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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 101

If it’s the last minute and you’re looking for some gift inspiration for your significant other, then look no further than this comprehensive Valentine’s gift guide for Sydney-siders.

WISH Registry


WISH Registry is the Only App Taking the Detective Work out of Buying Lingerie this Valentine’s Day


Take the detective work out of buying lingerie this Valentine’s Day and stop snooping through her drawers with WISH Registry – the innovative mobile website with app ‘wish-list’ tool.


With the impressive functionality to record sizing, styles and colours, WISH Registry is the world first mobile website with photo assistant and geo-location app ‘wish-list’ tool that has been specifically created to make gift-giving that much easier.


To make sure you end up in the bedroom not the doghouse this Valentine’s Day, encourage your loved one to create a WISH Registry account at or by downloading the free smartphone app from


Once a personalised WISH Registry account has been created, users can start snapping photos on their smartphone as they shop of their much lusted after Valentine’s Day wishes and WISH Registry will do the rest for you by sharing it with approved list of followers and enabled social networks.


Visually appealing and easy to use, WISH Registry can be used in all retail locations across Australia from department stores, boutiques to specialist retailers. To make the shopping experience that much easier for you, WISH Registry’s app geo-locates and records the store where the much loved item is available. The handy geo-location capabilities of the WISH Registry app includes a smartphone prompt so that when you are in the vicinity of the store that stocks a wish-list item, you will receive a notification reminder of the desired gift and where it can be purchased.


WISH Registry wish-lists can be sorted by product as well as price and restricts the account owner from knowing if and which of their wishes has been granted.


A time poor shopper herself, WISH Registry creator, Claire Summers always has the best of intentions of buying the perfect gift for those she loves. A serial entrepreneur, her first venture was for a not-for-profit initiative which raised over $130,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundations of Australia last Easter.


A marketer with over 13 years senior sales and marketing experience with high profile brands and Australian retailers, Claire Summers saw a much-needed gap in the market for a mobile website with app wish-list that engaged at an in-store level. Claire Summers initially seeded her innovative idea to top-level management at several leading retail operations and with their endorsement, pitched Wish Registry to investment technology company, Blue Chilli. Forming an advisory board with some of the best retail minds in Australia, Claire Summers was signed on as Blue Chilli’s 24th business venture. Just recently, Claire Summers’ Wish Registry was named in the top 50 of the Top 100 Coolest Companies in Australia as part of Anthill Magazine’s 8th Annual Cool Company Awards.

 Tech gifts for loved ones…

They can’t take their eyes off it; they give it hours of love and attention and not a minute goes by when they don’t touch it. Does this sound familiar? …This year, forget about chocolates and hundreds of red roses – why not give your lover the gift of protection for the one and only true love in their life. That’s right, their smartphone.


For the Scatterbrained Lover


If your ‘other half’ is usually found scrambling through their bag or pockets for their cash / travel cards / credit card, give them the gift of organisation this V-Day. OtterBox’s New Commuter Wallet Series [RRP: $44.95] comes complete with discrete storage and quick access to cash and important cards, and is easily ‘swipeable’ for getting on and off buses and trains! So if your beau is an owner of the new iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5 or Samsung GALAXY S®4, what are you waiting for – time to streamline their life.



For the Clumsy and Carefree Companion


If your loved-one is an aqua-fiend, always the first person to dive-in at a poolside party, or if they’re just a little heavy handed and ditzy around cups of coffee, then this is the gift for them. The ultimate in light, waterproof device protection – the OtterBox Preserver Series [RRP $89.95] available for the Apple® iPhone® 5/5S/5C and Samsung GALAXY S4, is fully submergible up to 6.6 ft. for 30 minutes and protects device from drops up to 6.6 ft. Appeal to their inner adventurer!


All of these cases are available at or from selected local retailers and high res images of the cases can be found here:


AlfaChoc: a special Valentine’s Day gift for the Latin lover

Sydneysiders sweet lovers have been enjoying South American alfajores for the last three years at many coffees shops around the city, and now, the delicious ‘national biscuit’ from Argentina is available Australia-wide through AlfaChoc

These petite treats are essentially a ‘sandwich’ made with two baked biscuits and a filling of ‘dulce de leche‘ (literally translated it means ‘sweet milk’, sometimes also called caramel). If you ever travel to Argentina, you will find that in different regions alfajores are made in different shapes, flavors and with different fillings. They are a huge part of the Argentinian culture and it’s actually a snack locals eat for breakfast, dessert and with coffee or tea.

After years experimenting with chocolate and using his mother’s recipe, owner and baker Mariano Rodriguez, was inspired to turn his love for these dreamy bites into a business, and now he’s been running AlfaChoc for three years.

“I strongly believe it is time to bring to the market the ‘Alfajor’, as it is something completely different from the popular cupcakes or macarons we’ve so far experienced and will help to introduce a little South American culture to Australia” says Mariano about the launch of AlfaChoc online retailer.

Priced at $23.40 for a gift box of 6 alfajores AlfaChoc offers three different options:

AlfaChoc Clasico: Cornflour cookies made with fresh lemon zest, vanilla seeds and hazelnuts liquor combined with the creaminess of dulce de leche.

AlfaChoc Dark: Flavours of rich cocoa powder, fresh vanillas and orange zest biscuits filled with dulce de leche and hand dipped in the finest Belgian 55% dark chocolate.

AlfaChoc White: Flavours of almond extracts combined with fine Belgian white chocolate, fresh vanilla seeds and dulce de leche… simply delicious!

AlfaChoc is available at coffee shops and delicatessens around Sydney, including Café Hernandez and The Deli Potts in Potts Points; Rushcutters Bay Kiosk in Rushcutters Bay; Café con Leche in Surry Hills just to name a few.

Very popular for birthday parties as well as for corporate events like morning teas, AlfaChoc can cater for small and medium events. If you’re planning a sweet Valentine’s Day, thinking on a different Easter with a Latin touch or just want to enjoy the flavours of Latin America, AlfaChoc is the perfect choice!

AlfaChoc is available to order online at Free shipping for a limited time!


The most romantic day of the year is swiftly approaching and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to spoil that special someone with their favourite things. Dandi’s fine selection of homewares and decorating ideas will make your day truly memorable, whether you’re looking for the perfect gift, or a chic addition to your table setting.

Many loved-up couples won’t splurge on expensive fine dining, preferring to make the occasion more intimate by adding a personal touch, and creating something extra special in the comfort of their home.

Set the mood with a stylish table setting by laying out Dandi’s elegant Hydrangea Cotton Tablecloth in Oatmeal, then layering white plates – for a traditional feel add some contrasting Doilie Napkins in the customary Berry hue. Why not add a stunning vase of fresh flowers to the mix – a row of fragrant gardenias (or classic roses) will create an ambience that will make your sweetheart swoon.

It’s all about the little details that bring the occasion to life. Personalised place cards and decorations will show you care – print and personalise ‘made with love tags’ or napkin cuffs from the Dandi website for some adoring detail. Use Dandi napkins to wrap your boxed treats or presents for your partner – these make for a romantic keepsake they’ll be sure to cherish.

Bake some delectable treats for your other-half by using Dandi’s set of Kitchen Utensils with heart shaped cut outs, and ensure your goodies are baked to perfection with the dainty Heart Shaped Pot Holders. These will add a little love to your creations and will also make the perfect gift for the avid foodie.

Whether you’re wanting to surprise your special someone with a personalised treat they’ll remember for years to come, or are just after a gift idea that is truly unique – Dandi’s range of gorgeous homewares are the perfect partner for creating long-lasting, loving memories on this special day. is the worlds largest online outsourcing and crowdsourcing websites where more than 10 million skilled professionals are able to connect, work together online and complete jobs in more than 600 categories.


It is running a Valentines Day campaign for people who want to think outside of the box with their gifts in this modern era! We have people posting projects to get a caricature drawn of their loved one, have a professional writer write a love letter or poem for their paramour or design and make a personalised gift.


When people are pushed for time or don’t know what to get their loved one they are able to get a Freelancer in any skill set to take the pressure off and create one for them!


Top ten tips on how to choose art as a gift:

Nichola Dare, The Gallery Shop


  1. Set your budget. It can be dangerous going shopping or into a gallery not knowing your price range if you tend to get carried away!
  2. If you are buying for a wedding present or special birthday, get a group of friends/family to go in together in order to have the funds to buy one larger painting. Not only will it be a greater gift, but it will also represent all of you.
  3. Think about the person that you are buying the work for. What is there home like, what kinds or art have they in it already, what kind of person are they?
  4. If you are very unsure, then maybe take the person along with you to a gallery to get an idea of the kinds of art that they are drawn to, then that will give you an insight on to what to choose as the gift.
  5. It’s fun to go out for the afternoon looking at art, but make sure there is a good cafe/bar where you can stop for lunch or a drink and rest your feet!
  6. Some galleries, like ours, offer a service where the owner will come to your home/workplace to help you decide what kinds of artworks would work in the space and even where and how you should display them.
  7. More often than not, all the art will also be available to view online, so you could even suggest looking through that to get an idea of what they might like.
  8. Often people buy aboriginal art for friends/family who live overseas as it represents the art of Australia. In this instance, make sure that the work comes with a good provenance. This is information that you will get from speaking to the gallery.  Ask them where they get the art from and if it comes with a certificate of authenticity. Make sure, if possible, that this certificate is supplied by the artist’s art centre. All of the works at The Gallery Shop come with these certificates.
  9. Be brave! A gift is as much about the thought that goes into it as the present itself.
  10. If all else fails, get them a gift voucher so that they can go and choose it themselves.




Finally, if you and your partner’s selfies are more gruesome twosome than Romeo and Juliet, it’s time to take a few #couplies tips from the pros.


As loved-up couples flood social media with romantic self-portrait #couplies ahead of Valentine’s Day, here’s how to turn the jeering into downright jealousy.


“Camera Cupid” Mel Lim-How, head of creative and photography at, says anyone can shoot a sexy snap with a few key ingredients.


“Valentine’s Day is all about expressing your love for someone special in every way possible – from the totally romantic to the utterly cringe worthy (but cute!). And the best way to capture that magical moment is with the perfect Valentine’s #couplie,” Mel says.


Mel’s top 3 tips for a cute #couplie

1. Location, location

“A #couplie isn’t a proper #couplie without a bit going on in the background. For a real point of difference and to truly express your love through a self-indulgent #couplie, capture that moment in front of a sparkling sunset, idyllic back drop or even a bustling city street.”


2. Body beautiful

“It’s all about body position. Don’t be shy to experiment canoodling in a variety of positions (we’re still talking about #couplies here!). Whether you’re lounging around sipping cocktails, savouring a romantic dinner, taking a couples’ massage, or flying high with a scenic flight in a helicopter or balloon, don’t forget to set yourselves up in a perfect position.”


3. Personality principle

“Add to this a generous dose of personal expression – be flirty if that’s you, silly or goofy, or pensive and serious – but don’t take yourselves too seriously! Or, go with an expression that shows another side your friends didn’t know you had. Be creative and enjoy the moment.”


Mel’s best positions for #couplies


* Position 1 – Face to face

o Don’t be shy with this one! Stand face to face, reach out with your phone, get that glint in your eyes and take the snap

o The perfect way to make the best of a picture perfect backdrop

* Position 2 – Ambush cuddle

o Stand one in front of the other with the person behind wrapping their arms around the person in front in the warmest of warm embraces

o Stage an ambush at the pub, the bar or even out at a festival

o Note – beware of #couplies photobombers!

* Position 3 – Getting down #1

o Lying front side down, get nice and snuggly. Then one of you puts your arm across the other’s back – smile like a Cheshire cat and take that snap!

o Take a couples’ massage together, ask to have the tables placed close together and capture that warm and fuzzy moment

* Position 4 – Getting down # 2

o Lying down on the ground, bodies pointing in opposite directions with your heads side by side and staring up at the clouds

o This creative shot looks extra-romantic lying on the sand, grass, or while relaxing on a floating pool lounge

* Position 5 – Up high

o Get cosy while standing up, raise phone above your heads and snap away

o Try and find the highest point in your surroundings and make sure your backdrop is underneath you

o Think hot air balloon rides, joint pedicures and cliff-top #couplies over moonlit lagoons!



Sydney plays host to a new kind of Santa Claus this Christmas at Central


Sydney has welcomed a new socialite on the scene (this gal’s got competition)! Sporting skinny jeans and a red beanie, a vintage Citroën not a sleigh, and a love for soy lattes over milk & cookies any day; there’s a modern day Father Christmas in town to spread Christmas cheer.

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One for the big kids, Hipster Santa has taken up tenancy in Sydney’s new multi-level vertical ‘Living Mall’, Central at Central Park and will be running a number of hipster-esque activities in the lead up to Christmas including hula hooping, selfie hours and classic movie nights.

Screen printing with Hipster Santa!

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Come down to Central at Central Park this Sunday 22nd December between 12-5pm to learn the art of screen printing. Bobbin and Ink and Hipster Santa will hold this fun, interactive workshop where shoppers can make there own handmade Hipster Santa tea towel – a great addition to any hipster’s kitchen.

Opened in October this year, Central boasts a sun-drenched emporium, future-forward sustainable architecture, unique designs, free Wi-Fi, and extended trading hours.

Hipster Santa comments, “I am uber excited to be living in my new abode at Central, the sustainable design, vertical gardens and innovative Digital Wall makes it cooler then all of the other shopping centres around. It’s got an array of on-trend retailers, art spaces and a mix of cafés and restaurants, so it is perfect locale for Sydneysiders to head for Christmas shopping.”

With his own dedicated workshop on the Ground Floor, every week from now until Christmas Eve, an array of events and activities with this cool character will be taking place, from Roger Tait styling sessions to gift wrapping (Thursdays to Sundays 4pm – 6pm) to creating cool Crimbo decs with those that drop by.

Offering an ironic take on the traditional Santa photo, everyday between noon and 1pm, Hipster Santa will host a Santa Selfie Hour at his workshop for the cool kids. No sitting on Santa’s knee allowed (that’s just awkward), props, serious faces and filters are hipster approved. By hashtagging #hipstersanta on their photos snap-happy visitors have the chance to win a Glue Store Christmas prize pack.

And that’s not all! For those stuck for a gift, Hipster Santa is on hand to help pick the perfect pressie, from one of eclectic mix of young, contemporary retailers such as Pigeonhole, Capsule, Glue Store and Adidas. ‘Hipster Santa Approved’ eco tags feature on an array of items across Central which has been personally chosen by Hipster Santa as the perfect on-trend gift this Christmas.

And that’s not all! Shoppers can enjoy a new rendition of some classic Christmas carols with thanks to Hipster Santa and his band, The Real Deers who will be performing via the Digital Wall.

Local Sydneysiders should keep an eye on @hipster_santa for invitations to the ‘hipster hang nights’, latest updates, or just some pensive and wise words this festive season.

So whether it’s for a snap, a song or a spot of shopping or eating, Central at Central Park will be a mall with a difference to experience and enjoy this festive season.


Follow Hipster Santa via:


Instagram: @instahipstersanta

Check out his blog here:




Explore the World, Explore the Galeries

It’s the time of year to relax and unwind, making Christmas the perfect time for travel. This holiday season, the Galeries is bringing a global flavour to its festive celebrations, inviting shoppers to explore the World while they explore the Galeries.

Shoppers will be transported around the globe without even leaving the CBD through the shopping destination’s in-centre escape. Transforming the ground floor to reflect major cities of the world, customers will pass through Tokyo, Paris and New York as they jet-set around to complete their own Christmas shopping.

Realistic streetscapes capture the quintessential experience of each location from a Parisian cafe and Lower East Side bar to a Downtown sushi saloon. The exotic sights of authentic street signs, cobbled sidewalks and native bamboo and greenery make the multicultural installation space the perfect spot for shoppers to take time out from their busy end-of-year schedules to sit back, relax and play tourist as they get snap-happy amongst the foreign cities.

Offering a worldly take on gift giving, the Galeries’ diverse and urban mix of retailers offers all your present solutions in one location. View the Galeries Gift Itinerary online – – or pick up a copy in centre for an intimate guide to the best present picks. Make sure to follow The Galeries (@thegaleries) on Instagram to navigate the best bits with insider tips from well-travelled contributors, chef Billy Law, blogger Margaret Zhang and stylist Megan Morton. What’s more, share your own favourite wish list finds from The Galeries on Instagram, follow @thegaleries and tag #explorethegaleries to go into the weekly draw to win a $250 Galeries gift card.

Topping off the shopping destination’s five star experience, The Galeries is giving all customers the chance to win their ultimate holiday experience, valued at $7,000. For every $50 spent in centre, shoppers will receive a boarding pass entry form to drop in the vintage suitcase competition barrel on ground level. Still in the spirit of giving, complimentary gift wrapping will be available for a gold coin donation to the Wesley Mission charity.

The essential lifestyle and cultural destination, The Galeries is bringing a world-class touch to an Australian Christmas. ‘Tis the season to explore the World, explore the Galeries.

WHAT: Christmas at The Galeries
WHERE: The Galeries, 500 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 WHEN: Thursday 28th November until Monday 6th January



The Galeries Travel Lounge featuring Tokyo, Paris and New York



For every $50 spent in centre, go into the draw to win the ultimate summer holiday valued at $7,000

Complimentary Gift Itinerary in centre and online – Follow @thegaleries on instagram for gifting tips from contributors chef Billy Law,

blogger Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three, and stylist Megan Morton
Explore the Galeries weekly Instagram competition with $250 Galeries gift voucher prize Custom gift wrapping in centre for a gold coin donation to Wesley Mission
Hashtag – #explorethegaleries
Twitter – @TheGaleries
Instagram – @thegaleries
Facebook –
Website –

Oakley opens in Bondi Junction

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Here at Sydney Social 101 we’e huge fans of customisable fashion, so we were thrilled to find out that Oakley has just opened in Bondi Westfield – with an Aus exclusive Custom Eyewear bar. This program gives you the opportunity to customise sunglasses with your choice of frame colour and finish, lens tint, icons and more.

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The new Westfield Bondi Junction store is a one stop shop for the perfect pair of Oakley sunglasses. An Australian first, the fully decked out Custom Bar allows customers to build their eyewear in store and take them home the same day. Mix it up with the choice of polarised and non-polarised lenses in a variety of styles including sport, active, lifestyle and women’s. You can choose from an array of frames from the Oakley range including Frogskins, Holbrook, Garage Rock, Radarlock and more.

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The Oakley Custom program offers the visionary innovations of Oakley High Definition Optics® for unrivalled clarity and the look of a true original.

The newly launched  O Store is located at Level 2, Shop 2017/8 in Westfield Bondi Junction to customise your own pair of Oakley eyewear!

Christmas 101** New Christmas concierge service: Holly & Ivy

21 sleeps until Christmas!


With only 21 days left until Christmas, cue busy shops with impatient shoppers, Christmas party nightmares and a series of unwanted gifts. But, what if that could all be a thing of the past?


New Christmas concierge service, Holly & Ivy, has launched just in time to help take the pain out of the festive season ensuring a happy Christmas all round. The personal gift shopping and wrapping, and party planning and styling services have been designed for the time poor and those looking for something extra special, taking care of your Christmas chores so you don’t have to.


The complete gift shopping and wrapping service for individuals and businesses, is perfect for anyone that hates venturing into the shops this time of year or has no idea what to get for family, friends, clients, colleagues or employees.  Personal consultations are carried out to discuss the brief, budget and gift recipients, gathering as much information as possible to help with gift selection. Holly & Ivy will then shop on your behalf, delivering beautifully wrapped gifts along with receipts and a printed document for outlining all the gifts (AKA a cheat sheet!). Gifts can also be posted directly to the recipient.


There are three different packages catering to a variety of festive needs:


·     A Merry Little Christmas – starting from $200 for that special someone

·     God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – starting from $500, covering all gifts for family and friends

·     ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – $100 per hour after 20 December, delivering up until midday on 24 December


All costs include consultation, shopping*, wrapping and delivery within 10km of Sydney CBD or postage (postage fees charged in addition).


For anyone responsible for delivering a pre-Christmas party or decorating the home or office, the festivities have never been so easy. Party planning and styling services start at $75 per hour and offer assistance across an array of different areas including sourcing the best suppliers to planning and managing your entire Christmas party.*


Holly & Ivy is the brainchild of two university friends – Jane Moggridge and Aimee Wood – who have a shared love of Christmas and over 20 years of PR and event experience between them. “We wanted to create a service that takes the stress out of the festive planning and allows people to really enjoy the silly season. It is a busy time of year so an extra pair of hands can really help,” said Jane.


Aimee added: “Holly & Ivy offers something for everyone. Helping boyfriends and husbands get the perfect gift for the women in their life, busy office managers turn the office party around or time-poor house party hosts create something extra special for their family and friends this year.”


Visit the Holly & Ivy website for more information and to book your consultation:

Fashion 101** My Salvos Stores Officially Launch Online eBay Shop!

My Salvos Stores eBay Launch_29.10.13_District01_-®EstebanLaTessa-Barry ...

My Salvos Stores and celebrity Brand Ambassador, Barry Du Bois, officially launched the My Salvos Stores eBay Shop at an intimate evening event, at District01 in Surry Hills, last night. Furniture and home ware items being sold on the eBay shop were on display, and guests browsed the Salvos Stores eBay Shop on interactive iPads, with the option to bid on items or ‘buy it now’ – with one guest purchasing a vintage table and taking it home with them on the night!


Salvation Army officers welcomed guests, including media, celebrities and Salvation Army staff, and expressed their thanks for the great support they have received with the launch of the online eBay shop. Colonel Richard Munn, Chief Secretary at The Salvation Army, explained the range of community work that the charity does and how the funds raised from selling items on the eBay shop will greatly assist with their work, with all proceeds raised going towards The Salvation Army. Barry Du Bois took to the stage, expressing his gratitude and honour at being a brand ambassador for the campaign. Barry voiced how great he thought shopping at My Salvos Stores is to find unique, vintage and restorable items, which he regularly does for his Channel 10 program The Living Room.

Guests who attended enjoyed delicious canapés while listening to live music from local musicians, who had donated their time to play at the event, and browsed the furniture and home ware items on display. Barry Du Bois mingled with guests, ensuring he spoke to everyone who attended and encouraging them to shop on the My Salvos Stores eBay shop. Taxi service UBER provided all guests with up to $50 worth of free rides, making the whole experience seamless.


My Salvos Stores have been helping struggling families and individuals for over 125 years, and have raised millions of dollars to support The Salvation Army. Selected furniture items that have been donated to My Salvos Stores across the Eastern Territory will be sold on the eBay shop. Items will be available to purchase online through eBay’s buy it now or bidding option. Items sold will depend on what has been donated, with the focus being on vintage and unique household items. All proceeds raised from the Salvos Stores eBay shop will do towards The Salvation Army.

For more information visit

Beauty 101 – Molton Brown sale


Here at Sydney Social 101 we have a real soft spot for beauty products, especially those that smell amazing! We were very excited to hear that one of our favourites: Molton Brown, London’s luxury bath and body connoisseurs since 1973, is set to give Australians another reason to love its products by lowering prices on a range of popular favourites.

The permanent price drop will be effective from 1 October 2013 on the following cult Molton Brown products:

  • Molton Brown Shampoo and Conditioner: $29 each (was $40 each)
  • Molton Brown Mer-rouge Deep Conditioning Mask: $35 (was $55)
  • Molton Brown Medio Candela: $60 (was $85)
  • Molton Brown Forte Candelas $110 (was $128)
  • Molton Brown Home Ambientes: $45 (was $55)
  • Molton Brown Navigations Through Scent Fine Fragrance: $120 (was $120 – $160)


Molton Brown is available from David Jones and MYER as well as online at


A vibrant experience and a world of mystery in a buzzing market atmosphere: expect the unexpected at The Rocks Village Bizarre.

Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority over eight Friday nights from 1 November to 20 December, The Rocks and its enchanting laneways – full of history, mystery and dark secrets – will be transformed into a bazaar of all that is weird, wonderful and… bizarre.

Wander down the curious laneways for a world where artists flourish, free-thinkers dominate and pushers of indulgence are given centre stage at the lively Village Bizarre street market. Each evening will encompass new performances so you never know what you’ll discover once you step inside this curious world.

Village Bizarre - Lucy Suze Taylor

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Creative Producer, Michael Cohen says the Village Bizarre will be making a welcome return to The Rocks.

“Last year really demonstrated to us that lots and lots of people are willing to jump into a mischievous embrace of the crazy and the bizarre. This year, we’re going even more adventurous for people, we’ve been tapping into the vein of the curious and fun, and we’ve got a massive program full of unexpected delights,” he says.

The experiences the Foreshore Authority has in store at The Rocks Village Bizarre are as diverse as they are unique. The Rocks Square will be transformed into a world where the quirky run wild, featuring new themes and highlights every week.

One Friday you may find yourself in the Gin Mill Social, where the 1920s will be brought to life at a lively and roaring speakeasy bar hidden behind a rusty, corrugated iron fence. Here you’ll see The Jordan C Thomas Quartet play beat jazz and jump swing while performers mingle and entertain. On another night you’ll find Club Bizarre, where Kiki and Pascal, the Kazadorian Contortionist, will host cabaret, zany music and other shenanigans.

Not everything will be so easy to find, however. Follow clues around The Rocks to discover the secret Village Bizarre pop-up bar, The Hole in the Sky. It follows on from the success of last year’s popular White Rabbit Bar, where masked revellers can escape the busy laneways, and nest over their wine.

For those who prefer to stay on their feet, The Rocks Village Bizarre will offer meandering alleyway investigations of all sorts. In the warming spring weather, a Friday evening stroll will be taken to a whole new level.

Meander through outdoor markets where you can pick up small treasures and munch on delicious food. Or discover a pop-up parlour of oddities at The Rock’s Cleland Bond heritage building, and have your palm or tarot cards read, or a new hairstyle whipped up.

Those brave enough can register to join the gangs of The Rocks in the innovative and unique role-playing experience The Rocks Push and Pull. The game will bring to life the infamous goings on, dodgy antics and shady business dealings of the Push gangs active in The Rocks in the 1880s and 90s.

Not one but two short film competitions will celebrate the peculiar as part of the inaugural Bike Shorts Film Competition. Standard Shorts encourages films that peak into the weird and wonderful, while Micro Shorts filmmakers will be encouraged to submit Instagram videos based on the theme “Cycle”. Shortlisted finalists will have their films projected on a pedal-powered cinema screen thanks to Magnificent Revolution.

Amongst the returning world of the unusual, the city’s most intimate Silent Disco will this year find itself on Atherden Street, where everyone can be a dancing queen for the night.

Wondrous performers will again take over Greenway Lane. Contortionists, magicians, comedians, cabaret… you never know what you’ll see when you step inside. New performances will take place each and every week in the intimate venue and those who attended last year will be enchanted by new artists and shows.

The provoking performance troupe The Glitter Militia will also be returning to perform at The Cabinet of Curiosities, which will tantalise your senses, shock your brain and leave you questioning everything you thought you once knew.

No corner will be left ordinary. Every laneway, nook and cranny of The Rocks will unveil a new performance, a new adventure, a new experience. From kidnappings, treasure hunts and curious cabinets to contortionists and the speakeasy, your very own playground of markets and mystery is waiting for you.

So curious folk, get ready to end your working week in the mysterious world of The Rocks Village Bizarre – every Friday night from 1 November to 20 December.

The Rocks Village Bizarre is curated and presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, proud managers of The Rocks: traditional land of the Cadigal people and the birthplace of European settlement in Australia. While preserving The Rocks’ unique heritage, the Authority’s team of creatives and resident experts produce large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours to drive visitors into the precinct and support the precinct’s tenants. The Rocks is a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and myriad experiences worth savouring.

WHAT: The Rocks Village Bizarre
WHERE: The Rocks
WHEN: Every Friday through November and December
6.30pm – 10pm
COST: Free

Social Spy** Marking the launch of the Spring Summer 2013/2014 Season was the Strand Arcades annual “evening with our designers”

Last night I escaped into an enchanting world of design in this elegant Victorian arcade that has been tucked into the CBD of Sydney since 1891 and houses many of Australia’s leading and upcoming designers.

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The stunning arcade was transformed into an fashion wonderland.  Fairy lights twinkled,  Chandon champagne was flowing and a live performance from singer Emma Louise perfected a wond

erful evening.

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This was a celebration of the designers, artisans and craftsmen who make the Strand Arcade so unique to other shopping experiences.

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Short videos directed by Hugh Stewart and powered by Samsung were shown throughout the evening titled “The Story Behind The Makers” providing an insight to the talents and skills of those behind the brands.

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Loyal shoppers had the opportunity to meet their favourite designers in store while viewing the latest arrivals giving us all a sneak preview at what Spring/Summer 2013/14 has to offer (FYI lots of monochrome)

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With many stores offering generous discounts for one evening only there was plenty of shopping to be done (in between sipping champagne of course).  Guests snacked on Bon Bon’s signature French style nougat and freshly roasted Tamari Almonds courtesy of The Nut Shop.   For those requiring a break from shopping there was a Cointreau Fizz Garden Bar where complimentary cocktails were enjoyed.


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Before departing it was time to freshen up with a visit to the Pamper Suite for a mini manicure and lipstick touch up.

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Champagne, shopping and mingling with your favourite designers… what’s not to love?  If you didn’t make it this year, next year is a must.

Cheers to that!

Cheers to that!

This event was attended and reviewed by Sydney Social 101’s latest contributor: Susan Black. You can view her blog here:

IXIAH takes out the top prize for the 100 Squared and Shop Til You Drop Emerging Designer Search!

100 Squared Emerging Designer Market in conjunction with Shop til You Drop and Westfield Sydney are pleased to announce the winner of the Emerging Designer Search as Krystel Davis’ clothing label IXIAH.

IXIAH, a Sydney-based fashion label, is essentially for those with an individualistic spirit, who dare to be different but not necessarily eccentric. The label’s apparel and accessories consist of rare elements including unique bindings and gilded tapestries creating a unique look. The sophisticated tailoring, formed by sharp shoulders, high waists and military styling is contrasted with raw organic elements, creating the signature look that Davis is becoming renown for within her collections.

Shop til You Drop editor Brooke Bickmore was part of the judging panel who selected IXIAH to take out the top prize, “The quality of the entries proved how much untapped design genius exists in this country, and the importance of nurturing fresh talent. IXIAH’s attention to detail really stood out – the mix of hard and soft textures, intricate cut-work and sharply tailored leather ensure every piece is a wardrobe keeper.

“Perfect for our laid-back lifestyle – beautiful, unique clothes you don’t have to think about”
Justin Levy, founder of 100 Squared, echoed Bickmore’s sentiments, “IXIAH is going to be a welcome addition to the 100 Squared portfolio. The design skill shown through the collection is extremely professional and the aesthetic is very on-trend, something that the Westfield Sydney customers will definitely respond to. We felt IXIAH was a deserving winner and can’t wait to watch them grow with this opportunity”.

To herald their entry to 100 Squared, IXIAH is launching in style with an event on Thursday 23rd May, 2013. Between 6pm and 8pm guests will be treated to the unveiling of the new IXIAH Winter Collection, with the chance to purchase pieces for their wardrobe on the night. They can also take advantage of getting style tips for their IXIAH favourites from designer Krystel Davis and enjoy refreshments from Perrier and C Coconut Water, all to a soundtrack set by the Bondi House DJs. Photographers Drew English and Life Without Andy will be present and snapping away on the night. There will also be a $1,000 wardrobe giveaway up for grabs on the night.

IXIAH is available in 100 Squared from Monday the 20th of May until Sunday the16th of June, 2013 with a free-standing space located near the entry to ZARA on Level One of Westfield Sydney. To learn more about IXIAH and check out their designs head to the 100 Squared Facebook page –

Date:​​Thursday 23rd May, 2013
Time: ​​6pm – 8pm
Location:​IXIAH @ 100 Squared, Westfield Sydney
Located near the entry to ZARA, Level 1, Westfield Sydney,
Pitt Street Mall, Sydney

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