December 24, 2014

Marsala: The Colour of 2015

Since  2010 I have been blogging little bits and bobs of things that interest me and little projects or shoots I've worked on. For some reason, this almost "cult" of the Pantone Colour of the Year has me hooked again, for the 6th year in a row now.

Maybe because it's so easy, relatable and finite, like the Chinese horoscope; next year is the Year of the Sheep, and we all want to know what that means for us. With the Pantone colour of the year, it is actually a prediction, based on current situations on a global, social, cultural, economical, political, etc. level we can all relate to.

Here are the previous years I've blogged (you can find them in each year's archive):
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)

So what does Pantone 18-1438 Marsala mean for us? Of the five million colours our eyes can distinguish, why was this one chosen? Prepare for seduction!

2015 is all about richness and being grounded. Satisfying and earthy red-brown like a deep, rich glass of wine, Marsala is sophisticated, natural and "earthy". (I can already hear the earth-loving hipsters rejoicing).

Hearty and stylishly sophisticated, this tone will appeal universally and easily lends itself to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.


Ever elegant as a statement colour for its full-bodied qualities, designers such as Hervé Léger and Max Azria have already used Marsala on the runways for Spring 2015 collections. Used as an accent colour when paired with other colours, it can be quite subdued and sophisticated. Or for more drama, pair it with neutrals, such as warmer taupes and greys. Because Marsala has burnished, sultry undertones, it is very complimentary with amber, umber and golden yellows, even greens in turqoise and teal, and vibrant blues. 

As florals and stripes continue in popularity, you will know doubt see Marsala make a presence in 2015 in both men's and women's clothing. This also includes jewellery and accessories, look out for leather especially for handbags, hats, footwear and the newly emerging market of wearable technology.


Marsala is flattering against many skin tones and eye colours, and pairs really well with monochromatic mixes of peachy pink, and sparkles against antiquated gold metallics (and rose gold!) great for lipstick and blush options. Marsala smokey eyeshadow can be worn from day to night, will make you look like a femme fatale in lipstick and nailpolish. Make up artists rejoice! Look for Marsala featured in beauty editorials in future magazine shoots!

Wishing you all a very safe and happy Christmas, and I hope you ring in 2015 in style and maybe with a little (or a lot!) of Marsala, enjoy!

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December 10, 2014

Dîner en Blanc in Adelaide!

 “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

 In June I was in Paris. I was also overseas for the first time in my life (travelling around Europe) seeing iconic places, galleries, culture and more which I'd only previously seen in books and films, and now it was unbelievably real. Yet I was still pinching myself to the point of bruising, especially when I first laid eyes on this beautiful, haunting, social phenomenon which is known as Dîner en Blanc.

I was on my tour bus for the 'City Lights Tour' of Paris at dusk, going through the chaotic, jammed-up traffic in the heart of the bustling city. As we passed the chaos, we glided alongside the River Seine and there was this apparition of thousands upon thousands of people dressed soulfully only in white. 

There is something to be said about the power of colour theory and emotion (as a fashion graduate), I can only summon adjectives that make me sound like a new-age hippy, but in a word, all these people together, in white really were: 'soulful'. It struck a chord with everyone on the bus, especially the misty-eyed hopeless romantics like me who were just awe-struck and teary.

Our cameras madly clicking at this white sea of people but only capturing a blur of white and candle light as they talked and laughed at their chic, white picnic tables sharing wine and breaking bread with their loved ones.

I thought to myself, “If I were a Parisian, I’d be there wholeheartedly.” And I think I must have made a little wish in that moment, to be a part of that magic someday….

Flash forward 5 months and I’m back in Adelaide, sitting on the coach bus with some of my best friends (who need recognition and gratitude for going along with my eccentric and over enthusiastic pleading that we needed to experience this for the bucket list! I love you guys, thankyou for agreeing to support this fanatic), decked head to toe in white, even my shoes are white! (I painted them white with glitter).

 And we are packed and ready, travelling to a secret destination we have only been speculating on its whereabouts. The beach? The Barossa? Mount Lofty? Last year was the Adelaide Zoo... Where would you sum up the heart of our city and culture?... Answer: In the literal heart of our fair city, we were headed for Victoria Square! “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I think I need to back track a bit here and explain what Dîner en Blanc is and why we would get on a bus without knowing its destination first! Ok, so Dîner en Blanc started in 1988, launched by François Pasquier in Paris. He wanted to find his friends at a park for a picnic and suggested they all wear white to find each other easily. The rest is history.

It grew every year and the locations became more prestigious and eventually it spread overseas. On average Paris hosts nearly 15,000 people each year. This is Adelaide’s second year, hosting just over 900 people. 2500 have already signed up on the waiting list for next year.

“Guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of beauty and good taste. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society, and diners engage one another knowing they are taking part in a truly magical event.” – Dîner en Blanc Adelaide.

Once we arrived it was all systems go as hundreds of people began to alight from the many coach buses, in a really organized, elegant fashion. Our lovely leader Alice showed us where to set up our tables and chairs (we hired our chairs, brought a fold-up picnic table and strapped them to a collapsible sack-truck. Picnic crockery and food, etc. in large vintage picnic baskets).

We arrived at 7.30pm and were given a generous 45 minutes to set up and then once everyone was ready the signal was given to wave our white napkins in the air to signify it was time to eat and the picnic had officially begun! As part of the guidelines, you needed to bring a three-course picnic dinner, real crockery and cutlery and white cotton napkins.

(No plastic disposables!) This is for you. Feel special. You deserve to treat yourself once in a while, ok! In a group of four this was easy. One friend organized the antipasto, one friend did the main and the other friend did the dessert. I decorated our table with a white vintage bird cage, white roses, lots of battery-candles and silverware I’d collected from op shops.

It was delicious and also really nice to see everybody enjoying their food and laughing and smiling at this beautiful spectacle as the sun was starting to set and the last golden rays of light made everyone in white seem to glow. You felt special. Like you were getting married, except all the guests were too, thus a mass feeling of fabulousness was felt and the fairy tale was real.

Table decorations were stunning, everything from vintage parasols, to giant LED trees, to floral table pieces, giant roses, lights upon lights upon lights, it almost felt like the Diwali festival of light in India… Which brings us to the next part, my favourite part, the lighting of the sparklers to signify the dining part had ended and now the dancing could begin!

All 900+ people were given a sparkler each and on the signal they were lit up and what a sight! By now it was very dark, close to 9pm at night, and the sparklers were a sea of radiant, warm, ecstatic light all around you! When you stood up you could see it go on and on and on and the lights illuminated everyone’s faces and all you could see were smiles and laughter and the occasional smart phone selfie taking it all in!

People were in love with the sheer beauty and romanticism of what their eyes beheld. You were seeing it yet you were a part of it. As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” –The Great Gatsby. It was unforgettable.

 There was a wonderful band playing also, the singer had a great voice and did a fantastic cover of a Christina Aguilera song from Burlesque. The DJ also put on a great variety of music from different decades to suit our broad variety of guests of all ages, and I mean all ages! I hope that when I’m of an older age I am still going to this!

Once the dance floor had opened up, the rest of the night was beautifully cruisey. A great time to go have your photo taken professionally, dance every time a favourite song came on (‘Shake it Off’ by Taylor Swift – half the female population left their tables to dance), keep eating and drinking and enjoy each other’s company.
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
 I somehow found the time to design and sew my own fishtail skirt and wore a Butterfly headpiece I’d created years ago, and surprisingly …I won the prize for ‘Best Dressed Female’! 

(There were also prizes for Best Table Decoration and Best Dressed Male, who I saw was in the full white tux with a top hat and ruffle shirt! 

Kudos to you, sir! Considering it was quite a hot, balmy night!) –In our group we were having our own competition for whose white clothes could stay cleanest the longest! 

By 11.30pm, almost like the Cinderella fairy-tale, we packed up our enchanted memories of this night, made our way back onto the coach bus, and glided back into reality, wondering if this had really happened, could it ever be imitated? How much was real? As we smiled and wondered whether it was all not a dream? A dream I hope to have again next year… 

Thankyou to the Adelaide organisers, team leaders and Every. Single. Person. Involved in making this a reality. I wished for you in Paris. Thankyou for bringing the magic home to Adelaide.
Belinda xx
Instagram: @belinda_zanello_fashion