Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dinosaur Discovery

Although this blog is, for most of the time, a fashion blog, first and foremost it is my blog. Indulge me, I'm a complex and multi-faceted woman in a fast-paced and largely digital world. For an afternoon, I took time out with my boyfriend to visit the Dinosaur Discovery exhibition at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville to see some plastic dinosaurs. An outfit to celebrate the occasion would have been nice, but we walked from our hotel room (which we both regretted later) and I needed to wear material which actually breathes. I work at a dinosaur museum, it was nice to play tourist and explore someone else's museum for a change and I really loved the layout for this exhibition. 

Overall I found the whole experience more enjoyable than last year's Jurassic World exhibition, at the Melbourne Museum. In Townsville, an entire room celebrated the diversity of Australia's dinosaur fauna, explaining where each species had been identified whereas in Melbourne, a small nod to fossil discoveries in Victoria largely felt like an after-thought. There are two species of dinosaur which could have been done better, one being Australovenator wintonensis. I am lucky enough to stand inches away from the holotype specimen on a day to day basis and they could not have misrepresenetd the hands, and in particular claws of this dinosaur if they had tried. Imagine the love child of Edward Scissorhands and a velociraptor, that is what this model looked like. 

The second, another Australian dinosaur was Leaellynasaura amicagraphica. Discovered at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, this ornithischian lived at high latitudes, experiencing three months of continuous feathers. Artistic reconstructions often portray Leaellynasaura as a dinosaur covered in feather, however what I saw was a small muppet in fake fur and hidden amongst a scrubby understory comprised of ferns. Among the most frequently asked questions I encounter at work are loaded questions, including 'well you don't know dinosaurs weren't covered in fur', despite fossil evidence of permineralised dinosaur skin, as well as dinosaur feathers preserved in amber but I digress. Mythbusting, and more specifically dinosaur mythbusting is all part of the job but artist's renditions of dinosaurs which are not based on the fossil evidence and peer-reviewed science are ultimately doing a disservice. 

One thing I loved at this exhibition were the interactive screens. We know more and more children are being exposed to electronic devices like smart phones and tablets and this exhibition beautifully told two stories using the same technology. The first was how animals become preserved as fossils. In simple terms, and with bright graphics it focused on what happens to a carcass and the conditions conducive to fossilisation, without any mention of chemical processes. The other interactive screen described the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event, why the dinosaurs went extinct but also non-dinosaur faunas including the marine reptiles which ruled the seas and pterosaurs. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Filles A Papa Fall 2017

At times, my personal style can sometimes feel predictable. That feeling manifests most strongly when a friend complements me, saying they were reminded of my style when they were out shopping, and saw a particular item and thought of me. It’s nice to know that the people around us are thinking about us. It’s also good to break the rules, every now and again. Filles A Papa is among the biggest rule breaker, and probably not a brand you’d expect me to comment on, let alone like. I haven’t gone as far as having something by them, hanging in my wardrobe but I’d like to think it’ll happen one day. What drew me in? A hot pink pant suit was dangled in my face via Instagram, and like a fish I was caught hook-line and sinker. It struck me as something very raw and powerful, particular in this post-election world and firing of FBI directors. 

The pant suit was bright, well-tailored and Filles a Papa are also known for their wild embellishment- think flames on a flannel shirt, immortalised in sequins. And yes, that is every bit as glorious as it sounds. If you love Discount Universe, than the chances are that you’ll pick out at least one or two pieces from Filles A Papa’s Fall 2016 collection. There are strong parallels between the embellished suits from each brand. A neutral colour palette, well-tailored only to be corrupted by some kind of explicit or lewd drawing. It’s that dichotomy between classy and classless that keeps me coming back for me. The same can be said about the embellished tracksuit pants: an item which (whether we want to admit it or not, we all own). But very few people would go out in good conscious and grab a coffee in one. The slogans and iconography elevate it from trashy to ironic, while still remaining super comfy. It's a style ethos I can easily get behind. 

There’s the comfy pieces, like those track pants and then there’s the extravagant. Something you wouldn’t contemplate doing yoga in, let alone an early morning jog. I’m talking about that sequinned two-piece, and I’m sure Missguided or Boohoo, maybe River Island will stock in some shape or form a sequin two set but the combination of turtleneck top and flared trousers are simply irresistible. Dressing in autumn and winter to me means I can finally indulge in a more is more approach so swathes of fabric are what I crave. I am also constantly looking for pieces which for lack of a better term, have that wow factor and can transform any outfit from passe to street style worthy. Again, coming back to this idea of the unexpected (or at least fashion which lies outside my own wardrobe) some of the denim pieces from this collection are simply sensational. 

What I love most about designer pieces is that you can’t get them anywhere else. While that statement does not hold true for the fashion houses, sucked dry by cheap knock-offs, the same cannot be said about the fur-lined denim jacket and skinny jeans in the perfect shade of purple. Maybe in your wildest dreams you’d pick something similar up at a flea market but it’s really just out of this world. It looks just as magnificent as a pair of old Ksubi jeans once made me feel (until I came to terms with the troubling fact they were simply too small for me). For those who aren’t afraid to draw a crowd, or perhaps inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag Race then you must check out the skin coloured top featuring ruffles drenched in hot pink sequins draped from one shoulder to the opposite arm. It’s like something we dreamed our Barbie dolls of wearing, only this time it’s life size and perfect for festivals (without causing offence to minorities, as festival wear so often does).