Thursday, August 30, 2007

Best Vintage Stores in Sydney - My List

These are my picks for the best vintage clothing outlets in Sydney:

Firstly, have a look in the Vintage Clothing Shop in Castlereagh Street. They certainly are no where near the cheapest in town but they do have some of the best quality garments around. If you are looking for something really special - particularly evening wear - then this is a great place go. Expect to pay top dollar for exquisite pieces of history!

Also, Rockit in George St in the Rocks is of the same ilk. Expensive (although a bit less so) but entirely worth the spurge due to their fantastic range of quality frocks and accessories. There is the occassional bargain to be had there too and you can also by on-line now I think.

Great places for bargains include:

My old favourite: Broadway Betty on city road, Broadway. C's Flash Back on King Street in Newtown - cheap and chearful! Also on King worth checking out is Scraggs (down the south end), Milk & Honey (also south end) and Slims is quite good too.

In the East, Grandma takes a trip in Surry Hills and now also Bondi is always worth a look in as you can find some beautifully preserved pieces from all era's from the U.K - sometimes a bit exxy though!

Actually, if you are in the mood for vintage shopping just take a stroll along Crown Street in Surry Hills...There are atleast a half dozen decent vintage mecca's to go nut's in.

Finally, head to The Corner Shop on William in Paddington for a slice of vintage heaven - a very sweet set-up with some gorgeous little frocks and accessories. Happy hunting x

Check out Little Bower Ebay Store for Handmade Bolero's

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NSW Women in Business Program

Recently, I was urged by a friend to check out the NSW Women in Business website and moreover to attend some of their free workshops that they run for women who are starting up or expanding their own businesses. What an incredible resource! Firstly, I signed up to their newsletter, which I encourage all women to do...even if they only have a pipe dream to own a business someday. The newsletter will alert you to all the upcoming seminars and workshops available - which, I might add there are plenty of!

I have already attended a marketing seminar and a small biz growth seminar - both were very beneficial and also a wonderful networking opportunity as they are usually packed with women keen to discuss their products and the high's and low's of business.

This government initiative also runs a very successful women's mentoring program perfect for anyone just starting out.

I've got a few more workshops coming up, including one on internet marketing that includes the benefits of the blog, the wiki and web 2.0 (how timely!)

Get in on the act:

Monday, August 27, 2007

VintageVantage - Check it out

These guys sell great vintage tee's...very cute webiste too.

And their having a sale. Check them out at:

thought for the day

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." - Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, August 26, 2007

messed up celebrities - part one

Amy Winehouse - You poor, poor train wreck...lovely voice though

photographing garments...not that easy actually!

My friend Michelle and I spent the afternoon photographing bolero's for ebay shop. Wow, harder than I thought...guess I'll be buying photoshop then!

Sunshine - Finally!

After so much bad weather I am happy to report IT IS SUNNY IN SYDNEY TODAY! Cronulla beach looks positively prestine. Sunday breakfast and a walk along Wanda Beach has made me forget that winter even exists....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dodgy Role Models Make Great Fashion Icons

I know I know, Nicole Richie is a bit of a twit but...she's sooooo stylish! Sorry, but the girl has developed a real taste for fashion over the past few years. Yes, she's had oodles of help from stylists etc - although to be honest I'm not sure Rachel Zoe deserves that much credit - but Nic has really developed a very cute aesthetic. And I really think she totally owns it! Did you see her court appearance frock a few week back? She did Audrey Hepburn proud (oh, the blasphemy!)...and she kills that whole white shirt, scarf, ballet flats and jeans look she been showcasing for a long while now. The thing is, she knows how to keep a look updated. Her style doesn't really change that much - apart from red carpet events - but each time we see her she is totally rocking the hippy ingenuine look that she got going...of course, I think those big saucer like eyes and the little waifish figure help.

Playing with Images

I am currently playing around with camera equipment and editing software in my research for the online store. Totally confused by the amount of information available on equipment. Completely obsessed with editing dodgy webcam photo's though!

Kirribilli Market's

On Tomorrow! Once a month (4th Saturday of the Month)

Among the best markets in Sydney for Vintage and what about that view?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Don't forget the 50's fair this weekend

As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, the 1950's fair is on this weekend at Rose Siedler house in Wahroonga (north of Sydney). Definitely worth checking out. Follow the link:

check out spiceblog

I'm on the search for the most delicious rabbit recipe ever. Whenever we go to a restaurant that has rabbit on the menu I invariable order it. My mother used to cook rabbit casserole when I was young that was so absolutely mouthwateringly yummy that I still remember exactly how it tasted and how the aroma filled the whole house as it slow baked all afternoon. By dinner time all the meat would have fallen off the bones and it would melt in your mouth.

So, while researching rabbit ragu, casserole, and confit I stumbled accross Anthony Georgeff's spiceblog at He has a recipe called...wait for it....Confit of Rabbit with beetroot wontons/pink pappadams with celeriac and parsnip mash, fried parsnip, and a rabbit paté with mustard cream sauce.

It's a mouthful. And the recipe looks a little overwhelming to be honest...but wow! The Picture! Thinking about emailing Anthony and asking him on a date.
I kid I kid!

Check out his blog though....the man can definitely cook!

Vintage Tee's

I am putting some very cute retro inspired mens tee's from the JoyStick Junkies range onto ebay at present. They are inspired by the arcade games of the 1970's and 80's - Remember Space Invaders??!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Selma does Gap - Stunning!

I am a big fan of Selma's. She likes to push the fashion envelope and I respect that in a celebrity (if they do it well that is!). I'm attracted to a more quirky aesthetic you may have picked up from past blogs, and Selma fits that category perfectly. I have great respect for people who can put a look together that doesn't come straight off the catwalk or from the pages of a magazine. People who wear their clothes - not the other way round!
I also think she's the perfect candidate for a GAP endorsement because I bet she shops there (unlike, say, Madonna) . Selma does an excellent job at mixing her designer labels with vintage pieces and also high street labels like GAP...She's a cool customer!
Love the hair

what's susie bubble up to?

I really enjoy reading Susie Bubble's fashion blog. She's such a bright young thing with a very quirky fashion sense which is both appealing and very refreshing. Also, I often nab a few tips from her too. Her latest blog is about quilting! And she cleverly jumps from a history lesson to a 'how to' lesson and wraps it all up with a best buys on ebay tip.

Now, I haven't really thought about quilted garments since I had that little scare in front of the gas heater in my quilted (polyester) nightgown back when I was 11 - In fact, I have dark memories of my dad throwing me to the floor and rolling me up in the living room matt in a desperate bid to put the flames out...

Anyway, the point is that if you are a bit of a fashion rebel and like to funk things up a bit, best to start taking advice from Miss Bubble - she's tops!

Susies take on quilting - Very Cute!

a little bit audrey

I have a gorgeous 1950's midnight blue cocktail frock in the archives that reminds me of Sabrina and an amazing gold opera coat of the same era that I can just image some beautiful, young thing must have wrapped herself in for a night at the Opera House. Both will be part of the on-line collection once we go live at

Sabrina - Queen Of Style

I watched Sabrina last night. One of my favourite Audrey Hepburn movies...I love the transformation after her Paris jaunt. Such sophisication, beauty and poise! It must have been difficult for Miss Hepburn to pretend otherwise though...
And the dresses - Oh, to have access to all those fabulous frocks!
It is beautiful old movies such as Sabrina and the glamour of a beautiful star such as Audrey that will keep the spirit of vintage fashion alive forever.

Monday, August 20, 2007

All in the name of research of course!

As I have been doing a great deal of research on Australian made online stores recently on account of (code name) Project Bowerbird, I thought I best test run a couple to see how long shipping takes, how easy/user friendly their payment systems are and how they are presented etc...So obviously the only way to do that is to start ordering (up big) a few little pieces from various places.

Actually, I've been a fan of online shopping since my uni days when I had that nastly bout of ebay-aholism that almost destroyed my lust for the outdoors and put a serious strain on my relationships (both with my boyfriend and also my credit cards).

Birdmotel ( is a favourite (especially when they have big sales), but I came accross another little gem the other day called Australian Flavour (
10 points for efficiency my friends!
I stumbled over them on thursday morning, made a purchase thursday afternoon, recieved an email saying it had left on friday via AAE and ta da! recieved it this morning - Monday! Now that's what I call service!

Also the cute little gingham'esque skirt I purchased was way less than half it's orginal price and so so sweet. Made by brand Mother Maria, it's 100% cotton with the cutest little pussycat applique on the pocket. Can't wait to twirl around the house in it. Just a pity it's about 2 degrees outside today and pouring with rain


New Vintage Purchase - 80's Power Frock!

My new Ricki Rene 1980's Long Sleeve Cocktail dress got a run over the weekend. It caught my eye the other day when I was rummaging through the sale racks at good ol' Scraggs (located down the south end of King Street in Newtown) Scraggs is another one of those great little vintage shops of the same ilk as C's Falshback (up the other end of King street). It smells a little musty, is so jam packed with clothing that sometimes it's just too overwhelming even for me to tackle BUT the prices are fab fab fab! $35.00 bucks is the average you will pay for a really nice little peice of history - as long as you are happy to spend quality time trying to wrestle with the wedged in clothes on the racks and then a little more time hand washing and airing to get rid of the smell of mothballs!
Anyhoo, this little number caught my eye because of the gold piping around the edges and the slight puff in the sleeve - Very cool and not too 1980's puff ball monstrosity! In fact, I think it's the perfect little cocktail frock...and even looks great with pants underneath x

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Who Doesn't Love To Get Frocked Up?

Last night we went to the annual Black Thai Ball in Leichardt which helps raise money for sick and underpriveledged children in Thailand. We have been going since it started eight years ago by two young ladies who survived a Thai airways plane crash and consequently spent months rehabiliating in a thai hospital.
The ball is always a great night and each year they have a theme - this year it was Carnivale - which is my favourite to date because it means I was able to go a bit nuts with my Frock. I wore a vintage 1940's off the shoulder number with a fabulous full floor length skirt and gold embroidered waist - I felt like a million bucks! The photo's don't do justice to the dress but the masks are pretty impressive anyway. My gorgeous mate Cate found them for $10 each at a discount store and I think they compliment our outfits spectactularly!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Just don't do this....

MK - why oh why must you take everything to extremes? I get that your just a kid, but you have a responsibility to all those tweenies who emulate your style you know!
You look like you need a jolly good bath Missy...and somebody needs to buy you a hair brush!
PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Shawaf/pacific coast news

layer up for winter

I think the best (and most interesting) way to keep warm throughout the cooler months is to layer garments. Yes, a big winter coat will keep you warm - but how boring! All you see is a coat!
With layering you can make an outfit look interesting and you can also wear clothing that might generally save for the summer months. A shift dress layers nicely under black pants and a long sleeve tee. A cardi will add a further dimension and extra warmth. You can always throw a longer cardigan or coat over the top and a long scarf if it's really cold x

This is my staple winter warmer:

vintage dress (in this case a silk 1960's 3/4 sleeve long line shift dress)
black pants from Cue (they are the best fit I find)
pink long sleeve tee from Jag (a couple of seasons ago now though)
grey vintage cashmere 3/4 sleeve cardi
metalic flats from nine west
a silk rose clipped on my waist
and chunky silver heart pendant

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Sartorialist

My favourite blog at the moment is The Sartorialist Such an intellectual take on fashion - I love it! Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist) is a very dapper guy...I really like his birdseye view of the world according to the fashion forward. Although an industry insider for some 15 years (according to his bio), his love of photography and keen eye for what's seriously hot is totally absorbing and very addictive...He is truly an upmarket blogger and one that I try to log onto as often as possible to get some inspiration...Looking at the amount of hits and comments he receives - I'm clearly not the only one!

my fave little aussie model

I love Gemma Ward.
I love her quirkyness and her v. cute style... She's featured today in WhoWhatWear Daily and it reminded me of what a great little export she is.

Also, she seems to be really grounded for a young girl who spends her life trapsing around the globe earning sqillions and rubbing shoulders with the cream of fashion high society.

Powerhouse Museum's Sydney Design 07

Following the success of last years Young Blood: Designers Market, which showcases Australia’s best and brightest designers, it's on again for two days this coming friday and saturday at the PowerHouse Museum.

It's a must see for anyone interested in fashion, furniture, accessories and homewares.

Young Blood
Part of Sydney Design ‘07
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street Ultimo
Friday 17th August, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 18th August, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thankyou Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Fresh Start

After a busy week of cleaning and painting and moving, today I handed the keys to 196 St Johns Road back to the real estate agent. Bowerbird the retail experience is no more. Funny, I think I should probably be a little sad about the shop closure, but the truth is I'm not at all.

I see the year of retailing as a wonderful experience. It's been an absolute delight to create that special little space and to have people appreciate the work that I put in. What a roller coaster its been. On a business level I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge through the losses and the wins we have endured. These experiences have given me the power and the confidence to continue my business on another level.

On a personal level, I have learned to be calm in crisis, I have learned to be less impatient with things (and people), I have learned that I'm capable of anything and it is my choice whether I succeed or fail - and that it's ok to fail at some things as long as you understand why it happened and are 100% ready to have another go. It's also ok to win. For such a long time I have associated winning with guilt - I've been too hard on myself - I have every right to succeed and am looking forward to continuing successes in the future!

So, rather than being sad about closing the retail shop down, all I feel is excitment and enthusiam for the next part of the here we come!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

bye bye bowerbird...

We have finished trading in Glebe!
Saturday afternoon saw us toasting Bowerbird the shop, the year and casually winding down with the few friends....

from this....

to this...


Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The SIXTIES are staying put for next season..

Being the retro girl that I am, I am pleased to see that designers are still raiding bygone wardrobes for inspiration next season. The David Jones summer collection was showcased last night to much fan fare and a posse of Aussie supermodels - lead by the ageing (haha) Megan Gale who also celebrated her 32nd birthday on the catwalk.

However, I'm a little saddened that we are still in the grip of mini fever! I can almost accept the rather unforgiving baby doll frock when accompanied by a pair of thick black tights - although, I must say it's been done to death this season - particualrly by the low-end chain stores who are churning them out relentlessly. The smock, the baby doll, and the mini pini have been the main focus all winter which is fine if you have Megan Gale's legs or if you fall into the 13- 16 age bracket...on almost everyone else they look a bit silly! And if you happen to have big boobs like some of my customers then you look positively pregnant in a smock or babydoll dress.

Luckily, it seems the 70's are also making a comeback and one of my favourite style of dresses - the Maxi - is back with a vengence. I am a huge fan of the floor length frock and am looking forward to swanning about in my vintage paisley maxi and a pair of leather sandals.
Fluer Wood Maxi - summer range above

Thought for the day...

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement

Friday, August 3, 2007

today I love..

Vintage Amore on-line clothing store in the US. I bought the birdie necklace on the left.

Ancient Briton in Glebe

We visited the Ancient Briton hotel in Glebe Last night for a little Jazz entertainment by Monica Trapaga (remember Monica and the Moochers?...or maybe Playschool?). They have recently renovated the place and it's very plush with lovely big chairs and a bar made up of a giant fish tank. Although we didn't eat the menu also looks pretty good as does the wine list. What's not so great though is the acoustics! Sorry Monica, but from where we were sitting - way up the back admittedly - your lovely voice sounded a little lost in the rafters so to speak.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Friends drop in...

Mando and Larnsie drop into bowerbird...and play dress ups again!

Vogue September Out Now

I always love receiving my copy of Vogue every month. It's my favourite of the mainstream fash mags. This month see's Australia's Next Top Model winner Alice Burdue on the cover. Now, I don't watch alot of tv so I never saw the series but I did read somewhere that Alice copped alot of flack about her weight (read: too skinny).

...All I can say is - the girl is a freak! (of nature I mean) The vogue layout is ethereal. Alice looks amazing - amazingly tall and amazingly skinny - but amazing non the less. How did they find a dress long enough to fit her???

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bowerbird - Our Final Week in Glebe SALESALESALE

Well, our final week has arrived at Bowerbird, Glebe. We close the doors this Saturday at 5.00pm. The year has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least! Bowerbird has been my first foray into business and it has certainly been a huge learning curve. Although there are many things I would probably do differently (with the benefit of hindsight) I think the knowledge and experience I have gained is invaluable.
Building something so special out of absolutely nothing (except ideas and creative juice) and realising a dream is something that many people don't get the opportunity to do and I feel extremely fortuitous.
One of the most rewarding things has been the people I have met. Not just my wonderful customers but also other business people who have given me advice and encouragement along the way. I have gained a mountain of knowledge not only through my own experiences but also from listening to others talk about their journeys. I am very grateful that so many people have taken the time to share their experiences and impart information about what has worked for them and what hasn't.
Enough of me rattling on's been a blast and I'm totally looking forward to the next stage of Bowerbird - especially the design process. My new label "Rescued by Bowerbird" is coming along just great and pretty soon I'll have alot more time to dedicate to it. The web store should also be built fairly soon and we'll be back with a vengence!
So, for the next few days we are having a HUGE sale. There is almost nothing in the shop over $25!
Dresses start at $5