Friday, 30 July 2010

Silken Summer

I bought this long sleeved silk blouse fully intending to wear it tucked into high-waisted skirts and trousers in the Autumn/Winter. However, rolling up the sleeves and wearing it as a tunic is proving to be a popular summer option for me. It's light and airy, and just so easy to throw on and create an outfit. Of course, between my nails, rings and belt, I have managed to snag the damn silk several times. In fact, it'll probably be ripped to shreds by the time the colder weather arrives! I'd go back and buy another one if I didn't already know that I got the last one in my size.

Antique belt, blouse (Zara), leggings (H&M), shoes (Bruno Premi)

I feel like I've been opting for bangles instead of bracelets recently, so I reintroduced a few old favourites..... a Siam silver bracelet, and a filigree heart bracelet picked up at an antiques fair.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Iron Awe

I hate to be predictable, but how amazing is this Berlin Iron necklace and earring set? Berlin Iron jewellery has always caught my eye, as the pieces tend to be so very me: ornate, black, gothic and historical. Indeed, the history behind such pieces is very interesting and further adds to their appeal (and value).
Prior to 1813, jewellery represented only a small portion of the iron objects, both functional and decorative, coming out of Berlin (the then capital of Prussia). The blackened finish meant that iron jewellery was originally associated with mourning. Between 1813-1815 however, Berlin Iron jewellery reached its peak of popularity and production beyond mourning, as women of wealth wore the jewellery to symbolise patriotism. During the War of Liberation against Napoleon, the Prussian authorities urged the aristocracy to donate their gold jewellery, in a bid to fund the war. In exchange, they were given ironwork jewellery, often bearing the inscription 'Gold gab ich für Eisen' (I gave gold for iron) or 'eingetauscht zum Wohle des Vaterlandes' (exchanged for the welfare of the Fatherland). Such symbols of loyalism were extremely popular, with over 41,000 pieces of Berlin Iron jewellery made in 1814 alone.

My favourite aspect of this set has to be the fastening on the necklace, formed by two clasping hands. What a lovely hidden detail, only to be appreciated by the wearer.

On a slightly related note, this sort of blackened ornate jewellery is reminding of the pieces created for Karl Lagerfelds ss09 collection, which I talked about here. Muriel Grateau is another jeweller who creates similarly complex lacy pieces, but I can't think of anyone else. I would love to find a modern jeweller who creates dramatic pieces inspired by Berlin Iron work, any ideas?

images from Ruby Lane seller The Three Graces

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Some Gorgeousness

Today the Outnet added several gorgeous pieces from Alberta Ferretti. One dress in particular stood out to me, as I remember going green with envy when seeing it for the first time worn by Lily Allen. Fringing will never get old in my eyes, especially when used in more creative ways such as the back of this dress. I'm sure a lot of us ladies have the standard tiered fringe dress in their closet, but how about metre long fringing cascading from your shoulders? Sounds pretty perfect to me.

Fringed silk chiffon dress - was £1655, now £579.25

The dress is from the Alberta Ferretti s/s 2009 collection. Lily wore the stunning blue version as presented on the runway. I think it looks better fitted on her than on the model, however she did somehow manage to flash her bottom whilst wearing it.

And whilst I'm talking about Lily.... I kept on meaning to feature this Chanel dress since she wore it five months ago, but I never quite got round to it. The Chanel prefall-2010 collection made me dizzy with desire, I loved the dark colour palette, copious embellishment and Chinese influence. This dress in particular stood out to me because of its stunning, dramatic neckline. I think perhaps Lily is a little short to really do this piece justice, but then of course I am just jealous she got to wear it at all. Her hair and make-up were both exquisite and complimentary to the dress also.

A couple of months ago I bought a stunning vintage evening dress, from 1944. Whilst it's not quite as glamorous as the Ferretti or Chanel dresses, it really is a beauty. I must get round to photographing it so I can share it with you all.

images from:;;; and

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Guilty Feet

July is a pretty busy month for me, what with it being my birthday, my nan's birthday, and 3 of my best friends' birthdays.... each within 6 days of one another. That's my poor excuse for House of Harps being pretty dead recently, for which I am profusely apologetic.

I do, however, have sparkly new shoes to share (ok, ok, they were in my holiday post a couple of weeks ago, but they need a formal introduction). I kind of am disgusted with myself for buying them, as they are a straight rip-off of shoes from the Dior a/w 2009 collection (and what an utterly gorgeous collection it was). It makes me pretty angry to see massively ripped-off designs, made even more deplorable if they sell at a ridiculous price *cough Sam Edelman cough*. These were dirt cheap though, and I love them despite the tinge of guilt. I toyed with the idea of buying the real Dior's (in the sale, too!) but my boyfriend was unimpressed with this idea citing something about 'priorities' and 'real life.'

Lace cardigan (ebay), trousers (H&M), vest (Ted Baker), shoes (Rascal)

Glinting through a window, this necklace caught my eye as I was idly walking about last week. Lucky for me it turned out to be a charity shop window, and was quite the bargain!

The real deal Dior a/w 2009 heels.
Image from
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