams, a time to be excited and to share your love with the world. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to take part in someone’s dream.

Q. Who is your target market and why?

A. The Begitta girl is feminine, elegant and fabulous. She like getting dressed up, likes a little attention and always stands out from the crowd. She has passion for her life, love and career. She adores glamorous styling and dramatic silhouettes.

Q. How would you describe your style?

Feminine, fun, a little daring, whimsical, outrageous (occasionally), classic (sometimes), pretty (always).

Q. Can you describe your latest collection and where your inspiration came from?

A. The Collection will be full of lace, draping, beading, colour and excitement. We’re going for something slightly off-beat to the previous collections, a little shock factor.

Q. What is you’re the one garment you couldn’t live without?

A. A pretty little tea dress perfect for both day and night – add heels a sparkly clutch and you’re set!

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. The future has endless possibilities and so many exciting things to come. We’re working with lots of gorgeous Brides and Bridesmaids over the coming months to make their dream gowns and we have big plans for a few new exciting projects which can’t be revealed just yet!

Q. Fashion tip?

A. You can never be over dressed!

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Balayage & bangs baby!

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I DID IT! I CHANGED MY HAIR!

So after having long and blonde for so long i took the plunge and changed it up a bit.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions and likes on the previous hair post. It really helped me make up my mind.

Balayage is something I have wanted to try for a while and I’m so glad I did. I LOVE IT!

I’ve gone from long and blonde to a light balayage with bangs!

Shout out to Hannah at Hair by H.S.M.B for doing an awesome job 🙂

What do you guys think??? Maybe I’ve given you the courage to go out and change your own hair style 🙂

Oh so smooth….

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I did it. I found the perfect bra!

I know this seems like an odd thing to get so worked up about, but think about it. Us girls (sorry to any blokes out there reading this) wear a bra every day. Let’s say we are awake for about 15 hours a day, that’s about 15 hours a day we wear a bra! So finding one that not only fits right, I’m talking no side boob, front boob or strange cleavage that shows more than it should, and is comfy, well I think that deserves some praise!

So how did it happen you ask? How did I come across this all perfect brassiere? Well I was in Myers, looking for lingerie and saw it. Just sitting on the rack. It’s a Berlei. I had never tried a Berlei before and thought what the heck. This piece of tanned material promised to be comfortable, hide the lines and give me two extra sizes. I could use all the help I could get.

So I took it in the change room, tried it on and smiled. Right there in the change room I did a little happy dance. You see, I’m not sure why but I don’t have much luck with bras. I’m a size 12 B (most of the time!) but for some reason nothing seems to feel like it fits how it should. I’ve been measured but I guess for me it must come down to brand and I think I finally found my brand!

This is not some shout out to Berlei (although they bloody deserve it! Woo!!!) This is me sharing my ‘personal’ bra buying experience because us girls have to stick together! So, my advice, if you are looking for a new bra and haven’t tried a Berlei; go do it! My pick was the So Smooth Push Up Bra…. LOVE!

Why cant we all wear a smile?

I was trying to fly without leaving the ground,
Cause I wanted to be like Mike, right
Wanted to be him, I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to touch the rim
I wanted to be cool, and I wanted to fit in,
I wanted what he had, America, it begins

The lyrics in this song, Wings by Macklemore, got me thinking the other day as I drove to work in my designer jacket and shoes. It got me thinking about consumerism, identity, individuality and I guess it led to me asking myself some big questions about what it means to fit in, to stand out. As Macklemore puts it “I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement”. It couldn’t be truer.

We are all individuals. We are all made up of different stuff. But, we are also all part of some movement. There is not one person out there who could honestly say they were not influenced by something, someone. Even the so called “hipsters” are influenced by other hipsters and that has become a movement. Not a symbol of individuality. I remember when this happened with the punk movement. Everyone started dressing in black, wearing thicker eyeliner and listening to punk rock calling themselves individuals. But when thousands of others are doing the exact same thing, it’s not really individuality. This leads me to the next point. Why do people see what they wear as the thing that defines them and who they are? Why can’t someone who likes wearing pink floral dresses be a ‘punk rocker’? What does what you wear have to do with who you are anyway?

We want what we can’t have, commodity makes us want it
So expensive, damn, I just got to flaunt it
Got to show ’em, so exclusive, this that new shit
A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes I would never hoop in
Look at me, look at me, I’m a cool kid

I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement
My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it
They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said

We are consumers. We consume all the time. We are all influenced by adverts, people we look up to, celebrities we like, what our friends and family are doing. And that’s fine. I’m the first to admit I love to shop. New clothes, shoes, things… I enjoy buying them. I’m influenced by many things. And that’s just fine. But at times I forget that I can be me no matter what I’m wearing, or who I’m wearing. My insides, my personality, my way of thinking is not going to change depending on weather I’m wearing a designer jacket or a piece from Kmart. But it’s easy to forget that these days. It’s easy to believe that if we don’t wear what society tells us is ‘cool’ we won’t fit in. We won’t be looked at with admiration and respect. I look forward to seeing the day when people go around wearing a smile. When that is the movement we all follow.

That’s my air bubble and I’m lost, if it pops
We are what we wear, we wear what we are
But see I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all
Will I stand for change, or stay in my box
These Nikes help me define me, but I’m trying to take mine, off

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HELP! I need a change

Does anyone else have those moments where you just NEED a change! Not want one, but feel deep in your bones, your soul that you really, really need one and your head may just explode if you don’t get one?

Ok perhaps it’s not quite that bad but lately I have been feeling as though it is time for a change. I’m happy in my job, so I don’t want to change that, I love my little charmer of a home, I don’t have the money for a new wardrobe (dam!) so hair change it is!

Let me give you a bit of a history condensed into a few lines about me and my hair.

First of all, it kinda resembles a lion’s mane. My hair is big, buffy with a natural wave and it’s been some shade of blonde most of my life. I have dyed it brown twice before and black once (this was an accident and a whoooolllleeee other story). But that’s about it. It has also been mostly long. Although a few years ago I did chop it all off with a bit of a concave do that fell under my ears.

Me now (with beautiful grammy)

I have decided I don’t want to cut my hair this time… I’m really loving it being long again, except for maybe a really cute fringe (bring on the bangs!!!!) and some layers. I do possibly want to colour it but like many women out there I’m fickle and well quite frankly scared to make a drastic change.

I think this all comes down to identity. I know it shouldn’t, and in my next blog I’m going to get a bit more in depth about this, but let’s face it, we do see our hair as part of our identity and we are afraid to make too much of a change in case it somehow changes the person we are… although deep down I’m sure we all know this wouldn’t actually happen.

Anyways, let’s leave the deep stuff for next time. This post is really just to throw some ideas out there and see what you all think? So… what do you think????

Til next time…

(post comments here below or on FB (www.facebook.com/lahneeland)

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