17 April

Chrissy Amphlett and the I Touch Myself Project

Posted in Music, News

Many years after ‘I Touch Myself’ became an international hit for the Divinyls, their inimitable frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett was stricken with breast cancer and wryly observed that the song could be a call to arms for women to check themselves for lumps. Almost a year after her death, her idea has been realised. Kate Ceberano, Olivia Newton John, Megan Washington, Sarah McLeod, Katie Noonan, Sarah Blasko, Suze DeMarchi, Deborah Conway, Chrissy’s cousin Little Pattie and Connie Mitchell have bared their souls to film a stunning black and white video of themselves singing ‘I Touch Myself’ straight to camera, largely unaccompanied. It’s powerful stuff and a timely reminder for all women to do the same. You can buy the song on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Cancer Council NSW.

Read the Time Out Melbourne interview with Chrissy.… Read more

16 April

UNIQLO launches Emporium Melbourne store

Posted in Shopping & Style

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Have you heard the term ‘normcore’ yet? It refers to the growing number of young trendies who are abandoning cutting-edge fashion for quality basics like slacks, vests and cardigans. Fashionistas and trend-spotters have noticed it, and as of today, Emporium Melbourne is open and host to normcore’s patron saint: UNIQLO.

On the night of the launch, UNIQLO’s puffer-vested mannequins dominate Emporium’s Lonsdale Street entrance. And while the Japanese brand isn’t known for loud patterns or outlandish designs, guests are welcomed like warlords by a host of traditional Japanese drummers, then met with Asahi beers and sake-based cocktails.

It’s a good thing that the store’s three floors and 3,000 square metres are fitted out using simple white shelving and clear red signage, because things could get confusing in here. Meticulously-folded jeans, cashmere jumpers, vests and shirts sit colour-coordinated in rows. And rows. The overall effect makes UNIQLO’s three floors feel like an endless display of paint swatches.… Read more

16 April

Beat the queues for Fonda and the world’s best pizza

Posted in Food & Drink, News

The world's best Margherita

What you want: Johnny Di Francesco’s Margherita pizza
So likely you’ve heard by now that Johnny Di Francesco – owner of 400 Gradi on Lygon Street – has taken out the top spot in the traditional pizza category at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy. That makes his piece of pizza pie the hottest piece of dough in town, and yep, there is already a queue of dough-mad punters filling the Brunswick East restaurant as we speak.

But it’s OK because…
You might be punching on to get into Lygon Street, but last year, Di Francesco opened up in Docklands, just under the NAB building. 90 Secondi can be a little cool on atmosphere at night when the business district empties out, but they do those pizze to the same specs, and you won’t have to wait to get in.

Fonda's tacos

What you want: Fonda Mexican tacos
So the third Fonda Mexican has opened in the huge premises formerly occupied by Virginia Plain in the city.… Read more

11 April

Sephora is coming to Australia

Posted in News, Shopping & Style

Sephora

Boy are we on a roll. After the glorious reveal of GPO’s glitzy H&M and the looming UNIQLO opening at Emporium, we’re about to indulge in another piece of Europe in the form of French cosmetics giant Sephora.

The world’s largest beauty retailer is set to open its first Australian store in Sydney in 2015, with more stores to follow (swiftly, we hope) in other cities. The stand-alone store will stock its own brand of skincare, make-up and fragrance products in addition to a wide range of international brands. Just imagine: soon, brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, Make Up For Ever and Laura Mercier will be opening their testers just for you. And if Sephora’s overseas stores are any indication, service staff are generous with samples and are willing to sit down with customers to demonstrate a product’s application.

You may as well accept now that on entering Sephora’s glossy isles, you’ll suddenly yearn for all sorts of lovely things that you never even knew you needed.… Read more

10 April

Game of Cones at Gelato Messina

It’s a pretty good match-up: the show that people can’t stop talking about and the gelato people can’t stop lining up for. Yes, to celebrate season four Gelato Messina have launched a range of five gelato flavours based on characters from HBO’s Game of Thrones series and the novels by George RR Martin.

There’s the Khaleesi – “Yoghurt mango gelato with dragon fruit purée. Sweet mother of all dragons, a real ‘melt in your mouth’ flavour.”

messina-khalees
Hmm, I can see the resemblance.

Then there’s the Tyrion – “Raspberry custard gelato smashed with raspberry SHORTbread. The only thing short about this flavour is the bread . . . and the character it was inspired by.”

messina-tyrion
A cheap shot at the Imp’s height there, guys. Be careful: a Lannister always pays his debts. And if the raspberry custard turns to ashes in your mouth, you’ll know the debt has been paid.… Read more

7 April

Café court: coming to change the lunching game

Posted in Food & Drink, News

Emporium - Marketing 01 - Exterior Hero

Alright, so you’re already aware of the brand new, world-class shopping destination that is Emporium – due to drop next week. What you might not know is that at its glittering heart is the fanciest food court in the land.

Spread over six floors, word is that the gold chain-strewn dining space can hold 1,100 eaters at a go. To feed them, the Emporium team have landed the likes of Jimmy Grants, Bar Napoli, Chinta Ria and South Melbourne Dim Sims.

Souvlaki yourself stupid, shopping fans.

Emporium Melbourne Store, 269-321 Lonsdale St, MelbourneRead more

7 April

Sounds for the Reef

Posted in Music

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Blair Trafford, from music production agency Straightup, has spent the past seven months working on a project particularly close to his heart: using the power of goddamn music to build awareness about the proposed dredging of the Great Barrier Reef. Twenty-one Australian and International artists who have donated a song each to the album Sounds For The Reef, including Hiatus Kaiyote, John Butler, Missy Higgins, the Bamboos, Fat Freddys Drop and 16 others.

“The environment is not a tax break for the rich, or a beneficial decision to award a contract or reduce funding to,” says Strafford. “It is the living breathing organism upon which our whole existence depends. We are aiming to raise enough awareness and funds to effectively challenge the Federal and Queensland Government in the courts.”

The album goes on sale today, Monday April 7. For the first two weeks it will be available digitally via Bandcamp, then it will go to general distribution.… Read more

4 April

H&M launch party

Posted in News, Shopping & Style

H&M

We knew it would be impressive, but when we stepped off the red carpet into 5000 square metres of white, gleaming H&M glory at last night’s launch party, we were not prepared.

Australia’s first H&M has taken over all of GPO. All of it. And tonight, the former post office has never looked grander. Soft lighting makes the white Victorian arches and windowed ceilings gleam, and the room hums with the excited chatter of over a thousand invite-only guests.

Glass of Mumm champagne in one hand and a large tote bag in the other, we gravitate toward the 47-piece exclusive Australian collection. It’s all tomboy shirtdresses, wide-brimmed boho hats and leather shorts, and it’s made from premium quality material. We then navigate through the three levels. The division of the range into ‘mini-stores’ such as formal, casual, shoes, kids, sports and homewares makes the shopping experience less overwhelming, and there are fitting rooms placed throughout the building.… Read more

3 April

St Kilda: officially happy

Posted in Fun Melbourne, Videos

St Kilda has become the latest community to make a video to Pharrell Williams’ hit ‘Happy’. Since some extrovert Parisians posted a video of themselves dancing up a storm in front of the Eiffel Tower, the idea went viral. Now acting mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Serge Thomann, has produced a video. No doubt drawing on his expertise as a rock photographer (really), he persuaded locals like painter Mirka Mora, AFL Legend Ron Barassi, the Saints, artist Gavin Brown, world champion skater Renton Millar, skydivers, Luna Park workers and many others residents, traders and visitor to get into the groove. It’s directed by Aaron Wilson, whose flick Canopy is out on April 24. It doesn’t fix the fact that Pharrell made a song that sounds like Jamiroquai, but that’s just quibbling really.… Read more

3 April

So, Australia, when did racism become OK again?

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Racism is not okay

Written by Andrew P Street | Art by Robert Polmear

Dear the Internet,

So: when did we all get so cool with being racist?

Gotta say, our national hatred of brown people really sneaked up on me, not least because I’m a white middle class straight man and therefore demographically the least likely sort of person to encounter open bigotry while at the same time being the most likely sort of person to angrily demand my right to dispense it.

Now, you might think I’m overreacting, but you know what? No, I’m not.

The biggest message that our government – and, let’s be clear, federal opposition – has put forward is that we need to Stop the Boats. And we all know why that is.

It’s certainly not because of the cost of dealing with asylum seekers, since it was orders of magnitude cheaper to house people in Australia, process their application and then either deport them or release them into the community, as opposed to the millions it’s costing us every month to use our Navy to drag ships back out to sea while we imprison people indefinitely on isolated islands where all food, water and fuel needs to be expensively shipped in.… Read more