Friday, July 29, 2011


Surry Hills eating spot Berta is rapidly becoming my new favourite for dinner‹helped by the fact that it has the same owners as another old favourite, Vini. It¹s just the kind of Melbourne-style restaurant that you want to find in Sydney. The buzzing, modern space has an Italian-inspired menu that changes daily, but regulars include a chicken liver pâté that is silky smooth and a panacotta that¹s second to none. They also do ³Sagra² seasonal ingredient dinners each week, with a four-course menu designed around one particular ingredient, whether that¹s cavolo nero or chocolate.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vintage fur: to wear or not to wear

The fur debate is one that heats up every winter when we¹re looking for warm, beautiful things to wear. I¹ve made a point of never designing with leather and fur or selling these products in my stores. And of course, I¹m opposed to any form of animal cruelty. (How fantastic was the 4 Corners documentary that lead to the suspension of live cattle trade?)

While I find fur a beautiful thing, it¹s not something that I can justify using in my own designs. Interestingly, I overheard some the girls working in my studio talking the other day: one was wearing a white rabbit fur jacket, and she was trying to convince the other girl that the rabbits are shaved, not killed, for their fur. I had to laugh and said if that makes your decision easier, then go with it. I can appreciate the beauty of a soft fur jacket or scarf, but I can¹t justify creating them.

But for me the line does get blurry when it comes to vintage furs. My PA turned up to a shoot last week wearing a fox jacket bought at Vinnies for $80 ­ and she looked great. To me, it seems a shame to throw out something that an animal has already lost its life for, and is still very useful andŠ wellŠ gorgeous ‹that to me would feel wasteful, which flows into the whole Œuprecycling¹ argument. Surely we should continue to use things for as long as we can?

But, does the wearing of vintage fur coats continue to make them more fashionable, creating greater demand for the farming of animals for their skins? Or should vintage furs be worn and loved and recycled? While I continue to wrestle with this issue, I¹d love to hear your thoughts on the subjects?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Winter Escapes

 I¹m sitting here in the office on a dreary winter¹s day and dreaming of a summer holiday to warm me up. These destinations are currently top of my go-to lists

If you're able to get away to the sun during our winter months, one of my favourite destinations is Mexico¹s Yucatán Peninsula. Added bonus: it¹s only a couple of hours¹ flight from New York. This cool, hip resort has everything you could wish for‹crystalline waters, flighty flamingos, amazing ruins and fantastically fiery food. The Mr & Mrs Smith hotel guides will help you find somewhere fabulous to stay.

Another favourite destination is Galle in Sri Lanka, and the only place to stay while you¹re there is the Amangalla Resort. Of course, I may be biased as it¹s where I went with friends and family to get married a few years ago. Galle is such a special place in the world, and was largely saved from the tsunami by the being a walled city. It's less hectic than India, and the welcome at the Amangalla is as warm as the weather.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Break

Beautiful design books have always inspired me, and I love having them in the studio to flick through when searching for inspiration.

Here are three of my current favourites

Creative Walls is a wonderful interiors book, which shows how to group things together, collect things and display them in your home. That may sound like something very simple, but it¹s truly an art. 

Sibella Court¹s new book The Stylist¹s Guide to New York is like a treasure trove of secret haunts in the Big Apple, from flea markets to posh shops, places off the beaten avenues where you¹ll find intriguing and interesting things for interiors. I¹m even more excited that I¹ll be able to check some of them out when I head to New York this week.

The Selby website is a longtime favourite of mine, full of cool people in cool living spaces. Now we can all take the book home to our own homes‹and pray we don¹t get style envy.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Spring has sprung 'Age of Bohemia'

My new spring collection is starting to drop into stores now, and I wanted to share with you some of my favourite pieces from the collection. I love the relaxed, boho style of these dresses, but also that they¹re still modern. I can just as easily see these thrown over a bikini for a day at the beach or for evening cocktails with a great pair of heels. The white peasant dress will be like having your own cooling system in the heat, while the maxidress with black lace inserts could go from a beachside brunch to a summer garden wedding. Bring on summer, I say.