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Friday, 31 October 2014

TRY THIS - A Fine Line in Nice Spines

These are the spines of fashion books displayed on a small chest of draws in my dressing room (aka the guest bedroom). While lovely tomes, when traditionally shelved they hang off the edge of the book case. An alternative resting place was needed. Stacked they act as a pretty plinth for my tray of everyday style necessities (perfume, ring box, hairspray, photo of husband). Most of these books were found in charity shops, the others were gifts. I've read all of them, enjoyed them and I'm likely to enjoy them in the future. For now however, they remain useful and beautiful piled high. To create a cover-girl space, decorate with books. THE END.

Tomorrow is the Northfields Jumble Trail CLICK HERE
Is there a Jumble Trail scheduled for your neighborhood? 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

FOUND - Call It A Fair Exchange

I found this Aquascutum scarf at Bang Bang Clothing Exchange on Drury Lane, CLICK HERE, my favourite buying and selling 2nd-hand clothing establishment with 3 shops in London. When I was a kid I longed for one of the plastic mock number plates all the kids were buying and attaching to their bikes. Like mini number plates, they featured common first names rather than digits. Hundreds of names were offered, anything from Anita to Walter. My sister Debbie had no problem finding her name. My best pal Cheryl was fine. Mates Jamie and Lisa had the name plates too. Me? No way. Christened and always called Anmarie, I was never able to have an off-the-peg name plate. When I turned 12, we moved to a new house and my arty dad painted ANMARIE on my bedroom wall. What I'm called, its unique spelling, its special treatment, even the letter A, have always helped me to feel unique. I am not an 'off-the-peg' kind of woman. On anyone else the 'A' on this 'monogram scarf' would stand for Aquascutum. On me, it begins to tell the story of who I am. Cost? Can't quite recall - I traded a few unwanted items in exchange for this very personal accessory.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

FOUND - Handbag That's Blue with Envy

I found this navy bag at the vintage fair at The Fox Pub in Hanwell. It was a small but perfectly formed little sale. This soft suede number with a gorgeous satin lining and lovely brass hardware sat among a wide variety of gorgeous handbags on offer from stallholder Annie Darlasson.

Annie also designs jewellery and wile I haven't purchased any of her baubles yet I'm mightily tempted after finding them in her virtual shop window, CLICK HERE. The online look of her work, coupled with her taste in handbags, elegant friendly manner and the fact that her husband was assisting her with the stall, all incline me toward loving whatever Annie creates. Spending weekends with my Mister selling 2nd-hand fashions in the shadow of a quaint canal-side pub? It's the life I aspire to. The blue suede bag was an enviable £5. 

Read recent interview with 
Huntress London on High 50

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

FOUND - A Tale of 2 Driving Gloves

Both pairs of these leather driving gloves are from Italy. The left hand pair were purchased (full price, 49 euros) at the Sermoneta shop in Rome CLICK HERE. The right hand pair, also from Sermoneta, were found at the Fara charity shop on Bond Street in Ealing. Last year a group of my mates met in Rome to celebrate our friend Kelly's 50th birthday. Well-traveled Kelly introduced us to 'her' Rome. She speaks Italian rather wonderfully, knew the city like the back of her hand and insisted (quite rightly) that we pop into the Sermoneta shop in the shadow of the Spanish Steps. There, we were all 'fitted' for leather gloves. The selection and service in the tiny but charming shop was second-to-none. Thanks to Kelly the brand Sermoneta is now synonymous with glove excellence, so I was thrilled when last week at Fara I happened upon the leather & crocheted gloves with a little Sermoneta tag on the inside. Let friends serve as a primary style resource; pick their brains, find out their faves, especially smaller more obscure but nonetheless quality brands. Thanks Kelly for steering me right! The like-new but 2nd-hand driving gloves were just £4.   

Clarence and Alabama Pop-Up in Hanwell closes 8 Nov. 
Striking 'vintage style' dresses! CLICK HERE   

Monday, 27 October 2014

FOUND - Skirt with a Checkered Future

I found this Cacharel pencil skirt at the Cats Protection charity shop on Pitshanger Lane in Ealing. The French brand Cacharel was founded when John Bousquet in 1958 decided to leave his home in Nimes to go to Paris where, in a tiny studio, he would design his first collection. It was a resounding success and Cacharel was born. Maybe best known now for its wildly popular perfume Anais Anais, the likes of Clement-Ribeiro and Eley Kishimoto have created the ready-to-wear label's quirky but feminine look. This skirt, while relatively new and practically unworn, gives off a distinctively retro vibe. The gingham (stretch) fabric is reminiscent of French style-icon Brigette Bardot. The versatility of the skirt is easily illustrated by the variety of shoes that coordinate nicely with it. A kind of 'wow basic,' this skirt is capable of sending any number of style signals depending on the mood of the wearer. From a contrasting print blouse to pulling it on over all black - the possibilities are endless. No more skirting the issue, it was £5. 

The Northfields Jumble Trail CLICK HERE is 
            this Saturday 10am-3pm. See you there!            

Friday, 24 October 2014

TRY THIS - Give A 2nd-Hand Gift

I found this little stickpin at the debut Antiques Market in West Ealing, just outside the Drayton Court CLICK HERE. I've given him to friends who are getting married tomorrow in up-state New York. They're legalizing their 14-year relationship at a ceremony in the back garden of their home, nestled among enormous trees and a babbling brook. A small but special affair, they're wearing tweeds among the Autumn leaves and in keeping with the theme, a fox motif adorned their wedding invitations. I'm sad to say I can't join them but this little what-not serves as a reminder that I'm thinking of them on their day. This gift is not about the cost, the truth is they can buy nearly anything they like and after years together, well, a toaster is out of the question. I know they'll adore this foxy gent for his animal appeal. He's well-made, stylish and full of character - very much like them. Antiques markets are great places to find stylish mementos to mark special occasions. 

See you at the monthly West Ealing Antiques Market 
tomorrow, 25 October CLICK HERE

Thursday, 23 October 2014

FOUND - Paper Roses Bloom in W7

I found this hand-painted box at the Craft Barn in the forecourt of The Fox Pub in Hanwell, CLICK HERE. A little shed in the shadow of a lovely pub, the space is filled with a selection unique items created by area craftspeople. If you're like me, you save tissue paper and boxes re-using it to wrap gifts and such. The creator of this work of art also keeps boxes, but she makes the ordinary quite extraordinary - every surface of the box, inside and out is beautifully embellished by her hand. The Fox Pub is located on the Grand Union Canal, so it's not surprising that roses on the box resemble those that adorn longboats found along the banks of the canal.     

While the Craft Barn is open weekends with a selection of items, on the last Saturday of the month all the crafters pitch up with a wider variety of their wares. I'm told the artist who created this box is a talented woman of 70; I'm anxious to meet her on Saturday to express my appreciation for her work. Nothing but the best will be stored inside it; the box is the new home for my most delicate of lingerie. At just £6, everything's coming up paper roses.