Thursday, February 27, 2014

Launch of Zhou Zhou

 Tucked away in a side street on Chapel Street, the brand new Zhou Zhou is located above the Oriental Teahouse, a hip drinking den with a cool vibe and enough Asian ales to make you think you’re in Shanghai. On opening night, Real Housewife of Melbourne Janet Roach, Rhonda Burchmore, Brodie Young, designer Anthony Capon and bloggers Stef and Jess Dadon (How Two Live) all helped to down cocktails such as Mekong Hijinks (which involves sucking a lychee lolly). Owner David Zhou toasted Rhonda Burchmore in his speech, and then let everyone devour the dishes such as scallion pancakes and plump prawn dumplings in the Hecker Guthrie-designed space. Delicious.


All photos by Anthony Licuria/ APL Photography

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gina Liano's RHOM Party

It's been a long countdown to the first episode of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, and who better to celebrate that with than a real housewife? Enter Gina Liano: barrister, glamazon, straight-shooter, mother-of-two - and a woman with such defined bicep muscles that a personal trainer couldn't believe it was brought about by wielding a hair-dryer alone. 

Gina held her "small" party at Riva - that would be 300 family and friends including sisters Bettina and Teresa Liano, Olympian Cathy Freeman, assorted journalists and the publicity powers-that-be at Foxtel. After the successful screening of the Arena show, people kicked back their chairs and kicked up their heels to 80s music on the dance floor. All the ladies left with a goody bag, which included - appropriately - a Team Gina gold-glitter tee.  

Bettina and Gina Liano

Gina and her long-term partner, Dean, who flew out from the US for the occasion. She told the crowd that despite Jackie Gillies' predictions that she was going to "dump his ass", he was well and truly in her life. 

All photos courtesy of Anthony Licuria/ APL Photography 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Myer Autumn/Winter Show 2014

 As usual, there's a lot of buzz surrounding the Myer parade, not in small part due to their big name models: Jennifer Hawkins, Kris Smith and Kate Peck. Homegrown talent was shown off by the best - designs by Maticevski, Manning Cartell, Sass & Bide, Arthur Galan AG, Yeojin Bae, Aurelio Costarella, Ellery, new Myer recruit Peter Alexander and Leona Edmiston, to name a few.  Many also swivelled their heads to turn from catwalk to cat-seat, most notably to check out new mother Rebecca Judd, and newlywed Nadia Bartel. Neither disappointed. 

Kate Peck and Jennifer Hawkins

Chris and Rebecca Judd, second-time new parents! 

Kris Smith and girlfriend Maddie

Laura Dundovic in Toni Maticevski

Elizabeth Ross and Sass & Bide's David Briskin

Nadia and Jimmy Bartel - newlyweds! (She in Maticevski)

Bloggers Jess and Stef Dadon of How Two Live

Actress Melanie Vallejo

Pyjama king Peter Alexander

Designers Yeojin Bae and Toni Maticevski
Bree Laughlin
All photos courtesy of Lucas Dawson/ Myer

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cool Australia's Love Your Planet Lunch

For the past few years, Cool Australia's Jason Kimberley has been organising his Valentine's Day "Love Your Planet" lunch for women, which took place this February 14th at Zinc. Special guest speaker? Kate Langbroek, who won the crowd over when she told them the story of how Jason approached her to be a speaker, and she replied, "But Jason - I hate nature!" His retort? "Then you're the perfect person to speak, as I bet there are a lot of women out there just like you." Whatever the case, her speech was full of laughs and inspiration as she spoke about camping with her family (against her better judgement) and taking her son into nature once he was in remission from cancer. The other attraction of the day was the silent auction, whereby a host of goodies were up for bidding - a Kozminsky ruby necklace, a handbag from Le Louvre, a luxury Fiji resort stay - all of which were furiously big upon. All for a good cause, of course, as Cool Australia's aim is to educate students for a sustainable future, bringing that message into the classrooms. PS Thanks to Kate Keane and Kate Bensimon from Kate & Co who had me as a guest at their table. 

Jason Kimberley and Cindy Sargon 

Kate Langbroek (right)

Photos courtesy of David Cook Photography

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Penfolds 50 Year Old Rare Tawny Launch

It was almost like a rare piece of art was being unveiled. And, indeed, once you knew what went into the making of Penfolds 50 year old rare aged tawny, there were definite similarities. Oh, what a drop. With fifty years in the making, it's no wonder that a bottle goes for - gulp - in excess of $3000. (That would make the glass I had both memorable and expensive.) The launch took place at the back of Great Dane Furniture, at its venue space, The Great Den - a moody, candlelit nook filled with beautiful 20th century pieces and a vintage timber bar. But if anyone took instagram snaps, it was of the bottle itself - each one being meticulously hand-crafted by glass artist Nick Mount, a pewter Penfolds crest feature atop soft leather labels on the 330 bottles in existence. Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago was fresh off an international flight for the occasion, and what an occasion it was. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Megan Park Autumn-Winter 2014 Preview

It's always special to get a preview of designer Megan Park's new collection in her flagship store in Armadale - morning tea is served, the atmosphere is relaxed and the clothes exquisite. The Autumn-Winter 2014 launch was no exception, with Megan's brand of rich colours, detailed embellishments and flattering cuts on display. Her clothes don't operate on being trend-based, but have a loyal following because of their signature flair - they're always elegant, wearable and unique. It's the result of her four-yearly trips to India where she sources incredible materials and then works closely with craftspeople to get the desired effect with both her collection and her accessories. I couldn't help but put my name down for when some of those wardrobe drops come in so I could be first in line....

Megan Park (centre)