Thursday, September 27, 2007

NZ Fashion Week

Those crafty new zealanders have done it again...NZ Fashion Week is over and the beautiful new season inspir(ational designs that a handful of NZ's youthful and energetic fashion gang have again wowed us.

I think that NZ designers are amongst the best this side of the much so that we cunning little Aussies often try and steal them for our own - just like we do with their celebrities ie: Russell Crowe and Sam Neil.

As I'm in a bit of a rush to pack for a trip tomorrow up the New England Highway to a friends farm in Tenterfield for a few days, I will just list my top five stand outs (my humble opinion of course) . You can check out all the designers and most of the shows at NZ FASHION WEEK web site

1. Nom D - always beautiful and interesting pieces (top pic)
2. Zambesi - consistantly fabulous

3 Thomas Valantine - See 2nd pic V. Quirky - I love it

4. Petrena Miller -check out the gorgeous red and balck mini
5.And obviously the whimiscal Trelise Cooper (bottom)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I love it - Oh Carrie how I've missed You!

It's not fugly at all...But then I loved everything SJP ever wore on Sex...even the most ridiculous outfits looked amazing on her - and I can't wait for the movie to be released even though it's probably 12 months stiLLL VERY EXCITED

SJP is just one of those people who can get away with wearing silly clothes and even making them look hot (so that you think you also could kinda, maybe, sortta pull it off as well).

Which makes me think of the wonderful Isabella Blow who passed away not long ago. She was kookie/bordering on derranged in her fabulous costumes and bizarre Philip Treacy hats (which was standard uniform). Somehow she managed to look amazing though rather than ridiculous.
It just goes to show that it's not always beauty that allows one to get away with anything but a certain amount of effrontery, lots of individual style and a whole heap of confidence!

DC Goodwill Fashion Blog: Extreme Shoe Shopping

DC Goodwill Fashion Blog: Extreme Shoe Shopping

Monday, September 24, 2007

How Much Fun Is Photoshop?!

Today I purchased Photoshop... purely for business purposes of course!

I can see I'm going to waste alot of time playing around with this - I'm thinking maybe a little Andy Warhol influence here and there...

The web sites coming along nicely!

So we are really moving along with the new website...I can't say for sure when bowerbird vintage online store will go live but I have a feeling it's not too long now...
Very excited by all the work that's going on at the moment. The lovely Rena - my web designer is really powering along with the pages and it's starting to look like a real store. I haven't been able to upload the images onto the blog at present for some reason but hopefully it won't be too long before you can take a peak around the site and pick up a few fabulous frocks at bowerbird vintage on-line!
Will keep you posted

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Can I make a suggestion?

Log onto WhoWhatWearDaily for a daily dose of fashion & beauty. Get update via email for bang on trends/who's wearing what.


The Sartorialist continues to seek out and snap perfect beauties (see left). I love love love what he does. What a perfect Blog...not too much talk and plenty of fashion. His photo's speak for him.

I'm also checking out our name sake Bowerbird Blues . I stumbled accross this live journal by Sydney artist and illistrator Helen Nehill by accident when googling the word bowerbird (hey - who here hasn't googled themsevles before right? ha). Her drawings are utterly fantastic and her live journal is I recommend visiting.

Ms Style Bytes introduces me (by way of Style Bubble)to the Etsy site - an online market for all things handmade - pretty cool too particularly the amazing jewellry! Speaking of Miss Suzy Bubble - I'm admiring her styln backstage boards for London Fashion Week - she's broke and exhausted at present but still pulling out the fun fashion facts that make her so addicitive. She reminds me that I gotta find my polaroid camera...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bowerbird Photoshoot

More From the Photoshoot

1970's red & white floral cotton maxi dress - in perfect condition

Navy & white handmade polkadot floppy sun hat
Navy Tiered Evening Frock (circa 1970)
Red & navy silk scarf (1950)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rescued By Bowerbird Dress

This 1980's frock started life as a long sleeved, shin length, collared frock - entirely too busy and quite unwearable as so many 80's dresses were! I got inspired one day to make it into something wearable because I really loved the polkadots and the way it cinched in at the waist and then pleated out into a kind of bubble dress.
So...the sleeves came off, the collar had to go also, and I hemmed it up to the knee. I also change the plain black buttons to multi-coloured ones to give it a quirky look - And Tah-dah! Glamourama!
I think it's a cutie anyway
Let me know what you think


Bowerbird Vintage Comes Alive

On Tuesday we started our first round of photography for the website. The shots we took will be used in the advertising and marketing of the site and also on the site itself! Gabrielle our gorgeous model is the epitome of retro chic and the perfect representive for bowerbird!
None of the photo's have been photshopped yet but I think they've turned out brilliantly and can't wait to see the finished product

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is Eva Wearing Tin Foil?

Aaahhh, Award shows! I love them!

The Emmy's kicks off six months of self congratulatory events within the film and television industry with the crescendo being the almighty Oscars in March...Because actors simply do not get enough adulation and ostentatious reward for their existence we must also hand out trophies and a myraid of endorsements for the often mediocre work they perform!

I'm probably being slightly harsh - I mean seriously, who didn't think that Gwyneth Paltrow deserved an Oscar for Shakespear in Love over Cate Blatchett's Elizabeth? or Tom Hanks for best actor in Cast Away? talking to a basketball is v.challenging - you should tyr it sometime!

...Or our Russell in Gladiator??? (I love russ by the way just not when he's wearing a dress)

Anyway who cares about their talent when you can berate/admire their frocks? I love getting the trash bags (mags) immediately after an awards show to ogle the latest faux pas or triumph.

I can't wait to get my hands on Who this week but until then I'll content myself with the GoFugYourself girls and maybe a little TMZ

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogs I've Been Reading this Week

I've just discovered Vintage Fashion Guild. A great U.S site for virtual vintage lovers! It's jam packed with information about whats happening on the web in the world of vintage fashion. With it's own virtual fashion parades to forums offering expert advice on all things vintage - it's a great on line community for the VF retailer or consumer.

Vintage Joyride is another great source of info for the vintage fashionista. I can spend hours perusing these sites and they also have a list of other amzing blogs and website to visit.

Another fave at the moment is Papierblog who has just alerted me to the fact that its now London Fashion Week - how did this fact escape me? Their fashion week diaries for all the majors (check out the recent New York Postings) are pretty comprehensive without being long winded which I like. It also provides links to news articles and fashion editors comments from around the globe.

And as usual I'm checking out Missy Confidential for whats going on at Sydney fashion central. This site has the best local and interstate fashion news for sales, new trends and online buys. It also has a great forum and links to other blogs.

Blogging for Business

After the gift fair (see below post) I went to a sensational (free) seminar run by the NSW Women in Biz program on engaging the customer using web 2.0, blogs and wikis which was part of small business month FANTASTIC - The guest speaker was Laurel Papworth, a social network strategist who runs WorldCommunities I learned so much in 3 hrs! Laurel was a very engaging speaker who talked at a basic level of understanding rather than technical babble. I actually walked away extremely excited and bursting with idea's on how to get bowerbirdvintage engaged important/relevant web based communities. If you are interested in this area have a look at Laurels website or check out her blog at:

I also recommend checking out all the other fab things going on at small biz month as the line up is huge and covers most industries. I'm off to a fashion evening next week for a bit of a smooze and a great networking opportunity.

Back to Business

Today it was back to the grind! This morning I dropped into the Reed Gift Fair - A must for those in the retail trade. The fair is on twice a year in Sydney at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre and is choc full of wholesalers from the gift, homewares, jewellery and fashion industries. Some 700 exhibitor's all up so you need a few hours to browse and your cheque book handy!
It's a really good way for retailers to view products and order stock at the same time but you need to go in with a list of what you need and a budget to work to otherwise you can do some serious damage.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's been a busy week - hence the lack of blogging I've been doing. Last week I celebrated my 35th birthday - 3 days in a row - and now I'm detoxing! Friday night saw a dozen of us at La Botte D'oro in Leichardt scoffing down an authentic Italian banquett and drinking some aged reds from the cellar. I love any excuse to frock up...even a relatively quiet dinner with friends!

I am wearing a blue silk shift with a hand made black silk floral brooch

Friday, September 14, 2007

The best of NY Fashion Week - Retro Rewind!!

Designers, it seems, are still embracing lady like looks. And we are moving away form the micro mini - thank god!
NY fashion week is all over and the result are in: Lots of sheer fabric underlays, lace and chiffon. lots of White, a bit of grey and plenty of colours like Fushia, Purples and Orange is huge.
I'm loving the corseted bodices and flowy 1950's style summer frocks and pretty prom dresses (Betsey Johnson) that keep making an appearance each spring. These styles are faultless and suit most body shapes - in fact they even flatter a larger shape because they give good waist while hiding hips and bums.

Also on show (but not too overwhelming - thank god) were the neons and flash trash of the Eighties. But a little more sophicated this time round with the likes of Alexandre Herchcovitch sending some amazing brightly coloured frocks down the runway.
Michael Kors returned to the eghties also. Showing off tutu's, leggings and off the shoulder sweaters a' la Flashdance.
There was still plenty of embellished pieces and metallics as well which is wonderful news as I love anything that sparkles!
Overall, though the majority of designers seem to stick with a retro theme with inspiration as far back as the 1920's (hooray!) with flowing flapper inspired frocks, right through the 1970's where the maxi shone so brightly.
A number of bloggers have complained about how boring everything appeared to be but I disagree. From what I can see there is plenty to get excited about particularly the fact that the babydoll seems to be all but dead for now - thank heavens!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rescued By Bowerbird - Birth of a Label

For a number of year now I have been re-working vintage finds. It started with buying dresses that were too big or too long that I would take home and fix up so that they would fit me properly. Sometimes, while sifted through an Op shop I'd find an rather ugly shaped dress made out of beautiful material so I'd take that home and play around with it until I found a way to make it wearable and to show off the gorgeous fabric.

When I went into business, I ended up with a truck load of dresses that had this kind of potential and I'd spend hours in the shop making them into something fab

This got me thinking that there was a market for re-worked vintage and with a little coaxing for friends I decided to start Rescued by Bowerbird. The concept behind the label is to keep the authenticity of the garment alive (I also keep the original label so that it's origins are not forgotten and then sew mine into it as well) and then work on updating it to give it a more contemporay feel without loosing any of it's vintage appeal. So as well as changing hem lines, taking in, letting out and re-working shapes I also embellish with beading and vintage collars, embroider and in some cases combine a few pieces together to make one outfit.
I will be launching Rescued on-line once the shop goes live and as part of the website I want to incorporate a design forum. This willinvolve me posting pictures of a garment I'm working on and hopefully generating some interest and ideas from customers and readers about what the garment needs to revive it - It should be fun!

I've recently embellished this little 70's dress with pieces of silk ribbon to give it a completely new look...

Motorola Spring Fashion Week

Check out the shannigan's of those fashion savvy melbournites with the girls from thirdbest at The Age online

Richard Nylon Parade Last Night

I've been a busy girl...

I have spent a few days on the road sourcing beautiful little frocks for the on-line store which, dear people, is being finished as we speak!!! Now the hard work begins....Photographing garments and accessories begins next week. I will definitely keep you up to date with our progress. In the mean time check out some of my fab new finds:

This baby has photgraphed darker than is really is...It's actually a gorgeous cream and gold. Circa 1950's - I can imagine it worn with one of those netted hats and a pair of white gloves to the races!

1950's Cream Beaded Cocktail Frock

A fab find. I will replace the zipper as it's the original and although still working probably not for too much longer. This amazing little dress falls to the knee and is cinched at the waist with a matching belt

Nannies Cream and White Frock is a StandOut!

Although this little frock hasn't photographed well with my old cannon powershot in the afternoon light and hanging sadly on a hanger...believe me this is a little gem. Probably my favourite scoop in the last few days. It is delicate cream and white lace. Falls just above the knee and is in perfect condition for its age. With the perfect lace slip it will look amazing!

Pink's so hot right now!

This sexy little 1960's hot pink shift dress is in perfect condition. It's a beautiful little frock in a vintage crimplene fabric complete with black mesh covering the little round cut outs and is finished with tiny white beading over the holes. Summer's best party frock!

View from the balcony - Seven Mile Beach!

We recently spent a few days hanging out down the south coast of NSW. We often pile bikes and golf clubs into the car and head for Gerroa (about 1hr and 15 mins south of Sydney). You can rent a 4 bedroom house down there for 3 nights with these amazing views for a measly $500.00(www.

Seven Mile beach stretches out ahead of you for...well about 7 miles actually. Berry is 10 minutes drive away if you feel like rubbing shoulders with 100000 day trippers. Coolangatta Estate Winery is also 5 minutes away. They produce some of the best local semillon around. The 1998 vintage is a multi award winner which even trumped Tyrrells Vat 1 (one of Austalia's best) at the Royal Sydney Show a couple of years ago. We stopped there for lunch one day and tried their celebreated local tasting plate - superb for $25-00!

The towns of Gerrigong and Werri Werri beach (great for surfing) are also 5 minutes away and my favourite little regional restaruant (in the south anyway) is right in the heart of Gerroa. With only about 8 inside tables, Seahaven Cafe used to be an old general store they are open for both luch and dinner six days (closed Monday). They serve both cafe style food as well as a fine dining experience with a modern australian dinner menu offering - Weve never had a bad meal or experience there and the coffee is great too.
The best thing about this part of the south coast is that it is still largely undiscovered. The Gerrigong golf course has an honesty box and the beach stretches so far it could never be crowded.

View from the 7th hole on Gerrigong Golf course

Friday, September 7, 2007

Today's List - Celebrity Designers (best & worst)

Although I admire a number of celebrities for their great style and taste...I do wonder whether the birth of the celebrity designer over the last few years really is just a big PR stunt orchestrated by management teams, designed to generate lots more cash and publicity for their already over-exposed/paid clients. (jealous? me? never!)
I wonder who really is designing their ranges. After all, these people have trained monkeys doing just about everything for them from wet nursing their children to holding their umbrella's and chewing their food (I may have made that one up).
I mean where did Kate find the time - in between getting trashed with Pete every other night and traipsing around the globe endorsing the dozen or more fashion houses and cosmetic companies she lends her face to - to pump out a range for Topshop?
Anyway, rather than rattle on about things I know little about, I've compiled a short list of those I find inspiring and those I find slightly dubious:
I'm inspired by:

1) Milla Jovovich - Carmen Hawk for Jovovich Hawk. Models turned designers have a little more street cred than the average actor I think. Milla is flawless and the range of dresses (particularly this latest season - Fall 2007) are amazing. They have a real 1940's feel...V Sexy!
2) Elle MacPherson Intimates - Beautiful lingerie and superb marketing. Not entirely sure how much designing she does but she's inspiring for her business acumen
3) Stella McCartney - A designer with celebrity blood lines. Her designs are consistently beautiful - except that whole range for Target she did - I was pretty disappointed with that.
4) Jodhi Mears Tigerlilly - Putting the Packers money to very good use. She has come along way since launching a little swim wear range a few years back. Although I'm not a huge fan of swim culture/beach wear her summer frocks are a hit
5) Gail Elliot and Little Joe: Beautiful ex model using famous friends to promote gorgeous, feminine line of silk and lace slip style dresses and camisoles...flawless

And the other ones...
1) J.Lo for Jen Lopez: Admittedly her designs are probably becoming slightly more polished but...
2) Gwen Stefani and L.a.m.b: She cute and quirky and I admire her individulaity but the whole Harajuka thing got a bit weird
3) Puff Daddy aka Sean John: Not everybody can pull off a white linen suit Puffy
4) Nicky Hilton Handbags, and Paris I hear is also is bringing out a line of shoes - enough already!
5) Victoria Beckham for VDB (or something). I still have a girl crush on you from the Spice Girls days Victoria so I forgive you but you really ought to stick to sitting in the front row at fashion shows...
6) 50 Cent, Eminem, Eve, Jessica are all entertainers (in some cases this is also questionable) please stop pretending you know clothes.

footnote: the second list was much easier to compile

In other news...


Gwen Stefanie hits the news today with her collection - L.A.M.B and suprisingly some of it looks kind of wearable...check out the fuggers view on all the shows at:
photo by firstview

Those Little Rascal's...

Yes, the Chaser's stunt was pretty juvenille...But gee it was funny!
...and a little scary considering the amount of money being spent on security and the hype around the "lock down" - not that locked down it seems!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Todays List - Ten of the Best Magazines

As mentioned in previous blogs, I have a magazine addiction that rivals Lindsey Lohan's cocaine habit. I go on massive binges that put me on a high for hours. In fact, I've been known to buy as many as 5 at a time and then lock myself in the bathroom and consume the lot! The only difference is that I'm usually taking a bath at the time and the only harmful side effects are generally a blurred/confused image of how much money I really have (thus initiating massive spending spree).
Seriously though, my favourite fashion magazines are actually those that inspire creativity rather than spending:

1)Frankie: I love this little piece of creative genius. So unpreteniuos! It's cute, the writers are very witty, it dedicates itself to up and coming artists, designers and other creative types and the fashion spreads are usually pretty cool.
2)Russh: Not your average fash mag. Again a bit left field. The fashion is also very comprehensive and it champions up and coming Aussie designers as well as keeping abreast of whats hot in Europe and the US
3)Vogue Australia: Consistently beautiful. I usually trawl it for their style bites rather than the fashion spreads though and it's always nice to know what happening around the world (according to the gods of fashion)
4)Vogue US: I don't always fork out 20 bucks for a slice of American fashion culture. But I am kind of in awe of Ms Wintour and her empire...and it's always a treat
5)Bazaar: More of the same for those of us who can't get enough
6)Nylon: I enjoy this US monthly . They often have up and coming designers and fashions that is slightly out there. And like Russh it is choc full of new found talent and creative genius
7)Oyster: Gorgeous, fat feature mag showcasing Oz and NZ design
8)Cream: More of the same. A little hit and miss occasionally (they all have their off months though)
9)Instyle: Again, sometime I wish I hadn't wasted the $7.80...but more often than not it's pretty good and sometimes it's fabulous! All those shiny celebrities in fabulous frocks!
10)Dumbo Feather, Pass It On...: not technically a fashion mag but deserves a mention just because it's so beautifully layed out. It's full of wonderful stories about fascinating people and is worth every cent of it's hefty price tag.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Todays List - Ten Best Blogs (Fashion)

While trawling for inspiration for this blog Icame accross some really cool fashion blogs. Add these to your favourites list:
1) Two young ladies having a laugh at the expense of the fashion challenged celeb. Very witty, very clever...and often a little bit mean. I need a daily dose!
2) Suzie Bubble - informative, fun, innovative and quirky. My kind of blog
3) Beautiful pictures of the genetically blessed fashion people and those who know how to pull a look together
4) Informative fashion blog
5) formerly lipstik lady. Cute young fashion nut!
6) fashion frenzy New York hipsters!
7) Another cute young thing musing about fashion - fresh and appealing
8) Interesting things happen all over the world you know?
9) NY Times runway reviews - up to the minute fashion
10) Not just a blog/s! Comprehensive fashion site. A must view!

Inspiration - Brooches

I am currently creating a range of cute brooches for my Rescued by Bowerbird label. I love brooches and usually wear one most days to spice up an outfit. Currently I'm inspired by fabric flora. Having bought a couple of beautiful silk flower brooches from at the Young Blood Designers Market at the Powerhouse Museum last month I decided to turn my hand to the art of the fabric flower. The first couple of attempt were a bit sad I have to say...but practise makes perfect! The rose brooch on the left is made of silk organza and small feathers I bought in a craft shop on the south coast.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

p.s...Photo credits for Dita belong to: MJ Kim/Getty Images

Numero Uno

Seeing as I placed Ms Von Teese at the top of my list of Style Icons, I thought I might showcase some of her wardrobe for you. This is why People!

I think this little number is Vintage - not sure of the designer but she certainly is the perfect vintage mannequin. This woman lives and breaths the 1940's and 50's...she's ravishing

Ravishing in Red

Scarlett dress, white skin, raven hair...what more can I say? Except of course that Vivenne Westwood is a genius!

Burgundy Julien McDonald Gown

The deep colour really suits her pale skin. She does Goth very well.

Immaculate in Ivory!

Todays List - Best Dressed Celebrities

I buy alot of fashion magazines each week (for research of course). I also buy Who magazine and O.K. as well. I promise I don't actually read any of the articles in these two (hmmm...ok that's a lie). The reason I buy them though is because I love to see what famous people are wearing. Not the fashion disasters like Britney but those with real style (or stylist's I suppose). I guess it boils down to the fact that I'd much rather check out someone's interruptation of an outfit than see it sashaying down the catwalk on a human coat hanger.

Don't get me wrong, I include ogling at what models are wearing as a favourite pastime - just not when their on the catwalk so much. I think models like Gemma Ward, Karolina Kurkova and (obviously) Kate Moss have fab styles of their own.

That's not to say I don't also pore over fashion shows - I definitely do - I just really enjoy seeing how those beautiful garment have been translated into wearable fashion - given a personality so to speak...

So, without further ado...this is my top 10 list of fave fashioista's from celeb-land (at the moment anyway!):

1. Dita Von Teese - Never anything but perfectly coiffed
2. Nicole Ritchie - I know she's a poster girl for eating disorders and drug abuse but she is always immaculate
3. Milla Jovovich - quirky yet everything she wears looks amazing
5. Helena Christensen - ditto
6. Sarah Jessica Parker - no list is complete without her although sadly she's not Carrie Bradshaw these days!
Kate Bosworth - she has that Grace Kelly with an urban twist thing going on
7. Jessica Alba - I don't like her for some reason but I can't argue with her style - always perfectly presented
8. Cate Blanchett - no one does ethereal quite like Cate
9. Kylie Minogue - Get's it right 9 times out of ten. Particularly in Vintage pieces
10. Jennifer Lopez - get a special mention for her Red Carpet extravaganza's - She has great style lately and totally rocks a floor length gown

To Do: Write A List !

Being a true blue Virgo, I'm a List kind of girl. Not too many days go by that I haven't written myself a To Do list. And it doesn't just end with work related chores...I even have weekend lists that have things like 'ring your mum' and 'buy new snakeskin stilletto from Ninewest" (last weekends list).

Writing The List though is really only half of the ritual. I also love to tick things off my list once they have been achieved. Depending on how important or difficult they are, once completed they might even qualify for TWO ticks or if really serious, I might draw a red line through said chore.

Anything that doesn't get finished will appear on the following days list and so on. The satisfaction on the Tick or the Line keeps me compiling list after list and my diary is choc full of them.

Although it is sometimes a frustrating habbit - particularly when v.boring tasks keep appearing on the next days list for weeks at a time until I eventually take them off altogether - I really can't imagine now people get by without one.

It's not just To Do lists either! I love a Best Of list (and a Worst Of come to think of it) , a Things To Do Before You Die list...hell - I even love a shopping list!

So, I thought I'd combine my love of The List with my daily blog and hopefully give out some helpful hints along the way