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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Treasury, an Interview and a Montanucci

Recently I didn't blog much because I was away in beautiful Sicily for three days for an impromptu visit. There I met Sicilian artist Salvatore Montanucci who recently relocated back to Sicily after spending so many years in Malta. Above is just one example of his work.

In the meantime, however I did find time to feature the lovely Phoebe Montague, an Australian blogger who keeps the just as lovely blog Lady Melbourne. In my interview I asked her about her jewellery collection and she shared some of her secret solutions for organising it better.

I have also visited an extraordinary exhibition all about scent bottles... but more of that later on.

Thanks to Liat Resnick for featuring one of the cutest items in my Etsy shop in her recent treasury called
The Very Pink of Perfection.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Selling for a Song - Pre-Christmas Super Sale

If you're looking for some good jewellery bargains, pay a visit to Fairyfiligree on Etsy. Super saver prices on jewellery for a few limited days only. Only 18 items left.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lady Gaga, Absinthe & Marie Antoinette

What do Lady Gaga, Absinthe & Marie Antoinette have in common. They are all featured in the latest fun Etsy Treasury which I created and itall about hair, long hair, and ideas around it.
It's called My Head of Hair Part Three.... Check it out and remember to leave a comment.
Part Three follows Part 1 and Part 2  which are also brimming with ideas and fantastic items.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How do I....? Lady Melbourne on her Collection of Jewellery

Welcome to the second in the series of 'How do I...?'. Our second guest on FairyFiligree is Phoebe Montague, alias Lady Melbourne. FairyFiligree asked her about her abundant collection of jewellery, how she stores it, what she collects.... Read on...

How many pieces of jewellery do you reckon you own?
PM. I don't think I could put an actual figure on it, but it would be in the hundreds.

What do you prefer wearing on a day to day basis.. modern, vintage, fine costume or just about anything that takes your fancy?
PM. I always lead my outfits with my accessories, so really its about how I feel and the occasion on the day. If it calls for fine jewellery then so be it, otherwise it's about how I'm feeling and what suits my mood.

Where and how do you store your jewellery items? 
PM. As I had my own accessories label for seven years, I have a lot of storage!! For the things that are put away in storage I use strong cardboard boxes. Any fine jewellery, for example Chanel, is kept in its original box and I also have a large pin board with what I tend to wear 'day-to-day.' I also have a cube bookcase where I keep my cuffs, larger pieces of jewellery and the shoes that I wear on a daily/weekly basis. 

What is the quirkiest jewellery holder/box/container that you own?
PM. I don't know about quirky but I bought a bookcase just to hold my jewellery. Enough said really!

What is the most effective way of storing jewellery?
PM. It depends on how and what you want to store. For fine jewellery, store in  its original box out of direct sunlight. I like a good large pin board so that I can see what I might wear on a daily basis.

What do you do to ensure jewellery items do not get damaged in storage?
PM. Wrap in tissue paper and individual boxes. 

How do you remember what you have - is there a method by which you store/organise your jewellery?
PM. I'm obsessed with jewellery and accessories and I know where each and every piece is stored from memory. Don't ask me where to find the TV remote though!

What is your favouite jewellery item at the moment?
PM. My current favourite item and one I've been wearing for about a year is a large Turkish statement coin necklace that I bought on Sydney Rd in Brunswick for $40. People stop me in the street when I wear it wanting to know where I bought it. In fact I'm wearing it as I type this!

What jewellery item do you specifically collect and how many of that do you own?
PM. I'm not biased, I will collect/buy whatever tickles my fancy at the time.

Is there any particular jewellery item you aspire to possess one day and why?
PM. A vintage art deco diamond engagement ring. Although that has to be bought for me obviously! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where on Art...?

An extraordinary exhibition of Spanish Damascene Metalwork spanning from 1850-1900 is presently in Malta. This selection of beautiful artefacts forms part of the world-famous Khalili Collection originated by Nasser David Khalili. Khalili, an Iranian born billionaire resident in the UK, academic, art collector and philanthropist. Over the years, he accumulated an astonishing collection of art works from very specific periods and regions namely – The Arts of the Islamic World (700-1900), Japanese Art of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Swedish Textiles (1700-1900) and Enamels of the World (1700-2000). It is estimated that the entire collection, including also the Spanish Damascened Metalwork,  totals some 25,000 irreplaceable objects. Parts of these collections have travelled around the world to be showcased in some of the world’s most distinguished museums and this time it is Malta’s turn to enjoy some of these treasures thanks to the initiative of Heritage Malta.
Many of the exhibits were created by  Placido Zuloaga (1834 – 1910). Zuloaga lived in the Basque region of Spain, an area famous for its production of arms. In fact Zuloaga started out in his father’s gun factory eventually transforming it into one dedicated to creating Damascened art creations.  
Metal Magic  - Spanish Treasures from the Khalili Collections will be exhibited at the National Museum of Archaeology, Valletta, Malta until April 29, 2012. 
Read more about the Khalili Collections.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Fruit Necklace and Carmen Miranda

In this autographed picture taken in 1930, a young Carmen Miranda (1909 – 1955) was just starting her career as the world's best known Samba singer and dancer. Born in Portugal, she grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After her singing talents were discovered, she moved on to become a superstar in her own right. She sang, danced, wowed the audiences, made movies until she died suddenly, barely 46 years old, after suffering a heart attack on stage. 

Recently I came across this pretty colourful vintage necklace, full of lovely stylised plastic fruits and leaves, and in great vintage shape - it instantly reminded me of Carmen Miranda's typically flamboyant and colourful Samba outfits. Her publicity pictures and all her movies portrayed her wearing  huge towering headdresses including luscious fruits. She soon became known as 'the lady in the tutti-frutti hat'. Many jewellery designers were keen to copy her style and fruit jewellery became all the rage, especially after Saks Avenue created a whole collection of Carmen Miranda inspired accessories. 

You can see her in action on the links I found for you. If you like the necklace, you will find out more about it here



Friday, November 11, 2011

How do I...? Wendy Brandes on her Jewellery Creations

This is the first in this new FairyFiligree series entitled - How do I....? 
The chosen lady blogger, jewellery creator and wonderful person is 
Wendy Brandes.... 

Wendy Brandes was a finalist at the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award in February 2011. 
Photo by Eric Michelson for Fashion Group International

How is a WB design born?
WB. When I think of a great story that I can interpret in metal

What inspires you to design?
WB. I'm very inspired by the stories of important women of history. Queens, Empresses, legendary female popes. Some of them are obvious ones like Cleopatra. Others are perhaps more obscure, like the 7th century Empress Wu of China.

What is most important to your designs - style or practicality? 
WB. There's no use in making something beautiful if it's uncomfortable to wear. I put all my designs to the test.

How do you work with colour? 
WB. I like interesting color combinations, like my green (tsavorite) and purple (amethyst) Marie Antoinette ring.

Empress Wu Ring

How long does it take you to design a specific piece?  
WB. A simple piece, like a wedding band, might be done in less than two weeks. But complicated pieces have taken as long as a year. This post on my custom tiger ring will take you through the process better than I can here! http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2011/10/jewel-of-the-month-tiger-tiger-burning-bright/

Why jewellery? Why not fashionwear? 
WB. I like the permanence and timelessness of jewelry made from precious metals. When I see gold jewelry from ancient Egypt and Rome in museums, I feel like I'd be happy to wear it now. The other great thing about jewelry is that it's not dependent on body type, like clothes are. You can be any size or shape and find top-notch jewelry that works for you. If a ring or a necklace is too small or too big, I'll customize it for you. Simple as that.

What typifies WB jewellery? 
WB. Obsessive attention to detail.

How would you like to imagine the women who wear WB jewellery to be? What sort of personalities? 
WB. The women who wear my jewelry are ones who are brave enough to make a statement and attract attention. But they're not necessarily like that when I meet them! I find that -- without really trying -- I often persuade women to break out of a more conservative mold. 

Cleo Earrings

What has been the most successful WB jewellery creation so far? 
WB. In silver, my "swear rings" have been popular, and, in the gold category, my Clemence rings are always a big hit.

How many jewellery items do you design every year? How many in 2010 for instance? 
WB. Oh gosh. Twelve? Fifteen? It's kind of unpredictable.

Wendy Brandes Jewellery

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's in That Bag?

Did you know that the carpet bag was originally made out of Oriental carpets and that is became popular as a sturdy travelling bag during the 19th Century? An alternative name to the carpet bag is tapestry bag. Here is what the lady owning it could hold within.....?

Sixties Tapestry Bag

Vintage Princess Gardner  Leather Wallet and Coin Purse

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brooch Bonanza

As winter creeps closer, we're all aiming to wear heavier jackets and coats with lapels large enough to hold all those brooches and pins which have been waiting patiently for the reason to exist. I mean, most pins and brooches are way too heavy to wear with the lightweight fabrics which spring and summer and often autumn clothes are made of. 

I especially love picking up vintage brooches and pins when these come my way and some of the prettiest I have handled have been pre-owned and well-respected. Sometimes, discovering a beautiful brooch which has lost its pin is dismaying but I tend to keep special ones which have been created with an eye-catching design. One never knows what use might be made of it.

Some of the loveliest pins and brooches to come my way have been passed on to others, some others are still waiting patiently for the right person to come along and make them her/his own.

Here is a Brooch Bonanza for you to enjoy...

Floral Brooch with Pearl available here

Hand-painted bone pin available here

Pink Rhinestone Brooch available here