I'm addicted: Sporty luxe

Happy Friday lovelies!  It's the best 'work day' of the week.  To celebrate Friday, I was doing a little virtual shopping.  I'm currently addicted to what I refer to as 'sporty luxe' looks.  It reminds me of track and field with a hint of varsity influence, stepped up a notch of course.  Ah.... comfort!  Add a pair of heels and it becomes one of the fashionable looks inline with the season.  Too easy. 

Here are a few of my favourite sporty items from the current season and a couple hand picked from my wardrobe as well for good measure.

Top row (left to right):
Isabel Marant 'Uden' track pants (available HERE)
Isabel Marant 'Pia' number tee (available HERE)
Isabel Marant leather track pants (available HERE)
Isabel Marant 'Miro' pants

Bottom row (left to right):
Camilla Skovgaard woven leather sandals (available HERE)
Isabel Marant 'Bekket' hi-top sneaker
Isabel Marant 'Betty' sneaker

The yellow leather Isabel Marant track pants are my absolute lust item.  I'm on a massive stint of loving leather pants and the vibrant colour, original design and flattering cut of these make me swoon every time I see them. But alas, these were priced too high for me to justify purchasing them and I've been eagerly watching them, hoping for a miracle that a pair will remain in my size at sale time. Unfortunately they are all sold out (in my size) already.  I shed a crocodile tear for the ones that got away.

Clouded: Isabel Marant Eloa shorts & Baker top

Outfit shots for me at the moment are the most difficult thing to do. I'm trying to manage all on my lonesome so I take fifty plus photo's and hopefully two are usable.  Self-portraiture with a point and shoot and no tripod is virtually impossible!  The frustration is mounting. If I'm even in the frame I'm lucky and even luckier if my ass isn't huge or I'm caught in a somewhat inappropriate of flat out unflattering um... what would you call it?  A pose?  I use that term very loosely as I'm very aware of my sheer awkwardness after seeing the result of tonight.  Delete... delete... delete all. Start again...  Fast forward... I ended up with the shots below.  Sheer flukes and 'ok' enough to make it to blog press.  I do feel some sense of accomplishment now it's all over.

Ok... now to more important topics, the down low on the outfit.  The shorts are devine. So light to wear and they have an over sized, boxy fit that make them feel like you literally have nothing on. They will undoubtedly be the most worn item on summer days due to how breathable and comfortable the fabric is.  I actually really like the various different, layered styled pockets and the loosely slung fit of the shorts. I think the combination of the two makes the legs look more slender. Keep in mind I'm a little one (I'm only 156 cm tall), the absence of heels and the over sized nature of the entire look. Normally I struggle carrying off over sized items. It's a height thing.  Over sized tends to make me look even shorter than I actually am and my frame broader. 

The top is lovely albeit exceptionally over sized.  It's very long (it finishes near my butt) and I'm wearing it here with the sleeves pushed up (they have elasticised ends which makes it easy). The arms (when worn down) are approximately 7/8 in length but I'm not fond of that look for me.  Being small, it feels all consuming and my frame is overwhelmed due to the length and billowing sleeve. I look like I'm in a clown suit if the top isn't tucked, and propped to sit correctly.

It sounds like there is a lot needed to make this outfit work (at least for me), but not so. It's actually just a really different look to my norm so takes some getting used to on my behalf.  I say my 'fit' finds more for the intended benefit of others who may be considering a purchase. It's so hard shopping online and items are often very different in person than how they appear on online models who are 5'10" and above. It's never a realistic look for me so I hope to offer a little real-life balance.

What I'm wearing:
Isabel Marant Eloa marble dyed cotton shorts (available HERE)
Etoile Isabel Marant Baker embroidered cotton-voile top (available HERE)

©  Find Me A Muse

My 'me' Sunday: Simple pleasures

It's not every weekend that I get time all to myself. No responsibilities and absolute freedom to do what I choose. Most of the time it's spent being hectic, doing tasks and catching up. Occasionally even on 'dithering' and wasting time, letting it slip by without event or satisfaction.  This weekend I decided that I would take Sunday as a productive, relaxing 'me' day and everything else could just wait. So here are five main things I enjoyed that made this Sunday unlike one I have had for some time. It was pure bliss...

I watched the world go by...
We are fortunate enough to live within 5 km of the heart of Melbourne so there is always something to do within easy reach. But instead of venturing out, today I enjoyed our home environment. Every morning without fail from our balcony (and if up early enough), there is a clear view of hot-air balloons on the horizon.  There's nothing like it. The world is quiet and the balloons move so slowly, as if suspended. It feels like time actually stands still.  Gazing and just embracing the surroundings was the perfect way to start the day.

I enjoyed my own company...
Learning to go to a bustling restaurant/cafe, not to socialise (which would be the normal intent), but for the purpose of going for a meal yourself, can be a challenge for some (it was originally for me many years ago), and it takes some practice. It's quite a confronting experience initially to feel truly alone in a place were people go 'to meet'.  It's something I feel I've conquered my 'fear' of and now enjoy. So I went to one of my favourite brunch spots in Melbourne where surrounded by people catching up and enjoying company, I simply sat alone, intent on enjoying my own company.  I read the newspaper, ate slowly and was just in the moment.  It's actually liberating to have the confidence to sit in a bustling restaurant by yourself, without company, a book, checking the phone, laptop or email. Without all the 'armour' or devices that makes you look busy, important or like your just passing time anticipating company.  I left the camera at home with no intention of blogging or capturing the moment, just enjoying the solitude and brunch for what it was.

I treated myself...
It's so easy to make an effort for friends or family but seldom do we make an effort for ourselves. I did something so simple by kicking back in my lovely home space to watch a movie.  I'm a home body so home is my little piece of serenity.  A movie on its own may not be a huge treat (unless you have kids), but team that with going to the effort of 'catering' for yourself and it's a winning combination.  Anything that could be made in 15 minutes or under were the only things that I considered, so as to not to affect my slow/relaxed mode.  A simple lemon, garlic and chili prawn pasta with a dash of butter as a main, and fresh sliced pear with blue cheese and wine accompanying the movie.  Ah....

I did something different...
I love long baths but somehow I seldom get time to actually take one, or the desire is lost due to fitting in with other things on my schedule.  So today I took a long soak and lit up the room with sweet smelling candles.  It was thoroughly therapeutic. Note to self... make this a more regular event.

I cleansed by de-cluttering...
Although this was a bit of work, the result was worth it. I find clutter frustrating and my wardrobe was in utter disarray. Not being able to find things or having too much or too little to make my wardrobe functional actually frustrates me. It increases the time I take to dress and means more planning through the week or setting the alarm earlier in anticipation of my flustering.  Since I was rather motivated, organising my closet didn't actually take that long. Now that it's all done I've rediscovered some forgotten gems. I've gotten some new (yet old) items that I'm excited about, but without spending money. It's kind of like shopping from within one's own wardrobe.  Other good news resulting from the cleanse, I discovered my wardrobe 'gaps' are that I have a limited supply of basic items like tees and versatile but plain knits. Nothing that will require much financial outlay to redress my wardrobe imbalance. What a relief! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I've inspired you to take a 'me' day for yourself. xx

Editorial: Paradis Blanc

I'm having a pretty chilled weekend. Doing a few odd jobs, a wardrobe cleanse (finally), catching up on editorials and blogs, and will also fit in a trip to the movies, time permitting.  I always find that perusing editorials and blogs whilst doing my wardrobe planning assists me to identify what I need, what I would like, and what needs to go or be stored. The visualization process really seems to help.  That leads me to this shoot which was featured Paris Vogue and the basis of my most recent inspiration.  This editorial is so in line with my sweet spot which is making the best use of jeans and basics.  I should have known from the on-set that the styling was by Geraldine Saglio. The woman has pure talent.

Vogue Paris April 201
Photographer: David Bellemere | Stylist: Geraldine Saglio
Model: Anna Selezneva

Photo credit: (images via) www.visualoptimismblogspot.com.au

New York street style: Keep it simple

Spotted in New York city on 23 February, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley absolutely rocked the casual kick-ass off-duty supermodel look of basic skinny jeans and tee (a staple), leather motorcycle jacket (Balenciaga of course) and a few minimal, yet must have accessories such as cool aviators and my favourite (well one of them), Isabel Marant belts. The palladium disc belt from 2010.  Let's not forget the 'Dicker' boots to pound the pavement in comfort.  Street style perfection.  I'll have one of each!

What I love about this look is it's such an easy one to emulate and no you don't need all designer items. There is nothing that is branded visibly in Rosie's outfit.  You could easily achieve an equally chic look with substituted items. The key that I think this outfit conveys is that keep it simple. There is nothing that's a seasonal, in and out of vogue item or overtly screaming for attention, that draws your attention solely. It's an outfit, not a one item head-turner. Don't get me wrong, outfits like this take style and vision. What I mean by simple in that she is wearing just basic, yet great cut (flattering) jeans, a plain tee, plain scarf etc all in solid colours which are the easiest to match, most versatile and normally hardest working items in a wardrobe.  I'm sure most of us have these items and they probably aren't even that expensive.  Throw on a great jacket, add some attitude and your done. 

Photo credit:  http://www.thevoguediaries.com/

I got the blues: Isabel Marant Woody sandals

It feels like I've wanted these Isabel Marant Woody sandals from the 2010 collection for a life time. As it turns out, good things come to those that wait (...and wait and wait...).  I scooped these up, brand new.  They were the steal of the century since they were priced so cheaply. That combined with the strength of the Australian dollar against the Euro made them one of my best buys ever.  Standing tall never felt so sweet.

©  Find Me A Muse

Pre-order Winter 2012 Isabel Marant Bekket, Bird and Bazil sneakers NOW!

Even though I'm suppose to be on hiatus due to not being well, I had to share this with you all. It's far to exciting.  The Isabel Marant Bekket sneakers for the up-coming Winter 2012 range are now available for pre-order from Espejto.  And what a range!  Five colour ways are up already and going super fast. The sneakers are normally considered to be the pre-collection so are released earlier than the main 'ready to wear' line (RTW).  The anticipated delivery window is estimated to be between June to August 2012 for the sneakers.

A little note on the style name, all is as yet a little uncertain, but Espejto have three of the sneakers names as 'Bekket', and another two variations called 'Bird' and 'Bazil'. The difference between them looks to be in the materials used but all look to be a replication of the basic shape/design of the previous Bekket and Willow sneakers.  Check them out for yourself and see which ones take your fancy.  Be sure to peruse the notes at the bottom of this blog post to assist you with accessing Espejto.

1. Isabel Marant Willow sneakers in anthracite
2. Isabel Marant Willow sneakers in beige
3. Isabel Marant Willow sneakers in khaki
4. Isabel Marant Bazil sneakers in black
5. Isabel Marant Bird sneakers in gold

Photo credit: www.espejto.it
(Adapted by me)

 Notes on how to shop on Espejto 

I thought I would just copy this from one of my previous posts (hey... I'm sick so I'm taking some major short cuts) as new shoppers sometimes run into a few obstacles. So here is some assistance with the site.

All of the sneakers pictured above are available for pre-order online from http://www.espejto.it/.  You will need to register on the site before you are able to see any of the Isabel Marant RTW or Etoile Isabel Marant pieces. Once your registration is complete, you then have to 'Log in' (top of the page).  Once logged in, simply click on the tab 'Designers' and then 'Isabel Marant (pre-order)' (the Etoile range is listed separately) and then on 'Shop by Isabel Marant (pre-order)' and the pre-orders will appear.  There are obviously a lot more pieces on the site than these (including the yet to be released Summer 2011 items) so check it out for yourself.

Please note that I am not affiliated with the site in any way, I just thought it is a nice gesture to share some stockist information, especially for the rarer pieces.  I can speak from my first-hand shopping experience with Espejto and highly recommend them.   The team there have provided me with a fair amount of assistance and have been exceptionally helpful (and patient with me).  

A note regarding the taxes, Espejto includes the VAT in the prices (as they are in the EU).  If you are getting your order shipped outside Europe and therefore need the VAT removed from the price, you will have to email Espejto to get them to invoice you directly excluding the VAT. Espejto also accept Paypal which I have found the easiest to use. That's my little tip as a fellow shopper outside the EU.  Enjoy...

A little break...

Just a super quick post to let you know that I will be on a short hiatus from the blog, email, you name it. I anticipate only a week so if you happen to send me a message or comment, I'll be sure to answer/post as soon as I'm back on board.  

I leave you with a recent image of Blake Lively, gracing the pages of US Elle in an Isabel Marant Ammi nett top from the current season.  Sport luxe never looked so good!

Photo credit: www.elle.com

Isabel Marant Dombes boots: A little bit cowboy

Here is a look at another item from a past collection that's in my wardrobe.  These Isabel Marant Dombes boots (in sable), are a designer interpretation on the much loved cowboy boot.  The design is impeccable and the detailing and shape gives them some what of a vintage influence.  They are made from the lushest suede I think I've felt in my life, which makes them feel like a dream to wear and allow the to be slouched or folded to create various boot looks and leg lengths.  Match that with a modern cone shaped stacked heel and the vintage cowboy styling in transformed, giving them a modern day appeal that makes these boots superb in my opinion.

Talk about a lucky find last year.  Lucky to come by them in my size and in such impeccable condition, and extra lucky since I managed to get them for some 25% off what they actually retailed for, which is unheard of when it comes to popular Isabel Marant items.  So here is a little close up photographic feature on these glorious boots from the 2010 collection.  

The stacked wooden cone heel is my utter weakness when it comes to Isabel Marant past season boots

I love the suede tab details and the nice rolled finishing and scalloped shape of the top of the boots

The almond shaped toe with the pleating and western shaped detail at the front of the shoe give them the western look

On the outfit and styling front, I'm going through a stage of less is more.  At various periods in my life I can get rather creative with my outfits, although these periods of expression are normally short lived.  Loads of clashing and high impact prints, bold colours and just sheer vibrancy.  Of late though, I've been keeping looks rather clean and simple, focusing on items that are easy to wear and can transcend from day to night, and work to play.


©  Find Me A Muse

These boots fit my simple styling taste since they are uncomplicated but not without the necessary features and appeal that make them a stand out item. I often team them with some form fitting straight or cigarette cut jeans or black leather super fitted pants and just a very basic tee.  Very low-key and in line with the creative styling of the fabulous Rosie Huntington-Whitley below.  She oozes class and sex appeal in her outfits without looking like she has overtly tried.

Photo credit (above two images): http://www.coolspotters.com/

The best thing about items like these boots and the looks that can be created with them is that they have the ability to transcend time and fashion eras, making them a workable wardrobe item for many years.  These are my favourite items. I've never been a huge believer in having to have a revolving door with buying and selling clothes since they are in and out of fashion in the blink of an eye. It just seems wasteful to me.

Photo credit (above image): http://www.justjared.com/

Isabel Marant F/W 2012-13 RTW: Pre-orders @ Moda Operandi

First up... happy weekend!  It couldn't get off to a better start.  Moda Operandi have just put up the F/W 2012-13 Isabel Marant RTW collection for pre-order.  As with all Moda Operandi hot off the runway opportunities to order collections, this is a 'trunk show' with a very limited time period.  It ends on March 15 at 9:00am so keep in mind that you will be able to view and order the items up until that point and then they will be removed from the site.

Forty (40) looks at listed for pre-orders so there is a comprehensive selection of items from the collection. There are also boots/shoes a plenty including my personal favourite, the Milwauke cowboy boots with stud detail in western inspired designs, a harness with hardware at the vamp and a cowboy boot-style shaft. And that David coat, Rodwell pant and Marso pant... absolutely swoon worthy! 

Photo credit: www.marantphiles.com

The estimated delivery window for the Fall Winter pieces is from July 23 - November 10, 2012. Not that far away really... Yay!

Special order: Chloé Sussana boot @ DIANI Boutique

Tell me that I'm dreaming! I've just hear the most exciting news and had to share it with you since I know there are a lot of disappointed ladies that missed out on these...

I was just notified by DIANI Boutique that their buyer is currently in Paris and has learned that Chloé is doing another re-cut of their Susanna Boot for April/May delivery. DIANI are giving customers the opportunity to special order their size in either red, black or cream. A heads up, all special orders placed for this re-cut are final sale. I would presume the window for ordering these will be limited, so if you are interested best to at least touch base with DIANI to find out more details.

A note on sizing...  I've been told that the Susanna is running approximately a half size big but of course, clarify sizing details with the store.  I'm no expert since these bad boys still remain on my wish list (sigh).  I'm still hoping for the impossible, for a pair to materialize out of thin air.  I want them so much it literally torments me!

Any enquiries should be forwarded to DIANI customer care on 1.877.342.6474 or email customercare@dianiboutique.com 

Photo credit:  www.carolinesmode.com

Photo credit: www.wheredidyougetthat.com

Photo credit: www.luxuryshoppers.net

Isabel Marant First Commercial Film by Cyrille de Vignemont

Tweet tweet: Follow Find Me A Muse on Twitter

It's taken me a while since I'm not tech savvy in the least and struggle with menial tasks when it comes to social networking/apps, but Find Me A Muse has finally made its debut on Twitter.  It's really thanks to my ever patient and proactive partner, Tom, who configured it.  What a saint!   Honestly, Tom's ability not to get frustrated with my technical ineptness astounds me.  And.... I (yep little ole me) finally figured out how to configure the Twitter link for the Find Me A Muse home page.  Since I did that on my own it probably took five times as long as it should of but everything is finally functional.   I had to get with the times...

So for any of you that would like to share or follow Find Me A Muse, please feel free to click on the new Twitter link, located at the top of the left side bar menu (see below).

Naturally you can still become a member through either the Google Friend Connect (GFC) section or Bloglovin'. I seemed to have mastered the workings of these two systems.  Although there has been some rumours circulating in the blogging world that GFC will at some point be put to rest, even on the Blogger portal.  Who knows... it's difficult to distinguish between opposing information on the web.  But just to be sure, it might be worth activating another follow option if you would like to stay updated with Find Me A Muse.

Thanks for all of your support to date. I appreciate all of the visits and of course, the comments and emails. It's always a high-light of my day to hear from the readers who take the time to peruse and read my ramblings posts.

xx Mandi

Details: The runway shoes: Isabel Marant F/W 2012-13 RTW

So here is the post I promised for all of the Isabel Marant devotes. The close ups of the shoes that hit the runway in Paris on March 2, debuting for Isabel Marant's Fall Winter 2012-13 RTW collection.  Yer ha!  Enough said.

 Photo credit (above 3 images): Lolita Abraham Fashion

Above - These are my favourites!  I'm loving the bullet style strap and the studding!
 Photo credit (above 10 images): Style Bistro