Jeudi 04 août 2011


Elizabeth Asher has some fashion advice for today's gardeners . . . it's not a fashion parade so wrap up and get stuck in.
AUTUMN may be the dying time of the garden year but there's no need to get funeral about it. There's spring to look forward to and lots you can do to carry colour and interest through the gloomy months.
The artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser said the best time to capture nature's true colours was in dull weather because sun makes things look washed out. It's true.
First of all, wrap up: you want to enjoy this and you won't if you're miserable. Polyprops are light, comfortable and often all you need under the second-hand padded ski suit you can pick up for less than $20 at a charity shop.
I love mine. It's hardwearing, washable and doesn't ride up to expose the midriff. A woollen jersey on top gives extra insulation, holds the heat well and repels drizzle long enough for you to clear up when it starts drizzling.
Footwear should be reasonably waterproof, a good, big enough fit to include your chilli socks and have a decent tread to cope with muddy slopes and mossy paths. Rubber ankle boots are good.
We lose about 30 per cent of body heat through our head so forget style and plonk on a hat - the Peruvian-style ones with the fancy knitting, earflaps and ties are ideal, as are beanies.
Soil temperatures are falling too so glove up. If you think you can't garden in gloves try latex examination gloves - cheap as chips from the chemist or bargain store. If brain surgeons can work in them you can too and you're spared chillblains, cuts, scratches, sap stains and filthy nails.
You now look like a multi-coloured yeti but you're happy, healthy and out there armed with fork, spade, trowel, secateurs, wonderweeder, iPod and thermal cuppa.
For the warm-up dig over any ground that's going to be empty for a while - a new bed or the vege garden, feed it with compost or a general fertiliser and broadcast sow it with mustard or blue lupin seed which you'll later dig in as a green mulch. In the meantime it will look fresh and hopeful.
One bed at a time, remove dead leaves and stems from plants and corners where they've mounded up. This eliminates pest havens and breeding spots for mildew and diseases hunkering down for winter.
IF YOU'RE a sprayer, give fruit and other deciduous trees a coat of winter oil, which helps control things like scale. Roses are almost done flowering but a last spray will clean up lingering blackspot and rust. Leave old flowers to fade and set hips because any trimming now will encourage new shoots too soon.
Something like a brazier or chiminea adds a cosy glow to the autumn garden and you can burn a lot of well-dried plant material. But get a permit first or you may have a surprise visit from the fire brigade and a fine to pay. Ensure neighbours' windows are shut and the washing is in.
Compost leaves separately because they take ages to rot but make great mulch and destroy pest weeds, diseased clippings, and old tomato vines.
With the dead stuff gone, the paths swept and the beds tucked under a snuggly cover of mulch it's time for the pretty stuff.
Spot colour plants have the hard work done - all you have to do is dig and plant. Choose plants with flowers just opening and dead-head any as they fade. They should last for weeks in the garden or outdoor containers and are better value than cut flowers.
Prepare space and shop for spring- flowering shrubs. Camellias are already in garden centres and showing colour. Sasanqua varieties bloom first and abundantly and get less camellia flower blight than later bloomers.
They also make lovely hedges and prostrate forms like C sasanqua "Classique" do well in baskets and containers.
Small rhododendrons are also lovely in pots as are evergreen azaleas - the kind often sold as house plants. A Kirin is an older type with a cute semi-double small flower in pink, salmon or white.
For scent the traditional and unbeatable are Daphne odora - look for high-health forms in pink or white; boronia, best in brown or lemon; translucent-flowered wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), one of the greats; Viburnum burwoodii; and Rhododendron fragrantissima.
Ericas, though not heavily scented, give brilliant colour right when winter is at its most serious.
You can start the pink blossom season right now with Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis' an ornamental cherry that seems to flower whenever it feels like it. The variety Southern Gem is new, has smaller flowers but lots more of them.
Brand new on the magnolia front is a fabulous new red from Jury's in Waitara. M Burgundy Star -- it's a brighter red than others and has longer petals, like a large M stellata. Growth is tall and slender and it's said to be well-packed with flowers.
For planting:
All spring bulbs must be in the ground this month - some are through already.
Watch out for new perennials: primulas and polyanthus are on the way in.
Plant or scatter seed of charmers such as linaria, candytuft, mignonette, nasturtiums, Virginia and night-scented stock, cornflowers, cosmos, sweetpeas lobelia, larkspur, coneflower and marigolds.
Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 04 août 2011
Mercredi 03 août 2011

Style goes south

I WENT to Melbourne last week for the autumn-winter version of Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. Not that I stayed the whole week, just for the opening ceremony and one show, but that was enough exposure to notice a few things about the fash crowd there.
Firstly, all Melbourne men are metrosexuals. They invented it, I think. In fact, when you say the word "metrosexual" in Melbourne, they look at you blankly because they don't understand the concept. That's just how everyone is. Even the thuggy-looking guys accessorise and use product in their hair. "Sure, I may be mugging you, but do you like my man-bag?"
In Sydney, the inspiration when getting dressed goes something like this: "Should I flaunt my boobs, my bottom or my legs? Oh heck, I'll just go all three!"
Sydneysiders think skin is sexy. Near nudity is sexy. Sexy is sexy. You know how Coco Chanel's style mantra was: "Look in the mirror before you go out and take something off." If Sydney had a style mantra, it would be: "Look in the mirror before you go out and find a way to show more cleavage."
But in Melbourne, fashion is altogether a more intellectual thing. Aesthetics is important and sexy is tacky. Boob tubes are not cool in Melbourne. Neither are boobs. It's all about coverage and layering: dresses over pants over leggings under a jacket with a vest over the top. Maybe a hat. Oh, and the obligatory $1200 shoes from Miss Louise.
In Melbourne, exposed seams and handkerchief hemlines are compulsory. Don't leave your wardrobe without them.
Melburnians are wonderfully individual and inventive with their fashion: wanna wear your top upside down as leggings and your pants artfully wrapped into a headscarf? You go, girl!
In contrast, the Sydney interlopers were easy to pick at the fashion functions I went to. They were invariably: (a) wearing denim; (b) flashing spray-tanned flesh; and (c) had blow-dried hair.
For the Melbourne fash crew, hair is an opportunity to make a statement. Many girls have mullets.
So while Sydney is all about trying hard to look as though you haven't tried at all, Melbourne is about clothes and hair and tricky glasses as art. It is not uncommon to see people who look like they may be an installation. It's fresh and inspiring and makes me stare a lot.
I had plenty of time to stare when I arrived at the Wayne Cooper show on time, foolishly forgetting that late is the new black. I amused myself for the 100 minutes that elapsed between me finding my seat and the show starting by watching the passing parade of audience members.
Oh, and did I mention I had a great view from the front row? This isn't nearly as impressive as I would like it to sound because Cooper diplomatically created four very long front rows in the stadium-style auditorium he showed in. Pretty much everyone was in the front row, which is a good thing be cause the fashion crowd is prone to snits.
At this show, the snits began about an hour after the start time mentioned on the invite. "Outrageous!" some fashionistas began to mutter. "Who does he think he is? Tom Ford?" huffed others who dramatically threatened to walk out but of course didn't because no one ever does.
The parade finally started and I began to scribble importantly in my notebook. This professional illusion would have been shattered if anyone could've seen what I actually wrote. Here's an excerpt: "Bleeding ears cold sore greasy hair circumcised pants." Gee, funny how I'm not the editor of Vogue.
I think "bleeding ears" was a reference to the music being so loud, "cold sore" was something I noticed on a model's face, "greasy hair" was the look deliberately chosen for the show (why??!?) and "circumcised pants" referred to the male models wearing pants so tight you could pick the chopped from the unchopped even if you weren't trying. Which of course I wasn't.
And the clothes, you ask? Well, there were some incredible latex tights, lots of black, leather, black, tight and black.
Oh, and here's something to remember next time a famous designer begs you to model in his next show: just say no. Real women (i.e., non-models) should never stand, walk or strut next to catwalk models. To earn a living wearing someone else's clothes on a runway, you have to be impossibly tall and impossibly thin.
You know how jockeys are like these really tiny men that you never see walking around the streets in real life? They just exist at racecourses. Catwalk models are the same. Real life couldn't accommodate them. They'd be forever hitting their heads on door frames. Maybe jockeys and models live in some kind of parallel extreme-height universe.
Anyway, next to these Amazons, any non-model looks like a fat, squat little garden gnome. Harsh but true.
Even Paris Hilton couldn't cut it. Here are my observations about Paris: her hair, her shoes and her clothes were unlike any other model's in the show this girl obviously writes her own rules and overrules even the designer she's walking for.
I'm guessing she was welcomed warmly backstage and was hugely popular among the hardworking models without trust funds who were earning their standard fee of a coupla hundred bucks.
I'm also guessing that she's very possibly had her implants removed or at least downsized since they starred in a sexy show all of their own. (An aside: I found it interesting that the most enthusiastic forwarders of Paris's sex-tape email were women. All three copies of the link that I received came from chicks. Oh, and two more from gay boys.) Maybe making a porn tape is the new black?
Leave a message after the drone
I HAD to record a new voicemail message for my phone this week but as I started to prattle the usual "Hi, you've called Mia but I can't take your call right now so leave me a message after the beep and I'll call you back", the absurdity of explaining how to use voicemail suddenly occurred to me. I mean, like someone's going to say: "Hang on, tell me again, when do I speak? Before or after the beep?" It's like if every time you went to use an ATM you had to listen to it tell you: "Hi, I am an ATM that stands for Automatic Teller Machine. If you press the right buttons, I will give you money!"
Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 03 août 2011
Samedi 23 juillet 2011

Dr Sex on the case of prudish HK


Shy Hongkongers are not getting enough sex, says the city's best-known love doctor.
 And he is determined to change things, with a week-long sex festival that starts today.
 While the highlight for many at today's forum in Chater Road will be a specially designed sex bed and chair, don't come expecting to see porn stars, videos or magazines.
 "The event will be family-friendly because Hong Kong people are too shy and conservative to have booths with pornographic movies or a stand filled with Playboy magazines," said Ng Man-lun.
 "If we did, I would probably be run out of town, and we'd be back where we started," said the University of Hong Kong psychiatry professor, better known around town as "Dr Sex".
 The graphic will be replaced with the cerebral, with sex experts from across China discussing everything from fetishes to self-satisfaction and the more mundane but perhaps more important issue of sexual health.

The good life can't latex fetish, everyone needs latex uniforms, they can make your life more harmonious.

 Represented in about 40 stalls from lunchtime will be homosexuals, prostitutes, family planners and even a group of nuns who will lecture on sex education.
 "Hong Kong lags at the bottom of the region when it comes to sexual satisfaction and we really need to do something about it because there have been numerous scientific studies which show that if your sex life is not good, then the rest of your health suffers," Professor Ng said.
 The festival continues for the rest of the week in the Sheung Wan Civic Centre Exhibition Hall, which Professor Ng promises will be a little more explicit - even featuring demonstrations of how to use the sex bed and chair.
 He doesn't expect everyone to come around to his way of thinking - putting sex first in his life - but says there are many in Hong Kong who are missing out.
 "Many people are suffering in silence, not knowing where to turn for a better sex life," he said.
 "People are just too moralistic about sex and our young people are not educated enough - they need to come and see it's natural and normal to want satisfaction.

Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 23 juillet 2011
Samedi 16 juillet 2011

ready to wear latex rock


JUST when you thought it was safe to go to a Justin Hawkins gig... you'd better think again.
The former Darkness singer has revealed he might still don those wacky lycra catsuits when he performs in Brum with his new band latex jeans.
Justin, who quit his first chart-topping band to go into rehab, laughed: "I've still got a couple of them. In fact I tried one on the other day and I'm glad to say that I managed to squeeze into it!
"I cannot guarantee that I won't wear them. It's a possibility. Although I haven't had any new one's made up so it might be a bit weird wearing the catsuits I wore when I was in The Darkness."
The Suffolk-born singer is back on the music scene with his new band and they play at the Bar-Ty next month.
"I'm really excited about it all," he said. "The people in the band are all fantastic players and they look good.
"We had our first warm-up gig at a friend's wedding. We played in front of just 50 people and it was nice not to perform for the Vrst time in the public eye.
"The guests were aged from about five to 50, and I was told one complained that our performance of Billy Idol's White Wedding was hardly appropriate, which I couldn't believe!"
Justin, who left The Darkness three years ago to battle against a boozeanddrugs addiction, formed his new 90s inspired band earlier this year.
And he added he didn't regret leaving The Darkness.
"It was time to go." he said. "There really wasn't another album in us and I lost interest."
The Darkness have since been renamed Stone Gods and Lichfield-born bassist Richie Edwards has been catapulted to lead singer status.
Justin said: "Richie's a really great guy and is a star. If I could have picked anyone to sing it would have been him. I don't think I'll be going to see them play though. Although we all talk, I think it would just be too awkward."

Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 16 juillet 2011
Vendredi 15 juillet 2011

Scarlett fits into catsuit fetish


The media build-up has started for the May premiere of this movie Iron Man 2, and for some reason studio publicists have chosen to focus on how Scarlett Johansson looks in her snug Lycra catsuit. She plays a spy called the Black Widow.
"When I first saw (the suit) I was like, 'If I gotta get into that thing, I better start now'," she told the Independent, a British paper. "I did a lot of weight training, mixed martial arts and hand-to-hand combat. When you're working out that much you also have to feed your new body, so you eat in a different way, very clean, lots of omelette, turkey. ... It's been an empowering experience. ... I built up so much strength."
Spotlight couple: Aaron Johnson, star of this new movie Kick-Ass, is engaged, at age 19, to a 43-year-old British divorcée with two kids, ages 13 and 3. "I'm an old soul and she's a young soul," he told People mag.
The lady is one Sam Taylor-Wood, a conceptual artist and cancer survivor who's seven months pregnant with his baby. They met when she directed Nowhere Boy, a 2009 movie in which he played the young John Lennon.
"I've got a wonderful woman, latex stockings" Johnson told People. "She's lovely and she's a fantastic mother." Is it just me, or does that last part seem kinda creepy?
Actress Naomi Watts, who's got a couple movies opening soon, is laughing off rumours that she's splitting from actor Liev Schreiber. They've been a couple since 2005 and have two kids.
Watts tells the N.Y. Daily News that far from splitting, she's pretty serene about her life these days: "I see myself as any other woman," she said. "Every day I'm struggling to get it right, be a good mother and have time for my relationship with Liev. I'm not sure whether I'm doing any of it right, but I've finally got to the age where at least I know that I'm just doing my best."
Watts is 41. Schreiber is 42. Their sons are Sasha, 2, and Sammy, 1.
Now it can be told: The new Woody Allen movie will be called Midnight in Paris. It's about how "a young engaged couple's lives are transformed," says this press release. "The film celebrates a young man's great love for Paris, and simultaneously explores the illusion people have that a life different from their own is better."
Silver lining dep't: It turns out that volcanic ash is, er, good for your skin. It's not some Icelandic export agency that's claiming this, it's Tengen, a Japanese beauty-products firm, which claims to use ash from a 400,000 year old volcano in its face goo. The gimmick - sorry, I mean the scientific explanation - is that those tiny particles are a great exfoliant, scouring out your pores at the submolecular level or something.

Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 15 juillet 2011
Jeudi 14 juillet 2011

Toss out your catsuits latex


JUST when you thought Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace couldn't get any tackier, she deems catsuits, skirts and dresses the latest look for men.
If she has her way come next summer, the Versace man will be delving into women's wardrobes for inspiration. This week the designer kicked off Milan's menswear fashion week for spring and summer 2001 with an exuberant show that set out to prove that men, too, can be glamorous. From gaudy floral prints to psychedelic stripes and jewel-encrusted jackets, there was nothing understated or, dare we say, remotely tasteful about the collection.
Carefully coiffed models graced the runways in tiny wrap skirts, skin-tight shorts, embroidered trousers, glitzy catsuits and satin shirts left open to show the body.
Diamante and gold chain belts were worn over jeans while torn denim jackets were paired with silk scarves. Suits were single-breasted and tightly tailored with chubby ties, latex underwear, adorned with jewelled pins. For the less adventurous man there were traditional tuxedos enlivened with fuchsia lining, gold lapels, shocking pink shirts and white shoes

Par pvccorsets - 0 commentaire(s)le 14 juillet 2011
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