Part Three: Lily of The Valley

The ancient flower: Lily of the Valley is fresh, graceful and sweetly scented. A wonderful plant for shady, moist spots in the garden. The little dark green plant is best suited to cool temperate and cold locations where shade and dampness prevail. It’s little bell shaped flowers look beautiful dangling upside down, and it’s in demand by florists for it’s exquisite fragrance- this makes Lily of the Valley a popular choice in wedding bouquets. Kate Middleton had them in her wedding to Prince William.

The ultimate Lily of the Valley fragrance is said to be Christian Dior’s ‘Diorissimo’. It used to be Dior’s lucky charm, as he would always sew a twig into the hem of his creations to bring them luck.

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Part Two: Gardenia

I will never tire of the glossy dark green leaves and the gorgeous look of the fragrant Gardenia. My favourite flower. There are over 250 species of Gardenia. It grows best in warmer climates and it flowers in a tubular, spiral style- normally in white or soft yellow. Not loved only for it’s heavenly perfume, Gardenia is also commonly used in Chinese herbal formulas to treat infections. It looks similar to, but shouldn’t be confused with Coco Chanel’s favourite flower, the Camelia, which has no scent.
Gardenia is one of those scents that you either love, or hate. It can be intoxicating at times, if you’re not into the traditional note. Many perfumer’s now mix Gardenia with other soft musk’s to make it more wearable.
I’ve owned plenty of Gardenia fragrances over the years, those being Kai EDP, Annick Goutal’s ‘Gardenia Passion’ and Estee Lauder’s ‘Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia’, which i discovered from a friend.

Hiding amongst the Gardenia’s is Chanel’s fragrance simply titled ‘Gardenia’. Using synthetic gardenia notes, it’s a lighter, more modern version of the original Gardenia fragrance created for Chanel by Ernest Beaux in 1925

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Part One: Tuberose

Part One of my Flora Series, which will profile a different favourite flower every day for a week, is one of my ultimate’s, Tuberose or ‘Polianthes Tuberosa‘.

For me, tuberose is such an addictive scent. It smells of warm jasmine and coconut. Tropical but still really elegant. Tuberose is known for it’s intoxicating fragrance. It grows fairly well indoors or outdoors but it craves the sun, so it needs to be given quite a few hours of sunlight each day. It’s not only used in fragrance or for it’s amazing decorative qualities, but it has also been used in beauty and health products for its oils and aphrodisiac qualities. It was one of the major herbs for ancient therapies and remedial process.

Hiding amongst the Tuberose flowers is Diptyque’s Do Son fragrance.A light and airy tuberose combination that reminds me of Summer.The perfect evening scent.

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Phoebe Tonkin fronts Jan Logan for 2013

For more than 20 years, family-owned Australian jeweller Jan Logan has developed her business into an international brand celebrated by women and celebrities, the world over.

Their past ambassadors include Elizabeth Debicki, Rose Byrne and Rachel Taylor, famous for their roles in the Australian film industry. Jan Logan have just announced the gorgeous Aussie actress Phoebe Tonkin as the face of their new collection of fine jewellery for 2013, titled ‘Hudson’, with the campaign photographed by Chris Colls.  Jan Logan’s travels through Los Angeles, New York, and London were the inspiration for the collection; “My travels offered me a kaleidoscope of ideas. Diverse streetscapes, architecture and historical influences, such as the dedication of my son, Andrew Logan’s sculpture in the Canterbury Cathedral in the UK, all contributed to the design direction for the Hudson collection”.

Phoebe Tonkin is most popular for her role in H2O: Just Add Water, which gained her a nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Television Series at the AFI Awards. Since then, she has appeared in a number of Australian feature films and a US mini series, and now based in LA, she holds a permanent role in the US’s The Vampire Diaries. Phoebe has  been a fan of the brand, since she wore Jan Logan to her first red carpet event more than 5 years ago. She has some pieces in the collection named after her, which are a combination of white gold, diamonds and labradorite.

For the Hudson collection, the focus is more on unusual stones and materials. Distinctive finishes have been used alongside stones such as radiant tsavorite and warm smoky quartz, paired with black diamonds, Australian South Sea and Tahitian pearls, as well as bright semi-precious materials such as jasper and coral.All images: Chris Colls for Jan Logan

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L’Avion takes off

The humble scarf has come a long way since it’s inception in Ancient Rome, when it was known as a ‘sweat cloth’ to wipe moisture from the skin in hot weather. Since then, we’ve seen loads of fashion takes on a piece of fabric worn dozens of different ways, in many fabrications and prints, and for many occasions.
L’Avion is an Australian boutique label specialising in custom designed silk scarves and accessories. ModaMaison chats to it’s creator Jo Scahill about how she creates her unique scarves.

MM: What were you doing prior to creating beautiful scarves?
JS: Before starting L’Avion, I worked for big retailers including SABA and Topshop in the Buying and Merchandising areas. I lived in London for 5 years and soaked up everything that the UK and Europe had to offer and began my love affair with travel.

MM: Where do you find most of your inspiration?
JS: I get a lot of my inspiration from travelling and visiting new places and I am also a magazine addict, so I am constantly flicking through piles of magazines. I love visiting art galleries and old vintage furniture shops for ideas and new colour combinations.

MM: Tell us about your collaborations with artist Kelly Smith.
JS: Kelly was the perfect artist to bring my ‘Jardin’ collection to life. We had worked together previously on a single scarf design and I really wanted to create a complete collection that showcased her wonderful talent for combining gorgeous girls and beautiful animals in illustrations.

MM: Do you see L’Avion diversifying into other product areas down the track?
JS: Yes, I always have so many ideas around where to take the brand in the future, so adding new product ranges will just be a matter of time…watch this space!

MM: what’s your favourite way to wear a scarf?
JS: I am a bit of a fan of the tying in a bow, I wear anything from my largest to smallest scarves this way. It is a great look to dress up denim and a t-shirt. I also love a more casual thrown on look of draping multiple times around my neck. I wish I could rock the turban look but this style just isn’t for me!

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Print & Pattern report

Print: (v.) To mark (a surface, typically a fabric or garment) with a coloured design or pattern
Pattern: (n.)  a repeated decorative design

Gosh I love Spring Summer. It’s the time when fashion awakes from its Wintery black hole of repetitive dark tweeds and leathers, and returns to life!

My favourite trend to come out of the 2013 shows was Print and Pattern. An array of digital mirrored prints, geometrics, florals, gutsy figurative prints like Sicilian puppets at Dolce & Gabbana,  optical prints at Balmain and Marni, and bold colour at Proenza Schouler.

The hype continues with Resort collections for 2013 exploding with prints from Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane and more.
As someone who rarely wears print or colour for that matter, even I’ll be getting into some of these this coming Spring.

Source: for Mary Katrantzou, Altuzarra, Fendi, Preen,  Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler, Peter Pilotto, Marni

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Lara + Laeticia by Daniele and Iango

Some beautiful new images of curve-queens Laetitia Casta and Lara Stone for the new Wise-Up issue of i-D.
One of my favourite stylists, Charlotte Stockdale (uber-talented and ridiculously creative, beyond most stylists’ abilitie’s) does it French with a touch of fetish. 


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Disney finds love at Barney’s New York

Minnie may have seemed to shed quite a few pounds, and has been stretched to every centimeter of a standard 5’11 supermodel, but hey, she’s wearing a couture frock animated by Lanvin.
Barney’s New York and Disney’s new collaboration has come under fire in the past couple of months, when the first images were released of Minnie’s new slender physique for an animated film to promote the Christmas season at the department store. A Disney cartoon morphed in to a fashion film is yet another way to satisfy the insatiable fashion world, (now that the allure of Anna Dello Russo’s hilarious filmclip for H&M has worn off. See that below).

The ‘Electric Holiday’ campaign has just been unveiled at Barney’s New York, complete with gorgeous decorated windows. And despite the controversy over Minnie’s size, the launch party went off  without a hitch on Wednesday night. Sarah Jessica Parker, never missing a fashion/ PR opportunity, was clad in Maison Michel-esque Minnie ear’s for the launch on Wednesday with Barney’s CEO Mark Lee and Disney CEO Bob Iger.

In the film, Minnie emerges from her castle and daydreams about getting street-papped along the way to Paris fashion week (as you do), before meeting her very exclusive fashion friends as she goes. Have a look at the link below:

Image source:

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Daphne Groeneveld

What is it about the Dutch that’s so captivating? It seems there’s something in the water in the Netherlands. Full-lipped, buxom Dutch favourites are Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, and Rianne Ten Haken. My latest favourite model is 17 year old Daphne Groeneveld, born on Christmas Eve in Leiderdrop.

Groeneveld had her first runway season in Fall 2010, around the same time she nabbed her first Paris Vogue cover alongside Tom Ford, snapped by Mert & Marcus. Following was a string of covers and campaigns for Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, and the face of Dior Addict Parfum (see link below), styled in reference to a flirty Brigitte Bardot. She even received dancing lessons from Madonna for a Miu Miu campaign video. In the two short years that she shot to fame, she has acquired a string of influential editorials in the mags that matter, and shot by famed photographers around the world like Kadel, Demarchelier, and Meisel.

Daphne is currently ranked 9th in’s Top 50 Models.

Images by Richard Bush, Greg Kadel, Mariano Vivanco, Mert & Marcus


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Maison Francis Kurkdijan: elegance reinvented for $11,000.

Using the purest and rarest essential oils, fragrances from Maison Francis Kurkdjian are sophisticated to say the least. At first whiff, it’ll be something completely unfamiliar. The packaging is understated. With no flashy design or garish colours. Just simple, undeniable quality in a bottle. Perfume is not just perfume for Francis Kurkdjian. It is invisible art.

Kurkdjian first made a name for himself working as a perfumer to some of fashion’s biggest houses like Dior, Gaultier, and Kenzo. If you’ve ever spent time sampling fragrances in a department store, then it’s likely you’ve smelt something he created. Jean Paul Gaultier ‘Le Male’ is his. So is Acqua di Parma’s ‘Iris Nobile’. As is the famous musky Narciso Rodriguez For Her. It’s no wonder then that he won the Oscar of the perfume world the ‘Prix Francois Coty’ in 2001 or that he went on to launch his own perfume maison in 2009.

OUD is one of his recent fragrances that got my attention for it’s olfactory rarity.  Combining saffron, Oud from Laos, Elemi gum, cedar wood, and Indonesian patchouli, it’s not something I’d typically like. It’s description, according to MFK website is ‘pure mystery, bewitching, narcotic, magnificent’. Perhaps it’s the fact that Francis Kurkdjian studied ballet and played piano, or that he was an artist before he was a perfumer is what makes him so clever at telling stories through scents. At more than $300 per bottle, it’s luxurious and it ain’t cheap, but gosh it’s good.

The French-Armenian has just created a fragrance to celebrate the 10 year Anniversary since opening his workshop for custom fragrances. The Saint-Louis crystal bottles are exclusive with only 20 bottles made, and available to reserve for around $11,000!!! The liquid gold is a bouquet of Egyptian jasmine, Damascus Rose, South African marigold, Yemeni frankincense and Malaysian gurjun balsam (an essential oil taken from the Gurjun tree).
Selected Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances are available locally at

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