Sunday, 30 March 2014

Black Tie + Thrift + Dahlias

Two hours or so before Mr Fascinata and I went to our last Black Tie event, we were on a train in Sydney
(we live inter-state)
returning from visiting his mum's grave,
when he whipped the lovely invite out of his pocket and read the fine print, again.
Dress Code: Black Tie.
The following conversation ensued, "Flora, did you know tonight is Black Tie?"
Needless to say in 22 minutes, he had bought a suit in Sydney's CBD
and had it altered.
I kid you not.
I hate nothing more than shopping under pressure.
My pre-planning just tied me over to the Black Tie category. I was lucky.
Our latest event, was Friday night, a fund-raiser for the Women's Legal Service.
And, we were a bit more organised.
An evening of Dancing with the CEOs.
Think Dancing with the Stars...judges...the whole thing.
Six brave business inclined souls who learnt the rumba, jive, quickstep, waltz and more.
To be sponsored and cheered on under Brisbane City Hall's beautiful dome.
Raising over $60K.
From a generous and admiring public.
And, you have to love any function where a raffle ticket is a jewellery holder disguised as a shoe!
The Women's Legal Service is so valuable. Their lawyers give a certain time gratis,
and then the fee scheduling is supportive of low-income families and women who
otherwise couldn't seek advice.
Addressing domestic violence is a key focus.
In our own family history we have gaps and silences caused domestic violence.
A forty year-old family legacy that left five siblings
(five under nine years-of-age), without a mother after a tumultuous and violent relationship
 that still has no answers.
I often think about V and the pain of her sudden death, caused as much as we know
by a complication after surgery.
We'll never really know.

So, we gussied up and off we went.
I love Black Tie dress code because it is an excuse for feeling vindicated for buying things that
you have totally no need for (at the time of purchase).
Like when I bought these glitter covered shoes as quick as a fox in Barcelona from Zara (in 2011),
when Mr Fascinata was drinking a glass of Cava at a nearby café.
Here they are doing their very own fashion shoot, over-looking Las Ramblas.
I trotted the shoes out for the event.
They are impossible to walk in, and at one stage Mr Fascinata asked me if I was drunk.

 And, I wore my real housewives full-length sequin gown.
From Topshop, no less.
One click of the mouse on a Tuesday night, nearly a year ago and it was mine.
 For the princely sum of:
The purchase made no sense at all then.
I very nearly considered joining shoppers anonymous.
To make it my own, I flora'd up a piece of blue organza and made a corsage.
Fired up the heat gun for a bit of thermoplastic action.
Fluffed it around a bit. Pinned it in place.
If you are wondering, my earrings cost five dollars.
At a post-Christmas sale.
I am embarrassed to ask. Do you shop with a purpose or with no method to the madness?
What works best for you?
And, if you are wondering about dahlias the Queensland Dahlia Society was blowing its trumpet
at my local shopping centre, and frankly I couldn't resist.
What is not to love?


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Slow Fascination

 If you've been feeling like this at the moment,
rather than this:
I am hearing you.
I'm bogged down.
It's nearly term break.
That means two things for now.
Assessing workers.
And the Amnesty quilt project.
End of term frippery.
 All hand-sewn, five years in the making.
We'll raffle it in the end.
And donate the money. Back in the day we decided it would be Amnesty International.
It'll be a nice break for a lesson or two, after
crunching the workers' fruits of their labours into
Frankly, I am exhausted and sick of getting in strife for
mindlessly sharpening my pencil on the floor.
 And, forgetting where I put the eraser.
 I've had very little time for fashioning frippery.
Although I did craft up this free-of-charge chlorophyll-filled
arrangement. Saving money and time spent at any florist. 
Get the secateurs and chop off a few leaves.
 What are you thinking??
 I've also just had time to quickly revisit Ok-Ja Choi's hand-woven
and safflower dyed silk headpiece I started nearly a year ago.
If you've been paying attention you'll recognise the fabric and Ok-Ja.
Ok-Ja is a kindred spirit; here's her indigo dyed silk roses.
She is actually one of South Korea's National Treasure artists.
I love her.
She and her fellow artisans came to Brisbane, the year before last.
Look out for her next visit.
I'll keep you posted.

As for my headpiece, well, these things take time.
Slow fascination at its best.
I have used every skerrick of the silk.
No cutting, just moulded and formed and stiffened.
I quite like it.
It's as light as feather, too.
Quite hollow.
 It's still not finished; but it made a worthwhile diversion from crunching the chalkface data.

 If you are looking for a little diversion from the everyday,
take yourself to The Hat Box's Winter Racing Millinery High Tea.
Unfortunately, I won't be there.
But if it suits, you should be.
April 3, Emporium Hotel.
$55 High Tea + Champagne.
 I've had a sneak look at the hats and I must say, they are very special.
 See you when I am over this hump.