Style set kicks off Aussie ski season with snow chic and champagne

AUSTRALIA’S leadings snow resorts officially kicked off their 2015 winter seasons over the long weekend, with some impressive early season conditions.

Partygoers in NSW’s Thredbo included Kate Waterhouse and Luke Ricketson, Sally Bowrey, fashion blogger Nadia Fairfax and Isabella Manfredi, who all revelled in the weekend’s wintry conditions by hitting the slopes and having “workations” from their music and TV projects.

While large parts of Australia’s southeast shivered through the first day of winter, heavy snow falls and subzero temperatures enticed residents in parts of Tasmania, Victoria and NSW to the ski fields.

While the Queen’s birthday long weekend doesn’t often deliver the icy goods — with “après” (after-skiing) fun often more prevalent than snow frolics — the vibe was positive with reports of 30cm of snow hitting some parts of Australia’s ski fields.

Boasting plenty of music, parties and celebrations, more than 2000 guests visitedThredbo, including a flock of fashion bloggers and snow style-meisters who saw The Preatures play a free gig to a huge crowd on Saturday night.

The Cruiser and Gunbarrel chairlifts in Thredbo kicked into operation on Saturday, the earliest they have operated on opening weekend since 2011. Those not skiing were kept warm in après style at the Rekorderlig “Sounds in the Snow” poolside party with Crooked Colours, Red Wine Roses and The Preatures pumping it out.

Families with children played in Thredbo’s free Snow Play Park and joined the Thredboland animals at the kids opening party where children enjoyed dance classes, face painting, Snowy the Clown and a fire show. Oh, and obligatory fireworks.

Early reports had predicted that a cold front was on the horizon, with temperatures well into the subzeros during the nights before the long weekend as snow-making teams were kept hard at work, turning Thredbo into a new season of skiing.

Diners included fashion bloggers Kate Waterhouse, Sara Donaldson and Nadia Fairfax, who where shooting a snow episode of their Fashion Bloggers TV series. Meanwhile, those needing to unwind after a weekend of skiing, snowboarding and partying were looked after at the pub bistro recovery party in the Thredbo Alpine Hotel.

Thredbo was awarded best ski resort in the 2014 Australian Traveller’s People’s Choice awards while it also holds the mantle as the best Australian and New Zealand Family Ski Resort in the Out & About With Kids 2014 awards and Best Australian Ski Resort in the prestigious Luxury Travel Magazine 2014 Gold List Awards. The place must be doing something right…

Melissa Hoyer attempted to resurrect her ski legs as a guest of Thredbo.

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An indigenous smoking ceremony & ceremonial foot scrub used as part of a new cult beauty facial.

A SMOKING ceremony and a ritual foot soak may not be your standard precursor to a ‘facial’ but in an exotic spa on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, that’s how they do these kinds of things.

Instead of the usual ‘let’s chuck on a few creams and pat them around your face’, something called a Dihlbi bioactive facial has its roots in parts of our indigenous culture. And that isn’t just some branding pitch.

In respect and honour of the indigenous people of Australia who shared their knowledge and wisdom with the Lit’ya brand, who have created this Dihlbi facial (which means early morning dew) the products take a ‘tread lightly’ approach to the environment.

They feature organic ingredients, essential oils, have no synthetics and have not been tested on animals. The latest innovation also has bioactive formulas including banksia flower, Kakadu plum and native Fragonia.

According to Lit’ya’s global trainer, Daniel Hayward, ‘the skin is supported at a cellular level with an age-defying serum targeting a visible signs of ageing and an intensive mask is applied to reduce inflammation and stimulates cell renewal,’ says Daniel as he light up the leaves as the smoking ceremony begins.

Sure, but does all of this actually work?

“Needless to say all of the treatments start with a traditional smoking ceremony where leaves are lit and wafted around the room while your feet sit in a silver bucket of warm water that is also used and filled with leaves.”

A smoking ceremony is an ancient custom among indigenous Australians that involves burning various native plants to produce smoke, which is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.

After the rituals, the face magic begins.

Interestingly, the remote location of Kangaroo Island also fits in with the whole philosophy of the brand. Just a 20 minute flight from Adelaide, it is renowned for its rugged, wild and often unpredictable terrain and seems the perfect precinct for some serious pampering.

The jewel in the accommodation crown (and our digs for our night of product testing) is the Southern Ocean Lodge, the much-lauded 21-room/lodge hotel with dramatic coastal views. The design of the hotel enhances the existing landscape, as opposed to it being an eyesore.

The Lodge reeks of understated, barefoot luxury and with no TV (winner!) and one of the coolest spa positions ever. As you can see, it is seriously sensational.

Built by a Kanga Island native and renowned architect Max Prichard, and run by the Baillie group of ‘luxe’ lodges (which include longitude 131 in Uluru and Capella lodge on Lord Howe Island) Mr Pritchard has made sure his work fits into the landscape beautifully.

With just 4500 inhabitants scattered over 4500 thousand square kilometres, animal life (including many beautiful sea lions lining the bays and beaches) well and truly over overshadows human life let alone the seemingly 10:1 who work at the lodge.

There is hardly a human to be seen or heard — just pounding waves — as my face got the Dihlbi treatments, which happens to be the first in a series of three new ‘high performance’ facials from the brand.

Yes. I get slathered. And I snore as the intensive bi-phase mask is applied and left to do its thing before a serum (that you can buy) is then applied.

And the results? In all honesty, my skin did feel dewy and plumped up and hey, I didn’t even have to wear foundation for a couple of days. And for me, coupled with one of the most exquisite locations to have a facial, that made the exquisite journey worth single every minute.

Now with 100 spas around the world already using the Australian-made luxe (and affordable, I might add) products, it’s no wonder the name Lit’ya name is starting to kick off internationally.

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Ian Thorpe part of the country’s Fab 400, gathered to raise a mega $1.4m for sick kids

GOLD is a colour Ian Thorpie is used to in his life.

But this time Thorpie chose to go for gold in a philanthropic sense, lending his support, profile and star power to the country’s most prestigious fundraising event for sick kids.

The $1500 per head event had more than 400 invited guests gather to celebrate the 18th Annual Gold Dinner in support of the sick kids at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

In grand ‘Gold Dinner’ style, the landmark building was transformed for the evening, spectacularly ‘wallpapered’ in 10 metre high heritage panoramic wallpaper depicting the voyages of Captain Cook.

The images, Les Sauvages de la mer Pacifique, were a gift from the National Gallery of Australia to the hospital to facilitate an extraordinary art installation that was directed by Tony Assness.

With a guest list featuring a who’s who, the Gold Dinner has raised more than $18 million during the past 17 years and now has just about hit the $20 million mark.

Funds raised from this year’s event will provide new Fellowships in four specialised areas of paediatric medicine during the next two years: Pain and Palliative Care, General Surgery, Oncology and Emergency.

A Fellowship is awarded competitively to a doctor already extensively trained in pediatrics, who elects to enter further specialised training in a particular field of paediatric medicine.

This year’s event attracted a stellar crowd including John Symond and Amber Keating, Skye Leckie, Sarah and Robby Ingham, Kelly Landry and Anthony Bell, Scott and Alina Barlow, Justin Miller, Tom and Hoda Waterhouse, Neil and Sam Perry and Clare Paspaley.

There was also Kirsten Carriol and Jean Marc Carriol, Kirsten and Brad Dale, Philip Corne, Nicky and Troy Tindill, Deborah Symond and her brother Stephen Symond.

Meanwhile, the night was hosted by Channel 9’s Allison Langdon and Cameron Williams.

Guests sipped on an antipodean-inspired menu specially designed and donated by Matt Moran and his team at Aria Catering, complemented with drinks by Bollinger and Lion and bid on money-can’t-buy prizes from supporters like Louis Vuitton, Paspaley, One & Only Resorts and Etihad, auctioned by the inimitable Justin Miller.

Gold Dinner committee co-chairs Nikki McCullagh and Chrissy Comino, alongside Gold Dinner Ambassadors Skye Leckie and Lucy Turnbull led the committee to put together the annual event.

The Gold Dinner committee included Alina Barlow, Roslyn Hakim, Rachelle Hofbauer, Sara Lane, Wallis Graham, Vogue’s Edwina McCann and Adriana Weiss while corporate ambassadors, Laing & Simmons Double Bay and Bondi Beach, One & Only and Servcorp were pleased with the funds raised on the night.

The Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Leanne Warner: “Our Fellowship Program identifies and nurtures excellence, education, vision and innovation and acts as a springboard for Australia’s brightest and best doctors to specialise in their chosen field,’’ she said.

“Fellows deliver immediate clinical impact to their Departments, drive research projects and help to keep our Hospital performing at the highest levels. An investment in our Fellowship Program creates a lasting legacy for the future of children’s healthcare.”

Great, gold stuff all around!

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TOPSHOP is excited to announce the KENDALL + KYLIE collection will be sold exclusively at TOPSHOP stores worldwide and on TOPSHOP.COM from June 2015.

Designed by sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner; the collection presents a youthful, contemporary capsule summer wardrobe, characterised by the girls' LA lifestyle and their modern, eclectic design aesthetic. Showcasing their two distinct styles, the collection combines Kendall and Kylie’s unique fashion sense with premium fabrics and modern silhouettes, to create a range of essential summer pieces.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner comment; "We are so excited to see our collection in TOPSHOP - it is the perfect place to capture the energy and aesthetic of our designs. When working on the inspiration, we very much wanted to capture the essence of our own lifestyles and create pieces that would fit perfectly into our wardrobes. We hope you have as much fun wearing the collection as we did designing it!"

The collection comprises vintage shapes in Hawaiian prints and bold slogan jerseys that sit alongside distressed denim and blouson tops. Sophisticated, sleek duster coats, sheer wide leg trousers and layered maxi dresses complete the look.

Kendall and Kylie share a unique and very personal relationship with their online following, the summer collection offers the customer an insight into the girls’ original flair and style. The brand is an exciting addition to TOPSHOP concessions and will resonate with the TOPSHOP customer the world over.

The genius idea to stop us binge drinking

GOING from fashions on the field to falling over drunk at the end of the day, shoes in hand seems like a pretty typical day at the races.

But the days of having a few too many might be over, if the principal behind a sold-out event in New York takes off.

Polo-loving New Yorkers gathered over the weekend to enjoy the 8th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo in the Park — with the star-studded crowd enjoying the perfect blue skies.

But the end of the day was just as classy as the beginning, with attendees limited to five drinks.

So how does it work? Guests were given a choice of either ‘buying’ a bottle of champagne or given a wrist band that would allow them to purchase just five glasses of bubbles as the long and hot day progressed.

As event co-hosts, leading Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras and Veuve Clicquot’s Vanessa Kay welcomed 8000 summer-decked out guests to the Park for the Polo Classic.

With amazing views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty serving as the backdrop, guests enjoyed the afternoon complete with a fast-paced polo match, the season’s most stylish fashions and of course, French bubbles.

Always a star-studded event, the Polo Classic was attended by celebrities including Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson, 50 Cent, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Freida Pinto, and Aussie born model Andreja Pecik.

Team Black Watch beat Team Veuve Clicquot 10-7 with Nacho Figueras winning MVP.

In addition to the polo match, the day’s highlights included Girls star and Broadway performer Andrew Rannells’ crowd-pleasing rendition of the National Anthem, the ceremonial ball toss thrown in by Frieda Pinto to kick off the match, Emma Roberts and Joan Smalls stomping the divots during half-time, and bold-faced names having fun on the dance floor listening to the beats of DJ Nikki Pennie.

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