Friday, May 19, 2017

Mangling the Met

Whispers has been to three Metropolitan Museum Gala Balls. It was before Vogue's Anna Wintour took over. We once accompanied artist Andy Warhol who at the time was probably the most outrageous guest. But that was a different era in New York City were we once lived and have visited many times.
The heady days of New York in the 70s and 80s have long past as the city has picked up an homogenized "Westfield" shopping centre feel to it much like most of the Mediterranean resorts including the once exotic Morocco where fascinating cities like Tangier and Marrakesh are almost indistinguishable from Manchester or Melbourne. Every bit of local 'colour' now has a forced tourist attraction feel to it especially when you see billboards advertising Gucci or Fendi near the old souks. The days when Whispers sat alone at a tiny Marrakesh coffee shop and within an hour found ourselves invited for drinks at Yves St Laurent's magnificent house and dinner with Madame De Gaulle are long past. Now St Laurent's house is a museum.
When designer Jasper Conran opens a hotel in the old city you know the good days have finally passed.

The Greek writer Taki Theodoracopulos, an admitted snob, has ripped into the Met's Gala Ball in only the way he can. But he's spot on.

"Once upon a time, the Metropolitan Museum’s gala ball was fun. Serious social-climbing multimillionaires competed openly for the best tables and for proximity to blue-blooded socialites like C.Z. Guest and her ilk. Pat Buckley, wife of William F., ran the show with military precision, allotting the best seats to those who had paid a fortune for them, but also to those who were young and handsome and whose pockets were not as deep. I used to be a regular. Then something happened. Anna Wintour took over after Pat’s death and the party turned into a freak show no self-respecting circus would allow on its premises.

Last week the uglies were out in force, the newspapers and glossies revealing themselves as fake-news purveyors by calling the show exclusive and impossible to get an invitation to. Do the people who write such crap take the rest of us for total idiots? The Met Gala is reserved for a few D-list celebrities, fashionistas, and advertisers. Proper souls wouldn’t be caught dead on the premises, especially near the Kardashian table. The ugliness of some of the attendants assaulted one’s frontal cortex, and I only saw the photos; imagine the horrors of seeing it live. Clinging like a barnacle to the Met’s hull, Anna Wintour’s horror show diminishes a great American institution. The freak show should be staged in Times Square, in the exact spot where the peep shows of old used to be."
Ouch !

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Just to show we here at Whispers are on the ball despite a lazy office assistant ( Mildred the Cat) news just comes in that Cristian King as we just reported below, has been found Not Guilty on the three criminal charges he was facing.

right: Waterstreet & King outside the court today

Said King outside the Moss Vale Court House:

"I'm really happy that freedom of the press won today and that I don't have a criminal record. A huge shout out to the amazing legal team at Christopher Murphy's firm, Murphy's Lawyers. Solicitors Nava Oh and Bryan Wrench with top barrister, Charles Waterstreet were amazing and found the truth from the conflicting evidence given by Bowral real estate firm, Campbell-Jones Property."

Court drama in the Southern Highlands

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban's SH home Bunya Hill and local resident Miriam Margolyes
The gentle rolling pastures of the beautiful countryside of the Southern Highlands are abuzz as the latest court drama over a local newspaper and a property developer plays out in the local court. The Highlands are a weekend retreat for many well heeled Sydneysiders with their hobby farms and numerous celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes and the late British politician Lord McAlpine
Top Sydney barrister, Charles Waterstreet was at Moss Vale Local Court this morning  representing newspaper executive Cristian King .
The prosecution relates to an investigative editorial ran by the local newspaper, LattéLife Wingecarribee, last year entitled 'Yuill Be Right’.
The article revealed that local real estate agent Angus Yuill of Campbell-Jones Property in Bowral had been trading without a property certifcate or licence for nine months, resulting in enforcement action by NSW Fair Trading.

left : barrister Charles Waterstreet and Cristian King

Mr King has been charged with intimidation, offensive behaviour and obstructing a vehicle in a public place. He is pleading not guilty to all charges.
King arrives at Moss Vale court today
Evidence was given by Campbell-Jones Property principal,Angus Campbell-Jones and his receptionist,Ana Calvert on 20 March 2017.
However, the hearing was adjourned to 18 May 2017 due to an allegation by Ms Calvert that Mr King had intimidated her at McDonald's restaurant in Moss Vale following her testimony although Mr King says he was at the courthouse at that time.
Mr Waterstreet, a family friend of the King's, has taken a special interest in this case and said "It is an honour to represent a journalist."

 Below: Highlands' competing newspapers : LatteLife and the Fairfax newspaper Highland News

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

They're strutting the catwalk at the Sydney Opera House. Sydney's fashion week has gone off with a bang with and dozens of designers are salivating over huge orders they hope will follow.
Who said fashion was dead? Here are some scenes from the last few days. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Charles & Christa for the White House?

As Whispers was being ushered home from the rather splendid Twinnings Design Challenge the other night in leather luxury via the chauffeured Bentley of the artistic duo Charles & Christa Billich, the pair told us of their plans to visit New York in the near future. It seems Charles has an exhibition lined up at the United Nations building in the Big Apple.

Christa & Charles at the Twinnings party

The pair had also just returned from Canberra where the Cuban ambassador had laid on a splendid dinner for the pair. They have just been to Havana and were somewhat of a hit among the locals. Charles is also hoping to present US president Donald Trump with a painting . Will it be one of Charles' tasteful nudes? Perhaps one of Christa. It would surely be to The Don's taste and would make a terrific talking point if it were hung in the Oval Office. Just imagine the discussions Trump could have with the Russian ambassador!

We felt we had to warn Charles of the incident when decades ago Trump commissioned a painting from the late Andy Warhol, of his splendorous Trump Tower. Warhol duly presented the portrait of three Trump Towers in typical Warhol colours. Trump was unimpressed particularly as the picture was based on a Polaroid camera snap (as were all Andy's portraits) and besides, he wanted the tower to be gold just like everything in his palace. He refused to accept the painting or pay for it. Let's hope Charles has more luck. Just to remind folks of Charles at work we present Whispers' video taken last year at the Billich Gallery.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Night of the Big Cheques

Shelly Horton & Carrie Bickmore
It was called the Twinnings' Design Challenge. Prominent celebrities were asked to design a new tea packet for the famous tea company. Nicole Kidman, model Samantha Harris, racing identity Emma Freedman and host of the TV show The Project Carrie Bickmore accepted. When the tens of thousands of public votes for the winner were announced, it was Carrie who had won. Ten cents from the sale of every packet of tea sold now goes to Carrie's charity Carrie's Beanies for Brain Cancer which she started in honour of her husband who passed away from the disease.
The other contestants also received a donation from Twinnings for their chosen charities, hence the sight of said slebs walking about with over-sized cardboard cheques !

Guests at the party to announce the winner (including Whispers) were transported on a mild Autumn night on the amazing Starship, a sort of floating ballroom, from the King Street Wharf to Cockatoo Island where the 4 designs for the tea packet were projected  onto a cliff face. Fueled by copious glasses of champagne (and even cups of tea) and we can report a very Good Time was had by all. And on hand- a 6th generation family member Stephen Twinning. Whispers gratefully accepted a ride home in the chauffeured Bentley of Real Housewives of Sydney star Christa Billich.
What a life!
Stephen Twinning... and the amazing Starship
Emma Watkins & Lachlan Gillespie..their shoes                                                  Olivia Phyland &  Lauren Vickers

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hat of The Month !

In an occasional series we bring you an example of How To Wear a Hat and stand out in the crowd with this clear winner. Whispers is sure readers will agree this gentleman carries off this example of superb male millinery with great aplomb and style.
He was a guest at this week's New York Hat Lunch hosted by the women's committee of the Central Park Conservatory held on a superb Spring day in the Big Apple.

This should send Australia's hat making fraternity scrambling back to the drawing board as you can see said gentleman had some pretty stiff competition.
We would hope they'll be inspired for this year's Melbourne Cup and produce their own glorious examples for a local event where a hat is a must.

Perhaps less of the dreaded 'fascinators' that have become popular and some more examples of colour and some larger brims which are probably far greater protection in our skin cancer inducing sun.

Below are some more of the wonderful colour and movement. And let's not forget some whimsy as seem below at Royal Ascot in a creation worn by our own fashion royalty Dame Edna Everage and a late great friend of Whispers Mrs Gertrude Shilling. That creation was designed by her son David Shilling (pictured with his mum) who Whispers imported to Melbourne to be a special guest many moons ago at The Cup as he judged the Fashions in The Field. David's final verdict was : "could try harder".

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

exclusive: A new competitor hits town

The invasion of foreign newspapers continues with one of the world's greatest broadsheets The New York Times opening a Sydney office and advertising for staff to produce local content.

They join The Guardian, Huffington Post and the Mail Online, all producing Australian content. Industry insiders say while both the Guardian and HuffPost are doing well, the most read newspaper on the planet, the Mail Online is costing more money than it makes from advertisers. How will the NYTimes fare?. After they were attacked by President Donald Trump subscribers to the NYTimes skyrocketed with over 250,000 new online subscribers alone in under three months. While the local Fairfax newspapers and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp tabloids are losing staff hand over fist along with fleeing advertisers, the arrival of the NYTimes adds another worrying dimension for the locals.
Prospective employees can go here to apply for a perch at the New York Times.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Blast from the Past

 Mick and Di Kershaw are two of the stars of Googlebox which has taken the Aussie viewers by storm. Googlebox picked up another Logie at this year's Melbourne glittering TV awards as the best 'Factual' program.
 Noticeable absent were the stars of the show at the event as producers have decided to keep them away from red carpet openings so the 'stars' don't overshadow the actual program which consists of various families commenting on a range of TV shows in a formula that has proved a winner.
That hasn't stopped the producers from extracting every bit of publicity
they can from the various stars such as distributing this wedding photo of the Kershaws who are dealers in  Indigenous art.

But nothing escapes the eagle eyes of Whispers. Ferreting around on Youtube we came across an Aussie TV show from 1961and the top local pop show at the time, The Johnny O'Keffe Show.

And there in the background smiling as Barry Stanton sings with the occasional giggle is our Gogglebox Star Di Kershaw.

And doesn't she look fab ?. And it was only 56 years ago . Wow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Snapped !

 Out and about with our Box Brownie:

13 year old Robert Irwin (son of Steve) looks like becoming a regular on the US Tonight Show as he wows 40 million viewers and Jimmy Fallon
Our favorite snap from The Logies tonight : Kerri-Anne Kennerley with French chef Clare de Lune (Clare is the one on the right)
Spotted at Ottos in Woolloomoloo on Saturday: noted barrister & film-maker Charles Waterstreet with Germaine Greer
OK for some: when ace PR agent Judi Hausmann entertains at home she gets chef Marco Pierre White to whip up dinner while hospitality guru Mandy Foley supervises.
Peas in a Pod : Robert Irwin (left) & his late dad Steve Irwin on the right. Both at age 13!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Going Down on The Titanic

Yes it's true. 
Whispers almost went down with the HMS Titanic and we're rather pleased. There is a fascinating new exhibition of over 360 Titanic artefacts on display at the Byron Kennedy Hall at Fox Studios.
The promoter of the show Tom Zaller is pictured above on the Titanic's Grand Staircase. Actually that's not the real staircase, it's the one that was created for the film staring Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Zaller is actually one of the very few people who has been down to view the wreck of the Titanic in one of those tiny submarine thingys and it inspired him to create this exhibition which premiered in Moscow, has been to Perth and is now in Sydney.

Everything else on display are original mementos from The White Star Line. Visitors are led through various rooms to view a first class cabin, nice, and then middle class (oh dear) and lower class where ten people shared one bunk (just kidding). The exhibition culminates in the Memorial Gallery, where visitors learn the passenger’s fate on the cold early morning of April 15, 1912. There is a complete list of the unfortunate passengers who didn't survive and a list of those who did in each of the boats. And..there is a Real Iceberg ! Yes a real one.

Visitors are given a Boarding Pass with a passenger's name and you can check whether you live or die ! Whispers was in the name of Mme Léontine Pauline Aubart (left) from Paris, and fortunately she survived in Lifeboat 9 with her maid Emma Sägesser.
Léontine Pauline Aubart was a 25 year old singer and the mistress of millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim who was also on board but did not survive. Apparently she went on to become a society hostess in Paris holding wild parties!
Compare the First Class Cabin with Second Class- 4 beds in a tiny room, and Third Class...shudder..we dare not show you (nothing has changed)

China gets less grand as you go downmarket to Third Class. At least they gave you a plate and some cutlery


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Russell goes to The Footie

Our favourite football club owner and Hollywood star Russell Crowe went to watch his team the South Sydney Rabbitohs  play yesterday, Sadly his team lost to the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Sydney is about the only town that Russell can wander about unhindered.
And the excited lad who just spotted himself on a huge TV monitor as Crowe arrived? It's the young son of one of Sydney's most respected solicitors Christopher Murphy.
Isn't that nice !

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Day at The Races

A perfect Autumn day in Sydney and the races at the Royal Randwick Racecourse is as good as a Saturday gets in this city.

Here is a roundup of some of the folk and fashions spotted on the day.

No outfit is too outrageous and indeed it's encouraged. It's all good fun and the excitement is palpable as a race reaches it's climax.

There are thrilled shouts as a backed winner romps home and any tears of disappointment at a lost wager are soon forgotten once you hit the Champagne Bar in the magnificent Queen Elizabeth 11 Grandstand.    

And when it's time to leave so many of Sydney's inner city pubs and clubs now ensure the party continues (take a taxi !).

We even spotted a chap (right) wearing the latest in Rayban sunglasses - well that's what our pal said.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hot stuff at Royal Randwick

If you have any sense on Saturday you should be heading out to the Royal Randwick
Racecourse  for The Championships Day 2 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, one of the racing calender's premier dates.
The gees gees will be competing for mega prizes :
$1 million James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks and the Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup. Wow! 

And look at the's going to be a glorious day. And we have a hot tip for punters, No not a race tip but if you keep your eyes peeled you may catch a glimpse of the latest Hollywood hunk to come out of this country- JAI COURTNEY.
OK Jai will be  wearing a tad more clothing than what he has on in our snap. After all they have a dress code at Randwick, collared shirt, tie and jacket but that's just part of the fun. And you can always imagine can't you?

Also at Randwick tomorrow will be Michelle Payne who made history last year as the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup. Have they made a movie of her life yet? They should. 
The gates open at 10.45am so I'd be early. Jai is expected to arrive around mid-day and there will heaps of other celebrities to gaze at. 

And that's what the races are all about.The chance to win some cash and thrill as the horses race as the excitement and tension builds up, and sip some champagne while star spotting. 
And anyone who hasn't yet checked out Randwick's magnificent new stand is really missing something

Friday, March 31, 2017


This rather hirsute gentleman looking very relaxed  is Hollywood actor Jason Momoa who was imbibing in a latte at a local Adelaide cafe today.

Momoa appeared in the popular Game of Thrones TV series and starred in action films like Conan The Barbarian and Batman Vs Superman.

Jason has been shooting scenes for a new action film Aquaman in which he takes the title role along side co-stars Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard.

Whispers' spies are omnipresent !

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fairfax Fail # 14

Don't get Whispers wrong, we really are fond of Fairfax Newspapers. Especially having worked for lengthy periods twice for them although the partnership didn't always end amicably. The real problem is despite Fairfax hosting some of the nation's best journalists, those in management are not newspaper people. They are businessmen looking at the bottom financial line and that isn't always a happy marriage.
Say what you will about the Dirty Digger ( Rupert Murdoch) he employs expert experienced newspaper men & women to run his worldwide operations and that's why they succeed (hey and they pay on time !).

So it's always sad when you see an obvious corker in one of Australia's venerable institutions and one we need so badly. As in this report by the local Southern Highlands' Fairfax newspaper where two budding journos got it so badly wrong.

Local newspaper baron Cristian King (pictured right with his Mum Jane)  Australia's youngest newspaper executive and an editor at King Media is involved in a dispute with some local Highland's colorful characters. He's been charged with an offense but most certainly not 'stalking' a fairly serious offense as the local Fairfax newspaper alleges. Cris is in good hands though His brief is from one of NSW's best law firms run by Christopher Murphy. We reckon King will prevail in court. We don't think M'lud will be happy with the Fairfax report.

Disclosure : Whispers has worked for Fairfax, Rupert Murdoch, King Media, Vanity Fair, the Wentworth Courier..oh hell, who haven't we worked for?

And on the subject of King Media, Cristian and Jane King are about to launch their fourth local newspaper, The Independent Goulburn. This is the way of the future in print publishing - small independent newspapers will thrive. Take it as gospel from an old hack.