Mollie’s World of Dreams an Evening of Romantic Fantasy

Mollies - Calypso PaoliAs dusk descended upon Auckland’s St. Mary’s Bay, the tranquil and harmonizing beauty of ruby infused tea lights, created a pathway to a romantic expedition of glamour, mystery and indulgence. Mollies Hotel in partnership with Mod’s Hair, hosted what can only be interpreted as an evening of romantic fantasy and exploration. With the addition of proceeds going toward World Vision, ‘Mollie’s World of Dreams’ made not only for an event that offered its’ guests the ‘total experience’ but stood alone as an event with a purpose.

Immediately after stepping into the resplendent entrance, I was greeted with the profound serenity of Pianist Andrew Cochrane, playing at a liquid black grand piano whilst Mollie’s Hotel staff emerged from their quarters, concocting lavish beverages and proficiently inviting further guests inside.

Mollies Entrance - Calypso Paoli

Mollies Entrance

The evening began most elaborately, with a fashion spectacle set amongst a lush, stone-laid courtyard. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ judge Alison Leonard provided her vocal capabilities to commentate on each look as it circulated the garden. Robyn Kingan Jones exhibited sheer sensuality through floor length layers with a comical cabaret attitude.

Robyn Kingan Jones - Calypso Paoli

Robyn Kingan Jones

Stitch Ministry elevated itself amongst the rest with knee-high boots, faux fur shawls and bejeweled necklines.

Stitch Ministry - Calypso Paoli

Stitch Ministry

Hailwood re-inforced the success of his oriental bone china collection from Fashion Week which was then transmogrified with miniature strobe light spheres embedded in the model’s teased manes.

Adrian Hailwood - Calypso Paoli

Adrian Hailwood

The Carpenter’s Daughter brought the ‘fuller figured’ woman into the same realm as the other designers with weightless layers of silk organza, delicately skimming the tiled pavement.

TCD - Calypso Paoli


To much of my intrigue toward all the contributing designers, it has to be said that Sera Lilly’s portrayal of the exuberant and permissive lifestyle of Marie Antoinette truly captured the essence of  the evening. One particular model scuttled around the halls like an enchanting pixie, wearing a wire cage crimson floral gown, complete with towering, glitter enriched coiffure. (She is pictured in the first image in this article)

Sera Lilly - Calypso Paoli

Sera Lilly

Each designer was appointed one of five rooms throughout the hotel to embellish with a theme that suited their design style, and the differentiation between the rooms made for an unprecedented experience. The ‘Blue Room’ was home to The Carpenter’s daughter, where flourescent blue lights filtered through elongated reclining leather sofas and iced gin tea poured from antique silver tea spouts.

TCD Blue Room - Calypso Paoli

TCD Blue Room

TCD - Calypso Paoli

Guests in the TCD Blue Room

Kingan Jones was situated in the gracious drawing-room featuring mesmerizing opera vocals for the guest’s pleasure. The room was marginally lit with hypnotic tea lights, backlighting several glass vases and keepsakes while models basked in the company of each other over sipping martinis from slender crystal glasses.

Kingan Jones - Calypso Paoli

Kingan Jones Drawing Room with models

Kingan Jones 'Drawing Room' Opera - Calypso Paoli

Opera in Kingan Jones Drawing Room

Sera Lilly’s idyllic girls graced the Gentlemen’s room, decked in card games, cigars and French cognac. Although compact, the Gentlemen’s room had a smokey crispness about it, a genuine outlet for the refined man to relax. The guest lounge was hosted by Stitch Ministry who created a subtle yet distinctive ambience that sat appropriately within the walls of a nineteen forties living room, luxuriously decorated with glass table tops and ornamental cabinets.

Models in Sera Lilly - Calypso Paoli

Models in Sera Lilly

Most characteristic of the rooms by far had to be Hailwood’s Saturday Night Fever room. The disco-headed models had couture-like stature, mincing within a swiftly lit seventies clubroom, fashioned with an afro-d disc jockey and go-go dancing topless part animal.

Hailwood Disco Room - Calypso Paoli

Hailwood Disco Room

Anna Fitzpatrick & Adrian Hailwood - Calypso Paoli

Anna Fitzpatrick & Adrian Hailwood

Leah Panapa, Friend, Sera Vaea - Calypso Paoli

Leah Panapa, Friend, Sera Vaea

Decoration - Calypso Paoli

Table Decoration

For an event nine months in the making, this truly was an opulent experience and a spectacular way to captivate a year’s worth of success. The combination of Joanna Bourke’s hospitality, representing Mollie’s Hotel and the enthusiastic nature of Juliana Lieback and her team at Mod’s Hair, have manifested an evening that offered guests the chance to partake in a world of fantasy and illumination. The beauty of it all lied in the subtlety of the charitable aspect of the evening. Guests had the freedom to enjoy a beautiful occasion, whilst knowing they were in the midst of contributing to a well deserving cause.

For more information on booking a reservation at Mollie’s please visit their website:

Review by: Blaire Archibald
Photography: Calypso Paoli


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