Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beautiful girls meet Backstreet Boys

March 4, 2010

LUNCHING ladies broke out their hats a couple of seasons early for the Victoria Racing Club's Beautiful Girls Fashion Lunch at Flemington, where they were treated to lunch, a fashion parade of Myer's autumn/winter range and a flying visit from US boy band Backstreet Boys.

Lady Susan Renouf mingled with the younger racing set, among them milliner Richard Nylon (who told Melbourne Life ''It's never too early for hats''), L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival director Karen Webster, designers Dom Bagnato, Charlie Brown and Teresa Liano and Myer fashion ambassadors Rebecca Twigley and Kris Smith.

Proceedings opened with a steamy dance routine from Tim ''Timomatic'' Omaji and Tahlia Fowler from the upcoming production of FAME The Musical.

Omaji, a finalist on 2009's So You Think You can Dance, performed sans shirt, busting out some serious moonwalking. His role in FAME, as Tryone Jackson, is his first in which he gets to sing. ''And I get to act, so it's a big role for me. I'm pumped,'' Omaji said after his performance.

And where did he learn his smooth moves?

''I basically taught myself dance by watching Michael Jackson videos, and then eventually I got myself some formal training.''

As much as the crowd loved Omaji and Fowler's routine, there was considerably more squealing when headline act Backstreet Boys hit the stage - about 30 seconds after alighting from their tour bus.

Ushered in as media were ushered out of the way, the quartet (didn't there used to be five?) bounced on stage and powered through three songs - one hit, one new track and then their big hit - setting many a fascinator aquiver, especially when AJ McLean sauntered into the crowd (without removing his sunglasses) to serenade a couple of lucky ladies.

As quickly as they'd arrived, the ''boys'', who are in Australia on their This Is Us tour, were escorted off stage and away from the media, who were forbidden from asking questions, while the TV crews, barred from filming the gig, packed away their gear.

We managed to ask Nick Carter if the band are enjoying their tour as a burly minder jumped between us.

''We love it here,'' he said over his shoulder as he was led away, trailed by a gaggle of women seeking autographs. ''We're really looking forward to our shows.''

And with that, the boys were out in the back street.