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Why I love my Sirocco Fedora...

What makes a truly great summer hat?  

I think my Sirocco fedora fits the bill for a number of reasons and here they are:-

  • It's all-natural and made of a beautiful hand-woven and polished natural straw - the material itself goes with most casual summer fashion!
  • It's handmade and from the sourcing of the headbands to the final finish, it's made with love and attention to detail.  
  • It looks like luxury for everyday and it is!
  • I'm not a big fan of synthetic materials for summer - too sticky and sweaty!  The Sirocco breathes in hot weather so the heat of your little head can escape.
  • It's lined with a soft cotton lining.  Ditto!  Heat begone, welcome summer breeze.
  • It has a soft elastic headband that stretches and is really comfortable to wear without feeling tight.  And you get a good bit of comfy cling so it doesn't blow off in bit of wind or when you are at the beach.
  • It comes in 3 head-fittings so even if you have a very big noggin, the hat and head fitting are very accommodating!
  • And you can choose from a variety of headband styles and a long, short or no fringing.  Easy.
  • And while I love nice things, I'm really not a fan of traipsing around the shops.  So you can buy it online and with free shipping in Australia.  Problem solved!  Shady summer!  

With a smile,

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.  

 

 

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,

Farewell to Summer

Summer.

It never seems to last long enough but maybe that's part of why it seems so precious. 

It's officially autumn and yet, it's still warm and sunny in Sydney. 

So as I prepare to welcome autumn, here are five perfect images that sum up the supreme joy of summer to me. 

My little photographic homage........ to summer (clink!) ......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a smile,

 

 

 

5 August 2014 - THE ULTIMATE ACCESSORY

It's hard to know how start a blog.  It feels a bit momentous and a bit like starting a postcard where you have an awful lot to say, but limited time and space. 

So perhaps I should start how I mean to continue - by being myself and starting to talk about one of my primary passions in life - hats. 

I have been making hats for many moons now, after starting the learning process at Central Saint Martin's School of Art & Design in London.  With heartfelt thanks to Serafina Grafton-Beeves, the short course was intended to produce one hat and I think by the end of the first day, I had blocked up five.  It was a relief to find a creative passion where I loved every single component of it.  I loved the glossy straws, crackly braids and velvety felts.  I loved the quest for perfection in building a sculpture for the face and a life began for me, with endless streams of ideas and designs bubbling up inside my head. 

And so for many years, I have considered the hat to be the ultimate fashion accessory.  To me, there is no other accessory that transforms the wearer so quickly and effectively. 

Sometimes, beautifully decorative, sometimes functional - a hat transforms how others see you and how you feel.  A hat encourages and enables you to transform, not just physically, but in how you speak and move and behave. 

For me, a great hat gives me confidence and makes me feel fantastic. It encourages my extroverted side and I have made so many friends through the production and wearing of hats, that it has been transformational in that way too!

 

 

With thanks and a smile,