A COMPLETE GUIDE TO BEACHES, RESTAURANTS + THINGS TO SEE AND DO

I debated writing this story as I really didn't want any more people to go to the island I have been taking my annual summer vacation on for the last 14 years and yet all my squirrelling away was foiled with the release of Mamma Mia 2 

 

Even though the island portrayed in the movie pretends to be set in Greece, it is really the island of Vis, a place far away from mainland Croatia in the indigo of the Adriatic sea scented by pine and wild flowering herbs. So how could anyone have kept something so magical a secret for so long?


Exploring a monastery in Thomas Puttick

Even though it was under siege throughout history, the 20th century saw the Yugoslav army seal the island off to the public in order to expand the military bases so it sank into obscurity for decades. Yet even with the fall of Yugoslavia, tourist invasion never came due to distance, as people tend to seek immediate gratification or flashier, more famous islands.


Catching up on books at Srebrna beach in Zimmermann

Stay
There are two harbour towns on the island. Vis town is the main port but do stay a 20 minute walk away in Kut, a 16th century stone cobbled hamlet where flowering capers climb walls, grandmas sell wine out of their basement and kids run the streets unsupervised. It’s as Adriatic as it used to be yet trendy restaurants and bars now dot the streets too. On the other side of the island there is Komiza, an old fisherman town where men still repair their nets by hand, streets drop off into the ocean and sunset swims are a must. The rest of the island is dotted with tiny villages, vineyards and beautiful little coves. Choose to stay somewhere central for convenience or secluded for privacy but do book soon as accommodation on the island is scarce, often booking out a whole year in advance. Try Airbnb for some incredible holiday rentals or a boutique hotel like San Giorgio.


Village lunching in a Matin Studio dress

Do
Take a speedboat or sailboat around the island starting with a skip to the islet of Biševo to see the Blue Grotto, then continue on to the majestic beach of Stiniva, followed by a visit to the Green Cave and lunch on the islet of Budikovac. Alternatively, hire a scooter and head into the green inner belly for a vineyard hop and beach cove discovery. There is also a tour of the abandoned military complex tunnels available for the adventurous.


Swimming in a Massimo Dutti shirt, Matteau swim bikini and White Story shorts

Eat

In Vis, Pojoda serves old school specialties, Villa Kaliopa is set in a beautiful garden, Konoba Lola has cocktails, a pretty yard and modernised favourites, Buffet Vis is all about the freshest seafood in an simple setting and Karijola is a pizza night favourite.

In Komiza, Jastozeria had a famous scene in Mamma Mia and that said table now has a special plaque but the lobster dishes haven’t changed. Konoba Bako is perfect for date night, so make sure you book a seaside table in advance and visit just before sunset. Restaurant Hum has yummy favourites and Fabrika is great for a burger or breakfast.

If you are inland or at the coves visit Gušti Poja, Aerodrom Gostionica, Roki’s Tavern Peruka at Stiniva, Konoba Senko, the restaurant on Budikovac and Stončica for lunch. Make sure you order ahead and do try the peka, lamb or octopus slow cooked under an iron bell inside a fire oven.


 Dinner at the table featured in the movie wearing Zimmermann and Stuart Weitzman

Drink:

Vis isn’t much of a party island like it’s flashier cousins but it does have some fun. My favourite is Lambik bar for a relaxed evening drink, or head to the centuries old Fort George for a late night DJ boosted boogie. Komiza sometimes has parties at Kamenica beach but I prefer to sample the unique native plavac mali red from the many wine bars and konobas instead
This story appeared on Vogue.com.au here!

The week started with rain so torrential, it was hard to imagine how anyone would get any Insta-perfect streetstyle photos. While photographers and the fashion pack breathed a relieved sigh on Monday when sunlight hit the pavement, fashion week was delivering all the colour, irreverent prints, summer ready dresses and gorgeous tailoring on the runways indoors.

It has been two decades this year since I walked numerous shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia as a budding model and such an honour to follow so many Australian designers’ careers from their very beginnings, witnessing their evolution from experimentation to the creation of unique style codes. I still get a kick out of seeing my favourite designers create something amazing, and this year was no exception. Here are the things I’m looking forward to wearing most from this homegrown bunch of standout creatives.

Alice McCall
Alice McCall always incorporates a lot of colour, playsuits and shorts so short that they make me wanna run to pilates but this year there was denim knee length dresses, sheer tops, printed pencil skirts and shorts reminiscent of bike pants to play with too. I was beckoned by gorgeous sheer cutout gowns and dance floor ready lame mini and maxi dresses in jewel colours.

 

Model wears Alice McCall gown and undergarments, Byfar x Net-a-Porter sandals, Chaumet tiara and earrings.

Romance Was Born
Romance Was Born held their show in the underground belly of restaurant Hubert, transformed into 1930s Paris art deco bohemia for the occasion, complete with a Judy Garland impersonator and a beautiful three course dinner. As the models twirled between the tables, the beauty and originality Romance Was Born creates each year stood out in all it’s sequined, silky, layered, batwinged, printed, lamé, iridescent and intricately beautiful glory.

Model wears Romance Was Born dress, Kate Sylvester x Pared sunglasses, Bulgari bag

Christopher Esber
Christopher Esber is a designer I have loved from the very beginning for his ability to turn separates into interesting pieces through the use of clever detailing and amazing fabrics and this season was no exception. Modern tailoring had buttons made with liquid, knitwear was beaded, skirts were slit to show a layer of lace—these are work to play investments that won’t age.

Camilla and Marc
Camilla and Marc celebrated 15 years in the industry with a spectacular show setting that looked like it was transported from the Outback. Long fringing, off the shoulder dresses, brocade, XXL bags, sleek leggings, tweed bike shorts, skirts over narrow pants, shoulder padded T-shirts  and oversized tailoring were standouts of the show that delivered something for everyone.

Model wears Camilla & Marc jacket, skirt and boots, Bulgari bag, Fendi sunglasses and Reliquia earrings

Lee Mathews
Lee Mathews has been around for years but the last few seasons the brand has really shone with it’s beautifully printed silk dresses, summer separates and clever prints made in beautiful fabrics. If you could encapsulate summer, it was this collection–I was envisaging floating on the Riviera shores in a trail of light as air silks.

Model wears Lee Mathews dress, Christian Louboutin slippers, Karen Walker sunglasses, Chaumet ring, Reliquia earring

Thomas Puttick
Thomas Puttick's collection had well cut tailoring and interesting shirting but also suit jacket minis, silky T-shirts, lace inlay dresses and perfectly cut pants. The collection offers something to satisfy the avant-garde modernist and the working girl alike, existing on the modern and very sellable precipice of luxury, comfort and cool 90s minimalism with an edge.

Model wears Thomas Puttick pants and dress, Bulgari necklace, Lonely lingerie bodysuit

Photography: Simon Lekias
Hair and Make up: Katie Angus using Giorgio Armani and Oribe
Model: Lilla from IMG
Styling and words: Tanja Gacic
This post appeared originally on vogue.com.au here!

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