Monday, May 23, 2016

New York Letter #44

Paris Hilton at the Designer of The Year awards..and with brother Barron & Nicky Rothschild
 Some snaps from Whisper's resident New York City spy the ubiquitous social snapper Patrick McMullan
It's just a hint of the Big Apple's social scene and golly, there isn't a newsreader or footballer to be spotted.
left : Richard Gere at the Carnegie Hall 125th Anniversary dinner 
right : Henry Kissinger at the Carnegie Hall dinner
Donald Trump's ex Ivana Trump with Karl Wellner & Larry Kaiser at the Designer of the Year awards
singer Neil Sedaka (you remember him: mega hits) & wife Leba at the Designer of The Year wards.

Meanwhile Downtown at the Lucky Bee Restaurant in Soho owned by Aussies Rupert Noffs & Matty Bee, writer Sir Salman Rushdie paid a visit for dinner- pictured here with Noffs

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More on The Private Eye & The Madam

The Madam & The PI
 A missive lands on our desk : it's a feature from a top US show biz magazine we quote in full:

Frank Monte Spills the beans on his Secret World.

LOS ANGELES, CA – 18 May, 2016 – Frank Monte, is the often well publicized LA- NYC- Sydney, Ex-Cop, Private Investigator known for his Irian Jaya expedition for the Skull of Rockefeller, body-guarding The Sheik of Dubai, The Sultan of Johore, Gregory Peck, Diane Keaton, Sydney Pollack, Perry Farrell and Aristotle Onassis whilst spying on Jackie Kennedy–O, and lastly the subject of thousands of media items over his Court fights with the Versaces over his Autobiography, ‘The Spying Game’, [Pan MacMillan & Vapula Press] where he makes supported claims of skullduggery and Mafia involvement in Gianni Versace’s Miami murder. Monte acted a few years ago, in destroying the court case by a young lady against David Jones Ltd a super store, for $37 million for Sexual harassment, by secret his aggressive tactics.

Monte [] has just released a made-for-TV Docu-Drama/ Reality Show Pilot, titled, ‘The Private Eye and The Madam’. Shot in January in Los Angeles it lays bare his behind the scenes work methods and clients as well as his fiancee’s actions as a Madam of a legal Beverly Hills VIP Escort service. The proposed ten-part episode series lifts the lid off the secret business and depicts the Private detective’s legal and grey-area practices of the 45 years in the business. CNN’s Larry King called him, ’The Best in the Business’, Leeza! Said, ’You are James Bond!’

Monte and the much publicized Sharon Sargeant, appear as themselves in the TV show and are supported by several real life call-girls and Private Eyes in LA as they go about their larger than life lives and work. In the 1990s Monte was often seen in his Rolls Royce Corniche and Red Ferrari in NYC. The show depicts a Jet, Mansion, helicopter and well as high end cars. It’s described as ‘Pretty Woman meets Taken3.’

The Show has been offered to E! A & E, Murdoch’s Fox as well as Rat Pac Entertainment which is partly owned by James Packer an Australian Casino and Press Billionaire and Brett Ratner Producer of The Revenant.

It's hotting up folks ! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fashion Week foibles

 The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is underway in Sydney. Whispers will have a full report at the end of the week after the conclusion but here is snap of model Bella Hadid posing with a Whisper's discovery : Cheyenne Tozzi on Sydney Harbour. Apparently Bella changed her hotel room which has sent a few journalists into a frenzy. It doesn't take much to excite some people in this town !

Thursday, May 12, 2016


 Isabella Blow : A Fashionable Life opens on Saturday at the Powerhouse Museum and we a were lucky enough to attend a preview launch. The exhibition was opened by the extraordinary fashion figure Daphne Guinness shown here in our snap chatting to Neale Whittaker of The Block reality TV show. Guinness owns the Isabella Blow collection which has outfits from Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan, Julien Macdonald and more. The private collection of late fashion visionary Isabella Blow will be on display for a strictly limited exclusive season at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

English stylist, editor and muse Isabella Blow championed British fashion, nurturing the careers of many designers in the 1990s and beyond. Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life provides a rare chance to see over 45 of her outfits comprising clothing, hats, shoes and jewellery from more than 20 of the world’s top fashion designers, photographs from key fashion photographers and hats from Philip Treacy’s personal

Friday, May 6, 2016

Wintour Blues

She's the Queen of the fashion world but many are criticizing Anna Wintour and US Vogue
magazine for proclaiming that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were the Best Dressed at Wintour's increasingly down-market annual Met Gala ball in New York.
Says Vogue: "It’s not the first time that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have coordinated their style. You might say it’s an art form that the pair has honed in their downtime, often subtly matching their off-duty looks with his-and-hers monochromatic ensembles, but little can compare to the stunning fashion moment they orchestrated on the Met Gala red carpet tonight" 
Oh yeah? Kim managed to make this ultra expensive Balmain dress look, well cheap. As for Kanye's Fear of God outfit- those tragic slashed jeans were passe even when they were in fashion.

Purveyor of uber smart Polish Vodka Vitek Czernuszyn who doubles up as the husband of Australian style queen and Bauer publishing maven, Australian Women's Weekly editor Deborah Thomas says : "Kim and Kanye declared best dressed at the Met Ball - REALLY?
In a desperate panic at the loss of circulation and relevance amongst the under 30 year olds, American Vogue has resorted to courting the Kardashian's for their enormous following amongst the vacuous young. I guess you can't blame them for doing what they think is necessary to save the venerated 125 year old title- though the compromise in their integrity is considerable".
 Harsher words come from former Australian fashion expert and now top selling author Maggie Alderson who said of Kim'n'Kayne "American Vogue has just lost all its credibility, as far as I'm concerned. How is this well dressed anywhere? Let alone the Met Ball. Tragic - and craven." Ouch.
As for Sarah Jessica Parker's interesting white outfit Maggie simply said : "lost for words".

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Anna-Marÿke - new exhibition

 The Yellow House in Macleay Street, started by the late artist Martin Sharp in the 1960s is still going strong. (I think Whispers was there at the opening night party..our father supplied the yellow paint). The latest exhibition is of some fab photos by  Anna-Marÿke and is well worth seeing. The exhibition was opened by one time Sydney style meister Leo Schofield- pictured here with fellow Southern Highland's resident Glen-Marie Frost. We'll let the gallery blurb speak for itself but do get along there.

"Riding on a painting tradition that stretches back to the ancient Egyptians, and, arguably, reaching its summit with the Dutch and  Spanish Masters in the 17th century, Anna-Marÿke celebrates life in nature through the contemporary medium of analogue photography.
Meticulously setting up still life compositions of flowers and produce gathered primarily from her garden in the Southern Highlands, she also includes found objects, birds, insects, fur and animals that finally culminate in complex tableaux."
 Yellow House 57 — 59 Macleay Street, Potts Point NSW 2011 Tel – 0412 856 731 Monday to Saturday 10am — 6pm

Everything old is New Again

 It's the title of a Peter Allen song where he refers to fashions being recycled over the decades. But it could apply to the current controversy over the felling of the magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees along Anzac Parade that have survived for 100 years but are now falling to development. The above historic 1914 snap shows Aussie troops marching on the way to Circular Quay to board ships bound

for Gallipoli with the figs in the background and to the left is a Sydney tram.                                                                     
Sydney once had the most extensive tram system in the world. One of the joys of visiting Melbourne is to travel on their superb tram system. It's modern, smooth and gets you everywhere that's worth going to.. But for some reason in the 1960s the burghers of Sydney decided to ditch the trams.
Now they are coming back and that is the reason the Moreton Bay figs pictured above where they remained, grew and prospered for over 100 years are to be felled to make way for tram lines. This has brought the fury of 1000s of inner city residents of all stripes- the well heeled of the Eastern Suburbs and the young alike. Prayers and candles are lit as they line up to watch the trees topple. Tears are shed and occasionally a celebrity like TV presenter James Mathison gets carted off by the Sydney wallopers (police). On a happier note : here is Peter at Radio City Hall in New York with The Rockettes singing his song. We received an invite to attend the latest tree funeral today. And we were there at Peter's concert all those years ago.

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 some 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,"