There are many industries that have been hard hit this year by the pandemic, one of them being the wedding industry. Sellers and vendors both big and small found their sales dropped off sharply as weddings were postponed and cancelled all over the country, including my younger sister’s. It can sometimes feel like there are so many small businesses to support that one isn’t sure where it’s best to spend one’s money, and it’s true that one person can only do so much. One of the excellent things about the vintage loving community, though, is that the notion of dressing for events is slightly redundant for us, because we love getting dressed up all the time. That makes us excellent candidates for supporting businesses like today’s feature, Fascinators Direct, a Brighton-based fascinators and hat company–because, hey, if sassy mid-century loving folks don’t know how to rock some killer headwear, then who does??
I am obsessed with Belbeina Lee. Everything she makes is stunning, whether it’s an original design or a piece inspired by a true vintage item; they both generate the same effect, which is me falling in love and adding yet another fabulous hat to my wishlist. Since it’s been a crappy year I recently decided to treat myself to two brand spanking new Belbeina Lee pieces, and my goodness, they more than live up to my expectations, just as they always do.
Every season I get excited to see Splendette’s new range. For spring it was sherbet loveliness that made every pastel-lover drool. Now, for summer, it’s Duotone perfection, hand carved jewellery crafted in delicious duotones released in mirrored pairings. Want pink and mint? Parrot and Flamingo are for you. Love oranges and lemons? Sunrise and Sunset are here to brighten your days. If you’re more of a classic babe who wants to just get down with black and red? No worries, Lover and Hater will have you covered. There’s 12 different colours to choose from across bangles, necklaces and earrings, and personally I had to sample 7 of them with rabid haste!
Folks who aren’t a fan of heels are often still lovers of wedges, and for good reason. For many, heels are too painful or too hard to walk in, but wedges are very forgiving on both of those issues. And these Martinique wedges look good while forgiving our feet!
You surely know by now how much I love vintage-inspired bangles, so I’m happy to spotlight another small business today by featuring Bow & Crossbones, another woman-owned vintage inspired jewellery brand that produces gorgeous pieces I can’t help but collect.
I often ruminate that millinery is one of those art forms that people (wrongly) think must be a lot easier than it really is. The skill required to craft a hat, fascinator or cap that looks perfect in its beauty and lasts well is immense, which is why I’m continually grateful for the day that I discovered Belbeina Lee. A one-woman business, it functions solely through the love, skill and craftsmanship of designer and maker Katie, a New Zealander mum who, as far as I’m concerned, is incapable of producing anything other than the most beautiful headpieces of the highest quality. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you one of her more recent pieces, the Ella Leaf Cap.
I go through phases of getting obsessed with certain types of accessories. Sometimes it will be hair accessories, other times brooches, more often than not it can be shoes or handbags. But the one accessory I’m on the look out for pretty much always? Bangles. So it’s a good thing it’s a new season because that means new Splendette!
Look, once upon a time I couldn’t get behind vintage-inspired shoes because a pair of deadly stilettos just felt more fun. Now, though? My god, give me authenticity and comfort or give me death. Thankfully, Hotter is here to save my life and my feet.
There are two types of people; people who love being matchy-matchy with their accessories, and people who dgaf. In a way, I do sort of aspire to be the latter, because in that chaotic pocket of people you have both people who really don’t care about aesthetics and people who know how to take a risk to create something really bold and unusual, and both outcomes are inspiring in their own way. But no, I am a matchy-matchy accessoriser, down to my core, and I don’t think that’s going to change. There’s just something so visually pleasing about finding a necklace that perfectly matches your shoes, or a handbag that matches your cardigan. Or, in the case of Ruby Shoo 100% of the time, a handbag that matches your statement shoes, a perfect, stand-out pair ready to elevate every outfit. And this duo? Oh this duo is something else entirely!
I have incredibly low patience as a person. When I go shopping I prefer to go alone so that I can walk fast, duck in and out of shops quickly without having to wait for the person I’m shopping with, and leave as soon as I’ve got what I need. It is no surprise, then, that I’ve never got the hang of vintage shopping. I live in a tiny village tucked away in the English countryside, so shopping for vintage in person would mean driving all the way out to larger towns I’m not super familiar with, and thus, journeys that would fill me with anxiety. Add in the fact that my size means finding good quality vintage clothing in my size and within my budget is unlikely and that effort just doesn’t seem worth it.
Vintage accessories, at least, are something I could likely have more success with, but once you consider that low patience level, the potential high travel anxiety level, and my overall lack of true vintage knowledge, once more the trips just don’t seem worth it. Searching out accessories online at least eliminates one of those factors, but still, it takes a lot of time and more than some savvy to find what you need or want in the pages and pages and pages of vaguely related results produced from every search term. This, folks, is why I am so ecstatically pleased that I stumbled upon Belbeina Lee a few months back. Never again do I need to search, research, ponder, wonder or worry–Katie can handmake items just as beautiful and high quality as true vintage, but with no effort required on my part. Literally, take my money!