Tuesday, June 29, 2010


After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery.

It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe.

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
- Sophia Loren


I am often asked what I am inspired by. I find this hard to articulate, because there is no one thing. I am inspired by many, many things; Somethings can inspire an accessories collection, some can just open a door in my mind that allows me to transport somewhere else, somethings can inspire me as a person, can inspire how I change my interiors at home or in the office or design studio. Some things inspire me to do different creative ventures that extend outside accessory design. I love to be inspired in all areas of my life & the feeling I used to get as a child when Mum would let me pick one toy from the entire toy section at the department store (oh the choices!...New outfits for my Barbie & The Rockers or new furniture for my Sylvanian Family House?) or the anticipation of a day at a theme park & all its fairy floss & sugar fuelled craziness. Remember when you were excited as a child & you just didn't know where to look first, what to touch first, what to point out to anyone who would listen because you just couldn't contain the excitement anymore!! I get the same feeling in my adult life from inspirational places, events & experiences (All be it, I've exchanged the Fairy Floss & Sugar for Champagne & Coffee, which ironically give the same effect!). Having landed in London this morning, I have 24hours to pass until my best girlfriend arrives back home from a holiday in Turkey, so its just me, my London LUXE guide & a map. More on London & all her inspirations in coming posts. However, I just checked into my hotel & wanted to share with you the magnificence that is the St Martin Lane Hotel in London's West End.

This space is truly AMAZING. Its diversity in style is luxurious without being obnoxious & is simplistic yet elements of the interiors still have the warmth of exploration, the dining room with an amazing amount of art books & black & white photographs, the quirky coolness of the foyer & chairs you sit in as if you are a piece in a giant chess game. It is the perfect mix of simplistic white chic meets Alice in Wonderland. The inspiration has started early, and this is why I love London. -SW

Monday, June 28, 2010


Before i share with you another pearl of shopping wisdom (read; self justification on spending a lot of money on consumer products that I neither need or can take with me to my next life, just really, really, really REALLY want. Right now.) I have another shopping theory.

I am lucky enough to travel. A lot. At last count, I spend more time out of Australia (my home) then in. I am in no means complaining, one of my life goals was to be able to have a career that allowed me to travel - life is good. I do not tell you the rate I rack up frequent flyer miles for any other reason then the prelude to my second shopping philosophy (if you are new to this Blog (Firstly, Welcome!) you can check out my first philosophy on how you can actually MAKE money whilst shopping, no I am not involved with AVON, AMWAY or any kind of pyramid scheme).

SO... I travel alot. That means alot of different currencies (Exhibit A... my passport wallet below).

There is something that triggers in my mind (I like to to call it a Chanel-gasim), that when I look at a foreign currency price tag, if I instantly cannot convert it to AU$ OR US$ (I think this is more then fair, I am allow 2 currencies in the conversion equation) then its value could well be 'much cheaper then i could get it at home'. OK, I know 'much cheaper then i could get it at home' is not a currency, nor is it a 'value'... but the beauty of that is... it's 'much cheaper then i could get it at home' (OK, it may very well be triple the price I would pay for it at home, but my mother taught me to alway walk on the bright side of life, so, cheaper it is). Reality does kick my butt, monthly actually, (or my account department manager does) when they receive my credit card bill, which conveniently converts all expenditure to AU$. No, thank YOU AMEX.

Ignore is Bliss - as I post this from HK airport, where shock horror, all the price tags are in HK$, it would be a crime not to see what I can pick up as to SAVE money on goods that i can get here 'much cheaper then i could get it at home'.... - SW

Sunday, June 27, 2010


[When you travel...] "Always keep your eyes open. Never go to sleep in the car or anything like that. Keep watching, because whatever you see out the window or where ever - it can inspire you."
- Grace Coddington
Creative Director, U.S. VOGUE


Torrential, tropical rain in Hong Kong does not make for easy shopping...

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I need you to take an AVO out on me.
By AVO, I mean nothing other then an Apprehended Violence Order.

I am OBSESSED with you. You & all your beautiful, decadent luxurious brands. Your amazing stores, that I find myself hovering in around closing time, just hopping your plethora of security guards don't find me hiding in a change room so that I get locked in for the evening to play in all that is your wonderfulness.

I have an unhealthy obsession with shopping in very expensive & lustful places. I love to spend time with my neartest & dearest; Stella McCartney (The new AW 2010 collection - I mean, wow), Tory Burch & Chloe. Christian (Louboutin) is usually there & its great to catch up with Jimmy Choo.

While this in theory is my dream environment, The problem is... I. Want. EVERYTHING.
Even the the new fluro yellow Jimmy Choo's (& Lane, I don't even LIKE fluro!) but these, I NEED. I fear that, not being able to actually own everything in your stores, I may get violent. Like a gilted lover not allowed her object (in my case OBJECTS) of desire, I may start to stalk you. Therefore, for your (& my credit cards) safety, I would really appreciate you issue an AVO. This way, I am legally not allowed within 200 meters of you & I am hoping this keeps money in my bank account & diminishes my burning desire to set up house in your flagship store in Central Hong Kong's IFC building.

Yours Truly (Obsessed),

PS, I really would like to live in your IFC Flagship store - if this is a possibility, call me.

Friday, June 25, 2010


CHANEL STORE, HONG KONG. I want to move my bed in & live happily amongst all the double CC's. Everything about this brand is breath-taking. -SW

'Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.' - Coco Chanel


Monday, June 21, 2010


I love to entertain, however am not a wiz (ok, I am the furthest thing from a wiz) in the kitchen. So when I entertain, my wow factor has to come from the presentation (because i cannot rely on my culinary skills!). Last weekend, on a winter Sydney afternoon, I had some of my best girlfriends over for a champagne, sushi & cocktail catch up on a sun drenched balcony. I ordered in Sydney's best sushi (Sushi Fusion Randwick), cheese plates & fruit platters (I was capable of prepared these myself - impressed?) & the most AMAZING deserts from The Sweet Spot Patisserie at Randwick.... It is an in-expensive way to entertain but with the right 'touches' it can look a million dollars.... heres some of my favourite entertaining flamboyance!

As some guest where driving, I didn't add alcohol to the jug, rather created the mix & had the liquor there so guest could add / mix as they liked. I had two on offer & there was not a drop left of either at the end of the night so I assume they where a hit!

  1. Get a glass jug (there are some AMAZING coloured glass or Moroccan inspired jugs available! Go to town here with your theme - the accessories are the fun part.
  2. Cut up about 6 fresh lines & squeeze the juice into the bottom of the jug & leave the squeezed limes in the jug, along with a heap of ice. (I love lime - so i add more, but add what is tailored to your taste).
  3. Chop up & add fresh mint leaves & fill jug with cold soda water.
  4. You now need to add in raw castor sugar - depending how sweet your want your mix. swirl it all around & add more of which ingredients to create your perfect taste balance.
  5. If you want to add alcohol - add in white rum such a Bacardi. (I prefer to add Havana Club white rum for Mojitos)
  6. Line up your glasses on a serving area & have a piece of squeezed lime into the glass with a few mint leave (indicating these are for the Mojitos & add garnish to the drinks initially only adds to the flamboyance!)
  7. I believe champagne is a must - at any function , at any hour! So a chilled glass of bubbly in an ice bucket looks beautiful on your serving area also.
If you have an outdoor space to entertain in - one of my favourite things to do with interior/exterior spaces is bring the indoors out. So try to open up & combine your indoor/outdoor space as much as possible. if a sunny day - move some of your interior furniture into the garden / onto the balcony, even go as far as rugs on the lawn / balcony with chairs on top. This is uber Moroccan & a very luxurious way to spend time with your guests.

This is only one of many posts to come about entertaining, my love of it & little tips, tricks & touches to make your soiree one to remember! Cheers! - SWx

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Is is weird that I don't look at shopping SALES as spending money? Quite the contrary, I look at it as SAVING money & even at times (On a really good or *unsuspecting sale) I actually register it as MAKING money. Like an actual profit. I have shared this with probably a few too many people... 30% knew exactly what I was talking about & agreed, 20% thought it was a fabulous idea frustrated with themselves for not seeing this epiphany sooner & the remaining 50% looked at me blankly or told me I was borderline insane. 49% of that fifty where males, the remaining was my dog & she didn't say anything. So technically, as she is a 'she', her neutral vote favours to the money making philosophy.
I am sharing this long time philosphy of mine, because today, My good friend VISA & I hit the store for the end of financial year sales, & yes, I made a tidy profit. Let me explain....

  1. The only way to make a profit while shopping is if you come across an *unsuspecting sale. An unsuspecting sale is a item, for example; The SASS + BIDE 'The Departure' Long Dress in Black, (coincidently I have an image on file of this dress, in my exact size, [PICTURED BELOW]... go figure?!) Now, the know the RRP on this dress is $390. When I saw it hanging on the rack, not looking a day older then when it was on the runway as a newly released beauty, 'The Departure' Beckoned me. I think it actually called my name. On my way over (it would have been rude to ignore her!?) I thought, if this dress is reduced to RRP$250, I will buy it. that a great saving & I have been eyeing the dress off all season. (Heres where the cash cow comes in...) The little red sale sale sticker on the swing tag sale 'reduced to RRP$189'. I have already spent/allocated the $250 I was prepared to pay for it (& that was a bargin in itself) , now the actual price is is only $189! I just MADE $61!
  2. The second part to this philosophy is on a 'dollars per wear' basis. For example; It I buy a basic, slouch T-shirt from Sportsgirl for $19.95, I would value each wear at say, $1. SO, to MAKE money on this purchase, I need to wear the T-shirt more then 20 times, then every wear after that, it is essentially PAYING ME to wear it. In the same vein, if you purchase a $1200 Halston dress, I would value each wear at approx $200, so I have to wear the dress 6 times to make it a successful purchase & on the 7th.... you may as well send Halston your bank details to deposit the $$ straight into.
I can understand how this philosophy could be read a little borderline...oh i don't know, insane? But it works for me (ok maybe its a blatant mental game to cover up my retail addiction & to harbour the 3am-waking-up-in-cold-sweat because my house is being re-possessed!) My guilty secrets from todays venture below (how amazing are those suede boots BTW?!).... But no time to think about that right now, I have to go & count all the money I made today. - SWx

4 x SASS + BIDE Bodysuits
Tigerlily Harem Pants + Suede Boots from Max's
ALICE McCALL Sequined dress
White KSUBI Dress
4 x Sportsgirl basics