How to dress for the polo

By Brigitte Topping

I grew up on a polo field. My father played the game and my mother would dress me in my best Oshkosh B’Gosh dress and mini RM Williams boots. I would run a muck hitting polo balls around with my mini mallet while mum would mingle with the high country society in one of the exclusive tents. Safe to say as I grew up I now absolutely love attending the polo and mingling in one of the elite tents where the champagne is flowing and there are canapés for days.

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The Australian Polo scene was once an event held in more regional areas and reserved for the country folk. These days the games are being held closer to the capital cities and is fast becoming the races way cooler sister event. Socialites and celebrities adorn the VIP tents frequently, however it also the perfect day out for anyone wanting to see a great game and, of course, be seen!

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Polo is fast becoming ‘new races’ for young Australians craving the social scene, however the dress code is far from the same and it easy to make fashion faux pars! The polo dress code falls somewhere between a race day and an elegant picnic with friends. I have put together some simple tips to ensure you nail the dress code every time.

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Shoes:

Lets start from the bottom and work our way up. First rule to take into account is that you’re going to be in somewhat of a paddock all day. Even if you have purchased a marquee ticket, these tents are usually still grass flooring. One of the highlights of the day will be stomping the divots, where guests are invited to cross the field and literally stomp the ground to ensure the field is flat for the main game.

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Stilettos are a straight up no go for any polo event. Lets face it, no one wants to be ‘that girl’ wobbling everywhere, possibly even falling over because her 6 inch Louboutin is firmly embedded in the ground. A wedge or chunky heel is a good op for those short gals who need a little help in the height department. If you’ve got the height, play it safe with a flat shoe. Boots are an appropriate option for the winter events and glam sandal for summer.

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Dress:

Before your brain even drifts to the thought of ‘short, flirty, floaty’ remember that paddocks, generally speaking, are somewhat windy. Let the game be the focus of the crowds, not your behind. Kaftans are always a popular option but choose a long one or wear tights. Another good rule for making outfit decisions is if you wore it da clubz the other weekend, never should it be worn to the polo. It’s a classy day event and far from Saturday night in Fotitude Valley ladies. A safe option is always a cute polka dot number, I think is due to too many people watching pretty woman and taking a tip from the polo scene.

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Alternative options to a dress, is to wear jeans, a crisp white shirt, cute belt and bright accessories. You will look like a seasoned polo attendee in this outfit that’s for sure.

Definite Don’ts

Head wear, always a tough one to master at the best of times. I can’t remember the last time I went to event the races and thought “she is nailing wearing that fascinator” I mean, even Lara Bingle has mucked it up. At the polo the atrocious fascinator is a straight up no go. If you have your heart completely set on wearing head gear, a cool and casual hat, possibly a fedora, can be fine. Please no mother of the bride fuchsia numbers thanks.

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Sequins and shiny jewelry isn’t appropriate either. It is a daytime event and whole idea is give off a cool, calm and collect vibe. Sequins and shiny jewels are not only too much for this kind of event, we don’t want your gaudy looking jewelry upsetting the horses so that cute polo player you have been eyeing off, falls off.

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The polo is an amazing event and I consider myself very lucky to of have it always be apart of it my life. The fact it is now becoming a main stream occasion closer to home is fantastic because I get to introduce my friends to a part of my life they may not know much about. I hope you enjoy your day at the polo people and remember, Keep it classy this polo season girls!

 

Queens Plaza

Winter is the season for faux fur, trench coats and hot chocolates. It is the season for dark tones and snuggling under the blanket. And most importantly it is the season where QueensPlaza showcased their winter fashion.

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The event was held at Black Bird Bar in Brisbane city, and the view was spectacular. The venue overlooked the illuminated Story Bridge and your eye could follow the river as it hugged the city’s side.

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The night would not have gone ahead without the beautiful styling of Kimberly Gardner. We spotted a few trends to keep you fashion-ready this winter.

QP2Trend #1 – Pop of Colour

We are all guilty of sticking to our blacks and greys during the cold season but dare to be different. Wear a bright coat over your outfit for a trendy winter look.

QP3 Trend #2 – Statement Prints

Crazy prints aren’t just for summer. You cannot go wrong with a printed midi-skirt paired with a plain sweater.

QP6Trend #3 – Layering

Biggest challenge I face during winter? Staying warm and looking somewhat stylish. Luckily for us, this season is all about layering up. Through a collared shirt under a black jersey and you look preppy and girl-next-door tied into one. Yay!

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A special thanks to QueensPlaza, Black Bird Bar and Restaurant, Vivien’s Model Management, Audi Centre and the talented stylist Kimberly Gardner for a fun and fashionable night.

Carly Shearman

David Jones

David Jones aimed for high publicity as the company requested the presence of all as they streamed their Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Launch on the night of Wednesday, July 30th on their Youtube page.

The live stream began with a countdown, and then a ‘live from the red carpet’, or as it was, the David Jones’ white carpet segment. The carpet saw designers such as sisters Nicky and Simone from Zimmerman, Camilla & Marc and newcomer to David Jones, Rebecca Vallance and her muse Bambi Northwood-Blyth.

David Jones‘ ambassador Jessica Gomes definitely made her gorgeous presence noted as she opened the show in a beautiful Manning Cartel number, another new name to the store. Alice McCall was a standout with a major 70s influence. Zimmerman closed the show with their beautiful Cloud Stompers collection. The range was originally presented as an autumn-winter collection during New York Fashion Week in February, explaining the darker and moodier feel than their usual look.

The launch was essentially a showcase of the must have trends of the upcoming season. Trans-seasonal was key with summer trenches, bikinis and biker jackets. Amongst the 240 looks, from 40 Australian labels, crop tops balanced with two new skirt lengths- maxi and the midi, often with thigh high slits were on point.

Black and white were the chosen palettes, with a few, including Camilla, Tiger Lily and Manning Cartel using colours to break up the collections. Bold colours were replaced with textures, prints and silhouettes keeping things interesting. Sheer and mesh fabrics, strategic cut outs and floral and animalistic prints were among the trends shown by labels including Bianca Spender, Ginger & Smart, Alice McCall and Carla Zampatti. Jets were a perfect example of the need for no colour additions with their strong monochrome ruffles and statement features.

Level seven of the Sydney flagship store was transformed to hold the runway, with the set inspired by the campaign concept of “Exploration”. The campaign was stretched across a range of media, catalogues, print, digital, social media and a short film. The film, shot by Jeffery Darling, an award winning Australian Film producer and director, starred the David Jones ambassadors Montana Cox, Jessica Gomes and Jason Dundas, all of whom walked the runway.

It is clear animal prints and mesh, a flashback to the 80s, and separates were the showcased key trends. While white is the colour of the season, reflecting the minimalist, sport luxe aesthetic.

 

Overall, David Jones streaming their Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Launch proved a good move for the company to showcase a new season, but also a new start for the company after it was bought by South African giant Woolworths.

I’d Rather Be a Mermaid…

Mermaid fashion forecaster

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Sequins in Aje.

Featured in Aje’s current collection are sequins galore. Starring their sequin miniskirts, with a sea like colour palette they are the key staple for your wardrobe. It can be worn dressed down and casual during the week, with a thrown on tee, or dressed up to stand out from the crowd and have a little sparkle over the weekend.

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Pricing from $300, they will be forever loved for years to come in your clothing collection, we all have that go to pick me up outfit piece and this is a great one. Comes in neutral colours, nudes, pops of greens, blues and blacks. Detailing with different hem lines including a cut out pattern for the hem and fraying used to mix it up.

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I have seen girls with the mermaid hair look while walking the streets of Brisbane and university. Tip dyed ends and balayage of purple, green and blue, styled with loose waves it completes the merwoman trend hitting fashion. Sea shelled tops as seen online and in stores available from Forever 21, Wildfox, Missoni and Asos. Seashells, sequins and mermaid hair is the ultimate go to look to escape the world and enter your fantasy of magic, wonder land and the land of under the sea where mermaids and mermans exist.

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EMMYS Lovin’

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Ok, first things first – Julia Roberts can do no wrong… except maybe at the Golden Globes, but let’s not go there. Even still, she has more than redeemed herself in this Elie Saab number and if it were possible, I would totally take ol’ Jules out for the night, wine her and dine her and not even try any funny business when I dropped her home.

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The 66th Annual Primetime Emmys Awards produced a mix-match of styles and designers, and we honestly don’t mind it; from Julie Bowen’s somewhat 70s inspired Peter Som gown, to the gloriously trendy monochrome beauty that was Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier.

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And while we’re loving LizzyC, can we just acknowledge her game, set and match in the ‘after party get up’ department – keeping with the current midriff trend, whilst overall just looking fresh to death. Julia Roberts may have some competition for that dinner date.

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Despite multiple red carpet beauties, our absolute fave goes to Sarah Hyland. This Modern Family hottie has an outstanding ability to rock the crap out of her red carpet looks and this year is no exception. Although occasionally dressing a little old for her age, this year she wears Christian Siriano and is an absolute standout.

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The hair. The cheeky midriff. The dress. Just – so much yes.

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With so much going on in the FOM world this week, I’m keeping it short and sweet. However, what I would like to leave you with is this beautiful pair of genetic lottery. Matt McConaughey and Camila Alves – stop it.

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We imagine Dolce & Gabbana (McConaughey) and Zuhair Murad (Alves) would be quite pleased with these two flawless beings showcasing their designs to such perfection. Just look at the red carpet snap below, because I can’t even begin to attempt to put my love for their looks into words.

Until next time creatives xx

Aimee Cherie Intimates

Aimee Cherie Intimates is a small label out of Perth, Western Australia, that has built its foundations on social media. AC Intimates produce hand made, intricately designed lace, leather and mesh bralettes, alongside other day and bedtime intimates. With 28, 000 followers, and counting, the brand is fully utilising Instagram as a main platform to market their product and brands philosophy.

Instagram is a the fastest growing social media platform in 2014. With 1.6 million Australian users, Instagram is a perfect marketing tool for small businesses. Instagram is a visual tool that allows labels to build their brands personality. In short, customers are visual. Interesting photos catch attention. In order for labels to be successful on Instagram, they need to create visual stories. AC Intimates shows the comfortable, easy to wear and a little sultry-looking lingerie in most of their posts. There is a chilled days and late nights, easy vibe as you scroll through the photos. Images make it easier to understand the products and the envisaged styling. Plus, everyone loves the perfectly filtered photos and the idealist lifestyles they portray.

As a small label, it is vital social media is a key marketing tool. Instagram, and other digital platforms are changing the way fashion is shown, experienced and shared among its followers. There is even an award now, Instagrammer of the Year, created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Twitter took over a year to reach 1 million users, Instagram achieved that number in two months. Instagram users share 60 million photos per day. With these figures its no wonder visual marketing is a daily priority for fashion labels.

However, even a thriving label finds limits in social media marketing. AC Intimates finds the amount of what followers see or exposure to potential followers can be hard to gauge. The limited space to provide written information on Instagram can be restricting. But lets be honest, who really spends too much time reading the captions, short and sweet works best. Besides its the pretty pictures that should be doing the talking.

AC Intimates designed and developed its first bralette about 2 years ago. It was a piece that was leant out to stylists and began to appear in more editorials and campaigns. It wasn’t until about a year ago when the label really began to develop full collections, with wider choices in styles, colour-ways and sizes. Designer Aimee Cherie Kendall, plans to launch more products and develop customers’ favourite pieces as the labels grows.

“That’s the most exciting thing about this industry, there is an abundance of talent around you, and you never know what amazing result you could come up.” – Aimee Cherie Kendall

Tamryn Conje

Why I Can’t Shake T-Swift Off

Why I Can’t Shake T-Swift Off

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Lately, Taylor has been making ridiculously perfect fashion choices, and has gone from someone I didn’t care much for, to someone I can’t shake off.

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Ignoring all of her stylish outfits in the real world, let’s look at her latest music video for Shake It Off – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM

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She has a number of dramatic looks varying from a graceful ballerina, to a bootylicious twerker (full irony intended) and all the dancing genres in between.

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Her hair and makeup speaks perfection – so much so that I spent 30 minutes Googling her diet, hair stylists and other intimate details in an attempt to replicate her sheer beauty.

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Ok, so if you haven’t noticed I am crushing hard on Taylor Swift, which for me is totally unexpected! I have gone from being in love with Blake Lively to Taylor Swift in 4:01. God, look at me, I am now imitating her love life. Just joking!

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Taylor’s music video is the funniest self-satire I have ever seen! She pokes fun at her failed romances (like I just did, my bad), her less then coordinated dancing capabilities and everyone’s obsession judging one another.

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I think there should be more music being produced that encourages people to “shake it off” and no more of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda.

Carly Shearman

Young Designer Markets & Finders Keepers

SUNDAY MARKETS Brisbane, AUS

I am a market-addict. There I admit it. I don’t what it is, whether it is the fresh coffee, the smell of flowers or the constant flow of people. It could quite possibly be the combination of all three. All I know for sure is that I am obsessed.

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If you know me then you know that I don’t get out of bed on a Sunday unless there is coffee and a marketplace involved.

On Sunday my fellow Fashion Observer friend and I went to the Young Designer Markets and the Finders Keepers Markets.

Whether you are a fashionista or a fashion designer the markets are for you.

Designers – markets are the go to place to begin emerging your brand, spreading your name and showing off your designs. I went there in search of finding some new brands to use in the magazine, and I am not the only one who does that so seriously, if you are starting out your local market is the place for you.

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Lovers of Fashion – rather than going to big chain stores (which we are all guilty of) why don’t you go support local designers and score one-of-a-kind pieces?

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The best part of the markets though is that after your hard day of shopping and supporting the local economy you get to take seat, watch the local entertainment and enjoy a delicious meal.

Carly Shearman