Monthly Archives: April 2012

Summer Blooms

It isn’t going to come as a surprise to hear that I love jewellery, but as I know you have noticed, I go through stages of what type of jewellery I take to wearing. So many people asked me if I didn’t like earrings or if I didn’t in fact have my ears pierced (three in each ear should you wonder). The truth is I just go through phases on what I feel like wearing be it rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches. I have no real answer about why I do this, maybe my brain can’t cope with too much choice! Anyway for the last few months earrings have indeed been my thing, little ones, big one, studs, dangly, clips and pierced, the more the merrier! My ears are sensitive to changing earrings too often however so I tend to keep in one pair of small studs which I sleep in, shower in, everything. Finding such a pair of ‘keeper’ earrings isn’t as simple a task as you might think. First of all they need to be of a pure metal such as silver or gold, costume studs are fine but irritate after a while. Second they need to be comfortable so they don’t spike you when asleep or catching in your hair. They also need to be very well made to take such abuse. See I make life rather complicated!

Timothy Roe, provider of bespoke jewellery, based in West Sussex, kindly sent me these yellow enamel ‘Blossom’ earrings, from the Spinning Jewellery collection. Now I was more than familiar with the prestige jeweller however for the very small sum of £19 I didn’t expect the superb quality the earrings turned out to be! I mean I thought they would be nice but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away. The weight of the piece, the exquisite details such as the petals cast on the back, the high shine finish and the perfect enameling everything done to perfection. To top all that the earrings arrived in a ribbon tie pouch and a sumptuous purple and gold gift bag. A little piece of luxury.

 

I really like the idea of the Spinning Jewellery collection which also includes stackable rings. I always mix up earrings and often wear three different studs in each ear so I know I will be going back to Timothy Roe for another visit. The stacking rings are great fun too, they vary in price but the Primo collection is just £19 each too. Which is affordable enough for you to build up a nice stack, or even wear singles on each finger – ok I have given this way too much thought I know, a shopping splurge is coming on. But when the jewellery is such fine quality you know you are buying something which will last.

Timothy Roe certainly put the Chic in Chichester ;)

The Near Destruction of a Very Expensive Jumper

My precious safely blowing in the wind!

Or a story which could also be called ‘Men know nothing about fashion’. As you know Ive been redecorating, yesterday I had one of the final stages to do which involved moving my heavy bed so enlisted the help of my brother. I am not entirely sure what lead up to us being in this scenario, but I came into the Kitchen to find said brother poised with a Vivienne Westwood Gold Label jumper about to clean out a dish. It wouldn’t be polite of me to repeat what came out of my mouth, something along the lines of ‘whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa@&!@!!!!@@!!&$$£!!!!!Vivienne Westwood’ but he just said ‘Huh I thought it was just an old rag’. ‘WHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAA@&!!!$$!!!&*!!!’, ‘Look at it, its all stringy and raggy, besides it is in the sink’. Ok I hold my hands up I had left it in the sink as I was about to hand wash it, but come on even scrunched up and inside out surely it looks like a very expensive jumper right? Right????

Work Wear – Not a term I tend to use

The term ‘Work wear’ usually instills one reaction in me Snoozeberg!! I think it is the lasting repulsion of school uniform, which trails over into so many work uniforms and the eternally drab grey suit. Is there anything more miserable than a sea of soggy wet grey bodies huddled together on public transport at 8am? I can’t say I have ever been one to tow the suited and booted line. Ok so turning up to teach an academic day school in harem pants might have gotten a few confused looks but that’s just me. There are ways you can twist the term work appropriate however, in more subtle ways. This feature in Vogue homes in on using fresh summer palettes for traditional tailoring. Crisp white and baby blues or sand with chambray seem much more appealing. I think the easiest thing to play around with are accessories. I have always been a fan of wearing statement shoes with simple suiting. Here Vogue have gone for a quirky flat brogue which would be perfect this summer paired with a turned up trouser hem. Alternatively a stunning pointed stiletto in faux snake skin with the leather ‘Lavacourt shoes from Guess for the heel’s girls. You could also try working with handbags and jewellery. A white bag always screams summer and this season loud and proud earrings pack a punch.

How will you be updating your look for the office this summer?

Outfit: Mini Crini – a little piece of Vivienne Westwood history

Wearing: original Vivienne Westwood Mini-Crini collection jacket 1985, Anglomania Crini skirt, Gold Label A/W2011 Jumper, VW bag, necklace, shoes. Thanks to Florrie for taking my photo’s.

I’ve wanted to share this blazer with you for such a long time. The first time I saw it, well perhaps not this exact one, was at the Vivienne Westwood Exhibition in Sheffield in 2008. There was of course many a fabulous thing at that exhibition, but this one blazer haunted me. When you see the clothes in photo’s and even in videos, it is never the same as seeing them in real life. It just doesn’t have the same impact. I don’t know why this jacket spoke to me the way it did, it is very simple for Westwood. All I hoped for was maybe one day they would do a reproduction on the Red Label, never in my dreams did I ever think I would own an original. But there you go stalking auctions sometimes pay off! I would absolutely love an original Crini to go with it, I’ve seen a few come up for auction so one day I might get one, you never know! The Crini I am wearing here is an Anglomania reproduction, they have done them again this season in black and also in a pretty abstract floral print which is cute. The Crini, based on Victorian Crinoline’s, first graced Westwood’s runway in 1985 for the spring/ summer ‘Mini Crini’ collection (see below), it also made an appearance in the popular autumn/ winter 1987 ‘Harris Tweed’ collection. The first collection saw the Crini in bright printed  cotton, stars, stripes and polka-dots. Harris Tweed brought us the Crini in rich velvets and delicate lace (Second row, right). The quirky skirts fit perfectly tucked under the cropped blazers and even giving lift to floating dresses when huddled beneath. Worn with bow topped crepe soled creepers or  wooden soled ‘Rocking Horse’ shoes, the whole look is pure whimsy and I just love it!

(Runway and editorial images courtesy of Vivienne Westwood; all other images copyright to Fashion Pearls of Wisdom)

Shoes: New Kicks

Keds ‘Celeb Jersey’

“A Ked.” “A what now?” “Keds.” “Huh???” This was pretty much how my first conversation about Keds went. It would seem the rest of the world have been wearing them for ages. The go-to shoe for a touch of cool with added comfort! But as a heels girl they were lost on me. As it happened I was familiar with the style and once brought to my attention I saw them everywhere. On guys and girls, with skinny jeans and spring dresses. They had my attention so I decided to find out more about this new shoe trend. Turns out it wasn’t a new trend at all. Keds are almost 100 years old. First launched in 1916, their unique soft rubber sole coining the moniker ‘Sneakers’. The simple, low top trainers have been worn by many famous faces such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Quite frankly I was sold. Both women after my own heart, fellow lovers of high waist jeans, adding a simple sweater or white shirt to finish off the Keds look. You can’t deny it is is rather chic, in that innocent, girl next door kind of way. I think the beguiling quality of them is to wear them with something you would usually add heels to. These days Keds produce the shoes in many different colours and fabrics yet the original ‘Champion‘ and it’s slightly chunkier sister ‘Celeb‘ are the classic styles. I chose the grey jersey ‘Celeb’, because my love of the fabric holds no bounds. I am looking forward to styling these up à la Marilyn or Audrey? À la Pearl!

Marilyn Monroe in ‘Clash By Night’, 1952; Audrey Hepburn in ‘Two for the Road’, 1967.

(Images: Stumptownmag.com; TheDaily.com)

Little Treats

I decided I needed a break from the decorating so headed into town to have a look for some accessories. What I was really after was a lamp. Having exhausted eBay for a quirky retro one I decided to see what I could find in the shops. I saw a few nice ones in Debenhams a parrot is running favourite, but since I am in no rush for it I decided to have a look around. I have found really unique things in the past from TK Maxx so decided to have a look, they also have designer clothes for men (just in case I hadn’t mentioned that). I had absolutely no intention of looking at clothes or accessories, certainly not sunglasses but some how found myself leaving the store with yet another pair!

How could I resist these embellished Karl Lagerfeld ones for £24.99! They look black but are actually layers of blue and yellow plexi. I also thought it was about time I showed you the treasured Celine’s I picked up the other week. A tip for when buying sunglasses in TK Maxx, as they don’t always have the matching case – sometimes they don’t get sent with cases at all , other times the case’s come in later- at the till ask them to write the brand of the sunglasses on your receipt and that you didn’t get a case. Then if you happen to be in the next time and they do have the matching case you can pick it up so long as you have your receipt. I do have to add though, you are getting so much off the RRP I wouldn’t worry about the case all too much. I also took home two books ‘After a Fashion’ and ‘Vintage Jewellery’ both beautiful coffee table tomes I will enjoy looking through. Especially as the former has lots of Vivienne Westwood images. My favourite scents are Lavender and Violet so I couldn’t resist this delicious Castelbel scented candle, perfect for getting rid of the smell of paint.

Have a great weekend

Clothes Swapping Event & Fashion Show in Manchester 26th April

I am absolutely delighted to be able to tell you about such a fabulous event!

Fashion Exchange

Tickets just £1 – although please feel free to donate more as it all goes to Cancer Research

6.30-9pm 26th April 2012

The Bird Cage, Manchester hosts TK Maxx’s ‘Fashion Exchange’ in aid of Give up Clothes for Good for Cancer Research.

The Birdcage
Withy grove
Manchester
United Kingdom-M4 3AQ

A fun filled night of fashion! You can enjoy catwalk shows, swap your old clothes, up-cycle and restyle clothes, have make-overs and get tips from stylists.

How it works:

Bring at least 3 items of clothing to be able to join in the swap, if you don’t have anything to bring then you may purchase items, all with a flat fee of £2.

Tickets for the event are £5 each, buy in the Manchester TK Maxx Arndale / Market Street store or online here (don’t forget to bring your tickets / online print offs on the night).

If you have more items to donate then bring them along as this is all part of the Give up Clothes for Good campaign or drop them off in any TK Maxx store.

 Please only bring good quality clothes which are in great condition. Something you would be delighted to take home yourself!

Any clothes left over on the night will be sent off to Cancer Research with the other clothes TK Maxx are collecting for them, then sold in their shops.

All money raised will go to Caner Research.

I guarantee this will be a fabulous night, I will be there styling and should any other stylists / hair / make-up artists want to help out volunteers are welcome please email me fashionpearlsofwisdom@googlemail.com.

Please help spread the word, tell your friends, tweet, Facebook, blog, it is all for a very good cause.

Any questions just let me know????

Life After Picnik? Trust Me There Are More Photo Editing Options

It is the 19th of April and to those of us who don’t use Photoshop, it can only mean one thing. The day photo editing site Picnik closes.

Ok so we are positively told that we won’t loose our precious Picnik all together, oh no much worse it will be merging with Google+. Oh yes another way to try and force us into using it. For us non-Blogger bloggers Google just took away our Google Friend Connect and moved the Blogger search feature to the main search option whilst hiding the ‘other’ blog operator search’s way in the back of beyond. Creating a bias and enlarging the divide between blog operators. Rather than just improve the Blogger service, you know so it actually rivals WordPress would have been too hard work, instead they are preferring bully-boy tactics.  Don’t get me wrong I used Blogger for two years and think it is a really easy system to use, however it doesn’t allow you the same customisation you can get with WordPress. I felt I had no choice but to switch. I use Google mail (no I don’t like all the new features they keep adding, like the pointless ‘important’ tags) and Google search engine, I don’t hate Google, but I do hate feeling like I am being held to ransom and having my choices taken away. Already having had the Google+ forced onto me, I have tried it out and well I can’t see anything there I really need, but I really LOVE Picnik so thought I would give it a try via Google+.

How to use Picnik in Google+

1. Log into / Create Google+ account

2. Once on your Profile, go to the Camera icon to open / upload photo’s

3. Hover the cursor over the photo you want to work on, a series of icons will appear, click ‘pencil’

4. This opens up the Picnik suite you will be familiar with

Now this is all pretty easy but you will be disappointed. It doesn’t have many of the features you will be used to, it is stripped back and basic. Perhaps more features will be made available in the future, who knows?

I do have a better solution for you, in fact it is about the closest thing to the original Picnik as you can get.

I thoroughly recommend PicMonkey.com, in fact I can’t really see all that many differences. For the time being they don’t have the college and store images features but it will be coming soon. Also all features are free with no need to sign up, yet there are indications this will be necessary to access premium features in the future. I have been bouncing all over the room having found this, it really does make up for Picnik going.

Give it a try, I’d love to know what you think!

Trends: The Summer Dress

Feeling the sand between your toes, flipping the pages of a well thumbed novel, sipping a tropical cocktail all your daydreaming realised as you finally get away for the summer…

…or not? Sure summer holidays are great but they are soon over or none existent for some of us. So for those of us spending summer in the city, we may as well focus our attention on other things, sartorial things perhaps? That is the great thing about fashion, it can transport you to any place in the world, during any time period be it a blast to the past or even into the future should you desire. For those of you who take pleasure in nostalgia, a 70′s geometrical print will be right up your street. Don’t let long sleeves put you off, in fact dresses with sheer or light weight fabric sleeves are a great alternative to a cover up. The past not your thing? Then shoot into the future with the Sports-Luxe trend. Think monochrome and straight lines, for a sleek silhouette. If it is far off destinations you are longing for then why not take a trip down the less beaten path. Think embellishment, beading, bright colours and chaotic prints with a Tribal edge. Less adventure more exotic your thing? Then go for turquoise and sea-green’s with over sized, abstract flowers, you will soon  feel like a Hawaiian girl.

All the beautiful dresses featured here can be found at Matalan.co.uk, where everything is budget friendly. You will find all the trends from summer dresses, party dresses, maxi dress and knitted dresses, you name it they have it! I also found a lovely selection of shoes and jewellery too, should you not want to stop at just one new season wardrobe update! In fact I just bought a few things from their home wear section, promise to share once my bedroom make-over is complete.

Outfit: Climbing Roses

 Wearing: All Vivienne Westwood, Anglomania dress, Red Label cardi, Gold Label shoes, Japanese license tights.

I took a much needed break from the redecorating today to head into town to find a lamp and have afternoon tea at Sugar Junction with my bessie Rich. My trusty point and click failed on me, Im hoping it will fix so I couldn’t get any photos whilst out. Luckily I took these quick snaps before I went out. It was a right nightmare trying to find something to wear in the packed up box and bag chaos going on in my bedroom right now but I knew what I wanted to wear so that made it a bit easier. I’ve had these tights for a while now and have been wanting to wear them with the red mules – shame they are a bit wrinkled down in the photo’s! I find these shoes do not photograph well, they always look a bit strange but in real life they are seriously cute, probably my favourite shoes at the moment.The pattern is actually printed onto the tights so I will have to be very careful when washing them. I am also wearing my favourite orb pendant, the globe is a real amethyst crystal – if you didn’t know I am very much into natural crystals and their properties.

Any way I didn’t buy a lamp but did see some nice ones which I will keep in mind. I should probably wait until the room is finished before I go wild buying accessories! Ive had success with a little table and chair, clothes rail, curtains and bedding. Not so much luck with cushions, it is really hard getting the right colour buying online two sets have turned up to be a different shade to how they looked on the websites so I may have to get them in store or just put up with the colour. I can’t wait until it is all finished. We’ve had a slight set back after getting B&Q’s own brand paint, being assured it was just as good quality as the branded, only to find it is so thin and watery – more so that what I make up to paint a wash!! Same goes for their own brand paint pads. If I could find the receipt the whole lot would have gone straight back to the shop. I guess I will have to settle for writing an irate letter, so that is really annoying. I’ve also given up trying to switch the side of the bed I sleep on, I just don’t find it comfy, which is odd as it never bothers me in hotels. At the moment my bed is in the middle of the room not up against any of the walls, so Sirius my dog spent last night racing right around the bed like a lunatic, he thought it was great, me not so much after the first few circuits. Simba is now terrified of the bedroom as the curtain pelmet I had leaning against the wall fell across the bed during the night, it didn’t hit him or anything but he wasn’t impressed. Even chucking the thing out into the garden didn’t put his mind at ease. How did I end up with such neurotic pets! They do make me laugh though, you can never be sad with a house full of dogs.