Canning Street.

Canning Street evening

 

My cycle rides  into and home from work are two of my favourite times of day. Melbourne’s grid layout makes it ideal for biking, with generous cycle paths sweeping right through the suburbs. Morning is good time to clear the cobwebs, as I speed downhill into the city towards my first coffee of the day, often amongst a peloton of other two-wheeled commuters; one morning last week I counted 35 of us. Naturally I make it my mission to overtake anyone outrageous enough to wear lycra.

At the end of the day it’s a lazy cycle home towards the park and remaining evening sun, or a tipsy twilight peddle after a drink or two in the town. Sometimes I catch myself making ‘racing’ noises, swooshes as I turn corners – and that’s when I have words with myself. It’s made me realise I could never live in a place where I couldn’t safely cycle every day.  A bike, to me, is absolute freedom, and heck if you have more than that drink or two, you just leave it where it is – who’s going to steal a 27 year old Malvern Star?

Steps.

Studio steps

The cure to writer’s block? Typing. So here I type.

Once the morning haze had shifted, the light in Melbourne was so pretty today. Every day I take my lunch out to the fire escape in my studio and feast my eyes on this private view of the city, nine stories up.

Today it was courgette fritters and leaves. Except they call them zucchinis here. I’ve given it some deep thought (on these steps) and actually I prefer this; making them sound more exotic than the bitter little bastards they really are. I joke, no need to pull that face courgette.

Anyway, I suppose you’ll notice the bird netting surrounding my little oasis of calm, a ghostly barrier. I think it’s a rather touching metaphor for life.

Let the pigeons in and they will shit everywhere.

XXX

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Watch this.

Everybody has to see this film. It’s the Melbourne International Film Festival here and on Thursday I went along to the screening of Florian Habicht’s Love Story. I’m going to make a bold statement. Bar The Little Mermaid, this is the best film I have ever seen at the cinema.

Love Story is a really unusual film, which stars the charming New Zealand director Habicht: don’t be put off by the seemingly mushy title, this picture is truly genre-defying. Set in New York the film begins with him on the subway, falling for a mysterious woman carrying a piece of cake. From there begins an incredible love story which blurs the lines of reality and fantasy. Flitting between filmic scenes and documentary footage, the director approaches members of the New York public to ask them what should happen next in the film – you see a host of hilarious, worrying and oddball locals who steer the plot. A stellar Skype performance from Florian’s fantastic German father is the only person in the feature that the director knew before filming begun.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in a cinema, not the atmosphere in the auditorium fantastic and Habicht who was at the screening seemed genuinely excited and surprised by the turnout. Ultimately, the film reminds you that even when you are s stranger in a city, just taking that step to speak to people helps write the scenes of your own story.

There’s rumour of it coming to the BFI in London, please please go and see it if you are in town! I can’t wait for there to be a DVD release so I can stop gushing and share it with more people. Also on the to do list: New York…

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Collage crazed.

My friend Rebecca put me onto Beth Hoeckel, and boy-oh-boy am I glad she did. Hoeckel has only ruddy gone and scooped my Favourite Artist Who Uses Collage and Has Referenced Pyramids title. Nice one Hoeckel! Gold star in the post.

More about the talented Baltimore-based artist right here.

Open House Melbourne.

At the weekend Melbourne’s most interesting buildings opened their doors to be trampled through by voyeurs and nosy neighbours. I love a bit of through-the-keyhole so couldn’t resist heading to check a couple of them out. This is Hive Graffiti apartments in Carlton which was designed by architect Zvi Belling, whose flat we got to nose around. The integrated graffiti on the building’s exterior spells out ‘hive’ – Belling collaborated with Melbourne artist Prowla.

It’s great to see a building incorporating the street art that covers so many of Melbourne’s buildings. It also created some pretty cool window shapes. We sadly weren’t allowed to take pics inside the house, but think Bond on a bit of a budget: sleek, white, bachelor-ish. The other building I went to see (in the University campus) was way-boring so I shan’t bother sharing.

Open House Melbourne runs yearly.

Shrines.

My ears have been draining the life out of Purity Ring’s album, Shrines. I may or may not have Spotify’d it four times today (welcome to Australia, Spotify). The Canadian duo are Megan James and Corin Roddick and they deal in that line of electro-pop which you need to be at least 1/10th Scandinavian to pull off – dig into your genetics Purity Ring, there’ll be a Viking in there somewhere. Think Grimes, Little Dragon, The Knife, all my favourite bands….. ethereal lyrics, sweet-as-you-like vocals and dreamy bass. I mean, how can you not trust a band who’s artwork is a good as this?! A friend of collage is a friend of mine.

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The chop.

Short hair rocks. For four years I’d been growing my hair out a) because I’m lazy and b) because it recession-proofed my scalp. Long hair is lovely – but not if yours is the consistency of wire wool. So! I had it hacked off to shoulder level and I’m pretty relieved. Now I just want to go shorter-shorter! Here are some other chicks who agree short is the shiz.

Chicks from top: Madeleine Bowden, me, Emily Weiss and the awesome Yasmin Sewell (good Aussie).

 

 

What kept you so long?

It looks like I had a bit of time out. Moving continent turned out to be kind of hard work. And I’ve been spending a lot of time writing here, which for a while was fulfilling all my wordy needs. Then I took a long trip home, which was really lovely.

I had a blogging dilemma. I spend A LOT of time on blogs. I’d say maybe 18% of my waking time. Generally fashion is a bit over-blogged. I am not cool, nor am I going to be posting pictures of myself dressed in wacko outfits that make for amusing browsing. I’m not particularly insightful, nor do I have niche knowledge of some nerdy topic. But actually, sod all that. I like the process, and who knows, one day it might get interesting. If you’re along for the ride, hold tight and God bless.

*God bless may have made me sound religious. No, I’m not even that interesting.

Antipodean Arrival.

After months of excitement, I’ve arrived in Melbourne where I shall spend the next few months spreading the EDITD word. I arrived during the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival – lots of seminars and consumer shows as well as a slot for EDITD at the business seminar. I’m really looking forward to tracking down why Melbourne is deemed the world’s most liveable city. Over the coming months I’ll be presenting the evidence right here!

First stop was Melbourne zoo, to introduce myself to the locals. How frigging lazy are kangaroos?!! This bad boy was the only one who bothered to get up and introduce himself.

Lookk: See.

I’ve recently been working on a collaboration between EDITD and Lookk, which will feature in their site’s magazine this week. Whilst I’ve been applying trend data to their designer’s collections, it’s been a really good opportunity to get familiar with their site. Lookk brings social and commercial together – designers upload their collection’s lookbooks which users can then vote for favourite items or ‘follow’ the designer. When enough demand is generated, the item or collection is put into production.

And this is the really interesting part; it’s Lookk who take care of the manufacturing process. They take a cut of the profits and use their own factories to produce the items. Having worked for a young label struggling to establish good communications with factories, I can see the real appeal of this. It can be a nightmare getting your runs prioritised and getting good deals for fabrics and components. Even sourcing graders and trims suppliers can be hugely time-consuming, so I can see the appeal in cutting this out! Lookk can help launch the careers of fledgling designers and give the designer’s an insight into their fanbase which is measurable.

Some people have been sceptical about the cut that Lookk take, but I think anything which puts new designer’s work on a social platform is a good thing – and feedback and commentry is vital at this early stage. My only criticisms would be firstly, that the seasons can be misleading – if there’s a past season collection on there and enough people like an item, will it get made? Secondly, it would be nice if the huge selection was a bit more searchable.

Have an explore, there’s some really great stuff on there, ranging from commercial to highly-creative and much of the photography is excellent. Lookk cover all bases including womenswear and menswear, accessories and jewellery, from designers across the globe. A link to the project I’ve been working on should appear on the EDITD blog later this week. In the meantime, check it out yourself!