australian

Forcast: Balmy Autumn Weekend

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Forcast of the Day: A Balmy Autumn Weekend. You wake up and it’s 7am, Saturday, last weekend of the season. Far too early for a weekend for sure. Its chillier than usual but you haven’t taken the thickest duvet out of your storage cabinet yet. Just another monotonous item to add to your things-to-catch-up-on list.

You consider staying under the covers to scroll through Instagram but then you decide that you need caffeine to power through the day: local markets, spin class, brunch, grocery run, late lunch …. You crave a Trenta, no foam, five-shot half-caf, no foam pumpkin spice latte with no foam at 210 degrees. Then you realise you don’t have a designer name nor a trust fund so you roll out of bed and get dressed.

You pull on the turtleneck you’ve been wearing everyday this past week – the one that can be unbuttoned at the neck to be a cowl neck and the one that looks good over a tulle skirt, under overalls and with a blazer. You slide into some jeans and moccasins, both varying shades of autumn and nod to yourself, Jobs had the right idea.

Then its 5pm and somehow your things-t0-catch-up-on list has grown longer and you’ve done nothing all day. You have to start getting ready for dinner, you need to be out the door five minutes ago. Its too late to change so you start trying on the heels stashed under your bed. You start with a patent block heel Mary Jane then you lace on some suede oxfords but nothing seems to work. At the last minute, you see your half patent, half suede court heels, buckle yourself in and troop out the door.

Recreate my look:

Violet Button Turtle Neck Knit / Sydney Double Breasted Coat / Kerise Skinny Jeans / Adelle Contrast Court Heels (all c/o Forcast)

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One Two Chi Chi Chi

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If you are looking for a deliciously fluffy, full skirted dress, stop by Chi Chi London for the prettiest, flounciest ones. It’s a pastel and floral frock shock but regardless of your day to day style, tell me you don’t want to have a good twirl and bounce in something so fun. I paired my lovely mint dress with some strappy heels but if you were going to a themed fifties party or garden day, some little sneakers would be just brill too!

If you’re interested in this dress, its made of a lovely thick material but something that you will definitely need to have steamed so it floats nicely. I would also recommend looking in the petite section if you were after a dress that isn’t so long. Available on their own site with free worldwide delivery and also Asos!

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Dress (c/o Chi Chi London) / Heels signoff2

The Kimono, Backwards.

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It’s pretty safe to say that kimonos and pineapples are being washed away from the shores that are our warm weather wardrobes. Before you put yours away into storage, let me show you how you can extend its life a little longer by tying it back to front and chucking on some classic black pieces to keep it relevant. Let’s call this a pathetic attempt at ‘sustainable fashion‘.

Recreate my look:

Kimono / Dress / Shoes / Hat / 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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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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Pier Pressure

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For me, summer means quirky patterned string bikinis, long days by the sea and greasy buckets of fish and chips. It means sticky sunscreen legs, strappy lace up sandals and awkwardly shaped tan lines. The sea-sun where we bring out the little white dresses that we have been saving since EOFYS sales.

Tomorrow is Australia day which means that it will really and truly be time to get back into the daily grind come Wednesday. Luckily, I still have around 3 more weeks until I start working. They say it takes 21 days to instill a habit. I better find something to stick to and make those days count!

Happy Australia Day Eve! I’m sure a lot of you are on ‘sick leave’ today so I hope its been a delightful long long weekend. I’m excited for some lamb and a pavlova topped with this season’s freshest. What are you plans for the 26th?

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Sheer Lace Dress ($35)

Embellished Sheer Bodice Skater Dress ($21)

Flutter Sleeve Midi Dress ($35)

Overlay Dress ($24)

Sandals / Watch (c/o) / Ring (c/o)signoff2

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

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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Namastay in Bed All Day

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Namastay in Bed All Day‘ – is that the general consensus among students this time of the year? Yeah … you and me both buddy … but we soldier on knowing that in a fortnight’s time, ‘school’s out, we can sleep as late as we want too’.* Here’s a little lifestyle editorial for your viewing pleasure today in collaboration with Shhh Silk. They launched their online store a few weeks ago and specialise in fancy schamncy silk pillowcases to keep your hair silky soft (the puns continue, apologies). I’m a violent thrashing sleeper who often wakes up in the morning looking like Hermoine so hopefully this will minimise the damage. My favourite thing about these pillow cases aside from how they make me feel like Eloise at New York Plaza is that they come with a zip! I haven’t found a pillowcase with a zip ever – they usually have nothing or little fussy buttons that no one has time for. For some more dreamy photographs, check out Shhh Silk’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you are interested in learning more about my creative process, have a look at my Pinterest Board to see the inspiration behind this editorial.

Since this is a collaboration and all, I would like to address something that has been on rotation in the social media loop in the last week. As someone who uses Instagram and the like I feel like I should talk about the whole Social-Media-Is-Evil-Essena-O’Neil-Quits-Everything matter. I use my blog and other social media channels to express myself creatively and part of this process involves collaborations with companies and brands that I am proud of. I am proud to be working with Shhh Silk because I think the fact that the founder quit her 9-5 job to pursue something she was passionate about is inspiring. I have been offered paid content before but I’ve turned it down because it meant giving the reigns to someone else. I’m not saying that I will never publish a sponsored post but when I do, it will be disclosed and it will be in line with my brand. I also think very highly of my readers and I am confident that they are smart people who can tell that my content is staged. Because, no, I do not have breakfast in bed like this every morning. If you would also like to read another opinion on this click here for some lolz.

*Millennials I do hope you get that reference because if you don’t SHAME ON YOU 😉

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Single Silk Pillowcase in ‘Blanc’ (c/o) Shhh Silk

Copper Wire Basket, Fairy Lights and Breakfast Tray from Kmart

Bustier from Cotton on Body (navy and pale blue are my favourites)

‘365’ Diary from Kikki-K 

 Bowl from Freedom; Vase from Ikea  

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YEARBOOK ONE

yearbook1TRIALyearbook5STYLE SMORGASBORD turns ONE today! How crazy is that … ? I think its particularly crazy because I launched SS on the day after I finished my HSC Exams and a year later I’m celebrating its birthday on the day after I finish my first year of university.

Sometimes I get into a funk because I question what I’ve achieved in the past 12 months but then I look back and I realise you know what, I actually did a lot blogging and life wise. But more on life stuff on New Year’s Eve. Halloween is the day we look back on SS.

Thank you to everyone who has ever stumbled upon SS. Whether that stumble ever led to a backtrack and an oh hey! I always appreciate your eyeballing, liking and commenting. I also want to thank all the people I know in real life – family and friends, that creep on my blog and are always too nice to say no when I ask for them to take photos of me. Thanks for feeling awkward behind the lens and going with it anyway ❤

I would like to think that year one was more of a testing the waters type thing. Style Smorgasbord gained some traction as to the general way blog posts are formatted in the last month and I intend to continue with this format for the near future. Here are some of my favourite blog posts: DIY Marble Side Table / Sun Salutations / Stay Gold / Entertainment By The Sea / Varsi-Prep and where it all began: Style. 

Finally, I have some goals for year 2 that I’ve been debating whether or not to write down but if I never put them out in the open, I’ll never have any motivation to achieve them so here we go:

  • Invest in a new camera
  • Move to WP.org and become self-hosted
  • Change my blog’s design
  • Increase consistency and frequency
  • Develop a more recognisable brand

sign off