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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Day for Giveaway

Happy Sunday - this is just to remind you this is the last day to participate in Fairyfiligree's current giveaway. Best of luck & have a lovely day.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Discovering Suzani

File:Shakhrisabz Suzani.jpg

Just discovered the marvellous art of Suzani, a needlework tradition that has been perfected by urban peoples of Central Asia. The technique is based on the use of a needle sewing on cotton orlinen fabric with special traditional designs associated usually with local symbolism.
The exemplar about dates back to 1850, and includes floral and vine designs. Made in  Uzbekistan.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Now on Twitter

Just to let all Fairyfiligree readers know that Fairyfiligree is now on Twitter too. Look me up there.
Somebody asked whether I facebook - no I don't and I don't intend to.
And, you may notice that I am now following with a whole new profile image. This fantastic painting is by John William Godward entitled 'The Ring' (1898).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Filigree Artist from Malta & Silver Giveaway

I would like to introduce you to a young woman who is a filigree artist from the Mediterranean island of Malta. I have often posted about Maltese filigree because it is an art form which I have especially at heart. I became even more appreciative of its finesse and beauty after spending three years studying about its history and also attended a workshop to try my hand at making some filigree myself.

Charmaine Gerada has been creating filigree since she was a young teenager. Her teacher was her father with whom she still collaborates on specially large jobs. One of her latest accomplishments was the completion of a filigree artefact which was filmed in a promotional commercial created by Banif Bank.

As you can see from these images, sterling silver filigree can be adapted to be used for a wide variety of articles and not only for making jewellery.

And here is the giveaway to start off FairyFiligree's 2nd year of Blogging.

This dainty Sterling Silver Maltese filigree pendant complete with ruby red Swarovski crystal is here for the taking. To be eligible to participate in this giveaway you have to.....
1. Be a FairyFiligree follower.

2. Leave a comment on this post sometime between now and October 31. And you must comment on the topic of special silver jewellery. Tell us something about your favourite item of silver jewellery, describe it, where you got it from, and what makes it special to you.

3. Include your contact email address or a link leading to it.
Good luck and enjoy...

Picture acknowledgements: Top picture taken by Andrew Rizzo.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Isadora's passion for Cameos

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. 
The first drawing featured at the top of this post is a watercolor and ink over graphite on off-white, medium-weight, moderately textured laid paper, showing Isadora Duncan. It was made by Abraham Wolkowitz and is presently at the Brooklyn Museum, NY.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Manish Arora


I recently found out about Manish Arora. This Indian fashion designer has been coined as the Galliano of India. And no wonder. Just look at this picture. It shows  a design from the Manish Arora Spring 2007 collection at London fashion Week. Yes sure, it's not springtime now, it's not even 2007 but I wanted to share. Don't you just love that dress?

Monday, October 18, 2010

FairyFiligree's First Anniversary & Giveaways

Hello all. It's today, the 18th of October that FairyFiligree is officially one year old. I'm so excited - 120 posts later, many pictures, words, comments and shared ideas later, a new look and quite a bit of development have been thrown in. FairyFiligree has accumulated 75 followers, so first of all THANK YOU for following, and it is quite incredible that amongst so many hundreds of blogs out there, this blog from the Mediterranean excited you enough to press that Follow This Blog button.

 I have met lots of interesting people, artists, creative jewellers, fashion experts and bloggers who have all contributed in some way or another, so thank you for the ideas, the pictures, the guest posts, the interviews, the giveaways, the paintings, the lot.

What is FairyFiligree today? A blog about Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Fashion and Art.

I want to treat you to a rally of some of what I consider to be the best pictures featured on FairyFiligree during this past year. I also want to tell you who the winner of my last giveaway is ... but just go through the pictures first - the winner is being announced at the end.....

Shoes in Dubai....
Do you remember this picture? It was FairyFiligree's header for a long time.

Beautiful hand-crafted Maltese Filigree

Flowers keep me happy......

Paris my love.....

1950s Fashion and my country's colours

FairyFiligree's First Giveaway

Sophie's Baby

The kind of art that inspire me....

Intimate Fashion

Antique hand-made Maltese lace

My Travels

Things I like

You might like to know that the FairyFiligree Etsy store was featured in this Treasury over the weekend. Do leave your comments. Thank you RealFaery!

Now for the Giveaway....
the lucky person picked out of the bag is .......Hope Adela of Pink Champagne.
She will be receiving an email from me today and will soon be getting a CSN gift voucher in the post. Enjoy! And thanks to all for participating and sending in your helpful comments on how to organise handbags in the wardrobe.

Keep your eyes open this week - FairyFiligree is starting its second year of blogging by launching a fantastic Giveaway. You must not miss it! Have a great week ahead and take care always.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dori Csengeri

Dori Csengeri is the creator of some incredible hand-embroidered jewellery pieces amongst which is a jaw-dropping vintage collection that is called The Ephrah Collection. This is divided into two distinct groups. The 'Exceptionally Dori' group includes one-of-a-kind pieces which are collectible. The other group is the Ephrah ready-to-wear collection.

The collectible pieces are an assemblage of true vintage parts (brooches, earrings and other jewellery parts) which are all encapsulated with special embroidery stitches. The ready-to-wear items on the other hand are made of vintage-style parts, so the pieces can be remade.

Dori is an avid flea market treasure hunter. Additionally, friends and family members who know about her love of vintage pieces, keep 'building-up' her vintage treasures collection (wish I had friends like that!).

When I contacted Dori I asked about what it takes to make the haute couture pieces and I was told this is a long creative process. Dori embroiders each of the pieces spontaneously without a preliminary design, adding vintage parts, stepping back, taking pieces apart, making changes and so on. It is impossible to know how many hours each treasured jewel takes to be completed. Likewise, each jewel comes with its individual collection of vintage components, making every item different, completely different from all the others. Each collectible necklace for instance can cost between Euros 2500 - 3600. Staggering prices to be sure, but these are haute couture items with just as staggering an impact. I mean.... have you looked at them well!?!?

Try to spot the individual vintage components in the necklace (sold to a private collector) pictured above in the first picture - you will find a golden French poodle brooch, a green patinated spider brooch, the delicate gilded mother-of-pearl vine brooch......and a man's necktie!

In the second picture you can view a  Dori Csengeri bracelet (sold to a private collector) which contains amongst others, the following vintage components: a sparkling heart, a great golden flower, a circular turquoise pin and a dazzling starburst element.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cold Weekends Ahoy!

File:Madison Square After the Rain Paul Cornoyer.jpg
Madison Square After the Rain by Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923) -  circa 1900

So we're in for the cold, at least those of us living on this side of the hemisphere. I found this painting of Madison Square, where I've never been before but which I'd like to vist one day. I find it especially lovely - the colours, the setting, the atmosphere. You can actually feel the wet, don't you think?
And it got me thinking of these cold afternoons which await us. Especially long winter afternoons on a weekend. Yesterday was just such a day here. Dull, bleak, overcast, wet and dark. For somebody used to sunshine and basking in it all year round, just one day like that can get on my nerves. As I drove somewhere on an errand I'd rather not have had, I wondered how some people can actually claim to enjoy overcast weather. If it were windy, perhaps I'd enjoy a walk on the cliffs or on the seafront. Nothing like some high wind to get your adrenalin flowing. But when it's calm and bleak.... not even some thunder or lightening to liven up the works... then it's utterly boring. But hey, we need the rain here, so one has to be thankful. It definitely brightened up my car which was screaming out for a wash!

Which gets me thinking - what does one do on a bleak afternoon, on a Sunday afternoon especially when the world seems to halt and hold still, waiting for the energetic rush of a Monday morning? Ok, we could blog, we could read, watch the telly. But if there's nothing doing? Recently I went through some old boxes stores away somewhere and unearthed the most extraordinary things I'd completely forgotten I still possessed.

By the way, does anybody know where this painting is found? I researched some about this artist who was born in St Louis, Missouri and painted in the Impressionistic style, at times going into Pointillism. Have seen some of his paintings on the web and they all seem to be about bleak weather. Did he like it that much or did he paint is so often to fill his bleak Sunday afternoons?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Italian Inspiration Illustration

Some time ago I came across the art of a young Italian woman whose work caught my attention. As happens with my online musings, I came across her work perchance and liked it immediately.

Arianna Operamolla hails from the Italian city of Bari. This 26-year-old adored design and drawing from a very young age, possibly also strongly influenced by her mother who is an artist.
She says she always loved cartoons and comics and so decided to take up art studies eventually following a two-year course in cartoons. In 2008 she enrolled for a course of studies with Ars In Fabula in the Italian city of Macerata and there she studied for a Master in Illustrations for Publishing.
The images featured here are from a series of publicity postcards created for book which never saw the light of day but for which Arianna created 16 different designs. Today she works as a freelance illustrator and collaborates withthe London agency Advocate Art.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jewellery in Malta

My very good friend Francesca Balzan, recently had her dream come true with the publication of a very important book on jewellery.
'Jewellery in Malta Treasures from the Island of the Knights (1530-1798)' (Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, Malta 2009), totally researched and written by Francesca, is a study that has made extensive use of primary sources to build up a history of jewellery in Malta, which focuses on the art of jewellery, its social histroy and trade practices, and is the first study of its kind to be published in Malta.

The book is in two parts, the first of which contains essays on historical aspects of jewellery in Malta while the second part is devoted to analytical case studies of a number of jewellery items. The book chooses not to focus on Maltese production solely but on what was present in Malta at the time (1530-1798), thereby including some particularly beautiful examples of jewellery which derived from Sicilian, Italian and Spanish sources.

A must-have for those of you who are into jewellery.... & the images are simply stunning too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wardrobes, Giveaways & Bags

I just received an email from CSN Stores which I strongly advice you to visit because CSN Stores has amazing online stores where you can find everything from beautiful wardrobes to cookware to chic lighting pieces!
The email arrived just in the nick of time since it's that time of year when we're all going through the change of seasons, and trying to make heads or tails of our wardrobes. I am constantly going through a tug of war with SPACE. I hoard. That is my problem. I love beautiful things, buy them, hoard them and sometimes don't ever wear them. My wardrobe contents have been accumulated in piecemeal fashion and this means sometimes I have the odd item which is just plain lovely to look at but which I cannot match with anything else in my wardrobe.
Sooo, come Autumn, I am yearning for a whole day of wardrobe surveying. I do this at every change of season. Take out everything and I mean everything, from my summer wardrobe, empty all the closets & drawers and take stock.
What I have worn endlessly is scrutinised carefully for flaws. If there are none, it stays. What I have not worn at least twice this past summer is scrutinsed for wearability, fit, practicality. If it has none and even lacks good old sentimental value, then it goes. There are things that I haven't even worn all summer and taking stock of the reason for this, I soon find it's because they are boring, lack great fit, have nothing to match with, and probably will have to go to.
What goes, usually goes to charity unless it's completely unretrievably unwearable. Then it gets thrown out. I have very few of the latter category.
The benefit of buying clothes from charity shops, thrift stores, vintage sellers and the like is that sometimes they have been bought for literally a few pennies. Meaning that letting them go back to charity is not breaking my bank, is not making me feel guilty and is allowing me to have a liquid wardrobe that can be changed, moved around and shaped up each and every season.
This year, my favourite charity is going to get a largish bag of summer clothes because some of my favourites I've now possessed for some 4 or 5 years and that's way too long to cling on to a garment unless it's incomparable vintage.
So ladies, it's time to change.... have you made any changes?

Giveaway News
Going back to CSN Stores, this online catalogue company has kindly offered a giveaway to FairyFiligree followers residing in the US, Canada, the UK or Germany.This is a one-time-use gift voucher for you to use as they wish on their websites.  If the winner happens to be from the US/Canada she/he will get a $45 gift certificate, if they are from the UK it will be £30, and if they are from Germany it will be €35.

To be eligible to enter this giveaway you have to:

1.  Be a FairyFiligree follower from the US, Canada, the UK or Germany. 
2. Leave a comment on this post sometime between now and October 18. And you must comment on the topic of wardrobes, possibly leaving some feedback of value to the rest of all FairyFiligree followers.
3. Include your contact email address or a link leading to it.

Now... for some questions in the bag.....

I need advice - where on earth do you store all your bags, handbags, clutches, purses, holdalls etc? I have mine stowed away in a large drawer and some more in a trunk. But they are not easily displayed that way and so some get overlooked easily. Short of having to buy a new piece of furniture to keept my bags, I need innovative ideas on how to store them easily and practically without squashing them, without letting them gather dust and without taking over all our bedroom space..... What comments on this?
By the way... cute little vintage bag above can be better viewed here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Under the Layers - My Latest Etsy Treasury

For a sneak peek on some beautiful lingerie and underwear ideas check out my latest Treasury on Etsy and leave a comment here

To view the gorgeous lacy garment featured in this post's picture, click here