lifestyle
lifestyle

Aussie Odyssey

The fashion and chic set unwind in New South Wales Southern Highlands.

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Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 09/29/2008
A large new Highlands fashion contingent includes designers Leona Edmiston, Lisa Ho and Rebecca Davies; retail developer Theo Onisforou; model-turned–designer/television personality Maggie Tabberer; model agents Kathy Ward and Peter Chadwick, and Australia’s premier multibrand fashion retailer Belinda Seper— who operates her 12-unit chain from her Sydney office and her home in Burradoo.

“It’s partially a bedroom suburb of Sydney now—people sleep up there but work in the city,” says John Large, who also splits his week between town and country.

In Large’s case, that’s one home in the exclusive Sydney Harbour–front suburb of Point Piper and 310 acres in Bowral that he has developed into the Highlands’ best-known winery and entertainment venue: Centennial Vineyards (whose next international act, on December 14, is Alicia Keys).

With 250 acres of grapes under plantation across 60-plus vineyards, viticulture is the Highlands’ latest buzz industry—and it has sprung up in less than a decade.

“I think Australia is starting to come to appreciate the delicacy of wines that are grown in a cool climate,” said Large, whose 17 award-winning products include sparkling wines, Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. “They have had their gut-full of Chardonnay from the hot areas that are big and full and oily and rich, and now they want something more delicate.”

From Monday to Friday, Chic Management director Ward oversees her Sydney agency’s growing roster of some of Australia’s hottest new modeling names such as Miranda Kerr, Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Alexandra Agoston, Stephanie Carta and fledglings Myf Shepherd and Sarah Stephens. But most Friday afternoons see Ward, a keen dressage rider, in a four-wheel drive loaded up with her two children, their friends and three of Ward’s eight horses—all en  route to the family’s picturesque 35-acre Kangaloon property, Fox Hill Farm.

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