Wednesday, 7 May 2014

My Mum - by the St Barts Team

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and we here at St Barts are taking the time to reflect on the special things that made our mothers unique, unrepeatable and the most important female role models in our lives. 

Originally conceived as a public holiday in America in 1914 through the campaigning efforts of Anna Jarvis, Mother's Day is about honoring the place of the mother in our society, and more personally, our lives.

It is interesting to note however, that celebrations of mothers and motherhood have occurred throughout history for thousands of years and we are particularly intrigued by the flamboyant figure of Cybele (or Mountain Mother) in Greek mythology. 

She was a wild woman by all accounts, a protector of cities and towns - arriving in a carriage led by lions, to raucous music, ecstatic dancing and much wine. Her mastery of the natural world and her vivid forceful nature are strong and powerful reminders that motherhood can mean much more than being a mere attachment to apron strings...feisty, funny, tough, cuddly, determined, tired, driven, rebellious, soft and more - she may be mum, but she is a woman too. 

Here, in the memories and reflections of our own mothers' is proof of the mighty feminine! 

Olivia Squillari - Marketing & Graphic Design 
Mum -  Kim Squillari

Kim Squillari

In her 20’s my mum was...partying till the a.m in Kings Cross

My mum’s style is...bohemian Byron style or everything black!

She taught me...that there is a big world out there and food is the way to a man's heart.

I love the way she...dances with her arms in the air.

Everyone who knows her says she...has a huge heart and loves a boogie!

Priya Gravesting - Brisbane Store
Mum - Audrey Bowie

Audrey Bowie with Priya and family

In her 20’s my mum was... a missionary in India before marrying my father in her mid 20’s.  They went on to have 4 children, 3 girls and a then my brother who was severely handicapped all his life.

My mum’s style is...Classic, loves black, white, lace and pearls!

She taught me...That a Princess is not here to be served but to serve others.

I love the way she...has our whole extended family over for amazing Indian lunch every Sunday.  It’s a long standing tradition.

I’ll never forget the time she...gave the Eulogy at my brother’s funeral.

Nicole Grimsdale - Marketing & Southport Store
Mum - Annette Grimsdale

Annette Grimsdale, end right, with family at her sister Vicki's wedding (second left).

In her 20’s my mum was...young and beautiful but struggling emotionally and financially as a single mother with my brother. She met the love of her life, my dad, in her late 20's (he was 29 years older than her and a successful film and TV director) and never looked back.

She taught grow up! My mum doesn't believe in blaming others for things they may or may not have done but to take responsibility for your own life, however hard that may be sometimes.

I love the way she...entertains. My mum was and still is a great hostess. She holds lots of dinner parties. Back in the 70's and 80's they included many empty bottles and guests lingering to the wee hours. These days it's more sedate but she still plans her meals with imagination and sets the table with real panache.

She cooked the best...Beef Rendang. Dry, spicy, flaky.

I wish I could live with courage, loyalty and pragmatism like she does.

Fiona Allan - Office Manager
Mum - Valerie Bailey
Valerie Bailey, graceful globe trotter

My mum's style was...classic, tailored and elegant

She taught to entertain, shop and laugh!

I love the way she...made our childhoods so special. I have such warm, loving memories of home cooking, horse-riding, holidays, shopping, parties and picnics...and lots of love.

She cooked threw the best...dinner parties.

She loved the globe.

Happy Mother's Day 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

SB Book Club - Fashionable Selby

book, fashion

Ever wondered what the work and home spaces of some of fashion's most creative and inspired designers and stylists look like?

Todd Selby does. He spent two years travelling and photographing people who "live and breathe clothes and shoes and hats and jewelry" and put the images together in Fashionable Selby, a new book to hit St Barts.

We've long been fans of Todd's cool blog, The Selby, and the eclectic, eccentric interiors of the people he loves to shoot. It makes us feel a little more in touch with the world of those in the know. 

Less about staged interiors and more about how people live, his work is always fascinatingly spontaneous and fluid - interjected with irreverent illustrations and hand written interviews with his subjects.

Fashionable Selby is available online (hipster mum alert! perfect gift for Mothers Day) just click here

book, fashion

book, fashion

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meeting with Cherie and Nareen from Marmoset Found

Australian homeware
Many people dream of starting their own business based on their passions but not so many realise it. Cherie Slater and Nareen Holloway of Melbourne based homeware wholesalers Marmoset Found have done just what they talked about as neighbours and friends, sharing coffee and bonding over their mutual love of homewares and interiors.

Cherie, who worked in health but who always had an eye for interior design (her husband is an architect) and Nareen, who was a fashion buyer, took the bold step to start their own business in homeware wholesaling after agreeing that they were seeing the same stuff everywhere and wanted to find new and beautiful pieces to bring to the market.

It is no small feat to take your career destiny in your own hands, especially with small children added to the equation, but Cherie and Nareen booked their first flights 3 years ago and have travelled ever since, working alongside artisans and crafts people in Thailand, Vietnam, Japan,  The Philippines and India.

At St Barts we have just unpacked our first delivery of Cloud Ceramics from Marmoset Found and couldn't be happier with this gorgeously wonky range of bowls, platters and vases and plates in muted shades of grey, taupe and moss.

Can you tell us a bit about Cloud Ceramics - where they come from and how they are made?

Each piece is hand cast in Vietnam - a country with a rich history in ceramics spanning thousands of years.We collaborate with a small family run business and decide on a colour palate for each season. 

They look so fragile - are they able to be used everyday?

They might look fragile but they are fired at a really high temperature and are dishwasher and microwave safe. They are actually really sturdy; we both use them as our every day dinnerware. We wanted to create ceramics that were beautiful, durable and functional. All the colours mix and match - so you can collect them over time and have an eclectic but cohesive range.

You travel the world constantly sourcing new and lovely things for the home - any tips on what's on trend now? 

There's still a strong emphasis on mixing everyday pieces with artisan, handmade and one-off treasures from your travels. Its an egalitarian approach to home styling that lets you have the Ikea shelving unit - let's face it, they are practical and well-designed - but mix them with something that is more personal and has a story about you or the place it came from.

Marmoset Found, ceramics, organic, pottery, dinnerware

Cloud Ceramics now available at St Barts stores and online

Monday, 7 April 2014

Brisbane Fashionistas Stay Up Late - Did You?

It was a perfect balmy Brisbane evening, curb-sides were turned into mini open air bars serving tropical cocktails as great tunes played over speakers from DJ's dotted along the strip, fashionistas promenaded in their finest threads as all the shops kept their doors open  for the annual James Street and Marie Claire Up Late event last Thursday.

At St Barts we kept the French bubbles flowing and the vibe buzzing as we previewed Lisa Brown's gorgeous new Spring Summer 2014 range.

Lisa herself was instore offering style advice and plenty of giggles as her infectious and friendly personality won everyone over. There's still time to pre-order your own piece of covetable Lisa Brown glamour from the lookbooks - just pop into the Brisbane store and ask Donna, Pria, Laura, Nicky or Sophie to help you out.

It was such a fun night and so great to see so many of our lovely customers enjoying the offers and atmosphere of the event - we can't wait to do it all again next year!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

My Luxe Lifestyle Secrets - Lisa Brown

Australian fashion designer

With her distinctly feminine and romantic clothing designs, it’s hard to believe that Lisa Brown is a tomboy at heart.  Born in Maitland NSW as the youngest of 6 children, Lisa was a skateboarding, rugby playing, surfer-child. 

Facing financial hardship after a bold life change, Lisa’s creative energy was realised as she customised op-shop and vintage fashion finds to dress herself. Soon people started asking her about her creations and so, the inception for Lisa Brown the fashion label was born.

The success of Lisa’s label is the determined pursuit of good design and quality of make – she produces clothing women want to wear, and importantly, clothing that suits a woman’s body.

Now living on the Gold Coast with her family, it seems Lisa has the perfect work/life balance – surfing in the morning, doing a job that is her passion and relaxing in the evening with the people she loves.

Australian fashion designer

 What’s the first thing you think of in the morning? 
I usually check what the surf is like; it’s the best way to start my day

I’m happiest when: 
There are plenty of things that make me happy. When I’m surfing and designing, when the creative juices are flowing.

from top: Steph Gilmore, Leo, Lisa, Isabel Marant spring
If I weren’t a fashion designer I’d be a: 
Pro surfer (Steph Gilmore)

Who was your teacher and what did you learn?  
I have been taught mostly from observation and working various jobs.

What star sign are you? 
I’m a Leo.

What role do you think fate has played in your life? I decided to leave my home town and a secure job and move to QLD, I had no money to buy luxury clothing, so I had to draw on my creative side. I started to recreate op shop items by cutting and dying and then finally taught myself to sew and haven’t looked back since. So being financially poor for a sometime was a positive...would you call that fate?

Tell us something we don't know about you:
I’m very much a tomboy; I can do 3 x 360’s on a skateboard in a row.

What are you most grateful for?  
My two healthy girls and a great lifestyle.

Do you have a signature dish? 
Lychee red duck curry 

I have a style crush on: 
Isabel Marant especially her spring lookbook styling.

What keeps you grounded? 

My Children, my work colleagues, failures and coming from a large family of 6 children I don’t think they would allow me to get too big for my boots.

What keeps you motivated?
I don’t give up easily; I think it’s just something inside, a determination that keeps me motivated. Also seeing my clothing on such a diverse mix, that inspires me to keep creating.

How do you relax?
Having a surf in the morning and a red wine in the evening.I have a great lifestyle and don't feel the need to travel far to relax.

Lisa will be joining us this Thursday, April 3 between 5pm and 9pm at our Brisbane store for the annual James Street Up Late fashion event. Come join us for some bubbles, fashion and one-night-olny great offers. We will also be exclusively previewing her Spring/Summer 2014 range. 

St Barts Brisbane is at 6/31 James Street Fortitude Valley.  

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mid-Week Meditation - Ageing Gracefully

ageing gracefully

Working in St-Barts we are privledged to meet many beautiful and spirited women every day. What we find encouraging and uplifting in particular is the style and grace we see across the spectrum of ages - we are lucky to have as customers women in their 20's through to their 80's and even 90's. Charming, irreverent, quirky, classic, understated, flamboyant, vivacious, serene - but always authentic and carrying themselves with great good style.