How glamorous is this? A two page spread in the gossip and fashion bile of the southern hemisphere. I am not famous. But damn I feel like it today. Thanks Susie Burge and all the hot chicks in editorial at ACP.


Five-star style on a one-star budget!  |  LifeStyle YOU.

J’adore REAL LIVING for keeping it real, making aspirational decor easy and, yeah baby, featuring Savvy Chic on their editor’s letter page. I will set up an artwork offer through the magazine soon (if they’ll have me) and in the meantime, huge enormous big fat thank you.

I have to be honest Sydney, Australia is not at all budget minded. Status is still driven by labels. The recession has just NOT bitten down as hard on this economy and many women are still in denial about the nature of thrift smarts. Perhaps as a result I get to scoop up incredible bargains on the best shopping street in Sydney. Vinnies is a second hand chairity store tat has gone mainstream and locates itself on prominent main streets. The Vinnies in Paddington have designer clothes, really HOT 1980s French heels and banal basics at rock bottom prices. Oddly enough they are located directly opposite my bank. So when I stumble onto the street feeling a teensy bit broke baroque I know that the retail therapy I seek is only going to burn a fifty dollar note. I haven’t worn the Charles Jourdan silk faille heels (with $35 scrawled across their soles) but the polyester chiffon maxi dress with the hopelessly 90s front ruffle is in heavy rotation. I love fashion to be a bit OFF. A bit like costume. A bit like a weird drawing. Further up the road at the Red Cross shop a pair of black leather high heeled ankle boots were also $35. Yes. I weakened. And, a few nights later, dancing in the hot summer wind to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in my cheap, hot, high black boots I felt the splendour of vintage rock and roll style: affordable, spontaneous, so, so last year, so so NOW.

This Monday when Grazia magazine, Australia, feature a two page excerpt from Savvy Chic they chose the chapter  that is closest to my heart: QUEEN OF THE FLEAS. On my recent jaunt to New York I confess to visiting  the 26th street flea markets three times and obsessing over a pair of 19th century French enameled candle stick holders. On the third round, on a bone chilling morning of arctic frost, I pounced and bought them. The great thing about the fleas is the education you get with every find. I never knew that enamel production also known as Cloisonne went out of vogue in France for objet because of the prohibitive cost of creating each layer. So, the candlesticks in 1887 might have cost close to what I paid for them, give or take a little inflation. I wrapped them in two football socks and packed them carefully next to my American nineteenth century tea cup (yes I have a problem) and my 1940s pale blue satin rayon and lace twenty dollar nightgown. Leaving the fleas I am carrying recycled plastic bags, stuffed with old newspaper. I feel slightly vagrant. And I have hauled away unbelievable treasures. Old habits die hard.

This blog is just a bit damn girly. Can’t help it people, I like hanging lillies from the chandelier and wearing an apron with a decorative hand stitched pocket quite openly on the sidewalk. My son wears flowers behind his ears for heaven’s sake. But, in case you need a little bit of masculine heat in your realm of the decorous and the feminine here is an image of Jon Spencer in skin tight rubber pants belting out his blues groove. I wore bare legs and thirty five dollar charity shop boots to his gig in Sydney on Wednesday night and twenty years on this band still doth rocketh. They are experimental, sensuous, cock sure, brash, amusing and yes, I am going to use this word: GROOVY. Live music is the best money you will ever spend because you are ringside to a moment that will never come again. It’s transient, electric, collective and hot. Sydney is experiencing something of a live music renaissance right now after several abject years of dance parties, chill out and hideous global lounge trends. All generations seek the rock and the music journalism is of a high standard. Having left my favorite haunt in the world (The Bowery Ballroom) behind for a few more months I am proud to say that this city (for all it’s fake tan and sad silly silk cocktail dresses) and has got back the grit.

Save the date Sydneysiders, Ariel Booksellers Paddington ( are proposing a launch and event for Savvy Chic including an exhibit of original artwork, new Little Branch designs ( and loads of exciting creative fabulousness at the best bookstore in town. This was the shop I used to visit late at night on a Saturday when I was new to town and kind of lonely. I always met cool people and got turned on by the art books, cards and papers. Brainy, tasteful and hip. That’s Ariel.