come around sundown.

Vintage Mickey tee (from Ela Hawke Vintage), Ksubi vest, UNIF.M shorts, Valley Eyewear x A Dead Coffin Club sunglasses, Sportsgirl beanie, Molten Store necklace.

They don't call it magic hour for nothing. Though sundown comes and goes within a matter of minutes,  if you get your timing right (along with two incred photographers who know their way around a camera) you get some pretty flattering lighting (reflections of the sky the lens of sunglasses was necessary) and I must say it gives my skin a healthy glow. 

Yes I am carrying a boombox in the second photo a-la John Cusack in Say Anything. Those things are actually quite heavy. Not sure how you can hold that thing up in the air for long periods of time. Props to you young Cusack. After shooting something typically girly, pink hues and all, I opted for a tougher look calling upon my ever faithful denim + leather combo but with a slight retro slash thug slash boyish charm. To tell you the truth this is probably what I feel most comfortable in. Relaxed leather shorts and an oversized vest with an equally oversized tee featuring an appearance from my favourite mouses that go by the name of Mickey and Minnie. And one again for the umteenth time, headwear. I will probably march right back to Sportsgirl tomorrow to buy myself another one of these slouch beanies. Take my word for it.

Photos by Devon Hanna & Uppy Cee
PS. Devon please move to Sydney. Kthnx. 

mad love.

Mad Love knit, Dion Lee Line II skirt, A Dead Coffin Club x Valley Eyewear sunglasses, Isabel Marant sneakers.

My connection with this sweater was instant. Love at first sight almost. M for Mad Love. M for Melissa. How could I not want to hint to the world what my name begins with? (The other 6 letters will forever remain a mystery... Melanie... Michelle... Marni?). And as for these incredible shades from Valley Eyewear who have recently entered my fashion consciousness with their slightly-quirky-but-not-quirky-enough frames with a nod to the era I wish I grew up in, the 80's. Devon said I was chanelling a modern day  Claire Standish, and isn't that all I aspire to be? Let's just say that I applied my lipstick with my cool  and yet embarrassing party trick shall we? (On a side note, has anyone actually attempted that?) Molly Ringwald (another M) was all that in her brat pack days. How I wish she could have stayed sixteen forever and continued to play the stereotypical teen movie damsel in distress. 

Here I am, pretty in pink, feeling accomplished for pairing blush with dusty pink with a retro glass bottle Coke wondering why I'm standing in a playground in a recreational park rather than a local corner store... or even better, detention. Ah Australia and your typically 'Australian' backdrops. Can I say this was intentional juxtaposition?

This was part one of a little before sundown shoot I did with BFF photographer buds Devon + Uppy who are a dream to work with. Part two features more retro inspired stylings among grassy (and by this I mean bush) fields. 

Photos by Devon Hanna. Edited by Uppy Cee

shirt up in lovage.

Photographer: Christine Ai | Stylist: Melissa Ong
Hair & Make-up: Gia Mills | Model: Serena Hodgson
Assistant: Bill Liu | BTS: Andrew McIntyre

I can finally reveal to you some of my favourite shots from the Shirt Up editorial I worked on last year with Christine. Whilst pulling and returning pieces can be more time consuming than actually styling (do not ever attempt this without a car), it's oh so satisfying to see your vision come to life. I'm hoping to dabble a little more in styling this year (I do have a few more shoots in the works). It's great to be able to experiment with looks that I wouldn't usually wear (or couldn't because of my non model proportions) and have full creative control. This little shoot was kindly picked up by my friends at Lovage Magazine who have just released their second issue titled Rebel. To see the editorial in full along with some great interviews, features and photoshoots, you can purchase a copy of Lovage here.

1/ Unspoken shirt, May the Label pants, Skin shoes, Vera Xane bracelets (worn throughout).
2/ One Teaspoon shirt, Ruby Sees All skirt, Skin shoes.
3/ LP33.3 shirt dress.
4/ April, May shirt (from Basically Boutique), Elliatt shorts, Nude shoes, Love Obsessed earrings, Estelle Deve rings (from Olive & Finn)

she & him.

Jack wears: Marcs tee and pants, Topshop loafers, Rayban sunglasses.

The other week I decided to drop some dollars while killing time until Jack finished uni and found myself gravitating to some familiar looking pieces. I then realise that this was the exact same combination that I had suggested Jack to nab from the Marcs a few months before. Which lead me to the question. Who came first? The chicken or the egg? Whose style had influenced who? Had Jack convinced me with his perfect execution of this staple look? Or had I always wanted to pull off navy chinos (which are the most underrated item of clothing for women. Go get yourself a pair now) but at the time thought I couldn't do it myself so I played dress ups with Jack. These are the questions that keep me up at night.

I am proud to say I have had quite an impact on Jack's personal style journey. In the two years we've been together, he went from not caring at all to calling Ryan Gosling his style icon, making references to his #ootd, owning the entire Marcs store and dreaming up his ideal bespoke suit. But he's reached the point where he's a fully fledged fashion-mister. I promise we're not one of those couples who are grossly matchy matchy. (On a side note, our amazing photographer Devon wore a striped shirt too and we had one hilarious comment from a passerby and some strange looks at breakfast #stripethursday). I simply wanted to make a comment of how intertwined our wardrobe choices are and to welcome him into my little bubble of blogging. I'm actually surprised he even agreed to it in the first place*.

We were lucky enough to have the super talented Devon from New Zealand behind the lens. Devon's actually best friends with Uppy (a regular contributor on the blog) and visits Australia almost every summer. I love that Dev managed to capture the candid, relaxed look I envisaged (brief was engagement shoot sans the actual engagement). But seriously if anyone needs a photographer in the Auckland area for your parties, weddings or just for funsies, go hunt her down ASAP.

Photography and editing by Devon Hanna.

*His specific t's & c's are that I'm not allowed to tag him on any social media in any way, shape or form. Since when does being in a photoshoot with your girlfriend emasculate you? Haha. 

bali photo diary part one.

1 / Upgraded to a little slice of paradise at the Ubud Resort Hotel & Spa.  
2/ Ingredients laid out in prep for our Indonesian feast at Lobong Cooking
3/ Consuming our daily mocktails/ juices featuring our matching bracelets.
 4/ A statue made entirely out of rice. We spent a good amount of our time surrounded by rice fields and still have no idea how rice is actually made. 
5/ Biking around the island of Gili Trawangan repping Nike. 
6/ Too many eateries to try in such a short amount of time that we ended up having multiple dinners. Entree sized calamari at Sea Circus. 
7/ Sunset from WooBar at the W Hotel. 
8/ Quad biking through the rice fields. Yes I crashed one of these into a banana tree. 
9/ Bon Voyage Gili T! Chucking peace signs before heading home. 

Bali now seems like a distant memory having finally accepted that i have to tackle two group projects, a 4000 word research project and writing essays in another language amongst other things before I could ever return to this beautiful island. I now see why so many Australians are drawn to Bali. I probably can't describe it to you so I'll show you instead. Perhaps it's just the experience of travelling to another world far away from yours, experiencing their culture and not having to think about the stresses of everyday life. I am so grateful to have shared this time with my best friend - we're already thinking up our next big adventure. I tried to compress this into one post but there were so many moments that just sum up our amazing week that I just couldn't decide. Keep your eye out for part dua (that's two in Indonesian).

the great escape.

I've been reluctant to post this last outfit savouring every last memory of Bali before I get back into my uni headspace. So I'm sad to say that this is my final look from the beautiful Bali and I'll soon be back to posting outfits with repetitive, mundane and typically Australian locations. Yawn. I'm so stoked with the way all my photos turned out so a huge shout out to my best friend for stepping up the role of blog photographer for the week (as well as being amazing company and a cooperative travel partner). I think I'm going to have to start making these girl getaways an annual affair. 

If you followed me on Instagram you'll know Deb and I were surprised with an incredible upgrade to our accommodation in Ubud. We weren't big on splurging on hotels as we anticipated we wouldn't use it for anything other than sleeping but the Ubud Village Resort and Spa changed our mind. Our conveniently located hotel was under construction so they moved our stay to their resort which was slightly out of the way, but once we saw the place we couldn't have cared less. Let's just say we didn't really get out to explore Ubud - we were too busy stuffing ourselves at our complementary breakfast and afternoon tea, swimming in the circular pool and our own private pool and relaxing in our outside bath.  These were taken on the beautiful grounds of our resort, tucked away in the hillsides of Ubud amongst rice paddies. The perfect getaway destination. If anyone's looking for accom in Ubud I would hands down recommend this place - the service was flawless. Everyone knew our names and addressed us as Miss Melissa and Miss Debra. 

After the ode to my versatile friend, the navy playsuit, I have once again found myself captivated by this chambray One Teaspoon number which in some angles looks like a mini dress. Perhaps I have found the perfect solution to my stunted growth. Oh and that thing you see on my thigh isn't a mark on your screen - it's my battlescar from a quad biking accident (which was slightly scary at the time though hilarious in hindsight). I was on a tandem bike with Deb casually driving through the rice fields when I was caught off guard by the unsealed road and semi lost control of my steering and veered us off the road and into a banana tree. Badass. 

Photos by Debra Navaratnam

w is for.

Armor Lux top, Kahlo skirt, Isabel Marant sneakers, eQUIP necklace, Michael Kors watch, Popetto bracelet, Sabre sunglasses.

Last time I showed you the entrance to The W Hotel and if that wasn't grand enough, I decided to return the following day and shoot inside the resort by their three level pool. Though we arrived in time for golden hour, we missed out on swimming in their pool - which was practically empty. Who goes on holiday and doesn't swim? We made the rookie mistake of asking for towels and followed by the pool attendant asking us for our room number to which we replied 'oh we don't actually stay here.' Should have just guessed a number. Or better still, brought our own towels. 

Despite our lack of treading water in a spacious pool we ended up poolside/ beachside sipping on mocktails as the sun set behind the clouds. If there's one thing Bali has an abundance of besides bodies of water it's mocktails which is great for non-drinkers like myself. And they're priced appropriately (unlike here in Australia). After all that rambling the moral of the story is: visit The W or if you have the money, stay at The W. I know I would. 

As for the outfit, the striped breton and leather skirt are two wardrobe staples that you've seen pop up on the blog more times than you probably should. I promise I have other clothes. Jazzed up these usual suspects with some neck candy from eQUIP and arm candy from Popetto. Look at me slowly easing up to jewellery. I have only one look left to post from Bali. Sad face, sad face.

Photos by Debra Navaratnam


Zimmermann playsuit, Samantha Wills necklace, Oroton sandals, Benah scarf, SXUC aviators (from Sunglasses Shop).

I had all intentions of posting a ‘one jumpsuit, three ways’ feature while in Bali (I even brought all the elements I needed for night, beach and sightseeing look) but after seeing this bamboo lined driveway leading up to the spectacular W Hotel (the driveway is so long they offer to cart guests to reception in a buggy), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot whatever I was wearing. As for the versatility of my navy romper friend, I figured I’d just tell you rather than show you (you’ll just have to take my word for it). As you can see I’m obsessed with the back - or rather lack of it. Pro: The shorts also have pockets. Originally purchased for my best friend’s 21st, I’ve worn it on countless occasions with heels, sandals, sneakers, varsity jackets, parkas, vests and each and every time I’ve managed to spill something on it (I have a knack for ruining all my expensive clothes on the first wear). It knows the dry cleaners all too well.

That afternoon we visited Potato Head Beach Club for our second round of mocktails, then sauntered over to Sarong for a filling South East Asian/ Indian inspired dinner followed by dessert at the W Hotel - three of the top hotspots that were recommended to us by Bali/ devotees. Our holiday was very much a food fest - we had so many places to eat at that we had to split our meals as above or eat multiple dinners. Seminyak is one of the more happening places in Bali with all the luxury resorts and dining along the one street - it's very diverse in its offerings and incredibly westernised but the service from the local hospitality staff is second to none. The people are just too kind there you feel bad asking them for the bill!

In other non-holiday related news, today was my first day back at uni. Preparing myself for more stressful forth year times ahead. Good luck this semester to all you uni-goers, I know the feeling. 

Photos by Debra Navaratnam