I am standing in a room filled with chrome, shiny surfaces. I
see my reflection in the bench top and smile back at myself.
I look great.
Lacy tights and a pair of bright pink high heels. I have a
dress on over the top of my tights of course- I'm not a porn
star after all. It fits me perfectly.
You know how it is- the type of fabric that you know is
expensive just by looking at it. Cinched in at the waist,
plunging neckline showing a hint of naughtiness but not to
the extent where you would think that I was cheap.
A vintage apron finishes my fabulous ensemble- part of my
extensive collection that I have accrued from my travels to
multiple countries on cooking tours- Southern France, Italy,
India, Morocco. The travel has been exhausting but I know
that the satisfaction that I have given my fans has been
I give myself a little pep talk.
"Keep baking. The people need you. That chocolate
self-saucing pudding is the best ever! You owe it to them to
share, to teach them."
I turn around and begin my segment to the applause of a live
studio audience. They are sickeningly appreciative. The
satisfaction is overwhelming.
I couldn't love myself more right now.
Anyway. Sorry. Where was I???
Oh that's right. I'm sitting in the audience at an Arthur
Barnett event remembering I am not Peta Mathias.
Passionate. Energising. Stylish. Confident. Peta Mathias is
the woman you really want to be when you grow up. As she
sweeps onto the stage, one cannot help but be enchanted by
her innate, lusty awesomeness.
As much as she is famous for her food, her fashion savvy is
clearly apparent. Dressed in a luxurious pink Trelise Cooper
frock, Peta Mathias clearly has it going on. While she had me
at her latest book title, ‘Beat Till Stiff', it wasn't until
she burst into song in fluent French (by audience request)
that I really knew I was in love.
An event by Arthur Barnett, ‘Fashion and Food with Peta
Mathias' was a night of tasters of many descriptions. Models
paraded up the catwalk wearing the freshest new season
offerings from Trelise Cooper, Ben Sherman, Lola Espelata,
Sissy, Noa Noa, RM Williams, Coop and Sandwich.
Guest speaker Penny Gin also spoke of the latest looks from
Gregory and Riccochet for the coming season.
"This winter is all about voluminous tops and curvy bottoms.
60's inspired overcoats and narrow legged pants. Texture is
also key, an interplay between minimalism and opulence. It's
about minimal shapes using luxury fabrics for a look that is
cool, modern and chic."
And then there was the food. Amidst a collage of crostini's,
sliders (little buns if you don't know), anchovies (not the
cheap ones), oils and dips, the ever-sassy Peta pushed back
her sleeves, whipped on an apron and proceeded to talk us
through the delicate art of speedy dinner party preparation.
For people of fabulousness, of course.
"Make sure your cupboards are always stocked," she croons,
donning a cheeky smile and grabbing a can of tuna. "When you
have spent all day being fabulous and then remember you have
invited friends over for dinner you want food that looks like
you've made a lot of effort when you actually haven't".
She giggles, leans over and takes a sneaky bite from a morsel
on the table. I love her more and more.
Food demonstration over, Peta is back on stage to give us her
most sincere fashion advice.
" The ladies before mentioned wearing the right clothes for
your body. It's called ‘asset management' people," she
"But in addition to that please, never go to the the gym, and
then from the gym (or run) to your favourite café. Go home,
take that disgusting spandex off and then come back to the
"And, if you are in any doubt as to whether an item of
clothing suits you or not, ask your teenage daughter. Teenage
girls are merciless."
One can't help but quite agree. Spandex is only for the
gifted or the blind.
Janine Tindall-Morice, from Arthur Barnett, was delighted
with community reaction to the evening.
"We were thrilled with the public response to this event,
with over 300 tickets selling out within days of going on
sale. We believe this demonstrates Dunedin women's
interest in fashion, in food and of-course the irrepressibly
stylish and hugely entertaining Peta Mathias.
"This event signals Arthur Barnett's desire to engage with
our female customer in a fresh and dynamic new way."
As for me, well, there's no use waiting. I'm heading out for
a bag of sliders and a hard copy version of ‘Beat till
Stiff'. Quite fabulous I would think.
- By Jane Pike