She is quick and curious and playful and strong: kate spade love

Occasionally you come across a brand that doesn’t just create great products, but it embodies a spirit you really connect with. kate spade new york (ksny) is that brand for me. Being the sublime seeking lovely things that you are, you may already be familiar with the delight of kate spade. Regardless, I hope this post is helpful as I share with you my favourite ksny things and some tips and tricks for purchasing their finest delights in the most thrifty of ways! The ksny love affair kate spade new york has done an exceedingly brilliant job at not just creating products, but creating a lifestyle… and offering products that fit into that way of living. ‘Live colorfully’, ‘travel colorfully’, ‘dress colorfully’, ‘entertain colorfully’; the ksny mantra is to live your most vibrant life. The ksny woman is not defined by her relationship or her job, she does not rely upon her ability to be sexy to validate any aspect of her life.

quick and curious playful and strong

Stylish, cheeky and fun, she is confident and present. She is everything I aspire to be! Well done ksny, got me hook, line and sinker! So am I just buying into a very carefully crafted marketing ploy? Perhaps. But does it matter anyway? I don’t know! I think buying from a brand whose philosophy you believe in is wonderful! Perhaps the real answer comes in terms of the product that’s offered. kate spade are best known for their extensive range of handbags, clothing and accessories (shoes, jewellery, tech and more). Their line also extends into very lovely stationery and homewares. There is so much to love! Here are some of my very favourite ksny things: photo 1 photo 2 Always a joy to wear, have and hold. Major ksny lovin’.

10 Things I looooove about kate spade! 

There is a great deal more than 10 things to love about ksny, but I’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best! 1. Their exquisite packaging! Kate Spade packaging 2. Their insanely gorgeous stores and shopfronts, I challenge any sublime seeker to walk past without going in! ksny store madison kate spade 2 article-2034280-0D7B2CCD00000578-842_306x290 Kate-Spade-Highland-Village-March-2014_140211 KS Window 3. Deborah Lloyd, creative director, is a fellow pear shape, and I feel that sista’s really got the back of all us pears out there with their awesome selection of fit-and-flare dresses! I haven’t found a brand whose dresses fit me as well as ksny yet! Hallelujah!

The Very Genius Deborah Lloyd

Deborah Lloyd, you so fine!

4. Their wide spread devotion the the handwritten note and supremely beautiful stationery ksny stationery

kate spade stationery

5. The *incredible* 75% off sales they do!! These sales happen but a few times a year and are like Christmas came early when the email is in the inbox! I live in a house with two boys who are FULLY alert and functioning within moments of waking up in the morning, where I snooze half a dozen times then shuffle around the house groaning for the next hour. Not on a 75% off morning! Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sublime seekers!

ksny surprise sale! 6. Their ridiculously gorgeous clothing and campaigns… with models of many nationalities… that all look HAPPY! kate-spade-new-york-spring-summer-2012-ad-campaign2

katespade_spring20112

bryce fall ks look 12

ks look 13

ksny happy models

  7. Their extreme love of the bow, you’ll find bows featuring (and hidden!) in all sorts of their designs

ksny well placed bow

All these items are available from katespade.com now! (The black bow on the top right is a USB stick!!)

 

8. Their commitment to fun and frivolity… the ksny gal knows how to have a good time and doesn’t take herself too seriously

manipedi ive never been a millionare but I know I'd be darling at it baconeggandcheeseplease

9. Bright pops of colour that feature in so much of their product

PINK blue YELLOW

10. That kate spade knows what they love too! In 2012 ksny published the “things we love” book to celebrate 20 years of kate spade. Not surprisingly it is FILLED with exceptional loveliness!

kate spade Things We Love book

I want more ksny in my life! 

Right!? In exquisitely exciting news, kate spade is due to open their first ever outlet in Australia; Melbourne’s new super fancy Emporium shopping precinct will be home to the store from July! emporium melbourne So freaking excited and I’m not even a Melbournite! In even more super awesome news, kate spade have JUST started shipping direct to Australia for a flat rate of $35! The shipping is fast, think at your door in 4 days. While $35 can’t quite be described a cheap shipping, a bit of poking around will quickly identify that we pay a premium to Australian stockists of kate spade products (handbags, accessories, stationery and homewards only) down under. David Jones is the primary stockist and charging close to double what you’d pay in the states!

The lovely Grace Avenue 8x10 inch photo frame, $75 on katespade.com $149 from David Jones

The lovely Grace Avenue 8×10 inch photo frame, $75 on katespade.com $149 from David Jones. How good is that $35 shipping looking now?

In recent trip to Singapore (home to three ksny stores), I was devastated to find the price difference on clothing to be at times more than double US prices. Unfortunately the residents of Singapore can’t shop from katespade.com because they have outlets in their country – katespade.com will only ship to the following countries: KSNY shipping But hang on, does that mean katespade.com won’t ship to Australia anymore after the store opens?  I don’t know for sure sublime seekers, but I suspect so, and this is kinda my point. There’s a joyous mini-window to access the ksny goodness direct to your door. It’s not the end of the world, cause even if the direct shipping stops, you’ll of course still be able to freight forward, but one should expect the ksny direct-shipping will stop when the store opens. Other ksny shopping tips! It’s difficult in Australia to see sale items on katespade.com. However, if you’re hunting for a bargain (who isn’t!?) check out some other American online stockists of ksny; Zappos, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Piperlime and Amazon are a few of the good ones. These online stores will show you the ksny sale items! Again, they may not ship direct, but the difference of the sale price will cover your freight forwarding. Finally, there is a LOT of brand new with tags ksny stuff on eBay (that’s worldwide eBay, not eBay.com.au). If you can win your auction, you’re sure to snag a bargain there and possibly get your hands on some out-of-season stuff you won’t find anywhere else. If I could chose only one brand to buy from for the rest of my life, it would be kate spade! Fun, feminine, bright, beautiful and a little bit luxurious, I am certain it’s worth saving up for! ♥ AS Bought a kate spade product you love? Tell us about it below!

Flat out: flats for every occasion!

I think every gal over the age of 21 has had at least one of those occasions in heels that leaves your feet numb for several days following. You opted for gorgeous stilettos then:
a) realised the wedding was cocktail, and you weren’t going to sit down for the next 9 hours
b) ended up trekking from one end of the city to the other
c) ended up dancing all night
d) ended up walking home when you couldn’t get a cab or
e) all of the above
… and paid the price severely afterwards.

Perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way, sublime seekers. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good heel as much as the next girl, but I think we often underestimate the potential of flats to complete or even make a wow outfit. There also comes times in each of our lives (a job with lots of running around, knee surgery for LJ-C, severely damaged feet from too many of the aforementioned evenings) when flats are not only a better option… but the only option. No matter where you’re at on your journey to flats, today I plan to open your mind to the myriad of options out there! Visual break, a cluster of flats I currently own and love:

Flats Cluster - Sublime Finds

Flattery will get you everywhere!

I have scoured far and wide for flats for you and I’ll be upfront; a great deal of my scouring has been in the USA. I know people can be nervous about buying shoes online, especially if they’re coming from afar. Nevertheless, I have found the savings and the variety have made shopping for shoes in the States a total no brainer. Often the discount or value alone covers the freight-forwarding if a provider doesn’t ship direct. If you’re worried about sizes, read the reviews (especially good on sites like Zappos – the world’s largest online shoe retailer) to see if the product runs large or small. Anyway, lets begin!

If I could only have one pair of shoes for the rest of my life…  

I would die, this is clearly a life not worth living! Jokes aside, if I could only have one pair of shoes, it would be these babies. I have bought, and worn out, four pairs of them. They are from Witchery, this season the style name is Carla, they are $99.95 (there is an extra 20% off for Witchery members this weekend) and I cannot live without them. For me, a black patent flat is go-to for any event. They work with a casual outfit, a work outfit and thanks to patent being that bit dressier, can also scrape through in a more dressy event. The patent finish also means they wear very well and don’t get super scratched up! Witchery’s flat are a great cut (every year except last year, thank goodness it’s been fixed again!), 100% leather including the lining (so they mould to your foot and are comfy) and have the perfect amount of flexibility in the soul to make them comfy to walk (shop) in for hours on end. These shoes are so good they wholeheartedly deserve their own section in this post and are truly, sublime finds!

Witchery Cara Ballet Flat

 

Luckily for me and you, we aren’t limited to just one pair. Onwards we roll! (Today, the further you scroll the more exciting they get!)

Best of the rest of the basics: 

Cotton On Dancer CrossweaveWitchery Carla Ballet Flat - NeutralSeed Fashion Betty BalletCotton On Dancer NauticalJo Mercer PannellSambag Tina Navy Plain Ballet FlatsTarget Indiana Ballet Flat Black

 

1. Cotton On Dancer in Tan Crossweave, $16.95 (not a typo! They come in black and other patters too – at this price you can buy them all!); 2. Witchery Carla (again!) cause they come in lots of colours, including this lovely neutral, $99.95; 3. Seed Heritage Fashion Betty Ballet (in black snake and silver too), $99.95; 4. Cotton On Dancer in Nautical, $5.00 (WITH FREE SHIPPING! Use code: SHIPFREE, I *just* bought a pair!) 5. Jo Mercer Pannell, $109.95 (second pair half price this weekend!); 6. Sambag Tina Metallic Navy Ballet Flat, $180 (Sambag are the original king of flats – you’ll pay for the privilege but never be short on options); 7. Target Indiana Leather Ballet Flat, $40

On Point (my favourite shape for work):

Coach Australia Wilma Flat BlackZara Shiny Leather Velvet Slip OnPrada Point Toe Tassell Ballerina FlatWitchery Pearl Pointed FlatAldo LythgoWittner SylvaniWitchery Adrianna Point FlatZara Leather Ballerina Flats with StudsCountry Road Carrie Point Flat

1. Coach Wilma Flat, $310; 2. Zara Shiny Leather Velvet Slip On, $59.90 USDs; 3. Prada Point Toe Tassel Ballerina Flat, $775.92 via Avenue K; 4. Witchery Pearl Pointed Flat, on sale for $79.95; 5. Aldo Lythgoe $50 USDs; 6. Wittner Sylvani, $139.95; 7. Witchery Adrianna Flats, $129.95; 8. Zara Leather Ballet Flats with Studs $59.90 USDs; 9. Country Road Carrie Pointed Flat $99.95 (25% off that atm!) 10. kate spade new york Too Gabe Pointy Toe Flat, $347.68 via Avenue K

Flat does not mean boring! Statement Flats in Bold Colours: 

Country Road Claudia Ballet FlatOroton Metallic Ballet FlatSalvatore Ferragamo Ballet Flats ViennaKurt Geiger Lassie FlatNine West Speak UpMimco Fiction BalletSambag Tina Mandarin Plain Patent Ballet Flatskate spade new york gabe flats pink Banana Republic Carter Flat

1. Country Road Claudia Ballet Flat in Red $99.95 (25% off this weekend from the looks of it); 2. Oroton Elements Metallic Ballet Flats in Aqua Sea on sale for $105; 3. Salvatore Ferragamo Ballet Flats in Vienna $792.88 via Avenue K; 4. Kurt Geiger Lassie Flats, $112.36 via Avenue K; 5. Nine West Speak Up (these come in ELEVEN different finishes), $69 USDs via Zappos; 6. Mimco Fiction Ballet, on sale for $89; 7. Sambag Tina Mandarin Patent Ballet Flats, $180; 8. kate spade new york Gabe Flats (I debuted my pair of these yesterday! Major hit!) $258 USDs 9. Banana Republic Carter Flats, $118 USDs

Flats for jumping through puddles: 

(I have a serious weakness for a PVC flat! I think it’s a childhood throwback to Jellies)

Mel by Melissa Mel Pop Beige Ted Baker Escinta

1. Mel by Melissa Mel Pop IV in beige (three other colours too!), $45USDs via Zappos; 2. Ted Baker Escinta in Pink (three other colours here as well!), $85 USDs via Zappos

The Funnest Flats that ever there was: 

kate spade Racer Flats kate spade Go Taxi Flats Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse Ballerina Flats Gunmetal Marc by Marc Jacobs d'Orsay Mouse FlatsCharlotte Olympia Kiss Me Kitty Velvet SlipperAlice + Olivia Stacey Face Pointed FlatCoach marah Platinum GlitterMimco Smoking Gun SlipperMel by Melissa BluberryC.Wonder Flamingo Suede Smoking Slipper

1. kate spade new york Racer Flats, $278 USDs; 2. kate spade new york Go Taxi Flats, $278 USDs; 3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Mouse Ballerina Flats, $160.99 USDs via Zappos; 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs d’Orsay Mouse Ballerina Flats in Gold, $310.58 via Avenue K; 5. Charlotte Olympia Kiss Me Kitty Velvet Slipper $869.20 via Avenue K 6. Alice + Olivia Stacey Face Pointy Flat, $368.88 via Avenue K; 7. Coach Marah Platinum Glitter (omg I HAVE TO have these!), $112.99 USDs via Zappos 8. Mimco Smoking Gun Slipper in Lobster Red, $149.95 (must have these too, holy whiz); 9. Mel by Melissa Blueberry, $49.95 via Wanted Shoes; 10. Flamingo Suede Smoking Slipper by C.Wonder; $138 USDs (extra 25% off atm!)

There’s no reason you can’t feel fancy in flats! Here are some for after-dark, more formal occasions:

Country Road Carrie Metallic Flat Zara Ballerina Flats with Crystals Christian Louboutin Body Strass Pointed Toe Ballerina Flats Zara Shiny Ballerina FlatsGiorgio Armani Embellished Pointed Flats

1. Country Road Carrie Metallic Flat – I bought these a couple of weeks ago and LOVE them, $99.95 (looks to be 25% off that price atm! 2. Zara Ballerina Flats with Crystals, $59.90 USDs; 3. Christian Louboutin Body Strass Pointed Toe Ballerina Flats, $1244.44 via Avenue K; 4. Zara Shiny Ballerina Flats, $79.90 USDs; 5. Giorgio Armani Embellished Pointed Flats; $895 via Maryons

Some tips! 

  • Don’t be afraid to let your shoe make your outfit! I’m a big fan of block colours or black with a FABULOUS shoe to set your outfit off!
  • If you’re buying a suede shoe, you must, must waterproof it before you wear it. It’s the only way to get good milage out of them.
  • If you’re buying a metallic shoe, never use a cleaning product on it, even a clear one, that isn’t designed specifically for metallic. It will very possibly strip the colour.
  • Flats (especially staples) are an AWESOME excuse for shoe clips! Shoe clips are an especially great way to make a flat feel a little fancy for a special event!

Flats don’t have to mean boring or ‘sensible’ (someone called me ‘so sensible’ in flats once and I wanted to stab them, who wants to be described as ‘sensible’!?!). Be kind to those lovely feets of yours by keeping them out of heels a bit more often AND be super stylish at the same time… go on I dare you!

♥ AS

Where’s your go-to location for fabulous flats? Got a flat pun in your head? Share with the other sublime seeking flat-lovers out there! 

All hail the USA! Freight-forwarding at its best.

Despite the Aussie dollar falling, American shopping still has bucket loads to offer in terms of good value.  See that “Change Country” button in the corner of the website? Nominate the USA instead of Australia and you’ll quickly discover the price we pay for our wide open spaces on this pretty island we live on in the corner of the world… we can’t compete with the northern hemisphere’s economies of scale and subsequently suffer a mark-up of up to 200% (or more! Wah!).

Dubious? Spot the difference:

MAC USA    MAC Australia

ASICS USA ASICS Australia

Dang, that pink sole and lining sure be worth an extra $105 in Australia. *sniffle*

Even if you’re on the very noble support-local-industry bandwagon and don’t mind paying a smidge more, in lots of ways we struggle for the variety our Yankee friends enjoy. A quick flick around sites like Sephora and Zappos makes our options look minimal.

Which brings us to another issue with Australian shopping: the stuff us Aussie’s Just. Can’t. Get. Heard of C. Wonder? Did someone say H&M (which the entire-rest-of-the-world enjoys… did we offend you H&M)? And the one particularly close to my bleeding heart… kate spade. A visit to the FAQs to read “we currently don’t ship internationally” quickly turns this blogger’s eyes from blue to an envious green.

So what’s a dame to do?

The answer of the rich-and-famous is surely a quick jaunt to NYC to stock up supplies. The answer of the less-rich-not-famous is ask an American friend to help out. Don’t have any USA-dwelling friends? Me either. But I got myself a freight forwarder, and I’m pretty sure she’s better anyway!

Might I present to you one of my most bedazzled and sublime finds of all time, Parcel It On.

It works like this:

1) Shop online (on your fave US websites) ’til your beady eyes bleed.

2) When you find something(s) that you simply must have either

a) order it online and have it delivered to Parcel it On’s New Jersey address and email them a copy of your order confirmation to let them know it’s on the way OR

b) if you can’t shop with an Australian credit card or paypal, send the link to Parcel It On who will make the purchase on your behalf!

3) When your fab finds arrive, you’ll receive an email with shipping and insurance options to Australia (there’s lots at different price points and speeds). There are modest fees associated (all outlined on their website, here) and everything is paid via PayPal.

The amazing Lyka at Parcel It On is (literally) the top of my Christmas card list. She has sent countless packages to JS and me, all with super fast turnarounds. I trust her so much that if I’ve got something I need to move super fast (like a fabulous hand-made Swarovski crystal necklace ordered the week before one’s wedding) I have sent her money before she even receives my goods (which she received, on-forwarded to me and arrived with FOUR WHOLE DAYS to spare, a near impossible feat!).

So savvy shoppers, with the help of freight-forwarding, the USA’s online marketplace is your shopping-oyster. Get shucking!

♥ AS

Used a freight forwarder before? What American goodies would you love to be able to get here? Tell us below!