Monday, September 29, 2008

Viktoria's Secret: Behind the curtains

As promised, I scored an invite to check out the private shoe collection and fabulous fascinator creations of Canberra's own Imelda. Viktoria Novak takes us behind the curtains and tells us all about her beautiful world...

Viktoria, how would you describe your personal style? Colourful, eccentric and quirky, with loads of vintage inspired florals and prints... Nanna style.

You have a dedicated vintage dressing room in your house, what can you tell us about some of your favourite things? I have a vintage handbag I found in an op shop a few years ago (above), it is beaded with a peacock on the front and, inside the lining is the most gorgeous bright red silk. I have and obsession with peacocks, so this one is a stand out. I also adore my vintage sequined butterfly top (above right). I bought this piece on ebay and have worn it many many times, I always get compliments when I'm wearing it and I love the fact that nobody else has one. And one more fave is a pair of shoes also found on Ebay (below right). The lady was hesitant to sell, only conceeding when it found 'the right home'. The shoes had been custom handmade for her great Aunt in 1902, the spookiest thing is that they fit me like a glove... I think there could be a fashion re-incarnation going on here!

Viktoria has studied Interior Design, Cosmetic Art and Fashion Design, for now finding a fabulous niche with her beautiful Millinery. "I find it's important to design with your instinct and just do it, no matter what people may tell you. It's always such a thrill to be able to show a remarkable finished product."

"In Millinery, things almost never turn out like I envisioned them, they take on a new turn and become even more incredible than I imagined. It's all about the right shaped feather in the right place at the right time."

Of the collection just launched, Viktoria says, "I use a lot of strong colours in my designs and I love mixing unusual objects with different materials. I can custom design pretty much anything and I love the challenge of looking for the perfect colour for that special outfit. My fascinators are the centre of attention and usually get people talking. I also make bridal fascinators custom made to order."

As of right now, you may consider yourself crowned as Canberra's very own Imelda. As owner of more than 400 pairs of shoes, how on Earth do you keep these babies under control? I have 3 rooms completely consumed by my collection. I keep them organised by style and in colour blocks and the really special ones live in their original boxes. I also have a "Carrie Bradshaw" style walk-in wardrobe set-up where I keep all my shoes in boxes with ID photos on the front of each box, I'm able to see exactly what I have without pulling them all out and making a huge mess... especially when I'm in a rush and I really need that special pair to match my outfit.

How did this remarkable collection begin? From the age of about 7, my gran would take me op shopping nearly every weekend. I would always be so excited and run straight for the shoes. I would beg her to buy me the prettiest, most colourful pairs just so I could play with them! Years later I spent 6 years as a visual merchandiser and retailer in the shoe industry for 32 stores around Melbourne. Today my obsession continues and I just can't stop buying shoes, I find it such a thrill to find that perfect pair. Someone sweet once dropped a little note in my lap reading "See a shoe and pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck", now it's my motto!

At the semi-rural property where she lives, Viktoria and her family love their animals, allowing Ben the rooster and Clyde (lorikeet mate for Bonnie, of course) inside to inspect the shoe collection. I can't help but wonder how the birds feel about the fab feathery fashions, and is this the very same reason why Larry the sheep kept his distance?

So what's next for Viktoria Novak, designer? I would like to pick up some more stockists and grow the business to Australian fashion hotspots Sydney and Melbourne and eventually internationally. In my dreams I would like to develop a range of fascinators and headdresses for an international couturier and have celebrities lining up to wear them!
Viktoria would also love to see her vast shoe collection immortallised in art, and Viktoria Novak shoe designer... watch this space!

But for now, you must check out Viktoria Novak's fascinators for spring racing and cup day, now stocked at Slave to Luxury, at the Canberra Centre. Faaaabulous!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday Arts

A little exhibition opening at the Front Gallery, Lyneham...

...And in the spirit of Floriade Canberra Contemporary Art Space presents

The Garden of Good and Evil 2008 Members Exhibition and art prize

Opening tonight, exhibition continues until 5 October 2008, at CCAS Manuka.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wishing Wednesday: Public transport in style

Wouldn't it be cool if public transport look a little bit like this?

"If there is one thing Ikea is fantastic at, besides making flat pack furniture, it's advertising. For their opening in Kobe, Japan, Ikea decked out trains with Ikea furniture and fabrics. Rush hour has never looked better."

Via Ikea Hacker

And more to the point, wouldn't it be cool if we could have and Ikea in Canberra?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Skip to Milu: shoe perve

It's no secret, you all know I have a shoe fetish, and granted I don't have it as bad as Viktoria, I will always love a good shoe, especially in lush summery colour...

Gorgeousssss. Milu is at Brand Depot, check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Floriade: Hot or not?

So this is already my second trip to Floriade this year, the first on Monday was the day I left the house without the memory card for the ole camera! Clever me!

Both days were enjoyed with impeccable weather. Monday was spent with interstate family who were in town (from Perth) for the Bentley Drivers Club rally, sporting their gasp worthy extreme vintage Bentley. Sadly they were not overly impressed with Floriade.

Today, I spent time with another yummy mummy and her two (and my two), for a look at what the kids love...

Hot: Masses of gorgeous blooms.
Not Hot: Designing the flower beds in plan - pointless when you can't actually view them from that particular angle.

Hot: The idea of the Floriade theme: "Films that shaped our Nation"
Not Hot: the reality of the Floriade theme: "Films that shaped our Nation"

Hot: The gorgeous sunny weather today.
Not Hot: the majority of the 'designer' display gardens this year, very poor... boo.

Hot: The kids absolutely loving the baby animal petting zoo.
Not Hot: No hand washing for afterward!? boo.

Hot: The "Australia Fair" Concert Street Organ. Donate to keep it alive people, become an organ donor ;-)
Not Hot: The 'decorated' caravan/cubby houses by CIT students studying building and decoration etc... er, not actually decorated at all and completely unfinished inside... boo. But what I could do with those!

Hot: New lakeside carpark is much less of a s*** fight.
Not Hot: The gnome department, relocated and vastly reduced in quantity and gnome quality... boo. Although, I'm quite sure I will never see another gnome as cool as this one.

Hot: Floriade's new Nightfest program
Not Hot: Wondering how they are planning to shoo everyone out of the park, so that only paying ticket holders attend Nightfest !?!

Visit the Floriade website for more info on what there is to see, and if you've been, leave a comment... tell us what you thought was hot, or not!

...and here's a few more flowers I spotted in my neighbourhood...

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Handmade [up]market: call for stylistas

Question: Looking to experience a market which is full of original handcrafted designs that are stylish, unique and exceptional quality?
Answer: (chokes on coffee)... oh, god yes!

Then look out: Handmade - Canberra's Upmarket brings together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets all at one destination. It is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the quality, handcrafted and locally designed.

The first Handmade market, on Saturday 22nd November 2008, will be located at Canberra's Albert Hall, Canberra's original 'Assembly Hall' . A beautiful building that is perfect for a bustling designer "upmarket". The Hall is adjacent to The Hyatt Hotel & beautiful Lake Burley Griffin. It's sister event just launched in Perth, far exceeding expectations, and timed just before Christmas, I anticipate similar success here too.

Organiser of the new quarterly event, the wonderful Julie Nichols, is now calling for all you fabulous crafters, styling artists and gorgeous gourmet types to apply as stall holders. With indoor and outdoor places filling fast, don't miss out... I'll be there with my handbags!

I can't wait, check out all the info here and submit your application!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Exhibitions: Craig Craft and more...

A couple of interesting new exhibitions are opening at the Craft ACT Gallery this Thursday evening...

In Gallery 2: Craig Craft is a new body of work by Craig Harris, a furniture maker exploring the relationship between a designer and craft. In this exhibition he has designed and created new furniture based on the construction techniques of ocean going vessels.
In the Crucible Showcase: University of Canberra Melt Award - Jessica Owen
Craft ACT in collaboration with the University of Canberra awards a showcase exhibition to hot emerging designers. 2008 sees Jessica Owen presenting a range of contemporary jewellery.

and in Gallery 1: Interior Exterior
In 2008, the annual Accredited Professional Members exhibition focuses on ideas based around the inside and outside of a designed and crafted form. These highly skilled individuals explore the relationship of an interior to its exterior and vice versa.

The exhibitions are on display at Craft ACT, 1st Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, until November 1, 2008.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Canberra Centre: Spring fashion and High Tea

The Canberra Centre's High Tea Spring fashion showing on Saturday turned up a few key looks for this spring and offered me a chance to finally catch up face to face with fellow Canberran blogger and style queen Lady Smaggle. So a look at some of my favourite looks on the 'runway'...

Superchic: loving the accessories. Classic look: Red against Navy and white. I'm thinking I could be trying the head scarf and big sunnies look this summer.

Fab outfit featuring quirky 'back to front' baby pink blouse and my absolute fave shoes at Carmen Steffens. Hot look, but maybe because the model is almost 7 ft tall and absolutely gorgeous!?

Black and white classic goes assymetrical, the belted waist is still happening, so do yourself a favour give youself some shape. Ok, so the guy is a Hyatt bell-hop, but I think their uniform is completely adorable, don't think this guy planned to be on any fashion pages though!

A little bit of purple with your denim? I'm loving the off-the-shoulder top and the denim pants (not jeans). I used to own a pair exactly like these and lived in them (with my skinny belt)...I cried when they finally died!

And above, Viktoria Novak, Ninaribena and Lady Smaggle enjoying a gossip and champagne! Love, love, loving Viktoria's a-mazing range of handmade fascinators, sold through Carmen Steffens and by commission and Lady Smaggle's lovely lady lips top... beauwdiful!