Friday, 7 November 2014

Black and Blue - part two

Following on from my previous post featuring this blouse in a daytime look, here's a peek at how I styled it for a wedding party a few weeks ago. As the blouse is kinda boxy and fussy, I kept the silhouette streamlined with a basic black pencil skirt, adding black and white accessories in the form of triple-strapped Mary-Janes, Ianthe printed Liberty bag and pearl-rimmed sunglasses. 

Top - Bolongaro Trevor; skirt - ASOS; shoes - ASOS; sunglasses - ASOS; bag - Liberty of London; all jewellery - vintage

Friday, 5 September 2014

Black and Blue

Nearly two years ago I saw raven-haired actress Olga Kurylenko in a powder blue Pucci dress and fell in love with what I saw. She looked stunning with her black hair contrasting against the palest of blue, sparking  within me a slight obsession with the combination. 

I'm yet to find my perfect powder blue dress but I have a lovely fur stole in said colour which I cannot wait to start wearing when the temperatures drop. Whilst the weather is still mild I've been rather attached to this laser-cut Bolongaro Trevor blouse in a lovely pale, almost slate, blue. The intricate cut-outs are pretty amazing and the front ruffle reminds me of those dodgy shirts men wore to prom/disco/weddings in the 1970's. Pops of true red really complement pale blue, something seen throughout the Temperley SS13 collection and those of Valentino and Erdem too (see below). The black and white lace up sandals are another summer obsession of mine. I so wish I'd bought them in silver too. In my next post I'll show you how I styled this blouse for a wedding outfit...coming up soon!

(silly face, sorry)

Blouse (Bolongaro Trevor), trousers (H&M), shoes (SixtySeven)

Olga Kurylenko in Pucci/ Elie Saab Couture SS 2013/ Street style from 

Temperley SS 2013

Erdem Fall 2014 and Fall 2010
Valentino SS 2012

Guinevere Van Seenus by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia January 08 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Draped and Mirrored

Haven't done an outfit post in a while, but I have a few coming up. Summer isn't really my thing (I love layering) but I struggle through! This ensemble was for a late summers evening out. The draped kimono type garment is from ASOS; it has such a lovely weight to it and drapes beautifully. The vest beneath doesn't look like much but it is a pretty peachy nude with large copper beads which catch the light. The bag is a new favourite of mine, there is no way to describe it other than a miniature Persian rug. It's adorable! A gift from a friend who obviously knows me well. Finally, the shoes; red snakeskin, nude trims, mesh insert and mirror heel? Yes please and thank-you, Antipodium.   

Jacket (ASOS), trousers (ASOS), beaded vest (H&M), bag (gift), shoes (Antipodium) 

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.

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