Wishing you were ...

A wee while ago, Kristy B of Kuwaii took a quick trip to the U. S. – San Francisco and New York to be precise. She has been so very kind and generous as to send Milly a post-trip postcard, detailing sights seen, paths trodden, pizzas eaten and wonders drunk in. Thank you Kristy!

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How to spend one day in San Fran! 

If you find yourself in San Fran for one day as I did, please see a list of my favorite SF things, just able to be crammed into one day and one night! We spent most of our time in and around the Mission, which is the Mexican neighbourhood.

Coffee at Phil's Espresso, brewed “One Cup at A Time” as their banner proudly announces!

Vietnamese lunch special from Sunflower on 16th (have the tofu special – AMAYYYZING!)

A walk through The Mission...

... to admire the view from Bernal Hill ...

.. Walk back via the secret garden at Wild Side West Bar and quench your thirst – Bernal Hill is big! The garden, and the whole place actually, is adorably ramshackle.

Back to the Mission to Attic for Magarita Happy Hour – I think they were $3!

[Afterwards], Mexican Vegan Dinner at Gracias Madre (by the Café Gratitude people – who were a pioneer of the vegan and raw movement – and who run their business on the following principles: Love, Acceptance, Generosity, Worth, Gratitude, Creation, Responsibility. Check out their website because their philosophies are really akin to Kuwaii’s. Gracias Madre is their newish place on Valencia St and it was just amazing.

DJ Purple at Jacks Bar (one Thursday a month) This is the most crazy Karaoke I’ve ever witnessed. Picture a large bar, everyone dancing like mad, hands in the air. DJ Purple somehow manages to make everyone sound perfect and also is an incredible sax player – performing the most awesome sax solos in everyone’s songs. Quite the experience and if you can time your visit to SF for the Thursday that it’s on, you won’t be disappointed.

[On to] Lone Palm – another cute bar in the Mission ...

... And very very late night burritos at Il Farolito – best late night fodder one is likely to find, anywhere!


We stumbled upon Sol Lewitt sculptures in a park while heading to our favorite Vegan Dim Sum (“Vegetarian Dim Sum House") on Pell Street in Chinatown.

I’ve been mesmerised by Sol Lewitt since seeing his drawings at the DIA Beacon last year. These sculptures were so beautiful ...

... and we read about his methodology too ...

Yonah Schimmels Knishes has to be the most authentic place, est 1910! I love it! There’s so much to see in the Lower East Side but this is a must-do.


Marlow and Sons is under the Williamsburg Bridge and here you can see some Kuwaii shoes dancing on Kellie (Architecture in Helskinki’s) feet when we met up with the band for a drink! Kellie and I had an amazing Italian dinner at Bar Toto in Park Slope earlier.

Beach in New York? Well it is a “long island”. We spent some quality time at the beach. Probably my favorite thing about the beach in New York is the sensationally delicious Rockaway Tacos from its beachside stands. Something Ramones-y about going to Rockaway Beach!

My birthday!

Brunch at Five Leaves, The Alexander McQueen Exhibition at the Met ...

... pretzels on the street then $5 dirty martinis during happy hour at Five Points.

Architecture in Helsinki played at Webster Hall on my birthday, it was such an amazing show; full of energy and so much love. The crowd was huge and loved it, and I got an amazing Happy Birthday shout out! Post the show, we had drinks at wine bar Von... which happened to have an amazing dance floor/party in the basement!

A stalwart: the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Whisper to your pal in the “whispering hall” out the front – you stand in one corner, your friend in another, you can whisper into the corner, and through some trick of acoustics the whisper is heard by your friend loud and clear.

Also head into the bar to soak up the ambience, even though I don’t eat meat, I always take a visit to the Oyster bar, it’s semi faded glamour really sums up NY.

Panna 1 or Panna 2 indian restaurant in the Lower East Side is quite incredible for their interior concept – which is as many brightly lit fairly lights hanging from the ceiling as you could possibly hang. This picture is just a small snippet!

You actually have to duck under the lights. Tell them it’s your birthday for a fun surprise.

Head out into deepish Brooklyn for one of the most memorable pizza experiences ever at Di Fara. Dom DeMarco makes each pizza himself, and has done ever since 1964! 1964!!!!!!! It’s one of the last coal-oven pizzerias (they’re actually illegal now so the only pizzeria’s you’ll find using coal ovens are ones with a very long history.


You will wait for hours here for your pizza, but it’s worth the wait if not just for the experience. The pizza will blow your mind. I would recommend getting a whole pie because after you’ve waited an hour you’ll have really built up an appetite! Waiting though is not such a chore as you’ll be amazed to watch Mr DeMarco make each and every pie in front of you.

Make a trip to the New York Public Library and do the tour, our guide was incredibly entertaining, and very Upper East Side New York.


They had a really interested exhibition on about the history of the Library and of New York, it’s all free too (including the tour) so highly recommended for on-a-shoe-string touring. Did you know (apart from that the NYPL was the setting for THAT scary scene in Ghostbusters) that it’s built upon a massive underground lair housing all of its 1 million tomes?


 The American Folk Art Museum is a MUST SEE. It’s a small bite sized museum – such a rarity in a city where big is better – this is a manageable chunk of outsider and folk art from the 18th & 19th centuries. Many of the items are junk-art or from self-taught artists and I love that it shows this kind of art as an element in the cultural fabric of the USA and it’s a very interesting museum. The Museum itself has had a history fraught with financial strain and it seems like it might be closing down, so hurry! We saw the Quilts – Masterwork exhibition…


... and the Eugene Von Bruenchenhein exhibition entitled “Freelance Artist – Poet and Sculptor – Innovator – Arrow maker and Plant man – Bone artefacts Constructor – Photographer and Architect – philosopher” completely blew my mind. He was a massively prolific artist, in all of those fields, however none of his even closest friends knew that he made art. His huge body of work spanning so many disciplines was discovered after his death. His paintings made me weep with their beauty.

Spend a day at Coney Island for sure! Go on the Cyclone ...

I still can’t believe this all wood rollercoaster was built in 1929. It. Is. So. Scary. But very highly recommended! After, go to Totono’s – another Ramones hang out and generally amazing pizzeria which burnt down and has only recently re-opened, as original as ever.

Don’t come for the service, but do go for the white pie!

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(Words and images by Kristy Barber). 



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Wowee. As part of the I'll Show You My Craft If You Show Me Yours series, Tessa Blazey and Alexi Freeman have continued their collaboration, and produced another spectacular gown, for Craft Cubed and Gallery Three at Craft Victoria. Made from 600 metres of gold-plated chain, and 6,000 jump rings, the piece features a subtle reproduction of Alexi's 'Flapper' motif, and its edges have been burnt to achieve the gradual colour change at the fringes. Its slow rotation in the otherwise empty space is quite mesmerising - drop in before September 3 to see it.

Tessa and Alexi's first gown is now on display among the other finalists for the Love Lace award and exhibition at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. Alexi tells us that the curation of the works is impressive, so if you're in the area before April 2012, it's no doubt well worth a look.

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Photograph above by Jorge de Araujo



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Old and new, too

In case you didn't know ... Melbourne's Mücke label is one of the most ingenious labels around, wholly committed to sustainable design. All of the new wearable pieces conceived in the Mücke studio are made by adapting, combining, or completely reconfiguring older garments (or using remnants and scraps to make accessories and jewellery). The results are always clever, curious and attractive ... and, as often as not, each piece can be worn more than one way.

Milly Sleeping has just received a couple of gorgeous Mücke buttonvestCARDIs ... that appear to be reassembled cardigans. Playing around for the sake of these photos, we came up with about five hundred and twelve ways that one could be adopted; here are a few examples of the most everyday ways:

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Mücke buttonvestCARDIs (RRP $220) - two only now in store!



New and old

A swirling look at the lovely recent arrivals...

As mentioned in previous posts, Melbourne-based Livia Arena is the newest label to Milly Sleeping, and it is very gratifying to see visitors responding so positively to her work. Our second selection of LA garments shows the variability of Livia's skill and imagination, and includes pretty practical pieces that one will confidently where anywhere/anytime - cotton tees with the wonderful windmill detail at the sleeve, and the pleated A-line windmill skirt - as well as the completely impractical, witty and adorable 'pretend' garments... the beautifully detailed sheer silk jumper and shorts.

Livia also created a one-off showpiece 'pretend dress' for her debut in the Independent Runway during the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival in March, which Milly Sleeping has nabbed for display for a short time.

Livia's garments tie in very nicely with the new pieces by Romance Was Born, which are also both (typically) sophisticated and light-hearted. It's hard to believe but RWB are officially Milly's oldest label! Normally, we rattle on about how exciting and bright and bold the label is but today we have to tip our hats to their dependability, diligence and resourcefulness. Six years on, and still fresh as an unexpected Spring breeze... THANKS RWB!

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Pictured: Livia Arena Pretend Jumper (RRP $130) with Livia Arena bustier (RRP $121 now $97) and Jolet Frost pants (RRP $295 now $177);
Livia Arena Windmill tee, also available in black (RRP $180) with Livia Arena bustier ($97) and Jolet Frost Pants ($177);
Livia Arena bustier ($97) with Livia Arena Pretend Shorts (RRP $150) and Livia Arena Twist Leggings (RRP $88 now $70);
Livia Arena one-off Pretend Dress (RRP $599);
Livia Arena Windmill Skirt with Romance Was Born silk Tee Top - Nell Mother print - (RRP $295);
Romance Was Born silk Singlet Shift Dress (RRP $300)



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Rubellite (Part One)

Last night was spent at the new Rue de Fleurus on Gertrude Street, for Rubellite - an evening of design and culinary delight. In turns with the courses of an extravagant meal, the lovely Dee and Pheobe presented the guests with platters of jewellery by local makers including Julia de Ville and Deirdre Hoban, all the while adorned in garments by Alexi Freeman, Arnsdorf, Lui Hon, Romance Was Born and S!X. They looked wonderful, as the preview pics above suggest.

The proceeds raised by the dinner's ticket sales will be going to Feed Melbourne. Rubellite also aims to draw attention to the 1 Billion Hungry Project. Congratulations to Tracy for organising the event, and many thanks to Dee and Pheobe, Mariam and Naoya at BIBA Clifton Hill (hair), and Samantha Patrickopoulos (make-up). You all did great...

'Wardrobe' was tucked upstairs and didn't actually see much of the event but managed to corner one guest in the hall before the bathroom and elicit a few words ... apparently she was having a good time and the food was "gorgeous". The atmosphere was very warm and cheerful and a lot of fun was had by all no doubt. If you're curious, the Rubellite exhibition opens tonight at 153 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy from 6 - 9pm.

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Pheobe (at left) wears Romance Was Born silk sleeveless tee dress (RRP $460), Lui Hon Hepburn soft jacket (RRP $580 now $522), Alexi Freeman merino Ziggy scarf (RRP $89 now $80); Dee wears Lui Hon Wolfscape wool jacket/dress (RRP $440 now $400)



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