Music Festival Picks for Summer


With summer around the corner, the festival team can’t wait for the highly anticipated festival season.  We have taken all of the hard work out of deciding which festivals to attend this summer with our top picks.

Falls Festival

The Falls Music & Arts Festival is our top festival pick for this summer.  Each year Falls Festival out does itself with both its line-up and its uncanny ability to blend music, camping and arts against some of Australia’s best scenic backdrops.  This year’s acts include Crystal Fighters, Flight Facilities, Hungry Kids of Hungry and The Wombats.   

 Big Day Out

The Big Day Out is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year. The festival hits five cities around Australia and New Zealand in late January. Big Day Out has wide appeal bringing international acts and the best local artists to music lovers around Australia. Acts include Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Snoop Lion, Flume and many more.

Golden Plains  

Golden Plains is at the tail end of the festival season and is held over the Labour Day long weekend in March. Much like its sister festival Meredith Music Festival, it channels the non–commercial ethos and BYO policy. A favourite of many, this festival isn’t one to be missed! Line up includes Public Enemy (yes, really), Flying Lotus, You Am I, Cut/Copy, Yo La Tengo, Fat Freddy’s Drop, and many more.

The Festival’s Favourite Summer Bars


The team at the Festival sums up what bars you should be drinking at and checking out as the weather warms up during the summer months in Melbourne.


Mr Miyagi

99 Chapel St, Windsor

Mr Miyagi is the karate kid Chapel Street needed, bringing Japanese cool to the Windsor end of Chapel Street. Exposed brick, polished concrete and neon signs. We think this new kid will quickly become your summer staple. The menu is broken down by rounds with emphases on sharing plates. The cocktail list has all our 80’s favourites, we especially love the Hello Kitty Sour.


14 Dawson Street, Brunswick

The Festival loves the transformation that is happening northside along Sydney Road with the spread of new cafés, bars and restaurants. The newest kid on block is Howler. With its vast open interior and super styling menu, this newbie is sure to hit the spot.

Le Joint

233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Festival favorite Touché Hombre has a sexy new cousin – Le Joint. We love the nostalgic nods to the past with its kitsch décor and Zoltar fortune teller machine.  Go for the Blackmore wagyu burgers, stay for the cocktails and insert fun nights here.


First Floor, 1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Hihou is bringing back the cocktail hour with a Japanese twist. Press the buzzer and be ushered by the waiters into cocktail bar nirvana. This bar takes service and attention to detail to a whole new level. Hihou is full of dramatics, including a well thought out space, interior and menu. All coming together to bring you that electric vibe at this hybrid restaurant bar.


103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000

As the sun heats up our city Melbournians flock to the many rooftop bars that are dotted all around the city. A notetable Festival favorite has had a recent nip and tuck and resurfaced as Bomba. Bomba serves up simple and casual Spanish tapas and a smart Negroni, which are perfect for watching the sun set from a rooftop.

The Festival’s 2013 Christmas Gift Guide


Christmas time can always get a bit stressful when it comes to gift ideas, so we have done the hard work for you. Here is our selection of the best gifts for this festive season. 


 L’Oréal Paris - For the woman 30+, available in store for $70.00 this Gift Pack offers a saving of 35 per cent!  

The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 Christmas Gift Pack includes a Revitalift Total Repair 10 Day Cream, Night Cream and Serum, perfect for women who want to fight the 10 most common signs of ageing. 


L’Oréal Paris - For the woman 40+, available in store for $60.00 this Gift Pack offers a saving of 35 per cent! 

The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Christmas Gift Pack includes a Revitalift Day Cream, Eye and Night Cream, perfect for women who want to fight the signs of ageing and firm their skin. 


L’Oréal Paris - For active men, available in store for $16.95 this Gift Pack offers a saving of 30 per cent…and a complimentary  Men Expert toiletry bag! 

The L’Oréal Paris Hydra Energetic Small Christmas Gift Pack includes a Men Expert Hydra Energetic Cleanser and Moisturiser, perfect for men who want to re-charge their skin. 


Westfield – Westfield gift cards allow your loved ones to treat themselves to exactly what they always wanted! The gift card can be used in over 8000 stores. 


Westfield – Westfield Doncaster Styling Sessions – Let a team of professional stylists inspire you and help you put together the perfect wardrobe. 


Chadstone Shopping Centre - The team at Chadstone have put their very own Christmas Gift Guide together, check it out HERE. 


FujiFilm – Instax Mini 8 Camera, $119.99, available from Photo Xpert at Eastland Shopping Centre 


Ambrosia –  ‘Koko’ Small Bowl $5.99, available from House at Eastland Shopping Centre 


Sony – ‘DAB+’ Portable Radio, available from JB Hi-Fi at Eastland Shopping Centre 

Ted Baker – Markun, Pink handbag, $329 


Ted Baker – Adeena, black patent ipad case, $84.95 


Mimco - Leopard Case for iPhone 5, $39.95 

Give your iPhone 5 or 5S that must-have hit of leopard print. Crafted from durable polycarbonate, this little number will protect your tech in style. 


Mimco - Narrow Hinged Cuff, $69.95 

Featuring our signature crystal-inlayed clasp, the Narrow Hinged Bangle is an ideal layering piece for your wrist. 


 kikki.K A5 Weekly Leather Diary, $39.95 

 The perfect companion for everyday organisation. Features monthly calendars, and a week-to-spread view. 


kikki.K Travel Document Wallet, $79.95 

Free your mind and travel in style. Features categorised tabs, zip pockets and card slots for all your travel documents.

Marketing Breakfast Highlight TED Baker & Gamificiation


Ted Baker is one of the only internationally recognised designer labels that has built a global market without a paid advertising campaign, instead embracing unconventional techniques to generate word of mouth.  According to their Brand Communication Director and this year’s Marketing Breakfast Speaker, Craig Smith, ‘This has been done through employing witty, eclectic and engaging window displays, amusing in-store giveaways and one-off unique events and digital initiatives.’ 

The brand’s Christmas promotion this year exemplifies their unorthodox approach to promotion. They have launched Peng’win, a Facebook integrated game where players guide a flying penguin to win prizes. It is an effective example of retail gamification, one of the most name-dropped buzzwords among marketers today. 

So, what is gamification?

According to Deloitte Digital it is the ‘introduction of game psychology into the front end of business applications. It combines cleverly structured applications with our deep emotional urges to succeed, compete and collect things in order to win. When employed successfully it has the potential to build brand loyalty, increase sales and deeply engage with target audiences.

Digital savvy firms are increasingly using gamified applications to engage their consumers in the crowded retail digital landscape. According to Gartner more than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014. Meanwhile, M2Research predicts the market for gamification solutions will grow by more than 11 times – from $242 million to $2.8 billion by 2016.

If you would like to hear more about Ted Baker’s approach to promotion and communication, attend the Marketing Breakfast, on 21 March 2014 and hear Craig Smith discuss and illustrate the breadth and diversity of the Ted Baker brand during its first 25 years, using various case studies and creative examples to pinpoint why their approach is so engaging.

Try the Peng’Win game HERE

Buy tickets for the 2014 Marketing Breakfast HERE – tickets $130

WGSN’s Key take outs from Shop-org 2013


Lorna Hall and Rachel Arther from WGSN  attended  and found that at  a time when most US retailers are consumed with putting the building blocks in place to establish a truly omni-channel organisation, conference presentations seemed to focus more on the need to ensure that management teams had their priorities right.

According to the report, Walgreens president and CEO Gregory Wasson summed it up when he referred to his business as having a “customer-crazed strategy”. He said: “It’s tempting to let innovation drive the bus, but it’s more important to know who you are and who your customers are.”

Click HERE to read the full-report and find out why, prioritisation, utility,  meaningful metrics and responsive design  are the  new buzz words for the US e-commerce community.

Portable Studios tips on establishing a digital presence


To remain competitive designers and traditional retailers need a digital presence to compete with the swathe of online-savvy web merchants.  But where to start?

Over the past 10 years, Portable Studios co-founders Andrew Apostola and Simon Goodrich, who presented at the Business Seminar in 2013, have assisted a huge number of fashion businesses to develop an integrated and manageable digital strategy. Drawing on their collective experience, they launched their first publication Taking Back Retail, a step-by-step guide for taking fashion & design businesses online.

Over the coming months Simon and Andrew will be sharing insights, tactics and tips from their book with Backstage readers.

This week: Advice on tackling technology

To launch your brand the technology used should dovetail into your overall digital strategy, and ideally be simple and scalable. While it may conflict with your artistic and aesthetic vision, when starting out simpler technology is best. Ideally operate from a pre-existing Content Management System (CMS), and focus on marketing and promotion.

Top tips:

  • Don’t try and come up with an innovative website – there’s already an incredible amount of innovation out there and a range of best practices have emerged.
  • Don’t include a splash page or use animation – it slows the customer down and they are more likely to leave your website without entering.
  • Don’t use Flash – it may look good, but it isn’t indexed properly in Google and does not appear on Apple mobile or tablet devices.

To find out more about Taking Back Retail click HERE

Digital Collective for International Retail Boutiques


We are ecstatic that renowned fashion entrepreneur José Neves  is coming to Australia to present at the Business Seminar on 20 March 2014. 

Farfetch is a ‘multichannel retail network’ that unites more than 290 independent boutiques around the world with fashion lovers.  The Farfetch team manage all the hundreds of steps related to e-commerce from photography, to video, logistics, localised payments, customer service, and online marketing allowing  the store owners to focus on what they do best, curating fashion products.

The unique model caught the eye of Condé Nast International who invested $20 million in the venture, along with backing from venture capital funds Advent Venture Partners, Index Ventures and Eventures.

José is also included in the Business of Fashion 500 listing, recognising his role in shaping the global fashion industry. Read more about him HERE or visit and peruse stores across Europe and North America stocking premium brands including, Proenza Schouler, Opening Ceremony, Yohji Yamamoto, Céline and many more.

Tickets for 2014 Business Seminar

Business Seminar presented by The State Government of Victoria and Westfield: $420 Early Bird Rate until 31 January, $450 from February onwards

Click HERE to buy tickets

Or visit the Farfetch site HERE

Let’s Talk Fashion Industry Forums


In 2014, the Melbourne Fashion Festival will again present three unmissable Fashion Industry Forums presented by Colonial First State Global Asset Management, and hosted by Glynis Traill-Nash, Fashion Editor for The Australian. These forums provide an opportunity for fashion professionals to assemble and discuss some of the Australian industry’s most pressing themes. This year, we are inviting a circle of industry influencers to talk about the following topics.

Pictured: 2013 Fashion Media Landscape Panel

Forum 1: Fashion Buying – Tuesday 18 March 2014

The buying process is the engine room of the fashion industry and this session will be insightful for retailers and fashion brands alike. A panel of buyers with experience working in both physical and online environments will offer tips on successfully engaging a fashion buyer and advise retailers on successful buying strategies.

Forum 2: Fashion Investment – Wednesday 19 March 2014

Australia’s fashion and retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, with an increasing number of brands turning to external investors in times of growth. In this session, investors will discuss what they look for in a brand and you’ll get advice from designers on how to secure an investor that aligns with your brand vision.

Forum 3 International Readiness – Friday 21 March 2014

International retailers are increasingly driven by global expansion opportunities in an attempt to make up for slow growth in European and American markets.  This forum will explore how the recent influx of overseas fashion brands is impacting on local operators and discuss what Australian retailers need to do to thrive in an increasingly internationalised market.

Speakers will be announced in the coming months so check the website for updates.

Tickets are $40 (incl GST)

Fashion Industry Forum Bundle: $99 (incl GST)

Forum event details:

Time: Doors open at 3.30pm

Presentations from 4.00 – 5.30pm

Light refreshments from 5.30 – 6.30pm

Venue: Grand Ballroom, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, 25 Collins St, Melbourne

It’s business time with our 2014 Business Seminar


We have been working hard developing a series of business events for the Festival in 2014. These events will capture emerging themes and innovations for design-led, consumer facing and service orientated businesses.

In the coming months, we will announce the full program, however in our excitement we have decided to give Backstage members a sneak preview. Here is a taste of what you can expect at our full-day Business Seminar hosted by David Meagher, Editor, WISH Magazine at The Australian on 20 March 2014.

Building Great Teams

Christian Ettinger from bespoke HR and training firm Christian Bassett will share his insights on recruiting, training and motivating teams to deliver on a brand message. Based in Singapore, Christian has 15 years’ experience working for the world’s leading luxury brands. With a portfolio of over 30 companies including Mui Mui, Pedder Group, Prada, Hilton Hotels and Fendi he has designed and led training programmes for thousands of staff across a range of cultures, environments and levels of expertise.


Pictured: Prada Store, Aoyama Tokyo

Heritage: Redefined

Paul van Zyl from Maiyet and Simone Cipriani from the Ethical Fashion Initiative will discuss their respective pioneering work with master craftsmen from places such as Ghana, Uganda, Colombia India, Indonesia, Peru and Mongolia.

Maiyet is a new luxury brand that is uniquely-inspired and design-driven. Respected for its ethical framework, Maiyet is first and foremost a luxury label, and received critical acclaim at Paris Fashion Week this year.

Pictured: Maiyet Spring 2014

Simone Cipriani is Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre (ITC) of the UN. In this role, he has created hubs for creative manufacturing and production in several African countries, all which follow a fair labour agenda and ethical fashion practices. His collaborators include Vivienne Westwood, sass & bide, Stella McCartney, United Arrows, Karen Walker as well as many other distributors and brands.


Pictured: sass & bide collaboration with The ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative

By opening up new markets and creating customised training programs, Paul and Simone are redefining world heritage by enabling marginalised artisans to produce high quality goods for the luxury market.

This is just a sample of the stellar line-up for our 2014 events. If you would like to know more, register here and we will contact you on 4 December 2014 when tickets go on sale.

Tickets for 2014 Business Events

Business Seminar presented by The State Government of Victoria and Westfield: $420 Early Bird Rate until 31 January, $450 from February onwards

Marketing Breakfast: $130

3 x Fashion Industry Forums presented by Colonial First State Global Asset Management: $40

Ticket bundles are also available

Business Series Bundle: $635 for access to all five events in the Series including our full-day Business Seminar.

Fashion Forum Bundle: $99 for access to all three Fashion Industry Forums

Find out more

Maiyet Website –

Ethical Fashion Initiative Website

Sass & Bide’s collaboration with Ethical Fashion  Initiative –

Spring Racing Carnival 2013

Spring Racing Carnival 2013 Trend Edit

Racing season is upon us, so showcase this season’s key trends and create your carnival look by playing with colour, shape, texture and focusing on the detail.


An asymmetric design is a great alternative to the classic race day dress, a great contemporary look for the more adventurous.

1. Camilla and Marc, “The Tempest Dress” $550.00 available here.

2. Morgan and Taylor, “Sky Fascinator, LILAC” $134.95 available here.

3. Manning Cartell, “Contrasting Love Asymmetric Dress, LILAC” $549.00 available here.

4. Miss Co, “Quilted Metal Bar Clutch, MINT” $19.99, from The Iconic available here.

5. Dinosaur Designs, “Medium Seaweed Wrap Bangle, LIGHT BLUE” $85.00 available here.

6. Dinosaur Designs, “Shifting Planes Wishbone Bangle, SILVER PEARL” $55.00 available here.

7. Dinosaur Designs, “Large Gem Bangle, DUCK EGG” $85.00 available here.

8. Gorjana, “Long Faceted Necklace” $109.90 available here.

9. Therapy, “Sirocco” $49.95, The Iconic available here.

10. L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lipstick available here.


A new take on monochrome, make a statement at Derby Day in structured designs and bold lines.

1. Ruby Sees All, “Fly By the Night Dress” $299.00, The Iconic available here.

2. Mimco, “Facet Bezel Stud Earring”, $59.95 available here.

3. Morgan & Taylor, “Vicky Fascinator, BLACK IVORY” $134.95 available here.

4. Sass & bide, “Movers & Shakers necklace” $290.00 available here.

5. Sass & Bide, “The Absurd Lattice Bustier” $350.00 available here.

6. Sass & Bide, “Much Adored Peplum Skirt” $390.00 available here.

7. Sportsgirl, “Victoria Update Bag”, $39.95 available here.

8. Nine West, “Acre, BLACK” $139.95 available here.


For a sleek and modern take on a feminine trend, opt for a neoprene dress with matching clutch.

1. Camilla and Marc, “Quiet Song Dress” $440.00 available here.

2. Etsy, “Ivory Hair Flower” $19.35 available here.

3. Witchery, “Hammered Metal Headband” $12.95 available here.

4. Simone Rocha, “Knitted Wafer Mesh Dress” $1,120.00 from Green With Envy available here.

5. Karen Walker, “Number One Sunglasses, PEACH”, $284.09 available here.

6. Leghailia, “Case Bag, PINK DARK BROWN” $81.99 available here.

7. Dinosaur Designs, “Small carved Ring, POWDER PINK” $50.00 available here.

8. Dinosaur Designs, “Long Band Bangle, IVORY” $105.00 available here.

9. “Ahlo Heel” $189.95 available here.

10. L’Oreal, “829 Atomic Purple Nail Polish”


These rich, vibrant hues are a stand out for Spring, and work best with statement accessories and a bronzed glow.

1. Kookai, “Bronte Dress” $140.00 available here.

2. Shakuhachi, “Silk Drape Petal Dress, PINK” $280.00 available here.

3. Mimco, “Divine Proportional Floral Headband” $69.95 available here.

4. Morgan & Taylore, “Ella Fascinator, ORANGE” $49.95 available here.

5. L’Oreal Paris, “Colour Riche Le Vernis, LUSH TANGERINE” available here.

6.  L’Oreal, “Acid Watermelon, 827” Nail Polish

7. “Gia Clutch, ORANGE” $69.95 available here.

8. Mimco, “Petite Spot Stud, Tangerine” $59.95 available here.

9. “Rainey Shoe, ORANGE SUEDE Leather” $139.95 available here.

10. Mimco, “Frame Hip Bag, Bougainvillea”, $199.00 available here.


Subtle, elegant and a little daring, the sheer dress is the perfect outfit for race day.

1. White Suede, “Tri Angle Top, IVORY” $279.00 available here.

2. White Suede, “I Like It Sheer Skirt, PEACH” $279.00 available here.

3. Carla Zampatti, “Lily Crepe Enmeshed Polo Mini” $729.00 available here.

4. Karen Walker, “Orbit Sunglasses, CRYSTAL PINK” $378.29 available here.

5. Mimco, “Jewel Stud Earing” $79.95 available here.

6. Mania Mania, “Bara Necklace” $380.00 from Green With Envy available here.

7. Mania Mania, “Last Night Cocktail Ring” $180.00 available here.

8. Condura, “Perspex Clutch, CLEAR” $59.95 available here.

9. “Yugo Shoe, Off White Matt Kid” $220.00 available here.

10. A.F.Vandevorst, “Wide Brim Hat, WHITE” $1,282 from Far Fetch.


Add interest to your race wear with a neutral palette and delicate textural details that add subtle flair.

1. Ellery, “Cry Baby Cape Sleeve Top” $2,200 available here.

2. Reny Keestle, “Nexus” $580.00 available here.

3. Alice McCall, “Smithsonite Dress” $389 available here.

4. Dinosaur Designs, “Long Band Bangle, IVORY SWIRL” $105 available here.

5. Dinosaur Designs, “Medium Coral Bangle, IVORY SWIRL” $125.00 available here.

6. Shona Joy, “State of Purity Dress” $168.00 available here.

7. Alexander McQueen, “Glory Skull 3D Flower Clutch” $2,474 approx available here.

8. “Keep Count Slingback Shoe” $299.00 available here.

9. Nine West, “Acre, NUDE” $139.95 available here.

Paris Fashion Week with Emily Ward

One of our esteemed stylists from the Festival family was recently in Paris for Fashion Week and has compiled her top picks from the shops, showrooms and runways. 

1. The Chanel show was a definite highlight. The set comprised a series of artworks and installations overseen by Karl Lagerfeld. It was also great to see so many amazing Australian models walking in the show such as Cat McNeil, Julia Nobis,  Miranda Kerr and Holly Rose Emery. 










































2. Visiting the Lanvin showroom after the runway with fashion doyenne Christine Barro. Seeing the intricate metallic fabrics up close and touching them while seeing the designer, Alber Elbaz, only a few feet away. 

3. The creative and innovative use of water and sound to contexualise the collection at Kenzo

























4. Having the privilege to interview and showcase some extraordinary Australian talent abroad, all doing amazing things, including Toni Maticevski, producer Chris Ford, Ellery, Akira, Collette Dinnigan, illustrator Leo Greenfield and Lucy Folk.