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The Australian Five Present Their Collections in New York City

January 28th, 2012

Five of Australia’s most promising young designers showcased their collections on Thursday, at a private cocktail event held at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. It was an opportunity for the five designers: Michael Lo Sordo, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velevska, Christopher Esber and Kym Ellery to showcase their Fall/Winter collections to U.S. buyers and press.

New York’s top tier press and fashion industry executives viewed the presentation, which was the culmination of The Australian Five program – a joint effort of Woolmark and the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation (AINYFF). The program was part of G’Day USA – an annual initiative designed to promote Australian business in the USA.

“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York‟s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough. “The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market,” says Rob Langtry, Global Marketing Director of The Woolmark Company.

At the cocktail event were AINYFF’s Malcolm Carfrae, Richard Christianson and Julie Anne Quay; Victoria‟s Secret model Shanina Shaik, daughter of the former Australian Prime Minister Katherine Keating, Aussie actor Emma Lung, photographer Sante D‟Orazio, Argentinian model and “It girl‟ Tati Cotliar and Calvin Klein designer Kevin Carrigan.

Check out all of the photos below.

Adrian Erdedi

The Australian Five – G’Day USA 2012

January 12th, 2012

The Woolmark Company, in partnership with the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation, recently announced The Australian Five initiative in New York City.

Five of Australia’s most talented fashion designers – Christopher Esber, Fernando Frisoni, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velveska and recent SOYA winner, Michael Lo Sordo are taking their incredible collections to New York City for a unique program at the Crosby Street Hotel on January 24th to 27th. The program is part of the G’Day USA initiative – an annual program designed to showcase Australian business capabilities in the USA – Australia’s largest trading and investment partner.

“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York’s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough.

“The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market, and to the important role expatriate Australians play is spreading the word to international markets of some of our unique talent and products”, says Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of The Woolmark Company.

“This is a unique opportunity for New York opinion formers to view the work of five talented young Australian fashion designers in a very intimate and close-up setting, meet the designers and really see the fabric innovation and design skill” added Malcolm Carfrae, Co Founder of the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation.

The program will present a multitude of opportunities for the designers to forge relationships with key members of the American fashion industry. Beginning with an educational seminar hosted at the Australian Consulate, industry greats such as Harper’s Bazaar USA Editor-at-Large Brana Wolf and Features/Special Projects Director Laura Brown, Founder and Creative Director of Chandelier Creative Richard Christianson, V Magazine and AINYFF’s Julie Anne Quay and Malcolm Carfrae (also Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein). This incredibly influential people will be some of the many experts on hand to guide these designers towards their dream of cracking the lucrative US market. The program will culminate with an exclusive cocktail party and live model presentation on January 26 at the Crosby Street Hotel.

Nancy Pilcher (Editorial Director-At-Large, Conde Nast Asia Pacific) is taking on the role as mentor, assisting the designers to present their brands flawlessly to the US market.

G’day USA celebrations are managed and produced annually by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Australian Trade Commission, Tourism Australia, Qantas Airways and the State Governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. DHL will support The Australian Five through preparing them with high quality, reliable export and import services.

www.merino.com // www.ainyff.org // www.australia-week.com // www.wool.com.au

MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Fernando Frisoni


Fernando Frisoni AW12/13 is based around ideas of strength, versatility and competitive instinct. The collection, titled Stadium, draws reference from the functionality and form seen in the sports arena.

Designs brought to life by a rich wool textures, effortlessly and a sexy and considerate take on the luxury sport aesthetic resulting in garments which are both chic and highly wearable.  The collection stays true to the Fernando Frisoni philosophy which encapsulates casual sophistication whilst celebrating minimalism and uncomplicated silhouettes.

Magdalena Velevska


Magdalena Velevska’s AW12/13 collection has been designed and driven through the use of innovative textiles, and applying these in contemporary yet wearable ways.

Sequin wool felting is a feature of this collection. A felting technique is used to connect a fine Merino wool jersey with silk georgette which swiftly provides a unique sequin shine. The fabric is than further embellished to add spark and take the development out of an androgynous feel into a luxurious territory.

Five pieces of extraordinary knitwear made from 100% merino wool yet look like intricate lace are a feature of Velevska’s AW12/13 collection.

The knitwear is three dimensional in texture and uses a blend of two different yarns to achieve the unique effect – one flat and smooth, the other more textured and bulky.

Michael Lo Sordo


Michael Lo Sordo’s AW12/13 collection, ‘Gold Rush,’ is comprised of a sophisticated colour palette - black, midnight blue, olive, cognac and of course gold.

The finest of merino wool’s is set alongside boiled wool and felts, waxed silks and viscose, soft nappa leather – all creating dynamic changes in appearance and feel.

Lo Sordo has also developed by hand a state-of-the-art foiling technique – using wool’s inherent property to absorb heat, gold is manipulated into the wool fabric with heat, creating an imperfect but yet perfect design finish. Rare manual finishing techniques and creative uses of multiple textiles is a signature of Lo Sordo’s that shows the utmost innovation, and understanding of modern style.

Christopher Esber


AW12/13 for Christopher Esber is all about examining the essence of couture shapes, about looking at the points on the body where volume sits then contouring other areas to give a sense of dynamic, sports inspired, panelling and a rapid sense of urgency.

AW12/13 see’s Esber play with a woven wool and mohair fabric that brings texture and drama into the pieces and also features bonding of wool felts onto leathers for reversible classic pieces from outerwear to the staple dress.

Kym Ellery

Ellery AW12/13 is filled with a multitude if aesthetic wonders.

As the seasons have ticked by, so have the challenges that Ellery has adopted to give the range a touch of something thoughtful and intriguing. Time after time Ellery has mastered many different techniques which cross the boundaries of conventional garment design.

AW12/13 brings a new masterpiece to the fore with an exciting relationship forged between fine Australian Merino wool and lurex to create knits which enchant and devour the body. This intricate knitted fabric is then put through a fusing process to bond it to the inside of leather so that the garments are fabric lined and feel luxurious next to the skin.

www.AdrianErdedi.com

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Chiva-Som Thailand – Haven Of Life

June 13th, 2011

Recently I had a taste of Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort on our very own soil at the Crown Metropol in Melbourne. My experience was nothing short of heaven on earth.

But what exactly is Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort all about?

You could quite easily describe Chiva-Som in Thailand is a place to go if you want to experience peace, tranquility, luxury, comfort, and complete titillation of every single one of your senses. Not to mention it’s key benefit – redefining, rediscovering, healing and cleansing the body, mind and soul.

Chiva-Som is quite possibly one of the only places on earth that have mastered the art of taking the human body on a journey of relaxtion, rest, stimulation, health, detox and wellness. It’s quite simply a health resort, but there is nothing simple about it – there is a reason why is it the best in the world. The proof it is the best in earth? Well Chiva-Som is the only spa to consistently appear in the top 3 of the Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Reader’s Travel Awards. Now if that doesn’t say best on earth – not sure what does!

Chiva-Som has just celebrated 15 successful years and is located in the Royal city of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand, 185 kilometres south of Bangkok. Nestled within seven acres of luscious tropical gardens, the beachfront health resort captures all of those airborne positive ions to begin the rejuvenating process.

There are 58 rooms within the grounds, from charming studios, through to the large and spacious fully contained Thai Pavilions which has everything from a ocean view jacuzzi to a private butler.

With over 200 treatments available, in addition to the 70 treatment rooms, the resort facilities comprise a kinesis studio, gym, watsu pool, flotation pool, large outdoor swimming pool, bathing pavilion with kneipp bath, sauna, steam, jacuzzi, and indoor swimming pool.

So what treatments are available? Well think of it and Chiva-Som most likely has it. Natural healing, physiotherapy, stress release therapy, kinesis, Thai boxing, Abhyanga, Tai Chi, Chi Nei Tsang, meditation, detoxification, weight management, inner peace, physical renewal, oriental therapies plus so much more which would take forever to list!

Now health and wellness isn’t just about what I’ve listed above. It’s not just about yoga or massages, but it’s about food. What goes into your body shows through the skin.

Indulging yourself in our award-winning Spa cuisine is easy. But indulging in organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden is even easier, proving that low calorie, nutritious food can truly be a gourmet experience. Enjoy the elegance of fine dining in the Emerald Room or relax outdoors and the Taste of Siam restaurant by the sea.

Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat joined Chiva-Som in 2003 fusing his background of Thai and European cuisine with a philosophy of health and nutrition. His popular signature dishes draw people to Chiva-Som from all over the world, and I feel very privileged that I had the chance to taste these dishes for myself, prepared by the master himself right here in Australia.

No matter what it is you are wanting to achieve or gain, there are many different packages available to suit your needs – or create your own. It’s no wonder Chiva-Som is a “Haven of Life”.

For more information, please visit www.TravelTheWorld.com.au

Chiva-Som At ISIKA – Crown Metropol Experience. Bliss.

May 16th, 2011

I recently had one of the most luxurious experiences, where I was pampered and traveled down a path of culinary perfection.

It was a taste of Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort at ISIKA Day Spa at the Crown Metropol, Melbourne. Chiva-Som joined ISIKA only for a limited time, so that a piece of the resort could be experienced here in Australia.

Chiva-Som Resort brought their skills and their therapists from Thailand to Melbourne to treat and spoil visitors of the ISIKA Day Spa, with a collection of treatments – from heavenly massages to more intense physiotherapy. Although it’s not their entire range of treatments, it gave an insight into the skill these masters have.


But not only did they bring their therapists to indulge the guests, they brought the Chiva-Som Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat – who created a mind blowing meal, not only unique and carefully designed, but extremely healthy by eliminating sugar, salt and oil.

So I think I should go back and tell you about my experience, right from the beginning.

I arrived at the Crown Metropol in Melbourne and greeted by the lovely concierge, directing me to the reception. “Mr. Erdedi, welcome to Crown Metropol, you are staying in the Health Retreat suite on level 26…”. It sounded very impressive. I gathered my luggage and made my way to the lift to go to the private section on level 26, which is not accessible to people staying in the normal rooms at the Metropol. Already, I was feeling a sense of exclusivity, but also seclusion.


I opened the door to my room and infront of me was a delicate room, with beautiful fixtures, neutrally toned calming colour scheme and floor to ceiling glass, with views over Melbourne CBD. I was in heaven. But in actual fact – heaven had not even begun.

I had time to drop my luggage, have a cup of herbal tea and get ready to go upstairs to level 27 for my treatments at ISIKA, by the Chiva-Som therapists.


Waiting in the retreat lounge, with a cup of aromatic herbal tea, it slowed down the heart rate, calmed my nerves and helped me tune out a little, so I could take in every little bit of my first treatment – a Deep Tissue Massage. My very kind Chiva-Som therapist guided me through to the treatment room, which smelt pleasant, lighting was dim and sounds of the forest in the background. I had stepped into my boudoir for the next couple of hours.


I got comfortable in privacy and comfort, and got ready to relax and be taken on a journey of experience, tradition and health rejuvenation. Using oils, my deep tissue massage began. And this is when I slowly drifted away… After some time, I woke up and turned over. It was time to do it all again, but on my front side. And again… I drifted away.

One hour later, I felt light. Refreshed. Somehow all of my tension diminished and I felt on top of the world.

The experience wasn’t over just yet.

Next up, another gracious therapist came into the room to give me my Chiva-Som Haven Body Polish. No Kenco chamois or sponges to be found. This is luxury. Chiva-Som body scrub was applied limb by limb and rubbed into my skin. Removing the impurities from my entire body. Smoothing the skin and stimulating cell growth. After a wash in my private shower, I was laying down again, having my body moisturised and nourished.

I can’t remember the last time my body felt immaculate.


After I had a nap, I went for a swim in the heated indoor infinity lap pool on level 27, a quick chill in the vitality pool and then 15 minutes in the steam room – all before I got ready for my superb Chiva-Som dinner.

Welcomed to the indulgent level 28 restaurant, ironically named ’28′, a detox cocktail was handed to me and I was taken to my seat which the place setting was gleaming.

If there’s one thing the Crown Metropol has perfected, it’s quality and service.

Chiva-Som Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat prepared a meal beyond culinary heights.


 

Courses served up from the Chiva-Som menu included Thai specialties such as seared scallop, quinoa tabbouleh, mushroom confit and beetroot vinaigrette, black cod baked in mustard with lentil dhal, tamarind and mango chutney. For dessert, a poached pear which was absolutely beautiful and lightly sweetened – without any sugar. Every one of Paisarn’s dishes he has created for the mind, body and soul. So no salt, oils or sugar is used in any of his dishes. He uses natural and healthy ingredients to use instead.


After some exceptional wines, great conversation and a short stroll to my suite, I retired for the night.

Waking up the next morning was hard. It was probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I honestly slept in the same position all night, without one single bit of back pain. I normally wake up in the morning stiff and with my joints cracking, but these beds at the Crown Metropol are simply amazing!

It was back up to the restaurant for breakfast. Now I don’t quite know how to describe it. Maybe in three words? VARIETY. INCREDIBLE. ORGANIC? Or maybe FRESH. CHOICE. UNFORGETTABLE? I can’t choose the words to describe the buffet breakfast at the Metropol, but one thing I know is that it’s by far the best one I have ever had in Australia. I’ve been to many resorts nationally, B&B’s, hotels, Day Spa’s, retreats and lodges, but none of them can compare to that of the one at the Crown Metropol. MAGNIFICENT.


So you are probably wondering what this article is about? Is it about Chiva-Som? ISIKA Day Spa? Or is it about the Crown Metropol? Well let me wrap this up for you…

Chiva-Som is no longer available here in Australia for you to try, BUT the REAL Chiva-Som is only a short flight away in Thailand, where the experience will surpass anything you could every expect and experience in your life. There is definately a reason why the likes of Elle McPherson, Dannii Minogue, Megan Gale, Kylie Minogue and Madonna visit this place annually.


ISIKA Day Spa is one of the the most luxurious day spa’s in the country, with an extensive menu to make your choice tough and therapists who know exactly what they are doing and how to look after you and your body.


Crown Metropol is clearly the leading hotel in Melbourne, with incredible choice for the palate, exceptionally well designed with the guests senses as a priority and service which cannot be matched.


These are the 3 reasons why I wrote this article – and these are the 3 reasons why I would do it all over again – no matter how much it costs.

Chiva-Som: www.TravelTheWorld.com.au

Hotel: www.CrownMetropol.com.au

ISIKA: www.crownmelbourne.com.au/spas/isika-day-spa .

For full information on Chiva-Som Thailand, please stay tuned tomorrow…

Where Would I Rather Be? The Cullen Hotel – Prahran – Melbourne

November 12th, 2010

Where would I rather be?

The Cullen Hotel in Melbourne of course.

Oh hang on… I am at The Cullen Hotel in Prahran, Melbourne right now enjoying the complete fabulousness of this place!

I once would only stay at a 5 star hotel right in the heart of Melbourne every time I’d visit, till I finally thought I’d try something a little different outside of the city, in the heart of the trendy, slightly bohemian yet up-market Prahran.

I’d drive past The Cullen as it was being built only a couple of years ago, wondering what the monstrosity across the road from the Prahran markets would be. What was being built was an artistic, luxurious, warm, welcoming and eccentrically designed hotel which was featured in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller US Hot List.

The entire hotel is inspired by the artwork of Adam Cullen. Bright, colourful and peculiar is what you could describe the artwork and the imagination of this talented man. Adam Cullen combines irreverent humour with an astute sensitivity to society.

From the moment I walk through the glass doors, past the two life sized Adam Cullen mosaic cows in the foyer, I realise I am somewhere a little different. A little quirky. A little fearless. Perfectly me.

There is an immediate presence of homely calm. The casual, but very professional staff are just so welcoming. They are young, vibrant, experienced and will do anything to make your stay pleasurable. Each time I have been, I couldn’t have asked for a bunch of nicer people to look after me – it’s really helped make a home away from home for me, especially as I travel so much.

Check-in is easy and quick which is important to me as I normally arrive and just want to get in, drop my bags, have a shower and relax.

The foyer, the void from the top and all the corridors on each floor are covered in fabulous wallpapers and the original artworks of Adam Cullen. The artworks continue on through to the luxury guest suites.

When you open the door to your room, you automatically smile. It’s a bright, happy and pleasant space. It’s clever, sophisticated and designed in the most amazing way to take advantage of space and light and make you feel completely fabulous.

The bathroom is a standout feature for me. Obscured decals with Adam Cullen’s famous Ned Kelly  cover the giant glass walls to the bathroom, creating a sense of discreet and legalised voyeurism with just vague silhouettes showing through. The stunning glossy black mirrored floor tiles, use of mirrors and the large open shower (or bath/spa depending on the room you get) make your time spent in the bathroom pleasurable. Excellent Art Series products are plentiful for your skin, hair, etc.

Luxurious spotless, black carpet lines the floor, crisp white walls and plenty of colourful Adam Cullen paintings line the walls, along with a wall mounted LCD with Foxtel and floor to ceiling mirrors. A fully served kitchenette and dining table complete with Kartell chairs, side tables and lamps. A small library in each room provides hours of colourful reading with books on the art of Adam Cullen, architecture and design.

An iPod docking station is also in every room which is great for me, as I need music everywhere I go, and also have an iPhone and can charge and listen to my favourite songs up loud!

The hotel has everything you need – valet parking, hair salon, gymnasium, Nintendo Wii hire, internet and downstairs there is the famous HuTong Dumpling Bar which is a hot spot for Melbourne locals to dine. If you haven’t already hired a car, hire one of The Cullen’s Smart Cars! Or if you feeling like keeping fit and getting some fresh air, hire a Swedish Kronan bicycle.

The beds are super sumptuous and provide an amazing sleep, while being cocooned in the luxurious Art Series Signature linen.

I love everything about this hotel. The service is impeccable. The class in second to none. The design is divine. The price is right and the location is perfect. If there was somewhere you were going to stay in Melbourne, this would have to be it.

This is where I’d rather be… And I am.

Be sure to check out the website: The Cullen

164 Commercial Road, Prahran - P: +61 3 9098 1555 – E: info@artserieshotels.com.au