Monday, 19 December 2011

Make like a Magpie

Hellooo! So it has been a while between drinks, but yours truly is back into the swing of things. And what better way to come back and chat about all things amazing and stylish than to discuss perhaps one of the most outlandish, most self-promoting, most FABULOUS trends that is currently presenting itself - yes I am talking of the wonderful trend that is Metallics. Give me gold, bronze, and especially silver in any sort of tactile (glitter, sequins, animal print) and I am as happy as a magpie with a pair of silver glitter boots in its nest (Edit: my penchant for shiny, sparkly things is perhaps where my similarities to a magpie ends. Sorry if I misled you.)

So you can imagine my welcome surprise when I spotted these delicacies - yes that's right, the undeniably unsurpassable shoe of this era is available in Metallic Gold.

YSL Tribute High Heel Sandal in Gold Metallic Leather, YSL.com
So that feeling that you are experiencing right now? That is a sense of completion, as in your life can now be complete that you have come across these wonderful works of art that can sit on your feet all day long and provide an endless source of pleasure. Imagine - a stressful day at the office, where your ignorant boss is giving you a hard time for their lack of competence - and you simply look down to your feet et voila! All worries, stresses and ill-feelings have instantly vanished! A Tribute can do that to you, as can a metallic, and when you combine the two. Well, there's no telling how much joy this will give.

It truly is amazing what a pair of shoes can do - and these one's top the list. But just wait until you see them in Gunmetal....
YSL.com

Happy Salivating!
Elky
x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Time Out

Today, I would love to be in a place where I have much more time up my sleeves. That  way, I would have the opportunity to do a proper feature for today's Where You Would Rather Be Wednesday. 

Instead - I am here - without enough time, and having to make do with this short post. Thankfully, I am certain tomorrow I will be in that place where my sleeves are full of time, and I can provide a kick-ass Thursday Thought Starter.

So in the meantime, let's all lust after this stunning Romance Was Born Orchid Long Sleeve Dress from MyCatwalk.com and think about how much time we could stuff up those gorgeous sleeves.

Romance Was Born's Orchid Long Sleeve Dress,
$350, MyCatwalk.com

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Double Happiness

Way back almost one whole year ago, on the 25th of September in a little town called Milan, Raf Simons presented the wonderful Jil Sander Womenswear Ready to Wear Spring Summer 11 collection. Receiving critical acclaim for this standout collection, there were three key trends that emerged.

The first - Pop Colour Brights. Well, we all know how big that has gotten around town.
The second - Exaggerated minimalist silhouettes, ie. Minimalism Maximised. Think about all those maxi skirts you are wearing now.
And finally - The Two Bags.

Jil Sander SS 11 RTW, Style.com

The Two Bags has been slowly creeping up on our agenda, with many the fashion blogger and street style walker cottoning on to the power of having Two Handbags. 

In February, online vintage marketplace Shifting Clothes identified and commented on the trend via their blog.

ShiftingClothes.com


And super Fashion Blogger Suzie Bubble even posted her version of The Two Handbags in her post Bagsy Me in August (ok so she took it to three - but that's what we love her for, maximising the trend). 

Bagsy Me, Style Bubble 

But, now I feel the trend is about to EXPLODE! I believe the sheer brilliance of the complete Jil Sander SS11 collection meant that The Two Bags trend had been overshadowed.  I actually even remember getting extremely excited by the Jil Sander shopper bags - even posting them on my Facebook page with one word - love. (How then, did I manage to covet these bags so, and not pick up on the Two Bags? I must be more observant next time.) And now that we have settled into the whole pop colours and maxi skirts thing, its time to shine The Two Bags. 

Now - I know many of us females will say, "but I already carry two bags - one with my purse and all my daily essentials, and another cotton shopper tote with all the excess (such as lunch) that I can't carry in my smaller bag". But The Two Handbags trend is all about having two awesome fashion bags, and incorporating it into your outfit. That is, don't use the free shopper bag you got at the supermarket as your larger tote!

I would recommend scouring Asos. With 394 styles of bags (as at time of posting), you are bound to find two that you will like. Personally, I am going for the Premium Leather Colour Block Shopper in Camel/Black offset by the pop-tastic Orange Leather Mini Twist Lock Saddle Bag. If I am going to be carry off the The Two Bags trend, I may as well chuck in the Pop Colour Blocking trend in there too!

Colour Block Shopper, $103.84, Asos.com

Mini Twist Lock Saddle Bag, $23.96, Asos.com


Monday, 12 September 2011

Love In Motion

That Jacqui Demkiw is one clever little lady.  Not only does she consistently produce collections that are swoon-worthy, amazing quality and all-round super hot via her sensational Melbourne-based label White Suede; she has also managed to ensure that face of MSFW* and former alumni of ANTM*, Sophie Van Den Akker, was captured in a brilliant photo opp*, looking totally smokin' in the 'In Motion' dress from her Spring Summer 11 Collection. (The scenery ain't half bad in this pic either!)

Thanks, Herald Sun

Now, credit where credit is due, her PR agency may have had a hand in getting this dress out there in the media, making sure it is the hottest thing to grace the pages of Melbourne's daily tabloids during last week's coverage of MSFW. BUT - if it wasn't for Ms Demkiw's brilliance and mastery in designing such a so on-trend digital graphic print dress, then it would have been slim pickings for media coverage. 

As a former PR myself, I can tell you, no amount of asking/pushing/bribery will get you media coverage. If the product is good, then every Marie, Madison and Cleo will want it in their fashion bible. And this dress is golden, hence it being the hero of MSFW. 

White Suede In Motion Dress, $360,
in motion on the MSFW catwalk

I have my eye on this stunner for a beach cocktail wedding in March (along with a Red Valentino print dress as well as a pop-bright Alice McCall peplum - but that's a different story), and I reckon at only $360, its CPW* is amazing value - not to mention how high it rates on the CPS Index*.


*Glossary of Terms 
(for those of you who aren't into the whole fashion speak, or as the fashionistas like to term it, are still living in last month). 

MSFW - Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, operational in September. Not to be confused with LMFF (L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival) which graces Melbourne's streets in March. 

ANTM - Can either be America's or Australia's Next Top Model (in this case we are talking home grown Aus). A super awesome show filled with sometimes amazing, always bitchy model hopefuls and judges.

Photo Opp - Photo Opportunity, ie it gives photographers an opportunity to photograph something. 

CPW - Cost Per Wear. A useful indicator of whether an item of clothing is good value, determined by the price of the garment divided by the number of times worn. For example, if I wear the In Motion dress five times, its CPW is $72 and much better value than a pair of Supre jeggings that cost $80, which I would wear once (only as a joke or to demonstrate why no-one should ever wear them).

CPS - Compliments Per Sighting

CPS Index - Compliments per Sighting Index. A subjective system structuring fashion items based on the number of compliments they elicit across media, social media and most importantly when you are wearing it. An item of clothing that sits high on the index receives lots of compliments, and increases its value and motivation to purchase exponentially. A monetary figure cannot be attributed to the CPS, hence the reason for the index. A high perceived or expected CPS may override a low CPW, particularly just before purchase.

(All the above terms are commonly used, except CPS - I just made that up now. But it does exist, it just didn't have a name before. Now it does). 


Monday, 22 August 2011

Padding it out

Hello*, yes I know I am looking super stylish with my gorgeous quilted Marc Jacobs bag. Yes, it is rather divine, what with its Chanel-esque quilting feature accompanied by the darling chain strap.

Net-a-Porter.com

What is that you say? Oh yes, it is rather practical, with enough room to hold all of my essentials. And of course, very versatile. I can wear it with my favourite workplace attire or even pared back with my weekend jeans and trench coat ensemble. 

Net-a-Porter.com

Oh but you haven't seen the most fascinating feature yet!

Marc Jacobs Quilted Leather iPad Bag, Net-a-Porter.com

Why, the bag is in fact perfectly designed to encase my iPad. So not only am I super stylish, I am super technological and connected too. 

*This is my side of the conversation that I imagine I would be having with lots of people if I actually owned today's Eye Candy. Or an iPad.


Friday, 22 July 2011

An Open and Shut (Book) Case

So, what's irking me this lovely Friday? Why, it's the fact that the darling brand that is Kate Spade New York (and for all intensive purposes we shall today refer to only as Kate Spade), has an absolutely delicious online shopping destination but does not ship to Australia! Oh the humanity!

My frustrations of the fact were none more emphasised than yesterday, when I received this email equally as delicious as their online shop, and I discovered perhaps the most fabulous range of clutches ever to be designed. 


Yes, that's right. Kate Spade has produced a collection of clutches inspired by Classic Novels, which look like Classic Novels (albeit with suitably jazzed up covers)! So with one of these beauties, not only do you look fabulously stylish, you look fabulously clever too.

Can you imagine, someone spotting you with a super-cute looking copy of Pride and Prejudice. "Why," they would think, "what a fabulously cultured creature she is." And then, imagine their surprise and subsequent delight when you opened up your copy of Pride and Prejudice and pulled out your phone/lip gloss/purse! I can hardly contain my own delight just imagining the scenario!

But because of their limited shipping locations, these Kate Spade lovelies are, quite ironically, very far out of my own clutches. My sadness and desire is so great and conflicting, it's worthy of a plot-line in a Jane Austen novel.

Pride and Prejudice Book Clutch, US$325, katespade.com

But all sadness and frustrations aside, my personal favourite from the collection is the version of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. This is partly because it's probably my favourite story of all the classics, partly because the colours are so me (hello black and grey with hot pink accents), and also partly because I have Great Expectations that one day Kate Spade will deliver to Australia and this delightfully wonderful design will be snugly in my hands, where it so deservedly belongs. 


Great Expectations Book Clutch, US$325, katespade.com

"That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day." 

- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


Thursday, 21 July 2011

B.C.B.G. = L.O.V.E.

I have two very thought-provoking questions this Thursday, which I just know will be the cause of infinite debate and perhaps an official enquiry. So here goes -  is it possible to love (and I mean truly love) a label? And if not, is it possible to love (and I mean truly love) every piece from a label's collection?

Personally, I blame Bloomingdale's for causing this philosophical saga. For it was when I was virtually browsing their aisles when I came across their current BCBGMAXAZRIA range and found that not I only would I wear every single one of their pieces, but I actually loved (and I mean truly loved) all of them. But not only that - the other major quality that won me over was the fact that many of their pieces were very, very affordable (in love speak that translate to that they were very, very available).

Briana Mushroom Pleated Dress, $378, Bloomindales.com

Dell Zipper Shirring Print Dress, $171.50, Bloomingdales.com
I was lucky enough to pick up a BCBGMAXAZRIA drape dress in Singapore late last year (similar to the Aina Petal Short Sleeve Stripe Dress), and the fabric, trim and cut are just amazing. It is the sort of dress I wear when I want to fish for a compliment, because almost every time I wear it I get a positive comment. 

So I think my past experiences of being able to work it when I wear it, combined with the amazing style direction and the unexpectedly lovely price points proves that it is possible to love (and I mean truly love) a label and its entire collection, particularly if that label is BCBGMAXAZRIA

Or perhaps I am just in the early 'honeymoon' stage where I am confusing love for lust (and I mean truly lust)?

Braided Chain and Stone Necklace, US$88, www.bcbg.com



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Doilicious

I have been helping out a loved one shop for her wedding dress, and when trying on an intricate crochet-laced, trumpet-skirted gown the other day, the lovely bride-to-be asked if she looked like a Doily. While the other maids-to-be affirmed her question with certain reluctance, I on the other hand affirmed the statement with glee and enthusiasm, and perhaps a tad too much nodding. 

White Cotton Doily, 6 pieces for AU$4.36, Etsy.com

With looks of perplexity mixed in with concern (I was holding my neck in pain), I was forced to respond to my fellow maids and explain why my enthusiasm was so vast and my nodding so vigorous. "Why," I said, "the Doily is making a comeback, and anyone who looks like one on their wedding day will be an extremely fashionable bride and should relish the opportunity." Apart from my insistence and the wedding dress right in front of us, I didn't have solid proof of the trend and suffice to say, they didn't believe me so bride-to-be didn't get the dress.

Lucette.com.au

But just look at the scrumptious Lady Hester Lace Dress from Lucette. It's the sort of doily-inspired piece that makes you want to go out for High Tea in your best hat, enjoy fluffy scones with jam and cream and follow it up with a naughty Espresso Martini before writing your phone number on the napkin for the cute waiter in the waistcoat.

Lady Hester Dress, $329, Lucette.com.au

So I say to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, go forth and raid your grandmother's cupboards (or even your own glory box, she may have been kind enough to put one in there) to get into some Doily action and try this Tuesday's trend. 

And if you really do need some more inspiration for going Doily-Chic, check out Fuck Yeah, Doilies. There is some pretty sweet Doily goings-on in there (that's a whole blog dedicated to Doilies - see, I told you they were the next big thing).

Monday, 18 July 2011

What a Croc!

I realised on the weekend that I rely quite heavily on a studded, black leather, mid-sized clutch with a tassel zip closure to complete my weekend evening wear. Very heavily. So I was on the hunt for one or two (or 15) new evening bags to satisfy my needs when I stumbled across the darling Huxley Clutch by Anya Hindmarch. 

Shopbop.com
Apart from the divine croc embossed leather, the tassel zip closure (which clearly I love), and the gorgeous hardware that is actually rather soft and sweet because it is formed in a delightful bow (so should really be called 'soft and sweet ware' in this instance), there is one major reason why I love this Huxley so. 

Shopbop.com

And that is, it has more than enough room to fit my night-on-the-town essentials, including my iPhone wrapped in its deliciously polka-dotted Kate Spade silicon case, Commes Des Garcons party purse, lipstick, bronzer, tissues, keys, glasses and any other items that may be necessary for the said evenings in question. And it can do this all while looking totally smokin'. 

And on top of all of this, the detachable strap is quite a treat too - ordinarily, the straps I don't like (a clutch is called a clutch for good reason after all). But I feel this chain strap would work in my favour, saving the heavy load from my wrist and redistributing the weight to my more appropriate-for-the-role shoulder. Now if only I could scrape together the coinage to bring it into my arms. 

Oh Huxley, what a croc indeed. 

Shopbop.com


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Anyone for mullets?

There has been one major question that I have been pondering and mulling over since Saturday 2nd July. 

And that question is - 

What on earth was going through Anna Wintour's mind when she was seated behind this fine (mulleted) specimen at the 2011 Wimbledon Women's Final?


Thanks, TheStar.com

Let's get a better look at that amazing Mullet. 

Thanks, Women's Tennis Blog

Outstanding. Now we can only imagine what was going through the mind of the great Ms Wintour ("I think I'll have the fish after all"? "This tennis crowd sure is progressive"? "I do miss a good vintage mulleted 'do"?). 

So while we ponder that thought, let's imagine we're eating strawberries and cream whilst also admiring this super-spanking Tennis Skirt from Joveeba. And thanks to the effervescent The Grand Social, our friend the credit card can call 'Game, Set, Match' on this little beauty anytime we like.



Now that's definitely a 'Love All' sort of sitch. 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

High Street Hooray!

As highlighted in my Stop Publish! special edition post on Monday, major High Street fashion player Topshop is hitting Australian shores (and not just via online deliveries). Scrolling through their High Summer Lookbook online, I can't help but get excited.

Urban Traveller, High Summer Lookbook from Topshop.com

'But aren't you an advocate for independent designs and high quality garments produced with superior craftsmanship?' I hear you all shout. Well, yes of course I am. But I am also a strong believer in healthy competition in business, and providing consumers with fair product choice. Plus, the best (and indeed cost-concious!) fashionistas know that the greatest outfits are those that mix High Street with Luxe to produce a kick-ass look. 

Internationally, High Street is a massive sub-category within fashion retail. It does exist in Australia, but not quite to the same extent, nor is it usually referred to as High Street ('Chain Store Chic' is probably the term used the most to describe fashion pieces derived from a High Street-style store). 

With Zara already making an impact, the introduction of Topshop will hopefully be the tipping point to bring Australian retailers up to speed with international standards. Currently, if you venture into an Aussie chain store (Decjuba, Bardot, Portmans are but a few examples on the High Street spectrum) you can expect to pay between $90 - $140 for a cute dress. Topshop however, whose quality I would put on par with these Aussie brands, offers dresses such as this Splash Print Wrap dress for £36. That's approximately $AU55 thank you very much. 

Splash Print Wrap by Love,
Thanks Topshop.com

So while we are witnessing some exciting changes to Australian retail, I have started thinking - how long will it be before we see some of our good ol' chain store favourites making a few revamps? So many of them have been focusing on catching up to online retail, will any miss the boat on re-hauling their core brand offering? I do hope they start taking action soon, because otherwise it will be far too late.

Whatever is in store for these Aussie brands, here's hoping Aussie shopaholics finally get the broad range of High Street we have been waiting so long for, and so decidedly deserve.

Multi-Stripe Zip Back Vest, £30
Thanks, Topshop.com

Rust Cutout Collarless Crop Blazer, £50
Thanks, Topshop.com


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Un-ban those Rays

Where would I rather be today? Making like a Katrina and/or a Wave and walking on sunshine. I'm frickin' freezing.

Thanks Ray-Ban

So until we can all engage in photosynthasis again, I will be getting my psuedo UV and Vitamin D fix from sun-inspired accessories. Like these appropriately outlandish Opaline Yellow/Avana Temple Ray-Bans, and these stunning House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Earrings.

Thanks Miijo.com

But particularly from this so happily sweet Felix Rey Let The Sun Shine Umbrella. Which is rather an irony in itself, because if I had an umbrella this cute, I would want it to rain all the time so I could show off my darling umbrella, and then I really wouldn't want the sun to shine because I wouldn't be able to show my umbrella off anymore.

Oh well, what's a girl to do?*

Thanks ShopBop.com



*Answer: Revel in the rain with a delightful Felix Rey umbrella whilst also wistfully wishing for the sun to show itself.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Mad Hatter or The Madder Hat?

I think hats have finally hit the big time. Over the past few seasons they have slowly been creeping into the category of 'essential accessory' alongside handbags and sunglasses, but now I feel as if they have gotten to collection status (ie. fashionistas will be keeping a hat collection within their wardrobes).

This is none more demonstrated than in the lovely Blogger Crush feature from Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily. I receive their super fashion-informative and eye-candyish emails with glee on a regular basis,  and have noticed that many of the blogger on which they crush seem to wear hats as an essential component of their outfit.

This advancement is great on so many levels. Firstly, hats have an uncanny way to transform an outfit from blah to 'oh yes!' in a cost-efficient way. Just check out Dotti's current range and see how the outfits they style them with would be so vanilla without the addition of the featured hat. (Not that vanilla is bad, personally vanilla is my favourite flavour for ice-cream. It's just often that vanilla with an additional topping is awesome and makes the vanilla flavour all the more sensational.) My personal favourite is the 70's Floppy Hat in Rust. Love it.

70's Floppy Hat from Dotti


Secondly, it means that when I wear my massive broad brimmed 70's style white straw hat at the beach, no-one will give me odd looks anymore (which should never have happened in the first place, but rather I should have been applauded on the spot for being so sun smart, providing shade to cover my head and shoulders).

And finally, it means that we can all push the boundaries of hats and no longer stick to the plain old beanie that keeps our head warm during winter. Like this extremely covetable Bear Face Beanie from Asos, which I think is the cutest thing I have seen in a long, long time. I actually saw two people on the street wearing it the other day. The first was a fashionista and when spotted her I instantly thought "I must have the hat!". The second was a girl I presumed to be about 10 and either had the hat bought for her by her Mum who thought it was cute and appropriate for a 10-year girl, or who had borrowed it from her super stylish Mum who liked to wear unconventional hats. 

So with that I say go forth and try a new trend - go get yourself a Mad Hat.



Bear Face Beanie from Asos

Monday, 27 June 2011

Stop Publish!

Amazing - a second eye candy has shape-shifted and come through today in the form of words. Kick up your heels lads and lasses for our friends at Fashionising revealed this morning that TopShop is (officially) coming to Australia

Yes. 

Yes. 

I know.

(Wipe tears of joy). 

We still have a whole six months before they gain Australian permanent residency (and I am sure they will get sponsored by their friends Incu, who have kindly offered them a place to stay over the past couple of years), but if you need a bit of a fix before then check out their S/S'11 LookBook on Fashionising.com or hit the virtual cash register at TopShop.com

Further musings about this development will be featured in this week's Thursday Thought Starter.

Yummy Yummy Youma

Don't tell anyone, but I experienced a birthday a couple of weeks ago (I usually like to keep them secret). It was lots of fun, I indulged, and I also managed to score a few free drinks off well-wishers (that is, people wishing me well for my birthday, not people throwing coins in a well making a wish, or people wishing that they had a well).

But perhaps the most exciting thing that happened on my birthday was this - I learnt that Saks Fifth Avenue have a kick-ass loyalty marketing program. So much so, that they can predict my fashion trends and tastes exactly (which is amazing as I can't even predict my own tastes) and tailor any communications to meet my preferences, particularly on important days of the calendar.

I mean why else would I have received this very email on my birthday, featuring the fundamentally divine Youma Suede Ankle Boots from Gucci. With overlapping suede panels (think Herve Leger bandage encapsulated in a shoe), feature fringe detail and the all-powerful hidden platform, this may well be my shoe of Winter '11.



This is the sort of shoe that I would rock with opaques, a silk print dress and blazer for all occasions (work, weekend, party). And I think all other fashion retailers that dabble in e-newsletters should have what Saks is having, because the program* that they have to determine all my loves and desires on special occasions so far has a 100% success rate. 

* I believe the name of the aforementioned program is 'Coincidence'. 

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Slow-Down on Slogans

Slogan T-shirts. I feel like every now and then they have a bit of a revival. As if some of the key fashion houses hire a new copywriter who comes up with these really innovative Burgo's catch-phrases. And then everyone is walking down the street with these amazing statements of intent, wearing their heart on their sleeves and their minds on the chest.

Now, I don't mind the occasional revival. I think a clever slogan t-shirt can be very fun indeed. Particularly when you really can't be bothered dressing to the nines, a cute slogan tee complemented by your fave skinny jeans, jersey blazer and flat canvas shoes maketh an effortless, 'can't be bothered' yet chic outfit.

But what I do have an issue with is the slogan tees that are just plain stupid. One's that people buy because they think they are making an out-there statement about their personalities (such as "Don't Cross Me, Bitch" or "Man-Eater" or "Talk to the hand"), when really, the only statement they are making is they have no sense of fashion nor of choosing a wardrobe that presents them in their best light.

And speaking of light, I for one have not seen much of it lately having been stuck in bed with a virus. Which has been great, because I have been able to watch all three seasons of True Blood, which I think is one of the best shows going around. And also bad, because I have spent too much time mulling over bad slogan t-shirts. And then I stumbled across these beauties from Creep Street, which ordinarily, wouldn't be my thing. But, having spent my whole week watching highly sexually charged vampires, these slogan tees are the perfect thing to wear when Season 4 of True Blood starts.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Been around the block, a few times actually

Not much to say on this fine Monday, except I love block colour. And I think the Silvana Colour Block Flap Leather Shoulder Bag from Fendi (courtesy of the lovely Saks Fifth Avenue) says it all.

And if the bag doesn't, then the style name/description certainly does (seriously, I think just 'Silvana' would have been fine. But if not, why stop at that? It should be called the "Silvana Colour Block Flap Leather Shoulder Bag with double the fun silver and gold hardware; earthy-referenced two-toned internal lining with internal slash zip pocket; and feature tan handle complemented by a black cross-shoulder strap which will all in all put a massive dint in your bank balance". That would have been more accurate).


Happy Coo-ing and checking the bank account.
xx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Good quality, low prices and hype! Oh my!

Following yesterday's post lamenting my non-attendance at the Zara Melbourne launch, I have been closely following comments and news reports to get an idea of the general vibe. As expected, many customers have noted the high quality pieces for the amazing dollar value, which really is a limited option in Aus.

But perhaps what surprised me the most was the efforts of the other retailers - Bardot serving free coffee (should have ventured in the city for that alone, I do love my caffeine!); Just Jeans giving out discount vouchers and Forever New opening later. Now I can only speculate, as I do not work in their offices and don't have an idea of their strategy, but surely, surely 18 months ago when the Fashion Gods delivered their message to Aus that Zara was to become its newest expat, some of these businesses would have had a big sit down to strategise their own future.

Considering Zara is the world's largest retailer, this would signify that their strategy (good quality, fast fashion, mid-range price points) is perhaps a good one. Now if I was a retailer, I would have set in motion a number of initiatives to turn my core offering around a few years ago. So that on Wed 15 June, when Zara opened its doors, people would think "Hey, Lil Elky retailer is really good now. Loving their collection, you don't spend too much for what you are getting, and their stores are awesome. Let's go check out it after Zara". Rather than, "Hey Bardot are offering free coffee. Let's go get one before we go spend all our money at Zara."

And after the news that Colorado will be shutting its doors, I wonder if this just first of the dominoes to fall. Frankly, I am not surprised that Colorado had to close, its product and stores were outdated, and the brand had no clear market (I am serious, who were they trying to sell to?). For far too long they were relying on the old 'customer sentiment and therefore retail is down, that's why we perform badly'. Realistically, they had a bad product offering, and when you have better options (eg Zara) then of course consumers will choose this over an outdated, over-priced option.

With internationals like Top Shop and now Zara, as well as online maven Asos, giving Australian customers exactly what they want (the holy trinity of quality, price and hype) I am thinking that unless some of our local brands get their act together, there are going to a lot more times when we have to say bye-bye. Some people might say its unfair, I think it's just business. It has been happening for years in every other industry, it's just now that it's caught up to Aussie retail. So retailers, I say stop whinging and put your efforts into developing a kick-ass offering, a la Zara, and you will be fine. Well that's what I think.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Bourke Street No Brainer

Today's post is rather a sombre one. For I am at home feeling sorry for myself (and I am sure a lot of Melbourne ladies are sharing my sentiments), having not camped out for eight hours in the cold to be first to walk through the marvellous glass doors that are the gateway to fashion heaven. (Well, possibly fashion hell if you are an outdated Australian fashion retail business still charging exorbitant prices for pieces that are two seasons behind the rest of the world. But fashion heaven for us mere mortals that prefer good quality, fashion-forward pieces for reasonable prices.)

Yes, I did not go to the Zara Melbourne store opening as I had promised myself. As revealed by Fashion Exposed last week, Zara was highlighting a number of key trends in their initial Melbourne collection, and I was all too excited about block colour. Particularly as I feel the block colour trend is the easiest for Melbournites to pick up. Simply purchase a colour jacket/bag/scarf/skirt, add it to your traditional black/grey ensemble et voila - you've walked straight off the catwalk.

For this reason, my heart has been set on the pink blazer (who would have thought?). My only consolation in not being there today to snap up this delight - at least my outfits won't be the same as hundreds of other women who ventured in today (only a small consolation!).