Monday, April 26, 2010

Doing what you damn well please

In my last post I threatened to list all the things I use in creating my style. I'm going to start with something I'd love but will never have the courage and soul to muster - the "I will do as I damn well please for I am superior to you and all your brethren" look, as modelled by Kate:

Kate is forbidden to sleep on our bed. She doesn't need too - there are two lounges, countless blankets and a few hundred feet of sunny corners at her her immediate disposal. Therefore, in the way of all cats, Kate chooses the one place she can't have and shoots me this look if I attempt negotiations to resettle her.

If you are eagle eyed you might spy, behind Kate, the edge of a very lovely Prada skirt and an excellent vintage Jay Herbert bag, both of which I found in my recent New York foraging.

But back to my ingredients. Well, jewellery. I love it. I buy it at flea markets, pawn shops, antique shops, op shops and eBay. I've found it in Paris, Bordeaux, New York, London, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Sydney. I'll buy silver, gold, nickel, gilt, paste stones, semi-precious gems, diamonds, jet, platinum and lucite. I like it small and dainty or large and oppressive. I have deco and and Edwardian earrings, Victorian and 1970s rings, brooches from the WW2 era and beads from the sixties. I never leave home without a couple of pieces.
That's the left hand side of my dressing table featuring my bead collections.

Another ingredient I love, and have done for years, is handbags. Here are three of my favourites:
Ah, my Chanel girls. I found the brown one in the front at a flea market in Sydney, in its box, complete with dust bag, id card and hologram sticker. Forty dollars, I swear. But that's not the amazing thing - this is (and this still makes me want to hit myself with a something blunt and dangerous): there was a white one, being sold in the same condition - box, card, the lot, by the same person and I LEFT IT BEHIND. I didn't need two, I reasoned.

I still find it hard to talk about it.

The one in the middle is black with a Lucite clasp. $70, authentic, Chanel branding and stamps, found sad and dejected in a pile of fakes at the Bondi markets.

The third on is the jumbo 2.55. A glimpse for now but you will see more of her as this blog progresses.

The other thing I love is perfume. Again my love here is a broad church but I'm particularly keen on old, mysterious complex scents in plain elegant bottles. My two favourites are Jean Scherrer and Patou's 1000. Here's a selection from my dressing table.

You can see Cartier's Pasha scent there too - a bloke's scent crammed with sharp fresh lemon scents that are perfect for the Sydney summer - and Rocha's Femme, a fabulous dusty feminine scent filled with flowers and the fragrances of wood.

Next post: skirts, dresses and a smaller, more agreeable cat called Ellie.