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Melbourne metrosexuals make a mark at Victorian PICAs

Monday, 18 October 2010
By Print 21 Online Article

Printers showed their fashionable side at last week’s PICAs in Melbourne. Alison Stieven-Taylor went along to find out the big winners … and to take note of what they were wearing, too. 

Melbourne turned on a wild night for the Victorian PICAs on Friday, lashing the city with heavy rain, hail and wind making it a challenge for those dressed in their finest to make it into the very elegant Sofitel Ballroom on Collins Street in one piece. The weather may have been out of control, but the awards crowd was surprisingly decorous for much of the evening, the behaviour impressing as much as the fashion sense of the Melbourne lads – I had no idea there were so many metrosexuals in the industry: Italian suits, lots of hair gel and a heady mix of designer aftershave shows the printing industry has evolved from its inky fingers image to show a more glamourous – dare I say – youthful side. The Scotsman’s kilt also drew comments. The photos (below) speak for themselves.

In for a wee bit of fun tonight: Craig A McCubbin (right) of Picpress, showed off his kilt.
The rabble-rousing, which is usually a feature of industry award nights, was left until late in the evening when the crowd hit the dance floor in impressive numbers. During the ceremony there were of course wolf whistles and the cheering grew louder as the night wore on, but in general terms this was a well-behaved group of printers and suppliers respectful of the importance of the event for an industry that still clearly loves the craft aspect of print if not the business practices – Nick Blakely of Courtney, (pictured below) winner of the Judges Award and a Gold medalist, made a pointed comment that they did the winning job for free because so many printers undercut them. Cue ‘nervous laughter’.

Pictured below: Nick Blakely, of Courtney, stepped onto the stage more than once.
Chairman of the Victorian PICAs, Trevor Hone, welcomed a crowd reportedly larger than the year before. This year’s theme was ‘the Art of Craft’, but the Awards also gave the industry an opportunity to celebrate surviving what Shane Souter of Adams Print, the winner of the Heidelberg Excellence in Craft Award, so succinctly described as the horror of the past two years. Adams Print was one of four companies who took out three Gold Awards each, the others being Eastern Press, GEON and new kid on the block, Picpress. Bambra Press walked away with the greatest cache of Awards for the night with a total of 14 including the Dalton Paper Environmental Award. Picpress was next in line with eleven, including the Currie Group Award for innovation in imaging. (For a full list of award winners, click here).

Trevor Hone was surprised by Ray Keen of PIAA who awarded ‘Life Membership of the PIAA’ to Trevor, the first Victorian, and only the ninth person in the PIAA’s 130-year history, to receive the honour.

Alison’s eye candy

As a published photographer, Alison Stieven-Taylor knows a pretty face when she sees one; so when she made her way to the Sofitel Ballroom, she was impressed by what she saw, nominating Dierk Wissmann from Heidelberg "because of his beautiful Italian tailored suit", followed by Ali Wilson from ISBA as the two best dressed on the night.

Below are some more of her hot pic/ks from the night. Top two (l-r) Ali Wilson, from sponsor IBSA and Ben Simmons, Digital Print Manager, Bambra Press, followed by Dierk Wissmann, Heidelberg (bottom left).

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