Acclaimed fashion designer Victoria Cascajo’s home sale sewn up

The East Gippsland home of a late fashion designer whose daring design shocked the White House will be restored to its former glory following its sale.

A Melbourne couple snapped up Victoria Cascajo’s six-bedroom, four-bathroom house at 105 Mathiesons Rd, Eagle Point for an undisclosed price after being wowed by its “magical location”, Elders Real Estate Bairnsdale’s Adam Bloem said.

The 2.5ha property overlooking the Gippsland Lakes, named Riverside, most recently had a $1.4-$1.6 million price guide.

Cascajo designed this daring white dress, worn by Sonia McMahon at a White House dinner hosted by US president Richard Nixon. She accompanied husband William McMahon, then-Australian PM.

Cascajo designed this daring white dress, worn by Sonia McMahon at a White House dinner hosted by US president Richard Nixon. She accompanied husband William McMahon, then-Australian PM.Source:Supplied

Cascajo ran the popular Balencia Couture in Toorak.

Cascajo ran the popular Balencia Couture in Toorak.Source:News Limited

Mr Bloem said the buyers had started a business in East Gippsland and would be moving to the area over the coming months, with plans to rejuvenate the house and its vast gardens.

“They’re looking forward to enjoying this magic location and the surrounding Gippsland Lakes, rivers, beaches and mountains,” he said.

Cascajo owned the property from 2014. She died in 2017.

105 Mathiesons Rd offered striking lake views over a 25m infinity pool.

105 Mathiesons Rd offered striking lake views over a 25m infinity pool.Source:Supplied

Inside the Mediterranean-inspired house.

Inside the Mediterranean-inspired house.Source:Supplied

Her most famous creation was a bold white dress prime minister William McMahon’s wife Sonia wore to a White House state dinner hosted by US president Richard Nixon in 1971.

The full-length gown — with side splits on the bodice and arms, held together by rhinestone bands, and to the upper thigh — was dubbed one of the “most talked-about costumes yet to appear in the White House” by The Washington Post.

The Spanish-born designer also dressed socialites, models and Melbourne Cup attendees from her Toorak-based Balencia Couture, becoming a Stonnington Fashion Hall of Fame inductee.

The entertainer’s kitchen.

The entertainer’s kitchen.Source:Supplied

The property was most recently priced at $1.4-$1.6 million.

The property was most recently priced at $1.4-$1.6 million.Source:Supplied

Her property features a Mediterranean-inspired house with a wraparound veranda, informal and formal living rooms, a large kitchen with a butler’s pantry, a wine cellar and lake views from almost every room.

A 25m infinity pool, self-contained cottage, orchard and vegetable garden were also part of the package.



The Home Front: Designer Tom Chung advocates for the humble coffee table

Far from going out of favour, the humble coffee table is experiencing its day in the sun, says Vancouver-bred, Toronto-based industrial designer Tom Chung, who launches his new Plank collection at design show IDS Toronto this weekend.

The collection is designed in collaboration with modern furniture company EQ3.

Chung’s first thought, when asked to create a large coffee table with enclosed storage, was to avoid the big bulky coffee table in the middle of the living room scenario.

“They can often be very clunky,” he says. “And if you have a coffee table in a room with a media console, you don’t want to be overwhelmed with blocks of furniture.”

Chung says coffee tables are being used more than ever, particularly in small spaces, where people don’t have the luxury of large dining tables and are spending more time in their common living areas.

“Living in a small apartment in Toronto, it’s actually the most important piece of furniture I own,” he says. “We don’t even use our dining table any more; we just eat on our coffee table. I think everything’s become more casual and so coffee tables are more important than they were previously.”

Chung followed a specific design brief in creating the Plank collection, he says, which was to design a “collection of closed storage”. It includes a media console, a coffee table in three different sizes and a side table.

He says all the pieces have a “universal door size”, so people can customize their orders. The doors, for example, can be ordered in a range of fun upholstered colours, which EQ3 is known for, or with slats, and are available in oak or walnut.

“We really wanted the collection to have a universal appeal,” Chung says. “The version that has slats is perhaps a bit more traditional, but then also having the opportunity to add more contemporary colours with the fabrics and things like that.”

“When I was building the model and doing the rendering, the oak is what I saw it in, although the walnut is also nice, and suits a different customer.”

On first glance, the collection seems to have a slight Japanese esthetic and lightness about it. Chung says he was reading a Japanese book on colour combinations and colour blocking early on in his design process, “and that sort of became how you see the panels in the doors, especially with two sets, you can mix and match colours if you want to.”

Ultimately, though, he says he “wanted to make something really architectural that was an open platform for people to hide stuff away, but also display certain stuff, and be able to fade into the back of a room”.

“Especially when furniture becomes that large,” he says, “you don’t want it to be imposing a certain style; you kind of want it to be in the background.”

Chung graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012, and moved to Toronto that same year to take up a job at home design and manufacturing company Umbra. He designs lighting, furniture, interiors and exhibitions, currently doing an “experimental ceramics” creative residency at Banff Centre for the Arts + Creativity.

Added to this, Chung has also designed a lamp for Scandinavian company Muuto, which was launched in September and will be available in North America in the next few weeks, and a lighting collection for Danish company Menu with fellow designer Jordan Murphy that also launches this month.

When asked what he’d most like to achieve in the year ahead, the busy designer replied:

“I hope to do more independent projects.”


Designer’s historic restoration project featured in 34th Annual Holiday Home Tour

Todd Yoggy is an interior designer who has designed and owned homes across the U.S. – from Los Angeles to Richmond.

He grew up in Big Flats before moving to California, where his office is now located. In December 2017, Yoggy purchased a historic Tudor home on Hoffman Street, in Elmira’s Near Westside neighborhood. That home will be featured in the 34th Annual “Homes for the Holidays” holiday house tour.

His goal of restoring the home aligns with the goal of the Near Westside Neighborhood Association (NWNA), a non-profit organization based in Elmira which aims to revitalize the area and preserve its history.

Yoggy and some of his childhood friends, who also have houses in the area, approached the NWNA to ask if they could all participate in the holiday tour.

The designer’s hope is that not only does the tour of his home inspire residents to “do something different” with their own homes, but also raises awareness of the NWNA’s goals.

“Hopefully people will get involved and be inspired to save more houses like this and bring them back.  I hope when I’m done with this project that it’s good for the next 100 years, and then somebody else will have to come and do it again. It’s an ongoing process,” Yoggy said.

Also featured in his home is a 13-foot Christmas tree, with a 40-year collection of ornaments. Yoggy purchased the tree from Maple Ave. Tree Farms, which has over 800 trees in its lot.

“I knew if I was going to do the tour, I wanted to go all out[…]I’m a total traditionalist when it comes to Christmas. I want my Christmas tree to be as traditional as possible,” Yoggy said.