Monday, August 30, 2010

Store Speak- Mixed Lollies

I'm currently road tripping around Australia and what Im missing most about Melbourne (apart from my family of course) is the shopping!
So I decided to go on the hunt for a fashion forward store,we are in Alice Springs at the moment and wandering around I notice there are a lot of stores for older women here, I was about to give up when I spotted a touch of leopard print out of the corner of my eye and it led me into the most amazing boutique in Alice Springs, Mixed Lollies.

The store 'Mixed Lollies' has a great vibe as soon as you walk in there are trinkets,shoes, jewels including 'House Of Harlow' and designer gear galore, all with it's own edge.

Below I asked the owner Anastasia a few questions about 'Mixed Lollies' and what it's like to own a stylish boutique in the centre of Australia. 
Tell us a bit about your fab store Mixed Lollies.
I opened Mixed Lollies in May '05 ,together with my hubby and my brother. 
Matt and I had recently moved back to Alice (My home town) from Sydney and I thought , how am I going to survive here with no fashion?! No Bettina's, no Hussy ,no One Teaspoon ... not even Havaianas! 
I just knew it was an awesome opportunity , Alice didn't know it yet,but they were about to get a taste of affordable designer fashion right at there door step.
I started out with labels like One Teaspoon,Milk and Honey,Seduce,Ladahk and Tony Bianco.
Alice girls loved it,and now I'm able to stock amazing Australian designers like  Manning Cartell,Wayne Cooper,shakhuachi,bec and bridge,Hussy,Nookie,Maurie and Eve,Lucette and Peeptoe shoes 

What are the store hours of Mixed Lollies?

We open from 9am - 5:30 / 6 pm  Mon - Fri  and 9am -3pm sat

What's your background, did you work in fashion before you opened the store?
In Sydney I managed Morgan de toi, French connection and  I also worked at Lisa Ho,
I learnt alot about running a store,staff and merchandising.

Love this ring!

What planning was involved before you opened the store?
Basically finding a good location,doing a business plan for the bank to get mulah!
Then there were alot of phone calls to get the right labels that I wanted,which sounds easy but certain labels won't let you stock them unless you stock other certain labels,so its alot of juggling,spinning and sweet talking!

Can you explain the buying process for Mixed Lollies.
I usually fly to Sydney 3 times a year for buying,especially the major seasons, like 1st Summer and 1st Winter. I always go to Fashion week every year to see the shows and rub shoulders with the models!
Sometimes it's hard to get away though, with kids etc.,so I do get lookbooks via email as-well.

What advice would you give someone who wants to open their own boutique?
Hey,if you love it and put every bit of energy and passion into it you can't go wrong ,it's not easy and there are alot of headaches but,corny as it sounds ,I live and breath it.

What's the most popular label you have in store?

For fast fashion it's Minkpink and Motel,for the edgy girl it's One Teaspoon and for your designer chick it's Maurie and Eve

What's your personal favourite label?

Would have to be a few ... Manning Cartell,shakuhachi and Maurie and Eve

Lovely ceramics that add character to the stylish boutique!

What inspires you?

Ever since I was little I loved stuff,clothes,jewellery,ceramic vases and animals,brass horses and anything grandma-ish.
I remember always changing my dressing table displays around - I didn't realise it then but I was merchandising already!
I love that I can play around with all the stuff in Mixed lollies to create a different theme and style every week!

And I love that people love it too.

No shortage of huge rings here!!

What is going to be big this summer?

Aztec print,snake print,fringing,think arizona cow girl,also the jumpsuit is everywhere,more disco and sleek draped dresses ,nude and pastel colours, printed pants and I have bought some gorgeous printed kimono's alla' Nicole Richie.
And I never stray too far from my favourite .. leopard print as anyone will see in Mixed lollies!

There are a heap of creative cards that Mixed Lollies staff member/artist- Lucy Ella Hope creates.

What are your 5 fashion must have items that every woman should own?
Easy ...
A black pencil skirt
An awesome pair of jeans
A denim jacket
A black silk Cami ( a fail-safe of mine )
Tan heels,in a classic peeptoe
Then you can add the cool stuff like snake skirts,leopard print pants and leather jackets!

Loving the bling!

So if your in Alice Springs and need to add to your wardrobe, head into mixed lollies, you wont be disappointed!

Mixed Lollies
Shop 3/11 cinema complex
Todd Mall
Alice Springs
(08) 89 53 60 60

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shady Lady

We can hide behind them on our off days, or put them on to complete an outfit, they can make us feel invisible and at the same time make us feel as though we are strolling down Hollywood Blvd. If you haven't guessed I am talking about big sunnies, the bigger the better. 
No, they’re not everybody’s cup of tea and I am often being taunted by my elders (god bless them) for being reminiscent of Louis the fly (even though they have all been snapped wearing them in the 60's and 70's!!!!).
But no matter how much taunting is involved I could never give them up,once you’re hooked there's no going back.
I feel naked when I put on a regular size, rectangular pair of glasses, they don't give half as much coverage & they don’t look as effortlessly chic (in my opinion).

The great thing about sunglasses as a fashion accessory is they do, believe it or not, serve a purpose (who would’ve thought!). 
Just like jewellery’s purpose is to uplift an outfit or finish off an outfit, sunglasses serve to protect our precious eyes from the sun (hence the name), they stop us from squinting, which we all know is not an attractive look.

I lost my big glasses virginity in...Where else??.... Los Angeles.  
Strolling around Anaheim after a day of excitement at Disneyland was all proving to be too much, my boy and I had major headaches, which we put down to squinting, it was then we decided it was time to dip into our rapidly depleting funds and invest in a pair of sunglasses. We popped into the nearest milk bar or "convenience store" and there they were, the perfect pair of red square shaped "bug" glasses, at a very convenient $7! 
My boy also got a pair of thick black prada-esqu shades for $8. It was money well spent and we felt like movie stars trekking across the states in our super cheap, super cute, purpose serving sunnies

That was a few years ago now and I haven’t looked back since, I have although added to my big rimmed collection but still religiously wear my trusty red $7 shades. Even if they do like they are going to fall apart any second!

Stars who love the big glasses include Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan and the uber obsessed Nicole Ritchie, who is never seen without her oversized Marc Jacobs or vintage shades and has stated “I never leave the house without my sunnies" and why would she? She looks fab in what has now become a part of her signature look, add a few kilos and she'd be even hotter!

Great oversized sunnies aren’t too hard to come by, you can search vintage stores or markets for a pre-loved pair straight from the 70's (if I don’t get to them first), you will also notice most chain-stores have jumped on the big spec band-wagon, check out Sportsgirl or H&M for a funky pair at a great price. If you want something more exclusive & expensive check out the designer labels such as Marc Jacobs, Karen Walker and YSL there is sure to be a pair to suit you and seeing as it's 2006 how could I not mention the internet, try and there is also a great website which happens to be the largest online resource for top notch vintage sunnies, they have designer shades, and great no-name vintage specs!!

How do you tell if they suit you, you may ask?  

If you have a:
Round Face- Choose squared or angled frames to play down the roundness of the face. Go for deep colors and avoid small frames!
Oval face- Horizontal Frames minimize the length of the face, rectangular with round edges such as the Jackie O style will help maintain a natural balance
Square face- Steer clear of glasses that match your face shape; go for pairs that are slightly curved to soften the face. Round and oval frames also tend to flatter a round face.
Heart face- Avoid extremely wide frames and bold colors, rimless styles are best suited to a heart shaped face.
So happy spending, and whether it’s on a pair of Jackie O's or just the regular shaped Calvin Klein’s remember ultimately they're serving a purpose in protecting our eyes from the sun. (Whilst making us look super flashy at the same time!)

T xx