Category Archives: LFW Your Canberra

Riley Tanton—Watch this Space!

Riley Tanton has just graduated from Canberra Grammar, but he has no time to hang out this summer. The 18-year-old is far too busy running his own business and has just launched a new line of affordable, luxury watches named after Aussie islands.

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Riley Tanton – photo by Hollwill Photography

We ran a story on Riley about a year ago, inspired by how this young entrepreneur was so focused, talented and determined, even while busy studying his brains out in high school. Having graduated, Riley has had early acceptance into University of Canberra and a Master of Business Administration is on the horizon. In the meantime, he’s spending every spare second as the Managing Founder of Millennial Watches.

Riley’s new Haven Collection adds four styles to his Original Collection of timeless pieces. The new designs stay true to the company’s ethos of offering unique, quality, unisex watches that look a million bucks but don’t break the bank. And, the new designs are slimmer, sleeker and a luxury level up. They display beauty in all areas of design.

“They’re sophisticated looking despite their price tag of $86.40,” says Riley. “The Flinders really stands out with its polished rose gold case, polished rose gold hands, black face and genuine tan leather strap. The Whitehaven also has polished gold elements, but with a white face and tan leather strap. The black and gold Fraser is bold, and the Ashmore is super classy with black case, grey hands, black face and a black leather strap.”

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Millennial Watches Island Collection

Riley opened Millennial Watches just over a year ago. Never keen to sit on his laurels, he’s also just custom designed a watch for Canberra Grammar, with a production run of 300. He’s also worked on a small range of watches for Nomiko Kids, the new kid’s fashion label that appeared on young models’ at Fashfest. “I’m keen to partner with other organisations who want custom designs”, says Riley.

While also entering the retail world, online sales remain strong, especially in ACT, NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with Riley setting a personal best by selling 180 watches in one week.

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Millennial Watches – His …

The Japanese movement used by Millennial Watches is long lasting. Batteries run strong for around three years, and each watch comes boxed and wrapped around a pillow square to protect them.

Riley is no stranger to business. He became an entrepreneur in Grade 6, selling drinks out of his locker at school. Even though you’d think a young entrepreneur would be keen on pocketing every bit of timely profit, Riley donates $3.50 from every watch bought online to the Garvan Institute for Medical Research.

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… and Hers

Millennial Watches come with a one-year warranty. Free shipping when you order online: http://www.millennialwatches.com.au/

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Fascinating Rhythm at Melba Fete!

Spent a great day yesterday with some muso friends who were performing at a local fete. Rhythm Syndicate is an auditioned Canberra based vocal group who sing four part harmony, with accompaniment by Canberra composer, songwriter and pianist Mike Dooley, and harmonicist and flautist, Paul Herbert.

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Rhythm Syndicate with conductor and musical director, Camilo Gonzalez

Revitalising their jazz roots, the program included many toe-tapping jazz standards such as Miss New Orleans, Java Jive, Fascinating Rhythm, and other classics from Cole Porter, and Gershwin – a great afternoon of cool musical entertainment.

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Composer, songwriter, and pianist Mike Dooley

If you’re a jazz lover don’t miss their upcoming performances over the next couple of months.

5 December: Griffith Baptist Care Concert 11am

9 December: Queanbeyan Carols in the Park (55 Collett St) 7pm

10 December: Canberra High Court 1.30pm

10 December: National Portrait Gallery 3.30pm

17 December: Lerida Winery 12.30pm

 

 

 

You can also catch awesome pianist Mike Dooley, with singer Rachel Thorne, performing as In 2 Deep at Jazz in the House, University House, ANU on Friday 27 October at 8pm. Bookings essential through Uni House at events.unihouse@anu.edu.au or call them on 6125 5270.

Mike Dooley (keyboard) and singer Rachel Thorne – In 2 Deep

Kids’ First at FASHFEST!

For the first time kids featured in two shows at FASHFEST this year, and boy did they enjoy themselves! Both Tip You’re It! and NOMIKO made first appearances at FASHFEST, and considering the kids walked the full length of the runway to huge audiences, they exuded the style and confidence that any model would.

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Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

First up was Tip You’re It! a fashion store with a difference. Opening in 2015 Tip You’re It! sells a huge range of gorgeous kids’ fashion brands, gifts and accessories, furniture and décor—you can find everything you need from cool casual to party style, for babies and up to 6 years. Tip You’re It! is located at 5/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon—open 7 days a week—or check out their website or Facebook page.

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NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

NOMIKO is the brainchild of Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, founders of FASHFEST, and was established, together with co-founder and partner Sophia Petersen, after the birth of Andrea and Clint’s two gorgeous children. NOMIKO is quality and fun fashion for kids from 4 to 10 years and includes boys, girls, and unisex designs. Running around, playing in the dirt, getting messy—that’s what kids are meant to do, and NOMIKO’s comfy leggings, hoodies, dresses, pants, and tops allows them to just get on with being kids. In fact, the clothing is so fabulous you will wish it came in your size! All garments are designed and made in Canberra. NOMIKO is available by order, and you can find them on Facebook.

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NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

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Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

FASHFEST 2017 in Review

There’s been a lot of ‘firsts’ this year for FASHFEST, but from all the stunning gowns, gorgeous bridal wear, and everything in between we’ve chosen to review those that are a little bit different. The standard of wearable items this year was amazing, but we eventually went with labels we could, and would, wear ourselves, and perhaps more importantly, those with a community background to their fashion. By the LFW team.

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Tiwi dress by Magpie Goose – photo by LFW

Our chosen designers include one label working with remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, another that brings a range of artists from across Australia to work together in a visually exciting collection, and the third showcasing what you can do with someone else’s unloved clothing.

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Magpie Goose Collection – photo by LFW

Magpie Goose is a new label founded in 2016 by Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan and named after a bird native to the Northern Territory. Based in Katherine, Magpie Goose works with four Aboriginal communities across the Top End including Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation in Wadeye; Tiwi Design in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island; Injalak Arts in Gunbalanya; and Bábbarra Women’s Centre, Maningrida. Through its clothing, the label aims to tell the story of people, place, and culture through fashion.. Magpie Goose is incubated by Enterprise Learning Projects, an organisation dedicated to fostering and supporting grassroots business development in partnership with remote Aboriginal communities. This was Magpie Goose’s first time at FASHFEST.

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RAW Australia – photo by LFW

RAW Australia is part of an international community that brings together a range of artists including photographers, designers, visual and performing artists and musicians, film makers, and much more. For FASHFEST, RAW Australia brought together four fashion designers to show an exciting range of clothing including exotics from Bird Skin in Melbourne, gorgeous gowns from Bianca Pavlic The Label from Canberra, couture garments and jewellery from Ellavanna in Perth, and Adelaide’s Kiira showcasing a bohemian twist to their fashions. This was RAW Australia first showing at FASHFEST.

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RAW Australia – image by LFW

SALVOS Stores. It’s fashion reinvention and serious eco chic. That’s what this unique FASHFEST 2017 show, presented by Salvos Stores, is all about. Salvaged is sustainable style at its best and this collection illustrates how fashionable high-end discarded and donated clothing can be. Curated by Salvos Stores stylist Fay De Lanty, this ingenious upcycling, dare we say even couture, transforms your perception of second-hand. It’s op-shop—but not as you know it! This is Salvos Stores first appearance at FASHFEST.

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Upcycled fashion by Salvos Stores – photo courtesy Fashfest 2017

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Salvos Stores Salvage Collection – photo courtesy Fashfest 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.

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.