Dream dress.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

I have always, unequivocally, been a sequins sort of girl. This golden gilded sartorial confection is so superbly exquisite that it would breathe life to even my wildest, most iridescent mermaid fantasies.

Much love, Mandy. xx

OCRF white shirt series : white on white.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

(OCRF x Witchery white shirt; skirt - H&M; bag - Kate Spade; ring - Club Monaco; watch - Michael Kors)
Hello pretties, how was your Christmas? I hope it was a simply dazzling day filled with an abundance of gifts, relentless feasts of food, and of course, loved ones. 

This is the final instalment of my OCRF x Witchery white shirt series (see the alternative styles here and here), of which probably encapsulates my personal aesthetic most precisely compared to the other looks I styled. I love that it alludes to a myriad of references - Wimbledon tennis socialite/demure housewife/precocious schoolgirl. But mostly, the clean, crisp whites and the conservative hem lines lend an understated allure and minimalism that exudes both youth and elegance and, quite frankly, makes me feel like a lady!

Photos by the exquisite Love Yaz. <3 

Much love, Mandy. xx


Sunday, 23 December 2012

(Kaftan top - Sabo Skirt; shorts - Bec & Bridge; headpiece - Bella & Jackson; necklace - Pree Brulee)

Photos by my little brother, Simon Ie. 

...And suddenly, another beautiful year has passed us and that sparkling spirit of Christmas is here to brighten even the dreariest souls. As a reminder of my favourite part of the calendar, I wanted to share with you a few things close to my heart. 

My backyard : where these images were shot beneath a receding sun, and where we spend many languid, balmy summer afternoons with our favourite company. I've never experienced a white Christmas (even though I've dreamed about it since I was a child) but for those of you who have never had an Australian Christmas, I do think you should experience it at least once in your lifetime. :) 

Home-grown talent : I'm wearing Sabo Skirt and Bec & Bridge - two Aussie labels that validate talent with the commensurate work ethos. We have such an exquisite fashion industry in Australia and I feel so proud to be part of it. 

White : well, let's face it, is there really any other hue for summer? 

Family : the reason why I want to achieve wonderful things in my life is so that I can be a good role model to my younger 12-year-old brother. Having studied Medicine apart from him, I feel like I am always absent as a sister and the summer holidays are the only opportunities I have to atone myself and keep him company. Unfortunately, as a full-time doctor next year, I won't even have this luxury! I am so glad Simon agreed to capture these images for me because I will always reflect on them with incredible fondness. <3 

I hope you all have the most gorgeous, happy, and festive Christmas with all your loved ones! Make sure there is copious amounts of pudding involved. ;) 

Much love, Mandy. xx

The perfect vanilla cupcake.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The perfect vanilla cupcake recipe is elusive in a way that is not entirely incongruous to the search for the perfect white shirt - there are so many out there but finding The One is ironically an utterly exhausting (and seemingly futile) task. But in the same way that a crisp white shirt is an absolute sartorial essential, the plain, understated vanilla cupcake is a staple that must be possessed in one's cupcake repertoire. 

For the longest time, I used this recipe, which was lovely in its ease (if you're short on time, I still recommend this one!) but eventually my fastidious palate longed for a more 'fluffy' version. Cue the beautiful Sweetapolita's Bakery Style Cupcakes. Truly transcendent and wholly life-changing, I haven't come across a more flawless recipe in the arduous five-year search for the ultimate vanilla cupcake recipe. I do, however, use a different buttercream icing - a creature of habit, I have iced hundreds of cupcakes with the recipe below and they have proven deliciously infallible for Magnolia-bakery style frosting or even for piping delicate rosettes. 

Vanilla buttercream icing (adapted from Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas' 'Cupcakes' book)
Makes enough for 15-20 regular cupcakes 

- 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
- 60ml full cream milk, at room temperature 
- 1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- Few drops of food colouring (if you have a penchant for pretty things)

Beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth - this usually takes me about five minutes. Add the remaining icing sugar until the components of the batter are beautifully incorporated. It should be dreamily creamy by the end! 

If you do decide to imbue your buttercream with some gorgeous hues, remember to add the food colouring sparingly - a little (a single drop will generally suffice) tends to go a long way! 

I do hope you are all as enamoured with this recipe as I am! 

Love, Mandy. xx

Urban sunset.

Monday, 17 December 2012

(Top - this is a plain tee; skirt - BCBG; jacket - La-Moxie; bag, skull bracelet & necklace - PREE BRULEE)

Photos taken by my mummy. <3

I love summer afternoons, where the sun is on the cusp of setting into the horizon and all the images that are captured effuse with soft, golden light, no matter how prosaic the setting. Utterly whimsical and wholly mesmerising. The true magic, however, is in how gorgeously fleeting it is - one minute, you are admiring its golden hues from afar and suddenly, as quickly as it came, it's gone. 

I hope your day was as dreamy as mine!  

Love, Mandy. xx

On sale : Alex Wang.

Alexander Wang knit, on sale at shopbop

The Australian humidity and sundrenched days prevent me from this purchase ... but if you're residing in the more arctic regions, hurry up and make this yours! 

Love, Mandy. xx

OCRF white shirt style series : summer florals.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

(OCRF x Witchery white shirtfloral shorts - Topshop, blazer - Reiss; watch - Michael Kors; rings - Hello Parry)

Photos by Love Yaz.

Amongst the plethora things I love about summer (balmy afternoons, holidays, chilled mangoes...), there lies in my heart a very fond love for jacarandas. For those of you who are not familiar, jacarandas are the gorgeous trees in the background of these images dotted with the lilac-hued flowers that emerge in the late days of spring and is subsequently associated as being a harbinger for impending exams. This year, for the first time that I can remember, I was able to revel in the beauty of the jacarandas without the concomitant curdling in my stomach so it seemed only fitting that Yazzi and I frolicked around jacaranda-lined streets with floral shorts and my favourite white shirt!

...And I know many of you aren't experiencing summer so I'm sending lots of love and gorgeous Australian sunshine your way!

Love, Mandy. xx

A few lovely things.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

(Beautiful crimson petals overhanging white picket fences in Trouville)
(Mocha with marshmallows and an extra chocolate shot at my favourite cafe in Brisbane)
(Frolicking under jacaranda trees with floral shorts to match - full outfit post coming soon!)
In some ways, today was a typical Sunday with the perfunctory breakfast to start the morning - only that I spent it looking over the expansive coastal panorama of the Gold Coast 78 levels above the ground on the Q1 sky deck in the company of my gorgeous med school friends for our graduation breakfast (the beginning of a long series of graduation events that will be occurring throughout the week). 

To ease myself into what will be a hectic week ahead, I have made a small compilation of lovely things that I have an affinity for - as you may have already surmised, I do have quite a penchant for flowers (I snapped about 500 floral-themed images from my last Europe sojourn)! 

I hope you all had the most sparkling weekend and that you have an even more radiant week ahead!

Love, Mandy. xx

Island essentials.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Sandals - Skin Hello Midnight from Adrenalin Boutique // Invisible Zinc tinted daywear moisturiser // Saroff Designs sunglasses // Korres lip butter // Pree Brulee necklace // Reef suntan oil
Perfect beachside reading for indolent balmy afternoons in Phi Phi. Hammock also mandatory.
Pristine waters and vertiginous cliffs at Maya Bay.
                                                             Photos via Instagram.
... And so, my days in Phuket (and the even more idyllic Phi Phi islands) were spent in sun-drenched languor, with bright-hued bikinis under local crochet dresses, delightful villas with thatched roofs, and tropical fruit baskets, whilst sunset implicated the taxing decision of reading books that had been abandoned over time, imbibing coconut cocktails (the perfect remedy to the implacable humidity), or revelling the summer breezes during beachside oil massages, or all of the above ... but the greatest luxury of all was the sheer indolence, which I have decided is the common man's ultimate indulgence, even if only for one ephemeral week ...
                                                               Love, Mandy. xx


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

(Top - ASOS; skirt - Bird of Prey; belt - ASOS; bag - Kate Spade; shoes - Senso Diffusion from Lady Petrova)

Photos taken by the absolutely gorgeous Sonia De Macedo from Daring Coco

With my incipient status as a doctor (I can officially scrawl the two-letter prefix to my name as of next week!), the concomitant wardrobe changes have inevitably been considered. The unfortunate reality is that my often whimsical aesthetic will have to be tamed within the pragmatic limits of the hospital milieu, which means a resultant influx of pencil skirts, pussy bow silk shirts, and pointy kitten heels into my daily routine. I don't usually post my professional looks on the blog (mainly because I feel they are prosaic and repetitive) but since so many of you have asked me what I wear to work, I may consider it for next year!

This is an outfit I wore to a recent congress in Melbourne, a reasonably demure ensemble with a few contemporary touches (I have a relentless love affair with the perspex heels that I bought from the ever so lovely Lady Petrova - visit her gorgeous little store if you're ever in Melbourne!) where I spent the afternoon on the Yarra River with Sonia (of the beautiful blog Daring Coco) in a daze of hazy sunlight and post-high-tea-induced-euphoria (at The Langham, obviously).

Love, Mandy. xx

Split personality.

Monday, 3 December 2012

(Top - this is a plain tee; skirt - Hello Parry; jacket - Pink Yotto; shoes - Tony Bianco; bag - Kate Spade)

Photos by Love Yaz

There are a few sartorial imperatives that every discerning lady should possess in her wardrobe. I categorise a split ruched jersey skirt in the same calibre of a little black dress, a perfect pair of alabaster shorts, or an impeccably constructed blazer. This one by Hello Parry (a personal favourite online store of mine) has been worn relentlessly through a whole spectrum of contexts, from languorous Sunday strolls to lounging around the pristine beaches of Phuket. It is particularly brilliant for those days of indecision when you can't seem to err on the side of either the maxi or the mini...

As an aside, can you believe Yazzi and I shot the first few images on a rooftop car park on the Gold Coast? Whenever I look at them, they conjure images of snowcapped mountains and luscious ski resorts! 

Love, Mandy. xx