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  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    04.07.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    Fashiony films continue to be a feature of the New Zealand International Film Festival.  This year two awesome films have been selected.  I will definitely be going to both.

    First up is Yves Saint Laurent, a fictionalised telling of the great designer’s life.  It was released in 2014 by French director Jalil Lespert and is considered the ‘official’ biopic of YSL, having been given the blessing of YSL’s partner Pierre Bergé.  Jalil was given free range with the YSL archives and the film covers all aspects of Saint Laurent’s life – his designs, talent, depression and drug use.

    The second film is Dior and I.  It is a documentary about the House of Christian Dior’s current designer (the much acclaimed) Raf Simons as he prepares his debut collection for Dior.  The film looks at the nitty gritty of the creative process and all the hard work and planning that goes into presenting a collection.  It was written and directed by Frédéric Tcheng, who also made the fashion documentaries Vreeland: The eye has to travel (EXCELLENT) and Valentino: The Last Emperor.

  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    Fashion and beauty inspo

    27.06.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    This week, I’ve made two hot new discoveries that I think you’re going to love.

    The first is this book by Zoë Foster:

    Syndetics book coverAmazing face : clever beauty tricks, should-own products and spectacularly useful how-to-do-its / Zoë Foster.
    This book came out in 2011 so I was a bit worried that some of the info wouldn’t be that relevant anymore, but WOW was I wrong!

    This book is awesome – I learnt heaps about how to improve the condition of my skin (no matter what your skin type, this book can help you!), some great makeup tricks I never would have thought of and even how to volumise my very un-voluminous hair. This woman knows seriously everything about skin, beauty and products. Find it at central!

    Zoë Foster is also the genius behind this rad beauty website (I hiiiiighly recommend), and this blog where she talks about her fiction writing. Amazing Face also recently came out as an app, so you can get your beauty hit on the go! You’re welcome.


    My other recent discovery is gabifresh.com. I am really loving the style on this blog and have been finding it super inspiring! (fyi – am now on the lookout for a neon kimono and a beige tulle tutu skirt… So easily persuaded!) This is a collection of some of my fave looks from her page. You can check out her sweet style here or follow her on any of the usual places (my fave is Instagram).


    All photos used with the permission of Gabi Gregg at gabifresh.com

  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    The Hairstyle Directory

    30.05.14 | Permalink | Comment?


    How many times have you found the perfect hairstyle on Pinterest (or anywhere on the internet, for that matter) and then, when you click the link to find out how to do it, there are no instructions! Just a pretty picture. SO annoying!  So I was pretty happy when this new book arrived:

    Syndetics book coverThe hairstyle directory : the ultimate, practical guide to creating classic & modern styles / Christina Butcher.
    “From elaborate “up-dos” to casual braids, inspirational hairstyles continue to populate fashion blogs, Pinterest boards, and style magazines everywhere. However, this popularity belies a gaping lack of consolidated and authoritative advice on the techniques required to create these styles, and so the Hair Style Directory presents a comprehensive resource that identifies the practical techniques to create over 80 hairstyles. The accompanying step-by-step tutorials then give the reader the instructions they need to replicate that style.” – abridged from amazon.com

    I have it out at the mo and it’s really good – loads of hairstyles I want to try out. I’m completely useless at doing my hair (definitely guilty of sleep-styling) so am excited to try out some of the tutorials in this book. If it goes well, I’ll post some pics here… Wish me luck!

  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    16.05.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    jeans 3
    (Michele Quellet – photographed by Taylor Jewell for Jean Stories)

    Syndetics book coverDenim : from cowboys to catwalks : a visual history of the world’s most legendary fabric / Graham Marsh and Paul Trynka ; fashion editor, June Marsh.
    My friend said the other day it was time to pack away the jorts.  Winter has started I guess.  Let the real jeans season begin. 
    What is more fashion AND anti-fashion than jeans.  Probably every person owns a pair and most people wear them, either to look cool, or fashionable or to look ordinary, as a type of uniform.  Denim has become a ubiquitous fashion feature and for such a basic wardrobe staple they are still subjected to the whims and trends of fashion (moving away from skinnies into a looser fit, at the moment I think).

    jeans 1
    (Jessica de Ruiter – photographed by Katrina Dickson for Jean Stories)

    The jeans I’m really loving right now are my Acne skinnies (soooo comfortable) and ripped vintage jeans. But see, everyone has a very personal opinion on jeans and some are devoted to them.   A website I’ve been loving lately is Jean Stories.  Created by jeans lovers and former Vogue writers Jane Herman and Florence Kane, who talk to fellow jeans obsessives about their favourite styles, how to wear denim, what’s new, sneakpeeks into wardrobes.  Seriously love it.  (Particularly love the story of how a worn out pair of jeans, ripped and dirty,  from a guy from Christchurch ended up on an editor from Vogue, ha!  so FASHION)

    jeans 2
    (Jennifer Fisher – photographed by Taylor Jewell for Jean Stories)

  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    In my makeup bag

    02.05.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    It’s only 10am, and already two exciting things have happened today. Firstly, my brand new pink pineapple makeup bag arrived!

    mup bag

    I didn’t really need a new makeup bag but, quite frankly, I couldn’t resist it. The tropical trend is so hot in the northern hemisphere right now (check the Hermes Spring 2014 runway show pics for a taste) and I am loving it – my internal Carmen Miranda couldn’t be happier! So many bright colours and fun, fruity prints with a laid back, tropical holiday vibe… happy sigh. So anyway, this new pink pineapple makeup bag is my piece of the tropical pie, so to speak, especially as we’re now heading into winter! (sob)

    The second exciting thing that happened this morning is that we got a brand new makeup book, specialising in ten-minute makeup applications. Yes, ten minutes!

    Syndetics book cover10 minute make-up
    This truly is my kind of book because, as much as I love makeup and beauty products, I do really enjoy a sleep-in. So any beauty tricks which will help me get to work on time and look chic is a winner for me.



     I thought I would take advantage of this happy coincidence to show off our new book, my new makeup bag and its contents:

    mup bag 2

    If you want to peek into some other people’s makeup bags, I can recommend this one or this dedicated tumblr.

  • Fashion Friday, Style Catalogue

    Miss Vogue

    04.04.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    photo 1

    The rumours are true! Miss Vogue Australia magazine will soon be hitting Central Library shelves. With all the glamour of Vogue, specially directed at the younger fashion set, ya’ll are going to love this. It isn’t available on the catalogue just yet, but it will be available from next week onwards. So keep an eye out!

    Also, I wanted to share with you a little somethin’ somethin’ that’s on my geek chic wish list this week…

    photo 2

    Epic literary classic + seriously covetable designer label =♥!! Perfect for my librarian wardrobe, methinks.

    And lastly… get excited. Wellington Fashion Week is coming. Next week, actually! To kick off the week’s events, there will be a free fashion movie screened on Wellington’s waterfront. To get all the deets, and to have your say on which fashion flick will be screened, have a looky here.

  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday

    21.03.14 | Permalink | Comment?


    Zinio is here!
    What is Zinio you ask? weeelll…

    Zinio is a magazine database that the library now has.  It’s not just any old magazine database though.  It has full story and image magazines (much like Press Display is for newspapers).  And there are popular magazines you’ll want to read too – fashion mags included are Australian Vogue, US Elle, Grazia (South African, so a bit different), Nylon, Harpers Bazaar, Peppermint, Yen, Esquire, I could go on.

    The best thing about Zinio is that it’s free to take out the magazines (or rather download them to your account and then read on your computer, smartphone, tablet, ipod – there’s an app) and you can keep them forever.  YES, FOREVER.

    All you need to start is your library card.  Then you can find Zinio on our website, on our Mygateway page (under Magazines).  From there you create an account on the library Zinio page.  After that you need to create a Zinio account (you can you the use the same details for both accounts; you must use the same email address for both accounts).  Finally, you’ll need to download the Zinio app if you’re using a tablet, ipad or smartphone. ( If you need any help take a look here for setting up and starting the app).

    And away you go!

  • Great Reads, Isn't that cool?, Librarian's Choice, New Zealand, Nicola, Non-fiction

    Spotlight on YA Non-Fiction

    13.03.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    I’m pretty proud of our non-fiction section. It’s small but concise. It has lots of books that will teach you about all the important things you need to know: from passing algebra to how to cook roast chicken, from surviving high school to how to get dressed in the morning. In this series, I’ll look at one or two books from each dewey section, highlighting my favourites. Some sections will have more books than others, due to size or the variety of topic contained within. If you have any books you’d like to spotlight, please leave them in the comments!

    000s – Generalities
    Dead StrangeBook cover courtesy of Syndetics

    This book is a miscellany of the bizarre unexplained phenomena that puzzle ‘experts’ everywhere; an A-Z of oddness. It’s fairly tongue-in-cheek, and if you’re not convinced you’ll at least be entertained. I’m a bit of a conspiracy theoriest nut (although I find them enjoyable rather than believable) so I had a lot of fun reading this. It’s a fairly exhaustive selection, and it even introduced me to a few I hadn’t heard of before…

    100s – Philosophy and Psychology
    i.d : stuff that happens to define usBook Cover courtesy of Syndetics
    This is a collection of real stories, each illustrated, with an Q and A with the story teller about what happened next. It’s so much more than the sum of its parts, however. Each illustration conveys the emotion of the story being told, whether positive or negative. Each discusses a certain incident; the moment when a teenager learns to stop being negative about her body, or the time an immigrant girl really feels at odds with her mostly white companions. The illustrations themselves are done in a scratchy, naive style, which help to convey the fraught emotions of each of the stories.

    200s – Religion
    Understanding IslamBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    Islam is in the news a lot these days, but without talking about the context of this religion. It’s a bit simplistic to say that this book will teach you “everything” you need to understand about Islam -an extremely diverse faith- but it’s an extremely good place to start. It looks at the different sects within Islam, some of its cultural traditions (again, it’s an extreme diverse faith!) and its core tenets. It also discusses the history and the contributions Islamic people have made to the world, which are often left out of discussions. It really helped me gain a pretty good, if basic, understanding of Islam and its definitely worth picking up if you follow international events.

    300s – Social Sciences
    Where children sleepBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    This is a fascinating collection detailing, like it says in the title, the places where children from around the world sleep. A two page-spread consists of the photo of each child, a small description of where they live, their home life and their ambitions, with a full page colour photo of their ‘room’. It’s a simple concept that never comes across as patronising or proselythising; it manages to communicate the massive inequality in different parts of the world, as well as social issues that affect the featured childrens’ lives.

    400s – Langauge
    Punctuation Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
    This book is never going to set the world on fire but your English teacher will thank you for reading it, especially if you’re having trouble writing essays. While studying where and when to use things like commas might seem a bit redundant, this book will help you use them skillfully, which might mean the difference between a merit and an excellence.

    The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Native treesBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    A great read for the budding botanists (ha ha) out there. It’s a classic, and for good reason; it’s got plenty of pictures showing the distinguishing features of each type of tree. I like to think of these kind of books as ones that will be useful during a zombie apocalypse: telling the difference between rangiora and ongaonga could certainly save you a lot of pain and trouble! Each section on the tree contains pictures of its leaves, fruit or flowers, and stems or trunks. While there’s not a whole lot of written information in this book, it also lists other books that could be helpful.

    600s – Technology
    After Toast Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
    A trend among cookbooks aimed at a YA audience is that they try a bit hard to be ‘trendy’: losts of ‘slang’, lots of references to texting, and criminal overuse of the word “mates.” Luckily, this book skips all those traps, focusing instead on simple, easy recipes that might even be healthy. They’re split into sections by meal, with and index at the back. There’s a handy guide at the beginning, explaining what tools you’ll need, how to tell if certain meats are cooked, and various other ‘how to’ sections that are pretty useful.

    Style Me Vintage: make up Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
    The verdict every year seems to be that the ‘vintage’ look is ‘in.’ But what do the fashion scribes mean by vintage? Marilyn Monroe-esque fifties glamour or the frivilous flapper look of the twenties? The dewey freshness of the seventies or the enigmatic sleekness of the thirties? Once you’ve worked that out, come and grab this book. It’s got looks for every decade from the twenties to the eighties; by matching the right make up to your outfit, you can be assured of steering clear of fashion anachronism. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from mixing the looks up: a fifties mouth with a twenties eye, for serious glam. It’s also got some great tips and techniques for beginners, like how to put on false eyelashes. Which are apparently essential for a few looks…

    700s – Arts and Recreation
    Back and Beyond: New Zealand painting for the young and curiousBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    The 700s, with their focus on the arts, often provide the most visually appealing books to be found anywhere in the library. This is a prime example, featuring gorgeous reproductions of amazing paintings from New Zealand artists both traditional and contemporary. Each painting is accompanied by a brief text describling the themes of the piece and the artist’s other work. It’s never dry or boring; it manages to convey both the common themes and the diversity in paintings from New Zealand.

    Legends, Icons and Rebels: Music that changed the worldBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    This is a fantastic new book that profiles 27 artists who changed the face of music forever. Again, it’s a lovely looking book, with a beautiful full page depiction of each musician. It contains a brief biograpy of each person, and explains their influence on music. For example, I didn’t know that Little Richard mentored The Beatles AND Jimi Hendrix AND toured with the Rolling Stones. Pretty awesome, if you ask me! It also has a two CDs, each with a famous song from each artist or group.

    800s – Literature
    Critical Companion to William ShakespeareBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    Shakespeare plays form a pretty much intrinsic part of the English ciruculum. But even the most conscientious English teacher might have trouble helping you to navigate the themes, characters and language of whatever play you’re studying. That’s where this book comes in handy: it has information on all of Shakespeare’s plays, each of them broken down into easy to read sections. There’s a scene by scene synopsis of the play, a commentary on the themes, and then an entry on each character and what motifs they embody. It’s fairly dense (as you might imagine) but never becomes unintelligable.

    900s- History and Geography
    Diary of a Soviet SchoolgirlBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    The brutal conditions of Soviet Russia are often neglected in the study of history. This diary, written by a teenage girl from 1932-1937, demonstrates just how hard the lives of ordinary people were during this time.  Nina Lugovskaya’s father was arrested for being a “counter-revolutionary” and Nina herself was eventually arrested and sent to a gulag.  What makes this diary especially fascinating is that the passages that were used as evidence against her are underlined, and this has been kept in this reproduction of the diary. It shows just how seemingly minor complaints could be interpreted as showing author was “preparing to kill Stalin.”  It also shows the persistance of other facets of ‘ordinary’ teenage life: Nina talks about about boys, her friends and her disdain for school and her teachers. Unlike the Diary of Anne Frank, this story has a happier coda: Nina survived her time in the gulag, and was eventually pardoned.

    Lady Gaga: Critical Mass FashionBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
    If you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter (and you’re a Gaga fan) then this is perfect for you. Even if you’re not, you can’t fault the book on the aesthetic front: there are some stunning photographs of Lady Gaga’s extreme outfits, which are definitely worth a look.  It’s not a hard-hitting expose of Gaga’s metoric rise, rather a faintly fluffy piece of biography, but it’s a fun palate cleanser about one of the most notorious pop stars of the last 10 years.

  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian, Uncategorized

    Fashion Friday

    28.02.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    Normcore, is it a thing?  A new ‘trend’, a joke, something you need to be wearing right now?!

    According to The Cut, who broke this very important story yesterday, the latest trend for the youngsters in New York is to dress ‘normally’.  Not like a fashionista, hipster or an authentic individual, but with a sameness which means they blend into the crowd. (Or look like an extra from Seinfeld).  Plain mum-jeans are a feature, as are socks and sandals, New Balance sneakers, baseball caps and plain t-shirts and jumpers.  (Alexa Chung’s buddy Dev Hynes favours a turtleneck).

    Is this real? Do you – or would you – dress like this?  I have been digging my trackpants lately…
    However, not everyone belives.

    Here’s an example of library normcore – a workmate wearing her totally normal, plain (and comfy) Nikes.  (Co-ordination with the carpet way too fashiony though).


  • Fashion Friday, Le Chic Librarian

    Fashion Friday – extra

    15.02.14 | Permalink | Comment?

    (OOPS I missed my week, so you can have this extra post today!)

    (Vera Wang Fall/Winter 2014 – Fashion Gone Rogue)

    As the high fashion treadmill trundles on, with New York fashion week kicking of the Fall/Winter Ready to Wear 2014 shows (what you will be wearing in 2015? Blah, who knows!) it all seems rather yawn-some.  The same big name designers putting out some interesting and knockout clothes (Karen Walker LOVE, Proenza Schouler COMPLICATED LOVE); the same old street style coverage (which Style.com and Tommy Ton do BEAUTIFULLY) its all a bit predicatable.  New York is currently suffering under an Polar Vortex, so this has shaken things up style-wise, but you may find yourself asking “what does it all mean”?!

    Syndetics book coverWhy fashions matters.
    Aha!  This wonderful new book by Frances Corner – the head of the London College of Fashion – might help.  Certainly a bit weighty in substance,  it looks at the social and economic impacts of fashion and it will help you understand fashion’s place in the world, putting it in a much wider context (than the internet ha ha!)  Sometimes you have to stop and assess, take it all in and learn why leather midi skirts/slogan tees/platform boots are SO important.

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