Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria

Friday, October 21, 2016

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists is the National Gallery of Victoria's (NGV) newest acquisition, opening to the public today; Friday 21 October, 2016.

:: Viktor & Rolf ::

The designs exhibited are that of the Dutch luxury fashion duo who are synonymous for their avant-garde approach to wearable art.  Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists is a collaboration with international guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, who also curated the phenomenal exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, and therefore this world premiere fashion exhibition was always destined to be a good egg.

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists the exhibition is indeed an eye opener, and seeing it with your own eyes is such a beautiful surprise.

The exhibition displays the duo's 25 year career in fashion haute couture, ready-to-wear and perfume collections. Viktor & Rolf, who befriended at school during the 80s, sure do push the boundaries when it comes to experimental runway shows.

A stand-out comment by Rolf Snoeren, one half of Viktor & Rolf during the media preview opening, and I quote:

"Couture is like a laboratory, it's where we experiment", he said.
Their 1999 Russian Doll runway show in which model Maggie Rizer was progressively dressed by the designers in nine different layers and 2003’s One Woman Show fashion collection inspired by actress and muse Tilda Swinton, in which the actress herself appeared amidst a runway of models made up in her likeness are just some of the most talked about Viktor & Rolf collections.

:: Russian Doll Runway Show Collection ::
One of my personal favourites seen in the Viktor & Rolf exhibition, would have to be the Red Carpet Dressing collection; whereby the fashion duo prepared a series of haute couture outfits that explore society's obsession with celebrity 'red carpet' looks.  Viktor & Rolf's collection is, literally, red carpet, made into twenty-two looks, made from heavy-duty nylon carpet by Dutch carpet manufacturer Desso.

:: Red Carpet Dressing by Viktor & Rolf ::

Viktor & Rolf's most recent collection is one that will appeal to Recycled Fashion readers most.  Vagabonds is the autumn–winter 2016–17 haute couture collection.  Using recycling as a form of expression; the entire collection uses garments and fabrics from previous haute couture and ready- to-wear collections to create highly unorthodox haute couture as a ‘new beginning’.

:: The Vagabonds Collection - using recycling as a form of expression ::
Throughout the exhibition's fashion galleries are 21 handmade porcelain dolls (with human hair I might add), each wearing tiny yet intricately crafted miniaturised version of a key collection work.  Children who walk through the exhibition are immediately drawn to these tiny dolls, who look so lifelike it's almost a little scary.

With every new exhibition brings a new gallery space designed for kids, and this time is no different.  Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids is a free exhibit, where young visitors can craft their very own fashion creations using crepe paper and raffia, afterwhich they can stage their own fashion shoot in three  black and white themed photo booths.

Accompanying the children’s exhibition sees the duos’ couture wedding dress designed for Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau for her wedding to Prince Friso of the Netherlands. 

Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists is a must see.  On display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne from 21 October 2016 until 26 February 2017.  Buy your tickets in advance here


Why Buy Fashion When You Can Rent; with GlamCorner

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fashion is as fickle as it is fun, and while it is great to throw together an outfit that is second-hand, sometimes it's tricky when there is a momentous occasion to style for.

As you know, I always prefer recycled fashion over new, however, with a milestone birthday looming, I chose an alternative way to dress up for my celebratory night; 'renting out' a jacket and bag from Australia's leading designer dress hire company GlamCorner.

You'll be forgiven for not knowing such an initiative exists, but it does; you can rent fashion for a fraction of its retail value.  Your hired piece is delivered to your door, and once you are done with your wear, simply return in the pre-paid envelope provided.

The great thing about GlamCorner, is the variety of fashion you can choose from.  As you would shop for fashion online, you do the same on GlamCorner's website, only you aren't buying to keep, you are hiring for a one-off wear.

Frocks are the majority of choices on GlamCorner, from ballgowns to party frocks, race wear to maternity.  That said, the occasion I turned to GlamCorner was more casual than dressy, so I scoured through some of the other options; and chose a jacket and bag to hire.

I picked this stunning concerto beaded jacket by Thurley:

$159 rental / $719 retail

And this Lana Deco Metal Cage Pod by Olga Berg:

$29 rental /  $99 retail

With these two delivered a few days prior to my celebration, I pieced together the rest of my outfit, which happens to be all with Australian label Gorman clothing; a collaborative gift from my friends.

Here's how it all came together:

As for the moon boot, well that's another story

The outfit came together perfectly, as did the night.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to see in my 40th .. except maybe without the moon boot.

The next day, with a store foot and a sore head, back went the rentals to GlamCorner in the pre-paid envelope; no need to dry clean or wash, that's taken care of when hired clothes are returned to GlamCorner HQ.   Easy peasy.

Do you have a special occasion coming up?  If you do, and you can't find anything to buy, consider browsing sites like GlamCorner instead.  Designer labels might be unreachable to many, but when you rent instead of buy, the costs are considerably less.  Plus, instead of wearing an expensive garment once and leaving it at the back of your wardrobe, you return it, and someone else gets to style that great piece of clothing again.  Hiring clothes; the alternative way to recycle fashion.

For more info, head to GlamCorner online, and follow all the latest news on Facebook.


Cantabulous Creations: Fair Trade Accessories Made From Collected Can Tabs

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sydney based Ingrid Bass, a former teacher and Principal of a musical theatre academy for children, has taken a side step in her career to launch a sustainable fashion brand. Cantabulous Creations supports a Brazilian fair trade social enterprise that produces gorgeous accessories using recycled materials; drink can tabs to be exact.

Masha Bag

Signature pieces supporting ESCAMA Studio

Cantabulous Creations links with ESCAMA Studio, a fair-trade initiative based in California and Brazil. ESCAMA Studio works with around 60 artisans in underprivileged communities who crochet post-consumer aluminium drink can tabs into fashion statement pieces; belts, bags, guitar straps, jewellery and more.

Mack Rounded Buckle Belt

The word ESCAMA means 'fish scales' in Portuguese, and when you see what is produced by the initiative, you will see why. Crocheted cab tabs resemble the metallic scales of a fish.

Cantabulous Creations is Australia's representation of the fair trade initiative. Ingrid Bass started Cantabulous Creations after her sister-in-law gave her a can tab bag. She loved the bag so much, and so did random strangers she met, that she decided to launch her own small business to support the cause.

Recycled bags, belts and jewellery with a back story

With the launch of Cantabulous Creations, Ingrid hopes to show the people of Australia that it is possible to own beautiful accessories that have a back story. Why? Because the ESCAMA Studio recognises the efforts of each of the artists who create them.

Francisca Bag

"Cantabulous bags are unique because they are hand-made by Fair-trade artisans in Brazil, created from recycled can-tabs which are crocheted together. Each bag is really a piece of art which comes with a tag bearing the artisan’s signature. Furthermore, purchasers can access information on the artisan and even can communicate with artisan if they like via email. How cool is that?" says Ingrid, the brains behind Cantabulous Creations to Australia.

Take a look at the 'who made this' page on the ESCAMA website, and you will see exactly who made your product, and a little history behind their involvement with the enterprise.

Cantabulous Creations favourites
Ingrid explains that although it is very early to say which Cantabulous Creations product is the most popular, the 'Leda Clutch' won the 2010 Independent Designer Award and happened to be the first piece that first sold out in the range here in Australia.  Belts and jewellery are popular, too.

That said, it is the 'Greta Bag' that made Ingrid fall in love with ESCAMA products. "I am in love with the Greta bag because it is so comfortable and light to carry and moulds to my body. I also think the design and how the can-tabs fan out like fish scales is really amazing." says Ingrid.

Greta Bag

Send your thanks and collect recycled tabs

When you receive your order, you can even send a little thank you note to the artisans; your message will be translated into Portuguese before being sent on.

You will also receive a Reply Paid envelope so you can collect can tabs from drinks. Once you've collected a decent number, simply post back in the mail so they can be sent to Brazil to make more Cantabulous Creations. Let the re-cycle live on.

Pieces start from $25 for earrings or a bracelet and $30 for a credit card case up to a couple of hundred for large bags.

Sign up to Cantabulous Creations e-newsletter online, and you are in for a chance to win a Mini Clutch (Black). Simply complete the online contact form and enter the word 'Clutch' in the comments.  Sign up by 29 October 2016 to be in for a chance of winning.
Mini Clutch in Black

Lastly, since the Paralympics in Brazil goes from September 7-18, all orders will receive 10% off during this time.

Head to Cantabulous Creations online and treat yourself or your loved ones to a statement piece that gives back to the world, one can tab at a time.


Vinnies Denim Shop Displays 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To celebrate National Op Shop Week, Vinnies Victoria set a 'Denim Month' challenge. Recognising all types of donated denim fashion, Vinnies Victoria asked shoppers to share their favourite denim look on social media (for a chance to win a $50 Vinnies Gift Card), and also challenged Vinnies Stores to present their best denim displays.

The top 10 Vinnies Denim Shop Displays 2016 are now in and ready for a vote:

What a great effort! I can only imagine the fun the staff at each Vinnies store had putting together these amazing displays.

Which one is your favourite? You can place your vote by 'liking' your favourite on Vinnies Victoria's Facebook Page.


5 Tips for a Designer Home on a Beer Budget

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

With home renovation shows on practically every TV channel, plus glossy house magazines published every month, is it any wonder you want designer looks for your own home? The good news is, there are plenty of ways to kit out your home in a similar way, even when your budget is tight. Not sure how? Consider the following 5 tips to get your designer décor plans started whilst on a beer budget.

Image source:

1. Get creative

The web is packed full of DIY home ideas you can try out yourself.  Take Pinterest for example, even if you don’t consider yourself a hands-on or crafty person, you’ll find hundreds of easy ‘Pins’ linking to ways you can recreate designer looks on a budget. Take the following for example:

2. Buy secondhand furniture;

Buying secondhand furniture is super easy. Try one or more of the following to pick up some pre-loved gems:

Opportunity shops / thrift stores  

Some opportunity shops get names for themselves for being the stores that shift a lot of top notch vintage furniture. (Abbotsford Salvos in Melbourne, for example). Now, you might think recycled furniture in such stores is marked up to high, but before you turn your nose up at paying such prices, remember furniture is always going to be more expensive than clothing or bric-a-brac. You’re probably looking at a couple of hundred dollars to buy a piece of vintage furniture from an opportunity shop, but consider the savings you make when shopping for similar pieces elsewhere.

It takes patience to find the ‘ideal’ piece of furniture this way, however, the good thing about opportunity shops is the variety of stock. Don’t stop at furniture, consider op shopping for décor items such as vases, framed paintings (or ditch the painting but use the frame for another favourite piece of art), mirrors, kitchenware or crockery. Use your creativity, try mixing and matching thrifted pieces with new and you’ll get a quirky one-of-a-kind look for your home décor.

Hard rubbish

Mixing a little creativity as mentioned above, coupled with a good old rummage on the streets, hard rubbish offers an interesting mix. Sure, there’s a lot of crap, but you might be surprised to find perfectly good pieces of furniture thrown out in hard rubbish. Sometimes furniture in hard rubbish needs a bit of TLC, but with a few simple fixes or a lick of paint, you could go home with a new vintage gem for your home. Roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!

Vintage furniture warehouses

Consider vintage stores and warehouses as a step up from your thrift shop. You don’t need to scour through secondhand Ikea at vintage stores, who have already fished out the quality goods so you don’t have to. You’ll be paying more if you choose to shop this way over over op shopping, but, you’ll get a quality piece of furniture, which has already lasted the test of time. A lot of vintage furniture, mid-century Danish designs for example, are timeless pieces that you can work into contemporary homes.

Both of my own mid-century pieces seen here were purchased from a vintage warehouse

Gumtree / Craigslist 

 Although browsing recycled stores is fun, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your couch to buy secondhand if you don’t want to. Gumtree, or the American equivalent Craigslist offer free listings for those selling recycled goods. Take a look and narrow down your search to your neighbourhood, and you’ll be surprised at what you can find to add to your home.


eBay allows you to browse recycled furniture and décor in your area, all from the comfort of your own home. Where eBay differs from Gumtree or Craigslist, is the option to bid for your ideal piece in an online auction.. just make sure you don’t blow your budget if you get into a bidding war!

3. Buy direct from the supplier 

Who says you need to shop for furniture in a shop? Did you know, if you cut out the ‘middle man’ you can make huge savings on your furniture. If you shop direct from the supplier, you are looking at savings of up to 70%. That’s huge! It’s actually a more sustainable way of shopping for furniture too, because you skip unnecessary shipping from the craftsman to the importer > wholesale warehouse > showroom > retail warehouse > your home. Instead, you have your furniture pieces delivered directly from the craftsman to your home.

Jason Agustina is one such supplier offering designer furniture for less. Shop online for drool-worthy furniture for less, and have it delivered to your door.

Zola Dining Chair from Jason Agustina.
Tricia Dining Chair from Jason Agustina

 4. Small tasks, big changes 

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your decorating. Undertake a few small tasks and you can change the overall look of a room in your home in an instant.
  • Repaint your walls. With the right colour, you can completely change the look of a room. Painting your walls a neutral colour for example, will make even the smallest space appear more spacious.
  • Change your floors. Ditch that old carpet for new, or invest a little in a completely new flooring, maybe tiles, vinyl or floorboards. A change of flooring can work wonders for a room in your home.

5. Compromise

Must you choose real wooden floor boards or could you choose vinyl instead? Are Roman blinds an absolute necessity? Roller blinds can be very stylish and a much cheaper alternative. Do you really need that new designer couch you saw on the high street? You already know there are cheaper alternatives.

Working with a particular colour scheme?  Remember that doesn’t necessarily mean everything must be matchy-matchy. Work with what you’ve got, and bring in less expensive new (or secondhand) things that work into your ideal look. Be budget-savvy and don’t rush your buys. Take your time and compromise.

Kitting out your home to look the part really doesn’t have to cost a bomb. You really can get that designer look for your home on a beer budget with a little effort on your part and a little know how.


Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Jason Agustina

Stranger Things Fan Club

Thursday, July 28, 2016

If there's a Stranger Things Fan Club, I'm in. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, stop reading this blog post, switch on Netflix and watch the entire Stranger Things series now.. then come back here and see what I've found!

c/o imdb

Those that know me well, will confirm I don't watch a lot of TV.  It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I prefer movies, and rarely find a TV series that holds my attention. The last TV series I enjoyed was (still is) The Big Bang Theory, other than that, I'll go back as far as Sex and The City (yes, I know!)

Some folk speak of Stranger Things being reminiscent of 80s classics such as Stand By Me, ET, mixed with the X-Files, Poltergeist, and Steven King movies. Well that sparked an interest! Stranger Things is exactly that, and more. The American supernatural science fiction horror TV series is set in 1980s Indiana. A boy mysteriously goes missing, and his Mother (played by Winona Ryder no less) and his brother, do everything they can to find him.. but things get very strange indeed.

Binge watching the entire series of Stranger Things is completely understandable!  Not only does the series bring back great things we love about the 80s; Dungeons and Dragons, walkie talkies, bandanas, rotary telephones, puffer vests and hanging out with your mates on BMX bikes, but this TV series is addictive, in a good way, because of the plot and great cast.

There's no point talking about the plot, because that spoils it for those that haven't seen it yet (if you haven't, why are you reading this far? Turn off your computer and turn ON your TV!). But, because Stranger Things is quite rightly on its way to reaching cult status, I thought I'd turn to Etsy and see if there are any creative Stranger Things goodies to be found .. yes there is, here's what I found:

By littletinyghost

By The MilitariaShop

Sticker set by dreamlikefilm

by woeandshucks

Also a special mention for this amazing artwork by Matt Ferguson:

by Matt Ferguson

That's just the start.

Have you watched the series yet?  Will you join me in the Stranger Things Fan Club?


Six golden rules for Jeans for Genes Day

Monday, July 25, 2016

On Friday 5 August, Aussies will unite in a sea of denim to show their support for the Children’s Medical Research Institute on Jeans for Genes Day. The much loved national day raises funds which go directly to research aimed at curing childhood genetic diseases, which currently affect 1 in every 20 Aussie kids.

With so many types of jeans to choose from, Claire Fabb from Style by Yellow Button provides her six golden rules below to help you don your denim in style. 

Claire Fabb from Style by Yellow Button
1. Mum Jeans. These are so popular right now. They’re such a laid back look and can be really comfortable. If you’re going for a mum jean be sure to choose a pair with a high waist and avoid wearing a long layered top. Instead wear a tight top tucked in or something that sits at the waist.

2. Flares. This look is back and it’s the easiest way to look taller or slimmer. Simply wear flares with a heel or boot to add elevation.

3. Cropped. I’m loving the French inspired crop jean at the moment - it’s very Jane Birkin from back in the day! The important thing for this look is that less is more. If you’re donning this look wear it with a small pump or basic ballet slipper.  Cropped jeans should be a staple coming into summer.

4. Frayed Hem. These jeans are another gorgeous look, especially if it’s going to be a sunny afternoon as they look best when showing a bit of bare skin. Wear with a simple sandal and have your ankle showing for understated cool elegance. The perfect tran-seasonal look.

5. Jean & Sneaker Combo. The sporty look is fashion forward. This looks best with a cropped jean as you want to avoid the Jerry Seinfeld look. Wearing with a simple white sneaker is a good look however feel free to play around as there are some cool sneakers around at the moment. Why not try a bold gold or even a pattern?!

6. Don’t forget to donate. While we might get caught up in the style of it all, it’s important to remember the reason you’re sporting your denim on Aug 5. Donating is easy. All you have to do is text the word ‘jeans’ to 1997 6484. A $5 donation will go directly to the charity and will automatically get added to your phone bill. Simple!

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