Rustic Pearl

Rustic Pearl Surry Hills Lobster eggs benedict spinach and cheese gozleme

Sydney’s best cafes are an absolute luxury to visit on a weekday. Rustic pearl has made its way into my top 5, and is a real treat on a mod week day off or an early finish. Long time hesitations ensued after Saturdays of queue watching on Crown St but I was finally swayed by the Lobster eggs bennie. Cheaper than your average fish market feed, the eggs bennie comes out in a mammoth stack of 3 lobster tails, eggs, avo, chilli, fresh herbs and an extra rich hollandaise. The eggs are bang of perfect, just set whites and flowy yolks. The gozleme is up next, I usually steer clear of these at market stands as they’re swimming in oil but Rustic Pearl nails their dough. Crispy with a nice char, the gooey innards are made from baby spinach so the whole dish tastes sweet and fresh. I try and avoid all eye contact and mop up the rest of my hollandaise with bits of gozleme. I’m pleasantly surprised to see Turkish coffee on the menu, my parents have been boiling the stuff all my life so I skip my regular creamy based drinks and go straight for the shot which comes with a small piece of Turkish delight as a chaser. The space itself is small, seating about 10-15 people, the food service takes a while (and rightly so, the food always tastes fresh) which with large serving sizes which inevitably means people take their time. Always smiley and accommodating staff. Kitschy eastern European interiors. Coffee by Mecca.

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Rustic Pearl | 415 Crown st, Surry Hills
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All leather everything (all year round!)

All leather everything

The second best thing to wearing nothing, really is wearing leather. Behind a grocery list amount of reasons why everyone should own their favourite piece in leather, is that undeniable fact that anything leather will be the polish on your outfit that ties it all together. That inexplicable ability to complete any look comes down to contrast, the most underrated stylistic trick. It's value lies not only in the fact that no other material in your wardrobe looks like it, but also as a double whammy; the ones that don't, play a perfect contrasting piece to leather's buttery soft yet protectively fluid texture. Mix with crisp cottons and linens in summer, wool and cashmere blends in winter and silk for nights out. The best leather pieces are the classics you’d expect in wool or cotton reworked in leather. The leather tee has hit all the right spots in my hunt for luxe, updated summer basics. Playing a big part in transitioning my wardrobe into a more sleek and modern one, a leather jacket is perfect for taking the girly edge off my favourite silk tops and dresses when I need to feel more pulled together.

Now while a head to toe leather ensemble is not for anyone that’s wading water with the insouciant material, I have before and the pieces above were my outfit of choice.

Caring for leather pieces is fairly easy. Think of it as your own skin, a great leather conditioner every few months works wonders as well as keeping it away from direct heat or sunlight. Leathers age beautifully over time so embrace the creasing and patina as it add character to your garment. For more tips read my leather care guide for David Lawrence.

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More NOIR on tumblr

The noir collective now on tumblr

All the photos that didn't quite make it to a full fledged post but are still too good to not share, subscribe to the new NOIR tumblr account for daily updates.

Studio Life

Studio Life essentials

A friend once asked what I would do if I had to wear a uniform for work, or if I was to find my self in an environment where corporate dressing was the norm. I was in the very early stages of my career life, but the answer seemed clear even then, that’s not somewhere I’d like to end up. Work life would be just another style to take on, but I could never see myself in a tailored skirt suit. My first office job saw a rotation of fairly safe for work casual outfits, replaced ever so often with a trend piece. Numerous jobs later, my style has never needed to be so versatile as it is now that I work freelance hours. Broken up between time in the studio, client meetings and good old screen to screen time. The first two have needed a little bit of a tweak, and the last is usually done in pyjamas, gym gear or whatever pieces of clothing were still hanging on my chair from the day before.

I fell into studio dressing fairly quickly, a few 11hr shoots in uncomfortable shoes, a couple of 7am starts where I probably should have washed my hair the night before and numerous studio spaces where air conditioning and heating seem to have been left out of the structure plans. All this meant I fine tooth combed through my essentials real quick and picked out a handful of items that were fuss free and still something I’d enjoy wearing without compromising; not a skirt suit in sight. After all, you'll spend more time in your work clothes than any other, you'll need to be happy with what you wear. Think functionality, with enough little details to keep the look interesting, natural materials for durability and minimal accessories.

Button up shirts: I’ve written countless bits of online copy over the years on why you should own one of these, and the most important reason is stylistic variability. Depending on the style of button up you chose, it can take you from casual to formal in a slight play with the buttons. Done all the way up, sleeves rolled down, rolled up or cuffed, unbuttoned to a modest V, unbuttoned further for a flash of your favourite lingerie for when you’re ready to leave work, thrown over a cami as a light over up, tucked into a high waisted skirt, worn loose over denim cut offs, twist tied for weekend ease. All in one shirt. I own the above chambray shirt from Topshop for studio and casual wear and a silk Alexander Wang button up for client meetings and formal occasions, but both cross over on occasion.

Cashmere sweater: I usually catch public transport to wherever I’m working on the day. If it’s a particularly early start, especially in autumn or spring, Sydney weather will vary 5-10’C during my travel time. An extra layer of warmth I can shed quickly is up there on my hierarchy of morning needs along with food and water because I can pretend I’m still in bed for an extra half an hr and then tie it around my shoulders when I start shooting and get too warm. It doesn’t have to be cashmere, wool is a great alternative with pretty much all the same benefits. Look for fine knits and skip anything with angora, the last thing you want to do is use the lint roller on yourself.

Denim: Denim needs no introduction, how casual you can go will depend on your work environment, but even the most dress code conscious person can substitute black pants for a pair of black fitted and nondescript jeans. At the moment I’m really into dark grey denim in a light wash, goes with just as many things as black does and adds depth to an all black outfit on the odd occasion you’re just too damn of wearing all black. Extra hot days have seen me change these up for a work length appropriate pair of light denim cut offs.

Flat-but-not-too-flat shoes: Photographers, stylists, production crew and anyone else on site will tell you sneakers are the go to staple. With sports luxe being on the fashion radar more often than not, its pretty much the norm to mix up sneakers with whatever it is you normally wear. Personally, I still err on this, I wear sneakers, but ankle boots are my go to piece for two reasons. An ankle boot with a small heel will give you better support for when you have to be on your feet for 10hrs and they just look so much more put together with just as little effort. No bigger buzz kill than having to turn up to a dinner after in sneakers. Leather doesn’t sweat so I have no problem wearing these when it gets warmer. Lace up brogues are another great option.

Hat: Hats are an absolute life saver and there’s no two ways about it. It’s one of those accessories that packs a whole lot of personality and functionality into one. Bad hair day? Want to hide from a co-worker? Seem to have covered every part of your body but still cold? Hats, to all of the above. Nothing says don’t talk to me until I finish this as clearly as glaring at someone from underneath a wide brimmed hat. That being said, I never wear them into meetings or any jobs that require extensive eye contact and conversation. A lot of people steer clear of hats, but take the time to find the right style for you and you’ll never go back. I mainly wear Rag & Bone fedoras with a medium brim in winter and a light panama in summer. I look horrid in beanies but if your head fits they double duty for holding up convenience stores after a not so great day at work.

Personal accessories: Most accessories just aren’t that functional lets be honest, especially when your fancy oversized necklace is getting caught in the hair of some model as you’re trying to zip up her dress. High heeled shoes are out of the question too. Jangly bracelets will drive your coworkers up the wall. So its best to keep these to a minimum, but make sure the ones you chose pack a punch. I wear a small selection of gold, silver and rose gold jewelry and a men’s watch daily. Mixing silver and gold tones is really easy if your jewelry is fine and you carry the colour combinations throughout more than one piece. I’ve worn my Russian wedding ring for over 8 years now, its small and sentimental and I can spend hours twirling it when in thinking mode.

And once you find your work staples, invest in them. Buy them in the best quality you can afford because they'll be working just as hard to keep comfortable and effortlessly well dressed.

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Paramount Coffee Project Revisted

Paramount Coffe Project Caramel Popcorn Milkshake

With a slew of new cafe openings in Sydney over the last six months, you can really eat at a different one each week. But none have really topped my list as much as Paramount, hence its always the choice by default. Their new spring menu was very much welcome, with a whole new rework of the tasty fried classics and I was glad to see the Crab Po Boy still on the menu. They still make a mean milkshake. Ever since I got hooked on the caramel popcorn variety at Gelato Messina, which since has been replaced withe Dessert Bar, I've been hanging out for these bad boys at Paramount. Just add a filter coffee and I'm pretty sure that equals a healthy breakfast.

PCP Coffee Shake, Caramel Popcorn Milkshake. Sunglasses by Moscot

iCaved: Upgrading to a marble Macbook Pro

Making the switch from pc to Mac is no mean feat after more than 10 years of hailing praises to Windows. However design fanatic friends and new job prospects alike have confirmed me that the whole process of retraining your brain to go from alt to command key is well worth the creative ease. Moving and backing up the last few years of work however feels like moving house, too many things to dust and readjust that your brain simply wants to take a nap thinking about the sheer volume of things to do. I may have be swayed by this marble skin, clean start and lots of white space await!

Marble Mac skin via Etsy

Notes on re-skinning: Skin runs slightly smaller than laptop, so go slowly and start from the top, front end for the neatest result. Anyone with OCD tendencies like myself, who just cant handle their Mac skin bubbling or shifting, prep yourself with a solid alcoholic drink of choice for a steady hand. Pop any minor bubble with sewing pin and smooth over excess skin.

Festival des Métiers Sydney

hermes festival des metiers Anna-Wili Highfield

I've always had a soft spot for the link between craftsmanship and luxury branding, beautiful campaigns and marketing aside its a great reminder to why your money is better invested in products that are made with finesse. Above exhibition staff dressed in paper art collaboration between Hermes and Anna Wili Heighfield.

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Photo taken outside MCA gallery