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Archive for the ‘18th Century Style in the 21st Century’ Category


… for her 18th century inspired jewellery!  I’ve mentioned the legendary VW previously on this blog – she really is one of the (very) few fashion designers I have any interest in or desire to own the creations of.  And what creations!  I made the mistake of looking at her jewellery collection (silly me!) and found these pretties:

Embroidered jewellery?  A very rococo bow?  What’s not to love about this pendant?  I am sorely tempted by this lovely little cupcake-pretty slice of yumminess, especially as it’s in the sale.  Luckily my wallet cannot stretch that far (even at the sale price!)… Phew!  (But also – cry!)  I was just saying to my Mum yesterday that I was looking for a pair of rococo-esque bow drop earrings – I’ll just have to keep looking!

I do love this combo of embroidery and rococo influence and I thought my lovely readers would appreciate this blend of 18th century and stitcherous serendipity.  But if this one’s a little too simple for you, there’s more:

Or, if you prefer your embroidery at ear-level rather than around your neck (and perhaps within a more realistic price range), there are these:

Or maybe you’re a bit more traditional in your choice of materials and would rather jewellery, y’know, made of metal rather than fabric?  Never fear, Ms Westwood is here to tempt you with more yumminess:

I love jewellery, but brooches are a bit of an obsession for me and this one … wow.  That bow is calling me … must … resist …

But, no – there’s just more temptation!

Bow earrings of WIN!  Damn you Vivienne Westwood!

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I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this when I first saw it – clearly I had a lobotmy that week – so here it is now and my gushing about how much I love it:

Yep, I said it – I don’t mean her (nothing against Lily Cole, it’s just not her I’m in love with), I mean her costume in this scene of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, specifically the pair of stays she is wearing.  Annoyingly, there are very few pictures around of the outfit:

Really, these pictures do the stays no justice – they’ve got this fabulous flowery/fruity thing going on and would make a great fae/goddess/woodland spirit type costume, or go for grapes and get ready for Bacchanalia!

Either way, I love the stays and want them.  I think I’m going to have to buy the DVD and get some screen captures.  The whole outfit is a nod to the 18th century, with that hair and the shift and the pantaloons she’s wearing could either be a Victorian lady’s bloomers or a 17th or 18th century gent’s breeches fancified.

If you haven’t seen the film, do have a looksee: it’s a lot of fun and if you don’t enjoy it, then you at least get to see these stays as they’re right at the beginning!

And yes, it says ‘part I’ up there – I think I’m going to give some film costume love every once in a while, so look out for more as and when the whim strikes me!

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I’ve just finished my cockade (well the ribbon part, still need to sew on the backing and a brooch pin) – I do rather love it. It would have been even better (and even more nautical) if I’d been able to get hold of blue and white stripe, but I’m still pleased with how it came out.

So cute, rather fun, a little fiddly, but totally worth it.

I made the larger white one first and while stitching it, I noticed how nice it looked on the back, so the blue one is actually on the reverse side. The button is one of several I bought a few months ago for this very purpose – yay for anchor buttons!

The button turns so you can wear the cockade a different way around

What’s that?  You want to make your own?  Well you bloody well can – go check out American Duchess’s easy-to-follow tutorial.  Go.  Do it.

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The Saturday shoe returns with a little homage to Vivienne Westwood and her crazy-awesome shoe designs.  And me being me, there’ll be little references to her historical influences.

First, some lovely buckles from Ms Westwood:Are they shoes?  Are they boots?  Who knows!

OK, so these are rather too extreme for everyday wear and they don’t really workk with my personal style, but aren’t they amazing objects?  And, of course,it doesn’t take any great stretch of the imagination to see the 18th Century influence here:

Bata Shoe Museum - 1770s English wedding shoes

That ubiquitous feature of 18th Century footwear, the buckle, has clearly caught Vivienne Westwood’s magpie eyes.

The previous shoes didn’t fit my personal taste, however ensemble, barring practical concerns, is really quite alluring for me:

Hmmm – stockings and cockades, anybody?  Yes please!  Those ruffles at the tops of the socks are rather garter-esque, the tongues of the shoes are definitely 18th century-eqsue, and the decorations on the shoes look very much like wooly cockades/rosettes:

1792 French Mules

1883 Cockade Shoes

I do have a weakness for rosettes, I have to say – I think that’s what I love so much about Suffolk puffs and my silk cuff.  If you share this weakness, there are a couple of other shoes with cockades on this timeline of Shoes Through the Ages and House of Nines Design has an interesting article on these decorative lovelies and even has them available to buy separately or on their yummy hats in their Etsy shop.

And one last pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes:

These you might recognise – they’re the infamous style that Naomi Campbell came acropper of.  Super-high platform heels.  They might not look terrible historical, but they remind me of a shoe style I featured a couple of months ago:

Those massive heels place the lady desirous of attention above her companions (and competition!), quite literally.  And as a short person (not quite 5’2″), the addition of even a few extra inches can make a big difference to being seen and being able to see.

Perhaps I should get myself some of those super-high platform heels – the challenge would be walking in them… and if you read the article at the Bata Shoe Museum, you will note that our Renaissance ancestors had the same trouble, requiring servants to help them walk through a room.

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