Monthly Archives: October 2015

Vogue Living in the Palm of your Hand!

Two Canberra designers are finalists in prestigious Vogue Living Alessi design prize. Scoop by Wendy Johnson

We’ve all been there. Struggling to meet and greet at a function while delicately balancing an entrée in one hand, valiantly trying to avoid dropping the food and making a fool of yourself. Well, a cracker of a design by two Canberra talents is the solution.

‘Company vessels’ are pressure-moulded stainless steel vessels, curved and scaled to fit in the palm of your hand. They’re perfect for serving entrées and are the brainchild of two designers making the capital proud for being named finalists in the prestigious Vogue Living Alessi design prize (Emerging Designer).ACTivate Nellie_Peoples-TomkinsPeoplesWoolfe_001

TOMKINS + PEOPLES are in the running for the collaborative project between designer-maker Nellie Peoples and industrial designer Sam Tomkins. ‘Company vessels’ reflect the design team’s passion to make beautiful, functional objects that play a role in bringing people together, including when sharing food.


“Through the vessel we explored the possibilities of a new food utensil,” says Nellie. “The design evolved from the desire and need to greet each other while holding food. When not held, the vessels are designed to form a pattern, to come together like those who surround it.”

The ‘Company vessels’ project was supported by the $2,500 prize awarded to Nellie and Sam at last year’s DESIGN Canberra Festival—Design + Craft Award for their Fusion: the art of eating vessels. The finished products can be bought at Agency in Braddon (Craft ACT’s retail shop).


Nellie earned an architecture degree at University of Canberra (UC) before studying gold and silver-smithing at ANU School of Art. She now produces innovative jewellery and metal objects. Sam completed his Bachelor of Industrial Design at UC and now teaches there. His designs focus on improving the user experience. The pair met in a Design Technology class at Daramalan College. They’re a cohesive team and create intelligent objects that celebrate each of their disciplines and skills, and their ability to communicate and collaborate has taken them to new places over many years.

TOMKINS + PEOPLES will participate in the 2015 DESIGN Canberra Festival, this time with Mathew Woolfe, a cook and landscape designer. TOMKINS + PEOPLES + WOOLFE will host a pop-up shop bringing together design and degustation. They’ll explore why people gather around food. Going beyond the collection and display of objects, the pop-up explores how food and the experience of sharing a meal is a context for great design. It’s all part of DESIGN Canberra’s aim to celebrate and promote the capital’s vibrant and diverse design community, including by putting the community in direct touch with the designers and artists who play such an important role in our everyday lives.attachment (2)

Although Nellie is now living in Queensland, the pair continue to work together. If they win the Vogue Living Alessi design prize, they’ll be able to present their design to Alessi, a housewares and kitchen utensil company in Italy, which will evaluate them for possible inclusion and production in its highly regarded collections.

DESIGN Canberra kicks off on 21 November and will roll out nine days of exciting events and activities. More than 70 activities are included in the festival program, including many that are free.

The program is available at

Cheese Please!

AGENCY CO-LAB_low res-30Cheese Companions is the result of a unique ‘co-lab’. The exquisite, limited-edition wooden cheese board by internationally renowned designer and maker Jon Goulder is accompanied by a set of three handmade cheese tools by Canberra’s award-winning gold and silversmith Alison Jackson. Only 10 cheese companions have been made in the collaboration between the two Australian artists who work in different genres, with different materials, and in different parts of the country. Wendy Johnson spoke with artist Jon Goulder and AGENCY about the co-lab project.

AGENCY introduced the designers, inspiring them to pool their talents around the nation’s love of food. “It’s about a feast for the eyes. About plating and the tools we serve and eat with,” says Halie Rubenis, Agency’s Business Development and Retail Manager.

cheese boardJon’s cheese board, made of solid timber with a Corian disk, that can be removed for cleaning, inserted into one corner, is food safe and hygienic. Five boards have been made in a light Tasmanian Oak and five in a dark Toasted American Ash. The Corian discs are available in a white finish and a black finish. Alison’s three stainless steel knives, with the folds in each pressed by hand, include a hard cheese, soft cheese and spreading knife. They’re designed for everyday use, but to last a lifetime.


So what has driven AGENCY, an initiative of Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, to spearhead its own co-labs? “We’re passionate about connecting our members with the best designers in Australia so they can put ideas on the table, make connections, expand horizons, participate in cross-disciplinary collaborative projects and make beautiful things,” says Halie. “It’s about sharing insights into how design really works. It’s about promoting and enhancing professional practice. And then who knows what will happen?”

cheese knives

Jon was attracted to the idea of using two materials for the cheeseboard. “The Corian disk is non-porous and an inert material,” says the designer maker. “I thought it would be cool to put the cheese on the round part and use the timber part to cut bread and present crackers.”

board and knives prototypesWhen he first received Alison’s set of cheese knives, Jon sat them in his studio to get to know them over several weeks. “I would glance at them and took time for matters to gestate,” says Jon. “A cheeseboard may seem simple to design, but this one is a ‘reaction’ to Alison’s knives. They’re the star.”

Although the prototype for the cheeseboard was designed in Adelaide, where Jon lives (and works as Creative Director of The Furniture Studio at Adelaide’s Jam Factory), they were produced in Canberra at the Digital Fabrication Lab, The Australian National University Furniture Workshop.

AGENCY sells the work of an intriguing selection of local and national Australian artists and designers, each handpicked and each with a story to tell. “We don’t sell anything that is mass produced so every time you come here you’ll see something different,” says Halie. “It’s about the artists and what they’re immersed in at any time. And with the lifestyle … we want people to think about where they invest their money and to support local.”

Halie says plans for the next CO-LAB are already underway. In the meantime, Cheese Companions is on display at, and available for sale exclusively through, AGENCY, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon (open Wed to Sun).

All images by Thea McGrath including drawings and prototypes

Do ‘ave an Avocado!

In our Year of Eating Healthy we’re taking a look at avocados. Technically a fruit, the avocado is also known as the alligator pear, and are so good for you.  At LFW we love avos and we’ve sourced some terrific ideas and recipes for you to try. Sliced and diced, mashed and smashed,—give them a go! But first, a bit of info on the not-so-humble avo. By Emma Dowling

Haas and Shepard avocados

Haas and Shepard avocados

The Australian avocado industry produces around 54,000 tonnes of avocado each year with the Haas being the most popular at 80 per cent. The Haas avocado is the one that has a ‘pebbly’ skin and turns dark purple when ripe, and it has a lovely creamy texture and taste. The second most popular is the Shepard which is more elongated than the Haas and has a glossy green skin, even when ripe. The Shepard has a lovely nutty flavour and is generally only available for a few months each year.

Avocados are rich in vitamin C but also contain plenty of fibre and healthy (monounsaturated) fats, and other vitamins including K and E, and folate and potassium. So put the butter away and spread a bit of avo on your bread instead! To store your cut avo, sprinkle with lemon juice (to prevent oxidation) and wrap in cling wrap or place in an airtight container in the fridge. Avocados should always be eaten within a day or two.

And now for the fun stuff! Go from thisavo_tom_salad_ingredients

To this—how yummy is that! Whisk together a tablespoon of extra virgin oil, juice of half a small lemon (or quarter of large lemon), and a tablespoon of either white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar and drizzle over your salad. Delish!avocado-tomato-cucumber-salad


Or simply slice our avocado and gently toss into a bowl of mixed lettuce leaves. Add the dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds and away you go … how easy is that! You can also grill your avo on the BBQ for a couple of minutes and serve with warm prosciutto salad and crème fraiche, or low-fat mayo or aioli.Avocado salad


Turn your salad into a kick-ass salsa by chopping your avo into cubes and adding chopped spring onion (shallot), finely chopped and seeded chilli, some chopped coriander and a couple of tablespoons of lime juice. Serve with spiced chicken kebabs with a mayo or aioli dip, or yummy grilled Lebanese lamb cutlets. Grind together sesame seeds, cumin, paprika, oregano, and marjoram in large bowl and coat the cutlets; grill for 3 minutes on each side and serve with pita bread and hummus and beetroot dips. Amazing!

Chicken kebabs with avocado salsa

Chicken kebabs with avocado salsa

Lebanese lamb cutlets

Lebanese lamb cutlets

And here’s some great ideas to kick start your day including smashed and creamed avo. Yum!

Bacon, poached eggs and creamed avocado

Bacon, poached eggs and creamed avocado

English muffin with bacon and avocado salad

English muffin with bacon and avocado salad

Smoked salmon and poached eggs with smashed avocado on toast

Smoked salmon and poached eggs with smashed avocado on toasted rye bread

Living the DESIGN in Canberra

by Wendy Johnson

It’s not every day you get to pop into the studio of an artist and absorb how they think, design and work. But DESIGN Canberra is your chance to connect, create and collaborate with some of the capital’s best artists, designers and craft practitioners. DESIGN Canberra is the capital’s most significant design event. The festival starts in just a few weeks, offering close to 70 activities involving more than 750 participants (21 to 29 November).

Hong Kong House by Guida Moseley Brown Architects. Image provided by company

Hong Kong House by Guida Moseley Brown Architects. Image provided by company

This year you have a rare opportunity to visit no fewer than 17 Living Artists open studios and workshops, and meet talented designers who work in fashion, jewellery, textiles, glass, furniture, sculpture, wood working, functional objects and architecture. Some studios are owned and operated by one artist or design firm. Others, like ANCA, M16 Artspace, Canberra Glassworks, Six Wiluna and Workshop Level, house up to 35 artists in a collective of sorts.

You can visit all studios and working spaces for free. Most are open for one day during the festival, during set times. Some welcome drop-ins and others require bookings so it’s wise to check out the website to map out what you don’t want to miss. In the meantime, here are some teasers to tickle your fancy.

The Hayshed Open Studio: Julie Ryder, Me, Here, and You, There, 2011. Image: courtesy artist

The Hayshed Open Studio: Julie Ryder, Me, Here, and You, There, 2011. Image: courtesy artist

Take a short jaunt to leafy Pialligo. The Hayshed is throwing open its doors to visitors and hosting informal floor talks by its three professional artists—Lisa Cahill, Kirstie Rea and Julie Ryder (22 November). Lisa and Kirstie use glass as their primary medium, and Julie has been a professional artist for more than 25 years and exhibits nationally and internationally (some of her work is also available through Agency in Braddon).

FINK Open Studio: Water Jug. Image: DMC Photography

FINK Open Studio: Water Jug. Image: DMC Photography

F!NK + Co’s workshop tour (21 November) will showcase intriguing demonstrations on how artists and designers form unique and distinctive products. F!NK is one of a handful of design companies that solely manufactures in Australia. First recognised for its distinctive Water Jug, which is now a true Aussie design icon, the company also produces high-quality homewares, lighting and jewellery.

Workshop Level is glass artist Jeremy Lepisto’s professional studio, which he operates with his partner in life Mel George (who also curates the exhibitions at Craft ACT). On 21 November you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the methods and materials these two reputable glass artists use to create custom glass projects for art and architecture, as well as their personal artwork.

In the mood to indulge in a bit of fabulous fashion? The Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA) will host an open day on 22 November at both campuses, home to 35 visual artist studios covering all genres, including jewellery and clothing. At Leafy Studios and Heavy Duty Studios, you can watch artists create work, discuss pieces and even try new techniques yourself.

In Motion collection: Alice Sutton (designer) from Edition, Photographer Andrew O'Toole

In Motion collection: Alice Sutton (designer) from Edition, Photographer Andrew O’Toole


At ANCA, fashion designer Alice Sutton, of the independent label Edition, will be on hand with pieces from her stylish collections, each exploring the meaning of place. Award-winning contemporary jeweller, Phoebe Porter, will also be on site. Phoebe hand makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings primarily with titanium, stainless steel and aluminium. These are refined, elegant pieces, and each a work of art.




On 27 November, you can drop by Cox Architecture for a chat and learn about the firm’s projects and the daily practice of architecture and design. This is one of Canberra’s most awarded architectural practices. Its 45 hugely talented staff—who all believe that nothing beats a great idea, even if it’s just a sketch on the back of a coaster—work from Kingston Foreshore.

Staying in the world of architecture, you can take one of two tours on 27 November of the offices of Guida Moseley Brown Architects, a multi-award winning architectural, interior and urban design firm carrying out an international practice from the capital. You’ll be guided through a display of building and urban design and master planning projects and talk to the design team about significant projects like the Canberra Airport and amazing structures overseas, including in Botswana, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Other studios sharing their world in the Living Artists segment of DESIGN Canberra are Six Wiluna (furniture, gold and silversmithing and sculpture), Alison Jackson (jewellery and tableware), Matthew Curtis and Harriet Schwarzrock (sculptural work and functional objects), Canberra Glassworks (featuring the work of eight glass artists), M16 Artspace (jewellery, textile design and mixed media), Harris Hobbs (award-winning landscape architecture projects), Myles Gostelow (furniture), Rob Henry Architects and De Rome Architects) and Studio 103 (architecture).

Constructivist earrings – long yellow by Phoebe Porter. Aluminium, stainless steel, 925 silver Image: Andrew Sikorski

Constructivist earrings – long yellow by Phoebe Porter. Aluminium, stainless steel, 925 silver. Image: Andrew Sikorski

DESIGN Canberra is an initiative of Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre. The 2015 Festival is bigger and better; running across nine days (including two weekends), and has something for everyone—young and old alike.

Check out their website, Facebook Instagram and Twitter

Eating Healthy—In Flight Dining

If you follow us you’ll know by now that the LFW team has just a few dietary requirements that need to be met, and we’ve been put to the test this year selecting appropriate, and healthy, airline food on our travels. Is it better to eat in-flight or pig-out at the airport where you may have more choice in what you can eat, or simply take it with you? Emma Dowling checks out airline food including special meals, and offers some tips if you want to take your own.

Sri Lanka Air seafood salad light meal

Sri Lankan Air seafood salad light meal

The flights we’ve travelled already this year range from low cost carriers—where you pay for absolutely everything—to flashy business class pods which, let’s face it, are pretty damn good! And our airlines have included Air New Zealand, QANTAS, British Airways, Thai Airways, Emirates, Sri Lankan Air, and low-cost carriers Jetstar, and AirAsia X. If you have dietary, religious or ethnic requirements, or simply a life choice, you can pre-order special meals. Almost every airline (with the exception of some low cost carriers) offer a range of meals including low salt, low carb, low fat, diabetic, Coeliac (gluten free), vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher, Hindu etc.

In flight dining

Many major airlines that cover long haul routes have their own chef on board to service first and business class passengers. Economy class offers a more limited range but the food is often backed by an international chef, who, allegedly, supervises the on-board menus. You also need to remember that most meals are pre- or part-cooked and reheated on board; after all, they’re not likely to fire up a naked flame in-flight to cook your steak whatever class you travel.

Emirates fruit platter

Sri Lankan Air fruit platter

However, not all meals are available on all flights, for example, you’re more likely to be able to order halal if you’re travelling in or out of Muslim countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, or from an airline hub in Dubai or Cairo. Air New Zealand publishes its in-flight dining menus online but does not guarantee kosher meals on flights to and from some Pacific Island Nations. QANTAS offer no information on their website on what they offer, and you can only peruse their special menu if you have already booked a flight—which means you don’t know if you’ll be able to get your meal until after you’ve made (and paid for) your booking.

By contrast, Emirates have copies of all their menus—first, business and economy class—online, and if you’ve already booked a flight, just enter your flight number to see what’s on offer when you fly. You can also preview all class menus on the low-cost carriers Jetstar and AirAsia X, and Thai Airways, and British Airways also offer the opportunity to peruse, and pre-purchase, your meal online.

Thai Airways seafood salad

Thai Airways seafood salad

Airport and airline lounges

All airports offer café and/or restaurant/bar facilities, but … let’s face it, you’re a captive market, so prices are often more expensive than you would pay at a regular café or restaurant, with the exceptions of major food chains such as McDonalds, KFC, Pie Face, Sumo Salads etc. Plus, some of the ‘local’ delicacies may not appeal. If you travel a lot you should consider a lounge membership and Emirates lead the way in lounges and food—not to mention the Moet and Veuve always available! Air New Zealand has just gone through a major renovation of its lounges in Sydney and Auckland and now have a far greater variety (and quality) of food on offer.

Air New Zealand offers a variety of ways to book. You can book a seat only, seat and bag, or ‘The Works’. With a seat or seat/bag booking you don’t get meals so if you don’t have the good fortune to be an Air NZ/or Alliance Star Gold member (which gets you into their lounges) you need to consider whether it’s worthwhile paying the extra for meals (and movies) or eating at the airport or taking your own snacks.

Thai Airways cheese and fruit platter

Thai Airways cheese and fruit platter

Airports and airline lounges in Australia and Europe often have a range of healthy snacks and salads and hot food, but, they also have a plethora of cakes and biscuits and lots of things on breads and crackers. In the Pacific it’s often simple fruit and sandwiches, while Asia, South-Asia, and the Middle East will often have their own rice, curries, and spices on offer, and some foods you just may not be used to eating.

Taking your own food on board

Frankly, you’re limited to what you can take on board. Obviously a full three-course meal is out of the question, but you can pack yourself a nice healthy lunchbox including a variety of snack items such as nuts, dried and fresh fruit, veggies, crackers and some spreads, hard boiled eggs, sandwiches and rolls, and once you’ve gone through customs/security scans you can take your own bottled water or other drinks. On a shortish flight of six hours or so you’d be fine but if you’re really long haul (over 8 hours) you’d probably be pretty peckish by the time you got off the flight.

Lunchbox options - Caesar salad, sandwiches and wraps

Lunchbox options – Caesar salad, sandwiches and wraps

So what’s the answer?

If you’re full economy (or first or business class) and you need a special meal check out your in-flight menu before you fly—if you can, if not contact the airline and ask what special meals are on offer for your flight. If you’re on a low-cost carrier check out their menu and weigh up the cost of paying for an in-flight meal or eating at the airport prior to your flight, but remember that some low cost carriers arrive, and leave, from low cost airports with minimum facilities.

And finally—you’re on holiday so you might as well enjoy yourself! Bon appétit!

Emirates chicken sate with salad entree

Emirates chicken sate with salad entree

Canberra’s Festival of Design—by Wendy Johnson

In just over a month, the most significant design event held in the capital will get you connecting, creating and collaborating with artists and creatives. Wendy Johnson has all the info on the DESIGN Canberra Festival.

Capital of Culture_Cox—Westside; image Rodrigo Vargas

Capital of Culture_Cox—Westside; image Rodrigo Vargas

The annual DESIGN Canberra Festival will roll out its exciting program from 21 to 29 November, with close to 70 activities and involving more than 750 participants. The Festival is massive and there’s something for everyone and all ages, with most events and activities free to the public. And this year, DESIGN Canberra will be bigger and better, rolling out over nine days, including two weekends.

So what is DESIGN Canberra about? It’s about putting you in direct touch with Canberra’s creative excellence. Managed by Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre the 2014 event is divided into five event streams.

ACTivate_Lazy Sunday—Image courtesy of designer

ACTivate_Lazy Sunday—Image courtesy of designer

ACTivate—Explore an ACTivated Canberra CBD through pop-up exhibitions, installations, studios and shops featuring the diverse work of some of the capital’s most innovative designers.

Capital of CULTURE—See Canberra in a whole new light through exclusive guided tours of architectural and cultural landscape around the city, led by designers, architects and artists.

DESIGN Buzz— Engage in vibrant discussions on big ideas, creative thinking, design for social change, and Canberra’s urban future through unique conversations and a lecture series.

Living Artists— Gain exclusive insights into the innovative work of some of Canberra’s best local artists and design firms through tours of their inspiring studios and working spaces.

Exhibitions— Experience exciting art, craft and design through exhibitions hosted in Canberra’s premier galleries.

Events will pop-up in every corner of the city, with drop-ins welcome for many. DESIGN Canberra is also teaming up with cultural institutions, arts centres, museums, galleries, universities, design centres, studios and workshops. So what’s on offer? Well, here’s a taste.

Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross, one of Australia’s finest comedians, will bring his touring show ‘Man About the House’ to DESIGN Canberra for one night only, to the iconic Shine Dome by Roy Grounds. With musician Kit Warhurst and through storytelling and song, Ross will take you on a journey and leave you cheering.

Living Artist_ANCA—Folded earring by Phoebe Porter; image courtesy designer

Living Artist_ANCA—Folded earring by Phoebe Porter; image courtesy designer

ANCA (Australian National Capital Artists) will have an open day across its two campuses—Leafy Studios at Dickson and Heavy Duty Studios in Mitchell—featuring the work of 35 visual artists, including jewellery designer Phoebe Porter, emerging artist Sui Jackson, who specialises in hot glass, and woodworker Peter Giles. This is your chance to engage with these local artists, watching them work, discussing their creations and perhaps even trying some techniques yourself.

Rolfe Classic BMW and boyandgirlco have teamed up for a unique exhibition that will see spare car parts, sample leather pieces and unwanted wooden pallets transformed into one-off pieces of furniture that will be auctioned off to raise money for a local charity.

A unique exhibition at Craft ACT—Discover define develop deliver—will give you an insight into a creative’s mind. Twenty-nine local artists will display a signature piece of their artwork alongside an item that illustrates the thought process behind design, whether it be a page from a sketchbook, an inspirational image or written notes.

Capital of Culture_GMB—Canberra airport; image Rodrigo Vargas

Capital of Culture_GMB—Canberra airport; image Rodrigo Vargas

Public tours will be held by some of the capital’s best architect firms and experts, such as a walking tour through the public spaces of the National Portrait Gallery (with the gallery’s Krysia Kitch), the pop-up village at Westside Acton Park (with Cox Architecture), and the award-winning Canberra Airport, including some areas not normally accessible by the public (with Guida Moseley Brown Architects and the airport’s Richard Philips).

You can also visit Pavilion X, a site-specific temporary design intervention in Garema Place and have your say on how you like to use public space and what you hope for the future of Civic. Or you can join in the community workshop being held on top of Red Hill Lookout, with Karina Harris and Neil Hobbs. What are your thoughts about safety issues for wildlife, pedestrians, cyclists and traffic on Red Hill? What are your views on how this precious, urban space can be used?

Living Artist_Harris Hobbs—Open Studio; image courtesy designer

Living Artist_Harris Hobbs—Open Studio; image courtesy designer

DESIGN Canberra also gives you a chance to visit open studios of a diverse range of local designers to meet them, chat about their work and see where and how they create their fashion, jewellery, glasswork, homewares and more … like Claudia Owen, Lazy Sunday Home, Alison Jackson, Daniel Hadiwibawa, and many designers who operate from Canberra Glassworks.

ACTivate_Claudia Owen—Alchemy Silk Scarf; image courtesy designer

ACTivate_Claudia Owen—Alchemy Silk Scarf; image courtesy designer

The DESIGN Canberra website is being updated with info on this year’s festival activities in the next week or so. Keep your eye out for the distinctive pink and yellow DESIGN Canberra program that will be distributed for free through Canberra’s best cafes, shops and cultural institutions around the end of the month. You’ll want to study the program carefully and check off everything you want to explore. Some events and activities are open every day of the festival with others open at select times, and some are not-to-be-missed, one-off events.

For more information check Design Canberra website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Find your style at Holli Grove

We first came across Holli Grove a few months ago when meandering through Kippax Fair. Since then Holli Grove has undergone a minor reinvention and moved premises to incorporate its new persona. Now Holli Grove and Flawless Complexions and Beauty, this classy little boutique can offer you a complete style makeover. LFW checked out their first day in their gorgeous new surroundings. By Aine Dowling

Peta O'Connor and Emma Neame - Emma wears FOIL black and white jacket

Peta O’Connor and Emma Neame – Emma wears FOIL black and white jacket


Emma Neame (Holli Grove) and Peta O’Connor (Flawless Complexions and Beauty) have come together to provide a one-stop style service. Peta is a qualified beautician, therapist, and make-up artist and the new premises include two make-up stages and two therapy rooms where you can wind down with a herbal infusion before relaxing with a facial, massage, waxing and tinting, manicure, or pedicure with top-of-the-range cosmetics and products including Dermalogica, Proof Cosmetics, and OPI.

After which you can chat with Emma who can help you with your personal style from the gorgeous range of clothing from Vigorella, Morgan Marks, FOIL, Olive et Julie, and Namastai. Match this with jewellery from Morgan Marks, Namastai, and Rare Rabbit and we can guarantee you’ll look (and feel) a million dollars!


Here are two LFW faves from the current spring/summer range.

Gorgeous light cardi from FOIL with zip pockets and stunning back panel detail

Gorgeous soft light cardi/jacket from FOIL with zip pockets and stunning back panel detail

Beautiful summer top - perfect for cooler evenings with a splash of colour underneath. Jewellery by Morgan Marks

Beautiful summer top – perfect for cooler evenings with a splash of colour underneath. Jewellery by Morgan Marks

DSCN0239The shop is beautifully fitted out in monochrome and stainless steel, with two change rooms, a client bathroom, and a quiet corner when you can sit and have tea or coffee and flip through Vogue while you wait.

Holli Grove and Flawless Complexions and Beauty also stock a full range of aromatherapy from Peppermint Grove, and Palm Beach Collection.

And you can find them at Unit 8 Scott Chambers, Hardwick Crescent, Holt, or on Facebook and Instagram.


Relax with Flawless Complexions and Beauty

Relax with Flawless Complexions and Beauty


Fashion on the Field—what we’ve learnt so far …

LFW is off to Thoroughbred Park’s Melbourne Cup Race Day in November and we’ve been chatting to a few people, including the amazing Power of Presence guru Trish Murray, so we thought we’d pass on a few tips to get you through the day in comfort and style from top to toe—literally! And, use the opportunity to plug some of our fave local fashion designers at the same time.

Myer Fashion on the Field

Myer Fashion on the Field

Stunning colour from Sovata

Stunning colour from Sovata

Wear a hat, or fascinator, or even a hatinator … but definitely wear something on your head. Wearing a hat serves two purposes—it looks good, it saves your hair if it’s a windy day, and provides shade on a hot day … OK that’s three. Plus, it’s almost THE LAW to wear something on your head at the races. Check out these stunning designs from Sovata (right), BM Designs, and spring floral bands from PeonynPearl (see images below).




Wear a dress. Forget the pants—leave those to the guys—and get a nice dress. Preferably not too much cleavage (note: from Myer Fashion on the Field ‘a predominance of exposed skin is not classed as classic race wear’), and unless it’s pushing 40 degrees celcius cover your shoulders—you don’t want sunburn the next day and you don’t want to be constantly hoisting up skinny straps that slide down. Come to think of it, if it is 40 degrees even more reason to cover your shoulders, and a nice light short jacket or shrug style is perfect. Who can forget the famous Parliament House dress by Zilpah Tart? Check out her gorgeous spring/summer Bloom Collection.

Petal Dress by Zilpah Tart - Bloom Collection

Petal Dress by Zilpah Tart – Bloom Collection

Get some colour. You can add pizazz to monochrome with colourful shoes or bag, or stick to black and white and go wild and colourful with your head wear. According to Vogue (the guru of all fashion) spring/summer colours are lemon, tangerine, strawberry pink, subtle greens, bright blues, and hot peach.

Summer colours -

Summer colours …

Get a nice clutch bag—one that comes with a slender detachable shoulder strap is handy for après races. You don’t need to cart around a big tote or handbag. Get a clutch that will hold a small purse, phone, lippy, keys, and a couple of tissues. The lovely Sash & Belle has a great selection of clutches and small handbags just perfect for the event.

Colourful clutches from Sash & Belle

Colourful clutches from Sash & Belle

Don’t overdo the jewellery! You can sparkle without covering yourself in bling. Coco Chanel had this great tip ‘before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take something off’. I think she meant jewellery … yeah, she did.

Legs. To tan or not to tan. To wear stockings or no stockings. It’s always the legs … Seriously though, if you wear sandals then forget the stockings, and if it’s scorching hot definitely forget the stockings. If you absolutely must get a spray tan make sure you do it a couple of days before so it has time to calm down a bit. Alternatively, you can just get a good quality over-the-counter fake tan. We recommend Ambre Solair or Le Tan, both of which are easy to apply and give a nice subtle tint.

L-R: Wedge sandals by I Love Billy, Missano, Top End

L-R: Wedge sandals by I Love Billy, Missano, Top End

Wear wedge heels. They’re more comfortable on grass and uneven surfaces, and offer a bit more support if you’re standing for long periods. Spindly heels are definitely a no if you’re on soft surfaces! Sandal wedges with an ankle strap are trendy, comfy, and look great.

and finally … get your toes done! Polished toes are a must in sandals.

So there you have it. LFW race tips—from top to toe!

Amazing headwear from BM Designs, and floral bands from PeonynPearl

Amazing headwear from BMdesigns, and floral bands from PeonynPearl


Mediterranean Summer!

Eating Healthy with Summer Salads! 


I always thought Med salad was a tad, well, ordinary. You know, iceberg lettuce, tomato, black olives and chunks of feta, but after a delightful lunch with a friend at the lovely Maestral restaurant in Weston, I was inspired to try a Med with a twist. Try it—you’ll love it!

LFW Mediterranean Salad (serves 4)

What you need

Large bowl assorted salad leaves (we used cos, butter, baby spinach leaves, iceberg, and rocket)

8 baby Roma tomatoes halved

1 small Lebanese cucumber sliced

12 pitted black olives

1 small red capsicum finely sliced

Couple of slices of finely sliced red onion (go light on the onion as it can be a bit overpowering)

1 small marinated artichoke sliced (buy fresh from the deli)

Small block soft feta finely crumbled


2 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped red chilli*

What you do

Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place the Roma tomatoes on small, lightly oiled oven tray, drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Mix the salad dressing with a whisk so it all blends together. Gently toss the lettuce mix, sliced cucumber, black olives, sliced artichoke, capsicum, red onion, and roast tomatoes in a large bowl with the salad dressing. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the salad and serve immediately

Serve with seafood or lamb steaks. Delish!

med salad3

*The small amount of chilli gives it just a very light kick—you don’t want to overwhelm the salad.

Maestral specialises in Croatian food from the Dalmatian region and is slightly tucked away across the road from Cooleman Court. Worth a look, and Soft Shell Chilli Crab with Mediterranean Salad is highly recommended!