Tag Archives: National Arboretum

Fashion for Rockstars and Royalty

Rockstars and Royalty’s Reign of the Forest

by Wendy Johnson (for LFW)

It was a snippet from an interview with London designer Basia Zaryzka that led Vicky Kidd-Gallichan to name her independent fashion label. “I was living in England and heard Basia say she creates gowns for rockstars and royalty. I thought it would be a fabulous name for a business,” says Vicky. Fast forward to 2007 and Vicky had moved to Canberra and opened Rockstars and Royalty, creating pretty princess gowns, rock ‘n’ roll-inspired pieces and glamourous cocktail dresses.

Anneliese Seubert in Rockstars and Royalty - FASHFEST 2013

Anneliese Seubert in Rockstars and Royalty – FASHFEST 2013

It would be challenging to pick which side of the label suits Vicky’s personality best—no doubt it’s a bit of both. She loves colour, has been known to have bright pink hair and has a tattoos on both arms. Suffice it to say that it really doesn’t matter—everything Vicky turns her hands to turns out to be inspiring, whether fairy tale or edgy. Think, for example, about her collection, which she launched at the inaugural FASHFEST, Canberra’s four-day, red-carpet fashion event. Guests were transfixed with the beauty of each piece, including the gold and teal gown worn by the Face of FASHFEST 2013, super model Anneliese Seubert (see pic above). Her more recent Reign of the Forest collection, near and dear to Vicky’s heart, is just as stunning.

Reign of the Forest. Model - Samantha Farrow

Reign of the Forest. Model – Samantha Farrow

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National Arboretum Canberra


The devastating Canberra fires of 18 January 2003 not only took four lives, injured over 400 people, and destroyed 500 homes and Mount Stromlo Observatory in western Canberra, but also took out 70 per cent of Canberra’s pastures, forest and pine plantations, and nature parks. Ten years on in 2013, and the same year as Canberra’s centenary, the National Arboretum opened its doors to the public. Stretching over 250 hectares (over 600 acres) with views over Lake Burley Griffin, the Tuggeranong Valley, Molonglo and the distant Brindabella Ranges—the Arboretum commemorates 100 years of Canberra history, and standing on a site of one of the original pine plantations has also become a symbol of the 2003 bushfire recovery program.

View from the Arboretum over Molonglo to the Brindabella Ranges

View from the Arboretum over Molonglo to the Brindabella Ranges

The Arboretum also represents Canberra planner Sir Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for a place of trees, shrubs and plants for the purpose of conservation, preservation, education and display, and is home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world, and over 48,000 trees are growing across the site.

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