Thursday, April 30, 2009

In My Room

Thanks to Style Symmetry, I just came across this competition run by Fashion For Nerds, where you can win one of their awesome vintage style felt hats. The premise is that entrants build an outfit inspired by the below pictured interior. It's a good reminder that style inspiration can come in all forms, not least interior design.

Here is my entry, shot in the very '50s kitchen of our English home. It's certainly one of my favourite parts of the house. If my outfit is not in your favour however, I plead innocence. The radio clearly told me to do it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Bargains Of The Century

Androgyny? Yes please. Fashion doesn't get much more drool-worthy than the perfect oversized men's jumper, or a vintage pair of harem pants with a men's button up. Menstyle is the ultimate style. Good thing too, as we're currently selling seven pieces of pure unisex heaven on the eBay machine. So, get ready to start your bidding ladies and gentlemen and just click on the photos to be taken to the appropriate auctions. As last time, all items start at the irresistable price of 99 pence. And, for that measly amount (which you could very likely find, if you're anything like me, lying abandoned under your couch cushions) you can't really go wrong, can you? Especially when you're looking at seven pieces that will rocket you into menstyle utopia.

We're selling THREE shirts of similar style in the one 99p listing. Not 99p each, 99p for all three.

A pair of never-been-worn Converse All Star in a UK size 8.

A very indie and very cool H&M jumper. Also, I'm not entirely sure why I felt the need to show you that a jumper is unisex. But it is. And, you know, some people lack imagination. Like me.

Last but not least, for all of you kids currently curled into the foetal position in the corner of the basement because you missed out on that incredible yellow and grey striped jumper, never fear. Haul yourself up. You can live again. We've relisted it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jumble Jumble

Lewes in East Sussex has more antique and bric-a-brac stores than it knows what to do with. And yet there must be enough demand that they're able to charge what they do; while a couple of them were reasonably priced, most were outrageous. Hence, bar a bow tie I found in a charity store, it was all look and no touch. And a fair bit of picture taking.

This little family however, were the ultimate find. Tooooot!

On another, entirely seperate note, I don't know whether it's 'cause I'm missing Australia and therefore am unwittingly attracted to all things lumberjack, or whether this frickin' cold weather is finally getting to me, but I'm craving a pair of denim overalls. Hard. All I want to do is skip through blooming poppy fields in denim overalls, a white lace top and with a super sized white bow atop my head. And these? I'm pretty sure these materialised from my deepest, darkest dreams. Okay, maybe less darkness and more flowers and white fluffy clouds, but you get the idea. Check out the rest of the website. There are some equally worthy pieces of heaven, including this deliciously '80s dress. Best part is, it's all wholesale clothing at wholesale prices. Much better value than Lewes antique stores, that's for sure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


C&H Fabrics treated me (at the cost of a quid) to some patent goodness last week. Out of it, I have fashioned a Minnie Mouse-style bow which I very excitedly wore yesterday for a wander into town and through the stunning, and very English, Gildridge Park.

Beret: Christmas gift from my Mother
Houndstooth jacket: £2 at a Traid sale, a little charity/vintage store in Brighton
Bow: D.I.Y.
Neck tie: Waist tie from another dress
Dress: £1 from an Eastbourne charity store
Shoes: Also £1 from an Eastbourne charity store

P.S. If you're wondering what that strange hunchback that you can see in my shadow is (I know I was), it's my bag. My lovely awesome bag.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


You asked for it, you got it folks. I just couldn't keep turning down all the requests upon requests for photos of this frickin' fine feline so, may I present to you ladies and gentlemen, Short Legs Mini Cat McGhee!

I think that it's important to mention something at this point because I feel like I'd be lying to you if I didn't admit the measly little fact that the pleads were primarily - okay, solely - from me. Sorry. There's my crying confession to you. Not unlike the girl who had to confess to her boyfriend that no, that moustache on my finger isn't permanant marker. Yes, that is a tatoo. It's a FINGERSTACHE, bitch. Got it?

Also, we're going to a school production of The Wizard of Oz on Friday which means I have an excuse to dress up as a lion and/or flying monkey and I don't think there are words enough to explain how excited I am. I'll just say this: Rawr ee oo oo ee aa (those are the sounds of a flying lion monkey).

Monday, April 20, 2009


The talented and discerning people at ElleGirl Korea have done a feature page on yours truly. You can find it in the March issue of the magazine. Yes, I do realise that it's April now. However, you see, apparently it takes weeks upon weeks to ship things from Korea. By the time it finally arrived in Sydney, I had already left for England. Hence I had to coach my Mother in the art of scanning and saving a picture file as a picture file, not as a Word document. This kind of implies that we were successful. We weren't. In fact, I just wasted an hour and a bit of both our time. Thank God for Skype, otherwise I would be even more broke than I am now (if such a thing were possible). Lucky for me however, over the weekend she had a computer-savvy friend visit her who, on hearing about the saga, wham bam emailed it right over. Et voila!

I feel that it's important to mention at this point that I don't speak Korean. So for all I know they could be talking about my weirdly long and wonky fingers in the photo where I hold Miranda July's No One Belongs Here More Than You. Or my typically (roll of the eyes) indie taste in music/film. So rather than give you a long list of what they might be saying, here is a copy of the article I sent them, in English and in the full. I'm the non-bold bits, in case, like me, you're easily confused.

INTRODUCE YOURSELF. "My name's Emma Harrison. I'm twenty and I live and work on the top floor of an amazing heritage-listed, graffiti-ridden, green maze of a warehouse building in Sydney, Australia. The building is also home to a monthly Vintage and Retro Market that I run."

DESCRIBE YOUR DAILY LIFE. "My days usually consist of buying (and getting very excited about) lots of beautiful old clothes, browsing the Internet for inspiration like the below picture, blogging, arranging my next market, sketching and listening to very good music. Sometimes, if it's not 40 degrees as it is today, I might lounge on my roof with a book. If there's a glint in my eye and I have my thinking face on, it's almost certainly clothes on my mind."

WHAT'S YOUR DREAM? "I would love to one day be making enough profit from my Vintage and Retro Markets to be able to turn my entire floor into a space where people could drop in and buy incredible clothes and pretty things, drink coffee made by our (currently non-existent) in-house barista and hang out on our (also non-existent) Astroturfed roof. I would also have a cinema room with super comfy little seats and a gigantic projector that screened cult hits and shit we like but no-one else does. And if people were hungry we'd serve them brownies."

No One Belongs Here More Than You is a collection of beautiful, quirky and often sad stories by Miranda July. Writers like her inspire and influence me more than anything else. The images that a wonderful writer can conjure in one's mind is difficult to beat. It might be a phrase or a chapter, it might be the way it's told or the way it unravels. I consid
er styling and thrifting to also be processes of telling a story and when I shop for vintage clothes I like to consider the direction the piece's story has gone and will go in, often with the aim to take it in a direction it hasn't seen before."

Lipstick can bring a giant white singlet and shorts from a sunny sandy day into a wonderful summer night. It brings together an outfit not unlike a great pair of shoes does. Lipstic
k reminds me of autumn. Lipstick makes me feel okay for not wearing any other make-up to a party. And when it ends up smudged across your face in the morning, it's okay because clowns are cool."


The wonderful thing about my building is that it's full of surprises. New artworks (some of them mind-blowing, others horribly amateur) crop up constantly. It's where the cool congregate and the amazing and creative live (me being more the latter than the former)."

While it's difficult not to admit that she is by far at her friendliest when
she's looking to be fed, my cat is still a beautiful creature. Millie's a lovely companion. I named her such because she was born in the Millennium year. Clearly, my creativity came later in life."


Since my boyfriend Bobby and I have been together, I think both our senses of style have developed. While, individually, we have always had a keen eye for the old and the newly put together, I think that, as a couple, we serve to inspire and open each other's minds. He borrows my blouses and I borrow his skinny ties. It's a pretty sweet deal."

With all the little cafes so close by it's easy to take a little time out of my sc
hedule to sit down and relax with a mug and a sketchbook and let the ideas flow. The moment you sit down and make that decision to do very little, you find yourself noticing things that many people are looking too hard to see. The twist in the girl's hair who's sitting next to you, the amazing shoes that just stomped past, the way the old leather is cracking on the seat beneath you. People-watching is a rewarding sport if you pick the right spot."


Ghost World is so wonderfully put together. The colours and perfectly framed shots of those big Docs with those dowdy clothes and wonderful glasses just couldn't get any better. And how could one not relate to such a film? I doubt that there is anyone who has never felt like an outcast. But despite the characters being total losers, they are also some of the coolest ones to grace our screens."

I'd like to quote that CSS lyric and say, "Music is my boyfriend". The truth though is that my boyfriend is my boyfriend. However, you can't put my boyfriend on the stereo
(very loudly) and dance badly around the room to him. No matter how hard you might wish."

"Pay by the kilo thrifting
Some things you have to be in the right state of mind to endure. Getting up early on a Saturday morning and trawling through mountains of (mainly rubbish) clothes at the pay-by-the-kilo warehouse we frequent is hard work. But it's worth the effort when you chance upon a gem. I always manage to find the most ridiculously wonderful '80s garments."

"Vintage and Retro Market
The Vintage and Retro Market I run is my baby. Once a month I gather together a bunch of little indie sellers and we set up our pop-up store. Personally, I collect and
sell things that I want to wear but just don't have room for. Quirky vintage dresses and sweet little skirts. It's lovely to see Sydney's cool kids visit my place and discover their own new treasures."

Comic books, superheroes and vintage photos are fantastic eye candy. Also, magazines are a great quick source for photographs and art that are put together with the sole purpose of intriguing and inspiring. Even junk mail can be visually inspiring."

Since starting up my blog, I find myself constantly searching for new and inspirational things to blog about. It keeps me on my toes. It makes me strive to put together better outfits. I have a file on my computer and a few little art books lying around that I use to collate ideas. It very much helps when you can't remember what you were getting so excited about just an hour before. Writing it down or writing it up on my blog also helps to cement the ideas in my head and is, for me, a way of keeping track of things."

Update: Thanks to the very kind and multilingual Grace, what follows is a translation of the introduction to the article. "Emma (Age 20) lives in Sydney, and is a fashionholic. She never wears normal t-shirts and jeans, but each day creates a new style by following her mood and mixing and matching vintage items. On a typical day this red haired dreamer usually spends time shopping and blogging, but hopes to run an atelier of her own some day."

Friday, April 17, 2009

(Drawing) Rings Around The World

I woke up really early this morning. Like, 9:15am (I know, right?). I decided that the best course of action would be to lie in bed for at least a good half-an-hour in order to convince myself that I was, in fact, still sleeping. It was during this comatose state, as I counted kangaroos, that I made the decision that Sydney was definitely missing my arse (because well, I was grumpy and it just had to be, right?) Yes, Sydney today was no doubtedly sorrowful, grey and generally horrible, all in mourning for Miss Owl and the Grapes. Don't ask me why exactly, but it made me feel about half-an-hour's worth of sleep better.

My dear friend Elle Hall obviously cross-continentally read my mind this morning, as this afternoon I was on the receiving end of a surprise message directing me to her blog, Pipsqueak Numbskull, where I found, with a squeal, that she had done a wonderful portrait of this blog, with a dedication and all. Clickity click on the picture to enlarge.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I hate Karma, as it's now raining down in England.

Bargain Of The Century

There's really very little room in our English bedroom. Bobby sleeps on the floor while I stuff my bags in the cupboard and cram my scarves into a little drawer (yes those things are equally difficult). I'm not at all complaining, it's a lovely, sweet, cozy little room, and it definitely keeps the heat in which, in the European winter, is all you can really ask for, right? But it's a squeeze. Hence, over the next month or so we'll be listing a bunch of Bobby's stuff on eBay in a bid to make more room. So pick something up for yourself or your man and help us spread our wings (for want of a more appropriate limb. I was going to say legs, but that just sounds whorish). Click on the photos below to be taken to the listing. Did I mention all listings start at 99 pence? Awesometown.

This ultra cool Insight T-shirt is most definitely unisex. For a close up of the graphics check out the listing.

H&M grey mens jumper with electric yellow stripes.

Black skinny H&M jeans.

We're selling TWO of these retro diagonally striped shirts in the one 99 pence listing. Happy bidding folks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Little Old Lady

I'm 110% sure I'm going to make an awesome old lady. You know the way that sportsmen talk about giving it 110%. That's how confident I am. I'll be the grandma with the four cats, huge glasses, pearl necklaces, lots of lace and killer style. I'll be the red wine that peaks in it's late '60s. I know this because, truth be told, I'm more or less an old lady already. And I can only get better at it with practice, right? I'm weary of going out more than once a day lest I exhaust myself too much for the evening's activities, I wear stupendous grandma undies (my thinking is that everything else is high waisted, so why shouldn't my undies be too?) and lately I can't take off my lace gloves or pearl necklace, not to mention my houndstooth jacket and little old lady hat. I love cats and squirrels and while I'm no gardener, I bought a coriander plant the other day.

On a separate note, we booked our trip to Paris the other day, we'll be arriving on the 6th of May and staying till the 12th. That means there's only three weeks till we can indulge in cheese, wine and baguette's in Paris' left bank and, sadly, only four months till we return to Sydney.

Finally, I'm going to leave you with a music video for The Wave Pictures because, while I'm not far from being an old lady, I can't say I'm a fan of Val Doonican. We ventured out to Brighton to see these fellows last night. If you can get past his voice (it might take a little while) they're very good indeed. Read Bobby's review of their latest album here.

P.S. There's a cat that lives down the street from us in Eastbourne who has very short legs, so much so that when I pet him he sometimes falls over, and so we have (very creatively) called him Short Legs Mini Cat McGhee. We've even made a song to go with his name. And it's only just clicked that he's probably a Munchkin cat and/or a dwarf and now I feel really guilty. I just want everyone to know that I have nothing against little cats with little legs. There's nothing wrong with being little. Unless you're a pair of undies.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck)

Yeah, I know. I look like a miserable fuck. But what you don't understand is that it's all part of the image (at least that is what I'll tell my Mother when she asks why, in my latest English photos, do I look so depressed and why don't I come home now?) But you see, usually I don't wear this much black and blue but I'm afraid this jacket just brings out the dark - and early '80s - side of me. And, I really like it. You know, personally, I think I'd make a pretty awesome goth/emo.

Bobby calls it all my 'disinterested junkie look'. I told him that I'm not that bad of an actress and once I was in an episode of Blue Water High. If I want to do junkie, I can do junkie. Case in point:

Headband: Made from some lace from C&H Fabrics. It has since been reincarnated into a pair of gloves.
Top: £1.50 from St. Wilfred's, a charity shop in Eastbourne. It's pretty close to being crowned the best charity shop of all time. Last week Bobs got a pair of suede brogues from there for 30 pence.
Vest: U-Turn, a Sydney second hand store.
Leather jacket: A Brighton second hand store called Traid for £2. It's real leather too, would you believe? I love the military aspect to it.
Gold rose broach tied around some leather: 75p from St. Wilfred's sister charity store.
Shoes: Bought yesterday at a charity store for £1.
Bag: Also bought yesterday at another charity store for £1.50.

And look who came to suss out what we were doing when we were taking photos. It's only GARFIELD!

By the way I totally met Garfield's future wife the other day. I know this because she was also ginger and also very friendly and also came when I called her. I should totally hook them up. It doesn't classify as kidnapping slash catnapping if I'm only taking the cat from his home so he can make out with his future wife, right? Oh and don't ask me how I know that Garfield is a boy and Mrs Garfield a girl. Because I don't. And I'm not prepared to go poking around to find out. I'm an emo, not a pervert.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Today's Lesson

Today marked the climb of the Eastbourne charity shop count from 19 to 20. Did I mention I'm in heaven? Definitely in some kind of heaven. Whilst I found very little on the clothing front (only a white blouse. Albeit an awesome double-breasted white blouse), I bought more shoes than I have in the past year. TWO pairs. I know, right? Don't laugh. It's far more difficult than one might think when you're a size 41 veggie lady who's heart won't let her buy new leather goods and refuses to get a proper job. Life is hard. Today's lesson, straight from charity's mouth to my attentive ears, is that vintage men's shoes hold the future. So expect much of them as I tot around in androgonous patent things and second-hand leather. Along with the shoes of today, I'm also very much in love with the backpack. And the owls. And everything.

From left to right: Patent shoes, £1. Handbag, £1.50. Owl vase, £1. Pearl necklace, 50 pence. Back pack, £3. Little owl (he packs a punch, such a heavyweight little guy), 50 pence. Blue sectioned shoes, £1.

All together, I came away with change from a tenner. Rather, Bobby came away with change from a tenner. The English are yet to give me a bank account (apparently, what with the recession and all, having me stimulate the economy by spending my foreign money in the country is a BAD thing). Oh well, who cares? Where are your two pairs of shoes HSBC? On my size 41 feet, that's where.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Headline News

That's right folks, I'm in the newspaper. Right between the football news and a story about a couple of John and Yoko impersonators. Okay, I kind of lie. About the 'right between' bit. Not the "I've got the long hair and round glasses but my mother's maiden name is McCartney so I'm more like Paul really" bit. I couldn't make that up if I tried. Well done John, well done. To be honest, I'm actually in the football news. And my name isn't technically mentioned. But I'm fairly sure Bobby doesn't have any other vintage obsessed girlfriends that he's taken to the football recently. Fairly sure. You'll have to click on the pic to read it. Or you could just read it in the text below the photo. But you know, both ways work.

"I gave my Australian girlfriend her first taste of English football last week. Being an integral part of the super trendy Sydney fashion scene, she is far more interested in high-waisted trousers and vintage dresses than watching 22 men with Toni & Guy haircuts chase a piece of leather around some grass, but, knowing what a big part of my life football is, she was happy to come and see what gets me so happy/angry/frustrated/depressed on a Saturday. Bearing in mind the only other sporting occasion she has ever attended was an Aussie Rules game played at Melbourne’s world-famous MCG in front of about 90,000 fervent fans, I had to try to choose a match that would equal that occasion for atmosphere and thrills. So, with that in mind, the most obvious thing to do would have been to take her to England’s important World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Wednesday night. I didn’t do that though. Oh no. I decided to give her her first sample of English football in a place that is perhaps least representative of its passion, noise and excitement. That’s right, we went to Withdean to watch a goalless draw between Brighton & Hove Albion and Tranmere Rovers.

"We sat in the north stand and I did my best to explain what was happening on the pitch (“The Brighton player is kicking the ball to another Brighton player… oh, he’s kicked it straight at the Tranmere player.”). She seemed to take it all in, although, as Brighton's Dean Cox almost scored a cracking volley, I noticed her absently reading the list of ingredients on the back of her drink bottle. Later, as Tranmere fired in a corner, she was instead focusing on pulling a loose thread from her jumper. I’m sure we can all sympathise with the fact that her attention wandered at regular intervals and, for the most part, she actually rather enjoyed the game, even though she didn‘t get to see any goals. While she may not have sampled English football in its most indicative environment (like at a ground where the stands aren‘t a million miles from the pitch), she did at least get the full Withdean experience in just one afternoon. She got to see how the warmth of the sun can create a typically lethargic atmosphere, and how the inevitable rain causes everyone to reach for their ponchos. She saw fairly poor football punctuated by some decent moments, heard an equal amount of wit, moaning and expletives from fans, and got to join in with the occasional chant of ‘Albion’. Oh, and at least Brighton didn’t lose. I suppose, actually, in that respect, it wasn’t quite the full Withdean experience after all."

If you're into football and live in England, you can find Bobby's column in The Argus every Saturday. It's a good read, even for someone like me who more often than not can't tell the players from the cheerleaders.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Who's Got The Crack?

So it's been over 24 hours since I came back from my half a week in London and I'm pretty sure I'm having big city withdrawals because I'm super tired and cranky as all hell. And seriously craving tea. Smoked tea. With soy milk. Which is what people coming off the crack and/or big city want, right? On second thoughts this might have something to do with not having smoked a whole cigarette since being in England. I might just be going smoke-mad. Either way, Lapsang Souchong me up please.

To make the breaking of my London cherry as painless as possible, we stuck mainly to the usual touristy things. We saw the London Eye from below, played where's Micky Mouse (like Where's Wally but real and just generally much better), visited modern art gallery, the Tate Modern, accidentally shat on God's face (according to the no photograph religious bouncer/priest man/pope) by taking photos inside Saint Paul's Cathedral, hung out in Soho, wandered along Portobello Road, marvelled at the snow they sell in Harrods, did lots of rather average vintage shopping, ran around Hyde Park a couple of times, had a beer in the National Gallery and I think I spent more time on public transport in the last few days than I had in the weeks and weeks preceding. All that sweat, smoke, pollution and undergrounding is disgusting and awesome at the same time. Not unlike seeing a lamb being born, which I was privilaged/cursed with seeing last week.

Bobby eating an apple at the Tate Modern.

Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Vintage shopping at The East End Thrift Store.

Pastels on Portabello Road.


Snow in Harrods.

Sunglasses: £2 from Primark
Top: £4 from an Eastbourne charity shop.
Purple tights: Left overs from one of my Vintage and Retro Fashion sales.

The conclusion of all this is I need more Mickey Mouse, pastel and smoke in my life, pronto.

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