Thursday, February 28, 2013

Myer's Winter Parade

When the invitation comes to the Myer parade, you go. That's because only 350 people are invited (not so many, when half the room is taken up with designers such as Toni Maticevski, Yeojin Bae, Karen Walker, Leona Edmiston, Wayne Cooper, Teresa Liano, Arthur and Mimi Galan, to name a few) and wall-to-wall models. After a little cocktail party, everyone sat down to watch the show. Stand outs were Toni Maticevski's slightly space-age influenced dresses (imagine Racquel Welch dressing in outer space if Vogue magazine provided the wardrobe), Yeojin Bae's black cape (she cleverly wore the white version), T.L. Wood's floaty dresses and Sass & Bide's Vegas-meets-the-future glitzy wares. Loved it all. So much so, that I mingled at the party and forgot to get the kick-ass goody bag at the end. Sigh. 

Lindy Klim and designer Toni Maticevski
Jean-Francois and wife (designer) Yeojin Bae

Kris Smith and model Alexandra Agoston.

Journalist Glynis Traill-Nash and InStyle magazine editor Kirsten Galliott
Glynis will be hosting three Fashion Industry Forums at the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival: The Designer's Universe, The Fashion Media Landscape Transformation and The Wool Renaissance.
Bridget and Frances Abbott

Carli Philips (on right)

Channel 10's Emma Notarfrancesco and brother Michael 

Megan Castran, who's one of the "devotees" of the LMFF. Have camera, will blog. 
If you're a fan of Oprah Winfrey's, you will also know that Oprah chose Megan's house to have a surprise dinner at when she visited Australia. To find out all things Megan, click here.

Wendy Squires (she of the fantastic columns)and Paula Joye

Look closely in the centre: Jennifer Hawkins and fiancee Jake, seemingly not realising that THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. Get a room, pretty people. Just kidding. Jennifer Hawkins is very Jennifer Lawrence-like, that is to say instantly likable. She seems human, accessible and has a killer body without being scrawny.

Teresa Liano of T.L. Wood

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Il Fornaio's Wine and Cheese party

Who won't come out for a wine and cheese party? That's the case even when the weather is terrible. Il Fornaio celebrated the arrival of their new artisan cheeses and Italian wines. Sabrina and Katia, aka The Cheese Ladies, had a demonstration of their cheese-making process, but I'm thinking this: they need a better name if they ever want to start a girl group. 

PR maven Fiona Brook (left) of Zilla and Brook and former Masterchef contestant Chelsea Fammartino. 

Because a snapshot of holding a forkful of cheese is far more attractive that a shot of stuffing it in your face. 

Josh Gibson and Tracey Beswick

Chelsea Fammartino and Lee Chan, a presenter on Coxy's Big Break and former My Kitchen Rules contestant. These girls know their cheeses.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Cantina - the very latest eatery from chef Paul Wilson and co-owner Julian Gerner - is in that lovely spot that used to be Mink Bar, on Acland Street, where there was always a person behind a velvet rope explaining why YOU couldn't come in. Not so Cantina, a Mexican eatery that's open for tortilla cravings until 3 in the morning, every day of the week. That's giving the people what they want; same thing happened at the launch party. 

Lindy Klim, who has re-located to Bali with her family, still comes back to Melbourne every month. Her business with Michael - Milk & Co - is booming, now selling all over Asia and overseas. 

Actress Melanie Vallejo, Winners and Losers

DJ Dean Cherny (of DJ Dimension and Marketing Melodies) and Tanya Cherny. 

All photos by Anthony Licuria, APL Photography

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What the Men Wore

It's the Oscars, so I just had to write on men's fashion. No, that's not an oxymoron. Click here to read.

G-Lux party

Who knew that porcelain and natural stone products could be so glamorous? The event: G-Lux Gallery opening party. The background: G-Lux is a family-owned business of luxury products of the aforementioned type. The perks of the job: stones are imported from places such as Turkey, Italy and Spain, so I hope they get the odd holiday in Majorca. The party details: Louis Roederer Cristal champagne was served, and there was a burlesque performance by Sina King. It's enough to make you want to install some luxury porcelain into your home right now. 

G-Lux co-owner Boris (his father Nick Vainberg is the other owner) & Boris' wife, Yelena Kogan
Yelena Kogan & Dina Horne

Zhenya Vernon & Alex Lowen
All photos by Trish Keating Photography. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hot type

Some weekend reading for you, people....

I think of male celebrity awards dressing as pretty boring, normally - it's that George Clooney wedding tuxedo look - but this Vanity Fair slideshow suggests otherwise. Ladies, check out Ryan Gosling in a cobalt blue tuxedo. All this ahead of the Oscars telecast on Monday. 

I am a little bit obsessed with the fabulous Emanuel brothers, the trio of LA siblings. Ari is one of the biggest Hollywood agents (and apparently inspired the Ari character in TV's Entourage), Rahm is the former chief-of-staff for Obama, now mayor of Chicago, and Ezekiel a noted bioethicist. I once sat next to Ari at a dinner party and was absolutely enamoured by him; he was so switched-on and charismatic and intelligent. Ezekiel has just written a memoir, and an excerpt is here in Vanity Fair. I love the sound of this family.

I haven't picked up US Cosmopolitan magazine in a million years, but by gosh, this new editor-in-chief Joanna Coles makes me want to. Ms. Coles gives this great quote:  “A couple of male gay friends of mine have suggested they write sex columns for me. And I was like ‘Buddy, women are fine without [sex] advice from gay men.' Read more of this quotable editor here.

Imagine the PR nightmare facing this cruise ship line: on the Carnival Triumph, passengers had to deal with overflowing toilets, limited food supplies and terrible conditions when a fire broke out and the ship lost power. Not only will they be refunded, but get this: the ship said they can keep their bathrobes! Whoo-hoo! 

You know those Awkward Family Photos that have been turned into books? These are Awkward Pregnancy Photos. Warning: once you see this, you can't un-see it. 

It's hard to go past this: an ostrich-feather-embellished helicopter, with Swarovski crytals, which is what Marie Antoinette would've zipped around in, apparently. Excuse me, pilot, take me to Barneys, stat!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Palace launch

If you've ever been to the Formosa Cafe in Los Angeles, you immediately get the concept of Happy Palace, in Melbourne's CBD. Take one Chinese restaurant that's been there forever, do a hip re-vamp without getting rid of the cool, kitschy features that make it so Chinese Restaurant-y in the first place, jazz up the menu (the desserts come under "Happy Endings"), add a happening guest list and mix. Apparently co-owner Jerome Borazio (of St Jerome's fame) hassled the previous owner for eight years until he was finally willing to part with the venue. 
Wall by Happy Palace. Bag by

Kate Bollard. Hong Kong top, LA attitude, rocking chick. 

Miss World Australia finalist Mietta Gornall (who's an actress-dancer and was in West Side Story) and  pal Gabi Aloisio

Mietta, Gabi and PR gal-about-town Fiona Brook. 

The famous Duck You! Duck Face! cocktail. It's a duck-washed Tanqueray Gin with Mandarine Napoleon Liquer, Sweet Vermouth and a dash of bitters. Possibly not for everyone, but I loved it. 
You can't see it here, but all the wait staff had name tags which said "Nigel" on them. There's a sweet and convoluted story about this, which basically revolves around owner Jerome wanting to create a special club for all the Nigels of the world. This is how he's finally done it. 
The fellas behind Happy Palace call it an "ironic-iconic homage to suburban Chinese food," which seems about right. 
Booth tables made from Mah Jong tiles, adorable touch. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Moet Imperial Launch

There are certain words that make an invitation sound more enticing. Moet & Chandon are three of them. (Is an ampersand a word? Perhaps that's only two words.) It was the mid-30s in Melbourne, and still the fine folk of Sunday afternoon drinking were willing to make their way to the Moet Ice Imperial launch at Adelphi Hotel's penthouse space, Mon Bijou. Go figure. As a reward, guests were treated to Moet Ice Imperial cocktails, served up with mint leaves and strawberry. 

Bree Laughlin and Kate Bollard. 
Kyra Pybus and Shiva Singam. The last time I saw these two pals together, Shiva had convinced Kyra to come to a Day of the Dead Festival event dressed as Frida Kahlo. Now there's a sport. 

Sarah Roza and James Kingsbury from The Amazing Race last season. The nine year older Sarah calls herself a "cougar." 

All these girls know how to pose. The middle one reminds me of the time I told my friend Judy that the most flattering pose, according to someone I knew at Elle magazine, was to tilt your head slightly to the side. Thereafter, my friend Judy always looked like she had a broken neck whenever she posed. 

Colin Johnson and Nicola Holland

I nearly cropped the bartender out of this photo, but I loved the expression on his face. He looks like someone out of a Bond movie who, unbeknownst to the guests busy with their icy drinks, has to decipher a secret code in sixty seconds before there are dire consequences. 
Roger Grinstead, Jim Lee and Colin Gold from
Bree Laughlin and man-of-the-Moet, event organiser Velco Dojcinovski

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Grief etiquette

A diversion from the usual collection of party photos. They will return shortly, promise. 
My articles are often commissioned to me, but this one - in today's Sunday Life magazine (The Age newspaper) was my idea: what to say to someone who's in a traumatic situation. I interviewed a breast cancer survivor, a mother whose son suicided and a woman who battled infertility for years (before giving birth to her son), and the article is simply what they had to say: the words that helped them, and the words that didn't. 

Years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Visiting him in palliative care, I was struck by the different things people said to him. Some visitors came in and - I'm thinking they wanted to fill that awkward silence - spoke about their holidays booked, upcoming parties, activities they were planning. These were all the things he'd never get to do, obviously, and I don't think they realised how hard it was for him to hear about future plans. On the other hand, others came and spoke to him about his illness, or cracked jokes about his dire situation - in his case (and I'm not suggesting this would work for everyone), he really welcomed the opportunity to address the elephant in the room, and to laugh when there were so few laughs in his day. 

Of course, one thing is never going to work with everyone. If someone dies in an untimely fashion, it's usually awful to hear words like, "They're in a better place now," because it doesn't feel like that for the survivor. On the other hand, if you're very religious, perhaps that is a comforting sentiment for some. 

Neradine, the breast cancer survivor in my article, had people tell her stories of others who'd battled breast cancer - and died. As she told me with a sly smile, "That's just not helpful!" Another person avoided her entirely once she was diagnosed - only to speak to her again when she was in the clear. One of the best responses she got? A friend sent her a boxed DVD set to while away the long hospital hours. 

Here's the best I can offer, even though I don't claim to be an expert; I've put my foot in it before, too. If you don't know what to say, simply say this: "I can't imagine what you're going through. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you. But please know that I am here for you, and please tell me how I can help you." Offer to help, in practical ways. Be there to listen. It's not foolproof, but it's a start. 

For the actual article, read it here.