Saturday, October 31, 2009

Accidental Festival

My ears are still ringing after this week's Accidental Festival. It was the inaugural festival this year, taking place in venues in and around London, organised by moi. Basically I bought tickets to a bunch of gigs months ago when I was still in Aus, knowing that I could well have to sell them if I didn't get a Visa, and when I went to put them in my diary, they were all in the same week! So, I told some friends, and it coincided with my sister's visit too, and we had our own mini festival! 7 bands in 5 days.

Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, and Passion Pit were the headliners, and all were awesome, but I think Phoenix were actually my fave. It was just one of those gigs that has this amazing atmosphere where you just know you are experiencing something really special. Plus, I got to touch the lead singer. He looks like my old flatmate Kevin!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One fine day...

You never know what you're going to see on a day wandering through ye olde London Town. After awhile, you can get a bit blase about it. Nothing will phase a Londoner, not a man in a superman outfit with a briefcase on the tube, not a guy eating an entire knob of devon on the way to Heathrow, nor elderly gentlemen wearing eyeshadow and nail polish.
I know these don't really fall into the same catgeory, but as we have been living in our new flat for a couple of weeks now I thought I would document the things I see when wandering around our neighbourhood, like on the way to the gym, or meeting my sister for shopping or, well, that's kind of all I do these days.

Heaps of good vintage stores to explore. This is a new one called Shock & Soul on Essex Road.

If I was in the market for a chair Paris Hilton could be proud of...this colour kind of hurts your eyes when the sun shines on it. To be placed in dingy houses only.

Wonder how long this has been sitting there? Did this postie start his strike mid-shift?
This Banksy is one of his more famous ones, on the side of a Pharmacy on Essex Road. There are always people photographing it, and the perspex gets cleaned regularly so there is a neverending rotation of graffiti-on-graffiti going on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Extreme sweet tooth

I think my sister may be bad for my health. The problem is we are both total chocoholics, and we both hate coffee, so while others might meet up for coffee and a chat, we meet for hot chocolate and cake instead. On Friday we literally stumbled upon (must have been fate!) a guerilla ice-cream cafe in the basement of Selfridges! Yes, while 'pop-up shops' are becoming a little too ubiquitous, along comes a fabulous new marketing tool - the 'guerilla installation'! It was fun, if a little bit bizaare, and Sex Pistols-themed! We thought we had ordered a fancy-sounding hot chocolate, but were served with the richest, most chocolatey ice-cream sundaes ever (again, definitely fate)! So should have taken a piccy of them as they were quite a sight to behold, but that would have taken too long and nothing was going to get in the way of gorging! Still can't believe we didn't realise you could sit in the van until we were on our way out :-(

ps. Felt soo sick afterwards - if you go, maybe share?

Monday, October 26, 2009

fcuk this photo business!

Still experimenting with ways to take my own photos at home - you'll have to bear with me. I am aware I have a double chin in most of these photos, and the flash makes my complexion look less than perfect. Natural light would be wonderful, but I am living in the UK, so that's just wishful thinking I'm afraid!

Popped to dinner with Wes & sis in one of my fave dresses. My only fcuk possession, I think. I often see things I like from them, but they are usually so overpriced! It is really short, which makes me a little nervous when I, um, move, which I unfortunately tend to do alot. But I particularly like the way just a little bit of it peeks out from under my winter coat.

Dress: French Connection; Coat: Whistles; Boots: Topshop; Necklace: Diva, Tights: Leona Edmiston Pins.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

And another thing...

When did CLIP ON earrings think, 'you know what, I've been out of circulation for awhile now, with good reason, but everyone is going crazy for that 80s stuff right now, so I might just make a comeback. I'm just so practical! Not to mention painful, and people love suffering for fashion. And if someone is channelling the 80s are they really that concerned about being chic?' ??

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pensieve in my pocket

Scrapbooks, notebooks, diaries, sketchbooks! Our flat is a stockpile of these most useful tools. They are not for decoration, we have none with fancy covers or matching pens. They are purely utilitarian and they are all the better for when they get scuffed and splodged with ink from repeated use. Some are lined like exercise books, some gridded, some completely blank, although I find those ones a bit intimidating. Some go with me everywhere, a crutch without which I couldn't perform everyday tasks. Our favourites are Moleskine of course, and if you haven't used one, you really must start.

Just write down a list of things you want to blog about this week, or music you have heard of and plan to download, or sketch your favourite outfit from your latest dress-up session, so you don't forget that perfect combination when you go to recreate it on Saturday night.

One of my favourite pastimes is cataloguing all my old mags. That way I don't have a massive pile sitting around, especially when I have to move so often! Plus I have a convenient compilation of the key looks that I feel sum up each season.

Album of the Week

This album is particularly special, as Sleeping States is the brainchild of Markland Starkie, who was my lovely flatmate when I first moved to London. He is so talented, and this album was really well-received by the critics and now his music is popping up all over the place! It is so weird to hear someone you know featured on a proper radio station!
You must check him out. The music is very atmospheric and I particularly like the layering effect of the vocals, which he also replicates live. We are hoping we might be able to catch him at Scala in November. The album is called In The Gardens Of The North, and you can buy it from iTunes or probably lots of other places. How cool is this video??

Hear more on myspace, and he also has a blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

May I remind you...

May I remind you that you don't live in poverty? You've got your youth and you got food in your belly!
Holloways, Generator

I think I may have got my mojo back! After the most depressing week I just decided I am soo sick of whining. Well, it's not that I've been whining, just that everything that's happened to me lately has actually been really crap! When someone asks me what I've been up to I swear the sound of violins can be heard accompanying the answer! But I have definitely turned a corner. I decided it was imperative to get out of the house and start thinking about things other than brokeness and unemployment, and after all, the best motivation is action itself!

Plus, my sister is in London for a visit, which is always really fun, especially as I'm still not working so I have someone to hang out with during the day - I'm going to act as her personal shopper.

Cardy: Country Road; Dress: Urban Outfitters; Tights: Leona Edmiston Pins; Boots: KG; Belt: vintage from Rozelle markets.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top of the shops

There is a reason why they call it Topshop you know. And there is a reason why I have been avoiding it since I've been back in London. My sister is in town, so we met up for a shopping trip yesterday - she searching for a leopard print coat, me still on a buying moratorium. But now I want so many things!! The next couple of months is going to be sooo hard.

Note several of them are Kane related. I really didn't like the stuff when I first saw it, but some of the pieces have really grown on me. Need those sweatpants!

'At least I wouldn't skin a Collie to make my backpack!'

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is it a bird? Is it plane?

What is this I see? Could this be an actual outfit post?? It's been so long I'm not sure I would recognise one if I saw it? Yes, I actually went somewhere today and so had to get dressed to go there - so exciting! I was just starting to wonder whether I should do a post on my general dagginess - on Friday I actually wore my glasses, Birkenstocks and no makeup at all in public!!! I felt like I had given up, that's it for me. I began to feel grateful I never officially called this a 'fashion' blog, seeing as it no longer really contains any. And when does someone stop being fashionable themselves? Are you fashionable when you think about it and read about it and look at it but never actually wear it??

Wes and I went for an outing to visit the Serpentine Pavilion on it's last day. The structure itself was a super shiny canopy that blurs the line between what is reality and what is reflection. Under the canopy, a Poetry Marathon was being held today! Yes, you heard me correctly. Needless to say we didn't pay to go in and listen to the poetry, especially when it was miked and we could hear the whole thing anyway!

And while in the neighbourhood we checked another activity off my list by visiting the new Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum. Pretty cool really. But full of kids. Just so you know in case you're allergic.

Everything I am wearing in these pics is so old, I don't think it is even worth crediting them! I know it is not a crushingly stylish outfit, but I am easing myself back in!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Albums of the Week

Note that plural! I have so much new music that I'm keen to share that I can't wait to release it in the trickle that is weekly album posts. Maybe I should call it a 'Just updated my iPod' post. Note I am busying my blog with other things like music, in the hope that it won't notice I haven't posted any outfits in months! This is of course because I wear pretty much the same clothes everyday now (comfy and house-bound) and Wes is too busy with work to take photos of me :-(
So, I 'Just Updated My Ipod' with...
Dragonette - tipped off by Sportsgirl's blog, this is soo good, kind of like Lady Gaga but cooler. Maybe like Yeah Yeahs Yeahs but more electronic?
The Big Pink - really reminds me of something but can't put my finger on it. Good album, and it doesn't stop at the single (Dominos - they're using it on ads and stuff already). It's quite rock, which is a relief from all the electronica I've been listening to lately.
The Kooks - shouldn't like this at all. Rich pretty boys who went to talent school. All songs sound mostly the same. But I can't stop! I'm sorry.
Hockey - yes, so did everybody else this week!
Phoenix - ALL their albums as I'm going to see them soon, but I will be posting on that later...
Now I've got them all out of my system let's see if I can come up with anything next week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My rules for job-hunting...

Hi, my name is Monica and I am technically unemployed.
Yes, I am job-hunting at the moment, although sometimes half-heartedly seeing as I don't really know what sort of job I want. I could very easily stick with my well-paid, no-strings-attached locum work, or I could climb right out on a limb and try to get a job that I will really enjoy (probably for minimum wage, yay!). Hmm, what price happiness?
Well, here goes...this is by no means an exhaustive list, as you could get that anywhere - dress for the job you want, yada yada - these are just my gems coming from personal experience.

1. Have no shame.
I think this is my biggest hurdle when I'm job-hunting. Being too embarassed to even admit that well, um, I'm jobless and maybe would you consider taking my CV and having a look and oh, you're not looking to hire anyone at the moment, oh I'm so sorry to take up your valuable time - scurry scurry makes things very tricky. And wouldn't an employer rather hire someone who seems confident rather than a mouse? Can't think of any careers where mouse-like qualities are an advantage.

2. Sow your seeds far and wide.
It's nice to think, well, I want a job at Topshop, so I'm going to go put in an application there and wait and see when they get back to me (and cry when they don't). Eggs in baskets and stuff, you know. Find a friend who can print off tons of CVs for you at their work, ie. at no cost to you so therefore you won't be tempted to hang onto them, and give them out freely and where you least expect to get a response - 'cause that's probably the one place that will end up hiring you when no-one else does. One time when I wanted a job in fashion retail, the only place that would hire me was a menswear store. Actually, that's a bad example as they made me hand out pamphlets on a street corner and I only lasted 2 weeks. The other girl they hired at the same time as me obviously hated it so much she went to lunch on the first day and never came back. I admired her principles. But I digress!

3. Be flexible with the word 'experience'
Maybe you are looking for a job in a field you technically haven't worked in before. But think seriously about what you can do, and not what you can't. I have changed career a few times now, so I can see how certain skills relate to many different professions. Dealing with people is common to so many jobs and you can easily apply one experience to another. Also, sales and retail jobs are notorious for wanting extensive experience, but if you've ever tried to convince a drunk to leave a bar at closing, or your little sister to give you her last piece of chocolate, you're well on your way to being a successful salesperson!

4. Interviews
Blearchh! I have been to sooo many interviews in my time, it is not funny. I have never 'known someone who knows someone'. I have got every job I've ever had by using purely my God-given assets. Blessed as I am in that department, interviews are still horrible. They are always horrible. But after all these years, I still think the best trick you can have up your sleeve is a big friendly smile. They will always ask you bastard questions, and you will always think you ballsed it up with your babbling answers, but as long as they remember your smiling face, you just never know. I have done so badly in some interviews, that when they've offered me the job, I decided that I must have been the only candidate. Well, maybe I was, but at least I was a happy one!

So off I go to practice what I preach. Well, maybe tomorrow. I find that procrastinating is also one of my major hurdles to job-hunting. F&%* it, just get out there and do it!
I actually have an interview on Friday, so wish me luck! Now have to figure out what the hell to wear.

Monday, October 12, 2009

When I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch

Wandering through Shoreditch today, purely for business purposes I swear - I was dropping off CVs all round town in the hope of a call back from someone, anyone - and rewarded myself when I was finished by popping into one of my favourite boutiques, No-One. It is oddly located beside a cafe-cum-bar, with no entrance of its own, so you walk through the cafe to get to the shop. Once inside, it is full of goodies, and today I was especially impressed with these t-shirts created by one Vanessa Da Silva. They are absolute works of wearable art. She apparently created them for London Fashion Week, so I'm a bit of a slow adopter, but just thought I'd share them with you, as I think she might make more if there is enough demand.

No-one now has a website too, with their own blog and everything, you can check it out here. I absolutely love the jewellery they stock, great pieces from fab indie designers that have been copied by all our fave high street shops by now :-( Heaps of antipodean stuff too. But I had no idea that DreamBagsJaguarShoes actually produced anything! Whoops! I thought it was purely for the purpose of congregating rooms full of cool kids and scaring patrons with their insecure toilet doors (seriously, they open out, and have no locks! That's nerve-racking stuff).

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Great Gym Heist of 2009

I've been robbed!! And literally, you know, not just figuratively, like when I so should have won that Sportsgirl competition! Yesterday when I was at the gym my locker was broken into and my cards and cash were stolen. I find it odd that in these sort of situations the initial shock quickly gives way to an overwhelming sense of relief. It could have been so much worse. Another girl had her whole handbag stolen. They left my half-empty wallet, my phone, my camera, my ID...really the loss was minimal.
Nevertheless, I did have trouble sleeping last night, and spent a large part of the day today trying to cheer myself up - Ben, Jerry and Vogue ought to do it! And the More Dash Than Cash issue to boot! Then a call from my Mum to top it all off! Now I just have to figure out how to get money using this chequebook thingy I have not managed to use once in the 18 months since the bank gave it to me.

ps My detective skills are really coming along with all my Veronica Mars watching. Unfortunately I really don't think the Islington Met gave a shit about finding out whodunnit!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Album of the Week

Everyone was going on about this album so much when it was released that I purposely stayed away from it, the stubborn teenager inside me determined not to jump on the bandwagon, my most hated thing to jump on, by the way.
But, having heard the songs so much on ads and the like, I found them constantly looping over and over in my head, and when I can't get a song out of my mind I just have to listen to it - it's the only way to get over it!
So, having reluctantly loaded it on my iPod, it has been on pretty high rotation all week. You know those songs that make you so happy you just want to sing at the top of your lungs, but you remember just in time that you are on a packed bus, or the treadmill at the gym? Yeah, there are a few of those. Then you get to the final track, and bliss - a pretty straightforward cover of 'You've Got the Love' from the SATC final episode!! Such great memories come flooding back whenever I hear that song.
So, all in all, definitely worth the download. Plus - famous redhead!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Okay, I know I've been gone almost 6 months, but street fashions don't change that quickly, do they? Can they?!

Since when did brothel creepers become the new brogues??
A la Susie Bubble...

And since when did it become acceptable to wear bondage gear in public?
Queen Michelle is obsessed...

I'm not saying I don't like, just, well, WTF? These photos are from some of my favourite blogs/sites, and where they go I usually end up following, so am I finally asserting my independence, or fighting the inevitable? Or am I just horribly clueless? Did I miss a memo??

I fully reserve the right to indulge in these looks if and when I get used to the idea. Especially this one from Norwegian Wood...hmm...

Just borrowing these photos, if anyone has a problem with them appearing here just contact me and I'll take them down!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Stuff this month AKA Get A Life

As a heads-up to all of you who maybe don't read as much free press as I do, and also as a reminder to myself , I decided to make a list of all the stuff I wanna do this month.
  • Go see the Radical Nature exhibition on at the Barbican for only another couple of weeks. I gather it is about the interaction between buildings and nature.

  • Check out the new Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, which looks really interesting architecture-wise. How boring it is inside can only be imagined. I'll let you know.

  • See the SHOWStudio interactive photographic exhibition that supposedly had collaborative input from fashion types such as Kate Moss! Plus it's on at Somerset House - their gallery space is so cool, right down on the river.

  • Check out Kew Gardens before winter closes in. I have never been there and apparently Autumn is a good time to go. Usually don't like travelling to see green stuff, so we'll see what kind of priority this one gets.

  • The Serpentine Gallery's Pavilion project gets pretty famous artists, designers and architects to design and build a space in the grounds of the permanent gallery. It's only there for a limited time and is being pulled down soon (hopefully, or we'll have to wait til next summer).

  • Tate Modern. Regular visits here are pretty essential. There is a new exhibition opening on iconic pop artists, but I really like the annual Turbine Hall projects, which are really interesting and gloriously free! Walking there across the Millenium Bridge from St Paul's is probably my favourite thing to do in London.

  • Check out Christopher Kane for Topshop and Jil Sander for Uniqlo. Strictly looking, no buying I promise. (No, really, from what I've seen and heard, I'm the only person in the country not coveting this stuff. So not me).

  • And only in my dreams...I heard there is a retrospective exhibition of Damien Hirst's work on in Kiev, Ukraine that sounds so cool...

Wow, judging by this list, I look like such an architecture groupie. Well, they don't really do many exhibitions on my own profession so I have to hijack other people's. Well, actually there was one on feet in a museum in Prague once, but that is a whole 'nother story.

Album of the Week

I know this album has been out for awhile, but I've been listening to it on my iPod alot this week, and I wanted to make sure everybody knew about it, especially those not in Oz who might have missed it (what, you don't stay up til all hours to stream triplej?).

This chick is pretty amazing and this album is so powerful. At the risk of sounding cliche, I have liked her ever since I first heard that awesome single 'Favourite Jeans' a few years back. That song was sort of a 'happy times driving around on a hot summer's day singing along at the top of your lungs with your best friend' kind of song. But this album goes in an entirely new direction, and where Bertie goes, I'm happy to follow. It's all about the electro-y, pop-y, rock-y ballad-y goodness.

You should definitely check out her MySpace page. It's actually a really good page - does anyone else find it annoying when a page has no real information on it other than the music player and a gig list?

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