If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram account for a long time then no doubt you’ll remember my signature red sparkly shoes. I had them in both sexy-skyscraper heeled and much-more-forgiving ballet flat forms, both pairs painstakingly and lovingly decorated with thousands of scarlet flat-backed crystals, each hand placed by myself over the course of many evenings. I wore them with almost every outfit, declaring happily that red goes with almost everything, I swear, but they make few appearances these days.
The reason is not that I have forsaken my love of a red accessory, but merely that crystal covered shoes are prone to losing crystals over time, leaving them looking a bit sad. It’s possible to replace the bare areas with fresh crystals, a patch-up job I undertook many a time, but eventually I just needed to make myself a fresh pair of the flats entirely and I lacked the time and motivation necessary to devote the several hours needed to that endeavor. What I needed, really, was a sparkly red shoe that could replace my signature crystal flats without losing any of the fun twinkle, while gaining a better sense of longevity. Hotter Shoes is here to answer that call.
Splendette, Bow and Crossbones, and Luxulite accessories finishing off an outfit to perfection
There’s a lot of small accessory brands out there in our vintage inspired community, but because they’re small companies, often owned and run by one woman doing everything herself, it can be hard to discover them because they don’t have the same advertising budgets as the larger vintage inspired clothing brands/shops we see constantly promoted on our feeds.
In my experience the best way to find new accessory brands is to check the tags and captions of the photos you see in your news feeds or the blogs you follow, so that when you see a fakelite bangle or a reproduction handbag you like the look of you can establish whether it’s a true vintage item or something currently for sale. All of these businesses below are ones I found scrolling through Instagram and spotting them on the arm or in the hair of one of my favourite fellow pinups. Continue reading
If there’s one thing I probably don’t need more of and yet lately I can’t help but keep buying, it’s handbags. Specifically, beautiful summery-feeling wicker and woven bags. I don’t know whether it’s because the delay in our due spring weather is leaving me feeling frustrated to switch up my wardrobe, or whether I’m just so excited for warmer weather that I’m happy-buying items ready for it, but either way, here we are, my credit card and I, a little click-happy, a little over eager, and proud owners of some very cute new handbags. Today we’ll be looking at this Ellen and James beauty.
You guys must know the drill with Vendula London by now, right? They produce cute, quirky bags of varying shapes and styles in an array of unique designs, from handbags that look like the store front of a darling sweet shop to clutch bags that look like old fashioned, luxurious fairytale books.
You may know how their designs stand out, but perhaps you didn’t know that their products are all vegan friendly too. I’ll admit that even as someone who owns multiple Vendula products, that awesome fact passed me by until recently, when one of my vegan friends informed me in delight. And speaking of taking care of lovely little creatures, this super adorable new piece puts you in mind of doing just that: y’all, it’s the Birdhouse Backpack.
It’s often considered the mark of a book lover that they can’t leave home without a book. That’s something that is remarkably easy to do these days given even our phones can house a digital library of hundreds, even thousands, of audiobooks and eBooks for us when we’re on the move. Personally I’m perfectly happy to forsake the beloved paper and ink format of a real book when I’m out and about because instead I can rest content in the knowledge that when I finish one book I have the choice of hundreds of others to hand on my phone instead of one single choice stashed hurriedly in my bag from earlier.
I do kind of miss how nice it is to have an actual book to hold, but thanks to this Vendula book bag, I can take that ‘can’t leave the house without a book’ feeling less literally and more fashionably.
Here’s the thing about London Edge: there’s so many pretty things everywhere that the volume of them is almost numbing and you begin to act a bit like a greedy toddler hopped up on sugar in a vast toy store, leafing through the racks and mumbling ‘want, want, want’ about practically all the lovely things, far more than you could ever conceivably buy.
It can take some serious self-restraint and concentration to organise your photo taking and mental cataloging throughout the day in order to best use the event as a way to plan out your purchases for the upcoming season being previewed. Sometimes I end up mentally dog-earring items I change my mind about later once they actually come into stock, when the druggish enthusiasm of the day has worn off. Considering that, my favourite part of the whole experience comes in the moments when a piece is so gorgeous that it will literally make me pause, my whole body stilling while my mouth gapes. When I’m there with friends I turn with wide eyes to look at them, wordlessly holding out the dress or skirt or bag, and said friends, often Giselle, will say ‘Oh you need that. That is so you.’ I feel validated and gratified. It IS so me, yes, thank you for acknowledging that; I must have it.
Just such a scene happened as I rounded a set of shelves at the Collectif booth in September and clapped eyes on the Lulu Hun Mara heels, this time pointing them out, mouth wide, in glee to Collectif’s own designer Julia. I feel that same glee here today to be able to finally get these sweet, classic little ruby cuties on my feet.
Look, I know you know this about me, because I’ve said it multiple times here on the blog but it’s important and it bears repeating: I love burgundy. I love it all year round but in the colder months it really comes into it’s own. Just think about it–crisp golden leaves beginning to fall from the trees, a slight bite starting to creep into the early mornings, just enough that you wake up wondering if you should have porridge for breakfast even though no one wants to eat porridge over Marmite toast or a cereal that is more cookies than nutrition. And there hanging on the front of your wardrobe, visible from the warm snuggliness of your bed, a perfectly crisp burgundy shirt dress, ready to be layered up and worn out into the world like you’re a dose of festive mulled wine.
Well that’s the Zoe dress from Collectif and I am all about it.
We may be having a late burst of summer here in the UK but I am officially ready for Autumn. Bring me tartans and plaids, bring me windfall apples and slightly cool mornings that allow me to wear one of my many fabulous coats that have hung unworn aback my bedroom door for the last 6 months. And bring me Hell Bunny’s AW17 line, because damn y’all, there are some cute-arse stuff in it that have got me feeling all the fall feels.
I’ve been desperate to buy this Peebles 50s dress for weeks now, after first seeing it previewed in a London Edge promotional email. I may or may not have bugged Hell Bunny’s designer and PR manager Sarah one too many times about its potential release date in my eagerness ever since–sorry Sarah! But finally it’s here, the dress that has literally everything I ask for from my favourite cold weather styles–flattering three quarter length sleeves, a fitted bodice that emphasises the waist, a full swing skirt, a gorgeous green tartan print and, finally, beloved pockets. I can’t think of a single thing I would add to this dress to improve it because it is all my winter dreams come true.
I’ve spoken before on the blog about wanting to challenge myself more often with styling statement shoes, so I’m pleased I’ve been given the chance again to do just that.
For me, shoes featuring multiple colours, varied textures or even a solid print feel harder to style in an outfit than something plain when held up against my print-heavy wardrobe. Still, I often see such shoes and am instantly enamored with them, wishing I was better at knowing when to clash patterns and mix in unusual colour combinations. You know what they say, though–how can you expect to get better at something without practise. And so practise I shall, this week thanks to the lovely offerings from the Spanish retro boutique brand La Veintinueve. Continue reading
As much as I love bright colours, I’m not much one for clashing. I’ve actually been known to say before how much I hate pink and red paired together, with an unnecessary amount of passion. Turns out, that dislike is more of a contextual thing, because when I spotted this Eden frilly fronted cardigan I was totally on board. I immediately pictured it paired with a sky blue skirt and a wicker basket handbag, and then when it arrived I styled it exactly so. It’s just like I pictured it would be. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?