Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Speaking of Supermodels...

I was reading about the original super model last night - 60's icon Jean Shrimpton - Apparently, (according to wiki ) the word "supermodel" was created to describe "The Shrimp". Her debut of the mini dress in 1965 at the Melbourne Cup elevated her to icon status.

Jean Shrimpton - What a beautiful face

I'm putting Jean at number 1...but here's the rest of my 10 best super's of all time:

2. Twiggy - of course! (have you been watching her as panelist on America's next top model? Still lovely!)

3. Veruschka - another 60's icon. If you have ever seen Blow Up 'm sure you will agree she is one of the most stunning women of her era

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" 1966
4. Gia Carangi - Most famous face of the 70's and probably one of the most tragic too. She died in 1986 of Aids and was also a herion addict.

5. Cindy Crawford

6. Linda (i don't get out of bed for less than $10000 a day) Evangelista

7. Naomi Campbell

8. Christy Turlington

9. Claudia Shiffer

(The above five in any order - They resurrected the word Super in the 1980's)

10. Elle MacPherson - obviously
and tie breaker,
Kate Moss - The face of 90's heroin chic is still going strong, although coke is her drug of choice I'm told!

oh, and Giselle - For those cheekbones

OMG - This modelling gig's not as easy as it looks!

Today we did a few more photos for the web site using me as model. I was hoping to escape modelling duty actually, as posing in front of a camera for me is akin to being tortured. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be that girl with the natural smile and confident strut but all I see when I look at photos is FLAWS!

I'm doing it for a few reason's - mainly convenience as we will be adding new items practically daily and the clothes look so much better on a human than they do on a mannequin, although I'm also using mannequins to.

Asking someone else to model everytime I need a real body will be logistical nightmare though.

Maybe when we grow world famous I will employ a full time model!!!

The other reason is that it probably gives the web site a bit more of a personal touch. I was pretty hands-on in the shop so flashing my pearly whites around the on-line store will be like being the "face" of bowerbird I suppose.

Finally, it could be good for my confidence! Us ladies really need to get over the whole "flaws" issue. So, I'm no supermodel...who cares? I'm pretty magnificant anyway (right mum?)

Me pretending to be kate Moss

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Summers Hot List

Ten Things To Buys For Summer Blue 1970's Maxi Dress available at Bowerbird in a couple of weeks time!

1. White White White: Frocks, Linen Pants, leather sandals, wedges, tee shirts & singlet tops. Wear it all White

2. 70's Maxi Dress: Goodbye baby-doll, The maxi dress is back. Wear it to the floor proudly. Vintage is best though so try and find the real deal

3. Sailor themes: I love red, white and blue. In Stripe & Spots too. So fresh

4. Fresh Water Pearls: Pearls are such a summer jewel I think. Have a look at the amazing range at Paspaley Pearls

5.Vintage Inspired swimwear: Everyone from Collette Dinnigan to Sass & Bide are bringing out swim wear this season and the look is very 1950's pin-up girl in both one-piece and bikini's

6.Retro sunglasses: rayban wayfarers, 1950's style round frames or oversized 1980's with colourful, striped frames. Check out One Teaspoons/Le Specs at Birdmotel

7.Large colourful canvas tote bags: for all your beach necessarities

8.Embellishments: including handmade silk floral brooches, handsewn fabric necklaces, resin jewellry, sequinned neck ties, silk scarves and simple white tee-shirts adorned with beading, sequinns and stones

9. Red and White Striped floppy sun hat from Country Road . My latest purchase!

10. Trapeze shaped dresses in gorgeous summer colours like coral, fushia, emerald green and topaz

Sunday, October 28, 2007


"Beauty of whatever kind, invariably excites the human soul to tears"

This photo is of the Bowerbird shop window in Glebe. I loved this quote by Edgar Allan Poe so much I had it stenciled on our display window. I might try and incorporate it into the web site as it still captures the essence of our little store...

Balmain Art& Craft Show

The Balmain Art & Craft show is on next weekend. It's been going for 12 years now and is an established part of the Sydney contemporary art scene.
Around 200 artists and artisans show their wares at the Father John Therry School, Eaton Street, Balmain

Check out for all the details.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cool Crafty Web Store! GeorgieLove!

This store is a must see for those of you who love individual designs and crafty one off pieces from fab Aussie talent. Selling fashion, jewels, toys, bags, purses and every other crafty creation imaginable - it's worth the visit! Click here

Think I'm gonna buy me one of these cute little brooches.

Decisions, Decisions....

Friday, October 26, 2007

The pyschology of hair colour

In the last ten months I have come full circle - almost. In january I had very light (long) blond hair which by March had been highlighted with caramels, after taking a photo of Giselle into my hairdresser and declaring that I wanted her hair (who doesn't ?). A month later I was sitting in the chair again saying it's time for a change! Cut It Off! This time the photo accompanying such a declaration was of Audrey Tattou's cute little pixie cut.

A week or so later I decided that short hair needed a dark hue for a more polished look. Unfortunately I was in Coles in the hair care section when I made that decision so I trotted off home with a Clairol Dark Brown permanent hair colouring kit in my groceries - Who knew colouring your own hair would be so messy...and dark brown?!!!

The very next day I had my (long suffering) hairdresser fix it with some highlights....This lasted another month before I had them die it BLACK. That was definitely a PMT based decision and one I regretted immediately. Two weeks later it was stripped again and dyed Red (I've always wanted to try out hair the colour of Lily Coles).

Unfortunately (that word pops up alot in my hair stories) I looked more like Ronald McDonald than Lily Cole and it was promply died back to dark brown the very next day.

Over the last six months it has slowly been lightened again and finally I am back to blond.

What does all this say about me? I love change? I'm insecure about my looks? I'm artistic? eccentric? eccletic? mental?

Mostly, I think it says I have very strong hair

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vintage = Green

I read an article recently written (very eloquently) by young British model Lily Cole about ethical fashion although I'll be damned if I can find it now - I'm sure I tore it out and put it somewhere safe!

Anyway, it basically extolled the virtues of recycled clothing and how we can all do a bit for the environment by not treating clothes as disposable products (and YES, she was aware of the irony re: her job as a top model flogging luxury goods).

I 100% agree with her though, and I really believe that it's an important issue. Particularly the human cost of our cut-price clothing. All those luxury rip offs and cheap clothing lines that we bargain hungry shoppers love to buy are often at the expense of dirt poor people in places like China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka whose national economies rely heavily on textile trade. (have a look at for more info)

Sweat shops are not new but as a community we have a responsibility to understand the extent of exploitation and dismal conditions of workers in poverty stricken countries - Our desire for bargains and the department store sale wars ultimately have a huge impact on those people as their manufacturing is directly proportional to our consumption which often times means even longer hours for less pay.

Doesn't this make the idea of vintage clothing even more appealing? Buying Vintage not only means you have something unique and beautifully preserved, but you can also be responsible shoppers without comprising on style.
Right On!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quote of the Day


Cecil Beaton

The Great Debate...Is Very Harmful Actually...

Rueters photo of (the beautiful) Gemma Ward

This photo has caused a little bit of a frenzy in fashion land. Apparently Gemma Ward has gotten FAT. Yes people, that photo is a clear indictation that Gemma has piled on the kilo's and is now a plus size model (according to some bloggers)

GIVE ME A BREAK! If only we could all look like that in a bikini.

The last word from me though, as I feel a bit dirty even discussing such trash (am I adding fuel to this grotty, nasty little fire by discussing it at all?) Why can't we as women treat ourselves (and our sisters) better...I know that my preoccuation with my weight (and even other peoples) over the years amounts to an enormous amount of lost time that I will never get back.
Lifes short.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gabrielle Wears....

Fushia/Silver Vintage Crimplene Shift Dress (Circa 1960)

Karin Wears...

"Rescued by Bowerbird" pleated skirt & Handmade Bolero in 1950's vintage fabric by designer Kate Shannahan

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Children's Wear

Bowerbird will also have a new childrens wear department! However, most of the gorgeous little frocks and nightie are brand new handmade pieces that have a vintage, victorian look rather than authentic vintage pieces. Of course, there are a few vintage items too and lots of cute, new handmade goodies - toys, nappy bags etc.
This little frock is by Mid Summer Nights Dream. One of our fab new labels...

Another Day...Another Photoshoot for Bowerbird

On Saturday we did another marathon photoshoot for the web-site. The next couple of weeks will be pretty busy with up-loading all the photo's, putting in descriptions, testing the site and making sure everything is working properly and entered correctly.
Phew, I'm gonna need a holiday....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fashion on a Shoestring: Seventh Avenue Market - Sydney

Fashion on a Shoestring: Seventh Avenue Market - Sydney

Ive found a great little blog - click on the link for great ideas and bargains!

Rescued By Bowerbird - more frocks!

This is from the Rescued by Bowerbird range. It's one I worked on quite some time ago now. An old wedding dress I found when fossicking down the south coast. The beading caught my eye because it was just so beautiful! I reworked it from a rather unflattering 80's wedding disaster to a cute knee length strapless cocktail frock with a real 60's feel

This gorgeous frock has a matching bolero and is a beautiful rust colour. The lining which is visible at the split is a burnt orange - the contrasting colours make it stunning and the cut is really falttering. it would be the perfect cocktail gown!

Another frock from the Rescued... label. Although I didn't do much to to this little baby except take it in, as it was a very large size and had no real shape unfortunatley. I also took the hem up from below the knee to just above the knee. The frill and the silk flower at the side make the outfit though!

Silk rose and frill detail

Tips: Caring for your Vintage Garments

I have been busy this week preparing information for the website. Important things about shipping, ordering etc etc. But also info about the clothes themselves - Sizing is obviously key, as sizes from yesteryear are completely different to todays sizing - so much so that I rearly even look at the size labels in vintage garement as they are meaningless.
All you need is a good tape measure though and you are away.
Another really vital bit of info for my customers is how to care for a vintage garment. It is a bit like the old saying "respect your elders". If a garement is 40 years old and still in perfect condition - believe me, you wna to try and keep it that way.
Here are a few simple steps to help you:
1. Where possible also try to clean a vintage item immediately after wearing to avoid stains like perspiration from setting
2. Use a gentle liquid detergent instead of powder if you are going to hand wash. I always use a good quality eucalyptus wool wash on my vintage as it’s the most gentle cleaner and the eucalyptus scent is excellent for removing those musty smells.
3. Always dry clean if in doubt about washing certain fabrics
4. Never store vintage items in a plastic bag; they need to be able to breathe. Fold or store vintage knits in a drawer - hanging them will stretch them out Store fragile items (i.e. rayon, silk) flat or folded as hanging will cause shoulder 'humps' and can tear fragile fabric Keep clothes away from light; light will cause fade and/or deteriorate fabric over time
5.Use lavender to keep away pests; Moth Balls smell BAD! Try not to stack heavy folded items as this will cause creasing and fold marks that yu may not be able to iron out if left for a long time
6. Do not put your vintage in the washing machine if you can help it - but if you do always check for weak seams, holes or frays beforehand
7.Use cool to warm water to avoid fade or running of garment dyes and spot clean first before washing Never use wire hangers! They can rust - always use padded or wooden hangers and hang your fragile items inside out or fold them carefully instead of hanging

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Anna Piaggi - a life of style

I love the Anna Piaggi's of the world - although they are few. In fact, now that dear Isabella Blow has passed on, Anna is almost entirely alone in her eclectic, eccentric, fantastically fanciful world fashion. A fashion editor who has worked at Italian Vogue and Vanity magazines at 71 she is still an authority on everything to do with fasion.

What I really love about her is that she stays true to herself and is unashamedly individualistic in her style. I admire people who could care less about the opinions of others...Her exotic fashion is the backdrop of her character and her extrodinary passion.

Last year the Victoria and Albert Museum in London exhibited a tiny portion of her 3000 frocks and 300 pairs of shoes. She has been quoted as saying that she has never worn an outfit more than once!
Images courteousy of

Blogger Backlash

Scrolling through one of my favourite blogs tonight, The Sartorialist , looking at all the amazing photos he has recently taken in Paris and London (Oh, to be paid to take photo's of beautiful clothes in romantic locations!) I came accross this photo with a witty caption by the sart not wanting to "celebrate smoking" and telling his daugthers they won't be allowed to. The posting attracted a wopping 163 comments (to date). Curious, I opened them up...what a backlack! My favourite quote (mainly for the grammical and spelling errors...Yes I know I am not great at spelling either) was: " dear sartorialist, though your fotografs are special, please spare us your faschist , naive american views on i.e. smoking. It seems to all americans abroad, the world is an extension of disneyworld and theirs for the taking. you are not an artist. artists smoke".
Oh Please!

Anyhow, I'm actually more offended by the MC Hammer pants than the smoking - although both look pretty dumb :-(

P.S He takes beautiful photographs and should not be hung, drawn and quartered for having an opinion me thinks...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Three Blogs to Visit in Your Lunch Hour

I met the lovely Sara aka The Bargain Queen through a friend a little while back. Her blog is full of v.important information for all of us who love fashion but have a pretty tight budget. This blog has links to everything we need to look fab all the time without breaking the bank.

Also, if you love anything handmade go to to check out the amazing talent of some of our local designers - You can buy anything from stuffed toys, homewares to handbags, jewellry and fashion and it's all uniquely individual

Another cute blog for fashion is Gala Darling
Plenty of fashion and quirk by Cosmo mag contributor Gala Darling.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


After weeks of discussions back & fourth with the web designer about the look and feel of the new website, we are now in the final stages of design for the Bowerbird Online Store. In the next few days the design phase will be completed (by the fabulously talented Rena) and the programmer will begin his magic. After that we download all the images and then enter in the text and descriptions of each item.
This blog will become part of the websites home page which is designed to keep our customers up to date with what happening both at bowerbird and in the wider world of fashion...and life generally!
I try to post a blog most days with info I think might interest my customers. I usually try to include links to other sites that I find helpful, interesting or funny as well as other on-line stores that people might want to check out
So if your new to the bowerbird blog...keep popping in to see how progress is going with bowerbirdvintage because in the very near future you will have a brand new on-line boutique where you can go shopping 24/7

Photo is from one of our recent photoshoots

Dress from my new "Rescued by Bowerbird" range which will be launched along with the store
See you soon


Shop Till You Drop - E-Boutique!

Shop Til You Drop magazine is now on-line! They have recently added an e-boutique to their webiste that rents space to fashion houses which sell on the Shop website so you can now buy directly from the mag's e-boutique.

On-line stores such as birdmotel, frock you, cashmere angel and my catwalk have all signed on.

Check out Targets new Designers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gail Sorronda

Best check out Gail Sorronda's aka Gail Reids new Bird of Prey Spring/Summer collection if you want to see what the best of hot young Aussie designers are coming up with. I love Reid's aesthetic. Very Dramatic! A former model and stylist, she's been around fashion for years (although still only 25). I often wonder why there aren't more ex-models out there creating their own fashion lines...I imagine they must get alot of inspiration constantly being surrounded by designers and arty types. I would have though that once they hang up their stiletto's it would be a fairly natural path into designing for many of them. Obviously not everybody is inclined to that particular artistic medium but I can't think of too many model turned designers apart from Gail Elliot, Milla Jovovich ...I think Christy Turlington has a Yoga range...And I'm talking about those who have set up their own design houses not the Kate Moss for Top Shop's etc....I'm sure there plenty more - I must be tired tonight!

Anyway, Gail has got the goods I think. She's managed to create a range that is both mature yet personifies Y gen's lust for everything new, shiny and interesting. I think her current range which features plenty of black & white is gorgeous and Guess What? Good News! She and fellow Aussie hot property Yeojin Bae are the newest 'Designers for Target' to collaborate with the retail heavy weight, following in the foot steps of Josh Goot and Stella McCarthy

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Best Markets In Sydney - The List

1. My absolute fave at the moment is Rozelle Markets on Darling Street - which run over both days on the weekend. It's a hodge podge of vintage clothing, accessories, bricabrac, art and many other wonderful bits and pieces. Bowerbird Vintage has a stall there once a month too at the moment.
2. Just down the road are Balmain Markets - Saturdays 8.30am to 4pm Old church on the corner of Darling and Curtis Road, Balmain good for pre-loved clothes, homewares & hand-made crafts.
3. Bondi Markets - Sunday 10am to 4pm. Bondi Beach Public School. Campbell Parade. Lots of aspiring young designers - Grovvy folks like Susien Chong started selling her 'Lover' label there. Also plenty of vintage clothing at great prices, cool sunglasses, Art and hand made furniture
4. Kirribilli Markets - the fourth Saturday of the month on the corner of Fitzroy and Alfred St on the western side of the Harbour Bridge. Gorgeous location on a spring day. Great fruit and veg too when your done clothes shopping
5. Glebe Markets on Saturdays at 10am-4pm at Glebe Public School on Glebe Point Rd. Sydneys bohemian market. Always busy. Used to be the best bargains in Syd but thats slowly changing...still pick up a few though
6.Good Living Growers Market - 1st Saturday of each month 7am - 11am,Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont NSW. If your a foodie this is the market for you. Quality food market. Most of the stall holders are growers who come from all over the state to sell their produce once a month.
7. Leichardt Farmers Markets - Saturdays - Orange Grove Public School, Balmain Road. Great for organic food
8. Paddington Markets - Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00pm at the Uniting Church on Oxford Street, Fashion, jewellery, home wares, furniture, art, craft, baby products, beauty & health products, photography & food - don't expect to find too many bargain though!
9. Surry Hills Markets - First Saturday of the month 8.30 – 4pm. Shannon Reserve, cnr Crown and Foveaux Sts. Trash & Treasure Treat!!!
10. Fox Studios Farmers Markets - Wednesday 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Fox Studios: Fresh prduce, flowers and gift stands. Children friendly markets

Back to Dress Ups

I couldn't wait to put a frock on today...Five days in the bush had me hankering for a cute frock and some bling!

Dress: 1970's Ricky Rene Sun Frock
Cardi: Gap
Belt: Vintage from Flee Market in London
Teale Rose Necklace: Roselle Markets
Green Suede Shoes: Mollini

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Strand Arcade

Reasons to love the Strand Arcade:

The Graduate Store - fab new fashion from up and coming graduate designers show their wares

Terry Biviano has just opened her flagship shoe store there

Gail Elliot has opened Little Joe - Her gorgeous boutique full of signature lace slip dresses and other international designer pieces

New Fluer Wood Boutique too - she calls it a pandora's box of beautiful things - she's right!

You can't go to the Strand without visiting the ever youthful Allanah Hill store

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Another Great Fashion Blog...

have a look at this site for up-to-date info on fashion

Great Blog Alert

Ive been checking out on line mag Nitro:licious - this is one cool mag/blog by blogger retrogurl with all the up to date goings -on in fashion both here and overseas including the news that both Gail Sorronda and Yeojin Bae ( 2 truly talented young Aussie up and comers - more on them later) are both designing a range for Target. I suggest that you bookmark it as it's worth the visit. Totally choc full of delicious fashion, shoes, beauty, entertainment news, travel, the list goes on.
Inspirational stuff for the budding blogger too.

The scary side of summer

I love love love summer. I'm a sun dress girl. Put me in a fab frock and some heels or wedge and I'm in my fashion element! In fact - it's hard to get me in jeans or pants - although I've just bought the most gorgeous pair of wide legged white linen pants that Im dying to wear.
So, now that the weathers heating up I'm one happy dude but yesterday, driving home from tenterfield, we experienced the scary side of summer - Bush Fires. It took 13 hours to do an 8 hour road trip because the F3 and the old Pacific Highway were both closed due to fires - And it's only September! I truly hope that we don't experience the horrific summer we had a few years back where people lost their lives and thousands of homes were destroyed.
As the temperature gauge in the car read 35 degrees - we decided to stop along the way and cool off...the water was glorious :-)

Im back....

I have been galavanting (literally) around the country visiting friends. We (the boy & I) went up to tenterfield (far northern NSW) to visit some friends on their cattle farm. Boy, we had fun! Sometimes its liberating to get a little dirty. I even helped push a grey water tank into place to catch the water that runs off the cattle shed when it (if) it rains. I did however draw the line at Stick Picking! Whats that you ask?? Well, it's exactly what it's picking up sticks and fallen branches in the fields....Yep. Didn't sound like alot of fun to me either. Apparently, stick picking is an ongoing ritual as all the paddocks need continuous clearing - It sure is good to be back in Sydney.

One thing I did really enjoy was getting back on a horse again. After years of Pony CLub as a youngster I miss the gee gee's a great deal...maybe the boy will buy me one for christmas....