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What’s the most fashionable Australian city? Melbourne, of course – at least at the moment, thanks to Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
Shopping events and runway shows this week featured designs both by well-known designers, such as Akira or Carla Zampatti, and newcomers including graduates from RMIT. The outfits seen on Melbourne’s runways during fashion week are a good indicator of the trends we will be seeing a lot more of in spring and summer, but it’s not just about what’s on the runway, it’s about the outfits you see off the runway that really represent what’s hot and what’s not.
Whether it’s celebrities such as Melbourne Fashion Week ambassador Ashley Hart, or your average fashionista that flocked to the fashion events this week, I took a look at all the biggest trends and trendsetters of Melbourne Fashion Week:
Who said women have to wear dresses or skirts to look sexy? Take a hint from these two lovely ladies wearing white flared pants and blazers looking absolutely stunning. Just make sure you wear heels with this combo – flared pants can make you look shorter than you are.
Whether they’re long or short, flowy boho dresses in neutral tones are here to stay. The twist? Cut-out patterns revealing a little bit of skin. Quick tip: Instead of trying to hide your underwear by choosing flesh-colored bras and panties (they will be visible anyway), opt for bold colours and make your lingerie part of the outfit.
Floral prints and patterns are nothing new, but you can take it a step further with beautiful floral embroidery and silk flowers used as accessories. It might not be practical, but it sure looks pretty!
Unfortunately, a good ab workout will have to remain part of your exercise routine for now because crop tops are here to stay. Ashley Hart is giving us major ab-envy in this crop-top dress.
Images via the MSFW Facebook page
She is one of Australia’s most successful models making a name for herself after long being known as the little sister of Victoria’s Secret model, Jessica Hart.
There is nothing not to like about Ashley Hart. She is the kind of woman you want as your best friend and at the same time, you aspire to be more like her: Always smiling, embracing a healthy lifestyle full of yoga and meditation, and of course looking absolutely stunning.
Ashley Hart is returning as the face and ambassador of Melbourne Fashion Week which kicks off August 28, making the already fashionable city even more trendy. The Melbournian is an obvious choice for the event and not shy to praise her hometown.
As most successful models, Ashley lives in the USA dividing her time between LA and New York, but she’s always happy to come home to Australia. We caught up with the top model and newlywed and asked her about her shopping tips, her secret to happiness, and plans for the future.
You’re the official ambassador for Melbourne Fashion week again this year, which shows are you most looking forward to?
I know this will sound like a cop out – but all of them! Each show is different and has something for everyone in it. I like to mix it up with my fashion so I am excited to see whats out there. It‘s like a one-stop-shop where you can sit there and make notes about what I‘m going to go out and buy.
When it comes to shopping, are you an online-shopping girl or do you prefer the old-fashioned way and actually go to stores?
I love going into stores. There‘s nothing like touching and feeling the garments and chatting to staff. I really like fashion stores. Whenever I buy online, it might be for jeans or something where I‘ve already got a pair I know I like.
Are there any stores/boutiques in Melbourne that you love?
Christine! It’s my favourite store in the city. Beautiful hand picked product from local designers and around the world. Christine, the owner, is a beautiful person who cares very much about her product and customers.
I was looking through your Instagram photos and noticed that you’re always smiling, which I love! What’s your secret to happiness?
Meditation. I take a lot of time to meditate and breathe, and being in the now.
2015 seems to have been quite the success for you so far, both in your career and your personal life (congratulations on your wedding!), what are your plans for 2016?
I have a great job with a few brands and plan to travel from the USA to Australia a few times! Other than that I will see what the year brings, but if it’s the same as 2015 it will be busy!
Watch this video for an insider look behind the scenes of Melbourne Fashion Week and get to know Ash Hart even better.
Ever wanted to shop exclusively from some of Melbourne’s hottest designers? Well now you can! The Wild Collective offers the very best in fashion, beauty products, hand-crafted furniture and homewards, toys, eco-friendly products, art and so much more.
The unique event will take place at the Royal Exhibition Building from Saturday 15 – Sunday 16, August 2015. Entry is $2 for adults and free for children under the age of 15.
Visitors are spoiled for choice at The Wild Collective, with a large selection of vast homewards, fashion, food and everything in between. Resident artists and entertainment will be on hand to provide a relaxing ambience for the entire weekend.
Lets not forget that The Wild Collective is an event for the whole tribe! Here you’ll find luxury furnishings, a children’s area with fun activities and even a pop-up pub for a sneaky drink or two.
Location: 9 Nicholson Street Carlton, Melbourne
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
It’s hard to believe but the Melbourne Cup raceday is just around the corner and if, like us, you feel it has crept up all too soon, we have decided to take the weight of deciding where to go off your shoulders. The SHESAID team has scoured the east coast to find some of the best happenings to get to next Tuesday and bring your co-workers along for the ride.
Ravesi’s, Bondi Beach
Start the day as Marilyn Monroe once did, with a glass of Piper Heidsieck – all Melbourne Cup guests of Ravesi’s will receive a flute of Piper Heidsieck champagne on arrival. Then, enjoy a delicious 3-course lunch prepared especially for the day by Ravesi’s Executive Chef Darren Elmes. Be sure to pick your most glamorous outfit and your most spectacular hats and fascinators for the day, as there will be Fashions on the Terrace and fantastic prizes up for grabs for the best dressed.
The Argyle, The Rocks
The Argyle is renowned for hosting Sydney’s biggest and most exciting Melbourne Cup party, and this year is no exception with over 3000 party goers set to gallop through the gates from 11am to experience its five unique bars and outdoor cobbled courtyard. Special guest celebrity MCs will host this year’s renowned event and punters should come dressed to impress for the venue’s annual Fashions on the Field competition, where prizes will be awarded to the best dressed throughout the day. A selection of food stations as well as large screens and TAB facilities will also be available.
Yellowglen Pop-up Cup, Paddington Markets
The Yellowglen Pop-Up Cup will be hosted by Yellowglen brand ambassador and NYC-based jewellery designer, Samantha Wills. From 12noon-5pm Paddington Markets will be transformed into a bustling laneway style festival complete with a Yellowglen wine bar, beer bar, Yellowglen cocktails served on the hour, street style food, big screens showing the race that stops the nation, bookies and DJ tunes. The perfect event to pop some bubbles and enjoy the best of the Melbourne Cup in the heart of Sydney. Tickets are $90 each and include food, drinks and entertainment all day.
Located in the heart of the city, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel is the ideal raceday meeting spot. Enjoy a champagne breakfast or opt for lunch at Little Collins Street Kitchen. The celebrations continue into the evening at The Terrace Bar, a contemporary-designed rooftop space serving refreshments in an exquisite outdoor setting overlooking Little Collins Street.
Lavazza Marquee at Flemington
The best place in the world to be on raceday is at the actual race, of course! Queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu will be in attendance at the Lavazza marquee – Caffé Lavazza – on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day. All eyes will be on Badu not only for her performance but also her choice of hat, which is generating talk due to Badu’s love of signature high, eclectic and unique headwear. This year marks 12 years of Lavazza’s involvement in the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with an ever-strong entertainment line-up. In that time, guests have been entertained by the likes of Richie Sambora, Mel B, Roger Sanchez, Heather Small, Sarah De Bono, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Vogue Williams and other talented performers.
Anyone who has ever visited or lived in Melbourne, knows it an amazing city. Going out as a family can be pricey though, plus there’s always that unpredictable weather. I’ve gathered some intel for the budget-minded family and found the two best outings, for rain and shine.
If you are looking for that one family outing that you can do when it’s pouring outside; you can’t beat The Scienceworks, for entertainment and affordability. Patrons are encouraged to touch, play and interact with the exhibits; spend hours exploring and learning new things. The facility houses several other attractions; including The Planetarium. (It’s defiantly a bucket list experience!) Trust me; even Dad will get into it!
As the name suggests, it’s all about science. There is a section for younger children upstairs and a large outdoor area, with a playground, for those who want to bring their lunch and make a complete day of it. There’s a gift shop and canteen, as well as having some of the most spectacular views of the city, from within its confines.
Car parking is available for a flat rate of $2. The only issue; be prepared for a crowd, because it really is one of Melbourne’s most affordable and entertaining, family outings. Even with a crowd, it’s a top day out.
Here’s the run-down of the most important info:
Address: 2 Booker Street Spotswood, Victoria, Australia
Hours: Open daily, 10am – 4:30pm (Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day)
General entry: Adult $12.00; Child (0 to 16 years) and Concession free
Optional extras (Planetarium show, Lightning Room show, Rescue exhibition): Adult $6.00; Child $4.50; Concession $5.00
Bookings and enquiries: 13 11 02
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens
For a sunny day outing, the best pick would have to be The Melbourne Zoo. It’s undergoing some extensive renovations to it’s predator enclosure; but don’t let that deter you. It’s excellent value and looks like it’s only going to get better!
There are animals from all over the world, as well as a selection of Australian native inhabitants. The monkeys, tigers and elephants are a real treat and just before closing, the elephants go out to feed. There’s even a baby elephant, who is sure to capture your heart.
There are various food options and plenty of room for everyone to spread out and pull up a piece of grass for a picnic, if you want to keep the cost down. There are gift shops scattered throughout and prices start low enough, to take home a small souvenir or two.
Getting there is relatively easy, either by car or train. Once again, car parking is a flat rate of $2 for 5 hours. For most families, 5 hours of wandering around the zoo is plenty, but it’s so big you’ll probably need to make a second trip. It’s stroller and wheelchair friendly (tip: call and pre-book, if you need one for Nana), but some of the pathways do get muddy in wet weather.
Here’s the most vital info:
Address: Elliott Avenue, Parkville 3052.
Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm every day of the year.
Cost: Adult (Ages 17+) $30.80; Adult concession $23.60; Child 4-15 years (weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian government school holidays) free; Child 4-15 years (Monday to Friday, outside holidays) $13.60; Child (0–3 years) free
Family package deals (Monday to Friday – except school holidays): 2 adults with 1 child $74.60; 2 adults with 2 children $74.60; 2 adults with 3 children $81.60; 2 adults with 4 children $88.40; 2 adults with 5 children $95.20
Tickets and bookings: 1300 966 784
Image via zoo.org.au
So here’s the scenario: Recently met someone you liked through mutual friends, on Tinder or just the old fashioned way – but have no where to go? This week, we’re focusing on cute date ideas in Melbourne. Whether you like strolling in the art gallery or just enjoy a glass (or two) of red wine, below are just a few suggestions to get the creative juices flowing.
National Art Gallery of Victoria – 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Be sure to head over to the NGV for some exclusive exhibitions during the month of August. Browse the late modern and contemporary art pieces with your date, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift shop on your way out!
Naked For Satan – 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Located in Fitzroy and featuring delicious Spanish cuisine, Naked For Satan is known throughout the city for its Pintxos and Walnut Croquettes. Open every day of the week, take your date out for a delicious assortment of flavoursome tapas meals.
Top Paddock – 658 Church Street, Richmond
Fancy a breakfast or brunch date instead? Top Paddock boats a large selection of scrumptious muesli, hotcakes and their Instagram-worthy presentation. Open from 7am-4pm.
Secret Garden Bar – 7/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
For a night-out without the extra calories, definitely drag your date to Secret Garden in St Kilda for some amazing sugar-free cocktails. Relax on one of the many daybeds, and indulge in some live music.
Studley Park Boathouse – 1 Boathouse Road, Kew
Ditch the drama from the city and go for a simple yet romantic boat ride in Studley Park. With complete views of the Botanic Gardens, this is the perfect date for anyone who loves to be outside with nature.
Image via A Table For Two
It’s no secret that Melbourne is the capital of style, culture and shopping in Australia. People travel from all over the world to visit this city, the designer labels, flagship stores, quirky independent boutiques and markets with our vintage chic provide bloggers a canvas of artful outfits of the day, photos and street style snaps to provide the fashionista with their tips for browsing the best shops.
Only four kilometres out of the CBD lies South Yarra, home to Chapel St and Toorak Road; two of Melbourne’s most famous and iconic shopping precincts. From chic designer boutiques, cafe culture and the natural beauty of the botanic gardens in the daytime to restaurants and nightclubs after dark, South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs to visit, reside in, play and explore. Here’s your insider guide to the gems that are South Yarra.
South Yarra houses the more fashionable and upmarket end of Chapel Street with best of the best designer labels, Top shop, Kenzo, Eliza Baker and Nudie Jeans, quality international imports plus exclusive Australian designers. From the perfect T-shirt and cap collection at Blackbook to neutrals in flattering styles made from sustainable materials at Cylk, and the killer selection of party dresses at Green with Envy, there really is something here to suit every style of fashionista.
Take a well-earned break with a coffee from an on-trend sidewalk cafe like ‘Found off Chapel’ or linger over a gourmet meal in one of the many fine food restaurants that line Chapel Street. With one of the liveliest alfresco cultures in Melbourne, you’ll find plenty of spots to put your feet up and watch the passing parade.
Originally a brewery then a jam factory and now, several makeovers later, the lifestyle and entertainment hub of the Chapel Street precinct this complex is the place to go for food, fashion, film and special events.
The Royal Botanic Gardens are Melbourne’s inner-city oasis. Offering the perfect balance to the 24-hour hustle and bustle of Chapel Street, here you can soak up the peace of sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees.
From high fashion to high art. This wonderful little gallery showcases fine artwork and painting by local and upcoming artists. Current exhibitions include Michael Witnauer, Tessa Dodds and Georgie Call.
Be sure to check out Toorak Road, at least the kilometre from Punt Road to Rockley Gardens. This quintessential Melbourne hangout has a warm and friendly atmosphere. As well speciality shops, fashion boutiques, sunny street cafes and fine dining, luxury hair and beauty services, it’s the place to find outstanding jewellery, handmade designs, home wares, special gifts, unusual accessories and vintage fashion. Must sees are the dreamy fabrics of La Modiste, the exotic accessories at Jfahri and the covetable fashion finds of designer consignment boutique Secondo.
With so much to shop, and see, you’ll need more than one day to indulge in all that South Yarra has to offer. “We have a lot of people book into our apartments for one night thinking that that is all they will need and end up staying at least another three,” Diana, the general manager for Amity Apartment Hotel South Yarra explains. “It’s amazing to see the number of shopping bags that people come back with from a day in our streets, they are exhausted and happy.”
So whether it is shopping, art, nature or classy restaurants you enjoy, South Yarra has it all. If you love all four, you must stay at least a week in the Melbourne’s not-so-secret playground.
We love Australian fashion for its originality and unique combination of fun, chic and style, so we thought we’d take a look at our 5 favourite Australian fashion designers.
Collette Dinnigan got her start in the costume department of the Australian Broadcasting Department, but has made her name in chic styles for the modern woman. In 1995, the designer was the first Australian to show her ready-to-wear collection in Paris. Dinnigan’s Autumn/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection is highlighted by slim sheath silhouettes in neutrals of black, white and silver with accents of leather or lace – many of which would make breathtaking bridal gowns – and for something for classic bridal, she also designs a stunning bridal collection. Stunning tailoring and timeless, feminine design is why Collette will always be one of our favourite Australian designers.
We’re happy to report that the grand dame of Australian fashion designer is still going strong at 71. The Italian-born Zampatti move to Australia with her family as a child and debuted her first limited collection in 1965. Two years later, the designer went national and in 1970, created Carla Zampatti Limited. Zampatti’s career achievements include a chain of boutiques, being the first Aussie designer to introduce swimwear into her collection, a pair of fragrances and even redesigning a car! In 1985, Zampatti partnered with Ford Australia to create the Laser, an auto especially for women. For Autumn/Winter 2013, Zampatti offered a collection that’s classic, ladylike and feminine with lots of black softened by shades of cream and coral. The designer creates for the modern woman, with chic business suits and elegant eveningwear. For four decades, Carla Zampatti has epitomised true style.
The design team of Nicole and Simone Zimmermann have been delighting savvy fashionistas with their clever cutting and delectable fabrics since 1991. The sisters are especially noted for their body-sculpting swimsuits in trendy graphic prints that are now spotted on beach babes from Bali to Barcelona. The Zimmermann collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 featured frankly feminine dresses in soft, warm natural tones of almond, pale yellow, gold and grey—just the thing for warming up a cool day. The show-stopper of this set was a gown of gold foil with an irregular hem, perfect for showing off your sexy shape!
Sass & Bide
Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke have come a long way since their humble beginnings of selling jeans they had customised from a stall at London’s Portobello Road Market. After relocating to Sydney, the pair unveiled their first collection at Australian Fashion Week in 2001. A chance meeting in New York with actress Sarah Jessica Parker led the designers to create a few pieces for Sex and the City, which gave worldwide recognition to the Sass & Bide brand. The Sass & Bide Autumn/Winter collection ranges from floor-length knit dresses to separates of shiny yellow vinyl. The pairing of a rigidly tailored black-and-white striped jacket with those yellow pants shows plenty of sass.
Success came fast for Lisa Ho, who launched her own brand just weeks after finishing design school, selling her cutting-edge designs at Sydney’s Paddington Market, and becoming one of the most famous names in Australian fashion. Her pieces have been seen on a bevy of celebs including Delta Goodrem, Miranda Kerr, Sarah Wynter, Elle Macpherson and Jennifer Lopez. Highlights from her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection include fitted jackets with A-line or pencil skirts in colours of black, blue and wine. Sadly, Ho’s future is currently in limbo, as the Lisa Ho Group was recently closed down due to being deeply in debt. Hopefully she’ll bounce back and relaunch her brand.
Who is your favourite Australian designer?
Familiar with the names Bettina Liano, Saba, Scanlon & Theodore and Alannah Hill? They all began in Melbourne and are now Melbourne’s Big Four, with large stylish stores in the heart of the city, frequented by international rock stars, and stocking labels that are now sold around the world.
The city is bursting with shopping precincts each with their own flair – from the elegant fashion stores of riverside Southgate to the world-class designer boutiques of South Yarra, Melbourne is a celebration of style and sophistication.
Not all of Melbourne’s fashion hotspots are easy to find. Today you have to be
Saba’s luscious signature knitwear.
in the know to find many of the enclaves of boutiques, fashion houses and outlets tucked away in laneways and arcades. Flinders Lane, the heart of the Flinders Quarter is reminiscent of New York’s SoHo district, once home to Melbourne’s rag trade Flinders Lane now houses cutting edge fashion and glam get-up of international repute.
For a more bohemian shopping experience jump on a tram to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where you can easily while away the day rummaging through funky streetwear shops, stunning beauty products, music, books, designer homewares and original art pieces. You may even see a celebrity or
Luxury shopping at its best.
Southbank is Melbourne’s vibrant, cultural heart that sits on the south side
The Secret Life of you and me…
Head to famous seaside St Kilda, home to the likes of Alex and Evan from the Secret Life of Us. Apart from the fact that you just may spot the odd cast
Acland Street restaurants buzzing with activity.
Or there’s the Greek restaurants of Swan Street, the Vietnamese eateries of Victoria Street, the Asian specialists in Chinatown and of course the famous Queen Victoria Markets the source of many Melbourne chefs fresh produce here you can shop until you drop at one of the world’s best bazaars.