Aussie label killing it in the States

IT has been worn by some of the world’s most famous bodies … from Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians to Elle Macpherson.

Now Sydney-based activewear label P.E Nation is taking on the lucrative American retail market in a huge way.

“The US actually is our biggest market, it has surpassed Australia,” P.E Nation co-founder and designer Pip Edwards said.

“I was calling it (a recent US trip) ‘Pip for President’ at one point … it’s such a big market for us.

“We have had a lot of interest — we will be spending a lot more time over there.”

P.E Nation already has a string of US stockists, including department stores Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, as well as Shopbop and Revolve (in Australia, it is sold in David Jones, as well as Stylerunner, The Iconic and its own site pe-nation.com, among others).

The buzzy brand — known for cool-girl staples of leggings, crop tops, tanks and jackets — has also released a second capsule collection for Soulcycle, the popular US cycling fitness chain.

Edwards said there are also plans in the works for New York fashion week in September.

“I think we are heading back in September to have a presence during fashion week for more retail activations and meeting with press,” Edwards said.

CELEBRITY FOLLOWING

Kylie Jenner and her sisters Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have all sported P.E Nation, even taking to their influential Instagram and Snapchat feeds to spruik the brand.

“We still high-five when we see the Kardashians (wearing the brand),” Edwards said. “They’re such a powerful family.”

P.E Nation is nominated for Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s National Designer Award, to be announced next week.

“It’s exciting for an active brand to be recognised on a designer stage,” Edwards said.

“It’s our goal to become a household name — that will definitely elevate us to the next level.

Her latest obsession? Body-sculpting P.E Nation bike shorts, as seen on Jenner.

“I am obsessed with bike shorts. It has a retro, 80s, Let’s Get Physical vibe, that’s why I like the bike shorts,” Edwards told News Corp Australia today.

“Anything with bike shorts and an oversized tee, that’s the streetwear look of the moment. People are sending bike shorts down the runway. Balenciaga has done them, it’s never been bigger than right now.”

So how do you pull off bike shorts, P.E Nation-style?

“It’s about proportion. Wear it with an oversized tee or an oversized sweat (top), with socks and trainers, and a massive jacket,” Edwards said.

“That’s how I would see it. I’m not a heels person when it comes to tights. That would probably be my no-go zone.”

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Fedtival’s National Designer Award presented by David Jones will be announced on March 1.

P.E Nation will feature in Runway 6 and at GQ’s Menswear Runway at VAMFF. See vamff.com.au for ticket details.

Kate glows at designer fashion event

A GLOWING Kate Middleton used a stunning print dress to show off her baby bump as she entertained guests at a lavish Buckingham Palace reception.

The Duchess of Cambridge plumped for the stunning black Edrem number just hours after she was criticised for failing to wear black to the BAFTAs as part of a campaign highlighting sex harassment, reports The Sun.

Kate was hosting a reception for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, which aims to create partnerships between designing talent in Commonwealth countries.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was also expected to attend the event.

In London to discuss Australian Foreign Policy and the benefits of free trade agreements, Bishop has made time to take on another, less official role, as “Fashion Minister”.

Hosting the best of British fashion event with Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer earlier this week, Bishop caught up Australian designer Willow — who was chosen to be part of the inaugural Commonwealth Exchange Program.

Of her own style, Ms Bishop told News Corp in 2014 that she prefers to buy “investment pieces” but is careful to live within her means.

“I’m careful with what I spend but I also try to buy clothes that will promote an appropriate image for Australia,” she said.

She said she’s a fan of Armani and Isabel Aujoulet, as well as Louis Vuittonand Christian Louboutin shoes.

She was accompanied by the Countess of Wessex, who chose a simple striped Burberry dress.

Kate tenderly rested her hands on her bump as she chatted to a star-studded guest list that included designer Stella McCartney, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and America Vogue editor Dame Anna Wintour.

Kate is expecting her third child with Prince William in April.

She is already mother to four-year-old Prince George and two-year-old Princess Charlotte.

The Duchess made her first public appearance after announcing the pregnancy on World Mental Health Day after missing every official engagement for more than a month.

The time off sparked fears that she could be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness), which may have forced her to announce the pregnancy early.

This story first appeared in The Sun.

Holes in kidnapped model’s weird story

SNATCHED on a bogus photo shoot, a needle plunged into her arm, awakening bound and drugged, certain she would be sold into sex slavery.

It’s a nightmare almost beyond comprehension, and one that made sickening headlines when the world discovered it had allegedly happened to UK glamour model Chloe Ayling in Italy last July.

But then, amid the shock and outpouring of sympathy and the arrest of Lukasz Pawel Herba, on charges of kidnapping for ransom, with his brother, Michal, also accused of being involved, came the questions. The details that some thought didn’t add up.

As she broke down in interviews detailing her ordeal, Ms Ayling did not find universal sympathy, with some questioning her “odd” behaviour”.

Why was she alternatively chirpy and heartbroken as she spoke about the kidnap? Why, when her captor took her to buy shoes during the six days she was held hostage, didn’t she run? And when she was freed, why didn’t she initially mention the trip to police?

She’d said her mouth was taped, so how did she yell at the driver of the car when she was bundled into its boot?

And why her captor’s sudden change of heart? He released her after six days, she says, when he discovered she was a young mother.

Could it all have been a publicity stunt? Certainly, that’s what Herba claimed, telling a court in December he and Ms Ayling had orchestrated the whole thing together.

The Milan court dismissed the claims the 20-year-old mum of one was in on the crime.

But still the questions persisted.

LURED, DRUGGED AND HANDCUFFED

No matter how many times Ms Ayling denies the accusation, the doubts continue to dog her, even as Herba went on trial earlier this month in Italy for the kidnapping.

She tells 60 Minutes in an exclusive interview this week she is the victim, not the mastermind, of an elaborate publicity scam.

In court last week, Italian investigators and police testified Ms Ayling suffered physical violence, including being drugged, handcuffed and “brutally transported in luggage” when lured to Milan for an alleged modelling job which saw her held for six days at a farm near Turin.

But when his lawyers backed his claims the kidnap had been a publicity stunt, and offered explosive CCTV footage of her holding hands with him as they shopped for shoes during her captivity, the doubt in the court of public opinion surfaced again.

Ms Ayling wasn’t there to fight the claims: she’s been excused from testifying, although Herba’s lawyers are fighting that decision. Instead, she was reportedly off skiing, having jetted to Switzerland ahead of the trial.

But not before her lawyer told the BBC she was “saddened” many people did not believe she’d been kidnapped.

Ms Ayling’s lawyer, Francesco Pesce, said his client had been terrorised and threatened with death. He said she had suffered mental and physical abuse during the six-day ordeal last July, and that Ms Ayling would not give evidence in court because she did not want to see her alleged kidnapper’s face again.

He said she had been interrogated for almost 13 hours last August and her request not to return to Italy for the trial had been granted.

“She’s had enough,” he said.

‘THEY ARE GUILTY’

Ms Ayling’s 60 Minutes appearance sees her undergoing a grilling about the ordeal at the hands of reporter Liam Bartlett.

Asked if she is offended there are people who suspect she masterminded the whole thing and made the story up, she tells Bartlett: “It doesn’t offend me, no.”

She added: “Because I get it, there are people just picking parts of the story … So I see why people have doubts, because if it wasn’t me, I would think it was just crazy.”

She says she is “100 per cent” certain the brothers are guilty.

If they are locked up forever, she says, “well, so they deserve it”.

Bartlett quizzes her on omissions and inconsistencies in her story, including why she did not tell Italian police she’d been shoe shopping with one of her alleged abductors during the ordeal.

“I’ve heard of Stockholm syndrome, but not shoe shopping syndrome,” he observes.

When the BBC asked Mr Pesce about the hand-holding, he said “there is nothing to defend”.

“She doesn’t appear to be happy or smiley — she acts like a hostage,” he said.

“She was being terrorised by this man, who kidnapped her and took her to a place in the middle of nowhere. It was psychological terrorism.

“She wanted to stay on his good side — as the alternative was to die.”

‘I CAN’T FIGHT OFF TWO GROWN MEN’

Reliving the moment she was allegedly abducted, Ms Ayling tells 60 Minutes: “I was about to put my hand on the door that said ‘Studio’, just to open it, check if anyone was there and what’s when I was attacked from behind.

“One person put his arm around my neck and the other hand with a glove on my mouth and my nose. And another masked man rushed in front of me and held a syringe to my arm.

“Obviously, I was trying to fight back because I didn’t want that to go into my arm.

“I was trying to make a fist, but I can’t fight off two grown men, so they managed to get the syringe into my wrist and then I was unconscious.”

She opened her eyes to discover “restraints on my mouth”, she said.

“I didn’t know what it was at first. And I had hands in my handcuffs, and my ankles were handcuffed as well,” she says.

“I was trying to feel where I am, I heard the engine so I knew I was in a moving car. I started shouting ‘driver!’ like as loud as I could.

“They didn’t say anything. Not a word.”

She says she was injected with Ketamine. Bartlett observes Ketamine can also be “a party drug, can’t it?”, and asks, “Have you ever had it before?”

She replies: “No. I don’t do drugs, I don’t even drink, really.”

If convicted, Herba faces up to 25 years in prison for abduction. His trial continues.

60 Minutes airs on Sunday at 8.40pm on Channel 9

How to throw a star-studded party

THEY’VE thrown VVVIP parties attended by Rihanna, Kylie Jenner and Leonardo DiCaprio, including one held in an aeroplane hanger.

Welcome to the world of Melbourne streetwear label, Nana Judy.

The clothing brand — which began in a garage in Kensington — is known for its androgynous streetwear, monochrome tones and seriously famous fans.

“I started the brand when I was 19. We launched big really fast,” said Nana Judy founder Glenn Coleman.

Nana Judy invests seriously big bucks into events held at Splendour in the Grass, Coachella, US nightclub group 1OAK, and For The Love — a boutique, day-long music and lifestyle event on in Melbourne today.

So what makes a party top-notch?

Coleman, back Down Under after a recent trip to Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas (where Nana Judy presented at Liberty Fairs trade show), should know.

“Obviously good artists … the second one is free alcohol. And the people,” Coleman said.

Founded in 2006 as a contemporary premium streetwear brand, Nana Judy expanded into women’s wear after starting off with designs for the boys.

Nana Judy has its sights set on America, with an office on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood, a showroom in the Big Apple, and plans to open a stand-alone store in Los Angeles’ fashion district (its US stockists already include mega-department store, Bloomingdales).

“We do lots of premium fabrics and details. The celebrities that wear it … we’re organic and cool and people can see that. There’s a culture behind us,” Coleman told News Corp Australia.

So how do you get professional party girl Rihanna to turn up to your event?

“We invited her! A lot of artists wear our clothes, they’re aware of it. They sort of roll in the same places,” Coleman said.

“We were in a booth with her — she was there for like a couple of hours, I think.

“We have the foundations for a great party … we had this airport hanger and built a stage.”

For The Love features Hayden James, Thomas Jack, Dom Dolla, London Topaz, Lastlings and Piero.

Why Tony Abbott went to a gay wedding

HER parents voted ‘No’ in last years same-sex marriage postal vote. Her brother, Tony Abbott, actively campaigned against it.

But when Christine Forster married long-time partner Virginia Edwards last Friday, they were there to join the celebrations.

The only sad note was Christine wishing her father, Dick Abbott, who passed away just before Christmas, could have been there to celebrate.

But there were times that both the wedding — and having her family in attendance — seemed impossible, Christine told ABC’s Australian Story on Monday.

While some wonder how the former PM could have the hide to fight so hard against his sister having the right to marry, then front at the wedding., the nuptials showed not even diametrically-opposed views could overcome, in the end, the family bonds of the Abbotts, Christine and Virginia revealed.

“Tony and I, I hope, we have been able to demonstrate that even though we have diametrically opposed views, and sometimes one or the other might say something that really pisses the other off, ultimately you keep it respectful, you still love each other, you’re still family. And it’s not any reason to have a cataclysmic bust-up,” Christine said.

Even amid the regret for the heartbreak their journey to the altar had caused, Australian Story revealed lighter times: like how Tony was looking forward to a wedding he hadn’t yet been invited to.

And how mum, Fay, “resurrected” a navy dress for the wedding she’d bought “because I might have needed it for the Liberal party, before Tony got the knife”.

TONY ALMOST DIDN’T GET AN INVITE

Watching footage off Abbott in the wake of the success of the Yes vote, in which Tony said: “I certainly don’t pretend to be an overnight convert to support the same sex marriage, but I am looking forward to attending the marriage of my sister Christine to her partner, Virginia.”. Christine was quick on the draw.

“And I thought that was a bit presumptuous. Um, you haven’t got your invitation yet, buddy,” she said.

“But I expect him to be there.”

It may have been touch and go at some times of the debate, but Christine revealed Abbott was always on the invite list.

In fact, as two families reeled from the bombshell of both women breaking up their marriages to be with each other, it was Tony and wife Margie who had been the first to welcome the Christine and Virginia into their home.

But the show revealed the pair’s journey was far from plain sailing.

CRACKS IN PERFECT MARRIAGE

FROM the outside, Christine Forster’s marriage looked perfect.

Husband, kids, love, great family, and friends.

Christine was the linchpin — the busy mum, The one who had her parents and grandparents over for dinner every Sunday.

Christine’s sister, Pip thought the marriage was “ideal”.

Until the bombshell.

In 2008, Christine and Virginia, both married, with six kids between them, met dropping their sons off at daycare.

The clicked, and quickly became best friends.

And then, they realised it was something more.

“I fell in love with her and I fell hard,” said Christine, who told Australian Story she had come to the “slow realisation” in her 30s that she was sexually attracted to women.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks and it was terrifying. It was something I just couldn’t control, it was such an overwhelming emotion.”

“If I’d grown up in a bohemian environment, I probably would’ve come out at the age of 18 or 19, but I grew up in a family where your values were Menzies-era.

“You couldn’t consider being gay, that wasn’t part of our world.”

The two women wrestled with their realisation, and the devastating impact it would have on far more than just them.

They had an affair, then broke it off.

A year later they did the unthinkable.

“We had six children and two families that were going to be catastrophically blown off the planet by Christine and I doing what we needed to do, and that was to be together,” Virginia told Australian Story.

They announced they were each leaving the marriages. They’d met someone else. And they were gay.

REGRET

“If I could have my time over again, I would have done many things differently. I made mistake, after mistake, after mistake which, I know, has hurt many of the people involved and … I really regret that,” Christine said.

“The girls were in their teens and that’s a particularly sensitive period for any girl. Here they are the girls are just getting to the point in their lives where they need their mum the most.

“And I was just caught up in something that, you know, a maelstrom of, of emotion and, and, and having to deal with, you know, the, this major crisis of my own. And I know that I wasn’t there for them when they, when they needed me.”

To say her parents were shocked was “and understatement”.

“We had had marriage breakdowns in my family. My sister Pip’s marriage had ended, and that didn’t cause the seismic ructions that the end of my marriage did,” Christine said.

“Dad particularly expressed his unhappiness with what was happening.”

Virginia’s daughter hated Christine for the first year — “she was a friend that had been a part of the family and that had come in and almost taken my mum from my dad.”.

She’s says she softened when she saw the strength of the pair’s love.

TONY

Long before last year’s same-sex marriage debate, Christine and Tony had clashed publicly on the issue.

“Tony’s version of marriage is not the same as mine. End of story,” Christine said.

Yet Tony and wife Margie “got their heads around the whole bombshell probably quicker than any other members of my family,” Christine said.

They were first to welcome the new couple into their home.

But as the same-sex marriage debate gathered force, the brother and sisters’ diametrically opposed views were increasingly played out in public.

“And we had these cycles of hope and then let down, hope and then let down in terms of political outcomes,” Christine said.

“And most of those let downs were due to my brother, to be honest.

“We’d all build up our hopes that we were going to get a conscience vote, and then Tony would kibosh it.”

When Tony questioned the role of her and Virginia as parents during a radio interview, Virginia had had enough.

She pulled him aside, furiously, privately.

“It’s not okay to use your sister as a political football,” she told him.

Tony told Australian Story it was“very sad, what happened”.

“But in the end, everyone has to accept that for Chris, things changed, and we have to adjust accordingly. We don’t have to agree with everyone, even our closest friends, even family members,” he said.

“I accept that people do disagree. It doesn’t mean they don’t like each other. It doesn’t mean they can’t love each other. We don’t have to agree with everyone, even our closest friends, even family members.”

As he walked into the wedding last week, he said he was looking forward to welcoming his sister-in-law to the family.

Kardashian word will get you kicked out

THEY may have become insanely rich through their American reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians but there’s one place the world’s most famous blended family — or anyone who sounds like them — is not welcome and it’s in a New York City dive bar.

The Continental bar in NYC posted a sign in the window of the neighbourhood joint notifying patrons that they have just five minutes to finish their drinks and get out before they are thrown out if they use the word “literally.”

The owner of the bar, which is located in the trendy East Village, is not tolerating the influence of America’s First Family of overexposure and is on a crusade to save the English language from “Kardashianism”.

“This is the most overused, annoying word in the English language and we will not tolerate it,” reads the sign.

Patrons who start a sentence with “I literally” will be asked to leave immediately.

“STOP KARDASHIANISM NOW!” announces the sign.

But the bar has received some backlash over the linguistic ban, with critics taking to Twitter to call the rule ridiculous and accuse the bar of being too old school.

Others doubted that the Kardashians or anyone like them would even set foot in the bar, with one comment saying the Continental is strictly low rent.

“They serve 5 shots for $12, the only people wearing vests are construction workers” quipped one Twitter user.

Man’s horrifying discovery will put you off sushi

A California man who ate sushi every day ended up with a 5-foot-plus long tapeworm inhabiting his body. The men went to the emergency room complaining of bloody diarrhoea, according to Dr. Kenny Bahn, who shared the story of his patient on the podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit.

The emergency room physician was initially sceptical when the man insisted to residents at Community Regional Medical Center, “I really want to get treated for worms” until he saw for himself the disgusting proof.

“I take out a toilet paper roll, and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,” Bahn said on the podcast.

After being unravelled, the tapeworm ended up being 5-and-a-half feet long. Bahn recalled how the patient said he felt the worm “wiggling out” and felt like “his guts were coming out” as he sat on the toilet. He then, began to remove the worm, which started moving.

Bahn said the man was relieved it was a tapeworm. The patient was treated with medication to help remove the rest of the worm from his body. Boh Bahn and the patient agreed that his regular diet of raw fish was the likely cause of the monster worm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study last year pointing out that wild-caught salmon caught off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm.

The California resident said he won’t be eating salmon anytime soon.

This story originally appeared in Fox News and is republished here with permission.