Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vintage Handbags...I'm in love!

I stumbled (as I always do!) across this gorgeous vintage website a few months back called Shagpile which sell the most fantastic handmade bags.

Made in Australia (always a bonus) by designer Andria Beighton from "vintage, retro, unusual and reclaimed fabric sourced locally and from overseas, each distinctive piece comes finessed with buttons and beads producing cute and stylish detailing that highlights the "one-off" quality of Shagpile products."

At the time I oohed and arhhhed over each bag, I bookmarked it and promised myself that I'd pop back over and make a purchase when I wasn't so pressed for time...then, as usual, I forgot all about it!
As luck would have it, I managed to stumble across Shagpile once again this morning in my cyber travels and seeing as I have a bit of extra time over the of those babies has my name written all over it! And really, who can go past a blurb like this:

"They ’re fun and funky. They come in every imaginable colour, texture, pattern and style. There ’s one to match every little outfit in your wardrobe and mind ’s eye, and they are distinct enough that you ’ll see something perfect for both your hippy dippy aunt and mod stylish sister"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vintage Clothing Spectacular

According to their website, The Way We Were vintage clothing and textile fair is on again in Hunters Hill this weekend. If you are in Sydney, this is such a great day out and totally worth the trek to Hunters Hills to have a look (and spend your hard earned cash!)

The theme for this one is the 1940's - including ration books, drawing seams on legs competitions, 1940's fashion parades and a huge market of local and interstate dealers selling everything from vintage clothing, vintage evening wear, textiles, jewellery and pretty much everything else fashion related for the past 2 hundred years...

check out their official website here for all the details.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A touch of the blah's

Ok. I'm officially over winter. I've lasted a month (almost) and now I'm just plain cold and totally without inspiration in my wardrobe...not too mention a couple of kilo's heavier (eating keeps me warm!)

I've tired very quickly of my lovely vintage coats, I'm completely over my new Nine West boots. I don't care if I never wear another pair of colourful opaque tights again...and even my hat fetish (I've purchased 6 so far this season!) has faded to vague disinterest.

The worst of it of course is that most days I visit at least half a dozen fab bloggers based in New York who are currently enjoying all the delights of summer dressing. I also buy American Vogue, Elle, Nylon and assorted weekly mags that tantalise me and drive a dagger of jealousy through my frozen Aussie heart!

What can I say?...I love summer! I definitely always look forward to the start of a new season so I can pull out my favourite vintage pieces and pair them with various "new season" purchases.

But you can't beat summer! It's my favourite time of year and not just because we live in a beautiful city swarming with gorgeous beaches. It's because I love, love, love a dress - a floaty summer frock (often of the vintage variety) is my wardrobe staple...and although I still wear my fave vintage dresses with tights, cardi's, coats and various layering techniques...I'm never really completely warm.

Also, I love a summer shoe. Colour is my daily companion and strappy, brightly coloured heels or a cute stiletto or even a metalic sandal, embellished with jewels makes me swoon! boots...bah!

Here's what I'm dreaming about right now; These cute Steve Madden sandals which I found on the (always impeccable) Fashion Herald's blog a day or two back...How do I get me some of these??

I'm also lusting after blogger Wendy Brandes newly purchased Dolce & Gabbana Peep Toes booties. These I could even wear with tights if I had too....

Wendy's booties would look great with this flickr wardrobe remixer's fab vintage dress and beret combo.

...and if some kind soul out there wants to buy me any one of the Dior floaty floral numbers from the 2009 Resort range I will be forever grateful and beholden!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What I Don't Need Right Now

Note to Self: Never, ever think that these pants will look good on you

I love a good "What You Need Right Now" spread in a fashion mag. All those latest trends on one page - cuts out all the crap right?

The problem of course is that fashion moves onto the next trend so quickly that by the time I've gotten around to purchasing my "so NOW" item it is sooooo YESTERDAY that I just look sad.

The most recent example of this is the long sleeve, flannel shirt dress in lumberjack black & white check that I bought from DJ's on a whim - which of course is now best accessorised with bed socks and an electric blanket.
This is why I generally stick to vintage clothing & accessories and mix them with a few contemporary classics. My staple is a beautiful frock either from 1950's or 60's with a fitted jacket. Then there's the full skirt or pencil skirt and cardie combo, or soft layered pieces that cover up a multitude of sins on a 'fat day'.
Nevertheless, I still manage to forget from time to time that just because it looked great on Gemma Ward in some Vogue Shoot back in March does not mean that I can pull off leather or latex tights worn with wooden platforms and a Rastafarian hat!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The lovely Fashion Herald tagged me to answer six questions about myself last week and finally I have the chance to sit down and oblige!

The rules of the BLOG tag is to answer all the questions honestly, Post the rules at the beginning of the tag and then tag 6 more people by leaving a comment to inform them that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Oh, then let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer

1. What were you doing ten years ago?
Had just come home to Sydney from Living in Canada and London for a few years. Still running amok!

2. What are five things on your to-do list today?
Update products on my vintage shopping website: Bowerbird Vintage
Visit mother in-law
Catch up on Email
stay warm!

3. Snacks you enjoy?
Good cheeses with dried fruit, Vegemite and Philadelphia cream cheese on crumpets, dark chocolate, Organic fruit bread, Nuts!
(PS. Of course Red Wine is a snack FH! - it's definitely on my list too)

4. Places you've lived: Broken Hill NSW, Noosa QLD, Powell River Canada, Weybridge Surrey UK, Sydney Australia!

5. What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
Give some away to those in need, buy lots of gifts for loved ones. buy a house over the water down the coast, buy another house right in the city with views of the harbour, travel

6. People you want to know more about?
Me and everyone I come in contact with!

I'm tagging the following fab bloggers to answer the above questions and take over the tag...
The Seeker,
Beijing Baby
Thats Hauute
Posie Patchwork

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Patricia's Vintage Clothing Extravaganza

I still haven't seen Sex and the City yet.
I've been away for a few days with my husband who tells me that he would rather have his eye poked out than sit through SATC and quite frankly, I think I'd poke it out for him if he grumbled all the way through it and ruined it for me!

Nevertheless, I am at least up to date on plenty of the fashion. Every women's mag I open at the moment has a SEX fashion spread and plenty of fashion advice from the devine Patricia Field, creator of the most immaculate wardrobes in New York.

I have to say, she certainly is great for business. The number of vintage outfits & accessories she used throughout the show is spectacular! Practically every outfit she put SJP in was a mixture of high end and vintage clothing.

The white flower frock (one of my faves) was a vintage dress that she chopped the bottom off and several of Carries floral dresses were also genuine vintage pieces accessorized with leather and studs to give them a modern feel.

Field is not only a fashion genius though, it seems she also has a great head for business with her own vintage clothing boutique in New York, a new line of shoes for Payless and countless collaborations with designers.

Check out Nylon mags interview below - I'm impressed!

"Metallics are like leopard print - they're neutral, they go with everything!" Patricia Field owns a boutique on Bowery and designs a shoe collection for Payless, but you probably know her for something else - dressing Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda on Sex and the City.As the movie and the latest Payless collection launch this week, Patricia Field tells all.
Your new Payless shoes are very shiny...I love bimetallics because they're neutral and go with everything. It’s disguised as a novelty, but really, it’s a classic. To me, it’s like leopard print, it’s classic, it never goes away.
Which shoe is your favorite?I’m always wearing the pump. You put it on with jeans, you go out, you’re dressed… and they're comfortable! Because once you put on a shoe and it kills you, that shoe has a new home and that’s in your closet.
Does travel inspire your work?My newest collection of boots for Fall were very inspired by Tokyo. In Tokyo, the girls wear shorts with legwear underneath them, and boots. It’s amazing! And I just came back from Australia… I think Australia is like America’s younger sister. It’s got the same parentage, but it’s so much more laid back.
How does having a boutique influence your work as a stylist?I never think of myself as a designer. I went to work for a department store – I was always in it for the business… what I wanted was to be independent… you know, I meet designers and their heads are in the clouds! My first thought is the sale… the truth is in retail, the customer either puts the money on the counter, or not. That keeps you real. There’s room for a lot of fluff in high fashion ads and styling and movie making but it’s all bullshit.
For the rest of the NYLON article click here

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vintage Dress... to Tie For!

I was recently given a beautiful vintage dress from a private collector. She off loaded this party frock to me because the colour of the fabric was in very poor shape. Originally it was a beautiful cream dress with black embroidery. Circa early 1950's, the fabric had not aged well and it was heavily discoloured and stained. I took it to my dry cleaner who is a magician with such problems but alas, she declared it unsalvagable.

Nevertheless, I decided that this little vintage dress would live again. After all, it fits me perfectly and the fabric itself is actually still in great shape with not a hole nor tear in sight.

Inspired by the recent Paris shows (still) current ode to 1960's peace loving, flower power silhouettes, I realised that all this little frock needed was a touch of tie-dye to breath the life back into it.

...and I'm thrilled with the results. I love the juxtaposition of the demure 1950's shape of the dress crossed with the harsh charcoal and purple hues of the dyed fabric. Having never been so brazen as to stick a 60 year old vintage dress into a pot of vegetable dye, I was pretty nervous during the process but I'm very impressed with the fabrics durability (it seems to have not been damaged by the process at all!).

Now that I know what I'm doing I think I might do a few more little frocks for the Rescued by Bowerbird range too.