Friday, 6 March 2015

Different Ways of Accessorising a Blouse / Silk Top

There are signs that you are getting older not by birthdays but by fashion trends.

I thought blouses were very 1980's Sloane or the token 1980's corporate American female executive.  Alas like all things the blouse is reclaiming its place into the wardrobe.

Odd because I used to use the word "blousy" but in a less than positive way and yet now this article of clothing has been my most relied on since I purchased it late last year.

Most of you know I don't do many outfit posts so when
I do, it usually means that it has been a real stalwart.

This is the blouse.
Round neck with pleats on the neckline with a discreet opening with
an invisible reverse loop button at the front center.
It can also be worn as a V neck blouse without the button done.

The only other discerning feature is that the sleeves can be worn loose or tapered as there is a button.

I like brooches but all the brooches I have are either gifts or ones I took from my mother's stash.
This little lion cub was given to me when I was 25 and has been waiting patiently for me to use it. 

I wore it the day I got it and has been in the dark ever since.
I find brooches are one of the most difficult accessories to wear apart from hats.
It has to be worn with confidence because any doubt or shirking will outshine the accessory itself.
I think it works rather well as a feature button as the rest of the blouse is very simple.

The other brooch I have is this one I borrowed from my mother and I also use it as a feature button.

Coral is not a color that I wear or can wear but this black blouse serves as a platform where I borrow some color from the brooch and the blouse can sport a different mood.

Because of the lack of a defined cuff and the discreet button that tapers the end of the sleeve,
the blouse works well with chunky bracelets and cuffs.
I normally find the Collier de Chien hard to wear.

The CDC as it is commonly referred to while popular is hard to handle properly.
It is a statement piece so if not careful it can overpower the wearer.

But I finally found a blouse that I feel I can wear the bracelet without feeling overwhelmed by it.
I find they go well with either bare skin or a cuff less top otherwise it doesn't sit properly.
It's an item that either punctuates an outfit or can make the wearer look like a fashion victim.
I find this blouse even with its simplicity can see eye to eye with it.

I also find it comfortable and easy to wear with my red CDC.

I love cuff bracelets and am so happy that I can wear them with ease.

So much so that I wanted to order another blouse in a different color but it has since sold out...

Alas, no silk blouse is perfect.
It can hold its own with accessories that are normally hard to handle.
But due to its neckline and pleats it can't accommodate other popular accents like this pearl necklace.

Pearl necklaces have to have the right fall and the perfect length which depends on so many things.
One's neck, the size of pearls and of course in this case the marriage of neckline and necklace.

I thought any bracelet would just be offset by the blouse but for a lunch I tried an enamel bracelet and it just didn't do either the blouse or accessory any favours.

I have this sautoir that I enjoy looking at - in my closet.
Looking at because it is hard to wear sautoirs when one is above a B cup.
It really is meant for flat chested women.
It looks like this for one minute after two minutes of careful choreography until I move.

Then it dips and I end up fiddling with it.

I have tried to make it work by triple wrapping it but then once again there was the neckline issue.
Back to the box for you my dear.

A scarf was the first automatic reflex but I felt I was under swathes of fabric.

I thought a silk jersey scarf might be better because the fall is completely different to a classic twill but it lacked form and the fabrics just seemed to mold into each other.

But overall this blouse has gotten much use and has become my go to item.

It has since sold out but I bought it from my newly dependable brand called Winser London 
( link on name.)

I have found this so useful I am considering this pink blouse for the spring/summer.
Via Winserlondon
 I'm thinking the light pink and think this might be a better base for silk and silk jersey scarves.
I hope you find an item of clothing that serves as a base for all the accessories lurking and lonely in your jewelry boxes!

P.S. I am off to Korea this weekend for a break so will be taking a small blog break and will be back in early April but I might be on instagram if my jetlag isn't too bad.
Stay safe and well and see you in April x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

TV shows roundup - From Wolf Hall to NHK

I have been catching up watching my TV shows especially during time in bed while soldiering through the obligatory winter cold...

I've said it before but we live in the golden age of television.
It seems I don't watch movies unless I am on a long haul flight nowadays.

Just thought I would share with you some shows I think you might enjoy.

The buzz about Wolf Hall the TV adaptation of the book by Hilary Mantel has been strong in the English speaking world.

The pop culture comment made about the show - apart from the superb acting 
( I normally get annoyed when people say things like that until you see bad acting / or when the acting is superb ) is that the show is so dark. Not thematically but literally. 

Mark Rylance deserves every acting award out there.

To keep the ambiance authentic, the show was filmed either with natural light or candle light so there is a definite mood that will most likely be parodied.
People are already referencing dark areas by saying it is so "wolf hall".

Damien Lewis has proven his merit by leaving Brody well behind and bringing Henry back to life.
It's so good that even though you know what happened, one still feels suspense.
Do not miss it when it comes to where you are.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Adventures in Elective Adult Sewing Class

I finally did what was on my to do list like the one Blue Booby has except I haven't written mine down but will do in March.

I took a sewing class!
I have only ever sewn holes in socks for fun as a kid.

I went to a school called Sew over it.
But it was on the northern line which had to be the most infuriating line in London.  It almost made me whimper last year and
it's rarely a simple journey.

I had to change lines twice and it was eerily quiet as
it was early Sunday morning.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Selfies and Shelfies are nothing new...

I had a very relaxing but also a very mentally stimulating trip to Holland and had a few aha moments.

Society wrongfully thinks itself advanced and thinks that the term "selfie" is postmodern. 
Self Portrait by Rembrandt
And yet Rembrandt was doing that 500 years ago.

Instagram thinks that it is the sine qua non of 
still lifes and "shelfies" but once again 
the Dutch were doing that 500 years ago.

 These exact objects Rembrandt painted 
were found in the courtyard of his home.

This is the recreation of the cabinet of curiosities that 
Rembrandt kept in his home for his paintings.

It is only natural to want to document something beautiful.

"Shelfies" were also used to examine and 
ponder life's bigger questions. 

It was also an early version of Through the Keyhole.

I had another realization when I went to Delft - 
the city of Vermeer, royal churches, and porcelain.

Display cabinet at the Royal Delft Museum

I went on a tour of the only remaining Delftware factory
 from the golden age of porcelain production.
The three main stages of production
I learned that the Dutch East India company made a large percentage of their fortune importing Ming Chinese porcelain.

Delft Tulip towers
After 50 years of roaring trade and a seemingly never ending unquenchable demand for "China", 
the Chinese were in a civil war that lasted about 80 years.

Lesser known types of Delftware
Supply had come to a mere trickle but demand only grew.
The turmoil in China forced the craftspeople in Delft to innovate and perfect producing similar blue and white porcelain that was coming out of the ports of Guangzhou.

Black examples of Delftware
I had to giggle.

I couldn't believe that Delft - one part of the holy trinity for porcelain and faience collectors - started as a counterfeit racket.

Love the green Delftware!
But imitation of goods that were coming out of Guangzhou -
the present day capitol of counterfeit goods!

Plus ca change eh?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Real Estate Voyeurism in Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam for a few days last week.
While I went for cultural pursuits of museums, exhibitions, and visiting towns there is a segment of tourists who go for other pursuits.
While I am too laissez-faire to judge, 
there was a part of me that internally thought myself 
a morally upright European citizen because 
I was not interested in peeping through 
the windows of the red light district.

But then I scrolled through my pictures
I took and it turns out that I am a peeping tom of a different sort...

Luckily the Dutch don't attach much importance to window treatments!
The first thing I noticed the time I visited in my teens was that I could look inside people's houses.
That was more mind blowing than the legalized prostitution and cannabis.

They are so open and tolerant of most things.

I asked why people didn't use curtains and my Dutch friend said it's because they had nothing to hide and people are just living. 

Then it seemed like I was the odd one out.

While I enjoyed peering in...
 I enjoyed peering out from the inside.

 I enjoyed being inside having a proper look around the homes.

I love the look of a historic Dutch kitchen.
But I loved exploring the canal houses built by wealthy merchants from the Dutch Golden Age.

There were homes on the scales of grand country estates but in the center of the city with gardens and coach houses at the rear.

I peered over homes of all types of decor and eras such as this Victorian salon.

And also the homes of the 1700's style.

Sometimes it wasn't only the style but the actual textiles and 
wall coverings that dated back to the 1700's 
such as the ones in the room below.
Textiles from the looms of Nimes
 And 300 year old Delft tiles almost became the norm for me for those few days.
 The original glaze survives on the edges of the room.

It is no coincidence that the Dutch Masters such as Vermeer mastered the science of light.

Blue and white and toile du jouy was au fait and executed without duress.

I can't wait to go on another trip to Holland but focusing on their gardens such as Het Loo and Keukenhof. But in the meantime I was so inspired by the Dutch interiors and the less than clement weather was worth enduring!