Beyond the Pale

Hey Foxy Lady
November 5, 2012, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I am absolutely loving the foxy-themed fashion prints currently gracing designer boutiques and high streets alike. There’s something ephemeral and mischievous about the image of a fox, a knowing sauciness I find terribly appealing.


This cheeky little number is from the TU range of clothing at Sainsbury’s – yes, you read that correctly! – and is perfect for wearing under a tweedy jacket for a nod to the Country Gentry look that’s everywhere right now. Here’s a close-up of the little blighter…


The colour isn’t quite floating my boat, and Peter Pan collars do little for us booby gals, but my heart is quite taken with the print!

Sainsbury’s have come on leaps and bounds this season, fashion-wise. Look at this darling little jacket that hit the shops a couple of weeks ago (congrats if you can find one – I knew I should have grabbed it when I saw it!)



Where Liberty [print] is, there is my country…

“Where Liberty [print] is, there is my country.” – Slightly adapted from a quote by Benjamin Franklin.


One is supposed to harbour a seething hatred of the monstrosities one is forcibly dressed in as a child, though it’s easier to live with when your mother was a fashion buyer, I suppose, and therefore seemed to escape the deepest realms of hideousness that several of my contemporaries endured while growing up in the 1970’s.

– Page from the Liberty Book of Home Sewing.

One of my favourite items of clothing as a child was a Liberty Print pinafore dress, which had puffed ‘leg o’mutton’ Victorian style sleeves. As I rather fancied myself a Victorian Urchin at the time (one of my favourite games, being already obsessed with the era, though perhaps for authenticity’s sake, urchins of any era tend not to have access to legally obtained items from Liberties of London); it quickly became my most beloved dress. I still have a hankering for most things Liberty Print, and I especially like the way many contemporary designers and clothing brands have incorporated the prints into their ranges.


I just adore everything about this satchel by Dr. Martens, featuring the iconic Strawberry Thief print. It’s a design classic and VERY much on my Want List.


Again by Dr. Martens, these floral Liberty Print boots take me right back to my days as an English student, swishing about the bluebell woods in long skirts, flower pattern DM’s, white shirts, pinstripe waistcoats and a huge silver fob watch I worse on a long silver chain around my neck. I was obviously a neo-Steampunk. ;P


I’m not generally a fan of trainers, but would definitely wear these beautiful Nike ones, exclusive to Liberties. They manage to be pretty without being twee or reminiscent of the kind of trainers that sports brands bring out imagining all women want to look like Barbie while playing sport/working out. Or at any other time. I don’t require everything to be pink just because I’m female, thank you, because I’m no longer 4 years old – and I didn’t much like it then, either. I can feel my Disposable Razors Aimed At Women rant coming on, so shall gloss over the topic and move swiftly on.


Talking of trainers, Nike have designed a pair of their Zoom Victory Elite trainers exclusively for Team GB Olympic hopeful, Perri Shakes-Drayton, who’ll be proudly wearing them for her 400m hurdle event on Sunday. Combining ultra-modern design with a striking heritage ‘Mirabelle’ print first introduced in the 1960’s by Liberty, they form part of an ongoing collaboration between the companies that goes from strength to strength. I’m always drawn to the designs that happily mix the the old with the new, and the work Nike and Dr. Martens are doing with Liberty is an outstanding example of how it should be done. Bravo!

“Life without Liberty [print] is like a body without spirit.” – Slightly adapted from a quote by Khalil Gibran.

CONGRATULATIONS! Winner of the Let Them Eat Cake print is…
January 18, 2010, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Marie Antoinette | Tags: , , ,

… LML from Modern Marie wins the beautiful Let Them Eat Cake print by Blu Lima in a colour of her choice.

(LML – Just click on the picture below to be taken to the page, then click on “contact” and let Sharon know which colour you wanted and your address, and she’ll get it sent off to you. 🙂 )

Let Them Eat Cake by Blu Lima

I randomly select winners of my giveaways using and numbering comments left in chronological order. Seems the best way. 🙂

But how fitting that the writer of a lovely blog, who calls herself a “modern Marie Antoinette” should win! I do hope you enjoy the print, my dear. And many thanks again to the wonderfully generous Sharon from Blu Lima from donating this prize!

I’m cooking Jambalaya again, so am off to do some stirring. Smells good so far *licks lips*

Until next time, dear hearts,

Miss Nightingale


Let Them Eat Cake Marie Antoinette Giveaway!
January 14, 2010, 4:44 pm
Filed under: cakes, Competions, Decadence, Etsy, Marie Antoinette | Tags: , , , , ,

In case you missed it (it was a last-minute update) I’m running a great giveaway, thanks to Blu Lima offering one of her gorgeous Let Them Eat Cake prints as a competition prize for my readers!

Just go to yesterday’s Marie Antoinette post and leave a comment, saying which is your favourite colour of the print. You can see the other colour options here.

Entries close on Monday 18th January 2010 so go and leave your comment asap!

Let Them Eat Cake print by Blu Lima

Good luck 🙂

What Would Marie Antoinette Wear Now? / Let Them Eat Cake Competition!

[UPDATE] The amazingly generous Blu Lima has offered one of her Let Them Eat Cake prints as a give-away prize for readers of my blog! Scroll down to see how to enter (you just have to leave a comment on this post, nothing complicated!) 🙂

What would Marie Antoinette wear if she were around today?

When I’m not pondering the great mysteries of the universe or musing on the latest developments in space travel, such are the questions that tickle my fancy. Also, it’s rather cold and depressing, lately, what with The Great Snow Débâcle and everyone and their dog on diets and seemingly mooching around all grumpy with faces like wet weekends. How utterly miserable and boring!

Let’s cheer ourselves up with frills and furbelows…

The first piece that caught my eye – and in fact the inspiration for this entire post, is the be-ruffled extravaganza that is this stunning handmade top by the ultra talented Steam Machine. The designer poses the question of what Marie would dress like today…

“This awesome top reminds me of Marie Antoinette but in a modern way. What would she dress like if she lived today? I think she would love the ruffles and the soft, stretchy cotton in peach.”

Let Them Eat Cake Ruffled Top by Steam Machine: $95

I absolutely love it. It is made to order and takes up to 14 days to complete, using vintage fabrics, so will be completely unique. I would absolutely wear it with jeans and riding boots (or the Woland and Moon boots featured in a little while!) but Marie may have preferred something a little dressier.

To each their own. 🙂 However you wear it, it’s one of those classic with a twist pieces you just know you’d hang on to forever.

Let Them Eat Cake Ruffled Top by Steam Machine: $95

I think a bit of self-referential style wouldn’t go amiss, and I’m sure she’d love the colours of this t-shirt by 2 Girls Plastic.

Marie Antoinette T-shirt by 2 Girls Plastic: $19.95

I think she would be a huge fan of the sugary, beautiful little works of art that are Macarons, and would thus like to saunter around the house in pyjama bottoms and the J’aime Le Macaron t-shirt by A Table for Two.

I have to say, this t-shirt would also surely be perfect for Carol Gillott of the wonderful blog, Paris Breakfasts. She is often to be found waxing lyrical about Macarons – indeed, macarons are almost a religion in and of themselves!

I Love Macaron with Feet T-shirt by A Table for Two: $27

In case you are wondering about the curious “avec les pieds”, the designer assures us that “J’aime les macaron avec les pieds” – is the French way to express how much you love macaron… with feet, literally.”

Oh yes, these boots are undeniably more expensive than a simple high-street purchase, but they are entirely handmade for each customer using the finest leather and Venetian silk with an antique floral print, so hardly unjustified!

Antoinette Boots by Woland and Moon: $700

I think Marie would have quite liked stomping around in these when she tired of elaborate heels and wanted to give her tootsies a rest. Woland and Moon have one of the most unusual ranges of chunky, kick-ass yet incredibly feminine ranges of footwear I’ve ever seen.

On more delicate days, she could slip on these gorgeous vintage couture shoes being sold by A-Hem Vintage. Beautiful fabric, and I love the huge pom-pom rosettes on the front!

50's/60's Couture Shoes, A-Hem Vintage: $36

These couture quality painstakingly hand-embroidered cuffs by La Camelot are just breathtakingly beautiful and could be a future heirloom.

Marie Antoinette Embroidered Cuffs by La Camelot: $800

Incredibly cheering, this Let Them Eat Cake print by Blu Lima would be perfect in a kitchen.I particularly like the yellow version.

You can win your very own copy of this print simply by leaving a comment on this post, letting me know which is your favourite colour, and where you would hang your print.

Go and browse Blu Lima’s other colour options (and have a gander at the other lovely prints she’s selling) and leave that comment now to be in with a chance of winning!

I will close entries at the end of  Monday 18th January 2010. Good luck!

Many thanks to the lovely Sharon for offering this fabulous prize. 🙂

Let Them Eat Cake print by Blu Lima: $5

If you were to have one of the Marie Antoinette themed tea-parties I wrote about previously, you would absolutely need these cute chandelier print bags to fill with goodies for your guests to take home, don’t you think? Perhaps a mini cupcake, a feather plume hair clip, some pretty vintage ribbons and homemade chocolates?

Shabby Chic French Chandelier Gift Bags (10) by Parlene: $5

I like this updated cage panier hooped skirt very much, though I think you’d have to be a pretty young slip of a gal to get away with it in every day wear. 🙂

Cage Panier Skirt by Youth Diaspora: $250

The tarnished crown charm is rather appropriate on this Bouquet for Marie bracelet. I have always loved this combination of colours, too. Says the designer:

“I’ve been feeling overwhelmingly inspired by Marie lately, or maybe the cinematography and costumes in the movie have gone to my head! Either way, it has made for some pretty and interesting creations depicting the lavishness, opulence, and bold fashion that Marie was known for. It is my hope to create a sort of enchanted, slightly excessive, yet whimisical dream world that will have you basking in the glory of your own little empire (but you get to skip the French Revolution and keep your head)!”

A Bouquet for Marie Bracelet by Eclectic Orchid: $26.50

These little hand-stamped notecards are so sweet – who wouldn’t be happy to receive one of these through the post instead of the usual dreary dross we are delivered? Indeed, just about everything in The French Nest Co’s shop would have been appropriate to this Marie Antoinette theme. If you like unusual French inspired shabby chic items, you’ll be in Heaven!

Set of 4 Love Letters from Marie Antoinette by The French Nest Co: $5

“Bold and brilliant yet so delicate and charming” is an excellent description of this upcycled vintage necklace. I would wear it with something quite casual for everyday, and it would turn a little black dress into a showstopping outfit – especially if it was a low-cut one that showed the necklace to its best advantage. Love it!

Her Royal Highness Vintage Assemblage Necklace by Jealous Cat: $149

And here they are all gathered together for your delectation – cheering to the soul, I think you’ll agree!

I DO want to show a few more items not in the selection due to lack of space, but which are equally lust-after-able and very suited to Marie Antoinette 2010, I hope you’ll agree… Scroll down for further eye-candy.

Sorry for this image-heavy post, but I just couldn’t resist showing you these ones, too!

More chandelier goodness in the form of a cushion, this time. I like the fact the image is an old-fashioned idea of decor, yet the colour and the bold printing method bring this bang up to date. The juxtaposition of old and new is one of my favourite looks in interior design.

Chandelier Pillow by Pillow Palllooza: $78

There are many females of my close acquaintance who would be delighted to wear this whimsical custom-made cupcake print dress. I think you’d have to toughen it up a bit with leggings or thick tights and my go-to suggestion of stompy boots or chunky-heeled shoes (to avoid it looking too cutesy) but I imagine the gals at Domestic Sluttery might also coo after this one. 🙂

Custom Cupcakes Smocked Dress by Anayna DF: $62

Cake and Ice cream, a match made in Heaven… this print is part of the “You & Me” 2009 Valentine series, in which the artist has “…picked iconic couplings that I hope people and their partners will identify with.” I can certainly identify with this! I think it would look just darling when teamed with the Let Them Eat Cake print show earlier in this post.

Cake and Ice Cream framed print by Bishop Art: $15

I’m sure Marie Antoinette would appreciate the coupling, too. She’d definitely have this in her kitchen. Well, if she wouldn’t, I certainly would!

I do hope you have enjoyed this rather rambling and giddy post, my dears; and that it has gladdened your hearts or made you feel a little sunnier, wherever you are.

Until next time,

Miss Nightingale