Monthly Archives: October 2016

Cooking Thai 101—Real Thai Pad Thai

LFW with instructor Awesome Jay!

LFW with instructor Awesome Jay

It’s no secret that at LFW we love, love, Thai food and Pad Thai is the ultimate ‘street food’ in Bangkok. My main complaint with Aussie Pad Thai was that it didn’t seem to have much taste—just a bit sweet and fragrant and that was it. But, after a visit to the Silom Thai Cooking School in Bangkok, I now know that it’s because a number of places in Australia omit Tamarind paste (and possibly chilli) from the recipe—perhaps for Australian taste—who knows? Anyway, here’s our fabulous Silom Pad Thai direct from Thailand and under the tutelage of Mr Awesome Jay.

Tip! Ready-made Tamarind paste can be bought from good Asian delis or supermarkets. At the school we had to grind and mix our own but the paste is much easier.




Real Thai Pad Thai (serves 2 – 3)

Silom School Pad Thai

Silom School Pad Thai

What you need: ½ packet Thai rice noodles, 2 tablespoons cooking oil, 2 tablespoons Tamarind paste, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 shallot (spring onion) sliced on the diagonal, wedge of fresh lime, 1 small Bird’s Eye chilli (this is HOT!), 3 cloves crushed garlic, 4 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon ground peanuts (optional), ground pepper to taste, and some protein—either fish or tiger prawns, chicken, or tofu.

Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai

What you do:

Soak the noodles in warm water while preparing the other ingredients, making sure the noodles are fully covered with the water. By the time you put the noodles in the wok they should be soft but not mushy.

Pour the oil in the wok and heat on a high heat. Drain the noodles and add to the wok and stir, then add tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce, and chilli. Stir well. If there is too much sauce in the wok, turn up the heat.

Push the noodles to one side and crack the egg into the wok and scramble until almost cooked, then fold into the noodles which should now be soft and chewy, then add the protein and toss gently until cooked.

Pour onto a serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped shallot, bean sprouts, and ground pepper, and serve with the peanuts and a wedge of lime on the side.

Veggie Pad Thai

Veggie Pad Thai

Luxury Indulgence at #fashionXhyatt

What to do when you’re invited to ‘an afternoon of Luxury Indulgence’ organised by the Hyatt Hotel Canberra? Well, obviously, you go … and so I did. Complete with beautiful gardens, bell boys in their 1920s plus fours, and afternoon teas, our small group of invitees indulged in an afternoon of gourmet treats in luxurious surrounds.


The afternoon included two fashion shows by FASHFEST 2016 designers Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, and Braddon Tailors, and allowed Hyatt patrons to get an up-close look at local designers. FASHFEST co-founders, Clint and Andrea Hutchinson, were also there to chat about FASHFEST and their amazing plans for further development, which includes their new children’s fashion label NOMI. Music for the fashion shows was by Magnifik with Neon Honey.

Designers (l-r) Braddon Tailors, Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, Sovata; (seated) Braddon Tailors, Karen Lee

Designers (l-r) Braddon Tailors, Sovata, Zilpah Tart, Karen Lee, Sovata; (seated) Braddon Tailors, Karen Lee. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

In between the fashion shows we were treated to the most amazing afternoon tea in the very opulent and recently opened John Howard Room, which used to be pantry! At tables for two, Director of Culinary, Nitin Kumar, outlined a few of the items on our three-tiered stand of goodies. Savouries included mini salmon brioche, ribbon cucumber sandwiches, chicken wraps, and bite-sized smoked duck canapes, with the sweets including chocolate, mousses, macarons, and the traditional scones with jam and cream. I would love to go into more detail, but suffice to say it was truly amazing both in presentation and taste.


Executive Pastry Chef, Gerold Gstrein, explained that they only use natural ingredients for their pastries, so the sweetness is barely there, and the subtlety of flavour is amazing—you could taste each individual flavour in each bite. It was hard to choose a favourite as everything was brilliant, but the cucumber sandwiches—ribbons of light bread spread with a cream cheese and topped with slivers of cucumber—were miles ahead of your average cucumber sandwich.


LFW would like to thank Avon Dissanayake—Marketing Communication Manager, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, for his invitation, and Fredrick Arul—General Manager, Hyatt Hotel Canberra who took time to make sure we were given the five-star treatment!

FASHFEST co=founders Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, with Avon Dissanyake (l) and

FASHFEST co-founders Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, with Avon Dissanayake (l) and Fredrick Arul (r). Photo by Leighton Hutchinson.

Afternoon tea is available at the Hyatt on Friday 2.30 – 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 11am – 1.30pm, and 2.30 – 5pm.


Spring ChinWag out now!

ACT Rescue and Foster Spring ChinWag is out now! Download your copy from our website and learn how you can manage a multi-dog household, whether or not you should adopt litter mates, and much more. Our lead story is a lovely tale of Sophie and Annie—two gorgeous little rescues who came into care and became inseparable. Find out where some of our fosters are now, check out our info on breeds, and read our interview with Miss Tyra Banks—in Street Kid turned Model!


Our cover boy for Spring 2016 is Monsta, a Bull Arab-Mastiff cross who came into care November 2015 and found his loving forever home in July 2016.

FASHFEST—Breaking News!

It’s exciting news for Canberra and for the capital’s creative industry as a whole. The CEO of FASHFEST, Clint Hutchinson, will be leaving his full-time position as Managing Director of ZOO Group at the end of this year to concentrate on a new chapter in his life. What is that chapter? LFW caught up with Clint in a Q&A session; so let’s hear all about it in Clint’s own words.

Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

So this is a massive change. What inspired you to take such a leap? I’ve been in the creative industry for as long as I can remember. Creativity flows through my veins. I’ve been the Managing Director of ZOO Canberra for 15 years and have loved every minute of my time with the agency. But I have other creative initiatives underway—outside of ZOO—that are near and dear to my heart. I’ve developed these with my wife, Andrea, over some time. One day it just clicked. To get everything to the next stage, I need to be able to dedicate more time to these initiatives. And I need time to work through some new ideas floating about in my head.

What creative initiatives specifically? Well FASHFEST is the big one. Before FASHFEST, Canberra was the only capital city in Australia to not have its own fashion event. We’ve changed that. The event grew rapidly and it now demands more and more attention to refine it and expand it.

Over and above FASHFEST, I’ll be working more closely on HAUS Models, , which I co-founded with Andrea after the inaugural FASHFEST. We had a bevy of models who weren’t part of an agency after the first year of the event. They enjoyed working with us and walking for FASHFEST. We enjoyed working with them. So we thought a new modelling agency was a logical suggestion.

Clint Hutchinson in action at FASHFEST 2016 - photo by Sparkling Weddings

Clint Hutchinson in action at FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Sparkling Weddings

Tell us about NOMI. What does it stand for? Well, NOMI is another creative initiative we’re developing. It’s pronounced ‘know me’ and is the new children’s label Andrea are developing. We gave guests a sneak peek of some NOMI fashion at FASHFEST, on closing night. It was really well embraced. So stay tuned. This is in the early stages but we’re super excited about its possibilities.

Anything else in the pipeline? You bet. Andrea and I are developing a creative incubator to help businesses in the creative space grow in many ways. That includes fashion labels who want to build their business strengths, musicians who are on the move and other creatives. It’s early days and things are still being worked out but we believe this will be good for Canberra. After all, many creatives are ‘creative’ but not necessarily ‘business focused’. That’s cool, but to be sustainable they need to be both. We think we can help.

And I’ll become a partner of Braddon Tailors, to help them move even higher up the fashion chain. This is a great story of a business that’s doing well and they’ve now opened permanent bases in Adelaide and Sydney. As you saw on the catwalk at FASHFEST this year, Braddon Tailors has seriously started to create women’s wear. So more exciting possibilities ahead on that front too.

FASHFEST Co-Founders Clint and Andrea Hutchinson - photo by Sparkling Weddings

FASHFEST Co-Founders Clint and Andrea Hutchinson – photo by Sparkling Weddings

There’s so much in the pipeline. Are you going to be able to manage it all? Andrea and I are determined to make our dreams work, but we both slowly came to the realisation that it was time for me to start a new chapter. My job as Managing Director of one of Canberra’s largest creative agencies was exhilarating and super demanding. It wasn’t possible to sustain both streams so, after 15 years, of very rewarding work, I took the decision to pursue new personal initiatives. It’s a risk but I’d bet on it doing well.

Broken and Damaged Objects get New Life

When Fiona Glover was born, her mum wore a new cotton and silk kimono in the hospital. The quality garment was made to last and for many years Fiona’s mum wore it time and again. By Wendy Johnson

Cotton and Silk kimono

Beautiful cotton and silk kimono

Twelve years ago, when her mum passed, Fiona found the kimono and wore it herself until she had her first child. With the fabric now nearly 40 years old, however, the garment is too fragile to continue to wear. Many people would have just chucked the kimono, despite its beauty, and it would have lived its last days in landfill. But Fiona couldn’t part with it; the kimono held too many wonderful memories.

So what did Fiona do with the treasured garment? She submitted to Object Therapy, a research and design project that challenges us to rethink the way we consume and to re-evaluate the value of broken objects.

Fiona Glover with the kimoni cushion cover

Fiona Glover with the kimono cushion cover

Object Therapy sent the kimono to local fashion designer Louisa de Smet, who is on sabbatical teaching fashion in Wales, to see if it could undergo ‘therapy’. The end result is a stunning cushion cover, with the kimono treated as tenderly by Louisa as Fiona was by her mum. It’s been lovingly repaired by hand and transformed into a new object with a new lease on life.

The kimono is one of 30 broken or damaged objects that have been creatively repaired by a designer or artist as part of Object Therapy, and they’ll all feature in the exhibition opening today (14 October) at Hotel Hotel.

Corr Blimey - Louisa and Steve

Corr Blimey – Louisa and Steve

Louisa and her partner, Steve Wright, who is also on sabbatical teaching at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, own and operate Corr Blimey. The couple were moved by Fiona’s story and thought long and hard about how to transform the kimono. “Given its history, we wanted to treat it with a great deal of sensitivity,” says Louisa. “We repaired any damage in a visible or invisible way and then created the cushion cover without cutting the fabric. We kept it intact which means it can be returned to its original state at any time.”

Fiona was stunned when presented with the final result, describing the cushion cover as beautiful and marvelling at how it would also be enjoyed now by her children, who never had the chance to meet their grandmother.

The Object Therapy project is a perfect fit for Corr Blimey, with designers Louisa and Steve true advocates of sustainability and zero waste design. Their philosophy holds true with the new fashion collection they’ve just launched, called Memories of Cloth. The collection comprises eight pieces, with each crafted using three pre-loved, machine-knitted jumpers. Each jumper had lost its value to the original owner, either because of a rip, hole or stain, or because the aesthetic was no longer ‘on trend’. Louisa—without tearing apart any of the three jumpers—combined them to create anew.

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

The process was challenging, but energising. “Each jumper was unpicked to varying degrees, and as much of the seam thread used to hand sew them back together into a new garment and style,” says the designer. “I reconstructed them around a mannequin to produce a 360⁰ visual exploration for the viewer.”

The end result is eight modern, eye-catching garments each featuring a new aesthetic. They’re all sculptural and testament to Corr Blimey’s unique design approach, as evidenced by the three collections Louisa and Steve launched in previous years at FASHFEST. They were missed at the event this year, but it’s reassuring to know their connection to the capital remains strong.

Object Therapy runs at Hotel Hotel to 30 October, and is free entry to the public.

Hands across the Water: Australia—New Zealand Collaboration

In many ways, Australia and New Zealand are two of the most ‘connected’ countries on the planet, and both are keen on exporting their fashion prowess to overseas markets. This year two New Zealand designers—with remarkably different aesthetics—launched collections at FASHFEST 2016, both supported by the New Zealand High Commission to be in the show.

Designer Melanie Child; photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Designer Melanie Child; photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Melanie Child, a boutique, independent womenswear label from Dunedin, appeared on the FASHFEST runway for the second time, with her thought-provoking aesthetic and garments made through upcycling and sustainable fabric choices. Making a debut appearance was A’au Elei. The three brothers behind the label, Junior, Matthew and Jerry Chan Sau, focus on design inspired by their Pacific Island heritage. They have just moved to Sydney to be closer to sales agents but will never forget home.

While here, Melanie met New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia, Chris Seed, at the High Commissioner’s residence in Canberra. Melanie also worked with Leighton Hutchinson, Director of Photography for FASHFEST, on a photo shoot at the High Commissioner’s residence. “I’m a big fan of his work,” says Melanie, “and it was inspiring and a huge opportunity, especially since we got to do the shoot at the residence, which is such a unique location and a special one for me as a New Zealand designer.”

FASHFEST Co-Founder Cling Hutchinson, Melanie Child, and NZ High Commissioner Chris Seed. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

FASHFEST Co-Founder Clint Hutchinson, Melanie Child, and NZ High Commissioner Chris Seed. Photo by Leighton Hutchinson

Melanie was drawn back to FASHFEST in part because the event continues to attract so many ethical and sustainable fashion designers. “I’m motivated to create beauty from the unwanted and wasted—timeless garments that transcend seasons,” says Melanie, who redesigns preloved denim, reducing post-consumer textile waste into landfill in the process. “I’m also drawn to FASHFEST’s commitment to provide a platform for emerging designers, and the opportunity to collaborate with designers, photographers and other creatives. As a small label from New Zealand, showcasing my work on an international stage is a huge opportunity to present to a wider audience. I also had a viewing with a women’s retail shop while in Canberra.”

Melanie and Matthew also met the Deputy High Commissioner, Llewellyn Roberts, at FASHFEST, providing a personal tour of the bustle backstage. A’au Elei says they were inspired by FASHFEST. “We’re predominantly a textile design company but our experience with such a professionally run show, and the interest we attracted, has inspired us to expand our range of men’s clothing,” says Matthew.

A’Au Elei’s new collection on the catwalk. Photo by Holly Williams

A’Au Elei’s new collection on the catwalk. Photo by Holly Williams

High Commissioner Chris Seed says New Zealand’s fashion industry is growing internationally. “Recent figures show 25 per cent of our production is off-shore with 70 per cent of manufacturers involved in exporting, and Australia is the biggest market,” says the High Commissioner. “New Zealand’s participation in FASHFEST reinforces a view of both countries as nations of contemporary innovation and creativity. Our determination and our independence, and our Māori and Pasifika heritage, enables creativity, innovation and often ingenious solutions.”

Designer Melanie Child. Photo by Martin Ollman

Designer Melanie Child. Photo by Martin Ollman

The benefit of attracting international labels to FASHFEST is a win-win for both countries says Clint Hutchinson, CEO of FASHFEST. “Designers from Canberra and interstate gain new insights from New Zealand and designers from New Zealand gain new insights from Australia.”

You can learn more about Melanie Child and A’au Elei on the FASHFEST website.

Charly Thorn—Darling of the Catwalk!

She’s 17 and she smashed it on the catwalk. Charly Thorn from Cooma was the youngest designer to showcase a new collection at FASHFEST 2016 and she wowed the audience—so much so that she received a standing ovation that took her by surprise. The look on her face was priceless.

Charly Thorn FASHFST 2016. Model: Annaliese Seubert, image by Martin Ollman

Charly Thorn FASHFST 2016. Model: Anneliese Seubert, image by Martin Ollman

FASHFEST isn’t the end for Charly. She just heard today that she’s been accepted to show at Vancouver Fashion Week in Canada in March 2017. No doubt the Canuks have been catching glimpses of Charly at FASHFEST.

Charly Thorn collection - FASHFEST 2016

Charly Thorn collection – FASHFEST 2016. Image: Martin Ollman

All of Charly’s pieces were exciting but the most amazing was worn by supermodel Anneliese Seubert who is also from Cooma and a family friend of the Thorn’s. As photographer Tina Nikolovski, who owns Devojka Models here in Canberra, proclaimed of Anneliese when she was shooting her from the media pit: ‘She is a goddess’.

Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

Collections are at their best when they tell a story and Charly’s collection did that well, right down to the shiny bronze runners many of the models wore. It’s all about detail, and detail is what Charly does well.

All we can say here at Lostfourwords is ‘Go Charly!’.

Model: Anneliese Seubert. Image: Tina Nikolovski

Model: Anneliese Seubert. Image: Tina Nikolovski


Here’s our final FASHFEST runway rundown for 2016. Some great designers tonight and almost every one a local. We also had some awesome music from Simon Anau and Small Town Funk with soul, funk and R&B, and DJs Degg, and Benjamin Reeve, and a short film clip by Stephan and Andrew Robinson.

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Karen Lee is one of our favourite locals and she has been at every FASHFEST since it started. Her simple yet sophisticated, designs have no darts and can often be worn a number of ways to suit your style and personality. Karen Lee is available at Assemblage Project in Braddon, and was one of our faves on the night. See more at Fashfest Designers in Profile—Karen Lee.

Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Edition appeared at the very first FASHFEST with her trademark soft jersey that takes you from work to play and everything in between. Designer, Alice Sutton, uses sustainable design and creates all her garments in her studio in Canberra. This is Edition’s second time at FASHFEST.




Assemblage Project is a collective of local, regional, and New Zealand designers, and you can find them in the Ori Building in Braddon. The collection tonight includes High Tea with Mrs Woo (Newcastle), Wendy Voon (Melbourne), Eva Cassis (Sydney), and Kowtow (New Zealand). Models’ shoes by Rollie Nation, also available from Assemblage.

Assemblage Project

Assemblage Project

Fashionation Cooma is making their first appearance at FASHFEST this year. I first heard of this collective a couple of years ago and it’s great to see them here. Collections include young designer Charly Thorn (see Night 2 review), Elle Hopwood showcasing formal wear, costumes, and LBDs, and Rasa Mauragis of Snowy Textiles who creates gorgeous floaty tops inspired by the colours and texture of the mountain region.

Fashionation - Snowy Textiles by Rasa Mauragis

Fashionation – Snowy Textiles by Rasa Mauragis

Fashionation Cooma

Fashionation Cooma

Pure Pod is making their third appearance at FASHFEST with a stunning collection inspired by the environment. Pure Pod is a pioneer of sustainable fashion and appeals to women to care about what they wear, where it’s from, and how it’s made. Another of our favourites on the night.

Pure Pod

Pure Pod

Cadia Belante—not sure what to say about these designs … Cadia uses recycled materials from op-shops and second hand stores (and yes, they were sleeping bags!) to create highly unusual and colourful garments. Very eco, and very sustainable, but you need to brave and independent to carry off some of these!

Cadia Belante

Cadia Belante

SZN is an independent label created by Suzan Diouhy focussing on simplicity and garments for the ‘non-conforming spirit’. If you’re young, courageous, and want to be noticed then this is for you. Suzan has moved slightly from her trademark use of fabric offcuts, and now works with sustainable and organic fabrics. This is Suzan’s third appearance at FASHFEST and you find her collection at Assemblage Project in Braddon.



And that’s a wrap for FASHFEST 2016!

More from Fashionation Cooma

More from Fashionation Cooma


Glam night tonight at FASHFEST with lots of gowns of gold, plus … let’s hear it for the boys! and M J Bale Menswear, and you can get more info on menswear from Ink and Leathers. Plus, some terrific entertainment with music from Magnifik with singer Neonhoney, JD Cheese, and Hamish Lardi, and an interesting short film clip from Sebastian Chan. Savoy Dance kicked butt on the catwalk with a Swing dance halfway through their walk. Here’s our runway rundown on the night.

Zilpah tart print inspired by Canberra Balloon Spectaculat

Zilpah tart print inspired by Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Zilpah tart creates amazing and beautiful prints from images of the Canberra region. Designer Yumi Morrissey photographs stunning images and adapts them into gorgeous unique prints. This collection included windfarm windmills, Canberra sunsets, and a themed Balloon Spectacular, set off by gorgeous floral accessories from Peony N’ Pearl.

Zilpah tart windmill design

Zilpah tart windmill design

Megan Cannings Designs was the first of many glam outfits on the catwalk. Megan’s designs include soft flowing formals and special occasion gowns with plenty of back detail. Very feminine and chic.megan-cannings-2

Charly Thorn—what can we say? This designer is only 17 years of age … that’s right, seventeen! She first appeared a couple of years ago at Fashionation in Cooma with an impressive collection, but her show tonight was truly stunning and achieved the only standing ovation I’ve seen at any FASHFEST. Watch out for her label—this young designer is going places!


M J Bale popped up as the only menswear on the night. Very classy and stylish and included both formal and smart casual. Guys … check them out.


Canberra Vintage Collective has its base at 360 Fashion Markets in Kingston where you can often grab a brilliant vintage (or modern) label bargain. Labels on the night were classic retro Hummingbird Vintage, Yellow Canary Clothing, KarensKloset, and Christian James for high quality accessories. All set off by Savoy Dance who upped the catwalk pace with a quick Swing dance performance.

Savoy Dance wearing Canberra Vintage Collective

Savoy Dance wearing Canberra Vintage Collective

Savoy Dance swinging Canberra Vintage Collective

Savoy Dance swinging Canberra Vintage Collective

Kira Pizzingrilli makes her debut at FASHFEST this year. Kira mixes original paintings and sketches to design her own prints and each garment is unique, and this collection reflected the 1990s classic Aussie beach style. Kira lives on the Central coast and all her garments are made in Sydney.



Naomi Peris Bridal offers glamourous and original bridal wear for women aged 18 – 35. Bridal wear isn’t really my thing but you can bet your bottom dollar that even Bridezilla will find something from this very different collection. Simple, sexy, and sleek—the styles are uniquely enhanced with lace, sheer capes, embossed fabrics, and stunning back detail, and not all in virginal white. Very nice to see some colour in there.


FASHFEST final night is on Saturday 1 October at the National Convention Centre, with shows commencing at 6.30 and 8.30pm.