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...