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Jane Magnus (Class of 1992) – owner Saloon Design House Braidwood

Posted 07 Jan, 2019

Saloon is about to get some serious national exposure thanks to the National Gallery of Australia, Jane and Dena have designed a Love & Desire Pre-Raphaelite dress in response to the incredibly beautiful and intriguing paintings in the NGA & Tate Love & Desire exhibition.

It is that time of year when you may be driving through Braidwood. Perhaps a stop at SALOON Design House (as well as the bakery) is now in order!

Saloon stocks clothing for the wild and the wise, sublime handmade dresses to wear everyday, made in the finest fabrics in store.  Owners Jane Magnus (Class of 1992) and Dena Pezzano-Pharaoh are the creative forces behind women’s fashion label; making dresses, skirts, shirts, waistcoats and scarves inspired by the “beautiful, hardworking” women of their tiny NSW home town.

So how did SALOON come about? The Sydney Morning Herald reported “sometimes, at preschool drop-off, magic happens. And so it was when Jane Magnus met Dena Pezzano-Pharaoh in front of Braidwood preschool in 2015. Both mums admit they’d been “eyeing each other off” for months before finally uniting over a mutual admiration of cowboy boots”. 

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

“I was a social worker with no fashion experience, so Dena is like the woman who makes all your dreams come true.

“If I hadn’t met her, Saloon would still be a fantasy in the back of my mind.”

The Saloon showroom, located at the top end of Braidwood’s main street, is more than a shop – it’s an experience. With rustic furniture, exposed brick walls and giant chandeliers, clients “come in and spend hours” browsing rack upon rack of Saloon pieces and admiring the 129-year-old building.

Saloon is also about to get some serious national exposure thanks to the National Gallery of Australia, which has commissioned 80 pieces for its gift store in line with new blockbuster Love and Desire; an exhibition of pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from the Tate in London.  When a curator was looking for “long dresses in Liberty print” to stock at the gallery shop during the blockbuster, Saloon was the perfect choice.

Jane and Dena reports that they have designed a Love & Desire Pre-Raphaelite dress in response to the incredibly beautiful and intriguing paintings in the NGA & Tate Love & Desire exhibition. The dress will be exclusive to the NGA and only available in very limited supply in their shop. Saloon Design House have thanked the NGA for the incredible honour on Instagram – saloondesignhouse.

We got in touch with Jane and she told us that her favourite memory of her time at Radford is of all the wonderful friends she made at school, many of who she is still very close to today.  Jane also added that she gets her inspiration from her beloved friends, many of who have gone on to have fulfilling careers and are wonderful, loving mothers.

Jane said it would be lovely to see people pop in in the holiday period.

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