Monday, December 22, 2008

Vintage Fashion - New York Inspiration!

I love to eyeball other vintage online stores. Not only to see what treasures my fellow vintage retailers have had the good fortune to source but also to see how they are styling their fashion pages and what trends they are following via their blogs. The vintage fashion community as a whole are a very embracing bunch of people, happy to share their knowledge and always oblidging when it come to linking and promoting other like minded boutiques and blogs. So it's always nice to find new blogs and online shops showcasing their fabulous vintage fashions and accessories.

The lovely ladies at VagabondNYC recently emailed me about their gorgeous website and I must say I'm impressed. Uber cool styling and very funky vintage threads make VagabondNYC a stand out little store! It figures really - Both Andrea and Naveed who run the show work in fashion as a stylist and an editor (respectively). VagabondNYC was born out of their shared passion for vintage clothing and accessories from the 60's through to the 90's (definitely girls after my own heart!)

The great thing about their site is that it has a Looks section that focuses on showcasing their vintage finds through really beautiful, fabulously styled editorials to give the customer a different perspective and show them how the clothes might be brought to life...This is definitely the best way to help a customer make a decision about purchasing a product from my experience!

The site is really fresh, full of really gorgeous clothes at reasonable prices and shipping is free...what more could you ask for!
Oh and their blog is choc full of fashion and styling tips for the girl who loves fashion and is mad for vintage.

So impressed!

All photo's courteousy of VagabondNYC website - check them out HERE

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More on Markets

Saved! I've just discovered via the lovely Mia from The Raisin Did It and Miamore - who's crafty little children's clothing ranges are sold on Bowerbird Vintage - that the Young Blood Designers Markets are on this weekend at the Powerhouse Museum.

I was beginning to worry that I might have to wander aimlessly around Westfields looking for inspiration for Christmas presents this year after having missed the Finders Keepers markets last weekend.

Young Blood is my other favourite (non vintage clothing related) design markets. They are choc full of fantastic local designers and artisans showcasing clothing, jewellery, accessories, home wares and much more.

I found Mia's beautiful children's wear at the markets about a year ago and asked if she would sell her lovely creations on Bowerbird. She has also just launched her own website which is definitiely worth a look. The little girls frock below is from the latest summer range.

So, it's going to be a busy weekend for markets with the Vanity Fair vintage fashion fair and Young Blood designers markets as well. I dare say my wallet will a little on the light side once I'm done!

Youngblood: Designers Market
Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street this Friday 12th, 6pm – 9pm and Saturday 13th,
8am- 5pm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To Market To Market...

I missed one of my favourite (non vintage related) markets last weekend due to festivities relating to the upcoming nuptials of my best friend. As I am her Matron of Honor I felt duty bound to have drank alot of Champagne on Saturday and consequently not move very far from the couch on Sunday!

The Finders Keepers Independent Design and Art markets were held at the Carriage Works in Redfern over the weekend and I'm sad to have missed them - They would have been the perfect place to purchase Christmas presents for friends & family.

You may remember them as Hope Street markets but they've had a little make over recently due to their popularity and have gone a little more upmarket (but no less fabulous).

Finders Keepers champions up and coming and truly innovative designers, jewellery makers and artists from around Australia. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my wallet!) They are only on twice a year...However you should bookmark their website and become a member of their mailing list if you love beautiful, unique and often wonderfully quirky art and design. You can also check out the designers profiles and contact details HERE
if you can't bear to wait another 6 months.

On the upside, there are more markets this weekend in Leichardt. The Vanity Fair Markets are of the vintage fashion fair kind and are on once a month at Leichardt Town Hall in Sydney. I've not been before as they are quite new but I have been told they are fantastic. As I have no Hens nights to attend this weekend I will definitely drop in for a peek (and most likely a splurge!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tip for the Day

Check out Turned Out for the best street style fashion bible around. Photo's from all over the globe (Including Sydney) of the best dressed ladies and lad's on the street. Personally, I love seeing how the cool kids mix their vintage clothing with high end fashion and funky accessories. Also includes great blogs and fashion features.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vintage Fashion History

Bendigo Art Gallery will be home to the most fantastic display of vintage clothing over the next three months when it opens The Golden Age of Couture 1947-1957 exhibition on dec 7th, direct from London's Victoria & Albert Museum. It focuses on Europe's post World War Two love affair with high fashion lead by Christian Dior’s New Look. It also looks at the work of his comtempories such as Gavinchey and Balenciaga who "set a standard for dressmaking and high fashion that has rarely been surpassed".

If you don't live in Bendigo or Victoria you can always jump onto Victoria & Albert Museum's website for a history lesson and to ogle the most incredible garments you ever see. Works of Art!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Books to Covet

So I have a Christmas's getting kind of long. Mostly it's all books though (Oh, and that lovely Oroton tote that just goes with everything!)

Christmas for me is generally about books. Big books. With pictures. But also novels, autobiographies, book on business and how to make a squillion bucks...and the odd text book too.

Throughout the year I scribble the name of each desirable new tome to hit the stands into my diary and then come birthdays and Christmas's (or a Myer 30% off sale) I just hand over my list. My dear Husband does not have to think too hard and I get exactly what I want. Everyone's a winner!

Of course, I have to cull so as not to seem greedy which is difficult and generally requires a detailed selection process. You may know it as 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo...'.

So, the hot picks for Christmas include;

Vanity Fair; A Century of Iconic Images - Simply to drool over the pictures of course!

Valentino: Themes and Variations. Ditto - The master of couture - need I say more?

Jenny Kee. A Big Life - Because she's fabulous

David Sedaris: When You Are Engulfed in Flames - He's hilarious and I have a crush. I don't care that he is gay.

Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food - Because I love to eat...and cook occasionally and he makes it look so easy

Vogue Covers: On Fashion's Front Page - to lust over

all images from I have been known to spend a couple of bucks

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Australia - Vintage Love Affair!

Are you going to see Australia? I think I have to...but it's 160 minutes long which might kill me...Who can possibly sit still for that long? Who can watch Nicole for that long for that matter! Hugh might save me will all of those fabulous costumes Nicole gets to dress up in.

From what I've caught of the trailer Nicole's character, Lady Sarah Ashley certainly rocks a dress (and a pair of jodpurs!).

Catherine Martin, wife of Director Baz Lurhman, who put together the film's wardrobe and sourced all of the props sure knows her vintage. The film is set in the early 1940's and apparently she had some 300 people sourcing antique or replica items for the movie's backdrops. The fashion of course is meticulously accurate and completely spectacular.

What do you expect from the woman who designed (and won 2 academy awards for...) the wardrobe for Moulin Rouge. She also worked on Baz's other film Romeo & Juliette, the reworking of Puccini's La Bo heme. Oh and that fabulous Aussie blockbuster Strictly Ballroom a few years back.

I really don't care for Nicole's movies all that much...In fact I don't think I even finished watching all of Moulin Rouge even with the fantastic wardrobe... To be fair though she scared the pants off of me in The Others and I loved that indie flick with Joaquin Pheonix that made her famous - To Die For.

As a style icon however, I'll give her credit where it's due. She really does have the most wonderful figure. Her height and her posture makes her almost regal looking and the perfect model for all those incredible costumes. As do her porcelain features and (remarkably?!) smooth,unblemished skin. She always looks immaculate on the Red Carpet and I don't think I've seen her in a bad photo shoot (see the US vogue pictures below...)

She's certainly come along way from BMX Bandits!

I think as a dedicated follower of fashion and someone who lives and breathes vintage I really have to see this movie...if only for Lady Ashley's amazing Salvatore Ferragamo shoe collection and monogrammed Prada Luggage...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting Married Girls?

Image copyright of Eco Friendly Weddings

Well, can I suggest you hop onto Eco Friendly Weddings asap? Its a fantastic new website dedicated to the girl (or boy) getting married who want to plan an earth friendly, cost effective wedding. They have a directory of amazing ceremony venues, honeymoon destinations, reception venues, unique gift ideas, bonbonniere, invitations, cakes, catering, and plenty more - all of whom are completely dedicated to providing environmental friendly services.

I love, love, love this idea! Renai, who herself is getting married shortly, set up Eco Friendly Weddings after researching the web for her own wedding and finding a limited number of sites dedicated to helping eco conscious people get organised for their big day.

I often get people emailing me looking for the perfect vintage wedding dress or vintage frocks for their brides maids. A lot of those people are looking for a Green solution to their wedding day and the idea of a recycled frock from a bygone era is not only earth friendly but also very romantic. I really like the idea that the dress has a history and (hopefully) already created many happy memories.

I wear the little 1940's white wedding frock below quite a bit - I absolutely love it and will never part with it. Doesn't even have to be a special occasion...In fact the last place I wore it was to a wine tasting over black tights and a pair of sky high white Mary Janes!

It's a day dress and was possibly worn for a garden wedding or perhaps at a registry office. Terribly demure and made of the most exquisite lace with a cute peter pan style collar. I imagine someone probably wore it with a pill box hat, stockings and maybe a little fur stole if it was chilly...
One of my all time fave vintage dresses - a perfect vintage wedding frock too - no?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Viva La Vintage!

Oh my Gosh, it's been literally weeks since I have posted. Certainly this is the longest amount of time that has lapsed between posts...I do have a (kinda) legit excuse though. I'm in the final days of my uni semester (I hand in my last assessment this coming Friday) and honestly it's been completely, ridiculously hectic for a few weeks. Nothing I can't handle though!

It's all over in a week though and I have so much to do with the reworked vintage label and heaps of fabulous new vintage finds to put onto Bowerbird vintage. I have a whole load of the most stunning vintage dresses from the 50's, 60's, and 70's ready and waiting.

I can't wait to get back into work!

I did manage to take a day out a couple of weeks ago to shoot some of our vintage dresses for the website. The photo's of the gorgeous Gabrielle turned out fantastically well...she's a living doll!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vintage Fashion Fair

This weekend if you are in Sunny Sydney why don't you drop into Canterbury racecourse for possibly one of the best vintage clothing fairs on the Sydney calendar.

The Vintage clothing and Textiles Show starts this Friday and runs through until Sunday. It really is one of the biggest market style fairs around with an amazing selection of beautiful antique and vintage jewellery, vintage hats, bags & shoes. As well as loads of vintage clothing, linen, lace, textiles to small collectables.

There are Over 60 Dealers from all over Australia attending. It only comes to Sydney twice a year and each time I go I find some of the most spectacular vintage treasures. There is also a heap of entertainment including Best Dressed in Vintage Competition, Demonstration of Vintage Makeup Techniques & Hairstyles2 hr workshop by Lindy Charm School for Girls, Swing Dance Demo's, Vintage Fashion Presentations by Guest Speakers and plenty more.

This is one of my favourite shows of the year and completely worth the $12.00 entry fee!


Canterbury Racecourse Function Centre,

King Street Canterbury, Sydney


Friday 17th October 2008 5.30pm - 9.00pm

Saturday 18th October 2008 9.30am - 4.30pm

Sunday 19th October 2008 9.30am - 4.30pm

Check out the Love Vintage website for more details HERE

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Need a Bag?

Probably the coolest eco friendly bags around. The fabulous people at Bag Ladies are at it again with a new oversized chunky cvotton canvas tote (above) . At $24.95 they are a great gift. I bought a few of this one below for girlfriends as presents at christmas time and they were a definite hit!

Log onto BagLadies website HERE

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Vintage Fashion Spectacle...If your in Melbourne!

My trusty Vogue magazine tells me there is a reason to visit Melbourne this summer (apart from all those glorious vintage fashion boutiques). Melbourne's National Gallery is home to a fabulous show all about how fashion works behind the seams and how "once hidden elements" of fashion designing have been "creeping into the open in recent years". The show features vintage frocks and designers from the 1950's right through the decades to our current masterminds.

Remaking Fashion runs from late September until April next year so you have plenty of time to take it in. I'm booking my flight online right now


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

30 days of fabulous fashion

30 Days of Fashion & Beauty has launched for the month of September with the beautiful Eva Mendes opening the event at Melbourne's Regent theatre last weekend.

I love Eva. She has a such a fantastic face...and bod. She could actually wear a sack and still look amazing. She also rocks a vintage look beautifully! The stunning yellow frock she donned by Australian designer, Willow would be a difficult choice for most of us...

30 Days of Fashion and Beauty is now in its second year, is the initiative of ACP Magazines Women's lifestyle division which includes titles such as Harper's BAZAAR, Madison, Shop, NW, Cosmopolitan, The Australian Women's Weekly, Take 5, TV Week, Woman's Day, Dolly, Cleo, and Good Health & Medicine. The concept is a month-long multi-title, multimedia and interactive consumer event designed to help customers style themselves for Spring/Summer.

So basically, choc full of runways shows, celebrity endorsments and beauty and style workshops...

You can check out the event calendar HERE or go their website at;

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peppermint Magazine Launch

If you love fair trade, organic, vintage, sustainable, locally produced, recycled, responsibly-made or environmentally-friendly fashion then you need to get your hands on a copy of Peppermint Magazine!

The gorgeous Kelley Sheenan, editor of Peppermint Magazine and a Bowerbird supporter from way back has sorted out the best of green style from Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the world. The mag features fashion, footwear, jewellery, craft, beauty, art and design ­all of which will either be organic, vintage, locally-produced, recycled,fair trade, responsibly-made or sustainable. Peppermint will be cutting-edge and old-fashioned, new and old, high-end and hand-crafted.

This is an evolutionary magazine - don¹t miss it in all it's 100% recycled paper glory...

If you live in QLD you can go along to the launch at the Paddington Green Precinct for their debut - go along and get your free copy, and help to celebrate the first magazine of it's kind and all the wonderful people that helped make it happen. They we will be alongside 11 Paddington businesses that have bandedtogether to create Australia¹s first green living precinct, promoting organic and sustainable lifestyle choices from clothing to wine, food,transport, homewares, skin care and yoga. Organic wine tasting, authenticsourdough organic bread to nibble, live music, giveaways, product testing,organic nibbles, community, green living advice... and us!
Their distribution points are also now listed on their website, and if you are not able to get along to one of them, then you can buy a copy online for just $3.50 plus postage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fashionable Things To Do in Sydney

Again, I complain about time! I've just started back at university this semester to complete a masters and what little time I had before is slowly evaporating...Never mind - I'd complain more of boredom!

If you do have a few hours to spare over the coming weeks here are a few (vintage inspired) things to do:

The Fifties Fair is on again at Rose Seidler house (that most impressive piece of 1950's architecture) in Waroongha on the 24th of August. If you never been and LOVE vintage clothing, art and collectables it is probably the best vintage fair around. It grows every year and there is everything from Jazz and rockabilly bands, 50s DJ, dance demos, vehicle displays, street theatre and a Fifties Fair fashion parade and awards. For more details go to the Historic Houses Trust website.

From next Thursday, the Young Blood Design Market at the Powerhouse Museum is on again. My favourite design markets choc full of amazing local talent displaying and selling their wares. Everything from jewellery, home wares and fashion to art and craft.

Young Blood: Designers MarketPowerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
Thursday 14 August, 6.00 – 9.00pm
Friday 15 August, 10.00am – 6.00pm
Saturday 16 August, 10.00am – 6.00pm
Sunday 17 August, 10.00am – 6.00pm
Check out Power House Museum for more info

Also worth seeing before it ends is the Rockbillly - Living in the 50's exhibition at the Museum of Sydney (thanks Nicole from Circa for pointing this one out on her blog too - I would have missed it otherwise!) Fantastic exhibition - Photographer Steven Siewert is amazing! He's beautifully documented Sydney's rockabilly subculture "who live and breathe an era that predates their earliest birthdays. The boys dress for cool with stovepipe jeans and slick quiffs, while the women wear dazzling cocktail frocks by night and colourful vintage dresses by day".

Definitely worth a visit if your in the city this week !
Museum of Sydney
Cnr Bridge & Phillip Streets Circular Quay

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dita Does Wheels & Doll Baby!

Can you think of a better muse for Wheels & Doll Baby than Miss Von Teese? No, me either. The ultimate modern day, vintage inspired sex kitten is now the face of the iconic Aussie label - a favourite of celebrities the world over.

Mel Greensmith, creator of the label is a master of marketing and promotion. Her strategy from the labels inception was to get it on as many famous people as possible. Of course it helped that she already lived a rock n' roll lifestyle with her boyfriend - rock guitarist from the Divinyls Mark McEntree. Counting the likes of the Rolling Stones and Debbie Harry (one of the label's ambassadors & occasional model) among her friends meant that she's had plenty of contacts to get her clothes out there and talked about.

Oh, how I'd love to the chance to sit down and have a chat with her about designing a successful fashion label and building up an iconic brand. I think she's a genius in both regards.
I love her vintage inspired aesthetic and the classic feminine designs of her dresses. In fact, you really must check out her latest range "La Clementine" clothes to snare a millionaire - an ode to French screen goddesses of the 1950's ... Sexy, fun & totally adorable. I can't decide what to buy - I want them all!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reworking Vintage in the Design Forum

Where do the weeks go? Another 7 days have past since I last blogged and I feel like it
was only yesterday! to be truthful, it's been a hectic week with university enrollments (another story entirely) and getting the new size ranges for the Rescued by Bowerbird label ready for production

...and I finally got "The Stevie" (as it's been christened) finished for the design forum. By all accounts the forum was a great success. It was the first dress that I deconstructed with the help of Bowerbird visitors (and customers) and it was loads of fun. Lots of great advice turned a pretty awful 1970's maxi into something edgy and fun. Of course, we weren't without our hiccups - like the hemline issue...and a couple of people aren't quite sold on the vintage lace collar but general consensus is that it's looking mighty fine...

We didn't go too nuts with reworking this one as as it had a great deal of potential anyway with all that lovely floaty fabric. Shorter with a lot more attitude and a bit of ladylike accessorizing was all that was needed.

We went from this: to the finished product;

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vintage Boho Luxe - An ode to the 1970's

I often log onto Net-a-Porter and cruise through their runway lookbooks (and drool over/daydream about the delicious new designer frocks) to see what's coming through for the various seasons and find out what vintage fashion and era's each designer is currently referencing for their collections.

It took about 2 minutes to get up to date today...Europe has gone boho luxe this summer. Designers, it seems, have checked out of classic 1950's prim and proper nipped in waists and gone all 1970's hippie with a sophicated edge. Boho Chic references vintage clothing with gorgeous fabrics with lots of embelliments and trim.

Fabrics include metallic lame, velvets and floaty chiffons with big ethnic patterns and crazy bright florals made into amazing vintage style kaftans, long line flowing blouses and classic vintage stlye maxi dresses...simply pile on plenty of metal and beaded jewellery, a pair of fab roman sandals and you are ready for summer. Now...if only it wasn't 13 degree's outside ;->

My Net-a-Porter Picks - Money is obviously no object darhling!

Robert Cavalli

Mattew Williamson

Oscar De La Renta

And My Number One Pick of the Day?

this Emilio Pucci number below is to die for....

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Worth a peek this month is an article in Marie Claire magazine (August edition) titled From Cast off to Couture which has designers like the incredibly talented Tina Kavalis and Kirrily Johnston reworking vintage garments that they bought from St Vincent De Paul's and turning them into one off statement pieces. Even one of my fave Aussie couture designers Alex Perry has put his hand to the task coming up with a very cute embroidered sun dress.
There are seven designs all up from various talents and all are completely different styles. The best bit is you can log onto the Marie Claire web site and bid on your fave vintage frock as each garment is being sold off in a charity auction with the money raised going to Vinnies - So not only is the project creative and eco friendly but it's also benevolent - What a truly wonderful idea!

My two personal favourite are Tina Kavalis' vintage denim deconstruction (So cute!) and Johnathon Ward's reworked vintage wedding dress (So Frou Frou!)
All photo's taken from Marie Claire webpages

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vintage Clothing Design Forum

One of the other reasons I have been a tardy blogger of late is the new Vintage Design Forum I've launched on Bowerbird Vintage.

My idea behind the forum when we built the site was to get visitors (and customer's) involved in the reworking of some of the vintage garments in my "Rescued by Bowerbird" label. I thought it would be a fun way to get a little community spirit happening!
It works like this:

First of all I post a few pictures of a dress with details of size, fabric, style etc then it's open forum with blog style commenting from anyone who wants to help out with advice. Once there are a few ideas thrown around I spend time playing around with the frock and seeing which ideas are going to work best. I then start chopping and pinning away frantically and then re post images of the changes. People can then offer further advice and so on (ie; we keep going til everyone decides we have a finished product)
Once there is a unanimous YES - It's tops! then it will be sold in the Rescued by Bowerbird range for anyone to buy!

The first vintage dress to be reworked (which was posted last week) has been this little monstrosity...a classic early 1970's deluxe boho creation that reminds me of somethng Stevie Nick's would where when she was part of Fleetwood Mac in their heyday! (actually, she'd probably still wear it!)

The fabric itself is actually really beautiful and the dress is in perfect condition. Because there is so much fabric I saw loads of potential for improvements.
So far there has been lots of comments and advice, plenty of cutting and pinning and a bit more advice....
Now, it looks like we (almost) have a new reworked vintage dress perfect for a night out on the town!

It's only pinned at the bottom at the moment and the collar is not sewn on...waiting on approval and further advice! So if you have a moment log on to the forum and let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vintage Clothing Gala!

I'm a little behind on my blogging at the moment. The weeks just seem to be flying by! Every week I have the best intentions and always promise myself that I will post at least 3 time (a week) and then all of a sudden it's Saturday again!

This week in particular has been a busy one due the the fabulous Gala Darling taking the time to post a little blurb about bowerbird vintage on her BLOG and urging her readers to come for a visit and shop up a storm. She looked her most vintage fashtastic in a black 1970's vintage jumpsuit that I sent over to her in New York where she is currently residing. As soon as I saw this little number I knew it was absolutely perfect for her - especially as she asked me if I had any jumpsuits hanging around the bowerbird vintage closet. It's so nice to have such an incredible woman barracking for the store. Not only is she completely supportive but she looks amazing in anything I put her in including futuristic air hostess ensembles!

Gala looking devine in A vintage disco jumpsuit from Bowerbird

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Oroton Turns 70 - A Vintage Celebration

A little more on my bag moment that I'm currently having...It seems my favourite Australian luxe handbag line is having a little birthday. Oroton is 70 years old this year and their new anniversary collection is an ode to all things vintage. The old favourites from their archives all get a mention including their signature mesh evening bag which became popular in the late 1960's and continued to sell extremely well throughout the entire 70"s.

Buy this vintage Oroton Bag from BowerbirdVintage HERE

In fact, I think every woman in Australia probably had an oroton mesh purse, handbag or cigarette holder in their dresser back then just waiting to be handed down to a daughter one day...I know my Mum certainly did, and I only managed to get hold of her gorgeous vintage red mesh evening bag a couple of years ago...Something I have been eyeing off my entire life!

Oroton has this to say about their mesh:
In 1954 Oroton created a powder compact with an inlaid mesh lid and Australia’s love affair with mesh began. Wherever we go, people share their special memories of Oroton with us. Is it true that in every bottom drawer an Oroton handbag nestles in tissue, carefully stored away in the original box? Oroton enamel mesh bags have been there at graduations, weddings, the airport as you waved goodbye, the anniversary dinner, the first date, the races, the office party, the smart lunch, your first trip abroad… woven into the very fabric of Australian life.
To continue to read about the history of Oroton CLICK HERE. It's worth a read!

Oh, and their also having a SALE on their website at the moment with over 50% on some things. Huge bargains on bags, jewellery, scarf's and ties.
Personally, I'm thinking about this metallic clutch, down from $295.00 to $195.00

But this little vintage inspired number from their anniversary line would also do just fine, even though it's not on sale...