Filed under: Alexander McQueen, Bawdy Couture, Couture, Decadence, Fairytales, Marie Antoinette, Modern Nostalgic, Modern Victorian, Trinkets, tulle, Victorian, Victoriana | Tags: accessories, Baroque, designer, Fashion, Michal Negrin, Victorian, women's clothing
From the get-go we know this website isn’t going to be a subtle affair: crimson velvet theatre curtains pull slowly apart to reveal the bizarre, charming and – if one is honest – slightly bewildering – world of designer Michal Negrin…
An explosion of colours, overwhelming Baroque pastoral scenes involving plump cupids, frolicking 18th century lovers, random Kewpie dolls, 1920’s flapper girls dangling from hot air balloons and, ultimately, a mind-blowing peek into her world of full-on, turned-up-to-eleven romantic historical WHIMSY. A world, as you may imagine, I utterly adore.
I can’t quite recall when I first came across her designs, but I know exactly which item it was – a sumptuously gorgeous Victorian style skirt with overlapping romantic scrapbook-like pictures and tumbling roses. Love at first sight!
I think it would be fair to say that I rarely come across designers whose collections make me gasp and want one of practically everything, but Michal Negrin ticks all my boxes. 🙂
This is a relatively staid design from the current collection, totally wearable – I’d wear it as a day dress with a little cardi, plum colored tights, black biker boots & lashings of pearls. Just beacause.
I ALSO completely covet the other design in this style… Dreamy, misty, dusk-like colours and a cameo in the centre of the lacey trellis of a Victorian lady wearing a striped bathing suit. Seriously, what’s not to love?
Michal Negrin has been creating a unique lifestyle for over two decades with vintage-inspired designs that include jewelry, fashion, home décor, and accessories.
This full-length gown is just jaw-droppingly stunning – I think it looks like something from an Oscar Wilde play. It actually makes my heart beat faster.
Yes, yes, I know the price may also make the heart beat faster, but it’s a designer gown. We’re not doing a feature on supermarket fashion here, are we? (And I’m not being snobbish – I am currently putting together a feature about supermarket fashions I love, as it happens! – there are just different categories of clothing. I think this rivals some of Alexander McQueens last collection, but at a price that, whilst still expensive, is certainly more attainable than couture!)
This design is particularly reminiscent of that Baroque style couture – inspiration surely from cheerfully gaudily painted ceilings and the artwork one finds in those sumptuous palaces that have the power to take the breath away.
I love the colours in this skirt, they remind me of hand-tinted romantic Victorian photographs of famous actresses and noted beauties of the age.
As you can see, these softer colours are probably easier to wear for those of a nervous disposition who shy away from designs and patterns they consider ‘loud’ – this little vest top could be worn classically with a cashmere cardi & pearls, or thrown on with jeans & leather jacket. It’s all about the styling, dahling. 😉
Born in Kibbutz Naan in 1957, Michal always knew she was an individual with her own vision and this was despite being brought up in an environment that preached group uniformity.
She was driven to follow her inner passion for self-expression and spent her childhood designing. Her mother was an inspiration and supported her in fulfilling her dreams despite the Kibbutz’s conventions.
Well, there is absolutely nothing that says ‘group uniformity’ in Michal’s designs, that’s for sure. They manage to capture the spirit of those vintage collectible ‘saucy’ postcards – Victorian beauties showing a well-turned ankle or – shocking – gadding about in their under-crackers.
This skirt depicts ladies swimming through a palace as various Baroque items of furniture bob past. If you cannot love such a scene, then I seriously doubt we’d get on. I mean it. 🙂
A dramatic kimono top featuring Victorian ladies in handcarts above a vast city skyline climbing ladders into the sky… Again, I ask – what’s not to love?
It is obvious that Michal is passionate about vintage images, the bejewelled, beribboned world of Baroque, of gilded palaces, the court of Marie Antoinette, intricate Victorian scrapbook pictures, the excess of 1920’s hedonism and those gaily painted barges or gypsy caravans that gleam with brightly painted bouquets of flowers. All passions I share, so no wonder I am so giddy about her work!
Little details like the placing of the curtain-call ladies arm-in-arm, circling the cuffs of this beautiful bolero… literally make me squeal. It’s such fun, I love the sheer exuberance of these images and the way they are placed on the designs.
I have only shown you a tiny proportion of the items I love (I’d have to lead you through the entire website!) and even then have only touched on the clothes… Oh my dears, there are stunning boots & shoes, jewellery and even items for the home, too! But I shall leave you to explore those yourselves. 🙂
Negrin’s designs are more than I could normally spend, but then these are hardly your average clothes and accessories. I shall own some of her pieces one day soon, I SHALL! I long for them. 😦
Oh, I know, quelle melodramatic hand-to-the-forehead – forgive me if I sink, breathless, onto a velvet chaise lounge, but I rather think it suits these styles I so hanker after. 😉
Until next time,
Yours entirely made of whimsy,
Filed under: Alexander McQueen, Bawdy Couture, Fashion, Fripperies, Modern Victorian, Shopping, Trinkets, Victorian, Victoriana
Flipping through the glossies reveals pages dripping with lace, leather, blood-red lips and more skull jewellery than you can shake a [skull-topped walking] stick at. Yes, my pretties, it would seem that GOTH IS BACK.
It makes me smile, as I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool Gothic Sort myself. I don’t count myself as such nowadays, though I do still hanker after some elements of the style, now and again. There are times when my inner goth still makes their presence known… and y’know what? Seeing some of the editorials infused with such trinkets does still make my heart beat a little faster!
I shall split this look up into items I can only, truly, dream about: Wish List; and items I could happily purchase without the bank manager having an apoplectic fit: Shopping List. First, bring on the dreams!
$2,685 – net-a-porter.com
More Alexander McQueen dresses »
$28 – yesstyle.com
Filed under: Accessories, Bawdy Couture, Competions, Decadence, Etsy, Fripperies, Modern Nostalgic, Modern Victorian, Painted Ladies, Victoriana | Tags: Deshabille, Rococo, Romantic, Rumpled
Déshabillé is the French term for being partly or ‘carelessly’ dressed. That slightly sleep rumpled, decadently sexy boudoir chic one sees in 1920’s films.
You know the sort of thing – starlets nonchalantly shrugging silk robes from their shoulders, tugging the pins from their curls, lounging around on days-beds wearing lacey little somethings, eating sugared plums and generally kicking up their heels in fancy tasseled slippers.
I have to tell you, it’s my one of my favourite ever looks, mainly because I end up looking somewhat déshabillé anyway (well, shabby at any rate) within minutes of being primped and preened. I am just not naturally a neat person. But there is just something so appealing about looking effortlessly glamorous (however much effort one has to put into looking that ‘effortless’!)
There is a yawning chasm of difference between déshabillé and shabby, however. A stray curl or rumpled robe too many means the difference between looking nonchalantly sexy, or mad cat lady wandering the street in her nightgown before being apprehended by the authorities. Subtly rumpled, darlings… undone. Like this divine silk lace robe, which is just made for this look.
Here is a beautifully embellished yet still simple day dress which partly inspired this post – it shows that déshabillé works equally well out of the boudoir and into day-wear. Add a layer or three (for the unpredictable Spring weather we’re experiencing in the UK right now) then remove as many as you wish to. With all the beautiful neckline detail, I would eschew necklaces and stack random bangles & charm bracelets. Charmingly carefree.
Dear Lillie have an amazing opportunity to win one of their Adeleine dresses on their blog: click HERE to enter, just by leaving a comment. (I have already entered as I love their designs, and you get to choose your own favourite colours, too!)
Of course, with our delightfully rumpled gowns & lace robes, we need somewhere to nonchalantly drape ourselves, and what could be more perfect for our theme than this romantically decadent handmade bed by one of my favourite multi-talented designers, Attila Design? A considered purchase, yes, but utterly unique.
This print of an original water colour is so reminiscent of summer mornings (and long afternoons) spent stretched full-length on rumpled sheets with a purring cat, basking in the sunshine, not caring that we should have long ago risen from our lazy, loose-limbed slumber. The colours are just perfect, don’t you think?
Whether on a bed or propped on a chaise, we of course need a whimsical pillow to lean against, or rest on our knees with a trashy novel weighty tome to read as we sate ourselves with Turkish Delights (or violet creams, or whatever retro confections take your fancy). This one is exquisite and I just love the Gibson Girl picture, having always been quite obsessed with that look.
Do have a look at my other hand-picked selections for our theme, all the shops are well worth a snoop through, full to bursting with treasures ready to be plucked…
Direct links to items shown, left to right:
Filed under: Bawdy Couture, Brooches, Etsy, Fashion, Fripperies, Home Sweet Home, Modern Nostalgic, Necklaces, Painted Ladies, Style, Trinkets, Vintage
From the get-go, I knew this was a product line I would love. Just look at the intro page! Modernised Victorian/Vintage style? Check. Cheeky Victorian images? Check. Witty wording? Check. And so I clicked away to my heart’s content for the next half hour or so. Slightly drooling. Furiously adding things to my Wants List (which I then emailed to the be-ringleted fiance). ;p
My first lust-have is this utterly darling little snap-closure purse (otherwise known as “kiss-lock closures). I am always drawn to these kiss-lock style purses, but even more so when they come in a variety of cute fabric choices and – oh, rapture! – with a number of playfully rude phrases to have emblazoned across the front…
The striped version (shown above) is my favourite fabric choice, and I would DEFINITELY choose phrase 3: “Bucks from Hooking” to have on mine. A full list of phrases may be found on Lochers website (click on the pic to be whisked straight there).
Mind you, the floral choice is a very cute choice for Spring… Perhaps I should get two. 🙂
I am completely in love with their clothing line, too. My top choice is the “CASSEI-TOI CHERI” (“Get Lost Darling”) cotton t-shirt (surely the most glamorous t-shirt ever) in a particularly lovely shade of teal:
…followed by the slightly more risqué (same style & colour) “I’m not your f****ing sweetheart”.
Their jewellery range makes my heart beat a little faster, too.
Wear with a wink and a knowing smile… 😉
In very much the same vein, I love the following items for the fact their whimsical, home-spun styles and cutesy fabrics/patterns lead the casual viewer into the belief that they’re a very traditional – almost twee – take on vintage style.
A closer look reveals the shocking truth.
Bawdy and beautiful with a tongue-in-cheek humour: what’s not to like?
Direct links to items shown…
More tea, vicar?
Probably not. ;p
Filed under: Bawdy Couture, Books, Decadence, Etsy, Gin, Victorian Originals, Whores
Don’t miss your chance to confess your sins and win a signed edition of Faye L. Booth’s latest novel, Trades of the Flesh – read the article Faye guest-wrote for Melanie’s blog – a subject dear to our hearts, really: fallen women of the Victorian age – then submit your sin for a chance to win…
Truly, it is a fascinating subject, though. Under much duress, my mother eventually purchased for me a copy of Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor – a seminal study of the capital’s Ne’er-do-wells. I remember as a young gal in school, any time a history project came up with the chance to “write a diary in the style of a person living in the year ****” I would always try to choose a Victorian prostitute or pickpocket, or some other Unmentionable. No doubt the teachers were a little worried about me. With no reason, of course, as we all know that I turned out to be an almost perfect example of the rewards The Virtuous Woman may reap…
I must admit to never having read Faye’s work, but it is SO perfectly suited to our interests, I am only surprised it has taken this long for our paths to entwine.
If you follow the above link for the competition, you can read of my greatest sin. Well. The greatest I shall admit in public, anyhow, One must always allow a Lady a little mystery, don’t you agree? I shall be AGOG to hear of your sins, dearies.
Whilst you are contemplating unburdening your souls, why not lick your fingers and flick through the pages of a Treasury of fallen women?
Links to items shown:
I had thought about merely stashing La Petite Salope in my links list (nestling under the delightful umbrella of ‘Fripperies’, of course), but on re-visiting their website and, quite frankly, ogling the latest A/W 09 collection, I felt the need to sate my lust by putting pen to paper finger to keyboard and sharing their magnificence with my dear readers.
On encountering them first in one of the glossies – mentioned as ‘one to watch’ – I was first struck by clothes – gloriously decadent, sumptuous fabrics that looked not of this age and with a flattering cut (imagine!) which celebrated the curvaceous female form, rather than seeming to strive to turn all women into the physique of adolescent boys or pre-pubescent girls. This is an unfair, vastly over-stated approximation of the fashion industry at large, of course, but when catwalk after catwalk features garments the average woman could never see herself wearing in actuality, there is something to be said for a designer who unashamedly revels in the love of vintage glamour mixed with a modern aesthetic – and the end result is something you could actually wear without having to visit a surgeon or a therapist.
Having feasted the eye, one cannot fail to notice – and ADORE – the name: La Petite Salope roughly translates as [delicately] “The little strumpet”, or [more robustly] “the little whore”. Either way, it plays both with the adulation of French names for design houses – even if the closest some of them have come to a French influence is having once eaten a croissant – and the fact that some people will be beguiled by the “classy sounding” foreign name, whilst not knowing what it actually means. A triumph in both respects, this is a label that holds its head high among the crowds of dull clones littering many of the glossy fashion magazines – it’s like finding a wonderful boutique tucked away in a cobbled backstreet somewhere, which you would never have found had you not taken a wrong turning or been tempted by the flash of a red velvet dress in a window just on the edge of your periphery vision, but which prompts you to explore further…
Nine seasons on from the first ever collection, designer Nicola Helgesen is taking the label into a more mature, incredibly sophisticated yet still fun direction from the slightly cheeky beginnings. To mark this exciting phase, the name is also undergoing a slight change, and will henceforth be known as La Petite S*****. One imagines this might also open up the label to a wider market, though it will be more difficult to explain at dinner parties when some kindly meaning sole asks where did you get that incredible dress. of course. Does one put voice to the ***** or should we say “La Petite S” ? Of course, we could always go down the route of politely refusing to mention the exact name, lest Other People pitch up at your favourite boutique and get their grubby mitts on items that rightly should belong only to you. But I digress…
They certainly have come a long way since Nicola Helgesen gave up her day job as visual merchandiser and took the incredibly brave (and surely daunting!) step of becoming a fashion designer in her own right. How fairytale it all sounds, but she did actually stuff a knapsack (oh alright, a backpack for the pedants among you!) with samples and literally get on her bike to the iconic Browns – ever stalwarts of the more cutting edge (yet still accessible) side of the fashion retail industry, and known for promoting new and exciting labels. From that initial meeting, Hegelsen pedaled home (one imagines with a certain renewed energy) having secured her first order. To add to the fairytale quality of this story, within the first week, her entire collection had sold out. Now her clothes are fought over by A-list celebrities, including Helena Bonham-Carter, whose unique, eclectic style I have always admired, adored and seethed with jealousy over. Paris Hilton’s name is often bandied around in the list of celebs who wear La Petite S*****, but we shall gloss over that, because often she wears things that are, quite by accident, really nice – they just happen to be worn by someone who is, well, her.
La Petite S***** has been featured in slick advertising campaigns by such luminaries as Boodles and Harrods, stocked in luxury boutiques around the world and featured in the glossiest of glossy magazines – feast upon the banquet of gorgeousness…
Oh HOW gorgeous are these dresses? I mean, really, you just want to put them on and twirl around in flurries of silk & ribbons until you fall over or are sick with giddiness, don’t you? Well, perhaps that’s just me, but it’s my blog so you shall jolly well have to put up with the breathless excitement of it all.
Inspired by such glorious decadence, I set myself the challenge of discovering equally deluxe and beautifully realised designs on my regular source of wonders, Etsy. It’s incredibly easy challenge, really, as I am falling over heaps of talented designers & vintage collections listed under my favourites. Here are a few of my choices that – I hope you will agree – really fit the tone of this post as it wallows in whimsicality… Enjoy your wallowing
Direct links to items shown:
Yours, dripping in luxury (and jam, currently),