fashion, lifestyle, interiors, beauty

an edit of London centric inspiration
(indulging a self proclaimed obsession for a beautiful life)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Anathema Designs on BBC's Handmade Revolution

This beautiful necklace is called the Gaia Mantle and is made by Sian Rookwood of Anathema Designs. Today Sian was featured on Paul Martin's Handmade Revolution and, as the winner of the episode, this necklace will be on sale in the V & A shop.

The necklace is a modern take on a traditional chainmail Bishop's Mantle (a protective shoulder piece traditionally worn over a chainmail shirt) in the form of a bold modern necklace constructed using ancient chainmailing techniques and is crafted from upcycled brass plated steel industrial washers.

I am absolutely in love with Sian's work. I love the industrial nature of the materials and the resulting contrasting delicacy of the finished piece. The very nature of the chainmailing means that they are both tactile and pleasing to wear, as the metal heats up on the skin and the piece is comparatively weighty.

The other thing I like about Sian's work is the way that it works so well in fashion photographs. In the image above, I love the way that the colour of the washers look against the model's skin. In the image below, the way that the chainmailing casts shadows on the skin and drapes so beautifully, evoking far more than simply someone wearing some jewellery.

Sian's work can be bought via her website and by commission.

Photo credits:

{top photo}

Jewellery: Anathema Designs Photographer: Robert Bedson Model: Ufuoma Itoje MUA: Melissa Oldridge

{bottom photo}
Jewellery: Anathema Designs Hoxne Body Chain & Lilo Bracelet 
Photographer: Dave Kai Piper | Styling: Chloë Ruffel Model: Carmen Tânia M. Obied

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Dash Magazine: September Issue Launch (update)

remember i wrote about the Dash magazine September issue launch? well, i was looking through their official photographs of the party on their facebook page and look what i found. fame at last?

not the most flattering photo of myself perhaps, but i'll take it!


Image credits

Anni Katrin Elmer/Marco Carboni via Dash Magazine facebook page

Monday, 17 September 2012

Heart Home magazine: 1st birthday party (September 2012)

my sister and i went to a party tonight to celebrate Heart Home magazine's 1st birthday at Squint Limited's gallery shop in South Kensington. it was supposed to be an audience with Maryam Montague from My Marrakesh but apparently she missed her flight, so sadly she wasn't there. i was looking forward to hearing about her take on Moroccan interior design and (finally) meeting her. still, it might not have been the evening i thought it was going to be, but i enjoyed looking round the gallery, admiring the furniture and, in particular, the wall mural which is a University of the Arts illustration project as part of the London Design Festival.

the gallery is situated in an old car park complete with concrete walls and floors. i fell in love with this bunny on the basement wall. he was stunning. i am going to commission my sister to try and replicate something similar for Pip's nursery. 

(more on the wall installation and the artists as soon as i receive their press release, which wasn't ready for tonight's event)

Illustration vs catwalk photo (AW12)

these are from AW12 last February. i can't wait to see illustrations from this week's shows. the top two illustrations are by Vicky Fallon and the bottom two by Lesley Barnes. neither are quite my usual style of illustration that i am usually drawn to, but i loved the contrast of seeing the two images side by side and how the illustrations make the outfits look even more glamourised and stylised than the models on the catwalk.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

London Fashion Week: September 2012

It's Fashion Week here in London. How is it September 2012 already? The air is noticeably cooler, crisper and the leaves are just starting to turn. (The kind of weather which betrays my ages and viewing preferences as my mind immediately thinks "When did it become fall? Somewhere between your ovaries and my boredom"* and never has that statement been so apt as this year).

Anyway, the airwaves and blogosphere is alight with the excitement of Fashion Week and I am no different. One of the things that I love about catwalks is how the clothes and colours present themselves differently to different viewers. For me, I am immediately more drawn to the outfits that either evoke a time or feeling, or, more often, make me want to pick up a paintbrush and create an illustration. 

Occasionally I have been lucky enough to attend shows (see here, here and here when I was last properly living in London and able to attend such things) and I watched wishing I had the time to give illustrating my favourite outfits a go. Instead, I consoled myself with snapping away - along with almost everyone else in attendance.

This year, I am lucky enough to be attending the Fashion Fringe show on Tuesday but until then, have been keeping busy (ha) flicking through the images on 

I was immediately drawn to this outfit from Temperley London's SS13 ready to wear show. I particularly love the shaping of the hat, shoulders and gloves, and was instantly reminded of the accessories of a photograph of a late 1940s Dior 'Bar' suit as well as stark use of colour that to my mind typify a David Downton illustration. 


*Sex and the City, series 6, episode 13, Charlotte and Anthony - 2004

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dash magazine: September Issue Launch

Looking after the baby today has been more challenging than usual as I spent last night at the launch party of issue 2 of Dash Magazine {a beautiful magazine, published biannually and focusing on fashion illustration.}

Prior to receiving an invitation to last night's event, I have to admit that I had not heard of Dash magazine, as it only launched earlier this year. I am however a big fan of fashion illustration and fashion photography (having a David Downton poster for the V&A in my kitchen and a Tim Walker print in my bedroom) and was therefore thrilled to be invited and to find out about the magazine.

Last night's party was held in an industrial warehouse space on Vyner Street, home to pressplayfilms, with the magazine both physically suspended from orange ropes from the ceiling (as you can see in the photo above) and virtually suspended on tv screens and a projector, showcasing the content of the magazine. The suspended magazines shouted out to be examined - almost literally in one case as the momentum of people moving past kept causing it to bump into my shoulder.

We left with a lovely goody bag, containing a copy of the magazine, before heading onto another party in Shoreditch.

Thank you to Dash magazine for a lovely evening, and to my friend F for the kind invitation and introduction.

I am wearing an (old) sample dress by Teija Eilola (who else!) and chain mail necklace by Anathema Designs (it is made out of real armoury).

(photos via Dash magazine (top). iphone photos by me)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Merchant & Mills

How beautiful is this Merchant & Mills packaging for 'everyday' sewing and tailoring tasks. My sister-in-law showed me these this morning so I can't take credit for discovering them myself, but I have fallen in love with the simple old fashioned labeling and beautiful quality pins, needles, scissors and so on. I am seriously considering ordering some, just so that when I make Pip's hairbands and bits and pieces that I have been creating for her, I can use such lovely packaging. Have I mentioned how much of a sucker for packaging and boxes I am? I also know the orders come packed in brown paper boxes and bags, stamped with the Merchant & Mills logo, and that would certainly cheer up a mornings post, receiving such a lovely parcel. 

I am particularly enamored with the kindle and iPad covers that Merchant & Mills mention on their blog. I can't see it in the shop yet but it says new for autumn. Whilst I wouldn't say no to the iPad one, I would really love the one for the kindle as I carry around the kindle in the pocket of our baby carrier, for handy reading when the baby is asleep, and it could really do with something to protect it from coins and keys, without adding any bulk, so it still fits in the pocket.

Photos via Merchant & Mills