Following on from my *slightly* photo-heavy last post, no trip to New York would be complete without a spot of shopping. Despite the majority of my holiday budget being reserved for food, sightseeing and rather a lot of craft ale, I still indulged in a bit of retail therapy and whilst I managed to avoid any extravagant splurges (I’m not counting the skirt I bought from Orla Kiely as it was in the sample sale so, erm, technically a bargain it would be rude not to have bought…), I still came away with a few bits and pieces to serve as mementos of my trip.
As a massive fan of a good red lip, I’d heard people banging on about the wonders of Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Always Red for ages but, as they don’t have any UK stores, my New York trip was the first chance I had to get my hands on it. It dries to a bold, matte finish and whilst its classic red shade is darker than my beloved MAC ‘Lady Danger’ and therefore better for a more dramatic evening look, I can’t fault its staying power as it managed to survive an afternoon of burgers and beer in The Dead Rabbit without visibly shifting. The application can be a tad imprecise though so I’d definitely recommend using a lip liner to keep it neat and prevent feathering.
One of the joys of blogging is being able to bring designers I love to a wider audience and over the last year or so, I’ve written about a few of the jewellery brands I just can’t get enough of. Another name to add to the list is Virginie Millefiori who creates enameled pieces in brass, sterling silver and gold vermeil. I first stumbled across Virginie’s work at her stall in Chelsea Market on my second day in NYC but, as I was trying to be good and not blow all my spending money at the start of my holiday, resolved to return at the end of my trip and treat myself. Good plan had the stall not been part of a pop-up and therefore gone when I returned! Cue some frantic Googling (as I’d failed to actually write down her name!) and a dash across town on my last day to find a street market she had a stall at. Thankfully my quest wasn’t in vain and I managed to purchase this necklace (which reminds me more of a fox than a cat) which I’ve been wearing to death ever since. Next on my wishlist is this NYC necklace to go with the Peter Jensen Central Park print dress I picked up in the ASOS sale.
Every stylish girl needs a stylish boy to accompany her and thankfully I’ve found one who fits the bill perfectly. As a girl, I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to fashion but my other half bemoans the lack of decent, independent retailers selling affordable accessories for men and resents having to wait until Topman delcare dapper men ‘on trend’ in order to pick up the odd pocket square. New York however proved to be a treasure trove for the discerning gent with Chelsea Market offering cufflinks from Churoncalla as well as lapel pins and multicoloured shoe laces from Curated Basics. We also made pilgrimage to Fine And Dandy in Hell’s Kitchen, an Aladdin’s cave of stylish offerings where we picked up this cocktail inspired pocket square based on an original 1960s design.
New York shopping certainly caters for all budgets and is brimming full of big name department stores (I had a brief trip to Bloomingdales to pick up a NYC themed Christmas decoration as a gift), high street staples, pop-ups and quirky independents to suit all tastes. Sadly I didn’t get enough time to explore the vintage shops I’m told the East Village is brimming with but hey, a girl needs to leave something to do on her next visit doesn’t she?!
If you love Virginie’s designs as much as I do, she’s kindly given me a code to get 15% off her e-shop until the end of 2015. Simply enter ‘HOLLY’ at the checkout to be the envy of all your friends…
My name is Holly and I am a Tatty Devine addict. It has been several weeks since my last purchase.
I was fully aware that over the last ten years or so I’d amassed a fairly large number of pieces thanks to gifts, my own indulgences, sample sales and a few friends in the right places but I hadn’t realised *quite* how much I had until I decided to take a quick snap of it all for the #TD15 celebration (I say quick snap but it took nearly two hours to set up once I’d retrieved all the pieces from the various jewellery boxes they all normally live in). When I tweeted the photo, comments included ‘wow and ‘holy shit’ and it was at this point that the full scale of my ‘problem’ (and it’s a lovely problem to have) began to dawn…
As part of my ‘TD Addict 12 Step Programme’ and as a big ‘happy birthday’ to all things Tatty, I thought I’d talk you through a few of my favourite pieces from my collection (I had thought about choosing 15 but no one needs to read that much of my witterings!).
Like a lot of people, my first introduction to TD was via their bespoke Name Necklace service and it took me ages to decide on what font/ colour/ charm combo I wanted (the choices have expanded even more in recent years just to make it even more difficult!) before finally settling on ‘billboard’ in ‘bright pink’ with a lightning bolt charm in ‘matt gold’ on a sterling silver chain (an option they sadly no longer seem to offer). I remember counting down the days until the necklace was ready (as each necklace can take up to two weeks) and then impatiently waiting for the postman to deliver the pink and white envelope of joy. I loved my necklace so much that I also bought my sister one in the reverse colour way for her 18th birthday! Over the years I’ve acquired a few more name necklaces, including one blatantly copied from those worn by Girls Aloud in the video for ‘Biology’ as well as what to me, also counts as a ‘name’ necklace – the two small holly leaves from a Christmas collection a few years ago.
From the first piece of TD I ever owned, to the first piece of TD I bought in their iconic Brick Lane shop. As an occasional London visitor, I’d been to Brick Lane before to scour the vintage shops but I’d never quite managed to figure out where Tatty Devine’s original shop was located. On my next visit, armed with a map and a vague sense of direction, I finally stumbled across it and rewarded myself with not only an epic chat with the amazing girls who worked there (and who quite happily talked me through all the pieces they had in stock) but also with this amazing tiger necklace (and maybe a few other pieces) which I’d been eyeing up for a while. As statement necklaces go, it’s grrreat!
For some reason, I’ve always preferred Tatty’s A/W offerings over their S/S ones (maybe I just tend to wear more jewellery in the winter months) and, whilst I loved their A/W11 collection, in my opinion their A/W12 collection is the strongest they’ve ever produced and marked the moment when the brand went from ‘cult and kitsch’ to ‘holy shit these pieces are take your breath away beautiful!’. Although at the statement necklace end of the collection some pieces pushed the £300+ mark, the sheer brilliance and intricacy of the paisley multi-necklaces showed that Perspex could be more than just cheap and cheerful and meant that Tatty Devine purchases could be justified as ‘investment pieces’… Whilst my budget sadly didn’t stretch to the mega jewelled paisley necklace, I did pick up the smaller multi-version as well as quite a few other bits from the collection (thank goodness for seasonal and sample sales!) which are amongst my most worn items.
One of the things that sets Tatty Devine aside from their competitors is the sheer number of people tripping over themselves to collaborate with them. In my collection I’ve got pieces from collaborations with Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Eley Kishimoto and Jean Paul Gaultier and TD have also worked with Peaches, Robots In Disguise, Gilbert & George, Rob Ryan, Disney, Louise Gray and the London Transport Museum to name just a few! Of all their collaborations however, I think my favourite one has got to be the dagger necklace they produced for Charlotte Olympia’s A/W11 collection ‘To Die For’ which was based around Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of crime fiction (and was also the debut outing for the now iconic ‘kitty’ shoes). Aside from fashion, I’m a massive book geek and in particular crime fiction so anything that combines the two goes straight to the top of my ‘must have’ list, even more so if it also has the words ‘limited addition’ attached. As the necklace was included in the goodie bags for those attending the launch of the collection, I had to use the Dark Arts to get my hands on one but it was well worth the effort. I’m now on a quest to track down the mermaid necklace that was produced for CO’s S/S12 ‘Sirens’ collection…
One thing that Tatty Devine do well are statement necklaces but as I’m not the biggest of frames, some of their amazing creations are just a little *too* big for me to wear. Thankfully, as the above multi-strand bunting necklace is made up of smaller pieces, it hangs a long better on me than a lot of their other big necklaces I’ve tried on (although I do run the risk of getting it caught in the shredder when I wear it to work!). I initially spotted it during my first trip to their Brick Lane store but it was sadly out of my price range so I had to settle for the smaller version which has had a lot of wear over the years. Thankfully, the larger version finally came into my possession last year thanks yet again to the joys of ebay stalking so it’s no longer ‘the one that got away’.
My final picks include one of the newest and one of the oldest pieces from my collection. I possibly spend far too much time browsing fashion blogs on the internet so when a couple of these a few years ago mentioned that a TD ‘Charm Club’ was going to be launching I got *very* excited! Sadly, said club never materialised (which is a shame as it would have been brilliant: club + jewellery = WIN) but a revised version of the bespoke charm service was launched just before Christmas at TD’s Birmingham and London Selfridges concessions (but annoyingly not at the Manchester one or online!) and so on my pre-birthday London trip last December I made sure I popped in. I went for the maximum number of charms allowed as I figured I could always swap the selection about and if I really want to mix things up a bit, I can always add in the little pair of sterling silver shoes which I’m pretty sure are the oldest piece in my collection and took a lot of tracking down.
I hope you’ve enjoyed have a closer look at some of my collection and much as I’d like to say my addiction is cured, I’ve currently got my eye on one or two pieces from the new collections including the Pink Poodle Necklace and the Cocktail Umbrella Necklace from their 15th birthday collection. Oh well…
I’m not sure if it’s a rebellion against the dullness of January but I can’t seem to get enough of pastels at the moment (I’m also partly blaming Miu Miu’s S/S 14 campaign…). I picked up this turquoise (or ‘petrol’ as the website called it) leather pencil skirt and fluffy knit jumper from Topshop back in October and have been wearing them to death ever since! I always find Topshop very inconsistent when it comes to sizing, which is a shame as they had some really brilliant pieces for A/W 13, so I almost never tried on the skirt as I assumed, like previous Topshop pencil skirts I’d tried, that it would fit very oddly. Reader, it fitted like a glove (or at least a glove that gives you enough movement to walk and sit down in) and I’ve since bought an identical one in black.
I’ve teamed the skirt and jumper with my trusty Dune brogues, Essie nail polish in Parka Perfect and my Katie Mullally peg necklace. I love this necklace as it’s so unusual and it always picks up compliments whenever I wear it! I’m busy debating whether to invest in some New Balance trainers at the moment (another fashion ‘trend’ I was rockin’ at least 10 years ago along with dip dyed/ pink hair) and I think this pair from ASOS would go perfectly.
One day I will show restraint when it comes to jewellery (especially with a significant birthday AND Christmas coming up) but when I set eyes on this fantastic Katie Mullally Peg Charm necklace I couldn’t wait to add it to my collection! I’ve actually been lusting over it for the best part of a year since seeing it on Fashion For Lunch’s ever stylish blog so I’m thrilled it’s finally mine.
Although the size of my collection may suggest otherwise, I’m actually very picky when it comes to jewellery and if I’m going to spend money on a piece, I want something that not only looks amazing but is also going to last. Whilst it was the quirkiness of the designs which first attracted me to Katie’s work (the Peg Charm has ‘cult status’ written all over it, move over Alex Monroe’s Bumblebee!) there’s also a clear commitment for British made quality and craftsmanship.
Katie started out working in her grandmother’s antiques business and it was there that she found her passion for silver and hallmarking. Thanks to being from Sheffield (which is one of the four remaining Assay Offices in the UK) and having watched countless episodes of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ on Sunday afternoons at my granny’s, I’ve always been aware of the importance of hallmarking precious metals as it not only helps to tell the history of a piece but it also gives an assurance as to the quality of the item. Even though legally silver only needs hallmarking if it weighs over 7.78g, all of Katie’s quirky sterling silver charms are fully hallmarked (complete with her own individual ‘KMM’ Sponsor’s Mark) which I think makes the pieces that little bit extra special.
All of Katie’s charms come in sterling silver or 22.5 carat gold-plate and can be worn individually or with several at once depending on your mood. Although my silver peg is flying solo at the moment, I’ve got my eye on these Ammonite and Whistle charms so hopefully it won’t be that way for long! I’m also tempted to get in the festive mood with this limited edition Christmas Wreath but I’d should probably save my pennies and start my Christmas shopping for other people…
I do love a good statement necklace so when Sarah Angold’s collection for Freedom at Topshop launched a few weeks ago, I knew I had to add one of her Perspex lovelies to my wardrobe!
Whilst pieces from her mainline start at around £300, prices for the Topshop limited edition seven piece necklace and earrings collection are £30 – £60! Considering that all of the Freedom at Topshop pieces are still handmade by Sarah and her team in her workshop and come with their own identity number, I think paying a little bit more than perhaps you normally would for Topshop jewellery is justified as these have ‘investment pieces’ written all over them!
I love the nod to art deco which the collection has (and reminds me of the much lusted after Charlotte Olympia Pre Fall 13) and the way the iridescent perspex parts catch the light. The collection is exclusively available at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store as well as through their website and I’m currently online stalking the Line Necklace in the hope that it’ll one day end up in the sale as I’d really love to add another piece to my wardrobe!
I’m a bit of a nail polish addict to the point where I probably own more Barry M than can be found on a Superdrug counter! I’ve also started investing in ‘indie’ nail polishes and this morning my latest purchase from Lush Lacquer arrived (which I’ll blog about later as they’re so pretty they deserve their own post). Most of the current indie makers are based in the US so it’s nice to find a UK company who are flying the flag for us Brit based polish addicts! a-england have so far released four collections inspired by various literary, historical and mythical figures (Nail polish and literature? Be still my inner lacquer lit geek!) but not content with just making amazing polishes, the supremely talented creator of the brand, Adina Bodana, has collaborated with jewellery designer KristinM London on a range of fine jewellery to accompany her polishes.
Consisting of earrings, necklaces and pins with prices ranging from £45 – £85, the hand crafted sterling silver ‘Roses’ collection comes in finishes of silver and plated 18ct gold or rose gold. The Pre-Raphaelite beauty of the delicate designs really compliment the aesthetics of a-england’s polishes and the ‘Rose with thorn necklace’ in rose gold is on my wish list as I love how the thorny stem adds an edge of toughness to the delicate flower.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to these thorny beauties but you still want to channel some Pre-Raphaelite drama then a-england’s polishes are well worth checking out with Bridal Veil, Beauty Never Fails, And The Moonbeams… and Tess d’Urbervilles being my personal favourites.