GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

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Hidden cafes, street art around every corner, tiny shops bursting with antiques and curiosities – George Town, Penang is my kind of place. One of my final stops before returning to Kuala Lumpur to fly home. I spent 3 days in this melting pot metropolis. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site the number of places to see and things to do is overwhelming. George Town is a perfect blend of preserved history and contemporary quirks. If on a limited time don’t miss the following.

Sites- The Clan Jetty Heritage Homes + Armenian Street Art + The Protestant Cemetery

Take a break- The Alley 5 Stewart Lane + Favourite Cafe– 205 Lebuh Pantai + Moon Tree 47– Jalan Muntri

Drink- Mona Lisa Café Lebuh Chulia + Reggae Club– 483, Lebuh Chulia

Eat- Red Garden– 20, Jalan Leith + Lebuh Chulia Hawkers stall (especially try the dumplings) + Little India

Stay- House of Journey 45, 47 Lorong Sek Chuan st

Wander- For 25RM you can hire a scooter and explore the rest of Island. Along the way check out Penang’s National Park (including Monkey Beach), beaches (don’t stop at Batu Ferringhi Beach, its a tourist trap) and surrounding hills. It takes about six hours to get around the whole Island.

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MELAKA

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Melaka City was the second place I visited during my free weekends in my month long stay in Malaysia. Friends had said I would only need a day there but as it turned out I ended up extending my stay and staying for three instead!! Roughly two hours South by bus from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka is known as Malaysia’s historical state. Melaka is the perfect place to simply wander and discover. Through my own wandering I found and would recommend the following.

Firstly, Melaka is inundated with stylish hole in the wall cafes, restaurants and bars that I became a complete sucker for. Don’t do as I did and end up spending all your money by paying an average 11RM (roughly $3.6Aus) on coffees. 11RM could instead be spent purchasing two or three meals from Jonker Street food stalls but, if you do fall victim as I did, don’t miss the following…

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MOD’s Café– Located on Jalan Tokong. Once inside you will discover a time-warp transporting you back to London’s swinging 60’s. All coffee is made from the depths of an orange VW Van that used to offer coffee via the road but now permanently resides within the four walls of the café. MOD’s café has my vote for best coffee (and especially best iced latte in Melaka).

MOD’s Café-  14 Jalan Tokong, Melaka 7520

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Limau Limau- Putting the word of mouth recommendations into practise Limau Limau was recommended to me by the lovely staff at MOD’s café. If you’re a westerner Limau Limau is a guilty indulgence as their menu for the majority only offers a varying array of sandwiches, ciabattas, wraps and focaccias, which I know is not taking advantage of Malaysia’s diverse range of traditional Asian dishes. But sometimes all you want is a bit of hometown familiarity and Limau Limau is the place to find it. The café’s décor is European and rustic with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It also, like the rest of Melaka, visually shares it affections for felines with framed photos of different cats crammed into any spare wall space. There is also an upstairs area, which is open during busy periods but was unfortunately closed when I had lunch.

Limau Limau Cafe– No.9 Jalan Hang Lekiu, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.

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The Baboon HouseThe Baboon House boasts the best burgers in Melaka. Anyone one visiting Melaka city I’m sure will be pointed in its direction immediately with it being a favourite amongst locals and visitors to the city. The Baboon House is located in a beautiful slightly derelict colonial building in which trees and plants have been allowed to grow free within, giving the feel of having lunch within the Jumanji filmset. Owned and run by artist Roger Soong, you also will be able to experience Roger’s, and other artist’s work, throughout the space. When I visited I had the menu special Slow-Roasted Pork Belly in White Wine which tasted as good as it sounds. Although extremely touristy, Baboon House is well worth the visit to eat or otherwise simply lap up the stunning surroundings. Do be warned however photographs are strictly forbidden which perhaps makes a nice change, since you simply have to enjoy your time filter and hashtag free.

The Baboon House- 89, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200, Melaka

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Finally and perhaps most importantly the best place to have a drink would most definitely be Shantaram. This little bar which is run by another local artist and his wife, is more a room with some plastic chairs and a bar fridge stocked with Asia’s finest, ‘Tiger’ beer, than a bar. Shantaram plays host to passing travellers, locals and any domesticated fauna in the area. Its walls also host a variety of insightful quotes such as ‘Give Piss A Chance’ to mosaicked human figures cut from magazines with cat heads. Opening only in late evening it is a perfect stop off after visiting the hectic Jonker Street food stalls for dinner.

In regards to places to stay I had a dorm room at the Voyager Guest House. It’s basic but extremely hospitable and with unbelievably generous staff all who appeared to be originally from Nepal. During my time here I was taken for a sunset bike ride to the floating mosque and during the week you can go camping on a duty free island. It also has large common areas to easily meet people. If you’re looking for something a bit more refined book just down the road at Layang Layang Guest House.

I was extremely sad to leave Melaka so soon, as it seems a place that the longer you stay, the better it gets.

GEORGE TOWN STREET ART

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Penang’s capital, George Town has always been a constant enticement for drawing both international and local visitors. Voted the most live-able city in Malaysia, the town was also together with Malacca declared a UNESCO site in 2008. Renowned for its architecture, food and art, George Town was most definitely one of my favourite places recently visited in Asia. My love and affection for this place was most likely cemented with its now acclaimed street art, which also acts as a social and political commentary for the area and country. Although varying artists have used the city walls for their canvas I was particularly drawn to Lithuanian native, Ernest Zacharevic works. Now based in Penang, Zacharevic’s works dominate and span across the city and can also be found in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Johor Baru, Singapore and Europe.  Check out more of Zacharevic’s work here. Other artist include Tang Yeok Kang, Natthaton Muangkliang, Louise Low, Simon Tan and Louis Gan.

 

 

CRISTJEN LAI

 

Cristjen Lai

303373_328179087262320_386421122_n Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

Cristjen Lai

After many recommendations from friends, I finally visited the historical town of Melaka. During my stay I was fortunate enough to meet professional wanderer, artist and chef extraordinaire, Cristjen Lai. I fell in love with Cristjen’s illustrations and he was obliging enough to agree to let me share them with you on Trash and Aesthetics. Any one currently visiting Melaka, can view Cristjen’s work at the celebrated The Baboon House. If you visit before Aug 9th, be sure to further enhance the experience by trying the chef’s special, “Slow-Roasted Pork Belly in White Wine” again courtesy of Cristjen’s expertise. It is divine. To purchase or see more of Cristjen’s work click here.  I hope you like his work as much as I did. I can’t wait to share the rest of my discoveries from Melaka with you soon.

All images are courtesy of Cristjen Lai

 

KOTA KINABALU

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My best intentions and blogging efforts for this year seemed to have already failed, with massive intervals between posts. To make up for the gap I am about to clog your newsfeed with posts about my current exotic location. Trash and Aesthetics is currently abroad. I am midway through my month long-stay in Malaysia Truly Asia.

This trip came about through a university commitment, which allowed me to take advantage of cheap flights and spend weekends visiting different parts of the country, as well as Kuala Lumpur where I have been based. The First weekend here I visited a university friend, Fay in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. I flew into Sabah’s little tin shack terminal at 12am and was picked up by Fay and taken for the best Lechon Kawali (Crispy Pork) in town. I doubt this Filipino restaurant would make it into most guidebook recommendations, (which I’m sure is a relief for the locals), but when in Sabah, you must visit this place. Decorated like a tiki shack with lots of shell accessories from wind chimes to ‘Jesus Loves You’ signs and offering buckets of beer for only 10r, ‘Tambayan Filipino’ is well worth the negotiated taxi ride. After the restaurant we spent the rest of the now morning in the extremely generous hospitality of Sabah locals, drinking whisky and orange juice (not a local delicacy, but instead a consequence of running out of original alternatives) to the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday we ventured via speedboat to the Islands. Whilst waiting at the harbour we bought breakfast. Breakfast in Sabah does not fall into the same food types that I’m used to for breakfast. In the West we favor muesli over mussels but when in Sabah, do as they do in Sabah. When you visit be sure to order the following dishes – fried seafood kueh teow (with flat noodles), pineapple fried rice (your choice of meat) and fried oyster mee hoon (with vermicelli noodles).

There are so many islands you can access from KK. The area also boasts some of the best diving spots in Asia. Due to time restrictions, we spent the most of our time on Pulau Sapi Island, which is the end point for the longest zip line in South East Asia, which is runs between Sapi and another Island… need I say more. The islands have yet to be developed with only basic facilities, which adds to their charm and makes them ideal for a zip line and beer or two on the beach.

Saturday evening I experienced more of Sabah’s generous hospitality with Fay’s Mum and partner (Aunty Rose and Uncle Kong) taking us for seafood. I don’t think I have eaten REAL seafood before eating like this. ‘Welcome Restaurant’ I do believe has been made aware to the tourist route and for good reasons. The restaurant comes across similarly to a pet shop with lots of tanks with doomed sea creatures soon to be seafood. The word fresh takes on a whole new meaning. To order you are able to choose which and what you would like. After dinner I got to experience another first, clubbing in Asia. ‘Plutonic’ which is located in Times Square (which to me just looked like a giant shopping centre) was a haze of beer towers (literally a tower of beer roughly about three jugs in quantity), shots and a flaming Lamborghini. After, Fay took me to experience Borneo’s version of a Dirty Kebab. When you too find yourself in this situation find a busy street stall and order the following – roti telur (eggy flatbread), roti kaya (sweet bread), soto (Malaysian soupy noodles, egg, and chicken/ beef) and maggi goreng.

For my final day in KK, you guessed it, involved yet more eating. After a stroll down the main Sunday market, which I found slightly traumatic due to the variety of “pets” able to be purchased. We had dim sums in a beautiful street stall just off the market’s street, that could also cater as a museum with photos, maps and newspaper cuttings of Borneo’s history covering the walls. Then after a quick stop at the town’s lookout, we concluded with another Sabah specialty, Ngiu Chap (beef noodles). Then enjoyed more beer and one final sunset before getting on my flight.

As I had only two days in Sabah I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to explore outside of KK. There is so much more to be discovered here. I definitely would not have discovered any of the amazing places I did experience however, if it hadn’t been for Fay and her family and friends. I feel like I got a brief peek at what its like to be a local in KK for the weekend and can’t wait to go back.

Exmouth

20140628-164824.jpg   20140628-170649.jpg My friend Jackie and I have just returned from a week of adventuring up the North of WA. We drove the 1,264 km to the small coastal town of Exmouth, located at the tip of the North West Cape in roughly 14 hours from Perth.The trip to Exmouth came about as I concluded it would be much more rewarding to embrace rather than deny and despise my reaching of a quarter of century this month. I decided to mark the occasion by venturing off into the wilderness and being one with nature, opposed to the less active usual alternative. A very dear friend, Sam had moved up there earlier in the year, after deciding her life required a sea change and conveniently scored a job working for one of the many Whale Shark Tour Companies, which also contributed further to the appeal to go bush.    20140628-164150.jpg 20140628-164834.jpg   When you find yourself up in this part of the world make sure you stop by Coral Bay for a day or two. This touristy, little town with bleach white sandy beaches is a perfect introduction to what is in store for you once your reach the rest of the Ningaloo Reef and National Park. On arrival to Exmouth’s town don’t be deterred by its appearance! It is a bizarre let down compared to what’s in store for you in the surrounding natural landscape. If you have not already booked yourself into a whale shark tour DO THIS IMMEDIATELY, as this truly is a bucket list essential. The day we went out on a tour began with sighting hump back whales, pods of spinner dolphins and a group of tiger and reef sharks feeding off a giant bait ball (not really what you want to see minutes before you jump into open water to swim with the whale sharks, but there you go… you’re in nature now!). 20140628-164845.jpg 20140628-164810.jpg Whale Sharks are the biggest fish in the sea, growing potentially to a whopping 12+ meters in length. They’re also devastatingly close to extinction due to poaching, which is still happening today in more areas of the world than where they are protected. We were fortunate enough to swim with eight throughout the day and see another two quizzically come right up to the boat! Swimming with the docile creatures completely takes your breath away and will be like no other experience. The rest of our afternoon was spent snorkelling inside the reef’s lagoon, capturing glimpses of turtles, dugongs and every other kind of fish featured in ‘Finding Nemo’. Once returned safely to dry land we headed to the William DeVlaming Lighthouse with a bottle of wine for sunset. Exmouth I must say, knows how to put on a rather good sunset. 20140628-170336.jpg 20140628-170330.jpg 20140628-170323.jpg   10455424_10204489743741715_3227494452419441928_n 20140628-170316.jpg For the rest of our time in Exmouth Sam gave us the local tour. We snorkelled at Turquoise Bay, Oyster Stacks and Sandy Bay. Again, we were stunned at the natural fauna of the reef. Swimming with more reef sharks, turtles and even spying 3 surly lionfish. We camped overnight in the national park where we indulged in another beautiful sunset (and bottle of wine). 10412043_10204489740901644_8567058176010930828_n 20140628-164138.jpg   10492422_10204489758102074_5782053934676692580_n 20140628-164817.jpg The whole experience has made me appreciate just how lucky we are in Australia and particularly Western Australia to still have access to such amazing, healthy marine life. It also makes you realize that any marine life should not spend its existence in a tanks, they are meant to be free. So start saving you petrol pennies and get north, it really is where it’s at.

PUBLIC Amateur

Another uni semester is finally over, THANK GOODNESS! This semester I enrolled in taking an introduction to photography unit as an elective. We had various projects in order to conquer the basics of the camera (no easy task I found).

Stormie Mills

Stormie Mills

Stormie Mills

One of these projects involved capturing different elements of an urban environment. I choose to shoot the wonderful initiative by Form Gallery, PUBLIC. PUBLIC saw over a period of nine days, 45 artists demonstrate their expertise on 30 Walls in Perth and the Pilbara. Involved were both WA, Australian and International artists using the different urban environments as their canvas’.

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Last Chance

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I shot these photos back in April this year, anyone in Perth I’m sure would have already seen the various works around the city or heard about the project at the time. If you haven’t get onto to Form’s website for the locations and take an afternoon to explore and appreciate them, they will knock your socks off.

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I focused only on the Wilson car park on Murray Street near Form Gallery for my project as this had lots of my favourite artists works. I hope you can forgive my amateur hour photos and how late I am to post about this Perth event, but still appreciate the amazing talent of the artists’ works.

ROA

 

Dilligaf

 

Fight Drawing Harald H Bomb Olsen

I once again returned this month to the Linton and Kay Gallery on St Georges Terrace, but instead of viewing wallpaper painted nudes, I caught rising star, Andy Quilty’s latest instalment ‘Dilligaf’. The once surfboard labourer, hailing from Rockingham is now regarded as a Perth artist extraordinaire, with three solo exhibitions, a residence at 140 and awards to boot to his name.

Disorderly Conduct tbc

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‘Dilligaf’ is summarised as exploring the “notions surrounding hyper masculine suburban experience, physicality as a means of acceptance, and the misguided aspirations of faux heroics” (Linton and Kay Galleries).

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The amount of work produced by the artist for this exhibition is staggering, and fortunately up for purchase for any one who has had their sights set on snapping up one of Quilty’s hectic, confronting pieces.

Suburban colonial monument self portrait

Suburban colonial monument Chopper

Well worth a look and an artist to keep in your sights, check out ‘Dilligaf’ before it closes on June 3rd.

All images via Linton and Kay

 

Emma Hack– Florence Broadhurst Archive and New Works

Unfortunately I missed the opening of Emma Hack’sFlorence Broadhurst Archive and New Works’. Thankfully however, it is still currently showing at the Linton and Kay Galleries in the city. I had the chance to have a quick look at these extraordinary works today, during my lunch break.

 

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You’re probably already familiar with Hack’s work without even realising it. Hack was the creative mind behind the body illustration in Gotye’s iconic “Somebody That I used To Know” clip, in which both Gotye and Kimbra are blended into a wall’s background.

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Blending backgrounds is just the beginning for this series of works, which intentionally leads onlookers eyes astray. Fully painted models merge into iconic Australian designer, Florence Broadhurst’s wallpaper designs, as birds of prey solemnly stare back at viewers from their framed prints.

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This is literally a “body of work” that if you’re in Perth, you don’t want to miss. Make sure you get down to Linton and Kay before it finishes on the 14th of May.

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All images via Linton and Kay

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia has once again come and gone for yet another year. MBFWA like previous did not disappoint, as the powerhouse of Down Under’s best emerging and established designers came out in force to display their spring and summer wares. The 4-day showcase contained the usual variety with some leading designers ditching convention and opting for an alternative way to share their creations.

As always Romance Was Born lead the alternative way by instead exhibiting their latest collection Reflected Glory’, which was a joint collaboration with Perth artist, Rebecca Baumann and shown at Carriageworks.

Romance Was Born and Rebecca Baumann launch 'Reflected Glory' exhibition

Romance Was Born and Rebecca Baumann launch 'Reflected Glory' exhibition

Romance Was Born and Rebecca Baumann launch 'Reflected Glory' exhibition

Romance Was Born and Rebecca Baumann launch 'Reflected Glory' exhibition

All images via Vogue Australia

Emma Mulholland wowed audiences with her latest- ‘Risqué Business’. Mulholland models we’re adorned with pastels, sparkles and sneakers, as they strutted/ danced through the space, to Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ blaring in the background. In keeping with the 80’s homage models were accessorised with Brat Pack, block coloured sunnies, which came about from Mulholland teaming up with Pared Eyeware. You too can purchase a pair of these divine shades online, now.

 Emma Mulholland x Pared Eyewear Emma Mulholland x Pared Eyewear

 Emma Mulholland x Pared Eyewear

Images via Oyster Magazine

Other personal favourites  were Desert Designs melting pot of brazen Indigenous prints mixed with contemporary street-wear designs.

Desert Designs

Desert Designs

Desert Designs

Desert Designs

 

Desert Designs

All images via here

 

Dream On- Romance Was Born AW14

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Finally!! Latest collection- ‘Dream On’ by my favourite Australian designers, Romance Was Born, has hit retailer’s racks in a kaleidoscope of colours and mash of dominant and delicate prints. Oyster Magazine described the collection as a “slouchy, street wear take on 60s girl power and a party-starting one at that”. ‘Dream On’ is yet another wonderful homage to the designers whom always stay true to their foundations of elaborate prints and wearable forms. For this collection RWB teamed up with Californian dreamer and artist, Alia Penner, who is responsible for the garments explosive illustrations and slogans.

 

Oyster Mag. Dream On

Creative masterminds, Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are the tour de force behind the label, which since its creation in 2005 has built an internationally renowned reputation through its eccentric and theatrical designs. Plunkett and Sales commitment to their ingenious vision even extends to their runway shows in which they transform the space into a “dreamscape” setting to reflect their garments themes. Their ‘Mushroom Magic’ S14 show saw artists, Pip and Pop commissioned to construct a “sparkling wonderland”, in which audiences were able to first view the designer’s Alice in Wonderlandesque pieces.Past collections have also included artist collaboration with Del Kathryn Barton, Kate Rohde and (a personal favourite in which I spent all my monies on) with the extraordinary, Ebony Bizy behind Hello Sandwich.

Two Thousands Dream OnOyster Mag. Dream On

 

‘Dream On’ is (I think) yet another triumph for RWB whom perfectly summarises it as “fun and hopeful, peppered with motifs like butterflies, stars and rainbows, the message from Romance Was Born is loud and clear – peace and love for all kind”. Well one can’t argue with that.

But enough of what I think, what do YOU think…

Anna Plunkett & Luke Sales

 

All images via Romance Was Born, Oyster Magazine, The Design Files and Two Thousand.

Sculpture By The Sea

 

SBTSBulk Carrier

January through to March are hands down my positively, most favourite months in Perth, “West is best,” Straya. The only (which I will admit) negatives of these wonderful months, are that they are accompanied by, what seems to be an eternal, sweltering heat. But you can’t have everything, can you.

Perth city well an truly erupts during these months, with both the eccentric Fringe World Festival and sensational Perth International Art Festival, rolling into town and taking over the city’s Cultural Centre, to deliver to the masses an overwhelming smorgasbord of performances, visual art and what ever else you can imagine from Mermaids, to fire breathing Kangaroos.

This artistic domination is not only confined to Perth’s urban precinct. Our fair coast of Cottesloe also joins in by permitting itself to be adorned with the various works by international and local sculpture artists for ‘Sculpture by the Sea’.

This year was no different. Fringe and Perth International Festival have now been and gone, with the city only now settling from the wonderful chaos that was. I was lucky enough to score work with both, but unfortunately this left me with little to no time to share my experiences.

However, I do have time NOW to share with you my visit to Cottesloe’s ‘Sculpture By The Sea’.

Bulk Carrier

Generally there are always one or two pieces that will receive more attention then others, by visitors. This year’s attention piece was most definitely Western Australian artist Norton Flavel’s, ‘Bulk Carrier’. I, like many antipodean viewers, loved ‘Bulk Carrier.’ But what’s not to love about a giant replica of the infamous ‘Goon Bag,’ which in this case is beached at 4m high and 15m wide. For those readers who have had the misfortune never to be acquainted with a ‘goon bag,’ it is essentially an enclosed plastic bag, which can hold anywhere up to 1.5-4 litres of wine! As I said what’s not to love.

 

SurveyWave 1

Other standout pieces (for me) were Western Australian artist Tanya Spencer’s work, ‘Survey,’ and other fellow WA artist Annette Thas’s work, ‘Wave 1’.

 

Permanent Sunset Permanent Sunset

Permanent Sunset Permanent Sunset

Internationally I couldn’t go past Alejandro Propato’s work, ‘Permanent Sunset’ which was a dedication to the sunsets experienced at Cottesloe Beach.

An (Unofficial) entry by two shark-cull activists which I did not see, but read about, was submitted earlier in the week. There submission was one of Premier “Cullin” Barnett’s, shark cull hooks, which the activists had removed from is original position and purpose, about 1km off the shore. Thankfully no charges were brought against the activist for their submission; which was sadly reinstalled off shore.

Red CentreOffshore Trading

 

Like all good things, they must eventually, come to an end and today is the last day of ‘Sculpture By The Sea’, so you better be quick if you haven’t already got down and had a look. If you have already been down and had a look let me know your favourite pieces…

Osei-Duro

I quite by accident stumbled across the up and coming ethical label, Osei-Duro, based out of Ghana, LA and CA. Upon reading about it, I was automatically reminded of the article, ‘Half Assed Ethics’, by UK stylist Susie Bubble, I had previously read some months before.

 

Over the last few years ethical fashion has finally begun to gain the recognition and creditability it deserves within the ever-formidable fashion industry. For too long ethical labels have been disregarded and separated from their luxury and high street peers. The surge in labels such as Osei-Duro, are slowly challenging these past stereotypes and paving the way for other ethical labels’ success in the mainstream industry.

PantsOsei-Duro : AW13

Osei-Duro was founded by high-school friends Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh. The duo launched the label after traveling through Ghana, West Africa and being inspired by the culture and communities. Holding on to this inspiration Mathias and Keogh recruited local workers in an effort to give back to the community that had so inspired them.

Linter Raglan DressDressDress

Osei-Duro is an assortment of quality materials, strong designs and blazing prints. Even the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, knows that the label is on to good thing. To purchase Osei-Duro’s one of kind pieces, head to their website or Of a Kind, Founder and Followers or Busy Being, to purchase their items  online, today.

All Images Via Osei-Duro

Seminyak, Bali

Twenty Fourteen well and truly has begun. To begin the New Year a friend and I embarked on a fleeting trip to Seminyak, Bali. We had, a few months previous, after countless glasses of pinot, decided to impulsively embrace an Air Asia sale and book flights to Denpasar.

For any readers who read my Gili Islands post, you will know that Indonesia has never been on my list of top places to visit. Until now. All preconceived attitudes towards Bali have been put aside as I join the chorus of antipodeans praising the tropical island and all it offers.

To begin with, I some how lucked out by finding unbelievable accommodation at, Villa Karisa. Villa Karisa is a wonderful introduction for any first timers to Bali. We some how ended up being upgraded to a little wooden love shack with an outside bathroom, which I can only assume is generally reserved for honeymooning couples and not skint students. Villa Karisa’s lush open plan setting easily tempts you to boycott the rest of Bali and simply spend the day lying by the pool. If you do manage to will yourself away here are a few places we found and loved.

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KZU situated on Jalan Drupadi offers a variety of fusion cuisine. The restaurant is easily missed but a wonderful space when found. Its high ceilings and industrial cement and metal interior make it a perfect place to escape the grind of Jalan Raya, Seminyak.

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At the opposite end of town near the local market another favourite was Rumba Fruit ‘n’ Rhythm. This little tucked away café has a wonderful selection of freshly squeezed juices and other quality temptations. For any gentleman that find their way to Rumba, it co-inhabits its space with a barbers which is located up a spiral staircase, with great street views from its floor to ceiling glass widows.

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If you are like us, and you are constricted for time, as we were, make sure you make the trip out to Uluwatu, about an hour out of Seminyak.First visit the temple on the breathtaking cliffs, then head for a beer at the Delphi Rock Lounge and a dip at Blue Water eternity pool over looking the endless turquoise ocean.

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There are so many other great discoveries to be found in this beautiful country and especially if you have the time to get out and explore the rest of Bali and Indonesia outside the popular tourist spots.

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You can see my photo’s of the trip here.

Cliff Jumping New Years Day

Blackwall Reach

After a relatively tame New Years Eve, I spent New Years Day with a close friend who was visiting from Sydney. Due to financial restraints we decided to face the day’s activities with the attitude that the best things in life are free…

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With this in mind I suggested Cliff Jumping at Blackwall Reach near Point Walter. I had never been and had always wanted to. It truly is places like Blackwall Reach that make the saying, ‘West is Best,’ appropriate.

On arrival we surveyed exactly where we would be launching ourselves off. It was high. Very high! A lot higher then other jumpers filtered Instagram photos gave credit. After many minutes clinging to the side and multiple countdowns, whilst five year olds seemed to hurl themselves with ease and no fear from all around us, (like Apocalypticmeteors), we decided to forgo the 11 metre cliff.

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We relocated to the smaller cliffs further down. After some repeated anxious behavior, with multiple count downs, a kind stranger obliged us by jumping in, first in sacrifice and to ease our minds that there were no peckish bull sharks lurking about the bottom, waiting to eat us. We then FINALLY jumped!!

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It was great, terrifying but great!

So after a fabulous day being one with nature, I bid my friend adieu and bon von age, (the lucky duck is moving to France in March) and concluded that some times the best things in life are in fact free.

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If you would like to see more photos of the stunning Blackwall Reach (the photos don’t do any near the justice deserved) you can here.