I spent five bucks on the ‘ugliest’ shoe ever

Was it the post-op medication?

To many, I have committed a huge fashion faux pas. To others I have joined a much-maligned club.

My sin? I’ve bought something that looks like a pair of Crocs.

Even worse, they’re not even the real McCoy.

I’ve always thought Crocs are for kids, fisherman and high end, prestige designer labels who still attempt to make them a fashion du jour.

I never thought I would use the words “crocs/plastic clogs” and “purchase” in one sentence. But I can now, because I have done exactly that.

Like millions before me, I’ve never been a fan of these easy to wipe down plastic clogs. (The legit ones come with air holes in them.)

This sartorial confession isn’t about inverted fashion snobbery. Or trying to make up with the shoe style that many of us have bagged out for years.

I just have never liked how they make feet look flat, fat and Mickey Mouse-like. And I wasn’t fussed on the whole fluoro situation either.

Among other things, I have been a style editor and commentator for much of my working life, and no doubt part of the loud mouth brigade which has bagged them out over the years.

But I have had a plastic clog epiphany.

The reason I bought them — a mock-Crocs style at Aldi for $4.99 (reduced from a crazy $5.99) — wasn’t to make some kind of fashion statement. Nor was it reverse snobbery.

In fact, it was purely a practical one.

I tumbled down a ski slope and stopped just a little too hard a few weeks ago and managed a grade 3 tear of my ACL — the mega ligament which pretty much keeps your entire leg supported from the knee. So, it’s a pretty important little rubbery band component.

If I was a serious sports person, I would be “out for the season”.

The last thing you want or need when you’ve had the injury and reconstruction operation are shoes that need any effort to put on.

These little babies tick all the practicality boxes. They are flat, they are internally fluffy and my foot slides right in with no real effort made on my part or on behalf of my knee.

Sure, I won’t be wearing them with my go-to tuxedo, which is my usual black tie uniform, but they have been a very good friend for a few weeks. And have seen many wears already — taking the garbage out on chilly and rainy nights a case in point.

As the owner of these half-arsed, flip-flop, plastic moulded clogs, I love the detachable “sheepskin” lining so they can keep your winter tootsies amped up to warm. And you can wash the woolly insert too.

On another note, did you know that in 2018 the original Crocs brand sold nearly 60,000,000 pairs of the shoes globally? That’s a mighty lot of plastic (eeeekk) and a mighty lot of “croc-ing” going on.

Designers like Christopher Kane, Maison Margiela and Balenciaga have all been there. All collaborated with Crocs and included their interpretations into their fashion collections.

But not quite with the $5 price tag.

A very fashion-minded friend of mine, who is an avid retail watcher (she scours the likes of Aldi and Kmart like she’s in the Easter Show show bag hall and will remain anonymous) told me all about her furry-lined, slip-on Crocs-like find.

Her “discovery” could not have come at a better time.

The initial intention of Crocs, or anything Crocs-inspired, was about practicality. The wipe down ease of them. The total anti-fashion-ness of them.

They’ve become the shoe that some will wear just to say “up yours” to the fashion establishment.

And with freedom of speech one of the most important sociological issues of our time, I reckon wearing a pair of Crocs has become a sartorial sign of something similar in the fashion world.

Although I say that with trepidation because there is still a time and a place for certain pieces of clothing.

The crazy killer Crocs brand — once deemed only suitable for young kids heading off to the beach — has now become a sign of practicality, of pop culture, of style (of sorts) and design.

Okay, calm down. My $5 pair will not be seeing an outing every day — but boy, when you have just torn your ACL and have limited movement, I have never met a better and warmer slip-on shoe to take outside or hobble down to the shop.

And while July IS anti-plastic month and sustainability is on everyone’s mind (particularly in the fashion industry) at least I can take some comfort in knowing that I actually bought them in June.

I mean, if American singer and rapper Post Malone (aka Austin Richard Post) can do an exclusive Australia-only collab with the authentic Crocs brand and the exquisitely dangerous Villanelle (played by Jodie Comer in brilliant binge series Killing Eve) can wear them and still look okay, I say, “Why not”?

By Melissa Hoyer

Article originally appeared on news.com

My Opinion: Why slamming Helena is ageist and ridiculous

I’m still in some kind of sartorial shock about the ex fashion mag editor who has come out to say Helena Christensen – one of the most ‘genetically blessed’ models of our time – is ‘too old’ to wear a bustier.

Have you seen those pictures?

Helena just looks like a wonderful female, happy to be wearing something she wants to wear. It’s a simple as that. Helena has always had her own sense of style – one that is understated, natural and for probably many of us, quite enviable.

Sure, we all love dishing out our style judgements – me included when it comes to some questionable red carpet choices – but here we have a glorious looking woman in a simple pair of denim flares and a black lace bustier that to me, serves no purpose more than making her look mighty good.

By telling someone like Helena (a former ‘supermodel’ from the late 80s and early 90s) that she basically looks like crap in a bustier, what kind of message is that sending that to the rest of us?

The rest of us who, may be a little on the chubby side, maybe not as tall and slim as her, maybe already wrestling with body image issues? It is basically saying once you hit a certain age ‘ladies’, it’s time to cover up so no one has to see your skin or figure ever again.

“We might like to think that 70 is the new 40 and 50 the new 30, but our clothes know the true story,” 61-year-old Alexandra Shulman, the former editor wrote, calling Christensen’s look “tacky” and comparing it to “the madam in a one-horse town”.

“Something you wore at 30 will never look the same on you 20 years later. Clothes don’t lie,” she added. “When women’s bodies no longer serve any child-bearing purpose, we find flaunting them disturbing and slightly tragic. I don’t claim that this is fair. But it’s true.”

In a piece posted today on news.com.au  it goes on to say that Helena was a guest at the denim themed birthday party of 24-year-old model, Gigi Hadid.

After the slapsown from Ms Schulman, it was heartening to see her runway alumni, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell both supporting Ilona and basically saying – ‘you go girl, where what you like!’

Clothes should not ever determine the person – sure, we wear them because we might think they enhance certain parts of our bosy, or they are appropriate for work, everyday or an event we are attending.

But for someone to come out and chastise a woman whose career has centered around showcasing clothes – – and has done a mighty fine job at doing it – just seems preposterous.

She looks bloody fantastic. And of course not all of us are going to look like that in a bus to you. But does it really matter? Having interviews later a few times, I know she would absolutely not give a stuff. She is a strong, articulate and wise woman and it would be water off a ducks back.

That said, who really likes to read unnecessary criticism about something that didn’t warrant criticism in the first place?

It’s just crazy.

So go forth Helena – and do and wear whatever you like.

By Melissa Hoyer

Australia Day poll - Aussies united to keep Australia Day January 26

Australians want to keep Australia Day exactly where it is – on January 26 – with 78% proud to celebrate Australia Day on that date, according to the latest Advance Australia poll.

The poll put a series of questions to 1659 voters from across the country in the wake of the recent debate that has erupted over Australia Day and the date it is celebrated. Overwhelmingly, the poll found that Australia should keep the date as it is, with 71% of the nation in agreement.

The Advance Australia poll also found that:

  • 67% of Australians could identify 26 January as being the date the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove.
  • Out of the 78% of Australians proud to celebrate Australia Day on January 26, 98% of Coalition voters were proud, and 73% of Labor voters proud. 81% of Greens voters were not proud.
  • 66% of Australians see January 26 as a day to celebrate our coming together as a nation.
  • 77% of Australians believe Australia is becoming too politically correct.

National Director for Advance Australia, Gerard Benedet, said that the results are only further evidence that Australians are committed to coming together to celebrate a country they are proud of on January 26. “The results are in – January 26 is not a day for division and protest, but rather a day for all Australians to celebrate – nevertheless we must remain vigilant,” said Mr. Benedet.

“The poll proves mainstream Australians are overwhelmingly united in wanting to celebrate our country together – because at the end of the day, we are Aussies, and mateship comes first. Encouragingly, more and more Australians are also now understanding the historical significance of the date, with 67% of participants recognising it as the day the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove.

“However, it’s not all good news. Unfortunately, Australians have stated – loudly – that they believe politicians are more concerned with political point scoring rather than real matters of importance, with 84% in agreement.”

“Most Australians believe that moves to change Australia Day are solely for political point scoring purposes, and not for the benefit of our nation – it’s political correctness on steroids. So, while the results are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping Australia Day exactly where it is, the issue does not stop here.

“42% of Australians said that they would not vote for their local member of Parliament if they didn’t support Australia Day being on January 26. We should be proud of our country and who we have become, and the best way to do that is to tell your local member to keep Australia Day squarely where it is, on January 26,” said Mr. Benedet.

To show your support for Australia Day and sign the petition, go to www.advanceaustralia.org.au

Source: Advance Australia

Food afloat: when culinary cool meets cruising

Remember when everyone thought cruising was all about standing in a conga line, waiting to serve yourself from a fairly ordinary buffet?

Well, not all cruise lines are created equal, with so many having now eschewed the wait-in-line mentality and given customers a really decent dining experience.

Most of the major and more popular cruise lines are way up on their culinary act, so for those who may still be a little nervous regarding a cruise ships’ food offering needn’t worry at all. Be warned: not every cruise line has put the time, patience and resources into making their meals rock (in some cases, quite literally). After a trip to the US to see how the Princess Cruises crew puts their entire food and event offerings together, which seems is no simple task, it’s clear that the effort is paying off in spades.

With the Southern Hemisphere cruise season well and truly upon us, it seems each day there is a mega ship or two docking in a harbour or port somewhere is Austalia. And, it was Princess Cruises who invited me to check out its international operation. With that, I spent some time at the Princess head offices in Los Angeles to meet the people who are working behind the scenes to elevate Princess Cruises’ on-board experience.

From working with a world-renowned sleep doctor to ensure a better night’s sleep for all its guests, to creating carefully curated menus with Michelin-Starred chefs, the Princess fleet wants to lead the pack in the world of cruising. It is also making sure its entertainment, suites, and, most importantly, food is top notch. The concept of ‘ordinary’ food seems to be a thing of the past as major cruise lines continue to partner with seriously good chefs.

The crew of us were lucky enough to meet some of the chefs engaged by Princess Cruises as we made our way to Los Angeles to see how the kitchen kinds work their magic. Here are a few whose tastes will tantalise ship ahoy taste buds.

Ernesto Uchimura

This LA-based gastro-pub has been turned into a star on the high seas with award-winning chef Ernesto Uchimura having joined forces with Princess Cruises. The chef is the name behind the original Umami Burger restaurant and also he also started Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in Los Angeles. So popular his offerings have been on land, his The Salty Dog Gastropub experience has been transferred to the the Wheelhouse Bar on board some of the cruise lines’ ships.

I mean, it must be quite an honour to have been voted as having the ‘Best Burger at Sea’ by Cruise Critic! The on-board Salty Dog Gastropub also has the ‘The Ernesto’ – a crafted rib eye burger created by the chef just for sailing. We had a taste on a gastro-tour, and yes, it definitely is worth a try.

Curtis Stone

Princess Cruises partnered with the award-winning chef Curtis Stone a few years ago when he created SHARE. As the name implies, it’s all about, well, sharing, and with dishes like a charcuterie starter course; butter poached lobster with caramelized endive; twice-cooked duck leg with fennel, bacon jus and parmesan crumb; tagliatelle with roasted alaskan crab, chili and parsley and potato gratin with truffles and cream available on the ships Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess, and Sun Princess.

Angelo Auriana

Another chef celebrating his sea-faring delights is from LA-based Italian chef Angelo Auriana, who has joined up with Princess to concoct a menu for six of the ships, including Golden Princess who is currently calling Melbourne home for the next 5 months. The restaurant, called Sabatini’s includes handmade pastas, risotto and seafood.

Emmanuel Renaut

Exclusive to the majestic ship, cruise-lovers who are wanting something a little more casual, with an atrium style vibe, are mad about French, bistro-style dining with a contemporary twist at Ranaut’s restaurant called La Mer.

The chef holds the title of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (best craftsmen of France) and Chef of the Year by Le Chef. The chef’s locons de Sel restaurant has even received three Michelin stars. Now that, from any regard is mighty good form.

In addition to the ‘celebrity’ chefs, Princess has a venue in Santa Clarita where all of their Princess menus are tested and tweaked. It’s called the Princess Cruises Culinary Development Centre and it’s where all the menus are created in LA, then rolled out across the Princess fleet across the world.

The details:

Princess’ newest ship, Majestic Princess balcony fares for a 12-night cruise to New Zealand departing Sydney on Friday 25 January 2019 start from $2,689 AUD* per person, twin share. For more information visit princess.com, call 13 24 88 or see a licensed travel agent.

Melissa Hoyer was a media guest of Princess Cruises in Los Angeles to’ meet the chefs’.  

Source: delicious.

Stella Artois & water.org dinner at Rae’s, Wategos

What an eye-opening & beautiful dinner. In what is a brilliant initiative, Stella Artois have teamed with Matt Damon & water.org to assist the millions around the world who don’t have the access to water – the liquid so many of us take for granted.

And what better place than to host a dinner to unveil the campaign than with a night in Byron, dining under the stars at the famous Rae’s on Wategos.

As for the delectable dinner – created by Rae’s chef, Jason Barrett, let me tell you about that!

For the first course we had kingfish crudo, melon and mint followed by grilled sugarloaf cabbage that has been sprinkled with cashew and truffle. Yup. Amazing.

We moved onto saltbush agnolotti, oyster mushrooms and stracciatella before the big gun – Rangers Valley Wagyu MS5+ rump was served with winter greens and horseradish.

Not finished yet. We had a little palette cleanser – Stella Artois ice-cream (which some of us thought may be taking the brew theme a bit too far) until we tried it.

It was sensational and sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon sugar, it was a triumph.

And dessert? Slow-roasted pineapple served with lime, rosemary and mascarpone. It was O.M.G indeed.

The 2 companies have combined for this worthy venture – Stella & wager.org – and are raising bucks by selling limited edition glass Stella ‘chalices’, designed by female artists from the Philippines, Mexico, India.

The whole concept highlights the fact that it takes six hours for 663 million people in the world to collect water for  their daily lives.

Think about that for a minute – and you realise how fortunate we are to pop over and turn on a tap in a matter of seconds.

There were a tonne of chefs who gathered, including Guillaume Brahimi and Shannon Bennett and style-meister and fully fledged home decorator, Collette Dinnigan (and now calling Rome home for a few years) were part of the eclectic and foodie fun guest list.

Some of the other guests included Bradley Cocks, Isabel Lucas, Adam Demos, David Moyle, Scott Pickett, Adam D’Sylva, Leonie & Craig Hemsworth, David Berry, Damon & Zoe Gameau, Tim & Kristina Ross, David & Bethwyn Trewern – Founders of Fliteboard and Larry Lim.

The initiative is using two hashtags – #givethemtimeback and #BALAD (Buy A Lady A Drink) – so I’d suggest we all try and help give something. And it’s all about water – which we often all take for granted.

For more information, visit https://water.org/stellaartois/