Rae Street Retro is the collaboration between sisters, Yvonne and Heather. Our childhood was spent growing up in the 1950’s in Rae Street where we spent many hours in our mother’s kitchen learning to cook, as well as learning to sew on the kitchen table. Mum, like many typical 1950’s housewives, spent many hours on her sewing machine fashioning clothing and homewares from new and recycled fabrics. Our Nanna lived up the road in one of the original Rae Street cottages so she was close by and we shuffled between her house and home almost on a daily basis. She taught us to knit and crochet, but the enjoyable lessons were learning to sew on her ancient Singer treadle sewing machine. Nanna was an excellent needlewoman and in those days, these skills were passed down to the girls in the family as a matter of course.
We drew on these happy memories for inspiration in creating our initial range of retro-inspired homewares. The Rae Street Retro range used both vintage and contemporary textiles with a strong commitment to “upcycling” to create a unique and beautiful finished product. Each item is a one-off piece and the fabric itself often determines what is finally created.
More recently we have branched into working with recycled vintage silk and cotton kimono and obi textiles sourced from Japan. Some of these textiles date back to the 1920’s through the decades up to current times. This new range of homewares and accessories is called WABI (meaning refined and elegant simplicity).
Our maternal grandmother Randell was fascinated with all things Japanese. In the early 1930’s, she hand made a complete geisha outfit for our mother to attend her school fancy dress ball.
The vintage and contemporary fabrics in our range are sourced from overseas and within Australia. All our textiles are 100% silk, linen, wool or cotton.
Our mother and grandmothers recycled fabrics and trims as a matter of course long before it became fashionable to do so. We have a commitment to recycling and upcycling wherever possible as part of the time honoured approach to creating something new from something old.