I’ve been flying high for the past 24 hours. “Why?” Do you ask? Because the last 24 hours has brought forth a duo of elevating revelations.

For full effect, please PLAY the following music video while reading this post.

‘I Still Call Australia Home’

Although I’m yet to demonstrate my music chops on this blog, this song invokes a deep sense of nostalgia from my high school musical days. In fact, 2 sweet memories flow into my mind whenever the first chords of this song are played. The first is, conducting the entire school singing this song at my last Speech Night. And the second is my very first international Qantas experience, flying to New Zealand with my big brass horn- all-expenses paid, for a music tour. Even back then, this song was indelibly linked with our iconic Aussie airline. Special thanks to the crew on that flight for not throwing us out for attempting to serenade the other passengers with this true-blue tune.

The first time I reclined on a leather sofa and sipped on a delicious Sauv Blanc at the Qantas Club Lounge was 4 years ago. I was anticipating my first trip to Paris. Both excited about the imminent future and still delirious from working a 12 hour shift at the vets, I had the lounge to thank for recharging my sanity. Fast forward to yesterday, as I munched on a gourmet lamington and sipped on another delightful Sauv Blanc, all I could think about was the mystery designer Qantas had newly appointed to herald the next incarnation of their wardrobe. It was at that point that I was struck with the first revelation. The Qantas Club was serving nachos! The rest of the night was a little lost in a haze of guacamole and delicious carbs.

If Revelation One got me off the ground, Revelation Number Two launched me into the stratosphere. I met up with Melbourne Girl and we hopped down to the Park Hyatt to attend the Qantas Media Launch where they revealed Martin Grant to be the next Qantas Designer. Seeing all the pretty models in a retrospective portrayal of the past Qantas uniforms (including designs by Yves Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci!) made me wish I ate less nachos. But then to see in the flesh a designer that I have admired since my teenage years (when I first started reading about him in Vogue) became the highlight of my whirlwind trip. Martin Grant, the Melbourne-born, Paris-based designer could not have been a more perfect fit for Qantas.

(Image Source: here)

A while back a friend and I visited Paris99 where she picked out a stunning Martin Grant frock. I was so shocked that she’d never heard of him. “But he’s so established!” I exclaimed. Despite his immense talent and international acclaim, sadly many Australians are not familiar with his work. In the past few decades, the quiet achiever has conquered the difficult European market with his signature sleek silhouettes and sumptuous fabrics in his Paris atelier. There are not many designers who have mastered bespoke tailoring quite like Martin Grant. His designs are utterly timeless, elegant and sophisticated. His clients are style icons, such as Cate Blanchett and Lauren Hutton, countless A-listers as well as royalty. So between designing his own ready-to-wear collections in Paris and fitting private clients, Martin Grant now has a new role that is destined to finally give him the recognition he deserves on his home turf. A French man once told me that in order for anyone to achieve true elegance, “you’d need to spend a lifetime in Paris.” If anyone can fuse Parisian elegance with the Australian spirit, it is Martin Grant.

 

Flying out of Melbourne all those years ago with my French horn in tow and that anthem on my lips, who could have predicted that one day it would be the Spirit of Australia calling Martin Grant home?

I can’t wait to see how he answers that call!

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What are your predictions for the Martin Grant era at Qantas? Did you enjoy the song?