As a relatively new label to hit the Sydney scene, Strummer’s latest offering makes it appear as though it’s been in the fashion game for years. Needless to say, the brand is swiftly gaining momentum in its design and production, and we can’t seem to get enough of its feminine, youthful and fresh take on style. It’s actually been grabbing our attention from the very start, and not just because the ladies behind it are as sweet and down to earth as they just so happen to be, either. The clothes evoke a sense of ease, making it seem as though fashion sometimes has the power to make even our worst days a little brighter.
Strummer’s Spring Summer 2009/10 collection has us aching even more for the lazy beachside days and balmy cocktail evenings that this impatient month ingrains in us. The look book is a mirror of Sydney’s best sunny style, fusing elegance, class and a simple colour palette with the most delicately charming details – doilies, pleating and playful collars among them. Perhaps one of the most noticeable parts of the brand is that it’s clearly not swayed by hasty trends – you can tell that its beat of the drum isn’t exactly trying to keep up with the rest of the fashion band, and this inimitability is undeniably refreshing. After all, we’ve seen enough Balmain jackets, thankyouverymuch.
Side Street, Sydney chats to the brainchildren behind Strummer, Edwina Hagon and Gina Cole, about where they’ve been, where they are and where they’re going.
Tucked away in a side street in Darlinghurst, there’s a new bar that is likely to rejuvenate the summer afternoon drinking spirit about as much as summer itself. It’s called The Pond and it’s as pretty as a scene from an Edith Wharton novel, with fresh food and a simple list of wines and beers to match. In fact, turn off your whereabouts for even a second and you might start to reflect on just how beautiful the Italian countryside is.
Zombies, cross-dressing Big Brother-types and eternal life through science – these are just a few of the topics set to challenge and entertain us at the inaugural Fantastic Planet Film Festival launching this week at a couple very handy locations around town. Sister festival to the A Night of Horror festival which runs every March, Fantastic Planet urges us to see the future through a murky blend of science and fiction.
I confess: Vietnamese food is my all-time fave. Love the salads, love the tasty spicy meats, love the fresh, flavoursome soups. They’re big, bold flavours that don’t cling to the palate longer than they should. Suffice to say, Vietnamese is a cuisine I could eat every day and die happy.
Way down one end of King Street in Newtown sits Thanh Binh, which translates as “peaceful”. Although it seems difficult to imagine anything on King Street being described as peaceful, sitting by those big airy windows that span the entire width of the restaurant on a warm summer Saturday evening is pretty damn nice. Or dare I say, peaceful?
As someone who once thought he didn’t have a creative bone in his body, Milos Mali has certainly proven himself wrong. The Polish-born, Canadian-bred, London and New York-lived and now Sydney-based photographer is the man behind some of the most iconic spreads in the recent history of the Australian fashion scene. His images have a magnetic quality to them, drawing in the eye and making it difficult to move it off the page. It’s no wonder that he’s a Russh and Oyster favourite, or that some of Australia’s hottest designers – Ellery, for example – have grabbed him to shoot their campaigns. For Milos, it all started in year 10, when he discovered the camera in a high school art class.
Part folk, part rock n roll, Oh Mercy’s debut album Privileged Woes may as well be drinking iced tea with you in your garden on a breezy spring afternoon. One listen and it instantly becomes an old friend, one who you grew up with and unintentionally reminds you of the good ole days.
Side Street Sydney goes back in time with lead singer Alex Gow to figure out how the band got to where they are today - and where they're headed next.
Eva bent down to tie her shoe. When she looked up, she had already lost her best friend.
“Hayley!” She called out.
Hayley turned around and took Eva’s hand, and Eva once again joined Hayley and her family.
When it comes to television, the Brits really DO do it better. That is, if you’re looking for shows that will plague your sleep, follow you down a dark alleyway and jump out of your wardrobe. The Red Riding trilogy is one such drama. An adaptation of English author David Peace’s critically acclaimed Red Riding Quartet, comprising the novels Nineteen Seventy-Four, Nineteen Seventy-Seven, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty-Three. The television adaptation has been broken down into three films, each an equally unflinching portrayal of Yorkshire in the 70s and 80s. Set against a background of police corruption, child abuse and serial murders (including the notorious Yorkshire ripper case) it’s not easy viewing. And nor should it be, given a large portion of the material is based on real-life crimes.
As someone who’s got the art of layering, accessorising and composing down to a tee, stylist Maia Liakos is certainly not who you think she’s going to be when you first meet her. Her love for beautiful clothes and impeccable imagery is about as unassuming as it gets, especially in an industry that is at times dominated more by glory than by sheer passion and talent. This is a lady who turns down invitations to launches because the scene doesn’t particularly interest her, and unlike her colleagues, she’s not constantly posing for the camera, and she’s certainly not kissing anyone’s ass. She prefers to look at the fashion world from the outside in, and we couldn’t love her any more for it.
One thing Maia doesn’t compromise is quality. Flip through the pages of any old Oyster and her work will be looking right back at you. A contributing fashion editor for the past three years, her styling has arguably inspired many an eye-candy fiend to pick up the magazine and find the spare change to pay for it at the counter. She’s also been published in Vogue, Karen, Yen, Madison, In Style, Sunday Life and Nico, to name a few. She has worked on countless advertising campaigns, and can namedrop the bigwigs such as Sony, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Telstra, Foxtel, QANTAS and Nickelodeon if you pest her enough. So how does someone who works for some of the creative industry’s most influential publications and companies RESIST name dropping? Well, she didn’t grow up wanting to work in fashion. Maybe that’s a start.
Down a little corner and up a little stairwell lies a little room that could have easily remained insignificant were it not for the ideas of a few boys who grew up surfing and creating on the Northern Beaches. And like all cases, the old saying that ideas without action are useless speaks the truth, because today it is difficult to imagine Sydney without it – particularly if you’re young, unusual and drawn to cans of spray paint for no particular reason. It’s called Monster Children. Ever heard of it?
Monster Children Gallery has become somewhat of an altar for the underground art zealots to fall a little bit more in love with art and uncover the meaning of their imagination. It seems that by an unintentional landslide, the chosen pieces invite the viewers to stare, be mesemerised and perhaps question the creativity they themselves are capable of. After all, within each and every one of us a little creative can be found, or so claims gallery curator Joseph Allen Shea.
I’m not sure if British India are worried about the old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ adage or if they just get bored easily, but you sure can’t fault the band for tardiness when it comes to new releases. After putting out their debut album in 2007 and following up with Thieves just 12 months later, the boys are already hard at work recording their third album, Avalanches, which is set to hit shelves in March next year.
Studying law is about as much a guarantee for a comfortable future as it is a stable career path, and it is at the top of anyone who’s-got-money-on-their-mind’s life choice list. Parents who want to boast about their children’s job will almost always push them to be a lawyer, a doctor or a finance whiz – well, perhaps the latter, not so much anymore. It is a career that has long been associated with luxury, long hours… and maybe a shark or two thrown in the mix.
This is exactly why meeting the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) solicitor advocate Jeremy Rea was a welcome diversion from the black-suited stereotypes (and for me at least, an ardent refusal to apply to law school). After 20 years in private practice, Jeremy decided he wanted to make a difference that didn’t involve a price tag. He moved into the offices of HPLS about two years ago.
Alex Miller’s Conditions of Faith is a constantly evocative, poignant, and, at times erotically-charged story which chronicles a woman’s journey from young adulthood through the inevitable questioning, rashness, ignorance and self-delusion to the destination of maturity.
If you’re part of the Sydney arts scene, then Brad Eastman is likely at the top of your speed dial. When he’s not the artist formally known as Beastman, Brad heads up WATIM (We Are the Image Makers), a website dedicated to promoting emerging (and already emerged) Australian artistic talent, curates group shows to give said artists a boost, and collaborates with Australia's finest – and has a hell of a lot of fun in the process. He’s an artist selflessly aware of how difficult the industry can be, and he certainly hasn’t been content to ride the waves of his continuing success all by his lonesome.
Brad’s story, like the many image makers before him, starts on the streets.
The word ‘vampire’ is now typically associated with tween hysteria and hands-off Mormon love stories, but those with more discerning ears and suspicious eyes might find a better match in Melbourne band The Fearless Vampire Killers.
In a slight deviation from the old ‘met at school and started a band’ cliché, the members of the Vampire Killers were actually brought together by shared musical influences (of the same awesome variety).
My mother calls me and asks me if I’d like to take care of their house when she and my father take a vacation in the colourful part of spring. It would be a great help, she says, and the birds do need to be fed. I can’t trust just anyone, she says.
My apartment is tired and lonely and I am keen to be tired and lonely in my childhood house, so arrangements are made. There is nothing much in my place that needs keeping or that I cannot take with me, and the view from my window over the drabbest part of the suburb is more and more like a picture I can’t take down. So I go.
Love. It’s a universal theme, important to all of us in one way or another. But seriously, if I have to see another movie on the topic I think I’m going to vomit just a little in my mouth. So, when I had the chance to sneak along to a critic’s screening of a new documentary about love called Paper Heart, you can understand why I had a bucket handy. For a `love skeptic’ such as myself, Paper Heart is the kind of movie you walk into slightly cynical, but leave feeling warm and fuzzy – despite your best intentions.
I have literally zero interest in standing in a queue in a pair of heels for half an hour to get into a club or bar. There are plenty of other, more relaxed, places with good cocktails, chilled DJs, cosy lounges and stylish punters where I can walk straight in, sit down and have someone bring me a drink, STAT! Madame Fling Flong in Newtown is most assuredly in the later camp.
As one of the only designers shortlisted for this year’s SOYA awards, Maise designer Claire Greaves has once again proven her worth in the Sydney fashion scene. Inspired by such contradicting elements as French sensibilities & rock and roll culture and masculinity & femininity, Claire conceived Maise after a stint at the label which fills many a fashion-lover’s wardrobe, Topshop. It would be hard not to take the influence from such an experience and run with it, which is exactly what Claire did when she arrived back on Australian soil in 2007.
Maise’s Spring Summer 2009-10 collection, Team M has just hit stores, and it is definitely one that leaves a must-have dizzying spell on the desire. Claire has yet again extracted elements from pop culture and twisted the imagery into an extremely wearable collection. This time it was early-nineties teen flicks that played the muse, with references to everything from basketball courts to prep-school uniforms. The sporty pieces that scream ‘Layer Me!’ are immediately reminiscent of American high school stereotypes, and Claire pays homage to each and every one. Be it the varsity cheerleader, the bookworm or the class MVP, this collection is bound to shift the dividing lines between every school clique.
Side Street, Sydney caught up with Claire to find out where it all began…
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