Beyond the Pale


Anya Hindmarch: 18th Century Portraits & Georgian Cariactures

Anya Hindmarch‘s bags have long been lusted after by the fash pack and celebrities alike, but I have only admired them from afar, with the eye of someone who appreciates they are beautifully designed yet remains drool free.

They have always – perhaps unfairly – struck me as bags carried by dainty, neat ladies who always polish their shoes, and therefore obviously not for the likes of me.

Until I espied a rather fabulous tote and the saliva glands began working overtime. A brand new range inspired by beautiful 18th Century oil portraits and cheeky Georgian caricatures? Oh my, get me a hankie. The drooling begins here…

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COURTNEY VALENTINE CLUTCH: £395.00

“A new style for this season, the Courtney Valentine clutch captures the naughtiness of the Georgian era by featuring the cheeky images of 18th Century illustrator James Gillray. The zip top fastening is completed with a supremely soft leather tassel, which take eight hours to craft by hand and features contrasting coloured threads. With an internal compartment for all of your essentials, this clutch bag makes an eye-catching style statement.”

I adore the detail they chose to showcase on this Courtney Valentine clutch, it suggests naughtiness just out of sight, and it’s definitely cheeky. I

have a great fondness for accessories that don’t take themselves too seriously while retaining a certain elegance and whimsicality. The tassel really ups the glam factor, too. Tassels are set to be everywhere this Spring/Summer, apparently. I bet Dita’s thrilled.

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GRACIE LADY: £795.00

“Inspired by 18th Century oil portraits, the iconic Gracie has been used as a canvas to depict the Duchess of Beaufort; ‘The Lady’. Reworked in printed canvas, this Anya Hindmarch favourite has a jewellery like chain shoulder strap and labelled compartments inside for all your bits and bobs. It is beautifully finished with our signature enamel twist lock.”

This Gracie Lady is so cute, and I’d use it slung nonchalantly over a t-shirt worn with floppy a-line short skirt and (for now) opaque tights and biker boots. Dressing down classics is the way forward for me this season.

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EARL BOTTOM PINCH TOTE: £250.00

“A cheeky addition to our Spring Summer collection, the Earl tote captures the naughtiness of the Georgian era through the illustrations of 18th Century caricaturist James Gillray.”

This Earl Bottom Pinch is the one that originally set me drooling, though to be honest, I’d buy it unseen for the name alone. Being extremely keen on Georgian caricatures anyway, this was always going to especially appeal to me, but I just love everything about it. Imagine how bright every day would be if you flounced out the door with this over your arm!

Of course the sad truth is that I shall still have to admire these bags from afar, as they are way out of my (non-existent) budget right now, but instead of cooly appreciating the design, this time Anya Hindmarch’s collection truly has me lusting with the crowd of die-hard fans. More like this, please!

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Spoiled Rotten at Liberty

Everyone should get spoiled on their birthday, and while perhaps a bacon sandwich and a mug of tea in bed would have done at a pinch; this year I was absolutely spoiled rotten by the lovely people at Liberty London

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Imagine if you will the very moment I received the email telling me that I was the lucky winner of Liberty’s Facebook competition. I read it on my phone during a typically lacklustre lunch break at work. “You recently entered a competition on Liberty’s Facebook page..” it began. “Oh here we go, I bet it’s spam!” I thought cynically, until I read a bit further on and it finally dawned on me this was real. I had WON! I may have squealed quite a lot at this point.

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It was arranged that I could do the spa treatments, voucher, Champagne tea & hotel bit of the prize on the tenth of November – my birthday! – and the behind the scenes tour the following week, as the Liberty archivist wasn’t available on that day. Oh no, I’ll have to go back again. How AWFUL. ;p

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On a chilly, slightly drizzly grey Saturday, your humble author made her way to London, attempting to travel light and failing as usual, with her beloved fiancé carrying several items she couldn’t fit in her bag. As usual. On arriving at the wonderous W Hotel Leicester Square, the very kind chap at the check-in desk, on learning it was my birthday, gave us an upgrade to a seventh-floor luxury room with spectacular views.

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As birthday beginnings go, they don’t get much better than that.

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Obligatory explorations of hotel room over, we moved on to obligatory taking of pictures of hotel room, to show expectant friends and family members, before high-tailing it to Liberty and collecting my gift card.

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I remember my mother taking me to Liberty when I was a little girl, gazing wide-eyed at the gorgeous things all around me, strangely quiet for a precocious brat, subdued by magnificence. I really think Liberty retains this power to make you feel that excitement of a child in a veritable Wonderland. It’s quite amusing to stand back and watch the facial expressions of grown adults walking in, gasping and giggling as they pick up something, turn to their companions and say “LOOK!” as they exclaim their pleasure, practically bouncing up and down with glee.

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Or, of course, actually bouncing up and down with glee, as with this (mostly) grown adult. 😉 I honestly kept thinking someone would wake me up any minute , but they didn’t and the lovely dream continued as I made my way to the Decleor spa rooms with Vicky, their expert therapist.

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How to describe the next two hours? I can only say it was pure bliss and leave you to imagine, as words will not do. Suffice to say, In have never felt so entirely relaxed in my life, as every ache and pain was massaged away. Although Liberty was absolutely rammed with people that day, you’d never know it in the peace and seclusion of those rooms.

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Thanks to Vicky’s Decleor Facial expertise, I walked out in PUBLIC with no other makeup than a hasty reapplication of lipstick, for the first time since I was about 14 (I jest you not), so healthy, plumped and glowing did I look. I simply cannot recommend her – or Decleor – highly enough. Go and see Vicky at Liberty!

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My fiancé had thoughtfully bagged us a table at Cafe Liberty, so I was able to swan past the queue and go straight in to join him for the next treat of a Perrier-Jouët Champagne Tea for Two. Teeny tiny little perfect sandwiches and mini pastries and fruit scones still warm from the oven and slathered with clotted cream and jam. Divine!

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This would be a perfect afternoon treat at any time, but it was definitely the sweet centre of this birthday gal’s day. I savoured every single crumb that passed my lips (and there were quite a few of those, it’s a generous tea!)

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Slightly bulgy, and very glad that I’d not opted to have the tea prior to my full-body massage (for the therapist’s sake, if not mine) it then fell to me to Make a Choice and use my gift card to buy myself a birthday present. The delicious agony of this was quite overwhelming, and imagine my fiancé’s pleasure as I wandered around and around and around again, clutching my gift card and sort of muttering like a mad woman: “What about this? OOOH but what about that?! Or that one? But maybe I should get this one instead?” I don’t think I would have bourne it with such beneficence, had I been in his shoes, dear readers. Bless him, he didn’t complain once. Outwardly.

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I decided that I should get something to do with Liberty’s heritage – a classic Liberty Type Thing – which I could treasure forever, rather than a bang-up- to-the-minute high fashion item. You are rather spoiled for both extremes at Liberty, though, as they really do have something for everyone, from the classic-lovers to the Ultra Trendy Fashionistas I tremble in the shadow of. I especially love the fact that Liberty really believe in supporting and encouraging new and emerging designers, as among these Bright Young Things will be the ‘classics’ of the future.

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Amidst the manifold temptations of the infamous Scarf Hall, my beady eye kept getting drawn back to the sumptuously rich Ianthe print wool and silk scarf, specifically in the purple colour way, as I felt this really highlighted the pattern and the lustre of the fabric.

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Spoilt for choice doesn’t even begin to cover it, but I’m thrilled with my pick, and delighted at the prospect of owning a Liberty print satchel when the Strawberry Thief print is back in store again.

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Oh, it’s just stunning, and something I know I’ll treasure forever. This is the sort of thing you can fling on with jeans and a jumper for a walk in the woods (or more likely, in my case, to the Gin Emporium); or worn draped around your shoulders at the most elegant of weddings or special occasions. What’s not to love?

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This is me in my Hera print Liberty shawl, which I wear a lot and had swaddled myself in against the biting chill of the day. I know I’ll love my Ianthe print one all the more for the special memories it holds. 🙂

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More scarves. WANT.

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Very tempted by the chandelier print scarf, too. Just everywhere you look, it’s gorgeousness abounding.

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I loved these quirky Victorian style illustrated letter tiles, and would like the entire alphabet but would settle for my initials. 😉

I did rather have my heart set on getting the Dr Marten’s limited edition Liberty Print large satchel in the Strawberry Thief pattern (indeed, I blogged about lusting after this very satchel not long after it came out, earlier this year), but sadly they are out of stock of it, as it’s so popular! Sad face.

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However, the lovely gentleman who served me at the till took my details and said he’d let me know if they got some in again, hopefully before Christmas.

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OH NO, another reason to HAVE to go back to Liberty. Again. What a personal disaster.

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Fab Christmas windows at Liberty. I was especially drawn to the crazy lobster window.

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Higgledy-piggledy decadence is their theme – opulent chaos. Adorable!

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Skipping out of Liberty, iconic purple bag in hand, I noticed that it had somehow suddenly got dark. Of course this hasn’t happened ‘suddenly’, but do you know, when you’re being pampered to within an inch of your life, the time veritably whizzes along.

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Thence it was back to the hotel to get ready for the W’s award winning Spice Market restaurant’s tasting menu, that my darling chap was so generously treating us to that evening. But first, there was one more surprise in store for me…

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On returning to our room, we discovered that the lovely check-in desk guy had arranged for a bottle of Champagne, selection of juicy raspberries and blackberries, massive slice of Red Velvet cake topped with strawberries with a candle and “Happy Birthday” written in glittery chocolate, and a card wishing me a very happy birthday and saying if I needed anything at all, to let him know.

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HOW darling is that? I actually cried I was so moved. It had been quite a horrible year thus far, in many ways and for various reasons, but this (forgive me) literally was the icing on the cake!

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We decided to save the cake for later on that evening, as we were still quite full from the afternoon tea (talk about First World problems, eh?) and lounged about drinking more Champagne and lazily getting ready for the meal.

When booking our table online, the chap and myself had ooh-ed and ah-ed over the menu for ages, practically drooling at the mere descriptions of the dishes on offer. As their website puts it:

“A timeless paean to Southeast Asian sensuality, Spice Market will delight London with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s unique interpretations of the region’s cuisine served in an informal and sultry atmosphere.”

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And they ain’t wrong. Delightful it was, every single mouthful. We had plumped (quite literally) for the tasting menu, as we just couldn’t settle on what to try. Little bits of everything seemed the best way forward, and so it proved, with waves of delicacies placed before us, and everything absolutely perfectly cooked and immaculately presented.

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The Spice Market is laid back but upmarket, exactly the kind of atmosphere to suit the cuisine, we were in a cosy booth on the corner, all the better for people watching (one of my favourite activities) and soaking in the ambience. We couldn’t fault a single thing about the meal, only asking for a break the better to digest and ready ourselves for the next lot of courses (there are nine in total) to begin. Hardly a complaint – “this is all TOO delicious, please cease a while!” You can stow the violins away quite safely, I think.

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After the meal we waddled to our room and laid on the bed in the hotel’s dressing gowns, in a sort of gourmet stupor and sipping wine tentatively while watching nonsense films and marvelling at the sheer bliss of the weekend. Somehow, we found room for the birthday cake slice, eaten while tucked up in our little nest of covers, shared out in mouthfuls, buttercream smearing our probably quite horrifically smug faces.

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Us: slightly squiffy, woozily blissful.

The next day we sauntered home in golden Autumnal sunshine, smiles wider than the Thames, walking alongside a Salvation Army band as they marched their way down Regent Street on Remembrance Sunday; so grateful for what we’d experienced and most of all, for having each other to share it with.

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I have never felt so truly pampered – it’s been a difficult year what with one thing and another, but this was like a break in the clouds. Perfectly timed, so needed, and VERY much appreciated. Thank you to Liberty, Decleor, W London, Spice Market and my darling fiancé for making me feel so thoroughly, wonderfully spoiled!

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Favouritism

Being an eclectic magpie by nature, one of the features I most like about Etsy‘s website is the ‘Add to Favourites‘ heart button. It basically serves as an “OOOOH! SHINY THING!” bookmark. Once you’ve registered, you can set about quickly building up a list of stuff you , with time to go back later and peruse at your leisure.

Recently, I took the [protoype] Taste Test and found a whole new batch of tasty morsels to smack my lips over.  I found the most successful way (after taking it a few times) was to keep hitting the option to “show different items” until I found something I loved, rather than just liked. It’s not fail safe, but I think it’s a fun way to browse and was really impressed with the choices it threw at me. I made a Treasury (curated selection) of some of my absolute favourites, and shall explain what drew me to them, below…

You Are My Favorite mini print in red, by Fifi du Vie: $9.00 (£5.77)

I often tell DT (the fiance) that he’s my favourite. And you know what? He really is. I think this would splendid over his desk, and would be something for him to look at, smile and feel grateful for every day. By the way, Fifi du Vie‘s shop has loads of great prints. I especially like the “Darling, let’s be adventurers” one.

Dalia jacket by Laura Galic: $120 (£89.71)

Just exquisite tailoring, very feminine shape but with a nod to masculine style – I was obviously going to love the Victorian inspired shape, but I also really like how they’ve styled it here. I posted a comment on Twitter that I wanted one of everything in Laura Galic‘s shop – and I do! Totally my cup of tea.

Ampersand Wedding Decor by Old New Again: $32 (£20.50)

Not only would this be cute at as a top table wedding decoration (in between the bride & groom) but this wooden ampersand could be put anywhere in the house for that shabby-chic style statement ‘not trying too hard’ look. On a shelf, in a window, hanging from a plate rack – I really like having letters/typography characters around. They have a certain geeky charm.

Juliet shoes by Palmy: $74 (£48.06)

These Juliet shoes by Palmy are sturdy but sexy. I love the retro look to them – quite 1940’s-ish I think – and the fact that they look comfortable. This is the major factor for me buying shoes these days, I’m afraid, dear hearts. Having been in retail for the last 15 years, and spent more hours than I can count on my feet, the ol’ tootsies aren’t at their best. Most of the styles at Palmy are made with heel and arch supports. Magic words to those of us who stand all day, I tells ya! Palmy is a talented graduate of the Footwear Diploma of London College of Fashion course, and I have added lots of their items to my favourites!

Hand Stitched Shawl by Crochetelle: $135 (£86.16)

This hand-stitched shawl is something of an heirloom for the future, though I would certainly wear it over a maxi dress or just slung over jeans and a camisole to add some instant elegance. Crochetelle learned to crochet when she was a little girl, then picked up the hobby again.

“I recently was living in a very stressful, dirty city and felt the need to create something beautiful and I picked up crocheting again. Basically, it’s like learning to ride a bike – you never forget it! And after searching around on the internet and seeing all the beautiful, modern patterns that are available now I plunged right into it again and have been going non-stop.”

The shop really has some really beautiful designs and Crochetelle also welcomes custom orders.

Vanitas print by Kate O'Brien Creative: $75 (£47.87)

Look closely at the above picture. It’s obviously inspired by Old Master’s still lives, but if you can believe it, it’s actually not a painting at all – it’s a photograph! I love everything about this photo – the lighting and the layout of the props just perfectly capture the mood of those old paintings. Kate O’Brien explains how the picture came to be:

“I got to thinking about the works of the Dutch masters and the kinds of fruit they used in their paintings. I live in a tropical climate, but for obvious reasons, they weren’t painting a whole lot of Mangoes and pineapples back in the middle ages. So I set off to my local fruit and veg store in search of some more “classical” choices. This image is the result of that trip!”

Kate is a professional photographer and stylist from Australia, and looking through the rest of her shop, I’m really impressed by Kate’s work, the way she uses colours and plays with historical imagery. Definitely a new favourite!

Waiting for You Necklace by Garden of Sypria: $24 (£15.32)

There’s something quite plaintive about the little bird waiting on a wire – you can put any picture you like in this circular glass locket, but I’d be quite tempted just to keep this one in it, it’s very sweet but sort of heartbreaking. There, that shatters my ice-queen image once and for all. Not that I had an ice queen image – I can be turned into a blubbering wreck at the drop of a hat and am really quite awfully sentimental. Hard to believe, I know.

Anyway, yes, this necklace by Garden of Sypria is very much my sort of thing and I like the battered looking silver frame, it looks like it has survived a few things. Maybe the bird has, too.

Heading Home print by Philippe Fernandez, philippesarts: $18 (£11.49)

I was immediately drawn to the style of Philippe Fernandez‘ work, it has that fairytale quality of being darkly foreboding yet simultaneously comforting – a soft-edged air that is often found in children’s story books, as, indeed, this picture shall be.

I painted this painting for a very special children’s book that I plan to be published late this year. This specific painting is when Ponteia found her dear Mr. Kats very weak. Ponteia knew something was wrong. “My goodness!” she exclaimed. Ponteia was outraged that anyone might of hurt him. “Who did this to you, dear Mr. Katz?” With great care she scooped the cat up. Very gently, she raced home with him snuggled softly in her arms.

Wicked Witch Bookmark by Ianscafe: $5.75 (£3.67)

This is one of those really simple ideas, beautifully executed, and it works so well. What an absolutely perfect little gift for a fan of the Oz or Wicked books, too. Your book becomes Dorothy’s house, and those iconic black & white striped legs and ruby shoes stick out helplessly, beneath. “Things just haven’t been the same since that HOUSE fell on my SISTER!”

Hyphae Ring 3D-printed nylon, by Nervous System: $28 (£17.87)

3d-printing is one of those jaw-dropping we’re-living-in-the-future technologies, don’t you think? I love that artists and designers are exploring the use of this technology beyond that of engineering, for which it was originally designed.

Nervous System is a design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. We create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, we write computer programs mimicking processes and patterns found in nature and use those programs to create unique and affordable art, jewelry, and housewares.

The studio consists of Jesse Louis-Rosenberg and Jessica Rosenkrantz who met as undergraduates at MIT where he studied math + computer science and she studied architecture + biology. They live together in a house by a stream in a forest in Western Massachusetts.

These pieces of jewelery by Nervous System are at once strikingly modern and very organic in design – like pieces of coral or the model of a cardiovascular system. The story of how the designers met and what they studied totally makes sense when you see these wearable pieces of art. It’s the symbiotic relationship of nature and modern technology. Gorgeous, I love them all. P.S: I’d just like to add how very well done their photography is, and how beautiful the model is! I want to look like her. 😦

Losing My Way skirt by The Simpson: $48 (£30.63)

There are so many designs of clothes I would like to own in this shop – they look so cool and comfortable, and all of them look to be partly inspired by historical designs, which I like very much, as you can imagine. These are simple, clean-cut pieces to wear and love every day, and this red maxi skirt is particularly appealing. I’d wear it just with a little silk chemise top and beaded sandals for the summer, and with Victorian style boots and velvet jacket in the winter. Something which is both very ‘now’ and yet trans-seasonal.

Vintage Eagle Industrial Lamp at Earth Sea Warrior: $120 (£76.58)

Now you might find this odd, but I am very drawn to rusty things. Slightly decayed looking salvaged items that look as though they have been pulled from a ship wreck. When these items are placed in the context of a modern setting, together with the comfort and clutter of everyday objects around them, they take on a certain beauty – like museum pieces placed on a breakfast table, but in reverse, if that makes sense? Their ugliness is made beautiful by the oddity of their surroundings. That applies to two pieces in my selection of new favourites – the industrial lamp (above), which I love because it looks like something from Bioshock; and the old wooden/metal drawer, below.

Vintage Wooden Metal Drawer at Glass Panic: $28 (£17.87)

This drawer is pleasing both for its battered exterior with mysterious wording “half surface” stenciled on the front, and the fact that it can still be jolly useful. I see this in a kitchen, enjoying its later years in the comfort of a home, used to store balls of twine, kitchen scissors, favourite cookery books or pots of fragrant herbs.

Ember necklace by Therapy: $55 (£35.10)

Now, this little necklace probably isn’t going to cut the mustard as a perfect bridemaid’s gift (depending on your choice of bridesmaid, of course) or something to hang on the Christmas tree for your future Mother in Law; but I happen to adore these pieces made from reproductions of old brothel tokens that would have been given to their best customers. Certainly a talking point at dinner parties, I think we can agree. 🙂

Vintage Printers Blocks at Salvage Nation: $87.50 (£55.84)

Again, my liking for these old printers blocks stems from my love of typography and to be surrounded by words and letters – appreciating them as works of art in and of themselves, not just the means to an end. These would definitely have pride of place on the mantelpiece, or on a shelf along with my favourite books.

Art Deco Inspired necklace by C Henry: $130 (£82.97)

This necklace by Caroline Henry is just breathtakingly beautiful – I gasped when I saw it as a suggestion in the results of my Taste Test – it’s just so perfectly balanced, simple, elegant yet with a real dramatic presence. I would certainly wear this on my wedding day – it is very Deco in design, but timeless, too. Totally lust-worthy, as are so many of the pieces in this talented designer’s shop.

Well, I do hope you have enjoyed this amble through my latest favourites – perhaps in exploring their shops, you may find some to add to yours, too…

If you want to see all the items grouped together in my Treasury selection for Etsy, please click on the pictures below to be whisked to that page.

Until next time, dearies,

Miss Nightingale

x



1 Dress 2 Ways: All Saints Labyrinth
December 5, 2010, 2:57 am
Filed under: Fashion, Fripperies, Style, Trinkets, Winter | Tags: , , ,

Well, we meet again, dear hearts!

After a blogging break due to 1) being whisked out of the country to beautiful Bruges for a birthday surprise, 2) working six days a week at my Proper Job, and 3) prolonged illness (chest infection & horrid virus); I am back with trinkets & fripperies a-plenty…

1 Dress 2 Ways: Warm by day

1 Dress 2 Ways: Warm by day by Beyond the Pale featuring black cardigans

Labyrinth Dress
$218 – allsaints.com
Print dress »

Black angora cardigan
32 GBP – debenhams.com
Black cardigans »

Quiksilver Herring Buddy
$30 – swell.com
Beanie hats »

PINK FLUO CASHMERE SCARF
$915 – monamoore.com
Marni shoes »

Cashmere gloves
$36 – theoutnet.com
Cashmere glove »

If you regularly flip through the glossies, you might notice they often suggest – to feeble minds, not us, darlings – that one key piece in your wardrobe will see you through every possible situation in life.

This is never a practical item like, say, a black cardigan. No, it’ll be a feathered trench coat that costs more than the deposit on a modestly sized starter home. This will be shown in a variety of ways, styled with everything from wellington boots to tiaras, in order to feed the self-justification of those handing over the dosh in the first place.

So practical, that feathered trench coat.

Poppycock.

Twaddle.

We know that of course, but I hope you will find that my little attempt at styling a dress two ways isn’t eyebrow-raising ridiculousness. I’d certainly wear both ways of styling the dress (though the first – warmer – selection would be my preferred option with snow & ice currently abounding ’round here).

The dress in question is one I lust after, yet fear of owning for the worry I may spoil it through drooling:

All Saints Labyrinth Dress: £135 (in sale)

The gorgeous hand-painted toile de jouy pattern is inspired by 18th century French textiles, and is printed on pure silk.

All Saints Labyrinth Dress (close-up of fabric)

Yes, yes, silk isn’t the most practical thing in the world, but layer it up and it can be a choice for the colder months, too, I promise!

I hate to think of pretty dresses languishing in the backs of wardrobes, desperately waiting for the two weeks a year it’s usually deemed warm enough to wear them in the UK. Poor things. Shove a thermal top underneath, add thick tights or leggings & boots, and it’s transformed into the height of snuggly practicality. Well, nearly. 🙂

1 Dress 2 Ways: Cool by night

1 Dress 2 Ways: Cool by night by Beyond the Pale featuring ankle shoes

Labyrinth Dress
$218 – allsaints.com
Sleeveless dresses »

Givenchy Fetish Suede Pumps in Grey
$766 – shopzoeonline.com
Ankle shoes »

The evening styling is rather sumptuous – that Alexander Mcqueen clutch is the exact (and only) shade of pink I love – hot to trot magenta. It picks up the colour on the Labyrinth dress print really well, I think. I adore those Givenchy Fetish Suede Pumps, too, but I’d have to be carried everywhere in them. Sitting down shoes, those, for me. [nods sagely]

Not a feathered trench coat in sight, and I do hope you’ll agree that both ways of wearing this dress have their own charms.

Until next time, my chuckie-eggs,

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

Labdorite & Moonstone Necklace Close-up

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

Lapis Bracelet Close-up

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!



Topshop Weddings: Starlet Glam
August 16, 2010, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Decadence, Fashion, Fripperies, Trinkets, Weddings | Tags: , , , ,

Totally over-the-top, but what else would you expect for a starlet bride?

This dress is another from my Topshop Weddings series (in which I style a Topshop dress for an unusual wedding). This one is particularly remarkable, I think – it could quite easily be from a little vintage boutique!

I like this mix of gold and pewter together, it seems to lend a decadent 1930’s air to the ensemble. I added a marabou cape, just because.

There are very few occasions these days when one gets to gad about in a marabou cape, so why not on your wedding day? Or, you know, in the supermarket if you feel like it.

Topshop Weddings: Starlet GlamFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Topshop Weddings: Starlet Glam by Beyond the Pale featuring TopShop dresses

Tiffy Feather Cape
60 GBP – monsoon.co.uk
More Monsoon coats »

This gorgeously packaged lipstick is by Besame, in shade Noir Red – the best dark red I’ve found yet, I think. Love their whole range – makeup as it should be, rather than the sad little plastic containers we’re suckered with from most brands.

A lipstick tube should have a certain heft to it and close with a satisfying click, if you ask me (which nobody does, but I’m telling you anyway).

The last of this series is tomorrow, so watch out for my latest update. 🙂

Until next time, starlets!

Miss Nightingale
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Topshop Weddings: Oh! Mr Darcy!

Bonnet optional. 😉

In my continuing series – styling Topshop dresses for various unusual weddings – I thought this one was perfect for a Regency romp in the country. Rosy cheeks & just-bitten lips complete the look!

I love the simplicity of this dress – it could also be great for a really casual beach wedding accented with a bright silk stole and long necklaces. Or for a holiday, come to that. I do like a bit of versatility!

There’s something adorably Alice in Wonderland about that teacup necklace, too. Or, in this instance, tea on the lawn of one’s stately pile. I could totally handle that.

Topshop Weddings: Oh! Mr Darcy!Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Topshop Weddings: Oh! Mr Darcy! by Beyond the Pale featuring TopShop dresses

NARS – Lip Stain Gloss Pampa
$28 – yesstyle.com


Until next time, my dearest ones,

Miss Nightingale

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