The 90s Grunge Look

Shirt – Zara Man |  Dress – Glassons  |  Leather Boots – Converse |  Hat – Tempt

The famous 90s grunge look is back, painted all over the fashion runways with plaid checkered shirts and dresses. One celebrity that wears the 90s look so well is Rita Ora. Her signature blonde hair and red lips in contrast to her olive skin is spreading like wild fire and any girl that can pull this look off, I take my hats off to.

I for one, have never fancied the whole grunge look. My world of lollipops for trees, marshmallows for clouds, unicorns for horses, usually attracts me to bright colors and girly prints. Now, even I have succumbed to the checkerboard plaid shirts and Converse shoes.

This look is trending more this season because you have the freedom to mix feminine pieces with masculine pieces of clothing. For me, I find that this gives me a happy medium. I can please the tomboy in me whilst keeping my style feminine and girly. It also allows you to personalise this trend to suit your own style.

To make this look work for you, these are essential pieces to stock in your wardrobe:

– Army colours, camouflage prints and parka jackets

– Earthy tones

– Ripped jeans and frayed items

– Doc martins or simple converse shoes

This outfit was my interpretation of the 90s grunge look. Still keeping it feminine, I wore a knitted pattern dress from Glassons and a white singlet dress underneath. Covering up with my boyfriend’s plaid shirt unbuttoned (I finally have an excuse to wear my boyfriend’s shirt, when I told him to buy it, secretly it was really for me :)). To give it a real 90s feel, I wore my leather converse boots and for a pop of colour, I wore my MAC Ruby Woo lippy.

This outfit was super comfortable and fun, I’m definitely going to be rocking more of the 90s grunge look this year.

What do you think about the 90s grunge trend?








60’s Inspired Photo shoot – Final Edit

Styling, Creative Director and Hair – Ethel Manalo (me)
Photographer – Yunn Chin
Hair and Make Up Artist – Sheila Tsakalidis
Model #1 – Bettina Banks
Model #2 – Kelsey Hudson
BTS Photographer and Assistant – Tiffany Han
VW Buggy – Bhathiya Welaratne

The last two weeks I had planned and organised a sixties inspired photo shoot for my Raffles application. When I read the requirements of what needed to be in the portfolio, right from the start, I was excited about the idea of styling and directing my own shoot. I had styled and directed shoots before, but they were never based on my own concept or ideas.

Initially I had no idea what to shoot, obviously it would be about fashion, but I had to narrow it down to shoes, jewellery or clothes. If it was clothes, what type of clothes? What style would it be? What colours would I use? What theme should I go with? ARGH! It was enough to make my mind explode. After some good advice from my lovely roommate, I decided to base my shoot on a sixties concept. Why the sixties you ask? Well, if I was to describe my style (street, hipster, grunge, preppy or urban) I honestly wouldn’t be able to pick one. That’s because all these styles influence my own. However, there is one era that strongly influences my choices when I go shopping. You guessed it! The sixties!!!

I love the playfulness that’s expressed through the alluring sex appeal in the women during the sixties. I also love how the pin up women of the sixties styled their hair artistically with such elegance and femininity.

For the shoot I wanted to express the ambience of the ‘girl next door’, whether it be naughty or nice. I wanted to style the clothes/accessories to be filled with plenty of bright colours, girly prints and cute oversized bows. I wanted to bring out the youthful, fun and energetic feel from the sixties.

The vision was already embedded in my mind, all I needed to do was to bring the idea to life by styling the models and directing the shoot. I researched sixties themes (make-up, hairstyles, photographs, advertisements etc.) for inspiration and direction. Once I knew exactly what I wanted, I then went on the search for models, photographers and make-up artists.

Once I had sent out the invitations for the shoot, I was fortunate enough to have gathered such an amazing and talented group of people.

As promised, here are the finished photos… Enjoy!





















60’s Inspired Photo – Shoot Behind the Scenes

As much as I had planned and organised the shoot like a Nazi for two weeks, the main challenge I had to face was trying to get all the photographers, the make-up artist and models to come to an agreement for a place and time. It was definitely a struggle, since we all come from different areas in Sydney and have different schedules and commitments.

Both models could only stay till 2:00pm as they had other plans, the location that we were shooting at only allowed us to stay till 12:00pm and the car that we were using for the shoot was only available in the morning.

Luckily we were able to overcome the lapses and restrictions by working as a team and managing our time appropriately. To ensure everything would go according to plan, I wrote up a timetable with estimations on how long everything would take – the make-up, the hair, traveling time, time we had to arrive at the location and duration of the shoot. So we weren’t too tight on time and to give more leeway to shooting we had to start earlier, which meant starting the hair and make-up at 6:00am to start shooting from 10:00am-12:00pm. During the day this timetable was very effective since there was always someone monitoring the time and reminding us how long we had left. Everyone who couldn’t get to the location we organised someone to pick them up and take back home.

In retrospect, distance and time were our biggest enemies since we had to organise how to get everyone in one place and shoot in such a limited time frame.

In the end the shoot was a success!!!

Here are the rest of the behind the scene photos.

Stay tuned this Friday for the finished photos and the concept behind the whole shoot 🙂

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Thanks for visiting 🙂



























60’s Inspired Photoshoot

I am soooo excited to finally post some photos that aren’t of me!!!

Today I did a 60’s inspired fashion shoot for an application for a fashion collage called Raffles. I have directed and styled shoots before, but never for my own concept, so this shoot was super important to me. Later this week I will be posting more behind the scene photos and let you guys know the story behind the whole process of the shoot. But for now I thought I’d give you guys a sneak peak of the action on set today.

At the end of the week, I’ll be posting the end result so stay tuned. Trust me you do not want to miss the finished photos!!!

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DISCO PANTS!!!! what colour are you?

Disco Pants – American Apparel  |  Top/Dress – Forever New  |  Flats – Court Couture  |  Tote Bag – Michael Kors  |  Sunglasses – Tiffany & Co.

The day I watched Olivia Newton John rocking the tight, high-waisted, shimmery disco pants in the movie Grease, I was in love. As a young girl you tend to create fairy tales in your mind, much like the storyline of Grease where the nerdy girls gets the man of her dreams by looking like a complete babe!!! Joking! …… NOT! 🙂 But seriously, we all know when watching that scene as a girl it makes you want to be her or if you’re watching the scene as a guy, it makes you want to be John Travolta hehehe. My point is, she made it look so damn good that you either wanted to be her, be with her or the next best thing; wear what she was wearing! 35 years later and the disco pants are back hotter than ever and available in a variety of colours.

Roughly 4 years ago I saw them in a show called Jerseylicious (yes, I am a sucker for lame reality TV shows) and I wanted them sooo bad, but never knew where to get them.  2 years ago I saw Jessie J wearing them, at this stage I was blood hungry! My want turned into an overwhelming need for these disco pants. I didn’t even know what the hell they were called at the time. Finally the day came when I saw a girl wearing them on the train and I automatically went into hunt mode. I stalked that poor girl until I got close enough to get an answer from her. She told me she got them from a store called American Apparel, so that night I went home and ordered my very first pair. More than a year later, I still think it was one of the best fashion decisions I’ve ever made. The disco pants has truly become a favorite in my wardrobe, it’s simply a piece I cannot go without.

The first pair I ever got were black. I thought I would keep it fairly safe as black goes with pretty much anything. Since then my taste has evolved to ‘the brighter the colour the better’. It’s so much more exciting! Personally I find I get more creative when I style my own outfits. My disco pants colour is lavender, otherwise known as a rich purple. I love this colour because it’s crazy, different and out there.

You can check out all the different colours available on the American Apparel website –

What colour are you?

Stay tuned for this weeks outfits.

Thanks for visiting :)







Animal Print

Dress – Jorge | Flats – Court Couture  |  Denim Jacket – Cotton On

Saturday is usually the night that everyone is out and about. For me, it was a night out to dinner with friends and I couldn’t think of a better night to show off my new animal print dress from Jorge. Now trust me when I say that the one thing my wardrobe is lacking is animal print. Besides this dress, I only have one leopard print top in my entire wardrobe. I’m not usually a fan of animal print clothing unless I see something that I NEED to have and this dress was it! Not only did I score it on sale, but I also couldn’t resist the colour-saturated print. This isn’t your typical animal print dress with black spots or zebra stripes. From afar it can easily be mistaken for a trendy galaxy dress, but if you have a closer look, you can see the head of a fierce tiger ready to bite. Wearing something like this somehow makes me feel empowered and strong. It’s funny how clothes can bring out hidden confidence you thought you never had.

I was only recently introduced to the label Jorge through ‘Catch of the Day’. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a website that lists deals and discounts currently running. I’m surprised I didn’t find the label sooner, now I’m in love with their clothes. Jorge is an Australian label that has a diverse range of clothes with a style that mixes sexy and cute. Their collections showcase loud colours, bold prints and statement pieces. For those who love wearing pieces with bright colours or fun prints to liven up your style, this will definitely be a label you’ll come love.

Are you fan of animal print?

You can check out the label Jorge at –

Stay tuned for this weeks outfits. Till then see what I’m up to on Facebook –

Thanks for visiting 🙂






Do you spend hours getting ready for a date?

Heels – Coach | Playsuit – asos

It was date night on Sunday and I had no idea what to wear. Don’t you hate that?! I don’t know about you, but for me it happens all the time. Every other day I just throw on whatever I feel like wearing and I’m all set to go, but as soon as I have a date, it’s over! I’m standing in front of my wardrobe contemplating on what to wear. Next thing you know, I’ve wasted a good hour, my wardrobe is a mess and I’m nowhere close to ready! It’s not even like I was meeting someone for the first time, the date was with my 3-year boyfriend who has seen me at my worst. Regardless, I still take forever! Even though he tells me I’ll look good in anything, in my head I’m thinking “GOOD isn’t good enough, it’s either amazing or nothing!” I guess it’s one of those situations where you still want to say “I still got it” (fingers clicking to the side). In the end, I chose the good old easy Playsuit. I did say that the playsuit would strike again but I didn’t think it would be this soon, I guess it just shows how addicted I am hehehe.

I decided to keep it simple, minimal accessories and normal black heels. Reason being is that I wanted to show off the busy vine and leaf print, as well as the cut of the playsuit. The playsuit was showing a little bit more skin than I’m used to, so to keep is sophisticated and classy, I kept the make-up light, used pearl stud earrings, and finished it off with basic black heels. I wore red MAC lipstick (Ruby Woo) and left my natural curly hair out to keep the outfit super feminine.

Do you spend hours looking for the right outfit for a date?

Stay tuned for this weeks outfits.

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Playsuit – ASOS  |  Shoes – Verali  |  Bag – Coach

I love playsuits!

I’m sure you’ve had one of those days where you just can’t decide on what to wear. Where you’re lazy to put together an outfit or overwhelmed with decisions, but you still want to look nice. Your easy solution is to wear a playsuit!

Rather than spending so much time thinking “Will this top go with my pants?” Ransacking your wardrobe till your floor is covered with clothes. Trying almost 3 different outfits and after all of that, you end up selecting the outfit you started with. Choosing to wear a playsuit is as easy as throwing it on without all the drama. If you’re a sceptic, my word of advice is, “Just try it and see for your self!”

Playsuits, jumpsuits and one pieces come in all different shapes and sizes. They are made to flatter your body shape; some tight fitting and others loose. Made in a variety of styles such as chic, feminine, cute and my favourite, the 60’s inspired look (coming soon on the blog). Playsuits are perfect for summer and if you’re a fan like me, you can even wear it all year round. For colder weather, I simply wear patterned stockings, layered with a cardigan and covered up with an oversized coat. If that’s not warm enough, you can wear it with boots and accessorise it with a scarf or a knitted hat of any kind.

I wore this Aztec printed playsuit out to dinner with friends. It’s super comfortable! You can take it from a day to night, by dressing it up with heels. The Aztec print and the inbuilt belt, covers up any unwanted bulge. The oversized bow also accentuates your bust without showing cleavage. I love the neutral colours of black and beige because you can wear it with almost anything. For this outfit I wanted to wear the playsuit with a plum orange colour using lipstick and my Coach bag. Visually these colours really complement each other.

Since I am such a lover of playsuits, I should probably warn you that the playsuit will strike again on this blog. Hopefully I can even convert some of you :).

Do you love playsuits as much as I do?

Stay tuned for this weeks outfits.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Look book, Chictopia and Instagram as fashiondiction!

Thanks for visiting