28 Feb 2015

Red Midi Skirt Happy Dance

I have loved Chicwish for quite a while. Their midi skirts always look gorgeous and I've seen quite a few bloggers wearing them. It's always scary giving over your cash to a new online store that you've never shopped with before. When shopping in store you can try things on and get a feel for how the store's sizing suits you, as well as the quality of their clothes. Going through this process online you have to hand over your cash before you get to know these things about the store.

With skirts as gorgeous as those on offer at Chicwish, I couldn't resist trying out some of their stuff to see how it worked for me and I was so pleased with what I got. Something I didn't know about this skirt before I purchase it was that the fabric has a nice amount of stretch in it. I thought it was a stiff taffeta, but it's not. The waistband has two short elastic strips in it on either sides which are barely noticeable.  See my little white thumbs peeking out on the sides there, all white on the red waistband? That's right where the elastic is. I didn't notice them in any of the blogger pictures I've seen and they make the skirt so much more comfortable. Because your waist changes shape when you stand, sit and generally run around being rad, a skirt that moves with you is logical and awesome.

The skirt isn't lined, which isn't an issue. The fabric is so thick that there is no need for another layer to prevent show through. The skirt doesn't sit against the body, it sits out in this gorgeous shape, so it doesn't get static. Did I mention it was comfortable?

The colour is so bold! With the big shape it makes, walking into a room wearing it is like letting off a firecracker. You can't be bored wearing it. It's such an amazing piece and it comes in a bunch more colours that I want to get, too.

Top: sold out Friends of Couture
Shoes: Seychelles via Hello Holiday
Photos: Stu
Location: Ballarat

We also need to talk about these shoes. I snapped them up from Hello Holiday. The brand is Seychelles and the quality is AH-MAY-ZING. The soles have fantastic grip so I can easily ride my bike in them. The leather is so soft. Seriously, you've probably never had shoes with leather this soft. I haven't and I'm a cobbler's granddaughter. The leather stretches and moves for the feet beautifully. They fit so well I can run in them when I'm dashing about at work.

The only issue I have had with them is that these are my second pair. The first I bought were a 6.5. Obviously I'm an Australian 6.5, UK 4, US 6.5. These were listed as US 6.5 but are a whole size too small. Hello Holiday don't do international exchanges so I bought another pair, a 7.5 and these were a perfect fit. (The half size is for width not length, just so you know. I have wide little paddle feet) Anyway, 10/10 would buy again ;)

How gorgeous is this little garden spot by the river? I love it. I know I've done many blog photos here, but I'm not sorry. The light is gorgeous at any time of the day.

- L

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26 Feb 2015

Happy Blogiversarie to Me!

Hooray! It’s my Blogiversarie!

In celebration of today being 1 year to the day since I started on this crazy quest to blog an outfit once a week, here is a Throwback Thursday to my very first outfit blog post which featured this amazing favourite dress from Modcloth.

I started this blog in 2006 and initially I blogged regularly about things that interested me, which included clothes and art among many other things.  I mused and wrote short stories, I sometimes wrote about what I was wearing and fun things I was going to in my area. What I always had trouble setting up was the sort of blog I really, really wanted to do, and that was sharing my love of clothes and outfits with other likeminded souls. This was really hard because while I loved photography, the hardest thing in the world to photograph was myself. I eventually decided that wasn’t going to stop my so I began by pestering my sister, then my bestie and my mum and my brother and my boyfriend and my bestie’s boyfried to take snaps of me. I committed myself to do this at least once a week.
It’s actually been really tough and there have been some weeks where I just couldn’t get anyone to take pictures with me. That’s been the most frustrating part, not being completely independent with the creative process. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but until then it’s a fun collaborative process.

I have come to know some really passionate, soulful women in the last year. Style blogging has a brilliant community and getting to know those women who write about their personal style and share their hearts is something that makes me really happy.

If you want to see all the outfits that I have done in the last year, you can see them in one feed here.

I also did a post with some moving pictures (basic cinemagraphs) of my best outfits for 2014, which is kind of like a summary of the blog posts on the outfit tag. You can see that one here.

Thanks muchly for being a part of this really exciting year.

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20 Feb 2015

Red Queen of the Woodland Realm

My favourite park or public space in Ballarat is easily Victoria Park. It features massive trees, sweeping roads, fields of native grass with non native hares hopping about, and it's usually so quiet. Unlike the Lake and Botanic Gardens, which are a hum of human and animal activity, Victoria Park has still, quiet, wilderness feel to it. It's like you're somewhere between Hobbiton and Bree.

The light in the park is always captivating. Some days when it's late in the afternoon the light falls so heavily and thickly between the trees that it's nearly opaque and it resembles rows of gold bars. There's usually a radiance coming up from the grass, creating a milky glow on everything. Plenty of the paths and roads are covered in dappled light that makes me think of the how intoxicating it was for the company of dwarves and hobbit as they made their way through Mirkwood. Maybe the locals should consider a myth about elves living in the park, not an abandoned jaguar/panther.

Hat: Vintage
Blouse: Vintage. Similar
Skirt: Review or similar Red A-line Midi Skirt via Chicwish
Shoes: Wittner
Pics: Stu
Location: Vic Park

- L
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15 Feb 2015

Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival 2015

Content warning, there are some burlesque babes on this blog post, just in case you are viewing from location that would find that sort of imagery inappropriate. Hooray! Boobies!

Ballarat has had this intense cultural surge in the past few years. Not only have a bunch of fantastic eateries, cafes and bars begun springing up, local events aren't just getting big, the city is getting intoxicated by them. For the last four days locals have been saying to one another 'are you going to Rockabilly?' It's this welcomed event, where everyone will put on whatever rockabilly clothing they have and support the non-ticketed parts of the event in droves. They also swan around the city, driving vintage cars and wearing vintage clothes, bringing bright pops of colour to restaurants and venues that aren't even part of the festival. The Ballarat Beat event organisers approached me a few months ago to see if I would be willing to hang around the festival, take pictures and do some social media posts. Naturally, they couldn't stop me from doing this if they wanted to. The Rockabilly Festival has such a great vibe in the city, you can't avoid it. These are a few shots and stories from my time at the event.

It's not just the locals that get into the event. I met this amazing couple from my old home of Perth!

The main marquee had quite a few crowd drawing events including a poodle parade and the Miss Ballarat Beat pin up contest, which I didn't get to see all of, but it was still loads of fun.

Just to walk the Lydiard St strip is free and it's full of people, so I went on down to see what was happening. Some events in the marquee are free too, but even if there is a band on and you need a ticket to get on the dance floor, you can stand on the side and look in the 'windows' as the bass player charges out onto the dancefloor and stands on his bass. The rest of the band joins him on the floor and then he lays on his bass and slides across the floor. The crowd stands up and cheers as the band finishes. I go and talk to the band, tell them I loved photographing them. They tell me they usually set the drummer on fire.

The crowd in the burlesque is ready to party. They dance in the aisles to songs they know and the holler encouragement to the girls performing.

After I left the burlesque I started wandering down Lydiard St (the whole first northern block is closed for the event and it's full of people, vintage cars and market stalls), I was searching for things to photograph to capture the feel of the festival. Loud music and a bunch of people standing around outside Sebastiaans drew me in that direction. The small crowd outside are all chatting, lit by streetlights and the gold strip lighting of the cafe. I squeeze inside to hear the band. It's first time I have ever seen live music in Sebeastiaan's and it's wild. People are hollering and dancing and the space is cramped and hot and thick with roaring guitar. It's as though the lack of space means you can't escape the vibe and the band thrives on it.

After a little while I step outside to the cooler air and I wait for my family to arrive. It's late and most of the scheduled events are winding down. Out on the road under the traffic lights two women dance together to the sound of the band that's blaring through the door of the cafe. Their skits are twirling in unison. I pull out my camera and try to capture the moment. They spot me watching them and start laughing. 'Twirl for me!' I call out and they oblige until they both have to stop because they're dizzy and out of breath. 

During the day is the best time to capture people dancing, when the dance floor has enough light on it to take photos. I made my way to the dancefloor, walking through the festival to check out the stalls and what people were wearing. With a DJ on constantly in the main marquee there was always someone on the dancefloor. We hung out until the poodle parade started to get some pictures of the dogs. The event was packed. There was so much happening, and I missed out on a few events, too. 

An just because I hung out with her for the whole event, here are a couple more snaps of my spunky sister in a vintage dress that our grandmother bought our mother.

The photos here are only a small sample from the event. You can check out all the shots I took here on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lianasmooz/sets/72157650811951885/

If you want to stay in the know for the next Ballarat Beat event, you can find them on Facebook here.

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