Sunday, 14 May 2017

Medieval Military

I bought this bodice a couple of years ago and despite being wool, on the few occasions I've worn it, I've opted to dress it up as evening-wear. It's from the 1970s and according to the seller came with matching high-waisted flares that attached to the bodice via the hook and eyes that line its hem (I wasn't too disappointed to hear that these were disintegrated beyond repair and disposed of by the seller). Bit of an odd choice for me; I'm not hugely fond of the 70s, the faded sage green colour isn't exactly prevalent in my wardrobe, and the structure is pretty rigid and shoulder-enhancing. But... I loved the beaded, medieval crest, and I have super narrow shoulders so welcomed the idea of a bit of balance to my hips. I'd just seen the Marc Jacobs SS15 show when I bought this, which fused femininity, sage green, military details and jet black hair to surprisingly pleasing effect, and obviously urged me to buy something slightly different for me (but not actual Marc Jacobs, sorry Marc). 

Vintage bodice and bag, Lanvin shoes, ASOS skirt, self-made belt.

The Lanvin shoes I first spotted way-back in 2009, and thanks to persistent ebaying, I managed to make them mine two or three years ago, brand new, and for a very good price. Never give up!  


And dressed down with a white turtleneck (which oddly adds a sci-fi/jockey vibe to the already confusing mixture of medieval/military)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Something Old, Something New

It's not often I find myself coveting modern jewellery; aside from obviously preferring the aesthetics of antique/vintage jewellery, I just feel like if I'm going to spend money on something, I'd rather buy something with history and that is somewhat exclusive (I don't think I've covered a contemporary designer since I posted about Muriel Grateau, eight years ago). Two jewellers have recently compelled me to share their work though- both come from a background in sculpture, and both create pieces that whilst modern, exude a hint of history. 

Joy Bonfield Colombara, in her 'Fragments' series, isolates and deconstructs classical sculpture, with jaw-dropping results. I cannot get over how good the rings are, exploded and presented frame-by-frame.   

From another collection, I admire the use of hallmarks in the 'London Signet' ring, taking something usually hidden and more of an afterthought and making it the main design element. In Joy's own words, the signet ring traditionally served as a "3-d signature", used in conjunction with wax to seal and sign letters. Surmounting a boxy signet ring, Joy has used hallmarks as a statement of her own identity, including the leopards head hallmark corresponding to the city of London, her initials, and the lion passant guardant and 925 hallmarks to indicate silver quality.

Images from


✤ In a similar vein, the work of Gabriella Kiss also possesses a touch of the sculptural and antiquated; the use of anatomically correct fauna (or you know, actual stuffed dead animals) has always struck me as particularly Victorian, and the hand motif has long been used in jewellery. Her sleeping bird earrings harbour a surprise pearl within their feathered folds, exhibiting a surreal yet reserved quality, as also seen in the dripping hands earrings. 

Kiss also creates pieces which isolate facial features - a nose, or ear for example. My favourites focus on the eye, as they are reminiscent of Georgian love token miniatures, where painted eyes were mounted in rings and brooches. The bands are inscribed with Latin mottoes, adding another subtle touch of history.  

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✤ Honourable mention goes to fellow LCF graduate Qian Yang of YQY Jewellery, who has seemingly moved onto rather different designs now, but whose graduate collection was so, so good (if a little unwearable). The 'Ceramic Repair' collection features pieces inspired by the Japanese practice of kintsugi, whereby ceramics are repaired using gold, leaving golden traces of breakage and repair as evidence of an objects history. Who doesn't want massive porcelain dolls enhanced with gold on their fingers? 

Image from

Friday, 14 April 2017


I bought this baroque beaded vest a couple of summers ago, and usually wear it open with a crop top. But during the colder months, I realised I could get away with belting it and wearing it as a dress; I think this probably makes is less boho and lends a more refined edge, more in tune with my style. I believe it's from the late 60's, the longer length and ornate pattern touching on hippy style but retaining some tailored structure. Worn here with a white turtleneck (I lived in this all winter), topped off with an Edwardian paste star brooch. I wanted to add some patent accessories, opting for a decidedly retro hat-box bag by Liberty of London, and the shiniest and pointiest of shoes. It's a weirdly 1960s tinged, monochromatic-mod look for me, no?  

Vintage vest, H&M turtleneck, Liberty of London bag, Signature shoes. 

Patent shoes when they were box-fresh and dangerously pointy

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Pleats (and Pastel Fur) Please

I admit, I've fallen prey to mass-fashion's predilection for culottes. Not that I consciously avoid trends, but they don't dictate my wardrobe, and this is one I never thought I'd wear. As a staunch believer in the straight/skinny variety of trousers, this is pretty much a sartorial paradigm shift. But damn they are comfy, and I'm partial to the deco/speakeasy-gangster vibe they give off. I bought this micro-pleated pair last year. not whilst shopping for culottes, but whilst fulfilling my want for an Issey Miyake Pleats Please garment. Paired with a white turtleneck, and pastel blue stole (that I like to wear as some sort of pageant sash for some reason), this is an unusually silhouette driven ensemble for me. Apologies to those that hate matchy-matchiness, but colour-coordination is in my blood, and I just had to match my nails, socks, and necklace to the pale blue fur.      

Vintage coat and bag, H&M turtleneck, vintage stole, Issey Miyake Pleats Please culottes, Chloé shoes, vintage jewellery. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Celluloid Cameo

I had a real thirst for some black cameo jewellery last year, probably due to my prolonged gazing upon Victorian women and their jewels (see why in this post). In lieu of more authentically Victorian jet or bog-oak jewellery, I purchased a 1930's galalith and celluloid cameo necklace- giving me the same aesthetic, but at a lower cost. It looks wonderful contrasted against a light background, as worn here with a blush, micro-ribbed turtleneck. Is it blush? I can't find the right word to describe the colour; it's not pink enough to be blush, and is too coppery to be nude. Fawn maybe? I don't know, but it's gorgeous and I like confounding people with my illusory semi-nakedness. 

Antique bag, ASOS shoes, Marc x Marc Jacobs scarf, Silvian Heach coat, H&M top and trousers, vintage jewels. 

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