Friday, 31 March 2017

Strawberry Suffragette

I wore this scarf far too much this past winter. Featuring probably the best print ever created - William Morris's 'Strawberry Thief' - and overlaid with a feminist statement proclaiming SUFFRAGETTE, I adore the print (obviously), the message, and the colourway of sage green, khaki green, and burnt orange. The earthy tones of a 1920's tooled leather bag, and tortoiseshell shoes (which have hardly left my feet recently) complete the look.   

Vintage coat, ASOS shoes, vintage bag, Marc x Marc Jacobs scarf, ASOS  trousers. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Chain Beauties

Research for my dissertation required me to look through a lot (I'm talking 1000's) of CDVs and daguerreotypes containing Victorian women. My focus was on their waist/hip area as I was searching for chatelaines, but I couldn't help but be enamoured by what was happening north of the waist. Many women displayed an impressive system of chains, fobs, brooches, pendants and collar necklaces. Bodices acted as a canvas for women to display tokens of sentimentality in arrangements that were as individual as the women who wore them. Naturally, viewing so much Victorian jewellery really gave me a taste for some, an aesthetic I used to enjoy but moved away from years ago in favour of more Edwardian and Art Deco designs. In the limited quality of Victorian photography, book chain (or book link) necklaces stand out, their ornate, weighty presence really appealing to me. Essentially the book chain contains of flat, folded links that interlock in a manner reminiscent of book-binding; the flat links lend themselves well to intricate detailing, as you're about to see.     

Header & above - c.1880 book chain collar, available at ThreeGracesToo on Etsy

Book chain locket necklace with rose and yellow gold detail,
on eBay (auction ended)

c.1880 book chain collar, available on eBay

1880 book chain locket necklace, from Orange Tree Collectables
at Ruby Lane (sold) 

1882 book chain locket necklace, on eBay (auction ended)

Silver book chain locket necklace, on eBay (auction ended)

c.1880 book chain collar necklace, available at A. Brant + Son

I've put together a Pinterest board featuring many more book chain designs and evidence of women wearing them. Swooning over extant examples of book chain is fun, but seeing real Victorian women wearing them is equally fascinating.

London lady - CDV on eBay

Nottingham lady - CDV on eBay

Worcester lady - CDV on eBay

Not quite as illustrious (nor £££) as an original, I recently bought a 1940s Victorian-Revival book chain necklace, with matching bracelet. I've never been into lockets so the lack of a locket pendant doesn't bother me. The short, collar style of the necklace is similar to quite a few of my recent jewellery purchases- I'm very pleased with it! 


Friday, 24 March 2017


Beautiful Edwardian graduate; empowerment via education ♡

It’s me again. I realise I’m likely speaking into the ether, as any followers have by now abandoned me. That’s fine, nearly two years is a long time to wait for a post. The hiatus was unintentional however, and I do intend to resume posting semi-regularly. For those interested, and perhaps in the spirit of cathartic over-sharing, the past year or so has been rather difficult. You may recall this blog started years ago as a project to help distract me from anxiety and eating problems, and its revival appears to mirror its roots. Since I last posted: I enrolled on my dream MA course at the London College of Fashion; moved to London; worked part-time in my dream store whilst studying full-time; battled health-issues whilst trying to remain sane- having neither the time, money nor inclination to socialise; relapsed into long-abandoned mental health problems; had to turn down a dream internship due to said problems; and nearly gave up the course. Add to that a dose of lost-friendships, various medications, heartbreak, and shattered self-confidence, and the desire, time, and motivation to blog was all but lost. Apologies if this is reading like a self-indulgent, woe is me soliloquy; I do realise I speak from a position of privilege, and importantly just how lucky I am to have support from amazing people. But it’s scary how easily I slipped into a reclusive shell of my former self. Look after your health people!

Fortunately I am stubborn, and didn’t give up. After the year from hell, I’m proud to say I gained a distinction in my Masters, having written my dissertation on Victorian chatelaines and their use as a technology of surveillance/discipline à la Foucault (humble-brag, I know, I know). The contrast between my under- and post-grad experience was huge, and I had to pinch myself sometimes whilst writing essays on Fortuny, Victorian Pockets, Egyptian Revivalism etc, applying Social and Cultural Theory to fashion (or ‘costume’, ‘dress’, ‘adornment’- where you make the distinction is down to you); or when handling pieces of fashion history, such as a Worth gown worn by Mary Curzon, or the shoes of the recently-widowed Queen Alexandra. Unfortunately, my issues meant that I didn’t really get to immerse myself in all that LCF and London had to offer. Ironically, whilst studying fashion, I was probably at my least inspired and experimental, pretty much just wanting to disappear into the crowd. I have been quite active on Instagram, sharing some of my experiences, and a lot of jewellery, but to be honest I’m sick of social media and over the past two years I pretty much lost my spark. Well, fuck that. You have to hit rock bottom to rise again, and I’m excited to resume sharing some looks and inspirations. So, wall of text over; the next post will be picture heavy, full of some spectacular jewels. 

Follow me on Instagram if you want more regular updates, predominantly featuring jewellery, antique prints and illustrations, and whatever else catches my eye. Oh and my cat. And hardly any selfies, promise. 

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