Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Feathered fashion find

WHEN I saw the black feather-trimmed accessories sitting on the table of a Bondi market stall, I couldn't grab them fast enough.

Surprised they were still there - even though I would have been there bright and early-ish, while stallholders were still setting up.
But the early 2000s were still surprisingly free of the vintage clothing buzz and mania that followed and still holds, particularly Australian designers of the 1970s and '80s - during these years I also stumbled upon a fabulously sexy late '70s watermelon jersey drape mini dress by Merivale. I rarely see the label...ever. 
I digress. 
I don't recall how much I paid for the unusual accessories, but it's taken me til now to delve further into the label.

For wrists or ankles? I'm unsure, but the laces will accommodate both,
while the belt/skirt/peplum is only small enough for a waist.  I love the little utility zip pocket.

Jacques Tchong, of Sydney, was not a label known to me, despite fashion, naturally, being the world I inhabited during my six years there.
As it turns out Jacques was an important designer who was an instrumental part of an emerging subculture.

During the 1980s in Sydney's inner-east, a series of more than 35 parties organised by the Recreational Arts Team (RAT) formed a key element of an emerging subculture. The core of the self-styled Recreational Arts Team was Jac Vidgen, Billy Yip and Reno Dal. Vidgen, an energetic party-thrower who had come to Sydney from Brisbane, became the de facto promoter and organiser of these so-called RAT parties.

A photo of Mazz Image, Jacques Tchong and Gemma at RATmania.
I'd guess it was most likely snapped by famed Sydney social and fashion scene photographers
 Robert Rosen or William Yang.

And it seems I am not alone in wanting to recognise this mysterious designer...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Domesticated dreamer

SF Girl By Bay's collection of blog posts titled In My Dreams I live here:...will no doubt inspire similar domestic dreams.

This home in Los Feliz is pretty close to a living dream for me.
Space, light, high ceilings, a big kitchen and a dedication
 to aural excellence - records and turntable ahoy! - when can I move in...?


Friday, July 26, 2013

She's a stylish old bitch

A Grey St stalwart, the bitch is back has been standing on the corners of Barkly, Inkerman and Grey streets since 1992. Great pieces have come and gone through the establishment, and from memory, they were early adopters of the post mid-century modern look; championing decadent 1960s and '70s style.  Love. 

A Grey St stalwart, the bitch is back has been standing on the corners of Barkly, Inkerman and Grey streets since 1992. 

 Curvaceous Italian-made lamps from the 1970s, Danish and Australian sideboards, sofas, quirky objects, even fashion all get an airing in the welcoming store.
The Mr is lounging on the velveteen modular sofa we loved, and according to the bitch is back website, it's still available. 
Shall we make a 1970s-era purchase?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Red on Grey

HOW many vintage furniture shops can one city (and its surrounding suburbs) sustain?
Well, if you are after a piece of mid-century furniture, then your choices are extensive.
Red rider vintage living, on St Kilda's Grey St, specialises in the best of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
Clean-lined Danish sofas appear to be a specialty, as does Australian furniture labels Fler and Parker. 
The owner/proprietor was lovely and helpful.

Outside the shop. 
Grey St with a Danish and Australian foreground.
Lovely ceramics and glassware decorate mid-century wall units.

This gorgeous wallpaper was in the shop.
Four almost complete rolls of original '70s flamboyance.
We thought about the purchase over lunch, but the pink, blue, yellow and brown paisley floral pattern went 'round and 'round in my mind.
It came home with us.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just like a bought one!

Starting its life as an in-store sunglasses display stand, this beauty is now home to my extensive jewellery collection.
When I said I'd take it off their hands, the Sussan girls looked a little puzzled. 
But I had a plan in mind before I'd even left the store.

My many many pieces of jewellery have a new home.

Not colour coordinated, but happy hanging in their new rows.

"Do you want an old sunglasses display stand?" the girls in Sussan . Why, yes, I do.  

With the rows of plastic sunglasses holders removed, the potential of the new piece is revealed.

The pieces of wood that jutted out in the original configuration make a handy shelf in its new form.

The Mr toiling away on the project, below.

He had a little helper, wisely wearing hi-vis red on site.
We used curtain rods and fixtures as new hangers.
We think the earrings rod needs to be higher and matched with another row either side of the existing row (it's also a little flimsy).
Oh, and the whole thing spins around too. Yay!
A lazy Sussan. Ha!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fad to Grey

ONCE upon a time, St Kilda's Grey St was a thoroughfare of disrepute.
Replete with prostitutes, their pimps, the men who sought their services, and a range of drug-chasing types, it wasn't the kind of neighbourhood one would choose to frequent for anything beyond a thrill.
But that was then.
Now, the street boasts exclusive apartments (with equally exclusive price tags), a hipster handmade bike shop, cafes, and the ubiquitous interiors shops.
Early adopters came and went (aside from the bitch is back, she still stands proud on the corners of Barkly, Inkerman and Grey), but the most recent tenants actually look pretty well rusted on.
Among them is Scout House, which does a nice line in eclectic loveliness.
Small and inexpensive pieces - soap, candles, stationery and the like - sidle up to attractive cushions, handsome chairs, lamps, beautiful posters and more.  
By night, Grey St's old inhabitants still aren't too far away, but by day, it's a hipsters paradise.

Nice layout. Scout House is an inviting space.


What was once a former house, Scout House makes the best of its "home" looks to decorate with an "in situ" style. 
Vintage pieces and new at Scout House.

Educational posters, a globe and colourful cushions lead into the back room at Scout House.

Friday, July 19, 2013

History tripping

Every weekend garage sales, auctions or markets call.
Like alluring sirens, it's hard to resist their beckoning. 
Often we buy something, sometimes we buy a lot of things, other times I just whip the camera out and capture the accessories of a time gone by.

My mum used to wear Tweed. This laminex table top it was photographed on, seems entirely appropriate. 

The Monaro belongs to the Mr.
Farmers was a supermarket/department store in the town I grew up in.
It's since gone, and seeing a paper bag with the all-familair logo was a lovely nostalgic trip, the bag, along with this gorgeous pair of lurex pumps were among the detritus of a recent deceased estate auction.
We ended up as the new owners of an almost complete - and extensive - collection of classical and operatic vinyl of a Mr Jack Atkinson.
We also now own his charming tie collection.
My mum remembers him.
He used to tote a Gladstone bag and walked at quite a clip.
The Gladstone bag was in the auction.

Mr Atkinson's tie collection. Beautiful. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chanel surfing

Here's the latest issue of Lonny, which now boasts a bit more fashion than it has ever before.
Here's a still from a Chanel show featured in the July-August edition... 

...and who doesn't love a bit of Chanel


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Material matters

Only a handful of Australian fashion designers have the goods to compete on an international level.
So, the annual (Sydney) Australia Fashion Week, is more of a local showcase, even though it is part of the official international Mercedes Benz fashion circus.
Toni Maticevski caused a stir when he sent his first collection down the MAFW runway in the early 2000s; he is one of the few who has the cutting and draping skills and innovative styles to make it beyond the domestic market.
Although heavily influenced by designs by Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, this style from Maticevski's spring-summer 2014 collection is a stunner.
The key: the generosity of fabric.
While Oz designers create for climate etc. the lack of fabric often seen (or not seen, as is the case) during Sydney's annual runway extravaganza, is a let down.
The piece from Ellery's collection (bottom) is a case in point. 
It's an interesting style, but there is just not enough fabric. 
Has Ellery cut corners to save costs? Or is that the fashion...?
See more from the rest of MBFWA at Vogue Australia's website.

Toni Maticevski ss 2014

Ellery ss 2014

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In the studio

These vintage pennants were a recent market find. There's a selection from tourism spots from all over Australia.
My wall of inspiration. It's recently  been refreshed after salvaging a handful of pages from big piles of magazines that are destined for recycling, op shops and a couple of fashion aware youngsters.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Italian beauty

Every year the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund  (Council of Fashion Designers of America) award an up-and-coming designer. It's an esteemed competition, and even making it to the 12-strong short-list usually heralds a commercially viable  future in the fashion industry.  
The 2012 group included fledgling Italian label  Giulietta, whose designer Sofia Sizzi produced the most beautiful fashion illustrations. 
In my humble opinion, I think she should have won.
Watch the first of the series of fascinating videos of the finalists vying for the top prize here.

Adorable illustrations from Giulietta's Sofia Sizzi. 

Sofia Sizzi's Giulietta website home page.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Take a dip into modernism

Modernism at its finest: simple, elegant, restrained.
That streamlined, curvy poolhouse could translate just as well to a home design.