Collaboration

Dressing for Uni Post Mid-Sem Break

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How great has this four day weekend been? A double weekend was exactly what I needed to slow things down a bit and gorge on chocolate and tea (2 new loves from Twinings – apple & ginger and spearmint & peppermint). I’ve been moseying around, trying to get up to speed with everything as well as pre-doing things because I know in a couple of weeks, it’s going to get full on. That means pre-readings, pre-shooting, pre-instagramming, pre-writing and pre-emailing. It’s a bit annoying, losing the real time authenticity of blogging and the excitement that goes into hitting ‘publish’ but if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – as they say.

Today, ASOS asked me to share what I would wear to university nowadays compared to what I wore on my first day of uni as a fresher. You can see that cheesy enthusiastic throwback picture here. Which, brings me back to mid-semester break. I always find myself burnt out right around this time. The newness of the school year has worn off, the social calendar falls apart as everyone gets too busy and the days get shorter and colder.

Maybe all you need is a good outfit to roll out of bed into next Monday – ready to face group assignments, mid-sem exams and all day library hang outs. I’ve been wanting to try a pair of over the knee boots forever now and I finally get why people have them in multiple heel heights and colours. They are super flattering even if you have more muscular legs but I will point out that real/faux suede is difficult to maintain (I have grass all over mine already from this shoot) so I’m glad I didn’t drop 1K on a pair of SW’s.

Recreate my Look:

Sweater (c/o) / Jeans (c/o) / Boots (c/o) / Similar Bag / Pens / Sticky Notes

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Perrie

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As you all know by now, Style Smorgasbord is a paradoxical blend of high and low, girly and masculine, tight and loose. Today, I decided to shake up the common denominator and went with boxy, structured everything.

Its the monochromatic equivalent of silhouettes.

When I build a look in my head, there’s always the hero piece that magnetises everything else together. This look centred around my new work bag from Paul’s Boutique SS16 collection. I worked with Paul’s Boutique last season so I was delighted to see their line sheet for the new season. There are so many beautiful pieces in seasonal neons but my personal favourites are those in tonal shades of stone, off white, navy and black. They are slowly releasing their lines and the ‘Perrie’ is from the Trinity Collection which is available in navy, blush and silver. The ‘Perrie’ is almost the perfect bag but I wish it could fit my 13 inch macbook air – it just falls short by about 2 cm 😦 ! I also love the classic silhouettes of the ‘Amber‘ and ‘Hunter‘.

Recreate my Look:

Shirt / Pants / Heels / Purse (c/o)

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Bottle / Phone Case (c/o) / NARS Products / Watch / Purse 

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Biker Jeggings

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These Rockmans’ jeggings with their stitching and panelling are appropriately called ‘biker jeggings’. My first instinct was to run far far away because the word jegging takes me back to my first pair which were from Valley Girl and made of a thin material that was excellent for tucking in to tall Ugg boots but not so much for hiding my neon coloured panties. My second instinct was to pair them with studded biker boots and a leather biker jacket. But that’s not what Style Smorgasbord is about. Instead I pared it back with some neutral boots and a flouncy shirt.

Recreate my Look:

Top / Jeans (c/o) / Boots / Watch (c/o) / Necklace (c/o) / Bag

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Black, White & Summer All Over

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My mum has a fantastic collection of blazers. Most of them have BIG shoulders but hidden among her wardrobe are a few gems. I’ve had this white linen United Colours of Benneton blazer sitting in my wardrobe for about two summers and have always been hesitant to wear it because its a bit too broad for my shoulders and the sleeves have yellowed from years of storage.

I kept holding onto it because the fabric was such nice quality and made in Italy – something of a rarity these days on the high street. Then last week I was feeling particularly creative and I decided to chop off the sleeves, seam the edges and reconstruct the leftover fabric as a sash. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’ll definitely be layering it as we change seasons and also wearing it without the sash and with open lapels. It actually looks like a lot of wrap jackets seen in resort collections and if you were to buy a rope tassel from Lincraft, you could create a vest like this one from Seed.

I styled the vest with my knitted skort (last seen in the winter styled with tights and a coat ‘Four Seasons‘) but I think it could pass as a playsuit if you wore matching linen shorts. I also opted for some delicate silvery jewellery from Iconic-Style to go with the silver woven thread in the shorts. I don’t usually go for v-necks so when I do, I like to add a small necklace and this whimsical star one is the perfect length.

Recreate my Look:

Vest / Skort / Sandals / Ring (c/o) / Necklace (c/o) / Watch 

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Photography thanks to Adela (Styliminal) signoff2

SS Brunch with Aurai

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I first came across Aurai before I travelled to New Zealand and I was initially drawn to the name. Aurai are subtle, gentle and difficult to find and they travel across the world through the sea bringing messages to the Gods. Now that I have returned and seen the wonderful country and learnt more about its rich culture, I am more humbled than ever to be able to introduce Natalia, who is the creative force behind this swimwear company which just launched its first collection this summer. Natalia was born in southern Brazil, where she graduated from University and started her career. She moved to Milan, where she pursued a Master’s Degree in Fashion Management at IED and worked in the buying office at La Rinascente. Currently she lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.

In a world where everything is go go go, why are you attracted to the philosophy of ‘slow fashion’?

My interest in ethical fashion stemmed during my University years from a deep concern about questionable practices within the fashion industry and interest on new approaches in the way we produce and understand fashion. I understand the fascination with famous brands and fast fashion but it’s not a secret anymore the human and environmental cost of our current fashion system.

Besides the environmental concern, the slow fashion movement reinforces that workers should be respected and receive fair wages, designers and brands should be authentic and visionary to influence positively the market, and that customers should be provided with information and encouraged to make better choices when buying.

The way that businesses are conducted has never been more important, and although I won’t save the world making bikinis I feel that I have a responsibility to make it as better as I can. Hopefully I’ll inspire other brands to do the same and people to support small makers.

If you want to learn more about AURAI’s practices click here

In your debut collection, you experimented with fish leather, tell us briefly how the fish leather is made into a swimsuit?

At AURAI we are always searching for new technologies that can help us to develop more sustainable and creative products. I decided to experiment with fish leather after I learned that a local leather company had developed a way to treat fish leather, which is a by-product of the food industry and that often ends up polluting rivers and lakes, disturbing ecosystems and causing consequences beyond known solutions. I thought it could be not only interesting in terms of design and innovation but I also wanted to support their effort in creating such an amazing product.

How do you juggle being a creative and a business woman at the same time?

It’s a learning curve for sure, but nowadays I truly believe that my creativity makes me a better business woman and that my analytical skills help me to design and develop better products. It’s all about balance so I face it everyday as an opportunity to become a more resourceful professional.

My favourite print from the collection is the Koi Fish, what do Koi Fish mean to you?

I’ve always been passionate about Eastern history, culture and aesthetics and I’ve always loved the legend of the Koi Fish, this small but strong creature that swim against currents to the top of the mountain. It represents ambition, courage, perseverance and all the obstacles and successes we encounter in life, so it was a perfect visual symbolism for a first collection 🙂

Any hints on what we can expect in your next collection?

My next collection will be about a ‘journey to the ocean’, the sensation of wonder and delight that comes with touching the sand with our barefeet and feeling the cold salty water on our skin. The prints will tell this story while some pieces will receive beautiful handmade macramê detailing and contrasting ties. My passion for surfing will also be more in evidence in the form of a rash guard and an one-piece suit.

If you are interested in Aurai pieces, now is the time to have a sticky as they’re doing a big sale here. 

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Seas the Day with P&O

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Ahoy! I have returned back on shore with sea legs and a full belly after seeing some of the ‘Secrets of the South‘. Last week, I spent 8 nights onboard the newly launched Pacific Eden which sailed from Sydney to Kangaroo Island and back. To give you a little idea of what a day in the life of a cruise-ling is like, I present to you a 48 hour recap that consists of one port day and one sea day.

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Port Day

0700 – Breakfast at The Pantry: The Pantry is the closest thing to a buffet that you will get on the Pacific Eden. Gone are the days of sticky salad tongs and soda dispensers. Instead, the citrus coloured interiors are divided into cuisines and everything is served by cruise staff. If you want quick food without the hassle of waiting for a 3 course meal, The Pantry is the place to go. My favourite sections were the salad bar and the dessert bar 🙂

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0800 – Shore Tour: A port day means that the liner docks for a whole day  (usually around 7am -5pm) and you’re free to roam the place as long as you get the last tender back to the boat. This particular boat docked at Eden, Mornington Peninsula, Portland and Kangaroo Island. I squeezed in a couple of shoots at these places so I can’t wait to show you more beautiful photos in the coming weeks.

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1900 – Dinner at Waterfront: As the name suggests, this is the restaurant with views of the ocean. Serving up ‘Modern Australian’, Waterfront was my favourite dining option that didn’t come with a cover charge because the menu changed every night, the staff were wonderfully enthusiastic and the decor was stunning. There’s three courses for lunch and dinner plus an extra sharing platter for the evening that is another meal in itself!

2000 – Pre Show Drinks: The drinks on the Pacific Eden were flowing every hour of the day and there are plenty of bars all around. Keep your wallet at home – all you need is your cruise card and everything purchased is put on your tab.

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2045 – Velvet Rope at the Marquee: There was live entertainment on most nights but the Velvet Rope was my favourite because it coincided with The Great Gatsby party. Expect lots of singing, dancing and beautiful costumes – all delightfully tied up in a neat 45 minutehigh action show.

2230 – Late Night Movie: If you’re still not ready for bed you can always head over to the Torquay to catch the last movie of the day. Some of our options included Jurassic World, Kingsman, Gone Girl, Age of Adeline and Fantastic Four.

Sea Day

0800 – Morning Dip: Sea days are the perfect opportunity to test out all the amenities starting with a swim in the many pools available.

0900 – Breakfast at Waterfront: Then its time to have a long breakfast complete with all the juices, pastries and sweet and savoury breakfast options in the world.

1000 – Zumba in the Dome: With all the 3 course meals you’re consuming, this is a great morning workout to do. Can you still pull a one leg stretch with sea legs?

1130 – Hair Appointment at Elemis Spa: The Elemis Spa has a a huge variety of services available including massages, fire and ice manicures or even a chop and colour which is what I had done!

1300 – Lunch at Angelos: Aside from the Waterfront, there are two other restaurants that are included in your ticket. Angelo’s does Italian and Dragon Lady does Pan-Asian.

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1400 – Silver Screen: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: There’s always a classic flick on in the afternoon. I’ve been meaning to watch this Audrey Hepburn film for the longest time so this long sea day was perfect for that!

1530 – Gym: Get your body ready for dinner ha!

1730 – Spa: There’s an outdoor jacuzzi for those who don’t mind the natural elements but if you want to spoil yourself, try the Elemis spa rooms. There’s a wet and dry steam room, a jacuzzi and my personal favourite, the heated ceramic beds which dry your wet swimmers.

1900 – Dinner at Luke Magnan Salt Grill: Salt Grill comes with a $49 cover charge but its still a price that can’t be beaten if you were to experience his food in one of his physical land stores. The French and Chinese fusion inspired menu is presented in a simplistic way that still packs an incredible punch of flavour.

2145 – Comedy: A bit of cheeky fun for all the adults on board.

223o – Bianco White Party at the Dome: There are a ton of parties on board and there’s a great atmosphere created when everyone gets involved in the theme. Our cruise had a sail alway, a back to school party, a gatsby night, a bianco white party and a las vegas pool party.

2359 – Midnight Snack and Zzzzz: Your stewardess makes your bed twice a day which is service that I have never experienced. They will first make your bed in the morning and then whilst you’re having dinner, they get it ready for the evening by dimming the lights, placing a tray of midnight snacks on the bed and twisting your towels into animals. You will feel incredibly spoiled and taken care of for sure!

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Post created in collaboration with P&O Cruises

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SS Brunch with Uzuri

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I have returned from my holiday with plenty of beautiful things to share with you including the first SS Brunch of 2016. I want to introduce to you Magdel and Emre who are the founders of Uzuri, a newly launched brand that hails from the beautiful and graceful country that is Africa. They have a wonderful vision to clothe the inner dreamer, seeker and scholar and their SS16 Capsule Collection consists of timeless and elegant staples including The Moja which is a 100% leather sandal that has been locally sourced and crafted in Africa. I hope you enjoy this SS Brunch and feel inspired to tread lightly and kindly.

What makes Uzuri African?

Our leather and fabric are sourced locally and the craftsmen with whom we partner are all South African. We aim to design first and foremost for the women of Africa. Women of different ages, races and cultures – all embracing their heritage, inspiring generations to come, seeking beauty, living boldly but also seeking qualify and functionality.

Uzuri means beauty and grace. Do you have any muses that embody these two words?

We were both raised by strong and independent women, we have the privilege of being surrounded by incredible sisters and friends who are passionate about life, who are true to themselves, who pursue their dreams fearlessly. Ladies who live their lives with intent + walk in truth, in grace, in beauty. These are the women that inspire us, the women we want to dress.

What are some of the steps implemented so that your final product is ethical and fair?

We believe in buying local, even if the result is a slight increase in prices, and in  partnering with our South African craftsmen and ladies. We are involved in every single detail. Sourcing, meeting with our craftsmen / ladies, designing + the final quality control – we ensure that all the people in the production chain is honored and fairly compensated for their contribution. Uzuri is a vision that stretches further and wider than clothes + shoes. We love our country and we want to build + dream alongside contributors to continuously invest in + grow this multifaceted country of ours.

Tell me about your creative process, is there a certain time you work, a candle you burn, a beverage that you consume?

We have both been working full time until the end of 2015, so the dream of Uzuri was pursued over weekends, late nights + early mornings. We have been drinking numerous cups of tea + dreaming of a brand that is true + bold + ethical since 1999, when we first became friends in grade 8.

What are you goals for Uzuri in 2016?

Uzuri is still in its baby shoes. We want to continue building a brand without compromises- growing holistically but remaining faithful to the childhood dream. Our aim has always been to rather deliver an ethical product, that embodies beauty and quality, than delivering a bigger, more mainstream, but less ‘hands-on’, range. Of course this has its own challenges, especially in a growing market – the effect being that Uzuri ranges are always limited editions. Moreover we will continue to follow our hearts, work hard, and shine a light on the beauty that Africa has to offer.

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The Moja in Nude Leather  (c/o)

If you want to learn more about Uzuri’s vision as well as visit their newly launched website, click here.  signoff2

Ribs & Bumps

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I always find myself attracted to navy and maroon as a pairing. Throw in a small stripe of grey in the form of a Cluse watch and you have the perfect football jersey in my opinion 😉 Those collegiate colours have me waxing poetic about the American collage football games I will never attend. The idea of home made posters, marching bands and shoulder pads excited me to the point where I am shaking my pom poms like a peppy cheerleader.

I didn’t think I would be breaking out this dress for another few months at least but its been strangely cold this year. Hardly beach weather that’s for sure! I have another month until I start having proper commitments so let’s hope we can squeeze in a few trips beforehand especially on Australia day. A few days of cool temperatures doesn’t bother me though because this ribbed maroon beauty is very flattering. The side cut outs give the illusion of a smaller waist much like how black panelling is usually used in body con dresses.

Dress (c/o) / Watch (c/o) / Purse (c/o) / Shoes 

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Conservative Trending

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Top / Jeans / Belt / Bandana / Watch (c/o) / Flats / Bag / Nails

I’ll always go to the clearance section of any store before I even glance at the new arrivals. Further 50 percent off emails and banners make my hands sweat with excitement. Pricing an online store from lowest to highest gives my great satisfaction. Lets face it, I’m not the biggest fan of spending money on trends. Its easy to see what’s going to go out of style and what to invest in. I like the whole 70s thing that every chainstore is shoving down our throats but not enough to commit to a pair of flared jeans for more than a month. Instead, I add a red bandana and brown cross body both stolen from my mum’s wardrobe and I don’t have to spend a dime.

That’s not to say I don’t like to splurge on the finer things. Timepieces are something I thoroughly enjoy and this year I have managed to acquire quite a few unintentionally. One of which includes this Rumba Time piece. The beautifully cut edges reflect light and create the prettiest rainbow effect on your walls. Unfortunately Rumba Time’s website only ships to certain places. However, you can buy this exact style on ShopBop which I recommend because the shipping is crazy fast even if you live in Australia.

So save those dollars and invest in lasting pieces that your children can steal from you down the road. Or put it towards that holiday you’ve been meaning to take yourself on. Experiences are always greater than material things. Period.

rumba14rumba3rumba4rumba8rumba13rumba12rumba15Edit: I have decided to update my sign off with a more personalised touch. Writing Christmas cards and gift tags helped me come up with a new way of spelling out ‘much love karen’. Let me know what you think of it and thank you so much for reading.

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SSCHRISSY

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dress /  flats / laptop case

In an ideal christmas wonderland, I would be able to create 24 days worth of content (an SS advent calendar type thing if you will) to ring in my favourite holiday of the year. Unfortunately, time and lack of wifi for the first third of this month got the better of me so with 10 days left until the big fellow be creepin’ I have created a smorgasbord of festive things that will make you say oh oh oh. Oops I mean ho ho ho! Read on to see what I have been up to in terms of decking the halls and how you can give your house that Rockefeller treatment even if you are experiencing 30 degree plus heatwaves on a weekly basis.

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NETFLIX & HEAT

I.e. stay horizontal to the ground as you wait for the thunderstorms to roll in and signify the end of yet another 30 degree Sydney day. All the Home Alones are always a classic, Love Actually, Elf and Santa Clause are viewed with greater enthusiasm each year and any Christmas themed television episode is always a delight. I watched Christmas Eve on the weekend which is a 2015 film – very realistic but not the greatest. Vlogamas has also become quite a tradition my favourites being: Zoella, Rachel Jade Annear (Australian), Aspyn + Parker & the Sacconejolys. If you want to feel like a Christmas Grinch, go watch these people. Do it in style with a marble laptop vinyl like mine from CaseApp and get 20% off your next order with the code SMORGASBORDCASE20. 

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recipe

BAKE IT OFF

Make like T-Swizzle and have a baking day with your squad. Listen to Christmas albums with some JB on the side because as much as we love to hate the Biebs, we all love Purpose. Was our icing intentionally crafted to look like snow or was it purely an accident? Only you and your friends will know this delicious secret that you will take to the snapchat grave. Great bonding sessions guaranteed. NB: No gummy bears were hurt in the process of building our gingerbread mansion despite the fact that they do look like they are falling off the roof.

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MONOGRAMMING IS SO 2015

Personalise your tree with print outs of photographs from the year. If you could do this on a 2 metre pine, it would be the perfect conversation stater piece slash subtle bragging ensemble. Oh yeah .. this quick snap was from the Maldives in early Jan and ah I look so tan here from my 2 week Greek Island escape.

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golden wonder bath bomb

TREAT YO SELF

As important as giving and receiving is blah blah blah … you know whats the most important? When the giver and receiver is both yourself. Yeah that’s right hun, you go and spoil yourself silly this silly season. A nice long bath away from all your responsibilities and to treat those paper cuts from over wrapping is a start. Lush knows whats up with the Merry Christmas gift set filled with their most popular Christmas treats: Cinders Bath Bomb, Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, Lord Misrule Bath Bomb, Father Christmas Bath Bomb and Dashing Santa Bath Bomb . If you’re feeling generous, I guess you could give them to friends and family too. Look at those smart cookies, saving you from doing any wrapping.

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Products featured c/o Pocket Prints / Lush / CaseApp 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @stylesmorgasbord for all the latest #sschrissy updates and I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season! 

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