Braidwood’s Saloon brings a touch of the wild west


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“And he or she mentioned, ‘I like yours too’. That was the start.”

Right now, the ladies are the inventive forces behind ladies’s vogue label Saloon Design Home; clothes, skirts, shirts, waistcoats and scarves impressed by the “stunning, hardworking” ladies of their tiny NSW dwelling city.

Braidwood women Lily Munnings (left) and AJ Gillin in Saloon.

Braidwood ladies Lily Munnings (left) and AJ Gillin in Saloon.Credit score:Karleen Minney

The Saloon signature is a fitted, high-waisted costume with lengthy sleeves and an extended straight skirt, like these worn by the wiry and hardened ladies of American western films.

The clothes and different items are constructed of world-famous Liberty cotton material, with highlights of classic material, velvet and checked cut-offs from the native patchwork retailer.

“It is half bohemian, half nation couture – it is midwestern however traditional,” Dena says.

“Somebody wrote in our guests’ e book not too long ago that the items had been ‘robust however fairly’ and we realised they’d nailed it.”

Braidwood designer Sky Mazurkiewicz (centre) makes the jewellery to go with Saloon's wild west pieces. She's pictured with (from left) AJ Gillin, Jane Magnus, Lily Munnings and Dena Pezzano-Pharaoh, all wearing the label.

Braidwood designer Sky Mazurkiewicz (centre) makes the jewelry to go along with Saloon’s wild west items. She’s pictured with (from left) AJ Gillin, Jane Magnus, Lily Munnings and Dena Pezzano-Pharaoh, all carrying the label.Credit score:Karleen Minney

The Saloon showroom, positioned on the prime finish of Braidwood’s primary road, is greater than a store – it is an expertise. With rustic furnishings, uncovered brick partitions and large chandeliers, purchasers “are available and spend hours” looking rack upon rack of Saloon items and admiring the 129-year-old constructing.

Jane and her household had been residing within the shopfront when her companion issued an ultimatum: give you a enterprise concept or they’d should lease the store to another person after they moved upstairs.

Jane did have an concept – and, in a second of divine timing in entrance of the preschool months earlier – she’d met the girl who might assist her obtain it. As a contract dressmaker in Sydney, Dena had labored with manufacturers like Dragster and Kirilly Johnston, as nicely working in costume design throughout theatre and movie, earlier than transferring to Braidwood.

“I had a plan as quickly as I met Dena and realised she was a costume maker,” Jane says.

“I used to be a social employee with no vogue expertise, so Dena is like the girl who makes all of your goals come true.

“If I hadn’t met her, Saloon would nonetheless be a fantasy at the back of my thoughts.”

A mean day at Saloon “flies by”, Dena says, with the ladies designing and stitching all morning earlier than the children arrive on the store after college (Jane and Dena have 5 youngsters between them). They work as late as they’ll – “we would keep right here till 10pm each evening if we might” – earlier than heading dwelling for dinner, homework and bedtime.

And whereas the 2 creatives spend weekends on the showroom, stitching and promoting to purchasers on the similar time, the ladies of Braidwood have taken it upon themselves to assist market the model.

Nearly each different weekend, 5 or 6 Braidwood ladies don the Saloon label and head out to the bush to shoot stylised photos among the many rocks across the city, Picnic at Hanging Rock type, or alongside deserted filth roads. The photographs inform the Saloon story throughout Instagram and the enterprise’s web site, and have helped the label garner a following in Canberra and Sydney.

However Saloon is about to get some critical nationwide publicity because of the Nationwide Gallery of Australia, which has commissioned 80 items for its present retailer in keeping with new blockbuster Love and Need. Love and Need is an exhibition of pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from the Tate in London, and when a curator was searching for “lengthy clothes in Liberty print” to inventory on the gallery store through the blockbuster, Saloon was the right alternative.

It is meant Jane and Dena have needed to fee a dressmaker in Sydney to assist sew, and Jane’s aunt Julie – who’s 80 and makes the Saloon scarves – should work some additional time.

“We’re so excited and honoured to have the label on present on the gallery,” Dena says. “It is such a privilege.”

The imaginative and prescient for Saloon is to remain small, in accordance with each ladies, who need to preserve the liberty to create “no matter we would like” and earn a modest earnings.

However is it arduous to remain impressed in a tiny city, inhabitants 1650?

“Oh gosh no – all we’ve to do for inspiration is look out the entrance window of the shop,” Jane says.

“We have a lot we need to do – we’d like one other 50 years to execute on all of the concepts we’ve.

“Braidwood is our inspiration. The ladies of Braidwood are our inspiration. It is the artwork, our way of life, the bush – only a snippet of somebody strolling down the principle road in a little bit of leopard print will get us all excited.

“There’s a lot fodder. And we’ll all the time preserve it enjoyable – typically issues simply get a bit too critical.”

Saloon, 137 Wallace Avenue, Braidwood. Open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. Extra data at

Bree Component is the life and leisure editor at The Canberra Instances

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