Monday, May 31, 2010

Bridal Couture Sample Sale

Corston Couture, together with several other top bridal designers, including Hilde Heim, Mira Mandic and Jean Fox, bring you the best bridal sample sale of the year. To be held in Sydney and Melbourne in July, the Bridal Couture Sample Sale will bring together a collaboration Sydney and Melbourne's finest wedding gown, bridesmaids, evening gown, jewellery and shoe designers in one location! 

With over 50 designers joining forces to sell their one-off samples or last season’s stock you could save up to 70% on your dress, veil, accessories or shoes. Don’t miss out, this sale is for one day only in each state and numbers are limited!

Pre-Registration is Essential:
Entry is $5 per person if you pre-register, or $10 per person on the door. We are proud to be supporting the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre so your donation is much appreciated. We encourage you to pre-register as space is limited.

Please note that due to large volumes of attendees last year we are controlling the amount of people coming into the sale at any one time. Once you have registered for the sale you will be contacted with an entry time to the event. Entry times are restricted from 12-2pm and 2-4pm. Please note that if you arrive outside your arrival time you will not be allowed entry as it is unfair to other attendees. Once you have entered the sale you are welcome to stay for as long as you wish.  

Bridal Goody Bags:
Make sure you grab your bridal goody bag only available for the first 350 pre-registered guests… Full of bridal discount vouchers, a bridal magazine and much more! Register now ladies if you don’t want to miss out!

Hour of Power:
If you want to be amongst the first brides in to view the entire collection from every designer, we are giving 25 brides, plus one guest, the opportunity to see all the dresses, shoes and accessories before anybody else. For $50 you and one guest will have the opportunity to view all dresses, accessories and shoes at the sale for one hour – if you find your dream dress, in that hour – snap it up! To register for the hour of power please contact us. To register for normal entry into the event, please go to the registration pages.

Location | Sydney 
Where: The Menzies - 14 Carrington Street, Sydney
Date: July 11th, 2010
Time: 11am - 4pm
Cost: $5 pre-registered / $10 at the door

Location | Melbourne
Where: The Bayview Eden Melbourne - 6 Queens Road, Melbourne
Date: July 4th, 2010
Time: 11am - 4pm
Cost: $5 pre-registered / $10 at the door

Visit the Bridal Couture Sample Sale to book your tickets.

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Friday, May 28, 2010

French Cookery - The Art of Gastronomy

As an avid cooking enthusiast, I thought today I would talk about my interest in French cookery, and in particular the concept of gastronomy…

Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between culture and food, focusing particularly on gourmet cuisine. Modern gastronomy theory is rooted in several French texts published in the 1800s, although the idea of relating food to science, society, and the arts has been around for much longer. True gastronomy is a demanding, multi-disciplinary art examining food itself, along with its context, presentation, freshness, and history. 

The principle of gastronomy is that food is both a science and an art form. By understanding how the senses contribute to an experience, a gastronome can better understand the implications of consumer likes and dislikes. Gastronomy also examines the sociological significance of food, along with integrating other social science disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. The role of food in the fine arts, including performance art, painting, and sculpture, is also examined as part of a general analysis of food's role in society.

According to Sydney-based business Beatrice Levanti, gastronomy as an art needs to be perpetuated, taught and understood, in order to preserve its essential elements: "It is the chef's duty to be an ambassador of culture, of knowledge and of authenticity; a person who will not compromise, but strive only for excellence. We are already designing the Gastronomy of the future by our multiple connections and access to a global world. But we must not lose the most important elements and we must preserve its essence: as an 'accessible' cuisine that is well-balanced, healthy and pleasurable".
To this extent, Beatrice Levanti offers the French Gourmet Academy, a training option for professional chefs to learn the practices and theories of French Gastronomy…
"Our mission is to provide students from all over the world with the skills that lie behind the exceptional reputation of French gastronomy. We aim to open doors and provide every opportunity for our students to embark on successful and enriching career paths in the finest traditions of French cuisine. The Academy was created to provide the highest quality culinary training available. We are committed to an ongoing international focus that will enable students to play an effective role in this multicultural field and to work anywhere in the world."

If you would like to learn more about gastronomy, but like me, you are not a professional chef, but rather an avid home cook, then I would like to share with you one of my all-time favourite culinary references, Larousse Gastronomique.

Larousse Gastronomique is the world's classic culinary reference book. Larousse Gastronomique contains over 900 colour and black and white photographs, as well as 85 biographies of well-known chefs. Larousse Gastronomique is known and loved for its authoritative and comprehensive collection of recipes. Updated in 2009,

Originally created by Prosper Montagne and published in 1938, this essential addition to any kitchen has withstood the test of time and become an invaluable source of information for every enthusiastic cook. Without the exaggeration and extravagant distractions of many of today's cookery titles, Larousse Gastronomique contains recipes, tips, cooking styles and origins for almost every dish in history.

To find out more on the French Gourmet Academy run by Beatrice Levanti visit If you would like more information on Larousse Gastronomique, visit Angus and Robertson.

Have a lovely day!… Anna 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fashionista VIP opening of Sex and the City 2 - Regent Cinema, Brisbane

Gorgeous Australian jewellery designer Samantha Wills has come a long way in the past few years, from selling her wares at the Bondi Markets, to having her jewellery adorn the stars of Sex and the City 2!

Samantha Wills jewels have long been a favourite amongst Hollywood starlets, including Eva Mendes and Kate Hudson, and now 14 of her stunning creations are featured in the long-awaited sequel, adding even more star power to Wills' growing presence on the world fashion stage.
Be amongst the first in Australia to see the stunning Samantha Wills pieces in Sex and the City 2, at the film's premiere in Brisbane on Thursday June 3rd. The Regent Cinema Brisbane will be the only fashionable place to be, as it hosts the Fashionista VIP opening of SATC2 and the lovely Samantha Wills will even make a special guest appearance.

Tickets: Click here to purchase or visit
Where: The Regent Cinema, Queen Street Mall, BRISBANE
Time: Event begins 5.30pm, movie screening at 6.45pm
Price: $79, or Groups 10+ $69 each
On Sale: Available to VIP's Friday 16 April, to the public April 30
Includes: Champagne, food, unlimited lollies, donuts, cocktails, entry to prize draw (see below)

Prize Draw:
  • WIN Carrie's gold aviators, Samantha's silk dress or Carrie's clover pendant! 
  • WIN lunch for 4 with Matt Moran at ARIA Restaurant!  
  • WIN a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes that Carrie would wear from Princess Yasmin!
  • WIN Fragrance from Libertine Parfumerie! 
  • WIN a "Night at the Bar" for 4 girls at Iceworks in Paddington!
  • WIN a "Day in the Salon" for 4 girls at Oscar Oscar!
  • WIN the kind of goodies Samantha would like from F-online!
  • Plus so much more!   
Visit Fashionista Events for more information and full details on the fabulous prizes that you will be automatically in the running for, just by attending the event!

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sex and the City 2 - All the Glamour from the Premiere

Sarah Jessica Parker in Valentino Couture

Kristin Davis in vintage Jean Dresses

Kim Cattrall in Naeem Khan

Cynthia Nixon in Carolina Herrera

Despite rows over money and nasty on-set dramas, the stars of Sex and the City 2 united in style at the premiere of the movie, in gorgeous couture gowns no less! All eyes were on the stars as the the long-awaited sequel opened in New York, and they were certainly shining brightly as the fashionistas worked the red carpet in their splashy colours and luxury labels. 

Sarah Jessica Parker all but stole the show in a hot lemon Valentino Couture Spring 2010 gown, that has been praised by fashion critics all around the world. It was a bold choice for SJP, but she has been applauded for her fashion bravery and the asymmetrical gown was a perfect match for her toned physique. The lemon yellow sizzled against her blonde hair and luminous complexion, while the flowy skirt added a more feminine and whimsical touch to the otherwise edgy style of the dress.

Also opting for a bright hue, Kristin Davis shone in a hot pink vintage Jean Dresses gown that looked fabulous against her olive complexion and dark hair. Her dress was beautiful and feminine and hugged her in all the right places, and was complemented perfectly by her sleek and polished up-do.

Kim Cattrall was all elegance and sophistication in her gold floor-length Naeem Khan dress. She sparkled in the glittery, sequined gown, and I just loved the touches of old Hollywood glamour that she added with her bright red lips and nails, and her soft, curled hair.

Despite playing it safe in black, Cynthia Nixon looked simply stunning in her structured Carolina Herrara creation. The strapless cut was perfect for her defined shoulders, and she oozed timeless elegance in the gorgeous, figure hugging gown.

Here in the office, we are all very excited about the new movie, and can't wait to see what the fab four get up to in the long-anticipated sequel! 

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Winter Coats

One of my favourite things about Winter is being able to rug up in a stylish coat… From tweed to trench, and checks to classic caramel shades, as well as the on-trend berry hues, there are so many styles and colours to choose from this season, so I thought I would bring you my picks to help you stay chic (and warm!) this winter…

The Terrific Trench

Burberry Prorsum Leather Trench Coat | A lightweight trench in a classic caramel hue is the perfect choice for timeless style in this season's hottest colour… Visit Net-A-Porter

Wonderful White

Witchery |  A simple white coat in a classic cut will ensure you look elegant whilst also keeping warm… Visit Witchery

Scarlet Fever…

 David Lawrence |  This stunning, on-trend scarlet coat from David Lawrence will make sure you stand out from the crowd this Winter… Visit David Lawrence

Pretty Peacoat

Marcs |  Peacoats are perfect for a more casual weekend look… Visit Marcs

Timeless Tweed

Burberry | This over sized Burberry tweed cocoon coat is a contemporary take on the classic tweed coat… Visit Net-A-Porter

Classic Caramel

Charlie Brown | Such a classic style and colour, this coat would be the perfect fashion investment piece to wear year after year… Visit Charlie Brown


Portmans | For a more refined look, you can't go past a military style jacket… Visit Portmans

Classic Checks

Calvin Klein |  Similar to tweed, checked coats are timeless, and this long line coat from Calvin Klein is the perfect investment for sophisticated winter style… Visit The Outnet

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Monday, May 24, 2010

Collette Dinnigan Bridal - Snow White Collection

Available in stores since February 2010, the Snow White Collection from Collette Dinnigan is simply exquisite. 

While the latest range is a little more traditional then some of her previous designs, the Snow White collection maintains Dinnigan's infamous elegant style. Layers of tulle teamed with sequins and silk make for an effortlessly feminine and graceful look, while beading adds a romantic and glamorous touch to the whimsical and free-flowing gowns.

 About Collette Dinnigan
Collette Dinnigan is no overnight success. Dedicated work and a passionate feeling for what women really want to wear bear their beginnings in New Zealand. In her late teens, Collette attended Wellington Polytechnic. On graduation, she moved to Australia and began her career in fashion, working for the Costume Department of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Sydney. Attention to detail and a historical perspective on both fabrication and design were the result.
Although Australian in creative essence, the Collette Dinnigan trademark is known throughout the world. Every garment is carefully hand made in Sydney, Australia and shipped to an ever-eager clientele. The collection is merchandised in prestigious stores around the world from the Middle East to the East Coast of the United States. 

Stepping out on her own in 1990, the Collette Dinnigan label was born. Collette's distinctive style meant her in-demand designs were snapped up by hip boutiques and department stores in Australia and New Zealand. Barney's New York, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols and Joyce in Hong Kong were soon to follow and an international presence was established. In 1995 Collette became the first Australian-based designer to mount a full-scale ready to wear parade in Paris and she remains the only one to have been invited to do so by the Chambre Syndicale du prêt-a-porter des couturiers et des createurs de mode.

Collette's design and business acumen have been recognised on many occasions, notably by winning the 1997 Louis Vuitton Business Award. She was chosen as Australian 'Designer of the Year' in 1996, awarded the 1998 'Award for Excellence' by Fashion Group International and was inducted into the 'Business-Woman's Hall of Fame'. In May 1998, Collette was appointed Chairperson of The New South Wales Small Business Development Corporation, having previously participated as an adviser to The South Australian Wool Board in 1997. Awarded in 2001 and 2003 Australia's 50 Most Beautiful Exports Award and in Paris 2002 she was honoured with the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World Award. In April 2004 Collette Dinnigan was presented with the “CLEO and Maybelline” Celebrity Designer of the Year Award, and was also honoured for her contribution to the industry by being presented with the Hall of Fame Award for outstanding achievement. This was voted for by a panel of her peers.

The Snow White Collection from Collette Dinnigan is available in stores now, so for bridal appointments contact:

Sydney: 02 93606691 or
Melbourne: 03 9827 2111 or
London: +44 (0) 20 7589 8897 or

Have a lovely day!… Anna 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Made with Love - Larsen Wedding Rings

Your engagement and wedding rings symbolise the love you have for one another, and the joy and the hope you hold for your future together. Choosing your rings will be an exciting and memorable part of your wedding preparation, and at Larsen Wedding Rings you can make the ring-choosing process all the more personal and unique. So read on below, and find out more about this fabulous concept that helps you choose the rings of your dreams…

Until recently, personalised vows, modified monograms and ‘his’ and ‘hers’ towels were the extent of customisable married life, now however, times are a-changing and the circus of wedding ceremonies has a whole new ring! If vows that merely slip in your fiancé’s name seem to lack heartfelt intimacy, consider a customised ring that you and your fiancé could not only design together but physically make for each other. Trust me, if Romeo could have, he would have!

Larsen Wedding Rings, as the only interactive wedding ring company in Australia, offers a unique experience that gives couples the opportunity to extend the romantic raison d'être of the ring into the pre-wedding process. Designing and making a ring for your partner as a truly everlasting token of love and commitment is possibly the most romantic gesture one can make. By replacing a generic piece of jewellery with a personal handcrafted wedding ring, Larsen Wedding Rings re-defines romance.

Susie Larsen explains why she has such passion for the experience of self-made wedding rings; ‘couples love the idea of wearing a ring made by their loved one. It makes the ring so much more special and meaningful as they have not only created a ring, but a memory that will last a lifetime.’ 

The Personalised Process
While making a wedding ring from scratch may conjure up images of a blacksmith heating metal over a cauldron while his horse waits for new shoes in the stable, the experience at Larsen Wedding Rings could not be further removed (unless the blacksmith is in love with his horse). The Larsen experience, which is surprisingly easy, can be completed in one visit to the fun and romantic setting (not a stable in sight), and your efforts are celebrated at the end with a toast of champagne. 

The process begins with an initial meeting with one of the jewellers to discuss exactly the ring design you have in mind; this ensures that you will get precisely what you want. Once you are happy with your design you move to the workbench which is where the real magic happens! The ring making process involves four main phases: melting, milling, soldering and the finishing touches of filing, buffing and polishing. For the duration of the ring making process, which only takes about four hours, an expert jeweller will be by your side, offering guidance and ensuring that your rings turn out perfectly. You will need no prior knowledge or experience in the art of ring making or design, rather an open mind and a loving fiancé. 

J’adore Adornments
To make the process even more special, couples can add meaningful finishing touches to their wedding rings. Variations to a standard ring are as endless as imagination allows. Rings can be classically simple bands or intricately designed pieces. By making the rings with the aid of the jeweller, couples are able to have them matched perfectly with their engagement rings. If you chose to add romantic adornments such as diamonds and precious stones, a combination of different metals (yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum are available), engraved sweet-nothings or even heirloom jewellery, an experienced jeweller can add these finishing touches to make your rings even more meaningful.

About Larsen Wedding Rings
Larsen Wedding Rings is based in Sydney’s historic Strand Arcade and recently opened a second studio in Melbourne’s iconic GPO building. If you’re a hopeful out-of-towner, you’ll be pleased to hear that plans are underway for stores to open in Brisbane and other capital cities in the near future.

To find out more about the process of designing and making your own rings, phone Larsen Wedding rings on 02 9223 2006 for Sydney, or 03 9662 3005 for Melbourne, or visit 

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Aurelio Costarella

Since launching his labels Aurelio Costarella and Aurelio Costarella Couture in 2000, Perth-based fashion designer Aurelio Costarella is certainly someone that knows about design. His exquisite, vintage-inspired designs mix the past with the present, and have become a favourite with both local identities and international celebrities alike.

Focusing on couture evening wear, many of his creations also have a definitive bridal feel, and the label would make a fabulous choice for style-savvy brides-to-be. Angled necklines provide an edgy look to the more traditional cuts, while long, flowy skits and folds of tulle add feminine touches to the stunning designs.

Below is a selection of my favourite creations from the stunning Summer 2010/2011 and Summer 2009/2010 collections. 

Spring Summer 2010/2011

Spring Summer 2010/2011

Spring Summer 2009/2010

Spring Summer 2010/2011

 Spring Summer 2010/2011

 Spring Summer 2009/2010

 Spring Summer 2010/2011

Spring Summer 2009/2010

Spring Summer 2010/2011

Spring Summer 2010/2011

 Spring Summer 2010/2011

 About Aurelio Costarella and Aurelio Costarella Couture

Aurelio Costarella, the creative behind Aurelio Costarella (ready to wear) and Aurelio Costarella Couture, launched in 2000 and is earning a formidable reputation internationally as he turns his Western Australian-based company into an international luxury brand. 

He created history in 2007 when he listed Costarella Design Limited on the Australian Stock Exchange (code CLD), an Australian first for an individual Australian fashion designer.

His exquisite evening wear designs have been admired and worn by a plethora of international stars, including Rhianna, Eva Mendes, Rosie Perez, Mia Maestro, Melissa George, Leelee Sobieski, Dita Von Teese, Jenna Jameson, Tina Arena and Sharon Stone. 

Aurelio is a regular feature at New York Fashion Week and has received many accolades over the years, including WA Designer of the Year 1994, 1995, 2004, WA Small Business of the Year 2007 and WA Citizen of the Year Finalist 2007. 

Recently, Costarella Design Limited entered into a strategic alliance with leading professional cosmetic group I Nuovi Cosmetics (5) PTY LTD ( to develop a range of skin/body/home products and a signature scent to complement the fashion label.

The Aurelio Costarella labels are available throughout Australia and internationally with stockists in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Italy, Kuwait, Riyadh, Jakarta, and New Zealand. 

Recognition - Awards and Accolades
2007 Small Business of the Year (WA Fashion)
2007 Listed in the Who's Who of Australia 2007
2007 WA Citizen of the Year (Culture and the Arts) Nomination
2005 Spring/Summer 02/06 Show voted 'One of the Best' at RAFW, NSW
2004 WA Designer of the Year Award
1995 Finalist - Elders Australian Wool Award
1995 WA Designer of the Year - Evening Wear and Directional Day Wear Awards
1989 WA Fashion Design Awards - Evening Wear Awards

Visit Aurelio Costarella for stockist locations.

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hilde Heim - Bridal Style Guide

The preparation for your wedding will be one of the most exciting, emotional and special times of your life. Although, once you start planning for your wedding, you will realise just how much there is to consider to pull off the event of a lifetime. One very important aspect of your wedding preparation will be choosing your gown, beacuse your wedding day is your day to shine, so of course you will want to look absolutely gorgeous.

To help make choosing your gown a breeze, Hilde Heim Designer Bride and Cocktail invites you to join them on Sunday 18th July, 2010 from 10am to 3pm as they bring you Bridal Style Guide, a complete style guide and workshop for your wedding day.

Every bride wants to looks a million dollars, but many struggle with finding the perfect gown. The Hilde Heim designer will personally host the free in-house seminar, guiding brides through the dress styles and colours which are best suited to their body type and skin colour.

At the workshop, brides will be able to see all the latest trends in bridal looks, exploring the do's and don'ts of styling, from make-up through to photography. 

To help you look your very best, brides will also be able to receive advice on fitness from a "Personal Fitness for Brides" consultant.

There will be a glamorous fashion parade with Hilde's personal favourites, latest designs and popular styles. And what's more, you will also have the opportunity to win a $1000 wedding gown prize!

Special guests include Rebecca Narvaez Make-Up Artistry offering personal demonstrations, Focus Films Photography, Treasures Jewellery with gorgeous bridal accessories at wholesale prices and Styled Event Wedding Planners. 

Enjoy a glass of bubbly on arrival, bring your bridesmaids and have a great girl's day out!

Sound enticing? I think so… Visit Hilde Heim to reserve your seat and receive a program of the day's events. Contact Stefania on 07 3356 1190 or email

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Angels Dreaming Stationery

Your wedding stationery is the opportunity to introduce your guests to the style of wedding they can expect for your big day, so it is oh-so-important that your stationery makes a lasting impression and that it truly reflects your theme.

Angels Dreaming stationery can certainly achieve this desired first impression with its elegant styling and beautiful printing. I just love the remarkable attention to detail, and the way in which Angels Dreaming stationery creates a beautiful journey for your guests, beginning with the moment they open their exquisite invitation.

About Angel Dreaming Stationery
Angels Dreaming is a name that has become synonymous with beautiful, handmade stationery. The name was Rouba Alamein's first little creation, in fact she dreamed the name up when she was 16; "I was going to write a book of poetry and call it 'Angels Dreaming'".

Many years later Angels Dreaming was created and became Australia's leading handmade stationery boutique. Although their showroom has many beautiful designs on display, most of Angels Dreaming stationery is custom designed. Visualise a French lace invitation beaded with fresh water pearls for your vintage-inspired wedding, or a delicate piece of coral on a seagrass pouch for that seaside event. Their work is inspiring, often hand-sewn with fine fabrics, beading and featuring an extensive collection of eclectic products sourced from all over the world. Their stationery is always beautifully packaged.

So, if you are ready to begin planning your special day's stationery, then you must visit the beautiful showroom to view samples of the divine designs that Angels Dreaming can create…

A | Level 1, 55 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay NSW 2089 (open Tuesday to Saturday, by appointment only)
P | 02 9904 1100
E |

Have a lovely day!… Anna

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fashion Weekend Sydney 2010 Wrap-Up

Well Fashion Weekend Sydney 2010 has been and gone, and what an event it was! A few of the BD team members attended, and had a great time.  

With hundreds of designer labels on display, including Billion Dollar Babes, Nicola Finetti, Otto Mode, Hussy, Samantha Wills, Skin & Threads, and Peep Toe, girls were able to grab their statement pieces without the statement price tag.

There was an Essie nail bar where girls could get a mani and their favourite Essie nail colour for $20 - this proved to be a very popular feature of the weekend! Just as popular was the Toni & Guy Style Bar, where the talented stylists from Toni & Guy refreshed and revamped punters with their award-winning blow dry for $10.

The Fashion Weekend Catwalk presented an exclusive and unique view of this season’s hottest collections, with group shows taking place each hour, right across the weekend. Designers showcasing their latest looks for this season included Camilla, This is Genevieve, Life with Bird,, Hussy, Little Joe by Gail Elliot, Muccia, Lucette, Peep Toe, Shakahachi, and Laurence Pasquier. Fleur Wood

Yet another highlight of the fashionable four-day event was the Shop Til You Drop Fashion Clinic, which presented make-up masterclasses, styling competitions, interviews with designers, and styling tutorials that showed girls how to implement the clothing, hair and make-up trends from the catwalks into their everyday stylefiles. Fashionistas were also able to meet the Shop team, including editor Justine Cullen, fashion director Rebecca Caratti and beauty and lifestyle director Amy Starr. 

Fashion Weekend Sydney 2010 proved to be a fabulous event, and with the greats of the Australian fashion industry all under one roof, there truly was no better way to re-vamp your wardrobe without leaving a designer-shaped hole in your bank balance then at Fashion Weekend Sydney!

Have a lovely day!… Anna