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Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Damian Walshe-Howling

13th June, 2016
Lunch with Damian Walshe-Howling at Nomad in Surry Hills.

Lunch with Damian Walshe-Howling at Nomad in Surry Hills.

Damian Walshe-Howling is an actor and director known for playing tattooed killer Benji Veniamin in the TV series, Underbelly, winning him an AFI Award in 2008, as well as hosting the shows Crash Investigation Unit and Customs. He has produced a short film, MESSiAH, which premieres on June 14 at the Sydney Film Festival after he was named one of four winners of its short film competition from more than 4000 entries. The film is the result of Walshe-Howling’s 2015 win at the Lexus Short Film Series, a competition run by Lexus international in partnership with The Weinstein Company. Walshe-Howling, 45, tells Kate Waterhouse about what inspires him, how he became a film director and the day he almost died on a set.
What does it mean for you to have your film show at the Sydney Film Festival?

It is an incredible honour to share MESSiAH at the Sydney Film Festival because it exposes my work to some big names. To have the Global Premiere of MESSiaH in my home country allows me to share this with family and friends, which is even more special.

 

What inspired you to produce MESSiAH the new short film?

I actually overcame my self-doubt and entered my film on the very last day on the competition. I decided to take a punt so I was left with 36 hours to turn a treatment around. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity presented by The Weinstein Company and Lexus. Unfortunately funding for short films is rare so I had to jump on board. Funnily enough the competition theme was anticipation so it fitted well with my last minute approach.

 

What does screenwriting for a short film involve?

The process begins with a lot of brainstorming initially by sitting down and deciding what angle to go with. Initially I write about themes that interest me and what I’m curious about. I have written 3 to 4 films so far and I need to be really curious about the subject. The greatest challenge is actually getting my bum in the seat to write but once I start I’m off. I began writing Messiah at the beginning of Nov and did not have a full script until end of January. The process really involves playing with it, rewriting again until you are happy with it.

 

How did you enter into filmmaking?

After 25 years of acting professionally it was quite a natural progression to move into the writing and editing space. My mother was also involved with stage theatre in Melbourne so I grew up in a creative household. Growing up surrounded by lots of story telling led me to being curious about the field.

 

What do you hope to achieve with your Film work?

I hope to achieve what is happening right now – I love what I do and feel very blessed to be doing this right now. I will continue to work with short films and see where this takes me.

 

Do you enjoy screen writing or acting more?

Both screen writing and acting have challenges that I enjoy. I gain enormous fulfillment from both to be honest. They both require a lot of time to craft a finished product, which I am proud of.

 

What was your favourite acting role?

This is hard for me to answer because there have been so many great roles across stage, film and TV. I would have to say that my Underbelly would be one of the favourites though. I also really enjoyed acting on stage in the Glengarry Glenn Ross theatre production. I played a captivating role as Ricky Roma.

 

Which series did you enjoy working on the most?

Ah, I cannot pick just one!  Again, Underbelly because it was so well crafted and I think it engaged a lot of Australians. I also have really fond memories from working on the 2001 comedy He died with a falafel in his hand. The Reef was about a great white shark, which capsized near the Great Barrier Reef.  I actually almost died by stepping on a stonefish while we were filming. We had to stop production for a day and the cast went waterskiing while I was in hospital.

 

 What attracted you to the Underbelly role?

Well the offer was very enticing [Laughs]. The story was really strong so intuitively it was going to be a great series. An early reading of the script showed that the series would be powerful as humanity was at the heart of these characters.

 

What is the best thing about your job?

I do have a pretty great job. I am very blessed to do what I love. I know that is so cliché but it is that simple. It is important for me to enjoy what I am doing because I have to dedicate a lot of time. The industry allows me to unleash my creativity and you are always collaborating with fantastic people. Along the journey, I have met some wonderful mentors who have been collaborated with me to drive my vision

 

How did you get your first career break?

My first break relied on knocking on a lot of doors and being patient. I also picked up the phone to hassled people. It was a fine line between pushing my desires and not over doing it. I learnt a lot in terms of knowing when to try to push the door open and when to look elsewhere. The biggest learning curve for me was understanding the benefit of creating your own work. For many years I didn’t do that because I was too afraid. The opportunity to create my own short film is so amazing because it means that people believed in me.

 

If you didn’t go down the career path of acting, what alternative career path do you think you would have taken?

I could see myself doing something with photojournalism or psychology. I have actually studied photography. I worked on the framing of MESSiAH with my director of photography, Denson Baker. I have found a simpatico with him as our minds met visually.

 

What is your favourite film of all time?

I am quite the movie fanatic so this is not easy to answer to decide on one. My list of favourite films changes all the time. Star Wars would have to be on my list because I am quite a die-hard fan. Dead man walking with Sean Penn is another incredible film. I also have to mention Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is a highly inspiring mad film.

 

 How would you describe yourself?

I am a little bit nutty for sure. Luckily I am also very chatty and I am naturally quite curious about the world.

 

What do you do outside of work?

I keep busy with lots of things. I enjoy socialising with family and friends. I have learnt to play the harmonica and can also play the drums and didgeridoo. When I find time I also go surfing at my favourite beaches. I also value my alone time – I go to the cinema alone all the time. I find it a lot easier to cry when it is just me.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Honestly I don’t think in terms of future projections and things like that. I went to this lecture where a Buddhist monk was presenting. A guy in the audience asked the Buddhist monk if he believed telling the future. The monk said ‘no’. The guy asked ‘why?’ again. The monk explained that he couldn’t even take care of this moment let alone 5 to 10 years. I tend to agree with this rationale.

 

What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

I was taught to remain curious by my parents and family. I try to apply this to my life and have a mentality to continue exploring.

 

Who do you look up to?

I suppose I look up to different people at different times. It changes with who is in front of me and what I’m doing at the time. I would say my parents are always at the top of the list though. They taught me everything I know and continue to inspire me everyday.

 

What is next in the pipeline? 

It is very exciting that I will be working on the new series of Janet King. Also, there is another TV series, which I will be involved with however I am not allowed to say any more about that one. Travel is also on the cards. I want to get inspired so I probably will dedicate about 4 to 6 weeks in time traveling to experience some new wonders.

 

BITE SIZE

WE WENT TO Nomad restaurant, Surry Hills

WE ATE Split pea hummus with spiced chickpeas and flatbread; Nomad charcuterie with pickles; jersey milk haloumi with tomato and oregano

WE DRANK Still water; Sunday Road pale ale

DAMIAN WORE Nudie jeans and T-shirt.

I WORE a Goodnight Macaroon dress.

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: MBFWA Day Three

17th May, 2016

From Bec & Bridge to Christopher Esber it was another day of back to back shows and with the sun shining and the weather unseasonably warm I wanted to wear something that was comfortable, airy and slight flowy to accommodate the bump. I went with a Christopher Esber top and Christopher Esber skirt which ticked all the boxes. The rest of the look was quite muted with my black Alaia heels and black Ellery sunglasses so I wanted to add a pop of colour with my Chanel clutch. Another busy day indeed!

Check out what I got up to today plus the rest of Fashion Week by checking out my YouTube channel.

Photo 18-05-2016, 2 59 45 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 00 01 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 2 55 45 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 00 13 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 01 15 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 01 17 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 01 30 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 56 51 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 3 56 19 AMPhoto 18-05-2016, 4 04 37 AM (1)

Credits: Skirt, Christopher Esber; Top, Christopher Esber; Heels, Alaia; Clutch, Chanel; Sunglasses, Ellery

Photography: Sophia Athas

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: MBFWA Day Two

17th May, 2016

MBFWA is on a roll and Day 2 proved impressive both on and off the runway. From pastel silks at Ginger & Smart, to bold silhouettes via Rebecca Vallance, there was a feminine edge to each show. In the wardrobe department, I chose to keep it neutral today, with a beautiful crepe SportMax shift dress with button details, another perfect silhouette for the baby bump. For the morning shows I added a beige trench by Christopher Esber. In true Esber style, the coat boasts stunning cut out details and a cape-like collar.

For more street style and runway action check out my snapchat: kate_waterhouse and to stay updated subscribe to my Youtube Channel. 

Credits: Sportmax dressChristopher Esber jacketGianvito Rossi heels, Fendi clutch and Dita sunglasses.

Photography: Sophia Athas 

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Rebecca Vallance

 

 

Fashion, What I Wore

WHAT I WORE: MBFWA DAY ONE

15th May, 2016

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MBFWA kicked off with a bang! Toni Maticevski officially opened the week with a stunning runway show at The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney. I opted for colour and pleats for Day One with this Stella McCartney skirt and top ensemble. It’s perfect for a growing baby bump as it is so comfortable and easy to wear. I look forward to having fun ‘styling the bump’ for the rest of the week.

For more street style and runway action check out my snapchat: kate_waterhouse and to stay updated subscribe to my Youtube Channel. 

Credits: Stella McCartney topStella McCartney skirt (both from Belinda). Alaia heelsDita sunglassesProenza Schouler clutch and Eddie Borgo chocker.

Photography: Sophia Athas

IMG_9656 21357810121322IMG_9655Ginger and Smart

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Emma Freedman

8th November, 2015
Breakfast with Emma Freedman. Photo: Janie Barrett

Breakfast with Emma Freedman. Photo: Janie Barrett

Emma Freedman is an Australian television personality and radio presenter. She is also the daughter of five-time Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer Lee Freedman. Emma, 26, talks to me about winning Dancing with the Stars this year, her new radio venture and, as an ambassador for David Jones, her love of fashion on the field during racing season.

What’s a day in the life of you?

At the moment, a day in the life would be getting up pretty early to exercise. So, yoga, run, Pilates, something like that, wanting to try and keep my dancer’s figure. And at the moment I’m going through the second edit of my young-adults novel called Turning Pointes. It’s about a ballet school and for nine- to 13-year-old girls.

What was it like to win Dancing with the Stars?

It was a big win and we weren’t expecting it. I had worked really hard. But I think the biggest thing that I got out of it was the incredible friends you make on the show, because you’re all going through this really weird ride together and having to kind of muster up the courage to get out there and … perform a dance you’ve learnt three days before.

You say you had to muster the courage … were you able to let go?

Totally. Everyone is used to seeing you in gumboots in the morning weather and there you are [dancing] … and it’s like, “Here’s my body, Australia” [laughs].

Are you enjoying your new radio role as host of The Scoopla Show and national drive news presenter on 2DayFM? 

Radio is awesome because I can go in dressed mostly in whatever I want. It’s delivering news or entertainment news and you’ve got to make it a bit engaging. People want to be able to listen to you and have an image in their mind as to what you’re talking about. So I like that creative element.

Everyone was shocked when you left Channel 9.

Yes, everyone was very shocked, including myself! When everyone asks me still what happened, I can only kind of tell them what I know, which is that it was budget cuts and possibly a different direction for the couple of shows that I was working on.

Do you miss live TV?

I do, but I don’t at the same time. I get my live fix each night with radio because it’s an adrenalin rush.

You and your family are heavily involved with racing. What were your commitments during the Spring Carnival?

My big two projects were with David Jones on Caulfield Cup Day and then Lexus Design Pavilion on Derby and Cup.

Do you prefer the fashion or the racing side when it comes to races?

Oh, that’s like the hardest question in the world. It’s like choosing between children. I do love the racing side, to be honest. I love that kind of old-world feel, that kind of tradition that racing has around it as a sport – and particularly this time of year, I think. I’m so full of admiration for all the trainers and jockeys and owners and everyone who works at the stables across the country … I do love the fashion side of it as well though, obviously, and I think that’s only natural for a young woman to have a kind of fondness for that part of racing. But it would be by the shortest of like half-noses; racing as a sport would win over fashion.

You have done many interesting stories in your journalistic career. What’s the most memorable moment for you?

One of my most amazing was hosting a show last year with Usain Bolt. And then, one of the stories that I’m most proud of that I put to air was a profile piece on Tommy Berry, who I absolutely adore. If he has a winner on a big day, I still text him and he always replies back. He’s such a sweetheart. And then, in the last kind of eight or nine months, I guess, I’m just really proud that I was able to get back on the horse quickly with Jules [Lund, her co-host on The Scoopla Show]. I don’t often say I’m proud of myself because I’m so self-critical and I’m quite a big perfectionist. But I, honestly, can look back on that process and say, “I gave it everything”.

If you could have any job in media, what would be your dream role?

Honestly, I kind of think about things differently nowadays; I don’t think of like a one role that I would love. But I think of areas that I’d love to work in more. For me, whether it’s radio or television, like the live format is just, I want to keep doing it. Racing and sport, they’re both areas that I love and then I’ve developed knowledge and a keen interest in.

Who do you look up to and admire?

I think Edwina Bartholomew – her work, right at the moment, is through the roof. I’ve seen it first-hand and I think she’s just an amazing woman to do what she does. Bruce McAvaney – obviously he’s just the Dwayne of sport – I love how he stuck to his guns over the years. What he does works for him. He has become this figure of like eternal knowledge. He works so hard at it. In radio, I do look up to Jules. He’ll love me saying that. But he’ll also be embarrassed by that at the same time. Jules is like a hard worker. But he is a really kind soul.

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m so boring – I don’t have any weird hobbies. But, mostly, I exercise. I eat great food and cook great food – not always great in terms of quality, but in terms of nutritional value. I have a good glass of red, watch the footy, hang out with friends.

 

WE WENT TO The Boathouse, Balmoral Beach.

WE ATE Market fruit plate with yoghurt and honey; avocado and tomato on charred toast with goat’s curd and fresh basil; buttermilk scones.

WE DRANK Mixed fruit juices.

EMMA WORE A Camilla and Marc dress and Scanlan Theodore boots.

I WORE a Zara shirt and Skin and Threads jeans.

 

 

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Dan Hong

18th October, 2015
Yum Cha with Lexus ambassador Dan Hong. Photo: Wolter Peeters.

Yum Cha with Lexus ambassador Dan Hong. Photo: Wolter Peeters.

 

Top chef Dan Hong’s big break came with winning the Josephine Pignolet Award for best young chef in 2008. He went on to join Merivale and is now the executive chef across four of its establishments – Mr. Wong, Ms G’s, Papi Chulo​ and El Loco. The 32-year-old talked to me about how his mother got him his first big gig, the dish he is most proud of, and the lengths he will go to for his ultimate pair of sneakers.

Did you always want to be a chef?

Not really. I didn’t really do well in high school. So when I finished, my mum said, “What are you going to do?” I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” She said, “Why don’t you become a chef?” I went, “Oh, OK.” So she actually got my first job. This was 14 years ago, back at Longrain​, and my passion sort of just developed from there.

Why did your mother suggest you become a chef?

I don’t know. I always grew up around restaurants. My mother owned three Vietnamese restaurants, back in the early ’90s. I cooked at home a lot because my mum wasn’t at home. She was always at the restaurant. So she just thought, “You’re good at cooking at home for the family, so why don’t you just give it a go?”

You are now one of the biggest names in the business. How did it evolve for you?

It all just fell into place. I’m really fortunate to have someone like Justin Hemmes, who has all these visions. I just execute the food. With something like Mr. Wong, he was just like, “I’m closing down Tank. I’m opening a Chinese restaurant and I want you.” I’m like, “Well, I don’t know anything about Chinese food.” He knew that I could do something like this without me even realising myself.

How did your association with Justin and Merivale come about?

Back in 2007, when I won the Josephine Pignolet Award for Best Young Chef, as part of the project, you get to travel overseas. So I worked in New York for two months and I got back and literally, the second day, I got back, I got a call from Frank Roberts, who is the general manager of food and beverage at Merivale, going, “Look, I’ve got this spot open.” He was with Lotus at that time. He went, “Look, I want you to come, do a tasting for Justin and then we’ll see how we go.” And then, luckily, I got the job at Lotus back in 2008. That was my first head chef job at 23. From there, it was Ms. G’s and El Loco and Mr. Wong.

You say you didn’t know anything about Chinese food, how did you transition and become one of the top chefs in Chinese cuisine?

I always loved eating Chinese food. So that’s what our chefs did at the end of our shifts late night: we’d always go to Chinatown like Golden Century and eat Chinese food. When we were opening Mr. Wong, we went to Hong Kong. We went from the smallest wonton noodle shop to the three Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants in the hotels. We went and ate at all the places, just to make ourselves just engulf ourselves in Chinese food. We read lots of books. I watched YouTube videos of people cooking Chinese food and I just combined everything. It was all trial and error. We had six months to work on the menu and that’s what we did.

Mr. Wong is a Two Hat restaurant, you must be so proud.

I am. I didn’t intend to get two hats. I just wanted a hat – [one] would be fine. It was so overwhelming. Now we’ve got to maintain the two hats now. So every September, when that time of the year comes when the Good Food Guide Awards come out, I’m stressing out!

How do you maintain the standard? 

It’s all about being consistent and maintaining that high standard, no matter whether we do 1000 covers a day or 400 covers today. That’s our main priority.

What’s next in the pipeline?

It’s so busy here at Mr. Wong and Ms. G’s. I’m just constantly here, just trying to work on new dishes. Also I’m getting ready for the Melbourne Cup carnival – I am doing the downstairs food at the Lexus Design Pavilion in the Birdcage at Flemington. I’ve been working on the menu; people should expect really fun, delicious food. I’ve never been to the Melbourne Cup so it should be a lot of fun. Also I’m possibly doing something on TV later on. I can’t really say.

What is your favourite cuisine? 

It’s a three-way tie between Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. I can’t choose.

If you could work in any cuisine, what would it be?

I’d like to get into more Japanese cuisines. I think that’s still a little niche in the market there. I think you could take it to the next level with Japanese cuisine too.

What dish of yours are you most proud of?

At Ms. G’s, I’ve got this dish called Stoner’s Delight. It’s up to its third rendition now. People just love it. It’s the most unbalanced junk-food-style dish dessert ever. It’s got donut ice-cream, peanut butter, deep-fried nutella, mars bar brownie, peanut and pretzel brittle, potato chips, candied bacon. Every single table orders it. It’s the most Instagrammed dessert on Ms. G’s Geotag. It’s just crazy.

What’s your favourite restaurant in the world?

I would have to say it’s probably Flower Drum in Melbourne. I just love it.

Do you cook at home?

Not really. Because I work so much … I might just get a really nice steak from Victor Churchill and just cook it over charcoal and serve with salad on the side. My wife does the cooking at home. She is a great cook.

Will your children follow in your footsteps? 

No, they better not. The industry is tough, especially being a chef.

What’s the toughest part of the industry?

It’s just the hours are really tough, the fact that you’re working while everyone is going out. Most of the time I leave when my children are asleep, and they’re asleep when I get home at night.

How do you create that work-life balance?

Well, first of all, your partner has to understand, in the first place, that you’re in the industry. Other than that, I try and spend the mornings with my kids when I can. I take my daughter to day-care three days a week. So I spend a bit of time with her there. I’ve still got two days off. I’ve got Sunday and Monday off. So that’s my family day.

You have a love of sneakers. How many pairs of sneakers do you own?

I’ve got about 140. They’re all in boxes in this custom wardrobe in my house.

Where did your love of sneakers come about?

I don’t know. I just really love rocking the latest kicks or the rarest shoes. That’s sort of just my vice, besides cooking.

Do you have a favourite pair? 

I do. I’m a Nike Flyknit freak. I love anything Flyknit. I’ve got a pair of these rare Nike Flyknits. There are 50 pairs in the world.

How did you get them?

Well, they’re only released in Milan at the Nike lab there. I got them through just checking Instagram, looking at sneaker groups in Facebooks and forums, just to see who had a pair, not necessarily for sale. I just saw people wearing them and I just went, “Are they for sale? I’ll buy them.” I’m not going to say how much I spent because it was a lot for a pair of sneakers. That’s what you have to do for something that’s only 50 pairs in the world.

What’s something that people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m really into really crappy reality TV shows. At the moment WAGs is probably my favourite.

 

BITE SIZE
WE WENT TO Mr. Wong, Sydney CBD.

WE ATE Lexus Design Pavilion menu of Jade seafood and ku chive dumplings, chive and roast-duck dumplings, wild mushroom dumplings, and scallop and lobster dumplings.

WE DRANK Chinese tea and sparkling mineral water.

I WORE Dion Lee 

 

Date with Kate, Fashion & Beauty

Date with Kate: Rachael Finch

10th May, 2015
Dinner with Rachael Finch at the Lexus Prix de Marie Claire Awards. Photo: Cybele Malinowski

Dinner with Rachael Finch at the Lexus Prix de Marie Claire Awards. Photo: Cybele Malinowski

 

Rachael Finch is a TV presenter, Myer ambassador, health coach and mother to 19-month-old Violet. I caught up with the former Miss Universe Australia at the Prix de Marie Claire Awards, presented by Lexus to chat about Finch’s busy work schedule, her former dreams of representing Australia at the Olympics, and how she will celebrate her second Mother’s Day today.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? 

Relaxing! I treasure days I can spend from start to finish with Violet and my husband, Michael, so when they come up we keep it pretty casual. A day in the park with lunch at our favourite cafe sounds good.

What do you enjoy the most about motherhood? 

I love watching Violet explore the world around her and develop her own personality. Every day I am amazed at what she can do, even at such a young age. I can’t wait to continue growing with her and share in some beautiful moments. There is a beautiful wholesome feeling that has come with having Violet. I can’t wait to have more!

What advice did your mother give you that you will pass down to Violet? 

Mum always taught me the importance of self-respect on a physical and emotional level. She always took the time to explain why it’s important to take care of yourself and to not feel guilty doing nice things for yourself. Mum also worked incredibly hard from a young age and I saw how much strength and determination she had as a mother.

Is your Michael a hands-on father? 

He is like a second mother. I am very blessed. Because both our schedules are a mixed bag, we spend equal time with Violet so he is truly amazing at being a father. He is patient, warm and is completely in love.

What is a day in the life of Rachael Finch?

Every day is completely different. My week is mixed with photo shoots, media calls, presenting work, blogging, meetings, fitness, cooking, travel and being mum to my angel Violet. I love the variety in my schedule, it keeps me challenged, and I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to time.

Biggest personal and career highlight? 

There have been lots of moments so far where I have found myself stopping to soak up the experience. Representing Australia in the Miss Universe Competition in the Bahamas will always be a beautiful memory, and competing on Dancing with the Stars is incredibly special because I met my husband on the show. Personally, marrying the man I continue to fall in love with ever day, and having our first child, have been magical moments.

You must have interviewed some pretty amazing people with your role on Channel 7. Is there anyone who stands out in your mind and why? 

Interviewing Robin Williams when he came to Sydney to promote Happy Feet was a surreal moment. I remember going into the interview prepared with a whole page of questions for a seven-minute interview, and not having to ask one of them. He had such an incredible, unique energy about him that I have not seen elsewhere. I laughed the whole interview and will remember that for the rest of my life.

Have you ever been star-struck by anyone? 

I have met Jessica Mauboy​ a few times through my television and radio work and think she is simply amazing inside and out. When I hear her sing in real life, my body is covered in goosebumps. I think she is one of the biggest stars to come from our country.

You are always in such great shape. What is your fitness regime? 

Very sweet, thank you. Health and wellness is a lifestyle for me, not something I turn on and off. I love getting out of bed feeling amazing every day and having oodles of energy for Violet. I want to live to 120, but I want quality from those years. I try to be physically active every day, whether that means taking Violet for a power walk in the pram or taking a yoga class. I don’t like using the word ‘exercise’ and try to listen to my body on a neutral level every day to give it what it feels like. In saying that, I do like the idea of challenging by body to strive to become better.

You are also a certified health coach. What inspired you to do that and do you have plans to get more into that side of things? 

Studying to become a health coach was an extension of my love of health and wellness. I wanted to expand my knowledge of food, nutrition and healthy living and the course did that. It has helped strengthen my values and opinions within the brands I currently work with and it’s exciting to think about future prospects in the health space.

You represented Australia at the Miss Universe competition in 2009. Was that a good experience and what did it teach you? 

The Miss Universe competition was unreal. The competition ran for three weeks and every day I had lunch with a girl from a new country. It was incredible getting to know the women and hearing stories from their countries. It was my first real introduction to the world of media and entertainment and certainly taught me a lot about myself. Despite the stigma attached with beauty pageants, there was nothing more important than being 100 per cent yourself in every aspect of the competition.

If you hadn’t gone down the path of a career in media, what would you have done?

I would have   loved to represent Australia at the Olympics. I competed in athletics for nine years and my dream was to make a career as an athlete. My favourite events were long-distance running and long jump. I’m incredibly grateful now that I can still combine my love of fitness with my career with the brands I work with.

What do you do for fun during your time off? 

We love our food so our first stop on a day off is to eat somewhere yummy. Misha took me to Toko in Surry Hills on our first date and we love going there once in a while for sushi and a glass of red.

From your Instagram photos, you seem to be quite the chef. What is your signature dish? 

I’m in the kitchen most days cooking something new or recreating something I know the family will like. Misha likes when I cook a rack of lamb with roasted sweet-potato fries and a side of steamed greens. It’s simple but I think that’s the key when it comes to cooking. We try to eat foods as wholesome as possible but enjoy little treats on the weekend. Saturday night we might have a bowl of ice-cream or go out for a pizza. I also like making healthy snacks like protein balls, granola and slices to last throughout the working week.

BITE SIZE
WE WENT TO
 the Prix De Marie Claire Awards, presented by Lexus, at Moore Park.

WE ATE Flinders Island lamb rack with wild thyme, baby carrots, parsnips and pearl onions; followed by Valrhona chocolate mousse with milk jam, raspberries and lemon balm.

WE DRANK Two Italian Boys Pinot Grigio and sparkling water.

RACHAEL WORE an Alex Perry gown.

I WORE Christopher Esber dress.

Beauty, Fashion

Lexus Prix de marie claire awards

23rd April, 2015

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It may have been bucketing down outside but the Lexus Prix de marie claire fashion and beauty awards was definitely worth braving wild weather for. This year was the 10th anniversary of the awards and it was held at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter. There’s always a certain buzz around this event and it always attracts the big names in fashion. This year was no exception with everyone from Jennifer Hawkins to Dion Lee and Kym Ellery all making an appearance.

The Prix de marie claire awards always takes events to a whole new level and this year’s styling was particularly stunning. There were big black curtains hiding everything while everyone arrived and mingled and when it was time for the event to start, everyone walked up a flight of stairs and behind the curtains there was a big beautiful room filled with an amazing pattern made of candles. It was just breathtaking.

I was actually multitasking at the event. I was doing vox pops on the red carpet in my role as Lexus ambassador, I was filming Fashion Bloggers and I was presenting an award! I presented an award many years ago at the 2009 Prix de marie claire awards so it was nice to be doing it at its 10th anniversary. I presented the award for best Australian boutique, which went to Parlour X.

One of the best bits about the awards is that I always pick up a tip for a beauty product to roadtest. I always take notes of all the things I want to try afterwards! See below for the full list of winners and pics from the event.

 

2015 PRIX DE MARIE CLAIRE BEAUTY AWARD WINNERS:

READERS’ CHOICE

BEST FRAGRANCE – CHANEL COCO NOIR PARFUM

BEST MAKE-UP PRODUCT (SPLURGE) – NAPOLEON PERDIS STROKE OF GENIUS LIQUIDCASHMERE FOUNDATION SPF 20

BEST MAKE-UP PRODUCT (STEAL) – REVLON COLORSTAY MOISTURE STAIN

BEST SKINCARE PRODUCT (SPLURGE) – ESTÉE LAUDER ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR EYESYNCHRONIZED COMPLEX II

BEST SKINCARE PRODUCT (STEAL) – L’ORÉAL PARIS REVITALIFT MAGIC BLUR DAILYANTI-AGEING MOISTURISER

BEST HAIRCARE/STYLING PRODUCT (SPLURGE) – GHD CURVE CREATIVE CURL WAND

BEST HAIRCARE/STYLING PRODUCT (STEAL) – JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ EASE EXTRA STRENGTH 6 EFFECTS SERUM

BEST BODY PRODUCT (SPLURGE) – L’OCCITANE SUPPLE SKIN OIL WITH ALMOND OIL

BEST BODY PRODUCT (STEAL) – PALMER’S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA RAPID MOISTURE SPRAY LOTION

BEST AUSTRALIAN BEAUTY BRAND – NAPOLEON PERDIS

BEST MEN’S GROOMING PRODUCT – CLINIQUE FOR MEN FACE SCRUB

BEST MEN’S FRAGRANCE – GIORGIO ARMANI ARMANI CODE ICE EDT

 

2015 PRIX DE MARIE CLAIRE FASHION AWARD WINNERS:

READERS’ CHOICE

BEST AUSTRALIAN FASHION BRAND – CUE

BEST AUSTRALIAN ACCESSORIES BRAND – TONY BIANCO

BEST SWIMWEAR BRAND – SEAFOLLY

BEST AUSTRALIAN DESIGNER – ZIMMERMANN

EDITOR’S CHOICE

BEST AUSTRALIAN DESIGNER – KYM ELLERY

BEST AUSTRALIAN FASHION BRAND – BASSIKE

BEST AUSTRALIAN ACCESSORIES BRAND – SARAH & SEBASTIAN

LEXUS BEST NEW/UP-AND-COMING AUSTRALIAN DESIGNER – STRATEAS CARLUCCI

BEST AUSTRALIAN BOUTIQUE – PARLOUR X

BEST AUSTRALIAN EVENINGWEAR DESIGNER – TONI MATICEVSKI

BEST SWIMWEAR BRAND –EPHEMERA

FASHION WITH HEART – WITCHERY

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – ALEX PERRY

 

 

 

 

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: MBFWA Day Two

14th April, 2015

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It was a gorgeous day today so what better time to wear a bright sunny yellow! I wore my favourite leather jacket over my dress which gave it a slightly more casual feel. It was another jam packed day today but I have to say, after checking out the Toni Maticevski show, it was definitely my favourite show so far!

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Dress: Burberry Prorsum

Jacket: Dion Lee Line II 

Bag: Proenza Schouler

Sunglasses: Prism

Heels: Alaia

Photos: Sophia Athas