The Grounds by the Sea

Marks Park, Bondi

I’m a bit of a foodie.

I may or may not have a tumblr URL reserved for the day I start an actual food blog, I may or may not have taken unsuspecting friends to “cute little places” I’ve actually never visited before, and my inner gastronome may or may not have egged me on to brave the 30-minute wait for food at The Grounds of Alexandria‘s Bondi outpost at Sculpture by the Sea on Sunday – dragging along with it everyone accompanying me, of course.

But if it was the foodie inside me that urged me to try this Alexandria staple, well, I should go with my gut more often. Between us, we ordered a lamb salad (quite sweet, but nonetheless refreshing) two burgers (which I could barely so much as look at before they were eaten up) and my vegetarian wrap – pure heaven on a plate. I’m not a vegetarian myself, but the combination of falafel, pickled cabbage and pumpkin sealed the deal before I’d even placed my order: and it didn’t disappoint. We also grabbed a mango smoothie, two ginger beers and an apple cider, which all, in their own way, had a little of the unexpected thrown in – like the extra fizzy apple cider or the literal fruit salad attached to my smoothie.

Maybe it’s the big, bold, real ingredients loudly affixed to every food and drink offering from the Grounds, but the whole meal just had a very organic, very summery vibe that went along perfectly with the sculpture exhibition. Catch the Grounds before they relocate back to Alexandria next week (or, you know, visit them in their regular spot): your inner foodie will thank you.



Thom Browne SS15

Images via LA Times, NY Mag, Vogue and the Thom Browne Twitter.

As you probably know, I don’t live in New York. I’ve never even been to New York. And I’m far too obscure a blogger for anyone to even consider shipping me out there (but if anyone reading is considering it, please do, I’ll sit in economy class!!) for fashion week. For all these reasons and more, I’ve kind of abandoned the idea of commenting on NYFW: what do I have to say that the huddled masses actually at the Lincoln Centre don’t? Well, it may not be original, but I felt the need to break with habit and say it anyway – Thom Browne rocked.

Don’t let my slideshow fool you, the monochromatic palette was well represented on the runway – and so were a shitton of nutty hats. I mean nutty in the fondest sense: crossing my fingers to see at least one of those marvels at Cup Day (please be the tutu hat please please). The larger-than-life set and indecipherable narrative behind the show made it surreal and extravagant at first glance. But. But. Houndstooth suit surrounded by a halo of feathers (which, yes, it was totally necessary to post three photos of) aside, a be-sequinned peplum tee is still a peplum tee. Taking a closer look at the collection, you realise they really are ready-to-wear clothes. Sunflower sunglasses are total music festival fodder, and I can clearly see that pastel, appliquéd nanna cardigan taking over Tumblr. Beautiful, technicolour, wearable clothes.

Something Suzy Menkes said was really interesting – “anything that [Thom Browne] does has an undercurrent of discomfort.” That’s probably where the chips fall when the fantasy of the show meets the reality of the clothes. It’s probably also what makes you sit up and take notice: when it invites a second glance, when it takes a second glance at the clothes under the decadent hats, and is loud and unapologetic and totally of its own world, is when a collection becomes really fascinating.



Three Williams

613a Elizabeth St, Redfern

You know those places that just make you feel at home? Where they know your name, your face, your usual order? Well, I’m still on the hunt for a place like that, flitting from café to café and restaurant to restaurant all over our fair city – but Three Williams is a place that gives a damn good approximation even when you’ve only been there a handful of times.

On this particular occasion my friend Larissa and I ambled in at around 2:40, blissfully unaware that the kitchen closes up at 3pm. No biggie, though, ordering here is kind of a no-brainer: roast duck (mmm) ‘narnie’ (the house special – like I said, no brainer) and some chips with aioli (the classic side). Well, that’s what we ordered – our (genuinely) delightful waiter guy bestowed upon us these gifts three: a type of enormous Hungarian croissant and two “super smoothies” that looked like the kind of thing people who go running would drink. Needless to say, we were thrilled, as well as completely stuffed.

I mentioned Three Williams in my MBFWA eating & drinking guide, and I really hope you got a chance to try it out since then. If not, allow me to prompt you now into sampling the next-level sandwiches (all about $15) now. Go on, go try it! And Tweet me when you do, I want to hear all your thoughts.



Margiela x Swarovski

“Naturally and spontaneously, an imposing crystal emerges from its raw, stony origin, a Crystalactite is born.”

A collection almost two years in the works: maybe it’s fitting that it took me about a year to bring this pair of earrings into my own jewellery collection.

In recent years, Maison Martin Margiela has seemingly collaborated with everyone: H&M, Omexa, Converse, Mykita, the Swarovski atelier… the list goes on. While there are obvious economic advantages to producing collaborative collections (and the collaborations’ proximity to Diesel’s takeover of MMM is not to be ignored), something that’s given each collaboration a real ‘must-have’ factor is how much thought and difference has gone into each one. From the curation of years of Margiela clothing into the H&M capsule collection, to this experimental fusion of natural elements for Swarovski, Maison Martin Margiela actually takes their collaborations seriously, which is probably why I’m a such sucker for them.

For Atelier Swarovski, the Maison created pieces that fused Swarovski crystal with resin in a quasi-stalactite form to replicate the natural formation of minerals and crystals. It appealed hardcore to my penchant for all things natural-meets-industrial, which induced a healthy bout of Shopping Cart Syndrome in me for the longest time – despite how much it rebelled against my don’t-spend-more-than-$20-on-jewellery rule of thumb. It’s not that I resolved never to fork out for real jewellery: that rule-of-thumb is more a remnant of my high school days spent sorting through sets of studs and sleepers during 2 pairs for $5 sales. Fast forward a few years, and it seems 2014 has been a big one for “proper” accessories – a chunky metal belt here, a pair of crystal earrings there. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that they’re all on sale right about now!

End of season sale time is when I truly come alive, and burn through all the dough I’ve saved since the Christmas/January sales six months earlier. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have seen a little preview of this purchase on my Instagram: but, I’ll be honest, I’m still waiting out a few perfect pieces here and there. I may have snagged the last pair of these particular earrings, but there’s still a smattering of the collection available (reduced!) across the interwebs.

Have you had any success – either in buying “grown up” jewellery or navigating sales like a pro?

Wearing: ASOS Jumpsuit, Atelier Swarovski by Maison Martin Margiela earrings


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The One

The T-shirt – much like a comfy pair of sneakers or classic pair of jeans – is forever.

I’ll always remember one of my mother and I’s infamous shopping trips (before she threw in the towel and let me shop for myself), the summer before I started uni. The brief was simple, or so we thought: tees and jeans for everyday wear, and maybe a dressier shirt or two. An hour, hour and a half tops, right? Wrong.

Store after store after store, “no” after “no” after “no”. Did modern retailers just not get the concept of a T-shirt? One that felt as elegantly easygoing as it looked? We had almost exhausted the particular shopping centre’s women’s apparel offerings, until I traipsed defeatedly into Cotton On. But one halfhearted stroke of a little black tee and, well, that was it. I found The One.

In fact, I’m wearing the tee in question right now. Or it might not be that exact one: I bought three on the spot.

I headed down to the Cotton On megastore last Tuesday to snoop around the launch of The One – okay, and for the free food. Greeted with welcoming staff, #selfies and that all-important San Pellegrino gratis, it was about as cute and friendly as these fashion thingies get. It seems that Cotton On is not simply content with pleasing me, though: they’ve just launched their new collection of T-shirts, entitled The One and fronted by the always-entertaining Ms. Lara Bingle. The concept behind it is to craft that perfect tee for you: whether that’s a short-sleeve scoop neck or a striped boatneck that goes on for days (and, in your choice of six colours). I snuck a peek at Ms. Bingle (between the crazy tall dudes that never left her side), and also Brenna Harding thumbing over the tees stacked on the main table, but for the most part I cowered in the corner with Sharon feeling up T-shirts and making friends with the guys with the hors d’oeuvres.

Cotton On is famous for basics, and with good reason: you know you’re in good hands at a store that doesn’t always need to “go beyond” them. From the simple red and white logo to the homey décor of every Cotton On store, simplicity is not just utilised but cherished. And after all, what’s more quintessentially simple and cherishable than your favourite T-shirt?

Have you found the one – your perfect tee? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? What made it The One for you?

Images by Sharon and I. Mostly I.


Polkadot Manicure

I guess this post could’ve been alternatively titled ‘The Minnie Mouse Manicure’.

Now that the weather is turning chilly – 16°C, madness – I have the sudden urge to wear bright colours and prints. Maybe it’s like a reverse seasonal dressing, where I wear black in summer and colour in winter. However, the point is mostly moot, since I don’t own much zany clothing any more, and that’s the end of that – or so I thought.

Yesterday I was struck by an intense desire to wear polkadots. So intense, that I wasted a pretty good deal of time scouring the internet for a perfect polkadotted piece. But, if you know me, it takes me approximately 43567 years to pick a single item to buy, and I wanted polkadots now. So, instead of polkadotted clothing, I settled on polkadotted nails – or at least a pared-down, minimal version of polkadotted nails. In decidedly Minnie Mouse-esque colours, because no one does polkadots like Minnie Mouse, right? It’s another super simple manicure:

1/ Start with a nude basecoat. This part is technically optional, but it maximises simplicity.

2/ Carefully dot each nail with a contrasting colour. I did white on middle fingers/thumbs and red on every other finger.

3/ Topcoat and you’re done!

Do you guys get any crazy winter clothing/nail cravings? Oh, and in case you were wondering, here are my top picks from an afternoon of polkadot-spotting:

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. Read more about what that means here.

You’ll need:

Nude nail polish

2 contrasting nail polish colours

Basecoat & topcoat