Archive for Clothing
New Year, new blog post? Well, after a smidge of blog fatigue, I thought I’d slink back into the blogosphere and hedge my bets for a few months.
I do often wonder whether owls and pears are really worth getting stressed about (no; OK, sometimes), especially after I started reading my (amazing) sister’s (amazing) blog.
However, in the interest of maintaining my reputation for focusing on the frivolous things in life, while my sister (the gorgeous lady above) gets on with the serious stuff, here’s a blog post all about my new jumper.
Yuhuh. A jumper. It IS cold at the moment.
Photo © Kate Davies
Well it’s in the process of being knitted for me right now (thanks aunty Gilly). I’m feeling pretty lucky tbh and I can’t wait to wear it: the project has been a long time in the making, right from sourcing the special wool and needles from my local knitting emporium (if any of you live in Surrey and like knitting, you NEED to visit The Knit Club), to finding the mini dolly button eyes (mother of pearl, if you’re interested).
Here’s what it looked like the week before last:
Then it grew a bit:
I’m getting very excited about seeing the finished product. But I think I might need a new skirt to go with it (hope my mum is not reading this, I can just see her eyes rolling). Does anyone have any suggestions about what would look good? I’m thinking pencil.
Before I forget, has anyone knitted these Tanya Antonova owl wrist warmers from the Christmas 2012 edition of Mollie Makes? They’d match pretty well methinks, and if I manage to learn anything from my forthcoming knitting class chez The Knit Club, I might just give them a whirl.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted with any hot-off-the-press owl jumper-related news.
And a big thanks must go to Gail for a mahoosive kick up the behind: this blog post most probably wouldn’t have appeared otherwise. Which would have been a shame, because then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to mention her lushalicious blog Bake, Make, Rake.
I’ve taken a mini blog break recently and have been updating the Owls and Pears Facebook page instead. (You can follow the news, and owlish or pearish finds, here.)
All the while I’ve been desperately trying to cram owl and pear bloggage material back into my brain – there’s loads out there, including a long-planned pear giveaway (watch this space!).
So when I opened my email this afternoon and checked out the brand new People Tree autumn collection, I simultaneously fell off my chair with excitement, and was kicked into action. Two of my favourite brands, combined to create the owl dress of my dreams. In short, the most perfectly retro owl pattern fabric, printed in the nowest-of-now autumnal colour way and fashioned into a flattering fifties style dress. This is exactly the kind of owl news I love to blog about.
I’d like to imagine myself leaning nonchalantly against the piano wearing my dress (yes, sigh, I have bought myself one; I bet you there’s a discount code in the post tomorrow but hey ho). It’s probably more likely I’ll be sitting at the laptop of an evening, wiping off half-chewed banana from the bodice and grinning from ear to ear as I admire the pattern and type up another blog post (while the bubbas catch up on sleep, obviously). Here’s hoping…
ps – if you’ve also succumbed to the allure of this dress, feel free to let me know and/or send in a picture: I’d love to hear how you wear it and what you team it with!
Tabbrd. Not a word I’ve encountered often.
And yet this week, it’s come up twice on my radar. If it’s good enough for Denise to sport one on The Syndicate, it’s good enough for me to feature on the blog.
So, I couldn’t resist a quick mention of this fruity number, which I spotted (eyes of a hawk) while browsing around Mothercare last week. Made from a lightly waxed canvas material, this tabard will be perfect for porridge, painting and prancing – all of which are top priorities for my toddler.
And here is it is in action. The sunglasses were not my idea…. However, it is a hardy shield against the excesses of hummus. Fact.
In order to ease myself back into world of bloggage, this post will be a short one. It’s been a while, but hopefully this pear-based snippet of info will make up for the shortfall in recent updates.
As the long list of eligible owl- and pear-related content backs up, I felt I had to move this baby right to the top of the pile. I’m probably the last to know about it, but for those of you out there who are similarly preoccupied with making sure the car is MOTed or that you’ve remembered to send mothers’ day cards, this one’s for you.
The images above are gleaned from Uniqlo, which is the latest establishment to collaborate with Orla Kiely (for another team effort, check out this season’s People Tree project with Ms Kiely – I’m finding the coral outfits particularly hard to resist).
There are some joyous, uber-covetable items chez Uniqlo (including some particularly lovely “room shoes” – aka slippers), but my eye was caught by the iconic pear designs and juicy colour ways of course.
The short sleeved tee is only £14.90 (*snip*) and the stole a mere £9.90. The capsule collection is launched on 19th March – I imagine it will be first come first served in-store; the rest of us can be fleeced on eBay!
Good luck to all you pear hunters out there – and do let me know if you manage to get your hands on any pear pieces.
This pear print high chair has been on my bloggage radar for ages, but it was seeing it used in a French restaurant this summer that reminded me to actually feature it, along with other pear-inspired baby products.
Back to the highchair: it’s beautiful, it’s made by Cosatto and has many amazing features for the super-organised parent/carer. While I have been known to resort to a cushion, towel and a large scarf to tie my offspring onto a chair, this option is more stylish. In fact, it deserves a special corner in the kitchen, unsplattered with gunk so it can ooze pearish perfection instead. (They also come up on eBay quite often. Had to just mention that quietly in case the price was off-putting.)
And if you’re using a highchair, the chances are you might need a bib (or several hundred). I love these organic, block-printed by hand, non-toxic versions by BIRCHseed – aka the mega-talented Nikki Shipard who designs and creates wonderful home, interiors and kids stuff from her Australian workshop. Find her on Twitter, Etsy and in blog form too.
I’ve only recently clocked Nature Baby – an organic kids clothing company based in New Zealand, but available to purchase online. I’m particularly fond of their pear print, organic newborn gift set (including the following items - 1 x Long Sleeve Bodysuit, 0-3M; 1 x Knotted Beanie, 0-6M; 1 x Towelling Bib, 0-6M; 1 x Wrap and 1 x drawstring bag). Follow Nature Baby on Twitter for updates and general info.
American organic baby (and mums and pets) clothing company Sckoon (also on Twitter and Facebook) make a range of pear print items for bubbas – this outfit can be found here, and they also make washable organic nappies – with pears, of course. See below.
Finally, before you are stunned pearless, here are a selection of baby pear outfits from Swedish kids clothing design fiends DUNS (also made from organic cotton). I strongly recommend you check out their autumnal pear print items for babies and older kids (see their Facebook page for more details). This fabric deserves to be available for all ages, but I’ll let it go for now.
It’s pretty hard to find anything I want to wear at the moment – not only am I a pear addict, I am currently pear-shaped to boot. Yup, in the grand pregnancy fashion stakes, there’s a lot left to be desired on the high street. So when I spotted this citron print tunic in Monsoon last week I just HAD TO HAVE IT.
For those of you with a penchant for detail, see above for a closer look at the print on the hem. Although the fabric is one hundred per cent polyester, at least you can machine wash this little number – handy if, like me, you are followed round by little grubby hands all day just at knee height.
Anyhow, back to business: the main colour of the tunic is navy blue with a tiny flower print and the refreshing (zingy even!) hemline design. The neckline and sleeves are gathered delicately, and the whole ensemble is sheer without being revealing. Also, crucially, you can fit into it if you’re pregnant and will still look gorgeously glam if you happen not to be. Win win.
Because I have fallen woefully behind in my recent blogging mission, I failed to cover any of this year’s spring catwalk marvels featuring pears. But as you will already know, citrus prints and fruity designs were all the rage at the start (and even during the middle) of 2011. So for the sake of posterity, and in honour of the first day of London Fashion Week, I must include two of my favourite fruity (pear) offerings from Moschino and Stella McCartney (as featured on The Fashion Barbie Blogspot and the May 2011 edition of Elle Decor respectively):
In case you don’t (or didn’t – who knows if you could still buy last season’s/last year’s collection) have $1,095 spare to splash on this SM citrus print cotton tunic dress, then I can heartily recommend Monsoon instead. And if anyone knows where I can buy lime green maternity tights then pretty please, leave me a comment and a link below. My fave tights shop (Tabio) only makes black tights for ladies with child. What the heck is that all about?
I have a list as long as my arm of pear and owl wondrousness to blog about – but when I walked past the Hobbs shop near Victoria Station this evening, I HAD to come home and bypass the other treats (coming your way ver ver soon).
Here’s a snap of the shop window, in full pear glory. BTW, I did ask the shop assistant if they would consider selling me the back drop once the pear fest was over, but she was less than enthusiastic. That will not be putting me off though – I intend to hound them until they give in. I’m not sure M would be too happy to have such a large piece of pear art in the stairwell, but maybe he wouldn’t notice if I removed the lightbulb overhead…
Anyway, once inside, gasping at the fact that there were pears on clothes, I rifled through the rails and picked out one or two beauties for your online perusal. It’s rare to see a red pear done well, but this print has it all – summery, retro, fun, fruity, classic and quintessentially pretty.
Here’s a close up of the best colourway in my headspace this evening.
The Gardenia Dress (pictured at the top of the blog post) is an “on trend tutti fruity print” (reads the Hobbs website!). It is made from linen, but is machine washable. Tick. Also, it features a “flattering elastic waist detail”. Ahem. Not a phrase I normally like to pair with descriptions of elegant summer dresses, but when it comes to comfort, I guess anything goes. At least you could make a serious dent on a stodgy lunch and still pull off a statement entrance wearing this dress.
If you can’t justify spending £99 on the dress, but still want the pear print in your repertoire this summer, you could opt for the Cherry Print scarf instead – £39 but lovely nonetheless.
Or, for a Mad Men approach, this Cherries Skirt is really cute: flared, flouncy, below-the-knee, perfect for kitten heels and a big belt.
You won’t believe it – there was a pear pendant too. It’s quite big compared to other pear necklaces I’ve seen. And far from apologetic: it literally is a massive green pear on a chain. But it could be useful if you wanted an impromtu paper weight, or needed to knock out a fruit-hating fiend…
Last but not least, the Lily pear bag to die for. I hardly need say more. A pear sits perfectly in the hand of this delicately drawn lady. With her vintage-inspired dress, wide eyes, ruby red lips and outstretched arm, the pear is placed right where it would most be seen if the bag were clasped tightly under your arm. What’s more, it comes with a detachable patent leather purse in the shape of a pear (see below). I am smitten.
Thanks Hobbs – what a great start to the pear season. And there is more bloggage to come along the same lines – watch this space for a full feature on the latest Orla Kiely pear print dresses.
I really wish my toddler’s feet would shrink so she could squeeze into a pair of these pears.
Anyone browsing through the owlsandpears.com Etsy treasury lists might have already spotted one of my favourite pear delights: these felt licorice ballet flats with delicate avocado-coloured pears appliqued on to the front, raspberry pink soles and finished off with a ribbon ankle-tie.
Hard to beat them on sheer aesthetics and improbable cuteness. And I personally can never resist blanket stitched trim that is ‘just so’.
Hand-crafted by Sweet Emma Jean, these soft wool shoes are part of a whole range of seriously delicious footwear and felt accessories for kiddoes, available on Etsy here in a range of sizes from 0 to 9 months.
It’s heartening to be able to add to the growing list of pear-adorned footwear on owlsandpears.com (click on the link and scroll down to check out the turquoise variety here, and the silver pears here), and great to browse the fruity mary jane alternatives too – yes, Sweet Emma Jean is on my wavelength!
You really get a feel for the love of pears, and for quality materials and attention to detail in the craftsmanship of these felt ballet flats. The icing on the cherry is Sweet Emma Jean’s packaging policy: each pair of shoes comes in a beautiful keepsake box tied with a satin ribbon (see below).
For more details, check out the Facebook page, Twitter account (@sweetemmajean) or website for Sweet Emma Jean. Maybe if enough of us ask her nicely, she might make some larger versions for clodhoppers up to 2 years old. Here’s hoping…
I couldn’t help being totally bowled over when I spotted these Spring/Summer 2011 offerings from one of my fave designers, Emma Cook. Not, you understand, that I actually own any of her clothes. It’s more of a fantasy wardrobe thing I have going on.
And so in that spirit, I am going to indulge in a spot of owl and couture appreciation from a designer who creates “prints, embellishments and girly clothes with a sense of humour.”
The brown and black silk crepe de Chine top above (and the tunic below) combines all that is dramatic about owl details (eyes, always; and feathers too). It’s a bold print, but a soft one: the owl’s averted eyes and the silky material suggest comfort and protection from a nocturnal feathered friend, rather than a full on confrontation with a Black Swan groupie. But let’s face it, even so, you probably wouldn’t mess with anyone wearing this.
And if you thought you might need a little extra coverage, why not opt for a tunic version with some skinny jeans (or not…)? Both of these tops are available from net-a-porter.com (follow on Twitter: @NETAPORTER), and you can also see them on Emma Cook’s own website here, along with the rest of her owl collection.
Now then. Owls on t-shirts can be a tricky thing to get right. But they are an essential addition to every wardrobe, male and female, and Fluffyco have ticked all the boxes here. To start with, I like the company name. FluffyCo. Lovely. Secondly, they are a small, independent business that is sweatshop free. They use eco-friendly materials from sustainable sources, and even organic and fair trade bits and bobs too. Moreover, they do a terrific range in owl printed t-shirts.
I first spotted the example above in one of my fave London haunts, SMUG – a truly lovely shop run by interior and graphic designer Lizzie Evans – which stocks an eclectic range of retro owl and pear-related products throughout the year. Definitely worth a visit (or a follow @ifeelsmug).
It stands to reason that owls on t-shirts are going to appeal to a certain type of person, and they are not usually male. But I reckon that FluffyCo have come up trumps with this print: it’s not over twee, and it’s going to look pretty good with khaki shorts or jeans on a bloke.
But just in case you’ve got a thing about printed t-shirts, and you’re male, and you’d prefer an owl on something more manly, then check out this owl heads eco wallet instead…
If you like what you’ve seen, you can preview the latest designs from FluffyCo at their website, via their Flickr photostream, or on twitter too (@fluffycosf). They do balloon prints too, just in case you don’t like owls.