It probably won’t surprise you to know that I’m NOT a fashion blogger. I mean, you may have read tweets in which I confess to leaving the house in old tracksuit pants and thongs to do my grocery shopping. And you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the closest I’ve gotten to talking about ‘fashion’ was a post about TV show Drop Dead Diva and the fact I need to be less self-conscious of my WAY less-than-perfect body and perhaps cover up a bit less. (And by that I don’t mean, show-off my muffin top or mottley chubby thighs… rather, wear more fitting clothes that – APPARENTLY – are more complimentary to one’s shape.)
Between my hatred of shopping (in general) and body issues, I’ve probably been clothes shopping once this entire year (if that) – deferring the torture pleasure – until I’ve lost more weight; or have adopted a drug habit that numbs the senses sufficiently.
However, last Thursday fellow blogger, Loulou from Here I am LouLou, and I ventured into trendy inner-city Brisbane location, New Farm, to partake in a James St Up Late party, hosted by Marie Claire magazine.
I hadn’t been to something similar before and didn’t know what to expect, but diligently researched the event (ie. Googled) beforehand. I must confess I also hadn’t been to James St for yonks. Longer than yonks. So, I was pleasantly surprised by what was on offer.
However, just in case I haven’t made it clear (!!)… I am (significantly) less than petite so I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the evening scouring fabulous designer labels I could neither afford nor fit into; but somehow Loulou and I managed to spend three delightful hours wandering from store to store browsing. (Yes, every store owner’s nightmare – the window shopper!)
I had THE. BEST. TIME. And I met some fabulous people. For those to whom fashion labels mean something… We spent ages in Nat Sui and the staff were very friendly (it was there I partook in my first part-glass of champagne – which most stores had on offer). Heidi Middleton of Sass and Bide fame was just lovely and I suspect pretended she didn’t hear me giggling over their ‘Spray-on’ jeans (l swear, that’s what they’re actually called).
And… better still, she didn’t look me up and down – as I fussed over their latest lines – with the look of disdain usually held for someone who (in no way in hell) would fit into something in the store. (Believe me, I’ve seen that look in the past. Bah, bitchy shop assistants!)
I have long loved Easton Pearson – again, somewhat outside my price range (and size). And during our chat to Pamela Easton I told her I was sad when a former store of theirs disappeared from my route from the city to home each day. Their clothes are always unusual and I love their textures – just gorgeous. Someone used to update their window displays almost daily and I looked out of the bus window longingly as we voyaged through the dreary tones of the inner city in the early evening.
I’m a bit of an eclectic kind-of-gal myself so love me some sequined bling combined with tweed for winter. Oh and frills seem to be in as well.
If you have time, take a look at their website. A. M. A. Z. I. N. G! Despite my minimal knowledge of fashion they, along with my beloved Nicola Waite (who does make bigger sizes and who I can occasionally afford), are probably my fave Oz designers.
My blogging buddy Loulou got to meet Jackie Frank, editor of Marie Claire and again the woman of the hour (umm… and by that I don’t mean Loulou) was chatty and loved hearing from a reader. (I refrained from telling her I don’t read fashion mags because my ability to see myself in any of the clothes worn by skinny models is light years away.)
I must confess that I hadn’t even heard of designer Camilla, but fell in love with her store of brightly coloured kaftans, one of which was worn by Oprah – yes THAT Oprah – on her visit here last year!
Given my lack of fashion savvyness and the fact that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go… the evening was the most fun I’ve had in ages. Loulou and I were madly tweeting as we wandered about (the good thing about being with another blogger is that neither of us thought the other rude when we stopped in the middle of the street to ‘instagram’ something). I’ve never seen so many AMAZINGLY clothed women in one place in ages (and some of them so ridiculously young and beautiful)!
In fact, the area was packed with all sorts of people clutching their Marie Claire gift bags, along with their many purchases. As for me, I only bought some soaps (yes, me and my ‘bath’ habit) from the fabulous store, St. Barts.
I gather that the James St precinct hosts these events on a semi-regular basis and according to all of the shop owners and assistants we spoke to, the evening was a huge success.
I certainly had a great time and, although I can’t see myself becoming a fashion blogger anytime soon, it was nice to hang with the beautiful people and ponder on other ways to spend my mortgage payments!