Another update!

Hello there! Long time, no speak. Yet again I have let this blog fall by the wayside a bit, but I can assure you there are very good reasons for doing so.

Last time I wrote, I was in the thick of my internship at the exquisitely ebullient little hub that is CityMag. I was there for about ten weeks in the end, researching and cold-calling and interviewing and tap tapping away on stories. That experience was a real eye-opener to the fast-paced world of journalism and really helped me sharpen my writing, as well as forcing me to not be so precious about how and what I write due to the speedy turnaround times for online publication. Funnily enough I ended up with a few articles about local eco-fashion businesses (read them here and here), which was really thought-provoking for me.

I’m most proud of the last couple of articles I wrote, which were way out of my comfort zone in terms of content and also presenting myself as a professional journo (which I guess you could say I am now… but more on that later). After a bit of a double-booking kerfuffle one afternoon, I was asked if I could help out by covering the launch of JamFactory‘s new furniture line. I thought I’d pop down to their Light Square workshops with a photographer, ask one of the designers a few quick questions and then just write up a very general, “LOOK AT THIS COOL STUFF” kind of article… But Josh and I arrived to find that we were in fact getting a bit of an exclusive sneak peek before the rest of Adelaide’s media, and that I’d get to interview all of the designers as well as Jon Goulder, Head of Furniture, and CEO Brian Parkes. No biggie. I was terrified but threw myself in anyway, and the article got a great response, even from JamFactory themselves, so that felt really lovely. Interviewing some of Adelaide’s best emerging health and medical professionals from SAHMRI was similarly daunting, but was also completely fascinating (all three women were what you might call “kick-ass”) and again, had a really positive outcome, with the article being shared on SAHMRI’s Facebook and other platforms.

Thanks to CityMag’s partnership with InDaily, some of the articles I wrote also got picked up for InDaily’s site, so I have a contributor page with them now (squee!) and also had quite a few pieces featured in their weekly emails. Yays! I miss popping into the office and seeing these charming folks on the reg., but I do have a contribution coming up in the next print edition of CityMag (014), so I still get to be part of it all – albeit from a bit further afield now.

The main thing that’s keeping me away from town geographically is that I’ve got a new job! I’m still doing the retail thing on weekends because it’s fun and I love my workmates and I kind of never want to leave them, but now I’m a proper employed editor person, which I’m still pinching myself about. Empire Times is the student magazine at Flinders Uni, where I’m completing the final semester of my highly-prized Arts degree (you’ll be glad when I save you from the robots). One of their 2016 editors, Simone, completed her Honours mid-year and as such could no longer be a student editor so they were on the lookout for someone to step in and wrap up the second half of the year (issues 43.6-43.10). I applied, I interviewed, I pitched my heart out, I got the job and I leapt straight into the deep end. Armed with my linguistic and journalistic know-how, one InDesign lesson and the support (and patience) of my co-editors Liam and Eleanor, I’m already well into the thick of things! Issues 6 and 7 have already been released, 8 is about to be printed and today we’re starting work on 9! People keep asking me what exactly we do as editors and the answer is basically everything except the actual printing: recruiting and liaising with contributors, editing, sub-editing, graphic design, distribution, social media, writing articles ourselves, producing content for our blog… the works! It’s a lot of work, but it’s work I take great pride in doing and which brings me a lot of satisfaction and even the occasional squealy moment of joy.

Also at Uni, I’m taking a Life Writing topic, for which I get to read and study some of my favourite authors like Helen Garner and Benjamin Law (Joe Cinque’s Consolation and The Family Law, respectively). I woke up in the middle of the night and scrawled through my journal like a woman possessed; my final piece for the topic spilled out of me like it had always been there waiting for the right moment. I’m looking forward to submitting it, and I may even share it on here down the track depending on how it goes.

On the side of all of this, I’ve been doing some freelance copyediting and copywriting as a sub-contractor for Little Bird PR & Communications, which has helped me hone a whole other set of writing-related skills. Producing copy for an exhibition is very different to writing a journalistic piece, as is reducing articles to 140-character Twitter posts. Each form has its own challenges, so combining them all keeps my overactive brain occupied.

I’ve also been reading a lot of Rookie (try this article here) and Lenny (especially this) and Darling (this was pretty inspiring) and Frankie (the cover art of their current issue is a dream) and Womankind (this story about the women of the Italian mafia was fascinating given my background of studying Italian), all of which are fabulous for reassuring myself that I’m on a promising path and that I am a perfectly flawed but full and whole human being. I recently spoke to some folks from Frankie at Finders Keepers markets and they were such darls and really encouraging, so that was a nice little moment.

So, what’s next? We Empire Times editors are heading to NYWF soon, which I’m hoping will basically just be a whole weekend of stimulating conversations and speeches and… well, just a whole lot of words really! I’ve tentatively agreed to do a spoken word piece at the next Speakeasy event on campus. I’ve got about 8 weeks left of my undergraduate degree and then who knows what’s next! I’m tossing up between a few options at the moment but am open to the possibilities, and feeling more and more comfortable with the unknown.

Until next time,

Lxx

 

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Lately

Hi!! This is just a little update on some of the things I’ve been up to recently. I’ve been super busy (in a good way) and flitting all around Adelaide for work/study/interning/volunteering/socialising/all of the things.

I have a LinkedIn page where I store a lot of this kind of stuff but I thought it might be handy to compile a little list here of what I’ve been writing, for my small but supportive little readership. I’ve hyperlinked everything so you can click through and see/read/lol at everything, too.

I was part of feud mag‘s Adelaide Fashion Festival coverage which was a hoot. I think we provided some insights that were kind of unique in their honesty, but also got down to the nitty gritty of the actual fashion stuff as well. See for yourself here.

I won a street style competition at the end of 2015 for an outfit that I wore to the Adelaide Fashion Festival. I beat out a whole heap of very fashuuun people, which was a bit funny. I won a massive batch of Happy Socks, which I looooove, and a photoshoot with Cocktail Revolution and Liza Emanuele and Regina Sole Queen.

I created a photo essay for feud about the month I spent living and studying in London last year. It’s no secret that I found this time pretty difficult, but it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done so I hope that comes across.

I’ve also done some fashion interviews with local designers for feud. Rosie and Jo from O, Speak are just about the loveliest gals ever and make the cutest frankie-esque gear. You can read our interview here. Felix from Sasso Imèl was super generous and gave us phone covers after I interviewed him, so he’s automatically in my good books. But the stuff he makes from recycled shade cloth materials is pretty nifty, too.

I finally submitted to Empire Times, Flinders Uni’s student mag! I wrote a poem about my body image and it got published in the first 2016 issue.

Finally, (I think..?) I’m interning at CityMag which is basically a dream come true. The team is so supportive and lovely and really bloody cool. So far I’ve pitched a tonne of articles, researched and hooked up interviews and written an article a week for them so the experience is certainly very hands-on (yippee!) I wrote about a charming new bakery in Adelaide’s inner suburbs and the beautiful couple that own it here, some locally-made vegetable-tanned leathergoods here, and charted the career path of one of Adelaide’s best tele producers and now GM of Channel 44 here.

 

Phew! So yep, that’s that for now. I’m always busy, but always keeping an eye out for other writing/comm.s opportunities, so if you have one for me you can shoot me an email at lauren.reid@live.com

You can also keep up with my daily to-ings and fro-ings on Instagram @bigshoestofill if you’re interested.

Lxx

New Season Know-How: Cuts and Styling

I’m back with part 2 of my new-season series! Yay! In case you can’t be bothered heading back to my last post on this topic, here’s a recap of most of the colours that are going to be dominating AW16:

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I spotted these tiles on Grote Street and they’re basically a summary of the colours you’re going to see a lot of in stores this A/W. You’re welcome.

Now we’re onto cuts and styling. What shapes should you be looking for in the shops (or the depths of your own wardrobe for that matter)? And how should you wear them to prevent looking like you’ve stepped straight out of 1974? I’m glad you asked, pal! Here’s a quick crash course in just a few of the main looks for the season.

Generally speaking, you’re looking for balance in any outfit. Sure, having everything chunky and oversized can make a statement but most of us will need some finer details (accessories like skinny scarves, fine jewellery, belted waist) to get the right proportions happening. Simple tricks like tucking the front of a larger top into your bottoms can make a huge difference in creating a more flattering shape, so all is not lost if you think some of these styles aren’t for you. Try stuff out, have a chat to well-dressed shop assistants, scour Pinterest and find what works for you. Here are some of the things I’ll be trying this A/W:

Flares all ’round!

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Bell sleeves, bootleg jeans, feature peplums… anything with a bit of a kick is going to be sitting pretty amongst the fash crowd this season. If you’re nervous, stick to a basic like mid-rise bootleg jeans in a dark denim wash. Pair with a plain white tee, a block heel and a long boyfriend cardi and you’ve nailed simple but stylish everyday wear. If you’re game to get a bit more stuck-in, try a fitted top with big bell sleeves and a cropped kick-flare pant or pencil skirt that kicks out at the bottom. If all of this sounds far too 70s for you, just pull out those wide-leg pants or culottes from last year. They’re still sticking around. Or try a swishy midi-skirt in an A-line cut.

 

Knit on Knit

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Image via Harper’s Bazaar Pinterest

Knitwear ain’t just for your torso, folks! Knitted pants, skirts and dresses are all worthy additions to your rotation. Layer them up for extra cosiness or just add in a new texture or colour to freshen things up. Worn with block heels, boots, sneakers or point-toed pumps, knitwear takes on a new versatility this season. Roll-necks and turtle-necks are still go, as is layering knits over longer line tanks or collared shirts.

 

Keep it tonal but add texture

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Last winter was all about head-to-toe tonal outfits and the trend is still in for this season, but try adding interest and movement by working with textures. The knitwear trend above is a great way to do this, but so it embellishment or just clashing fabrics. Denim with velvet, wool with leather, silk with cashmere… Have a play!

 

So there you go, another little nugget of (hopefully helpful) inspiration for the coming season. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and feel free to let me know if you’ve tried any of these looks too – I’d love to see some pics!

Until next time,
Lxx

 

New-season know-how: prints and colours

Alrighty, I know it’s been ages since I posted on here but things have changed a lot in the last year. I’ve realised I know a lot more than I ever thought I knew about fashion and style and I’m learning to trust my instincts when it comes to styling myself and others.

Having just returned from a trip to Europe, I thought I’d be well-positioned to share what might be coming up for the autumn/winter season in Oz, based on what I saw overseas during their winter. I have the extra advantage of knowing not just what was in the major designer collections, but also what women were actually wearing out on the street. So, this is the first in a series of posts I’m calling “New-season know-how”! It won’t cover every look of the season but it will give you a little insight into some of my faves.

Today I’ll share some colours and prints that were everywhere while I was away to get you thinking about what you already have in your wardrobe to wear for the upcoming season (always start with what you’ve got! You might surprise yourself…) and what kinds of things you might like to keep an eye out for.

Colours

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Karen Walker runway pic via Harper's Bazaar AU


Autumnal tones seem to come in every year around March and then flit out again by the time winter properly arrives. This year though, colours like mustard, burnt orange, sage green, burgundy and even muted teals will see you right through the seasons. This year they’re also being paired with pastels for a really versatile, trans-seasonal look. So don’t pack away those baby blues and ballerina pinks just yet!
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Thakoon runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

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J.Crew runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

Prints

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Roksanda runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

The 70s are back in more ways than one this season! Moving away from the geo-prints of seasons gone by, AW16 (or 15-16 in the Northern Hemisphere), takes inspiration from the boldness of the 70s but pares them back just a tad. The lines are smoother but the contrast is just as strong. Try layering two similar coloured prints like the Roksanda image above for maximum impact.

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Florals aren’t going away! They’re just getting a little more dramatic, that’s all! Again, you’ll notice there’s lots of pairing pastels with richer Autumnal tones or even black to give them a slightly more grown-up edge. And don’t be afraid to print-clash when it comes to florals. They work really well with stripes, spots or leopard print, which are the absolute staple prints which might go out of fashion occasionally but never go out of style.

Embellishments

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Image via Ulyana Sergeenko Instagram


Pom-poms! They were everywhere in the UK. On shoes, on knitwear, on keychains hanging from your clutch or handbag. There’s so many to choose from so they’re an easy trend to dip into even if you want to stay totally non-committal.

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Dolce & Gabbana runway image via Harper's Bazaar


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Sheer! Lace! Beading! Embroidery! Thinking along the same lines as the pom-poms, this season’s embellishments are decidedly feminine and playful (as are many of the cuts, but we’ll get to that another time). Go all out and layer them up or pick one and work it in with your usual style if you’re not down with the frou-frou look. If in doubt, start with a black sheer panel on a blouse, a lace-edged collar or a beaded clutch.

Book nook update!

Goodness me, it’s been well over a year since I told you what I’ve been reading! Sorry for leaving it so long. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a bit busy and feeling a bit hot and cold about blogging this year. But I’ve decided to give you a little update on what I’ve loved reading in 2015 (apart from the many, many journal articles I’ve read for Uni).

 

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

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Now, I know Eat, Pray, Love has become a bit of a divisive one in many a book club and friendship group, but hear me out here. I’m a bit of an artsy fartsy, creative type but I’m also a bit of a realist. I love to delve into big ideas and the expanses of my imagination, but I also need structure and routine and a good ol’ kick up the ass when I’m getting carried away. This book manages to strike a great balance between all of these things. Liz’s voice is so clear and so kind as well, so it was like having a sassy big sister sharing her worldly wisdom with me. For anyone who’s a combo of analytical/rational and creative/imaginative like I am, this one’s a winner.

Craft for the Soul – Pip Lincolne

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Craft for the Soul is the perfect companion for Big Magic. There are some overlaps, but in a good way – just enough to solidify those ‘aha!’ moments but not too many that they’re regurgitating each other. Pip Lincolne is one of my favourite bloggers (Gilmore Girls!!) so to have an actual physical piece of her work and compilation of her craft projects, recipes and advice makes me so happy. Suss out Meet Me At Mike’s first for a taste of Pip’s awesomeness.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

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I picked this up at Dymocks on one of their 3 for 2 deal days because it had won or been shortlisted for a lot of awards and it had a cute cover and the blurb sounded good and I was feeling impulsive. About 50 pages in and I was regretting this decision. This was a bit of a problem book for me for quite a while; it frustrated me. But theeeeeen I got over the fact that I wasn’t necessarily going to love the characters because maybe I wasn’t meant to, and I started to engage with the ideas that the book was raising and the way that the narrative was being constructed and I got totally hooked. It’s not a light-hearted, fun ride, but it’s worth it. Good for people interested in psychology/sociology/philosophy/biology/nature vs nurture debates.

Funny Girl, A Long Way Down & How to be Good – Nick Hornby

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This year I traded a little part of my Australian winter for a British summer and flitted off to London to study Shakespeare (tough life, I know). While I was there, I went to an author talk by Nick Hornby at Kingston University and I bought a whole stack of his books to get signed beforehand. Apart from seeing About a Boy, I wasn’t very familiar with Nick’s work, or even Nick himself until this point, but I’d heard good things and my hopes were high. Like many authors, Nick was quirky and a teeny weeny bit belligerent but totally honest and completely fascinating. I loved it. The three books of his that I read (listed above) were all very simple on the surface but raised lots of tough questions and were full of wry observations and wit. Would definitely recommend if you’re after a speedy read but don’t want to feel patronised by the author or dumbed-down by the banality of the story.

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

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When I was in high school we read Eva Luna by Isabel Allende, and I found it enthralling but really difficult to ‘get’. The Secret Life of Bees had all the beauty and wonder and mystery and brutality that I loved in Allende’s writing but I ‘got’ it a lot quicker. It’s such a classic, and one I’ll recommend to everyone, forever. There isn’t much more I can say about it really. Just read it, if you haven’t already. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to it!

So they’re all my faves that I can think of for now! I’ll try and update you again soon, as I’ve got another big stack of novels to get through over the summer holidays. Speak soon, lovelies!

Lxx

Hens in the kitchen

Allo lovelies! I’m back to the bloggy world today, for reasons which are yet to be determined. I just felt like it, you know?
I’ve got something a bit fun for you this evening… a hen’s night! But not just any hen’s night. No siree! This hen’s night’s activities were completely devoid of penis straws/headbands/statues/drink bottles/etc and strippers and shots of hard liquor. I breathed a strong sigh of relief at the absence of each and every one of these elements, but was glad it didn’t stop the gals from getting a little rowdy with their jokes – that’s always fair game in my books!

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Loz x2 ready for some cooking fun

Our group was full of ladies from all sorts of backgrounds, of a variety of ages and had a broad range of culinary skills and confidence, so chucking us all in the Sprout kitchens with a few glasses of (local, delicious) vino under our belts was probably quite a risky idea. My friend Lauren (le bride) and her lovely bridesmaids obviously had faith in us though, as that’s exactly what we were to be getting up to!

Champagne and cheese platters on arrival got us off to a cruisy start as we divided off into pairs and got the run-down from Chef Callum and Dietician Cian. The night went as follows: 1. Wine and cheese and chats and gifts from lesbrudesmaids, 2. Demo from Callum and Cian, 3. Our turn to attempt to cook the course, 4. Wine and games and eating what we’d just cooked, 5. Repeat steps 2-4 and 6. Chuckles and goodie bags and farewells as the rest of the team popped off to Nook Nosh to continue the lols and wines.

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Gorgeous little pressies from the bridesmaids

I was very chuffed to be paired up with the bride, Lauren, for the night’s cooking as well as the quizzes and games. Together, we were ‘Team LL Cool J’ and we dominated the cooktops. Our plating-up was less dominant but hey, you win some and you lose some, right? I was really impressed with how achievable all of the dishes were to cook and how hands-on Cian and Callum were in coming around to chat and help us out with some handy tips and tricks. We cooked a grilled lamb backstrap on pearl barley, spinach and mixed mushroom salad for main and then baked rhubarb with goat’s cheese mousse, lemon curd and walnut mousse. Everything was delicious, simple and (mostly) healthy so that’s a win on all fronts!

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LL Cool J's main

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My dessert plating-up

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Aaand the bride's

The team at Sprout do catering and cooking classes and special events of all sorts. They’re super friendly and they know their stuff, making their studio the perfect spot to learn some new kitchen skills or fine-tune some old ones. After this fantastic experience it’s safe to say I’ll be heading back for another class sometime soon!
L xx

5 Print Clashing Basics

I love a good print clash. They’re a great way to shake up your look if you’re not comfortable buying into the latest trends (I’m lookin’ at you: midriff-baring, culottes, funnel-necklines, long layers, et al.) but still want to look edgy. My Mum is going to baulk at the idea of this post, as she doesn’t “get” the print clash and she often gives me a very perplexed look when I emerge from my bedroom wearing spots and florals at the same time (an awesome combo, if you ask me). It is, however, a topic I get asked about a lot at work so I thought I’d share some tips and pics with you.

1. Start with monochrome

Black and white are always chic, and usually pretty forgiving when it comes to mixing prints. They rarely look too ‘busy’ and are able to be worn just as easily at work or off-duty. Olivia Palermo rocks this look a LOT.

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2. Keep a classic print as your base

Whilst trends constantly swing between florals, geometrics, tribal, and so on, there are certain classic prints that will be around forever. Stripes, spots, leopard, checks and snakeskin are my top five. They work just as well together as they do clashed against busier/brighter prints because they are often found in neutral tones like black, white, tan, khaki and grey. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I reckon florals work particularly well with spots and stripes.

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3. Pick a common colour

Start with one print and pull out one colour you’d like to highlight. This doesn’t have to be the colour that dominates the piece – in fact it’s probably better if it’s not to maximise clashage (yes, that is the technical term). Your second print should also feature this colour to make it stand out. Finding a common colour between two or more prints helps create some flow through your outfit and again, prevents the busy-ness from being too overwhelming. The pics below are some awesome examples.

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4. Keep styles classic

If you’re just starting out, try not to overcomplicate things. Start with a simple t-shirt/collared shirt on top and slim or straight pants/pencil skirt on the botton and keep your accessories in a complementary neutral tone (black/white/nude and metallics are the easiest). Opt for a classic silhouette and build from there.

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5. Trust your gut

There are certain combos that you would never think would work, but somehow do. Ultimately, if you feel good in what you’re wearing and you wear it with confidence, it’s probably going to work. People will either not notice at all, or (like my mother) still be perplexed, but kinda accept it anyway. Wear what you love.

Here are some other print clash collages/posts for inspiration: 1. and 2. and 3. And here are some of my other fave print clash outfits: 1. and 2. and 3. and 4. Margherita Missoni, Olivia Palermo, Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and Miroslava Duma are reeeeally good examples of print clashing done right. There’s also HEAPS of awesome pics over on Pinterest if you search “print clash” and refine from there using key words for colours/styles/shapes/prints you already have in your wardrobe or are looking to buy. So there you go! Hope that’s got you excited to start print clashing and given you some confidence to get started!

Lxx