putting on a happy face...

Despite having green fingers in the garden, I am totally useless with houseplants.

I just can't keep them alive, unlike Queen Michelle who has some beauties that she has had for at least 20 years. I just don't know how she does it.

I'm thinking I need to take a different approach to indoor greenery. Maybe try some succulents or even a cabbage or two. But that means I am going to have to get my hands on some Vanessa Bean ceramics. I love love love her happy face vases.

After working as a graphic designer for ‘20ish’ Vanessa discovered ceramics around six years ago. She took a community college evening course in porcelain jewellery, and by her own account, became ‘instantly hooked’. For a couple of years, as she honed her skills, Vanessa balanced graphic design projects with ceramic experiments, but these days her sole focus is her ceramics, which she sells online and via exhibitions and studio sales.

Vanessa’s designs are inspired by a sense of joy and playfulness. ‘I am drawn to figurative sculpture, and have always loved the idea that everyday functional objects can be given a personality, whether it is animal or human’ she says.

‘I can’t help putting a face on most of the things I make!’

Vanessa makes lots of lovely ceramic things including the happy little spoon below but her vases, with their simple, endearing painted faces are the most popular. In fact, they have a cult following! ’I sell around 30 vases every three weeks or so through my Etsy store as a batch release’ Vanessa explains. ‘They go pretty quickly, and unfortunately it is a bit of a scramble for the purchaser and can be stressful, but seems to be the fairest way.’  Keep an eye on her ETSY store 

Now if you will excuse me, I 'm off to buy a cactus or two...

Queen Marie

Dreaming In Delpozo

DELPOZO TAKES US ON A NEON HUED JOURNEY

This season the master of colour, Josep Font, showed a glorious plethora of saturated hues in his Delpozo Resort 2018 collection. Expect to see neon in your local Zara soon.

 

There aren't many designers both Queen Marie and I have in common, but Delpozo is most certainly one of them. Endlessly inspiring, Delpozo never ceases to amazes me.

There is rarely a collection goes by that I don't save at least one image from to my Pinterest. For colour combinations, Josep Font is surely the master and for his resort 2018 collection, he hit the maximum saturation button on hues that reach almost neon peaks.

Inspired by impressive bodies of water around the world, Font takes us on a journey through the waters of what he calls "Prêt-à-Couture".

A new point of difference this season though was his inclusion of a very bold oversized stripe, which really ties together the architectural aspects of structured poplin ruffles and the loose, wafting tulle. Navy nestles alongside that bright lime green, which is in turn grounded by the presence of the palest of nude. Neon and nude is one of my all-time favourite combinations so I'm glad to see Font interpreting it so beautifully.

 

Truly a feast for the eyes. I'm off to dig out my neon accessories right now!

the bunnies are back...

Rabbits are back.

What is it with me and rabbits?

I genuinely don't know.

Long time readers will have been glad of a little bunny break I'm sure, but the 2018 Prada Resort collection, might have just kicked the hutch awake again.

The collection featured the whimsical and wonderful illustrations of James Jean...

Miuccia Prada unveiled what she deemed a “Modernist” collection in the glass-walled Fondazione Prada Osservatorio exhibition space that tops Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Such a stunning space. The collection featured the work of a previous Prada collaborator -James Jean, the artist whose fairy-filled Trembled Blossom print adorned Prada’s SS08 collection.

 

“Mrs Prada’s design language traverses many areas, and perhaps my work becomes relevant when she wants to evoke a sense of fantasy I think the lyrical quality of my lines is a nice counterpoint to the construction of Prada’s designs.”

This was certainly the case for Resort 2018, where Jean’s fluid prints – depicting Art Nouveau-esque lilies and characterful rabbits – wound their way across lightweight dresses, smocks and trousers, and onto bags and cuff bracelets...

I get a real heavy Tamara de Lempicka vibe from these socks, which is not something you say every day!

Queen Marie

I Cast An Eye Over Eyeko

Look created using the Shadow Liner in Charcoal and Lash Alert Mascara

Look created using the Shadow Liner in Charcoal and Lash Alert Mascara

 

GETTING MY EYES UP TO SCRATCH WITH EYEKO

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Eyeko recently asked me to test drive some of their products and since I've been dying to try this brand for ages I jumped at the chance. I've heard lots of good things about their products but was reticent about buying them as it'd have to be a blind online purchase, which doesn't always work out, so I was really excited to get on board.

Here's the lowdown on Eyeko.

 

ME & MY SHADOW

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This is a waterproof shadow in the form of a liner. if, like me, you're not an expert at applying makeup and have no desire to spend ££s on fancy brushes, then this is for you as it also comes with a built-in brush. It's so easy to apply and stays put all day (I wore mine over my Urban Decay eyeshadow primer). I've worn this every single day since I got it!

LASH ALERT MASCARA

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To put it mildly - this is the shit! It made my stumpy eyelashes so long and it didn't budge all day. I'm utterly hooked on this mascara.

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SKINNY LIQUID LINER

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This was an utter dream to apply and looked glorious on. Unfortunately my oily skin made short work of it and after a few hours it was smudged, but if you do wear felt pen liners you will absoltely adore this.

BROW GEL

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I just brushed this tinted gel through my eyebrows and it kept them in place all day. Ideal if you can't be bothered doing your eyebrows properly and just want a nice, tidy brow.

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3-IN-1 BRUSH

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i hate spending money on makeup brushes. Eyeko have a solution though - a pen which has 3 commonly used brushes in one. Ideal for travelling. You have a line, define and blend brush. Easy as 1, 2, 3!

 

I will definitely be exploring further products from Eyeko. I'm devastated that the liner didn't work for me because it was amazing to apply. I generally avoid felt tip pen liners as they tend to drag my skin since I no longer have taught skin on my eyelids any more, but this just glided on effortlessly. But if they ever create a waterproof version I shall be the first in the queue to try it!

The shadow liner was a revelation. I've been wearing the quartz on my top lid and bronze on my lower lid, which are the two perfect shades for me but I also have the charcoal, which I wore last night to create the perfect smokey eye. I can NEVER get a successful smokey with shadow, but this worked brilliantly. Basically, it's idiot proof!

And as well as being great products, everything is also cruelty free. 

 

floral finery...

My wee gran used to always say - fine feathers make fine birds

She made a fine point. These days it more easy than ever to find yourself some of these feathers. So many new shops ( both online and bricks and mortar) that I find it hard to keep track of them.

Finery slipped right under my radar until about 3 months ago!

Finery London is an online womenswear brand with a unique point of view. Born in 2014, based in London, they are a group of like-minded individuals who share the same goal: to put the excitement back into shopping.

They want to make modern, inspiring and sophisticated styling accessible, without compromising on quality. The collections are designed and made with love. Carefully considered and detail driven, the confident collections have just the right amount of fun.

  This isn't about fast fashion, it's about pieces to truly treasure...

They seem to be very partial to a bow and a bit of lacing which should suit Queen Michelle down to the ground...

Queen Marie

No Summer In The Wintertime

 

IT'S SUMMER, TIME TO DITCH THE PRETTY

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 

Well the sunshine has all but abandoned us here in Glasgow so I've been living in my autumn pieces, however I am aware that 99% of our readers are not even UK based, never mind Scottish, so autumn-eque personal style is no use to you guys. With my outfit posts I try to provide you some style inspiration, rather than just showcase what I'm wearing, so with warm weather having arrived for most of you I decided I'd bare the chill and get a summer vibe going. My version of course, which is never entirely summery.

In the words of Glenn Danzig, it's a Dirty Black Summer.

 
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The Details

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COS dress // Underground England shoes // ASOS tights // Le Specs sunglasses // DIY Armbands // DIY Leg chain

 

 

 

One of my favourite design details at the moment is the single shoulder. I just can't get enough of it. This COS jersey dress (I told you I was loving COS) would be entirely dull but for the single shoulder detail and it's oversized elasticated hem. I'm wearing it back to front though as the bare shoulder is actually supposed to be on my other arm, but with so few tattoos on that arm I felt weirdly exposed having it bared, so I just turned the dress around. Teamed with some fishnets, it's summery but without the inevitable twee-ness that usually comes with summer.

The leg chain is something I created many years ago and adds the little extra oomph I always like to add where I can, especially when there are no layers involved.

 

feet of stone...

Have you ever seen a sneaker made of stone?

No, neither have I. Well until now.

Say hello to the latest creations from Nat-2 and Roxxlyn...

The creation of a sneaker made from real stone was the common idea of the two german brands Roxxlyn ® und nat-2™,  born at a Paris Tradeshow.
nat-2™ was founded  in 2007 by Sebastian Thies, who's family background in the footwear    industry  goes back to 1856. The company is known for its innovations in the field of sneakers and footwear and the Berlin based company Roxxlyn is acknowlegded for it's exclusive accessories made from stone. 

Real slate stone has been made light, soft and flexible through a very complicated and state of the art technology, which was probably used the first time for footwear.
The luxurious sneakers are produced entirely by hand at small family run manufacturer in Italy and feature in addition to the real stone, finest nappa leather and reflecting glass. The well known nat-2™ high end cupsole is 100% rubber. Every single pair is unique.

The art on the shoe is also supposed to show that there are real alternatives to the common used materials in the commercial and luxury footwear- and fashion sector, showing that nature provides true natural resources for the way into the future...

Much as I think its a clever idea, they are not for me. I was however pretty smitten by their real rust and moss numbers. It would be like walking around with a little bit planet earth on your feet. But ouch, I can't see how in the world they can justify 799 euros for them!!!!

 

Queen Marie

Current Faves // June

SUMMER
CURRENT
FAVES EDIT

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My wardrobe needs some updating and these key
pieces would be the perfect additions

 

I've not written a Current Faves / Wishllst post for ages so thought it was time to share some of the things I've been lusting after lately. I've not bought anything new for a while so these are all just things I'm yearning for rather than anything I own. It's June and that means mid-season sales, so quite a few of these items are now on sale. 

COS is one of those shops I find I either love loads of things or find everything a bit blah. Currently, I'm loving so many pieces from this store, it was hard to pinpoint it to just one item for this list. The other things are just great pieces that would work so well with my wardrobe.

 

COS DRESS

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This draped black dress is very versatile and would look as amazing over jeans as it would with bare legs and your best Ann D boots...if you're me.

DREAM BOOTS

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I've worn plain black wedge boots forever and these Last Conspiracy versions are my dream boots. Sold out in my size sadly.

A.W.A.K.E. TOP

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You already know A.W.A.K.E. is one of my favourite labels and this one sleeved shirt is calling my name.

VALLEY EYEWEAR

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I've admired this sunglasses brand for an age but sadly they are US based so would cost a fortune in customs to buy from the UK. Shame, as these are the perfect black glasses. 

THE JEFF BUCKLEY BAG

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I have 2 Jeff Buckley bags from Aussie label The Lair but my life would definitely be better with the addition of the backpack version of this concho-fest. 

that freitag feeling...

I know it's only Thursday but today I'm going to talk about Freitag bags.

I've always had a little hankering for one but never actually bought one.

In 1993, graphic designers Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for a functional, water-repellent and robust bag to hold their creative work. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that rumbled through the Zurich transit intersection in front of their flat, they developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. This is how the first FREITAG bags took shape in the living room of their shared apartment – each one recycled, each one unique.

With their innovation, the brothers inadvertently triggered a seismic event in the world of bag making. Its tremors have since made themselves felt in Zurich and the cities of Europe and spread all the way to Asia, making FREITAG the unofficial outfitter of all urban, bike-riding individualists.

It goes without saying that rucks are tough. That’s why FREITAG products are tough. It used to be one. Be nice to yours and it will be like a true Swiss friend: modest, reliable and always there when you need it and let's be honest we all need that!

So I think it's more than time for some truckspotting not trainspotting.

Queen Marie

Business At The Front

 
 

PARTY AT THE BACK

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Nguyen Cong Tri is remarkably a self-taught designer based in Ho Chi Minh City. As a graduate of Fine Arts from the Ho Chi Minh City University of the Arts, he first made his mark in the world of Vietnamese design in 2000 when he won 1st prize in the 'New Idea' category at Vietnam's Grand Prix, with his 'Green Leaves' fashion collection. 

His latest collection, entitled The Collection No.10, features monochromatic ensembles which appear rather utilitarian from the front however on the reverse they are adorned with a plethora of stunning embroidery featuring florals and foliage. 3d flowers and cacti spill out from jackets and tops offsetting the simplicity of the front and colour palette of white, stone and grey.

He combines a diverse range of fabrics and textures including cotton, khaki, knitwear and PVC. To make the best of these wonderful pieces, Tri has created clear PVC coats and jackets making the wearer appear like a walking hothouse, encasing these exotic florals and allowing people a glimpse through it's windows. I particularly love the smoked PVC coat with lace trim. 

 
 
In my humble opinion, fashion doesn’t have to be something steeped in luxury. Rather it needs to be sparked by an inspiring story or the needs of everyday life. Fashion, once worn, should inspire us to shine, to be positive and most of all to be cheerful.
 

Hope you enjoyed this little hump day inspiration.

back in time for tea...

Given that tea parties feature in her work, it's a miracle that I hadn't come across the work of

Iris Nieuwenburg before now.

Iris describes her work like this:

“She freely combines classic elements and the magic of pop-up fairy tale books, creating her own Alice in Wonderland of estranged scales and perspectives. The miniatures are inspired by books on 18th century French interiors, and photo’s made by designer.

I absolutely love her work. These are like little moments frozen in time. You look at them and instantly a story starts in your mind!

She uses vintage jewellery, small objects for example: parts from clock works, old picture frames, Victorian picture paper and Images of French 18th century interiors, combined with dollhouse cutlery, delicate silver candelabras, miniature china and soft coloured bouquets. Nieuwenburg is intrigued by the richness of the colours, patterns and the amazing objects from this time ,which makes her wonder about the people who lived in these interiors and fantasise about the highlights of family life at that time. Events like courting, marriage, birth, growing old together and special occasions like tea parties and dressing up for dancing nights under the sparkling candles...

They might be a little too 'beauty and the beast' for some of you but the more you look there is a darkness and a melancholy there too.

 

Oh good grief, I've made myself feel quite sad now and I didn't start the post that way. 

*sigh*

Queen Marie

Black Ruffle Sea

EVERYDAY STYLE

 

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As you read this I'm actually up North visiting the in-laws so I wasn't able to shoot a proper outfit for today, however I shared these outfits on Instagram (@kingdomofstylemichelle) last week, which were quickly shot on my phone, and decided to share it here too in lieu of a proper outfit post. I'm going to be sharing more 'everyday' outfits on Instagram, as quick snaps before I leave the house are far easier than the

shoots Prince B and I do for the blog. These outfits were from last week when I was just running errands. Basically, the theme for these particular days was Wear All The Ruffles And All The Black. Which I think we can all agree I have achieved both pretty well. I'm not exactly a jeans and blazer kinda gal, but jeans and tons of knots, pvc, frills and ruffles - I most definitely am that kinda gal.

 
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Balmain's Ballet...

All shots copyright of vogue uk

All shots copyright of vogue uk

Oh my, what a treat of a story over at UK Vogue  for Queen Michelle and all of you ballet lovers out there. They are taking a look at Olivier Rousteing's collaboration with the Paris Opéra Ballet, getting a first look at the glittering leotards and pearl-laden costumes designed for choreographer Sébastien Bertaud’s new ballet, Renaissance...

.Rousteing and Bertaud have admired each other’s work from afar. It seems to many the perfect partnership when Bertaud asked Rousteing to design the costumes for his new work, Renaissance – a 27-minute ballet with 22 dancers, all of whom will be wearing Balmain.

Bertaud, who also performs as a soloist at the company, approached Balmain because he admired how Rousteing had brought modernity to a respected fashion house, and he hoped to do the same for the Opéra.

"I wanted to propose a ballet of today. As a choreographer I feel the responsibility to make choices that push our own identity into the future. I was wondering which designer could be the next one for this amazing institution – and for me, Olivier was the only one." 

The costumes are highly intricate and instantly recognisable as Balmain. There are jackets in a beige-nude – one of Rousteing’s favourite hues – heaped with extravagant pearls, beading and sequins. The male dancers wear bejewelled tights and the ballerinas wear glittering leotards.

 "I wanted as much glamour as possible," says Rousteing. "It’s what I love."

Head over to Vogue now to read the story and look at all the stunning shots in full.

It's a total treat for the eyes...

Queen Marie

Vega Zaishi Wang

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CHINA VIA BRITAIN

Chinese Designer Vega Zaishi Wang takes her experiences of living and studying in Britain and meshes them together to create vibrant collections which reference quintessential Britishness with an Asian edge.

 

It's June. I just bought a warm winter jacket because it's been utterly freezing outside. This is Britain.

When Chinese designer Vega Zaishi Wang, originally from Liaoning province, moved to the UK to study at at both London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of Fashion Womenswear, she became quite intrigued by the British style sensibility and

charisma which soon infiltrated her collections. Rain macs, a British stalwart, are paired with copious amounts of tulle and form school-esque pinafores are embellished with ruffles and worn with chunky, school girl brogues. 

Vega interned for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood whilst in London and in 2008 she returned to China to establish her eponymous brand.

 
 

Inspiration

As with most high end designers, they serve as inspiration for me rather than anything I would be able to actually buy, so my main take away from Vega's work is to pair tons of tulle with something utilitarian - I need to get on board with that asap.

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On completely unrelated note, I just want to say how utterly proud I am of the young people in Britain today. Last night a whopping 72% of 18-25 year olds came out to vote in the General Election and thanks to them, we have a Hung Parliament which is the best of a bad situation. Without those young people's voices we would have been stuck with an overall Tory majority. They voted for compassion and inclusion and I honestly could not be prouder. You guys fucking rock.

 
 

storm clouds are gathering...

Today is the General Election here in the United Kingdom. Many people like me doubtless woke up with a dark cloud of dread hanging over their head at the thought of what's to come. It's a sad day when you don't want to vote because of the lies, lies and more dammed lies that they all seem to be spouting.

Maybe you would rather carry a cloud than have it loom above their head. Then how about this clutch handbag from Luna On The Moon is made of glittery fabric with matching gold lightning bolt charms. There are also two removable straps in a gold chain or rainbow design. It measures 22.5 cm wide x 33.5 cm long and is available in several different colors.

Or maybe you would rather look through the rain and carry a rainbow...

Just look at these charming summer rain earrings from Lakoo designs. She is taking a little break from her shop just now. Maybe she is feeling as down as the rest of us!!!

However you are feeling, please remember to vote today.

Queen Marie

Get A Head

A HEAD FOR STYLE

I realise I'm one of the very few bloggers out there, who frequently includes headpieces in her outfits.

Both your Queens are partial to unique and unusual head adornments. My own collection includes some large Le Tour De Force headbands and extends right up to feathered showgirl headpieces, as shown on the left, This feathered extravaganza was created for me by a very talented milliner who was also an avid reader of the blog. For me, hats and headpieces are an opportunity to add another interesting element to your outfit, and reach far beyond the simple realms of practicality.

For this reason, I wanted to share the marvelous work of Jay Briggs

Briggs is a fashion and headpiece designer who graduated in 2013 with a BA Honours in Fashion Design from University of Salford in Manchester, His graduate collection, entitled “Malleus Maleficurm”, evokes images of witchcraft and rituals, with the headpieces being adorned with materials such as beetle shells, beading, feathers and wings. It also includes some giants horns even Maleficent would be proud to wear.

 

Briggs is very much about creating a dark, gothic fairytale narrative around his collections, which is why it all appeals to me so much. I'd love to shoot one of his creations.

After graduating he then went on to create the Selfridges window displays for Christmas in 2014 and 2015 as well as creating the headpieces for Kylie Minogue's "Sleepwalker" video - both a huge coup for a such a fresh-out-the-bag designer.

 
Spirituality and witchcraft is something that never fails to inspire me. Its always been a huge fascination of mine ever since childhood, I love the pre-conceptions and mystery which surrounds the concept or idea of witchcraft in general.
 

There is something deeply haunting about his work. The woman wearing a Briggs headpiece is as mysterious and provocative as the fairytale and folklore characters that clearly inspire this young designer.

 

festival fatigue...

Is is just me?

When I read the words “festival fashion” I want to punch a hole in the nearest wall.

For me the whole point of a festival is that there is no fashion. All considerations are purely practical. Is it warm, it is waterproof, has it got pockets for emergency toilet roll. This maybe says more about Scottish festivals than those further abroad. Being totally unable to handle the heat or sunshine I have had to knock those on the head due to tedious but seriously debilitating heatstroke.

But this September sees something special happening. So special that I might even need to add a pair of climbing boots to my festival wardrobe. Although I would rather have something like these Bernhard Willhelm x Camper numbers...

 

The sub club are heading over the sea to the Isle of Skye. They are partnering with Skye Live Festival to create one of world’s most unique and exciting dance floors.

With views across Portree Bay, for two nights they take over the Apothecary’s Tower at Sron a’ Mhill (The Lump). Joining them at the remote Northwestern tip of the inner Hebrides are some of electronic music’s finest. Only problem you need to climb up a big hill to hear them!

Tickerts are available here

View from the tower down to the harbour

View from the tower down to the harbour

It's quite a long drive up there, nearly 6 hours, so I think I had better make it a mini holiday and take a few days to take in some of the serious scenery...

Queen Marie

Deprettified

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WE'RE SO PRETTY, 
OH SO PRETTY

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Photography: Prince B, Styling; Queen Michelle

 

Pretty. It's not really a word you can associate with me. I don't think anyone has ever used the word pretty to describe me and I've never striven to look, or dress, pretty. In fact, quite the opposite. Whenever I feel my outfit is bordering on too pretty, I need to toughen that shit up. 

If any of you have read the blog for a long time, you'll have heard me use the word "deprettify" and you'll also know how I go about deprettifying an outfit - with hardwear, namely some kind of harness. A feminine dress with a tough harness over the top has been my look since around 2009. It's a failsafe look for me. I'm always searching for tougher pieces to add to feminine dresses and tops. 

It's a super simple look but it really works for me. 

 

The Details

Sister Jane dress // Deandri brace harness // Lautem bag // Jeffrey Campbell shoes

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These Jeffrey Campbell shoes, which I got for my birthday, haven't been off my feet since I got them. I bloody love the damn things. Endless western buckles for the win every time.

 

freaks and geeks...

Good Grief, Gucci are everywhere you turn!

Small wonder they have seen sales rise by 50% in the first quarter of 2017. 

I can't help but think the kooky bubble is due to burst soon but in the meantime this collaboration with British illustrator Angelica Hicks made me smile.

They have teamed up to create a limited edition collection of T-shirts. The joint collection apparently came about after Alessandro Michele , came across Hicks’ work on Instagram and asked her to collaborate. The partnership was announced with a giant hand-painted mural by the artist in Milan, with the “Freaks and Geeks” mural being one of the 11 T-shirt designs. There are only 100 of each of the T-shirts, which all come in a vintage-style metal box adorned with the same image as the T-shirt inside. They were launched on May 25th from the Gucci web store.

To celebrate the release of the collection, Hicks took to the streets of Milan and New York (obv to create two murals. Appearing at Lafayette Street in NYC’s Soho neighbourhood and Milan’s Largo la Foppa, in the popular Corso Garibaldi area.

Queen Marie

Artefacts Of A New World

FROM THE EARTH

Jewellery designer Gaspard Hex wants to rediscover the spirituality of the earth through his creations

 

Gaspard Hex is a Paris based jewellery designer who serves to "redefine the purpose of Jewelry in nowadays world, by proposing to its wearers meaningful jewels, artefacts of a new world." He is very much inspired by mystical philosophies such as Shamanism and Druidism as well as theories, ideologies such as transmutation, talismans and CG Jung’s theory of archetypes. 

All his pieces look like they have been unearthed from the ground and belong to some ancient, mystical civilisation long forgotten. Ruin-like symbols are roughly carved into sterling silver bracelets and semi precious stones are encased into textural settings, exposed like the remnants of some ancient volcano.

 
 
I want to examine a certain spirituality of nature which has been forgotten today and is waiting to be unearthed again.
 

In an universe where post-industrial ruins and primordial nature fusion together, Gaspard Hex experiments on matter with his own techniques, using primarily sterling silver, opals, diamonds and semi precious stones.