After opening Life & Soul in Victoria Street in February, co-owners Sally and Shelley, launched into winter with a VIP Styling Evening last month. Empire Rose designer Kathryn Cizeika and Lara and Sarah from Mode & Affaire, treated local fashion shoppers to an indepth round up of their latest ranges and the best ways to style them.
As well as Empire Rose and Mode & Affaire, Life & Soul also stock Asilio, Akla, Auguste, Infamous Friends and Nobody Jeans. Local jewellery line, Me I Me I is stocked alongside WA homewares company Ash & Lime, and the coolest sneakers around, Superga! From scented candles to vegan nail polish line, Kester Black, head into Life & Soul, Victoria Street Bunbury.
On a beautiful summer’s evening in Balingup a very well respected SW food ambassador told me ‘how lucky Bunbury was to be getting The Market Eating House’. It was the first mention of this new restaurant, and I watched with interest and excitement as #9 Victoria Street evolved from a beautiful but neglected building to what is sure to become a hub of Marlston Hill.
(Brenton between his hand picked kitchen team of Louise + Courtney)
Brenton and Bec Pyke (with newborn son Bailey) have realised their dream in owning and running their own restaurant. Both have enviable hospitality CV’s that includes being key members of Andaluz in Perth’s CBD before being enticed to Melbourne by the Press Club Group. After working with and amongst some of the country’s most respected and celebrated chef’s, followed by another stint in Perth, the Pyke team have arrived in Bunbury.
A number of enthusiastic and privileged people attended the launch last Saturday and were greeted by a sea of smiling staff. Fresh oysters, bubbles and local wine, bite size pieces of whiting coated in a light crisp batter, smoked bruschetta with juicy sundried tomatoes, and my dream dish, suckling pig and pickled cabbage donuts (a unique interpretation of the slider).
(Nothing better than fresh oysters on arrival)
Says Bec, ‘Their food is to share’ just as they eat at home. Home-to-restaurant is the philosophy with the cooking based around their custom made charcoal grill and wood fired oven. Add to this a true respect for regional producers and growers, and the Market Eating House is born.
What strikes me about this restaurant is it has the personal touch of its owners. The interior has been meticulously renovated with a key focus on respect for the building and up-cycling wherever possible. This is truly evident in the magnificent timber wall, all lined with the recycled floor boards. It has an industrial rustic feel that still retains the warmth of a home. The Market Eating House is a welcome addition to the Bunbury’s vibrant food scene, and will not only enhance this growing culture, but also the city. It doesn’t duplicate any other venue but rather provides alternatives that are unique and special. Bec and Brenton have used their skill, passion, love for fresh food and the producers, to create a space where people can eat, share and live our enviable Bunbury lifestyle. A place where memories will be made and shared.
The Market Eating House officially opens today and bookings can be made via email email@example.com or check out opening times www.marketeatinghouse.com.au
Driving back from a Perth trip yesterday I noted the large number of public artworks and sculptures that form an integral part of new constructions and roadworks that pop up on every journey. It is so refreshing to see the value both private companies and the public sector put into public art, and it’s contribution to the built landscape. Earlier this year I volunteered at ‘Public’. This street art project developed by FORM embraces new urban and regional communities and through Public expanded on the impressive suite of public artworks scattered throughout Perth, it’s suburbs and, the unique Pilbara and Wheatbelt regions.
It was a privilege to meet many of the artists involved in Public who are contributing to developing and enhancing our urban landscapes. It is also a privilege for Bunbury to host an up and coming exhibition by 2 inspiring and accomplished West Australian creatives. ‘Wood + Water’ marks the final and biggest exhibtion for the year by The Art Label at Maker + Co.
(Ian Mutch painting for PUBLIC in Victoria Park, 2015. Photography by Jean Paul Horre. Image courtesy of FORM)
Margaret River based Ian Mutch was guest artist at the recent launch of Re.Discover Bunbury 2016 (another exciting project). At Wood + Water he will showcase his “Bitetime” booklet (following on from successful Melbourne and Dunsborough shows), plus new artworks and favourite limited edition prints. Ian creates detailed artworks using drawing ink, acrylics, watercolour, aerosol and markers. His work has won awards and given life to public spaces. His large-scale gallery works are in high demand. He also designs and co-publishes Kingbrown Magazine and has been an industry speaker at Agideas, the Design Institute of Australia and Semi Permanent.
(Chris Nixon painting for PUBLIC in Northam, 2015. Photography by Bewley Shaylor. Image courtesy of FORM )
Adding his own mark to the exhibition will be Chris Nixon. His work will feature artwork on custom built and designed skateboards, originals and limited edition prints. All inspired by wood and water. Chris Nixon is also an illustrator, designer and creative director based in Perth. He is inspired by the West Coast and classic surf culture with an emphasis on the handmade and crafted, From children’s books to animation, commercial illustration to large scale public art, Nixon threads a distinct style across all scales and sizes to extend his creativity. Chris has created several large scale artworks which have been installed around Australia and has exhibited work in Tokyo, Berlin, Bali, Sydney and Melbourne.
(Andrew Frazer launching Re.Discover 2016 – Image Rogan Pringle)
Additional excitement surrounding these 2 artists is they are featured artists in Re.Discover Bunbury for January next year. It seems only fitting that we get the chance to appreciate and purchase their work prior to arguably one of Bunbury’s biggest cultural events.
The innovative and widely accessible online art gallery www.theartlabel.com.au uses the gallery space at Maker + Co as a vehicle to embrace online art and for buyers to get a feel for the style of artists listed on the website. The Art Label Online Art Gallery allows regional and Western Australian artists to showcase their work, and sell directly to art buyers.
To browse the gallery visit http://www.theartlabel.com.au/ The exhibition open Friday 13 November at 5pm and will run until January 20, 2016.
Contact: Janine Stewart Mob: 0404913737
It’s hard to believe it has been a week since Bunbury celebrated its fifth South West Fashion Festival!
As mentioned in my previous post, this year’s Festival was bigger and better than ever before, with the incredible team behind it pulling out all the stops. The two major fashion parades were held in BREC’s Cube theatre, a stunning venue that did full justice to the elegant clothing (and models) on display.
Saturday night saw close to a full house turn out for the finale show, despite the horrendous weather outside. The crowd enjoyed a glass of wine or two in BREC’s Sky Bar before making their way into the Cube for the climax of the festival. There was no traditional runway down the centre of the room – instead, seating was arranged in rows so the models wove among the guests and everyone enjoyed a front row experience.
Two giant screens were hung at the front and the back of the room, with Lomax Media providing a live feed throughout so not a moment of the show was missed. The evening opened with a fantastic short clip put together by Lomax, which gave a wonderful insight into the history of the event and the incredible team who volunteer their time to pull it together each year:
A stunning collection of wearable art kicked things off with some bold geometric design.
Everything from casual to formal, swimwear, lounge wear and more was on display throughout the evening, including a stunning range from the WA Designers Roadshow which showcased the best of local fashion. Designers included ae’lkemi, one fell swoop, BRUUG, Chalice, House of SKYE and Conchita, as well as BASE by Ben in advance of his major launch in Perth later in August, and returning designers such as Ben Conroy, Betty Tran, Jonte Pike and Empire Rose.
Another short film by Lomax gave us a wonderful insight into what it means for local designers to be involved in the South West Fashion Festival:
Having this footage playing throughout the night was an excellent touch, providing the audience with interesting and unique perspectives without the need for lengthy speeches. Once the parade wrapped up, there was plenty to chat about in the Sky Bar over some Willow Bridge wines and canapés from the Bunbury Farmers Market!
A huge congratulations to Lisa Evans, Jo Clark and the entire team behind the South West Fashion Festival, it will be exciting to see how this event continues to grow and evolve.
The South West Fashion Festival celebrated its fifth birthday in style over the weekend, bringing a selection of stunning fashion events to Bunbury that were bigger and better than ever before.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday morning brunch at Casellas Restaurant, where upwards of 60 ladies dined in style while feasting their eyes on incredible pieces from the Darnell Collection.
This is the third year that Charlotte Smith has bought an excerpt of her world-renowned collection to Bunbury to feature in the South West Fashion Festival. This year, she selected pieces to fit in with the SWFF’s theme of ‘Futurism’, an interesting and challenging theme given that almost all of the Darnell Collection is vintage or antique.
While guests sipped sparkling and indulged in an array of delicious treats, Charlotte spoke about the history of the Darnell Collection. She inherited the collection in 2004 from her godmother Doris Darnell, who had been collecting vintage and antique clothing and accessories since 1936.
The Darnell Collection currently features over 8000 pieces, with the earliest piece, a night bonnet from Scotland, dating back to the 1720’s. It was easy to feel Charlotte’s passion for what has become her entire life – she currently travels the globe exhibiting pieces from the collection and has written several books.
Seven unique and ‘futuristic’ pieces were modelled, as Charlotte gave the back-story and history of each. One of the most fascinating stories was the one behind the gold lame kimono-style dress pictured above.
This 1970’s dress was worn by Australian mezzo-soprano singer Margreta Elkins, and was given to the Darnell Collection by Margreta’s husband Henry after she passed away in 2009. Charlotte told a touching story of the friendship she developed via email with Henry, who continued to donate many items from Margreta’s wardrobe to the Darnell Collection over the years.
What is also fascinating about this dress is the designer it was created by – Danica of Double Bay. As Charlotte explained, there is absolutely no information about this designer or boutique anywhere online, leading her to think that perhaps the designer simply created these one-off pieces for Margreta Elkins.
It is these stories that demonstrated Charlotte’s love of fashion and its importance in recording and reflecting history. As she explained, fashion is so much more than the frivolous notion that many people see it as. Each piece captures the society and culture that it comes from, and allows future generations a fascinating insight into the past.
The Darnell Collection as a whole represents so many different moments in fashion, some moments which we were privileged to hear about during a gorgeous brunch as part of the South West Fashion Festival weekend.