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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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Belt, Tuck & Roll

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I wore this dress for my birthday last year (see that post here) and its one of my favourites because its made of silk and so comfortable to wear. Now being the average heighted person I am, I find that a lot of Country Road dresses swamp me if I don’t add a pair of heels into the mix. After spending a week in work heels, I want the most comfortable, slipper like shoe possible!

To make a flat sole possible, I employed my favourite styling technique: the belt, tuck and roll. Basically, you take the thinnest belt you own to your midi dress and pull the fabric over to hide the belt so you’re left with a much shorter, weekend appropriate dress. To make sure people get the message that I’m doing Casual with a capital C, I like to add a cap, slip-ons and my trusty new bucket bag! Its not Mansur Gavriel but the structure is freaking amazing. You can’t get it online anymore, but definitely look into your closet Seed retailer for the last few 🙂

Recreate my look

Purse / Dress / Shoes / Cap / Watch

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Four Fall Pastels

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As much as I love prints and patterns, I also like how solid colours look together and since March officially kicks off autumn weather, I wanted to show you my four favourite colours to wear transeasonally: blue, camel, grey and white.

Recreate my look:

Hat / Turtleneck / Skirt / Shoes

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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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Don’t Stop at Good

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In a month NTC Sydney will be happening! I am SO excited for a whole day of getting sweaty, pushing my limits and meeting like minded people. I’ve been training for the last couple of weeks in the lead up to this event – attending Nike Women Week and all the complimentary classes they have provided and eating a ton of green juices and bliss balls. I went to the launch party which was a 90 min cruise around Sydney Harbour during which we did a 30 minute circuit session and afterwards we had breakfast and went home with some sweet as freebies. I’ve also been using the NTC app as well as my less intensely paced monthly Blogilates exercises and Yoga by Adrianne which is perfect for rest day and stretching out sore muscles. If you’re interested in signing up to the 2000 strong event, click here before tickets sell out!

Recreate my Outfit

Tank / Shorts / Sunnies / Watch (c/o) / Sneakers

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Summer Capsule Work Wardrobe

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I have been toying around with the idea of a capsule wardrobe for a while now and whilst I think it would be great for the everyday and fantastic for my bank account, I believe it would be a little tedious for my readers to see the same palette all the time. That being said, there are a few blogs dedicated to the art of minimalist dressing including Un-Fancy who has nailed her casual capsule wardrobe.

As I started curating pieces to add to my work wardrobe, I realised that a capsule wardrobe would be the most efficient way to build a collection of long lasting pieces that can be styled a hundred different ways. Today was my first day at work and I wanted to share with you what I have so far.

These sixteen pieces make up a very micro capsule wardrobe and I think its a great place to build up from. Caroline from Un-Fancy says you should stick to a number and for her that’s 37 so I can still buy an additional 21 core pieces. I can’t wait to show you all the different layering, tucking and rolling up options that are possible. Also keep in mind, that some of these images are just for representation purposes and a few items will look different from this. What really impresses me about this collection is how versatile it is. I can see myself wearing every single item regardless of whether its a 9-5 working day or not.

I actually styled a couple of pieces from this capsule wardrobe a while back so you can see my first look below. Keep checking back from time to time and you will see more additions in the future. Also since this is the last month of summer, I aim to put up another Autumn Capsule Wardrobe in April with some warmer pieces!

Look 1: Textured Top / Khaki Midi Skirt / Nude Block Heels

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Oh Vivonne, Bae.

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When we were in the visitor’s information centre at Kangaroo Island, I saw a wonderful sentiment that I would like to share with you today. “Kangaroo Island is not what it was nor what it will be. It is a story about change, isolation and remoteness. Natural change is never ending. Human activity influences change. Conservation is about managing the rate of change.”

Whilst the main point about conservation is importantly clear, I think its also a great reminder of why you should travel. Do it now and do it often because the places you go today will look different in ten years.

Take Vivonne Bay for example, in a survey of 10 000 beaches, it was judged one of the best beaches in Australia by University of Sydney’s marine studies centre director, Professor Andrew Short. I’m not exactly sure how they reached this conclusion but there’s something magical about those turquoise waters. That magic may disappear in the future but for now I’m just glad that I had the opportunity to see it.

Recreate my Look:

Kimono (c/o) / Tee / Jeans / Watch (c/o) 

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Plaid & Denim for Summer?

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Groundbreaking is what I hope Meryl Streep’s character would say if she looked up at me through her glasses and did a head to toe flick with the eyes. In reality, she’d probably get her assistant to throw me out.

Victoria is known for its crazy four seasons one day kind of weather so I wanted to be as prepared as possible in Mornington Peninsula even if it meant sweating a bit and looking out of place on the beach. Everything about this outfit is a travel essential regardless of the climate you’re jetting off to. Converse are a given, boyfriend jeans are comfortable eating pants and flannels make great swimsuit coverups. Plus, a boater hat and aviators are just good sense.

I spotted this long line of brightly painted beach boxes as soon as we docked and couldn’t wait to get a proper look at them and call dibs for the future. For a cool, 150k you can buy one to store all the flamingo blow ups, boogie boards and neoprene wetsuits you need for a day by the sea. Its a sound investment because the government has stopped allowing people to build new ones only to purchase and repaint old ones. I think mine would be turquoise, with a white roof and a pink door.

What colours would your beach box be?

Recreate my Look:

Flannel / Jeans / Converse / Hat / Backpack / Sunnies / Watch (c/o)

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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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