Thursday, October 29, 2009

Darlo, you're bangin'

Grungy indie kids (Gaslight), dancing pill poppers (Oxford Art, Q-bar) or same sex pashers (Slide, The Columbian), Darlinghurst has had many lovers. She was used up of late and had begun to look like the hussy who stays out till tomorrow and then moves on to a recovery bar. Seamy and stale, in need of a spruce up.

BEFORE: Darlo, letting it all hang out

The Crown/Burton/Oxford St triangle has seen a flurry of bar openings these last few months, which has transformed the dingy end of Darlo into a hive of BondiScenesters+DoubleBayDollies+SurryHillsHipsters hobnobbery.

Ching-a-Lings, Low 302 and Pocket round out the small bar trifecta – finally somewhere cosy to drink where you can get a proper cocktail, listen to bang on music and get bar food other than birdseye wedges. The Winery is Gazebo’s Surry Hills sister and lends a bit of chic (tiptoeing on the border of being oversized and commercial) with a great wine list and an excellent menu upstairs, although the cocktails are average.

Doctor Pong came next and I predict a limited lifespan. Kitted out with ping-pong tables and chesterfields, the idea should work but it just plain doesn’t. Soulless, sparse, and populated with leftovers from The Gaff – I lasted five minutes before leaving because of an allergic reaction to the backpackers.

Last out of the stables, The Pond. A short stumble from Pocket, the Two Thousand crew have set up a home away from home. The basement bar, with low couches, crates and an adjoining courtyard is all dimly lit nooks and crackly jazz music. Upstairs the menu of local produce changes daily and is served at long wooden tables, much like eating in a country house kitchen. The food has been cracked up to be one of The Pond’s main selling points, but I’ve sampled about half of the bar menu and three or four of the mains and they were good but not amazing. Bang for buck, I’d say.

AFTER: Darlo, bitching

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cops In Jeans

Based in Bondi, this leggy blonde (whose name I failed to catch) sources vintage fabrics and whips up all sorts of dresses, skirts, body suits and the like. She'll mostly make just one or two of each item (depending on how much fabric she can get her hands on), so you won't catch anyone else cruising the eastern suburbs in the same outfit.

Cops In Jeans floral trapeze dress $149

You can buy Cops In Jeans creations from the online ebay shop - best thing about the website is that Blondie is also a bit of a hack at styling, so every piece has a little pictorial accompanying it showing how to get your retro/sex-pot/cutie-pie on. And if you happen to live in Bondi and want to try your pick of the bunch on before you buy, drop a line to and if you ask very nicely Blondie might be able to pop over with a little selection.

Cops In Jeans lace bodysuit $79.99

Cops In Jeans leather skirt currently on auction

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Thick necked and sweaty as a bore, Tex Perkins is at first sight more lumberjack, less minstrel. But as any number of his fan-base will tell you, this is all part of his appeal. A man’s man with a breakable heart, who can drink his mates under the table, come home late and then write a song for his lover to make amends. Women want him, and men want to be him, and to top it off he plays a mean guitar solo and sings in tune.

Perkins’ heyday as a mid-level rock/sex god was the late 80’s/early 90’s, fronting bands The Beasts of Bourbon and The Cruel Sea. Known for his riotous onstage antics – he has performed naked, and once inside a giant condom – Perkins has always guaranteed a great live show, and so, not quite knowing what to expect, I joined the throng of mostly middle aged (no emo tweens in sight) punters for his show at The Metro on Saturday night.

Swaggering onto the stage in a shroud of smoke and with beer in hand, Perkins and band launched into a lively and varied set, beginning on a poignant note (“She speaks a different language but I seem to understand …”). From there they swerved to black humour (“On Sundays I perform miracles, I turn paycheques into wine...”), and then to the utterly ridiculous as a pornographic educational video rolled whilst Perkins warbled on about “reeeeaaaaal love.” Long-time collaborator Charlie Owen was a highlight on the classical guitar, although the entire band were solid and each and every member quirky in his own way, especially Joel Silbershier (on bass) who, at surely no bigger than 5ft 5”, provided comic relief simply by standing next to the hulking Perkins, let alone with his squawking vocal moonlights and funny little clapping interludes.

While this gig showcased a somewhat more mellowed Tex Perkins as compared to the pub-rock-sex-symbol-Perkins of the 90’s, there was no compromise in entertainment value. The audience sang, laughed and cheered; the band hammed around and played with gusto (and considerable skill); it was good times all round. I should also make mention of Jordie Lane, a Melbourne up and comer (although by Australian indie standards he has already up and come) who, with his band, was the support act for the night. One part old school troubadour, one part rockabilly, Lane has a delicious, classic voice that is to the ear as buttered rum might be to the tongue, and woos his audience with a confidence which belies his years.

And so, with mock tears and much silliness, Perkins group-hugged his band, bid his amorous audience goodnight, and was gone. The venue emptied pronto with punters most likely racing home to their baby sitters, while my girlfriend and I surveyed the mass exodus, quietly amused that we had enjoyed the gig every bit as much as these sweaty 30-somethings. And secretly, I may just have a bit of a crush on Tex Perkins myself . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Abbey-Lee for Chanel SS10 at Paris Fashion Week

My love affair with clogs began at the tender age of three, when my Mum kitted me out in smocked dresses and a toddler-sized pair of wooden and leather navy clogs. Like money, clogs are neither good nor bad. It all depends on what you do with them. Socks and Crocs is offensive in the utmost. Karl Lagerfeld’s white studded take on them for Chanel at Paris Fashion Week however? Deee-lightful.

For we plebs who can’t afford Chanel, Funkis does a cute range of matte and patent clogs that all sell for under $160.

DO: Funkis t-bars, my next purchase. Available at

DON'T: You know why.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chris Jordan - making art of consumer stats

On the ever-popular subject of consumerism, we Westerners are inundated with information - statistics, tables, reports, study findings, etc. Apparently, however, the human brain cannot comprehend numbers upwards of a few hundred thousand or a million, and so, even with all these stats so readily available, we cannot fully comprehend their meaning and are therefore somewhat oblivious to the effect we are collectively having on the world around us.

U.S based photographic artist Chris Jordan aims to bring a sense of consumer awareness to his fellow Americans (and really, Westerners in general) by translating these inaccessible facts and figures into a visual language that we can understand. Beginning with anything from plastic cups, barbie dolls, shark teeth and other such dross, Jordan creates grand-scale images which create a sense of context and scale, giving us an idea of the way many many small actions snowball to create a startlingly large whole effect.

Plastic Cups, 2008
Depicts 1, 000, 000 plastic cups, ie: the number used on airline flights in the U.S every six hours.

Zoomed in to actual size

Barbie Dolls, 2008
Depicts 32, 000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the U.S in 2006.

And zoomed in

Jordan's hope is that his artworks may "serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry." First we become aware; then we can consider our behaviour in light of that and effect change. Have a listen to what he's got to say in his spiel for TED ....