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A passion for fashion | Oscar winner spotted in the Mall? | A swifty for Swifties

This week InSider goes all celebrity and bling to celebrate the festival season, with celeb-spotting and birdwatching.

Mar 01, 2024, updated Mar 01, 2024

Adelaide City Council’s passion for fashion

In the past fortnight, a big question in Town Hall has been to robe or not to robe.

On Tuesday night, Councillor Mary Couros brought a lengthy list of amendments to the council’s proposed civic recognition and protocols policy – which Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith described as “enough to make us lose the will to live”. 

One of Couros’ requests was to mandate wearing council robes at certain events including the swearing-in ceremony and Australian Citizenship ceremonies. Couros said her changes “shouldn’t be complex” and wearing the robe shows respect for city ceremonies and traditions.

The Lord Mayor made it clear she isn’t interested in being the fashion police; “I would not be keen to spend my time disciplining members of council about wearing gowns,” she said. 

Deputy Lord Mayor Keiran Snape said the robe regulations are a “dangerous slope” and disagreed with mandatory robe-wearing.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for councillors to be mandating what other councillors wear,” he said. 

The fashion fumble in Tuesday’s council meeting continued from the City Finance and Governance committee meeting last week, when the Lord Mayor revealed why she prefers to wear ceremonial chains rather than a robe. 

“Over the years, I have more often worn the chain than the gown because I really like the necklace and the bling,” she said. 

While councillors did wear robes at all their meetings in the last century, the Lord Mayor said “at that time [Acting CEO] Mr Sedgman would have worn a wig”. 

Councillor Mark Siebentritt was chairing the meeting and wrapped up the couture chat by baldly admitting his fear; “I’m getting anxious with references to the wigs, Lord Mayor.”

Olivia Colman is an official Burnside soccer mum

InSider has heard that Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman might be in Adelaide, after a Lululemon worker spotted someone looking a lot like her testing out a potential pair of new tights this week.

The person in question came into the Rundle Mall store wearing a hat and was described as shy, having never shopped at a Lululemon store before.

A retail worker helping her didn’t recognise the customer as the actor who played Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, and walked her to the changeroom.

In true Lululemon fashion, the customer’s name must be written on the wall of each occupied fit room: she stated her name was Olivia, and cogs turned for the other – more starstruck – retail workers around them. They are certain the (fictional) Queen is with us.

InSider is unsure why this A-list, Academy Award-winning celebrity might be visiting the City of Churches — although she is slated to shoot the film Wicker in Europe this year with frequent Adelaide visitor Dev Patel. Where will she go next?

Eric was all smiles at Exchange. Photo: An anonymous InSider spy.

What did Eric André order at Exchange?

In more celebrity spotting news (two in one InSider? What has this column become…), comedian Eric André was seen having lunch at East End café Exchange yesterday.

He’s in town for his national tour, and has a show on at Hindley Street Music Hall tonight.

InSider also heard that the comedian, famous for his surreal skits on his eponymous Adult Swim show and voice acting roles, was seen speeding down North Terrace on an e-scooter (minus helmet: his fro is too powerful).

But today we’re hung up on what he ordered at Exchange.

InSider’s guess? A house espresso, sparkling water and a Wallace Sandwich. It’s a classic order for many in Adelaide and undoubtedly the celeb was drawn to the sando (hopefully at the recommendation of some locals).

Save the Swifties! Parrot tee for Taylor

InSider can see it now: Taylor Swift taking the Streets of Hollywood in an outfit valued at thousands, paired with a T shirt with a parrot on the front… Photo: supplied

An Australian fashion designer has passionately, and perhaps overly-ambitiously, asked for global megastar Taylor Swift to wear an…  interesting t-shirt aimed at raising awareness for the critically endangered Swift parrot.

The Swift parrot is the fastest parrot in the world, and is only found in south-eastern Australia, with an estimated 750 remaining in the wild.

Australian fashion boss Prue Acton OBE worked with photographer Rob Blakers to create the shirt that features the “extraordinarily beautiful” Swift parrot.

Australia’s “golden girl of fashion”, Acton, now 80, was the first Australian female designer to present a show of her own designs in New York in 1967.

“It would be incredible for Taylor to wear my latest design, The Taylor Swift Parrot Tee,” Acton said.

Acton said the shirt would “look amazing on Taylor” and raise awareness for the endangered bird.

“I know there are many Aussie Swifties out there who are passionate about both Taylor and the Swift parrot,” Acton said.

Now who are we to disagree with someone with such impressive accolades as Prue Acton, but InSider knows quite a few Swifties, and none of them had heard of the Swift parrot before InSider pitched the piece.

That’s not to say the mission is not admirable, in fact InSider is very passionate about animal conservation, save the Swifties indeed! Let’s get it trending! #Taylorswift4swiftparrot

#taylorswift4swiftparrot Photo:supplied

Non-vegan vegan Ragu

An InSider local, (or an InSider insider if you will) brought to our attention this morning a unique and likely unplanned job at Adelaide-based food company Bowlsome.

It seems someone pressed print without doing a final proofread and it has come back to haunt them in the form of an unknown number of their definitely-not-vegan Penne Beef Ragus being slapped with a “vegan option” label, which was subsequently individually crossed out with a black marker.

Our source has been buying the meal for a while, and first noticed the peculiar label a few months ago, leading InSider to believe a great, great number of the covers were printed incorrectly and then individually, painstakingly “corrected”.

Following some great investigative journalism work by yours truly, it seems the issue goes deeper than first thought, with the official product photo on Bowlsome’s website including the miss-print and subsequent black marker.

The casing claims “nothing hidden!”, which is clearly wrong since the words “vegan” and “option” are quite literally winning blackout hide and seek.

Did they look into the future and see exactly how many ragus they would sell, and print that number of labels which they are now forced to use for all of eternity? Did they forget beef isn’t vegan? Did they print any prototypes? So many questions, and so few answers. Because we didn’t ask them.

Our insider has disappeared from the office at the time of writing, so we were unable to get an exclusive quote regarding the quality of the meal, however, considering he keeps going back it must be good! Steady on Bowlsome, and a huge shoutout to the poor person whose hand is surely stuck in a permanent marker-holding position. Your work has not gone unnoticed.

The misunderstood ragu. Photo: James Taylor / InDaily

Stuff you should know…

According to a new report released by Salesforce and Boston Consulting Group today, Australians and New Zealanders are open to AI-generated government services, with appropriate responsible AI guardrails and human oversight.

The groups found that:

  • 74% of respondents say online government services should be similar in terms of speed, convenience, ease of access and personalisation to the world’s best private sector institutions and global digital leaders.
  • 75% are comfortable with the use of generative AI to power online government services when appropriate human oversight is in place.
  • 62% experienced issues when using online government services in the past two years – showcasing an opportunity for government to use GenAI technologies to make services more accessible, personalised, and efficient while fostering trust.

Plus AI doesn’t insist on working from home.

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