It’s time for another edition of The Monthly Mint – a chance for you to join in the Peppermint office chat about all the things we’re loving and living for each month.
Here at Peppermint we’re forever on the hunt for the best in sustainable reads, eats and wears to inspire you all. But have you ever wondered what we are really liking in our off-screen lives? We thought we’d open our front doors (despite how messy it might be inside) and share a few of our favourite things each month. That way you get the chance to get to know us a little better and if you’re ever in need of a recommendation next time you find yourself stuck in the “I don’t know what to watch/wear/read?!” scroll, you know where to start.
I’ve got several shows to share this month – possibly a reflection of the amount of time spent horizontally exhausted on the couch. Billie Holiday tunes have always been a staple on my playlists, but The United States vs Billie Holiday starring Andra Day brought a new level of admiration for the troubled icon herself, who was incessantly harassed by the FBI for her anti-lynching civil rights song, ‘Strange Fruit‘, literally until the end; the drug-addicted Billie was arrested for a final time as part of the obsessive campaign to silence her voice as she lay dying in her hospital bed. Another incredible human blazing trails for women’s rights is the US attorney Gloria Allred, highlighted in the Netflix doco Seeing Allred. The biography follows the fiery Gloria through her long history in standing up for minority groups and women, particularly those who are survivors of sexual assault (including the victims of Bill Cosby and OJ Simpson) and her important work in overturning laws around the Statute of Limitations. And then to add to the light and fluffy line-up, I also watched Cracking Covid – an insightful doco on ABC iview, created by Melbourne filmmaker Sonya Pemberton, that tracks the scientists in Australia in real-time over the last 18 months as they work furiously to create a vaccine. If you want to understand the workings of scientists and how they do their research (real, actual research) then this is a great place to start. Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty is a deadset legend.
Insert Kelley here! After much deliberation I am finally the proud owner of this stunning Australian-made, hand-printed, linen shirt dress by Magpie Goose (the much-loved brand that recently transitioned to Indigenous ownership). I can already see it’s going to be a staple (and am quietly plotting how I can save to get it in other prints…).
You may not know it yet but you need Damien Robitaille in your life. Go and listen to his brilliant tunes – with a motto of ‘spreading joy through music’ – and prove me wrong. Start with his version of Haddaway’s ‘What Is Love‘ (with a cameo from Gurdeep Pandher, the Canadian who dances Bhangra – the traditional dance of Punjab), and then move to his fun renditions of Daft Punk, CeCe Peniston, and Technotronic. You’re welcome.
I’m on the hunt for perfume so I’ve been trawling the internet – and our handy roundup in Issue 50 – for natural perfumes with decent staying power. So, if you are a perfume that I can spray on in the morning and still smell as though I’ve rolled in a field of flowers come evening-time, please apply within.
My least favourite (but secretly my favourite) part of both the fashion industry and reality TV is the snark level. I recently stumbled on the evolutionary relation of Project Runway, Making the Cut, and the second season of the new show is a shining example of mean-girl fashion reality TV. The premise is simple: hosts Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum sashay around Malibu – at a COVID-appropes social distance, natch – executing fourth-wall breaking monologues that constantly highlight the show’s purpose of finding “the next global fashion brand because it’s more important than ever to support the creative industry”, while a bunch of seemingly established and talented designers battle it out to ‘make the cut’. Peppered with challenges that draw out each contestant’s ability as an all-rounder of fashion – designer, entrepreneur and profoundly deep thinker – it’s a feast of Hunger Games-level competitiveness, fashion-madness montages and the intense power imbalance of being judged by the world’s best designers and models. I’m conflicted by its trashiness and quite problematic tropes as well as it’s approaches to issues like size inclusivity, but the panicked scramble to address the somewhat boring briefs (resortwear?!) in virtually no time before the models glide down the runway in barely-sewn-together ensembles is offset by the enjoyment of watching the process of the true artists put together their pieces.
I always put reading down here because I’m aspirational, but alas, in all honesty my currently glacial reading of The Heart of the Grass Tree, by Australian author Molly Murn, is not setting any literary records. Maybe it’s time to move to audiobooks?
The anti-single-use plastic heroes at Ethique gifted me their new solid co-wash/conditioner and shampoo bars the other day – called Curliosity and Professor Curl – and aside from my general annoyance at their solid-state (this is a deeply personal and subjective judgement that speaks to my inherent impatience, no shade to Ethique), I’m in love with the zesty lemongrass smell – and their perfect balance of clean-feel and moisturisation. The bars even come with a shower holder and lid to stop waste from the bar melting from shower-splash in between use. If you have curls, you’ll know the importance of the right combo of products (and often the secret is putting these products on in the shower or when your hair is sopping wet) so I feel that my morning mane wrangle is slightly less frustrating now!
COMMUNITY AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
I’m not sure what I was doing between 1998 and… well, now, but I have to say that the obsession with Britney Spears, both her music and her personal story, passed me by. Sure, I remember the release of ‘Baby One More Time‘ when I was a 16-year-old girl (the same age as Britney when she donned that schoolgirl uniform), but I don’t think it made any significant impression on me… pretty sure I was too busy listening to ‘Kiss Me‘ by Sixpence None the Richer on repeat and wishing that Freddie Prinze Jnr would woo me as part of a cruel bet with friends, unexpectedly fall in love with my kooky ways and take me to a fantasy prom. Anyway, I digress. Obviously with the recent coverage of Britney’s legal battle over her conservatorship, she is very much in the public consciousness and, based on the recommendation of a friend, I started listening to Pieces of Britney from the BBC. And I am hooked. On what, you ask? It’s Britney, bitch! The podcast uses information from memoirs, legal documents, first-hand accounts and some “imagination” (read: sort of dorky radio pantomime acting) to tell the story of the southern girl turned pop princess: her rise to stardom, her effect on culture and music, her portrayal in the media (a very depressing trip down misogyny lane) and her struggle as a girl, not yet a woman. It’s a very sympathetic portrayal of a person who, by all accounts, really needs that right now. #FreeBritney
In an effort to reconnect with my brain (and read something other than Instagram captions and our current household favourite, 101 Spooky Bums), I’ve been trying to read more long-form articles. But, what is one to do if one has just started reading an interesting article and is then interrupted with a snack request… or a cat vomiting… or any of the other hundreds of interruptions that can plague a moment of quiet intellectual reading? One could get very angry and yell just to get some bloody peace. Not me though, as my lovely husband just added the Pocket app to my phone, so I can save articles I am enjoying to read when I get time (otherwise known as: behind a locked bathroom door). A bit like Instapaper or Read Later on Safari, Pocket suits my needs best because it actually works with my Kobo e-reader so I can read articles on that like a proper grown up. Pocket also sends out regular emails with a curation of good articles, and I have found some gold from it. I’ve loved this article on Britney’s conservatorship (of course), this about the life-altering magic of a friend and this one about… ummm… how UFOs are maybe real?
I think you know a print is your cup of tea if you just have to have it in both a pair of pants AND a jumpsuit. I’m looking at you Serene print from Kholo the Label. Designer Karishma works with Sedex-approved factories in Kolkata to produce her range, which is available in sizes 8-26. Both the jumpsuit (which I got in a size 22) and pants (a size 24), are made with a knit weave and 100% modal which makes the pieces slightly stretchy and very comfy to wear. Did I need both? YES OF COURSE I DID, it is my birthday… in August.