13 June, 2010

For the love of Lilli Ann - a 5.30am bidding frenzy!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I love Lilli Ann, a US designer that made wonderful suits and coats from the 1940's-60's (her company made garments after the 60's, but the best stuff is from the 40's and 50's). Unfortunately, her 40's and 50's garments are quite rare and quite expensive (suits range between US$ 400-700), so it was wonderful that I found this fabulous 'nipped waist' coat on ebay recently . . .

I love the 'hourglass', New Look design of this coat - it is really divine. I have been on the prowl for a coat exactly like this for months, but the ones on etsy were in the US $399 range. I simply did not want to pay that much for something I could not try on so imagine my delight when I spotted one on ebay USA for $9.99 auction (or $195 Buy it now). Of course, like a fool I didn't use the Buy it now facility and instead thought, 'oh not many people will see this (no one had bid on it by then), so I will go for the auction, perhaps I can get it for much less'.

Little did I know that the 12.43 bid end time in the US translated to 5.43am on a Sunday morning Australian time - ouch! So on Saturday night, after having a few too many red wines at a school trivia night I set my mobile phone alarm for 5.30 - was I mad? The answer is, yes, I think I am a little mad when it comes to vintage, so up I got at 5.30am, foggy with a slight hangover and logged on to ebay, just to find out that the coat was already up to $203.50. I must explain that I not an early morning person, I repeat not. I usually get out of bed at 8am when I can (!).

However, there was a happy ending to this story, as I can report that due to my well-timed spipe I got this little beauty for US $232.50 - more than what I could have gotten through 'buy it now', but much less than the equivalent on etsy.

So what is the lesson for me (and perhaps for all of us in this?) I think (a) sometimes 'Buy it now' can be better when it comes to rare items and (b) before bidding work out what the local time will be for end of the auction - bidding at 5.43 am after a big Saturday night is not an experience I would recommend!

Happy bidding to you all!

05 June, 2010

A hidden Art Deco gem in Brisbane: University of Queensland

I was fortunate enough to travel to Brisbane a few weeks ago to give a lecture at the University of Queensland (St Lucia campus). I had never been to this university and was amazed by the Art deco architecture on campus. It is a little hidden gem in Brisbane . . .

I gave my lecture in the Law Building, which is at the centre of the main college quadrangle called "The Great Court". This consists of lovely sandstone art deco buildings in a big semi-circular arrangement, with beautiful green grass and pathways in between - a little bit like Oxford University. It is a heritage listed building and I can see why . . .

The St Lucia campus is only about 10 minutes drive from the Brisbane city centre and I think it is well worth the trip. It is absolutely gorgeous (and there are great cafes and a bookshop to look at after your Art Deco tour!). There is lovely, energised vibe on the campus, which match the beautiful surroundings - really a very lovely place to visit.

Can you read what is written on the building (above the doors) in the photo below?

It says 'A place of light, of liberty and of learning'.
How fantastic is that?

I also love the detail on these doors . .

A lovely view down the portico/cloiser (not sure what is the correct architectural term!) in the college quadrangle . .  Just makes me want to wander around and ponder the meaning of life!

I love a good arched window . . .

For details of how to get to the St Lucia campus of University of Queensland, please see this link: http://www.uq.edu.au/maps/directions.html?menu=1

03 June, 2010

Vintage casual: A 'to be sure to be sure' Irish-green jacket

With two children, one husband and a job to look after, I don't always get the time to get dressed up in 'full-on' vintage style every day. This past week has been rather hellish as both my children have both been very sick with a stomach bug so my daily outfit has consisted of whatever was handy. As a result, it felt absolutely fantastic today to get back into wearing some vintage . . .

        Green wool jacket little vintage store in Grey St, St Kilda (no longer there)
Brooch Opp Shop, Edinburgh : see this this earlier post for details
blouse op shopped/thrifted
black trousers Basque, Myer (they have great wardrobe staples like this at very good prices)

This is one of my typical vintage 'casual' outfits - one that I can go grocery shopping in, take my child to the park etc and not be overdressed or uncomfortable. I am a big believer in black trousers as a good wardrobe staple - I can look nice, but still be able to bend down lots to pick up children, toys etc and not be too worried that my clothes will get stained by my 2 year old's grubby little hands! I personally don't like to wear my 'good' vintage when I am with my children for the day as there are too many dangers - I have had some bad experiences with the staining danger posed by white nappy cream so I am over-cautious.

I love the colour of this jacket - a deep Irish green - one of my favourite colours (others are royal blue and of course, pink!). My husband is Irish (don't you love that accent) so he likes to see me in this jacket. I dress it up with a brooch, and if its a bit chilly, a scarf. I am only just getting 'into' wearing scarves. I have never known exactly how to tie them and they always seem to look odd on me. However, I am trying! I bought this one at a market from my fellow Melbourne blogger, the gorgeous Lady Melbourne. It was a whole $5 - bargain!

Before I go, a close up of the lovely brooch on the jacket - the silver against the green looks great in real life - really sets the colour of the jacket off nicely.