Spring 2014 millinery

A ladylike feel given an edge with dramatic silhouettes - Suzy O'Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

A ladylike feel given an edge with dramatic silhouettes – Suzy O’Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

Pastel tones with strong structured arrangements - Jonathan Howard.

Pastel tones with strong structured arrangements – Jonathan Howard.

Perfectly formed geometrical crowns - Viktoria Novak.

Perfectly formed geometrical crowns – Viktoria Novak.

Veiling will return - Suzy O'Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

Veiling will return – Suzy O’Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

The wide brimmed hat, a personal favourite of Hatmaker Jonathan Howard.

The wide brimmed hat, a personal favourite of Hatmaker Jonathan Howard.

Black is very much in demand for Spring - Viktoria Novak.

Black is very much in demand for Spring – Viktoria Novak.

Metallic offers an option to mix up black and white combinations - Suzy O'Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

Metallic offers an option to mix up black and white combinations – Suzy O’Rourke. Photo: Michele Aboud

Wearable materials such a leather will be popular - Viktoria Novak.

Wearable materials such a leather will be popular – Viktoria Novak.

Well it’s that time of year again! Spring racing is almost upon us and with more people stepping outside their comfort zone when it comes to fashion I think this year is going to be quite memorable. I thought it was the perfect time to chat to 3 of the best milliners about key trends this Spring. Jonathan Howard, Suzy O’Rourke and Viktoria Novak are all leaders in their field and are constantly featured throughout the best fashion magazines in the country. Take some notes from below and, happy planning.

1. Millinery trends this Spring?
Jonathan says: For a number of seasons now we have seen the return of ‘the hat’ – this year even more so as the dressing becomes more tailored. Structured hats will work very well. Graphic sculptured forms of perspex, all manner of straw, and leather will feature. For those who take the opportunity to parade in a headpiece of feathers, they should look out for lovely pastel tones with strong structured arrangements. For easy-wear glamour don a multi coloured jewell headband. My personal favouriate, the wide brimmed hat – find a professionally made chapeaux, something you can treasure as a classic.

Suzy says: This Spring monochrome will once again stand out at the track. It is such a classic combination that is forever chic and this year we will see millinery with a ‘ladylike’ feel given an edge with dramatic silhouettes, texture and polka dots. Metallics will offer another option to mix up black and white combinations. Delicate floral headpieces and veiling will return in feminine lilac, pinks, blues and nude. Statement millinery created in unique materials with sharp lines will be the perfect compliment to sleek modern graphic outfits.

Viktoria says: This spring season we will see crisp white, with white on white for both clothing and headpieces. Black is back, we saw a lot of this earlier in the year during the Sydney autumn racing carnival, but it is very much in demand for spring. Spring is also the perfect time of year for colour, so this season we’ll see soft feminine gelato colours such as soft pinks, lilac and mint green. In terms of patterns, we will be seeing geometrical prints and exotic skin prints such as snake and crocodile. Generally for spring racing we always see materials such as feathers, sinamay, straw and delicate silk flowers, however this season we will be wearing materials such as leather, brass, 3D structured fabrics/laces, metals and crystals. Shapes this season will be everything and anything from closely fitted to the head, minimalistic, to perfectly formed geometrical crowns. We’ll see lots of points such as shapes like leaves and arrows.

2. Inspiration behind the change in millinery?
Suzy says: Racing will alway be about classic style but each year we see racegoers upping the ante, pulling together stunning race outfits from top to toe. The importance of accessories and fine details has become number one. Shoes, bags and most important millinery choices reflect your personality and style whether you are going for an edgy look, classic or quirky/fun. After all the Spring Racing carnival is all about FUN!!

Viktoria says:
The inspiration is definitely “less is more”. Fashion of course dedicates trends and because we are wearing more fashion forward style clothing, millinery has naturally shifted towards a more modern direction. Today’s generation is inspired by international runways, celebrities and the “Mad Max” style. Fashionista’s are also opting for a more effortless chic style, instead of perfectly matching the whole outfit from head to toe.

3. Why are we loving these trends?
Jonathan says: It has been a natural progression, Australian milliners are on trend and the millinery is geared closely towards popular trends in fashion, hence the change in attitude and direction.

Suzy says: These looks work so well at the race track as they give a nod to classic racing style but can be turned up to give an ultra modern edgy look or pretty feminine feel, you can have fun with planning your outfit and there is a look to suit everyone.

Viktoria says: Fashion has become more polished and refined. The shapes and fabrics used by designers in today’s fashion world are more tailored. This time of year we also see unusual shapes with character allowing Fashionista’s to express their individual styles. Fashionista’s are opting for items of clothing that are a piece of art and unique, and the same goes with their millinery choice. Today’s Fashionista wants to be able to re-wear their accessories; so choosing a design that is of the highest quality, which will allow them to reinvent their millinery choice not only wear to the races, but also to a special occasion. Fashionista’s also love millinery pieces that can be re-styled differently, essentially giving them two styles in one piece. Every decade we see a new trend evolve, we are now in the transition of creating the next fashion forward trend in the fashion world. We are dictating the next trend of the future.

4. What are you currently working on?
Jonathan says: We’ve recently collaborated with Zimmermann, on a range to coincide with their Cruise 2015 collection. Also, am excited to collaborate with jewellers Sarah & Sebastian once again, designing a capsule collection for Spring Racing. What I’m most excited about is our new collection of Luxury Sun Hats. We have sourced rare and special straws from all corners of the globe. Each have been given the special ‘hatmaker’ treatment where they’ve been hand-dyed, hand shaped and finished with unique trims at our Paddington workroom.

Viktoria says: I have been working on my new spring racing collection for this season, which is inspired by the Grecian Goddess flirting with elements of gold and brass. My collection also features leather crowns, leather and fabric cat inspired ears, with a range of sculptured fashion forward millinery designs. This year’s millinery collection has been designed and handmade keeping with tradition of this season’s top fashion trends.

Coconut chicken nuggets

No yukky feeling after!

No yukky feeling after!

A healthy take on the deep fried type with no oil or salt. When eating any meat I only buy organic. This is very easy to make and doesn’t take long! I served my nuggets with a big mango salad.

Coconut chicken nuggets
(Serves 2-3)

Ingredients
2 Large organic chicken breasts, cut into bite size nuggets
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 cup almond meal
1 cup shredded coconut

Method
1. Combine almond meal with coconut in a bowl and set aside.
2. Dip chicken pieces in egg then coat with coconut mix.
3. Place on baking tray lined with paper and bake on 180degrees for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden and crispy.

Enjoy!!

Breaky bake

The perfect dish for sharing.

The perfect dish for sharing.

Something you may like to try this Sunday is this easy breaky-bake! I love doing this when we have a few people over as it’s quick, delicious, nutritious and everyone can take what they feel like. You may like to make some toast on the side with some avocado and grab some fresh OJ for the table.

Breaky bake
(Serves 3)

Ingredients
3 Organic eggs
1 cup baby spinach
2 Tbls sundried tomatoes
1 brown onion, sliced
1-2 cups button mushrooms, washed
Olive oil
S+P

Method
1. In olive oil lightly brown onions and mushrooms in fry pan.
2. Add onion mix to a baking dish with tomatoes & spinach. Crack eggs over top of other ingredients (allow egg whites to run throughout dish).
3. bake 180 degrees 20 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking.
4. Season and place in the middle of the table!

Enjoy. If you want to make more, use a bigger dish and more ingredients.

Rach xx

flower power

Violet in her Chamomile flower bath.

Violet in her Chamomile flower bath.

German Chamomile.

German Chamomile.

Dried chamomile flowers

Dried chamomile flowers

Most commonly known as a relaxing cuppa!

Most commonly known as a relaxing cuppa!

The chamomile we used.

The chamomile we used.

The chamomile flower has been used for centuries for a variety of reasons. I always knew it to be the tea of choice after a busy day to aid in a good night’s sleep, but there is a long list of other beautiful benefits. Violet started to develop a blotchy rash on her back so Misha’s mum suggested we bath her in chamomile flowers. After just 2 baths the rash went away completely and has not made its return. 

Throughout the Middle Ages it was recorded that people used chamomile flowers as a remedy for problems like fevers, asthma, nausea, inflammation, skin diseases and even cancer. Their calming and anti-inflammatory properties make them a mothers must have. The daisy-like flowers contain natural healing oils and flavonoids that reduce stress internally and externally. I think it’s important to trial remedies that are 100 percent natural before turning to other medications. You can buy chamomile as dried flower heads (what we used in Violet’s bath), infusion (tea) or as a liquid extract. If you’re look for something to relieve eczema chamomile may certainly help.

Tofu, hummus + beetroot stack

I had mine for dinner but can be served as a starter or side.

I had mine for dinner but can be served as a starter or side.

Felt like tofu for dinner tonight and this turned out really satisfying! If you haven’t cooked much with tofu, recipes like this that cook it on a fry pan work best with the hard tofu. This is a vegan recipe that is very high in protein, low in carbohydrate and packed full of micronutrients. The hummus is so easy to make you could make a bigger portion and have some on toast in the morning for breaky! Let me know what you think.

Rach xx

Tofu, hummus + beetroot stack
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 x 100g squares of hard tofu
1/2 beetroot, skin removed and grated
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed
Juice from large wedge of lemon
Avocado slices for serving
2 Tbls Olive oil
S+P

Method
1. In large mixing bowl add chickpeas, half olive oil, lemon juice & salt and pepper.
2. Mash until thick and chunky.
3. Season tofu and cook on medium heat in oil for a minute or so on all sides. I like mine nice and crispy!
4. Serve by making the stack – tofu pattie, spoonful of hummus, beetroot and avo slices.

Yum! Enjoy!

Bula from Fiji!

The family at sunset.

The family at sunset.

I treated myself to a 2 hour body exfoliation and wrap followed by a massage and hydrotherapy pool session. My detoxifying tea on arrival.

I treated myself to a 2 hour body exfoliation and wrap followed by a massage and hydrotherapy pool session. My detoxifying tea on arrival.

Kokoda is a traditional Fijian dish made of raw fish coconut milk and chilli.

Kokoda is a traditional Fijian dish made of raw fish coconut milk and chilli.

I used to love writing words in the sand as a kid.

I used to love writing words in the sand as a kid.

Nothing else is necessary (except Papa who is taking the photo).

Nothing else is necessary (except Papa who is taking the photo). My bikini – Speedo.

Hibiscus at the resort.

Hibiscus at the resort.

The family at the buffet.

The family at the buffet.

The view from our room. Natadola Bay.

The view from our room. Natadola Bay.

Our angel onboard Fiji Airways.

Our angel onboard Fiji Airways.

It’s winter in Sydney and it’s my birthday so I wanted nothing more than to escape somewhere under the sun. Having a 9 month baby puts places like the Caribbean toward the end of the wish list, I think Violet will enjoy it more when she’s older anyhow. A Fiji Airways flight is only 4 hours from Sydney and it’s a 2 hour time zone swap when you get there. I had never been to the islands but lots of people sung praises about it. For 10 nights we stayed at the InterContinental Resort at Natadola Bay. It was heaven. I think it’s incredibly important to allow yourself time to switch off completely, wherever that may be, to rest our minds and hang around our natural environment. We spent most of our time sleeping on our beach towels! The resort sits snug in Natadola Bay – it took me about 20 minutes to run from one end of the beach to the other and back, so it’s a nice size for some exploring with kids.

Accomodation – We stayed in a beachfront suite with outdoor spa bath. We liked the idea of being on the ground close to amenities in the resort. With a pram this becomes easy.

FoodKokoda is a traditional Fijian dish which is made up of raw Walu fish. The fish is marinated in lemon or lime juice then coconut milk, tomatoes, chillies and salt are added. It’s usually served as an entree and it was delicious. I always try to eat local to wherever I am so that meant lots of fresh fruit (pineapple, watermelon, paw paw, coconut) and seafood seafood seafood!

6 dining options throughout the resort that range from casual to fine dining. Loved the themed buffet dinners but a Cabana dinner is a MUST! A 5 course dinner is set up in a cabana at sunset on the beach. I did this on my birthday night and got a nanny to take care of Violet.

Facilities – You don’t really need to leave the resort although we did venture into Nadi to experience the local town and buy some gifts (45 minute drive each way). The resort has boards of all sorts, snorkelling, fishing tours, a spa, gym, nanny service and swimming pools.

Traveling – We flew Fiji Airways which who were very helpful with Violet and the overall experience was smooth. The holiday started the moment we stepped foot on the plane.

Language – English is common in Fiji although make sure you know ‘Bula!’ which literally means ‘life’ but when used to greet someone it’s like wishing them good health. Thank you is ‘vinaka’.

Getting a little limber

Downface dog. Spread fingers and toes wide pressing hands and feet down firmly - this is your foundation for the stretch. Think about lifting your hips, straightening your legs and lengthening your back. Goal: to get your heels on the ground.

Downface dog. Spread fingers and toes wide pressing hands and feet down firmly – this is your foundation for the stretch. Think about lifting your hips, straightening your legs and lengthening your back. Goal: to get your heels on the ground.

Side stretch, hamstring + inner thigh. Two in one! Start sitting upright, tuck one foot in and float your hand over to opposite foot. Engage your core and keep the straight leg strong with a flexed foot. Goal: side chess to rest on leg.

Side stretch, hamstring + inner thigh. Start sitting upright, tuck one foot in and float your hand over to opposite foot. Engage your core and keep the straight leg strong with a flexed foot. Goal: side chest to rest on leg.

Hamstring + lower back. Flex feet to get the most out of this stretch and keep legs straight and flat. Think about lengthening top and bottom halves of your body. Goal: chest to knees.

Hamstring + lower back. Flex feet to get the most out of this stretch and keep legs straight and flat. Think about lengthening top and bottom halves of your body. Goal: chest to knees.

Backward thigh stretch. I could lay here forever. Start sitting and bend legs backward next to thighs. Slowly make your way down to the ground and place arms over head. Great for people who do a lot of heavy work with their thighs. If laying down is too extreme start by just sitting. Goal: knees to touch and spine flat on floor.

Backward thigh stretch. I could lay here forever. Start sitting and bend legs backward next to thighs. Slowly make your way down to the ground and place arms over head. Great for people who do a lot of heavy work with their thighs. If laying down is too extreme start by just sitting. Goal: knees to touch and spine flat on floor.

Butterfly baby. Stretches inner thighs,  groin, hips + lower back. Nice and simple but easy to get wrong. Sit upright, place feet together and press legs down as far as they'll go. Goal: knees to ground.

Butterfly baby. Stretches inner thighs, groin, hips + lower back. Nice and simple but easy to get wrong. Sit upright, place feet together and press legs down as far as they’ll go. Goal: knees to ground.

Thighs, hamstrings + chest. This one hurts sometimes but opens the legs out nicely. Plant one foot down with sole facing up and starch out back leg. Think about sitting upright and if you can start to bend back slowly. Keep shoulders relaxed. Goal: to look back completely while pelvic floor remains planted.

Thighs, hamstrings + chest. This one hurts sometimes but opens the legs out nicely. Plant one foot down with sole facing up and stretch out back leg. Think about sitting upright and if you can start to bend back slowly. Keep shoulders relaxed. Goal: to look back completely while pelvic floor remains planted.

Standing side stretch. Start standing tall, interlock fingers and like a rainbow make your way over to one side. Repeat both sides and remember to engage core. Goal: As far as you can manage.

Standing side stretch. Start standing tall, interlock fingers and like a rainbow make your way over to one side. Repeat both sides and remember to engage core. Goal: As far as you can manage.

Back bend. BEST WAKEUP CALL! This may be challenging if you haven't stretched much so you can start by kneeling and bending back on to your heels. To get into full bridge lay on your back with feet flat on floor. Place hands palm down next to your head and press down on hands and feet making your way up. Push your pelvis upright and continue to stretch your body imagining a rainbow shape. Remember to breathe! Goal: get onto toes and straighten legs!

Back bend. BEST WAKEUP CALL! This may be challenging if you haven’t stretched much so you can start by kneeling and bending back on to your heels. To get into full bridge lay on your back with feet flat on floor. Place hands palm down next to your head and press down on hands and feet making your way up. Push your pelvis upright and continue to stretch your body imagining a rainbow shape. Remember to breathe! Goal: get onto toes and straighten legs!

Split. Best thigh and hamstring stretch. You can start by kneeling and placing one foot out in front to stretch the hamstring. When you're ready start to lower into split, maintaining good posture. You can do this between 2 chairs for support. Goal: fold chest down to thigh.

Split. Best thigh and hamstring stretch. You can start by kneeling and placing one foot out in front to stretch the hamstring. When you’re ready start to lower into split, maintaining good posture. You can do this between 2 chairs for support. Goal: fold chest down to thigh.

Tree pose. Although it's technically not a stretch I always finish with a balance pose. Maintain a strong standing leg and stand tall. Focus your gaze on an object ahead. Swap sides and sweet dreams.

Tree pose. Although it’s technically not a stretch I always finish with a balance pose. Maintain a strong standing leg and stand tall. Focus your gaze on an object ahead. Swap sides and sweet dreams.

I believe one of the most simple yet powerful practices in the world of feeling good is stretching. I aim to attend at least one scheduled yoga class a week and on other days I stretch before bed or after strenuous training sessions. I can’t express enough how amazing the benefits of stretching are, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. I attended my first yoga class 8 years ago when I lived in Singapore. It was hard, I hated it but I stuck with it for a few weeks and haven’t stopped since. You don’t have to be a crazy yogi to reap the amazingness of stretching either. A simple session with focus on lengthening and limbering paired with a good breathing technique can have you feeling much better. Stretching improves my sleep, focus, cravings, anxiety and allows my body complete stillness. If I miss a day I certainly notice.

Stretching tips:
1. Start with a simple set of 5-10 stretches that you can do comfortably and work on your technique. Just like driving a car, the smoother the gear changes the better the drive.

2. Always think about lengthening in a stretch. How can you achieve more length from a position? (Vertically, horizontally)

3. Use your breathe to deepen the stretch. On the inhale fill your chest with air, stretch up and on the exhale release down into the stretch position, letting go of any tension.

4. Every stretch should be done with good posture. Think of a piece of string pulling from the top of your head and a piece of wood running down your back. Lengthen your neck, shoulders down, tummy in, straight legs. This is also what you should aim to do while standing throughout the day.

5. Always leave stretching as your last activity before bed. Make a strict rule not to pick up any technology after you’ve treated yourself to a stretch. I find it reverses the benefits and only re-stimulates the nervous system.

 

Choc coconut mousse! oh my, very good!

Craving. Gone.

Craving. Gone.

If you get a little chocolatey-sweet craving like I did today, give this one a go. Full of wholesome, healthy ingredients I have a feeling you may make this one again. Enjoy!

Choc coconut mousse
Ingredients (serves 2)

2 small ripe bananas
2 Tbsp cacao powder
3 dates, pitted
2 tbsp almond spread
1 Tbls raw almonds
1 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for serving
1 tsp honey
Pinch of salt
4 Tbls light coconut milk

Method
1. Place all ingredients in Vitamix and blend away until mouse is a smooth consistency.
2. Transfer to a drinking glass and pop in freezer for 30mins before serving.
3. Serve topped with coconut flakes, cinnamon & almonds or whatever fresh fruit you like!

I had mine on the couch with a peppermint tea. XX

Roasted tomato, onion + quinoa eggplant cups

Can serve as a side - I had mine as a main dish.
I ate something similar to this at Sub Station cafe in Alexandria (Sydney) last week so thought I’d re-create something of my own. This could be a great idea if you’re having guests over as the presentation is super cute. I try and eat vegetarian 3-4 times a week and this is extremely fulfilling! I’ve also been experimenting with a lot of quinoa lately and love all the beautiful benefits that come with it like high in protein (it’s a complete protein containing all 9 amino acids), fibre and magnesium.

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 eggplants, cut in halves
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 Tbls parsley, chopped
2 Tbls greek plain yoghurt
1 cup quinoa, cooked (any colour you like)
olive oil
S+P

Method
1. Cut eggplants in half lengthways.
2. Salt flesh of eggplants and leave to sweat for 30 minutes.
3. Cut flesh out of eggplants & brush empty cups with olive oil. Place in oven for 20 minutes 180degrees.
4. Meanwhile, dice eggplant flesh and put in frypan with tomato & onion. Cook on low/medium until vegetables are soft.
5. Stir through quinoa & parsley. Season.
6. Fill eggplant cups with tomato mix and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.

I served mine with some greek yoghurt! Highly recommend.