Whilst summer might be leaving us, the best thing about is that all the A/W lookbooks start rolling out. I've seen at least 10 this week for Australian designers and from that I have generated a wish list and pieces I want from all of them. Love that Stylestalker have used Alex Spencer from 4th and Bleeker, she is one of my favourite Aussie babes.
Which A/W looks have my fellow Aussie readers put on their wishlists ? I'll take that contrast leather sleeved top and the chunky knit please!
Saw these stunning images the other day on Daydream Lily and I just had to repost them ... all of them. Such a simple concept, but executed so perfectly. Check out the rest of Pakayla Biehn's work here . In the meantime, just scroll through and marvel at these beauties.
How’s everyone doin’? The jam is back in its rightful place: the 1st Sunday of the month; at the Concept Store. All is well at the THESIS camp; still pushing boundaries & pioneering new social trends. As usual.
As we said before: this year, we aim to unleash the real jammer in all o’ y’all.
This is how it goes; we count down the days till the 5th - connect the sound, prepare the food, price the gear, we check ourselves, you check yourselves and [let’s] get this party started yo!!!
So make yourself available; at all costs. And I can bet you; the Jam is always worth any costs you accumulate.
The game has given you more lives to enjoy your time with us; now press enter and step into the THESIS Lifestyle Space!
Our next Disc Jockey line-up is the best in the game of our kind of music. We have Trevor the Japanese (Vintage Lounge), PlayKayStat (Ginger Bred), and Sims & Themba (MusicAtLast). These guys are solid and if you know your music; you’ll definitely agree with us. And while they’re spinning the hits; you’ll be chilling on them great couches or showing off your new dance moves – sippin’ on a cold one. Can I get a “HELL YEAH”?!
We also have the Feds - Federation to the unknowing - the ultimate rap duo! Warning: keep your bad ish at home and only bring a good ear to lend. They have been doing their thing for a while now & they a have strong lyrical background. We have hopped quite several times to their hip joints here at the jam; so they back again with new material to offer!
Food and clothes will be sold, music will be played, new people will be met & dope tracks will be rapped.
The Jam Feb line up
• Trevor the Japanese • Sims • Themba • Stat • The Feds
Loving this styling and the overall vibe. I've always appreciated the grunge look and have wanted to for a long time do my own shoot similar to this. It's far more appropriate for an Australian company to shoot this sort of look for an A/W campaign, as our layering is usually minimal and our cooler months are far shorter. No need for for the huge coats, felt fedoras, opaque tights and long leathery boots... as dreamy as that all sounds.
Seriously though, where can I put my name down for that awesome black shearling vest and those studded boots ?
Check them out here. They still have summer stock on sale.
One of the big differences between the U.S and Australia is the practice of tipping. Now in Australia, the practice is becoming more prevalent than it used to be but it still not common, so I was quite interested to see how the custom influenced the service I received. These are my thoughts.
Firstly, I managed to get into conversations with some of the waiting staff and they informed me that their official wage, which was paid by the employer, was somewhere in the vicinity of 2-3 dollars an hour. Now look, I know that these people can earn quite a bit in tips, but there is something fundamentally wrong with paying a person that rate in a first world country. For a forty hour week, that equates to an official salary of 80-120 dollars a week. Now I understand that people who work in high end restaurants can earn quite a bit, but its those people in the roadside diners that worry me; in many of those places there didn't seem to be much through traffic.
As far as I was concerned "tipping" was not really an option since if I was unhappy with the service (an inconvenience) the person would have a significant portion of their wages docked. There seemed to be an asymmetry in cost to the waiter in favour of the customer. This would be alright if all customers are reasonable but some are not.
The net result was that a lot of the waiting staff were working quite hard to get that tip and laying on the charm quite thickly; so thickly that it appeared at times contrived, especially when the waiters appeared tired. Staff were quite attentive but once the bill was paid and the money was "extracted", staff sort of disappeared. Something that doesn't seem to happen at home.
Once again, I found the whole experience a bit off-putting in the end. Eating out felt like a simple commercial transaction.(Except in the South) You could never be sure if the waiting staff were being nice to you because they were genuinely nice or that they were being fake in order to earn some cash. I felt that the whole system of tipping compelled the waiting staff them to what we in Australia call, "kiss arse" in order to earn a living. It was a sort of trade-off in dignity for the dollar.
It's one thing to tip a man when he doesn't need it and its another thing to tip him when he does. In the first instance there is no compulsion to give, in the second there isn't as well; and yet there is. In the first instance your giving a man a bonus, which in no material way harms him when he does not get it. In the second, your providing him with his living wage which to a degree is obligatory.
The other issue at play is the independence of the waiter. The customer is not always right, he is not always nice and sometimes can be a pain in arse. The waiter should be able to refuse his business if a certain minimal standard of behaviour is not shown towards him. The whole tipping system subordinates the waiter to the customer. The whole system seems to enforce a subtle attitude of "the man with dollar must be kowtowed to". Subtle, but pernicious.
I understand that many people think that tipping provides an incentive towards superior service but compared to Australia, where the waiters are paid at least a minimum wage ($15.50 an hour), I did not notice any real improvement in the table service.
Dying over the Alexis Mabille 2012 Spring Couture collection. Seriously wanting to use this as an excuse to say that painting your face and dressing up as a flower is "on-trend" this season, just so I can swan around looking this fabulous.
Prior to traveling to the U.S. we had been told by many that the U.S populated by huge numbers of “fatties”. The truth be told, my own impression was that the U.S was just as fat as Australia, and on that measure I did not feel too far from home. Still there were some subtle differences. The average young U.S. man seemed less lean than the average Australian, whilst the average U.S. woman seemed slightly leaner than the average Australian. Subtly, Your fatties looked less healthier than ours Compared to Europe, both countries have serious problems with obesity.
Obesity, is of course, a complex problem being a product of genetics, diet and energy expenditure. What I want to concentrate on here is the food. Now, I’m not particularly into organic foods and don’t mind some pesticide or applied fertilizer; I don’t approach food like a biochemistry assay and I’m not a gourmet. What matters to me is taste and quality, and I like to know that the animals were treated well before they were slaughtered. However after eating in the U.S. I did get the impression that “junk’ food was the staple and fresh produce was a premium product
Quite a few U.S. bloggers have lamented the state of U.S nutrition and I’m the emerging “Paleo” trend. I initially thought that their commentary was a bit over-the-top but after my travels I want to fully endorse them. Never have I eaten so badly as I have in the U.S.
Firstly, the supermarkets. I actually like visiting supermarkets whilst traveling in foreign countries, as it gives a good index to the cost of living compared to Australia and it also gives a good idea of what locals like to consume. Comparing Australian to U.S supermarkets, I would say that:
1) In the U.S., processed food (meals in a can, frozen dinners, breakfast cereals, chocolates etc) were much, much cheaper than in Australia. 2) With regard to cost, fresh fruit and vegetables were on par. 3)However on average, the quality of the fresh fruit, meat and vegetables seemed lower than at home. Whole Foods was very good but not superlative. 4)Big supermarkets tended to have a good selection of foods. 5)Smaller supermarkets tended to resemble the supermarkets in Eastern Europe, with a very large selection of processed food and a small selection of fresh produce. 6)Alcohol was much cheaper in the U.S.
With regard to restaurants, food, in mid level, “sit down” , non-chain type of restaurants was generally quite good. Expensive restaurants all over the world generally provide good food. Where the the food was quite bad was in the roadside type chain restaurant and chain-diner. While the portion sizes in most roadside diners and chain restaurants were generous, the quality of it was extremely poor. It was fatty, but in a bad way, and it all seemed to possess an underlying bland factory processed taste. In Las Vegas I discovered that scrambled eggs and pancakes came out of a bottle. Much like the man who fed himself on McDonalds for a month, I was beginning to fell unwell by the end of my trip. My children were actually craving vegetables by the end of the trip. ( BTW, what is it with orange cheese?)
What I found very hard to find was food that was cheap, reasonably healthy and tasty. In Australia, for example, its really easy to find stores which sell fresh tasty rolls and sandwiches, using fresh ingredients and crusty breads, even in small regional centers. In New York, I ended up grabbing a sandwich at the Deli section of Whole Foods or Pret-a-Manger, not because I wanted to, simply because everything else that was “grab and go” was utter crap. Aside from the huge portion sizes, obligatory melted cheese and complementary fries, nearly all of the food had that same factory processed taste. I never thought that I would eat better in London than in New York.
With regard to regional variation. I quite liked the food in the South and can’t rave enough about Jestine’s Kitchen in Charleston. The food there was calorie laden, and probably ‘bad” for me, but unlike most food I had tried, it was incredibly tasty. I know that the South is “different”, but then again, I got the impression that most American “specialty” restaurants were quite good, it was the mainstream day-to-day stuff that was bad. That’s the problem. It’s a problem because people make food decisions not only on taste, but on time and economic factors. A tired mother working two jobs trying to keep afloat in the U.S. economy has to buck the economic and time pressures she is under if she wants her family to eat well. A certain amount of time and economic affluence is required to eat well.
It not only that, what we put into our bodies is just as important as how it tastes and can’t but help feel that part of reason for feeling unhealthy by the end of our trip was because of stuff I ate. Like my kids, I developed a craving for “healthy food”. As mentioned earlier in our post, I notice that the American obese looked more unhealthy than the Australian. Just as grain fed beef tastes different to ranch cattle, was the Australian obese “healthier” than the American because of dietary composition?
Overall, I got the impression that whilst good food is available in the U.S., it is a relatively difficult to find premium product. The other impression that America left me with, was that the quality of food was being driven down to the bare minimum by the sole metric of the capitalist imperative: the minimal acceptable quality which generates a profit. Compared to the Italians and the French, the Americans on average have much much lower acceptable standards when it comes to the quality of food.
Welcome to the future. Animated lookbook by Reed and Rader for Ashleigh Verrier's Spring 2012 collection. Totally memorised by these and the idea is just so freaking innovative! Why didn't I think of something like this sooner huh ?
The saying “just because you're paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you” can be directly applied to Internet marketing these days. Targeted ads, often courtesy of Google AdWords and AdSense, appear on just about every page we visit online. Type an email to your mother and mention the carrots you ate the night before, and suddenly every sidebar and header ad is about carrots, cooking, or where to find cooked carrots. Casually type a comment about babies while responding to a friend’s Facebook comment, and almost instantly your entire Internet experience will involve baby-centric banner advertisements and notices. While Adwords and search engine marketing techniques have exponentially increased the efficiency of marketing and the reach of products and brands, and while most consumers have become accustomed to this rapid response to the minutiae in our heads, the practice is still mildly unsettling.
Back in the day
It all began with pay-per-click advertising in the late 90s. The ability of advertisers to place their ads where a potential customer could easily select the option to visit their site or product proved to be quite successful for all involved. In the late 90s, the average consumer was still wildly enamoured with the very fact that “surfing” the net, moving easily from place to place, was an option, so having a pay-per-click ad or two appear seemed novel. The fact that the ad was targeted was interesting as opposed to annoying. Google Adwords, launched in 2000, was the harbinger of developments to come. The Adwords program is now an integral part of our online experience. In a nutshell, the service, and others like it, allows advertisers to choose a series of keywords that will activate ads to appear in sidebars, banners, and pop-ups. The advertiser pays a specified amount per click by a potential consumer. The more money the advertiser is willing to bid per click, combined with the amount of traffic their site receives and the quality of the site itself, determines how prominently the ad is displayed on the page. Most often, it is Google Adwords that causes that one line about carrots to equal banner ads about vegetables for the next hour, or the appearance of advertisements about Gerber and Pampers that dot the electronic landscape once you leave Facebook.
This instant advertising gratification is further compounded by the use of more basic search engine marketing techniques, like keyword analysis, link and page popularity, back-end techniques like image tagging, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion in website directories, to name just a few. The result is that surfing the Internet now means navigating a series of advertisements, in addition to searching for the information you actually need. In the marketing community’s quest to generate more traffic and increase visibility, advertising has become almost as prevalent as general information on the web, and often the two are conflated in tricky ways that make it difficult to separate fact from a possibly manufactured version of the truth.
The real story
This is where “conspiracy theories” come into play. With targeted advertising and, recently, with the development of targeted links to content as well, our Internet experience is becoming more and more confined to those mentions of carrots and babies. The true “surfing” experience is no more. There was a time when it was possible to make cognitive leaps on the Internet that were solely based on where our brains chose to go, as opposed to where an advertiser nudged us to go. Those days seem long gone now. Consumer groups have been grumbling since the advent of paid search advertising. They point to the way advertising is presented on the Internet, and how some ads are presented in such a way that the very fact that they are advertisements is hidden. Pay-per-click advertising also opened up a whole new level of online trademark infringement, as companies raced to gain possession of common or popular terms, so that their ads would appear more prominently. In fact, in 2011, Google began preventing Adwords clients from buying up other links in order to increase their ranking. The end result is that the World Wide Web is becoming increasingly limited to only what exists in the user’s immediate world. Half the fun of going online used to be stumbling across a website or finding a new band from overseas. Now, the use of targeted technologies is drastically limiting our experience and, consequently, it is also limiting the possibility of connection or discussion with others that used to be the heart of the Internet.
Call me UN - Australian, but I have already expressed earlier how I feel about token Australian flag bikinis and board shorts here. This year, why not celebrate in style with a stunning piece from Australian Designer Suboo.
Until midnight on Thursday the 26th (Australia Day) if you spend $150.00 or more you will receive one of these ah-mazzzzzing beach umbrellas and let me tell you, I saw one of these the other day at the Brisbane Pop - up sale and they are well worth the investment. You be the envy of all beach goers this summer season.