Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Yartz Party

 The Federal Election is almost upon us and while arguably the most artistically inclined
prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will be fighting for his political life a new party has been launched and is hoping to pick up one million votes.
The Arts Party "exists to encourage a more creative, cultural, educated and prosperous life for every Australian.". The first candidate will be Lou Pollard who will be standing for the North Sydney seat.
And the party is now crowd-funding to raise money for the coming election. You can read more or join the party at their official website here.
And there are so real heavy weight show biz names already spruiking for the campaign including Bryan Brown, Geraldine Turner and Lex Marinos. The only thing missing is a word from Australia's Cultural Attache to the Court of St James Sir Les Patterson.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Picture Post # 43

An occasional series:
Our exclusive photograph of Dame Edna Everage from the set of the new Absolutely Fabulous film in which she has starring role. More than that we are not at liberty to reveal.

Pomp & Ceremony : This is how the French honoured the Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove when they arrived in Paris to commemorate Anzac Day on April 25th.

A replica of the Palmyra Arch – a 2,000-year-old Syrian architectural landmark believed to have been destroyed by Islamic militant group ISIS – has been erected in London's Trafalgar Square. The loonier sections of the so-called 'truther' movement on the internet claim is it a portal to allow Beelzebub to enter the Earth and take command. All we got was London mayor Boris Johnson.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nicholas has designs on Miami

Nicholas Huxley began studying at the Fashion Design school at East Sydney College in 1973, before working for a number of prominent fashion houses in Australia, He became head teacher of the Fashion Design Studio in 1990, a post he still holds. 

Now he has been commissioned  to set up a fashion design school at the Miami Dade College in the US and it's hard to think of a better choice. Almost every successful name in the Australian fashion scene has studied under Huxley . He's been nominated for numerous awards including  an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Costume Design for the film Sons of Steel and has been
asked to be a part of the annual Jeans for Genes art auction for five consecutive years. Nicholas has won two Fashion Industry of Australia awards and was nominated three times for the NSW Government Fashion Laureate in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
But for the next nine months Huxley will be living in Miami helping bring fashion to that great city. In the meantime he's busy furnishing his new apartment nearby the campus. So that's another Aussie taking over the world ! 
 Exclusive on the 60 Minutes Beirut Kidnap Plot

While 60 Mins presenter Tara Brown and her film crew were sipping champagne in First Class on a flight back to Sydney today, one of those involved in the matter remained in jail He is Adam Whitington an ex-UK policeman and  head of the Child Abduction Recovery agency. No being whisked through Sydney Airport by Nine's top PR Victoria Buchan for Whitington.

Gatto                           Obeid                       Depp & Heard
All manner of characters seem to be coming out of the woodwork including former NSW MP Eddie Obeid (we reported on how his 6'4" drag queen nephew was intending to turn up to court in support of his Lebanese born uncle when he was under ICAC scrutiny) and now Melbourne "underground" figure Mick Gatto has claimed he was asked to help negotiate the 60 minutes crew's release. Quite how Gatto, the boss of a building scaffolding firm could assist is a mystery although completely unnoticed by the Oz media, Gatto supplied the security for Johnny Depp and Amanda Heard when they arrived and left a Southport court for the great Boo & Pistol Scandal
But a blogger who goes by the name of Anna Raccoon (she is a retired British lawyer) has come up with some new info on Whittington who was involved in the mysterious Madeleine McCann affair. 
Read Anna Raccoon's article here 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

She's back !

Reines & Mail stablemate Katie Hopkins

Six months after being unceremoniously dumped by the Sunday Telegraph, Ros Reines, billed as the "columnist they can't silence" has resurfaced as a writer for the Australian edition of the MailOnline (as we predicted).

The Mail seems to specialize in picking up dumped News Ltd columnists after they also employed Katie Hopkins who proved even too inflammatory for the downmarket Sun newspaper.

In an almost perfect Private Eye magazine "Glenda Slagg" moment Reines has been defending the Nine Network's bizarre decision to kidnap children from a Beirut Street while side by side was the alternative view by Mail writer Corrine Barraclough.
Meanwhile the 60 Minutes crew languish in Beirut jails which are not exactly 5 star establishments. Why did any of the crew including presenter Tara Brown accept an assignment that included breaking Lebanese laws?. Even if they had been successful the ramifications would have caused an even worse diplomatic incident than the present one. And as Fairfax foreign editor Maher Mughrabi explains, securing the release of the 60 Minutes crew may be a lot more complicated than people believe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Out & about with Fergie

Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York is in town visiting relatives and attending a few events. Here she is at a charity bash for the much loved St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst. Pouring a tipple for Sarah is Lisa McGuigan who now oversees the family wine business McGuigan Wines. Whispers has been consuming McGuigan wines for a long time now. Founder Brian McGuigan hosted some pretty swell lunches & dinners  over the years. If you haven't tried these wines they really are possibly the best Australia has to offer which is saying something. Check them out here. The Duchess looks pretty happy to be served a glass as well.
We once encountered the Duchess at a Foxtel event where the 100,000 subscriber was being signed up in the beach side suburb of Clovelly. Sarah was in a fox-hole in the street surrounded by electrical equipment and about to plug the new subscriber to the service, as the media looked on. Suddenly a window was flung open in a block of flats opposite and an elderly lady yelled "what the hell is all that racket down there ?". PR persons rushed over to calm her down & informered her that the Duchess of York was about to do something very important.
" I don't care if the bloody Queen of England is there, put a cork in it !" was the pensioner's response.
It's never dull in Sydney.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Aussie restaurant tops in Manhattan

Noffs with Julia Gillard & Matty Bennett
Former Sydneysiders Rupert Noffs and his partner Matty Bennett are cleaning up in New York with the success of their restaurant The Lucky Bee . The pair have received rave reviews in US publications for their trendy Soho eatery which is attracting the likes of locals and celebrities from Martha Stewart, fashion designer Valentino, LL Cool J to former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.
Noffs is the grandson of Wayside Chapel founder the Rev Tedd Noffs and moved to New York  four years ago to promote his unique brand of Gideon Shoes, Bennett was the sous chef at Sydney's Longrain restaurant. The pair married late last year in a  civil ceremony.

Apart from New York A-listers it's  the food media the pair have won over including positive reviews in the Manhattan's lifestyle bible The Village Voice with the influential New York Eater website naming The Lucky Bee as the best new comer on the block :
"The Lucky Bee is the new farm-to-table Southeast Asian cafe from restaurateur Rupert Noffs and former Fat Radish sous chef Matty Bennett. The menu includes coconut-braised short ribs, grilled whole shrimp, salt & pepper wings, and green curry with vegetables. The dining room has a kooky vibe, with 60s-style lamps, hanging ferns, and pink & black stripes all over the place."

The Lucky Bee which also sells NYC-produced honey from rooftop hives is located at 252 Broome Street in lower Manhattan. Whispers many moons ago lived for 2 years in a Broome Street loft almost opposite where The Lucky Bee is now located. At the time the area was only warehouses, deserted at night, and even lofts were illegal dwellings. They now sell for many millions of dollars. How times change.
Martha Stewart is a fan of The Lucky Bee

Whisper's best wishes go out to two of our favourite locals Kerri-Anne Kennerley and her husband John Kennerley after John's recent tragic accident when he broke his neck after a balcony fall.

We've encountered the pair numerous times over the years and a more loving couple is hard to find. The pair are devoted to each other and this must be particularly trying time for Kerri-Anne.

 The last time we saw them at a party John told us about his favourite hobby - he has constructed a fantastic miniature train system that snakes throughout the pair's living room. John constructs everything himself including building a miniature model the magnificent Shrewbury train station in Shropshire

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Girl From Oz

Lyndall Hobbs is an ex-Australian TV journalist who moved to London in the 70s and began a relationship with the theatrical impresario Michael White (Rocky Horror Show) who passed away recently and was the subject of Gracie Otto's award winning documentary The Last Impresario.
Lyndall lived with Michael White for 10 years and their house in trendy Egerton Crescent in West London was the "salon" of 70s London where she introduced 'Chalky' White to some emerging Australian talent like Jim Sharman, Barry Humphries and Martin Sharp (and even Whispers).
This is only one chapter in her fabulous life story from her new book "A Girl From Oz". When her affair with White ended she moved to New York and lived for many years with the actor Al Pacino
Hobbs now runs a highly successful design business in Los Angeles where some of Hollywood's biggest show business names are her clients.The book is fascinating reading about a person who has lived a rich and rewarding life. Available in all good books stores (the ones that are left) . Buy it for a glimpse of a fascinating era, the 1970s to early 90s.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Aussie Drag takes over the World

While Sydney's Oxford Street drag queen star Maxine Sheild is still basking in the glory of having

co-hosted the controversial shows  of Madonna, a veteran of the Sydney drag scene Stan Munro is wowing them in the Wales village of Abercam.
Stan who is 75 & makes Maxine look like a spring chicken can still command an audience belting out Shirley Bassey songs. Munro was born in Abercan but left at age 22 and toured the world before settling in Australia. Along the way He became great pals with British comedians like Larry Grayson & John Inman of Are You Being Served fame currently being screened on Australian TV.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

More from The PI and The Madam

Whisper's spy disguised as a gaffer on the Hollywood set of the new reality TV show The Private Eye & The Madam has sent us some exclusive unedited footage as the series takes shape. The series is the brainchild of former Sydney based gumshoe Frank Monte who operates out of ritzy Beverly Hills with a celebrity client base and his partner Sharon Sargeant, the boss of the exclusive Red Velvet Models escort agency now based in Los Angeles. We hear offers are flooding in from various European and South American TV networks. Given how popular reality shows are these days and the fact each genre now seems to have numerous variations - there are around 10 differing versions that re-decorate hotels or aid failing restaurants, Monte & Sargeant have a unique offering that is bound to prove compelling viewing.

TEASER V2 from frank monte on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

An Aussie in Malta

He's spotted at some the smarter parties around Sydney & Melbourne, at fashion parades, the polo and races. Alex Zabotto-Bentley with his Italian-heritage good looks and sunny disposition is a style meister responsible for designing some of this countries best and most stylish events.
Now Alex has scored a new gig- as Style Director for the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta and their entry in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Malta with under half a million inhabitants has punched well above it's weight in the Eurovision and this year's entry will be no exception. Zabotto-Bentley has taken advantage of the local fashion creatives on the island and combined them with the best of Australian artists to create a unique video. 
Says Alex :" I love this song so much and cannot wait for the Stockholm performance. I am going to Eurovsion, my life long dream !"
Here is a video of Malta's Ira Losco with Walk On Water in what could be her winning performance in Stockholm in May this year:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dining under the Moon

It's starts under the sun. The inaugural Moveable Feast on the sands of Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. From the entrepreneurs who gave us the acclaimed Diner en Blanc Sydney, A Moveable Feast was the first of four in a new series of dining experiences set to take place in 2016.
 In attendance were a number of A-list Sydney and international personalities such as Natasha Oakley, Devin Brugman, Kris Smith, Maddy King, Natalie Roser, Laura Csortan, Tim Holmes a Court, Daimon Downey and of course the Bondi Rescue boys.

Lauren Murdoch of Sydney Opera House Concourse venues designed the  menu, presented in the form of a picnic hamper for two with picked Alaskan crab salad with potato, pea, celery heart and tarragon, poached chicken with roasted eggplant, du puy lentils, eggplant caviar, sesame yoghurt hazelnuts and pastel meringue kisses among other culinary delights.  Yum ! Washed down by Piper-Heidsieck. What more could a mere mortal desire?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Theatre impresario Michael White dies

Michael White at the launch of The Last Impresario with Gracie Otto (far right)
 One of the UK's greatest theatrical impresarios of the last century has died in Canada at age 80. Michael White was the original producer who took the famous Rocky Horror Show into London's West End which was such a success the musical has never been out of production on a stage somewhere around the world since.

During his time White worked with Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, the Monty Python team and the comedy team called The Young Ones.

White who once famously quipped :"I'm the most famous person you have never heard of " lived with for many years with the Australian journalist Lyndall Hobbs who remained a life long friend and was the subject of the 2013 documentary produced by Gracie Otto called The Last Impresario.

 Gracie tweeted : "Love you so much... a true inspiration and generous soul. Changed my life forever. RIP dear dear Michael White,"

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Even more exciting news

If the thought of Jerry & Rupert's nuptials hasn't given you a heart starter, this news surely will:

As exclusively reported in LatteLife Newspaper - Southern Highland's edition ( which Whispers and the office cat proudly contribute to) the beautiful little town of Berry may become the home of superstar Leo DiCaprio:
"DiCaprio announces move to Berry NSW
Leonardo DiCaprio in a post Oscar magazine interview said that he was, “tired of the Hollywood lifestyle” and that he wanted to “live in a place where people were just people and whose sincerity you didn’t have to question”. He recently visited Berry while scouting out a film location with Martin Scorsese and, according to Scorsese, “Leo immediately fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle and the small town feel of Berry and that whole area and was telling everyone that he was going to move there.”
“I’ve accomplished a lot in my career and I feel like I just want to slow down a little bit and moving to a town like Berry in such a beautiful location full of beautiful people in a beautiful country is exactly what I want in my life right now,” DiCaprio said “I’m not giving up my career, I just want to move to a place that feels so different than what I’ve been used to all my life. For me, that place is Berry.” Here at LatteLife we think Leo needs to scout further South and move to Berrima or Bowral."

DiCaprio would join such names as Nicole Kidman and Miriam Margolyes and the late Lord McAlpine who all chose to spend most of their time in Australia's most beautiful rural retreat. And Berry? We can only think of actor Max Cullen who is a resident. Max is currently on tour with Warren Fahey in their hugely successful Dead Men Talking tour about Australia's legendary poets & writers Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson

Gerry & The Pacemaker Get Hitched !


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Selfies at a Chinese New Year dinner

First Lady Lucy Turnbull with Joanna & Edmund Capon
When Sydney businessman Simon Chan announced that the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would be the guest of honour at his Haymarket Chinese New Year Banquet, the event sold out that day. Simon has had this dinner many years (in association with various organisations) and usually he presents the guest of honour to the various tables to drink a toast. That's a traditional thing to do. So it was well behaved pandemonium when Simon took Malcolm around and 500 guests wanted to have a selfie taken with him. (you need to search Instagram for those selfies)
actor Jack Thompson & Malcolm Turnbull       William Yang & Shen Jiawei     Simon Chan & the PM
Lord Mayor Clover Moore points at something..and finds it's Chinese Dragon

One guest at Simon Chan's NY dinner was the prolific Sydney photographer William Yang (left) who has been documenting Sydney's nightlife for 40 years now. 
ABC TV just screened his documentary Friends Of Dorothy, a history of the Sydney Gay &Lesbian Mardi Gras.  Yang's current exhibition Stories of Love & Death is currently on show at Stills Gallery in Paddington as part of the Mardi Gras season.  Stills Gallery : 36 Gosbell St, Paddington NSW 2021 Phone:(02) 9331 7775

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Geat News for us oldies !

Many if us (well Whispers for a start) have been on the receiving end of claims those labelled Baby Boomers ( born after WW2) have had the best of times and should be gracefully moving aside for younger generations.

But we are still in demand (hopefully) as the successful Sydney based Australian brand Blue Illusion today launches their new Star Super Model- the 95 year old Iris Apfel to launch their  Ageless Style brand of accessories. 
When Whispers worked in New York we regularly spotted Iris on the social circuit. She really has had that ageless and unique look for going on 40 years now. This should be wonderful news for the Elle McPhersons ( 52 years old) of the world let alone whippersnappers like Miranda Kerr who is a a mere 33 years old. And what  a boost for us here at Whispers with your correspondent sharing the same birth date as Ms Apfel (different decade). Watch Iris talk on style below.

Monday, February 22, 2016

They came in their thousands

Even the organizers seemed surprised. The occasion was a protest about Sydney's infamous Lock Out Laws that have been so destructive to Sydney's nightlife in Kings Cross and the so-called Golden Mile of Oxford Street.
       And it's not just venue owners and late night revelers who are suffering. Thousands of jobs are dependent on the nightclub trade as well as hundreds of small supporting businesses like cafes, coffee shops, fast food outlets and even taxi drivers. The Cross and Oxford Street have become like a desert as businesses close every day. In Oxford Street there are dozens of To-Let signs.
      This Sunday, as the anger is quietly building, people flocked to Belmore Park opposite Central Station to express their concern. At least 15000 of them. I think that is a conservative estimate. How the mainstream media report this event will be interesting. Meanwhile around the Star Casino precinct and the various pubs in Pyrmont, just outside of the lock-out area, you can drink 24 hours and alcohol fueled assaults have increased.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ouch ! Roxy Jacenko unloads

Sydney high profile publicist Roxy Jacenko has hit out at those who are attacking her over the controversy surrounding what apparently are some pretty distasteful photographs of her daughter's head superimposed into other pictures. The photos are said to have been circulated among rivals in the fashion industry.

While Roxy, whose events we attend does promote her daughter Whispers cannot see why Roxy should be so viciously attacked for it even if we think it's not very prudent.

An attack on the mum is almost a vicarious attack on the daughter. The child is an innocent party in this and no matter what your views are, she will grow up and read all this (?) in the future.

So hands off as you take a perilous path when tangling with Roxy. You will get back as good as you give and then some.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jumping for Joy at Tropfest

Dan Ilic jumps for joy on the black carpet.
The Tropfest short film festival is back in a big way and superstars turned out to support the founder John Polson as our snaps show : Rebecca Gibney, Mel Gibson ( pictured below with John Polson) and Simon Baker.
Winners of this year's prize were animators Spencer Susser and Daniel Cloud-Campos.
whose stop-frame animation with real clothing called Shi picked up the gong.

And well worth reading is Gary Maddox's article in the Sydney Morning Herald about some of the woes that bedeviled Tropfest

Given the recent background of the festival, it's remarkable that John Polson has been able to resurrect the popular event so quickly.