30 May 2011

Paper romance...

Offering an avant-garde take on the traditional false eyelash, these extraordinary papercut lashes from Paperself should strike a chord with anyone who loves a) unusual makeup and b) the delicate art of paper cutting. From horses and plant-life to birds and butterflies, the lace-like lashes offer a striking look that is sure to get you noticed. And what's more, it's a way of wearing false lashes and not falling into the Katie Price dead-crow-on-each-eye camp. WIN!

28 May 2011

For real...

Jewellery: FAUX/real
 Brooklyn-based killer cool jewellery brand FAUX/real creates these eyecatching structural pieces. The duo behind the brand are Louis DeCicco and Jennifer Franzese, who have seen their items worn by Coco Rosie and Bjork among others. In a recent interview, Jennifer commented: "We are making 'traditional' jewellery using 'non traditional' elements, creating wearable objects that provoke curiosity. The love of the future and the new are quintessentially FAUX/real. We make all of this possible through no formal education and the most minimal of budgets."
How can you not fall in love with a brand that creates striking, modernist pieces... and then perches a cat on them?

27 May 2011

Guest Post: A Little Fashion Romance

In this special guest post, we take a rummage through the jewellery box of style blogger Kerry who maintains the gorgeous A Little Fashion Romance . . .
"I am a costume jewellery kind of girl. And I have tons of it. Not that I wear it all, as to be honest I am quite boring when it comes to jewellery. This is largely due to the fact that I am very likely to lose and/or break pieces that come gift wrapped and with a hefty price tag. It is also because I feel quite silly in 'posh' jewellery. I am however, lucky in the sense that my boyfriend feels that I worth more than a Primark necklace. I have a few special pieces that if I am honest, I do not wear because they are too special to me for day to day use."

"What I do wear, I wear everyday and feel naked without. These include two friendship bracelets, one of which I made for my boyfriend and I on New Years day 2010 in matching threads. It is quite cheesy really, but special to us, as well as being a competition between us to see how long they last and which one breaks first… it will probably be mine. I also won two friendship bracelets after entering Following Rabbits blog competition, one of which once again, I gave to my boyfriend."

"My watch was a present from my boyfriend last Christmas. As I am drawn towards quite pretty, vintage inspired, girly outfits I love that it is so different to my normal attire. It is a bright, bold, cheery colour that can be such a contrast to my quite neutral outfits."

"My ring, which I also wear every day - though do have a habit of losing, a lot - was also a present from my boyfriend which he gave me two years into our relationship. It is not something I would have chosen for myself, but I love it because the love of my life decided he wanted to give it to me and that he thought I would like it, which is all that matters.
I adore bangles and wear them constantly…"

"Another cherished item is a silver heart shaped necklace, although I only wear it on certain occasions, a fact that makes wearing it so much more special. It was the first Christmas present given to me by my boyfriend (again!) back in 2007. Once again, it is not something I would have chosen for myself and I feel it is too special to wear all the time. But I adore it, it means so much to me that at a time when we were young, with little money he brought me such a good piece of jewellery when we had not been dating for long. I always wear this necklace when I feel I need some luck, such as exams or interviews, as well as times that are special to us, such as our birthdays and anniversaries."
"I know that I will love and adore these pieces for years to come."

Lily says: Huge thanks to Kerry for taking the time to create this post :) I hope you all enjoyed it. I also hope you can see it correctly - I created it on a 1024x768 monitor on IE so I hope the layout doesn't get jumbled on different sized monitors. If so, please let me know. Thanks kittens x

26 May 2011

Dance dance dance...

Photoshoot: La Dance 

Photos: Anja Verdugo (flickr) / Clothing: Summerland and Clever Nettle / Hair: m.bardeaux

Lily says: These gorgeous photos are a collaboration between online boutique Summerland and Anja Verdugo of Clever Nettle (both beautiful sites/blogs worth checking out!) The braided, messy hair; the soft pastel colours - Anja's photos sell the garments and story of the shoot perfectly. Make sure you take a peek at all the above linked sites as they are all treats for the eyes. I found these photos via the wonderful blog Loverlorn Unicorn.


25 May 2011

Elephants never forget...

 Antique shop finds: Articulated wooden elephant  
I found this rather unusual, antique Indian elephant toy in an antique shop in Lewes, Sussex. She is made of wood, hand painted and has a fabric neck enabling her head to move up and down and from side to side. Her ears flap, her truck stretches and curls and her limbs move freely - she's such sweet little elephant measuring 9 inches long by about 4.5 inches wide.
At the time, I wasn't too sure what she was - other than a toy of some sort - but further investigation has enlightened me to the fact that once upon a time, this little elephant was a marionette! Stings would have been attached to her back, head and trunk enabling her to dance and move, entertaining and delighting children.
It's so fascinating to come across a rare object like this and slowly learn more about its origins. I love that my elephant has shed her strings (particularly because not having to worry about strings getting tangled makes it so much more versatile as an ornament). Here are the images I found during my research of one of these elephant marionettes still with its strings attached:

(Image from here - can't believe an online boutique sold one of these for $350!)

If you are interested, you can also watch a rather heartbreaking short film featuring one of these elephant marionettes here (by Catherine Jayne and David Christopher)

What do you think of my elephant find? If anyone knows how old she might be, please comment! 

23 May 2011

Animal magic...

Animal Lamps: Abigail Ahern
These quirky animal lamps are created by London-based Abigail Ahern. Each illuminated critter comes with its own silk ruffle lampshade (or animal hat? yeah, animal hat.) and would look perfect standing alone or with a friend. I'd love a greyhound lamp as it looks vaguely like my dog Lulu - although somehow I don't think she'd ever let me put a silk ruffle 'animal hat' on her. She'd 'av me, so to speak. I digress!
These lovely lamps are available from Graham and Green or directly from Abigail's website. Check out Abigail's blog if you like what you see.  


19 May 2011

History of Earrings

A Brief Guide To: Earring History 
Studs, plugs and chandeliers have all pierced their way into the heads of women and men since ancient times. Here, Lily in the Labyrinth takes a rummage through history’s jewellery box to share with you some of the wonders of the earring world... 

Earrings have been around for over 5,300 years, rising and falling in the fashion stakes over the centuries as humans evolved and styles changed. Even the oldest mummified body ever found was discovered sporting a nice pair of studs, what further endorsement does this timeless piece of jewellery need? In fact, earrings haven’t always been used to make a fashion statement - Ötzi the Iceman wasn’t sporting studs to highlight his swan-like neck, but rather as a tribal statement. The tribal employment of earrings has been a constant throughout history, with Bronze Age remains found buried with earrings believed by the wearers to act as a protective talisman. Tribal earring use even continues today in some cultures.
The origin of the earring is said to come from Asian culture – in particular, India – where paintings dating back several thousand years depict figures decorated with gold hoop earrings. Archaeological finds from Persepolis in ancient Persia (Iran) revealed carved images of soldiers, many wearing earrings. In fact, perhaps surprisingly there have been plenty of times in history where earrings have been more commonly associated with male wearers.
Among sailors, a pierced earlobe is said to have symbolised that the wearer had sailed the world or crossed the equator on his travels. Sailors are also believed to have worn a gold earring intended to act as payment for a “proper burial” should said sailor have drowned at sea and his body been washed ashore. 
The earring has long associations with showing the wearer’s status or wealth. Indeed, when Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, several pairs of elaborate earrings were found buried with the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh for use in the afterlife. Yet paintings from tomb walls also showed everyone from gods and royalty to musicians and dancers adorned with earrings of all shapes and sizes – even the poorest people are believed to have crafted jewellery from pottery to copy the fashions of their pharaohs (sounds strangely familiar).  
In ancient Rome earrings seem to have been primarily favoured by women. As women of wealth competed in the style stakes by decorating themselves with ornate jewellery, it is from this period that some of the first earrings embedded with gemstones and jewels can be found.
In Medieval Europe, earrings temporarily fell from favour as high collars and ear-covering hair styles became the fashion – making expensive earrings rather redundant. However in Elizabethan times earrings made a comeback – on both men and women. Women’s ears were often adorned with pearls and jewels hanging down from the ear lobe, whilst dashing men such as Shakespeare and Sir Francis Drake sported simple gold studs or hoops.
As styles continued to evolve, the evolution of the humble earring took a backwards step as high collars returned along with elaborate hats and hairstyles in the Victorian age. Evening social occasions did however keep the dangling earring alive, with Queen Victoria herself often spotted flashing a nice pair of danglers.
Soon glass and other more readily available and, more importantly, affordable materials came into play, making earrings available to the masses. Some women however did fear that having their ears pierced was unsanitary, and so in the 1930s clip-on earrings – for the faint hearted lady - were introduced.
In modern times earrings and piercings have become readily-available tools of expression for everyone from the dustman to the Duchess of Cambridge and have been represented by safety pins, ear-cuffs linked to multiple piercings, mass-produced copies of Ancient Egyptian originals and all sorts.
I suppose what all this goes to show is that the humble earring hasn’t changed much throughout centuries’ worth of history. As an item of jewellery it is still popular with both sexes; still used as a key piece of tribal symbolism (see African tribes etc); and still used as part of traditional dress (think Indian wedding wear and the like). But what has changed is the culture surrounding us earring wearers. We are now exposed to the mass produced in a way that no other generation before us ever witnessed. Now – just like the ancient Egyptians but without the crude, DIY aspect - anyone can own an almost exact copy of the earrings seen on the rich and famous. Yes, the gold and gemstones may be replaced by metal and coloured glass, but for a simple fun fashion accessory, we aren’t complaining.
From fine jewellery to highstreet highlights, these days, we can have it all ... stuck in our ears.

18 May 2011

Floral finds...

Summer Selection: Floral

1: Equipment floral print silk shirt - Net a Porter - £285 
2: Flowerpot sun dress - Dorothy Perkins - £40
3: Jonathan Saunders floral print t-shirt - Net a Porter - £190
4: Pink pop floral knot-back dress - Topshop - £36
5: Yellow floral shorts - Topshop - £34
6: Photographic blossom print dress - Warehouse - £65
7: Geranium print dress - Oasis - £65
8: Petit floral tiered tee - Topshop - £34
9: Floral print running shorts - Topshop - £12
10: Multi-floral cami - Miss Selfridge - £26
11: Kalidescope dress - Monsoon Fusion - £65

Lily says: My favourite pieces from this group of floral finds are the Jonathan Saunders floral print t-shirt, the Equipment silk shirt (love the styling of it as well) and the Monsoon Fusion 1950s style kalidescope dress. LOVE!
Which items are your favourite florals?


16 May 2011

Lego goes large...

Lego: Goes Large

Surely the kid inside all of us loves a bit of Lego now and then? Well these campaign mock ups by the Access Agency are right up me and my inner-kid’s street (hmm, that made sense in my head). In fact for many creatives it’s not just the inner child that loves Lego, but the outer adult too, with Lego being used to create incredible animations, accessories and campaigns.
The Access Agency says: “In our version of street-level Lego promotion, we envision building massive Lego sculptures — creations so big that they cannot go unnoticed. Lego is a brand that can get away with this kind of in-your-face stunt as the goodwill and positive attitudes allow consumers to see it all in a fun light.”
Have to say I agree. I’d love to see a giant Lego man completed by Arc de Triomphe legs, or a Lego Darth Vader using his lightsaber as a car park barrier. Brilliant!

Found via The Cool Hunter

11 May 2011

Our Shop...

Featured Shop: Our Shop
1: Walnut wood bird brooch - £26 (here)
2: Ringmaster greeting card - £3.20 (here)
3: Apple storage container - £21 (here)
4: Vintage coasters - £4 each (here)
5: Pop up 3D balloon with "good luck" message - £6 (here)
6: Sew your own lion cushion / tea towel - £13 (here)
7: Live your own story - notebook - £9 (here)
8: Vintage teacup, saucer and plate set - £18 (here)

Lily says: London-based online boutique Our Shop is right up my street. Offering a mix of new and vintage items, the shop focusses on pieces with strong design features - from quirky vintage beer mats, tea sets and fashion illustration, to stylised jewelley, homeware, greetings cards and more. Our Shop's collections are put together by Our WorkShop -  graphic design duo Pui Lee and Gemma Stanton (See also the OurWork blog).
The shop is a great place to pick up a unique gift for a friend, your home or even yourself. Enjoy!


10 May 2011

Mechanical Bride...

Melancholy Melodies: Mechanical Bride

Lily says:  This week's Music Pick is from Brighton-based Mechanical Bride - aka Lauren Doss - a 25 year old, self-taught singer/songwriter. Taking her band's name from the concept that a record player is almost a mechanical companion, Lauren's music has already drawn comparisson to the likes of Bat for Lashes and Laura Marling - so if you like those artists, you will probably enjoy featured single "Colour of Fire", available to download free from the Mechanical Bride site. On the haunting track, Lauren's melancholy vocals drift into your ears in a swirl of piano and strings and tell a delicate story. Mechanical Bride's debut album Living With Ants is released on the 6th June (via Transgressive). See Mechanical Bride at this year's Great Escape Festival - Brighton, 12-14 May. 


7 May 2011

London love...

Oh England: My Lionheart
I have absolutely loved all the flags and bunting around London recently and spent a relaxing May Day wandering around the city taking snaps of just how nice everything looked in the wake of the Royal Wedding. The above photos show Regents Street decorated with hundreds of Union Jacks (though my boyfriend tells me they are only called "Union Jacks" when they are on ships... who knew?!), St James Park in full bloom; The Mall closed to traffic and littered with excited tourists; Horse Guard's Parade; And Westminster Abbey - looking rather clean and splendid. This was London at it's best, with  an amazing buzz about it - and of course, we have William and Kate to thank for that. Yes, I may have moaned about all the media coverage in the run up to the wedding, but I can't lie - I watched it start to finish on the day. Haha. I even spotted knitted versions of the happy couple in the window of Liberty! So sweet.


6 May 2011

Beautiful bird cage...

Homeware: Bird Cage Shelves
This amazing, vintage-style bird cage shelving unit from Angel at my Table is the perfect place to display your treasures, books and favourite ornaments. I absolutely love it!


5 May 2011

Little sparklers...

Little Sparklers: Elegant Rings
1: Elisa Solomon - Acienne diamond ring - £1,541
2: Catbird - Silver alphabet rings - £31
3: Satomi Kawakita - Hexagon ring with champagne diamond - £250
4: Scosha - Circle ring, silver and diamond - £88
5: Catbird - Conflict free eternity band - £730
6: Polly Wales - Multi-colour sapphire ring - £1,335
7: Blanca Monros Gomez - Dainty stacking ring, rose gold - £206
8: Elisa Solomon - Arrow ring - £30
9: Katrina Lapenne - Old world ring, white gold - £606
10: Claire Kinder Studio - Speckled ring with diamond - £157 
11: Yayoi Forest - Lucky seven diamond ring - £376
12: Bittersweets NY - Marquise twig ring - £395
(price conversion: here)

Lily says: If statement rings, chunky cocktail rings and in-your-face bling aren't your cup of tea then I'm sure, like me, you will fall head over heels for NY-based Catbird's collection of dainty, elegant sparklers. I'd happily wear any and all of the above - but for that I'd need 12 fingers!

If you could pick just one of these rings to own, which would you pick?


4 May 2011

That was April...

The month that: England bloomed
April was the warmest on record here in England, with temperatures rising as high as 27 degrees on some days. It was bliss! Out came the summer dresses and with them the bare legs to soak up some much needed sun. We sat in the garden eating ice lollies, walked along the sea shore with the sea still as a mill pond, sat on the beach and sipped glasses of Pimms stuffed full of fruit - we celebrated Summer in Spring time with no holds barred and it was amazing. What helped was the BOGOF bank holidays we experienced just as the heatwave hit. First there was the four day weekend for Easter, then the four day weekend for the Royal Wedding and May Day. April truly spoiled us, and not just us humans, but the plant life too - as you can see from the photos!

Did you enjoy the April heatwave?
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