The Spring Racing Carnival is underway, so time for some fun and frivolity, hey? I’m sure that’s what thousands of Victorians are thinking. Although when you look at the statistics, the money generated by the fashion and tourism industries during this time is staggering – well into the millions of dollars – so in fact, it’s a very serious business.
I’m sure a lot of that money comes about from people (like me) who leave race-wear shopping till it’s almost too late, then splurge in a fit of panic-buying. Because really, getting any kind of an outfit organised for the Spring Racing Carnival is a bit of a nightmare. Life’s already a circus act of juggling ten balls while snow-boarding down a roller-coaster (can you book the dentist, pick up the dog food, phone your Dad, visit your sick friend, write a best-seller, do the accounts and bring in the washing – all in five minutes please?) so finding time for fashion is a bit an indulgence. Usually it’s a last minute affair with a combination of things from years past, spruced up with perhaps a new necklace, worn in the hope that no-one will recognise your recycling efforts.
This year I tried to be a bit more efficient and actually phoned a milliner two weeks ago (I thought well in advance) only to hear her practically snort with laughter and say I was waaaaaaaayyyyy too late. Seriously? Yep. She was all booked up and worked to the bone. I didn’t bother trying anyone else, thinking I’d get the same reply. So that little task went to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list and I imagined at some point, I’d madly dash into David Jones or Myer and grab anything they had left off the shelf – probably the day before Derby Day.
Then – JOY – an easy solution arrived in my email box. Balls had been falling off my roller-coaster ride all week, so I sighed with relief. Surely THIS was the answer to my all-important hat problem? One of Australia’s most prestigious and talented milliner’s, Richard Nylon, was to exhibit and sell his designs as part of a POP-UP shop at Crown and I was invited to a preview.
(For those of you who aren’t up to speed with the concept, a POP-UP shop is a temporary store set up for a short-term purpose in the middle of a permanent shopping establishment)
Richard’s wares would be show-cased alongside the very fancy jewellery of LK Boutique – their joint project entitled, naturally, The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium.
Many a fashion expert has dubbed Richard Nylon as Australia’s best milliner so I do think the chance to wear one of his pieces to the races and actually pick one off the shelf, is a rare and wonderful opportunity. Not to mention convenient!! In fact, I think you could justify your purchase by arguing that his hats are in fact, works of art. And what price a rare work of art?
Besides his talent, I adore Richard’s innate and original sense of personal style. He stands out in a crowd with his penchant for perky caps, colourful costumes and neck-ties. Sometimes I wonder whether he would have been more comfortable living in a by-gone era, but am glad he’s in the here-and-now so we can enjoy the benefits of his creativity.
Hosted by Crown’s endlessly elegant Ann Peacock, several other well-known faces also came along to the launch to enjoy a glass of champagne while deciding which hats suited them best.
Checking out the range, I voted the evening head-pieces (surely these ARE art… ) and lady-bug necklaces as first past the post when it comes to style. But enough from me. I’m going to let the photos of Richard’s stunning work, along with some LK jewellery, speak for themselves.
So what did I pick? Well, choosing something so EARLY suddenly felt a bit odd… Where else would I get that adrenalin rush from putting it all together at the last minute? So I didn’t pick anything. I’m going to live dangerously and come back next week. (plus I need to colour match with outfits!!)
As an added bonus for customers, LK Boutique is offering a 30% discount on selected items, such as the Diamond Butterfly necklace to the right which is usually $9000. The POP-UP store, LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium, will be open until Stakes Day. Happy shopping!