The Grande Dames Society’s Favourite Upcoming Event: The Mayhem, Masked Ball At Elizabeth Bay House

For one night only, go back in time to the 1930s when Elizabeth Bay House played host to decadent parties. With a story to tell in every room, get ready for an evening of mayhem and a masked ball as you’ve never experienced before.
FRIDAY 8 MAY 2015 6.30PM–9.30PM
For more information click here:


Basilica Couture’s Inspiration: The Head Scarf.

The Basilica Couture Blog

Basilica Couture has always been inspired by Hollywood actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.
They wore head scarves, that framed their greatest asset, their faces and it was the most popular accessory of the time. It also protected their hair from the elements and so for whatever reason women of different races, faiths and social standings, still wear them, we think that it’s a beautiful accessory. 
Images in the media following the Martin Place tragedy showing the outpouring of floral arrangements, showed photos of Muslim women wearing their scarves, laying flowers, but unfortunately the minority of Australians still find these offensive and put targets on these women.
We would love to bring back the head scarf and have all women wear a head scarf, to show that we are the most socialised and stronger sex and that a scarf isn’t a weapon and doesn’t define our rights…

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20 Unbelievable Reasons To Start Your Day With Water & Lemon.

This is what happens to your body if you drink warm honey-lemon water in the morning:
Adding lemon to water not only quenches thirst better than any other beverage, but it also nourishes our body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements which we absolutely need. Lemon with water can be considered the best natural energy booster. When we wake up in the morning, our bodily tissues are dehydrated and are in need of water to push out toxins and rejuvenate the cells. In other words, this homemade “lemonade” helps eliminate internal toxins, regulating proper kidney and digestive tract functions by forcing them to work as smoothly as possible.

20 Unbelievable Reasons To Start Your Day With Water and Lemon.
1. Water with lemon provides the body with electrolytes which hydrate your body. As lemons contain good amount of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
2. Water with lemon is good for the joints, reducing pain in the joints and muscles.
3. Warm water with lemon helps digestion as lemon contains citric acid. It interacts with other enzymes and acids which easily stimulate the secretion of gastric juice and digestion.
4. The liver produces more enzymes from water with lemon than from any other food.
Water with lemon cleanses the liver. Lemon juice stimulates the liver to release toxins.
5. Water with Lemon helps fight infections of the respiratory tract, sore throats and inflammation of the tonsils. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of lemon.
6. Warm water with lemon helps regulate natural bowel movement.
7. Water with lemon is indispensable for the normal work of metabolism. Since lemon is a powerful antioxidant, it protects the body from free radicals and strengthens the immune system.
8. Water with lemon aids in proper functioning of the nervous system (as lemon has a high content of potassium).Depression and anxiety are often the result of low levels of potassium in the blood.
9. The nervous system needs a sufficient amount of potassium to ensure sustainable signals to the heart.
10. Water with lemon cleanses blood, blood vessels and arteries.
11. Water with lemon can help lower blood pressure. A daily intake of one lemon can reduce high blood pressure by 10%.
12. Water with lemon creates an alkalizing effect in the body. Even if you drink it immediately before a meal, it can help your body maintain a higher level of pH. The higher the pH, the more your body is able to fight diseases.
13. Water with lemon is good for the skin. Vitamin C in lemon, improves our skin by rejuvenating the body. Drinking water with lemon regularly (every morning) will improve the condition of your skin.
14. Water with lemon helps to dilute uric acid, the built up of which leads to pain in the joints and gout.
15.Water with lemon is beneficial for pregnant women. Since lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, it acts as an adaptogen helping the body cope with viruses such as colds. Furthermore, vitamin C helps the formation of bone tissue of the unborn baby. At the same time, due to the high content of potassium, a mixture of water with lemon helps forming cells of the brain and nervous system of the baby.
16. Water with lemon relieves heartburn. For this, mix a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.
17. Water with lemon helps dissolve gallstones, kidney stones, pancreatic stones, and calcium deposits.
18. Water with lemon helps with weight loss. Lemons contain pectin fiber, which helps suppress hunger cravings. Studies have proven people with a better alkaline diet have lost weight faster.
19. Water with lemon helps with tooth pain and gingivitis.
20. Water with lemon prevents cancer. This is due to the fact that lemons are a highly alkaline food. Multiple studies have found that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.

How and when to drink water with lemon:
For this purpose, use warm purified or spring water. Take half a Cup of warm water without sugar and squeeze in there at least half of lemon or lime. Better to use a special juicer (to get the most juice with minimal effort).
You need to drink water with lemon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Some recommend a drink of water one hour before meals for maximum results.
So, when life gives you a bunch of lemons, make water with lemons.
Article originally published on .

Madonna’s Topless Photos Are A Triumph For All Women – Whatever Their Age

There’s no denying it. The last few weeks have seen the cup of celebrity naked flesh runneth over. And I’m not even talking about that jungle reality show.
Today, it emerged that the ‘Queen of Pop’ has posed, topless, for a spread in the December issue of Interview magazine. Wearing a bustier and leather glove, she reclines on a satin cushion, her hand to her forehead, her boobs bared.
It’s styled as a romantic image – very different to the black and white Knightley shot (which appeared in the same publication back in September), where she stared confidently down the camera, hands on hips.
At the time, I wrote a piece defending Knightley’s right to be photographed topless. It was, I said, a feminist statement from a woman who’d been roundly criticised for having her modest cleavage digitally enhanced on film posters. Here she was, in all her natural glory. Hur-rah.
Her detractors didn’t agree. Who, they cried, wanted to see the actresses ‘fried eggs’? Some, unkind, commentators referred to her appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean film ‘Dead Man’s Chest’.
Now, just weeks later, Madonna is under fire for committing the same offence. How dare she? At 56, no less. I’d wager you won’t see a report today that doesn’t mention her age alongside her cup size. ‘Still got it!’ a few have already trilled.
Groan. They’ve utterly missed the point.
Madonna’s decision to pose topless has nothing to do with showing-off her wrinkle-free cleavage – nor male titillation. That she’s an older woman is powerful, yes. But, to me, it seems pretty clear that this is far from a pop star trying to prove that she’s ‘still hot’ in her fifties.
Madonna’s age is just a convenient stick to beat her with. It’s an easy reason for critics to cry ‘put ’em away’ without, on the surface, seeming sexist.
Because there’s always something, isn’t there? Always a reason that a woman’s body isn’t deemed ‘suitable’. Breasts too small a la Knightley? No thanks. A middle-aged pop star? What the hell was she thinking?
Of course, Madonna is no stranger to nudity. Frankly, she’s been taking her clothes off for decades. Her decision to pose for Interview is, then, perhaps less surprising than Knightley’s. But it’s no less powerful a statement. Here is a woman still at the top of her industry, after almost 40 years. She’s weathered numerous musical trends and managed to stay relevant. Why shouldn’t she pose with her breasts exposed? After all, she pretty much started it.
Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago, Madonna posted a censored topless picture of herself from the Nineties, in response to theimages of Kim Kardashian’s oiled, nude backside in Papermagazine.
‘It’s confusing,’ she wrote. ‘Nipples are considered forbidden and provocative but exposing your ass is not. #flummoxed’ (sic).
Here is a clear indication that Madonna knew her latest photo shoot would shock. Let’s face it, she’s saying, topless pictures of famous women always have.
We might be used to seeing pictures of seeing flat chested models in fashion magazines (think Kate Moss on the beach, or backstage at a catwalk show). But a model’s body is a commodity – it’s the vehicle she’s using to sell products. For stars such as Madonna and Knightly, it’s different. They are selling their own image, not someone elses. Choosing to bear their breasts is a feminist statement, not a requirement. They are saying: ‘Here I am. Take me, or leave me’.
Of course, Madonna and Knightley both have exceptional body types compared to us mere mortals. But, the fact remains. When it all gets too ‘real’, we simply can’t handle it.
There’s undeniably an element of desire wrapped-up in all this. Knightley was criticised for being ‘unfeminine’. Small boobs aren’t traditionally seen as covetable. Neither are those of an older woman.
So, isn’t it a blessing that we have these strong, famous women brave enough to turn unrealistic thinking on its head and show us that the female body comes in many forms?
Madonna is flying in the face of what the naked woman ‘should’ look like. She’s controlling her own image, just as she’s always done. Her attitude? Just because she’s in her fifties, why should she hide away? The sugary pink cardigan that exposes her breasts in the Interviewpicture, says it all. ‘I’m not ready to button-up like a little old lady. Thanks all the same’.
We all should applaud her (preferably while wearing cut-off PVC gloves) for it.
Madonna’s topless photos are a triumph for all women – whatever their age
by Claire Cohen – 03/12/14,
The Telegraph 
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The Grande Dame’s Favourite Accessories: Brooches

There’s a common misconception that a brooch is an accessory worn by someone 70+: the Queen of England, Madeline Albright, aged Park Avenue Socialites, you get the picture. However, we’re here to dispel that notion, especially since this season, the pretty pins are making their way back into the accessories market.
Seen on the runways of Oscar de la Renta and Lanvin, and on celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker (a much more toned-down version of her famous “Sex and The City” flower pin), wearing a brooch is a timeless way to add some sparkle to your springtime ensemble.
Pin one on in the glamourous style of Elizabeth Taylor, use it as a utilitarian way to close a shawl, or turn it into an embellishment for a sharp clutch or dress.
Whether you buy antique styles or new versions of the brooch, this versatile piece of jewelry can truly lend a unique and very personal sense of style to your ensemble.