Monday, February 27, 2012

Here comes the Bride

We are now half way through wedding session. For some of us who have pretty frocks hanging in our wardrobe, the thought of being able to dress up and attend a wedding is very exiting. But for a surprisingly large amount of people a wedding invitation can cause a huge stress session about what to wear and where to buy it. What everyone does have in common is the anticipation of seeing what the bride will wear.

Last week I attended the Te Papa Unveiled: 200 years of wedding fashion from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London exhibition and can honestly say spent an hour mesmerised by the beautiful gowns of bygone brides. I choose an evening to see the exhibition and was glad, because while the lighting was subdued to protect the gowns, it, teamed with the music & up-lit pictures, added to the overall effect of being transported to another time and place. It created a feeling of wonder at the lives of those who made these beautiful creations and the brides who wore them.

It was so interesting to see how the different fashions of each era filtered down into bridal wear. But what was clear is that the fabric, cuts and attention to detail on each and every dress was paramount, irrespective of the budge spent on it. Simple, extravagant, frilly, romantic and modern styles were all represented.

Having a rather practical eye, I did wondered what it was really like having a 5 foot train, a zillion petticoats or a dress weighing 10kg! Some lavish embezzlements looked stunning and eye catching, but also rather 'scratchy' on the skin. I loved that the representation of NZ designers - Jane Yeh, WORLD and Lindah Lepou were varied, interesting and beautifully made. The videos charting the process was a great touch and again super interesting.

I loved seeing Gwyn Stefani's Galliano wedding dress, adored the only red wedding dress and see it's simple, yet elegant style sitting well with today's fashion. But for me, and I choose not to look at the designer so as to give myself a surprise, it was the dress by Vera Wang that I would choose for myself. When I saw who it was made by I had, after all not surprised myself and even had to give myself an eye-roll at my own predictability.

Stay colourful!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reviving New Year Resolutions

Oh my giddy aunt I really can't believe it is already late February. All those new year resolutions made so enthusiastically in December for many of us are distant memories. So I'm here to rev them up again and remind you how important looking good is linked to feeling good.

Here are a few of my new year resolutions and I challenge you to think about adopting some of them too. It's not too late people!

1. Compliment more people on looking good. I try to do this, but am determined to do it more often. It sometimes feels a bit weird to stop someone in the street or tell someone at work how nice they look, but think back to times this has happened to you and how chuffed you felt. This feeling often lingers all day and also inspires people to make a bit more of an effort.

2. Exercise. This is the usual resolution, if not for the inches on your Xmas and holiday waistline then do it for your mind. Exercise and mental happiness has been linked in numerous studies. I believe the key is to finding an exercise that fits into your day (walking to work) or even getting off the bus or parking the car a couple of streets away. Or finding something you love. For me, it is Bikram Yoga.

3. Buy less clothing and use what you have more. This will be my biggest challenge. I LOVE clothes and am surrounded by gorgeous pieces every day. But less can be more. Often people can feel overwhelmed by too many clothes in the wardrobe. Have a good clearout, get some clarity, buy less and be adventurous with the pieces you already have.

4. One of my favourite quotes by Ernest Holmes is "where the mind goes, energy flows". I believe this to be very true. I want people to take 30 seconds each day to do something that is very rare, which is to look in the mirror. Make the effort to leave the house feeling good about what you are wearing, and watch the knock-on effect.

5. Smile. The best thing someone can wear each day in front of friends, family or strangers is a genuine, friendly smile.