The Luxe List

30 April 2014

'Why are you allowed to love your curves, when it's wrong for me to love my bones?' The BIG body image debate

Once again, the fashion media have gone into a frenzy after the model Cassi Van Den Dungen stood up to the bullies and posted this picture on Instagram:
cassie van den dungen hits out at skinny shamers

(Instagram @cassivandendungen)

It made me think: why should we get away with criticizing healthy, yet slim women? Surely, of we made the same comment for someone overweight, we would immediatly be labelled a b**tch?

More shockingly, Instagram deleted this post because it 'promoted eating disorders'. Cassi fought back the bullies stating:

'This is not in anyway promoting this. I posted this because I think it's wrong to put someone down for what they look like, whether it be skinny, curvy, short, tall, etc.’ 

She makes a good point doesn't she?

If we criticize a girl for being overweight we are labeled ‘fattist’, so why are we allowed to label a slim, but healthy girl as ‘anorexic’?

Does this not make us ‘thinnest’?

Similarly, if we criticize someone for being too tall or too short, does this make us ‘heightist’. Surely this is almost on the same levels as sexism, homophobia, or even racism?

In today’s society we seemingly categorize everyone and everything- surely we are all just human beings and are all beautiful in our own, unique ways?

It’s unfortunate how EVERYONE (me included) is obsessed with body image and weight. From your Bessie moaning about her ‘lumpy love handles’ to social media obsessed fads- hello #thighgap and #bikinibridge, don’t you think it’s time we concentrated on just being healthy and happy within ourselves?

I mean, as my mum (and probably everyone elses) said, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

Sadly, us women don't see this as the case, with research showing that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Could this explain why we are all so quick to criticise one another?

Dr Seth Meyers believes that 'the majority of female criticism actually stems from feeling inadequate in an area of life they value highly.' (Source: I think it's time we put a stop to this victimizing cycle.

I salute all women in the fashion industry or on the street, whether slim or curvy, as I believe that health is a true symbol of beauty.

Cassi’s bullying of her weight ironically reflects to a criticism given to stunning plus sized model Crystal Renn, who was slated during a fashion show and labeled the ‘fat’ girl. 

krystal renn for jimmy choo

(Jimmy Choo. Photo from
Crystal states that:

“[Someone] told me that the entire time I was in makeup, the stylist had been clomping up and down the hall, sputtering into her cell phone, 'I can’t believe I have to style a FAT GIRL!' Believe it, bitch.”

Surely us women should stick together and support each other! Come on sisterhood… let’s bring back that 90s Spice Girls girl power!

It’s not just in the celebrity world that size prejudice takes part either, it’s right at our front door. I know one girl whose very very slim, she eats EVERYTHING, but she’s so afraid of people calling her ‘anorexic’ or telling her to ‘eat a burger’ that she won’t even wear shorts!

On the other hand, I have another friend whose battles with body image lead her to a dangerous eating disorder.

I don’t believe it is pictures like Cassi’s that promote eating disorders; I believe it’s the media and the public nit-picking everyone and finding something to criticize.

If Cassi is too thin and Robyn is too big  (seriously guys, are you blind? They are both STUNNING), then who exactly is ‘the right size’??

The inbetweeners?

the inbetweeners

Erm, not those ones!

Curvier models such as Tahnee Atkinson (who is a tiny size ten) have been blasted by internet trollers and jealous haters- maybe we should just concentrate on our own happiness and health?
tahnee atkinson australias next top model


We come in all different shapes and sizes.

And to quote Cassi ‘deal with it.’
28 April 2014

The Look: Boho Beach

Dress: Missguided
Necklace and arm cuff: Lovisa
Scarf: River Island
Sunglasses: Cotton On

I love to mix statement necklaces with dresses of contrasting colour- it's my fail-safe go to look!

Also check out Axel the Border Collie in his fashion debut- I think you'll agree he rocked it!

25 April 2014

The Look: Textured Leather

I am totally addicted to (faux) leather at the moment and when I saw this top I was intrigued by the textures- mixing knitted wool and leather is genius! I paired it with leather trousers and black heels for an all over leather look. Then I added a pop of colour with the pink and coral clutch and matching midi rings.

Top: Cotton On
Faux Leather Pants: Jay Jays
Shoes: New Look
Clutch: Valley Girl
Midi Rings: Lovisa

How do you guys wear faux leather?

Rachel xx

11 April 2014

Behind the Catwalk: Working at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia

Fashion Week: We've all seen it online, plastered on the pages of fabulous fashion magazines and of course injected into the contents of our wardrobes. But this week, I was lucky enough to take my fashion infatuation to a whole new level.

Drum roll please.....

volunteering at mercedes-benz fashion week australia Mirodoor

Yes fashionistas, I was lucky enough to actually work at Sydney Mercedes Benz fashion week as a volunteer and I can honestly say it was the best weeks work I've ever experienced in my life.

In a nutshell, I mixed with the style sirens, the bloggers, the designers and of course the models. I saw (and worked with) some sensational pieces of clothing, stunning models and internationally seen catwalks.

Are you intrigued? Read on for a full low down of what I got up to this week and get ready to see some truly breathtaking designs.

Monday 7th April: Ellery

Kym Ellery's amazing creations were displayed at the prestigious 'Iceberg' at Bondi Beach. Guests were greeted with stunning scenery and flawless table plans, including custom Ellery coffee cups and programs used as placemats: Chic or what?

ellery fashion week 2015

(Photo Source:

The look was one of perfect juxtapositions: the contrast of impeccable tailoring with relaxed sports-luxe. 

The models donned slick cat-like makeup, including winged eyeliner, over sized earcuffs and spiked faux-fringes.

The front row included the stunning Jessica Mauboy and Scottish actor Gerrard Butler. And of course, with them,came a plethora of paps and media moguls.

Tuesday 8th April: Michael Lo Sordo
Nothing can describe how amazing it is to work behind the scenes at a fashion show, and Michael Lo Sordo's fabulous display was no exception. I was dressing Sydney stunner Bella, who rocked a stunning low cut, backless black number with a matching soft trench. 

Before I worked at fashion week, I, like many others, thought that models ate erm, well, air! But I was soon proven wrong:

 'I can't wait until the next three shows are done, then I'm gonna eat a huuuge bowl of pasta', my model laughed. Yes folks, they are just like us. I even spotted them munching on jelly sweets backstage! This brought an important and controversial question to mind:

Why is it ok to call models too skinny when it would be so unacceptable to call anyone overweight? Dear media, These girls just have fast metabolisms and fab genes!

backstage at micheal lo sordo 2014 fashion weekbackstage at micheal lo sordo 2014 fashion week

 Above: Stunning bra and suit creations by Le Sordo and models Bella and Chanique prepare for the show.

Lo Sordo's collection was the empitomisation of feminine chic,with soft sorbet tones and modern, ruched trenches. The super slick silk numbers were paired with flat white pumps; which the models were very happy about!

backstage at micheal lo sordo 2014 fashion weekmodels pose backstage at michael lo sordo

Above: Models line up for show time and the girls strike a pose for backstage paps (you may recognize Chanique and Abby from last season of Australia's Next Top Model)

The show marked Michael's sixth year at Fashion Week and once again, he proved his undeniable understanding of how to dress the female body.

He stated: 'This season I really looked at the women and who she is. It's really about: 'who is this woman and how can we dress her?''

If I had to choose a favorite collection from the shows I dressed it would be 'Cameo'. Young, fresh and flirty, the show featured bold monochrome geometric, neon yellows, bright whites and thick lace patterns.

The show gave us volunteers the opportunity to prep the garments as well as put them on the runway stunners. 

How are garments prepped I hear you ask? Well, each piece is steamed or ironed to perfection and shoe bottoms are taped in multiple layers to avoid damage.

volunteering backstage at mbfwacameo grid print fashion week backstage

 I dressed LA based model Joanie in a show-stopping  neon- tulle shirt teamed with Cameo's most unique print: the geometric.

The makeup look was girl next door meets glamor, with futuristic glowing skin and backcombed, messy low ponies.

backstage at cameo mbfwa mirodoormercedes-benz fashion week australia cameo backstage

 Above: Cameo's beautiful clothes (I want everything!) and a model poses for a quick snap.

 Below: It's show time!

volunteering backstage at mbfwa

Designers Kathryn and Siham were super down to earth and even gave volunteers there own Cameo piece to take home as a thank you! I am wearing my stunning geo number right now as I'm blogging! (Visual inspiration, you see!)

Experience the magic for yourself below:

 Wednesday 9th April: Jayson Brunsdon
If you're obsessed with 'Top Model' as I am, you would have had a field day at Jayson Bransdon. I managed to have a quick chat with America's Next Top Model stunner Fatima, who was super lovely.

fatima americas next top model volunteering backstage fashion week

I also chatted to controversial contestant from Australia's Next Top model, Cassie Van Den Dungen, who is known for her very-slim frame. Despite Top Model portraying her in an unflattering manner, she was really sweet and chatty and even brought her lucky teddy bear to the show with her. A random fact for all you fashionistas: she has a wonky ear piercing, which made putting in Brunsdon's stunning fruit embellished hoops in suuuper difficult.

jayson brunsdon mbfwa 2014

 The theme for the show was 'Rio', a city that Brunsdon himself is very fond of. The collection was beautifully bright and featured metallics, an aurora of greens and blues and tribal-inspired jewellery.

Below: The models in Brunsdon's designs
jayson brunsdon backstage mbfwa 2014 volunteering mirodoor

Below: Setting up the quirky catwalk
catwalk set up mbfwa

The stand out piece from the collection was a shift dress embellished with bright fruit patterns. During the shows finale, the runway was filled with models wearing this same dress, making it impossible to ignore!

jayson brunsdon backstage mbfwa 2014 volunteering mirodoorjayson brunsdon backstage mbfwa 2014 volunteering mirodoor

 Above: The gorgeous finale dress and my model Chloe rocking Redken's wet-look hair.

jayson brunsdon mbfwa 2014 cassie van den dungen mbfwa

Above: Models pose for a group photo and Cassie Van Den Dungen strikes a stunner.

Uber chic and uber sparkly: It can only be swarovski! 
backstage swarovski mbfwa 2014
backstage swarovski mbfwa 2014

And this show certainly packed a whole lotta sparkle! Think entire tank tops made of crystals (see below) mixed with chunky cuffs, clutches and even Swarovski shoes!

mbfwa swarovski tank top mbfwa swarovski clutch

 The collection featured sheer sleeves, jewel tones and a modern take on the suit. But one thing was for sure, the creations oozed the glamour and class that would make any woman feel like a princess. The hair and makeup matched this glamzon vibe, with undone curls and golden, smokey eyes.

 Models included the sexy Stenmark twins, who I was lucky to see between dress changes (pervert? Never!)
backstage swarovski mbfwa 2014 backstage swarovski mbfwa 2014

This sexy gold military number was a total show stopper!

The Stalker Files
The rich, the famous and the damn right beautiful individuals I bumped into (or admired from afar)

With Victoria's Secret supermodel Shanina Shaik backstage after the Swarovski show. Is it actually possible for anyone to be this perfect? 

Chatting to Australia's Next Top Model finalist Shanali Martin who is super sweet.

King of Aussie fashion Alex Perry getting a coffee (Stalker, much?)

Fashion sensation Nicole Warne aka garypeppergirl, who always looked flawless.
If I had one word to sum up my experience, I would simply choose 'wow!'
volunteering mbfwa mirodoor

I have met the most amazing people, worked with sensational clothes and designers and gained an experience that will stay with me forever.