PS had no idea Jacenko was such a crafty decorator until the pastel confection, festooned with what appears to be every candy known to man, was unveiled for her legion of Instagram followers.
However, further investigation reveals Jacenko, along with a growing list of wealthy Sydney VIPs, actually outsourced her Christmas tree decorating duties to a team of professional stylists from Dancer & Dasher, an outfit which specialises in styled-to-an-inch-of-their-lives Christmas trees.
With not much change from $5000, Dancer & Dasher co-founder Alana Arena revealed to PS that Jacenko’s tree is actually a fake and the candy which adorns it inedible – it’s made out of styrofoam.
Plastic candy canes? Styrofoam gingerbread? Such revelations make those photos of Roxy’s daughter Pixie and son Hunter, seemingly salivating over the candy creation, seem somewhat depressing.
“Otherwise the cockroaches would be loving it … the decorations are ones we have sourced from around the world. I am just so humbled that a woman of Roxy’s stature and taste commissioned us to do her tree, it’s been a really great project for us,” Arena told PS.
Dancer & Dasher have also done a sea-inspired, glittery barnacle creation for radio star Jackie O Henderson, which is currently standing in her Bondi apartment.
This year they were commissioned to do 20 bespoke Christmas trees and will start taking orders for next year’s season from February.
Leckie’s high elf esteem
Sydney’s reigning society queen Skye Leckie has thrown herself, (elf-sized) boots and all, into the festive season. Leckie turned up at art dealer Justin Miller‘s Christmas drinks in her leggy elf outfit, even though the party was not fancy dress.
“I thought why not … it’s Christmas after all,” the woman who has raised millions for various charities confided to PS.
This year Leckie and her extended family will celebrate their 99th annual Christmas luncheon, with 65 members of the clan coming together in Bellevue Hill, a tradition which was started by Leckie’s grandparents nearly a century ago.
“They are coming from far and wide. I used to host it at our old house but the new place is too small, so now my cousins host … we just love it,” she enthused.
However, Leckie said she would not be wearing her elf mini on the day. “It might be a bit much for the oldies!”
Elton makes a racquet about paps
Sir Elton John’s London lawyers have been busy firing off legal threats to a Sydney paparazzo after he was photographed last week playing tennis on the newly built courts at the Darling Point mansion Swifts.
The pop star, who is renting a nearby mansion with his husband David Furnish and their two sons, Zachary and Elijah, has been using the Swifts tennis courts during his downtime between shows for his farewell tour. But when images of him turned up in the media last week, the Rocket Man went ballistic.
PS hears the images were taken from the footpath outside the mansion and the singer was on full public view. Interestingly, privacy screens have been erected around the court since the photos were published.
Being the tree can be a drag
So many shows, so many outfits. Spare a thought for Sydney drag queen and performance artiste Maxi Shield, who has had a hectic schedule of festive shows this year.
Maxi is one of PS’s favourite drag queens, and her shows at this time of year are something of a Christmas tradition.
And she certainly delivers, with her fabulous collection of Christmas costumes, which includes a cheeky reindeer get-up inspired by Rudolph and featuring Maxi’s infamous rubber decolletage, and another gown which was actually made out of a Christmas tree.
“Oh god, it’s actually a bitch to wear the tree. I’m covered in scratches afterwards, but I love it,” Maxi enthused to PS.
As for the most requested tunes in her yuletide shows, Maxi says Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You is a crowd favourite.
“It’s one of those tunes that everyone goes ‘yuck, yuck, yuck’ but when played they are singing their eyelashes off,” Maxi admitted.
This Christmas, Shield will be leaving the rubber boobs at home and joining a group of Sydney’s other top “showgirls” at fellow artiste Vanity Faire‘s house for a “family gathering”.
“It’s a revolving buffet, basically eating from start to finish … it’s the one day off we have, most of us will be back in the war paint doing shows on Boxing Day,” Maxi explained.
Big Jim’s licence to thrill is ‘valid’
While not quite Santa’s Sleigh, the not so big anymore Jim Byrnes‘ 1974 Eldorado convertible Cadillac is just as eye-catching, especially as he navigates the giant car around the streets of Double Bay.
But Byrnes, who has dropped 43 kilograms from frame, assured his Double Bay watchers they had nothing to fear, as he was the holder of a “valid NSW driver’s licence” after recent media reports fuelled fears Byrnes was driving illegally.
In October, Byrnes pleaded guilty to driving while suspended, but a conviction was not recorded and he was given a three-month good behaviour bond.
Byrnes told PS that his six-month driving disqualification, after losing all of his points, had already run its course and that his current licence “was valid”.
“It is fascinating people would be concerned about that. If they are worried they can always report me to Rose Bay Police, who know me well, but I can assure you my licence is no longer suspended,” he said.
Byrnes, who has taken to wearing a “man-bun” of late, said there had been some confusion over the status of his licence after he changed address and he never received previous orders to complete a driving knowledge test.
“It’s funny, I would be one of the largest charity supporters in this city but people want to call me up about my driver’s licence. If only you would write something nice about me for once,” the colourful character, who was once an advisor to the late Alan Bond, opined to PS.
Bitter Homes and Gardens
There wasn’t much Christmas cheer on social media for the team at Better Homes & Gardens following PS’s revelations last week that the show’s popular green thumb Jason Hodges had been unceremoniously axed from the show.
The program’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints from loyal viewers furious with the show’s bosses for the move, some comparing it to the sudden shafting of former resident “chippie” Rob Palmer, who found out he was no longer on the show after receiving a text message.
As PS’s mole reported this week: “For a show that claims to be one big happy family, there seems to be a lot of bad blood around at the moment, and they are worried it will spill into the open. But they can’t hide what they have done with Jase and Rob. People notice when they are not around anymore.”
In 2014, Palmer was axed to make way for reality TV contestant Adam Dovile from another Seven show, My House Rules.
It later emerged that Palmer had not been contacted by the network, despite his long-term role with the show.
“No one from Channel 7 has spoken to me about it,” he told Woman’s Day at the time.
The message from his agent informing him the gig was up came as a huge shock to Palmer, especially given he had already filmed the following year’s promos for the show.
Meanwhile, Hodges is understood to be open to offers from rival shows and, given his popularity, it would seem it won’t be too long before he finds a new garden to call home.
How does Thor’s garden grow? Expensively
With a brand new garden, estimated to have cost around a million dollars, to settle in it’s no wonder there has been a fleet of water trucks heading to Hollywood action man Chris Hemsworth‘s vast, multi-million-dollar compound near Byron Bay.
While a few locals have raised eyebrows about the amount of water the thirsty garden requires, given water prices have tripled in recent months because of the drought, with Hemsworth’s huge box office takings he can afford to pay the high prices.
But with bushfires raging all around, water has become an even more precious commodity, while local farmers are battling to keep livestock and crops alive on the meagre supplies they have.
One Macadamia nut farmer told PS: “I wish I had millions of dollars to buy that amount of water, all the demand has put the prices through the roof. I’ve seen his gardens – it’s a green, lush oasis in there.”
But Hemsworth is doing his bit for the local community. He and his wife Elsa Pataky announced last week they were auctioning off a one-hour workout session for one lucky fan, the proceeds of which would be donated to their local rural firefighters.
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.