Go somewhere

brooklyn_-1brooklyn_-7brooklyn_-12brooklyn_-2brooklyn_-13brooklyn_-14 brooklyn_-3 brooklyn_-10 brooklyn_-16brooklyn_-8Wearing – Jungmaven dress, Birkenstock sandals, A.J. Morgan sunglasses, Gorman bag

Jumping a little ahead in time, New York was the last stop in our holiday. By this time, we’d roasted ourselves in the Californian desert and breathed in the pine-scented air of the Oregon forests, and now found ourselves on the other side of this vast country pounding concrete, dodging yellow taxis, and weaving through the busy streams of people.

We decided this time round to stay in Brooklyn in a sweet apartment in Williamsburg, a great decision as it took us away from the Manhattan bustle and into the smaller and (slightly) less trodden streets where it’s more about being effortlessly cool than the incessantly bright lights and flashy Broadway smile. Relaxed chic is the brand, and places selling vintage threads to boutique cheese ooze out of every nook and cranny.

Brooklyn is the Solange to Manhattan’s Beyonce, and no offence to the Beycrew but I know who I’d rather hang with.

Sunshine on a rainy day

home-ryder1-13home-ryder1-8home-ryder1-15home-ryder1-9home-ryder1-7home-ryder1-17home-ryder1-11 home-ryder1-4 home-ryder1-2home-ryder1-16Wearing – Ryder top and skirt, thrifted denim shirt (picked up in Burma en route to Nyaung Shwe – for real!)

motif-2Sunshine on a rainy day

Makes my soul, makes my soul

Trip, trip, trip away

                                                                                – Christine Anu

On turning 32

ryder-flowers-bday-7ryder-flowers-bday-6ryder-flowers-bday-11ryder-flowers-bday-3 ryder-flowers-bday-13ryder-flowers-bday-19

ryder-flowers-bday-1 ryder-flowers-bday-2ryder-flowers-bday-18 ryder-flowers-bday-8 ryder-flowers-bday-16ryder-flowers-bday-20Wearing – Ryder shirt dress / Flowers – Fox & Rabbit

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my not-very-extensive existence of 32 years, it’s that things generally don’t go as planned. I’m not saying that there is no plan, because most certainly with the eye of hindsight I can see that all things, the highest of highs and the deepest of heartaches, have brought me here. Past tragedies, although at times too too heavy to shoulder, have also been essential in shaping my heart and mind.

They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Thank you my dear friends for the ever appreciated kind words and heartfelt encouragement. In ways beyond my imagination, this here blog has led us into the paths of so many outstandingly awesome individuals and our lives have been enriched and invigorated, and our hearts expanded because of you.

Thank you all, you wonderful people!

The hands that make

weaving-1 weaving-2 weaving-3 weaving-4It’s no secret – I love clothes. So much so that at one stage of my life it wasn’t uncommon to be asked point blank, “So how much time do you spend shopping?” (Honestly, not that much, I’m a targeted shopper, I know what I wants and I gots to have it!). But certainly over the last two years, my views towards the all-hallowed, all-hated, and much-debated word fashion (or fashuuuurn if you must) has changed, back-tracked and evolved.

What things have changed the most? I’ve come to realise that more and more a few key principles are informing my choices, almost subconsciously, emerging from life experiences, travels and integral encounters with amazingly selfless and foresighted people. Travelling through Burma and wandering through a number of textile stores and factories got me asking questions and cemented my views even more.

In essence, less is more. And simplicity is king.

And why? Well, not only does this reflect a maturing sense of style which flits around less and less with the tides of trend and seasonality, but more importantly a desire to live more responsibly and knowledgeably, being aware of where my clothes come from to where they will end up.

This isn’t always easy. I mean, there are so many righteous pillars to uphold. Buying local vs abroad. Supporting the artisan over the multimillion dollar megacompany. Is the cotton organically farmed? Is the way in which the natural fibres of my favourite chambray shirt sustainably farmed? Is the clothing made by children or underpaid individuals? And while we’re at it, let’s talk about ethics and fair trade?

There is much smoke and many mirrors that confuse and hardly help us make our decisions. Companies and labels can easily masquerade as seemingly smaller ones and portray an image of “organic-ness” and wholesomeness, but may not always display transparency in the sourcing of materials or making of their products. And, let’s just be honest, sometimes you just need something and you need it quick, like it’s a lot easier to buy a flat-packed coffee table from Ikea than bang one out of upcycled wood in your own backyard, isn’t it?

So, one of my personal endeavours this year is to scout out local companies that think beyond their money-making capabilities and actively make the principles of fair trade a core part of their business ethic, partly because it’s sometimes really hard to ask all those questions yourself when searching for that new shirt for work, but mostly because their example should lead the way for all businesses out there. Fair trade should be a requirement and the norm, so let’s get behind and support the companies that uphold it.

These photos capture traditional handloom weavers at work in a small workshop on Inle Lake, Burma. They use cotton, silk and even lotus root fibres, which is itself a waning craft as it is highly labour intensive.

Sunrises, pagodas and mohinga noodles

burma1-1 burma1-2 burma1-1-8 burma1-1-7 burma1-1-6 burma1-1-2 burma1-1-3 burma1-5 burma1-7 burma1-8 burma1-9 burma1-10 burma1-1-11 burma1-1-4burma1-1-9 burma1-1-10 burma1-11 burma1-13 burma1-15burma1-12What started as a dream then a whisper that became a tentative plan that hung on the chance of everyone’s holidays aligning (less likely than all the stars and moons and planets pausing in their extraterrestrial paths to spell out OMG) finally became a reality as we travelled to Burma with my family last December, the country that my parents grew up in but left in 1971, barely in their twenties. As I’ve gotten older, for some reason seeing the place that my parents spent their early years in has seemed more and more important. Perhaps I felt that it would help me, for want of a less cliched phrase, figure out who I am or where I fit in.

Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a country that is deeply rich in history and culture. It has gone through many significant events over the last thousand years, including periods of prosperity and dominance, through British occupancy, and unfortunately many wars. It is also home to an incredible number of indigenous ethnic groups, that add to the colour, clamour and, of course, cuisine of Burma. With many places to explore and get lost in, both fast-paced and slow, Burma is a country that truly needs to be experienced, felt and tasted to really understand.

Over the next few posts, we’ll share with you the favourite parts of our three week long journey. We took along no less than five different cameras (granted one was a Fuji Instax), watched five sunrises from a variety of vantage points including a hot air balloon, the top of an ancient temple, and astride a bicycle, pedalling through golden mist. It’s no wonder we took around 6500 photos and whittling them down to just our favourite few has not been an easy job (thanks Jinn!).

Enjoy! If you’ve been to Burma before, we would love to hear about your experiences – for the next time we go, of course! If you’re planning or even dreaming about going and need some travel tips, please do drop us a line!

Darlings Supper Club

darlingssc-1 darlingssc-2 darlingssc-1-3 darlingssc-4 darlingssc-5 darlingssc-6darlingssc-1-2 darlingssc-7 darlingssc-8 darlingssc-9Now it’s no secret that Darlings Supper Club received some rather scathing reviews when they first opened earlier this year, particularly regarding the food. But rather than run and cry in the corner, they took this feedback as constructive criticism, hired some brand new muscle in the kitchen, and have recently jumped back up with a revamped menu. The theme is still Asian fusion and the 6pm to 3am opening times mean you can get your dumplings and sake cocktails way into the night.

The fit-out is undeniably dark and sexy, and has quite a cosy but cool small bar feel. It looks so good that I can’t even remember what used to be here on this Lake Street stretch before, and I kinda don’t even care! There are lists upon lists of sakes, spirits, wines, beers and cocktails and they even do a mean teh tarik for those looking for a non-alcoholic beverage.

So let’s be honest here. It’s very difficult to please an Asian person with fusion Asian food. Aaaaand…I think they do it pretty well. There is certainly immense attention to detail paid to every dish that we saw come out and, rather than trying to copy well-known Asian dishes, new flavours are explored and fresh, local ingredients are utilised, helping the dishes taste fresh and interesting to the palate. Personal favourites? The Rottnest scallops with coriander pistou and most definitely the beef cheek with red cabbage marmalade, braised to sticky, fall-aparty perfection.

I didn’t manage to try any dumplings at this visit, and I major in dumplings, just ask my mum. That, my dears, will be a punishingly difficult test to pass. But with completely untraditional fillings offered such as triple peppered kangaroo or sticky pork with tamarind, I think I just might be returning to this cool and rejuvenated corner of Northbridge for a midnight snack and tipple.

Darlings Supper Club / 47 Lake St Northbridge / Wednesday to Saturday 6pm-3am / Sunday 12pm-10pm / Facebook / info@darlingssupperclub.com

Longing

madewell-herdsman-5madewell-herdsman-12madewell-herdsman-2 madewell-herdsman-1 madewell-herdsman-7 madewell-herdsman-11madewell-herdsman-9

Wearing – Nishe top, Ryder shorts, Vans shoes (similar), Naomi Murrell white and rose gold ring, Alister Yiap hexagon ring

I don’t know if it’s because I’m on a run of night shifts this week or because I’ve been at the end of some unduly hurtful words that have been going round my mind, like a broken record of negativity, but lately my heart has been longing for release and relief. Time has continued to pass since the time I lost a dear loved one, and it’s true when they say you go through hills and valleys on the road to healing.

Right now, I’m longing for sunshine, unconditional love, and hope.

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