Love's like a butterfly ......

J'adore butterflies. Live ones fluttering in the garden; dead ones pinned behind glass; metal ones - one of my favourite necklaces is a silver butterfly from Witchery, that I've had for years.

No surprise then I've a tad obsessed with this new season collection video from the house of Valentino. It might also have something to do with the soundtrack - Artie Shaw's Stardust. He was a legendary US clarinetist and big band leader. You'd know his recording of Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine. I'm partial to big band music from the 1930s-40s - Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller is a fave. Going to listen to Stardust all day.

Watch the video here - I'll have the olive satchel, please.

Valentino butterfly shoulder bag

Valentino shoulder/satchel bag SS2015



25 shades of yellow

J'adore jaune.  

I've been sitting on this post for a while but given there's a hint of sun and more to come, it seemed appropriate.

Friends and family would probably say my favourite colours are pink and red, when actually they're yellow followed closely by a colour with the official trademark name Tiffany Blue. It's close to a robin egg's colour and is a produced by Pantone exclusively for Tiffany the jewellery company. Shades of aqua and turquoise come close and they just happen to go well with yellow.

My love of yellow starts with my front door - which is a lemony shade of yellow. I am more attracted to citrus shades of yellow rather than the golden variety. As one of my favourite bloggers Mark D. Sikes wrote in June: "Nothing say hello like yellow! sunny, fresh, warm  and chic! Instantly lifts, instantly brightens, instantly welcomes! lemon yellow, golden yellow, mustard yellow- whatever shade, hello yellow!"

For some time I've been collecting images on yellow to create a picture gallery and have just seen street style photographer Bill Cunningham's latest video on the New York Times.

Bill who has a canny knack for noticing street trends on Manhatten streets, has picked up on the popularity of yellow as an autumn hue especially among those lucky enough to attend the latest Spring Summer '14 collections showing in New York Fashion Week. 

Watch Bill's vid and enjoy my gallery. Splash out on a bit of yellow this weekend.

Bill Cunningham of the  NY Times  says "joyous sunflower colours were a favourite of many women during Fashion Week, on shoes and print dresses"  

Bill Cunningham of the NY Times says "joyous sunflower colours were a favourite of many women during Fashion Week, on shoes and print dresses"

The extraordinary photos of Hugh Hartshorne

An exhibition has opened in Melbourne celebrating the stage and screen career of actor Geoffrey Rush.

Geoffrey Rush as King Berenger in  Exit the King , 2009.  Photograph by Hugh Hartshorne.

Geoffrey Rush as King Berenger in Exit the King, 2009.  Photograph by Hugh Hartshorne.

What’s the Adelaide link?

Many of the photographs appearing in the exhibition were taken by former Adelaide photographer Hugh Hartshorne.

He’s become Rush’s favourite portrait photographer.

I first worked with Hugh back in the 1980s at Messenger Newspapers – I think it was a first job for both of us. At the time, he was already a better photographer than I was a cadet reporter. After time working with the fabulous Milton Wordley, at Southlight Studios, Hugh eventually went out on his own which included moving to New York, where he has been successfully based for about 15 years.

He now co-locates between there and Sydney. 

So if you’re in Melbourne before September 29, be sure to head to the Melbourne Arts Centre, just down St Kilda Rd, and check out The Extraordinary Shapes of Geoffrey Rush.


What were we wearing in the ‘80s?

1980s Cherry Lane advertisement   

Sportsgirl ad from the 1980s

In the early 1980s, my mother had a hot pink, silk, after-five dress from the Australian label Covers.

It was the pink of Marilyn Monroe’s evening dress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but it had the sleeve-shape and tight skirt of Krystal Carrington in Dynasty.

It shared equal status with her pale blue Prue Acton maxi from the mid-1970s as my favourites in her wardrobe. She wore the pink Covers dress with multi-coloured carnival glass beads hat shimmered blue, green, purple or pink depending on the light.

I coveted that Covers dress. My sister got to wear once in the late ‘80s. Alas, it never fitted me.

Why am I thinking about ‘80s fashions? The Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, has just opened an exhibition called Club to Catwalk  showcasing London's clubbing and fashion scene in the ‘80s.

A picture gallery from the exhibition by The Guardian got me reminiscing about what I wore here to the likes of Toucan Two and Limbo’s, in the West End, to Leon’s, on the Parade, and Doug Govan’s My Place, in Hyde St, Le Rox, in Light Square and later the Venue, in Hindley St.

Although I lived in London at the end of the ‘80s, and even went to some of the clubs captioned in The Guardian, it’s not the mainsteam ‘80s fashions I mostly remember wearing. It’s styling straight out of the era’s video clips.

When I think of ‘80s fashions, I think of high-waisted Corfu jeans, made right here in Adelaide. And Canterbury rugby tops.

Yes, I had leg warmers but never stirrup pants.

I loved my dusty pink thick cord jodhpurs – Stuart Membery from memory. Or were they Jag? A white lacey shirt worn with a grey-striped taffeta skirt from Cream, on Unley Rd; and shopping across the road at Naffine’s with my mother.

What about the giant Cherry Lane store in Rundle Mall that you had to ride an escalator down to? Most of my work clothes came from there during 1986-88. And the funny-shaped Sportsgirl store at Burnside – was it a hexagon or a pentagon? Oh, and Demasius.

K-K-Katies seemed so much more stylish back then, although it’s the reverse with Witchery. Did you follow the advertising call to action that jingled “this goes with that at Sussan’s”? Now that’s an excuse to watch this blast from the past.

This goes with that....relive the jingle    here

This goes with that....relive the jingle  here

I’d love to hear what were your favourite outfits and labels from the 1980s. Maybe this slideshow below with jog the memory (click to open full gallery with captions).


Aspiring architecture in the city of spires

Today (July 18) marks the official start of a competition process to find a design for the current Royal Adelaide Hospital site. I am officially excited.

In five months time, when the winner is revealed - not that it will necessarily ever be built, we now learn - I want to be shocked, surprised, dazzled and enthralled. 

Anything less and I will feel it's been a pointless exercise. We can do mediocrity in Adelaide quite well. This is a time for modernity.  

The RAH site, given its location, deserves to be treated with a development that is inspiring, culturally enriching and a structure that becomes an instant iconic landmark in Adelaide. If regional or provincial cities such as East Lansing, Michigan; Baku, Azerbaijan; Guangzhou, China; Glasgow, Scotland; Zaragoza and Bilbao, Spain, and Wolfsburg, Germany can appreciate and live with groundbreaking contemporary architecture, surely we can?


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Imagining Frida Kahlo in Adelaide

Part of a portrait photograph of Friday Khalo by photographer (and lover) Nickolas Muray. Called Frida Khalo on White Bench. 

Part of a portrait photograph of Friday Khalo by photographer (and lover) Nickolas Muray. Called Frida Khalo on White Bench. 

This is a sort of memo (and appeal) to Nick Mitzevich, director of the Art Gallery of SA.

Word has it the next blockbuster for 2014 at the AGSA is going to be another dead white male, after this year’s (fabulous) Turner exhibition, although probably French.

Now given Talking Adelaide is obsessed with all things French, that wouldn’t be too bad – especially, for example, if it was a visit from the collection of the Musee Matisse, in Nice.

However, TA would like to put forward its own suggestion – a dead (non-white) female instead. One Frida Kahlo.


As much as I enjoyed the Turner, imagine if our Art Gallery could secure an extraordinary exhibition such as this one which opened earlier this year, Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe, at the Museo Frida Kahlo, in Mexico City.

Reading about it is enough to make me want to fly straight to Mex City before November (when the exhibition ends).

For the past decade, the Museo Frida Kahlo has been cataloguing some 300 pieces of clothing, jewellery and accessories plus documents, photographs and artworks all belonging to Frida, that were locked away after her death, in 1954, by her husband and artist Diego Rivera in a bathroom in the Blue House, the famous home they shared in Mexico City. Frida’s legacy wasn’t unlocked until 2002.

I’m linking (below right) to this long but compelling interview with the curator about the background to the exhibition that finally presents Kahlo’s “attire through the lens of disability and female empowerment, as well as her continued influence on fashion. The exhibition focuses on the ways Kahlo used her iconic style, often composed of traditional Tehuana garments, to project her feminist and socialist beliefs while also masking her debilitating injuries.”

Don’t you think this exhibition would push all the buttons: it’s 20th century, modern, has fashion/textile overtones, is about a culture so different from our own, has disability themes (so topical here) female empowerment and given that Mexican food is so popular now, we’d get all those hip and groovy types from Melbourne and Sydney to travel here. People do travel for art – the Turner attracted heaps from Perth apparently.

Oh, and the curator is now based in Singapore – so lots of publicity there, handy marketing link to Singapore Airlines? And also Vogue, as the Mexican  edition had a hand in mounting the exhibit. 

As always, let me know what you think – this is the kind of “blockbuster” I’d love to see here.

(See links at right). 

Frida Kahlo in New York City. Picture by Nickolas Muray 1938

Frida Kahlo in New York City. Picture by Nickolas Muray 1938

Classic Frida by Nickolas Muray.

Classic Frida by Nickolas Muray.

Making a spectacle at the Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale

It was the out-there wishful thinking of Adelaide designer Peter Coombs to use an old bowling alley for the “gin bar” inside the newly renovated Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale.

The salvaged wood has gone into the main bar top as well as four others dotted around the Salopian, together measuring 17m in length.

Coombs was also integral to another inspired piece of recycling, choosing old Fowler Vacola glass jars for the restaurant’s interior lighting.

The Salopian restaurant and bar is a partnership involving well-known McLaren Vale chef Karena Armstrong and her husband Michael; along with wine-making couple Elena and Zar Brooks, of Heirloom Wines.


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