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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