What’s Next

Hi

I’m back…I know its been a while but hopefully now I’m back on board with the blog more.

So this post is dedicated the idea in the fashion industry of What’s Next. What trends are going to be filtering down? What are we going to be wearing in 12 months let alone 18 months? What brands will be the new “IT brand”? These are all questions that with each season that passes, we who love fashion think about. Take a look at Off-White – who knew what this brand would become let alone having their creative director take on the artistic director role at Louis Vuitton menswear.

In saying all this I wanted to touch on a few brands that I think are going to be huge and really define what we see next in terms of trends, design and brand development & hype.

Ruslan Baginskiy Hats

There is something to be said about hats and if you know me I have loved hats since I was 8 years old. The fact that hats are becoming more mainstream make me super excited. I’m not talking baseball caps but baker boy caps, wide brim fedoras, berets & straw boaters. These hats can elevate the simplest of outfits and give you cool girl vibes.

Ruslan Baginskiy hats have been on my radar through Instagram and through the likes of Bella Hadid and Eva Chen. As soon as I could find stockists I was looking to see what I could get but found most of what I wanted was sold out. 🙁 So I’ve now added myself to the waitlist for a number of sites and can see that FarFetch have what I want available…yay!!

His prices are not cheap so might have to wait a bit especially considering these are hats but he is a traditional milliner so his artistry lies in this rather than just adding hats to an accessory line.

I’m most interested in this leather baker boy cap that has the added touch of patent.

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I’m looking at these as well in cotton.

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I’m so in love….

Danse Lente

This brand has been on my radar for a year already but I was never really sold until I saw their famous Phoebe bag in person. Apparently David Jones now stocks them which is great to be able to try on. I’m head over heels for the Phoebe bag and now know the exact one I want. I blame David Jones…

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There are other designs but this particular one speaks to me for some reason and being able to see it in person so I could touch and try on made it easy for me to be converted.

Other designs that are popular include the Johnny with its interesting handle and odd bucket shape.

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Poppy Lissiman

I’ve talked about the Australian brand Poppy Lissiman before in my sunglasses post but its worth repeating how this brand is set for world domination. I love how their sunglasses are super on trend at the moment but also how they’ve branched out to bags and accessories. Way to go!!! I have one pair of sunglasses but eyeing off their cute bum bags at the moment.

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Nalin Studios

Nalin Studios jewellery has not only amazing pieces but the concept to release one piece/style per month is ingenious. It creates hype and allows for every piece to be unique as it’s not everywhere at once

I absolutely adore this necklace and find that it is currently available on their website. The design is stunning as all their pieces are, but this one is unique with the face on one side and the words on the back which allows you to wear it both ways. You get 2 necklaces out of 1 which is great considering their jewellery is not exactly cheap!!!

 

So that is it for me. I hope you guys found it useful to see what brands are going to be up and coming over the next year. Of course this was accessories focused with limited focus on clothing. Personally with clothing I find it much harder as I tend to stick with true classics from the high street e.g. Topshop, Sportsgirl & Uniqlo. This makes it easy for me to take risks with clothing without spending big but also maintain the classics at a great price too! Win, win I say.

If you have any brands that you think are going to be the next big thing let me know in the comments below.

 

xx – the expat

 

 

Lookbook Feat. My Summer Trends

Hi

I’m back!!! Rested and relaxed after a fantastic break. I managed to get some shopping time in as well so expect some reveals too. One piece is something I’ve been eyeing for a long time. If you aren’t following my YouTube channel please do as that is where I reveal a lot of new purchases or talk about trends in general.

For this particular post I’m referring to the trends I discussed in this video…

Anyways…checkout some shots we took in KL, Malaysia & Jakarta featuring the bags in my summer trends video 💁🏼.

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Also, a little bit of my Chloe Faye Mini Backpack. Although, not mentioned in my trends video one of my all time favourites and a great travel bag.

Hope you guys enjoyed checking out some of my images taken.

the expat xx

 

Summer Trends 2018

Hello fellow fashion followers,

I’m coming at you today with a post on summer trends for 2018. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere you might be feeling a little jelly from all the great summer inspo pics on Instagram and on blogs. I certainly am!! But aside from that I take it as an opportunity to build my wardrobe based on what has come out and taking into consideration trends and what we are seeing filter into the high street. It’s kind of the only benefit being the opposite season to the North.

I am currently seeing major flashbacks to the 70s and 90s in general but also a bigger focus on vintage. Effortless cool is what I see in some great street style images. Anyways onwards to the trends…

Vintage Anything & Everything

I see people that wouldn’t normally consider vintage, start discussing plans to go thrift shopping and searching EBay endlessly for vintage Dior Saddle bags and Fendi Zucca prints. I say go for it, the more the merrier that head into this world means that we see the value of recycling clothes when as we know fashion can be a bit wasteful. Also, you can pick up great finds including some designer stuff and best of all it can be quite affordable if you are willing to go through racks and racks of clothes. Love it!!!

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Personally I’m on the hunt for a Dior Saddle bag or another Gucci piece. I have two already and looking to add to my collection particularly something around the 90s. The other thing I’m desperately seeking is the perfect pair of vintage Levi cut-offs as I want a looser 90s fit. When online shopping for clothing like this it’s hard to know whether you will like it so I best save this when I’m back in Melbourne and can go thrift shopping. To be honest this is the best way to do vintage so you can see, feel and try on some wacky combinations. 😄

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Logo MANIA

Logos are back and I’m not talking subtle I’m talking head-to-toe branding from the likes of Fendi to Coach to everything in between.

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I would say wearing head-to-toe Fendi is not very practical but there are some great ways to insert this trend into your wardrobe. Start with accessories, maybe look at the Balenciaga cap in either the black or white. If you want to do bags vintage is the way to go here. It makes it feel like you were on the Gucci or Vuitton bandwagon long before this season and adds a little bit more credibility to the outfit. Plus you can get these pieces in good condition at reasonable prices. I’m talking $500 and under for Gucci, Louis Vuitton & Dior for example. Score!!! Clothing wise I suggest deliving into hoodies from the likes of more sporting brands e.g. Champion or Fila. I would go for these over Nike as they feel more unique and are a retro throwback as well. Obviously if you are going to do this trend I would do it with a nice heel or over the knee boots.

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Net & Rattan style bags

I’ve seen this bag trend continue to grow and I believe it will definitely be a summer staple down under. To me this trend is the easiest to do as it is affordable. In many ways this is the anti-designer bag and who wants to worry about your designer bag when heading for your summer vacay. To me the way you style it is the most important thing. It needs to be dressed with a cool vibe so no designer ready to wear here. I style these bags with a simple linen shirt and cut-offs or a playsuit in a bold pattern. Here in Bali this sort of style is all over the island so for me it reminds me of the beach, and throwing all your necessities in something that will not get ruined by sand or being in the heat for a long time. Also, getting them here means these bags are made by the Balinese and not manufactured in a factory somewhere. Bigger bonus it will be cheaper with a more one off and unique feel.

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This trend is also readily available at places like Topshop, Zara and Mango. I will be doing a video on what you can pick up in some of these shops and talk through the trend in a little more detail. I’m also travelling so might do a look book for this trend so keep any eye out for that!

Tiny Sunglasses

Now this trend is slightly controversial as many people hate this and think it looks ridiculous. Yes, I tend to agree with this but I do think the same can be said for when the super oversized sunglasses came in. I’m pretty sure people said that was just a trend and wouldn’t last but I think it has and is more accepted than most other shapes. I have no idea where this trend came from but I do distinctly remember Kourtney Kardashian wearing them so far down the bridge of her nose that I was like what the….?!?!?

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In any case I was not keen to try it but then I found a pair that actually suited me, a more cat eye version that was actually a pair of sunglasses. Some appear to be just for decorative purposes only. Anyways safe to say I’m on board this trend and have actually bought a few cheap pairs to see how I can style them.

 

Layered Jewellery 

I love layering jewellery as it looks fantastic especially all in gold. For me I do a choker and then a shorter and a longer necklace. Missoma are also my choice of jewellery brands these days and I tend to stick to one so everything seems cohesive. I don’t know why but mismatched jewellery is not my thing except for rings. It’s weird, I know…

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You don’t have to stop at layering necklaces but you can stack rings as well. I especially like the look of stacking dainty rings as there is something unique especially if you mix ones with stones, simple gold bands; and ones with some intricate details (my fave is the evil eye).

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So that is it my summer trends of 2018!! Do you have any others you have seen or can predict? Let me know. 😎

Evolving Style

Hi everyone…

I’ve been thinking about the changes in my style since I’ve moved to a tropical island. There is one major thing that stands out to me I prefer comfort over style. For one, I like slides rather than strappy sandles that I would love in a Melbourne summer. My go to these days are my Birkenstocks not the greatest but so comfy as I walk the uneven roads and ride a scooter around town.

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Actual clothing wise there is not a piece of denim anywhere to be seen. While jeans even in summer in a city can be worn, here it just seems constricting and uncomfortable. I do own pants but there are always of a lighter cotton or linen material that doesn’t sit so tight to the skin.

I’m also very aware that the sort of style I go for in Melbourne, the minimalist vibe doesn’t translate well here. I can’t really get away with the high-waisted “mom” trousers and white tuxedo shirt or simple turtleneck. It doesn’t look the same when you walk by the beach everyday or when you head to get a quick foot massage. These days I’m loving my 90s slip dresses something that can be thrown on when I have no idea what to wear. My go tos also include many simple off the shoulder tops (you know the ones I’m talking about) and a maxi-esque skirt; or dare I say it denim shorts but they have to be high waisted and not too tight around the legs lol.  As you can see I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

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The other thing is I’ve deviated from my color palette. I tend to favour neutrals such as black, white, grey, camel and all the tones in between these colours. This has been the biggest shock to me as I see myself going for yellows and I’m not talking mustard but bright yellows. I have experimented with color when going to an occasion but on an everyday basis it was always a no from me. I’m also loving floral patterns and prints. Although nothing too feminine such as dainty florals so the patterns and florals have to be different and BOLD. Something that screams ME!!!!

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Obviously there is not much designer related stuff I wear here. This includes even high street brands like Witchery or Seed. I also very much avoid designer bags here as well but if I do it is something that can be easily cleaned and not so delicate such as my Chloe Faye mini backpack and my Prada Gardener tote in canvas. These are all good choices here and mix in well with the beach chic vibe I’m going for! More and more I’m loving rattan style bags that are hand made in Bali. I love that I’m supporting those that are making them here and ensuring that they can make a living. I love talking to the shop owners and learning about the history of what they do!

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The one thing I’m noticing more and more is from what I see coming out of Europe and the US now that it is summer there. There seems to be a high rate of adoption in booth the low end and high end for straw and rattan bags. For example, Mango are selling those round rattan bags for twice the price you can get it for here. Sportsgirl are doing the same thing back home too. The other thing I noticed is basket bags are huge there so if you are interested in being ahead of the trend once summer hits in Australia I suggest trying to make your way to Bali. All these basket and rattan bags are here for a much more affordable price but more importantly you can often see where they come from or being hand made if  you are lucky.

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For accessories I still keep my simplistic jewellery and do wear rings on nearly every single finger. I can’t help it even in this heat and humidity. Necklaces tend to bother me more so it’s usually just one piece rather than stacking and layering which seems to be hugely popular these days. It looks great but when you are sweating and everything gets tangled it is just annoying.

WOAH this post was a lot longer than expected but something I wanted to talk about because often when you do move country you do experience a change of style. This has happened to me even as a teenager. Have you experienced these sort of style changes? Let me know your story in the comments below.

xx the expat

 

 

 

 

 

PVC Bags Lookbook

Hi guys,

I’m back with another post but this time elaborating on my previous post on the Clear PVC bag trend. I have a few with me here in Bali and currently using these heavy on rotation! I love the ease in which you can use these bags.

If you are interested in any of these bags please email me at http://www.theexpatbali.com as I can look to potentially arrange something if you are interested.

Anyways, this is my first lookbook style blog post so let me know what you think…

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xxx – the expat

Are Designer Sunglasses Worth It?

Hello 😀

I thought I would blog about something that I’m passionate about…sunglasses. I know this sounds weird but I do love a good pair of sunglasses and I have had everything from the cheapest ones to designer sunglasses and everything in between. I will actually be doing a video on my sunglasses collection here in Bali so you will see some high street versions plus the designer ones.

Ok, so here’s the thing you can actually get a perfectly good pair of sunglasses that are on trend for $20 at Cotton On or Sportsgirl. That’s the great thing trends filter the market so you can get it substantially cheaper. So why would you invest in any designer shades?

I have to say from experience my Cotton On ones lasted barely a season with them falling apart, the lens in fact popped out. I also take full responsibility over the fact that I myself have left them on the couch to get sat on or me rolling over a pair with my chair. Absolute Fail!!!

 

There is something to be said about quality in anything and to be honest you can get a pair of Ray Bans for $200 and they are the epitome of cool. Ray Bans have a folklore around them and are entwined in popular culture with references in movies and in songs. The fact they are affordable is just icing on top.

But can I say this about my Dior, Celine and Chanel sunglasses? Hmmmm…yes and no. Yes, I love the style and how they look plus the clever detailing on them. They certainly can make an outfit and do look good in blog posts but I don’t reach for them on a daily basis.

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So what I would say to people is there are affordable options out there that are not the $10 ones I once bought at a service station but actual sunglasses brands. These brands specialise in sunglasses and often have high profile collaborations. Here are a few off the top of my head…

Quay Australia

These are fab and are supper affordable as in the $40 – $70 price range. There are collabs with bloggers such as the QuayxDesi range which is hugely successful and some of my fave glasses. They also did a collection with Kylie Jenner if you are into that type of thing. Quay is also on trend as they release new styles a few times a year. They also jumped on quickly to the small sunglass trend that is happening plus also maintaining oversized styles.

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Le Specs

I have to say I’m loving what Le Specs are doing lately. The glasses are on trend with all the 90s styles you could ever want and the use of metal hardware for the frames. I have to say I’m currently rocking my Adam Selman x Le Specs The Last Lolita and I cannot get enough of them!

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Ray Ban

As I said earlier some of my favourite style of sunglasses are Ray Bans and they are just so iconic with their classic Wayfarer and Aviator styles. A pair of Ray Bans if you take care of them will last for years to come so I think they are worth the price. I remember my Dad’s wayfarers and how I kept asking if he kept them but he didn’t. 😟However, I did find a similar pair online which I jumped at the chance for. The re-released ones are not as good as the ones from the 80s and 90s…

I’m loving these oval ones at the moment…

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Aside from these brands mentioned I would check out:

These all have exceptional quality without a $600 price tag that goes with it just for it to say Chanel on the sides.

*Valley Eyewear

*Gentle Monster

*Pared Eyewear

*Poppy Lissiman

*Mujosh

the expat xxxx

 

 

 

The Best of the Sales

Hi Everyone,

It’s that time of the year!!! I’ve been looking forward to the sales since the last time we had them which was way back in November (Black Friday) through to Boxing Day.

I thought I would bring you an edit of great deals in the sales from numerous online retailers including SSENSE and Mytheresa. Heads up most of these will be handbags with a few other accessories. The Net-A-Porter sale for Australia hasn’t started so you might see a follow up post with all the great deals from there once it goes live. The US sale is already up!

Coach Rogue 25 with quilting & rivets – $1,045 AUD

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I love the Coach Rogue bag it is stylish and super functional with loads of pockets for all your goodies. I especially love the removable shoulder straps that allows you to wear it over the shoulder rather than in the crook of the arm. I’m so in love with this style I own two Rogue bags and find it to be perfect. This version in a dusty pink with the leather detailing is stunning.

Balenciaga Bazar Tote in Small – $1,403 AUD

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Can I just say I love what Balenciaga is doing this season. Some of you may hate it with the distinct logo being used. But I feel like it has been brought back in a fresh new way to make you feel a little cooler when walking down the street. The Bazar tote is now a staple in the collection and I can’t get enough of it. My black one is amazing and is used for travel and running around town to meetings. This bag is chic plus is a little bit quirky which is always great to have in your wardrobe

Prada Cahier bag – $2,835 AUD

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I can’t find this bag anywhere and yet I found it on MyTheresa and on sale…wrong colour combo for me but for someone else the pink is what they are looking for. I’ve wanted this bag for ages and have not been able to find it or justify the price tag for a small bag. I’m not a huge fan of pink so I won’t be getting this but for those that do better grab this quick!!!

Chloe Faye Day Bag – $1,863

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I’ve loved the Chloe Faye style since it came out. I particularly liked the larger size but for some reason never bit the bullet on that one. However, I did grab the Chloe Faye backpack for its versatility and that it can be made into a shoulder bag with just a strap. The newest addition to the Chloe Faye family is the Day Bag and I must say it is beautiful especially in this grey colour. I think this version would make a great work bag and would not date in your wardrobe. SSENSE have a few different colours on sale so worth checking it out.

Burberry Small Rucksack $1,636 AUD

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As you know I love the Burberry Rucksack range as it is so light and easy to wear. But after seeing this version in the classic Burberry check I’m wondering whether the small can be added into my collection. This is the new version of the small as it’s not just a backpack and you can move the straps to make it crossbody like the Louis Vuitton Mini Palm Springs Backpack does. I love how the model is wearing it in the photo above!!!

Fendi Kan I bag in Velvet – $3,940 AUD

Fendi Kan I

Ok this Fendi bag is on the more expensive side but isn’t it exquisite in velvet. This bag is the hugely popular Kan I style and with the velvet and the double Fs it looks so good, I can’t stop looking at it. 😀 If you have the money go for it I say.

Proenza Schouler PS1 – $1,872 AUD

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I’ve just recorded a video on the bag I’m currently using in Bali and it is the Proenza Schouler PS1 bag. I believe this one here is an updated version from the one you will see in my video but the colour is the same, a beautiful midnight blue known as Indigo. Grab this while you still can!

Maison Michel Henrietta Fur Felt Hat – $345 AUD

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If you know me you know I do love a good hat. I must say nothing beats the quality of Maison Michel which was founded in 1936 in Paris. I personally don’t own one yet but have admired many stylish people wearing a hat by them. This could be my first purchase from the sales plus Matches Fashion have a fair few styles on sale too. Winter has basically started in Melbourne so I can see myself getting some wear out of this.

Karen Walker Sadie Cat Eye Sunglasses -$169 AUD

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These look amazing…I’ve already added this to my shopping cart! I can rock these in Bali and in Australia. The cat eye shape and the mirrored lenses make this a huge win for me. I can’t wait for this to arrive.

Fendi Strap You Bag Strap – $810 AUD

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I have jumped onto this bag strap trend like everyone else. I was looking at the cheaper versions in different brands but I cannot get passed what Fendi are doing. I particularly love this version with the velvet double Fs. Alas, it is still a bit pricey but maybe it won’t sell out and go down further as the sales near an end. Fingers crossed for that! FYI it looks so good with the Fendi Kan I bag…swoon 😬

Kayu Valentina Straw Shoulder Bag – $185 AUD

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This bag is super on trend right now. As the northern hemisphere heads into summer this will just be a cute way to accessorise your white summer dress. I see this as a go-to here in Bali too! However, I’m fairly certain that artisans here in Bali can make this at a fraction of the cost.

I think I will leave it at that for now. Hope you guys got some ideas on what to shop in the sales. There is also plenty more out there depending on what you are looking for. Happy Shopping!!!

the expat xxx

 

 

The Return of Monogram and Logos Everywhere…

So it turns out the 90s and early 2000s has returned in full force. I have seen many of the major fashion houses return to their signature monogram on accessories, shoes and ready to wear. Obviously it never really left Louis Vuitton as their monogram bags are some of the most affordable in their line and classic to boot.

I am talking about the Dior monogram that adorned the classic Saddle bag. First I can’t believe they re-released the Saddle bag with their signature monogram, I’m all but drooling all over my keyboard for this pic.

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I’m not sure I can justify the Fall 2018 version but there are plenty of vintage bags on the market that you can pick up for a steal. I might be in fact doing that right now in my second tab trying to find the bargain of the century…😆

In other brands Gucci has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Alessandro Michele. They not only make me want to buy Gucci but want me to dive back into their archives waiting for the return of one of their classics. This can be seen in the Ophidia line and I’m particularly fond of this one. It has a vintage feel and a classic camera bag shape which lends itself to ease of wear and accessibility.

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The other brand that has brought the monogram back in a bag way is Fendi with their beloved Zucca print. As far as I’m aware this print has been a part of Fendi since the 60s and has had a huge resurgence in the last two seasons. Everyone I know who loves fashion is after the Zucca print in the Kan I and Peekaboo styles. Personally if I had to choose I would pick the Kan I in the leather and velvet combination…😱

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Fashion is cyclical and all the trends that existed in a particular period are in one way or another reinterpreted for a new era and generation. Fashion is fickle one minute the logo is too much and the next; bloggers and celebrities alike are adopting the monogram back into their wardrobes. This creates hype for these styles and then they sell out making us want it even more now that it’s not readily available. I’m not just saying this is applicable to only bags either because in clothing we are seeing a love of all things monogram. This is evident by Kim Kardashian West who wore head-to-toe Fendi with the double F logo. If you haven’t seen it get onto it ASAP!!!!

This is how the fashion industry sets the trends and ultimately creates the look of the season or year which will then filter down into the H&M, Topshop and Zara of the word who present the logo trend on a friendlier budget. I can only say this is a trend and who knows how long these classic monogram pieces will stick around for but at the moment the monogram logo is here to stay.

the expat

 

 

 

Clear PVC is BACK!!!

Hello everyone,

I’ve noticed a trend over these last couple of weeks, the return of clear PVC accessories. This trend has come back as my 12 year old self rocked a clear smiley face backpack from either Wet Seal or Limited Too. Much like this one…

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But this time around much more high end designers are taking on this PVC clear trend. Chanel released these bags which to be honest I really like but would I pay $2,000 for PVC, absolutely not! I’m not sure if the quality from 90s backpack has improved. I can still remember that it was not the best and would kind of stick together. I would hope you wouldn’t have that problem if you were buying from Chanel or any other brands now.

I do see myself jumping on this bandwagon as wouldn’t it be easier at festivals and other large events to have a clear bag to go through security rather than having them rummage through it. Also, airports it would make sense to have a clear bag, I’m sure you have to still put it through the scanner but still everyone can see yes you are only caring a wallet, phone, passport, a few makeup items and your iPad for travel.

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I do like Chanel’s use of the green and blue PVC so as to give a green or blue tinge when you see the items in your bag plus differentiating yourself from the overuse of all things clear is a bonus!

Not only are big design houses going for this, the mid-range brands are doing it too. This is in fact where I see myself rocking this trend again. This Staud one is perfect and if you don’t want all your handbag contents viewable there is a pouch which is removable to hide your things in. It is available in white and tan faux croc. Either colour would do me but leaning towards the tan croc one. Hold your horses everyone this is SOLD OUT everywhere! I’ve been trying to get this for ages and I’m on the wait list for it on Net-a-Porter and the Staud website.

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Aside from these options I am sure the High street will no doubt come out with their version shortly. I managed to order two online for cheap prices so you can check them out here…

Shop Girl LA transparent Tortoiseshell bag

Cozy N Chic LaRue Clear Tote

Also, if clear bags are not your thing how about clear clothing. I don’t mean you go walking down the street in a clear t-shirt! More along the lines of clear outerwear. I’m particularly fond of the Miu Miu transparent raincoat!

The Burberry take on the classic trench is also worth looking at as well.

If you don’t want to invest that much money into this trend check out what Topshop has to offer.

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Much like the bum bag there are many options for all budgets. Once I get my bags I might share how you can style this trend.

Until next time… xxx

To Not Be A Typical Asian

So today’s post is slightly different as its about me and sort of a personal essay about growing up here in Melbourne. I did spend a lot of time as a child living overseas but I couldn’t really say I thought about much of this then only really in my teens and now.

I’m a 3rd generation Australian, my grandparents were the migrants that came to start a new life here. I don’t have any connection to the homeland or the places that inform my background other than what my family does now in terms of traditions. These traditions are tied to a sense of family and almost always surrounded by the food from my Chinese and Sri Lankan background.

Yes, you read that right, Chinese and Sri Lankan. I’m mixed and whilst being of a mixed race or ethnic background is very common in our globalised world I’ve been made aware by friends and strangers alike that this is not very common a mix. Mainly strangers express disbelief and ask me; are you sure? Of course, do you think I wouldn’t know my own ethnic background! My favourite of course are those that truly believe that I must be half white and some form of half Asian as explained by my semi-American, specifically Texan accent mixed with in with the Aussie one. I find this bizarre and funny…

In saying all this I’m very proud to have this background as it is what makes me ME. I am also extremely lucky to have never personally experienced anything racist or been judged on my background. I cannot say the same for my parents or my grandparents though. I very much consider myself to be Australian and growing up particularly as a teenager and as an adult now I did and do wonder if I was the “non-typical Asian” for both my Chinese and Sri Lankan sides. I didn’t attend Chinese school on the weekends or speak any language other than English at home.

I have grappled with this concept of being a “non-typical Asian” most of my adult life and to be honest I think I have pushed away from my “Asianness” not because I’m ashamed or don’t like my cultural background but because in someways I cannot connect to it. I’ve grown up in the US and Australia and remained in Australia through university and majority of my working career. As a teenager at school this was all I knew and often couldn’t understand why some of my friends who were also Asian were saying they couldn’t do certain things such as sleepovers or take public transport to Camberwell on a Friday after school. I obviously could if I asked my parents politely and they knew where I was going and who I was with. To ask your parents to go out was unthinkable for some of my Asian friends and sometimes involved elaborate lies of where they were and what they were doing.

To them I was the most Australian Asian they have ever met and I had the best life. My husband to this day thinks this and I guess thats what happens for 3rd generation and beyond. What I have come to realise is that my family assimilated over time and those cultural customs and attitudes slowly faded away. That is not to say everything has as there are some things that still stick and what I see now is that it must be hard to keep them alive over extended periods of times and I guess thats what my friends parents were trying to do….

I was raised with my family’s cultural upbringings but also with the sense to explore things like the arts and sport. I had the chance to be in bands and get the thrill of hearing an audience give a round of applause to me and my fellow bandmates; perform in plays at school; and play different sports each season that even included weekends where my parents ferried me to different matches all year. In saying all this they knew the importance of education and making sure I did well in school. I knew I personally wouldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor but there were other things that I was passionate about like reading, writing, politics, fashion and art for example. I was allowed to discover what I wanted to do on my own. This is considered not very Asian at all as I was not pushed into a career field, I was allowed to explore as long as I had a plan and was not aimlessly siting on my butt for days.

I now know I didn’t have a typically Asian upbringing which ended up informing the way I feel as a “non-typical Asian”. I didn’t know better and I just grew up the way I was meant to. I am proud of my background and the cultures that I come from and I think I will always feel not very Asian despite my appearance but that is ok. I have been carving out my own traditions now with my husband who is also from another background and we just keep moving forward with our heritage with us.