A blog about vintage fashion, vintage jewels and art.....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brocade and Pearls

I could not resist this beautiful painting. This is Amalie von Schintling, one of the most beautiful aristocratic women of her time. We are precisely in 1831and this is an oil painting by J.K.Stieler found at the Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich.

A painting evoking so many different facets of the Victorian era, apart from being an exquisitely made portrait, it also treats us to some exceptional detailed brocade material (look at the intricacy and the colours here!), and delicate pearl jewellery, some fascinating lace and just observe the glossy hair-do. Imagine what the real painting must transmit. Such finesse......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Glorious Gloria

Gloria Swanson 1954

I have already featured Gloria Swanson in my blog. I was intrigued by this star of the silent movies of the 1920s after reading her autobiography - the story of a very exciting life lived in very exciting times.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered real life images and film dating back to 1954 and to Swanson's memorable trip to Italy. Even at 55 years of age (Swanson was born in 1899), she was still as ravishing as ever.
Check out the film on British Pathe.
Images courtesy of British Pathe.

For more images of Swanson check out these previous posts:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grace in London

If you're in London these days, you are just in time to view the spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly, one of the most popular actresses of the 1950s, which will be on display at the V&A until September 26. Featuring dresses from her films High Society and Rear Window, as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar in 1955, the display examines Grace Kelly’s glamorous Hollywood image and enduring appeal. It also explores the evolution of her style as Princess Grace of Monaco, from the outfit she wore to her first meeting with Prince Rainier in 1955 to her haute couture gowns of the 1960s and ‘70s by her favourite couturiers Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Yves St Laurent.

There is a wide range of events at the V&A to complement the exhibition, including films screenings, a film and fashion study day, a short course on 1950s haute couture and practical worshops making Grace Kelly-inspired hats and scarfs. You may just make it to one of these. If any of you have been to visit this exhibition, perhaps you'd like to send us your comment about it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rhonda's Pretty Pictures

I fell in love with these fashion pictures because of the fast sketchy way they come across, the brilliance of the colours and the expressive freshness. Aren't they simply eye candy?

Rhonda’s subject matter makes it obvious her training in Fashion Illustration and love of clothing. She uses a variety of mediums including acrylic, pastels, paper and ink and is known for her chaotically controlled lines and vibrant colorful figures, abstracts and portraits. Rhonda calls herself an abstract expressionist who generally deal with spiritual and personal issues.

Rhonda is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a major in Fashion Illustration and Graphic Design.
She began her career as an Art Director at Abraham and Straus in Brooklyn New York, followed by numerous freelance design jobs for various corporations in New York City and Atlanta. She has also taught illustration classes at various educational institutions in the Richmond, Virginia. Visit her Etsy shop here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Visit France's Oldest Museum

The great Isadora Duncan (1877 - 1927), renown stage actress who graced many a theatre with her dancing, and who is hailed as the mother of modern dancing, posed several times for the French artist and designer Rene Lalique. Duncan commissioned him to create stage jewellery for some of her most important performances. She received regular gifts of impressive jewellery from her many (male) admirers but it is said that one of her favourite accessories was a belt of hardstone cameos which was a gift made to her by gold miners in her native California.

The cameo is basically a carved relief image that is created and juxtaposed against a contrasting color background found in the material's lower layers. Cameos experienced a revival during the 1990s, which revival is somewhat still lingering as the penchant for shabby chic fashion remains alive and kicking. Beware when buying cameos however. If you're after the real thing, you need expert advice to be sure you are not being sold an imitation. These works of minute sculpture are made of so many different materials, ranging from jet or onyx to sardonyx, to coral, to shell, ceramics or multi-layered glass also referred to as cameo glass.

You could view the cameo in the picture above if you manage to visit the oldest French Museum.... if it remains open long enough, that is. The truth is that this museum risks closing down for good.
The Cabinet des Médailles et Antiques is the oldest French Museum. Open since the 17th century, it started as a means to display the treasures gathered by Kings of France. For centuries, collections of the highest grade (Caylus’ antiques, duke of Luynes donation, Froehner collection …) and French Revolution (Saint-Denis treasure …) have entered the museum. It is today particularly rich in Greek Ceramics, Glyptic, Coins, Roman Sculptures, gold and silver jewels and treasures, bronzes from every period, and all these collections make references in there areas.
Known nowadays as the Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques of the French national Library, the museum has unfortunately been weakened for a few years : its reduced exhibition space (540 m2) allows only a minimal part of the collections to be displayed, the resources are more than insufficient, and no publicity is made for it, even during the temporary exhibitions that have been organized. And maybe haven’t you even heard about it before ?
The future of the Cabinet des Médailles et Antiques is now raising growing concerns. The renovation project for the National Library of France’s Richelieu site in Paris plans the disappearance of the Museum altogether. The Association for the Safeguard of the Museum of Medals and Antiques was thus created in January 2010 to ensure its defense and to encourage its development.
You are welcome to join up!
Sign the petition here.

So if you're in Paris just now or if you're planning to be there any time this summer, vist the Musée du Cabinet des médailles et antiques - BnF - 58, rue de Richelieu 75002 Paris.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Etsy Treasury

For some beautiful blooms check out my latest Treasury on Etsy and leave a comment here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fantastic Fall Bracelet

One of my favourite ebay sellers has this fantastic bracelet for sale at the mo. It's a fall themed colour scheme, all made from vintage jewellery pieces and components which have been recycled and revamped to create this astouding piece. Check out CL Designs here....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't turn your back on summer

It's time to get those long sleeves on again. But we're not quite ready to say goodbye to the sunshine and the flowers with the colours of long sultry summer days. Something like this is just the thing. Not too cool, not too warm, goes with most nearly anything you can think of and it's original vintage straight from the late 1960s and early 1970s.