Gary Bigeni X Matthew Johnson

Presenting a new collaboration by my good friend/ college buddy/fellow Malteser Gary Bigeni and Melbourne-based artist Matthew Johnson.
Both avid lovers of colour, the collection displays the pixelated effect of colours juxtaposed together, reflecting the digitalisation of the world we live in today. In line with Gary’s signature fluid silhouettes and clean lines, the collection is one of the freshest out there.

Some images of the new collection, worn by ModaMaison fave Marthe Wiggers.

GaryBigeniXMatthewJohnsonHere is ModaMaison’s exclusive chat with the quirkiest (and most colouful) guy in town, Gary Bigeni:

1. How did you first get a foot in the door?
After i finished the Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design at East Sydney in 2002 I was selected to be one of the students to show in a group show at Fashion Week in 2003. I had a small amount of interest from local and international stores and it kind of went from there!

2. What do you love about what you do?
I love that I’m able to be myself and create want and have always wanted to do .You have to do what feel right for you to make things happen.

3. How would you describe your labels’ aesthetic to the uninitiated?
Clean elements with interesting detailing that doesn’t need to scream out.

4. City you love most in the world, and why?
The city I love most is Paris . I love to roam the streets listening to music and people-watching.

5. Philosophy you live your life by?
There’s two: ‘Every day is a new day’ and  ‘Just shut up and do it!’

6. Do you see your label expanding beyond apparel in the future?
Maybe in to shoes and accessories is next. I would love to do that.

7. Teach us two things about prints we perhaps didn’t know
Prints don’t need to match together when wearing a look. Don’t be governed by the ‘rules’-  Enjoy colour and enjoy prints.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Vintage denim and a clear mind is what you need for some road trippin’ through Nevada. Soak the skin in Kai body spray, massage the hair with Moroccon Oil and let the sun set in…


Clockwise from top left:
1. Vintage denim shirt
2. Aesop Resurresction Aromatique hand balm 500ml
1. Vintage throws
2. Missoni Home stripe towel
1. Louis Vuitton: 100 Legendary Trunks book
4. Geodesis tuberose candle
9. Giorgio Armani lipstick in 401
3. Balenciaga Paris 50ml EDP
6. Kai by Gaye Straza body glow 118ml spray
7. Moroccan Oil 25ml hair treatment
8. L’Occitane 30ml hand cream
Photography and styling by Sarah Bonett

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Confetti System

confetti5 I love that art can exist in so many different mediums. A star-spangled-metallic-foil-like confetti display is no exception. When it comes to sparkle I’m like a magpie trying to snatch a partner, my eyes are instantly drawn.

New York based confetti artists, Nicholas Andersen and Julie Ho developed a friendship through their love for craft of all kinds; working with tissue paper, cardboard and silk to build objects that form a focal point. There’s something so intriguing about the painstaking repetition and time involved in their confetti designs. I’ve been buzzing about these guys lately because they’ve recently been in Australia working on the Regent Theatre’s production of King Kong.

The fashion industry adores them, and for what is still a relatively niche idea, they have managed to lure the big brands like Lanvin, Mercedes Benz and J.Crew to their work.  Their confetti designs have appeared in the pages in Pop magazine and The New York Times amongst others, decorated sets for Beyonce and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and have added excitement to in-store displays and store windows for Opening Ceremony, Le Bon Marche and Lane Crawford- filling spaces and turning them into a textured shiny wonderland, adding fun and an almost nostalgic air to the interiors. Their work reminds me of the ultimate pinãta party!confetti1confetti4confetti2confetti3Source and Images via: confettisystem.com

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Collette Dinnigan’s incredible darkness…

Collette Dinnigan is at the top of her game. As her Fall 2013 collection drops into stores, ModaMaison wanted to get close and personal with the garments and explore their darker side, in our first ever editorial shoot for this blog!

No other Australian designer could claim showing on the Paris schedule for the past eighteen years. This geographical catwalk  location has  influenced the collections over time, and the Fall 2013 collection ‘The Incredible Darkness of Being’  sheds a new light on the usually feminine collections. This one is a combination of the beautiful thick wools and textured French laces which make up the ‘Collette’ signature, but there’s now a rare new addition of leather details.
As her influence has grown, Collette Dinnigan has a number of accolades that again, no other Australian designer could claim to have achieved, including the opening of multiple international stores, being appointed as advisor on the South Australian Wool board or as a chairperson for the NSW Small Business Development Corporation, the birth  children’s collection, a stamp issued by Australia Post, the launch of a successful bridal line, collaborative lingerie collections with Marks & Spencer and with Target, a diffusion collection which is stocked in Net-A-Porter as well as 100 stores globally, a collaboration with the Australian Ballet to design a range of tutu’s, and the honour of receiving the 5th Australian Fashion Laureate Award- recognising outstanding creative and intellectual achievement in the Australian Fashion industry. Phew!


14-1302_smallerColletteDinnigan312-1237_smaller ColletteDinnigan5Photographer: Michael Naumoff
Stylist: Sarah Bonett
Hair: Gavin Anesbury
Make-up: Nadine Monley
Model: Stephanie/Chic Management

1. Collette Dinnigan Italian stretch brocade and leather fitted dress

2. Collette Dinnigan noir lace and wool coat and Italian stretch brocade high waist pants with Akubra ‘Capote’ style wide-brim hat from Strandhatters

3. Collette Dinnigan ‘Gilt Rose’ high neck top with leather and Japanese cotton croc pencil skirt

4. Collette Dinnigan noir lace and beads trim dress with crepe bow belt (worn around neck)

5. Collette Dinnigan lace high neck fitted dress with Akubra ‘Capote’ style wide-brim hat from Strandhatters

Available at collettedinnigan.com

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A confident elegance

el·e·gance  (noun.)
a. Refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners.
b. Tasteful opulence in form, decoration, or presentation.

Clockwise from top left:
1. Missoni Home towel
2. Fornasetti Profumi 300g scented candle
3. Essie nail varnish in ‘One of a Kind’
4. Paco Rabanne Lady Million 300ml body cream
5. Paris Vogue covers 1920-2009 by Thames & Hudson
6. Tom Ford ‘Slander’ lipstick
7. Jac & Jack white shirt
8.The Aromatherapy Company no.2 Juniper berry & cassis reed 500ml diffusion set
9. Valley ‘Genius Child’ sunglasses

Photography and styling by Sarah Bonett


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The talented Mr Hicks

DavidHicks2I love it when an interiors designer fuses natural textures like timber or stone, back with slick high gloss surfaces or polished concrete. The same goes for decorative elements like when a rustic wrought-iron chair can look just as comfortable sitting atop a flashy zebra rug, without looking out of place. For me, interior designer David Hicks manages to strike a perfect balance of contrasts  in all of his residential and commercial projects. DavidHicks1  Hicks, whose company is  internationally acclaimed, began specialising in bespoke design back in 2001, with his company based in Australian and a second office in LA. By considering architecture, interior design and decoration as one whole approach, David Hick’s brings his ideas to life through elements of surprise, desire and captivation. Like all of the best interiors, the finishes and furnishing’s are always of refined quality, and an expression of the client’s own style.DavidHicks4DavidHicks3

 Tribal, geometric, art-deco or traditional- the influences are all there in a folio of residences spanning from Melbourne and Sydney to Philadelphia. A checkerboard floor used in the right area makes a visual impact, pendant lights hungs together at tiered heights give an enchanted feel to a room, or a simple bunch of pink peonie’s in an asymmetric vase complete an entrance hall with the right finishing touch.  David Hicks applies many of these ideas to a number of high-profile commercial developments including hotels, restaurants, corporate offices and some pretty special retail spaces. His retail spaces are recognisable by design. Having worked with brands worth boasting about, the sexy- moody ‘Hicks’ signature is present in his use of lighting/shadows and darker finishes, where brighter colours would typically be used to attract the customer.

The Green with Envy store in Melbourne is particularly brilliant with it’s ‘Gatsby’ styling and girly palette.

The inviting Green With Envy store in Melbourne

The inviting Green With Envy store in Melbourne

Source:  davidhicks.com

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Bottled couture- Ivoire by Balmain

In June of 2009 in San Francisco’s Union Square, I was aimlessly browsing the fragrance section of Barney’s when I stumbled upon an elegantly bottled Ambre Gris by Balmain. And i fell in love.
It was so intoxicating and musky, not a typical daytime pleasure for me, but at that instant I loved it.

Under the direction of Christophe Decarnin in 2006, and then Olivier Rousteing in 2011, the evolution of Balmain has been a spectacle to watch.In all its Sex and Rock n Roll,  each season spectacular workmanship and finishes, and structured fine tailoring storm down the runway from Balmain. To put it mildly, its couture to be worn daily. And with the price tag to match! But ever-faithful to the legacy of Pierre Balmain, Rousteing has a firm grip on who he’s designing for… his ‘Balmain woman’.

“She’s definitely a Parisian, but one who moves around, who loves to travel and borrow fashion ideas from capitals around the world. A true woman, with a hint of masculinity, who tends to harbor a certain idea of nostalgia while remaining firmly focused on the present day.”

This ‘woman’ needed a fragrance, and so a translation of the 1979 original Ivoire by Balmain was born. Without betraying the original scent, modern ingredients were used to revoke the familar smell of the popular eightie’s Ivoire. The first notes are Orange and mandarin essence, then jasmine, rose,ylang-ylang and galbanum. As it develops on the skin, you’ll get vetiver, cedarwood, patchouli and soft vanilla.  All the good stuff together in one solid little modern bottle, its your daily dose of Couture.


Available locally from Myer from September 2013.

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Its the Fendi frenzy

I’m completely obsessed with Fendi Resort 14 and all it’s tailored iconic sportswear glory.
For me, I’ve always loved the cuts and colours that shape Fendi’s signature look, and I’ve tried to replicate this on my chain-store budget many times. Each season, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi has gone from strength to exquisite strength, building on the craftsmanship they’ve become so known for, along with the splendid display of geometry present in their designs, and an ever-modern colour palette. New hue combinations will be seen here first. Fendi’s colours have always grabbed me because they’re fused in an intelligent way. No clashing primary colours or recognisable combinations here- just fresh and modern mixes.

The thing is, Fendi garments aren’t always as they appear on the catwalk. Up close, they are much more tactile- ironically utilising Mink for fur and textured patchwork python to bring the collection to life. You wouldn’t catch me wearing dead animals, but besides that I want it all!



Source: style.com

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Living with Thomas Hamel

It’s not often you hear about one of the Interior world’s biggest success stories packing up life in NYC to move to Oz, but more than 20 years ago, a handsome young talented designer did just that, adding his skills to the homes of Australia’s affluent.

Although he was a well-established Award-winning International designer residing in the US, and had trained under some well-known Interiors companies, Thomas Hamel began working with clients from Melbourne and Sydney (including Russel Crowe, the Packer’s and the Turnbull’s) stylishly shaping his spaces to suit the occupants, building on interiors that allow them to live their daily life with ease. He now spends three months of the year as a bower bird, traveling and sourcing bespoke treasures from across the world for all of this clients.


On building the look of the ‘Thomas Hamel aesthetic’ of polished wood, Rococo gilted trims with a splash of natural texture and comfort, Hamel says there is a formula:

- look for textural things to tone down the formality
”It has (to have) polish and sophistication – so you get mirrors and lacquers and shiny bits – but then you tone it down with casual bits – like the tortoiseshell sisal carpet as opposed to stiffly polished wooden floors that would be too antiquey. I use loose covers on the lounges, not tightly upholstered, so it gives it that casual, relaxed feel.”

-keep things fairly neutral so the art sings out

On his move to Australia:

”There were a lot of things missing in the market here, and now I am starting to print my own fabrics and make my own wallpaper. People want those bespoke things they can’t find on the internet. I think that’s the world’s next trend. Wanting something so exclusive, no one else has it.”

Hamel also noticed a lack of service in the local market:

”That American thing of lighting the candles, I’m always on call, I find the flowers, and that didn’t happen so much when I arrived. It has changed a lot since then. I think I’ve helped shape the industry in that way. Up until then this country’s interior design level was about selling you furniture and moving on. My whole thing was teaching clients the lifestyle, how to live, how to serve a drink, how to host a dinner – it’s a much more bespoke service.”


Thomas Hamel’s beautiful coffee-table book titled Residence allows us to peer in at some of his favourite projects in Australia, Asia and Europe plus more including over 150 stunning images of a harbour-front villa with spectacular views and a bayside residence in Melbourne, to a stylish retreat in Florida and a farmhouse in Luberon.

Source and images: theage.com.au, thomashamel.com, thecultureconcept.com,

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Wang’s multi-proportional Resort for Balenciaga

Alexander Wang’s Resort 2014 collection for Balenciaga literally speaks volumes, as Wang referenced the signature oversize proportions of the house for the collection. In a typical Wang monotonal palette of blacks and whites, the scribble print was also re-introduced this season, touching on the history of the house of Cristóbal Balenciaga. I found the silhouette to be really grown-up compared to previous collections in Wang’s design, and even so for Nicolas Ghesquière’s collections which were often a bling’ing fantastical confidence of colour and science.  So it seems the brand may be transitioning into another phase as Wang is finding his feet at Balenciaga, we will keep watching this space.

Hit? the shredded plastic bucket hats and heels add texture to a fairly minimalist collection

Miss? Not loving the brief midriffs and up-top proportions… These won’t look good on anyone’s ab’s, not even Kate Upton’s.



Source: images via Style.com


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