Beyond the Pale


Disaya: Nutcracker Sweet – Jewellery To Capture Your Imagination

Some people favour jewellery with clean, simple, lines; minimalists who worship all that is streamlined, elegant and pure. I am not one of these people. This surely comes as no surprise.

Who in their right mind could get excited about such dullness when jewellery and accessories can allow you to express your individuality, little hints of your personality glinting merrily on your fingers or twinkling intriguingly around your throat.

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One of the most exciting jewellery brands I’ve seen for years twinkled at me from afar, an acquaintance posted a picture of a collection on Instagram, and I HAD to know where they were from… Disaya, came the answer.

Disaya is the brainchild of award-winning Central St. Martins graduate Disaya Sorakraikitikul, including jewellery, accessories, Ready To Wear . She is obviously very influenced by her surroundings, that particular creativity that London seems to breed so well, along with that playfulness mixed with sophistication that perhaps best describes her style.

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Launched in 2007, Disaya’s range caused quite a stir, being immediately picked up by over 70 stockists on launching. It’s really quite easy to see why, as everything she designs is so full of eccentricity and has a unique charm. The pieces are designed in-house and combined with local craftsmanship to ensure Disaya’s exacting standards are met – some supposedly whimsical ranges suffer from poor quality and finishing which renders them rather tacky, in my eyes, but Disaya is head and shoulders above all other pretenders to the throne.

Disaya was The next two years saw Disaya’s stockists increase by 50%, and it is now sold in over 20 countries at various prestigious retailers including: Henri Bendels, Le Bon Marche, Seibu, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as at the flagship store in Gaysorn shopping mall located in Bangkok.

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Quirky and fun without being too childish is a difficult act to pull off, but Disaya have charm and wearability in bucketloads. I covet the entire Nutcracker collection, just launching this month, but so much else besides!

My standout favourite pieces have to be the Nutcracker gentlemen rings and the adorable Teddy Bear Nutcracker costume necklace – reminiscent of traditional folk-ish German Christmas decorations, they make me want to snuggle up in a huge cosy jumper while drinking mulled wine and raiding the festive chocolate box. Not that I need much persuading.

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Oh and the stags head pieces, too, topped with matching pearls. And the carnivalesque horses, straight from a fairground carousel!

So beautifully enamelled, too, and gorgeous colours. Leafing through the new SS13 Lookbook I see so many pieces I would give a home to in the blink of an eye. look at that frowning face necklace! Love, love, LOVE.

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Disaya also show the same imagination in their other accessories and have the most magical prints in their clothing, too. They look like something a grown up Alice in Wonderland or a modern day Marie Antoinette wold like to wear.

For me the jewellery is the most easily wearable, simply because you can mix it in with whatever you happen to be wearing. Some days I just want a touch of whimsicality, other days I may wish for head-to-toe fantastical. With Disaya, you may plump for that one special piece, or an entire outfit, and I love having that choice within a range.

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The whole collection is launching on Disaya.com later this month, but some pieces from previous collections are available from My Flash Trash – my favourites there are the stackable strawberry shortcake rings and the darling little Gentlemen’s Accessories earring set. Great attention to detail for such itty bitty things.

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I have seen so many takes on tea cup and cake-inspired cutesy accessories, but for me, Disaya does it best, and with her unique stamp on each piece they make. They are just beautiful ornaments in and of themselves – one could certainly display them in a cabinet – for me they carry a certain air of mystery and intrigue; like little objet d’art freshly plucked from a shadow box.

Disaya are even collaborating their unique style with a tea manufacturer, and of course the packaging is to die for and stamped with their inimitable charm:

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“Introducing Disaya’s ‘Tea muskerteers’ ,our special collaboration with No. 57, Comes in 3 stylish flovours, including Macaroon Black Tea, Rice Pudding white tea and Apple crumble Green Tea. They are perfect Christmas present material ! Coming to stores soon…”

Your best bet is to keep an eye on their website, and think about liking their Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest news and pictures from their collections.

I can’t wait to see what they do next, it’s safe to say I am totally obsessed with Disaya. Teacups, moustaches and cats, oh my!

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Love Is Boutique: Bloggers & Press Day

A veritable Tardis of designer goodies, Love Is Boutique has always been a must-visit destination for the bargain-hunting fashionista, but there have been subtle changes afoot since I last visited and now I had heard it’s EVEN BETTER. Along with a few other invited bloggers and press peeps, I sashayed along to see just how this could be so.
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If you are on heart medication of any kind, you may want to dose yourself up before walking through the doors of Love Is Boutique, as every rail, each shelf and cabinet the eye rests on is bulging with temptation in the form of DESIGNER BARGAINS.

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Be still my rapidly beating heart. Hopefully not literally.

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“Umm… Is that a Phillip Lim evening dress sparkling on the wall? Can that be a Chloe Paddington bag hanging up there?” your brain asks your eyes. “Just next to the several immaculate Louis Vuitton bags and adjacent to the cabinet of handmade couture Manolo Blahnik shoes…” your eyes nonchalantly reply.

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At this point, your palpitations are going to kick in, so it’s really handy if you have remembered that medication or have your inhaler to hand. Or a hip flask of gin, whatever gets you through. Yup, it’s all true, this place is piled up with the kind of high-end designer merchandise normally only sighed over in the glossy pages of Vogue, Harpers and their ilk. Only at VASTLY reduced prices.

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Paula Fry, the owner of this treasure trove, invited me, along with several other bloggers and members of the press, to come and see the changes Love Is has undergone. It’s always been good – the kind of Best Kept Secret you only tell your best girlfriend. And maybe not even then – so how could things get even better?

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“We’ve got a lot more picky about what we accept to sell for customers, now.” Paula explained. Love Is works as a dress agency, with clients gaining a percentage of whatever the boutique sells the items for. “We can afford to be really choosy because our reputation has spread, and the stuff people bring in for us to look at is unbelievable! One lady came in with her collection of Louis Vuitton bags. ELEVEN of them, all real!”

Paula has become something if an expert at sniffing out fakes “Most of them you can spot a mile off, because the shape or size is wrong, the stitching isn’t right. Some are a bit more difficult, but there are experts you can refer to, and the big brands are all very happy to verify their own merchandise if you’re really not sure.”

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Having built up their name, hosted hugely successful events and fashion shows, and been featured in Vogue magazine as a “must visit” destination, Love Is now boasts a celebrity clientele – “Top Secret, I absolutely cannot name names!” – who buy and sell their designer swag here. “Often the chauffeur comes and drops stuff off,” Paula whispers, “and oh my GOD it’s such amazing stuff…”

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Perhaps the most noticeable change is the fact there’s far less vintage stock in the boutique these days. It’s getting harder and harder to get top quality vintage to sell, and people put a ‘vintage’ tag on any old thing and expect it to be desirable, so I think this is a clever move on their part. Plus, in a wealthy area and with celebrities emptying their wardrobes, you may as well focus on the goodies surrounding you!

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The vintage pieces are still to be found: really cute little fifties fur collars, dinky enamelled bug brooches and incredible unique handbags from all eras, along with select clothes, but here the designer investment pieces now jostle with the very best high-end High-street items, so there really is something for every budget.

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It’s really interesting to note that real classics like the Mulberry Bayswater bags are flying out the door – “We just can’t get enough of them, as soon as we have them through the door, they leave again on someone else’s arm!” Iconic designer pieces such as Alexander McQueen scarves and tailcoats are also in high demand, as customers invest in designer stand-out pieces which won’t date, mixing these with far cheaper high street trend items.

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On this visit, I was quite selfless and restrained, buying an unusual necklace for a friend’s Christmas present, though I took rather a shine to the Bally, sheepskin lined ankle boots on the back shelf here, and may have to pop back in to, um, visit them. Yes. That’s it. *cough*

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I also have a massive regret that I didn’t get the beautiful enamelled ladybird brooch purchased by fellow bargain-snaffler, Bettina, AKA Mrs Anke (of Ladybits blog fame: she has a gin cocktail named after her, and that’s a REAL measure of fame, my friends). Que Sera, as Doris Day was wont to warble!

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Adored this darling little bobble-trimmed dress, too. Oh, and the cosy hooded cloak and the bauble charm bracelet and about five coats upstairs and… Uh, no, I mean it’s all awful and you wouldn’t like it at all so don’t go before I’ve got my mitts on all the goodies I saw, there’s nothing there. Yup. Convincing, eh?

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As the Champagne was quaffed and more people arrived to gawp and gossip (three of my favourite things to do, right there: quaffing, gawping & gossiping) I had to grab my purchase and get a wriggle on, sadly. Having ogled their latest wares, I shall be back again very soon. They have all manner of gorgeousness arriving every single day, so there’s always a good reason to pop in again.

Just to look. Obviously…

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UPDATE: I have now been back and purchased the Bally boots. Quite by accident.



Wild Embroidery
July 10, 2011, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Embroidery, Etsy, Jewellery | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In a lazy Sunday morning browse, I came across a recently opened shop called Wild Embroidery, based in London and run by a very talented lady called Lu, who embroiders beautiful designs onto pendants, making them wearable little pieces of art.

Wild Flower Hand-embroidered necklace by Wild Embroidery: £15

There is something very pleasing about their simplicity, and also for the fact you are wearing a little picture that someone has hand stitched, I think.

Fern embroidered necklace by Wild Embroidery: £18

Pretty but not at all twee, the embroidered pieces are made to order and presented in chunky vintage-toned bronze frames and fob-like chains.

Daisy embroidered necklace by Wild Embroidery: £12

I must admit to hankering after the daisy…I love daisies – and they happen to relate strongly to one of my favourite books ever: The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea. Oh! And the dandelion one, too. Daisies and dandelions represent two of the characters, and it calms me to see them. You can only really understand this if you have read the book. Sorry. 😉

Dandelion embroidered necklace by Wild Embroidery: £16

Of course I also have a special liking for the Nightingale necklace, too (for obvious reasons). 🙂

“the nightingale is in love with the plum blossoms
she sings for them every night.
she can only peck once in a while, but never touch…
such is her punishment.”

Nightingale & plum blossom embroidered necklace: £16

Until next time, my lovelies,

Miss Nightingale

x



Gargoyles & Garnets

The juxtaposition of beauty and decay shall ever win my heart, and the gorgeous range of handmade jewellery by Jess Amity perfectly encapsulates this look.

Sinister Daemon Poppy Jasper & Black Onyx Necklace by Jess Amity: $119

Sinister Daemon Necklace Close-up

Using antique hardware (a piece rescued from an old drawer backplate in the Daemon necklace, for example), Jess Amity creates uniquely wearable pieces of art that imbue the glamour of the past – very luxe Deco gypsy – with a modern, exotic twist.

Cool Labdorite & Moonstone Loop Necklace by Jess Amity: $68

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It’s that pairing of imperfect, faded grandeur with little nuggets of the new that I love so much. This one, made with an antique drawer-pull and milky chips of labdorite and moonstone, looks like a cluster of mistletoe dusted with icing sugar, somehow. Simply beautiful.

The range encompasses a wide variety of styles and prices – from $11 to $633 – but all of them obviously made with love, and with that sympathetic re-imagining of otherwise forgotten objects.

Lapis Bracelet Antique Hardware Collection by Jess Amity: $42

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Jess Amity gives us an insight into her collection by explaining how her background shapes her inspirations:

Having been brought to life in a globe trotting existence, I have lived in many places and have experienced many wondrous things. I am inspired by dreams, gypsies, tribal nomads, jungle warriors, floating through hazy clouds, concrete and rust, amoebous particles floating through the ocean of life and the desert’s desolate, yet primitive beauty.

Moss and Wood Necklace - Antique Hardware Collection, by Jess Amity: $66

Moss and Wood Necklace Close-up

I have a degree in fine art photography, but have the inability to contain myself within set boundaries. Because I constantly find myself dreaming and thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if…,” and because I loathe the current consumer society of mass produced, personality lacking, low quality goods, I apply my talents to many areas and live in a handmade and embellished world.

Carnelian Spiderwebs Necklace, by Jess Amity: $46

Carnelian Spiderwebs Necklace Close-up

(The Carnelian Spiderwebs Necklace, above, was the first item I saw in the collection and remains one of my favourites; it has an opulent simplicity to it, if that makes any sense? Love, love, love).

Expresso Agate Bracelet by Jess Amity: $38

Expresso Agate Bracelet Close-up

I approach all projects the same way that I approach life, with grand dreams, fingers crossed, the ability to love imperfections and the ability to see beauty in unlikely places.

Citrine & Garnet Lariat by Jess Amity: $39

Citrine & Garnet Lariat Close-up

The use of unusual stones in combination with the antique hardware creates a kind of perfect harmony – look how beautifully the chipped patina of the drawer-pull, below, is complimented and echoed in chunky chips of white turquoise. Stunning.

White Turquoise Droplets Necklace by Jess Amity: $48

White Turquoise Droplets Necklace Close-up

Jess Amity also sells a selection of vintage clothing and accessories, which are well-chosen and lovely, but you can probably tell that it’s her eclectic jewellery designs that have stolen my heart. 😉

Gargoyles in Chains Necklace by Jess Amity: $55

Gargoyles in Chains Necklace Close-up

Do go and browse the whole shop HERE – it’s well worth your time to snoop around and drool, as I have been doing!