Hold the Glamour

I am a full-figure model and working mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am a Leo. I am a first-generation Aussie and mother to two amazing little native New Yorkers. I believe that fashion is important—but so is real life. I believe that all women are beautiful and strong. I believe in working hard and loving harder. I believe in eating delicious food and drink with close friends, in breathing deep the air of new places, in laughing until you cry. I believe that when our bodies and minds are healthy and balanced, anything is possible.

Tag: fashion

Fashion for mums

I know it’s been awhile since my last post however, times have been a little crazy to say the least and I’ve been posting lots of Instagram images so be sure to take a look if you haven’t already — as they say, a pictures worth a thousand words.

One of the many projects I’ve been involved in of late is Dijanna Mulhearn’s second book titled, ‘Wardbrobe 101 for mums’. It’s a fashion book for mums in particular and it’s been selling like hot-cakes since the launch three weeks ago.

There are pictures of real-life mums like myself with their children in an easy to understand format, for time-poor mothers who want to look good easily and quickly.

The image below is featured in Dijanna’s gorgeous book.

My angels and me as featured in 'Wardrobe 101 for mums' book

A candid moment — my angels and I as featured in ‘Wardrobe 101 for mums’

The media have been very kind to Dijanna Mulhearn and so they should be — it’s a beautiful book that teaches women to look fabulous with a few simple steps and a proven ‘style’ formula. Dijanna breaks it all down for us step-by-step.

This Thursday morning on Studio 10 (Channel 10) in Australia, I will be one of the three mums showcasing Dijanna’s style tips — please see below for more details. We expect to be on air at 9.50am EST in Sydney, Australia.

I hope you can tune in — it’ll be worth it!

www.wardrobe101.com.au

Watch Dijanna make sense of fashion for mums live this Thursday

Watch Dijanna Mulhearn make sense of fashion for mums, live this Thursday

And the winner is Melbourne — the world’s most livable city!

For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne wins the honour and title of the world’s most livable city. Congratulations Melbourne!

For the past 20 years I have been a frequent traveler and visitor to Melbourne not only for work but for pleasure as well.

My husband was born in Melbourne so we have always seen the family and had great friends to visit.

Melbourne has fashion, food, sport and a fabulous cosmopolitan lifestyle to offer. I simply love it and feel very comfortable in it.

I can certainly see and notice the difference in growth, development and expansion Melbourne has gone though as I’ve recently started working in the city again.

So can someone tell me — what then is with the attitude of some of the cab drivers of the world’s most livable city?

Just the other day, the cab driver who picked me up from my hotel was not impressed I wasn’t travelling far enough than the $10 fare I was going to pay him. He hissed and fussed. I wasn’t happy.

One of the models I work with in Melbourne refuses to use the regular taxi service companies for the same reason and books all her transport through Uber.

What do you think of the Melbourne cab drivers?

Is there another city in the world that has a bad rap for its cab drivers?

What do you think of Uber and similar transport services? Are you a convert? If so, why?

Is Melbourne really the most livable city in your opinion and why?

Now with that out of my system, I’m hopping on a plane heading to Europe. See you at fashion week Melbourne!

Be well.

L.
xoxo

How to look your best according to Liz Polden

I’m on a roll here in New York, turning to my friends who happen to be industry professionals and experts in the fields of fashion and beauty. This week I’d like to introduce you to my friend and stylist in times of need, Liz Polden. I love her aesthetic and approach to fashion and life… It is simple, clean and classic. She is a unique woman and I love her to bits. Here is a snippet of our time together for Hold the Glamour!

ME (L): Liz, what styling tips can you share with us that are your BIG ones? I know there are many however…

Liz Polden (LP): My first advice to clients is to shop in your own closet. What colours are you drawn to? What shapes do you love to wear? In which outfit do you hear the most compliments? If you have a stack of clothes that make you feel big and unattractive, donate them immediately. Fill the closet with only items you adore and make you feel like the best you!

Even though I have been a fashion stylist since 2005 and constantly surrounded by amazing clothing, I am a passionate closet minimalist. I know what works for my body and my own insecurities and don’t shop much outside of that box. I just like to keep all simple and classic and throw in trends with my accessories.  It makes dressing less of a chore. And whenever I feel like I have nothing to wear, I empty the whole closet and re-evaluate; making a list of what trend I could add to my existing wardrobe to make it all more current and new.

L: That is a great start and fabulous advice for anyone. How does one get started?

LP: Start with a basic shape that works on your body type and for your lifestyle. Now repeat! Buy in multiples when something works. Think of Jackie O. She repeated the sheath dress without a care. It worked for her and she worked it well! If one shape gives you confidence, keep it in rotation. Make yourself a uniform of sorts.

My go to uniform shapes at the moment are skinny jeans, ballet flats and slouchy tee or a fitted mini skirt with wooden clogs and silky tank. Keeping a consistent look, I almost get obsessed with something and then wear it to death until one day I’m over it. Don’t be afraid to own a very minimal amount of clothing. Quality over quantity is so important to look polished and chic.

Shop online, discount stores on off hours or hit a sample sale of a designer you know you already love and will wear ’til the seams bust. Don’t buy for the price! Buy for the longevity and ease the item will have working into your current wardrobe and lifestyle.

L: What about colour Liz? I have a lot of black in my wardrobe and am conscious of wearing other colours to vary my look and feel.

LP: Colour is your friend in these warm months! I adore black. A little too much, like most people in the fashion industry. But once I get a little tan and a feel of warmth I want something fun and bright. I love to accessorize with brights and keep my clothing neutral once the temperatures rise.

I love the look of white skinny jeans and a bright striped tank, a cute straw fedora hat to keep the sun off your precious face, a wrist layered with colorful beaded bracelets and a bright hand-stitched fabric messenger bag like one I found on a trip to Peru and my favorite reusable tote by Baggu in neon purple for the farmer’s market or random finds!

L: I can totally see you wearing those clothes! And looking hot may I add. What about shoes Liz? There are so many fashionable trends right now… Where do we start for the season?

LP: Shoes can always make the outfit stylish or not.  No matter what you’re wearing if you have a glamorous or trendy shoe on, you will look the part.  My favorite shoes for this time of year are Repetto ballet flats, Worishofer cork wedges and Hasbeen wooden clogs.

As soon as I buy new shoes, I always hit the shoe repair shop and have my friends there re-sole the bottoms with rubber soles to extend the longevity of my big purchase. Everyone should know their local shoe cobbler! Shoes can usually be re-soled, re-polished and saved from the depths of the already overfilled landfills, saving our planet and your wallet!

Before the beginning of each season, I drop off all my shoes for some love. I have many pairs of shoes that look almost brand new but are actually closer to 5 years old! Each shoe sole and material is different and a good cobbler will tell you when to bring them back for extra care. Don’t replace before you try a polish or a new sole.

Trying to buy less leather, my newest additions to my own shoe collection are vegan strappy nude platform pumps and vegan gold studded nude sandals from www.lulus.com. I am planning to wear them both non stop this summer with flowy dresses and silky shorts!

L: I can’t forget accessories! Nor can you Liz… You can rock any accessory.

LP: Wear statement jewels! I wear the same signature jewelry most days. On my fingers I like to layer delicate hammered gold rings on a few fingers along with my engagement ring and wedding band, a Me and Ro necklace that says “wisdom” that was gifted on my 30th birthday from my best friend and always a few delicate beaded bracelets like my precious gold flag bracelet by Iwona Ludyga, mixed with random bracelets I have fallen for at the moment.

Support the small designers! I love to shop for jewelry from small designers on Etsy. You get so much more love and usually at a much lower price point. I adore my quartz crystal necklace from The Village Idiot and brass bangle from SD Marie Jewelry.

L: What advice do you have generally for people out there reading this post of ours?

LP: Make sure to go shopping when you have no reason to. You will be more likely to score the perfect dress, jeans or bikini when all pressure is off. I just bought two dresses and two pairs of shoes for weddings I have at the end of this year. It seems crazy to shop so far in advance but I know I found something I truly love, will feel good in and at a price that works for my budget. I love to do a calculation of how many times I will wear something divided by the total price. I get excited to think how far my clothing budget is going and how less will end up abandoned in a landfill or a donation rack.

Make best friends with your tailor! Almost everything can and should be tailored to your shape and height. Always fit the clothes with the shoes you will be wearing. I am petite but curvy and almost everything in my closet has been loved and re-worked by my local tailor.  You’d be surprised how reasonable the price to tailor most things can be and in the end you will wear the item more because you will look and feel so damn hot!

Stay organised! When your closet is organized and happy you will find it so much more inspiring to make cute outfits. I use black felt hangers for tops and dresses, metal bottom hangers for the skirts and pants and wooden hangers for the heavier coats. Organize your space in a way that cuts time in your mad morning rush. I like to keep all like shapes together, pulling together one of my standard uniform looks as I dress but others find hanging outfits together helps the stress of what to wear. Check out the new website www.stylitics.com. You can build a virtual closet, mix and match outfits from items you already have and even get some styling inspiration. My own virtual closet should be posted soon!

L: Thank you Liz. You shared some simple yet doable tips that I can even manage and implement into my life and closet/wardrobe. I am so grateful.

What great web sites do you love to buy clothes and accessories from?

What are some of your favourite designers and why?

Do you have any questions for Liz or myself? If so, fire away.

Do you have any styling tips you would like to share?

www.lizpolden.com

Best make-up products according to Kelley Quan

I approached my dear friend and hair/beauty expert Kelley Quan for this weeks post. I want to share with you some of her favourite products on the market. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and it should give you an insider’s view of what the professionals are using, loving and why.

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ME (L): Kelley, let’s start at the beginning – what in your opinion is the best primer and why?

Kelley (K): The most AMAZING PRIMER EVER has to be Miracle Blur. It corrects the texture, hides flaws and is also a sunblock so it’s great for outside. It just works so well for everyone especially those with less than perfect complexions.

http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/Offers/Samples/Miracle-Blur/Register.aspx

L: You put me onto this product and I love it! I use it most days I’m stepping outside. It’s a personal favourite of mine too and I can highly recommend it.

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L: Now, let’s talk about eyes and how to enhance them best.

K: For an eyeshadow I must have: Smashbox’s Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows in Stone and Quartz. I love this formula for long wear and clean colour. The two colours are staples in my kit because I can use them on anyone with beautiful results. Really universal colours.

I use them alone for a sheer finish or as an under-base for eyeshadow if I need the shadow to really last like for a red carpet event etc.

http://www.smashbox.com/product/6025/21789/Eyes/LIMITLESS-15-HOUR-WEAR-CREAM-SHADOW/index.tmpl

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L: What about lips Kelley? You have to have some great brands and colours in your kit.

K: I ADORE NARS Matte Velvet matte lip pencils. The finish is really soft and while matte they never look or feel dry. My favorite colours are: for an orangey red that looks amazing on almost everyone is Red Square and for a blush/nude I love Belle Du Jour and Bettina. The best fresh spring colour is Calliope – it’s the happiest colour for everyone!

http://www.narscosmetics.com/color/lips/~/velvet-matte-lip-pencil

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L: I notice you love to use a cream on cheeks – who do you love? 

K: I love this cheek cream: Kevyn Aucoin’s Creamy Moist Glow in Isadore. It’s a beautiful shade that goes on smoothly and yet has enough pigment to be worn alone or  layered.

http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/p/Kevyn-Aucoin-Creamy-Moist-Glow-Isadore-Face/prod82310091_cat400803_cat399701_/?isEditorial=false&index=16&cmCat=cat000000cat000005cat000017cat10022cat399701cat400803

I am also a big fan of the Kevyn Aucoin Skin enhancers. These tiny pots are so concentrated you only need a teeny bit to do a lot. I mix mine with some lotion if I want a sheer finish or if I need some more coverage I can layer it right from the pot. Love the shades and it feels nice on the skin.

http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/p/Kevyn-Aucoin-Sensual-Skin-Enhancer-Face/prod82310065_cat400803_cat399701_/?isEditorial=false&index=1&cmCat=cat000000cat000005cat000017cat10022cat399701cat400803

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L: I have a serious thing for mascaras and I am always searching for a great one. I am lash obsessed! 

K: I am not a beauty snob and sometimes, it is sheer practicality that dictates what products I use often. For example, because I need to throw my mascaras away about every two weeks or so because I just work so much and worry about contamination, even though I am super careful, you just can’t take the chance. I tend to use drug store/pharmacy mascaras on my models. Here are my top three:

1. Voluminous False Fiber Lashes™ Mascara. If I want that full lush lash look and need to bulk up the lashes, I use this mascara. It won’t flake and it’s a nice formula.

http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/Products/Makeup/Eyes/Mascara/Voluminous-False-Fiber-Lashes-Mascara.aspx?shade=Black&cid=lorus_rm_Bing_Makeup+B+Eye+Makeup_Eye+Makeup&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=Brand-Makeup

L: I too love this mascara! Thanks for reminding me of it – I need to buy a new one come to think of it.

2. Tried and true every time is Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. Works well every time. It’s my go to mascara.

http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/Products/Makeup/Eyes/Mascara/Voluminous-Carbon-Black-Mascara.aspx?shade=Carbon-Black

3. If I am splurging I’ll go for TARTE cosmetics: Lights, Camera, Lashes. It’s a really great mascara and it has a great formula that stays put but comes off easy with remover.

http://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-lights-camera-lashes-mascara

BEAUTY NOTE: With ALL my mascaras, I apply using my Patent pending (not released yet) Mascara Wand which will give an amazingly strong lash line and feathery lashes without bulk or making the lashes look unnatural. It’s my secret weapon for lush lashes!

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L: What about other fabulous products that deserve a Kelley Quan mention?

K: My Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics are –

Lip Tar: I love this super pigmented lip colour because it is vegan and paraben free. No bad stuff in these products. Some of my favorite colours are Pale Tangerine, Narcissus and  Annika.

L: I love the vegan and paraben free stuff. I try and use as many of the organic/natural products personally, as I can. With work, I don’t have much of say unfortunately.

http://www.occmakeup.com/lips.html

MAC Cosmetics Paints: I love these little pots of colour. I use them alone or under shadow. I love the shades Bare Canvas, Still Life and Sublime Nature.

http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/154/344/Products/Eyes/Shadow/Paints/index.tmpl

L: I have to agree with these little pots of colour. I love them and they last forever.

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Do you have any great make-up products to share?

To ask Kelley or myself about?

Next time, I’ll ask Kelley about hair products that you should know about.

http://kelleyquan.com

It’s been a year!

I cannot believe that I started my blog, ‘Hold the Glamour’ at the end of March last year some 12 months ago. Incredible really! I’ve always documented my life in some way since I can remember and this past year I’ve gone public with it. So friends… Here we are. I can share that I’ve enjoyed the process, learning, growth and support of you all. Thank you very much.

NYC - Garment District (also known as the Fashion Capitol)

NYC – Garment District (also known as the Fashion Capitol)

Last week  I went on a couple of castings in the Garment District – the Fashion Center of New York. Wikipedia explains it best, “The Garment District, also known as the Garment Center, the Fashion District, or the Fashion Center, is a neighborhood located in the Manhattan borough of New York City”.

The District encompasses the area from 6th to 9th Aves – 34th to 42nd roughly. It is a highly concentrated area of manufacturing, fabric design, pattern making, design, couture houses and showrooms.

NYC - The Fashion District Needle & Button at 39th Street & 7th Avenue approximately

NYC – The Fashion District at 39th Street & 7th Avenue

One of my castings was for a bra packaging job and the other, for a big fashion label that specialises in straight-size and plus-size fashion. The views are always spectacular from their 40 odd floors above ground.

There is always so much activity and energy flowing in the Garment District. People are always on the move and rushing off to somewhere. Deadlines are endless and a part of life.

NYC - Fashion Center

NYC – Paying respect to the creativity and hard work of fashion

In both castings, I signed in with my name and agency on a sheet of paper then sat down and waited till I was called. I tried on two bras for the first casting and two outfits for the second.

Photos were taken in the samples supplied by a photographer whilst the ‘panel’ looked over my book, comp card and me in the flesh. There were seven people deciding for the bra job and two for the second job. It always varies from job to job and casting to casting.

Fortunately for me I was successful in both castings! I love a good week. One never knows how a casting will turn out so it’s always refreshing and rewarding when you succeed… Especially when it’s two out of two!

Whilst I was waiting to be seen, I flicked through a magazine that rested on the coffee table in the reception area and came across the quote/saying below. It resonated with me. I hope it does with you too.

NYC - A saying I came across in a magazine whilst waiting for one of my castings

NYC – A saying I came across in a magazine whilst waiting for one of my castings

Have you been to the Garment District or Fashion Center in Manhattan?

Have you ever worked in the neighborhood?

Do you have a quote/saying you love to live by? Share it with me please… I’m all ears.

San Francisco sessions

I recently returned from San Francisco, CA were I was working on a shoot with a new client. I flew the six hours it takes to get to the west coast from New York and I must say, I love San Fran! It has been over ten years since I was there last. I have missed it. The sun, blue skies and mild winter weather welcomed me with open arms. I could live in San Francisco in a heartbeat. I really enjoy the west coast of the USA.

Once on the ground, I caught a cab and checked into my downtown hotel. I stayed at the Hotel Diva and I’m sure the hotel has seen many a Diva walk the hallways. The small boutique hotel was clean, comfortable and the staff were helpful and friendly. I requested a ‘quiet’ room and fortunately got one. Sometimes it is hard to get such a room in a place like this.

I slept really well – the bed was so comfortable I barely moved. I love a good, big, comfy bed and the right pillows are crucial. I slept with four body pillows of a soft to medium firmness. Just right! I was in heaven.

I caught up with one of the two models I was working with – Molly, in the foyer of the hotel. We shared a cab to the studio where we were shooting the following day. We had a fitting for our outfits to ensure they fit correctly and properly. Tailors were on hand to have the clothes fit our bodies. Not too many clients do this these days unless it’s an advertising job, campaign or the client simply has a good budget.

San Francisco - Ivana, Molly and I at our fitting

San Francisco – Ivana, Molly and I at our fitting

San Francisco - the clothes on the rack for the eight day shoot

San Francisco – the clothes on the racks for the eight-day shoot

After our fitting was done, Molly and I went to Tan Bella for a spray tan. The client wanted our skin tone to be a little warmer (colour) so off we went inside our very own spray tan booths. We were instructed how to stand and position our bodies in four different poses to ensure an even coverage all over.

San Francisco - Tan Bella for a spray tan

San Francisco – Tan Bella for a spray tan

A machine sprayed me for the first time and it was a very good and even tan. There was no bronzer applied with the tan so it didn’t rub off onto our clothes etc. We kept the tan on overnight and showered in the morning so it could process. We had to keep the spray tan on for at least six hours.

I have a client who requests a spray tan all the time, and usually a woman with a spray gun applies the tan and instructs you how to stand and move inside a little room. The tan from Tan Bella is hands down the best I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. I was impressed.

Molly and I return to our hotel not long after. I call my family and say good night to my angels – there is a three-hour time zone difference from the west and east coasts of America so I had to call before their bedtime.

Then, Ivana and I step out for a quick and yummy dinner in a nearby Japanese restaurant. It was delicious and it was lovely to have company and someone to share the experience.

The next day, the shoot goes smoothly and the very large production team are happy with our progress and results. I shoot single shots of my outfits then doubles with either Molly or Ivana and then finally the client wants options with the three of us in the same shot. The more models in a shot, the longer the shot takes and the more frames you have to take, generally speaking. You see, three of us have to look good in the same image which is harder than one might think.

San Francisco - Hans our photographer is all smiles during our shoot

San Francisco – Hans our photographer is all smiles during our shoot

We finish early and the three of us head straight to the airport hoping to catch the last flight of the afternoon, before the red-eye flights we are booked on, heading to the east coast. We don’t make it and that’s just what happens sometimes. I just go with it.

San Francisco - Molly, me and Ivana on our way to the airport

San Francisco – Molly, me and Ivana on our way to the airport

The American Airlines terminal at San Francisco airport is one of the cleanest, nicest, newest, widest I’ve ever seen! As I passed through security, I spotted a Yoga Room inside the terminal! Are you kidding? I have never seen a Yoga Room in an airport before… Welcome to the west coast people! I love it.

San Francisco - the Yoga Room at American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – the Yoga Room at American Airlines terminal

I sat in the Airline lounge comfortably waiting for my 10.40pm flight to New York. I ordered a meal from one of the organic/natural deli’s in the terminal. It was so up my alley. There was fresh, healthy food choices every where I looked. I wish all airport terminals were like this one. It was so civilised.

San Francisco - American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – American Airlines terminal

San Francisco - American Airlines terminal

San Francisco – American Airlines terminal

What amazing or crazy things have you seen in your travels?

What airport terminals do you love to frequent? Why?

What suggestions or recommendations do you have for better services inside airports?

2013 – Spring and fall fashion key trends

I realise it might sound insane and somewhat crazy to be discussing and writing about fashion trends, hits and predictions for a season so many months away however, that is fashion darlink! It works months in advance.

Today I spent some time perusing my fashion magazines – Vogue, Harper’s, Glamour and the industry bible, WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) and pre-fall 2013 is heading in a very modern and graphic direction from what I can see.

Black, white and brown feature regularly amongst the designs that are rather clean. Leather gets paired up with silk. Some of the other fabrics designers are using include nylon, mesh, spandex, cotton, polyester and fur.

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For a season a little closer to now, spring 2013 is in stores for maximum exposure. A simple colour palette is key. Red, white and navy are oh so chic. White is so hot and one of the simple neutrals that are very popular for the next season in line. A simple shape is also key for spring, especially in a sexy snake-skin.

Pastels are a key trend for this spring. These pieces always look great when paired up with cute black shorts or a pencil skirt. Ruffles and asymmetric hemlines unfold a fun-filled fancy.

Leather rocks the winter away and stripes command a presence still… For how many seasons now? I personally love stripes. It is very me.

Two other trends to note for the warmer months to come are geometric patterns and shapes and finally, springtime florals that burst into bloom.

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Whatever your season, colour, design, size or shape – there is something for everyone. Spring and fall, summer and winter – there is a reason and season to shop and spend.

What trends do you love for spring and fall?

What are you looking forward to wearing in the coming months?

What predictions of your own do you have?

42 degrees and still shooting

I’m currently in Australia and today I finished my first shoot of the new year. We were shooting the autumn/fall collection for Sara by Ezibuy. It means layers, coats and boots for the cooler months ahead.

It’s hard to imagine however, the fashion industry is always at least six months ahead of the game with design, sourcing the fabric, manufacture to shooting the samples and getting the images ready for advertising. It’s a long lead time.

The weather has been hot, hot, hot and today we battled beauty and fashion in 42 degree celsius heat in Sydney like true professionals (107.6 degrees fahrenheit). The heat wave we are experiencing throughout Australia did not stop us from making and creating fashion magic. We started at 5.30am this morning to ensure we weren’t shooting during the hottest time of the day.

Sydney - Sunrise at 5.30am

Sydney – call time is at sunrise

Sydney - Sara crew working hard

Sydney – Juli Balla and the Sara crew hard at work

Sydney - Hard at work in the heat

Sydney – smiling and shooting whilst the temperatures soar

Yesterday we spent on the Northern Beaches shooting in one of my favourite location homes. The property looks like something straight out of Palm Springs, U.S.A. I love it. Unfortunately, jumping in the pool and cooling off after work was not an option for me or the crew. What an incredible view!

Sydney - my dream house on the Northern Beaches

Sydney – my dream house on the Northern Beaches

The first couple of days of our shoot, we spent inside the studio. It is certainly easier for all without the elements and humidity wreaking havoc on hair, make-up, equipment and clothes. We turn the air conditioning up, the music goes on and we get down to business. It is calm, controlled and smooth.

Sydney - Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney – Annette McKenzie & I (my amazing hair & make-up artist)

Sydney - In studio

Sydney – in studio

Sydney - kisses from the cool studio

Sydney – kisses from the hair & make-up table

Since I started writing this post this afternoon, over a hundred and forty fires have broken out in N.S.W. alone. Other states in Australia are also battling fires in hot, dry and windy conditions that have proven to be devastating and uncontrollable. My best wishes and thoughts go out to all those affected and threatened by the catastrophic temperatures and erratic fire patterns that lie ahead of this evening. I wish you all, well.

What are you going to do to stay cool during these hot summer months? What tips do you have?

What are you looking forward to come autumn/fall as far as fashion goes?

What trends are you noticing and excited about?

Winter madness & holiday glamour

As my new monthly magazine subscriptions of VOGUE, GLAMOUR, Cosmopolitan, REDBOOK and Harper’s BAZAAR start filling up in my mailbox with December issues of holiday fun, glamour and fashion, I begin to notice lots of colour, glitz and glamour everywhere. Red lips and nail polish of every hue and intensity seem to go hand-in-hand with the festivities of the holidays. Big, chunky pieces of jewelry make a bold statement and the ever fabulous clutch is so hot right now.

It is hard to imagine that summer has come and gone, fall/autumn is here and we’ve already had snow in New York (thanks to the Nor’Easter last Wednesday). We’re a little concerned I must say with the winter that lays ahead – is it a sign that it’s going to be brutal? I certainly hope not.

New York - First snow of the season Nov 2012

New York – The first snow of the season Nov 2012

New York - First snow melting for the season

New York – The first snow melts Nov 2012

It’s hard enough getting a family of four out the door at any given time let alone as the temperatures continue to drop. Putting on the layers in a warm and toasty apartment whilst working up a sweat is not fun (for anyone). Our kids are becoming more independent however, it can very frustrating and stressful for all of us to be ready at the same time. Let’s not forget they are four and two years old.

What about the retail stores and restaurants (basically anything inside) and how hot they get? When its freezing outside you weigh up whether its worth bundling up because as soon as you get indoors, its time to peel all the layers off. Then you ask yourself, where do all these layers go? Over your chair? Over your arm? Hardly. It is a challenge no matter how many years one has spent in New York or a similar cold climate. Add a couple of kids in the mix and there you have it! Winter madness.

Teasing us with warmer weather and less layers, these same glossy magazines are predicting the emerging trends for spring 2013. I am so excited by the prints, colour options and sexy sheerness of what lays ahead. I am looking forward to it.

In the meantime, bring on the holidays! I love this time of year and let’s not forget the magic and splendor of Christmas in New York City. There really is nothing like it. The department store Christmas windows, lights, decorations, Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, music, ice-skating and the chance of snow on Christmas Day make it festive, fun, beautiful and impressive, let alone memorable and celebrated. This year, my family and I have decided to play in the Big Apple for the holidays. Now that Mila and Levi are a little older and aware, we plan to live it up New York style.

What holiday fun and glamour are you looking forward to?

What do the holidays mean to you?

What will you be wearing to the party?

An illusion of fantasy & perfection – retouching a VS angel

I’ve just received the Victoria’s Secret ‘Christmas dreams & fantasies’ catalogue in the mail and as I flick the 175 page goliath, I am reminded of how beautiful, sexy and picture perfect the models are on every page. Oh my!

I also recall these last few days, there has been much talk and chit-chat all over the place regarding retouching of images and the famous and gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model, Doutzen Kroes whose ‘raw & real’ images came to the media surface accidentally (not what anyone wants really). It’s one thing to reveal it yourself and it’s another when it’s secretly leaked and the world finds out when you do.

Jezebel claims that some pictures leaked on the forum The Fashion Spot – where one could plainly see the difference with images that had post-production work and those that had not. The world gets to see – once again, what remarkable work goes in to creating an illusion of fantasy and perfection. The true-to-life moments and aspects of photography that capture bad backgrounds, lighting discrepancies, stray hairs, wrinkled garments, bruises, skin imperfections and discoloration, samples that need to be colour corrected etc. are an everyday occurrence for retouchers in the media and fashion industry.

Are we youth obsessed and still trying to attain perfection? Clearly so. Is everyone supposed to look like they are forever 18? Please people!

Some celebrities and stars have put their hand up to pose without the use of Photoshop or make-up to show the world what they are truly, naturally like for charity or cause, or to simply raise media awareness. Some notable celebs include Jessica Simpson, Sarah Murdoch and Brad Pitt.

Everyone I know retouches, even though clients (especially for web or internet shots) are very particular about keeping retouching to a minimum because it becomes a cost and time thing. That is, clothes need to be smooth with minimal wrinkles, no bras or bra straps showing, no VPL (visible panty line), hair pushed back for half the shots so they don’t have to spend time and money retouching ‘unnecessarily’. They are quite firm about it. They have an idea of what they want to present to the world at large and they stick to it.

So what would you rather see – the unattainable or the real? Or is somewhere in the middle OK?

What are your thoughts on retouching and Photoshop?