california dreams 2012

A few weeks ago I was invited to check out UGG Australia's latest collection California Dreams. It was held poolside at the Swissotel, the ideal setting for guests to dream of an endless summer in SoCal, complimenting the retro 50's pin u vibe of the campaignGone are the days of shearling lined boots. UGG have taken a step in the opposite direction this year designing covetable and wearable espadrilles and clogs for us girls and cool vintage inspired leather sneakers for the boys. Who would have thought? Hands up who wishes they could fit into men's shoes? I would totally wear those sneakers if I could, but I'll have to settle with seeing them on Jack instead. Plus if you still love the classic UGG, there's a little piece of signature sheepskin lining at the back of the heel for extra comfort. Although not usually a brand we'd think of when it comes to summer footwear, UGG have implemented a game changer to make you think otherwise.

black & gold.

Tato and Memi blazer, Marcs shirt, Wish leather shorts, Acne heels, Molten Store necklace, Arm gathering: Wanderlust + Co, Samantha Wills
Photo by Aprilia Love

If ever there was a song to compliment this outfit, I feel as if it would be Black and Gold by Sam Sparro (all I need is a top hat and fishnet stockings). By gold I am referring to the amazing textured tweed Chanel-esque inspired sleeves on my new blazer. You may remember I attended my very first collection showing at the end of last year. It was Tato and Memi who took the title so I thought what better way to commemorate the occasion than to purchase my favourite piece from the collection (any excuse to shop right?). After a six month wait and the anticipation that it might not fit (I was stupid enough not to try it on), it is finally in my possession. 

First a leather skirt, now leather shorts. What's next? Leather pants (well actually they are, hello Watson x Watson). I'm not exactly how my recent fascination with leather came about but I have been impressed by its versatility and textural qualities. I had this outfit originally styled with Ksubi waxy black denim but I found the leather shorts worked out much better - and added a touch of Rachel Bilson/ Dr Zoe Hart to the mix. 

My observant readers, you may also notice a little arm gathering that has crept up on my arm. I am slowly working towards a fully fledged arm party so I can live life like my favourite blogger right now, the Man Repeller. Arm parties are quite a costly investment, I didn't realise how much a single bracelet would cost me let alone 4. It' a gradual process which I was hoping to shortcut by buying a Dannijo pre-packaged arm party but their shipping rates to Australia are ridiculous. 

Fashion Week is upon us once again and I will be attending for the first time. I said to myself last year I would make it my goal to be there in 2012 so here I am ready and raring to go. I'm sure the week will generate plenty of content for the blog for the next month or so, so I hope you enjoy the content.

mistaken for strangers.

Apologies for the mediocre photos - I was engaged in a battle with the sunset and the room lighting.

Last Friday I was invited to preview the Wish Spring 2012 collection titled 'Mistaken for Strangers' at the newly opened Marquee at the Star. Convenient it was because I'd heard so much buzz about the place but I hate clubbing so it was ideal for me to explore with no bass pumping. It was as held in The Library, an intimate parlour-esque room which serves as the club's VIP space with beautiful views overlooking Pyrmont. I hear it's around a $10,000 cover charge for the room and VIP access is through application only so I assume that was probably the first and last time I'll ever recline in their zebra print couches. 

But on to the clothes! The transseaonsal collection was like a Whitman's Sampler (remember the yellow cross stitch box?) or an all you can eat buffet if chocolate isn't your thing - it has a little something for everyone. Sifting through the racks I could imagine they had not designed for one particular girl in mind but to cater for the needs of every girl no matter the style preference, which would explain the rainbow rack of shirts, blouses and dresses. The other half was filled with heavy coats, jackets and soft furs which we did find a little funny coming from a spring collection but honestly with the bipolar weather, it could still be freezing by the time we get to September. Clearly Wish have all their bases covered.

Thanks to Maddie & the Wish team for having me :)

Credit: Aprilia Love

Closing this post with me having a Rachel Zoe moment in Wish fur. Ba-nanas!

molten love.

The other day I was sent a package from the lovely Jessy at Molten Store with these little gems inside. I was lucky enough to have won Modern Legacy's giveaway and been given this incredible orange beaded clutch and I thought while I was at it I may as well purchase the subtly elegant Mister Ray choker that I've had my eye on for months. 

I've compiled for you my favourite items from the store. I would encourage you to check out Molten Store if you haven't already - I love browsing through their carefully curated online selection of otherworldly treasures. They make the effort to select pieces you might not normally consider when you think statement jewellery - not the kind of statement that jumps out at you. Their jewellery has a more organic aesthetic that is both delicate and understated. Whenever I'm feeling a little uninspired by the conventional costume jewellery that's out there, I turn to Molten Store. Probably their most unique offerings are their one of a kind clutches complete with their clashing prints, injection of neon, fringing, beading and pom poms (I think everyone could use a Confetti Days clutch in their life. It just spells f-u-n).  Their stationery and curious gifts are the perfect affordable solution for a last minute birthday present or special occasion or if you feel like treating yourself to a little something something. Hop to it kids!
PS. Molten Store director Jessy Cameron is up for Pedestrian Bachelorette of the Year (in the Reader's Choice Category). Click here to check out her profile and cast her your vote!

tokyo dreaming.

Source: Garance Dore

Garance Dore is in Tokyo for the first time and only a few short months ago, I was too. It's still fresh in my mind - the culture shock that was indeed admirable and beautiful. I love the way that Garance has captured these snippets of Japan, both of the old world and the new, and I think that's what makes Japan such a unique country. It's a fusion of old traditions and new/ modern ways of thinking yet neither of the two are competing against one another, instead they work in harmony to create a place quite unusual. I can appreciate a culture rooted heavily in tradition - I sometimes find it a little dull that Australia doesn't come close to the amount of rich history that they have (I suppose we have our multicultural facet). The Japanese happen to be some of the nicest people you'll ever come across - respectful of your own culture and beliefs, they don't expect you to conform (in fact they probably had a slight chuckle when I mistook tempura dipping sauce for tea) yet still extremely polite and genuine. My favourite Garance image happens to be the 'Tokyo Etiquette' one because I experienced it myself throughout my two weeks in the country but with money instead. Buy anything and you'll see that they present your change to you with two hands. It's often the little details that are the most beautiful (and I think that's something these images aim to capture). Simply stunning. It makes me miss this country even more.

minty fresh.

Zara shirt | Kahlo skirt | Acne boots
Photos by April

I been feeling a little under the pump lately what with everything going on, so when April told me there was a Lego forest installed in Martin Place we just knew we had to shoot there. I've been struggling with my posing and facial expressions (trying to master that model pout/ stare) but in all honestly, I think the reason these photos came out so well was because I was having fun - I hope it shows :)

I am once again sporting my Kahlo skirt just to show you how much I love it (to the people who commented on my last outfit post, here's another take on the leather skirt) and also to show you I'm just a regular girl. As much as I'd like to dream, I don't have the luxury of wearing something new everyday. I think it's a little unrealistic seeing bloggers who never wear the same thing twice (and manage to constantly afford some big name labels) - in a way it loses their ability to relate and appeal to the average person. So here I am to admit to you that you'll see me wearing things more than once (or even twice) on this blog because I keep it real, yo. 

I know this mint Zara shirt has made the blogger rounds but I thought I'd share with you my interpretation. It's a soft, delicate and extremely feminine blouse that I want to 'rough up' with a leather skirt and boots. More than often I walk out of the house in something fashionably acceptable yet am still quite critical (and often not 100% happy) with what I wear, however with this contrasting combination, I'm surprisingly pleased with the results. And If tradies and truck drivers can give me the odd honk and stare while I'm waiting at my bus stop, then surely it must be good... right? Some men are pigs.

pearls and men.

Source: April Rose Pengilly 

Pearls and Men... a juxtaposition if I ever saw one, and it couldn't be more fitting to describe Manning Cartell's SS12 collection. Striking the perfect balance between masculine and feminine with its sorbet pastel palette and masculine tailoring. I loved it so much, I even took the time to curate my favourite looks into categories for your viewing pleasure (also because I wanted to weigh up which of the four dresses I would wear to my 21st). It's so satisfying when you can do that to a collection because you know the designer has extra care to make it cohesive and seamless (perhaps I should be a judge on Project Runway?). Most labels boast a signature print that they incorporate into every 'type' of clothing (dress, separates, jacket etc.), but Manning Cartell proves that you don't need a striking pattern to drive your collection, instead relying on the textures, structures and and materials to string a narrative. I love that they're reviving the shorts suit - it has 'I'm a powerful, confident woman' written all over it and If I was at an office job, I swear my corporate wardrobe would be full of the two-piece. But for now, I will just live in my loose boxy sequinned tee and metallic shorts while I push through my tertiary education.

style me.

I've been feeling a little uninspired lately - not sure if it's to do with the bipolar weather, the growing pile of uni assignments, overall stress build up, being stuck in this transseasonal shift (or a mixture of all). Despite having a wardrobe full of clothes, when you can't figure out how to put things together, even the name on the label won't save you.  I'd heard some great things about the Sportsgirl Style Me sessions from a few other bloggers so I figured I'd try it out for myself. Having a personal stylist pick out looks for you based on your style and current trends, and giving you an hour of their undivided attention... all for free? No pain, all gain.

These are my three favourite looks that the very talented head stylist, Monica conjured up for me. I know what you're thinking... 'Wow Mel is in colour.' Yes I am! I have moved from the dark ages of black and white and ventured into the future and boy is it looking bright. Both Monica and I agreed our favourite look was the midnight blue sequinned pants - if you'd have given those to me and asked me to style up an outfit, I would have done the exact same thing. I asked Monica to show me how to inject colour into my wardrobe (even a thin neon belt goes a long way) - she was spot on for picking up my style (even incorporating my felt hat obsession), still keeping things minimal and simple just the way I like it, but warming me up to a bit of colour here and there. 

If you're feeling like a pick me up, want to be pampered, looking for something to wear for a special occasion, have trouble deciding what to wear with a piece of your own or just want to play dress ups, I highly recommend checking out the Sportsgirl Style Me studio. Such a great service that enhances the shopping experience and I think so many Australian fashion retailers could learn from what SG are doing. 

Head over to the Sportsgirl website to book your free style session. You've got nothing to lose :)

PS. I apologise if seeing me three times in the one picture is tripping you out. It's starting to scare me too...

coachella style.

Credit: Mr Newton for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue

Honestly, whose idea was it to make an oversized singlet (or tee or cropped/ bikini top if you're game), denim cut offs and thongs the unofficial festival uniform? Ladies, there are better ways to dress for a field day in the dessert. Take these shining examples - although they are little more privileged than us common folk. I must admit I do shy away from wearing my nicer clothes to concerts  because I don't want to get them ruined by the push and shove of the sweaty crowds, but that still doesn't mean I would dress like a hippie (Vanessa Hudgens is guilty of this crime every year), a hobo or Pocahontas. I think festival attire should be stylish while still being practical, casual and comfortable. Showing skin is not necessary nor to be admired. Sun dresses with boots (or gumboots), plenty of arm swag and a khaki parka for the cooler nights sounds ideal to me. Better start planning my Coachella 2013 wardrobe (in my dreams).  

tokyo photo diary.

When you're feeling tired, stressed, overworked and under pressure (did someone say 2 essays, 1 exam and two assignments in two weeks?), all you want to do is escape. I've been going back to the photos from my Japan holiday once every few weeks to try and relive thememories and the more I look at it, the more I miss it and the more I wish I was there right now eating crepes, onigiri and ramen daily. What can I say about Japan? Where to begin? It was like nothing I've ever experienced before in my (limited) travels. Although I was 'lost in translation' (thank god Jack could speak Japanese otherwise I would have had no idea what I was ordering at any of the restaurants we went to), I can still appreciate the cultural differences, the customs and the values that the Japanese uphold. I was amazed by their politeness - the service that I was given at a convenience store was the same as what I experienced in a high end department store. Australians take note. I was also in awe at their flawless public transport system. Who needs a car to get around when you have fast speed trains that arrive every 2 - 5 minutes and deliver you to all  suburban areas?

I'm not sure why I haven't posted these sooner, but nonetheless here is my Tokyo travel diary (at the special request of Lisa & Aprilia). I hope these spark your wanderlust!

o1. Our first proper meal in Tokyo after skipping breakfast to shop in Shibuya (typical).
o2. Mickey details on the monorails at Disneyland.
o3. The Rag & Bone store tucked away in a side street. Needless to say when I finally found it (I almost gave up - trying to decipher Japanese addresses is confusing) I was hysterical.
o4. The famous Shibuya crossing in fisheye.
05. Sherwood Garden, a restaurant at our Disneyland Hotel where we had a buffet breakfast with the Disney characters.
06. Winter in Yoyogi park.
07. Street style in Omotesando/ Harajuku. 
o8. Purple cabbage flowers. I am so intrigued by this phenomenon I just had to stop every time I saw one.
o9. A side street in Omotesando with an array of vintage and quirky boutiques.  I call it Surry Hills of Tokyo.
1o. Ghibli museum in Mitika on the rooftop garden with the Robot Soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky. 

Japan you are beautiful. If anyone gets the opportunity you definitely have to experience it for yourself. No doubt I'll be returning sooner rather than later!

sincerely, mel.

Wish top | Kahlo skirt | Witchery jacket | Zara heels | Alexander Wang tote
Photos by Aprilia

I'm named this post Sincerely, Mel after one of my all time favourite bloggers Sincerely, Jules, firstly because this outfit reminds me of her and her signature khaki jacket over anything look (not to mention I have the same shoes and bag as her) and secondly because Jules helped me make the decision to purchase my Prisma. Out of all the tweets she probably gets she took the time to answer my silly little question about the durability of the straps on her Wang tote. So nice of her! And with that I was sold.

Can you believe I'm wearing a print? Not something you see everyday. Although this Wish print has my name all over it. Nothing too 'out there' but with just the right amount of colour and contrast so it's still noticeable. Looks a little aztec (and I use the term lightly) with the geometric print zig zag/ chevron print, but I think the purple/ blue hues and the black panel sides take it beyond being a trend driven piece.

Lastly, how charming is this house in Surry Hills? Thank you home owner for letting me photograph the front of your house.  While I wish I had the luxury of taking sidewalk photos in SoCal like Song of Style and Sincerely Jules (every street corner seems to be picturesque over there) , this is probably the best I will get in Sydney. Oh well, one day.

PS. There's just under a week to enter the Pratten giveaway. Don't miss out :)

a day with dee.

It's not everyday you win $500 spending money. It's also not everyday you have the market editor of Shop Til You Drop at your disposal. Last Thursday I had the chance to shop with and pick the brains of the deeelightful Dee Jenner. 

Besides talking fashion, shopping and personal style, we chatted about the industry, uni degrees, interning, career pathways, blogging and budgeting. It was an invaluable experience having the opportunity to talk to someone so respected in the industry and has 'been there done that'. I took away some pretty great advice and feel inspired to continually work hard at uni and interning because eventually it will pay off.  Being fashionable on a budget is one of things I always ask those in fashion and here's what she shared with me:
  1. Don't live off your pay check (this is probably my biggest mistake). Make sure you put away half of your earnings into savings. You'll thank yourself once you've moved out and have to start paying for rent and groceries. 
  2. Limit the amount of clothes you buy each season. That way you can invest a little more on those expensive pieces. 
  3. Polyvore is your new best friend. If you're lusting after something, make you you can style it in at least 3 different ways with your current wardrobe. It's all about decreasing your cost per wear.
The time I spent talking with Dee was to me the real prize - having $500 to spend was just the icing on the cake. In saying that we still focused on the task at hand, visiting our favourite stores in the Strand and Pitt St Westfield. We found some pretty incredible pieces, namely Phillip Lim silk pants from the Corner Shop and a pajama-esque ensemble from Lover, but Dee was determined to help me find that 'magical' piece I would fall in love with straight away. It all fell into place at Incu when I spotted these insane printed pants on the shop mannequin. Better still they were actually in my size and we knew it was meant to be.

Yes I did spend $500 on a pair of pants but in my defence they were 'free'. I made the decision to buy something a little outside of my 'comfort zone' and take a look at pieces I wouldn't normally buy if it were my own hard earned money. Dress Up also happens to be one of Dee's favourite labels so it'll be a little reminder of the amazing experience I was granted (feeling a little sentimental already). What would you buy with $500?

A huge thank you to Marg from Shine by Three who hosted the competition as well as 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty and Shop Til You Drop for putting it on, and of course Dee Jenner for being the perfect shopping companion :)

totes wang.

Photo by Aprilia

Oops I did it again? I know, I know, you're probably shaking your head disapprovingly at the screen but this time I couldn't help myself! I've been obsessing over the Emile and the Prisma for ages - more specifically the rose gold hardware. So when I found out Green with Envy somehow had them in stock after being sold out for elsewhere for months, there was no was I was passing it up. 

I've always been the tote type - as much as I'd love to walk around with a cross shoulder bag or a shoulder bag I carry on the crook of my elbow, the reality is it's just not practical for the student life that I live. Not that it's anything fancy - my bag is probably the most glamourous part of my life. Monday to Friday I can be seen carrying around multiple tote bags: a Longchamp bag for my valuables and laptop (because it's waterproof), a Gary Pepper Vintage cloth tote for my readers and texts and if I'm really busy a My Chameleon tote for my jacket/ cardigan just in case the weather changes drastically (which it's known to do in Sydney). Just call me the crazy bag lady. Shopper totes are clearly the easiest way to carry everything and anything - perfect for someone like me who packs for the day last minute as they are rushing out the door.

GIVEAWAY. Pratten x Flourished & Sunkissed.

Photo by Aprilia

Friend and lovers, behold. After keeping my blog for just over a year, I think am long overdue for a giveaway! So to celebrate Flourished & Sunkissed's first birthday, the lovely sisters from Pratten have kindly offered one of their beautiful leather cuffs to give to one of my equally lovely readers. Just a little something to say thank you for all the support and love I have received over the last 12 months. If I could, I would buy each and every one of you a cupcake and personally deliver it to your doorstep (possibly in the form of a gorillagram) then embrace you in a giant bear hug. Too much? Let's just run with the cuff then shall we?

Pratten have been producing fine leather goods (treat yo self - Parks & Rec anyone?) for over 10 years so they really know their stuff. Starting out with the classic wallet and clip purses in an array of colours to suit anyone's needs, they've expanded their range over the years to clutches, day bags and most recently cuffs. I don't actually own anything yellow but you'd be surprised with what it can do to a neutral/ simple outfit (see here for my styling take). Whether you want to add it to your growing arm party, brighten up your winter knits/ coats or simply enjoy the prospect of getting something for nothing - this giveaway is definitely for you!

To be in the running for this yellow leather (try saying that quickly 10 times) cuff with silver hardware, all you have to do is:
1. 'Like' Flourished & Sunkissed on Facebook.
2. 'Like' Pratten on Facebook.
3. Comment below with your name and email letting me know that you've done so!

You have until Thursday 19th 9pm AEST to get your entry in.  The winner will be selected via random number generator and contacted by email. Best of luck x

first birthday.

Flourished & Sunkissed actually had its beginnings in late 2010 where it started out as a blog on red carpet and celebrity style stalking and boy has it come a long way since my first post about Katy Perry's ticket stub dress (I dare you to read it). I blogged solidly for a month then stopped over the summer. This time last year I made the decision to blog again and despite wanting to give up a few times, am somehow still here today.

I wanted to thank some people who have helped me along the way. To Jack, for being my photographer even when you don't want to and for putting up with my fashion related rants. Aprilia, for taking such amazing photos, for being my blogger mentor, showing me the ropes and reminding me to always dream big! To my growing network of Sydney bloggers who have kept me motivated, inspired and supported me through my blogging aspirations.

Most importantly, to my readers (including my work, uni and high school friends who occasionally stalk this space), because if no one visited my blog, I honestly don't think I would be able to keep doing what I'm doing. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see the comments, the likes, the reblogs and the follows growing everyday. And to the handful of those who comment on almost every post (don't think I don't notice you) - I am so grateful that you return over and over  

Thanks for coming along for the ride - I hope you stick with me! Fingers crossed for bigger and better things to come over the next year.

PS. Header got a little birthday makeover, inspired by this last season J Crew sweater. I want it so bad. Yes to sequins?