Monday 23 January 2012

    happy chinese new year!


    Year of the water dragon :: January 23 is Chinese New Year, and heralds the Lunar New Year of the Water Dragon, a once in every 60 years occurrence.

    The dragon is perceived as a mystical and auspicious creature in Chinese cultures

    and this year is expected to bring prosperity and transformational change.

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    Friday 6 January 2012

    folk music ♥


    The joy of festivals is experiencing musicians you love playing music live and discovering artists you’ve never heard off.

    My Woodford Folk Festival highlights were Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gotye, Skipping Girl Vinegar and Katie Nunnan.

    Buffy Sainte-Marie, Woodford Folk Festival 2011/12

    Buffy Sainte-Marie plays Woodford Folk Festival

    Buffy Sainte-Marie :: legendary!

    Academy Award winner and folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie’s audacious attitude to life on and off the stage has inspired people around the world for over four decades. Buffy was accompanied by a rocking 3-piece all-Aboriginal band from Indian Reserves in Manitoba, Canada. WFF

    Inspirationally performing at 70, Buffy passionately uses her powerful voice to perform an astonishing fusion of hard rock, protest folk, country and pop songs. This Canadian Cree performer is an extraordinary concert artist, singer-songwriter, composer, pacifist, and social activist. Her singing and writing repertoire includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism.

    Her haunting music, joyful spirit, and thought-provoking song writing has produced a rich catalogue of music including the Academy Award winning“Up Where We Belong” as well as her searing, political era-defining anthem “Universal Soldier” – a song that remains arguably the finest anti-war song ever. More of her most popular songs include “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and the much-loved classic “Until It’s Time for You to Go”.  To read more, go here.

    Gotye :: amazing songwriting + percussion + sound! 

    Gotye took to the stage to enchant the thousands of punters gathered at the Amphitheatre at Woodford Folk Festival last night.  From the moment Wally De Backer took to the stage, the crowd hung on to his every word. Opening track Eyes Wide Open instantly had the crowd dancing and as they erupted into cheers of admiration as he greeted those gathered with “you’re looking very big.”

    Like a little kid at Christmas, his smile was infectious and it was evident throughout his entire set that there was nowhere else he would rather be. The crowd was in rapture by De Backer’s energised drum solo at the end of The Only Way. As De Backer worked through tracks from his latest album, Making Mirrors, each track was accompanied by quirky animations projected on a the three screens, behind and on each side of the stage. A half-man, half-bear clip accompanied Smoke and Mirrors, while an organ taking over a family complemented State of the Art, which he explained was about “recreational music culture.”

    He dipped into the back catalogue with Thanks for Your Time, before playing the ’60s song Seville which De Backer sampled for his acclaimed Somebody That I Used to Know. As the intro into Somebody That I Used to Know began he appealed to the audience, “You’re going to have to help us out because she (Kimbra) can’t be here tonight.”

    After a collective sigh of disappointment, it was a magical moment as thousands of voices sang in unison Kimbra’s part of the hottest song of the year.

    Gladstone Observer

     Katie Noonan and the Captains :: Elixir back at last! {I’m a George fan!}

    With Katie Noonan’s trio of 14 years Elixir about to release their long awaited second album First Seed Ripening, and in the wake of their recent national tour supporting the American jazz legend Ron Carter, the group performed fantastically at Woodford. via here

    Skipping Girl Vinegar :: I really enjoyed this Melbourne independent alt-acoustic pop four-piece band. Taking their name from the iconic Melbourne neon sign of Audrey the ‘Skipping Girl’ in Richmond, the band features Chris Helm, Mark Lang, Amanthi Lynch and Sare Lang.

    Skipping Girl Vinegar debut single ‘One Chance’

    {Images: 1 & 2 Buffy by max_wedge; 3&4 Woodford Folk Festival 5&6 google images}

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    Sunday 1 January 2012

    happy new year wishes


    It’s summertime here :: blue skies, sea breezes and surfing the ocean waves.

    Fun is in the air!

    Fabulous New Year wishes ~ I hope your dreams balloon in 2012!

    I love the fairytale fantasies that Tim Walker creates!

    {Image by photographer Tim Walker}

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    Saturday 31 December 2011

    sparkly new year


    Wishing you a bright and sparkly 2012! xoxo

    {Images 1 & 3: This is Glamorous; 2. Elie Saab, Spring 2011 nude sequined couture gown}

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    Saturday 24 December 2011

    vintage ornaments


    I didn’t put up my vintage ornaments this year,

    so I’m adoring this beautiful picture as a reminder of my boxed treasures.

    {Image via This is Glamorous}

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    Wednesday 2 November 2011



    All Saints Day :: Tutti i Santi or Ognissanti

    This is a day where `two worlds’ meet to celebrate life,

    and a time for families to bring fresh flowers, mostly chrysanthemums,

    to the tombs of their departed loved ones.

    The offerings (ofrendas) are beautifully arranged with flowers often yellow chrysanthemums which are the traditional flower of the dead. Flowers serve as a living memory reminding us that once these people had remained close to us and they, like us, had once been fascinated by the beauty and color of life. A candle is lit for each soul and they are also embellished in the same way. Incense, mementos, photos and other remembrances of the dead are also kept along with the ofrenda.

    I experienced All Saints Day in Como, Aurio and Laglio. This Catholic holiday, commemorating the Saint Martyrs, and tomorrow is All Souls Day, set aside to honor loved ones who are deceased.  Italians celebrate the two holidays together. Taking time to value what our ancestors did for us is a time honoured tradition in Italy.

    Como was alive with music throughout the morning  ~ old men playing the piano accordion and young muscians playing Vivaldi. Italians were out strolling the streets after attending mass.

    I went to Il Duomo di Como to light a candle in honour my mother, and knelt at the alter of the Virgin Mary to pray and give thanks for all she had given me in life. It was a spiritual moment to connect with people you love who have passed away.

    In the afternoon I caught the ferry to Aurio and meet my friend Linda. We walked the winding villa lined road that traces a path along the lake to Laglio. Her local priest Don rode his bicycle speedily off after stopping to say hello as he was in a hurry to get ready for the ceremony.

    We visited the local cemetery where the graves were decorated with flowers mostly chrysanthemums, and offerings. And then the there was a procession of people from the local villages singing with Don their priest at the back, and incense burning.  They entered the walled cemetery and prayers were offered up for all of the deceased.

    Opposite the cemetery at the lakeside edge, an avenue of autumn leafed trees

    had plaques of fallen soldiers with bouquets of flowers.

    To finish the celebrations people sit down for an All Souls’ Feast with family and friends. Foods made of peas or lentils, known as Soul Food, are eaten. Many homes will set empty places and leave the door open for the souls of the deceased. The feast is finished up by indulging in the sweet cookie known as “Ossi di Morto” or “Bones of the Dead.”

    {Images: A White Carousel}

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    Sunday 4 September 2011

    Kate’s gypsy wedding ~ it’s bea-u-tiful.


    Kate Moss ~ her Great Gatsby inspired fairytale wedding. She looks an ethereal waif when she married Jamie Hince.

    When Kate appears in her Galliano finery, with her flotilla of bridesmaids and flower girls in their Bonpoint dresses, there are wolf whistles and applause in the church.


     … how do you catch a cloud and pin it down? Who would, in the words of David Tang, Kate’s wedding-day master of ceremonies, succeed in “persuading not the most easily persuadable girl to marry him”?

    Enter Jamie Hince, the 42-year-old guitarist of the critically acclaimed rock band the Kills, who rocks his collings guitars every time he plays.

    The floor-length vintage lace gown was designed by long-time friend and collaborator, John Galliano,

    accessorized with a veil and custom Manolo Blahnik heels (complete with “something blue”—an insole).

    And the romantic event was captured by Vogue’s Editor Hamish Bowles. Enjoy these excerpts…

    :: the love story 

    After a romantic trip to Thailand two years into their liaison, Kate recalls, “we were just so loved up, and he asked me to marry him every day.” But it was curling up together in front of the compelling British television documentary series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings that appears to have sealed the deal.

    “I am so romantic about Gypsies,” Kate explains. “They’re not allowed to do anything until they get married. So they all get married really young, at sixteen. You can’t believe the dresses. They’re like blinging butterflies times ten; they can’t move down the aisle! It’s so genius. I was just watching Jamie, so cute, and I was like, these girls, they just spend their whole life waiting for that day—let’s do it!”

    :: the dress

    She wanted “a classic Galliano, those chiffon thirties kind. I’ve lived in his dresses for years, and they just make me feel so comfortable. But it’s so much more couture, couture, couture. Oh, my God, the work that’s going into the dress!” They discussed everything on the phone, and then, when John was out of rehab for the first of four marathon fittings, he brought her “bags full of bits, and pulled tulle and sequins and veils and flowers out. And then we just kind of pinned things together, like the old days, you know?”

    Galliano was inspired by Jazz Age photographs of Zelda Fitzgerald…. The dress is spangled with tiny golden paillettes… The skirts are symbolically licked with the beaded plumes of a mythical phoenix, “delicate and defiant, like Kate.”

    At 37, she looks ravishing; she attributes her honed form to Jivamukti yoga. “They call it moving meditation,” she says. “It’s loud, loud music, so it’s dynamic, not boring.”

    She wore a slim cut silk Galliano designed wedding gown with a crystal beaded hem, sleeveless, v-neck cut, and overlay with a sheer chiffon.There were sixteen bridesmaids and flower girls, ages two to fourteen.

    :: the setting & styling

    Mario photographed the couple for Vogue at a magnificent seventeenth-century Cotswolds mansion. “I so want a stately home,” sighs Kate, admiring the rolling Capability Brown landscape.

    Kate has called on her friend Sam Gainsbury to realize her vision. With partner Anna Whiting, Gainsbury has produced fashion shows and shoots for some of the most exciting talents around (and, with Joseph Bennett, created the transportingly beautiful mise-en-scène for “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art). “Sam is a genius,” says Kate, “but this is the first and last wedding she said she’s ever doing!”

    Kate had originally wanted to get married in the enchanting twelfth-century church at the bottom of her garden, but as it proved too small even for her intimate wedding party (138 guests have been invited to the church ceremony; 39 of those are children), she decided on St. Peter’s Church, in the neighboring village of Southrop, where Lila Grace, her eight-year-old daughter with journalist Jefferson Hack, was christened.

    “I wanted it to be kind of dreamy and 1920s, when everything is soft-focus,” says Kate. “The Great Gatsby. The code name was GG for a while. That light and that kind of fun decadence. It’s rock-’n’-roll Great Gatsby!” There will be Edwardian marquees in her field and a circus tent for the children, with a miniature drum kit and their own DJ and tepees for them to sleep in. A stage is being built by hand, “which I’m going to keep for festivals for the future,” she explains.

    It is a perfect English summer day with cotton-wool clouds scudding across forget-me-not-blue skies. Chez Kate, the roses tumbling over the doorways are in full bloom. Inside the house, a tumbling chaos of hair and makeup people and bridesmaids reigns. The bridal party takes off in a convoy of beribboned vintage Rolls-Royces driven by gray-uniformed chauffeurs. Just before she sets off, Kate requests “a few words, a story to inspire her—she loves a bit of direction!” says Galliano. “I told her, ‘You have a secret—you are the last of the English roses—and when he lifts your veil he’s going to see your wanton past!’ ”

    At the idyllic church, Victoria Brotherson has arranged low banks of pale, feathery greenery and white flowers—delphiniums, daisies, scabious, and sweet-scented stock—to line the path to the church door and embower its entrance. The effect is enchanting: a scene out of Thomas Hardy. Similar flowers decorate the austerely beautiful interior with its high rustic beams, honeyed stone corbels, and whitewashed walls. Naomi, in a flurry of lemon-yellow Givenchy gauze, is the last to arrive, so all is right with the world (“Trying to upstage me, bitch?” says Kate, laughing).

    Click here for the exclusive video inside Kate Moss’s wedding.

    In Kate’s gardens, a Palm Court jazz band is playing “It Had to Be You” in the marquee, while battalions of black-and-white-clad wait staff light the votive candles hanging from fruit trees in their jam jars and antique lanterns, and artfully arrange a pyramid of champagne flutes. Paper cones filled with rose petals for the bridal couple are arranged on little café tables, and antique wicker chairs pepper the lawn. The Second Looks Tent, for guests to change in after the ceremony, is appointed like a Hollywood boudoir with faceted mirror screens, thirties standard lamps, and dressing tables heaving with pink and beige roses.

    Inside, the dining pavilion is lit by Victorian chandeliers, and 1920s silver ashtrays nestle on the tabletops among the nosegays of pale apricot and lilac roses, while Chesterfield sofas and Edwardian palms flank the dance floor—a setting fit for a latter-day Daisy Buchanan.

    Colin Field and his team from the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris set up a bar on the dance floor and serve the Kate 76, a lethal cocktail of vodka, champagne, crushed ice, and sugar.  After dinner, Kate and Jamie cut Peggy Porschen’s cake—actually a pyramid of six cakes, each a different flavor, crusted with droplets of icing-sugar lily-of-the-valley blossoms.

    Kate Moss, Vogue US September 2011

    {Photos: Mario Testino/VOGUE via}

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    Sunday 4 September 2011

    Swinging into spring


    What a wonderful day for a picnic, Great Gatsby style!

    Styled by the amazing Grace Coddington, this is the photo Anna Wintour famously axed from Vogue as captured in documentary The September Issue. Coddington loved the Jazz Age picnic image and intended to run it in the magazine. Wintour didn’t care for it.  

    {Image by photographer, Steven Meisel}

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    Saturday 6 August 2011



    This painting is posted in homour of my mum. During a quiet moment at a family funeral this week, I remembered all the things I love about her and the importance of kin. I miss her often.

    Chrysanthemums :: Cheerfulness, optimism, rest, truth, long life, joy.

    Horace G. Hewes, Chrysanthemums  1880, oil on wood panel

    Chrysanthemum are considered to be a noble flower in Asian culture, with a history that dates back to 15th century B.C. Chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism.  The chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys“ meaning golden (its original color) and “anthemion,” meaning flower.

    Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. They’re the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower.  A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation.  It’s said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.

    Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb. Tao Yanming was the first historical breeder in 400 A.D. After his death, his native city was named ~Juxian~ meaning ~City of Chrysanthemums. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal and sat on the Chrysanthemum throne.  There is a “Festival of Happiness” in Japan that celebrates the flower. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century.

    {Image Horace G. Hewes via Debutantes Ball}

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    Tuesday 5 July 2011

    Monaco Royal Wedding | Charlene Wittstock & Prince Albert


    Princess Charlene looked stunning in a gorgeous, off-the-shoulder Giorgio Armani Privé bridal gown, with pearl and Swarovski crystal embellishment. Prince Albert II of Monaco, married Charlene Wittstock in a lavish ceremony. Petals snowed down on them, and looked so beautiful.

    The Giorgio Armani gown was cut from 130 metres of silk and studded with 40,000 crystals Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops and 30,000 “stones in gold shades”. The Italian designer’s team took 2,500 hours to prepare the gown. For the embroidery, they took another 700 hours.

    Prince Albert II was dressed in the cream summer uniform of Monaco’s palace guards. Its sleeves were decorated with oak and olive leave and the front was glazed with monogrammed golden buttons. His chest was carrying medals representing the Order of Saint Charles, the Order of Grimaldi and France’s Legion of Honour, and a rosette at the top of his firm fabric cap was representing the Crown of Monaco.

    The wedding feast was held at the gala ball and reception at Opera Garnier, the opera house opposite the norske spilleautomater på nett, a site of glamour, at which Princess Charlene wore another stunning off-white Armani outfit with a broad décolletage. This event included the cutting of a spectacular cake decorated with proteas, the South African national flower.

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