The Hottest Fashion, Food And Drinks For 2016
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The Hottest Fashion, Food And Drinks for 2016

WHAT faces, trends and topics will we be talking about over the next 12 months? STM breaks out the crystal ball for the Top 100 Hotlist.

Here are the fashion, food and drinks to try and taste in 2016.

DÎNER EN BLANC

It will be one of the hottest events in town — a chic, mass pop-up picnic at a secret location where diners dress entirely in white.

Dîner en Blanc (dinner in white) began in Paris in 1988 and has grown into an international phenomenon with 100,000 members in 65 cities.

The rules are strict: BYO (white) tables, chairs, tablecloths, candelabra, china and silverware, gourmet food only, and no beer — just wine and champagne. Women should sit on one side, men on the other and, of course, dress stylishly head-to-toe in white.

Invitations can only be sourced through invited friends, or by registering online.

According to the Perth organisers, there has already been an overwhelming response to the March 20 event with 2500 people expressing interest online.

Adding to the mystery, the location will only be revealed at the last minute. Whether that many people can keep a secret in an age of social media remains to be seen. Get your name on the list at perth.dinerenblanc.info/register.

I WOKE UP LIKE THIS

Next time you sleep in, don’t bother changing out of your pyjamas because you probably woke up #flawless.

Satin pyjamas and the slip dress are creeping out of the bedroom and on to the runways of designers from Givenchy to Calvin Klein as the ultimate way to dress down.

The designers are pairing PJs with crisp white sneakers and the slip dress with an overcoat and stilettos for a chic, minimalist look.

WILD WILD WEST

Saddle up for the ultimate way to accessorise in 2016, with all things western appearing on the biggest runways of the fashion world.

Chanel adorned its models in star-studded occasion dresses and denim jackets with pussy-bows around their necks, while Tommy Hilfiger embraced tan suede and cowboy-style floral embroidery.

Rebecca Minkoff and Burberry sent fringed heels and metal-tipped cowboy boots down the runway, while on the streets Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez have been snapped wearing the “It Girl” accessory of the year, the western belt.

These come in studded, double-buckled and metallic varieties, and are a major 2016 fashion investment.

ORANGE

It really is the new black, so say designers Dion Lee, Adam Selman and Altuzarra.

Wear it bold, fluoro or in a lighter tone.

SI SEÑORITA

If you would rather be sipping sangria in the sun, then you are going to love the Spanish fashion trend this year.

Bold red hues, black lace detailing and flourishing layered fabrics will be all the rage in 2016.

Interpret the Spanish trend on a local level with WA designer Sea Dreamer and its latest collection of fabulous, feminine pieces.

BANG ON TREND

Whether they’re straight up and blunt, or softly swept to the side, hair fringes are so hot that people are even investing in fake clip-ons.

Models walking for Prada and Alexander Wang have been spotted sporting the new style.

BLOCK OUT

Size matters and the chunkier your heels, the better, with block heels figuring in major shoe trends all year round. Chunky-heeled sandals made their way down the runway at Michael Kors and are the perfect comfort shoe in warmer weather, while we can thank Marc Jacobs for incorporating the block heel into the label’s latex boots for the cooler seasons. Mules were one of 2015’s biggest shoe trends, and fashionistas evening dresses are rejoicing that they are sticking around, with thick, geometric block heels breathing new life into the style.

Wooden block heels are set to stay courtesy of the ’70s revival and as a bonus they are transitioning into the cowgirl trend.

RICE WINE

Japan’s spiritual drink, is all the rage at flash Perth bars and eateries.

MARGARET RIVER FOOD

With two new breweries and several new cafes, Margaret River’s main drag is living up to its latest accolade — that of Australia’s must-visit food region, as voted by Australian Traveller readers.

The region’s famed Gourmet Escape has seen it noticed well beyond our borders.

It’s also become a fave hangout of actor Toni Collette, who fell for the vineyards, untarnished coast and towering forests while here filming an adaptation of the novel Jasper Jones.

Plus, Yallingup Wood Fired Bread has now opened up a Margaret River branch, adding another compelling reason for us to head south.

NATURAL WINES

Wines made with minimal intervention will be the drop of choice this year, particularly for those seeking out pure, authentic flavours.

Si Vintners in Margaret River is well ahead of the curve, having marked itself as a filtration-free, natural winemaker since hitting the market in 2012.

Others, such as Happs are playing with the trend — it has a PF (preservative-free) line — while boutique winemakers such as Cloudburst, Sam Vinciullo and Blind Corner are wowing aficionados.

In the Great Southern labels such as Freehand — where the biodynamic grapes are hand-picked — and Oranje Tractor are also going au naturel.

BATCHED COCKTAILS

Pre-made drinks are back in vogue. Sure, it’s nice when a bartender takes the time to carefully muddle and stir an Old Fashioned from scratch, but when it’s a Friday night and the bar is three-deep?

Not so much (especially if you’re part of that thirsty, human throng waiting to order).

Although not every cocktail lends itself to being made ahead of time, booze-heavy libations such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned are excellent candidates for making up a big batch.

Throwing a party? Batching is an equally handy trick to have up your sleeve when entertaining at home.

CHENIN BLANC

Not all chenin blancs are created equal, nor are they all sweet, easy-drinking wines.

Many Margaret River producers, for instance, are making textured, serious dry whites from the variety. Notable exponents are new-generation winemakers Kate Morgan from Ipso Facto and Nic Peterkin from LAS Vino.

In South Africa, winemakers in regions like Stellenbosch are known for their rich, barrel-fermented chenin expressions. France’s Loire Valley, the grape’s spiritual home, continues its benchmark offerings such as Vouvray and Touraine.

BAIJIU

“Few drinks are as widely consumed and misunderstood as baijiu.”

So begins the introduction to Derek Sandhaus’s Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits.

High in proof, potent in taste, Chinese spirits won’t, admittedly, be everyone’s cup of tea, but for adventurous types planet baijiu is an enthralling place to explore.

From the punch of China’s world-famous Moutai to the citrus twang of new creations, such as the American-made Byejoe (which is, incidentally, how you pronounce the spirit’s name), keep an eye out for baijiu in 2016.

There’s something warm, tangible and fuzzy about listening to a record play. We hope that bar owners continue to support the musos and labels who are keeping the analogue format alive.

WORLD OF WHISKY

At last! You’ve got the hang of all those tricky Scottish pronunciations and memorised the differences between rye and bourbon.

For your next lesson in whisky appreciation, it’s time to turn your attention to distilleries beyond Scotland and America. Australian whisky, for example, keeps going from strength to strength, as does the Japanese, arguably the hottest thing in whisky circles.

Don’t dismiss the little guys, either. Believe it or not, distillers in India and Taiwan are among the countries making truly world-class whisky. In short, it’s an exciting time to give a dram.

NEAT COCKTAILS

Whisky lovers sip spirits at room temperature to better appreciate a drink’s nuances. Why not apply the same thinking to cocktails?

The “neat” or no-ice cocktail might be one of the drinks scene’s more out-there trends, but for those who like their beverages bold and punchy, it’s worth exploring. One of the movement’s best-known exponents is the Black Rock Chiller, a creation of Sother Teague at Amor y Amargo, a “bitters tasting room” in New York.

Consisting of equal parts tequila, Branca Menta and the gentian liqueur Suze, this bracing pick-me-up is one of the most fascinating drinks in the modern cocktail canon. That’s not least because, despite a lack of ice, the Black Rock Chiller still tastes cold.

BARS BY THE BEACH

Few things are as West Australian as being able to enjoy a drink by the beach, and the coming crop of beachside bars looks set to maintain this tradition.

Scarborough’s El Grotto was one of the first cabs off the rank and has set a new standard for existing and future venues in Scarbs.

A little farther down the coast, Odyssea and Hamptons bar and grill are two of the venues linked to the new City.

BOWLS

It’s the brekkie-bar trend sweeping Australia, delivering a flavour punch and hefty health hit in one.

bowls are made from superfood, the Brazilian berry, and are served as a thick, purple purée — almost like gelato — rimmed with fresh fruit, seeds and crunchy nuts.

Hylin in West Leederville does a ripper, or try the goodness at nearby Pixel Coffee Brewers, or the dedicated Ohana Bar in Fremantle.

AMARANTH

This ancient, straw-coloured seed loved by the Aztecs is being touted as the next quinoa.

It’s well credentialed, being gluten-free, protein-rich and packing in a load of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B and potassium, plus eight essential amino acids.

Notice it popping up at edgy and nutrition-conscious restaurants in 2016 — Restaurant Amusé already has it on its menu.

Or be a trendy home cook and throw it in your next granola, pancake mix or couscous.

Chances are you’ll already have the popular crimson plant growing in your garden — and its leaves are edible, too.

SAVOURY DESSERTS

Desserts will be big in 2016, but not as we know them. From matcha croissants to burnt pineapple sorbets, they’ll no longer be tooth-achingly sweet.

Petition Kitchen is dishing up elderflower granita with raspberry, prosecco and ricotta, while The Trustee is doing a goat’s curd cheesecake on lemon myrtle crumb with a rhubarb gel.

Vegetable desserts are also on the rise.

Carrot cake is making a big comeback — Sherbet bakes a classic, with vanilla cream cheese icing and walnut praline.

PORCH & PARLOUR

It’s the Sydney surfside hot spot where the likes of celebs Sam Worthington, Lara Bingle and Vince Vaughn enjoy a cuppa — and it’s run by a West Australian couple who five years ago decided to pack their bags and head east with dreams of running a cafe.

Chef Sam Smith and Sarah Hendricks, whose background is in marketing, own the hip Porch and Parlour all-day cafe in Bondi — and they’re planning to bring their successful formula back to WA in the next few years.

SOUR FLAVOURS

Gum giant Wrigley has named 2016 the year of SOUR FLAVOURS. Prepare to pucker up.

THE LAST DROP

At $9000 a bottle you’d want to be drinking every last drop.

The Last Drop 1967 Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky is new to Australia, as is the Last Drop 48 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky at $5500. Only 118 bottles and 592 bottles respectively are in Australia.

They’re available at Dan Murphy’s.


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