Brisbane has ‘come of age’ in terms of shopping, don’t you think? We have almost got it all – the premier shopping precinct – The City – (or Town as we used to call it in my youth) now has its flagship luxury stores (Chanel, Hermès, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, et al) and high street favorites (Top Shop, HMV, et al), and all our old regular shopping haunts. We’ve got the mega shopping centres – Carindale, my local, and affectionately known as ‘The Dale’, Indooroopilly which westies have nick-named ‘Indro’, and maybe locals who frequent Garden City, Toombul, and Chermside have their own ‘terms of endearment’ for their own shopping meccas, but I am not privy to them.
For those of us who like our products a bit more bespoke and quirky, we can go to the Valley, James Street and The Emporium, Woolloongabba, Paddington, and West End – where high-end fashion, homewares, collectables, books, vintage, and local designers, can be found in happy harmony. And for those of you up for trying something new, why not come to the high street (Ipswich Road) in my home turf of AnnaVegas? I am sure you will be suprised and delighted with what’s on offer.
Shopping and consumption often cause great debate amongst the populace and I am not going to enter into a political diatribe but merely give you a simple analogy: shopping (especially for clothes) is a lot like maintaining a healthy attitude towards food and drink – moderation is everything! Excess in anything is not in anyone’s best interests – for some, a freshly pressed kale juice is preferable to French champagne, and others (such as me) see the beauty and rejoice in both.
It is in this spirit of eclecticism that I have chosen Rosemary Scarlet’s Emporium of Divine Decadence & Curiosities which is housed in the shop also known as Our Lady of Saintly Salvage in Annerley Arcade, 478 Ipswich Road, as the first featured business on the AnnaVegas strip. You have to be ‘in the know’ as when to go – the shop is closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and is open from 1pm until 6pm on Wednesdays, from 10am until 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9am until 4pm on Saturdays.
And from 8:30am until 2:30pm on most Saturdays, shoppers have the added bonus of strolling through the Arcadia Bohemian Market – a petite Parisian-style flea market. Those who want to find magic and romance can easily do so by conjuring up some classic quotes from Émile Zola’s book The Ladies’ Paradise (which was recently adapted as a television series by the BBC and renamed The Paradise) such as Crever pour crever, je préfère crever de passion que de crever d’ennui! or La certitude d’avoir empêche de désirer.
If this is not your style then you can always imagine you are the ultimate band-aid Penny Lane (aka Kate Hudson) from Almost Famous and shop for just the right outfit for a rock muse, or why not just be a rock star – after all, this is the age of equal opportunity!
Photo courtesy wallpaper222.com
But why not let the products sell themselves:
A duvet for the balletomane
The perfect prints for my pretty pink study
I bought two ballet prints by Carlotta Edwards. The Giselle print is an exact replica of one that had pride of place in my childhood home.
Some refer to these prints as ‘retro kitsch’ (in the nicest possible way). I know they have a chocolate box appeal but I love them because they capture the spirit and beauty of ballet from a bygone era. Besides being framed as pictures, Carlotta Edwards’ ballet scenes can be found on a wide range of items from place mats to trays (and if you look hard enough, you can find jigsaw puzzles).
The artist, Carlotta Edwards (1894 – 1977) was the daughter of the French painter Ferdinand Pourrier. She is well known for her paintings of ballet scenes and exhibited at both the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Paris Salon. The Medici Society published many prints of her work and these are still widely available.
Be your own tiny dancer
Just check out Betty Harlow’s (aka Marion Caudell’s) beautiful ballet-inspired skirt sewn by her very own ‘golden hands’.
It’s poetry in motion…
Betty (aka Marion) knows how to wear her skirt well, don’t you think?
I can’t dance and I can’t sing, and I can barely play the piano, but don’t you think I’m a total rock star (at least in my dreams) in my beribboned coat of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme? This whimsical, light-as-air coat dress (which is one-part lace, a touch of doily, and creatively stitched with a heady mix of nostalgic dreams) was created by the ‘magic hands’ of Rosemary Scarlet.
A view from the front and the back:
For those who like a more practical approach to fashion, behold my Scandi style bolero, once again created by the ‘golden hands’ of Betty (aka Marion). Who doesn’t love a fabric from the Finnish design house Marimekko, especially if it is reversible?
Maija Isola from Marimekko designed the iconic Unikko (poppy) print pattern in 1964 (making the design almost as old as me!).
For people from a certain generation – those who came of age in the 1960s (or just born in this decade) – Marimekko represents more than just a brand name, it conjures up an image of an era. Oh, and Marimekko looks pretty good with Birkenstocks too!
How to get to AnnaVegas
If you drive, just head down Ipswich Road and stop near the junction with Annerley Road. No wheels – no worries, you have the choice of two bus routes – the 112 and 113. Timetable information is available at Translink. And why not listen to Tiny Dancer from Almost Famous and pick your favourite character to emulate (you guessed it – mine’s Penny/Kate!)
And there’s more…
This is just the first of many AnnaVegas stories so stay tuned – a story featuring Vintage Collective Shop’s luxe offerings is coming soon. You are sure to like it, if you are a style time traveller and look for inspiration from past decades. And make sure that 9am to 2pm is free in your diary on Saturday 5 December 2015 for the Annerley Junction Christmas Fair.
Be there or be square! I’ve used this quote before on my blog but Vivienne Westwood, who knows a thing or two about fashion, was spot on when she said:
And, finally why not take a ‘selfie’ or get a friend to take a photo of you either in your finery or with your purchases from AnnaVegas and post to #thehipsterette_almostfamous