Beyond the Pale

The Crimson Petal and the White: BBC2, Episode 2 (Spoiler Free)

Last week I breathlessly began watching the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Michel Faber’s epic novel, The Crimson Petal and the White.

Vintage Shoe Pin Cushion: $20 from Sweet Love Vintage - There's something eerily beautiful about this pin cushion. I'd love to have it on my dressing table with 'To Do' lists secured to it with hatpins, or just to display brooches.

I had been concerned that, for want of a better expression, they would bugger it up, and wrote in my last post about the unique type of fear that ripples through you when you discover they’re filming a book you’ve really enjoyed. I know not everyone feels the same, but I happen to think they’ve made a pretty good stab at adapting a novel which mainly consists of richly detailed descriptive passages of narrative – surely a difficult task by anyone’s standards.

Let the Light In, photograph: $12 by 3 Lambs Design - This is just stunning, I love the way the photographer has captured the light on the petals of this peony, and the shocking splash of red at the heart of the white petals.

(By the way, if you missed the first episode of The Crimson Petal and the White, catch-up by watching it here)

In the first episode we spend more time at Mrs Castaway’s house of ill repute, learning about the inhabitants and their various vices. We meet Sugar, just as the narrator introduces us to the cast of characters in the novel, and we know just as surely we’re in the wrong side of town.

Burlesque Red Hat: $155 by Order Abandon - People don't wear hats enough these days, do they? I think this is just darling and would make a welcome change to the usual creations one sees at weddings, Ascot and so forth. Great photo, too!

In my previous post, I squealed about how gorgeous the pictures of the costumes and sets were; having watched the first two episodes, I’m here to tell you the pictures don’t do them justice. I could gaze for simply ages at the way the sets have been dressed, that overarching Gothic gloom that shrouds both the worlds of the velvet-clad upper classes and the ghastly wretches in tatters.

Victorian Drawstring Bag: $12 by Giddy Now - This is an original Victorian bag, with the cutest little button bottom. Perfect for the next Gin & Whores event (see earlier posts!) or just as a unique evening bag. I love wondering who owned objects like these; how often they used them, what happened in their lives...

Even the filth and mire of the notorious St. Giles Rookery area of Victorian London is lovingly realised, with the raucous dens of iniquity thrown into sharp relief against the lusciously opulent interiors of the upper echelons of society.

Private Collection Victorian Tile & Pearls Bracelet: $75 by Wickedly Good - This is from the artist's private collection, unique items not previously available to the public. I always enjoy pieces which celebrate beauty and decay, and this bracelet perfectly encapsulates that theme

In the second episode we see the two worlds colliding, the velvet besmirched as the rot sets in. It’s wonderfully vivid stuff and, despite critics’ fears (hopes?) that it would be wall-to-wall rumpy pumpy; it’s really not that filthy, considering the subject matter and how salaciously titillating it could well have been!

Hand Blown Glass Perfume Bottle: $165 by Kiva Ford - There are so many utterly stunning hand blown bottles & glass objects in Kiva Ford's shop that I hardly knew where to begin. This one really caught my eye, though. I think it's those vivd splashes of red against the white background. Sinister and beautiful.

I think Romola Garai makes a wonderful Sugar – I especially liked the way she kept her facial expressions entirely free of emotion – except perhaps of sheer boredom – as she, um, welcomed her clients. So to speak. Until she knew they could see her face again, at which point it lit up like an overly decorated Christmas tree.

Oriana Ruffled Victorian Shrug: $165 by Countessa - Utterly delectable in every way, this shrug/jacket is just the sort off thing I'd like to have in my own wardrobe. Adore the rich colour and just the right amount of ruffles - pretty without being too frou-frou to wear in reality without feeling like the Sugar Plum Fairy.

All of this is nectar to me, as you may imagine, and very inspiring. Even before the first episode, I began building a collection of seedy Victorian items for use in an Etsy Treasury. The layout of that treasury may be seen at the start of this post.

Infatuation Antique Repurposed Tintype Necklace: $36 by Luminoddities - Old photographs are always engaging, aren't they? I wonder who this handsome chap was, if he was in love when this picture was taken, if his heart had been broken, or if he was a disreputable cad. Luminoddities has some wonderfully imaginative pieces, I love their style.

I hadn’t had time to finish that before posting previously, but it’s now been published (linked above), and I thought I’d share its contents with you here.

London Fog Fine Art Photograph: $12 by Keri Bevan - Gorgeously murky colours, here, that sickly yellow and the violet tinging, like a bruised sunset.

Pictures from my treasury are scattered throughout this post, or click the link to go to the full-sized treasury list, and browse from there if you prefer.

Red Curled Feather Hairclip: $13 by Midnight Boudoir - Release your inner harlot and wear red feathers in your up-do, I say. Make sure a few curls are escaping and that you recently rumpled, or it could look too prissy. And we don't want that. This clip is gloriously decadent - don't just save it for weddings!

Anyway, yes. It’s right up my street (or St. Giles alleyway), really, this tickling of the seedy underbelly of Victorian London. A look right up the lacy petticoats at the seething moral dichotomy which Victorian society so loved to wrestle with. Wonderful stuff.

1880's Stranger's Guide to London: $8 from sandp1 - This antique guide looks fascinating, I wonder how many of these places still exist, if any?

If you read my previous post on The Crimson Petal and the White adaptation, you will have seen that some people got all hot under the collar, they felt it was “gaudily over-painted” and full of “Victorian Gothic Melodrama” – as though they’re BAD things. Well, anyone who thinks that would put me off obviously hasn’t cast an eye over the rest of this blog, and we doubtless wouldn’t see eye-to-eye. The gaudier and more melodramatic the better, if you ask me!

Antique Postcard Couple, by Old Tyme Notions: $3.00 - I have a small collection of hand-coloured vintage photographs, they're fabulously romantic and tacky, but in the good way. Yes, there is "good tacky".

I find it rather amusing that sniffy people peering over the tops of their glasses are declaring it rather declassé, and in doing so, have completely and utterly missed the point. The Victorian public adored high Gothic melodrama, and both the book and the television adaptation are tipping the wink to this era in the form of an affectionate pastiche. As for gaudy, well, the Victorians could hardly be called minimalist, and thank the Lord for that.

Antique Velvet Photo Album, by La Petite Abeille Ruche: $21 - Gorgeously faded cover, just waiting to be filled with photos and scraps from your own life. I think an empty photo album is very poignant, somehow. Lonely, forgotten, mysterious. I wonder what images it once held...

Indeed, you could say it’s the decadence and the “pantomime characters” that serve as an attraction for me, in this austere age of dowdy realism and dull, lifeless, clumsy ‘re-imaginings’ of novels. I dare say that if you loathed the novel, you wont enjoy the BBC adaptation – just as if you detest mandarins, you should probably steer clear of mandarin flavoured sorbet. My advice is: Go for the lemon, old bean! Don’t put yourself through hours of torture on anyone’s behalf. I loathe Hollyoaks. I watched it once and hated it, and decided never to watch it again as it wasn’t at all my thing, but I shouldn’t dream of saying it should be banned, or criticising others for liking it.

Red Geranium Petals, dried, by Pleasant Hedges: $6.00 - These would be heavenly scattered over a table as the finishing touch to a decadent dinner party. Or strewn on a bed, as a change from rose petals (yawn), if you like. I have no idea what you lot get up to in your spare time, and prefer to keep it that way. Even the description of these is blowsily romantic: "I grew these flowers in my garden, here on Larkspur Hill, and dried them to be preserved until your special day..." How lovely Larkspur Hill sounds! Let's all don straw hats and eat strawberries whilst running through the fields at Larkspur Hill! It could be an industrial estate for all I know, but it sounds beautiful so I don't care.

I am here to tell you that television producers very rarely have my taste in mind when they make programmes. They practically never consult me before spending millions on their latest project. But neither should they, because I do not consider my taste (or lack of) is more or less important than anyone else’s. If I dislike a programme I may give it another go, or I may choose to switch it off and never let it darken my life again.

Turkish Mocha Victorian Teardrop Soap, by Stockwell Cottage: $2.00 - I'm a huge fan of handmade soaps, particularly those with goat's milk in, as they seem kinder and more moisturising to my skin. I have always hankered after a huge conch shell filled with exotic soaps, but instead make do with a Victorian looking wrought-iron cakestand, on which I place soaps, perfume bottles and other assorted nick-nacks. Again, I should stress that I'm not generally in favour of mimimalism... 😉

One thing I will never do, is apologise for liking gaudy melodrama. Never. I’m really quite awfully proud of it, as you can possibly tell by the merest glance at the rest of my blog! I rather suspect that persons who are troubled by things being too over-the-top and showy will have found their entire (albeit fleeting) visit to my blog to have been jolly upsetting…

Early Victorian Skate Cape, from Petrune: $750 - Now, there are probably very rare occasions when you could wear an early Victorian skate cape (except perhaps in an early Victorian skating party, of which there are shockingly few), but this is so colourful and jolly, in a sort of toothpaste stripe way, that I just had to include it.

Nurse! The smelling salts!

I do hope you make a full recovery, dearhearts. Don’t forget to loosen a few stays, put your head between your knees and breathe deeply into a paper bag.

If all else fails, have some gin!

Until next time,poppets

Yours Gaudily,

Miss Nightingale



Michal Negrin: Baroque Genius of WHIMSY

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,

Miss Nightingale


Grown Up Goth: Wish List

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!

Grown Up Goth: Wish ListFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Grown Up Goth: Wish List by Beyond the Pale featuring Alexander McQueen dresses

old letter

Déshabillé: Rumpled Rococo

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.

Silk Kimono Top by Mistress Collection: $86

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.

Taffeta Lace Deshabille Chemise by Bayou Salvage: $39

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’!)

Appliques, by Couture Headband with Vintage Beading, Feathers & Liaison: $700

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.

French Lace & Silk Robe by Stella Dottir: $420

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.

The Adeliene Dress (ivory on muted pink) by Dear Lillie: $69.95

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.

Under the Apple Tree Canopy Bed by Attila Design: $9,600

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?

Sound Asleep print by Rachel's Studio: $20

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.

Victorian Romance Accent Pillow, Crafts by Posie: $24.95

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:

1st Row: 1) Mistress Collection, 2) Liaison, 3) Stella Dottir

2nd Row: 1) Branch Handmade, 2) Dear Lillie, 3) Painted Cottages

3rd Row: 1) Attila Design, 2) Bayou Salvage, 3) Beads n Thingz

4th Row: 1) Ciao Bella Photography, 2) Crafts by Posie, 3) Rachel’s Studio

Naughty but Nice: Saucy Vintage Style

Thanks to the ever-wonderful source of inspiration and money-parting that is N.E.E.T. Magazine’s blog, I have recently discovered an incredibly exciting Parisian brand: Lochers.

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…

First Row: 1) Double Speak, 2) Trixie Delicious, 3) The Purple Hippo

Second Row: 1) Hoolala, 2) Cruel Tea, 3) Dude and Chick

Third Row: 1) desTroy, 2) t8 Designs, 3) Oh So Sassy Greetings

Fourth Row: 1) Bookity, 2) Monkeys Always Look, 3) The Crafty Goddess

More tea, vicar?

Probably not. ;p

Ode to the Fallen Woman
September 4, 2009, 11:54 pm
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.

Tales of the Flesh

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?

Fallen Women 1

Links to items shown:


Bizarre Boudoir


Robbie Jenkins



Fallen Women 2

Further Links:

Treasure Turf

Edm Designs

Vonlenska Vintage


J Rose Atelier

The Mermaid’s Song

La Petite Salope: Decadent Deluxe
August 27, 2009, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Bawdy Couture, Decadence, Etsy, Fripperies

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.La Petite Salope A/W 09

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…

La Petite Salope A/W 09 -2Nine 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 Salope A/W 09 -5La Petite Salop A/W 09 -6

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…

Boodles advert

125 Magazine

125 Magazine -2


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

Deluxe 1

Direct links to items shown:



Afton River

Desira Pesta


Autumn Russell

Deluxe -2

Further links:


Stephanie Madeish

The Sparkling Cocktail

It’s Ok My Dear

Love Karla K

Burkhalter Couture

Yours, dripping in luxury (and jam, currently),

Miss Nightingale