Saturday, June 29, 2013

Petit Fracas Launch at Christine

One always covets an invitation from Christine Barro, who's very selective about the soirees she throws; the one I recall, for instance, was a celebration for Philip Treacy that the famous milliner says was one of the best thrown in his honour. This week, Barro - whose jewel-box treasure store, Christine, has goods and garmets from Martin Grant, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and many, many others - held a party for the launch of the new Robert Piguet fragrance, Petit Fracas. There to welcome guests was the CEO of Robert Piguet Parfums, Joe Garces - briefly here from New York - who was glad to launch the new perfume, as well as celebrate the 65th anniversary of Fracas. 

The pair had a unique way to demonstrate what the different Robert Piguet fragrances were all about: models Helen Cauchi and Anthea Crebbin paraded around the store in various outfits which best represented the mood of a certain perfume. As each girl walked around, samples of the perfume that matched their outfit were passed around. No wonder quite a few ladies made a bee-line for the cash register at the end of the night. 

Christine Barro and Joe Garces

Gavin Brown, Peter Curnow and Philip Boon (far right)

Designer Jenny Bannister (right)

Model Helen Cauchi

Model Anthea Crebbin

The party kicked on at a not-to-be-revealed location - and was delightful! (Natalie King seated here.) 

Photos courtesy of Gina Millicia 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Range Rover Sport: Revealed

Oh, there was many a man salivating in South Melbourne on Tuesday night. Not because Rebecca Judd was wearing a teeny-weeny sequinned number by J'ATON Couture, although that would've been reason enough. Not because they were being plied with delicious cocktails (Kaffir lime and green apple martini, anyone?). Rather, a roomful of males dropped their jaws when Range Rover revealed the new Range Rover Sport, at a  cocktail party held at Luminare. Range Rover ambassador Heidi Middleton was on board, and Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards flew in from the UK. But it was the car that was the star, and guests rushed to the podium as soon as it was revealed.

Rebecca Judd in J'ATON Couture

Gwendolynne Burkin and Richard Nylon 

Heidi Middleton and Micah Gianneli

David Briskin and Elizabeth Ross

Josh Gibson 

DJ Grant Smillie 
Photos Courtesy of Jim Lee and Robert Anthony

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cloudy Bay Pinot and Duck Trail

Here's an invitation impossible to turn down: Cloudy Bay held a roaming dinner to celebrate the Cloudy Bay Pinot and Duck Trail - where, for the month of July, the restaurants of Melbourne (and other cities) pair their signature duck dishes with Cloudy Bay's Pinot Noir 2011. The good people of Cloudy Bay took a group - in a customised Cloudy Bay kombi van - to three duckalicious stops: Mr Mason (pan roasted duck breast with peas and figs), Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons (spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad) and Red Emperor (Sichuan smoked tea duck). There to explain the pairings was Nick Blampied-Lane, the winemaker of Cloudy Bay, who made the trip from New Zealand. You've got a month to try it out for yourself, folks. 

Nick Blampied-Lane, winemaker, Cloudy Bay and Adam Howatt from Moet-Hennessy

Photos courtesy of Jim Lee

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stand in My Shoes

The Stand in My Shoes project can be summed up in a simple word: empathy. That's what this project, and its film, aims to correct - the empathy deficit. Film-makers Anna Reeves, Vivienne Somers and Elizabeth Nakano were moved to make a difference when they witnessed a young boy being hit by a car, in Los Angeles. When no one stopped to help - apart from someone taking a photo and another telling the boy off for riding his bike - got the women thinking. And thus, their project was born, which starts with a film, and aims to change the way both corporations and the next generation think. 

The project was introduced at Melbourne's incredible White House, an old Victorian building in St Kilda, thought to be St Kilda's second oldest house. And, in keeping with the theme, the glamorous set brought out their best shoes of all. 

Who's on board the project? Try Richard Branson, and Melbourne's social awareness-changer, Small Giants, for starters. Another big name? TOMS shoes, the amazing company who give a pair of new shoes to a child in need, every time you buy one for yourself. Every guest on the night was lucky enough to take home a pair of TOMS for themselves. Wow.  

Danica Erard (not pictured) made this killer "Empathy" hat for the occasion. She so wowed the good folk at the White House that hat orders were flying in for the races. 

Kate Bollard and Shiva Singam. Since everyone wanted to know how Kate got her hair that colour for the night, she answered with a tweet - Kevin Murphy colour bug did the trick. 

Pia Miller (right)

Bree Laughlin (far left) in an ASOS frock. It felt like a wetsuit, which she admitted kept her warm on the cold night.  (Pic: Anthony Licuria)

Milliner Danica Erard and actor (Wolf Creek & Wolf Creek 2, and Django Unchained) John Jarratt. (Pic: Anthony Licuria)

Melina Bagnato from My Kitchen Rules; her parents, Dom and Pia Bagnato were also there on the night. (Pic: Anthony Licuria)

Ann-Maree Cooksley and bag designer Michaela Menichelli (Pic: Anthony Licuria) 

Annette Maloney, actress Sarah Roberts and Josh Lefers. Sarah just finished Felony, with Joel Edgerton, Jai Courtney, Melissa George and Tom Wilkinson. Her boyfriend Josh Lefers has too many projects to name, but check out his funky Chinese restaurant, Happy Palace, or his retro, speakeasy bar, Pawn & Co.

Ridiculously gorgeous photographer Rosanna Faraci

Pic: Anthony Licuria 

Also on hand were the delicious Vicki's Bickies, especially customised for the event. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Afternoon Tea at the Waiting room

It felt a bit like skipping school, doing something so indulgent and sophisticated on a bleak Melbourne day: Afternoon Tea at the Waiting Room. The place: Crown Towers. The menu: gorgeously decorated pastries and other this-is-worth-breaking-the-sugar-diet-for morsels, created by executive head chef Roberto Molleman. The crowd: Pretty Young (and not-so-young but still looking fabulous, thank you) Things dressed in their girly finery - think Mad Men comes to Melbourne, and gets updated by at least two decades in the process. 
Rebecca Judd. She once had a post on her blog about how she can do her own hair using a curling iron. All I have to say to that is that if you start out with a Prada dress, and alter it, you're still gonna end up with a Prada dress. I think she could style her hair with tweezers, and still look fantastic. 

Amber Greasley, Lillian Frank, Scherri Lee Biggs

Ann Peacock, of Crown, and journalist Suzanne Carbone, whose ability to be witty and newsy every day in her Age column never ceases to amaze me. 

Brigitte Duclos and Melissa Hetherington 

Jacintha Field and the wonderful Janice Breen Burns of voxfrock.

Kasia Z and Tara Hayes

Photos courtesy of Crown

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Smoothfm's First Birthday

Ah, there are worse evenings to be had than to be on a vast floor at the Olsen Hotel, food and drinks in abundance, chatting to Kate Langbroek, Dave Hughes and Cameron Daddo. That's what passed at smoothfm's party to celebrate 12 months on air. Their challenge has been to re-invent easy listening without seeming like an oldies station, and as such, video messages from Kylie Minogue, Michael BublĂ© and Tina Arena, among others, were sent across during the night. Even Julia Gillard send her congrats. 

I was busy inspecting the food plates of Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek, since the two have a competition going to see who can drop more weight from their 90 kilo frames during the week. (In fact, it's really a competition of one, since Kate has said she's not competing and wouldn't back herself.) Kate quizzed me on the calorie count of a calamari ring, then reached across to a stranger's plate and helped herself to one. (You had to be there, but trust me: hilarious.) Cameron Daddo took pains to say that his current musical, Legally Blonde, is not just for the chicks: "Trust me, guys love it!" he said. 

Richard Wilkins and Cameron Daddo. Cameron Daddo is heard six nights a week, from Sunday to Friday, from 8pm to midnightRichard Wilkins is heard from 10am to 1pm on the weekend, and has enlisted big names including Kylie Minogue, Michael Bublè, Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton John to join him during his shows

Anthony Callea, Kate Langbroek and Tim Campbell

Tamsyn Lewis and Ten's Mike Larkin

dmg Radio CEO Cathy O'Connor and Channel Nine ACA's Elise Elliott

Mike Perso (breakfast show), Richard Wilkins, Cathy Dinn (Drive), Cameron Daddo and Simon Diaz (heard across the day). 

Gorgeous DJ Lauren Mac. Men were smitten. 

Photos courtesy of smoothfm