Coast Style

Villa Capri luxe living

Luxe Fabrics = Luxe Style = Luxe Living Coast Style

We all know I am an avid shopper but often I am so uninspired by the generic big name chain stores. So I love when I come across a gem of a boutique that awakens the senses and makes you start redesigning your whole home. Villa Capri Luxe Living is my new go to destination for all things coast living and style. As soon as you step foot in the store you can smell the tropical lushness of Glass House Candles and your vision is drawn to the pastel colors of beautiful furniture, art and accessories. And you can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw their sumptuous stock of clothing. Paige denim, Coast by Kate Campbell and Samantha Wills just to name a few. You will only find cool, luxurious designs that are so versatile, you just have to add them to your wardrobe.

Comfort and style never felt better in this silk blouse . Mix this with your fave denim, shorts or add a gorgeous maxi skirt for resort style chic (come back next week for another way to wear and style it).

Villa Capri Luxe Living is located at Capri on Via Roma on the Gold Coast. A great place to relax, dine and shop (More details below).

Shot by: Milla Kirk Photography

Villa Capri

Paige denim

Coast by Kate Campbell silk blouse

Coast by Kate Campbell

Tribal bag

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Coastal Style Paige denim

All Items or Similar available at Villa Capri Luxe Living  (Website Coming Soon). Shop 2G4, 15-21 Via Roma Street, Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Blouse: Coast by Kate Campbell // Jeans: Paige Denim //Shoes: Joie // Ring: Samantha Wills // Bag: Available in Store

Photo Credit: Milla Kirk Photography

Online Shopping

Best online shopping

While searching for great inspiration to share with my stylish readers, I often get a wee bit distracted and find myself, 2 hours later, in a sea of online shopping. Multiple browsers open and tossing up if I NEED that awesome studded clutch that is 50% off! 2 hours blogging time turns into 4 hours distraction. The things I do in the name of research.

I often get messages from friends and readers asking what are the best sites to search for clothing and accessories. Ultimately I always prefer to try on goods in store, but the ease of online is too good to refuse. As long as there is an easy return system and shipping doesn’t cost as much as the product, I’m in!

Mimi’s Top Sites:

ASOS: This site is great for on trend pieces that won’t break the bank. They have a range of designers plus their own exclusive range. You will be surprised (and overwhelmed) by the choice. My tip is know what you are looking for before you enter. And be careful of the sizes. Many are UK sizes (there is a conversion chart) which may mean going down a couple sizes. Don’t expect pieces that will last you a lifetime but for the price you can’t go wrong.

NastyGal: Have you read #GirlBoss yet? A great read from this self made owner/millionaire of NastyGal. This website is so fun to look at. I think my days of mini skater dresses are over but I love the selection of shoes (hello Jeffrey Campbell) and flirtatious accessories. They have a pretty cool sale for Black Friday.

The Iconic: This Australian Based website offers free shipping and has a huge range of labels to choose from. You can shop bras to shoes to techy gadgets. It also caters to men and children. I find this a great family site that caters to a wide range of budgets.

ShopBop: An American staple. I discovered this online mecca several years ago while touring through the USA. The daily style edits are a great way to keep on top of the trends. This site offers on trend, quality pieces with plenty of classics thrown in. Not the best site if you are on a budget but I recommend checking out the sale section often at 70% off and ShopBop offers free shipping internationally for orders over $100. A great site for my favorite labels that are often marked up way too high in Australia.

Net-A-Porter: If your bank account is looking quite healthy (wouldn’t that be nice), this is the fashion site for you. From Alexander McQueen to Givenchy this fashion extravaganza is a site to behold. I lust over many of the designs and use this site as inspiration. From sports luxe, beauty and red carpet, my mouth drools over this fabulosity. Don’t let the prices scare you, Net-A-Porter offers amazing sales with 50%+off many designers. Get your timing right and you can snag a bargain.

The Outnet : If Net-A-Porter is the Queen of Online Fashion then Outnet is the princess. This site offers year round discounts to all your dream worthy designer brands. It is the online equivalent to the best outlet mall. Sizes may be limited but the discounts are very tempting. Go ahead and get lost in the designs.

Some Australian Specific websites:

Green With Envy: As the self-proclaimed Australian destination for fashion, Green With Envy offers customers a generous range of designers from around the world and Australia.  This site ships around the world and has stores scattered throughout Melbourne, VIC.

David Lawrence: My go-to for classic design and quality manufacturing. I love to mix classic staples from David Lawrence with other items in my wardrobe. What I also loge is that this label is made for a woman. The cuts are shape conscious without feeling dowdy.

Trenery: Ask me a year ago and this would not have made it to my list but for the past 6 months I have been frequenting this store for its great materials, clever cuts and classic yet fun style.

Wittner: Fun shoes for all ages and styles. I particularly love their selection of boots.

I am discovering new sites everyday mainly thanks to Instagram  (such and addictive tool).

I would love to hear your top recommendations. Leave your suggestions below.

 

Travel Necessities for the Long Haul

I cannot tell you how many times I have flown to the USA from Australia over the past 13 years.

You would think after so many years of travel I would have become an expert at packing. Unfortunately, for checked-in baggage it’s always a battle of what I WANT to wear and what I NEED to wear. Luckily I have pretty much mastered the carry-on game. If you depart from Australia, you will know how restrictive the airlines are with carry-on weight allowance. You can’t even get into security if your carry-on is overweight. And after you pack your laptop, iPad, valuables and a spare pair of undergarments, you have hit your weight limit. Tricky situation. Then I have to decide on the travel OUTFIT. We probably plan this more than what we will actually pack – c’mon…admit it. Its a toss up of style, comfort and versatility. This means it’s about shoes that will fit my swollen feet after sitting in a confined space for 13 hours and keeping warm.

This is my ideal travel outfit and must have items. It took me years to find the perfect carry-on suitcase. I finally found this case in an airport in Germany. It is durable with the hard back shell yet had the perfect sized front pocket to easily slide my laptop in and out of for easy security movement. I also love this handbag as it won’t get squished in that always overcrowded overhead locker. So your passport and valuables are safe.

Its the little things that make traveling that much less painful.

Long Haul Necessities

L to R -> Headphones: NastyGal // Sunglasses: Charlotte Ronson x Vogue avail at Sunglass Hut approx Mid July 2014) //Scarf: David Lawrence // Sweater: Trenery // HandBag: Young the Label // Coat: Sportscraft // Pants: Trenery // Make-Up: Bobbi Brown //  Cosmetic Pack: Aesop // Shoes: Cole Haan // Magazine: Porter Magazine // Lip gloss: Bobbi Brown // Suitcase: Lufthansa

Knit and Denim

Knit and denim

I am kinda addicted to great jeans and a luxe feeling knit top.

I could not wait for the cooler weather to hit so I could rummage in my wardrobe, find my fave Nudie Jeans and mix it with this dreamy knit top. I felt I wanted to toughen up the whole look so I added these awesome side buckle boots with my go-to jacket for a fun and relaxed weekend look.  I admit I may own a few too many pairs of jeans and boots. And since traveling I have a growing knit top collection. Nothing better than the feel of luxe fabrics against the skin.

Happy Weekend Everyone. Hope you are rugging up in your favorite knit (or if you are in the Northern hemisphere, we envy your sun).

Photo Credit: Milla Kirk Photography

David Lawrence Dream Catcher knit top

Nudie jeans

TopShop Army jacket

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Jeffrey Campbell Evermore Side buckle boots

Knit and denim details

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Top: David Lawrence (℅) // Jeans: Nudie Jeans (Unisex) – here and here // Jacket: Topshop (Similar) //Boots: Jeffrey Campbell (Similar) // Sunglasses: RayBan

Photo Credit: Milla Kirk Photography

5 Fashion Little White Lies

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Let’s be honest with ourselves.

Go on try!

I dare you.

Can you do it? Honestly I can’t do it sometimes too. I am overall an honest person in life, love and work but when it comes to fashion I have decided there are 5 fashion little white lies we all share. Actually I know there are more but I am still in denial.

1. “I promise this will fit me by Summer”

You see that perfect sample size designer dress that is 70% off. Can you believe it? This is meant to be. You must own this dress. But when you take it to the dressing room you realize that you may not be a sample size. Well at the moment anyway. You count on your fingers how many months til summer and how much sugar you can cut out of your diet or how many kms you can run between now and then. “It won’t be that hard. I can lose 5 kgs by Summer and this dress will will fit me perfectly”. Justification done! You take the dress to the counter and pull out that shiny Visa card. You smile as you hang that beautiful designer dress in your closet, stand back and admire.

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Summer 3 months later – You pull out the dress and in your heart of hearts you know it still won’t fit. You had a life to live. Who had time to run? I sure didn’t. Time to take some snaps of that dress and list it on eBay. The dream was wonderful while it lasted.

Moral of the story – Buy items that fit you now. You can always alter down a size – its harder to alter up.

2. “I have nothing to wear” (use that whiny voice).

I think I was saying this phrase as I came out of the womb. Just ask my mother! You open the closet and there is honestly nothing there! Okay…there are clothes and shoes in there but they don’t suit your mood, size, feeling, temperature…….Get the picture? When I feel like this I sometimes like to work backwards. Pick a pair of shoes first that suit where you are going. Then work from there. I’m not saying this always works but its a small tip. I wish a had a fail proof solution to this little lie we tell ourselves but sometimes thats just the way a girl (or guy) feels. The closet will look better tomorrow.

Nothing to wear

3. “I can make these shoes stretch”

Guilty as charged! Picture this…I’m in Milan and I see a beautiful pair of Fuchsia leopard print Jimmy Choo pumps sitting alone on a shelf…the price..70% off. OMG. “Where will I ever see these again? No one else will have these”. I look at the size..hmm…36. Normally I wear 36.5 in Jimmy Choo. “Who cares!” I exclaim.  I can get them on, I can walk. I buy them. Happy Days. Can I tell you how many times I have worn them? Once! But I refuse to give up. They will be my “going out to dinner shoes”.

Did you see how that lie crept in again? Ha!

4. “This is the most comfortable thing I have ever worn” 

For me its jeans. Every time I get a new pair I swear they are the most comfortable pair I have ever owned. Until I take them home and wear them a few times. Now they either have stretched out too much, dig in or have shrunk. But instead of admitting I made a retail purchase mistake I live in denial and insist they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever worn.

Luckily with age I am getting a little better at admitting my mistakes and usually tailor or get rid of items that are just too uncomfortable to wear. Nothing worse than tugging and pulling at clothing all day. Yuk!

5. “What? This old thing….”

Why is it that females insist on pretending that we went to no effort at all getting dressed. Its like admitting we are vain or high maintenance. You get a compliment on that AMAZING dress you are wearing and instead of gushing about how long it took you find it, you just say, “What? This old thing? I’ve had it for ages”.  We are crazy!

I’d love to know your Fashion White Lie. Leave a Comment below. X

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Photos from Pinterest.com.

Monochrome Workday

David Lawrence Wide Pant

Monochrome workdays have a certain classic feel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bright colour like no one’s business but sometimes monochrome is all you need.

I don’t work a 9-5 job or even work in an extremely corporate arena but cool TV shows such as old school Ally McBeal make me want to run around in power suits and play the part. I do however own some basic separates that are great for that unexpected interview or meeting. I keep the look uber simple by adding a neutral tee  with a classic fit wide leg trouser to make a clean statement .

And did I mention this trench? If you are looking for a transitional coat, I 100% recommend the Trench. This one has travelled the world with me and besides replacing the buttons (bad dry clean experience in NYC) it still adds a sharpness to my look.

Photo Credit: Milla Kirk Photography

Classic trench coat

Young the Label Eve Box bag

Monochrome workdays

Saba trench coat

Black Peep toe wedges

Monochrome wide leg pant David Lawrence

Monochrome workwear

Weekday workwear David Lawrence

Pants: David Lawrence (℅) // Tee: Saba (Similar here) // Trench Coat: Saba (Similar here) // Shoes: Kors by Michael Kors (Similar here and here) // Bag: Young the Label // Bangle: Similar Here // Belt: Anne Taylor (similar here)

Splurge Or Save – Tribal Print Clutch

Tribal Clutch

Sophie Anderson Clutch (from Net-a-Porter) // ASOS Clutch

Every cute boutique I enter, I keep seeing gorgeous tribal print clutches. What a great way to make a statement with an otherwise simple outfit. Bright colour with a fun detail. Accessories give us an excuse to have fun with our wardrobe. Gone are the days of matching your purse to your shoes. Pop in a crazy print and colour with your bags. I am a little partial to animal print normally but these two cute crochet bags are on my lust list. Not sure I can spend $235 at the moment so the ASOS is a great alternative. I personally don’t believe this would be classified as an “investment” piece, so I am very comfortable with a less expensive version.

Tell me about the bag you are lusting at the moment. Leave me a comment below.

Cozy up with Scarves

Oversize scarf

My go-to accessory when I feel even a slight chill in the air is a cozy scarf. I may have a slight obsession actually.

I never grew up wearing a scarf as my home town really doesn’t get that cold. So my first extended visit to cooler weather had me wearing the perfect scarf with the perfect folds and tucks. I was a tad pedantic about the scarf sitting perfectly with my jacket. Crazy right? Thank goodness over the years I have calmed down a  little and I just love to wrap a long or oversized scarf around my neck roughly and let it hang naturally. I prefer natural light materials for this look. Or a chunky knit if I have an infinity scarf.

The scarf is a necessary travel companion too. Great for that cold flight or in case you need a pillow. And perfect for those rare occasions when you are visiting historic sights and must abide by religious rule. I may own a few too many but they have been so useful and are lovely to cozy up with scarves.

For tips on how to wear a scarf check out my Pinterest page for great links and styles.

Grey scarf

Tartan short scarf

Head scarf

Oversized casual scarf

scarf and belt

street style scarf

untied scarf

Image Credit: Pinterest, www.luckymag.com, www.harepersbazaar.com, www.adoreness.com, www.shinysquirrel.typepad.com

Stripes and Prints

Saba striped boyfriend tee

You know the mornings…..wake up too early, have to get to an event and look presentable (see event here), yet you have no idea what will to wear. So you begrudgingly stand in front of the myriad of clothes and exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!”. But some mornings it seems there is a shining spotlight pointing you in the right direction. I knew I wanted to wear my newest investment flats by Jimmy Choo so thank goodness the light landed on a pair of classic black pants that would suit the occasion and the shoes. Black pants are a style girl’s staple. It may be hard to find the perfect pair but when you do you should be able to wear them to work, out with the girls and even on the weekend. Don’t ever be afraid to dress up and down your staple pieces. So I played with prints and textures with this look. A boyfriend striped tee, animal print clutch and statement neck bling.

What piece in your wardrobe can you dress up or down? Leave your comment below. 

Photos by: Milla Kirk Photography

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Nat Kent Hathot necklace

Jimmy Choo Yellow Flats

Nat kent Jewelery silver necklace

Clare Vivier Clutch

Saba STriped long sleeve tshirt

Pants: Nicola Finetti (Similar Style) // Tee: Saba // Shoes: Jimmy Choo (Similar style) // Necklace: Nat Kent Jewellery // Clutch: Clare Vivier (Similar)

Photo Credit: Milla Kirk Photography

 

 

Travel – Las Vegas Experience

Sin City

City That Never Sleeps

What Happens in Vegas Stays In Vegas……

Well that may be what people think most when planning a trip to Las Vegas but I think of: Friends, Food, Outlet Shopping!

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I lived in Las Vegas from 2005-2008. It was an interesting ride. Some great times, some hard times (thank you GFC and relationship breakup). And although I am happy to not call Vegas my home anymore, I love to go back often and see all my dear friends and experience the ever changing Vegas Strip and Suburbs. I am definitely not a party girl that likes to hit every nightclub in town. I lasted 3 days doing that when I first arrived in 2005. No need to live it again. What I do love is the amazing international chefs, the shows, the national parks and some shopping of course. I am listing some of my most recent favorite experiences. This is just the tip of the vegas experience.

STAY

Usually when I visit Vegas I stay in the burbs with my dear friends but occasionally I like to get amongst it and stay in he heart of the strip. My pick for a great hotel in the centre of it all that won’t break the bank is ARIA. In the heart of the City Centre in the centre of The Strip, The Aria is a good mix of family, restaurants, Casino and party go-ers. I prefer to stay during the week and avoid the weekend party groups. The pool is first class and I can 100% recommend Julian Serrano  for a great meal.

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TOURIST

When living in Vegas I did anything and everything to avoid being around the tourists on the strip. I can honestly say I avoided anything that was “touristic” . But now going back it’s actually fun to play the visitor. Yes there is the Bellagio Fountains. The Stratosphere and all the cities of the world you can pretend to visit all while never leaving Las Vegas Blvd. But my tips are:

The Neon Museum: The Boneyard houses more than 150 historic signs. Each sign in the collection has a unique story about who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and how it fits into the development of Las Vegas and the city’s rich history. Changes and trends in design and technology are also illustrated in the pieces that range from the 1930s to the present day. You will be guided on a 1 hour tour when you can get up close to this Vegas history. Be prepared to snap quickly and choose your camera carefully. Only one camera with one lens allowed! I would like to  go back for the night tour.

Freemont Street Experience: Definitely an experience. One that is a must do but one I don’t need to do again. Meander through the the crazy lights of Freemont and you may be greeted by a few bare bodies (and not great ones). Maybe not a child destination. And look overhead and see the zip liners fly through this street of sensory overload. But my pick is East Freemont street a little further down the road. The “art” district of Vegas. Here you can find some cool restaurants/bars and a quieter buzz.

Red Rock National Park: A few days on the strip has you craving for some nature. You can rent a car and head out to the Hoover Dam or if its not too hot a hike through one of the numerous Red Rock trails is a great escape. Or you can just drive around The Loop and stop at any number of vantage points. We were adventurous and drove along began up track to attempt a hike. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and seemed to be following a dried up River Bed for quite awhile before or hot bodies realized that we went the wrong direction. Ooops. By the time we realized, it was too hot to find the entrance to the current trail. Maybe next time…..

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EAT

I could go on and on about the amazing restaurants that Vegas has to offer. Please don’t waste your money on the buffets. But do some research and find the chef of your choice and wine and dine in style. On this trip my foodie friend researched and researched and somehow managed to get us a table at:

é by José Andrés: A chefs table molecular gastronomy experience located in the heart of The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Twice a night 3 chefs stand in front of 8 guests and prepare and serve the 23 courses of pure gastronomic bliss. This is more than just eating but a theatrical event that you never want to end. This once in a lifetime indulgence is a memory that I will not forget. Check out the full article and details here. I cannot even explain the taste or the fun we had.

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SHOP

Honestly? I was a little disappointed with the shopping in Las Vegas on this trip. I found the malls such as The Fashion Show Mall, Miracle Mile and Forum Shops a little generic in its fashion. That is, unless you have a huge credit card limit! I tend to use Vegas as my gift shopping destination. Outlet shopping is a must in Vegas and here are my tips:

Las Vegas Premium Outlets (Charleston Ave): My go to for Kate Spade, Coach, Vince, Nike and Michael Kors. Most friends and family receive a little something from either Nike or Coach on return from Vegas. The prices are impossible to match anywhere in Australia. But don’t be fooled….some stores are not actually outlet ( hello Sunglass Hut and  Journey). And another trick is that many brands like J Crew, Gap and Banana republic make clothes specifically for the outlet. So in reality its not really a bargain. Plan your trip and know what you really want before you pull out your wallet.

High End Luxury Shopping: Let’s be real. We can’t all afford to shop in Chanel or Louis Vuitton ( I sure can’t). But The high end retailers are a huge presence on the strip. They rely on overseas visitors to make their profit. And it can be fun to go in and have a look. Some staff can be a little snooty but mostly I have had good experiences pretending I have money. This visit I did have a blast in Jimmy Choo at The Shops at Crystals. The ladies were so lovely and besides me having a weak moment and pulling out the credit card, we gossiped over Champagne and shoes. Pure bliss for this shoe gal.

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BARS

I am not a drinker in the least but I do enjoy one glass of something sparkly if there is reason for it. My 2 top picks for a cool view and really nice atmosphere are:

MIX Lounge: Located at the top of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay this is bar with serious views of the strip. A great low key destination mid week. It gets a little more hectic during the weekend and may incur a cover charge. But I love this spot after a show (see below) and they make a seriously delicious cocktail. But the biggest draw card – head to the bathrooms before you leave for a room with a view!

Mandarin Bar: This sophisticated bar is located on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental (a stroll away from The Aria). This contemporary bar is the perfect place to unwind after a hectic day on the strip and enjoy a delicious cocktail with friends.

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SHOWS

Who can’t go to Vegas without seeing a show or 3? I could write a whole post just on shows seeing as I worked on one of the shows in Vegas. This time I tried to not spend my nights basically at another work venue so I only took in the latest show released from my Company:

Michael Jackson ONE: The 2nd MJ show by Cirque Du Soleil, MJ One is the 2nd show released by Cirque Du Soleil that embraces the spirit of Michael Jackson (the first one is Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour). MJ One is a magical fusion of dance, acrobatics, art and the music of the King of Pop. I am quite harsh in critiquing shows but I recommend this one especially if you love the music of this man. A fun night out.

A quick list of my other must see shows: Zumanity at NYNY Hotel, La Reve at The Wynn, “O” at Bellagio, Absinthe at Caesars.

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Have you been to Las Vegas? What are your tips for this crazy city? Comment Below and share your adventures. 

Photos shot with iPhone 5S, Nikon d5200

Some Jose Andres photos Courtesy: Tracy