Saturday, July 24, 2010

Governor Macquarie

Last weekend I went with some fellow Macquarie enthusiasts to see 'The Governor' exhibition now on at the New South Wales State Library. I only really discovered how massively awesome Governor Macquarie was this year as I was brushing up my knowledge of Australian History for my research. He arrived in Australia as governor after a bit of a rough time in the colony (after the rum rebellion) where evil military dudes had taken control. But he managed to triumph against adversity and basically built Sydney as we know it today. Anyone is Sydney will know there is heaps of stuff named after him - streets, parks, buildings, a suburb, a bank, a university... etc, largely because he set it all up! He was an incredibly level headed guy who advocated for the working class. Anyway, you can read more about him on here or here.

The exhibition was pretty cool. There were some lovely early paintings and drawings. It was also a little frustrating, because there were lots of original manuscripts on display, opened at a 'particularly interesting page'. All I wanted to do was reach beyond the glass and turn the page to have a peek at what happened next!!

My outfit was a bit of a tribute to Macquarie. I wore a tartan skirt - a nod to his Scottish heritage; good proper colonial-like boots; and a necklace with two cameos - one for each of his great loves (his first wife died very soon after they married).

This is Ian in the foyer of the library, looking at Tasman's map.

skirt - school fair thrift shop
shirt - Portmans
blazer - Cue thirfted
scarf - thrifted
cameos - both gifts
boots - Nu and Nan

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Victorian Visions

Yesterday I went with a friend to see the Victorian Visions exhibition now on at the AGNSW. It features the work from John Schaeffer's collection. Schaeffer is a pretty awesome guy - he funded the creation of the Schaeffer fine arts library at Sydney Uni, donated heaps of spectacular paintings to the AGNSW and has generally suported art historians in Sydney, particuarly those with an interest in Victorian art, simply because he loves the stuff. What a champion! And what great taste (if you ask me!).

I wrote my honours thesis on Holman Hunt and Simeon Solomon, both Victorian Pre-Raphaelite painters. There were pictures by both artists in this exhibition and it was pretty exciting to see their work in the flesh for the first time. The exhibition got a pretty raw review in The Australian, Christopher Allen wrote that the subjects were obscure and the style quite difficult for modern audiences to relate to. He is probably right - the Victorians loved their obscure biblical and literary references (particularly the Brits!) but that is what I love about the work. It is often so bizarre! But also devastatingly beautiful. I will have to do a post some time on some of my most beloved paintings.

I took this photo on our way into the gallery. A little girl had tied up her teddy while she went off into the park to play. So sweet!

First Dress

This is my new dress and first ever completed sewing project! I am so excited I a) managed to finish it and didn't get half-way through and give up; and b) made something that is actually wearable!!! It isn't perfect, there are issues with the fit of the bodice, and the fabric is so light the skirt seems to climb up my tights as I walk - so I will need to line that - but overall I am quite chuffed. Who wouldn't be in a dress full of cats?

dress- made by me!
shirt - not sure!
tights - myer
shoes - target
photos by Ian in my folk's lovely garden designed and planted by their celebrity gardener Costa

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Breakfasts and Back Streets

I had an amazing Sunday. It began with breakfast with Ian in Newtown, we ate a place we had never been before and the portions were GIGANTIC! I'm suprised I could walk afterwards to take these photos in the highly aesthetic backstreets of Newtown. Then I wandered through a few vintage stores on the way to meet friends for an afternoon of knitting and tea at A Coffee and a Yarn. This cafe only opened a few months ago and it was the first time I had been there. It is a lovely bright space with a wall of wool and knitting suplies for sale and patterns dotted around the tables. They have really lovely coffee too (silly me forgot to get pics). In the evening I settled down to work on my first ever full-blown sewing project (which I am almost finished and will post on shortly!!). Lovely Sunday.

I bought this dress from Rhiannon at liebemarlene vintage. I often covet items in her shop, but when I saw this in my measurements it was too good to pass up - yes, I love purple. I think it is '80s doing '50s, since the fabric feels like a modern synthetic. I love the shape (that collar!) and its lightness. It will be great to wear with fewer layers in summer.

dress - from liebemarlene vintage
cardigan - SES
scarf - gift from my folk's trip to Milan
belt - can't remember!
tights - k-mart
shoes - naot

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Double helping of double trouble

Last week my friend put on a double-bill movie night pairing A Czech film from 1966 called Daisies or Sedmikrásky in Czech, with Thelma and Louise. Both films were fantastic, but the pairing was pretty cool - pairs of girls causing havoc and throwing down all lady-like stereotypes.

Daisies was a great surprise! The plot was mad (which you can read about here), thematically it was well ahead of its time, and aesthetically it was just stunning and cheeky. Check out the stills below! The fashion is unmistakably '60s, but there is an ambivalence to the way the girls wear their clothes that is ahead of its time. There is none of the careful detail or wearing garments 'just so' as you might expect from the '60s.

Images from Here and Here

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A day at the Office

This week I visited Ian at his work for a quick coffee break. His office is in some old railway sheds that have been converted into office and conference space. They have preserved heaps of the original features of the buildings, so there are odd bits of railway maintenance gear in the corridors and hanging down from the super high ceilings. One section of the building has been kept as an operating metal workshop. There is a walkway through the middle of it, so the office workers can work right through the tangle of metal and soldering work on their way out to lunch.

Ian took a few shots of my outfit. The dress has come out very blue in the pictures, but is actually really really bright purple. When it gets a bit warmer I will have to get some better photos to get the colour and cute vintage-inspired details that are covered up by the layers here.

dress - MNG
cardigan - SES
scarf - gift from my parent's trip to Milan
tights - not sure!
shoes - Naot
bag - myer