Christmas Sparkles at The Capital

Following on from the 'back story' below, here are some lovely shots of POD's campaign 'Christmas Sparkles at The Capital', Chadstone.

Chadstone Christmas VM

Ho Ho Ho only 2 more sleeps to go

POD took on another Christmas project (last year we got festive at Melbourne's GPO). We were blown away to be asked by Chadstone to design a new set of decorations and in centre activities. Given how much we love Christmas, how could we resist such a big challenge? After nine months in the making, gorgeous jewels and gems are currently sparkling throughout the centre (but not for much longer given the big day is only 2 more sleeps away). Without a hint of tinsel or a traditional tree in sight, we took inspiration from Milan's annual Salone Immobilare and the premium positioning of Chadstone, with it being The Jewel in the Crown of fashion centres around the country.  POD's positioning statement 'Christmas Sparkles at The Capital' sums it up!

Engaging local talent and production people where possible, we also cooked up an 'Australian' gingerbread house based around a beach bathing box, iced vovos, jam fancies and vintage inspired cookies found in a late 1950's Woman's Weekly magazine. Gingerbread baker, Vicki's Bickies did a beautiful job of making all the biscuits (not literally to size ... as many people have asked!). Sales of Santa photos are up 48% and from all reports "the mum's love it" (we love it that our design is driving sales). Talented Melbourne artist, Beci Orpin, illustrated the 'way too much fun' Face in Place moments and Chadstone gift cards. 'Warren the Wonderboy' applied miles and miles of decal to entry doors, voids and bathroom mirrors. Chas Clarkson produced our design, installed the gems and Santa Set. A super big thank you to a large team of Elves who worked through the night ... for many nights ... to bring some designer bling and Christmas cheer to Chadstone. I thought I'd share just some of the behind the scene snaps of the installation that took place in early November (the pics are a little dark ... and possibly blurry ... after all, they were taken through tired eyes in the wee hours of the morning!)

All the world’s a stage…

Lula Mae attracted plenty of attention with her debut performance at Melbourne Central (a pop up store made from cardboard and embellished with fab illustrations). Her new store is a more permanent structure that still plays on theatrics (my first thought was that it might have been inspired by the Speigel Tent given it is such a hit on the Melbourne arts scene). The shop front harks back to a long gone vaudville era, rich red velvet stage curtains frame the fashion event that is playing in store, canvas backdrops and trees prop the threads on the program. So different. So not boring. So refreshing. So love it. So thank you Lula Mae.  BTW ... I assume this is also a collaborative effort by Breathe Architecture (they did the pop up) ... I was in a hurry and didn't have time to stop and chat to the staff. Would love to know more about who and how collaborated on this one so, if you know, let me know!  Lula Mae, Level 2, Melbourne Central.

Now baking…

Cupcakes have enjoyed a strong run for the past 5 or more years here in Oz. Lots of cute shops have appeared. What I liked about Cupcake Central (aside from the simple black and white finishes palette and retro branding) is the show kitchen where you can see your favorite flavour being baked and iced. Pop in for a peek, you'll find CCC upstairs in the food court area of Melbourne Central.

Melbourne Central Food

Sussan keeps it simple

Like the Converse hoarding (story below), Sussan's effective use of repeat images and a single colour punch caught my eye. Spotted at Chadstone this festive season.
Chadstone Sussan VM

Step and repeat

A clever Converse brand conversation happening whilst the store was under construction at Melbourne Central. Love the look now the hoarding is down too!

B&P takes the cake

If you're a sweet tooth with an appreciation for premium, and you live in Melbourne, then I assume you are well and truly familiar with Burch & Purchese. Ian (Burch) & Darren (Purchese), a pair of tres tres talented Poms with serious culinary pedigrees, have worked together for a number of years. Under the B&P label they have taken the architecture of sweets, and the idea of what a dessert could be, to new design heights. Infusions and reductions, clays and crumbs make their way into intense flavoured jellies, jams, slabs and sorbets which, when combined, create some seriously sensational sweets. Customised cakes for all sorts of celebrations are a speciality. Well respected Australian chef Cath Claringbold (& wife of Darren), manages the front of house (and a zillion other things). Cath is the perfect hostess. She will have you stop by and sniff/taste/touch all sorts of wonderful textures and sometimes unexpected flavours to devise a cake that reflects you and your occasion.  I don't think I am doing them justice ... really just go and taste it for yourself (the Hendricks Gin Marshmallow, the freeze dried Raspberry & Choc Eclair, the Avocado Mint Cucumber Apple Yoghurt & Lime number that was sublime, the gingerbread and ... really I could go on for hours) Burch & Purchese, 647 Chapel St South Yarra (opposite the Como Hotel).

They’ve got the local market cornered

The corner store cafe in Toowong is where the locals queue for a casual weekend brekkie. You can lob up in your lycra or go all out and pop on some lippy before you down that latte.  It's as cute as a button and it has its own veggie patch for the kids (and kitchen brigade) to explore.  Tanya Lea is pictured here with her camera.  She is a very good person to know. Tan is the queen of organisation and systems and can sort an office into shape in no time (or wardrobe, kitchen, garage etc). She has just launched a new blog ... ... and has done a great job for me on various 'sorting and systems' projects over the past 2 years so I thought I'd share her services with you.  Tan is based in Melbourne, the Corner Store Cafe is at 113 Sylvan Road Toowong Brisbane.

Food Other Brisbane

Beautifully sliced

My very first post gave the POD nod to Baker D. Chirico's pop up in Crossley Lane. Never one to disappoint, Daniel's newbie on Faraday St in Carlton is a beautifully executed, contemporary showcase for those seeking a dose of daily bread (and other yummy goodies) without the need for a take away coffee (yes, it is just a bread shop - thank goodness for that - and Brunetti is just a few paces away for the caffeine fix).  I assumed it was inspired by one of those slatted bread boards with crumb tray thingy (which apparently it was). March Studio has taken that inspiration and delivered the best thing since sliced bread.

Meet ‘Mini Fu’

Regular readers will have noticed a distinct lack of stories over the past few months. Firstly may I say there is only so much a single white woman can do in a day (yes, I've been more than busy with work to say the least and some things just have to go on the back burner). Fortunately I have found a fab new POD person to help out. With Charmaine's assistance the blog should be well and truly back on the boil!