Michael Cassel Group and Amplify Announce Strategic Investment

Michael Cassel Group, one of the world’s leading theatre producers, has announced it has accepted a strategic investment from Amplify, a global live entertainment and content holding company.

Michael Cassel Group, as an independent company, will sit alongside TEG in Amplify, which was formed by Silver Lake and minority investor Mercury Capital to acquire TEG in November 2019.  TEG is a global, integrated live entertainment, ticketing and technology company and Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing.

Michael Cassel will retain significant ongoing equity ownership and will continue to run Michael Cassel Group as an independent entity. As a result of the investment, Michael Cassel Group will pursue significant expansion within the theatrical live entertainment vertical on a global basis. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

“Since inception, we’ve built a company with an enviable international reputation and a very strong and creative culture. I’m excited by the commitment and enthusiasm of our new partners TEG and Silver Lake and the synergies that they bring to Amplify. Together with my team, our goal is to build a global, diversified theatrical live entertainment company focused on producing and developing quality, premium content; expanding international touring and exploiting opportunities in emerging markets; and securing a vertically integrated model focused on theatre acquisitions,” said Michael Cassel, CEO/Producer.

“TEG’s live entertainment, ticketing, promotional platform and data expertise is second to none in the region,” he added. “The combination of TEG and Silver Lake in Amplify will help us to further accelerate our growth organically and via acquisitions.”

Geoff Jones, Chief Executive Officer of TEG, said: “We welcome Michael Cassel and his team to the Amplify family. TEG and our partners at Silver Lake formed Amplify to be a global live entertainment and content holding company. Together we have identified that there is a clear and compelling opportunity to build one of the leading global theatrical organisations within Amplify and we believe the Michael Cassel Group, through its global reputation, experience and relationships, is the right company to lead that charge, and we are excited to be able to help unlock its full potential.”

Stephen Evans, Managing Director at Silver Lake, said: “We believe strongly in the long term power and value of high quality content, and together with our partners at TEG and Mercury Capital, we are delighted to partner with Michael Cassel and his team as we set out to build one of the world’s leading theatre organisations, alongside TEG’s ticketing, content and data expertise.”

Source: Michael Cassel Group


R.M.Williams presents ‘The Journey’ on the Ghan

R.M.Williams presents its SS21 Seasonal Destination, The Journey on The Ghan and the latest collection firmly rooted in the DNA and foundation of the iconic brand and its history. Grounded in the stockyards of Australia and born of an honest work ethic and heritage, SS21 speaks to the brands ethos of ‘design with purpose’, and sees it join with ‘The Ghan’, another iconic Australian brand closely linked to the Journeyman spirit of R.M.Williams and birthplace of the brand itself.

Focused on the reinvention of classic styles, the latest collection of boots sneakers, bags, and ready-to-wear are showcased against a backdrop of carriages across Australia, with rugged to elegant pieces ready to take the modern adventurer from the gorges to the dining cart and addressing the need for all parts of one’s journey.

Shot in early 2020 ahead of the global COVID-19 pandemic, The Journey Of The Ghan pays tribute to the beauty of the landscape of Australia and the sense of adventure ingrained within the R.M.Williams spirit. The merging of these two iconic Australian heritage brands is one close to the passions of R.M.Williams, with the purposing of an adventure from country to city on one of the world’s greatest train journeys ending in Adelaide finding the birthplace of R.M.Williams itself.

The legendary journey and unforgettable Australian adventure highlights the Outback Spirit and transition from coast to through to the continent’s rugged centre, at a time when we all seek to once again travel to unique places around the world and support local communities.

With both companies committed to showcasing the spirit and romantic connection to the land, the seasonal destination highlights the stations of Katherine Gorge, Simpsons Gap and Manguri, underlining the magnetism and unique history of Australia’s distinct outback. Colours of Burnt Ochre, Mustard and Aqua hues form the foundations from which Eucalypt, Blush and Marine play highlight, with the transitions in-between eliciting the essence of the journey itself.

Taking note of contemporary workwear pieces across generations from all walks of life and with considered detailing, the seasonal collection honours the history and intricacies of modern workwear as it parallels the brands evolution, growing from pasture to pavement, and bush to boardroom. Alongside these modern innovations for the day-to-day, R.M.Williams hero its 1932 origins with graphic logo prints and new takes on heritage iconography whilst a new and innovative approach to materials and silhouettes proffer a modern approach to R.M.Williams purposeful design for the present-day wearer.

R.M.Williams has again turned focus to creating footwear for all of life’s adventures, with iconic boots all finding new footing in this latest chapter, rugged hiking boots, and its urban sneakers. The lace up offering sees the white Kingscote extended into the women’s line, and classics including the Lady Yearling and core Craftsman find modern iterations ready for a new journey.

Handcrafted in Australia, the new styles of Comfort Craftsman are a one-piece Chelsea boot with a chisel toe and flat heel, coming in moulton, yearling, crazy horse and suede leathers. The Kingscote features lace up derby style with an Ortholite insole and yearling EVA unit outsole for both men and women. The Fitzroy and Surry sneakers are a progressive version of a historical classic from the brand, targeted at the urban nomad.

The R.M.Williams Craft range includes three colours in the Drover 1 ½ belt, a solid hide belt with a double metal keeper coming in Chocolate, Black and slate, while the Hamilton Belt offers a slimmer line, padded and lined with a single leather keeper. The Gippsland bag range features heavily throughout, offered in briefcase, duffle and tote versions in both black and taupe/whiskey colourways.

The brands seasonal ready-to-wear denim offering builds on colourways, fit options and styles, staying true to the essence of workwear, with worn in and lighter finishes seen in the Victor jean, Brigalow shirt and the twill denim of the new Rider jacket.

The SS21 outerwear collection draws inspiration from the brands achival pieces with a focus on leather and hardwearing denim. With classic styles and contempory silhoutes the SS21 outwear collection is perfect for the urban traveller. The rider jacket remains a staple style this season with the introduction of new demin and leather colourways across the men’s and women’s collections. The women’s collection sees two new styles, the Calvary twill Utility jacket and slim fit cropped Biker jacket added into the range.

A perfect blend of comfort and adventure intrinsic to the brand and the pursuit of experiences that move you in every sense of the word, the SS21 collection and journey into the heart and birthplace of R.M.Williams will be available from early August 2020.

Source: R.M.Williams


Penguin bloom flies north for toronto international film festival 2020

The filmmakers have announced that Glendyn Ivin’s inspirational Australian drama, Penguin Bloom, is one of 50 films to screen in official selection at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Starring Academy Award® nominated actress Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams), Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead, Love Actually) and two-time Academy Award® nominated actress Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Penguin Bloom is the feature film adaptation of Bradley Trevor Greive and Cameron Bloom’s international bestseller of the same name.

Penguin Bloom tells the remarkable true story of Sam Bloom (Watts), a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a shocking, near-fatal accident leaves her paralyzed. As Sam’s husband (Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Weaver) struggle to adjust to their new situation, an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird’s arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference on Sam’s life, teaching her to heal through courage, hope, and love.

Said director Glendyn Ivin: “I’m incredibly excited and proud to screen Penguin Bloom at TIFF among such an inspiring line-up of global cinema. The Bloom’s story is one of hope and the unbreakable bond of family, so it feels right to share it with the world at a time when hope and family couldn’t be more important.”

Set in Australia on Sydney’s northern beaches, Penguin Bloom is directed by Ivin (The Cry, Safe Harbour) and written by Shaun Grant (Snowtown, Berlin Syndrome) and Harry Cripps (The Dry), with Watts serving as producer alongside Emma Cooper and Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky. Cameron Bloom, Sam Bloom and Greive executive produced alongside Ricci Swart, Sonia Amoroso, George Kekeli and Meryl Metni.

Penguin Bloom is a Made Up Stories, Broadtalk and JamTart production. Major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screen NSW. ANZ distribution by Roadshow Films. Endeavor Content is handling worldwide rights.

Penguin Bloom is available in Australia and New Zealand (via ABC Books), the UK (via Canongate Books), and in the USA and Canada it was published by Atria Books as Penguin the Magpie in April 2017. Ten percent of the book’s worldwide royalties are being donated to leading spinal cord injury research charities, including SpinalCure Australia, Wings for Life and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong, the much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning bestseller will be published in Australia and New Zealand on September 2, 2020 by ABC Books/HarperCollins. Penguin Bloom is set to release in Australian cinemas on January 1, 2021.

Source: Penguin the magpie


VIP Sydney: Introducing our Getaway Collection. Where will it take you?

It’s time to experience a luxe-local getaway like no other. With bounds of beauty stretching from each corner of Australia, take a little time out, or a much deserved break, and explore our beautiful backyard that is; Australia.

In collaboration with Southern Crossings, VIP Sydney has announced their latest luxe-experiences: A collection of interstate packages, designed for those needing a little rest & relaxation, or simply the taste of a new adventure…

The Way to Wellness. Begin your vacay at the exquisite Tamarind Retreat private villa on the Sunshine Coast. Dine in style, and unwind with private yoga classes in the serene rainforest setting and simply sit back relax for 3 nights. Next, you’ll swap the country for the coast, with a 3 night stay in an oceanfront villa at Elysian Retreat in the Whitsundays…

A Feast for the Senses. Start with 2 nights at Hobart’s super-luxe MACq01 hotel, a scenic river cruise and a decadent seafood feast for two before moving on to Freycinet Lodge for a 2-night stay. From your outdoor bath-tub on the deck, soak up the scenery, enjoy a sampling of local crafted spirits and wines, and explore the region via hike, bike, kayak or cruise.

Wine and Dine. A fabulous four day foodie’s folly starting in the Yarra Valley, staying at Yering Gorge Cottages adjoining the Eastern Golf Club. Enjoy a private tour and tasting with lunch at one of or favourites; De Bertoli. Continue the self-drive journey towards your own Lake House in Daylesford where you can enjoy long country walks, healing spa treatments and hatted dining.

Red Centre Revealed. Over seven nights, experience the spiritual heart of Australia, beginning with a half-day guided introduction of Alice Springs and a full day tour of the West MacDonnell Ranges, before being transferred to Kings Canyon for a privately guided walk and authentic Aboriginal cultural experience. Take the scenic route to Ayers Rock, where you will stay at Sails with sunrise/sunset tours of majestic Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Waterways, Whales and Wine. Unwind at Bannisters Port Stephens for 2 nights as you take off on a 3-hour cruise of the tranquil waterways. After leisurely experiencing the region, head inland to recharge at Spicers Vineyards in the heart of the Hunter wine country. Enjoy local produce and Australia’s finest wine, with a guided behind-the-scenes experience and tasting at one of the many boutique wineries.

Source: The VIP Sydney


UNIQLO Meets French Chic with Ines De La Fressange

UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, has announced plans to launch the INES DE LA FRESSANGE 2020 Spring/Summer collaboration line from August 27. The 54-piece 1924-themed collection will be available at a selection of UNIQLO stores in Australia (Emporium, Mid City, Chadstone and Queens St.) and through UNIQLO.com/au. Some of the items will be available at all stores nationwide.

Ines de la Fressange symbolizes French chic and is a style icon for women around the globe. In keeping with a motif of Luxurious clothes, and beyond, this range of wardrobe essentials brings together Ines’ belief in designing clothes that all women can wear with comfort to reveal their beauty, and the LifeWear philosophy of providing innovative, high-quality clothing that is universal in design and comfort, and meets the needs of daily lifestyles.

Ines began exploring ideas for the 20SS collection to pay homage to women from every era by celebrating traditional values through styling that is enduringly contemporary. The line comprises the following three themes.

Paris: Timeless sports styling – Paris held the Summer Olympics in 1924, and sports styling that appeared in those games remains attractively modern. The collection features items with masculine looks, including Tilden knitwear and jersey pants with white and green key colors.

Gardians: Inspired by French cowboy clothing – Items are inspired by the clothing of ‘Gardians,’ French for cowboys, in Arles. Ines has frequently visited this city in the Provence region of southern France over the past 30 years. The strong sunlight and shadow contrasts in that locale influenced such leading artists as Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh, and are reflected in the collection’s coordination of black and white items in masculine styling, including pants and long shirts.

Muses: Dresses for relaxing outdoors – The 1920s were a time of great progress for women, who began enjoying styling that reflected newfound freedoms. The range features light dresses with ruffles and prints in relaxing silhouettes.

Source: UNIQLO