Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fashion bloggers vs Fashion journalists

Move Over, Ms Wintour is the title of my article about all the fashion bloggers who are the Next Big Thing in Melbourne. Or maybe they are the Current Big Thing. Whatever the case, they are taking my front-row seat at fashion shows. Watch this space: I'll probably be begging them all for work in three years' time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome to Hollywood Mr Hitchcock

Welcome to Hollywood Mr Hitchcock: it was the name of an exhibition of paintings whose launch was held in the cellar of Tonic House, a nod to the fact that the master director himself used to love hosting parties in the cellar of his home. The artist: Pat Gavin, an Englishman whose sister - Michele Levine - lives in Melbourne, and who has always loved Hitchcock, having been on the set watching him while he was filming Frenzy. Gavin, an award-winning graphic designer and artist in the film and TV industry - he's won four BAFTA awards - is a modest chap who deflected compliments and said that despite the paintings all using scenes from Hitchcock movies, each is autobiographical in some way. 

Well, that's all a good reason for a party, and who better to throw it than The Greatest Show on Earth? The team - helped by TJ Carroll and Lauren Robertson - showed what they were made of with a truly memorable Hitchcock-themed party. There was Tippi Hedren in the stairwell, running away from (paper birds), a bird-hat atop her head. There was Grace Kelly in strapless dress, hiding behind columns and seeming distressed - a good enough actress that one guest, not noting her costume, asked her if she was okay. And there was the zinger - a shower curtain in the elevator (for when guests moved to the rooftop), and behind it Norman-Bates-dressed-as-mother, complete with knife. Guests - who included designers Roger Grinstead and Dom Bagnato - were invited to do their own Hitchcockian scene in a flip book, but not before they supped on delicious offerings. 

The Greatest Show on Earth's Lauren and TJ

(Painting images courtesy of - prints of which are available for sale.) 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Belvedere Vodka Dinner: Vue de Monde

When Belvedere Vodka held a special dinner at Vue de Monde to explore their various macerations and vodka offerings, they flew in their Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology from the UK, Claire Smith. Claire also lived in New York working for Belvedere, and her job sounds pretty damn glamorous: apart from jetting in to Melbourne and other cities in Australia, she has also appeared on TV shows like Conan O'Brien and Chelsea Handler, doing her thing with a cocktail.  Was it any surprise that - with a CV like that - the drinks were absolutely sumptuous, matching Shannon Bennett's exquisite menu sip for bite? No.

(All photos courtesy of Jim Lee and Black Communications)

Luc Wiesman of men's fashion website Anna Curran, Sarah Willcocks

Claire Smith (centre)

That's some killer view on the top of the restaurant.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Arquiste Launch

When Carlos Huber came to town to launch his unique fragrance line, Arquiste, at Peony, he was an insta-celebrity. Was it the fact that his romantic line of scents had incredible back-stories to them, such as Aleksandr, an ambery leather perfume which speaks of a "fiery gentleman" dabbing on Neroli and violet as he dons his leather boots and rides off on his sleigh, the woody scent of fir filling the air? Or was it that Huber himself was so damn personable, you wanted to buy one of his guava-tree-scented Cire Trudon candles  just so he could sign the box? (That would be every single woman in the store.) No matter: Huber's visit was a grand success, and as such, a certain fragment of Melbourne's population smells that much better as a result. Hooray. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pacific Brands' shoes season launch

Who doesn't love shoes? When Pacific Brands showcased the season's latest trends at Zinc, they showed off the latest from their brands Sachi and Julius Marlow. Golden girl Brynne Edelstein (even her shoes were gold-tipped) mingled with actor Gary Sweet, and guests were promised a special appearance by a snap-worthy addition. It turned out to be not human but horse, as Melbourne Cup winner Sub Zero clomped into the space. Luckily, there were no horse accidents to be cleaned up afterwards. (It was actually the guests who cleaned up: everyone was told a pair of shoes of their choice would be sent out to them afterwards.) 

Samantha Downie (right)

Brynne Edelstein

Gary Sweet

Nat Garonzi

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shiva's 40th Birthday

When you get an invitation to a party whose dress code is - "Dress as if attending revelries at Viceroy Lodge, Shimla India, 1937" - you know you're in for a unique evening. Such was the 40th birthday celebration of Melbourne man-about-town Shiva Singam, who held his bash at Morris Jones & Co. Since Shiva also held a brief moonlighting post as door-guard at the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival's most exclusive party, you can bet his invitation list was filled with fashionable folk. 
Some of those people, clearly, dressed up with clear Indian influence. Hello, Bollywood! From left: Kyra Pybus, Catherine Cervasio, Annette Maloney, Shiva, Helen Reizer, Michelle Singarella. 

Others chose to emulate the British in India. Designer Gwendolynne Burkin and milliner Richard Nylon (who actually blends both cultural influences), 

Catherine C and Kate B. If there was an award for best saris, they would've gotten it. 

Philip Boon (centre) and Kara B, fashion plate with flair. 

Lychee and Adam

Alx Lowen and Helen

Who says a wedding dress is a one-time thing? Shiva's sister managed to wear one of her bridal dresses again! 

Happy birthday, young man. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I found out all about what really goes on at the Logies for this behind-the-scenes story. Shhhh. (Cover story, M magazine, The Age)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vince Camuto store opening in Highpoint

Okay, so hands up who didn't expect Highpoint Shopping Centre to be such a must-see destination? When the latest Vince Camuto Boutique (the first is in Chapel St) held its store opening there, with Vince's son John Camuto flying in from New York, I was skeptical - even with the news that Rebecca Judd (and apparent shoe addict) Rebecca Judd interviewing John. But Highpoint is gorgeous, with lots of divine stores to peruse (hello Mecca superstore and Olga Berg), and a fitting destination for the latest Vince Camuto store, a brand that's worn by celebs such as Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Bell and has a line by Jessica Simpson. 

I also learned that Vince Camuto began the Nine West stores. Now there are 32 stores under The Camuto Group. 
I bought the shoes Rebecca is wearing. She made off with a pair of cargo-style ankle boots with a ripper gold band wrapped around the heel. 

Silvana Lovin, here from San Diego (where she lives with fiance Mark Philippoussis) was here to see family, since it's her dad's and brother's birthday. She was happy to chat wedding, acting (she's got a few interesting things happening in LA) and her love of Melbourne. 

Chelsea Scanlan, Rikki-Lee Lacco and Scherri-Lee Biggs

Melinda Chan from Vince Camuto at left

Actress Melanie Vallejo, back from holiday in Shanghai, and one of the nicest people you'll meet. 

The above pics all courtesy of Two Birds Talking, PR agency