The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

SHOP­PING at Fin­ney Isles and Co in Queen St was Ladies Day in heaven.

The ground­floor floor­walker (in a morn­ing suit with a red car­na­tion in his lapel) smiled, and said, “wel­come to Fin­ney’s, madam”.

Madam was per­son­ally es­corted to a tour of the great em­po­rium to buy what she wanted.

If she wanted ex­clu­sive wear­ables she was shown to the first floor and treated like Madame de Pom­padour. If she wanted a fa­cial, she was shown to the El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Red Door Salon and treated like Tin­ker Bell in Nev­er­land.

If she wanted some­thing from the menswear depart­ment she was made to feel like Greta Garbo shop­ping for Ron­ald Colman. If she ex­pressed a wish to lunch, she was el­e­va­tor-lifted to the fifth floor and Fin­ney’s elite din­ing room – match­ing cream ta­ble cov­ers and nap­kins, pol­ished sil­ver cut­lery, mono­grammed crock­ery. The tucker was ed­i­ble haute cou­ture. Madam’s ev­ery wish trig­gered Fin­ney’s de­sire to please – ex­otic per­fume, fresh flow­ers, some­thing from the ex­clu­sive in­house bak­ery or the cus­tom-made soft­fur­nish­ing work­room. Every­thing was My Fair Lady.

But noth­ing lasts for­ever. In 1956, the great em­po­rium (run­ning from Queen to Ade­laide streets) mor­phed into David Jones, shiny, pol­ished and mod­ern.

My Fair Lady be­came How to Suc­ceed in Busi­ness With­out Re­ally Try­ing and a won­drous era of Bris­bane re­tail re­fine­ment slipped sadly into the mists of yes­ter­day. C’est la vie.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.