Thea Basiliou, Owner, Blonde Venus

Keep learning and you will never stop living ...

How Thea Basiliou can bring contrasting colours, prints and textures together in a new extraordinary and eye-catching outfit each day is a mystery to even the most energetic fashionista. A compatriot of fashion and style in Brisbane, Thea has not only run Blonde Venus for the past 20 years, but also dabbles in advising the emerging designers at QUT. When Blonde Venus started out in Elizabeth Arcade in 1990, there weren’t the number of boutiques or the variety that the city boasts today. Thea was working at a bank by day and studying fashion by night, when she realised Blonde Venus was something she had to create. The bland, restrictive attire of the bank industry only fuelled her passion for avant-garde designs more, causing a wild shift in style on weekends and at night. Thea’s love of learning and discovering new labels fuelled trips to other states in search of new wares, and eventually this desire etched itself into her subconscious and inspired the beginning of Blonde Venus. With an aim to create a boutique that delivered a mix of high-end and accessible fashion, Thea endeavours to keep the pieces she stocks new and interesting, in turn keeping people inspired and the street fashion always progressing. The Weekend Edition spoke to Thea about her perfect weekend.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Oh, I don’t generally get one but I certainly dream about it! I love a good coffee that’s not made at home, so off to Jamie’s Espresso Bar, Sourced Grocer or Flamingo Cafe.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Well, Monday is the day that I’m not in the store and I’m a night owl so I love to sleep in.

How do you like to unwind?
I love finding a shady spot at the beach and just watching the ocean for absolutely ages. It’s so restful.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
An art exhibition, dinner with friends, seeing some bands, having a dance and seeing a new movie.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I STILL haven’t been to The Survey Co. yet!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
I like to walk up to Chinatown after work and go to Thai Wi-Rat for a quiet dinner.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
There’s a new Stuart Ringholt exhibition opening at Milani Gallery. I’m also going to jump between Cobwebs playing at Black Bear Lodge and The Kramers at The Hideaway on Friday night, and try to catch The Sapphires film – it looks really good!

What are you reading at the moment?
All and nothing! I am halfway through The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola and am also reading Woolgathering by Patti Smith.

What inspires you?
I have the most amazing and inspiring circle of friends who do so many cool things! They are not only fun but super clever and creative.

What was your childhood dream?
Mmmm, which one? I was and am such a dreamer. I wanted to be an archaeologist, work for Greenpeace, marry David Cassidy, be in a band, be a writer, be a disco dancer …

What has been your greatest achievement?
I am really proud of what I have achieved with Blonde Venus.

What is success to you?
I guess a sense of personal achievement and the happiness that you get from that.

What are your words of wisdom?
Keep learning and you will never stop living.

Only a local would know that … Paddy’s Markets had Tyvek Kiss Bomber jackets for 20 cents. I still regret not buying one.

Perk up …
Jamie’s Espresso Bar for a morning coffee
Relax … My lounge
Dine …  Thai Wi-Rat, Fortitude Valley
Indulge … Ortiga, Fortitude Valley
Shop … Woolloongabba Antique Centre
Catch-up … Black Bear Lodge or The End
Be inspired … GOMA, IMA, Ryan Renshaw and Milani Galleries



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