Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finding my feet....Dior Style

Finding our feet sometimes takes a little longer than we had expected or wanted. We sift through the many choices that confront us daily as well as fight the demons in our head about what is possible. There have been times where people told me that I couldn't do it, that it was too hard or that I needed thousands of dollars to even start. I have found that where there's a will there is always a way.

I have recently witnessed this with a friend who thought that his dream of starting his own superyacht company was many light years away. He saw himself "there" at 40 but the question on my lips of course was, what was he doing today to get there by 40? As he told me how long it would take for him to design just one of his amazing creations and of course in his mind it was a very long time, me being me I broke it down and calculated that it would actually take him a few days to design one and if he wanted three then he could have it done in just over a week - problem solved right? Well in my mind at least, in his he couldnt possibly see how he could have it done in such a short time. So yes he continued to complain about where he was right now and to feel frustrated because of where he wanted to be - common problem!

The problem was not his talent or his ability but more importantly in what he believed and what others told him to believe about what was possible for his life.

Well somehow I have managed to change his mind and that wasn't easy - he is very stubborn!
And because of that he has now set up his company, published his website and had his creations published online the other day...and for those who know me well I don't take no for an answer but instead become more determined to prove that it is possible....mission accomplished :-)

I myself like many others have been shaped and moulded in this way by well meaning loved ones who want the best for me - yes of course they do! What they want is to be happy and if you succeeding means that they will be less so than they will do whatever they can to make sure they are "helping you".

I have discovered that it is up to us to take responsibility and control of life, our future and our happiness. Finding our feet is about our self esteem and belief in who we are that goes beyond what others think is possible. Like Edison I have found thousands of ways of failing, jobs that didn't work out, things I started but never finished, well meaning people who 's words put my dreams on hold... all this has made me stronger and I can truly say that I have finally found my feet which don't seem to be much use when I have also discovered that I have wings with which to fly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The one I never finding the one I do!

Dealing with broken hearts, broken promises and broken expectations can be a painful ordeal. We have all been there one time or another or maybe one time too many where we knew the person in front of us is not the right one, we may have walked away a hundred times but still going back again for that last try. I know we have all been there many times but that somehow does not make it any easier. The pain can tear us apart and maybe the pain is old accumulated from the other times before that and before that and before that again!

I often wonder why when we know that someone or something is not quite right for us that we stick it out instead of walking away? But what I do know is that holding on eventually tears us apart and instead of making an empowered choice we get to a point where we are desperately hanging on to something we never wanted in the first place.

What I know is that love no matter for how long it lasts has the ability to teach, change and transform us into getting what we truly deserve and want. We as women often hold on for far too long, we love much too hard and dont give ourselves enough credit for how amazing we really are. We are meant to find our life partner to share our hopes and dreams with, someone who will be there for us and love as deeply as we do. Until that day comes we continue to be challenged and to have our hearts torn open but what I have found is that it makes me more determined, compassionate and able to love more deeply the next time around. And that is a blessing and a gift and I know I will be grateful for having left the one I never wanted to meet the one I truly do!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Private Access WOMAN launch...Eat Pray & Love in Style

We know the journey isn't easy so you might as well do it in style. And that is exactly what we did at the recent launch of Private Access WOMAN.

Bringing together 120 women in one place (and a few men) to celebrate the premier of Eat Pray Love and support UNIFEM a campaign for violence against women....its amazing to see what women can achieve together.

With Tempus Two champagne, Chanel cupcakes and a luxurious venue serving culinary delights, it was certainly a beautiful night to celebrate being a woman.

VIP HUSSY & LEONA EDMISTON goodie bags were filled with luxury brands including Essie nailpolish, Bvlgari, Lolita Lempicka, Kiehls, inspiring books, Balance Water and every guest receiving a full bottle of Tempus Two bubbly thanks to Private Access..... now everyone can live a privileged life.

And I got to wear the Butterfly dress designed and created by Marie Hatzis the founder of Hussy who is also a leading mentor for Private Access Woman. It really is a woman's world!


Learning to Eat, Pray & Love

There is a journey we all must take at one time or another to re discover who we truly are. I recently attended the premier of Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts and finally was able to make sense of the many journey's I myself have taken over the years when things came to an end in my life. And end to a relationship or a transition in my career path or to mend my broken heart and weary soul from the challenges of life.

The only thing I have known is to jump on that plane and head to another country in search of myself. To find out who I was yet again because I have found that as we transition from one chapter to another at times we need to look deep within to see the person we no longer are and the person we wish to be.

Some would say that taking off on another adventure is running away, I would say that it takes courage to pack up your life yet again and to leave the familiar behind....for me its running towards something new and I have found that each time I have grown immensely from the experience and was able to create the life I truly wanted only by taking a break from the life I had outgrown.

As Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love has everything that 'should' make her happy her spirit is in need of something greater. I believe that knowing thyself is one of the most important things we must undertake in this lifetime if we are to find lasting joy and fulfillment. We must define who we are, what we love, what is no longer us and go about re discovering the new woman that is waiting to be seen.

By some I have been often labelled as high maintenance. I am not sure whether it's me knowing exactly what I want and stopping at nothing to attain my goals & dreams or it's the fact that I know which food makes me feel good, which activities make me feel bad and which places drain me of my some people's eyes this could be way 'too hard' but in mine I see it as the most liberating path to truly knowing what makes me tick and what doesnt and only focussing my attention on what works for no one else but ME. Yes its all about me - in my wisdom I have learned that no one takes care of you but YOU and through getting to know yourself you can finally learn how to truly live without limitations. You can finally let go and be free to be who you were meant to be. You can also focus on the 20% that will give you 80% of what you truly desire in this life. They call it high maintenance, I call that smart!

So whether you need to learn to Eat, to Pray or to Love, the journey begins within but sometimes there are special places that we can travel to which will help us to learn the lessons we need to evolve on our path and sometimes we need to stay right where we are and find that place deep within our own hearts.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fashionable Nina Richards


I’ve always believed that fashion is a true expression of oneself: as fashion never lies. Fashion comes in many different styles, forms, colours and appearances. One person’s idea of the perfect outfit is another’s idea of disastrous. And this is the true beauty of it all. There is no right or wrong way of fashion, everyone consumes it and expresses it in endless ways. One of the most valuable lessons I have learnt is that fashion is the greatest way for self-expression and allows infinite possibilities to discover and transform oneself.

In today’s world we are all become more and more common. Everyone wants the same things, to look the same and to be the same. We are literally turning into a world of clones. I can’t pin point the exact moment when being unique, being an individual and standing up for what you believe as an individual diminished. When did being different become being strange? No one likes to be lost amongst a crowd; we were all born with specific ambitions and individual goals in life so why do we continue to strive to be the same? Maybe it’s the fear that being unique will make you look peculiar, make you not fit in with everyone around you. But when did that become a bad thing? We need the courage to turn all of this around and become the individual’s that we were born to be.

Fashion is a way for you to resist the globalization of normality and resist turning into a blank face in a crowded room. Fashion can express what you feel, what you love and who you are in every piece of clothing, without you having to utter a single word. This is a true form of art. Style has the ability to not only change the way the world sees you, it has the ability to change the way you see yourself. Imagine if we all walked around wearing the exact same thing, what a boring world that would be. No two outfits are the same, the same as no two people are the same. So show the world that being you is truly amazing and most of all, that you are one of a kind.

It is not your clothes that make you who you are but they definitely tell a lot about you, more than any words can possibly display. Nevertheless, the clothes that you wear should be a piece of who you are, a piece of your heart. The greatest gift that fashion has ever given us is the ability to express who we are every single day. So don’t take this for granted and always remember it’s the way in which these clothes are expressed that makes us truly shine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fate and New York City....

As we travel along this great road called life there are so many surprises, twists and turns that at times we have to wonder whether we are on the right path with the right people and whether our choices and what we are doing will lead us to where we want to go.

Carrie Bradshaw says "Can you make a mistake and miss your fate? I have found that no matter what "mistakes" we make that ultimately we come back after having detoured off to another place. I have realised that these places and detours are not mistakes but opportunities to grow, to expand, to love and to experience this great thing we call life.

It reminds me of a road trip I took with a friend a few years ago, we started in Brisbane and drove to Byron Bay.... we kind of got lost a few times but much to our surprise we found that we ended up in a perfect place with its own wonders and its own beauty. We ended up in a place which was much better than our minds could have directed us to. This road trip taught me a great lesson about life itself and so did the time where I packed my entire life into 10 boxes, flew to New York City for a new life and somehow ended up in Miami Beach instead. What I found was a better life than the one I planned in my head, I found joy and fulfillment like I'd never experienced before and new friends who to this day are very special to me.

All of this taught me that we can have goals and dreams and that sometimes we must open our minds and our hearts to the people, the places and opportunities that present themselves almost with such ease and miraculously transform our lives and our spirits forever.

I look back at the last 12 months of my life and as difficult as some things have been, I see how far I have come, how much I have grown and evolved and how much I needed this stage before I embarked on the next one. Did I know this a year ago? Definately not, but what I see is that there is something bigger than me that knows better than me and I have finally learned to surrender to whoever and whatever guides my life and propels me to make the decisions and the choices that I do...

There are no mistakes and you can never miss your fate, the turns are all part of it but you must learn to listen and hear for the winds of change that call you where once again you must leave the familiar and embark on the next stage and next turn to realise your potential and your fate and for me it could just be back in the Big Apple with my very own Mr Big.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Success and it's diverse ways....

But can one define success? What does it really mean when you hear someone say ‘they are successful’? Many years ago your grandmothers and great-grandmothers would have defined success as raising the perfect family and providing the best you can for them. However, society’s definition of success today takes on a whole new meaning. For many, success is reaching the highest position in your field of work, getting that promotion, a dream house, the perfect family, the best car, the latest ‘it’ bag. If you have any or one of these things society will envy you and label you as successful. And I know this feeling, I’ve done it all too often: wished I was someone else, wished I was doing what they were doing, or have what they have. But you know what? We can’t all be the same; we can’t all be perfect and achieve everything. For some success means having everything whilst for others success is achieved in their own simple ways.

Ultimately, you can’t define success. Only the individual and what you feel in your heart can determine if you are successful or not. No matter if you believe being successful is by getting married and walking down the isle in the perfect wedding dress, having a baby and buying a house with a white picket fence or scoring the job you’ve always dreamed of. It can also be as simple as kissing the boy you’ve been in love with since grade five or going on a holiday with your best friends, success varies from each person and we all need to realize that we are all successful in our own little ways. This lifetime is full of surprises and we can’t waste moments lusting over what other people have when there are people who are lusting after what we have. We need to appreciate the simple things, the special qualities that make us each unique and individual. And when that happens, when we fulfill and become the person we have always imaged and hoped to be, success will follow and we will realize that success has been with us all along.

xx Nina Richards

Monday, September 6, 2010

Private Interview with Erika Heynatz

With so many great Australian women who are talented, ambitious and gorgeous we like to share with you the stories behind what makes them the unstoppable forces that they are. We give you a sneak peak into the private world of Erika Heynatz where you can get an insight into what it takes to reach the top and launching in September - Private Access™ Woman the lifestyle and mentoring program that will bring you the latest in style and spiritual substance from successful women for successful women where you can learn how to join the elite club for women and live a privileged life.

Where were you born?
Port Moresby Papau New Guinea

Where did you grow up?
Papau New Guinea, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns. Dad was a lieutenant commander Navy so we jumped around a bit, which has served me well in preparation for a career that sees me living out of a suitcase and seeing the airport as a second home.

Favourite fashion brand - why?
I’m a huge fan of Stella McCartney for Adidas – active, dynamic and ethically created garments, a strong use of organic fabrics. She is an animal rights activist who is strongly aligned with PETA. Everything she does cruelty free, she takes responsibility for her impact as a designer and an individual, & encourages informed choice as consumer.

Favourite designer - why?
Isabel Marant creates my favourite type of understated chic, sexy separates that mix and match to create a look that is casual, fun & feminine with an androgynous edge. Her collections heavily feature denim, leather, plaid, cashmere, organic cotton and great boots.

Favourite holiday spot – why?
Hawaii – super cheap flights and a reasonably short flight, amazing old surf shacks to rent, perfect beginner waves for surfing, warm brilliant aqua blue water, amazing weather and easy access to great Mexican food and margaritas.

Favourite resort/place to stay?
Copacabana palace in Rio, South America is the perfect old world hotel, magnificent in it’s history, style, incredible service, close to as much fun as you can handle. Swimming in the ocean out the front of the hotel and looking up at sugar loaf mountain with the favelas behind makes it an unusual collision and contrast of visual beauty.

Things you love and cant live without?
Stella McCartney for Adidas Jacket - half my life is spent in workout gear, but this is my favourite lucky green jacket. This makes me go faster, run forever, the colour makes me feel good, and because of its texture, people always squeeze my arm or hug me when I wear it. And I like being squeezed.

Christian Dior Watch- this watch is the perfect timepiece in every way, it spruces up average outfits instantly and I feel nude without it. From the moment I put it on it felt like a perfect match, and I can't count the amount of compliments I receive about it. I run a tight ship, some days in 15 minute increments, so it's the face that gets looked at the most in my life!

Juicer - Part of the daily morning ritual I make a huge beetroot, ginger, lemon, carrot and celery juice. I think veggie juice is the elixir of life and balances out all the other crap I put inside my body along the way. The noise it makes is unbearably loud, a bit like a chainsaw, I think the neighbour must plot killing me when I fire it up at 6am every day.

Tobasco Sauce - to say that I am a chili freak is an understatement. I inherited my father’s love of all things spicy and have a dangerous collection of hot stuffs in the house. Tobasco is the staple favourite, and I use it on everything from toast to fruit and I love the cheap sensory thrill of feeling like my mouth is on fire.

Andrew - my partner in life is one seriously chilled out dude, who really is just happy to be. Not the rose smelling type, but has shown me how to stop and sniff the ocean - or throw me into it head first if necessary.

Music/Soundtracks - My favourite CD's are soundtracks, glorious collections of mostly dramatic orchestral, sweeping arrangements that make simple tasks like cleaning the house or just staring out the window on a long drive instantly more wonderful. A single Man, Magnolia, Monsoon Wedding, Last Samurai (anything Hanz Zimmer) I especially love the brilliant collaborations between composers and artists on soundtracks like "One Giant Leap".

Pens/coloured textas - thanks to my Mum who is an artist, at age 34, I still get coloured pencils for my birthday. And I love it. This year watercolor pencils. I could die in the aisles of officeworks with a smile on my face. And I'm a kleptomaniac - always on the hunt for the perfect 0.5 firm tip black pen (and something to doodle on)

Mini things/Sample sizes - now, thanks to ultra convenience, single serving, fast living, always moving times, you can get anything in mini size or a sachet. Small things packed & stacked perfectly give me the ability to travel light with all the things I love, and it's my way of compartmentalizing & creating order in an otherwise chaotic working world.

Grand Cinema - Escaping into the magical world of film and out of my own head is my absolute favourite passtime. Going to a movie, handholding & lolly sharing, always feels like I'm on a date.
How did you start out?
My career began as a model while I in my 3rd year of Graphic design at university, I began doing fashion parades, which led to full time modeling work that evolved into television, radio and film – all the while harbouring a desire to be a recording artist. I sought out as many opportunities as I could to sing, but wasn’t ever able to give it my full focus until I was offered a spot on “It Takes Two” and the chance to be mentored through musical boot camp. After winning the series, I was signed to EMI and have been writing, recording and producing music since. I released my debut Album “Sweeter Side” this year and filmed my first two music videos for the singles “Kingdom” and “Bullet”.

What do you love most about what you do?
Music has incredible transformative power, I love the creative process of writing and collaboration with other artists and the physical sensation of singing is absolutely joyous! Live television and performance is an incredible adrenalin sport that requires courage, and film/music video creates the opportunity to experiment with character play and fantasy as an artist.

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through your art and work as a singer? I think creative communication is my calling, as an entertainer I strive to be as generous of spirit as possible, using spoken word or song to connect/engage distract, to shift peoples thoughts and feelings – to be present in the moment. Music is a great way of keeping our stories and expression alive.

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling? There’s feels, for me, like finality to the word “calling”, and I think I am still very much in the process of evolving and working out where I belong. I don’t imagine I’ll ever be still or have the resolve to stay in the one role. I’ve worked in Design, Modelling, Acting, TV Presenting, Radio, public speaking singer and songwriter. Of all professions, recording artist has proven to be the most challenging, the most rewarding, and the one that feels truly connected to my hearts desire.

What inspired you to become a singer? Did you always know what you wanted to do?
From my earliest school days, music has brought me incredible pleasure, and I have pursued creative expression in every form throughout my adult life. I have always known that I would end up involved in this industry. Yet also knew that it would require patience due to the relevance of timing and the competitive nature of the business.
Who has influenced your career and how?
An ever-growing list of musicians, artists, actors, athletes, explorers & adventures influence my career pursuits and the way I strive to perform in my professional life. These are people who live in the fearless pursuit of their dreams, have incredible courage and determination, enormous creative capacity and seemingly limitless personal strength, determination, motivation and potential.

Was success a choice or something that just happened? What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today? I have set myself goals, and at times exhausted myself in the pursuit of them, so I think it’s a choice. Some goals, however, have come more easily than others and I’ve realized that not everything has to be chased – sometimes being open, gracious and receptive creates far greater opportunity.

What do you believe contributed mostly to you achieving success? What do you attribute to your success and having reached being at the top of your game? Old fashioned hard work and persistence. I’ve never given up on myself or any one of my desires. That said, I think I have a level of self-belief and faith in the world, instilled in me by a hugely supportive family, which I’m incredibly grateful for.

Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
My role models tend to be very strong creative women with multifaceted careers. What inspires me about them is their ability to embrace change, thrive in a constant state of adaptation, exude incredible confidence, remain loyal to their passion, act with integrity, and speak with clarity and conviction, while always honoring and nourishing their family and friendships.

How do you find balance in your life and have a successful career?
Being really conscious of making balance a priority through lifestyle changes including exercise, meditation, healthy eating, plugging back into simple (slow) daily pleasures and social pursuits creates a sense of stability and enables me to be present when things get chaotic.

Have you had a mentor along the way?
My mother, an artist and writer has always been my greatest mentor.
When I first embarked on my career as a singer, opera singer David Hobson mentored through my initiation into this difficult industry, and really enlightened me with his sensitivity as a performing artist.
Professionally, my manager of over 10 years, Ursula Hufnagl has been an incredible and consistent mentor – pushing me and encouraging me in the pursuit of every single dream I’ve had. She has always been swift to share her experience and firm in her counsel.

Who would you most like to meet and why?
Wow, another long wish list. Suzanne Vega one of the first musicians to have a really powerful effect on me. The strength of the narrative in her writing completely captured my imagination as a teenager and I’ve loved her songs ever since. I’d love to have her as a teacher, and I’d love to learn her skill of such sharp creative observation, word and melodic mastery. Sting would be a close second.

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
Categorization/pigeon holing – I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of negative critique and judgment based on my career as model moving into film, TV and music. I’ve experienced the limited vision of others in terms of what I can pursue professionally and their desire to enforce that. I’m always curious to know what bothers people so much about me exploring another role within the entertainment industry? But I figure, stand tall and you’ll get shot at! As long as I have the nuts to do what I want, albeit within a very public arena, I’m going to cop commentary on my choices. I will never allow others to define me or decide what is good for me and I feel confident that I can prove them wrong through my sheer pleasure, diligence and pride in what I do.

Financial insecurity – the only consistent thing about the work that I do is its inconsistency! Riding the peaks and troughs in the financial flow has had an effect on my confidence in the past. One minute you’re rolling around in the crispy greens, and the next your bank balance is a wasteland. I managed to turn that around early in my career by anticipating those times and being practical. I’ve always maintained my financial independence by having an emergency fund, saving a bit and investing a bit. I have a really healthy attitude towards money these days and work towards maintaining a real attitude of abundance.

Do you have a favourite quote you would like to share with us and what it means to you?
The boat my father built and we grew up and travelled on as children was called Different Drummer. This name comes from the quote by American Philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau:

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away”.

This is a strong belief held by my parents; the true celebration and respect for individuality, independent thought and action… and it has become firm belief of my own.

Erika Heynatz xx

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Does our past dictate our present and transcend into our Ashleigh Austen

In retrospective: Does our past dictate our present and transcend into our futures?

This is the question I asked myself as I wandered through the exhibition of the famous Valentino Garavani. The Valentino Retrospective Exhibition is being shown for the first time outside of Paris displaying his most celebrated haute couture from the past 50 years. The sophisticated and timeless designs proved to be a fitting analogy for how far women have come today.

The exhibition is a whimsical of colours, textures and patterns draped on the bodies of 100 mannequins, each one no different to the next, supposedly allowing the gowns true beauty shine through, without tainting them with human emotion and characteristics.

The mannequins, although lifeless, were elegant in all their silver glory. The thing that bothered me about them was they were insensible. Each exactly the same as the next, bearing no expression, and certainly no resemblance to the European royalty, Hollywood celebrities and members of high society the world over who have adorned Valentino’s designs. The exhibition includes garments worn by stars such as Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. Who are all strong and successful women who relished the timeless quality of Valentino’s wearable art.

As Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements said: “This is more than a history of the House of Valentino, this is a history of fashion through the decades.”
And she is absolutely right. Each gown told a story of the woman who graced it through each decade since the 1950’s. The outfits were quite daring for their time and it was interesting to guess what year each piece was designed.

The women, who wore each piece throughout our milestone eras, perhaps faced the struggles of feminism and oppression of her fashion choices to be stepping so boldly outside of society’s lines. Their perseverance and courage allowed them to claim the rights for women to come to wear such gowns that fully expressed their sophistication and glamour, no matter how daring the statement.

The exquisite haute couture garments reveal Valentino’s mastery of the elegant line, classic form and opulent detail. Valentino’s approach spanning the past five decades included the recurrence of geometric patterns and graphic prints, the skilful use of fabric to create dramatic silhouettes and, of course, the distinctive palette of black, white and ‘Valentino red’.

Running from the 7th of August until the 14th of November, Valentino’s masterpieces are on display to the public at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. It is not to be missed for any woman who appreciates her choice to adorn wearable art, no matter what the era.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Opportunies to start Ashleigh Austen

One woman’s disappointment is another one’s dreams?

What happens when the hopes and dreams we had are broken by the very people we thought would make them come true. I was walking through the hustle and bustle of the city when I noticed something which answered this very question.

It was a window full of broken dreams and disappointments. It was a trade in jewellery store.With all of the glistening gold and gems I couldn’t help but wonder what each piece meant to the women who previously owned them. The exhilarated feeling you get when your partner hands you a small box (especially if it’s blue) is short lived for some women.

Jewellery has such a special place in a woman's life. I often recall my very own pieces and the stories which they tell and the memories which they hold of a moment in time.

How each piece ended up in this crammed window is unsure. Every woman would have received their very own box from their special someone and it would have held prized possession on her tallboy. Yet here, in this window is rows and rows of crammed jewels, not a single item had a special place amongst the others.

As my eyes scanned over each piece briefly, sadness washed over me as I wondered of the tainted nature of the gorgeous engagement rings. Why had their owners slipped them off their fingers and into the hands of a shady looking pawn shop dealer?

But now, this jewellery stands for sale, longing for someone to come along and cherish it by adorning it on their slim hand or draping it across a feminine collarbone. Call me a traditionalist, but I’m a big believer that there is method in the means. I just wouldn’t feel right opening a box that my partner has given me with a ring that I didn’t know the story behind.

When I receive a ring, I want it to be special, my very own story, and my very own new beginning. That’s the thing about jewellery: it’s so intensely personal that when you chose to part with it; there is always a reason behind the motive.

With the GFC, perhaps the owner fell on financial hard times and had to part with their favourite ruby ring to make ends meet. Although more often than not, these women fell out of love, somehow or another and everything that special ring, necklace, bracelet represented, is no longer.

Jewellery, amidst its obvious costs is a special engagement. Perhaps not always to marriage, but to I’m sorry, to I love you or to happy birthday. Jewellery represents a celebration and long after the celebration has ended, the jewellery remains, perhaps just in a crammed window downtown amongst other women’s long forgotten hopes and dreams.

But the beauty about fashion and jewellery is that we can begin anew, we can start all over again with every season, collection or moment we wish to capture and there are some designers and brands like Samantha Wills who seem to give us women a renewed sense of hope. When all else has been stripped away and only the memories of the broken dreams remain we have the gift of starting over in style. Now that's opportunity shopping with a new meaning!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend at Raes with Elle Macpherson.....

Some take a vacation to get away from it all, others like to go away and see the sights but my favourite has always been to take a trip and immerse myself in the culture, the environment and more importantly the people that will ultimately create the lasting memory of the place where I had visited.

I've travelled the globe often but what I have learned to love are the weekends away to a place not so far away, just the perfect recipe to renew my body, mind and spirit. My favourite places and destinations have become the ones that are close to home and where you can easily unpack and get into the rythym of the place.

I recently took such a trip to a place known all over the world, a holiday spot that ten years ago when I was there seemed to be the spiritual home for those who did not want to be part of the world of consumerism but instead wanted to run away from it. We tend to believe as I did many years back that being spiritual cannot exist with the material.... It has taken me some time to blend the two worlds but what I found on my recent trip courtesy of Raes on Wategos was a merging of the very two worlds that some say cannot co-exist.

The world that I am referring is the one full of luxury, attention to detail, the most beautiful surroundings and the people who make the very place worthwhile. Some cannot fathom why one would spend $800 a night for a place to rest our weary souls and bodies at the end of a long day and think that any hotel will do. This weekend I found out the real difference, not that I didnt already know it but it was a truth that I had forgotten!!

I've often heard that places dont change but people do and after setting foot into Rae's I certainly realised that since my last visit to Byron I had definately changed!

The place to be seen in Byron Bay, Rae’s was voted by travel bible Cond Nast Traveller as one of the world’s top 25 hotels, and it’s the sanctuary of choice for celebrities such as The Rolling Stones, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Elle Macpherson, Keanu Reaves and Kate Hudson.

From its location on beautiful Wategos beach to its handpainted mosaic tiles and marble corridors filled with works by Australian artist David Bromley, every room of Rae’s screams “glamour”. We arrived on the Friday night our room, a beautifully decorated Balinese, Asian, European style Villa...incense burning, lit candles and aromatherapy oil filling the room with a special scent created by the resorts Spa Manager Marionne De Candia....I was in heaven and fitting since I was spending my Sabbath in such a divine place.

Raes is oppulent, european, eclectic with an LA Bungalow meets Morocco with each room having its very own distinct feel and decor. My partner and I were treated to a stay in Room No.6 - and that meant we slept in "Elle's bed" bathed in the same bath and brushed our teeth standing in front of the mirror where the famous "Body" stood....

Waking up on Saturday morning we headed to breakfast in the Alfresco dining room overlooking the ocean, sounds of the waves, green tea, fresh strawberries, croissants (not gluten free I'm afraid) and my man by my side....what can be better than that? Oh yeh Marionne, the darling of Raes spa, who has worked her magic on Elle Macpherson and Catherine Martin whisking us away for our treatments.

The spa is tucked away next to a tropical poolside, there's a steam room with an oppulent spa, interior with mosaic tiling and Balinese style teak doors. Marionne started with one of her famous lymphatic drainage facials combined with the healing energy of reiki...and if that wasnt enough a deep tissue aromatherapy massage to if you're looking for a different kind of Byron experience, different meaning ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE you cant go past Raes!!!
We spent the rest of the day snoozing away in Elle's bed and later ventured to St Elmo's Bar.....cute as, quaint and very Melbourne...not surprising since it's run by two Melbournites. Paul and I sat by the heater and reminisced about Melbourne a place where we both grew up and a place that we both left behind many years ago.. With a few red wines, and Chai Latte (yep thats me) it was truly the perfect weekend and we both realised that living what I call the privileged life is definately one that we should all aspire to.... its far from superficial and starting at $800 a night for a stay at Raes, that I was definately happier and much more spiritual....who said money doesn't buy happiness :-))

Byron has definately grown up and I guess so had I. Who would have thought that a weekend away would be filled with such synchronicity, not only did I experience the most amazing spa treatment but what was even more special was the instant connection and friendship with Marionne which grew out of one weekend. I realised this weekend that the friendships we make on our travels and not necessarily the things we see are what make a difference. I'm definately sounding a little older and a little wiser....places dont change but people do, could also be the company and my wonderful man and the magical energy of Raes....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Loving what is.....

I have learned to let go and love what is. How do we really know if the one in front of us is the one for us?
We all have an idea of what life and love may look like and the "ideal" person that we need to find. I too have a little list and as I get older I become more selective who I spend my time with and who I ultimately will spend my life with. Do we really ever know the answer....

A while back I read a book by Byron Katie called LOVING WHAT IS. Her teachings are profound with simple truths that we all can learn and implement in our lives. If we look around we will see that things happen all the time, things WE the big people cannot control, others do and say things which hurt us deeply, we struggle with "making decisions" but have you noticed that the decision usually gets made anyway. Something shifts, a change comes and you are clear on the direction. You stand in the possibility and the wind takes you to where you need to go. Then why the need for struggle if there is nothing we can do about a situation!! I am now embracing the winds of change that are sweeping away the past which I have held onto for too long and learning to once again love what is and who is right in front of me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

MO Luxury....Win a luxury stay at Hayman Island...

MO Luxury – a dynamic Australian based consultancy specialising in luxury goods and services – is keen to understand what is most important to you when it comes to the service you receive from fine jewellery brands.

MO Luxury, a dynamic Australian Consultancy, has launched its 2010 Fine Jewellery Survey to gain insight into what consumers want with respect to service within the fine jewellery landscape. Entrants who offer the three best 25 word explanations of an ‘ultimate consumer experience’ will win either a Hayman Island Resort stay, a Suzy O’Rourke cuff or a twin pack of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne.

Click here to enter the competition

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It all begins at home.....

I have recently discovered the true importance of a home. Some believe that a house and a home are one in the same but in my jewish tradition we as women are encouraged to create a home where our spirits and those of our loved ones can rest, renew and rejoice. In the past few years I have moved countries, cities, homes and have felt like I was on the way to somewhere, never quite settling or knowing where that somewhere will be.

I have finally found a place where I call home, a place where my spirit can be free, where real friendships are all around me and I realised that it is up to me to create my own heaven or it is definately up to me to create my own hell.

A home is a place that gives us strength to carry out the mission of our soul. It gives us a resting place away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. In the past week I realised that a true spiritual home is not simply a place where we rest our tired bodies but one where we bring God into every corner of our space and into every aspect of our lives. I have had the privilege of spending every Friday night for the past six months with the most wonderful friends and the family of my Rabbi and have seen first hand how creating a true home is important to our state of mind and what we ultimately achieve in our lives.

I had my Rabbi put up a Mezzuzah on my door which blesses my home and protects me whilst bringing spirit and God into my home. This beautiful ritual showed me that the life we have begins with the homes we create, stability, love, beauty and an inspiring space will ultimately lead to an inspiring, stable and beautiful life.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

CHANEL one day PRADA the next....Interview with Melinda O'Rourke from MO Luxury

There are some women who discover their true passion and pursue a career which brings them much satisfaction. The world of fashion and luxury brands is one of the most exciting and coveted industries to be part of. I remember as a young woman going to David Jones and getting so excited by the feeling that even for a minute being part of this world would bring out in me! A little luxury or a lot women everywhere want to be part of this exciting and enviable industry.

I have recently met a woman who is part of this world everyday, she has carved out her own piece of the luxury brand pie and is inspired an excited about what she does and the impact the luxury brands and fashion have on our senses and our lives. We take a look into the universe of Melinda O'Rourke from MO Luxury where she'll take you through her success secrets and how you too can get into this exciting industry.

Favourite fashion brand?
SO, so difficult to have just one. However, if I am looking at the total brand, its innovation, design, quality of fabrics, quality of manufacture, artisanal embellishments, consistency and pure indulgence, I really do not believe you can go pass Chanel. Then there is the heritage, the business and marketing strategies… I could go on. It’s my favourite fashion brand for this multitude of reasons.

Favourite designer?
Past – Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent (rest well his soul), innovation and dare to be different at the time, sheer beauty, quality and luxury of his haute couture and ready-to-wear.
Now – I think the two Christopher’s if I can have two for the price of one! Christopher Bailey you really cannot beat what he is doing right now with Burberry and Christopher Kane, innovative, I love that he loves colour and his is an intelligent design.

How do these fashion brands/designers empower you as a woman?
They offer me the perfect balance of confidence, branché and femininity

Favourite holiday spot?
Anywhere in France….the food, the fashion, the wine, the history and beauty or when France doesn’t take any more visitors at its borders, then Italy, for all the same reasons.

Favourite charity?
Internationally World Vision, their scope and immediate call to action for global disasters. Locally Mission Beat for their work in the streets of Sydney, their availability and the great consistent work they do.

Things you love and can’t live without?
Good health, the ability to interact and engage with other human beings, wonderful fresh food produce. Also, the beach, the sun, fresh air, green grass, weekends, holidays, martini (vodka with a twist, dry please), pinot (gris, and noir), dark chocolate

How did you start out?
I started out essentially in a product and marketing assistant role with no formal (read: tertiary) qualifications. I left school at 17 as I could not ‘wait’ to work and earn money and explore (and buy clothes and shoes). My practical and theoretical learning developed from there and my tertiary education came later after years of practical experience just to ‘test’ myself and ensure what I was ‘doing’ was actually correct!

What do you love most about what you do?
Having started my business over two years ago what I love most is that I can ‘create’ something from zero and see it evolve into the Vision I had set three years ago, with some tweaking on the way.

What excites you about the luxury brands and where do your true passions lie in what you do?
Luxury brands inspire and excite me due to their rich heritage. Their stories from pioneering brands to global conglomerates are extraordinary and understanding the depth and the detail of why these brands continue today provides an ongoing excitement for me from their new advertising campaigns, their seasonal launches, their new store designs…. My true passions lie in the fact that I am an extremely visual person and I am constantly excited by the vision the founders and the custodians of these brands had and continue to have. Therefore it is a privilege to work with these brands as I am passionate about their DNA.

You have almost 20 years of experience with some of the world’s most luxurious brands including CHANEL, PRADA and Yves Saint Laurent – what excites you about the industry and working with luxury brands?
The industry is looked up to for inspiration by many other fashion, accessory and beauty brands globally, so to see what these brands launch continues to excite as they are visionary and can often push the boundaries in relation to the ‘marque’ of the brand, however maintaining the respect. Now isn’t that exciting, working with brands that are constant change agents and influence many.

You also have a talent management and research arm to you business – what do you look for when recruiting people in the luxury brand market?
First and foremost - passion, it’s numero uno. A love of quality products, exceptional service and a level of technical skills appropriate to the job description and an articulate, warm and personable communicator who is well groomed (this doesn’t mean conservative but relevant and appropriate)

What advice would you give to women wanting to get into the luxury brand business?
Retail is an excellent start. One issue that can be problematic in Australia is that retail can often be thought of as a ‘stepping stone’ and not taken as a ‘serious’ career. In the US, Europe and Asia retail is series business and taken very seriously. At MO Luxury we are also trying to educate and inform that retail is often a person’s best step into a luxury brand. Like all businesses, luxury is no different, you have to ‘see the opportunity’, identify your own personal vision of where you see yourself in the short, medium and long term and ensure you are on the right path to take you there. The success of luxury brands is built on beautiful, quality products with rarity and exclusivity sold by knowledgeable and professional people. Make sure you don’t shy away from a retail position. We have several Managing Directors that we work with that want to know if someone has worked ‘on the floor’ as they know it is the best training ground.

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through what you do in the luxury brands market?
Wow, my calling…well I truly believe it is to interact, engage, encourage and mentor people. Having the Talent Management pillar of the business allows tremendous connections with a great wealth of people. Also with our Consumer Research pillar we study consumer experiences in luxury environments and again, understanding what the motivators and drivers of satisfaction are keeps me constantly engaged with and learning more about people and how ‘we’ operate and what improvements can be made.

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling?
I worked with Foreign Affairs for a couple of early years in my career, which was extremely interesting, however I did find it quite bureaucratic and not a fast paced enough environment for me. I wanted to be able to make change and I didn’t believe that could be done easily (or at all) in a government position.

What inspired you to choose this path?
Travel and aspiring to own some of the beautiful things I saw when window shopping in Paris when I was young. The colour, movement, the constant change, variety, excitement and the odd bit of drama thrown in!

How did you go about achieving such a level of success? We want the secrets….
Well I suppose success is subjective, however I am very happy with my career-to-date and I just love what I have done, everything has been a great experience and not a waste of time.
A strong vision, persistence, being brave and getting out of your comfort zone, instilling confidence in yourself that you ‘can do’ whatever it is you are thinking. I know a lot of people say this and it can seem rhetorical, however it really is thus. As long as you are committed, determined, always positive and open to learning you really will be successful.

What do you believe is the reason you are where you are today?
Wonderful foundations, I had a brilliant upbringing, with wonderful supportive parents and brothers. For that I count myself very lucky. From there it is self drive that further mobilizes you on your path. Self belief and a commitment to achieve, putting end goals up front and sign posts along the way to ensure you are tracking well.

What is success to you?
Happiness and ultimate fulfilment.

What has your success enabled you to do? What other goals and dreams has it allowed you to pursue?
Have the confidence to commence my business, travel, meet extraordinary people and see extraordinary things. It has enabled me to live a wonderful life thus far. The goal was to create a luxury brand and with the experience I have it has allowed me to pursue this.

Was success a choice or something that just happened? What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today?
I find it a little difficult articulating why I am successful as I said, success can be subjective… Having said that, I do firmly believe success is a choice as some people can be successful for a period of time, or within one aspect of their life, you need to work at success.
The conscious decision I made was to be professional in every aspect of day to day, discreet, and diplomatic and operate with the highest of integrity and ethics in all aspects of my life.

What do you believe contributed mostly to you achieving success in the luxury brand business?
Being committed to achieving goals set by the companies I was employed by in addition to my own goals. Being patient for the right position, respecting my superiors and peers and being positive about the range of tasks and challenges as they arose. Hard work really ‘does’ pay off but you need to earn your dues.

Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
I really cannot go passed Nelson Mandela for his unwavering strength and commitment to a cause he truly believed in. Through his passion, persistence and commitment he drove real change. The current Governor General Quentin Bryce, as she is always compassionate, gracious and appropriate. On a business side I would say Heather Ridout Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group because she is intelligent and fair in her dealings representing business in a broad range of sectors; she has a deep interest in public policy and is a trusted professional and a voice of reason in her field.

What do you attribute to your success and having reached being at the top of your game?
Integrity and a professional approach, all with a smile!

Have you had a mentor along the way and who inspires you most and why?
My father has been a wonderful mentor (still is), an intelligent yet extremely down-to-earth and practical retired lawyer. He is a believer in “the closed mouth catches no flies” and “look before you leap”; he has many bon mots to hand out.. These are a few and also my mother of course for the diplomacy, humility and patience she has instilled in me. I have probably two unofficial female mentors who I have worked for and with over the years and have admired how they conduct themselves.

Who would you most like to meet and why?
Super tough – Barack Obama, he is a man that has always been driven to change and make things more equal for all people. I think his task is extremely daunting and I would like to ask him if he is as free to ‘really make change’ now as the President of the USA as he thought he would before he got the top gig.

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
Realistically early on in my career it would be the constraints of being a female in the work place, you had to prove yourself more for the promotions and negotiate better for the pay rises. Being professional and delivering on KPIs ensured I was able to convince previous bosses that I was capable and worth it. Working very long days, nights, travelling enormously takes a toll on your social life, I made a clear decision five years ago, that I would not continue on this path as I really wasn’t that important (Prime Minister, Neurosurgeon etc) and therefore the only way to manage this challenge was to manage myself better…It’s working!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Listen to people, learn from them and be respectful at all times. Always look at the positive side of ‘everything’ and be sure you surround yourself with people who encourage and support you as you progress. The road can be a little bumpy at times but it’s certainly well worth it.

If you could say one thing to women out there to inspire them on their journey to success what would it be?
Be self aware, confident in your convictions, seek support when you need it, don’t be too proud to ask and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you will self combust and then you’re no good to anyone! Every day is learning, enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The ball's in your of tennis, life & love...

How often do we say and hear the saying "The ball's in your court". Well I have often been amazed and amused by those that look at the ball and are too afraid to hit it. They dont seem to know what to do with it, should I hit it, should I run away or maybe I'll just put it in my pocket and lose the game.

Life is a game - the game of love, game of business...there are rules and there are scores. When we don't play by the rules we lose the game! It's pretty simple really and such a truth that can be applied to our life.

Today I learnt that some people don't play by the rules, they think they can outsmart others and win the game. There are those who try to play but without reading the rule book first and then wonder why they're losing and then there are others who didnt think there were any rules and decided to make it up as they go and wonder why it's not working out!

So the lesson here is that if you want to win in business, in tennis or in love that you need to know what the rules are, play by them and keep hitting the ball within the lines because otherwise you're out!!

Shopping which makes you richer.....

After 12 hour days on my laptop I needed some inspiration and a break from thinking and doing! I've realised the importance of taking the time out and remembered what I read the other day about the teachings of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It doesnt say "Work Hard and Grow Rich" because we need the time to think of ideas, be inspired and work out the path and a plan to achieving our goals.

So as I ventured off to find some inspiration I walked through the department store surrounded by luxury brands, make-up, perfume, shoes, bags and all those beautiful things us women cant do without! I had a realisation that these "things" that some people say are Message unnecessary & superficial in fact bring a richness to our lives. They bring us hope and each season we can reinvent and refresh, we put on a beautiful dress by our favourite designer and feel like we can take on the world. A new world, a world full of hope, inspiration and beauty.

What kind of world would it be if we all walked around in our sloppy jeans, runners and a plain old tee? I realised that fashion brings out my passion for life, I am excited, joyous and I can grow a little taller with the confidence to take on the world, and for a 5ft'er like me the world certainly does look better in a pair of louboutins.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Women join forces...Gail Elliott, Terry Biviano and Fashion Editor Harper's Bazaar

Little Joe Woman designer lunch INVITATION at Pendolino restaurant

The Strand Arcade and the Restaurant Pendolino invites you to a very fashionable luncheon...Join me in celebrating the Little Joe Woman 2010 Spring Summer Collection Launch with a fashion show and exclusive insight on new season trends...with Claudia Navone, Contributing Fashion Editor at Harper's Bazaar,and a fabulous look at new season shoes from Terry Biviano.

Enjoy a three-course lunch with matching wines, designed by Pendolino Chef and Owner, Nino Zoccali.

Please join us for a fun afternoon 12pm for 12.30pm, Tuesday 3rd August 2010.
Bookings are $130pp.

To reserve your table, phone 02 9231 6117 or email

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Walking away....

A few years a random meeting with two random Londoners in a Walgreens Supermarket on the corner of Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue in South Beach Miami and today I remember the song that was sung to me whilst sitting at a dinner table across from Craig David because I seriously had no idea who he was. Today I remembered this because it reminds me that there are times in life that we all need to walk away from the troubles in our lives and find a better day!

Sometimes some people get me wrong
when it's something I've said or done
sometimes you feel there is no fun
that's why you turn and run
but now I truly realise
some people don't wanna compromise
well I saw them with my own eyes spreading those lies
and well I don't wanna live a lie, too many sleepless nights
not mentioning the fights, I'm sorry to say lady

I'm walking away from the troubles in my life
I'm walking away oh to find a better day
I'm walking away from the troubles in my life
I'm walking away oh to find a better day
I'm walking away
Thank you to such an amazing artist and a song that continues to inspire me to walk away and find a better day.....

Princess Power.....

Palazzo Versace brought Alex Perry’s ‘Arabian Princess’ fashion experience exclusively to Queensland....

Palazzo Versace was transformed into an exotic Arabian mirage. Sheer fabrics, ornamental lamps, tea lights and Versace cushions were scattered throughout the hotel sunken lobby when it hosted renowned Australian fashion designer Alex Perry showcasing his Spring/Summer 2010 ‘Arabian Princess’ collection.

The exclusive event was emceed by model Chloe Maxwell, with guests treated like Arabian Princesses (or Princes) as they immersed themselves in glorious new-season high fashion, nibbling on "couture" canapés, sipping signature cocktails and flowing bubbles and listening to exotic Arabian-inspired tunes.

Before and during the parade guests were pampered at the Palazzo Perry Parlour receiveing complimentary GHD hair treatments and a trial of succulent Moroccan Oil from the holy land of Israel...When it comes to beauty it looks like the Arabian and Jewish Princesses can get along quite well :-))

And for Palazzo Versace guests lucky enough to secure a personal fitting, Alex Perry, the master of made-to-order gowns, brought his Couture Store to Palazzo Versace to create bespoke gowns for just one weekend......Oh what a glamorous weekend it was!

Your most powerful self...

Actress Jennifer Aniston has spent a lot of time and effort on her signature perfume ‘Lolavie’. She says that she invested so much time and effort on it, because she wanted it to be an extension of herself. I love the fact that women globally are awakening to their immense power and choosing to be the creators and masters of their destiny instead of a victim of their past.

If there is a woman that we can admire that would be Jennifer Aniston. She has gone through losing one of the world's most desired men to Angelina Jolie...and I know there are ordinary women everywhere who have lost the love of their lives to another woman. I know that it leaves us wondering whether there is something wrong with us, whether if only we were different then maybe they would have stayed?

The answer to this question is one that we all struggle with....we go through heartache, we go through doubting our very own being and with that comes greater strength to become the powerful women that we really are! Sometimes it takes a great loss to find out how amazing we can be and in the pain and sorrow we re-discover a new woman that can really be without the man we believed we would die without...

Lets celebrate the women, like Miss Aniston who no matter what age or stage in life still look incredible and continue building empires as a true extension of who they are....

Chanel pops up in St Tropez.....

St. Tropez — the playground for celebrities and jetsetters looking for a little fun in the sun by the ocean, the French Riviera town where Brigitte Bardot was discovered, where Karl Lagerfeld vacationed during his childhood summers, and where he chose to show Chanels 2010-2011 Cruise Collection — will host Chanel’s new pop-up shop.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rock of our lives....Tiffany's or De Beers

We often believe that happiness will come when we finally receive the long awaited rock on our finger. The glistening diamond which will be a reminder that we are loved, wanted, appreciated and valued and that someone has chosen us to journey with them down that path of life....

I have recently realised the value of a different kind of rock, it may not be Tiffanys but it certainly shines brighter each day if we tend to it, polish it and value it like it is the rarest kind of all...Our men may give us a diamond but it is who these men are in our lives that truly make us shine! I have been beautifully surprised by the stability they provide for us women, enabling us to go out into the world and do what we do best!!

So thank you to the men who make our lives better, brighter and give us our strength instead of taking it away.....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stylish Bag Lady...who would have thought!

For as long as I can remember being a "Bag Lady" was not something any woman would aspire to be but as times have changed and thank you to Kathryn Eisman we can now embrace the term with style and confidence. It's no longer about the brand, although I still love Chanel, but more about our personal style and what the bag says about who we truly are!


I’ve read that your book is a celebration of all kinds of women and that you aim to help women to understand who they are through their handbag choices…..How can women use your book to understand themselves better?
This book isn’t you’re cliché fashion book- it’s a celebration of women. Why we pick a certain bag above all others and carry that through life- reveals more about us than we dare imagine. The book also has ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ for each type of bag lady and offers comfort, advice and a few cheeky laughs.

We all know that fashion has the power to transform how we feel about ourselves. A new pair of heels to slip into, a pair of sexy jeans, a cashmere sweater….How can a handbag give us the confidence to take on the world?
It’s the item of apparel we keep closest to our heart. It’s a place of mystery and fantasy- only a fool would dare take a peek inside another woman’s bag! It carries all our secrets.

All women get the whole shoe thing…but bags? Tell us about your love affair with handbags and how it can change a woman’s life?
We change our shoes depending on our mood- but we’re much more loyal to the bag we carry, often selecting the same bag time and time again (despite all the others waiting for their turn). Our bags really are a reflection of who we are- I call it you’re Purse-onality.

They say dress for success is this also the case with handbags. How can choosing a particular bag help women achieve greater success?
They say dress for the position you want, and that’s certainly true with the handbag you carry. The link between a woman’s bag and her status in society has existed since Ancient Egypt and hieroglyphics. In the middle ages, a woman’s status in society was easily revealed by the level of embellishment and gems encrusted on the bag she carried. In the roaring 1920s, the mesh bag was elegant proof of a woman’s high socio-economic status.

What about the woman who can’t afford to buy a designer bag? Of course every woman would desire a Hermes, Chanel or Louis Vuitton and one understands the way these brands make us feel about ourselves…. But what about the great Aussie brands like Oroton, Mimco and Witchery….Does brand really matter or is it more about the style of the bag rather than price?
This book isn’t about how many dollars and cents you have in the bank- it’s about your sense of style, sense of humor and ultimately, your sense of self. The book explores a myriad of bags and only some of them are luxury labels, the rest are affordable. I’m less interested in the value of the bag and more interested in what that bag reveals about your values.

I’m a huge fan of our Aussie labels and have numerous bags by Australian designers. However, while they all come from home grown talent, the book shows that Oroton, Mimco and Witchery bag are all quite different and would be worn by a different kind of gal.

"Women are divine and mysterious ceatures, gracefully dancing their way through life, all the while carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. To fully understand a woman, dont be distracted by the light-footed skip in her step; look at the actual weight on her shoulder - her handbag. Whilst a woman's clothing and shoes change with different moods and seasons, its her handbag that remains loyal; after all, it is the item literally closest to her heart"....Kathryn Eisman


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