Accessory of Choice

(Wearing: vintage dress, Mulberry clutch, Chanel boots and rings, Vivienne Westwood leaf ring, silver cuffs)

I bought this gorgeous dress from Cow vintage right after seeing the candy colours on the S/S 10 Burberry runway. Not usually a pastel person, the colour just seemed so right for now. I had envisioned wearing it with black accessories, or enhancing the pastel with my multi colour Fendi, but on the night I decided on my deep pink Mulberry clutch and stacks of jewellery, for no other reason than it simply felt right.
At least it is a dress I have plenty of choice in playing around with! A definite summer staple for me. It also just goes to show how much of an impact accessories have on a look.
Have a great week,

Great reads for a Sunday afternoon

Collectors Weekly Interviews

Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, 1940, Italy

Sex, Power, and High Heels: An Interview with Shoe Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack
Ever wonder how high heels became so important to womenÔÇÖs wardrobes? What do they say about power and gender in our society? In this interview, shoe expert Elizabeth Semmelhack traces the evolution of heels, from 9th-century Persian footwear to the designs of Roger Vivier and Manolo Blahnik. Along the way, Semmelhack explains how influences and innovations such as erotica, extruded steel, and ÔÇ£Sex and the CityÔÇØ have made high heels the cultural icons they are today. Currently a curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Semmelhack is the author of ÔÇ£Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe.ÔÇØ

Collectors Weekly: How did a pair of Manolos or Louboutins become star accessories?
Semmelhack: I donÔÇÖt think that it was the designers themselves who did it as much as the culture. Clearly their shoes are lovely, but over the course of the 20th century, you have a great loss of accessories in womenÔÇÖs wear. I like to use the hat as an example of that. If you think about watching ÔÇ£I Love LucyÔÇØ on TV, so often sheÔÇÖs walking by a hat shop and she stops to purchase a hat. Now sheÔÇÖs got to hide it from Ricky because God forbid he sees it. ItÔÇÖs the hat that she must have, the hat, the hat, the hat. Along the same lines, we had white gloves and we had pearls and we had other similar ways of expressing status.
With the loss of iconic
accessories like those, shoes carry a greater burden of meaning. We now require shoes to really, as someone said, punctuate our fashionable outfit or unfashionable outfit, whatever weÔÇÖre doing. They are increasingly a way of turning a generic outfit around, and I think thatÔÇÖs one of the reasons why shoes have become such a focal point of culture. We can read a lot into them.
But today, where fashion has been so democratized, you can have two women of wildly different socioeconomic standings or wildly different social constructs of themselves going into the same, say, Gap store and buying the exact same pair of jeans. One might wear her jeans with a pair of
Manolo Blahniks, making one statement, while the other woman puts on a pair of Keds to go watch her kids play soccer, and she makes a different statement…

Liberty of London dress, 1970’s

An Interview With Vintage Dress Collector Cherie Federau
Cherie Federau talks about vintage dresses, discussing the various types of dresses and how to identify the eras they originate from, as well as noting celebrity and cultural influences. Cherie can be contacted via her blog, The Shrimpton Couture Blog.

Collectors Weekly: When did the current vintage resurgence start?

Federau: Sometime in the 1990s, celebrities started making regular appearances on the red carpet and saying that they were wearing vintage, probably in the mid- to late ÔÇÖ90s. With our culture being so celebrity-obsessed, and with people like ├╝ber-stylist Rachel Zoe championing vintage, all of a sudden itÔÇÖs everywhere. If you open up Vogue, you can almost always find at least one thing thatÔÇÖs vintage in every issue, whether itÔÇÖs jewelry or clothes. ItÔÇÖs amazing. I think that women have always worn vintage, but now itÔÇÖs become a cool thing that people actually talk about. It really went mainstream.
Older celebrities have an influence, too. If you watch a movie with
Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn and you want to look like them, what are you going to buy in a store? YouÔÇÖd probably raid someoneÔÇÖs closet or thrift stores or your local vintage store and buy a dress from the ÔÇÖ50s or ÔÇÖ60s…

I have really been enjoying reading the interviews on Collectors Weekly, and also checking out other readers show and tells, you can view my profile and create your own. A must read for any vintage lover and collector.

Have a great weekend,

How to Wear Leather Shorts

(Wearing Zara shorts, vintage blouse and necklace, vintage Chanel 2.55 and scarf, Chanel clogs)

Summer leather has been a big trend this season, and if you live in the North you can certainly wear it without worries of overheating! I really love leather shorts, and I am still hunting out a black pair – let me know if you see any! All I can find are quite fitted or really short ones, but I want a pair just like these Zara brown ones – high waist, long length and loose fit. I think it is much easier to wear in a casual way.

Summer leather, yay or nay?

P.S Don’t forget to enter my Chanel Nouvelle Vague Giveaway

Robot Stripper Shoes & The Sales

(Wearing: Prada shoes, Primark dress, Day Birger et Mikkelsen necklace)

The sales are on and I guess you are wondering why I have been keeping quite! I have, in fact purposely avoided the sales, even (make that especially) Net-a-Porter. Instead I have saved up (yeah right, replace that with sold things on ebay) for a few major purchases, which I have had my eye on. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure my bank balence will appreciate it, but gah, it is so boreng!! I love the excitement of the sales, and the firivolous purchases it brings. The heart stopping moment when you spot something AMAZING at 90% off, the last one in your size!

So, having held off from the early days of the sales, I figured it would be pretty safe to venture out with my friend to look over the spoils – you know the folorn, slighty sad items no one was in a rush to buy. Actually some of my best bargains have been picked up on the last days of the sales, so don’t forget to take a final look around in the next couple of weeks.

Anyway we ventured into Selfridges when I spot the Prada lucite shoes, I had fondled them earlier in the year but even if they had gone on sale I felt they were a bit expensive for something I woundn’t get to wear all that much (and the other things on my list presided). Luckily for me (probly not for the employee who did it), one pair had been mistakenly marked down a bit more than they should have been. So the lovely manager said I could have them at that price anyway. It transpired that I was the ONLY person to have bought these shoes! Can you belive that, they are amazing. My friend agreed with the rest of the Manchester and said they were great if you were a ‘stripper-hooker’. I was thinking more robot, hence they are now refered to as the ‘robot-stripper’ shoes. Either way I absoultely love them!

They even have Prada stamped on the rivet

I love the way the lucite catches the light! In fact I loved the whole Prada S/S 10 collection, including all the shoes. I can’t get enough of the pointy toe pair either, so sleek!

I will reveal my other sale buys soon, so tell me what have you all bought in the sales?

P.S Don’t forget to enter my Chanel Nouvelle Vague Giveaway

Internet happenings

Collectors Weekly Interview

Vintage Judith Leiber evening clutch

There have been a fair few interesting things popping up in my inbox this week, so if you have a few minute to spare on your lunch break I suggest you check them out!

First up this interview with vintage handbag collector Abigail Rutherford for Collectors Weekly. An exceptional read, here is just a snippet:

Even as a young girl, I was interested in the historical aspect of handbags. I probably started collecting in high school when I became more aware of my own tastes. I went to a small art school for college and did a lot of studio work, even though I was an art history major. Eventually, I went to one of Leslie HindmanÔÇÖs auctions and talked to her about the historical side of things versus the mass market of todayÔÇÖs fashion world. She took a chance and hired me as the director of vintage couture and accessories. That was more than three years ago.

Collectors Weekly: Who are the major couturiers and couture houses?
Rutherford: Historically, the biggest and best known couture houses have included Chanel, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Armani Priv├®, Elie Saab, Givenchy, and Christian Dior. Karl Lagerfeld has been at Chanel since the early ÔÇÖ80s. Valentino, who started in the 1960s, just retired, but heÔÇÖs already had two new designers enter the fold. Hubert de Givenchy is no longer around and Christian Lacroix had to declare bankruptcy and was bought out.

Collectors Weekly: What other fashion houses that werenÔÇÖt couture-caliber produced high-fashion purses?
Rutherford: Well, in addition to Hermès and Gucci there was Louis Vuitton. The foundation of those three companies was their leather goods. Louis Vuitton started out as a trunk company. Like Hermès, I think they did some equestrian wear, too. Gucci made trunks and so did Goyard.
Changes in modes of travel led them to switch to
handbags and accessories because people no longer traveled with trunksÔÇöthese companies also got into regular luggage. From there, they saw a huge area for growth. Luggage and bags are a big part of the fashion industry today, and it all started in the mid-20th century.

You can read the full interview here


Next up is the inovate website

“Design. Upload. Vote. If you win, you will receive euro 5-for every item of your design sold by useabrand!
If your design receives the most votes, you will receive one free article of that design and Ôé¼5 of each article of your winning design sold on our online or Zollergasse shops. If you get 2nd or 3rd place, donÔÇÖt despair, as you will receive a gift certificate of Ôé¼50 or Ôé¼30, respectively. You can enter your designs every month, under either menÔÇÖs or ladiesÔÇÖ fashions.
The procedure: grab a pencil and sketch your design ideas. It could be that perfect piece of clothing that youÔÇÖve been wanting for so long but couldnÔÇÖt find in any store or it could be the next fashion trend that sweeps across the world!”

Sounds like a fun way for budding designers to get started!

Fifty Dollar Vintage

Finally the lovely Fifity Dollar Vintage are offering my readers 15% off, unfortunately they can only ship to the US at the moment but hope to go international soon. They have some lovely pieces I am sure my US friends will love.

Happy clicking, Pearl!

P.S Don’t forget to enter my Chanel Nouvelle Vague Giveaway

Thank you VERY much

(Wearing: Fearne Cotton for Very dress, tribal necklace Very, shoes Topshop Boutique, belt Vivienne Westwood, vintage jacket and cuffs gift from mum handmade in Granada)

I was delighted when asked me to review some of their products, as I had heard so much about the website but never actually visited. They have a wide variety of clothes and
but I wanted to try something from one of their specialist ranges. I chose this dress from the Fearne Cotton collection, and a silver and blue beaded necklace.

Luckily I got this gorgeous sunny day to get some great images, you know I am not usually one for a full on photo shoot! But I was so pleased with the dress, for £39 (it is now on sale £15.50) I was a bit dubious to what the quality and fit would be like, but I need not have worried! The fabric is a really good weight so it hangs beautifully, I belted it but it also looks great loose with black tights (will show you that look soon). I wanted to do a tribal look, but without the bight colours so the black and white print was perfect for me, subtly accessorised with the blue necklace (£11 bargain). I just adore the drapy sleeves, and cut.

I also wanted to show you the website images too, as for me not being able to touch items puts me off internet shopping sometimes, as I hate the disappointment of something not being quite what you expected. Once again I only have praise, I think both items are gorgeous and at such great prices! I received so many compliments today on my dress, with everyones jaw dropping when I revealed where it was from, and the prices. I think you will agree it could quite easily pass for designer.

The site gave details on the fabric, fit and the trends the dress featured which was really helpful. As it stated the dress was over-sized I went for my usual size instead of a size bigger which I usually go for when I want a loose, casual fit. It was also helpful to see the photo of Fearne Cotton wearing the dress, as most people are familiar with her look and style, so it was easier for me to judge how it would look on me. For instance I know Fearne is quite tall so I expected the dress to be longer on me at only 5.2″.

I would love to know if any of you have shopped on, and of course what do you think of my picks?

Pearl x
P.S Don’t forget to enter my Chanel Nouvelle Vague Giveaway

N.B. sent me the dress and necklace free of charge, I accepted the gifts on the understanding that if I could, if I so chose, write a unbiased review which is my own, unedited, opinion.

WIN: CHANEL Nouvelle Vague Nail Varnish Giveaway

Hello my lovelies, how would you like this season must have nail colour Chanel Nouvelle Vague? Well here is your chance to win one!

Rules are simples:

1. You must be a follower of this blog with Google, new followers are of course welcome – just click follow on the right.

2. Leave a comment below including the word ‘WIN’ so I know who wants to be entered. If you don’t have a blog make sure you leave an email so I can contact you (if you dont want to leave contact details on the blog make sure you check back on July 1st and if you have won you can email me).

3. For an extra entries tweet about the competition, blog about the competition and /or face book it- and make sure you tell me in your comment.

4. The winner will be announced on the blog and contacted on July 1st.

Good luck!
P.S Open to International readers too!
P.P.S The winner will be randomly selected by names drawn from a hat so everyone has a fair chance of winning

Pondering Louis Vuitton

(Wearing: vintage dress, Givenchy belt, Chanel clogs, ring and vintage bag, Matthew Williamson for H&M mens sunglasses, and yes my skin is the exact colour of marble!!)
I couldn’t resist daydreaming I was in Paris in front of the new Louis Vuitton window!

But it also reminded me of something that was in the news a while back, the banning of the new LV adverts.
The Daily Mail reported:
With its handbags selling for thousands, Louis Vuitton has built its reputation on the highest quality.
But advertising watchdogs have found the French design house guilty of misleading customers with two advertisements depicting its ‘craftsmen’ – because the bags are not actually made by hand.
Despite ads showing a ‘seamstress with linen thread’ and boasting of ‘infinite patience’, bags bearing the trademark pattern of an interwoven ‘L’ and ‘V’ are predominantly created by machine.
The adverts read:
‘The seamstress with linen thread and beeswax. A needle, linen thread, beeswax and infinite patience protect each over-stitch from humidity and the passage of time.
‘One could say that a Louis Vuitton bag is a collection of details. But with so much attention lavished on every one, should we only call them details?’

‘The young woman and the tiny folds. In everything from Louis Vuitton, there are elements that cannot be fully explained. ‘
‘What secret little gestures do our craftsmen discretely pass on? How do we blend innate skill and inherent prowess?
‘Or how can five tiny folds lengthen the life of a wallet? Let’s allow these mysteries to hang in the air. Time will provide the answers.’

Bosses at Louis Vuitton told the ASA that its ‘artisans were trained over many years to be able to carry out the various activities involved in the creation of one of their accessories’ and said the models in the photos were ‘instructed’ how to pose by experts.
Bosses at the fashion house admitted that sewing machines were used as they made the items ‘more secure and (were) necessary for strength, accuracy and durability’.
But ASA bosses found that Louis Vuitton were in breach of the truthfulness clause, saying it ‘considered that consumers would interpret the image of a woman using a needle and thread to stitch the handle of a bag in the ad to mean that Louis Vuitton bags were hand-stitched’.

Personally I had always presumed that most of the stitching was done on sewing machines, and that the bags were then constructed by hand. I just wondered what everyone else thought? Do you think the adverts are misleading?

The Mother of All Charity Shop Finds

(Wearing: Ann Demeulemeester leather jacket and boots, Christopher Kane T-shirt, vintage belt and pants)
I must admit I have been quite lucky over the years hunting out bargains, but this I think has to be one of the best finds ever. It literally had me squealing, an Ann Demeulemeester leather biker jacket!!!!!

There is this little charity shop (sorry will have to go back and check the name but it is behind Kendals, Manchester), which specialises in designer clothes. We only went as there used to be a specialist gown consignment store next to it (which apparently closed down 6 years ago, well I did say I hadn’t be for a while). They had an array of things, some new some worn, all different designers such as Westwood, Cavalli, Prada, Vuitton, but I certainly didn’t expect to find Ann D! The jacket was new, it still had part of the tag and it was one of those things on my ‘dream list’ (along with a Birkin and a Chanel bike). I love the double zips, which allow you to create different looks too. I know this will be a staple in my wardrobe for years to come.