Tag Archives: love

Happy Valentines day, kids!

14 Feb

I don’t really believe in Valentines Day, but I do believe in love. More then almost anything else, so this year I am going to go with it. But only just a little bit. Here are some of the ways that remind me that love is alive all around us, where ever you are in the world..

Love-locked: padlocks of declared love on the ‘Carrie and Big’ bridge over the river Seine, Paris.


LOVE: in the big apple.


At home: all is fair in love and wallpaper prints.


Wherefore art thou: love letters plastered on the wall at Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy.


Hopeful street art: Soho, NYC.


Prague: snow covered padlocks hoping for love that lasts for all Winters to come.


Love is all around us: necklace by Naomi Murrell, wooden heart by Typo.


All photographs and content is property of Crystal Kruger, unless otherwise stated.



Victorious Vintage.

23 Jan

I have a massive penchant for vintage, so whenever I find myself back in the little town I grew up in, Blackheath up in the Blue Mountains, I like to go to a shop called the Victory Theatre. I have no idea what the history of the place is, I assume it was once a theatre, perhaps with silent films early last century, but today and for as long as I can remember, it has been an antique shop.

Over the years this place has changed a lot. I remember exploring in there as a child, through musty clothes on racks, staring at delightfully horrible old paintings and testing out dust cover chairs. I remember listening to the creaking old floorboards emanating from the level above, wondering if it was going to collapse. I also remember going there late at night, heading right to the back of the shop to dine in the ‘restaurant’. I couldn’t tell you thing about the food there, except that I always used to get mushroom soup but the place was kind of scary to a 7 year old.

They had what I believe was a mixture of faux and real cobwebs draped over the décor, and ancient rusting candelabra hanging over the tables, that swung dangerously if anyone walked along upstairs. It had a dishevelled ancient old mansion thing going on. With mismatched everything from plates and spoons to chairs, well worn rickety old tables and candles everywhere dripping wax into strange contorted slightly creepy looking shapes. I remember thinking it was just like the scary old castles I saw in cartoons, and that surely at night, when everyone was gone, that it must be haunted.

These days, it has had a facelift or two, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a few spirits floating around looking after their prized old possessions. However it is and probably always has been really, a fabulous place to shop for things out of the ordinary. If vintage and antique are your thing, this is well worth the trip.  When I go there, just as I always have, I start off gazing at the antique rings, and subsequently begin day dreaming about the antique wedding ring I want one day. I love that rings tell a story, and that they are so personal. Every single one has a story. I like to try them on and wonder who they belonged to, and how they ended up in a shop and no longer on someone’s finger…

There is plenty to look at from home wears, jewellery, clothes, art, books, general junk and some other stuff. Seriously! Its crammed with bits and pieces, a mixture of real antiques, priced as so, and vintage/second hand pieces, at a more purse friendly level. On my most recent trip one of the guys who works in café that is now out the front, and makes quite nice coffee and excellent risotto, was trying to pick me up in the most hilariously ridiculous conversations I have had in a long time. It put a smile on face for a long time after that.

On that particular shopping trip, which started just as coffee, resulted in browsing, and ended in spending, I got a gorgeous floral dress that I love to bits and have lived in this summer, and a sweet little musical jewellery box. Which wasn’t so little, and is actually kind of heavy, as I discovered on the long journey home to Sydney, and a gorgeous red leather bag.

The dress isn’t the most ancient of dresses, probably 80’s I’d say,  but is actually gold! It is so effortless and light. The pleats are so sweet, and I love the print. It was in pristine condition, and cleans really well. It doesn’t even have a hint of old lady/charity shop smell. I think I paid something like $15 for, and it didn’t need any adjusting to make it wearable. That’s what I call a good buy. No stain removing, hemming, sewing, replacing buttons, or altering sleeves. Good to go. As a bonus it is ‘sensible’ enough to wear to wear to work and still look like me. Yay.

The jewellery box cost me a little more then that, and is completely cute. Its mint green and hand painted with scenes of the European country side. It reminds me of an illustration of the Spanish hill sides in an episode of Maddeline! I thought twice about buying it, because it is broken in one part, but tried to walk away and couldn’t. I just felt an undeniable connection with this thing. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I think maybe that sounds weird, unless you have a moment like that of your own. Belieive me, I’m not crazy!

Anwyay, it’s a musical box, that plays a tinny tune I don’t recognise, but feel drawn to none the less. It also had two little figures inside that turn – a bride and a groom. The bride has met an untimely demise somewhere along the way, so a lonesome groom stands tall inside. I feel bad for him, and want to find something to replace the empty gap, but have not so far come up with a feasible solution. So for now he stands as my little guardian groom.

And the bag – I think that speaks for it’s self in that glorious rich red tone. In perfect condition. Real leather. Stunning.

Hope you enjoy my purchases as much as I did. It’s a place I recommend you check out yourself!


Dear London, please excuse my self indulgence…

22 Jan


Today I spoke to my friend Jessica, who is on an adventure in Europe right now. It was some ungodly jetlagged hour in a grungy London hotel room, when sleep evaded her. But she told me something sweet that couldn’t contain her awe and wonder. She said to me, ‘Oh my god Crystal, nothing prepares you for how beautiful London is! The buildings – wow! I love London.’ And then I wanted to cry.

I have a strange and lusty fixation with that city. Not something that can be justified considering the limited time I have spent there – two weeks surely doesn’t count for much. And yet I have always had an affinity with London, even before setting foot on the ancient streets. Going there only made me love it more. It felt like home. It was overwhelming.

So many things are different there, and yet so many things the same as here. London made a huge impression on this impressionable young girl, who has been yearning to go there since sometime before childhood (forever!). I don’t even think I can quite explain why I love it.

It is somehow magical. And quirky eclectic. It’s old and historical; full of stories. It is full of photos waiting to happen. It is fashion. Its colour and noise. Old meets new, and the future. It is old weathered brick walls. Its people and things from everywhere and some other places too. It is the gateway to Europe. It is the rain and the light. Art and design. The snow and the greasy spoon cafes. All that architecture. It is the city that makes other places make sense – the ‘motherland’ of a once far and wide empire. It makes me happy and makes me smile. And it’s mainly that this isn’t even the half of it. But it also makes me cry. And I would like to think it needs me there. It fills me with inspiration and exploration. It makes me feel like a better person.

After having done my own pilgrimage around Europe, it felt like a homecoming returning there, for just one more fleeting night. It felt right. It truly made me weep to leave. On a Finnair flight headed for Helsinki, silent tears streamed down my face as the wheels of the plane left the tarmac, and we flew out over London just waking up to the morning light, and another day. I cried and I wanted to have my own another day. I guess it may have been partly because I had barely slept in three days (blame Amsterdam), and it may have been because I was a little homesick too.

But I don’t cry in public. Ever.

So dear London: (And everyone else of course!) Please excuse my self indulgence. It’s just that I love you. For real though and not like a stalker.



Blue Valentine.

19 Jan

Last night after an amazing Japanese meal, my boyfriend and I saw Blue Valentine at the Dendy in Newtown. I know this has been out for a few weeks now and I have been dying to see it, but wow. I am so glad I made finally got around to it.

This is what I wore. I think it was a little bit vintage inspired with the cream lace skirt, but also a bit whimsical with the pink bow and the polka dots. It was feeling a bit too girly girl for me, so I added a black studded belt and the black studded brogues from the last post. I think the contrast sort of matched the movie in a way…

Romantic movies always tell tales of people falling in love in the most beautiful circumstances, and I feel they often leave viewers with unrealistic expectations for their own relationships. And you may expect that of this movie because it stars Ryan Gosling of Notebook fame, and Michelle Williams, who many still associate with teen drama Dawson’s Creek.

Blue Valentine however is a heart wrenching insight into the entire cycle of a relationship, from the first intoxicating glance, through hardships overcome, right until the end and the breakdown. The actors are intense and real. You believe them, always. Over the years Michelle Williams has really grown into a brilliant actress, who picks brilliant left of centre, serious movies.

What a stunning movie in the simplicity and normality. It has a sense of reality and almost monotony, but in a good way. You see the characters doing normal, average every day things, going through the motions. It rang strong and true. Blue Valentine successfully weaves the story, through flashbacks of the early days in love thrown in between the spiralling breakdown of what was once such a sweet and true relationship. It breaks your heart to see what they become and how they change. Especially in contrast with what they wanted when they were young.

You just want them to be able to go back to the way things were, but that’s just it – you never really can. And this movie isn’t afraid to show you that; there is no happily ever after. It doesn’t cut to the credits after the protagonists kiss and make up like a Jennifer Aniston Rom-Com. I find it so poignant and it feels real in it’s tragedy. I watched the breakdown of my own parents’ relationship, and heard the reminiscence of bittersweet memories – how beautiful and hopeful it was in the beginning, and knowing what it became.

In saying all this, I hope naively that no one has to ever go through any of this, but I know it can’t be so. I walked away with so much on my mind. This is not a movie to see if you want a happy ending. But it is one to see if you want to be moved, and to feel love ring true around you. It is a movie to see if you need perspective and insight. And in general, I think it is a movie everyone should see.


J’adore The Kooples.

15 Jan

I’m loving The Kooples right now! I first saw the ads in British Vogue a while back, and I fell in love with the aesthetic instantly. They feature beautiful real life couples dressed darkly, clad in crisp tailored clothes. They ooze sophistication; Savile Row meets military styling with a healthy does of rock and roll attitude.

If you visit their website you’ll find the clothes behind the looks and video clips of the couples chatting about each other and things like how they met, why they love each other, sharing a quick kiss here and there. It sounds like it should be vom-inspiring, but it really isn’t. More like compelling. Filmed somewhere moody and slightly dishevelled makes for a contrast to the tailored, clean, sharp, structured looks the couples wear.  It was gorgeous and edgy and modern. And oh-so-European. (Even the American guys.) You watch them and they make you want to be them. So badly. And isn’t that what any good ad campaign is about?

I don’t entirely think I could pull off this look and honestly I am slightly envious of those who can. The women’s wear is definitely menswear inspired, and I think you either need to be really pretty or conversely androgynous to make it work. I am neither so I shall admire from afar. Although I do want to invest in one of their coats, but honestly there are limited opportunities in Sydney to whip one out of the wardrobe, so I’m not sure if I can justify it. But hey, maybe I will just have to go gallivanting around Europe again next winter to make sure it’s not a wasted purchase. Couldn’t have that now, could I?

Can Sydney make The Kooples work for them? I’m not sure, because a lot of what we wear is fairly relaxed and light. The Kooples is very classic and structured in comparison. What do you think?

Like phantom pains.

4 Jan

We have done this before, these endings,
and I’ve told you how I don’t think I can do this any longer more times then that.
But we always pick up the threads of the conversation of our lives, just months later.
For now, a circle completes. Our end (again).
And as I walk away from you
towards this waiting plane
I glance back.
Just as you knew I would.
I think I feel your lips on mine,
remember like phantom pains
where my heart once was,
where your hand once was; around my waist,
the way you your lip goes up when you smile, talk.
The way you always hugged me, as though it could be the last.

You were forever the beautiful one.
Being around you, I always felt more worthy, more attractive. Proud to know you.
One final look, I round a corner, I’m boarding. It’s over.

And I know Paris waits.

But it’s no consolation really.


Pant suit, skirt suit.

5 Apr

An elderly couple, dressed in cream: pant suit, skirt suit, shuffle painfully to their seats on this slow and dreary intercity train, matching silver hair, sunspots and smiles. To see them, to watch them talk, interact, be one together so completely, you’d believe it was a love of a lifetime. To look, who would, who could possibly know that she was beat by her first husband, that she lost her first child to his battering? Who would, who should know that he spent the first forty years of his life, being too afraid to actually go after what he wanted, not even knowing what that was, after spending thirty-five of those years being given orders. First from a cold and precise father, followed by a callous, calculating Lieutenant. A war on the frontline and back home – a wife lost to another man, one unfit to fight, who offered nothing to his country, nothing to the cause, but who was simply just there. Convenient.

To see them, this smartly suited pair, how could you know, that their redemption was each other. Displaced childhood sweethearts, she learnt to trust and believe again, he realised what it was he’d been fighting for all along. They hold hands, and spend their concern on one another, laughing in unison, both trying to hide the fear that lies within their eyes. A fear of the day when they will no longer be together, when one will be left behind, bereft of their soul and their purpose, their salvation. Each others saviour in lives that didn’t seem salvageable, reflected in the well worn wrinkles of their smiles, their hearts aching,  etched on to one anothers sleeve. To see them, is to cry. Doomed by time and inevitability, it is a tragedy.

They are so beautiful.

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