Sunday, 16 February 2020

A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP

Hello dear friends, hope you are all well.
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
The first and the last time I visited Sydney's Chinese Garden was about thirty years ago when I had just arrived in Australia and slowly and steadily began exploring our new home.  Over the years the Garden underwent a massive transformation and as I was told by a friend of mine who recently took her overseas visitors there, looks very pretty and is definitely worth visiting.  
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
Isn't it fascinating how people go to great lengths, spend thousands of dollars and an enormous amount of their time to travel across the globe to see a special place they read or heard about while something truly beautiful is a short car drive away?  So, one Sunday morning we found ourselves walking along the winding path running between the trees and flower bushes and admiring the big fat Koi fish lazily swimming in custom built ponds of the garden.   
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
It sits on a heritage-listed site in Sydney CBD and is part of large recreational and pedestrian precinct called Darling Harbour and officially called the Chinese Garden of Friendship.  
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
 A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
We went there during the Sydney Lunar Festival - the biggest Lunar New Year celebration outside Asia, which offers an amazing array of events from night food markets to art exhibitions and installations to concerts and workshops. There is truly something for everyone to participate in and enjoy and its always attracts a huge attendance from locals and visitors alike.  
 A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
One installation that caught our eyes was the so called lucky MoonGates, designed by a local artist in partnership with the Chinese Garden ofFriendship.  As I stepped through the Moon Gates, I was fascinated by the rainbow of bright colours and motifs depicting the Rat zodiac including lilies which are considered the luckiest flowers for the Year of the Rat.
 A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
Despite the very dry summer season, high temperatures and recent bushfires that were raging across Australia for the past 3 months, the exotic trees looked brightly green and luscious, the wide variety of blooming flower bushes were saturated with bright colours of the rainbow.  The ponds, filled with big fat white and red Koi fish were clean and looked tranquil.  According to the guidebook, the design of the garden follows the principles of 'Yin-Yang' – the balance of opposing yet complementary forces – the harmonious five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.  
 A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
Even though there were other people here and there obviously enjoying the beauty of this inner-city oasis, we experienced a feeling of calm, serenity and we felt at a piece with the world.
A RELAXING WEEKEND IN THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP
How do you like to spend yours?  Is walking in the park your cup of tea or you are an adrenaline junckie?

Anna
xoxo

























Wednesday, 5 February 2020

A SIMPLE LBD WORN TWO WAYS


I have great news our dining table is finally here but that is not all.  Two days later our new couch, that was due to be delivered in mid-February, also arrived so our living/dining room transformation has been completed and we all are loving the new look.  The table arrived on Saturday afternoon, just in time to have dinner with our friends that same evening.  For me, one of its best features is the surface that does not leave any marks nor scratches which means that I don't need to cover it with a tablecloth for protection and my Ecology dinner plates and serving platters from my beloved Wonki Ware look really nice against its charcoal colour.  
As you can see from the images, it was not a good idea to try and match the wood of new dining chairs to am old table, hence we took a different approach and bought a new table in a contrasting colour.  If you missed the beginning of my chairs/table saga, you can read it here.

But enough of that.  This is a fashion blog so let's talk about clothes.  I can't it about everyone but for many fashion bloggers that I follow, present company included, there is one criterion that they follow when shopping for a new item of clothing, it's diversity and versatility.  Case in point, my new summer sleeveless dress with a V-neckline and cross-over hem from Nana Judy which colour, quite coincidentally, is very similar to the colour of our new dining table. 😊😊😊

A SIMPLE LBD WORN TWO WAYS

Its design is quite simple. it is made, the dress not the table, of a blend of cotton and elastane and is wrinkle-free which makes it ideal for travelling, besides its simple style and solid colour provide endless possibilities for layering and accessorising. depending on the time of day, activitiy or just your mood.  It looks equally lovely when worn casually with some flat sandals or sneaker,s or with some upscale accessories, high heel shoes and an evening handbag.  
A SIMPLE LBD WORN TWO WAYS
I like that the pearls look luminous against the dark colour of the dress and give the whole look a feel of elegance and sophistication.  The chunky silver chain will work well too in keeping with the monochromatic look.  The other option is to contrast the cool grey hues with warm colours such as pink, yellow or orange in your accessories.
A SIMPLE LBD WORN TWO WAYS
I decided to change the way to position the accompanying images and instead of placing them one underneath the other separated by the text, I placed then in juxtaposition of casual and formal styles.  I think it does help to illustrate my point without saying too much, or as the saying goes "One picture is worth a thousand words".  What do you think?
A SIMPLE LBD WORN TWO WAYS

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

THINKING OF ITALY

Whenever I see linen, there is something about this light natural perpetually wrinkled fabric, that instantly transfers me to summer in Italy.  Italians, both men and women alike, are obsessed with wearing linen clothes and you have to give it to them they do it so well.  
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
This whole outfit, minus shoes, was bought when we were on holidays in Tbilisi last year. We were just walking along Shota Rustaveli avenue, a wide elegant looking main thoroughfare of Georgia's capital named after a medieval poet, passing one big department store after another until in one of the big front windows I saw a sign for Massimo Dutti and stepped inside.  
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
The reason that I did that was very simple, while we in Australia have the representation of almost every major world known brands, this one has never made it to our shores.  I came to like this brand when I first saw it at one of the airports while travelling around Europe a while ago.  Although Massimo Dutti originates from Spain, for me their clothes represent the true essence of Italian fashion and lifestyle.  Because we were in Tbilisi at the end of European summer, all the stores were having massive last season sales which suited me perfectly since it was the end of Australian winter and whatever I would buy now, will be perfect for our spring season.
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
My first choice was a pair of easy-fit linen pants in an off-white colour with very thin black stripes that don't show up well on the photo.  On the next rack I spotted a linen blazer in a slightly darker colour also in stripes and underneath it was a blouse that I liked too so I scooped all three items and marched to the fitting room to try them on.  
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
I actually liked the fact that the pants didn't match the blazer as I was not looking for a suit in the first place and I am sure each of them would work with other clothes in my wardrobe, i.e. for a cooler day a pair of jeans could be paired for with the jacket and a contrasting coloured t-shirt over linen pants will complete a summer outfit.
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
As for the blouse, I like its abstract print in deep blue with accents of browns and purple blotches, a-la Jackson Pollock 😊 and again, it will look great with a pair of blue, white or black jeans.
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
My handbag is a birthday gift from my husband from Furla.  I like this brand and now have three of their handbags because their leather goods are of high quality, stylish and affordable.  
Thinking of Italy:  tan colour linen pants a blazer with multi-coloured blouse and a pair of loafers
As for my footwear, while the sneakers, predominantly in white, are going strong in Australia, somehow Italians, especially men, prefer loafers, so choosing a pair of them by Italian brand Tod's was fittingly appropriate.  
A quick update on a dining table front.  It is arriving this week so stay put for the images.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, it's all in my previous post that you can read here.

OUTFIT DETAILS
Pants, blouse & blazer :  Mossimo Dutti
Shoes:  Tod's
Glasses:  Valley
Handbag:  Furla
















Sunday, 12 January 2020

HOW I WORE RED STRIPY CROPPED PANTS

Happy New Year, dear friends.
It has hardly been more than two weeks since we welcomed in 2020 but it already feels like an eternity, wouldn't you agree?    
Having had a lot of free time on my hands during the Christmas break, I took an honest inventory of my wardrobe and concluded that at this moment in my life I don't need any more clothes and therefore should stay away from all those crazy sales bonanzas temptations.  What we needed was new furniture for out dining room, so while most of the people were hunting for discount clothes and shoes,  so while most people where hunting for clothes bargains over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales, we went to look for a new dining table and chairs but not necessarily for the two of them together. 
Funnily enough, a couple of months ago we came to the realisation that the leather on our dining chairs has worn out beyond repair and it was high time to say goodbye to them and went to look for new ones.  It took us quite some time to find the chairs that we liked but when we finally found and bought them, turned out that due to their elaborate style, their size by far exceeded the parameters of our dining table.  Lesson learned:  measure the item before you buy it and not after 😃.  Luckily, we fairly quickly sold them on-line and armed with the measurements, started all over again.  This time the chairs that we chose were quite the opposite, lightweight classic bentwood style in natural oak.  
I liked them until the moment we brought them home and put next to our dining table.  The problem is because our table is made from birch wood, it differs from the chairs in colour as well as in the wood grain.  It didn't work at all.  However, the table was also quite old, and we were contemplating replacing it too, so armed with one of the new chairs, off we went again to find a new table.  After looking at a few tables made out of wood, it became clear that it was impossible to match the colour and the grain of the wood.  The best solution in a situation like this was instead of trying to find a match, go for an opposite.  
At a BoConcept store which specialises in Danish furniture we found exactly what we were looking for:  a sleek looking table in black laminate with matte finish and black lacquered legs in total contrast to our light colour chairs, which sales assistance  described as "the ultimate piece of minimalistic furniture where it's monochromatic look and clean lines create an elegant frame makes it a perfect table for any home".   It will be delivered to our home by the end of January and I will share with you the before and after photos then.  I must tell you, I can't wait to have it in my home.
Only once, on my way to the gym, I popped into Zara store next door just for FOMO.  There while browsing among heavily loaded racks of clothes, I came across these red stripy pants.  I was not going to buy them at first, I just liked the vibe generated by their bright and bold look but when I put them on and looked at myself in a mirror, I was smiling, I had a feeling like I had no cares in the world and with that attitude I walked out of the dressing room straight to the cash register and the rest, as they say, is history. 😍
When one of the main items of your outfit has such a strong presence, the key to making it work, is to chose the other elements in a simpler style, preferably in one solid colour of a lesser intensity, like white or natural so when you put them all together in one look, they would look harmonious and not fight each other for dominance.  Today I settled for a simple button down white shirt sleeve blouse, but black or dark navy should work too.  When the time came to choose the footwear, I wasn't sure what will work better with these pants, the flat slides or the sneakers and  I tried both; the sneakers won hands down.
Outfit details:
Pants and top - Zara
Sneakers - old Converse Chuck Taylor
Sunglasses - Adidas