Now in its third year, the festival sees thirteen of Canberra’s Latin American embassies joining forces with the amazing chefs at Hyatt Canberra to provide Canberran and inter-state diners with a taste of their culinary treasures this June. For the next three weeks Hyatt is hosting a series of buffet dinners featuring six to eight dishes chosen by each embassy to showcase their country, prepared by executive chef Nitin Kumar and his team in the hotel kitchens. (more…)
Being given the reins to a restaurant is as fun and as thrilling as it sounds. I can’t believe that it took me so long to get myself to a Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test event!
Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test events are legendary in the Canberra food scene, and most people have dined at Sage at some point in their lives. A gorgeous courtyard restaurant tucked away in the Gormon House arts precinct, Sage has been in Canberra for as long as I have and continues to wow patrons with their delectable meals and impeccable service. I have dined at Sage Dining Rooms many times while I have lived in Canberra, and I have loved every meal. It is strange then, that I have never gotten myself organised to attend one of the Taste & Test events that the restaurant holds to gauge public opinion of potential dishes for the next season’s menu.
Honestly, I don’t have a valid excuse. I’ve just never got my act together in time to go. The Taste & Test events are held over a very short period of time and have a cult following, so places sell out fast. This year I was determined to get along to the event, and so with some foresight and planning I booked into the Taste & Test event for the upcoming Autumn/Winter menu not once, but twice.
On Thursday last I picked my friend up and we headed to an early dinner with big appetites and high hopes. The excitement at getting five mystery courses is enough to whet the appetite alone, but then being given free-reign to let your inner critic run rampant all over one of Canberra’s best-loved dining venues was something else. We’re all armchair critics at heart. Who among us doesn’t love to drape themselves across their lounge in their rattiest pair of track pants screaming admonishments at starlets as they walk the red carpet? Or to belittle the technical skills and prowess of Australians aspiring to their culinary dreams in a cooking competition?
If you don’t, you’re dead inside.
Before you proceed – a word of warning. If you are going to attend the Sage Dining Rooms Taste & Test event this year STOP READING RIGHT NOW! Seriously, the surprise is a hugely important part of the evening, so bookmark this post for later and wait until after you have dined. Trust me, you will thank me for this advice later. (more…)
Viktor & Rolf, the Dutch design duo behind some of the most elaborate and awe-inspiring couture pieces of our time, currently have a retrospective of their 25-year collaboration hosted at the National Gallery of Victoria. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I mean, by now every Australian fashion blogger and their dog have commented or reported on the exhibition. Most of my go-to fashionistas had already been, seen and posted about the exhibition before I got the chance to go this weekend past, and so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for.
What I didn’t anticipate, however, was just how much I wouldn’t enjoy the exhibition.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is no debating that the creations are breathtaking in their vision and construction. The genius of the design duo cannot be understated, and the way in which the garments are pieced together shows a real mastery of craftsmanship. I cracked a huge smile seeing the red carpet gown in person (a beautifully sculptural piece crafted from actual carpet), and I was honestly moved seeing pieces in person that I had viewed in magazines and being able to dissect them with my own eyes rather than through someone else’s lens.
However, as someone now in his thirty-first year on this planet, and as someone who is (reluctantly) being drawn into the minimalism movement, I had to stop and ask myself what the cost of these garments (and more over the cost of couture generally) actually is. (more…)
Nomi Kids stole the evening and the hearts of the audience with a surprise showing of their debut collection on closing night of Fashfest 2016. Photo Credit – wearefoundau
Nomi Kids (pronounced know-me) was a surprise to round-out to the final show of Fashfest 2016. It was not billed in any of the Fashfest media, it was completely unannounced, and the first audiences at the National Convention Centre knew of the collection was a cryptic note in the programme announcing that the final designer would be replaced with a heart warming surprise.
And heart warming it was.
I mean, how could your heart not melt at the sight of first-time models being escorted down the runway by Fashfest models to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk? The kids walked in a collection of incredibly modern pieces in a very unexpected colour palette of grey, beige, black and white. There were asymmetrical cuts, perfectly matched accessories and a distinct lack of cutesy characters or messaging. All in all, this was a collection that I would happily peruse for my own wardrobe, just much, much smaller. (more…)
A show that I have looked forward to every year that I have attended Fashfest is Braddon Tailors. Theirs was one of my favourite collections from Fashfest 2015, and knowing how strong a focus designer and CEO Pip Morgan places on the little details such as the selection of fabrics and the emphasis on perfect tailoring I was eager to see what the 2016 show would have for us.
This year Braddon Tailors showed looks in a wash of black and blue. Honestly, for someone who tries to wear 90% blue at any given moment it was sartorial heaven, and very difficult to pick which shade or pattern of blue that I liked best.
I was incredibly excited to see that Suzan Dlouhy would be returning her label SZN to the Fashfest runway this year. As a label SZN is known to many as avant garde styling and a foundation of sustainable design principals, with a focus on simplicity and craftsmanship. SZN produces beautiful, intelligent pieces for a contemporary audience.
Closing out the first show of Saturday night, Spectra, SZN showed a concise collection of unisex looks for Spring/Summer.
The collection utilised almost origami-like construction, with each garment made from a 150cm square piece of fabric. This obviously poses the designer with a variety of challenges, and as a result stimulates the creation of new and interesting tailoring and draping. Constraint has often been utilised by designers in order to stimulate inspiration, and it was clearly successful in this collection. (more…)