travel diary. malaysia. pt 1.

o1. Outside Suria KLCC. My stay in Kuala Lumpur was really a tour of all the shopping malls in the city.
o2. Perak Tong temple, Ipoh. Limestone caves just around the corner from my grandmother's house. This particular picture reminds me of my new Arnsdorf SS11 iPhone case.
o3. The damage so far. I'm controlling myself until I hit Tokyo. I am however in love with my new olive fedora from Forever 21.
o4. Hawker's food stall in Penang. The best kind of food (cheap and tasty) I've been stuffing myself with every day.
o5. Satay in Penang. Can't get enough of it!
o6. Early morning start at Jelutong markets, Penang.
07. The skilled coconut man at Jelutong markets.
08. Admiring the view at the top of Penang Hill.

Just a quick post to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I've been spending the last week in Malaysia, visiting Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh (my mum's home town) and Penang (my dad's hometown). I've been here twice before - the latest was two years ago, so most of the places I've visited are still fresh in my mind. This also means I don't find things nearly as exotic and new as before, hence the lack of photos we've been taking.

Feeling like I've let my readers down because I have yet to take any outfit snaps. Unfortunately in Malaysia if you wear anything other than tees/ shorts/ jeans, you get alot of unwanted attention so I've been rotating around the three tees and four shirts I took with me - and that doesn't really make for an interesting outfit post! But I promise we'll take some once we get to Japan. I feel like I'm having two holidays. 

Heading off to Singapore tomorrow for a few days. Orchard Road and Universal Studios are on the agenda.


Sportsgirls like Sara Phillips dress | Sophi Odling bag | Tara Lawson jewellery | Jeffrey Campbell wedges

We've heard of statement jewellery, statement tops, statement bottoms, but a statement bag? Usually accessories like bags and shoes are meant to compliment an outfit, not define it. Seeing this bag by Australian accessories designer Sophi Odling, with its soft leather fringing and all, made me want to test this theory. The Willow Bag, as its name suggests, is inspired by the delicate yet hardy nature of the willow tree and although not normally my style, I thought it would be a fitting addition to my simple, minimalistic wardrobe choices. 

I chose to wear it with my grey jersey dress from the Sportsgirls like Sara Phillips collection and some gorgeous delicate pieces from Tara Lawson (the half finger ring is seriously the coolest thing ever). I tried to keep the palette very neutral and let the Willow bag lead the way. It actually comes in black and brown which gives off a more wild wild west vibe so I went for this greyish one and tried to keep it as far away from my cowboy boots as possible. 

I'm currently in hot and humid country of Malaysia visiting relatives, eating cheap and tasty food, celebrating Chinese New Year and keeping cool inside shopping malls. I haven't taken too many photos at this point, but a short photo diary is coming within the next few days! x


It seems a little inappropriate to be thinking about beanies in the middle of summer but I couldn't help myself. Living in Australia where our winter is like summer for some European countries we don't get much of an opportunity to rug up. Heading to Japan where it will be around 6 degrees has gotten me looking at some (stylish) winter essentials I wouldn't otherwise think about.

I fell in love with this Alexander Wang beanie a while ago and have been sitting on the fence as whether to get it. However $150 on a beanie is a rather irrational purchase - one I would be picked on for by my guy friends (who feel the need to tell me when they buy a tee and shorts combo for $50 and I spend $150 on shorts only). But it's so hard to say no. I can imagine braving a 'real' winter with this on my head. To top things off I saw none other than the Man Repeller herself sporting it on Instagram (a sign if ever I saw one?).

I feel like in my lifetime, my taste in beanies have evolved as I have grown older. When you're a kid you want those crazy coloured beanies with a pom pom on the top. Then you decide to get those Peruvian beanies with the two flaps on the side for your first school ski trip. When I was 14 I wanted to look like Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown and went searching for the slouchy red beanie (that was clearly more fashionable than practical). And here I am trying to look like a sk8er boi cross Nirvana street grunge girl. Oh how the times are changing.

Tibi, Alexander Wang, Metal #26 Photographer: Emma Tempest, Lust for Life, India Rose

pack and go.

I always have such difficulty packing. I'll start throwing things into my two to three weeks in advance and then when it comes time to zip it up the night before, I find myself with an overflowing suitcase and not being able to decide what to cut.

This is the dilemma I currently find myself in. To make things harder, I'm packing for a summer and winter plus my mother also feels the need to send me home with gifts and food for all my relatives. I know you're probably thinking 'But Mel, you're going on holiday. You'll find of heaps of things to buy,' to which I would reply 'what happens if I don't'? Although I'll always find things to buy so you're probably right. I did equip myself with some new purchases before my trip - one being my white Sass & Bide denim shorts. I don't think denim (especially shorts) is anywhere as good as it is in Australia. No harm in starting your holiday a few days early right?

These are just a few of my essentials that I'm taking halfway across the world. No
French connection hat. Aesop moisturiser. Michael Kors watch. Olympus PEN EP3. Marc Jacobs bag. Hourglass Veil makeup. Cloud Nine flat iron. Clare Vivier Pochette (my passport holder). Sunday Somewhere sunglasses. iPad 2 (to catch up on Parks and Rec and read The Hunger Games). Minnie Mouse ears. Converse. Sass & Bide shorts. iPhone 4 (with Arnsdorf SS11 crystal pattern case). Seventh Wonderland bikini. Acne knit.

I'll be leaving later tonight to Kuala Lumpur - but rest assured I'll be updating you with as much as I can.

PS. If you hadn't noticed in your address bar... Flourished & Sunkissed is now a dot com :) 

world domination.


Unfortunately I was unable to attend the MINKPINK goes global blogger event yesterday, so to make up for it, I'm excited to share a sneak peak of the MINKPINK global advertising campaign which goes live on the 29th. Exciting right? It's like getting to open your birthday present a week before your actual birthday.

I still remember MINKPINK and their early beginnings in Myer back when I was in high school (my first purchase was a floral singlet I wore pretty much every mufti day) - a few years down the track and they've grown to over 1000 stockists (you've seen them everywhere from ASOS to Nasty Gal) ready to take on world domination. It's not easy launching a full scale global campaign, but with a new logo, brand message and new campaign images, MINKPINK retain their vintage inspired, youthful and fresh style, continually producing on-trend pieces at affordable prices, while transforming the MINKPINK girl into one that loves fashion and fun, regardless of where she lives. And I think they've done a darn good job of it!

The MINKPINK message: be brave and be free. There's no doubt these images convey just that. The model exudes such confidence and frivolity. And if you aren't convinced, wait until you see the video to go with the images. I didn't think a $2 shop would provide such a great setting for a photoshoot, let alone a grocers and fabric store. And I think I'll start carrying around a piñata instead of a handbag. Easy access to candy all the time. 

Look out world! MINKPINK are coming. Y'all ready for this? *break out into Sparky Palastri cheerleading routine*

hyde park.

T by Alexander Wang singlet | Antipodium skirt | Jeffrey Campbell wedges | Samantha Wills cuff
Taken by Aprilia Love

After meeting up with the wonderful Aprilia Love for laksa lunch yesterday, we headed to Hyde Park to take some photos. It took us a good 20 minutes of deliberating where to take the photos (or whether to take them at all) because there were just too many people around.  But Hyde Park did not let us down and we found the perfect backdrop under the avenue of arching trees. I love the spots of sunlight coming through the canopy and onto the ground - could not have turned out better. And it made my new hair look insanely fiery and red (I didn't even realise the colour was that intense). Yes I jumped on the ombre bandwagon last week and lightened my hair, and with my trusty Cloud Nine, have started to curl the ends. A huge change from jet black dead straight hair.

I bought the Antipodium skirt from Capital L after deciding I needed more bottoms in my wardrobe. It is unlike anything else I own (which is why I bought it) - the hardest part was getting over the fact it's not high waisted and resisting the urge to pull it up. I paired it with my birthday cuff from the team at SW and my new Jeffrey Campbell wedges.

Aprilia was behind the lens on this one and I am so happy with the shots! I had a go at taking her outfit snaps so head over to her blog to see my attempted work of art.

pursuit of happiness.

The first day of 2012 aka the first real day of summer (for me at least). After being cooped up inside a shopping center for the entirety of December, I finally had my first taste of summer sunshine on New Years Day. So what better than to pull out my much loved vintage denim cut offs and my Rayban wayfarers (two of my essential summer pieces) and put together what I would considered my everyday outfit - the one I wear when I'm running errands on the very few days I have off.

These snaps were taken at the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. If you're thinking about seeing a movie within the next month - do it here! Much better than sitting inside a dark room. I gave my boyfriend Gold Grass tickets to an advance screening of the Muppets for our one year anniversary and we were treated like royalty - we had the best 'lounges' in the house right in the middle of the screen and we didn't have to line up for food like everybody else (it was delivered to us). The Muppets is the best movie I've seen all year (no pun intended), it had a little something for the kids and adults (or the young at heart) with plenty of cameos (Donald Glover, Rashida Jones, Dave Grohl) and lots of laugh out loud moments. 

I'd also like to introduce to you my new hat. If you've been following me on Twitter, you'll know I had some hesitation towards wearing hats - I have a huge head (it kills if I wear headbands for more than two hours), wide face and an equally huge forehead. Contrary to my initial beliefs, I am indeed a hat person and very much in love with my 'Far East Plum' French Connection fedora from ASOS. Despite being a wool hat (my mother thinks a wool hat isn't appropriate for summer weather) , you'll be seeing a lot more of this little thing. I'm taking it with me on my four seasons holiday and determined to wear it in both summer (Malaysia) and winter (Japan)... which is in 6 days by the way!

Monday muse. Taylor Tomasi Hill.

1 Mr Newton. 2 Street FSN. 3 Candice Lake. 4 Soren Jepson. 5 Google images.

While fashion is an industry that primarily revolves around appearances, I have a great deal of respect for women (or men) that are the real deal. And by that, I mean that not only does the person have a killer wardrobe, but they have the credentials and a job to match. Taylor Tomasi ticks all the boxes. Style icon, Marie Claire accessories director now creative director at Moda Operandi and happily married - she really does have it all.

But she didn't get to where she is now without putting some hard yards. Graduating with a Bachelor of Industrial Design, TTH started out as an intern at W magazine in the accessories department (where else?) which lead to a full time position as the market editor before becoming senior market editor at Teen Vogue. 

Doing a bit of background research behind how she started out has given me a lot more respect for TTH. It's nice to know there are people in the industry that are not just a pretty face or used connections or money to further their career. This quote has really motivated me to keep working hard at my internships and making the most out of the opportunities I'm given.  Because even the big guns had to start out somewhere - steaming clothes, organising showrooms/ fashion cupboards, getting coffee.

"My best tip for jump-starting a career in fashion is to take an internship very seriously—and if you love where you are working, try to stay there as long as possible. Showing initiative may lead to something more. Working in fashion, however, is not always as glamorous as what you see on television. It's a very demanding, high-stress environment—but if you thrive under pressure, it may be the perfect fit for you."

on cloud nine.

I was long overdue for a new straightener. Up until a week ago I've been using a cheap VS Sassoon 'You Curl' to do my hair. Unfortunately I got what I paid for - it took forever to heat up and would not even straighten my hair (I swear as soon as I stepped out of the house my hair was wavy at the ends). I always pushed the straightener to the bottom of my 'to buy' list because I knew I could always get it - unlike clothes, once it's gone it's gone. 

Enough was enough. After months of whinging I mustered up the money (thanks to my mother) to buy a new flat iron. The obvious choice was a GHD - until my best friend told me about Cloud 9. Still very much a cult product, Cloud 9 was created by the founders of the GHD. Apparently after GHD became popular and they started mass producing it in China, some of the team jumped shipped to form Cloud 9, which is now considered the preferred high end straightener for salons.

With a bit of help from Sassybella and this educational blog post, I settled on the Cloud 9 (also because I just want to be cool and have what no one else has). Think of Cloud 9 as the PS11 of Proenza Schouler bags (bad analogy?) - bigger and better than its original. It has adjustable temperature - so people with finer hair don't have to singe themselves at GHD's fixed 180 degree temperature, a swivel cord so it can never get tangled even when you curl, black plates which apparently makes your hair shine and it has a plastic heat guard you can pop on it while it's cooling down so you don't burn the house down. 

While I'm still getting used to the fact my hair will only take 5 minutes to do rather than 15 and that curling my hair is now a possibility - I would highly recommend the Cloud 9 (although any straightener would have been better than the one I had). It retails for about the same price at the Gold series GHD ($279AUD) but I bought mine from Beauty Bay for just over $200.

blue vein.

Kookai top | Stylestalker shorts from The Iconic | Watson x Watson sandals from Desordre | Recreational necklace | Michael Kors watch | Sunday Somewhere sunglasses | Matina Amanita ring
Photos by Jack

I don't actually blog this efficiently (though I really should - I have a backlog of posts that I should have done before this one), I couldn't wait to share with you my pictures from today. Took my new Olympus EP3 for its first run and I have to say the boy and I couldn't be happier. It's a mirror less camera, slightly larger than your standard digital camera but has the power and quality of an SLR. I bought it not only to take on holiday with me, but also for this blog! I wanted something I could fit in my handbag and not weigh me down, and still take great photos. But more on my new baby later.

I finally bought these Stylestalker shorts after having them on my wish list when the collection first launched. I've seen them on some other bloggers but I wanted to style it a little differently. I tried on a white racerback and black singlet (typical me) before remember I had this mesh top that matched the blue shiver print. It could not have worked out better! I made Jack take these shots for me on the way to El Loco - he was slightly annoyed that he couldn't get to the food straightaway, but doing this after eating an El hotdog would have not have been a nice sight. If you're in Sydney and you haven't eaten at El Loco, you are seriously missing out.

Below was the damage for today. I bought Jack shorts from Saba as part of his birthday present, (also because he's long overdue for a decent pair of shorts) and myself Kelly Cutrone's new book and Aesop moisturiser. It took a lot of willpower not to buy everything I saw today, but I have to remember to brace myself for my holiday where I expect lots of big purchases to occur. Two weeks from today I'll be on a plane jet setting to Malaysia!

disney dreams.

Model: Heather Marks | Photographer: David Burton | Stylist: Elissa Cannelle Castelbou

My Japan/ Malaysia holiday is drawing closer and closer (less than three weeks to go) and I can't believe it's finally here. Jack and I have been planning this trip for almost a year and the first thing we pushed to the top of our itinerary was our visit to Disneyland. Both of us are hardcore Disneyland fanatics (we even forked out the extra money to stay at the Disneyland hotel) - we've been mentally preparing ourselves for Tokyo Disneyland/ Disney Sea by watching travel documentaries about the rides, attractions and must do's. 

I can't tell you what it is about Disneyland (if you haven't already, put this on your list of things to do before you die), but anyone who has been to any Disneyland will tell you that the experience is absolutely magical. It is truly the happiest place (and certainly my 'happy place') on earth. 

Take my ultimate holiday destination, add some of Disney's most loveable characters and stories, and deck it out in the Isabel Marant, Givenchy, Stella McCartney and Pucci - and you have my favourite things in life all rolled into one. I am absolutely in love with the styling of the Monsters Inc. and Toy Story toy soldier looks - they are flawless and match the mood/ theme of the shoot perfectly. The editorial is both playful and whimsical and yet still maintained the dramatic, eye catching qualities of a high fashion shoot. I say there should be more shoots at Disneyland. I'm not quite sure who to thank at Elle France for making my fantasyland a dream come true, but whoever you are, I salute you.

coast to coast.

Images from Elle

I've always been fascinated with American culture (even before my interest in fashion) - my mum used to say I had American dreams. I used to fanticize about what it would be like to attend high school in America (I tell myself I would have been the cheerleading and student council type) and I still wonder what would have happened if I'd have gone on exchange to the States last year. I have this perception that America is where the action happens, thanks to the mass amounts of American pop culture (lots of The O.C., Laguna Beach and The Hills) I consumed growing up, and I still believe it. I know that if I ever want to make it in PR, I'd have to be in the States to do it. 

To kick off 2012, Free People has teamed up with my favourite model of the moment, Karlie Kloss and Aussie Jesse Hart for their January lookbook. The looks were inspired by the distinct styles of laidback LA and on the go NY. The casting for this shoot was perfect - I couldn't think of better models to embody the LA/ NY lifestyle. Jesse with her tussled blonde locks, who I remember most from her Seafolly days, has that boho beach babe look down pat strolling around Malibu beach and driving down the palm tree lined Sunset Boulevard. Karlie's skinny pin figure so fitting for the gracefulness and uptown chic of the Big Apple. I really love the styling of this shoot - although I've never been to a Free People store (I have been perusing their collections online), I always thought their look was very one dimensional, a modern take on 70's bohemian, but I like that they have some more refined, polished pieces   - that denim dress on Karlie is my favourite.

When I was 15 I went to LA with my family - I had imagined it would be just like The Hills. I was sadly let down as I walked the Hollywood Boulevard and scared out of my wits by a guy in a Chucky costume who pulled out his knife just as I walked past. There was no glitz or glamour, just an ordinary sidewalk with some creepy people in costumes. I did miss out on West Hollywood, so I'm assuming that's where all the celebs and boutiques are hiding. I'm convinced now that I'm an NY girl, (Gossip Girl did that for me), but I suppose I'll have to experience it myself to know... but I'm sure I'll know right away.

Are you uptown NY or downtown LA? x