5 Lessons I learnt from the extraordinary David Bowie

It's been a week since David Bowie has become a blackstar but somehow I'm still hoping that this is all a bit of a joke. He always seemed so immortal. The loss is too overwhelming.
A constant changeling, one could be forgiven for thinking that death is just the next thing that caught his endless curiosity. I'd like to think that he went back to where he came from, and by that I don't mean Brixton.

Even among creative geniuses David Bowie was the most outstanding. Always exploring new territories, always ahead of the pack, always genuine, always completely captivating. A starman. An icon.

The fashion was there from the start. Groundbreaking, androgynous, outlandish, inventive (insert your own adjectives here).
There are so many incredible outfits but I have a soft spot for the Kansai Yamamoto bunny suit. I also spent 15 minutes looking at the Alexander McQueen union jack coat for the Earthling album cover and the clown suit from Ashes to Ashes is an absolute masterpiece. David Bowie didn't do boring.

David Bowie's legacy is so comprehensive on so many levels but it's the way he lived his life that inspires me the most. Here's what I learnt:

1. Be true to yourself
Throughout his very long career David Bowie was always an original and always followed his own path. In one of his interviews he said that only two of his albums were bad and that's because he wrote them for an audience rather than for himself. in the words of another talented Englishman: Be yourself, no matter what they say.

2. Don't be afraid to take risks
David once said "The minute you know you're on safe ground, you're dead".
I'm not very comfortable with disappointment and failure (who is?) so I sometimes avoid taking risks. But if I honestly look at my path so far, my best opportunities and success came from taking risks which initially ended in disappointment and failure. You live, you learn, you get way better!

3. Don't be boring
David loved traveling and anthropology and was interested in pretty much everything (except for country & western apparently). Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him often commented on how interesting he was. The world is full of inspiration and ideas, so read, watch, listen, touch and explore as much as possible. Stay curious.

4. Be nice to people
Although fame has for a long time been a part of his life, David bowie was a humble and a genuinely nice person. Journalist Tony Parson said "Bowie was always the easiest rock star in the world to talk to: open, engaging, hiding nothing. Endlessly curious about the world, and about himself."
In his many interviews he's always easy and friendly, even deflecting annoying questions with a cheeky smile. You don't have to be nice but there's no benefit in being nasty.

5. It's OK to plan ahead
Despite his outrageous rock star persona David didn't leave as much to chance as it might seem. He took over his own management in the late 70's and after almost going bankrupt made unusual financial arrangements to secure the future of himself and his family to this day.
I'm a terrible planner because I like the future to be unknown, but financially this has set me back. I'm now learning that it's ok to plan some things. The rest of the future can remain unknown.

Coming to terms with the loss of a hero takes time. I'm not entirely convinced that I will ever let go because I don't think I want to. At least not for a while.
Goodbye David Bowie. I hope you're free just like that bluebird. Beep-Beep.

First Row

Sydney Fashion Festival is upon us and no, unfortunately I'm not going. But if I was going, and if I was sitting in the front row, and if I could afford this outfit, then this is what I would probably wear.

It's a nice mix of some of my favourite Australian designers with a bit of Lanvin thrown in for good measure. I'm not a flashy kind of girl and much prefer understated and classic pieces. Emmanuelle Alt and sometimes Sarah Ruston do it really well.

As for moi, well... there's always next year!

All items from farfetch:
Ginger & Smart camisol  /  Dion Lee skirt  /  Jérome Dreyfuss bag  /  Alice & Olivia jacket  /  Lanvin sandals

Simple ideas for a relaxing bedroom

I've been so busy these past few weeks and my bedroom is the proof.
There are two piles on the floor: one for dirty clothes and one for clean ones. My bedside table (which is an untreated wooden stool) is a dusty mess of books and bits and pieces. My beloved Elliot coat stand is barely visible under it's load of coats and bags. My chest of drawers is covered in all sorts of stuff that currently has no other place. Oh, and the sheets really need replacing.
So that's my plan for today. Clean it all up and make it a relaxing place again. Off I go.

Designer style on sale

I absolutely love designer clothing but can only afford to buy on sale or second hand. My wardrobe is therefore a mix of high street brands (especially Zara) with some designer items thrown in for good measure. 
Last year I decided to buy less items but better quality and it seems to be working for me.
Since the price tag is higher I consider what I buy very carefully and tend to pick more timeless pieces which will last several seasons. I occasionally miss out on some items because I wait for the sales but so far there have very been few regret buys.

The items above are on sale at the moment so maybe you could snap yourself a nice little wardrobe piece too:
1. &Daughter slouch sweater at Matches
2. T by Alexander Wang linen & silk tank top at Matches 
3. MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela slim denim pant at Steven Alan 
4. Smythson Panama leather box clutch at Matches
5. Giles & Brother Spike railroad cuff at The Outnet 
6. Pour la Victoire Yaya sandals at Nieman Marcus.

5 Easy ideas for decorating with plants

In honour of St Patrick's day earlier this week and with spring blooming in the Northern Hemisphere I thought I'd feature something green. I love decorating with plants because it makes a house look warm and inviting. And since plants absorb CO2 they also clean the air around them. Bonus!
It is surprisingly easy to look after indoor plants so even if you're a certified plant-killer you should try giving it a go again. Most plants just need water and sun, although in varying degrees. 
My amazing grandma, who had a wonderful collection of indoor plants, used to say that not over watering your plants makes them more resilient. She also used to clean them with a bit of milk because it makes the leaves shiny. Needless to say that her plants were always in magnificent condition.
A couple of years ago one of my friends has introduced indoor greenery into her home after many years of killing innocent plants. I'm glad to report that both her and the plants are still very happy.
If you're not sure where to start I suggest succulents. They are resilient, don't need much watering, they like full or partial sun and there is a huge variety to choose from. Once your succulents have grown a bit you can also use cuttings to make new plants.
As a confident plant owner my favourite thing to do is rescue dying plants. I don't always succeed but when I do I definitely feel a bit special.

Happy growing!

Furry cat illustrations

The Furry things series was created by Kamwei from Bo & Friends. It's a great gift idea for cat lovers who are also minimalists at heart.
Find them at Bo & Friends etsy shop.

Casually dressed up

Whenever you need to up your casual look that little bit more, simply swap the jeans for a pair of smartish work pants (with or without pleats), roll up the hem neatly to ankle height, tuck in your shirt or t-shirt and off you go!
All pics via Smoky Alice.

Tie the knot

Lately I have come to realise that my small jewellery collection could do with an update. I seem to be moving on from Statement pieces towards a more subtle and gentle look. I have thus fallen totally in love with the Céline extra thin knot bracelets. The Balenciaga asymmetric knot ring is pretty gorgeous too.
Or you could save a bit and go for the Knot Bangler by Drift Riot.
Just click on the images for links.

Loafers are forever

I believe that loafers are here to stay and therefore they are a good investment piece for any shoe collection. 
Let me give you my reasons:

1. Loafers offer a classic look that has never really gone out of style.
2. They are versatile and can be worn with slim pants, wide leg pants, skirts, dresses, jeans, or anything really.
3. They are comfortable for days on the go.
4. Some styles come with tassels (and that's a big plus as far as I'm concerned).
5. There are many loafer styles to suit individual taste.

So now that you're inspired, here are my favourite classic loafer picks:

For a more modern loafer try The modern Loafer by Everlane (there's a waiting list!) and The Gaston tassel loafer by Dieppa Restrepo.

The return of the Smiths

I might be showing my age here (and I have no problem with that!) but Adidas Stan Smiths were very big when I was in high school. All the cool kids were wearing them, but I wasn't one of them because I couldn't afford a pair. They have been my no. 1 most favourite sneakers ever since.

Fast forward many years later, I spotted a pair in white and blue tab with three velcro straps, on sale. I purchased the immediately even though they were a little too small. They are still sitting in my cupboard waiting for my feet to shrink a bit.

So now that they have made a huge comeback (Thank you Phoebe Philo!) and all the cool kids are wearing them again, maybe it's time for me to get a pair. It's never too late to be cool!

Outfit pics via The Urban Spotter & Andy Heart.

The unfinished bun

So happy to see that my hair style of choice is finally an acceptable form of, well... hairstyle. It takes less than 30 seconds to do which means I'm not as late for work as I would have been otherwise.

What to wear to work

If you haven't guessed by now, my wardrobe mainly consists of black, white, grey and navy. So it's little surprise that my work outfits are often just classic black and white.
For an easy 'I'm so late' outfit that won't look like you just got out of bed simply combine a cropped black pant, a white blouse and a black jacket and off you go!

The simple desk cleanse

Being a designer and a blogger means that I sit at my desk a lot. And I mean A LOT!
I'm not a particularly organised person but I do like my desk tidy and neat. I find that I just can't work efficiently when I have to spend too much time looking for things around my office.

Since it's the start of a new year I thought it would be a good idea to start afresh with a desk cleanse.
It's a pretty simple process:

1.  It's all about storage. Drawer units, shelves, desk organisers, boxes (label them so you know what's inside) and anything else that will make sorting out the clutter easier.

2.  If it doesn't work, throw it away. Old pens, staplers etc... Just get rid of things you no longer need in your workspace. De-clutter and de-stress.

3.  Give your desk a good clean and put everything in it's place. Keep only the daily necessities on your desk. For everything else there should now be a convenient storage place.

4.  Update when you need to. If you find that the new setup is not working for you just change it up to suit your needs. Practice makes perfect and there's nothing wrong with having desk version 2, 3 etc.

Here's to a clean desk!

Product references:
From top: Small bowl from Steven Alan, Another desktop series by Another Country,  Sketchbook from Need SupplyTofu stationery set by Pana

Easy outfits: The white tee

I usually pick my outfits in the morning when I wake up. I lie in bed for a little bit and think about how I feel and what kind of day I'm expecting. Some days I make up my mind really quickly but some days I get really stuck and change my mind a million times.
But I think I have just found a cure for those 'stuck' days. Throw on a white tee, cropped pant and pointy heels and voila! A totally awesome outfit in 5 seconds!