Monthly Archives: September 2017

Murrumbateman Moving Feast in Review

Yass Valley is becoming the hub of NSW for its cold climate wines, and the Murrumbateman Moving Feast is a fantastic opportunity to discover some of the lesser known wineries in the region.

Avoiding the larger and more known wineries, we opted to wine and dine at a couple of smaller boutique places, and then popped into a couple of others—just for a taste … as you do.

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McKellar Ridge Wines. Beef Bourguignon and Veggie Pie.

Our lunch was at McKellar Ridge Winery just off the Barton Highway and about 20 minutes out of Canberra. This was well set up for the Feast and was probably the most commercial of those we visited. I can highly recommend the Beef Bourguignon and veggie pie—full of chunks of steak and veggies and with light puff pastry, and well matched with a wine trio of Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot and Cabernet Franc—the perfect blend. The sparkling Pinot Noir (an alternative choice) proved to be surprisingly heavy for a sparkling wine and one I doubt we’d choose again. The winery had also organised live music for the event—a laid back duo who played unobtrusively in the background.

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McKellar Ridge Wines. Matching our pie with sparkling Pinot Noir (l), and Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Carbernet Franc blend (r)

We had intended to visit Gallagher Wines—on Dog Trap Road—for dessert, but apparently so had everyone else who was at the Feast as they had sold out by 1pm!  However, the wine tasting was going full blast and for the Moving Feast their sparklings were out on display, and their sparkling Duet or Shiraz would have been the perfect accompaniment to their home-made maple ice-cream … but sadly it wasn’t to be. This is obviously a really popular winery for those ‘in the know’ and it has been flagged by us for a future visit.

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Kerralee Wines. GF cheesecake with berries

That said, we moved our dessert to Kerralee Wines, a small vineyard just off the Barton Highway. Don’t be misled by the size of this place—only 5 acres, but producing the best wines we tasted on the day. This is family owned enterprise over four generations, and I think they were all there on the day, and recent vintages have been named after grand-children. Nothing was too much trouble, and everyone was up for a friendly chat. We sat outside at a bistro setting placed under the trees, patted the Jack Russell Terriers roving around, and enjoyed the lightest gluten-free cheesecake I’ve tasted. Served with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and matched with the choice of a Pinot Noir or Merlot Rose, it was delightful choice of venue. We were so impressed with the Merlot Rose that we purchased a bottle to enjoy later.

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Kerralee Wines. Matching delish cheesecake with Pinot Noir (l) and Merlot Rose (r)

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is presented by the Makers of Murrumbateman, and ends tomorrow, 1 October—so get out there and enjoy the fabulous food and winning wines! And our thanks to Visit Yass Valley for providing us with the opportunity to enjoy a great day out.

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Feasting in Murrumbateman!

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is on this coming weekend, Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October, with over 18 participating wineries and speciality producers to tempt your tastebuds with divine wines and gourmet menus.

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Traditional French cassoulet with duck, pork, sausage, and haricot beans. Photo example only.

Canberra, or more specifically the Yass Valley, is fast gaining a reputation for its excellent cold climate wines, in particular its leading varieties of Shiraz and Riesling, and many of the wineries also include cafés and restaurants where you can sample a degustation, enjoy a light lunch or dinner—often with local entertainment, and learn a bit about wine matching.

To that end, the Makers of Murrumbateman have pulled together to put on an entire weekend of wine and food tasting and sampling. Simply download the program, select your choice of main and dessert, and book your ticket—it’s that easy!

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Seared barramundi with Kipfler potatoes. Photo example only.

With mains from traditional French cassoulet, black truffle chicken, Australian barramundi, and Korean bao sliders, accompanied by desserts including chocolate mousse, cakes, cheesecakes and tortes, to clafoutis, home-made ice creams, and the quintessential  Aussie pav … what’s not to like! Each meal is served with matching wines, and … you get to keep the souvenir wine glass.

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Korean Bao Sliders. Photo example only.

But wait, there’s more! Pick up your Murrumbateman Moving Feast passport and have it stamped at the participating venues to go in the draw to win a prize pack full of local goodies and produce.

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Cherry clafoutis with ice-cream. Photo example only.

After the hustle and bustle of the moving feast you can slow down a bit with Music Monday on 2 October. Participating wineries will be offering cellar door wine tastings with live music from local bands, musos, and singer-songwriters. Click the link for more info.

C3 Pav Vegan, egg free, gluten free Pavlova.

The quintessential Aussie pav! Photo example only.

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is part of a range of events in the Yass Valley from mid-September to mid-October including wineries, restaurants, music venues, arts and crafts, and accommodation. For more information on these and other events visit the Yass Valley website, and for information on accommodation bookings call 1300 886 014.

FASHFEST versus HYPER REAL

The two escalators in the National Gallery of Australia foyer were transformed into towering runways as FASHFEST presented a fashion pop-up to build hype around the 2017 event with opening night this week, 28 September. One by one last Saturday, models posed at the top of an escalator and slowly glided down to the main foyer before walking before guests and stopping before the photographer’s scrum. Then it was slowly back up the second escalator.

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Megan Cannings Designs (black dress), Model: Mariè Strazdins, MUA: Lydia Curtis, Photo: Jack Mohr

By design, the fashion at the pop-up was eclectic. The first and last models appeared in showstopper gowns by De Challie Haute Couture—gowns never seen in public and soon to be sent to Paris Fashion Week. Exquisite beading and detailing is De Challie’s signature. These are hand-made gowns that dreams are made of. Award winning De Challie will showcase sophisticated, exquisite gowns made of the finest fabrics and meticulous detail on the FASHFEST catwalk on Friday night.

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De Challie Haute Couture, Model: Sarah O’Neill, MUA Alexandra Watson, Photo: Sparking Weddings

Other gowns were created by Megan Cannings Designs, a full electric blue layered skirt paired with a silver glittery top and a black ruffled outfit with sexy see-through elements. Megan’s designs embody the feminine form using soft, easy wearing fabrics. Megan is based in Sydney and this will be her second appearance at FASHFEST.

Two pieces of innovative bridal wear by Gabrielle Spencer Bridal popped up at the National Gallery of Australia, showing how the designer casts aside traditional ball gowns for pieces that are modern and refreshingly elegant. This is Gabrielle Spencer Bridal’s debut appearance at FASHFEST. Her aesthetic is influenced by bridal fashion of the 1920s to 1950s and Gabrielle uses luxurious fabrics, including pure silks, cashmere and French lace. At FASHFEST, she will collaborate with Christine Waring Milliner.

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Thunder Thighs, Model: Lamishi Dauda, MUA: Mikaela Thompson, Photo: Sparkling Weddings

Three pieces were presented at the pop-up by Bianca Pavlic The Label who makes a debut appearance at FASHFEST this year. She will appear on the catwalk twice, once in her own show and also in a segment curated by Raw Australia. Bianca’s creates unique, beautiful and feminine garments, all hand made in her Canberra home studio.

The shimmery silver number at the pop-up was designed by Yumi Morrissey of Zilpah tart. Yumi’s spring-summer 2017 collection features new necklines, some special occasion pieces and more. After FASHFEST, Yumi will sell her new collection at Floriade.

 

One of the most intriguing creations at the NGA was by Bronwynne Jones of Thunder Thighs, a new independent Canberra label who will debut at FASHFEST on opening night. Bringing back the bustle, Bronwynne’s hand-made garment was created with a recovered jacket and embellished with waste and recovered fabric. Ties and tie linings left over from the Infinity scarves Bronwynne makes were folded and twisted with other fabric scraps for a modern take on the bustle.

Karen Lee is a veteran of the FASHFEST catwalk. Her creation at the pop-up was used for pre-event publicity. It featured a black jacket she made from a garment that appeared at FASHFEST several years ago and a brilliant red oversized tulle skirt.

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L-R: Lamishi Dauda (Thunder Thighs); Sarah O’Neill (Bianca Pavlic The Label); Kelsi-Jane Hedges (De Challie Haute Couture); Mariè Strazdins (Zilpah tart); Toya Bakoles (Gabrielle Spencer Bridal); Samara Purnell (Bianca Pavlic The Label). Photo: Sparkling Weddings

The pop-up was also a prelude to the NGA’s upcoming summer blockbuster Hyper Real. The hair and makeup was as inspirational as the wonderful artworks in Hyper Real. Led by FASHFEST’s Director of Makeup, Diana Cheetham, the artists were given free rein to make masterpieces. Looks ranged from a princess look made of gold leaf and glitter, a Japanese inspired look and bold black line work.

FASHFEST opens this Thursday 28 September with Show 1 at 7am. The full program and tickets are available on their website. Opening 20 October, Hyper Real charts the evolution of hyperrealism since the early 1970s through a jaw-dropping display of renderings of the human form in sculpture, video, digital art, virtual reality and bio-art.

Beating the Drum for Fashion

If fashion doesn’t make you want to roll out of bed every morning, but music does, then think about immersing yourself in the FASHFEST experience this long weekend. More than 20 musicians and DJs bring their own sense of style to the stage, expressing and magnifying the garments designers have worked so hard to create. FASHFEST 2017 presents a top line-up with many highlights across many genres, including pop, hip hop, house, soul and more.

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Tony Rich – The Tony Rich Project

Let’s start with mega start The Tony Rich Project. Remember the hit single Nobody Knows? Well it’s that Tony Rich. Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, musician Tony Rich will hit the stage on Friday September 29, show 2, 9pm. Tony, born in Detroit, now calls Canberra home. He’s released six albums, authored hits for artists like Elton John and Michael Bolton, and toured with Prince, Sting, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow and others. Tony bolted out of the gates, winning a Grammy for his debut album Words.  His forthcoming album project, mixed here in Canberra, will be released at the end of October.

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Raio De Sol – photo by Adam Thomas

Ashley Feraude, FASHFEST’s Music Director, says another first for FASHFEST is Raio de Sol, a percussion ensemble that will play on closing night. “The band first rehearsed on a re-purposed drum kit cobbled together from pots, pans and other bits and pieces uncovered at the tip,’ says Ashley. ‘They’re an amazing community samba drumming band.”

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Soulitude – photo by Art Artelier

Also making a debut appearance is Canberra’s premier four-piece live soul, R&B and urban groove band, Soulitude, whose vocalists and musicians have performed with the likes Deltra Goodman.

Female musos are strong again this year. Happy Axe (AKA Emma Kelly) is making a debut appearance. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the ANU, Emma has performed at major festivals like Woodford. She uses violin, musical saw and vocals to create beautiful sounds. At FASHFEST, she’ll play violin alongside DJ Hamish Lardi (no stranger to FASHFEST fans).

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by wearefoundau

Other new acts include DJ Andrea Corazzon, known for mixing smooth house music and nu-disco. Amy Ferreira will be on stage incorporating old classic house with disco. Seasoned and award-winning DJ Sandman will be on deck to ramp things up.

Favourites return, including the lively Kirklandd, who is on a roll after his debut performance at FASHFEST last year. He’ll perform his upcoming single, Faded, live at the event. And Ashley himself will play, under his alias Magnifik Feat NeonHoney. Ashley has produced two albums and recently received Best House Producer at the Music ACT Music Awards.

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Doug Hall Studio Vitae

Click here to see the full music line up for FASHFEST 2017. FASHFEST is only a few sleeps away. Tickets, starting from $49, are on sale now. FASHFEST will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra from 28 to 30 September (two shows per night), with lively after parties at QT Canberra.

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FASHFEST Music Director – Ashley Feraude

NUNIE … and Paula Ryan

She’s a fashion model, a fashion publisher, a fashion designer and a fashion icon. Paula Ryan is one of New Zealand’s hottest exports, and for the first time Canberrans will get to see her classy, stylish designs on the catwalk at FASHFEST.’

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Paula Ryan designs available from Nunie Canberra

Nunie, an upmarket women’s retail shop in Curtin (formerly in the Canberra Club Building), is presenting pieces from Paula Ryan’s spring-summer collection at FASHFEST on Friday night (29 September, show 2), alongside other amazing designers such as De Challie Haute Couture and independent designer Bianca Pavlic The Label. It’s going to be a cracker of a show.Paula Ryan 2

Owner of Nunie, Roxanne Ebina, has been providing quality fashion to Canberra women for years, and she’s thrilled to be showcasing Paula Ryan—in part because of the label’s superb quality and broad appeal. “Paula Ryan garments last forever and never go out of style,” says Roxanne. “We carry a solid range of her essentials and some gorgeous pieces from each of her seasonal collections, which never disappoint. With her garments, the magic is in the fabric. The label is about classic simplicity with stretch and style.”Paula Ryan (1)

After searching the world for the best natural fabrics that breathe, look fabulous and stand the test of time, Paula Ryan selected three—New Zealand Merino, Italian MicroModal, and Italian MicroJersey. “They’re colour fast, and Paula Ryan matches colours from one season to another, so it’s easy to build a versatile wardrobe with her pieces,” says Roxanne.

Essential pieces accommodate a range of body shapes. The snug slim fit is a signature. So too is the body-skimming easy fit for fuller figures. Singlets and camis are other must haves, as are pants, leggings, and a range of go-to dresses, skirts and tops. But it’s Paula Ryan’s seasonal collections that are most coveted by her fans around the world, and what Nunie will put on the catwalk at FASHFEST will be no exception.

This is Nunie’s first time participating in FASHFEST. “It’s a great event for Canberra because it gives local designers and retailers a chance to sign where they sell,” says Roxanne.Paula Ryan 4

FASHFEST’s opening night is less than two weeks away. Get the full program and buy tickets on the FASHFEST website. Tickets start at only $49 for assigned seating. FASHFEST 2017 runs from 28 – 30 September at the National Convention Centre, with two shows each night. And don’t forget the after parties at QT Hotel.

Steal the Thunder!

Let’s start with the facts. Women come in all shapes and sizes. All shapes and sizes. The pear shape is just as beautiful as any other and no one knows this better than Bronwynne Jones, who founded her own label catering to this target market last year.

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Bronwynne Jones – owner and designer Thunder Thighs

Thunder Thighs is about the shape, not about the size”, says Bronwynne. “I design from size 8 up, but in a way that complements women who are naturally smaller at the top and curvier at the bottom.”

Bronwynne is currently full steam ahead, cutting, sewing, fitting and fussing with models to get her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2017. She’s excited but admits it hasn’t been entirely easy. “The FASHFEST model casting was an open one, but the fashion industry tends not to focus on true pear-shaped women,” says Bronwynne. “Not many modelling agencies have pear-shaped models on their books either.”

 

And the name? Doesn’t it just draw unfair attention to the unique body shape Bronwynne designs for? “I’m actually calling it for what it is and am proud of it,” says Bronwynne. “My clients don’t necessarily have a problem with their shape. They have a problem with not being able to find attractive clothing that works well on their bodies. It’s frustrating, and I know because I have thunder thighs. I want to design for this group of women and who they are, not what the fashion industry says they should be.”

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Thunder Thighs at CARDIF Collective Fashion in the Alley in April 2017

A self-taught designer, Bronwynne focuses on fitting, flattering and the body positive. She designs foundation (essential) pieces and pieces that add flair and sells through CARDIF Collective in Kingston. “My tops fit the bust line well and swing or float over the bottom,” says Bronwynne. “Cigarette pants and skirts fit at the waist and hips, and fall from the thighs. Short tailored jackets with a swing, not straight, work a treat too.” Since opening her label, Bronwynne has been thrilled to sell to women of other shapes who are attracted to her designs. “Many women can wear swing tops, for example,” says Bronwynne. “It’s a fabulous style that stands the test of time.”

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Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

For the FASHFEST catwalk, Bronwynne has designed pants, tops and jackets, some with sculptural elements. She’ll also present her popular ‘shirt front back top’ which features the front and optional collar from a recovered men’s shirt. Customers can help design their own top by selecting from Bronwynne’s impressive collection of quality men’s shirts or by bringing in a shirt owned by a loved one. Bronwynne will also feature her attractive infinity scarves created out of men’s vintage silk ties on the catwalk.

The designer is showcasing solid black and white, mono prints, and shades of pinks and purples. Sheer fabric will also make a grand entrance as will hand-crafted headpieces with colour and flair.

“It’s been a steep learning curve getting ready for FASHFEST,” says Bronwynne. “There’s so much to consider beside the garments. Hair, makeup, props, shoes, and with only a couple of weeks to go—it’s full on.”

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Model Swan Ricco (size 8 – 10) wears Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

FASHFEST is on from 28 to 30 September, at the National Convention Centre Canberra, with after parties at QT Canberra. Thunder Thighs proudly makes its appearance at FASHFEST on opening night, 28 September show 2, 9pm. FASHFEST tickets are available from the FASHFEST website and start at $49.

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Getting ready to walk-the-walk at Fashion in the Alley

Making waves with Rip Tide

It’s a big night on 5 September in Canberra. Three hundred people will flock to the Canberra premiere of a new feature film that’s special to the capital in many ways. Rip Tide will screen at the National Film and Sound Archive. And at the end, included in the rolling credits, will be SilverSun Pictures, an award-winning team that works in a purpose-built facility here in Canberra producing amazing work.

SilverSun Pictures has produced thousands of hours of feature films, documentaries, television shows, advertisements, corporate videos and animation. And all stories are told with gusto.

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Debbie Ryan who plays Cora in Rip Tide

SilverSun Pictures just gets on with the job and they’ve been doing so since 1995. Rip Tide isn’t the company’s first major film (it’s the seventh), but it’s their biggest value and it’s turning the tide for the company with Rip Tide—a $3 million plus film—making it big in Australia and internationally with a mega 100+ screen release.

“We were selected by The Steve Jaggi Company to be part of the team producing Rip Tide, and handled complete post production services, which is everything that happens after the camera stops rolling until the film hits the screen,” says Rohan Taylor, SilverSun’s Producer/Director and Re-recording Mixer for Rip Tide “And it was all managed from our facilities in Watson.”

Rip Tide, directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg, is a film featuring Cora (played by American actress Debby Ryan) who ends up living it up down under. Cora’s story begins after a humiliating modelling incident. She books a one-way ticket out of New York. Her destination? Australia.

Expecting a five-star holiday with her aunt, Cora realises that her beachside retreat is miles from the nearest city. She feels trapped until friendships bloom and romance sparks with handsome Tom, played by Andrew Creer (whose parents live in Canberra). When the community realises Cora’s hidden talent as a fashion designer, they rope her into creating the outfits for the big Surf Festival. When Cora’s mum calls to say she’s secured a modelling contract, Cora must decide between career or a community she now loves.

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Andrews Creer plays Tom in Rip Tide

SilverSun’s role involved taking all media from cameras and managing edits and quality control while shooting took place so everything came together with the highest quality demanded for cinema. “We were on set from the first day of shooting in Kiama, with an editor and assistant, editing while the footage was being filmed given the short turnaround for the film,” says SilverSun’s Managing Director and Post Production Supervisor for Riptide Andrew Marriott. Steve Jaggi says SilverSun’s work is on par with the standards of the best post production houses in Sydney and Melbourne.

SilverSun faced many challenges along the way, but that didn’t deter the team from getting the job done. One major challenge was the tight time frame, with shooting starting in November 2016 and the film being delivered in May 2017. “It’s the shortest turnaround of any major film project we’ve worked on,” says Greg Evans, SilverSun’s Senior Editor and Colourist.

Don’t fret if you’re not going to tonight’s screening. Rip Tide will open on 14 September at Capitol Manuka.