Colour, Feel good

Romance and such

My idea of romance is a Lionel Ritchie song, not the cheapest bottle of wine and maybe some cuddles on the couch.

What’s yours?

Happy Valentine’s Day xxx

Accessories, Art, Colour, Wishlist, Women

Spotlight: Hysteria By Happy Socks

I love it when things are beautifully designed, especially the little everyday things you don’t even think about, like socks.

No longer in the realm of last minute gifts for grandpa, socks have been in the spotlight for several years thanks in large part to companies like Sweden’s Happy Socks coming along and re-inventing the humble sock by injecting colour and great Scandi design into an otherwise ho-hum item of everyday necessity.

This year Happy Socks has released HYSTERIA, their first foray in to a line of high fashion socks designed specifically for “the fashion-conscious woman”. The debut collection is inspired by mid-century architecture and optical art, and features bold colours and graphics in socks made of cotton, nylon, wool and lurex.

HYSTERIA looks and feels amazing, and it has been so beautifully shot too. I don’t need to say any more, these pictures speak a thousand fashionably-dressed words.

Now available globally.

all images via

Colour, Designer, Wishlist, Women

Colour Love

Let’s just all stop for a second and take in this most beautiful of colour palettes from one my favourite brands, Jac + Jack. Oh, the dusty pink and wine coloured beauty! Contented sighs all round.

Apart from being an Australian owned brand, ethically made in luxurious yarn and generally just friggen awesome, Jac + Jack have smashed one out of the park with their colours this season. This is just one of the many stunning colour palettes they’ve created for Spring ’17, so if you haven’t seen the others, you should. Like now.

Images via

Art, Feel good, Out And About, Sydney

‘Me’ Day Series : Art Gallery Of New South Wales

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that one of my favourite things to do when I have a day to myself is go to the Art Gallery of NSW. It’s a ritual that I have been following since my high school days, back when the café sold soggy focaccias and mugaccinos. Fast forward to now and it’s a much grander affair and that’s great because my life is a much grander affair. True story.  

Seeing as it’s my happy place, here’s my list for the best way to experience the AGNSW. Follow these steps to get the most out of your next ‘me’ day. No focaccias allowed.

1.       WALK THERE

I mean, you don’t have to walk all the way there from your doorstep, but do take a stroll from the train or bus or nearby suburb. Why? Well, that’s the best way to enjoy the location of the gallery. Depending on which direction you come from you will get to enjoy either St. Mary’s Cathedral, Woolloomooloo wharf, Lady Macquarie’s Chair, Sydney Botanic Gardens, The Domain, or Hyde Park. It’s literally surrounded by Sydney’s best spots. The gardens around the Gallery are dotted with many a pretty bench to sit at for a spell and soak up the glorious Sydneyness of it all.



It is scientifically proven* that no matter what time of the day you go to the Gallery, the beautiful sandstone steps and columns at the front entrance are bathed in the warmest most pure sunlight that will warm you up from the inside out, and help prepare you for the temperature controlled gallery interior. Perfect spot to watch the lunchtime exercise crew.



Take it from me, even a vigorous walk to the Gallery and a good half hour on the steps cannot warm you for long enough to get through the ground floor, let alone the entire Gallery. Half way through the first hour your teeth will start chattering loudly enough to get you a few dirty looks from the serious art contemplators. Trust me, even if it’s 40 degrees outside, bring a cardigan and don’t leave it in your bag when you check it in.



I always head straight to the main exhibition if it’s something I’m keen on because if I get too tired (it happens) or I’m in a hurry I could always visit the permanent exhibitions another time. Best way to find out what is on is to check their website. It costs about $20 to see these exhibitions and it is always worth it.



The café at the Gallery has had a much-needed facelift, and boy is it a good one. Good food, good coffee and they even have scones with jam and cream (perfect ‘me’ day food). Definitely have a pit stop between exhibitions because you’re worth it. And definitely sit outside in the courtyard, if you are not afraid of birds stealing your scones that is (you’ve been warned!).



There are so many Permanent exhibition spaces at the Gallery, I recommend choosing one or two to go through lest you wear yourself out! My favourites – the 19th Century art from Europe and Australia, and the 20 and 21st Australian art – are on the ground floor. There is so much more to choose from, find yourself a map at the front desk and see what takes your fancy.


7.       LATE LUNCH

Matt Moran’s Chiswick restaurant is stunning and on the ground floor of the Gallery. Award winning deliciousness aside, it is the perfect spot for a beautiful view over Woolloomooloo Bay, a nice drop of wine and a well-earned rest after all that art and culture. Insert big happy sigh.


8.       SHOP

You can’t not stop in for a quick look at the Gallery shop! I always get a postcard from an exhibition I’ve seen, and there is such a great collection of books to look through.


What a seriously good day, right? You could follow up with a bit more art, or a bit more of a walk around the gallery’s surrounds and find yourself near the glittering harbour’s edge.

Or you could just call it a day…and damn good one at that.


All images via

Feel good, Photoshoot, Style Tips, Wardrobe Staple, Women

White Shirts Forever

Having written about them previously and sporting a couple myself in this post, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’m a bit obsessed with white shirts.

Well, you would be right!

What should you look for in a white shirt? Read on.

1.  Fabric Composition
In a world full of leaky coffee cups, eating on the run and heavy duty make up, your white shirt will need a good soak every now and again. Get yourself a shirt made from sturdy natural fibres such as cotton or linen as they’ll last long, breathe well, and because you’re worth it.

2. Fabric Type
By this I mean how the fabric feels. A crispy feel (cotton poplin) is neat and can be dressed up or down. A gauzy soft feel (cotton or linen) is more casual and is great for weekends and beach wear. Choose one or the other, or one of each!

2. Cut
There are a lot of options and the best fit for you will depend on your ‘style’ as well as your shape. For versatility, choose a shirt that has a small collar, simple front pocket (if any), and nice tidy buttons. Slightly roomy is much nicer and more flattering than slightly too small, so make sure there are no gaping buttons. Currently I like an oversize shirt, slightly drop shouldered with a scoop hem and hidden placket, but I seriously have every style of white shirt available and I wear them all. Experiment with the right style for you!

Text and images by Catalina Alfaro Stylist for Alfie’s Friend Rolfe

Art, Feel good

O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith : making modernism

When I have a day to myself I really love to visit the Art Gallery of NSW…the location overlooking Woolloomooloo harbour is stunning and the collections are world class. Did I mention Chiswick restaurant?

Currently exhibiting O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism celebrates the work of three pioneering artists of international modernism: American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, and Australian artists Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith.

With all three artists coming of age during a time of dramatic social, artistic and cultural changes in the US and Australia, O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith each rejected the conventional limitations placed on art and gender and endeavoured to become truly modern artists, all three innovating new ways of depicting their own rapidly changing worlds.

The development of each artist is explored, evident in the confidence with which the subject matter is approached over the course of their lives. As part of the larger dialogue of modernism that was developing globally at the time, the work of the three artists seen together reveals the evolution of the movement across the Pacific.

Brought together by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the exhibition features over 90 works from these and other galleries as well as various private collections. 

O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith : making modernism is at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until October 2.


All images, Art Gallery Of New South Wales.


Designer, Wishlist

Best dressed crew

During his Haute Couture fashion show in Paris last week, renowned fashion designer Laurence Xu revealed his breathtakingly beautiful new uniforms for the crew of Hainan Airlines.

Those capes! The flirty hemlines! The stylish outfits give a nod to the traditional Chinese cheongsam, and in my eyes completely reimagine the cabin crew uniform: practical and serviceable but with flair and drama. And jaunty hats!

Love love love.

All images Hainan Airlines.


Accessories, Designer, Photoshoot, Stylist Tales


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I absolutely love Opals…when I was a kid I always thought Opals were alive, how else could they shimmer with colour like that? Fast forward to now and I still feel the same way. They are magical.

I had the pleasure of working with the beautiful Tatiana Ikasovic of Fade To Black Studio taking photos of her stunning Opal jewellery range on a spectacularly sunny day. With stones ethically sourced from Lightning Ridge and other parts of Australia, the current range from FTB Studio is delicate yet impactful, and features fine gold and silver jewellery where no two stones are alike.


Photography and direction: Catalina Alfaro
Model: Tatiana Ikasovic
Brand: Fade To Black Studio

Location: Arthur McElhone Reserve, Elizabeth Bay NSW.

Style Tips

Style Tips : Take A Picture

2017-07-05_15.38.53_1499233167571Oh geez, well this is embarrassing. Pictures of me. The awkwardness! The horror!

Bear with me though, it’s to give you a little wardrobe tip.

One of the things I always encourage my Wardrobe Audit clients to do is take photos of themselves in different outfits. You don’t need to have incredible lighting or hair and make up, the pictures just need to clearly show your outfit. Why do this?

  1. It’s like your own personal catalogue! All your awesome clothes, yep even the possibly questionable gems stashed right at the back.
  2. You get to see how you actually look in your outfits. Might not be your favourite thing on this list right now, but it should be! Trust me, you look pretty cute most days.
  3. When you are being lazy and can’t decide what to wear you can flick through and pick an outfit you already own that you think looks good. This is seriously the best and my favourite reason for doing this…#inspo
  4. Lastly, once you start doing this you’ll actually try to give everything in your wardrobe a go, accessories and everything, which is great in itself. In addition, the pictures will help you decide if your outfits look great, need work or need to get the flick altogether.

A couple of months ago I realised I had A LOT of shirts and blouses that I wasn’t wearing, so I decided to practice what I preach and these are some of the results. All these shirts are now back in rotation and as it’s gotten cold I’ve styled them into more winter appropriate outfits.

Give it a go. It makes life so much easier! Let me know how you get on.


Designer, Movies

Movie Moments: The Designer Connection Part IV

Belle de Jour (1967), Director Luis Buñuel, Designer Yves Saint Laurent.


As in the last Movie Moments post, ‘Funny Face’, this week’s designer collaboration is the product born of a friendship between a young designer and his muse. In this instance, it is Yves Saint Laurent who dresses a very young and beautiful Catherine Deneuve. She plays a wealthy young housewife who is not able to be intimate with her loving husband, but decides to live out her fantasies by becoming a prostitute (it is, after all, a Buñuel film). This she does only by day, hence the name of the film, ‘Belle de Jour’.




Deneuve’s Severine is by turns aloof and sensual as the film explores the boundaries of morality. Her journey is enhanced by Saint Laurent’s impeccable costumes, classic and timeless, with a twist of fetish.




Her bourgeois lifestyle is evident in the precise tailoring of her clothing, something even her colleagues notice, and covet. Her flawless style, from her hair down to her Roger Vivier Pilgrim pumps, speaks volumes about her character. Accordingly, her hair and clothing change as Severigne becomes Belle. Wool gives way to vinyl, rigorous up do’s give way to soft waves. Saint Laurent takes the transformation in his stride, giving us a collection of trendsetting costumes which have become iconic of 60’s style. The safari dress and the schoolgirl inspired outfit for example, continue to influence fashion designers today. I mean, who would say no to any of Severigne’s amazing coats? Eternally chic, and a testament to Yves Saint Laurent’s genius, Severine will continue to be reinvented in glossy mags, providing inspiration for day, or night.