Saturday, July 16, 2011

Banjo & Matilda cashmere warehouse sale - Sydney

Today's retail excursion was at the Banjo & Matilda warehouse sale.

Commencing in Sydney's Surry Hills at 9 am, I arrived at 8 am, found convenient parking and went to pie face for a morning hot beverage and a sweet.

The sweet was required to give me the energy to elbow others out of the way so I could get the best cashmere bargains. Seems reasonable, in fact, its smart planning.

I then said a little prayer of thanks for the full glass frontage so I could spent time studying the layout with great concentration.

Cashmere pieces along the two long walls of the premises.

Cashmere pieces along 2 racks running down the centre of the room.

This piece was there in black, grey and natural. Long in the back to cover the bum - like that!

A massive basket of $50 pieces along the back wall. Yes! Cashmere at $50.
Turns out this basket had tops of various styles.
(pssttt, that's why I go to warehouse sales people)
There was even cashmere sleepwear and trackies - I think Mia Freedman was recently raving about the B&M cashmere trackies....

Register and mirrors along the back wall.
The Banjo & Matilda mascot cashmere ball was at the front window - cute.....

Hmmmm, well organised.
Well lit.
Prices were indicated by coloured tags. $50, $100, $200, & $300
Most of the loot was flagged at $50 & $100, some at $200 and a bit at $300. Hello? that's why I go to warehouse sales people.

I saw stuff I wanted on both the left wall and the right to be in 2 places at once....that was the challenge.....

At about 8.40 am, Belynda and Ben Macpherson arrive with baby Macpherson and they introduce themselves and are super friendly. That was nice. Frankly, if it was me, I would have been mad as hell that the woman took the last legal car parking spot in the vicinity.

In case you are not aware, Ben is Elle Macpherson's brother and understandably, Elle is photographed wearing B&M alot.

I am sure no one noticed that they had to prise me from clutching the door frame (so I could be first in) and remove my nose and body pressed against the glass (seriously, I was mentally categorising the stock and planning the order of priority of the loot). Belynda and Ben also had to get in & do that last bit of merchandising for the normal (non obsessive) customers.

Early start, early bird, worm

Here's where it gets delirious. Once they opened the door, they left it open....I could go in. It was about 8.45 am. Party time.

And there was no one nipping at my heels.
This meant I could grab the loot from the left wall and not have to worry that someone else was doing the same to the loot on the right challenge of being in 2 places at once was solved.

It is very rare that warehouse sales open their door early - too often they just arent organised enough, or are just plain terrified of the vultures at their door, but I'd say based on my personal experience, one in fifteen open early. [This statistic was determined by me while driving home & peeking over at my cashmere loot at every light stop.]

The die hard shoppers make sure they are there earlier than the official start time, to be at the head of the queue and maximise their early bird benefits.

The Plan

So what was I there to achieve?

Like any project, you need a plan.

1. Research

You need to have researched the brand to understand what they offer and their normal prices.
That way when you are presented with something at the sale, you know whether its truly a bargain or not. This can be done on line - in the early pre online days, you had to pound the pavement.

2. Wardrobe gaps

You need to know the general gaps in your closet (eg: work wear, smart casual, loungewear etc) with particular regard to whether this brand may be the type to fill these gaps.

3. Specific items

You need to know if there is any specific piece made by the brand that will make your wardrobe complete.

No 1 - expert
No 2 - I have no gaps
No 3 - Yes, their classic cashmere scarf (in black and navy) with the ribbing along the centre length

I hope no one noticed that of the answer to No 2 is a No, then you are lying if the answer to No 3 is a Yes.

Ode to the Breton top

I am a nutter for breton tops, you know, the nautical striped tops that Chanel used to wear.
And to top off my wardrobe obsessive compulsive behaviour, I tend to buy a thousand variations of simple pieces. You know, a black & white version, a navy & white version, a reverse stripe version, a wide stripe, a narrow stripe, a varying width stripe, a version with horn buttons on the shoulder, a version with gold buttons on the shoulder, buttons at the side seam, a boat neck, a crew neck, a scoop neck, a turtleneck, a mock turtle neck, a version with the stripes from the shoulders, a version with the stripes starting at the bust, etc etc. Then all the same in a red version....I kid you not. This is my wardrobe life. Please do not suggest I need to see a therapist. This works for me and has been working for many many years. So nick off.

This is merely one of the many Bretons that B&M had at the sale.

Having done my research, I knew B&M do loads of Bretons & I could see many styles through the glass, but their "white" is actually cream/off white.
Cream/off white are hospital colours for me.

I spoke to Belynda about this and she said its hard to get a white-white with cashmere as it involves alot of bleaching which isnt very eco friendly.
However they are working with a factory to find other (more eco friendly) means of getting white-whites.

So I stayed strong and said bye bye to all the striped pieces I had picked up - tops, cardis, a scarf...all TDF, but hospital colours for me.

TIP: Go into a sale & grab eveything in sight that even remotely interests you. You can discard later. Do not ponder & come back to grab it - it wont be there any more.

This means you need your hands free to collect loot and a bag that you can carry on your shoulder. Leave your shopping in the car. Give the kids to hubby to look after.

All these photos were taken around 9 am. I dont want to imagine how busy it would have gotten later than day, especially as the sun came out and it turned into a lovely day.

See the pink cashmere this lady is holding? It was the only really vivid colour....I grabbed it first and when I realised it was too small, passed it to her....see? another benefit of being first in.

see the coloured balls on the poster in the back?
thats a key of the price points green for $50, yellow for $100 etc.
Makes it east to figure out how much you are investing - thats a good thing.

Making friends - kindred spirits

Soon after my entry, a young girl walked in who had been second in the queue at the Jac+Jack Warehouse Sale (see post on 14 July 2011). We both seemed to like similar things. Thankfully she was about 4 sizes smaller than me otherwise I would have had to drug her and chop her up into little pieces so she wouldnt compete with me at future retail excursions.

Another one of my precious statistics is that out of about one in four sales I attend, someone recognises me from a previous sale.

This networking has benefits - you get to find out about other sales. Girls who love to shop, LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about shopping.

Was I successful?

Yup. There was only one of the classic black scarves with the centre ribbing. Only one. And I got it. None in navy.

I am convinced that if I hadnt picked it up in those first minutes, someone else would have.
The classic stuff in neutrals always goes first. Ditto anything really precious, handmade, truly special. These things are the "worms".

On the web the scarf is AU$299.
My price AU$100.
Happy dance.

Here it is from the web site, in an apricot that shows the ribbing.

The thing i like about the B&M scarf is its ends are finished well. It doesnt look just like a cast off was done (unlike other brands). There is a proper structured finishing. Looks so much lovelier than alot of other brands on the market.

The risk?

The risk at sales (any sale, even in store) is that you will buy stuff just because its cheap & you wont wear it because the colour is wrong, the fit is wrong or its just bad for your body shape.

Let is be said that I LOVE navy as much as I love black.

But my best navy is a dark navy and 99% of my navy stuff is dark.

Well, B&M had a bamboo (85%)/cashmere (15%) long scarf in a lighter navy & I bought it.

Bamboo gives it a lighter finer feel, probably more so than silk.

Note to self: Figure out if bamboo is washable

Here she the photo she looks too cobalt-y. In real life she is a bright navy.
The double X is the logo embroidered on one corner of each B&M piece.

I am rationalising this on the basis that it will work well in summer and it will work especially well with black (very French, non?)

It also had a double layer of a pointelle (teeny holes which form part of the knit) on each end - like I said above, the ends dont just look they are cast off plainly, but instead tend to have a special finish.

Price was AU$50.

These are the tags. Just like I am obsessed with packaging, I retain all tags too. They will go in my "tag" drawer which also has spare threads, spare buttons etc.

Note to self:
Ask Belynda why the B&M's dont come with thread swatches.
Note to self: Ask Belynda how the company name came about.

Total spend: AU$150

Level of happiness: Very very high

My new B&M babies are now playing with my other cashmere babies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Girl crush - Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo - this girl usually gets it right both on and off the red carpet.

A couple of looks using the same top that I liked. That will help get her cost per wear (CPW) down and give her better value for money on the purchase.

Top: Susan Woo
Clutch: Hermes
Shoes: French Sole
Ring: ASOS

and a very recent one,

Top: Susan Woo
Skirt: Tibi
Shoes: French Sole
Bag: Anya Hindmarch

Figure va va voom - Nicole Kidman

Look at Nicole Kidman at a recent New York screening of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

She is in Elie Saab Resort Resort 2012 and her figure in particular looks amazing.

The dress emphasises her bust (beautifully) and gives her lovely curves around her hips.

Nicole is a stick figure, but with this dress, you'd never (ever) know.

We all know with photography, sometimes we can be deceived. But in this case the loveliness has nothing to do with the angle, nor the pose. Its simply a matter of having chosen the right dress for the body.

It gives Nicole curves where she definitely has no curves.

Dear readers, this is one of the mantras of "Style into Action" - that the right clothing will highlight your good bits and minimise your bad bits.

If you understand your body shape (know thyself), you can shop with this mantra in mind to produce very flattering results.

The mantra also gives you the strength to stay away from trends that arent suited to you, no matter how hard those shop assistants are pushing you.

Keep this photo of Nicole in your mind when you shop - I know I will be.

PS: Here is Elie's Resort 2012 look book photo of the same dress.

And a couple more photos from the same collection....dont be surprised if you see red, beige, black stripes in a few of the high street retailed Down Under for next summer.

another one I like, nicely translated with a cover up.....

Photos from Elie Saab
Photo of Nicole from Coco Perez

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jac+Jack warehouse & sample sale

I went to the Jac+Jack warehouse and sample sale this morning.

Purely for research purposes of course. So that I can blog about it and provide a community service announcement for shoppers.

It was the first day and it was starting at 8 am.

So I arrived at the city end of Oxford St at 6.45 am - see how devoted I am to my followers? I was there early to make sure I could get in first for YOU dear readers.

PS: The traffic was a breeze and I found (non meter) parking nearby which started at 9 am (which meant I didnt have to get back to the car til 10 am), but that had noting to do with my early start.

Slight problemo - I couldnt see any signs up - and i was seriously wondering whether I had arrived on the date wrong. Hmmmm....

So I went and got a cuppa and breakfast across the road at pie face. It was freezing BTW.

At around 8.20 am, two girls walked out of a non descript door and put up a poster and a sandwich board....thank heaven!!!! I found it.

By 7.45 am, about 8 girls were waiting - most were city workers taking advantage of the early start time (tick -very handy for the office girls).

By 8am - around 20 ladies walked in.

The loot

Lets just say the sale was fabulously stocked and that is an understatement.

We saw mens & ladies wear.

Ladies loot

Pretty scarf rainbow- my weakness.......

& jewellery and accessories (on left)

also showing the cushions and throws on left & on low table

Mens loot

There was summer and winter stock.
Loads of colours & all the natural tones the brand is known for.

I'd estimate that the mens was 40% of the stock, womens was 50% and homewares was 10%.


Samples were dispersed amongst the main racks.

I ADORE samples.

PS: I love samples because they are generally made better than production items. In theory, the production should be the same quality as the sample - but since samples are used as the "model" from which production occurs, and made within the head office in conjunction with the design team, in practice, they can often have a better quality than the outsourced production.

There was also a rack of Philipa K (a Scandinavian brand which Jac+Jack used to distribute with a similar aesthetic of simplicity and quality).

Prices - rock bottom!!!! WOO HOO!

There were scarves, tops and bottoms for $10 - loads of them, in many colours and styles.
Ladies cotton tees originally $100+ were down to $30, pure cashmere singlets for $80 from $300, pure cashmere sweaters for $180 from $380, silk dresses for $80 from $300+, pure cashmere thick jackets for $300 (normally $600)....

I know some of these prices may see like alot, but the fabrics used by Jac+Jack are top of the line, super soft and feel wonderful against the skin.

The way I see it, especially on the pure cashmere items, you will be wearing it forever and cost per wear (CPW) will plummet accordingly over time. And you feel wonderful in it.

Minimalist & transeasonal - the thing I love about Jac+Jack stuff is the minimalist slant & the easy way it all can be worn back against each other and other things already in your wardrobe.
This type of versatility just helps reduce CPW further.

What else was great about the Jac+Jack sale?

* Well lit (both change rooms and stock area)
* Plenty of staff
* Decent sized change room & racks/mirrors
* Fabulously organised stock
* Great eye level signage of the various groupings of merch (love that word we use in the "biz")
eg: pure cashmere, summer tops, winter tops, winter pants, scarves, mens shirts, mens tees, anyway I am sure you get the picture.
* Stroller friendly (through the back door)

This photo from the web showing Lisa "Jack" Dempsey (right) and Jac Hunt (left), the owners.
Smart, lovely ladies.

What did I buy?

I was there to scout for you my dears...not in any way for my own selfish purposes.
But if I was to buy something, it was 2 tees ($30 each), a Philipa K dress ($80 originally a $500 spend) and a cotton scarf with pom pom tassels ($60).

My recommendation

Go, dont walk, run, fast.
Its on til Monday, but the sooner you go, the more likely you'll get the better stock in colours and sizes.

Have a look at their Facebook page (Jac+Jack) for the hours & exact location.

What's next?

Premium cashmere brand Banjo & Matilda - starts this Saturday.
Stay tuned for another blog on Sat afternoon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Costco update - Sydney

Costco is planning to open this week in Auburn, Sydney.

Yai!!! Clap, clap, cheer, cheer!

This Australian Financial Review article highlights that while this new store is 10% smaller than the Melbourne (Docklands) store, the catchment area is greater - hence greater sales in the long run.

Some recent studies have found that this store is not expected to cause major havoc with local grocery & hardware retailers unless there is a price war or spending patterns change permanently. This is because most Australians are planning to reduce discretionary spending, not to increase it and Costco sells bulk quantities.

Costco is also looking for locations in Qld and SA.

Classic with a 2011 edge

These days style seems to be about "more is more".

Me? I have always prefered minimalism in my clothes with 1 stand out accessory.
I have never been able to layer & layer & pile up baubles despite what the fashion press says.

So I "get" Diana Vreeland's statement, "elegance is refusal".

I saw recent pictures of Princess Letizia of Spain and boy, oh boy do I now have a smug look on my face.

These two photos say it all.

Simple colours, simple shapes,

classic, yes, but with a 2011 edge,

* the chunky shoes
* the cropped pants, with narrow ankles
* pleats at waist creating fullness at the hips

I adore this woman's style.

PS: This is the princess with Carla Bruni Sarkozy - she is at the left of the photo below. I love this photo too!

Shop radar - Saba

Just a lovely photo of SA, Karla Magayanes at the Melbourne Central shopping centre.

Its in the Australian newspaper on 13 July 2011 and the article is about business confidence (which we wont get into right now, because we want to stay happy!)

I just noticed and liked Karla's style....

Zara in Queen Street mall, Brisbane

Today the Australian Financial Review has reported that Zara is now looking to open a store in Queensland.

Apparently the preference is for at least 800 sq meters (Sydney store is 1,400 & Melb store is 1,900 sq mt) and on the Queen St mall (which is the super prime spot, with already hi end retailers like LV, Tiffany, Swarovski & apparently Chanel is due to open soon in the Colonial Queen's Plaza).

Zara is negotiating for rent based on turnover (given the weaker Qld conditions), suggesting from previous deals that 15% for two years, then a lower rate after that, may be ball park.

The other possibility just outside the Queens St mall is just outside of it, where Borders recently closed down, which is now a vacant three flight frontage.
All I can say, is bring it on for our Brisbane sisters!

Til next time lassies,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Designer recycled stores - Sydney

Gotta give you some context and background, folks

My love for designer brands started with recycled shops in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs.
That was way, way, way, way before ebay was mainstream.

When I say "designer recycled" I dont mean "vintage" - even though some stores place both terms in their name, to try & capture a broader audience. Technically, "vintage" refers to something that is approx at least 25 years old. Calling a 2002 Tom Ford YSL "vintage" isnt correct, but some of those stores do it....silly people.....

I doubt I will ever have the expertise for vintage recycled, so any vintage recycled blog post will come from someone else (see? I am practicing know thyself, pretty, good, eh?).

However I DO consider myself a designer recycled expert and I can walk through a store & pick out the best stuff in seconds flat. In fact I am at Olympic level in designer recycled shopping. I am at Gold medal level, truly.

Need help? Just ask me! I love the process of scouring for a designer recycled bargain, seriously I do, as crazy as that sounds.

PS: I am also an ebay expert in buying designer stuff - but we'll blog that one later....

FYI - Just so you know at least half my wardrobe is recycled ebay or recycled Sydney store stuff.

When I went to NY last year, I spent close to 4 days trawling through the Upper East Side designer recycled stores and boy, oh boy - I have never seen anything like it.....i was in nirvana and I can honestly say apart from a leather jacket & a coat, most of my TREASURES were from the recycled UES stores (rather than say Woodbury Common).....

back to littler was with designer recycled stores that I discovered amazing fabrics, cuts & design which I hadnt previously seen in the suburbs. It was around 1990 - soon after I discovered the runway shows, in NY, London, Paris, Milan, then the difference between a diffusion and a main line......and the rest as they say, is history.

Mind you, back then, you didnt get internet footage of each look. You were lucky to see one look per designer in Vogue (hard copy) and you had to wait months and months to see that because Australia was a full 6 months behind. Anyway, I digress.

Eastern suburbs - Double Bay, Sydney

Most of the recycled designer stores in Sydney's eastern suburbs (specifically Double Bay) are still there, but I have moved on from them. Having said that, I will still pop in when I am literally on their door step but I will never arrange an errand (as you do), so that I can accidentally pop they wont be covered in this post....

But since some of you may be curious (#^^*&()%&$%##$), these stores tend to focus on the more mature market in that area and even if they have tried to funk it up in the last 10 or so years, their clients still are pretty, well, mature, and so are the clothes. Typical labels include Escada, Armani, Burberry, Chanel, St John, Max they do carry the heavy hitters - but its the older more mature styles of those labels.

Lets say that I at 43 dont get excited in those stores when their outfits may look a million bucks but make me look like I have one foot in the grave.....granny Val isnt a good look for me.....

I have bought serious truckloads of stuff from designer recycled stores over the years but I cant list & photograph even a small portion - it will take too I have quickly picked up some bits & pieces (notice that scarves are the easiest...yes, thats my addiction!)..... favourite designer recycled stores in Sydney & I have been frequenting these regularly for oh around 15 years or more......

Trunk, William St, Paddington

The recycled outlet for Robby Ingham Stores (yes, the chicken man, who does high end designer for men & women).
Run by Katrina, who is the loveliest lady on the planet and she will keep an eye for your favourites when they come in.
Typical brands = Stella McCartney, Chloe, Prada, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Balenciaga....list goes on....
Lay-by available but the prices are very reasonable - dont be put off that I got some seriously expensive stuff.....she prices to sell, not to decorate the walls....
New stock is announced on the Robby Ingham blog.

Guess what? Due to the affiliation with Robby's men's store, Trunk has the COOLEST menswear - Commes des Garcons, YSL, Jil Sander, Tom Ford, Prada, Gucci, Martin Margiela, Paul Smith etc.

The Lanvin necklace was born here around AU$600 (lay-by please Katrina, no problems, Val), retail would have been around $2.5K, easy.

with box....I ADORE the boxes, as you can anyone NOT love its house?

The Chanel matt silver tone aqua necklace was born here AU$700, another lay-by...the retail on this would be over $2K....but no box....waaahhhhhh!

Notice the tweed centre which goes back to the fabric used in that collection....too cute!

definitely the real deal.....

how could you not fall in love with this little girl?

Di Nuovo, William St, Paddington

This store is isnt affiliated with any retail outlet.
Run by Victoria, who can be a bit temperamental (PMT?).
She seems to have a gazillion different (young) staff & I dont get the sense that anyone tries to get to know you (for the long term). The staff are knowledgeable on the products but its pretty obvious they just want to secure a sale.

IMO, the prices are also a touch high (higher than equivalent merch say at Frock and definitely higher than Trunk/Recollections)

Interestingly, this is the only one of these stores that pays to advertise - in the SMH, usually in the Style section on Thursdays. The other designer recycled stores tend to be word of mouth.....

The shop name means "anew" or "again" in Italian.

This store has a blog but not FB page.

The brands are wonderful but tend to be a touch funkier, eg: Marc by Marc Jacobs, tonnes of trendy jeans (eg: 7s, Citizens of Humanity ets), sass & bide, see by Chloe, DVF, Willow, Collette Dinnigan, Karen Walker etc...However dont get me wrong, she does carry loads of imported main lines too, Chloe, Akris, Paul Smith, Missoni, DKNY etc

But what is really special about this store is that she has a client or two with spectacular leather goods in mint if not unused condition - bags & shoes, especially in 39-41....worth visiting just for these - Manolos, Louboutins, Choos, Diors, Jamin Puech, Bottega, Fendi, Dolce etc..the list is incredible and the stock is refreshed every season (& has been for the last 4-5 years or so+)..... it wasnt just a one off......

A couple of my bubs....

Azzedine Alaia black puppies (real alligator tongue), around AU$300, new, never worn, no box, retail would be around $1K-1.2K

Jimmy Choos in black with tiny holes and skin coloured lining, new, never worn, no box - probably paid too much for these, but I love them to death and will wear them in the coffin.....retail would be around $700

Recollections, Military Road, Neutral Bay
(close to the Oaks pub - city end)

A smart boutique but with some cool boho pieces.
This boutique is not affiliated with any retail stores.
It carries hard core import and Aussie designer brands at amazing prices.

Run by Jade, a friendly lady who will never forget a client and makes every effort to understand what you are interested in shopping for.

Jade's prices are better than the Paddo stores.

Typical brands = Armani, Sonia Rykiel, Missoni, Mela Purdie, Carla Zampatti, Paul Smith, Simona, Collette Dinnigan, Tod's, Ferragamo, Gucci, Fendi, Emma Hope, Kate Spade.

Some of my loot from here:

A main line Sonia Rykiel wool scarf - very dramatic with huge pom poms.
Perfect for the theatre or dinner on a winter evening.
And the shade of burgendy is perfect for my colouring. It was $100 & I would estimate the AU retail would have been around $1,200, easy. Score!

I havent "styled" it here, but you can imagine how many ways you can tie this as it is so long & glamorous!

arent they too cute? the little (actually, big) pom poms....

PS: The straight boys dont "get" this scarf & its pom poms...only girls "get" surprises there!

Next.....yep, another scarf.....

See this hikaru noguchi scarf (English)? I bought it from her about 7 years ago for AU$25 (retail over $150) orange with charcoal stripes and fringing...100% wool & hand washable...its Belinda stock.....

then 2 winters later I found the identical red/pink version in her store (AU$28).....same client.....too funny!

Here's an interesting one....a French brand Martine Boissey...AU$28...its stock from Von Troska which retails for $160 (& hand washable, gotta love that)

How do I know about Von Troska? Cos I had bought the vivid purple/black spot version from Von Troska about a year ago.....
but have to admit, the strong colours of the purple one do suit me more than the pale blue, so i am glad to have gotten the blue at such a fabulous price and the purple was worth paying more for....

Are you starting to notice that I tend to buy the same things over & over? Either I am a terrible hoarder or I "know thyself"!!! Maybe a bit of both.

TIP: Even though Recollections is on the north side, I'd make a point of visiting regularly - Jade's stuff is amazing and I truly think she keeps her prices more reasonable than the Paddington stores (who we all know are subject to the highest rents in Australia)

Red Threads, William St, Paddington
(opposite the Church)

This is a Red Cross initiative which opened a few months ago with alot of fan fare due to receiving consignments from celebrities such as Megan Gale, Charlotte Dawson etc

It has a tremendous amount of stock, which I would class as trendy and youth oriented and alot of the up & coming Aussie designers who are stocked on Oxford St as well as high street (Sportsgirl, Ojay, Witchery, Country Rd etc).

Prices are seriously affordable, loads & loads of stuff at $2 upwards, most being around $30-$80

Loads of cheap & cheerful jewellery for $1 & $2 to brighten up an outfit & cheaper than you would find at say Sportsgirl

I have not bought anything from here - probably a bit too young for moi.

Finally - I have saved the best til last....ta stand out, hands down, winner by a country mile is ......

The Frock Exchange, Clovelly Rd, Covelly

This is Belinda's recycled store and it is run like a beautiful well oiled machine.
Run by Sophie with staff that know their stock, the designers and the industry. They are helpful to get things for you, they definitely make an effort to get to know your likes and call when things arrive.

Not surprisingly they have a very active blog and a Facebook page that wets your appetite for the new arrivals.

Belinda's tag line is "Love is sweeter the second time round"...too cute!

Typical brands = Marni, YSL, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Missoni, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Bottega, Chloe, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Mulberry, Vanessa Bruno, Acne...the list goes on and on....

Pricing is very reasonable considering the brands they carry.

Everything in these 3 photos was for sale at the Frock. The photos are from the blog (FABULOUS blog) The models are the sales girls. The photos are from the blog & every item is disclosed there. New stock has since arrived.....drool....

I have bought loads from here - especially Marni, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Hermes scarves, heaps of silver jewellery always from galleries & interesting designers (rather than Angus & Coote).

Honestly, Belinda clothes the best dressed women in Australia in a modern and chic way - & I get their offcasts at the end of the season (hardly worn)!

As a guide, I'd say if I had to give you an idea of price, it'd be around 50% - 90% off retail.

Remember these from a previous post?
They came from The Frock & are now mine....another coffin item....

Here is an Ericksom Beamon set - bracelet & earrings - they were around AU$120 for both, boxes included (happy dance!) The photos doesnt reflect the daylight sparkle...they are lovely.

PS: This is NOT the Ericksom Beamon for Target!

The small print.....

*Check Facebook to see if each has a page - some do have a page although I believe that Frock is the only one ATM with an active (very active) page.
*Check their websites.
*Check their blogs

TIP: The more you check FB/blog/web & are aware of what they are receiving, the more you are likely to be in danger with your bank manager! But you only live once my lovelies!

* There are other designer recycled stores even in the areas I have covered (Paddo, Neutral Bay)....but I have excluded them from this post simply on the basis that I dont think they are as good as these....but if you want to know more, please ASK & I can certainly let you know.

* I have also used these stores to sell my stuff - but with the rise of ebay, sometimes i find its better to use the latter - more about selling recycled in a later post.


TIP: Seriously folks, if you are going to visit one designer recycled store in Paddo, make it The Frock.....but the funny thing is, when i set aside a sunny Saturday to stroll the Paddo strip, pretty much all I visit is the recycled stores & since they are all within spitting distance, I check them all out. (Plus Robby Ingham)

When I do the Paddo stores, I see the same women in the stores as me - no, we are not stalking each other - we all have the same (smart) plan - to visit all of the designer recycled stores in that 2-3 hours allocated to the best shopping designer money can buy...

TIP: If you are visiting all of the recycled stores in Paddo, dont buy everything you like at the first one you visit. There is a serious chance you will see heaps more that you MUST have at the others. So ask each to hold for 30 minutes while you get some money out of the machine and weigh up what will go home with you (or on a lay-by) after you have seen everything on offer. I have learnt this the hard way....

TIP: There is only one of each item. You need to have a very well developed sense of what you need/want. Its not like normal shops where if it sells they can usually get another in. Here, once it goes, its gone. Bye, bye item! And since no one holds for longer than an hour (& even then, even if they know you, have to fight with one of the above, no names Di Nuovo, to get even a half hour hold), you need to make decisions fast.

TIP: This type of shopping is not for the faint hearted. Generally recycled stores can be smelly, badly lit etc and you have to look through racks of cramped items where each one is different - it is far more stressful than scanning through a rack of a the well laid item in 8,10,12,14,16....However all these I have shown here are light & airy & professionally displayed. They are not musty & iccky. Some of the ones I have left off, well, perhaps one of the reasons I have left them off is the iccky factor!

ANNOUNCEMENT - Westfield getting into designer recycled!

Today, Westfield announced it is opening the Giveability store, a designer charity store stocked with second hand designer items donated by celebrities and fashion designers to raise money for children with disabilities and their families.

The Giveability Store will be open in Sydney Bondi Junction 20th-24th July and Westfield Doncaster 27th- 31st July.

100% of the proceeds from all sales will go to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in NSW and Scope in VIC, which provides vital services to people living with cerebral palsy and their families.

I would imagine that if these stores are successful, they will be continued or maybe also expanded to other suburbs.