Jen gar­ners on­line smiles

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - PETER MICKELBUROUGH

ANGELICA Tomelty is with­out a wed­ding dress.

While she has pic­tures of her spe­cial day the “price­less” gown she helped de­sign went to the dry clean­ers and never came back.

The Vic­to­rian Civil and Administrative Tri­bunal heard the gown van­ished after it was dropped off at the Brown Gouge out­let at Brim­bank shop­ping cen­tre for a clean­ing quote on Fe­bru­ary 24 last year.

The store is a “dry shop”, with items usu­ally sent to Brown Gouge’s North Mel­bourne clean­ing fa­cil­ity.

Ms Tomelty said she tried re­peat­edly to col­lect her dress but after four months of be­ing given the run-around the store closed.

It was then she also learned the store had been op­er­ated by a fran­chisee, Asi­atic In­ter­na­tional Pty Ltd. The com­pany was dereg­is­tered in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Cen­tre man­age­ment di­rected Ms Tomelty to John Zhong, the di­rec­tor of Brown Gouge Pty Ltd, which held a lease with the shop­ping cen­tre but had li­censed the premises to the fran­chisee un­der a sep­a­rate agree­ment. Ms Cam­pana found Mr Zhong tried to lo­cate the dress.

Ms Tomelty told VCAT she had been robbed of the “price­less” sen­ti­men­tal value of the gown, which she de­signed and had made with lace es­pe­cially im­ported from Turkey at a cost of $5220 — the amount of com­pen­sa­tion she sought from Brown Gouge.

“While she has pic­tures and mem­o­ries of wear­ing her hand­made gown on her wed­ding day, the item has gone miss­ing after be­ing placed with Brown Gouge for dryclean­ing,” VCAT mem­ber Kylea Cam­pana found.

How­ever, she dis­missed Ms Tomelty’s claim for com­pen­sa­tion from Brown Gouge.

Ms Cam­pana ac­cepted that as Ms Tomelty’s con­tract was with Asi­atic In­ter­na­tional, the store fran­chisee, then the com­pany, Brown Gouge, as the fran­chisor, had d no le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for the gown. a bride

Ms Cam­pana found that “as un­fair as it may seem”, with­out guar­an­tees un­der con­sumer laws hold­ing fran­chisors re­spon­si­ble for the ac­tiv­i­ties of fran­chisees, Brown Gouge was not re­spon­si­ble for the dress.

“Even though the re­ceipt (for the dress) says Brown Gouge and the store says Brown Gouge, it is just a tech­ni­cal­ity be­cause the ABN on the re­ceipt was Asi­atic’s,” a frus­trated Ms Tomelty told the Sun­day Herald Sun.

“I would tell peo­ple never to go to Brown Gouge be­cause this tech­ni­cal­ity means no­body is ever go­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“My trust was put in a 100-yearold brand and I ex­pected a ser­vice like ev­ery­one else does.”

Mr Zhong told the Sun­day Herald Sun he had “no idea” what had hap­pened to the dress.

“I called the po­lice and they didn’t want to be in­volved,” he said.

Ms Tomelty said the VCAT case had cost her $500 and left her with lit­tle hope of see­ing her dress again. peter.mickelburough@news.com.au ONE Di­rec­tion’s Niall Ho­ran re­leased a soft breakup bal­lad with echoes of the heart­throb boy band as he an­nounced his de­but solo al­bum.

Ho­ran (left) re­vealed via so­cial me­dia on Fri­day that his al­bum Flicker will come out on Oc­to­ber 20, fol­lowed by a tour next year that takes in Australia.

The 24-year-old Ir­ish singer marked the an­nounce­ment by re­leas­ing a track from the al­bum en­ti­tled Too Much to Ask, a pi­ano-led bal­lad in which Ho­ran, his voice turn­ing soul­ful, mourns the end of a re­la­tion­ship.

The song is pro­duced by Greg Kurstin, the in­creas­ingly in-de­mand mu­si­cian best known for co-writ­ing Adele’s hit Hello. Kurstin also worked with Ho­ran on the first track on Flicker, the acous­tic gui­tar bal­lad This Town.

Ho­ran’s soft touch is more con­sis­tent with One Di­rec­tion than the solo mu­sic of his two most suc­cess­ful band­mates.

Zayn Ma­lik cast off One Di­rec­tion’s squeaky clean im­age to go for a sen­sual, ur­ban vibe, while Harry Styles sur­prised crit­ics with an al­bum that sounded in­flu­enced by 1970s David Bowie.

One Di­rec­tion formed when the five young men au­di­tioned for the Bri­tish re­al­ity TV show The X Fac­tor.

Angelica Tomelty’s wed­ding dress, which went miss­ing after be­ing sent for clean­ing. Pic­tures: T-ONE IM­AGE

JEN­NIFER Garner is re­ceiv­ing plenty of praise for a per­for­mance on In­sta­gram. She posted a video of laugh­ing and talk­ing with slurred speech after a den­tal ap­point­ment while prais­ing a song from the mu­si­cal In the cap­tion she wrote, “that time I had...

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