The GQ Gentlemen’s Ball, Melbourne
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, GQ Australia welcomed guests to The Ormond Collective in Melbourne for its first ever Gentlemen’s Ball. Presented by Penfolds and supported by Harrolds, BMW and Paco Rabanne, the event was hosted by The Project’s Hamish MacDonald and welcomed game-changing Australian men including Earth Hour founder and CEO of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Andy Ridley and Olympic gold medalist Mack Horton.

Teresa Palmer attends the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball. Image credit: Supplied

The evening also saw actress Teresa Palmer, husband Mark Webber and Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Magazine’s editorial director, Edwina McCann take to the stage for a panel discussion on the global HeForShe campaign. Fashion designer Lukas Vincent added that authenticity and compassion will define the next generation of gentlemen during a panel at the ball. He was joined on stage as part of a panel with entrepreneur Jack Delosa, Andy Ridley and Mack Horton, who sat down to chat about what it meant to be a successful, productive gentleman in the social climate 2018 presents.

Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ Magazine editorial director Edwina McCann attends the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball. Image credit: Supplied

When talking about his initial waves of inspiration, the Ex-Infinitas frontman said, “I’m a kid from the peninsula, I was working out of the bedroom of my mother’s house with a single bed. Being a designer, people always want to see authenticity, and that’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. My process was to bring bogan culture to Paris, but in a way that’s more elevated and polished.”

The three course dinner created by Shannon Bennett was followed by an after party where Client Liaison and Kayex played and much dancing went on until the early hours. Guests included supermodel and activist Jarrod Scott, Olympic snowboarder and bronze medalist Scotty James, actor Jackson Gallagher, designer Toni Maticevski and sports stars Cameron McEvoy and Dylan Alcott.

Craig Hall, Lily Sullivan, James Marsden and Sarah Wiseman attend the Westworld party hosted by Foxtel. Image credit: Supplied

Westworld party hosted by Foxtel
James Marsden, who plays Teddy in the hugely successful reboot series of Westworld, zipped into town just in time for the beginning of the second series of the show. The Foxtel-hosted party for Oklahoma-born Marsden, on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art, was a very sleek affair with Foxtel TV faces and quite a few fans on hand as he talked about the series.

Melissa Hoyer, Guy Binder and Amy Cooper attend the Westworld party hosted by Foxtel. Image credit: Supplied

Even though he stars in a high-tech series, he says he keeps his life relatively low-tech, using a landline and driving, wait for it, a manual car. Faces included Patrick Delany, Brian Walsh, Darren Davidson, Stephen Baldwin, Nick Tabakoff and Andrew Hornery.

Inside the launch of A Mother’s Choice. Image credit: Supplied

A Mother’s Choice book launch by Elle Halliwell, Café Sydney
In May 2016 Elle Halliwell, a journalist who I have worked with, was diagnosed with leukemia. It was just a few days after that, she found out she was four weeks pregnant. Halliwell faced one of the most heart-wrenching situations a young woman could ever find herself in as the doctors asked her to choose between terminating her unborn baby and beginning treatment.

Or, continue with the pregnancy and delay effective intervention for her cancer, a course that could lead to her death. This brave mother-to-be chose to keep her baby, what she later came to understand as ‘a mother’s choice’. Elle’s memoir details her illness, her pregnancy, and against all the odds, the ultimate triumph of giving birth to her son, Tor and what a happy and love-fueled launch it was.

Inside the launch of A Mother’s Choice. Image credit: Supplied

Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, Halliwell can’t help but get emotional when talking about her life and when looking at beautiful Tor, everyone couldn’t help but beam. Now on the road to recovery, Halliwell has discovered a new passion for nutrition and a life free from anxiety and despite the physical and emotional pain, she’s more determined than ever to live well and enjoy life to the fullest. A Mother’s Choice is in equal parts moving, compelling and inspiring.

Inside Christopher Hanna’s soft salon opening, Image credit: Supplied

Christopher Hanna’s ‘soft’ salon opening, Sydney
A CBD hair salon with a copper clad bar and a cosmetic clinic has opened. The $3.5 million hair, beauty and lounge bar concept is the first luxury space of its kind and will see customers pampered in a lavish five-star deluxe salon and sophisticated lounge bar where caviar and French champagne go hand-in-hand with tousled curls and cosmetic treatments.

Celebrity hair stylist Christopher Hanna presides over the 24-seat salon featuring Belmont chairs and large handmade black steel mirrors. Exquisite interior design complements the customer experience—from the world’s best barber chairs to Versace wallpaper, marble walls and a $1 million handmade copper bar—CH Sydney is dazzling in its opulence. CH Sydney marks a decade-long dream come true for Hanna and the luxury salon’s co-founders Sam Badawi and Guy Binder.

“We have succeeded in creating the ultimate first-class salon experience,” said Badawi, managing partner of design and construction company SGB Group. “The idea was to combine hair, cosmetic beauty and a lounge bar all under one roof but in a way that had never been done before.  This is a place where people are pampered to the max, feel relaxed, have privacy, and everything just flows from the food to the treatments to the cocktails. Whether you’ve booked in for hair styling or having injectables or laser, we’ve designed it so your husband or your friends can be waiting for you in the bar or lounge—or you can have a drink and fine food while you’re having your hair done.”

Inside Christopher Hanna’s soft salon opening, Image credit: Supplied

CH Sydney nestles inside historic Bridge Street premises now transformed into a chic design space with the help of Sydney’s Melissa Collison and hospitality consultant Mikee Collins. Lavish fittings blend seamlessly with restored heritage features including a dramatic Bunning and Madden 1950s copper sculpture. A sweeping circular staircase leads to a mezzanine and a row of hair basins behind state-of-the-art leather massage chairs.

Plush velvet seating lines the walls of CH Sydney’s sophisticated lounge bar where patrons relax below backlit cabinets displaying one of the finest and largest ranges of premium liquors catering to the most discerning of customers. Nitro Espresso martinis flow from the nitrogen-charged cocktail unit while the elegant bar displays more than 40 different types of whiskies, gins and tequilas along with rum and vodka.

“This is one of the most important heritage buildings in Sydney’s CBD and we are really very proud of what we have achieved here,” says Badawi. “We have created something very special, completely unique and aesthetically pleasing.” Hosted by Tiffany Farrington and VIP Sydney’s Karim Gharbi, industry guests got pampered while sipping French champagne and nibbling on delicious food by New York chefs from The Lucky Bee, Matt and Rupert Noffs. There’s soon to be a grand opening party, so stay tuned.

Inside the MAAS Reigning Men exhibition. Image credit: Supplied

MAAS launches exclusive fashion exhibition: Reigning Men
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) launched its exclusive fashion exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715 – 2015 in partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The cocktail gave guests a preview of Reigning Men, the world’s largest exhibition of men’s fashion featuring some of the world’s most iconic examples of menswear spanning over 300 years and traversing the globe.

Guests including MAAS’ Reigning Men of Sydney ambassadors Justin O’Shea, Kelvin Ho, Roberto Malizia, Benji Hart and Jimmy Niggles and were joined by arts and creative industry peers including Kit Willow, Jenny Kee and Marc Freeman as they took in the exhibition sipping Goldy Gin served by Icebergs Bar.

Inside the MAAS Reigning Men exhibition. Image credit: Supplied

Guests were greeted by a multi-million dollar display of three exclusive Ferrari Tailor Made cars to mark the exhibition’s opening. Two of these cars, never seen on display in Australia before, represented the limited edition capsule of just 70 unique Tailor Made cars produced by Maranello to celebrate Ferrari’s 70th anniversary in 2017. As part of the exhibition programming, there was a creative industries seminar series called Industry Threads: First Edition which also unveiled an Etihad Airways Mentorship.

Models backstage at the Aje resort 2018 show. Image credit: Supplied

Aje resort 2018 show in Wendy Whiteley’s garden
Cult Australian label Aje united with Brett Whiteley Studio Collections and his muse Wendy for a 10 year anniversary resort show. Already a huge commercial success, Aje marked their 10 year anniversary by collaborating with and working within the archives of one of Australia’s most prolific Sydney-based artists, the late Brett Whiteley, and his longtime love and muse, Wendy Whiteley.

Like Aje, Whiteley had a very unique handwriting and an unconventional voice. He used his art to articulate many things—emotions, sensuality, conformity, liberation, political views, social views and philosophy—but it was his wife Wendy who was his constant source of inspiration as figurative muse, lover and curator.

Models backstage at the Aje resort 2018 show. Image credit: Supplied

Aje drew inspiration not only from the artworks—five works carefully chosen from different series—but from the force of Wendy Whiteley as her unique personal style informed many of the silhouettes within the collection and served to strengthen the correlation between the art and fashion.

Throughout the collaborative process, Adrian Norris and Edwina Robinson worked with Wendy and Brett Whiteley Studio, the custodians of Whiteley’s archive, to ensure that the integrity of Brett’s artworks would be preserved during the transformation into wearable form. The collection was launched in Wendy’s secret garden to a coterie of cult Aje supporters and names like Edwina McCann of Vogue, Kate and Hoda Waterhouse and Wendy Whiteley, of course.

Guests attend the Eastlakes Live launch at The Star. Image credit: Supplied

Eastlakes Live launch, The Star, Sydney
The Crown Group unveiled its much-anticipated $1 billion development, Eastlakes Live, at a star studded red-carpet event at The Star which was attended by more than 1,300 people. The evening was a celebration of innovation and design and was attended by guests including actress and singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte, former Bachelor and fitness coach Tim Robards and Roxy Jacenko.

Guests attend the Eastlakes Live launch at The Star. Image credit: Supplied

Guests were treated to a red-carpet arrival, live entertainment and unique brand activations with the night’s festivities all building towards the unveiling of Crown Group’s largest ever model which was dramatically revealed to officially unveil Eastlakes Live and the surrounding precinct. The evening was sponsored by Moët & Chandon Champagne, Coco Republic, Micos Group and Chic Republic.

Alisha de Graaf and Laura Byrne at the ToniMay flagship store opening. Image credit: Supplied

ToniMay flagship store opening, Paddington
Sydney’s style set join TV personality and jewellery designer, Laura Byrne and her sister and business partner, Alisha de Graaf to celebrate the launch of their first Sydney flagship store, ToniMay on Oxford Street in Paddington. True to the brands bohemian aesthetic, guests stepped into the polished yet inviting store where they marvelled at Byrne’s unique designs and interior styling that drew inspiration from her previous travels and adventures across the globe.

Bella Varelis and Florence Alexandra at the ToniMay flagship store opening. Image credit: Supplied

The official opening marked the launch of ToniMay’s men’s and finery collections, a premium range created for the girl who prefers a non-traditional engagement ring. The bespoke 9-karat and 18-karat white and yellow gold designs feature hand-picked stones such as grey diamonds and aquamarine.

The guest list included Byrne’s loving and supportive partner Matthew Johnson, as well as previous The Bachelor contestants Luke McLeod and Florence Alexandra, model and TV Presenter, Madeline Cowe and key fashion media and influencers including Amelia Strofield.

*Melissa Hoyer was a guest of GQ at the Gentlemen’s Ball in Melbourne.

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