Merchant’s Guild-Broadsheet, 20th March 2013

guildPhotography: Tim Grey

A New Guild

These merchants are honing their craft in East Bentleigh.

To be honest, Centre Road in East Bentleigh isn’t the kind of place you would write home about. Littered with graffiti-strewn brick and weathered signs, it wasn’t until new cafe The Merchants Guild came along (emerging in the place of an old $2 shop), that the strip found itself a destination point in which to gather, eat and socialise. The new establishment from Mario Minichilli and Vincent Conti (the team who brought us the original Inkr7) is an industrial delight in an otherwise barren landscape – not dissimilar to Inkerman Street before they put their touch on it.

With its wooden checkerboard tables, exposed kitchen and considered menu, it’s a cool and comfortable place for locals to catch up for breakfast or lunch.

The food (prepared by chef and co-owner Paul Davies) and drinks are served in style. Meals are presented on wooden platters, egg timers accompany teapots (ensuring the tea brews for the ideal length of time), and clever touches like jalapeno pesto and rotating variations of hollandaise keep things interesting.

But it’s Minichilli and Conti’s famed Prana Chai that is the real calling card here. With the recipe carefully perfected after several tastings across the globe, the aroma of this delicious blend will inspire you to forgo your usual coffee order in a heartbeat. You can even watch the team preparing the mix in-house. As Conti explains, “This is where we hone our craft.”

Merchant’s Guild-Broadsheet, 20th March 2013

Family Matters-Broadsheet, 20th March 2013/Autumn Print Edition 2013

miletPhotography: Eve Wilson

Mileto’s

Mileto’s restaurant and deli in Windsor is named after the family that owns it, runs the place and lives upstairs. Managed by Laura and Pepe Mileto, the humble eatery is run like a family home, with help from daughter Sarah on the floor and at the counter, and son James manning the coffee machine.

Originally from South Gippsland, both Laura and Pepe have an Italian heritage as well as backgrounds in farming. Suffice to say, the two have “always worked together”. And it has become the family way. “I love the idea of us working altogether,” says Sarah, “and I love having everyone here with me.”

The secret of the Mileto’s success is their ability to nurture their clientele, just as they would their family unit. Regulars are greeted by name and dishes like minestrone and focaccia are made in-house daily. “Our customers come here and they feel very welcome, like they are having a meal in their own home,” says Laura.

And just like in a family home, the Mileto’s have learnt everything they know from their loved ones. “My Mum was the most amazing cook,” says Laura. “She taught me everything I know, which I have then passed on to my daughter.”

Family Matters-Broadsheet, 20th March 2013/Autumn Print Edition 2013

Dog Run-Four, 19th March 2013

FourAndSons_DogRun_04Photography: Michael Crouser

The Running of the Dogs

Michael Crouser’s Dog Run was never intended to be what it became. The series of provocative black and white photographs of mutts interacting in urban playgrounds (or ‘dog runs’), was initially supposed to be figure studies of Great Danes in motion, bringing to life Crouser’s elegant visions of  “musculature, movement, shapes and glistening coats.” Residing on the sidelines however, Crouser became a voyeur to a far more complex situation—dogs playing wildly with no regard to being watched. Fascinated by their interaction, the photographer shot over several years what would become Dog Run, “some very intense, very goofy images of eyes and tongues and legs and tails flying around.”

Though he has never had a dog himself, he couldn’t help but be drawn on his runs around the Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis to the relatively new phenomenon of the urban dog park; and the sea of dogs that inhabited them. In fact, he often found it rather therapeutic remaining motionless for hours on end whilst the animals around him went wild.

Crouser’s strong aesthetic is far from the saccharine soaked displays we so often see of perfectly groomed golden pups playing with balls in ribbon-threaded baskets. These dogs were shot as they really are, raw in monochrome. Yes, the images are intense, however they are not entirely dark, and are often tinged with humour.

Crouser explains, “I’ve been asked more than once ‘What’s with the darkness? What’s with the intensity?’ I can only say that if photography is a personal expression, then I must be tapping into a darker, more intense, more emotional side with photography than I’m able to otherwise. I don’t think people see me as “dark” in mood or in character, but there is a lot of intensity and heaviness, and even violence in my photography, but also quiet humor. I believe that the most successful of my photographs, and the larger collection of works put together are really a pretty true reflection of myself. I sometimes feel that my more personal work has more in common with painting or rough pottery or certain types of music than it does with much that is out there in the photography world. I don’t expect everyone to see that, it’s just how it feels.”

Crouser continues to hone his “magical” craft, and admits he is constantly learning and improving, publishing his works for others to see and consider, but ultimately embarking on a very personal journey. With his camera now pointed on his next project The Ranch (a series depicting the disappearing world of cattle ranches in the Colorado hills), it’s a certainty his intelligent aesthetic will be thriving for years to come.

Dog Run-Four, 19th March 2013

AW13 Man Trends-Retail Offers, 11th March 2013

The Stylish Gentleman

Guys, get savvy this season with all the latest catwalk looks.

Despite the sunshine that refuses to dissipate (and thank goodness for that), it is time to face facts that winter is on its way, and our wardrobes need to be adjusted accordingly. While it may seem that for a bloke to be fashionable he must be decked solely in wild catwalk gear, the reality is they can rock the trends and feel good about it in the process.

For Autumn/Winter 13, colour made a valiant appearance in all manners of ways from slacks in rustic hues, pastel knits and bold blazers. Pair autumnal browns, reds and yellows all together, or go safe with a coloured jumper and jeans or a vibrant fedora.  Maybe even channel your inner hipster with a colourful blazer and rolled up chino?

Image-1cPrints were also awash on the runways, with jumpers and accessories leading the charge. Camouflage, argyle, abstract-you name it, it was there. While the ladies have embraced the trend whole-heartedly wearing everything from printed pants to clashing styles; the guys are less obvious and are best suited to a capricious tie or a vivid pair of canvas flats.

Image-2cAutumn/Winter is also a time for textures, an opportunity to break through from the doldrums of mere cotton and denim. Warmth does not just mean wool. Why not pair your jeans with a tweed or velvet jacket? Or give jeans the flick all together in favour of stylish corduroys. This is a trend that will stand the test of time and will implement maximum effect with minimum effort.

Image-3cAW13 Man Trends-Retail Offers, 11th March 2013

Bébé by Minihaha-Retail Offers, 28th February 2013

Bébé by Minihaha

Who says your little ones can’t be trendy? This season, gorgeous childrenswear label Bébé by minihaha has hit all the key points us oldies have been coveting.

For the girls, florals, fur and Lace are the way to go. Daytime dresses printed with gorgeous gardens look sweet on their own or spunky with a little animal adornment.

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Bébé boys also get a little toughening up, with functional yet funky sweats given a preppy edge with nautical striped jumpers and Paddington Bear coats.

A label that puts the cute in cutie pie, this collection will make your little darling the coolest on the block.

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Bébé by Minihaha-Retail Offers, 28th February 2013

Hugo Boss-Retail Offers, 28th February 2013

Hugo Boss

The name Hugo Boss is one steeped in luxury; a brand that continues to produce iconic ranges season after season. For Autumn/Winter the collections are no different, with BOSS Black and BOSS Orange adorning men and women in timeless classics, that stay fresh and exciting but still true to the Hugo BOSS aesthetic.

This season, the sophisticated BOSS Black Womenswear line pulls from Old Hollywood, creating a series of garments perfect for any confident modern woman. Luxe fabrics in monochromatic hues are punctuated with hits of feminine rose and ocean turquoise, and outfits are completed with animal-print heels and handbags with golden hardware.  Elegance at its finest.

RO_HB_Image 1BOSS Black Menswear retains its sleek, high-quality demeanour this season whilst embracing an almost bohemian nod to 1950’s New York and the thriving artist scene of the time.  Butter-soft leather jackets hug chunky knits in Autumnal hues, and manbags in classic styles prove the ultimate accessory.

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For Autumn/Winter, BOSS Orange Womenswear pays homage to folklore traditions and references fashion, literature, music and dance of the era. Volume plays a key role here and rustic accents dominate. Think rabbit fur jackets in wine red, leather tasseled bags and earth-hued patterns that would make Joni Mitchell melt.

What woman doesn’t love a truly masculine man? The Autumn/Winter BOSS Orange male takes his cues from rough and ready wharfies, replete with plaid shirts, sturdy leather boots and washed denim. But while he may be rough round the edges, the interior’s all about style.

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Leona Edmiston-Retail Offers, 28th February 2013

Leona Edmiston

Is there anything more flattering than a wrap dress? Seriously, no matter your size, shape, or height, there is a wrap dress out there that will give you a waist where there was none, boost your bust discretely, and hide those pesky lumps and bumps from sight.

Each season, our very own wrap queen Leona Edmiston brings us a series of these dresses that will remain staples in your wardrobe for both work and play until the end of time.  And if the wrap dress is not your thing don’t fret-there’s plenty more gorgeous goodies to be found from Leona.

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Leona Edmiston-Retail Offers, 28th February 2013