Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS CELEBRATES WITH A TRIP TO THE GO GO BAR AT CHIN CHIN AND DINNER AT LUCY LIU'S



I had heard so much great feedback on Lucy Liu’s, the newest Asian fusion restaurant to open in Melbourne - that I knew that I had to keep a trip there for a special occasion. With an anniversary approaching, I booked a spot there for last Saturday with Kevin. Walking down a George Parade from Collins Street to Flinders Lane, I couldn't get over the monstrous queue that was waiting outside Chin Chin. Kevin was quick to remind me that it WAS a Saturday night and THAT sort of situation is not at all that uncommon at Chin Chin. Deservedly so, the food is spectacular and yes the waiting for a table adds to the excitement but I was so happy to find out when I researched Lucy Liu’s that it took reservations. A simple call and a few minutes later, I was happy in the knowledge that I was guaranteed a table for dinner.

Jumping through the line outside Chin Chin, we made our way down the lane beside the building to Go Go Bar. Located underneath Chin Chin, the bar is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. The atmosphere was electric, the music pulsating and the crowd a mix of trendy young socials and an older crowd trying to keep up with the youngsters.

Starting the evening off with a few gin and tonics, we looked around and just took in everything that the Go Go bar has to offer. It really has that something special that nowhere else does.


The time seemed to fly by and suddenly we had to rush off to grab our table at Lucy Liu's. The restaurant has taken over the space that was PM24, a French inspired venue that was part of George Calombaris’ restaurant group I believe. You can enter through the Russell Street entrance, however there is a secret entrance on Oliver Lane that not everyone is aware of. You see there is no signage along the lane apart from a vibrant red light that pours out of the entrance. Its only when you’ve slipped your way into the hall that you notice the giant neon red Lucy Liu sign and voila you’re in.

The interior of the restaurant is one of the most impressive I’ve seen since visiting Gazi and its terracotta pot roof for the first time. Concrete, wood and steel are three of the most used materials within the space and altogether create something magical. We were placed smack bang in the middle of the room, so we could see everything going on. Quiet, reserved and stiff, are the characteristics of a restaurant that I detest most and this spot was none of those. It was casual dining at its best.

Our female server was excellent at going through the menu with us and offered us some great advice about how many of small, medium and large plates we should grab for the two of us. Of course our eyes were bigger than our bellies and we ordered more than she suggested.

We started off with the duck dumplings with hoi sin sauce and coriander. These were absolutely delicious and a lot more refined than the likes you would get in, lets say, the likes of China Red. We followed this with the chicken spare ribs with Kewpie mayonnaise. Having had the same sort of dish in Gingerboy a few years back, no chicken ribs have ever trumped those. Unfortunately, the ribs just didn’t wow us like we thought they would. It was when the table next to us received their sticky beef and crispy pork steamed buns that we called the waitress over and asked for one of each. Kevin’s sticky bun went down a treat and my crispy pork bun the same.


At this point we could have walked out content, however we had ordered the crispy pork hock to share. Deliciously crispy on the outside, one crack of the exterior and inside a giant mound of soft pork meat was found, waiting to be paired with the accompanying pancakes, apple slaw, spring onions and hoi sin sauce. It was a messy affair and definitely not suitable for a first date, but incredibly delicious. A standout dish and one that could easily be comparable to the likes of Cumulus Inc.’s lamb shoulder or Supernormal's Peanut Butter Parfait.

We left without dessert, simply because we couldn’t fathom the idea of trying to fit it in. We’d done a good job and it was time to go. Walking through Flinders Lane, on our way home I looked into each of the restaurants we passed. Coda looked utterly cosy, Supernormal was packed to the brim and it made me appreciate how many wonderful spots we have here in Melbourne. It’s an amazing city, one that I love and when food is your passion – you could almost say you’re already in heaven. 

Lucy Liu
23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne,
VIC 3000

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ATTENDS THE RACHEL ZOE BUSINESS CHICKS LUNCH IN MELBOURNE



Thursday was one of those days that you would be happy to relive over and over again. It had been a day that alot of people were looking forward to and as such the excitement that everyone was feeling was so electric, that it could have lit up the entire city. You see, Rachel Zoe, the uber successful fashion stylist, author, entrepreneur, author, wife and mother (to name but a few of the very stylish hats she wears) was in Australia this week to travel along the eastern seaboard as a guest of Business Chicks to speak about all things fashion, business and family to hundreds of men and women in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 


I had been invited by my lovely friend Megan to the event, along with Martina, who is the Marketing Director of Megan's little empire and two of the funniest people you could ever meet. Jumping in our taxi to the event, there was both an equal measure of nerves and excitement for the afternoon ahead. You see, Megan had created an amazing illustration of Rachel, which was going to be given to her at the event and grabbing a sneak peak on the way there; I think it was easy to presume Rachel was going to go B-A-N-A-N-A-S once she saw it. 


We arrived a little bit early to the event, which was super for us as we were able to take some great photos of the stage and with Rachel's giant initials all lit up, the girls at Business Chicks had really done a great job in creating a fashionable setting for who many consider the worlds most fashionable woman. 

So what exactly is Business Chicks you might ask?




Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded women together – to give them a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They’re a tribe of explorers, a band of big thinkers and they believe that together, women can shine even more brightly than they do as individuals. What unites the organisation is their shared passion for ideas, their lust for creativity, their boldness, curiosity and generosity.


Being a Business Chick member means you’re part of an unstoppable force and together, you learn, grow, challenge yourself and hopefully kick ass. They have become famous for their events, which allow their members to rub shoulders with all sorts of characters from around the world, from Sir Richard Branson through to Diane von Furstenberg, Ita Buttrose, Julia Gillard, Michelle Bridges, Dr Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Sir Bob Geldof and Seth Godin. On top of that they have a buzzing online network, where members can connect, collaborate and pick each other’s brains – and they even publish a glossy mag, Latte, just for their members. They're quite a force and it was fantastic to finally meet Emma, the CEO of the organisation and her team who were absolutely lovely. 

Megan, Martina and I had prime table real estate at the VIP table along with Emma. Joining us at the the table just as Rachel took to the stage was Rachel's husband Roger Berman who starred alongside his wife in the Bravo show The Rachel Zoe Project. With a rapturous welcome, Rachel sparkled in a sequin jacket, a stunning pair of flared trousers and the highest heels I have ever seen. Yes, you got it, she looked MAJ.



It was absolutely crazy to have watched this woman for several years on TV, seen her in countless magazines and now she was sitting mere meter’s away from our table. The talk seemed to go by in a blip and it was clear that every single person in the venue was gripped to every singe word Rachel said. Some have asked me what was she like and I tell them that she is exactly how she is on TV. One hundred percent. She was beautiful, funny and intelligent and whilst she may live a life none of us will ever know, she was incredibly humble and down to earth. 

When Rachel rocked up onto the stage, she was instantly drawn to the framed illustration Megan has done of her. So where the hundreds of people that came to the event. Instagram was buzzing with photos of the illustration and when the moment came for Megan to walk on stage and present Rachel with the original, the look on Rachel's face was priceless. I am just so thankful that Martina was quick enough to get a photo of it. Even Roger was stuck for words and when Megan sat back down he couldn't thank her enough. It was a beautiful moment. Check out the illustration below. 



If I learned anything from Rachel that afternoon, it’s that life is very short. You have to seize every opportunity that comes your way and if like me you have a vision of the way that you want your life - go after it and never give up. Rachel spoke about being the person YOU want to be and not the person that others expect or want you to be. If you want to be successful in business you don't have to be ruthless or hard. You CAN be nice and successful. But most importantly, to go with your gut is the best advice she could give. Don't ignore it, embrace it. 



Our lunch ended with a mini debrief of the afternoon with some of the most glamorous women in Melbourne. Real Housewives of Melbourne Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello, Sarah Jane Young of the blog She Is, Sarah Jane, Megan, Martina and I all huddled together talking about all the best bits of the afternoon. 

You can all bet we were all in love with the Zoe. 

For more information click on Rachel Zoe, Business Chicks and Megan Hess Illustration just click on the links. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE PAUL SMITH X LED ZEPPELIN SCARF COLLECTION AVAILABLE FROM TODAY


To mark the launch of the first phase of newly re-mastered versions of Led Zeppelin's nine studio albums, the band have collaborated with Paul Smith to produce a series of exceptional limited edition scarves to be sold exclusively in-store and online. The design of the artwork for the first three releases – "Led Zeppelin", "Led Zeppelin II" and "Led Zeppelin III" – has been reinterpreted on three different scarves each measuring 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres. Images from the soon to be released "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses of the Holy" have been jacquardwoven onto two further scarves and a brand new spectacular design has been created for the sixth scarf. No expense has been spared in the methods used and the fabrics employed to produce these extraordinary items, each of which will be available in a limited edition of 50. 



The scarves will be available to purchase exclusively from PaulSmith.co.uk and from Paul Smith Albemarle Street London from today.  

WINTOUR&GUINNESS BRUNCHES AT JARDIN TAN & HITS UP THE JEAN PAUL GAULTIER EXHIBITION AT MELBOURNE'S NGV


Last Saturday I decided to meet up with a friend of mine, Jasmine; for brunch and a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria for The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier, which recently opened. The NGV is located on St. Kilda Road, quite close to the city so there we a multitude of brunch options for us to choose from. It ended up being a toss up between The Kettle Black in South Melbourne and Jardin Tan, which is located at the entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens. As neither of us had been to Jardin Tan before, we decided to check it out. 

Getting off the '1' tram from Albert Park, it hadn’t occurred to me that the walk from the NGV to Jardin Tan was a little longer than I initially thought, so when I arrived I immediately grabbed a fresh homemade strawberry sparkling water. Jas arrived a few minutes later and after what seemed like an hour of chatting between us and three attempts by the waiter to take our order, we finally decided on some share dishes from the main menu as breakfast had finished at 11.30. Yes Melbourne you read that correct, Jardin Tan finishes breakfast at 11.30. I personally don’t know anywhere that finishes breakfast before 2pm in this city so whoever made that decision needs a good speaking to.

The cafe itself is large and quite open, so I opted for a table in the courtyard out back. It was a beautiful day, if not a tad overcast – but beautiful nonetheless. We started off with some coffees, which came out exactly how we wanted them; mine was nice and hot just how I like it. We ordered the Chả cá chiên giòn, which is prawn & sweet potato fritters, finished with a green chili pickle on the side. Next we ordered the Bánh xèo, which is a Pork, shrimp and bean sprout mix encased in a crispy pancake. The dish came with large iceberg lettuce leaves and coriander and I enjoyed breaking bits of the pancake off and wrapping it all up with some spicy sauce. Delicious. Along with a Vietnamese slaw, our last dish was the Gà chiên. Fried pieces of chicken, accompanied with Jardin Tan's firecracker sauce. These were scrumptious, more-ish and were given a real hot kick when dipped in the firecracker sauce.


The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk features more than 140 ensembles with accessories, both from the designer’s couture collections and his retail offerings. Created between 1970 and 2014, these pieces, as well as many other objects included in the display, have for the most part never been exhibited before. 

The exhibition celebrates the designer’s daring inventiveness and cutting-edge style through seven themes tracing influences on his creative development, from the streets of Paris to the world of science fiction. Fashion photography is also a major focus of attention, thanks to loans from contemporary photographers and renowned artists of both the artist and his work. 

The exhibit is broken into seven distinct sections entitled Odyssey, The Boudoir, Punk Cancan, Skin Deep, Metropolis, Urban Jungle and Muses. Each section was housed in its own separate room and each was designed with the Gaultier aesthetic in mind. Odyssey was all about Gaultiers childhood influences. The Boudoir was influenced by his time spent around strong women and these pieces are heavily influenced by the art of corsetry. Punk Cancan was all about the influences of inner city Paris and London in the seventies. The raw side of punk, with its Mohawk haircuts, almost tribal makeup, allusions to sex, torn fishnet stockings, black, kilts, bondage straps, mixing of genders and materials spoke to Gaultier more than the strict conventions of couture in Paris.

Skin Deep focuses on his work from the early 1980s, where he began introducing a diversity of genres, 
a wide range of looks that encompassed even the hypersexualised and the transgendered. As a child who had suffered from his 'different' sexual identity, he offered one and all the freedom to choose their own identity. 

My excellent iPhone died just after we moved onto Metropolis, which is a shame as the entire exhibit is one giant camera friendly experience. Metropolis was all about the late 1970s and how Gaultier borrowed from the realms of science fiction and the emerging sounds of new wave and house music. He stayed ahead of the fashion pack by introducing high-tech materials such as vinyl, lycra and neoprene to his ready to wear collections.


Urban Jungle was probably the section that really got people in and around the clothes. It was a larger space and was all about the multiculturalism that Gaultier wanted to inject into the world of fashion. It lead onto what was probably my favourite section of the exhibit, Muses; which showcased some of his best red carport designs. Worn by the likes of Cate Blanchet and Nicole Kidman, it was a stunning way to end what was a spectacular exhibit.

National Gallery Of Victoria
180 St. Kilda Road,
Melbourne,
VIC 3000
www.ngv.vic.gov.au 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA FEATURING BLAKE LIVELY


This month see's Blake Lively take prime position on the cover of Vogue Australia's November issue. Utilizing the Mario Testino shoot that was used in the August issue of the US edition, Lively discusses everything from her marriage to Ryan Reynolds, her love of Martha Stewart, to her recently launched eCommerce & content driven website, Perserve. Its a fantastic issue and once I have been devouring over the last week.

Friday, October 3, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS GWYNETH PALTROW BY INTERNATIONAL FASHION ILLUSTRATOR MEGAN HESS

So I've been keeping this one a big secret for a few weeks now but I am so glad to be able to share with you that my pal and the sensational Fashion Illustrator and Author Megan Hess has been working with one of my favourite actors and bloggers, Gwyneth Paltrow on a new range of illustrations for Paltrow's partnership with Blo Blow Dry Bars in the US. 

The image was used to launch a partnership between Blo Blow Dry Bar, celebrity hairstylist David Babaii and Paltrow, to communicate Blo’s ‘new vision'. The popular chain of blowout bars, of which there are over 45 in the U.S., Canada and the Philippines, announced its partnership with Paltrow and Babaii, who are close friends, back in May. 

I recently popped this image on the Wintour&Guinness Instagram page and I've had tonnes of people come up to me over the last few days commenting about how amazing the piece is. This is one collaboration I am looking forward to seeing more of in the near future. 

For more information on Blo Blow Dry Bars make sure to click through here to the companies website. 

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF MARIE CLAIRE AUSTRALIA FEATURING "AUSTRALIA'S NEXT TOP MODEL" ROBYN LAWLEY

Truth be told, I have given Marie Claire Australia a rather tough time over the last few years and with good reason. The magazine has really been a poor cousin to the American and British editions and for me the Aussie edition is filled far too much with beauty editorial that is obviously included to keep advertisers happy. Flicking through three years worth of issues last weekend, there really wasn't that much that blew me away, which was surprising considering its popularity in Australia. It doesn't excite me the way, lets say Harper's BAZAAR or Vogue Australia do each month and I rarely if ever get excited by their covers. That was until I received this months issue and was blown away by how amazing Robyn Lawley looked. One of the things that I want from an Australian magazine each month is editorial and a cover that screams Australia to me. I don't want to keep seeing American actresses on the cover when its an Australian magazine and this month, what with the summer months approaching; Lawley perfectly exemplifies what I think about when I think about the summer months spent down under. Make sure to grab a copy this month to check out the wonderful photo shoot which accompanies an interview between Lawley and Marie Claire editor Jackie Frank.

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