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



The Crimson Petal and the White: BBC Adaptation Starts TONIGHT!

Michel Faber’s The crimson Petal and the White, ticks so many of my boxes I hardly know where to begin. A richly detailed, viscerally engaging, beguilingly written novel that I fell deeply in love with when it first came out. Of course, ever practical, I got it in hardback and schlomped it around with me like a weighty talisman in the increasingly tattered velvet bag I carried everywhere at the time.

The narrative just drips with deliciously rank descriptions of The Great Stink which was Victorian London, the contrast between the perfumed, lace-clad middle classes and the guttersnipes living in utter poverty amidst unthinkable filth of every kind. Just my cup of tea, as regular readers of this blog will readily attest!

Here’s an excerpt from the start of Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, taken from Book Browse (you can read the first ten pages of the novel by following the above link):

Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before. You may imagine, from other stories you’ve read, that you know it well, but those stories flattered you, welcoming you as a friend, treating you as if you belonged. The truth is that you are an alien from another time and place altogether.

When I first caught your eye and you decided to come with me, you were probably thinking you would simply arrive and make yourself at home. Now that you’re actually here, the air is bitterly cold, and you find yourself being led along in complete darkness, stumbling on uneven ground, recognising nothing. Looking left and right, blinking against an icy wind, you realise you have entered an unknown street of unlit houses full of unknown people.

And yet you did not choose me blindly. Certain expectations were aroused. Let’s not be coy: you were hoping I would satisfy all the desires you’re too shy to name, or at least show you a good time. Now you hesitate, still holding on to me, but tempted to let me go. When you first picked me up, you didn’t fully appreciate the size of me, nor did you expect I would grip you so tightly, so fast. Sleet stings your cheeks, sharp little spits of it so cold they feel hot, like fiery cinders in the wind. Your ears begin to hurt. But you’ve allowed yourself to be led astray, and it’s too late to turn back now.

It’s an ashen hour of night, blackish-grey and almost readable like undisturbed pages of burnt manuscript. You blunder forward into the haze of your own spent breath, still following me. The cobblestones beneath your feet are wet and mucky, the air is frigid and smells of sour spirits and slowly dissolving dung. You hear muffled drunken voices from somewhere nearby, but what little you can understand doesn’t sound like the carefully chosen opening speeches of a grand romantic drama; instead, you find yourself hoping to God that the voices come no closer.

The main characters in this story, with whom you want to become intimate, are nowhere near here. They aren’t expecting you; you mean nothing to them. If you think they’re going to get out of their warm beds and travel miles to meet you, you are mistaken.

You may wonder, then: why did I bring you here? Why this delay in meeting the people you thought you were going to meet? The answer is simple: their servants wouldn’t have let you in the door.

What you lack is the right connections, and that is what I’ve brought you here to make: connections. A person who is worth nothing must introduce you to a person worth next-to-nothing, and that person to another, and so on and so forth until finally you can step across the threshold, almost one of the family.

That is why I’ve brought you here to Church Lane, St Giles: I’ve found just the right person for you.

Now I am eagerly awaiting the first in a 4-part BBC adaptation which begins tonight on BBC2 at 9pm. I CAN’T WAIT! Well, I mean I can wait, I suppose, because it’s not going to be shown before then and I doubt the BBC are going to courier a DVD copy over to me, either. The rotters.

Romola Garai, Chris O’Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Shirley Henderson, Amanda Hale and Mark Gatiss star in a bold four-part adaptation of The Crimson Petal And The White adapted from Michel Faber’s best selling novel by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon and directed by award-winning Marc Munden (The Devil’s Whore, The Mark Of Cain), produced by Origin Pictures for the BBC.

A tale of love, lust, desire and revenge, it reveals the true sexual politics of Victorian life. In the words of the heroine, Sugar: “If you dare enter this world, you had better tread carefully.”

As ever, when someone films or in any way adapts a favourite book, one is struck with an initial shivering thrill of excitement. This is followed hot on the heels by that slowly sinking dread that they are absolutely bound to bugger it up. Oh, they are going to RUIN IT for you; and that if they do, you’ll shake your fist at the skies, shouting “Why, God, WHY did you let these incompetent curs loose on my favourite book/film/other thing?” and then you’ll write a letter to the Guardian’s Media section, treating the editor to a frame-by-frame critique, entitled Everything That is Wrong with This Adaptation and including that well-worn line “I cannot believe the BBC have spent MY license fee on this utter drivel”, as though you, alone, fund The BBC and are entitled to personally approve of every single thing they produce.

But I digress.

Imagine how scary it must be to have written that novel, and to be watching your ‘baby’ reborn on TV. Luckily, Michel Faber entirely approves and was actually incredibly moved by the adaptation.

A few days ago, watching a TV show, I got tears in my eyes. That doesn’t happen very often. For a start, I haven’t watched television for many years, and also, it takes a lot to make me cry. My own private sorrows can make me weep, and occasionally a song can penetrate my defences (June Tabor’s “A Proper Sort of Gardener” does it to me every time), but when it comes to novels or on-screen narratives, I’m tough to crack. Pathos and poignancy are, to me, tactics and techniques; in my work as a writer, I fetch them from my toolbox and use them as required. Show me a tear-jerking movie, and I’ll sit stony-faced, analysing the hell out of it. “Oh yes, this is the bit where they hope people will start sniffling. Not badly done at all, I suppose, for this sort of thing. I’d rate it a 6/10. Maybe even a 7.” Yet a few days ago, sitting in front of the TV, I got choked up… I was anxious what TV would have done to my baby in the BBC’s adaptation, but its new artistic guardians have treated it very well indeed.

You can read his reaction in full in the piece he wrote for The Guardian today.

I am currently finalising my choices for an Etsy Treasury inspired by The Crimson Petal and the White (a themed, curated collection of items available at Etsy) and shall hopefully publish this in the next couple of days, after I’ve seen the programme and can let you know what I think of it!

Now, must be off as I’m trying to combine cooking Jambalaya, ironing and looking at delicious things on Etsy.

Until next time, darlings

Yours excitedly,

Miss Nightingale


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

In Praise of the Strumpet
In Praise of the Strumpet
In Praise of the Strumpet by Beyond the Pale featuring Alexander McQueen dresses

Items in this set:
Alexander McQueen dress, $4,585 necklace, $50
Monsoon jewelry, 26 GBP
Illamasqua makeup, $20

I know it has been an absolute age, dear hearts, but they are coming, I promise!

Yours in a Strumpety manner,

Miss Nightingale

Dandy Manifesto: A/W Fashion Trends
September 12, 2009, 12:48 am
Filed under: Chaps, Etsy, Fripperies, Painted Ladies, Shoes, Trinkets

I love Autumn best of all the seasons – everything about it. The dappled sunlight, the frosty mornings, bonfire smoke curling into the crisp air, conkers, kicking through piles of crispy leaves, the excitement (yes, EXCITEMENT) of donning your first cosy sweater of the year, of choosing your winter coat but not having to wear it just yet: the whole clichéd shebang.

Autumn Reds by Mark Forester

Autumn Reds by Mark Forester

I have been accused in the past of only favouring this time of year because my birthday falls in November, but this is utter rot & poppycock, as I have never been overly thrilled by birthdays and usually choose to celebrate mine in an understated way.

No, Autumn is the best season for all the above reasons and sartorially speaking, too – the fact that I generally loathe Summer adding more logs to that particular fire. The fashions are always far more interesting, don’t you think? Outfit choices go from whatever happens to be coolest against the skin (my own bare legs fill me with a particular horror, being paler than two bottles of milk and utterly unused to being exposed to the sun) to an array of gorgeous fabrics and – O joy! O rapture! – the comforting ability to layer.

This coming A/W looks to be especially pleasing in the world of fashion, with Paris-based trend forecasting company Nelly Rodi having picked four main looks, my favourite being what they term the Dandy Manifesto:

Autumn / Winter 09 Dandy Manfesto by Nelly Rodi

The world of books, writing, manuscripts, calligraphy and coded language. A theme combining the somewhat stuffy elegance of the Oscar Wilde style dandies with a bohemian, more modern, poetic, “artist” spirit. An androgynous silhouette: chic and decadent for a look both outdated yet contemporary.

A dark, shady range in a variety of inky tones. Touches of color electrify the palette. And to tone it all down: white and taupy or grayed shades.

Experimental, audacious make-up borrows from Dadaism, typography and photo-montage.
Two palettes co-exist: the first explores paper, whiteness and material effects, while the second, darker range is inspired by ink, pencil, charcoal and graphite.

– Men’s supple, ultra-fine worsted wools in the spirit of Savile Row tailors
– Stripes used with subtlety: discreet banker’s stripes, stippled chalk stripes, tuxedo pants emphasized with a band of tone-on-tone satin. A graphic spirit borrowed from the wide stripes of club ties or men’s satin waistcoats
– Fluid fabrics, heavily drapey silks: crepe, crepe georgette, chiffon
– Delicate lace and embroidered tulles
– Jacquards and tapestry style weaves are inspired by the elaborate covers of old books

Key Women’s’ Products
– Redingote-coats. Short 2-in-1 jackets (jacket + waistcoat). Little men’s waistcoats.
– Cigarette-legged pants and darted cropped pants.
– Striped shirts or with plastrons, shirttails, with scarves and lavallieres.
– Cardigans. With tailored collars, belted, Jacquard
– Oversized jackets
– Skintight miniskirts in stretch cotton with rock details: zips, buckles, insets
– Lace tops and dresses.

Key Men’s Products
– Tuxedo spirit, fitted cuts, in a sportswear mood
– Short coats in little English checks, basket weaves, tweed. Duffle-coats
– Historical military coats: engraved ball buttons and double-breasted
– Prints: checks and flowers for hunting jackets, waistcoats and tapered pants.
– Riding jackets, short, buttoned and fitted

– Women: lambskin gloves. Textile shoes, decorated pumps, with patent or gimped and perforated toes. Material mixes for bags: skins, crocodile, and natural leather
– Men: caps inspired by riding hats. Tartan ties. Military and riding boots. Checked Borsalinos.

Of course I had to do my take on the trend and put together a selection of fashion items I really hope you’ll agree capture this look, and which I very much hope you’ll enjoy browsing through…

Dandy Manifesto 1

Direct links to items shown:

Deerheart Vintage

Pink Quartz Minerals

Secret Back Room

Fait Avec

Prizy Sebastian

I’m Your Present

Dandy Manifesto 2

Further Links:


Studio One Designs

Katarina Couture


Claire La Faye

Dakota’s Vintage

With Your Cherry Lips & Your Golden Curls…
September 8, 2009, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Etsy Booty, Fripperies, Marie Antoinette, Painted Ladies

“With your cherry lips and your golden curls / you could make grown men gasp…” so sang Garbage – and it’s true (though I haven’t ever had golden curls and grown men likely only gasp in exasperation at me nowadays. Like when I deliberately go as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible through the self-checkout at the supermarket. Just to annoy rude people who stand as close to you as possible, practically sitting in your basket as soon as you put it down, you understand. They deserve it). Anyway. ‘Why the cherry theme?’ the crowds are almost literally baying at the door…

Cherry Frosting Lip Balm by Vintage Bella

Well just a short snippit of excitement to share, with the arrival of my utterly delectable Cherry Frosting Marie Antoinette themed lip balm. It is part of the beauty section of Vintage Bella.

The Queen’s Patisserie selection is a foodie’s delight [yet much kinder on the hips] and I can see I am going to have to work my way through the whole lot. Just for, y’know, research purposes. And, um, to assist my dear readers in better selecting their favourites. Yes, I am that selfless.

Mercifully, this balm is petroleum free. Petroleum is a drying agent, so using one of the many Big Name lip balms (most of which are petroleum based) is somewhat counter-productive to moistening the ol’ lips in the first place.

Vintage Bella make all of their products from beginning to end, with no nasty cheap ‘filler’ ingredients.

I think these would be wonderful for wedding favours or to give in themed party gift bags (particularly if throwing a Marie Antoinette tea party as suggested in a previous post of ours based around the theme of Gorging on Glorious Decadence). Needless to say, I am thrilled with my purchase, and believe I shall plump for the Butterscotch Frosting one, next time…