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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How much is too much? - Part 2

In  my previous post I introduced Lynn Dell. 
Somebody asked me her age and I told them... she's a glorious 75+ and enjoying it.
She came to my blog curious to see what I wrote about Josephine Baker as she  had eaten at her restaurant as well as visited a museum in Mexico which is dedicated to Josephine Baker.

But off we went at a tangent, so we steered our long-distance conversation back to the topic at hand -
Jewellery - how much is too much?
Lynn Dell says,
"I consider myself an artist more than anything else. When I put together my experience in my shop Off Broadway Boutique which I've had for 42 years now here in Manhattan, apart from the six stores I've had along the way, I have learnt that the way things sell most is to put more of the same together in the window.
So if I'm focusing on brown, I will include lots of different shades of brown jewllery together. It is all about making a statement.
My advice tips are these:

- If your clothes are simple with beautiful lines, they are the perfect background. You can go ahead and add the sparkle with your jewellery.

- Choose a theme; balance colour and texture.

- Forget the busy background - the simpler the background created with your clothes, the better to show your jewellery.

- Nothing is 'wrong'. You are allowed to make a statment but....

- Some people cannot wear big jewellery yet...

- Too much can be wonderful.

-I break all the rules myself but ultimately...
 I don't believe in fashion... I believe in style.

- Fashion says ME TOO; Style says ONLY ME!

- As you grow older everything should go up to fight gravity and this includes earrings. 90% of the earrings I sell at my shop are clip-back earrings - so that's a hint for the older ladies.

-Dress for the theatre of your life."

Off Broadway Boutique also has a back-of-store collection of designer and vintage wear which you'd like to visit when you're in NY City. And if you're after fantastic jewellery - you'll see the biggest collection of jewellery in any one store in the whole of NY City at Lynn Dell's shop.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How much is too much?

You probably adore jewellery just as much as I do. I've got tons of it, most of which I wear regularly. Most of my friends always look out to see what I'm wearing and remark that I'm always wearing the most unique pieces.

As I have said before, for me, jewellery is wearable art.
Sometimes when I'm planning an outfit, I like to think of what jewellery I'll be complimenting it with and even when I'm actually finalising my outfit in front of the mirror, I sometimes downsize the amount of jewellery I wear because I prefer to go for a couple of unique items rather than tons of the stuff all at one go.
Still I always marvel at those who can happily wear and carry off huge amounts of jewellery without seeming over the top.

Lynn Dell photographed by Chris Clinton

And as I planned out this post, I thought.... Lynn Dell. Ms Dell is one fine lady I found out about through the wonderful blog Advanced Style.
She runs a boutique in New York called Off Broadway Boutique.
Although I have never been to NYC, I did manage to get to know Ms Dell a bit better through a long and interesting transoceanic phone calle during which she shared some of her glamour tips and style ideas.
Coming up in a post soon, you will get to read my interview with MS Dell
- keep following!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Transformable Necklace

When my good friend jewellery designer and maker Nadege  told me about the Boomerang  I was quite impressed by the originality of her creation. I wasn't the only one apparently, considering that her inventive design recently  placed 3rd at the
WIPO Award for Creativity.
The concept is exceptionally dynamic and versatile. You have one fine piece of jewellery which you can combine with anything you favour from your accessories wardrobe. Get the curved shape made from sterling silver sheet and add to it a proposed attachment or scarf to create multiple wearable alternatives to satisfy your mood and outfit, whatever the occasion, whatever your age.
The simple detachability and attachability concept is quite fun and helps you avoid the 'stuck-in-a-rut' outfit everytime.
I thought it was a fun transformable item to have and know you will be quite curious to see more of it here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hortensia with love

Some days ago I was gifted a beautiful hortensia plant in a colour variation that I hadn't seen ever before. Hortensias are popular Mother's Day flowers on the Mediterranean island where I live and a variety of these coloured blooms are found on display almost everywhere you go. They herald spring in with a vengeance of colour. The most popular colours are lilac, soft pink and soft yellow.

This particularly glorious plant was gifted to me by a lovely florist whom I interviewed for the umpteenth time. The flowers are grown by a Maltese nursery and are particularly sturdy and acclimatised to the Mediterranean climate.

The pot sits on a curious stone contraption which is an antique. Most of you will wonder what on earth it could be.
It is called a 'kenur' and is an antique portable stone stove which was used by housewives in the olden days on the Mediterranean island of Malta. I thought it served the purpose of holding these delicious blooms to perfection.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wartski, Kate and Japonisme

You may have heard of Wartski quite recently as this was where Prince William got the wedding ring for Kate Middleton.

If you're curious about visiting this exclusive London jeweller, you have all the more reason to do so now since you can also view a very special exhibition dedicated to jewellery:

Japonisme: From Falize to Fabergé,

the Goldsmith and Japan.

This is a loan exhibition which carries approximately 200 items on show. Wartski decided to do the exhibition, as it was an area of design in jewellery that had not been explored hugely. Whilst there had been exhibitions on Japonisme in art more generally (and also on aetheticism), no exhibition had explored the influence of Japonisme on jewellery.

This exhibition, spanning the fifty years from 1867 to 1917, is in fact the first devoted to the influence of Japanese works of art on Western jewellers and goldsmiths including Falize, Boucheron, Fouquet, Gaillard, Vever, Lalique, Cartier, Tiffany, Gorham, Elkington, Wolfers, and Fabergé.

Some 160 jewels, objects and original designs assembled from public and private collections will be shown alongside photographs of related Japanese source material. Amongst the loans are a centrepiece by Boucheron featuring a Japanese boy painting a screen, a diamond-set corsage ornament by Vever composed of a spray of cherry blossom measuring 29 cm, a winter landscape pendant by Lalique framed by ice-laden conifers, a brooch in the form of a chrysanthemum set with Mississippi pearls by Tiffany, and a hardstone Japanese flower study poised on a miniature table by Fabergé.

Open until 20th May 2011, 11am to 5pm (closed Sunday) at
Wartski, 14 Grafton Street, London W1S 4DE.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Versace Style

Some time ago, my good blogger friend Sharon of My Style - Fashion, Vintage and Me.... wrote a lovely post about one of my fave designers - Versace which you can read here.
I dug out the picture above from a 1980s magazine which I think pretty much shows the impact of this great designer's flair for mixing and matching colours and textiles.
So imagine my enthusiasm when I also came across this fabulous blouse...

which encapsulates the 80s pretty vividly with a cacophony of colours, shoulder pads, flounces and sheer fabric. It's not a Versace, but I think it is simply fab... check it out here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fireworks Festa

Bang, Boom and Varoom!
Last weekend I was invited to enjoy an open-air barbecue in a historic landmark on the island of Malta from where we could all later on enjoy the spectacle offered by the Malta Fireworks Festival.
Held in the Grand Harbour of Malta, the fireworks festival was really a wonderful event as you can see...
The colour effects were magnificent and the festival well and truly opened the festa season which starts off during May and spans throughout the whole of summer on Malta. Each village and town has its own 'festa' and fireworks are the order of the day.

The old capital city of Valletta is seen clearly as a backdrop to these marvellous fireworks which were launched off a floating barge in the middle of the port.

Cheers to all!