Friday, June 26, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Shall We Dance

Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Shall We Dance, Humbugs © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Shall We Dance, Humbugs © Shell-Sherree}

Hello, vague nod to Italian backdrop of uncertain precise location.  For some reason, I'm thinking Milan, but we can be anywhere you like.  Really.  As long as we have one pigeon, we're cooking with gas.  {No-one tell the pigeon, please.  Some things are too hard to explain.}

A single pigeon makes a fetching dance partner.  A flock ?  Not so much.  Kitty is here for crowd control purposes, lest I have a pigeonesque repeat of the Chook Feeding Incident of the summer of 1976 from which my sister and I are unlikely to ever fully recover.

If the idea of dancing brings out the 'bah humbug' in you, at least our black and white attire is colour coded to that particular boiled lolly.  Come to think of it, Eliza/Audrey might want to join us. Her hat can find a boyfriend. And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you ! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fairy Tails : Story Dogs Helping Children Read

{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Fairy Tales with Fluffy Tails © Shell-Sherree}

Puppy dogs helping children tell tales ?  Now, there's a tall story !  Except that it's not.  Cross my heart and hope to eat a carob TimTam.  

Story Dogs is an Australian organisation based on the American literacy programme Reading Education Assistance Dogs.  According to Story Dogs, "when children read to a dog, the outcomes are amazing!  ... The non-judgmental, loving nature of dogs gives this program its magic and helps children relax, open up, try harder and have fun reading to a friendly and calm dog."

As kitties are non-judgmental too and I'm one dog short of having a dog Chez Shell, perhaps Ella would like me to read War and Peace to her.  She might be a bit tougher an audience than a puppy, but if we stop for walkies breaks, we'll never get through it. 

If your pooch would like to help a young child find their reading paws or sponsor a Dog Team, you can get in touch with Story Dogs here.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue

Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue © Shell-Sherree}

Come on up. The view is lovely from here.  While Workplace Health and Safety might whip out their notebooks and bypass brow furrowing in favour of writing me up for a hefty fine, Chez Shell there's no such red tape.

But for the sake of prudence and an excuse to use the word alacrity, I'll err on their side of caution and position a round, plump, cherry-red mattress thingo on the footpath below.  Not that I plan on us needing it.  How inelegant.

Today's Paris fashion illustration is inspired by this vintage Vogue number from 1956.  It's kind of School Marm meets Victoria Holt Equestrian ~ a temporary departure from our usual ruffles as the degree of difficulty perching here was advanced enough without adding them into the mix. Petit fours will be delivered by carrier pigeons momentarily.  A recipe for disaster but I'm hoping they will rise to the occasion.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Friday, June 12, 2015

Fashionable Friday : My Fair Ladies

Fashion illustration : Eliza and Dover - My Fair Ladies © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : Eliza and Dover - My Fair Ladies © Shell-Sherree}

With Royal Ascot preparing to enter the mounting yard next week, today's fashion illustration honours a well-loved and long-retired but never-to-be-forgotten favourite.  The expression,"Rooster one day, feather duster the next," was certainly not made for Audrey Hepburn or Eliza Doolittle ~ even though some bemused men folk might wonder if the hat is a combination of both.  {They know not what they do.}

Not so long ago, I illustrated Audrey Hepburn in a different costume from the Royal Ascot scene in My Fair Lady.  It's lovely and all ~ but nothing can rival this breathtaking magnificence Cecil Beaton concocted especially for her ... somehow primly elegant and wildly extravagant all at once.  There's a rare gift in successfully combining both.

We feel we must apologise for inflicting hat hair on you yet again, and indeed, it is a requirement of Royal Ascot's official style guide that we do.  But we have arranged for distractional brandy in sterling silver hip flasks should one's hat come adrift at any point in proceedings.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Carry-On Your Valuables

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Carry-On, Fluffballs Will Travel © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Carry-On, Fluffballs Will Travel © Shell-Sherree}

Travelling with everything you need in your carry-on luggage is light. Carefree. And oft much envied !

Wearing a classic black maillot during the day with jeans and a dash of Hermès jauntily knotted at one's neck sounds peachy.  For an elegant dinner, team it with a black pencil skirt, trade the scarf for a statement necklace and you're guaranteed to use every piece of cutlery correctly before a modestly-partial disrobe and champagne-fuelled moonlight dip. Master the art of tying your Hermès as a bandeau, a belt and a halter-neck. Add in a white shirt and several strings of faux pearls long enough to wrap around your waist, and you can see out a week without wearing the same thing twice !

Of course, if you take your most valuable thing with you ~ something along the lines of today's illustration ~ this elegant theory is completely blown out of the water and relegated to a suitcase ~ in which case, you might as well opt for excess baggage, boots and all.  So let us find a fleet of gold-plated trolleys and be on our way.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Faux Fur and Feathers Flying

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : The Two Muskateers © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : The Two Muskateers © Shell-Sherree}

My kingdom for a horse !  And a third muskateer.  And why stop there, I ask?  Frankly, I've always thought it a tad harsh that d'Artagnan wasn't fast-tracked for his entreé as a muskateer, given he quite clearly possessed the required sense of derring-do. He even came up with, "All for one, one for all !"  That alone should have earned him a robust clinking of rapiers and more feathers in his cap.  If Athos, Porthos and Aramis spent less time having drinking games and more time not having drinking games, maybe the thought would have occurred to them.

As for our wardrobe for the weekend and as you would expect Chez Shell, all of my illustrations clearly show Faux Fur on the label.  Someday, I hope all garments bearing any such resemblances will show the same.  So come, let us find those horses and make haste under the cover of darkness.  Follow the trail of champagne buckets.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Friday, May 22, 2015

Fashionable Friday : All Aboard, Frenchies and Fluffballs

Fashion illustration : All Aboard, Frenchies and Fluffballs © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : All Aboard, Frenchies and Fluffballs © Shell-Sherree}

All aboard !  The Frenchie Express awaits us with a magical mystery tour for the whole weekend.

Personally, I intend on lounging around in this fluffy number for the entire trip ~ aside from bedtime, when silk pyjamas and an eye mask will be put into service.  And possibly some chamomile teabags.  For my eyes, that is.  I've officially given up trying to drink the stuff.

If something less fluffy is more to your taste for the daylight hours, fear not, as we have an entire carriage dedicated to wardrobe, hair and make-up, so I guarantee you will fall in love, love, love with an outfit that feels like it's been especially made for you.  We shall meet for Kir Royales at cocktail hour, which happens to coincide with every hour, on the hour. And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fashionable Flashback : Royal Ascot and Almost-Audrey

Fashion illustration : Royal Ascot and Almost-Audrey © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : Royal Ascot and Almost-Audrey © Shell-Sherree}

When this Audrey Hepburn inspiration leapt out at me, I illustrated first and asked questions later. 

This felt like My Fair Lady ~ but didn't seem right.  I turned to my Golden Age of Hollywood 'go to' person and she came up with the answer, as I knew she would.  She's modest, so I'll leave her to put up her hand if she wishes ~ meanwhile, "Thank you again, my sweet !"

Turns out Audrey is modelling a costume from the Royal Ascot scene ~ but it wasn't one of her costumes in the movie.  Cecil Beaton {designer, photographer, illlustrator and generally artistic bod} asked her to model his other creations, to the chagrin of director George Cukor or so the story goes.  Mr Beaton's designs are exquisite and even more so on Audrey, so it's easy to forgive his mildly eccentric request. 

One of these days, I will illustrate Audrey in 'the real costume' from that scene, in all its iconic magnificence.  Meanwhile, let us move our bloomin' proverbials onto a spot of tea and cucumber sandwiches.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Flashback to you !


Friday, May 15, 2015

Fashionable Feline Friday : Of Aqua and the Orient

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Aqua and the Orient © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Aqua and the Orient © Shell-Sherree}

A beautiful globe.  This will be my geographical saviour.  I know my strengths and to date, geography has not been one of them.  {History was scratched long, long ago for refusing to even get into the starting gates.}  But I have visions of a glorious globe in cream and gold, with lots of aqua and pink ~ and should I find this inanimate creature of loveliness and bring it home, I'm sure a whole new world will be awakened.  Unless it's a vintage globe, in which case an old new world will be awakened.  Be ready for anything.

Anyhoo, that was a long way of saying today's illustration has an oriental flavour, but I'm using the term loosely.  I don't yet have The Globe.  Inspired by this gorgeous creation in orange, I leave that colour to my vibrant mum who wears it spectacularly ~ it never wears her ! ~ and I shall opt for one of my signature shades for this weekend's adventures.  But there's a rack of these in every colour you fancy, so the choice is yours.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Feline Friday to you !


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fashionable Paris Daydreams : Going with the Flow

Paris fashion illustration, Flowery Flow and Fluffballs in Paris © Shell-Sherree
{Paris fashion and fluffballs illustration : Flowery Flow in Paris © Shell-Sherree}

A late dinner in Paris ?  Sounds perfectly lovely !  We have plenty of time for a pre-dinner stroll and what luck ~ this soft, quilted evening bag is just ample enough to double as a doggie bag. 

Today's Paris fashion illustration is inspired by this image of Chiara Ferragni in a gown by Patricia Bonaldi.  The dress is all but backless, so feel free to BYO faux fur cape if you're prone to chills. On the other hand, some chivalrous man might offer to drape his dinner jacket around our goosebumped shoulders ~ so those capes are better left at home !  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Paris Daydreams to you ! 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fashionably Fluffy : Golden Girl from the Golden Age

Fashion illustration : Mitzi Ruffled in Pink, Ivory and Blue © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : Mitzi Ruffled in Pink, Ivory and Blue © Shell-Sherree}

While we're thinking 'costumes' in light of yesterday's annual Met Ball fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York city ~ {and some designers ran out of fabric, it seems} ~ today's costume illustration is closer to home for me. 

Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood is currently on display at the Museum of Brisbane {closes 24th May 2015}.  My mum, sister, niece and I went along for a very lovely 'girly' morning out.  This gorgeous curation came from the private collection of Brisbane lawyer Nicholas Inglis.  {You can watch him talking about it here.}  A theatre and film buff, he has been amassing gems over the past 20 years like the one I've illustrated today, worn by Mitzi Gaynor in Golden Girl {1951}.  It's my personal favourite, though many were only a swoon behind.  When the pressure was on, the ruffles had it ! 

This fluffy confection is a work of art within the underskirt that only revealed itself when Mitzi Gaynor twirled enough to reveal glimpses of fuchsia, white and cobalt.  The actual costume is more ivory than white, so I gather the costume colour was adjusted as they often did.  I love it even more because the ruffles are a surprise.  Flirtatious.  A playful wink rather than putting all the goods on display.  Much more enticing.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Fluffiness to you !


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fashionable Friday: Lilac, Ladurée and Fluffballs

Fashion illustration, Lilac, Ladurée and Fluffballs © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : Lilac, Ladurée and Fluffballs © Shell-Sherree}

Trans-seasonal dressing is a blessing for those of us who like to sit on the fence.  I confess, I'm can be a fence sitter.  It's not that I don't have strong opinions ~ it's just that they can change with the weather.  And I can see so many different points of view.  Both a blessing and a curse ~ or is it just that I'm unable to decide?

Anyhoo, in honour of both 'hemis' of the sphere moving between summer and winter, let's team a lovely, soft, cashmere cardigan with a skirt that flows around us on a gossamer fairy cloud, in a suitably nebulous shade of lilac ~ or is it lilacish grey ~ or perhaps dusty aubergine ?  {You can imagine the hell I go through choosing a wall colour.}  Our kitty and Frenchie have no such concerns.  They are merely willing us to stop fluffing around and open that hat box-sized serving of Ladurée macarons.  In keeping with the vague nature of today's illustration and post, it has every flavour you can imagine.  Hours of indecision await.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday Fluffiness to you !