I Do Like Mondays


Emma Noack | September 21, 2015

On the 27th of April 2014 my friend Irit and I went for a hike in Mt Dandenong. On that day Mountain Monday was born, even though it was a Sunday. Monday was my only day off from school and work and I didn’t want to fall into the trap of doing all my boring housework and shopping on that day; I wanted to make Monday count and be a rewarding and special day. It’s so important to me now that the thought of working or not being in nature on a Monday is absolutely wrong and revolting.

At this time I was buying a lot of things in maroon: a scarf, t-shirt, knit, backpack and a pair of socks. If you are the kind of person who is into Chakras (I am) you would know that the Earth Star Chakra is related to the colour maroon. For me, this meant connecting to my spiritual home (or as I joke – my spirit animal): Mt Dandenong. I was immediately absorbed and in the wonderment of being surrounded by luscious ferns, long slender trees and all the moss; it felt like home.

Irit and I call it “hike therapy”. Irit is an Emmett Therapist (http://www.iritrozenfeld.com.au/) and I am studying to be an Art Therapist. On our hikes we have been through many journey’s, become the closest of friends, gotten to be super-fit babes and understood so much of what is going on in our lives by talking and being grounded by the beautiful back-drop of Mt Dandenong. Let me tell you – nothing bonds two people, or shows what your relationship is made of than hiking uphill for three hours after following a rather misleading sign! Especially when Google Maps isn’t working, the names of the tracks you keep seeing aren’t on the Parks Victoria official map and it starts raining. During that fateful Monday we didn’t resort to anger, blame or crying. We kept going, laughed, and ate the kiwi fruit and two squares of delicious Pana chocolate we had. The track was a series of uphill climbs that would wind and turn corners to reveal another seemingly endless uphill climb. We called it the accidental fat-burner workout. I’ll never forget the sight of the bus stop when we finally reached civilization! Oh My God! Biggest smiles and sense of accomplishment EVER! We got this.

Along the way we have seen kangaroos, wallaby’s, echidnas, lyrebirds, deer, rosellas, kookaburras (who will steal food from your hands), lizards, yabbies, wombats, willy wagtails and cockatoos to name the ones I can name. I’ve become entirely obsessed with photographing many mushrooms in the wild (they are quite cute, mysterious, and magical). Every hike begins with a ritual sandwich making, eating and a look at our map to decide where we will walk for the day. I will write more in another post about specific hikes, recipes and more, but for now if you are keen to get started on a Monday, or any other day you are free, I recommend Olinda Falls, Sherbrooke Forest and The Living Nature Bushwalk as beautiful beginners hikes. These are all accessible by public transport, aren’t too hilly and there will usually be other people around so you aren’t totally lost in the wilderness (and could do these solo and be safe). Join us by tagging your Instagram posts #mountainmondays

(links for hikes)



Ferntree Gully

[ Credits: Words by Emma Noack, Illustration by me. ]

How I feel about Fashion School – 03

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MaxineTanner | September 18, 2015

A how to guide on budgeting for fashion school:

Step 1. Create a budget

Step 2. Throw your budget out the window

It’s time to face the reality upfront, being a fashion student is expensive and at the end of the semester your ass is going to be broke.

Your main expense? Fabrics. Yes you’ll start the semester with a budget intact and the intention to spend it wisely yet, you’ll find yourself wandering back into the most expensive fabric store on the block, where you make a spur of the moment decision to make your entire collection out of leather. Not to mention you have to bear the attitude of the uptight saleswomen who look down on you because frankly you’re not Alber Elbaz, you act like Kanye West and they can tell your net income simply by what you’re wearing.

The most desirable expense? Clothes. The irony in the fact that you’re a fashion student who can’t afford to buy themselves new clothes each season is as depressing as Donatella Versace’s face. It doesn’t help that your classmates are sporting the latest Givenchy tees and Tom Ford coats around campus and you’re slumming it in seasons old ‘Tarjay’, that you picked up from the dollar bin at Savers in a desperate for clothes I can actually afford, rather than a fashion forward kind of way.

The most ridiculous expense? Printing. No student should have to pay one Australian god damn dollar for a single A4 colour page unless it’s being printed in the September issue of Vogue.

The most depressing expense? Food. You’ll be paying a five dollar minimum for a less than average lunch from the local supermarket everyday, because lets face it you can’t afford the daily fix of pho, unlike those trendy inner city students. Instead you’ll be scraping together every loose dollar you have for that sale packet of mi goreng noodles. Or in those rare efforts of trying to be healthy you’ll sustain yourself with a measly mandarin for lunch, only to realise that you can’t even afford that, one single piece of fruit – god’s citrus gift to this earth, but the cashier, feeling sorry for you, let’s you have it anyway.

Then and only then, after months of avoiding checking your bank balance, to then realise that it can infact recede into negative dollars, you truly know you’re a fashion student.

[ Credits: Words by Maxine Tanner, Illustration/Collage by me. ]

How to be the ultimate Melbournian Godfather


Joe Cee | September 15, 2015

Joe is a proud Godfather of two and a shoe connoisseur focusing his efforts on luxury sneakers and British made shoes. His main achievements as a godfather include zero tantrum and wet pants incidents within the 3000 post code. He on the other hand has had many tantrums and wet pants incidents.
1. Realise what you’re getting into.
Understand that at any point in time there may be adoption papers that need to be signed. Shit is real. Invest in English made brogues and a navy bespoke suit.
1. Ensure that you create a strong respectable image in front of your Godchildren at ALL times.
You are not the fun sloppy uncle. But you are the incredibly well put together godfather who carries a baby bag in hand and switches it for a martini when the kids are asleep. Own that velvet smoking jacket.
1. Open a trust account in their name. But don’t brag about it. Ever.
That second shopping trip to Paris to pick up your customised Goyard steamer is now on hold. Sorry Korean Air Lines you’re just gonna have to wait.
1. Education.
Secretly put their names down for a select few private schools in Kew. Just for your own bragging rights. Convert religions if you have to. And if all else fails, blue dress and Monica Lewinsky. Think about it.
1. Discipline.
Be the disciplinarian you need to be. You’re going to look like a prick and a titeass. It’s going to be tough. But do you know what’s tough? Rick Owens jackets in blistered leather. Command their attention, because I’ll be damned if there’s any hair pulling and tantrum throwing on MY watch and on Collins St. of all places.
1.Day trip to the city after a big night out?
Keep your outfit minimally classic and practical but not sporty. Blazers and big aviators. Also remember that pram is an accessory. You wear it, it doesn’t wear you. You’ll have confused looks from parents in no time.
1. Outings must always contain one educational and/or cultural aspect.
Take them exhibitions or museums. Feed them babychinos and Max Brenners dark chocolate licks (less sugar). Introduce them to your friends as your new BFFLs. Also it never hurts to show them the difference between
Japanese and pretend Japanese; both the cuisine and non-Japanese Asians posing as Japanese.
1. Jealousy.
Not only is this acceptable it’s also expected. How dare someone else post photos of your godkids on Instagram. Back the fuck up. I bought that Baby Ralph Lauren AND I know how much you earn. Bitch remove that hashtag.
1. Ethical dilemma.
If you have a falling out with the parents, let it go. Wait till they’re 18. They won’t say no to moving into all that Hermes furnished apartment behind State Library that you put under their name.
1. Gratitude.
Any godfather who’s spent a weekend with his favourite stinky cheeky little person knows it consists of 4 hours sleep, a pitiful  attempt to maintain your social life, a diet of red bull and baby formula tainted Nandos chips (the container conveniently exploded), and the unending fear you’ll never be cool enough for them. But despite that, you have someone who’ll give you the warmest cuddles, make drawings of you, tells you ALL their secrets and cries hysterically when you leave. Buddy, you’ve got the best reason to live.
[ Credits: Words by Joe Cee, Illustration by me. ]

How I feel about Fashion School – 02

karl blog

MaxineTanner | September 11, 2015

I’m at the point in this semester where the public stereotype about people who work in fashion is coming to life. The amount of sass coming out of everyone’s mouths is off the charts. They may as well put their hand on their hip, and click their fingers as they swivel their head, at the end of every sentence. Don’t get me wrong we’re a pretty chill, down to earth bunch most days, but when you’ve got all this stress on your shoulders shit comes out unintentionally sassy. Or when that hippy wears fuchsia hot pants with no underwear to uni – you’re just asking for it.

I myself am guilty of throwing much unnecessary sass out there after a cocktail of sleepless nights, red bull and sewing. When it was suggested that my fellow classmates and I have a break and get the usual fix of vanilla coke to power us through the day I responded with no words, just a condescending stare and ‘pffft’. An extremely sassy exhale of air that came across as if to say ‘a vanilla coke, really? Do you need it? Do you not see the signs in the corridor that read ‘Do not feed the fashion students’? Do you not see your Kim K behind backing up into the lifts every morning? Do you not know that Karl Lagerfeld only drinks diet coke? I mean if you’re going to destroy your body at least do it with a little style for gods sakes.’

Or like that quiet girl with the really laid back Rick Owens-esque style, that only ever speaks when spoken to, out of the blue confronts you for talking in the library, asking you point blank ‘Ah, what do you think you’re doing?’, probably trying to channel her inner ice cube, after watching straight outta Compton on the weekend. But girl you cannot pull off those black MC Hammer pants.

Or that one girl who always gives you backhanded compliments like ‘Oh my god I love your jacket, it looks uh-mazing! It just would have looked so much better if you had actually fitted the lining in properly.’ And you just want to slap the sass right out of her.

Or that one guy who you ask a question and he just purses his lips like that scene in ‘The Devil wears Prada’, eyes like daggers staring you in the face as if to say ‘surely you did not just ask me that’, only ever speaks in monotone ‘uhmmmmmmmm’-s and lifts his hand while talking as if he’s about to break into Queen Bey’s single ladies.

He is handed the bouquet and sash and crowned the sass queen.

[ Credits: Words by Maxine Tanner, Illustration by me. ]

Baz in Fictionland

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Baz Ozturk | September 08, 2015

My life doesn’t make sense. It’s strange, absurd. The world around me feels vague, and I feel vague within it. I don’t know myself. I could think of a couple of adjectives, strengths and weaknesses like they ask you to come up with in a new class at school, but in what way that amounts to who or what I am…

“a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” – Franz Kafka

Marcel Proust once said “every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself.” I think reading fiction, why I do it, or why it is so pleasurable for me, can be encapsulated in one sentence: I do it to better see myself. Franz Kafka referred to a good book as like “a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” This is what good fiction strives to do: say the unsayable, make clearer our obscurities, and illuminate those hazy corners of our understanding. Putting that aside, it’s also simply the greatest kind of entertainment, giving flight to the imagination and access to live many different lives.

It’s funny to feel most like myself when lost to a world that doesn’t exist, populated by characters who never were, made up by a person I’ve never met – connected to myself in a way that I’m not when I’m stumbling through day to day life. It’s a kind of magic, and it’s a lovely feeling. A character in one of Alice Munro’s stories “hated to hear the word ‘escape’ used about fiction. She might have argued, not just playfully, that it was real life that was the escape.” Fiction is an escape, yes, but it’s an escape to a place that brings us closer to our realities. And there’s no greater pleasure than those moments of connection and epiphany that occur when reading great literature.

“…my favourite is the kind that transforms the stuff of life – the repetitive, the ordinary, the everyday – into art.” – Baz Ozturk

I like all kinds of fiction, I can enjoy anything if it’s done well, but my favourite is the kind that transforms the stuff of life – the repetitive, the ordinary, the everyday – into art. John Updike once described his job as to “give the mundane its beautiful due.”

I also love the exquisite writing, meaning the language with which the writer has rendered the narrative, the beauty of a perfectly crafted sentence. It delights the aesthete in me. There is nothing like it. Reading such wonderful prose slows me down to the moment, and the hundreds of characters I’ve met and whose stories I’ve followed in such writing has shown me that “there is a kind of poetry, bad and good, in everything, everywhere we look.” That’s Ali Smith. It reminds me that there are people, many, who are like me: as complicated, anxiety-ridden and lonely, as disturbed and loving, as trapped in their bodies and locked in their heads as I am.

There are studies appearing all the time about the benefits of reading literary fiction, but any serious reader would know already how it influences us and makes us better people. It has made me more perceptive, a better critical thinker and observer, and a more empathetic and compassionate human. Fiction books are my soul food, junk food and brain food all in one. More, they’re my oxygen – I need them to live.

[ Credits: Words by Baz Ozturk, Illustration by me. ]