Five of my faves - Instagram Wanderlusters

From the outrageously funny to the visually sublime!...

These are my favourite Insta feeds that inspire me to just chuck it all in and GO! ..... or at least live on vicariously through others.  Read on and see if you can resist!

1)  Adrien & Andrew McDermott - @travellingbetches and her main man @heyheyandrew

As @heyheyandrew says ... "Medina, Marrakech, Morocco - Ddddddayummm, have you ever seen so many things in one picture? No, not unless it's blades of grass, or smart smarts in my head. This guy's inventory management is on another level. For some reason he seems unconcerned about theft (how would he even know??). But anyways, I need to up my sketchiness factor, I think my kind eyes are betraying Adrienne's haggling skills. If you can guess what @travelingbetches bought here, I'll give you 11 hugs. Front to front, hips touching, but no looking, you creep. Bye."
And if you have a bit more time, check out their blog = = gob-smacking sometimes, but always a major giggle-fest.  These are two USA citz who are really getting out beyond Texas.  Free spirits on the prowl.  


2)  Conde Nast Traveller Magazine - @condenasttraveller 


As @condenasttraveller says ... "The entrance to Suján Rajmahal Palace in #Jaipur, #Rajasthan's beautiful Pink City. After its spectacular spruce-up recently, this pristine palace is now the most sprightly hotel in #India."

Conde Nast Mag hits all the high spots, temperature zones and landscapes of the world.  You can create a bucket list for 2 lifetimes in 10 easy minutes of browsing.  And if you can't actually get away, you can at least, live vicariously through this feed.


3) @the_vista

@the_vista says ..."Did you know that we have a wanderlust guide to Tasmania - as well as our guides on Bondi, Byron & Bali?  Follow the link in today's bio to download any of our guides for free. We love making beautiful things for you ✨"

So guides!!  Saving you the trouble, time and expense of mistakes on holidays.  And I love that these are small, independent and thoughtfully put together.

"They're here ?? Happy cherry blossom season lovers ? Photo by Pon-ko"  


4) @eighteenthousandislands 

Chris & Merv, explore their family's heritage through their beautiful food explorations and Indonesia's eighteen thousand islands.  That's a lot of exploring and I don't think they've really scratched the surface yet.  Based in Melbourne, they have an online store too which sells the most fabulous-looking sauces like Satay and Kecap Manis.  YUMSTER! - check it!  Even better, they have the cutest little bubster (maybe more actually - can't quite figure it out) who peppers the feed with their presence.

"Morning market always bustling with energy. These offerings are the way that every Balinese starts the day. You give thanks to the gods for everything around you as well as what's to come."


"Sometimes the best food is street food! Badung market. #streetfood"


5) Katie Aun - @katiekk2

This amazing woman really gets around.  From Papua New Guinea to the Sudan, strong on portraits and fascinated by the peoples of the world, her feed touches the untouched places of the world and touches off a keen sense of wanderlust in me.

Divine inspiration for your own travel ambitions!!  Get out there!!
With a smile,

How Stuff is Made - Velvet!

Velvet!  It's my latest wintery crush!  The Borealis winter scarf collection is built upon it!

 Here's the Borealis silk velvet scarf in black, grey and ivory.  Completely lush and made by moi!

And more velvet porn below.  Yum!





So...of course I always love to know how stuff is made.

Wanna watch a corporate YouTube video that shows you how velvet is made and has an easy-listening soundtrack and some great care tips!  What's not to love!?  

Essentially, on a complicated loom, the velvet factory basically makes a "mattress" of two horizontal fabric layers with millions of vertical threads that stretching and loop in between.  Then they slice it in half with a knife and lo! - two layers of velvet are born!  

But those weaving machines are complex!  Take a look.  Watch out for your fingers!!

Click on through..

Most images from Pinterest, except for my Borealis scarf featured in the top one!

Travels with my hat - Art Deco glories of the new Primus Hotel in Sydney



So this last weekend, I had the good fortune to visit the new 5-star Primus Hotel at 339 Pitt Street, Sydney City.  Located close to Chinatown, the Primus building used to house the government offices of the Sydney Water Board, and the imposing facade remains much as it was.  You can't tell too much from street side.  

But step inside and she has transformed.  



Retaining a glorious scale throughout the hotel foyer, the high ceilings and pared-back interiors let the Art Deco lines, architecture and materials shine through.  What a beauty.  Red and pink-mushroom velvet upholstery compliments the imposing columns of red marble.  They are enormous and I don't know whether it would actually be possible to still source such magnificent marble in the present day.  

The open-plan Wilmot restaurant under Executive Chef, Ryan Hong, looked superb but not fussy - who can be bothered with fuss anymore?  And the foyer bar was inviting with the elegant but relaxed and personal feel of an old-school gentleman's club.  They'll be starting High Tea in April apparently too. 


The thing is, there weren't many people there and I don't think Sydney really knows about it...yet.  News of the Primus has just hit the pages of the Qantas InFlight Magazine, so maybe that's about to change.

However, in my opinion, the best part about this hotel lies up on the 7th floor.  The stunning pool, bar and outdoor lounge have way-usurped the Ivy for poolside glamour in Sydney.  


 With touches of green foliage, flowing water and those little mosaic tiles in the perfect range of blues, this area is part Palm Beach and part Bali on a perfect day.  


The poolside menu, the service and the experience of the whole day were spot on.  The Virgin Mojito was to die for and I've never said that about a virgin before.  And the Club Sandwich with smoky tomato sauce and fries were unbeatable.  

Heaven is on the 7th floor of the Primus.  Get there.  



February - original hat designs and experiments



After January slips through my fingers, suddenly it's February.  

And that means it's time to let my mind wander around the beguiling subject of designing new hats for the year ahead and beyond.  What will I do?  What will I make in 2016?

It's a different state of mind - it's not sensible or business-like (that comes later).  But once I start to think of hat designs, then so many possibilities and variations come to mind.  They always do.  There are never any shortage of ideas.  

People often suggest to me that I look at the work of other milliner's or look at what else is in the store, but I find that a risky thing to do.  Once you've seen it, it can influence you way too much and you loose the originality of your own style and designs.  I prefer to set my mind to "DREAM" and see what happens.

I love this time and could happily live in a dreamy design world everyday.  

Stay shady. Stay watching.


The Sumptuous Supporting Cast - behind-the-scenes

For the interiors shots in Monty's Shack at Coaster's Retreat, I was beyond delighted to be able to use a suite of divine products to create that tropicana-luxe feel that makes the perfect lifestyle setting for my summer hats.

With thanks to the beautiful and talented people behind Homeworks Design (for the retro tropical cushions), Goss Lingerie (for the white lace robe), Olsen Design (for the interior screen using "The Great Shalimar" fabric) and Bethany Linz (designer of the Great Shalimar fabric) for their kindness in lending me their beautiful products for my photo shoot.




That's all!  With a smile,

Shooting Summer - behind-the-scenes

Here's my behind-the-scenes pictorial of the photo shoots for the Carolyn Unwin High Summer 2015 collection of summer hats.  

Just to make things far more complex than they probably needed to be, I ended up doing two photo shoots in two of my favourite locations - Cremorne Point, Sydney and Coaster's Retreat off Palm Beach in Sydney.  

The Cremorne Point shoot allowed me to capture all the wonderful angles and reflective surfaces of the new ferry pontoon with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House often popping up in the background.   And as you can tell from the grin on my face, it was fun!


Goofing around in the new Diablo Henley.


Loving that iconic Harbour Bridge & Diablo Henley.  


Now I see what I look like from behind.  With a design that didn't make the final cut.


And the Coaster's Retreat shoot, revisited the site of last years shoot, capturing the unique Australian beauty, light and colour of Australia's Pittwater.





Going walkabout.


Critical infrastructure in the romantic light of sunset.

With thanks to Brittney Bloomer, Simon Kenny, Maurice Parker and Peter Girdis for making it all possible.  

Indian Summer

Indian Summer (noun):  a period of unusually dry, warm weather occuring in late autumn.  Many people think that the term relates to the grand Asian subcontinent, but this is not so.  Instead, the term began to be used when European settlers first came across the phenomenon in North America.  The exact origin of the term remains unclear, but perhaps it relates to the time of the year that the Native Americans set prairie fires, harvested their crops or ended their raids on European settlements.  
Regardless, with the Indian summer phenomenon on glorious display in Sydney, I'm in the mood for the tribal inspiration of the proud Cherokee, Sioux, Blackfoot, Algonquin and all the Native American peoples.
With a smile,