February 19th, 2013 by Simply Silk
I am interested to know what you all feel about the portrayal of female models we see in mainly the print media IE newspapers and magazines today.
They appear to look very androgynous and sometimes robotic with very weird eye makeup. Far too skinny and young revealing no feminine curves, how on earth can they really induce us to think the public (who they are supposed to market and sell to) could identify with these poor unfortunate looking women?.
Also just how many women could ever fit or look good in these anorexic looking fashions fit really for children’s figures ?. In Australia these sizes are size 6 to 10 only. After that we can only surmise that from size 12 and up if these garments were made in larger sizes would be a poor reflection on the designers intention and vanities. Sometimes I wonder if they are misogynistic to treat women in this manner.
I am always interested when finding designs for my Simply Silk and Bambootoo labels to find styles that are not only comfortable to wear but look flattering to most women. I also receive a lot of feedback from women who own their own boutiques who tell me what their customers are after but no one is presently supplying these styles and so I try to cater for this clientele . I am always open to suggestions for new designs so please feel you can call or email me with your suggestions.
April 14th, 2013 by Simply Silk
As you know for almost ten years now I have been in the business of manufacturing silk and more recently bamboo clothing under my Simply Silk and Bambootoo labels.
I am always on the lookout for new styles that can fit the majority of people and also colours that suit most skin colourings. I really am not just about what is in fashion currently but more what people want to suit their own figures and colourings.
It is funny because I am probably unlike most people as I normally don’t like to wear what other people are wearing, I like to think I am unique so can wear what I like. Many of my friends think this is quite amusing knowing I am in the fashion industry but like to be contrary to the latest fashions. I think the so called ‘latest ‘ fashions anyway are just rehashes of what has been before i.e. back to the future ideas. I cannot believe all people want to look alike and many would like to show their individuality through what they wear.
Obviously most of us are only limited by our imagination as we can do so much with our wardrobe now but often don’t know how. I have a friend who is a fashion stylist who can pick up a simply garment even from me and change it into at least 10 different ways to wear it. It really puts me to shame with my lack of this imaginative ability. Suppose I am too concrete in my ideas and trying to be as practical and pragmatic as I can. One day I will work on developing this though. Regardless I do require your imput on new styles etc so please let me know you ideas. Many thanks.
December 24th, 2012 by Simply Silk
I have been selling pure silk pillowcases for about 3 years now and have literally sold hundreds of them based on the suggestions of a friend who just loves them.
I tried different colours but ended up with ivory and black as the most popular choices. These have been handy as gifts but are really lovely to sleep on. Stops bed hair (you know when you get up in the morning and your hair sometimes stands on end).
Apparently so I am told by hairdressers and health professionals that for people being treated with chemo for cancer it appears to help minimise hair loss. Hair does not cling to the pillowcase especially if they are cotton as it tends to glide and not grip when they sleep on the soft, glossy silk pillowcases. It also stops your hair from overheating. Silk as we all know is a natural fibre that breathes and also makes us feel good. Some Chinese people also told me that they believe having silk is so close to the human skin (both being a protein) that it also minimises wrinkles. I do not know the science behind this so cannot verify this but it certainly does feel lovely and restful to sleep on.
Simply Silk ’silk pillow cases can be machine washed but of course last longer if washed by hand . Being silk also means you do not have to wash them as often as you might other pillowcases i.e. cotton. Silk naturally deters dirt and soiling making them far easier to care for.
If you have any more suggestions about what you would like me to make out of silk fabric please feel free to contribute your ideas and I will look at making up more products that there is a demand for .
December 10th, 2012 by Simply Silk
I joined up with a good friend Jan who knew more about patterns, sewing and designs than I did while I concentrated on finding new suppliers to manufacture our designs in Vietnam. We contacted several sources both within Australia and Vietnam and then proceeded to find the best service/price/ delivery times etc
Also tried to engage some local manufacturers in Sydney one of whom did a good job making some of our products up but at twice the price we could get them made overseas. We knew the price point would be unacceptable to the local market so we ventured OS to Ho Chi Minh to meet up with the 7 manufacturers I had lined up. We had so much fun staying in this exotic city and took many a ride on the back of motor bikes just for the fun of it with no helmets either! Usually it cost us more than the comfort of the air cond taxi but we could do that in Sydney.
I even arranged for us to go to a beautiful place in the mountains called Dalat for a weekend in between business appointments. I thought we would travel by bus figuring it was only 150 KMS away, well 9 hours later we arrived! It actually took us longer to cover these 150 kms of winding roads than it took to fly from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh.
So we jumped again on the back of a a couple Easy Rider bikes and took off to see the sites of this much cooler city and all it contained. We saw the ‘crazy house’ designed by a Vietnamese woman trained in the old Soviet Union with themed rooms and very unusual architecture, also pagodas and gondolas as we rushed at break neck speed to see as much of the place before the sun went down.
We had to make plans for leaving the next day for our return bus journey as there were no spare flights leaving the next day. Still it was only 8 hours (going downhill this time) on the more desirable TOURIST BUS trip back to HCM. Needless to say it was not one of my better plans for weekend entertainment. We did also sampled the night markets of Dalat and all the unusual local dishes of which we were lucky to recognize a few of the ingredients. Delicious it was as the food in Vietnam was always fresh and certainly made us lose a few pounds as it was such a healthy alternative to what passed through our lips back home!.
more next week…..
November 27th, 2012 by Simply Silk
Yes I know it is eons since I have written anything about silk and I am happy to keep writing more about silk if it is what you want to know about. I think though that I have already made a good start albeit a few years ago, and well there really is no excuse not to keep writing except apathy. This does not mean I am not passionate about silk or bamboo or other natural fibres and clothing as I am, but I think I was just a little burnt out with the business side of things to continue at t time..
So decided to really tell you how I got into this fashion field with my own labels when my background was in the aged care industry. Totally unrelated you might think.
I had started Simply Silk really as a response to trying to leave my previous job which included among many things accrediting/assessing aged care facilities so they met a set of national standards, offering industry advice, consulting and training, all so hostels and nursing homes in NSW and ACT could get their facilities accredited for the next 3 years.
Some places we went to in the country and regional areas has staff who were so petrified when we came around wearing our accessors hats that we would close them down if we found things that were not as they should be. In reality this was never going to happen or only under extreme circumstances. After all if you did close one of the bigger facilities down where would you put the the residents?. Hospitals were already full and there was no where else suitable to care for out frail aged.
Still aged care was often the only source of employment in these places so it was very important to all who resided or worked in these places that all went well on our visit.
Anyway after doing this for few years I needed a change so I took off after I turned the magic age of 50 to Vietnam and Cambodia, back packing for a month and having a great time again. It really took 10 years off my life though am not sure if it was the freedom of jumping on the back of motor bikes, or the humidity in both countries filling out the wrinkles in my face making me appear younger. Maybe it was the 5 kgs I lost eating such beautiful healthy fresh food and talking to all sorts of people from every nationality which I really love doing.
So after this wonderful opportunity it was difficult to settle back down to the work I had done before so decided on reflection that I had seen some lovely silk items while on my travels and thought of the possibility of a business opportunity in the silk trade. So I was on my way….
more next week!
May 18th, 2011 by Simply Silk
As you all know, I love silk for its versatility. Silk fabric keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter (unlike polyester, that silk imposter); silk also wicks perspiration away from the body which is why it helps keep you cool and leads to its reputation as a breathable fabric (like cotton, linen and wool). These are the wonderful properties of silk that no matter how hard the fashion manufacturers try, cannot convince me that polyester and other synthetics can match.
But there’s another reason I love silk and that’s because the wearing of it – quite simply – makes me feel good! Silk has been a timeless classic for clothing throughout the ages for good reason. It hints of luxury and sensuality and yet is really an every-woman wardrobe staple. After all, who hasn’t had a silk shirt or at the very least a silk scarf in their wardrobe at some point in time?
With a little TLC, silk will also last a long time without the fabric picking up those ‘impossible to remove’ faint odours that synthetic clothing does over time. I have had several of my silk pieces for well over 5 years and they are still looking good after all this time, even with very regular wear.
While silk is lovely to wear and looks stylish to boot, I often get the comment “I’d love to wear silk but I just don’t have time to look after it properly”. This always surprises me because I wear a lot of silk (you can’t say I’m not a supporter of my own product) and I find it very easy to look after. Basically caring for silk comes down to 3 simple things:
- Hand wash with ‘wool wash’ or shampoo (but don’t use shampoo containing silicone) to save time, I do this while I shower.
- Dry flat in the shade on a towel or other absorbent surface. While silk is a very resilient fibre, ongoing exposure to full sun will in time, do damage (just like it does to your skin). I have also been known to peg my PJs, silk slips, and camis (by the straps) on the line but only during the shady part of the day.
- If you feel you need to iron it, do so on a low-medium setting. I don’t iron my silk pieces as a) I hate ironing and b) I find if I lay them out carefully to dry and then hang or store them flat in drawers they don’t crease.
1,2 3. Easy!
May 4th, 2011 by Simply Silk
This week we have a guest post on something that is in all the shops and fashion magazines right now. Emma McDermott from My Personal Stylist discusses how to wear this winter’s key trend – animal print – no matter your age, body shape or personality. Emma works with mainly with women aged 40-65, helping them rediscover their identity with an updated image.
Here’s what she has to say:
There’s a lot of animal print around for autumn/winter 2011. I’ve seen it everywhere from luxe high-end boutiques to chain store “cheap and cheerful”. Personally this is a trend I love. I am known for incorporating a little leopard into my wardrobe from time to time. However, like most fashion trends this is one that can be confusing if you’re not sure how to wear it. And its an easy one to get wrong!
To avoid looking like you’re trying too hard, this is one trend where less is most definitely more. If you want to try it out but don’t know if it’s your kind of thing here’s a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- COLOUR: Go with a print that will match your colouring – eg if you have warm, toasty tones in your skin/eyes/hair colour then the browns, bronzes and earth colours of leopard and giraffe print will work for you. But if you’re a cool profile with deep hair and eyes and a high contrast between your skin tone and hair/eye colour, then a zebra or snake print or something that also has a high contrast will be better for you. Knowing your colour profile (in general) will help you find what you’re after more quickly and also avoid costly wardrobe mistakes.
- SCALE: If you are fine boned and petite then your frame will be overwhelmed by large amounts of print or a print with a large pattern – ie bold stripes and large ’spots’. A smaller print will work best for you. However if you are fuller figured and/or taller then you can carry off larger areas of print and also a larger scale print.
How to wear animal prints
- Scarf: if you really just want to ‘dip your toe in the water’ with this trend then consider a scarf tied around your handbag strap, to ease you into it (Myer, DJs, Sportscraft, Portmans, Diva, Temt).
- Bangle: for ‘toe-dippers’ there are also several really smart leopard and other jungle print bangles around in chunky resin styles (Lovisa, Mouche and Diva) . These work well to liven up a black outfit, but also complement cream, red or earth tones very well. Or if you’re really not sure sure then perhaps an animal print handbag hook (Myer) will give you a way to express your wild side safely.
- Sunglasses: Another good way to try it out without being overly dramatic. Leopard, giraffe, tiger stripe, or tortoiseshell acetate frames will work well on those with warm and not too light colouring.
- Belt: Alternatively you could consider incorporating a leopard or crocodile print belt (Sportscraft, Valley Girl, Glassons, Myer, Portmans) either with jeans, or worn over a slim line shirt, jacket or cardigan with black pants or skirt. If you are going to wear a belt this way, work with your body shape and emphasise your narrowest part or use it to enlongate your torso.
- Shoes: If you’re bold go for all out sex-appeal in high heeled leopard pumps (Nine West) or to downplay it leopard loafers (Sportscraft). Snake or crocodile print is also a good way to bring some animal print into your wardrobe without being too OTT.
- Cardigan: I have found several very smart slim cut ‘twin-set’ style cardigans (Basque, Ezi-Buy ‘Emerge’, Wheels & Doll Baby) in leopard print …in colours from very earthy browns and black through to delicate cream, pale pinks and grey. These look great teamed with simple black, tan or cream pants or worn over a dress in these colours.
- Trench: If you really want to amp up the drama and the ‘wow factor’ then an animal print trench may be more your speed. Bear in mind with this look that you will be noticed, so walk talk, smile and enjoy the attention.
If you have more thoughts on how the animal print trend can be adapted to suit women of all ages and sizes then please share your comments below. I’d love to hear how you wear it.
Author’s note: I have no affiliation with any of the stores mentioned here and receive no incentives or ‘kickbacks’ from them.
To find out more about how your image can influence your personal and professional goals visit My Personal Stylist
April 19th, 2011 by Simply Silk
Silk makes wonderful travel clothing. I make regular trips overseas to visit my manufacturers and to get inspiration for the Simply Silk range. In fact right now I am on a trip to Vietnam, China and for the first time, to Laos. I’ll take some photos along the way and post them to the Simply Silk Facebook page so you can see what I’ve been up to.
Given that I’ve just left for a multi-country trip, I thought it was appropriate to share some thoughts on making packing for travel easier. Often I visit remote destinations and staying in the type of accommodation that won’t be listed in Condé Nast Traveller any time soon. This means I carry my own bags and have to be ready to hop on and off planes, trains and buses. Because of this I have learned to travel light and this is where I am always grateful for my silk clothing.
To ensure maximum room in my bag I roll all my silk pieces and then layer them in and around other items. I find this not only save space but also helps them from creasing so that when I arrive at me destination I don’t have to look for an iron.
I have also learned to be more creative with my wardrobe… that way a pair of silk pants can serve as sleepwear, comfortable plane attire, and then can be dressed up to go out in the evening. My longer silk slips can be worn under other dresses to keep me cool during the day, or layered under a kaftan as a glamorous evening outfit on those occasions where such a thing is required. In fact a kaftan is a one of the most versatile travel items you can pack.
I have a friend who loves to travel and she tells me she uses her silk kaftan as a scarf rolled lengthways and looped around her neck a couple of times, as a wrap on the plane, as a beach cover up and then throws on heels and a belt to go out at night. She also wears it tucked it into the waistband of long pants then blouses it over the top as a stylish shirt. She even used it as a sleep sheet once on an overnight train in India when she was dismayed at the state of the sheets and blankets handed out by the train porter. I chuckle thinking about her wrapped in leopard print silk chiffon while others made do with threadbare India Rail blankets.
The beauty of silk for those who travel off the beaten track is its versatility, is light and easily rolled to pack, easy to hand-wash in your hotel room where it will quite comfortably dry overnight. However if you’re a 5 star princess who wouldn’t be caught dead on a bus in rural Vietnam or a train in India then silk is also great for you. It folds up into such a small space in your bag that you‘ll have plenty of room to bring your holiday shopping home and you’ll look exceedingly stylish ordering cocktails by the pool in your silk kaftan or cover up or swanning into the bar in your silk pants and a sexy singlet or t-shirt.
Regardless of your preferred style of travel, I’d love to hear your tips for easy travel packing. Make sure to leave your comments below.
October 15th, 2010 by Simply Silk
I have just heard from my silk supplier in China that the silk pillowcases I manufacture and sell wholesale and on line are completely machine washable.
The only safeguards are the following:
Wash on a gentle cycle on your washing machine
Keep the temperature to 40C
Do not use an enzymatic or alkaline soap. I recomend a gentle soap, mild shampoo or a wool wash product. After all silk is a protein so you do not want to destroy this property and subsequent benefits.
Handwashing though takes no time at all especially as you do not have to wash silk as often as you do other fabrics as silk naturally repels soil and dirt
You do need to iron and once again I have tried it with a hot iron and even with steam. You only have problems when you use a hot iron with polyester or nylon. It is surprising how much heat silk can take.
I do hope this helps those of you who love the feeling of silk next to your skin and also the benefits of it. Silk pillowcases makes your hair glide over the pillow and eliminates bed hair and facial wrinkles.
I would love to hear your stories on silk pillowcases.
October 2nd, 2010 by Simply Silk
Well it appears you may find in the coming months silk prices going up as silk yarn prices going up in China and it doesnt appear to be coming down in the foreseeable future.The major reasons are four fold : the droughts then floods in south and southwest parts of China. These areas are one of the most important silk cocoon production bases in China. This means the silk cocoon crops are very reduced this spring. Another reason is that the central government in China wants to protect the interests of silk cocoon farmers as well as other farmers. The third reason is that all the living and manufacturing costs in China has gone up. Finally the biggest silk yarn importing country India, plans to free up their restrictions on silk yarn import from China thus increasing the price of silk. This means that if you are wanting to buy silk clothing that you had better do this now before prices for new stock hits the market.