Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pearl Power

Pearls have seen somewhat of a revival in recent seasons, discarding their somewhat fusty old image. Designers have been using pearls innovatively both in jewellery and clothing, where they are used as surface embellishment in bold decorative clusters or as subtle accents. Sarah Burton probably started it all with her pearl-heavy Fall 2013 collection at McQueen. Many diverse designers followed suit using pearls in their summer collections: Oscar De La Renta used them head to toe, from jewellery to boots; Thakoon used long strings of pearls as bag chains; Simone Rocha embroidered pearls onto socks, shoes, skirts and necklines; Thom Browne accented nearly all his looks with pearl buttons; and Jenny Packham was similarly subtle with her use of pearls, setting them into the seams of a blouse (I'm sure someone else used pearl inset seams first, I can't remember who though!). 

Jenny Packham SS14

Of course the pearl historically 'belongs' to Chanel, but Dior had a major hit on their hands last year with the Mise En Dior jewellery range, most notably the Tribal stud earring which has been seen just about everywhere. Not to be outdone, Chanel modernized their use of pearls, using large gobstopper-sized pearls for the SS14 collection, spawning many copycat design. 

Mise en Dior Tribal earring

For me though, pearls are at their best not when humongous in size, but teeny tiny and clustered in their hundreds. Seed pearl jewellery may not be making its way onto a runway anytime soon, but its use in antique jewellry captivates me, satisfying my love of all things ornate and detailed. Peaking in popularity by the 19th century, strings of seed pearls were imported from China and India, and worked into designs so detailed they can resemble lace work.

Victorian seed pearl and gold long pendant earrings (ebay seller benalf2601)

Victorian chandelier earrings
 $1200 @ Gideon Antiques 

Indian c.1810 earrings

Late Georgian seed pearl pendant
$875 @ Renate's and Gina's Antiques Shoppe

c.1820 Georgian seed pearl brooch
@ Glorious Antique Jewelry 

Early 19th C. seed pearl flower drop necklace

Victorian seed pearl necklace
$599 SOLD @ Antiquarians 

c.1885 seed pearl and citrine festoon necklace
 $2450 @ Antique Masterpieces

I'll stop there, but you get the idea; clusters of teeny tiny pearls make for some beautiful 3D jewels. If you've enjoyed these pieces, you may want to take a look at the Pearl Carpet of Beroda, a magnificent rug constructed around 1865 featuring over a million pearls, amongst rubies, diamonds and sapphires. In 2009 it sold for nearly $5.5 million. Take a look at some detailed pictures of it here. The handiwork is incredible. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


I have recently become a bit obsessed with snake bangles, particularly the celluloid versions of the 1920's and 30's. Snakes were popular motifs within Victorian jewellery, symbolizing eternal love and infinity. During the 1920's the fashion for snake jewellery was revived, along with many other exotic designs inspired by Egypt and beyond. Here are a few examples of such snake bangles, which typically featured rhinestone eyes and tiny metal stud-work.


And finally, my very special snake friend. He is a gorgeous translucent red-orange with emerald green eyes, clear paste and tiny studs. Also pictured is an embossed silver snake clamper bracelet, whose age I am unsure of.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


I'd been eyeing up this skirt for quite a while, unsure about the midi-length and wearing a striking print on my pear-shaped figure... but then it went on sale and I decided to get over the restraints I impose upon myself. I love the ancient mosaic print and envisage wearing it in the summer with strappy gladiator flats and a black crop-top. 
As we're still waiting for the sun come to out, I paired it with a roll-neck and leather jacket, on a rather windy day. I guess this print is 'inspired' by Dolce and Gabbana's SS14 collection which featured Sicilian coins heavily, however ASOS tend to do a much better job of being subtle in their catwalk rip-offs than other high-street retailers *coughZara*.  

Vintage jacket, ASOS skirt, Marks & Spencer shoes, Vivienne Westwood bag, vintage jewellery

(excuse the cat fluff, it covers all my things now)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Green Granite

Had a little trip to Aberdeen recently to visit family and attend my baby nephew's naming party (he's too cute). We stayed at the rather lovely Caledonian Thistle hotel, a great base for looking around the famously grey city (architecturally as well as meteorologically) . Vying for most fabulous Auntie award, I wore a silky shirt with an ornate monochrome print with a green pleated mini and my current shoe loves; monochrome mary-janes. I managed to style my newly short hair into quite a bouffant, still getting used to it!

Skirt: vintage; shirt: Zara; shoes: ASOS, belt; antique.

Aberdeen's coat of arms and motto 'Bon Accord.'

Shameless hotel room selfie; love the pattern on this shirt. 

A few more layers and untamed hair back at my Aunt's house. Layers are essential when in Scotland, it basically never gets warm. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Parisian Escapades

The boyf and I took a little trip to Paris recently. We managed to cram a lot into our four days there, unfortunately I forgot my camera charger so I had to be a bit restrained with my photo taking. Rest assured I wore many a fabulous outfit, however I've only got photographic evidence of one. 

Squinting in front of the Sacre Coeur 

We saw extraordinary art at the Pompidou Centre, including pieces by Dali, Bacon and this Tamara De Lempicka beauty.  

Kisses on Oscar Wilde's grave

The Grand Palais was a highlight for me, it is incredibly ostentatious and over the top in its beauty. I had to visit it twice I loved it so much. I wanted so badly to get inside and see the iconic glass vaulted roof, however, the Chanel set was still being removed. 

Walked around the 'golden triangle' of designer stores; I was such a geek and had to take photos of store fronts. Dior had glorious visual merchandising.  

Paris Fashion Week was wrapping up whilst we were there. Having walked through the Tuileries Garden one day we came across a massive commotion which turned out to be the aftermath of the Valentino show. People were photographing and crowding round the models as they left; it felt a bit weird/intrusive but I was rather excited to see these beauties in real life. Fei Fei Sun was serenely gorgeous. 

The fabulous behinds of Mijo Mihaljcic and Ashleigh Good 

Whilst caught up in the hysteria, a few people approached me to take my photograph. Once I got over the embarrassment, I obliged. I've only found one photo online however, from Vogue Ukraine. Is this the fashion bloggers dream? Perhaps, but I felt totally awkward... And not too enamoured with the final shot!   

I'm wearing a vintage green velvet coat; antique gloves and bag; vintage ermine tail scarf; and Kurt Geiger silver croc-embossed loafers (which are my absolute favourite shoes right now). 

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