Friday, May 31, 2013

Vivian Ashworth Hair and Makeup Salon Launch

Who can resist Dresscode: Gatsby on this Baz Luhrmann-infused week? None of the party-goers at Vivian Ashworth Hair and Makeup Salon's launch, to be sure. Greville Street proved to be a magnet for sequin-adoring, fur-donning, headband-seeking types, with more sparkle in the room than a Swarovski store. To add to the geniality in the air, jazz soloist Hetty Kate and her band performed, and models swanned around in Gwendolynne couture, paired with Richard Nylon headpieces.  

Vivian Ashworth

PR Kyra Pybus, behind the event, yet front and centre with two Gwendolynne-gowned gals

Colin and Dasha Gold, of

One of Richard Nylon's headpieces! 

Gwendolynne and Kyra

Richard Nylon (right) with songbird Hetty Kate in Gwendolynne

Shiva Singam

Some pics by Jacqui Henshaw. Others courtesy of guests and designer Gwendolynne Burkin. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cascade Launch of Limited Edition Ale

Who knew that beer could be so glamorous? We're talking about craft beer, of course, which is packaged up much more prettily but has the same effect. As such, there were lots of laughs and merriment at Hobba Eatery & Bar for Cascade Brewery Co.'s bash to celebrate the release of their limited edition 2013 Cascade First Harvest Ale. 

Hobba, normally an open plan eatery that serves up delicious meals, was transformed by the genius of designer-stylist Joost Bakker. Cascade's Head Brewer Mike Unsworth was on board, as was local Tasmanian (Cascade Brewery is based there), Ben Milbourne, from MasterChef. No wonder there was such delicious morsels available, using Tassie produce and ingredients. Cheers. 

Dean and girlfriend model Shoona Stanes 

Hobba co-owner, chef Josh Powell

Katherine and Caroline Brown, of Brown Brothers

Killer goody bags always go a long way. This one included fudge and the carmelised walnuts (below). 

Not pictured: the lamb, which I had, like, five of. 
All professional photos by Lucas Dawson Photography

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paspaley Boutique at Crown Launch

It's hard to look at celebrities at a store opening when that store is filled with the most gorgeous, precious jewels you've ever seen. It's distracting. So even though luminaries such as Erica and James Packer were on hand to cut the yellow ribbon for Paspaley boutique at Crown in Melbourne (technically, Erica did the cutting), I found myself wanted to try on those incredible pearls. Go figure. 

Erica, wearing a Victoria Beckham column dress she bought in Sydney, was just one of the VIPs who moved up to the Chairman's Villa at Crown Towers after the official ceremonies were over. Also there was Eric Carlson, the retail architect behind the store (his client list boasts the likes of Louis Vuitton and Celine), who flew in from Paris. Also enjoying the festivities were Ann Peacock, Solomon Lew, Gina Rinehart, James and Prue Fairfax, and many of the Paspaley family. 

No one wanted to leave the Villa in a hurry - opera singer Samantha Ray was singing (in a surprise performance, since she lives in WA), and Veuve Clicquot was being poured freely. Who had to leave early? Not me. 

Erica Packer and James Paspaley (right)

One of the Paspaley models

Ann Peacock

The breathtaking Chairman's Villa, decorated in Paspaley colours. 

Mia and Banu Bracher, married to the Paspaley sons. Lovelier, these girls could not have been. 

Michael and Cindy Coade 
The security guard was artfully placed just in case anyone admired this model's pearls a little too much. 

Friday, May 17, 2013 re-launch

La Dolce Vita. Jazz singing that visits you in your dreams. Mesmerising red wines. A series of dishes that look as good as they tastes. All this was apparent when re-launched its menu - with its recently appointed Head Chef Paolo Masciopinto - and new look, holding a dinner in its moody (in an excellent way), dimly-lit restaurant, tucked in a Melbourne back alley, an old black and white Italian movie (La Dolce Vita) running in its courtyard at back.

Guests were surprised when Sarti pal Kate Ceberano got up and sang a few songs, not only successfully belting out Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind, but also introducing the audience to a rocking, haunting new song from her upcoming album. Did you feel like you were in New York or Rome, circa 1950? Yes. It didn't hurt that co-owner Joe Mammone made sure to go from table to table, greeting each guest with a story, a smile and a re-fill.  Salute! 

Kate Ceberano and Sarti co-owner Joe Mammone

Chelsea Scanlan and Ricky Lee Lacco

Scherri Lee Biggs and Lucy Mills

Nadia Coppolino

Glen and Michelle Moriaty

Gyton Grantley and Alexandra 

Sarti owners Joe Mammone and Michael Badr

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Goldie jewellery at Surround Interiors

  • Imagine that you've looted a Manhattan jewellery store in the 1960s-1990s, and you come up with jewels worn by the stiletto-wearing, beret-donning jet set of the West Village: picture a Kate Moss of yesteryear in a swingin' necklace. That's the kind of jewellery you'll find at Goldie - which bills itself as vintage jewellery of New York, although some pieces have also been sourced in Paris, and all of them have that je ne sais quoi vibe. 

    The gal with the keen eye who's behind it all is Daniella Balscheit, founder of Surround Interiors, who these days spends so much of her time in New York  that it's easy for her to pick up a trinket - or ten. She showcased the collection (which comes from names such as YSL, Anne Klein and Givenchy) with a party at Surround, treating guests to Tisdall wines and a whopper of a goody bag, that included MOR soap and Goldie bracelet, for starters. 

    Journo-in-the-know Suzanne Carbone also covered the event, here. (And I crack a mention.)
  • Founder Daniella Balscheit (left) who is as fastidious about her wardrobe as she is about her jewellery. 

    Models from Darley Models. They were even taller than normal and very handy with a wine bottle. 

    Artist Gavin Brown and designer Jenny Bannister 
    Gina Liano, right, rumoured to be on the Real Housewives show in Melbourne. Designers Bettina and Teresa are the lawyer's sisters. 

    Some of the beautiful wares

    Even models have to eat. Photo courtesy of