Catch Me If You Can

I had the most bizarre afternoon yesterday. There was a massive blackout that shut down the entire Sydney CBD for a couple of hours, and when it happened we were in class. The rest of the building was evacuated but our teacher made us sit in the dark and continue talking about linen fabrics for another half hour. Frustration!

Two tests today and another one tomorrow. *sigh* Fashion is NOT glamorous; it's a lot of hard work! (But I do love it. :))

So Garance

On an unrelated note, I just heard that The Sartorialist is coming to Sydney for Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, where I'll be volunteering. Can you say, excitement overload!?

An Interview With Carla Coulson, Photographer

Carla Coulson gave up a corporate career in Sydney to pursue her true passion - photography - halfway across the world in Florence. Eight years later, she has since moved to Paris and built an impressive portfolio of work for Marie Claire, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Collezione, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, and Flair. She has also published a series of beautiful and inspiring books: Italian Joy, My French Life and Paris Tango. Carla very kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions. Read on!

You left a corporate job in Sydney to move to Florence and become a photographer. Do you have any words of advice for people who are considering a career change?
Yes, go for it but try and prepare yourself first. Try and understand what it is exactly you want to do and where you would like to establish yourself. Go about preparing yourself for the change. Take as many as courses as you can, prepare yourself financially and start building up contacts. Try and meet other people who are doing what you would like to do and ask them how they achieved it.

As a freelancer, what steps did you take to get your work published in the beginning ?
I put together a couple of different photographic stories, one of which was a travel story on Naples and then I rang all the magazines I was interested in working with and made appointments. The second magazine I saw was Marie Claire Australia and they bought the story. I continued to produce different travel stories for another six months until one of the magazines eventually commissioned me. When I had tear sheets things started to become easier.

Who are some of your favourite photographers?
I love the dreamy pics of Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi. Also love the black and white work of Peter Lindbergh and the fun and colour of Ellen Von Unwerth. Australians Trent Parke and Narelle Autio continue to inspire me.
Describe a typical day on the job.
Every day is different. When I am shooting I make sure I am well prepared days in advance. I think about what I want to shoot and how I want to do it. I make a checklist of everything right down to spare batteries for cameras and flashes. I always like to be prepared, sometimes even doing a test shoot before the day. If I am shooting a well known person, I research them, trying to see what images have already been taken and also a little background on them. Anything to make the day run smoothly.

Do you have a favourite type of camera that you use, or a range of them?
Yes, I love Leica cameras. I have two. A Leica M6 and M7 that I have used for all my own personal work over the past 6 years. When I have these cameras in my hand I have to think less about what I am doing and therefore I can concentrate more on the creativity. I love the quality of the lens and the camera is amazing in low light situations. As I love using the available light they are perfect. I have on my wish list a digital Leica M8...

You've lived in Sydney, Florence and Paris. What's your favorite thing about each city?
Every city has their good points. In Sydney I love the beach and the relaxed feel and the big blue sky. In Florence the architecture and the art never ceases to inspire me (food is pretty good too). In Paris the Parisian flair for doing everything beautifully. Also the sheer volume and quality of exhibitions in this town is unbeatable.

Finally, you just published a book called Paris Tango, about all aspects of life in the French capital. I can't help but ask - what do you think makes Parisians so stylish?
I think there are a number of factors contributing to the Parisians being stylish. First, their history. They were always known as the most elegant court in Europe and their love for fines things is centuries old. Haute Couture was born in Paris; here there is a culture of craftsmen and artisans that continue to inspire the designers and I think there is a real pride in dressing in Paris. Also the weather contributes. Jackets, gloves and hats are de rigeur in winter and when you come from a city like Sydney, where we dress so casually, everything here appears stylish.

Thank you Carla! Make sure you check out her lovely blog, "Carla Loves Photography", for more amazingly beautiful pictures and updates on her latest projects.

Photo credits:

An Interview With lua lua

lua lua is a London-based line of jewelry that specializes in luxury handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets and accessories in contemporary shapes and vivid colors. Launched in 2005, the brand has garnered a lot of attention in all the right places for its otherworldly designs.

Just recently, lua lua was commissioned by the Tate Modern to design a special collection of jewelry to coincide with its exhibition on Rodchenko & Popova (12 February-17 May 2009), and is currently showing a selection of designs at the Barbican Art Gallery to celebrate the modernist aesthetic of Le Corbusier (19 February-24 May 2009). The label was also asked by the Royal Academy of Arts to design pieces to complement its upcoming show on Kuniyoshi (21 March-7 June 2009).

Photography: Jan Masny
Make-up Artist: Megumi Matsuno
Hair Stylist: Kuni
Model: Savanah @ Select Model Management

Justyna Niewiara, the lovely and talented founder and creative director of lua lua, agreed to answer a few of my questions. Read on!
You studied Art History at Jagiellonian University in Krakow but your jewelry seems very bold and modern. Do you ever draw inspiration from historical sources? I have always been very inspired by the art of the Aztecs and the ancient Egyptians and more recently by artists from the 20th and 21st century. There is an almost timeless element to the language of geometric forms and color that transcends the centuries. These two elements combined with the perspex give the lua lua designs a distinct modern feel.

Why do you like working with silver and perspex? Are they difficult materials to work with?
I love the combination of these materials as it offers the possibility of creating a timeless elegance with a contemporary twist. The reflectivity of the silver is stunning next to colorful perspex creating a harmonious fusion. The materials themselves can be difficult to work with when I am making some of my more complicated designs but overall I love working with them.

How long does it take you to make each piece?
It depends on the whether I am designing a collection or just individual pieces, but a lot of my energy always goes into developing the ideas and concepts that influence the look of my work. Sometimes I live with an idea in my head for six months which transforms and evolves until I am ready to translate the designs into three dimensional objects.

Do you have a style icon or a celebrity you would love to design for?
Not really, although I think that Bjork would look great and really enjoy wearing my jewelry. I am regularly commissioned by jewelry collectors and friends to design special pieces for them which I really enjoy doing. I find it interesting to make unique designs that suit the personality of the wearer and which compliment their own sense of individuality and style.

Describe the typical woman who wears your jewelry.
lua lua jewelry has a wide appeal to women of all ages, from striking large scale necklaces with flamboyant designs to refined and elegant pieces for everyday wear. Adding a gorgeous piece of jewelry adds a sense of beauty to any woman, it can bring a a smile to your face.

What are your future plans for lua lua?
The lua lua brand is growing organically and is expanding step by step. In the beginning I mainly sold my jewelry in London and the UK but now I am starting to sell in Europe, the USA and Japan. I am trying to build an awareness of the brand and in the near future I would like to collaborate with fashion designers to design a collection of jewelry for them.
Thanks Justyna! Click here to check out her current collection.

Photo credits:

Modelinia, Modelinia

Today it's time for a PSA!

If you aren't already addicted to
Modelinia, you will be now. The blog makes keeping up with your fave models easy breezy.

I Heart Eleanor Hardwick

Eleanor Hardwick is still in high school but thanks to the publicity generated by her amazing Flickr set, her photography has already appeared in mags like Dazed and Confused. Doesn't the quirky romanticism of her pics remind you of Tim Walker? The British teen also kind of sounds like she stepped out of his kooky world - in 10 years' time she envisages herself working for Vogue Italia and living in "the weirdest house ever in Brighton". Cute.

Photo credits:

A Spoonful of Sugar

I love this look from The Sartorialist a few weeks back. She looks like a modern day Mary Poppins (which I saw on TV recently and realized is actually quite bizarre for a children's movie)!

Bambi Cakes

This mixed media installation by artist Andrea Canalito, titled "Twinkle Twinkle Baby", is so trippy. Who would've thunk to put Bambi in a cupcake?

P.S. Make sure you check out this brilliant Periodic Table of Cupcakes.

So Love...

...this rumor (a match made in streetstyle heaven!!!)...

...Maison Martin Margiela coffee cups...

...Remaking Fashion at the NGV...
Dress Model No. 39, 1946, John Galliano with an old world feel...

...boxes of macaroons...

...and anything with pink petals.
Pink Beauty Queens Bolero, Gail Sorronda, AUD $570
Happy weekend! I'm going to kick-start mine partying it up with some fashion school pals. xo, i.d.
Photo credits:;;;;;

Fast Times & Kitty Litter

How back breakingly beautiful was the hand-knitted collection by Mark Fast at London Fashion Week? I'm in luuurve with the detail on this dress.
Also feeling super jealous of Emmanuelle Alt - the pose! That coat! Those boots!
We had a meeting at school on Monday about volunteering as ushers and dressers at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week - it's compulsory but as if we all wouldn't jump at the opportunity. I'm so excited. I've heard that it's grueling but so much fun...A lot of my friends have already interned for designers - Sass & Bide, Willow, Lisa Ho and Ginger & Smart to name a few - so I'm keen to experience the trenches too!

I Heart Lanvin

I have a lot of love for Lanvin - so tailored, so chic, so feminine...It just evokes a lifestyle that I aspire to (you in Paris, designing pretty clothes for a living.) *sigh* This spread is from AW05. But have you seen their latest collection? To. Die. For. Click here for the full spiel.

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Caffeine Culture

Hullo lovely readers. Monday (regrettably) always seems to roll around so quickly! Coffee tends to help kick start the day - in fact, the models at Dsquared2 strutted down the runway holding coffee cups and gossip mags. Starbucks as an accessory - thoughts? I'm trying to cut down on caffeine so take-away coffee is only a once-a-week thing for me now.
Oh, and I should also point out - I've added a Google search bar on the right hand side if you'd like to search through my archives. xo, i.d.

The French Factory

The French Factory handcrafts miniature rings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces featuring macaroons, perfume bottles and bunnies. It's seriously adorable stuff!

I Heart Alexandre Duret-Lutz

I fell in love with this photographer and his 360 degree snapshots ages ago, but it's cool to see that Kanye likes him too. Click here to see his Flickr set.

Candystore Collective

With the multitude of online shops out there, it can be exhausting work tracking down the best. I love it when other bloggers give their recommendations so I thought I'd share one of my finds.

Candystore Collective is run by Jennifer Jones, Jenny Klowden and Marily Jones, a trio of vintage and design enthusiasts who scour the world for stuff that, in their words, "is simply beautiful, or makes us laugh, is well made, handmade, was given a bunch of thought, or has great story, was the result of a passion, an obsession, or just a plain old weekend hobby, or simply a great idea, or made with love." Who can argue with a philosophy like that?

Bow Necklace, Ann Marie Lawson, US$124

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Model Behavior

Altamira has proof that models are as fashionable on the streets as they are on the runways. (I know, life's so unfair.) Click here for oodles more.
Jessica Stam
Hyoni Kang
Jourdan Dunn
Natasha Poly

Chanel Iman