A blockbuster comic book movie is hardly the most inspiring source text for a discussion of feminism — but since we are here, let’s talk about it like it was meant to be taken more seriously than any other male-led superhero movie seemed to be.

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Image: Warner Bros

The first instalment of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman celebrated unabashed female excellence. It made feminists cry. It broke box office records. And it reminded us that Hollywood still centres traditional male protagonists at the forefront of storytelling despite the financial pulling power of a female-led narrative.

So Wonder Woman 1984 was always going to be placed under microscopic scrutiny; not solely for the fact that it is the sequel to a successful female-led blockbuster, but also because we are in the post-glass-ceiling era. Gadot, for daring to conquer the glass mountain, found she was only to face the glass cliff; and critics’ hands were itching to join the line for a politically motivated push. …

There’s something for everyone less than a two hour drive from Melbourne. Stay close this holiday season and explore your own backyard in cosmopolitan Ballarat.

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As we venture a little closer to home in 2021 due to worldwide travel restrictions and concerns over a relentless global pandemic, it’s the perfect time to rediscover old favourites for long weekends away.

Try somewhere other than the beach this summer — here’s my fuss-free weekend itinerary for a decidedly cosmopolitan couple of days in Ballarat.

11.30am: Brunch at Johnny Alloo

Gift yourself a casual start, leaving Melbourne about 9.30am. …

It’s hard to wear pastels without looking dowdy — but these ten pieces will have you looking anything but. Here’s to the power of pastels.

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St Cloud Resort ’20 (Image provided)

Colour? For summer? Groundbreaking… but in real life, it can be hard to adjust from the blacks and greys of a winter wardrobe to the vibrant colour pop of a summer wardrobe. So this year, why not go a little lighter?

On trend for 20/21 summer are a set of delicious gelato pastels that are easy as pie to match back with any collection — add a pair of faded denim jean shorts and a classic white sneaker, and you’re ready to go. …

From the reflective salt plains of Lake Tyrrell to the pink lakes of the Murray-Sunset National Park, and the Red Cliffs just out of town, a long weekend in Mildura is a riot of colours that will definitely up your Instagram game.

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Mildura is a pretty town set on the banks of the great Murray River — a gateway to some of the best natural wonders in Australia — but this buzzing river city is often overlooked for a weekend road trip due to its distance from Melbourne.

The six hour drive certainly seems a lot on paper, but when you break it up with some excellent overnight stays it’s actually really doable for a solid four day long weekend. If you’re looking for a laid back adventure, you’d easily spend a week by exploring the national parks nearby. …

As we see an increase in popularity for podcasters, writers, and activists on our social platforms, we are also questioning the relevance of influencers who post a never-ending feed of paid and gifted products. So how do creators make money without ads?

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I recently unfollowed an influencer I had been following for a few years. It wasn’t the content that was the problem; her feed was filled with stylish, sepia-toned images of perfect outfits and filtered selfies. The problem was, every single image was sponsored. Or gifted. Or a collab.

It made me wonder: in a world where tokenistic activism is derided and your content authenticity is your social currency, is there still space for these kinds of shallow ad-fluencers? Don’t audiences want more than an endless feed of thinly veiled advertisements? …

In this month’s shopping column, we take a look at some of our favourite pieces for an Aussie summer to remember.

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Summer is coming, and with it the cautious easing of Coronavirus restrictions across Australia. As we approach the warmer months with a renewed optimism, it’s time to update your wardrobe — which probably hasn’t seen the light of day for a good few months now.

Here are my ten best buys as the weather warms up.

Trend: Statement Sleeves

It seems like after eight months of activewear we’re more keen than ever to go big. Statement detailing has been the cornerstone of spring trends overseas — shirring, tie details, volume — but it’s the sleeves that have it. …

Looking for a day trip from Melbourne? Here’s how to spend a day in pretty Trentham with your best furry friend in tow.

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Dog friendly day trips can be hard to organise — many national parks don’t allow dogs, and finding a sunny spot to while away the afternoon with a glass of wine can prove difficult with your furry friend in tow. Thankfully, Trentham is the perfect place for a day trip from Melbourne with your bestie.

Here’s my dog friendly guide to Trentham and surrounds.

Stop 1: Trentham Falls

Your first stop should undoubtedly be the stunning Trentham Falls lookout. It’s one of the longest single-drop waterfalls in Victoria, and when the water is raging in winter, it delivers an impressive shot for your Instagram. …

It was meant to be a celebration of Hollywood, but an unfocused collection rooted heavily in the 80s makes one question whether Viard has actually been to Tinseltown.

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When you think of laid-back LA style, do you think of Chanel? It seemed an impossible design reference to resolve, but then again so did supermarkets and Chanel. Unfortunately, Viard missed the mark in her latest collection for SS21 — and her lacklustre enthusiasm for Chanel’s historical sense of spectacle was never more obviously on show.

It’s a shame, really — I’m such a huge fan of Viard’s aesthetic. When she remains solidly within her world, she delivers a subtly radical vision for Coco’s label — herself a radical (if also problematic) woman. But here, attempting to wade in the shallow waters of the Hollywood glitterati? For a theme with so much potential, it was disappointingly devoid of drama. …

A look at the fashion industry’s obsession with trendsetting and cultivating popularity — and why it slows meaningful change.

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Image licensed from Unsplash

What’s the difference between fashion and style? Often when I ask that question, people tell me that style is in-built — a sense that one is born with, something they carry through their life.

Fashion, they tell me, is trends — cyclical, impermanent, and always moving.

The problem with trends is that they always expire. The very nature of the industry (and the marketing slog that goes with it) relies on the ebb and flow of trends to drive purchase. …

Also known as Gariwerd, The Grampians is home to some of the best hikes and mountain vistas in Victoria — and as an added bonus, it’s right next door to the historical Great Western wine region.

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As restrictions ease, but international travel still remains off the cards, Australians have been looking for local destinations to scratch their travelling itch. If stunning mountain vistas, prolific hiking tracks, and amazing wineries are on your list for the next getaway, Gariwerd (The Grampians) is just for you.

Here’s my ultimate guide to Gariwerd (The Grampians).

Day 1: The drive in

No matter which direction you’re coming into Gariwerd, you’ll most likely make a beeline for Halls Gap. It’s a popular base for all the key hikes and lookouts within the area, and it’s got some great accommodation options on offer for all budgets. …


Bianca O'Neill

Features at Rolling Stone. Fashion and Beauty at Broadsheet. Editor of Medium publications @the-style-list and @the-travel-list. Instagram @ bianca.oneill.

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