Author: Claire

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Up Closet and Personal #6 Georgie Stuart | Bimlow Cottage

Bimlow Cottage
For this week’s Up Closet and Personal we are going to let Georgie Stuart from Bimlow Cottage introduce herself – and what a story she has!
I’m Georgie and ten years ago we left the city and moved to a tiny hamlet west of the Blue Mountains called Edith (halfway between Jenolan Caves and Oberon). We lived in the original 1890s cottage until three years ago when we needed something bigger for our family. We loved the area and couldn’t bear leaving so I found a 1910 weatherboard house for $10k on Instagram and had it relocated onto our paddock next door for us to live in. We renovated it over a number of years and once we moved, we put our cottage on Airbnb. While we made some improvements before guests came in, we wanted it to feel like what it did when we were living in it – filled with vintage treasure collected over decades. Growing up my nan had an amazing antique shop called Matong Memories in the Riverina region. I have very fond memories of my time in the shop and have grown up op shopping and regularly going to markets and auctions. I’ve always wanted a little shop of my own, so during the latest lockdown I turned a little locked room off the front porch of the cottage into a shop and I’ve filled it with vintage wares, handmade goods, local candles from @southernwildco and more. I’m looking forward to having guests back so they can check it out. When I’m not working on the cottage, or busy with our three kids I work part-time at Charles Sturt University in sustainability. Moving to the country has given me the time and space to pursue the things I love, including collecting, cooking and gardening.

 

Favourite place to shop? 
The op shops, farmers and flea markets, Lunatiques in Sydney and online vintage sellers.
Last vintage purchase?
I recently bought some beautiful French linen from @lagrossetoile.
The one that got away… 
This is a bit weird, but I often dream about stumbling upon the ultimate op shop and having basketfuls of amazing finds and then waking up to find out that it was just a dream and all my treasures are gone.
Style icon?
My girl Ada’s wardrobe from Salvos is filled with op shop treasures – vintage dresses, quilted jackets, blouses etc. I love the combos she puts together. Everything that Lili and Gerda wear in ‘The Danish Girl’. And Julie O’Rourke @rudyjude
Lili and Gerda, The Danish Girl
Lili and Gerda, The Danish Girl
Rudy Jude
Rudy Jude
Rudy Jude
Rudy Jude
Last book you couldn’t put down?
I stumbled across ‘Playing Beatie Bow’ by Ruth Park in an op shop and couldn’t put it down. It’s set in The Rocks and follows the main character Abigail as she travels back in time to 1873. I couldn’t put it down and then read some more Ruth Park.
What movie can you watch over and over?
As kids, my sister and I watched ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ on repeat. I still love them both.
Edith’s best kept secret?
We are so lucky to have Kanangra-Boyd National Park on our doorstop. The views of the Blue Mountains are spectacular and it doesn’t have the crowds of the other national parks in the mountains. Perfect spot for a bushwalk, a picnic and a swim in the waterfalls. Also our cottage and tiny shop 😉
Favourite or dream travel destination?
We recently stayed in a very rustic stone cottage on the Goulburn River at Ulan. It was a one-room cottage with an open fireplace and absolutely no phone or internet reception. It was the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy nature. We will definitely go back. I’d also love to go back to India and to spend time exploring New Zealand and Tasmania more.
Words to live by?
I recently read ‘The Minpins’ by Roahl Dahl with my son Donny and loved the famous final quote “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins

 

Thanks, Georgie! Follow her journey on Instagram @bimlowcottage and book your magical getaway here: Bimlow Cottage
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Up Closet and Personal #5 – Bonnie Porter Greene

 

This week we sit down with South Coast local, Bonnie Porter Greene. Artist, educator, designer, illustrator – she does it all! Her working week might include a rebranding project, colour palette selections, making documents spunkier & easier to read, building a Squarespace website, painting an illustration on a shop window, art workshops with preschoolers, teens and in between, or up a scissor lift painting a mural! She’s a lover of colour and second-hand wares and we love nothing more than to see her cheery smile!

Favourite place to shop?
All the op shops. It’s the first place I hit in any new town.

Online or instore shopping?
I loathe shopping instore for new. I think it’s because I’ve spent more than half my life op shopping and because the choice is narrowed once you’ve honed your op shopping skills, walking into a new clothing store overwhelms me! Too much choice. So online for new (underwear, tights, the occasional thing on the sale section at Gorman) and instore for second hand.

Last vintage purchase?
Ooh technically it’s a Japanese kimono I bought from bams & ted, and a very sexy red Spanish bull fighter-esque past the knee skirt also from bams & ted but I really want to say it’s this rad vinyl apple green 60’s mod jacket, with Peter Pan collar that I bought in Brunswick St in Melbourne last year (pre pandemic!)

The one that got away…
Well, they got away after I owned them…my mum threw them out I think! They were a pair of high waisted denim jean flares that were made in Nowra (my home town) the label on the back said NOWRA. I bought them in the 90’s and they disappeared a few years later.. I still think about them!

Do you collect anything?
Um.. you’ve not been to my house have you! Matchboxes (I have over 300), old bottles (lost count), rubbish I pick up on the beach around the world, the pegs from my clothesline when they die, my empty metal paint tubes after I’ve scraped out the paint, art books, records, found objects galore.. I’ll stop there…I’m not a hoarder – it’s carefully curated and only things that I LOVE!

Style icon?
My best friend in the whole wide world & plutonic soul mate Teresa! She’s a colour lover like me and doesn’t shy away from colour clash and kooky t-shirts and rad sneakers. I’ve always loved the 60’s since I was a teen and actually feel my best in anything with a 60’s or 70’s vibe. But colour ALWAYS!

What film can you watch over and over
Stand By Me. Can someone make a girls version?

Last book you couldn’t put down
The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose. But I’m also dipping in between two art books that I can’t put down right now – Ken Done by Amber Creswell-Bell & the Joan Mitchell catalogue from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Words to live by…
It’s my life
It’s my journey
I will soar
I am worthy
There is abundance

I wrote those last year after I had been having some coaching sessions with local Kiama business coach and friend, Natasha Osmond-Dreyer from Blue Marbles and followed up one day with a float at my friend’s float centre Cocoon in Wollongong – the words popped in my head and I wrote them down as soon as I came out of the tank. I try and remind myself of this often and am planning on making it a nice little print – watch this space!

Thanks, Bonnie! Check out her paintings at Jennings Kerr, buy her first book, hire her hands or follow her @bonnie.portergreene!

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Up Closet and Personal #4 – Rachel Lynch from GirlGoneRetro!

Rachel Lynch from GirlGoneRetro
Photo supplied by Rachel Lynch

 

This week’s guest needs no introduction! For anyone selling vintage wares on the ‘gram, somewhere early in the piece you are bound to stumble upon Rachel Lynch aka the owner of GirlGoneRetro  and founder of the reseller Facebook group Thrifty Bish-Secondhand Sellers. Always honest in detailing the highs and lows of thrifting and selling, Rache is a great support to our little community. Luckily for us, she had a little bit of spare time – in between secret eating KFC in her car and shit talking on her personal instagram @mygirlrache – and agreed to take part in Up Closet and Personal #4!

Favourite place to shop?
Any deli or asian grocer lol. My fave ‘in person’ shopping is for definitely for specialty foods. Finding epic cheeses or new chilli sauces literally froths me up!
For in store vintage shopping I can’t go past @loopistyle_circular_wardrobe which is a vintage store at the New Farm Antique Centre in Brissie. The owner Kat, has sooooo many fricken gems I die, that queen knows colour and vintage!

Online or in store shopping?
Online for me – for GirlGoneRetro and for personal items! I source a lot of our stock online as it’s way more efficient to buy bulk  vintage than to hit up op shops but obviously I still crave the thrill of the thrift so I do that VERY regularly.
For non-secondhand items I go with online because I find big shopping centres super overwhelming. I have to be in the right mood for a real shop.

Last vintage purchase?
For myself it would be the perfect longline 80s black blazer that has been on my wish list for ages. The buttons on it were tragic so I up-levelled it with some gold hardware and now its bloody perf!
It’s weird because GirlGoneRetro is full of colour and wacky styles but my personal style is sooo not that. It’s very grunge, boyish, outdoorsy kinda vibes so my personal vintage is pretty safe.

The one that got away…
Honestly at this point I have so many pieces of vintage that I have sold that I think about and semi regret moving on. The most heart wrenching one is still this Silver Lurex 3 Piece set (pictured below) that rocked my world. Longline jacket, booty shorts and flares…. CAN YOU EVEN?!

 

Do you collect anything?
I have a Teva (outdoors sandal) obsession, it’s gotten weird. I have 6 pairs now and the last pair was actually gifted to me by Teva probably because I pester them so much with tags on Instagram. But yes… I absolutely adore those dorky, velcro strapped sandals. 

Style icon?
I don’t follow anyone religiously to be inspired by their fashion because I’m really settled on my style but I can 100% froth over some of the looks served by Hailey Bieber, Maxine Wylde and Tegan Phillipa.

Tegan Phillipa
@teganphillipa
Maxine Wylde
@__mmaxinewylde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What film can you watch over and over?
I’m a huge fan of dumb comedy, it’s my go to repeat watch. I bloody love StepBrothers and The Other Guys.
What can I say, I’m a basic bitch haha!

Last book you couldn’t put down?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Everyone should read this. It’s incredibly impactful and beautiful.

Words to live by…‘Why do tomorrow, what you can do today?’
I have been hitting this one hard lately because I am a huge procrastinator and repeating this often has got me into a habit of just doing the damned thing!

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Up Closet and Personal #3 – Alex Zorbas

Source: Alex Zorbas

This week we chat with our style muse, Alex Zorbas! Alex has a way of bringing seemingly disparate pieces together  – she’s a lady with her heart in past decades, she’s always a touch rock star and always has on an outfit with an edge. Luckily for us, she has been a long time bams & ted customer!

And she has her finger in lots of pies. Professionally she is a psychotherapist and consultant psychologist to GANDANGARA Aboriginal Medical Service. But she is also a mother of two, a singer, a songwriter and a photographer. In her words, she loves to “absorb all the richness, contrast, absurdity and beauty life has to offer.”

You can check out her photo work at xela-z.com

Favourite place to shop…

My favourite places to shop are generally markets but I love a colourful vintage store drenched in old time goodness. I like Grand Days on William Street in Sydney for books, jewellery and clothes, and Route 66 is always fun and the place to go for some denim.

Online or instore shopping? 

I do shop online.. but I will never stop in-store shopping. Talking with shop owners, the ability to touch fabrics and just take in the store vibe, makes in-store shopping way more pleasurable.

Last vintage purchase?

I think it was a sexy black dress from bams & ted actually! Asymmetric shoulder straps, very demure. Feels classic to me… I’d like to wear it to do a show in, bluesily singing into an old vintage microphone.

The one that got away…

My grandma used to have a large hat box with beautiful and embellished hats that she wore from 1930s – 1960’s. Unfortunately, after she passed away it’s uncertain where they have ended up.

I can’t think of anything I’ve been tormented about not snatching up but recently I did miss out on getting an artwork by India Mark that I really wanted.

Do you collect anything?

I have a sizeable hat collection. My grandma’s collection made an indelible impression on me. Maybe collecting is my way of staying connected to her, and a way of trying to reclaim what was lost!

Style icon?

My style has been influenced by film, fashion, music and art.

I love the style of Catherine Baba. The way Loulou de la Falaise wore jewels. Zouzou in Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon. The costumes and stylistic vision in Fellini’s Juliette of the Spirits. Rita Hayworth in Gilda and Hollywood costumes. The beauty and glamour as per Serge Lutens and In Erte’s drawings. The attitude and freshness of street in Wild Style. The punk and new wave romantic fashion in Liquid Sky and Derek Jarman’s Jubilee. The effortless cool in Jim Jarmusch’s films… Patti Smith… I could go on!

And my Mum of course, who has impeccable personal style.

Liquid Sky film still


What film can you watch over and over?

Céline et Julie vont en bateau by Jacques Rivette or Beat Street

Beat Street film still


Last book you couldn’t put down?

Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater’s Thought Forms written circa 1901. I’m also very excited to start reading Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta and to learn more about the wisdom and perspective of our First Nations people and how we can apply this understanding in order to really live sustainably.

Words to live by…

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

“Self-mastery, maturity and wisdom are defined by our ability to hold the tension between opposites.” — Louis Herman

“Perhaps its not where we are going but just that we go.” — Patti Smith

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Up Closet and Personal #2 – Gab Dillon from Back Here!

Photo: Michael French

This week we speak with South Coast local, Gab Dillon! Gab has a fantastic eye for vintage pieces for the ingenue in us all, not to mention amazing hand-sewing skills herself. Her patchwork smocks are the perfect mix of town & country, and are clearly a labour of love. She owns vintage and hand sewn clothing label, Back Here, which she’s returning to this July after being on maternity leave. You can follow her on Insta @_backhere and buy her vintage pieces, stunning hand embroidered knits and patchwork dresses through her Etsy store.

Favourite place to shop

Salvos!! 

Online or instore shopping?
Instore shopping (basically just op shops for me) but online for some very specific things. 

Last vintage purchase?

A really handsome brown fine wool suit from Etsy seller yarn yarns

The one that got away…

Too many things! When I first started selling vintage I thrifted a ‘70s orange and brown paisley blouse and hot pants set. It was incredible, sold it for a steal and should’ve kept it for myself, but I thought at the time the pants were too cheeky to wear out of the house. I don’t feel that way anymore and wanna wear short shorts again.

Do you collect anything?
Fabric and boots. I’m a keen sewer, so there are piles of fabric all over the house, squirrelled away in places. I’m never gonna get around to using them all but they’re nice to have.

Style icon?

Oh so many! Late ‘60s Michelle Phillips, ‘70s Charlotte Rampling (pictured below London, 1968), and now, Benjamin Clementine (pictured below [New York Times, 2016 photograph by Craig McDean]), Subrina Heyink and my partner Frenchy.

 

What film can you watch over and over?
Love Story. I watch it as much for the story as Ali Macgraw’s clothes. I love her. 

Last book you couldn’t put down?
I don’t get to read as much these days with two babies, but I recently read The Panic Years by Nell Frizzell. She made me feel a lot about parenthood and ambition, life and desire.

Words to live by…
The very popular one ‘how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives’ – Annie Dillard.
Photo: Michael French
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Up Closet and Personal #1


Each Friday fortnight we bring you little ditty chats with our fave op-shoppers, artists, shopkeepers and old souls.

First cab off the rank is one half of bams & ted, Rachel Tolosa Paz. She is a photographer and writer who wrote The Food of Argentina with Ross Dobson. Rachel loves all things folk and hand-made and has a thing for textiles.

Favourite place to shop

I love a little shop that constantly surprises, somewhere you can get lost in, taking in all of the little treasures. I can never seem to visit DEA in Redfern without walking out the door with something special. Woollahra Bookshop is the smallest bookshop in Sydney but their taste is impeccable and I always come across a book I wouldn’t necessarily find elsewhere. And locally, Retro Spectrum in Fairy Meadow – Dann does a great job curating the shelves with interesting retro finds.

Online or instore shopping?
I prefer to shop instore but let’s face it, when you don’t live in a big city, sometimes online is the only way to go.

Last vintage purchase?
I bought a fab lavender shirt/jacket from online vintage store, Girl Gone Retro. It’s terry towelling and very 70s.

The one that got away…

When we first started bams & ted back in 2011, we had a pop-up in William St in Paddington and I remember a custom kangaroo fur military style hat that a customer very quickly snapped up. It was nothing if not unique… I’ve never seen another one and probably sadly never will.

Do you collect anything?
I have a real thing for vintage tablecloths and linen. Of course, you have to use them and they all have red wine and olive oil stains but that is the beauty of a used object – it carries with it all of the stories of all of the long lunches with friends and family.

Style icon?
I am probably more inspired by colour than an actual person so I take lots of cues from art, interiors and film. At the moment, I am loving the very English colour combo of cherry red and sky blue.

What film can you watch over and over?
Darjeeling Limited is one of my favourite films. Classic Wes Anderson, the combo of Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson, hand-painted details and the blue of an Indian train. Need I say more?

Last book you couldn’t put down?
Ohh so tricky… but Stoner by John Williams is a book that stays with me always. I put off reading it for a long time, even started it and didn’t keep going. Then one day I sat down to read it and didn’t stop. A gem of a book. What a novel should be.

Words to live by…
Done is better than perfect. I have only recently come across this saying, but hey, better late than never!
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“No Dull Moments or Dull Men Tolerated” – Joan Holloway

In celebration of the wonderful women of Mad Men our latest collection features bright coloured frocks, mod minis and retro prints and patterns. The costumes of the long running series, designed by Janie Bryant, were all about being bold, strong and empowered, just like the female characters of the show. We hope our selection of vintage in this collection will help you channel your inner Peggy, Joan or Betty – there’s a style for everyone!

S H O P  N O W