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Behind the Scenes of our Christmas Porters + Q&A with Nicole Bonython Hines

06 Dec 2018

We go behind the scenes with Nicole Bonython-Hines, the creator of the exquisite porter costumes. 

The QVB had the pleasure of working with stylist and creative designer, Nicole Bonython-Hines to create the bespoke Christmas Porters tailored outfits. We chat to her about the inspiration behind the costumes as well as more about her and what Christmas means to her at the QVB.


How long have you worked as stylist for and how did you get your start in the industry?

I’ve been working in fashion for 37 years.  I first started in film production as a production assistant where I learnt great organizational skills that would come to help me once I started on magazines.


What has been your most memorable styling experience?

 I’ve had many memorable styling experiences – no one better than another.  I’ve worked in exotic locations that have been incredible – Morocco, France, Italy, Brazil, Maldives, Mexico, NY and LA (many many times),Fiji, UK, all around Australia  etc. I’ve worked with fabulous and interesting people – Kylie, Naomi Campbell, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, INXS…I spent a great deal of my career working with bands/performers doing brand development via their look.  I’ve done some fun editorials where we’ve created some pretty iconic images.  Too many to single anything out.


Tell us about the inspiration behind the QVB Porter costumes?

The inspiration for the costumes came both via the illustrations  in the  QVB xmas campaign, and  my idea of what a ‘traditional’ Bellhop should look like.


What did the design process involve from conception to seeing the finished product?

I researched variations of Bellhop from old posters, movies, imagery from the 30’s and 40’s.We then pulled out the details we loved like  the contrast colouring on the lapels/epaulettes and the stripe down the pant leg, the gold braid and buttons, the silhouette.  This was communicated to the  costume maker who also added input and he then sourced all the elements, including trying the match the colours to the campaign colours and voila!


What’s your idea of a fairytale Christmas?

My idea of a fairytale xmas would be having hired help while I cook for everyone!! Sadly I have to rely upon not so reliable teenage children!  Xmas for me is about the magic – a real tree with gorgeous decorations, a traditional xmas meal (even though it’s really not that appropriate with our weather!), I love decorating the table, polishing the silver, planning the meal, and always have a gift wrapping theme that’s different every year…I really get into xmas!  And of course, getting all my family together!

Do you have any memories or stories from your own QVB Christmas? Did you ever come here with your children?

I used to take my kids when they were little to see the tree with all it’s lovely Swarovski decorations.  It’s old world xmas at QVB!