Wednesday 2 October 2013

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark :: an Aussie gal


Crown Princess Mary has opened up about her fairy tale transformation from Tasmanian girl-next-door to future Queen Consort of Denmark in an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Mary: From commoner to Crown Princess

“I never for a moment thought I’d end up living in Denmark and married to the Crown Prince but he obviously was my missing piece.

Crown Princess Mary is on the cover of the 80th birthday issue of Women’s Weekly, Australia. Mary says she wasn’t seeking fame when she met Crown Prince Frederik in a Sydney bar in 2000, and is constantly surprised by how her life has turned out.  For an insight into the shoot, A day in the life of Crown Princess Mary visit  a story by Juliet Rieden here.

Source: Crown Princess Mary for Women’s Weekly

Photographer: Michelle Holden

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Thursday 16 August 2012

Irish jewellery designer :: Daniela Cardillo


Jewelry made from horse hair and rodent bones by Daniela Cardillo.

Horse hair and rodent bones are the eco-friendly materials behind Irish jewellery designer Daniela Cardillo’s delicate accessories. Her jewellery, which includes necklaces, rings, bangles and pins, is made using hair shed from her own horses and rodent bones she has collected or sourced online.

The horse hair is dyed a variety of shades, including pastel pink, before being weaved and trimmed with gold accessories. She electroforms the ‘small and delicate’ rodent bones in metal before plating them in 22 carat gold, a process Cardillo says enables the bones to become ‘actual relics of previous lives’.

Source ~ Lost at E Minor.

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Sunday 10 June 2012

Princess Elizabeth


Regal and beautiful ~ these black and white photos capture a younger Queen ELizabeth II.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Born April 21, 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Dutchess of York.

The family called her Lilibet.

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Sunday 3 June 2012

Bedecked in jewels, Queen Elizabeth 11


Jewellery and Gown :: Her Majesty arrived for State Opening of British Parliament wearing a silver gown with crystal embellishments, and a stunning white fur coats.

The Crown :: The Queen wears the King George IV State Diadem crown.

Made by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell in 1820, the diadem features a set of 4 crosses pattée alternating with 4 bouquets of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The motifs are set on a band of diamond scrollwork between two bands of pearls. The front cross is set with a 4 carat yellow diamond, and the piece features 1,333 diamonds in all.

The crown was made for King George IV. George was a flamboyant man with an extravagant sense of style. The 57-year-old waited a long time to become king, and he wanted his coronation to be the most extravagant one in history. He redesigned costumes and planned for changes and additions to the Crown regalia. To commemorate the relatively recent creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, George came up with a new motif: a bouquet of Scotland’s thistle, England’s rose, and Ireland’s shamrock.

Queen Elizabeth II started wearing the diadem after her accession in 1952. She wears it to and from each State Opening of Parliament and for official portraits. That combination of uses has made it one of the most recognizable symbols of her reign ~ it adorns stamps, money, and official images.

The Festoon Necklace :: the three strand diamond necklace was commissioned in 1947 by King George VI to find a use to some of the loose diamonds he had inherited. The necklace consists of three rows of diamonds suspended between two diamond triangles, containing over 150 brilliant cut diamonds. The minimum weight of the necklace is estimated to be 175 carats. Matching diamond earrings were worn.

After arriving, she puts on the Parliament Robe of State and the insignia of the Order of Garter. As is the custom, the Monarch doesn’t put on the Imperial State Crown (which arrives separately) until after she enters the Palace of Westminster.

{Source: Order of Splendor}

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Monday 3 October 2011

antler too ~ hey


Stag night :: join the Nocturnal Migration!

Migrating deer descend on innercity Auckland for a night out to the tune of The Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’.

This Tooheys Extra Dry TV ad stars The Stag, which has been the Tooheys brand symbol since 1869.

Representing Tooheys Extra Dry drinkers as they gather together and experience a night out, the stags in the television campaign unite and share the ultimate journey – the nocturnal migration.

“You head out towards the city, come together with your mates, go from a bar, to a club or a gig, gathering more people around you as you go. The similarities with herding animals are striking; we drink, we graze and we congregate at our urban watering holes.” Jon Bradshaw

The commercial was created by agency BMF Sydney, and directed by renowned director, Garth Davis. It was shot entirely in Auckland over five intensive days and nights in both the city and suburban areas. It features real deer, which for two months were trained by specialist trainers to ‘act’ out specific scenes for the commercial. At all times during the shoot, two-metre high fences were erected to protect the closed off city and suburban streets and to enable the deer space to roam freely and come together naturally as a herd. It was many of these scenes of the deer congregating and migrating that have been used in the final commercial. Post-production company ALT.VFX used motion capture technology on the deer, recruiting specialist talent from all over the world to ultimately create what is the TED nocturnal migration.

The TVC is supported by an outdoor, print and digital campaign featuring stags as well as street posters and giant paste-ups placed around the city on nocturnal migration routes. A ‘teaser’ print and online campaign kicked off a week before the TVC launch to build intrigue and interest. These teaser ads ran as a strip in the early general news section of metropolitan newspapers around the nation. Devoid of branding, the advertisement only made reference to a nocturnal migration and Sunday’s launch date.

{Source: Campaign Brief}

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Monday 3 October 2011

fleurs + antlers


I have a love of skulls and bones.

{Image via The Cherry Blossom Girl}

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Saturday 30 July 2011

little lovely


What a magnificent crown! Remembering the playfulness and dress-ups of  childhood.

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”

{Image milk mag via one of my favourite blogs, la la lovely things}

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Sunday 24 July 2011

taxidermy love ~ true love never runs smooth…


Lachlan is a large merino sheep head.

Originally I wrote about Lachlan as part of my Hollister Hovey posting, however when I discovered Hollister’s story on buying Lachlan in 2005 on myspace I decided  it was worthy of it’s own posting! Enjoy this tale of taxidermy love.

    Part 1 :: Finding Lachlan

    Lachlan was purchased on ebay, and like all good love affairs the beginning was full of drama and uncertainty as captured here by Hollister in her 2005 blog posting.

    Hollister’s morning with ebay

     9:00 Am only bidder for white mountain goat head, stuffed in 1933 by one of the Muesum of Natural History’s top taxidermists. 56 minutes to go.

    9:23 Coffee break

    9:55 Still only bidder for goat head. Positively brimming with excitement and confidence.

    9:55:30 Thinking I’m the only bidder, I put nose to grindstone and work on a press release.

    9:55:45 Evil goat head lover swoops in and outbids me by $5.

    9:56 I’m a loser.

    9:57 Stomach in knots, jaw on desk.

    9:58 Jaw still on desk, but brain thinking how irrational and crazy it is being.

    10:30 Find sad looking goat, antelope and merino sheep head trophies I enjoy just as much. Mood restored.

    11:00 Check bank account. Will have to sacrifice fancy meals/drinks or live off little sister if I win merino sheep. Consider it worth the struggle.

    11:05 Check other bid status and realize that will have to live off little sister regardless if I win smaller items already bid upon.

    11:15 Little sister says the sheep looks creepy, but likes the goat.

    11:33 Am eaten alive with love of the sheep and still considering.

    UPDATE: purchased merino sheep.

    Suffered without money for roughly 10 days.

    Sheep arrives at office in box large enough to hold diswasher (human or mechanical). I realize box will not fit into cab, so must unwrap new pet at work.

    Patience not being a virtue I know, I rip in around 3 p.m. Box filled solidly with packing peanuts and shreaded paper (and sheep). Must dig deep to even see sheep’s nose. Co-workers look into box and scream and make Godfather references. Two somewhat supportive co-workers help lift animal out of box, leaving office in post-ticker tape parade-style mess. What ticker tape isn’t on floor is tangled into the wool of the head. Animal head, initially thought to be about the size of a small deer/german shepherd, turns out to be of T-Rex proportions.

    Co-workers express deep shock, dismay and lack of understanding for passion over sheep’s head and taxidermy in general.

    Part 2 :: A Sad, Sad Day ~ Lachlan died today.

    Excerpt from Hollister Hovey

    Porter and I have been struggling with a moth invasion for six months. Bags and bags of wool clothes have hit the trash. The salvaged wool pieces hang in ugly plastic bags in our closets. It’s been terrible. And gross. But we thought it over.  Then, last weekend, we took Lachlan, the merino sheep, off his wall. How we didn’t think that moths that munch on spun, died wool might enjoy unspun, natural wool just as much is beyond me. Frankly, they love it. They cannot get enough. They devoured the entire top of his head. They ruined him. 

    We’d had a couple deer (Denver and Michael Gregory) – but Lachlan was the majestic creature that sparked our taxidermy spree. Without Lachlan, there probably wouldn’t be Daedalus or Icarus (the swans) or Mandela (the nyala) or even Cormack (the highland bull). Would the apartment have ever made it into The New York Times or ELLE Decoration? I don’t think so. It was all Lachlan.

     We tried to salvage him from the devastation, but it was beyond repair (and we both were on the cusp of asphyxiation by moth ball). So, this morning, I grabbed him by his plastic-wrapped horns and put him in the dumpster. Thank goodness he was covered and I didn’t have to look him in the glass eye. We’ll have remember him through the photos.

    Goodbye, sweet Lachlan, goodbye. 


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    Sunday 24 July 2011

    The New Antiquarians :: Hollister Hovey


    Hollister and Porter Hovey have been on my radar for ages, and it has been very remiss of me to not share them with you sooner!

    They are bloggers and collectors who share my love of a decadent antiquarian aesthetic of taxidermy, anatomical charts, entomology, fencing masks, natural history prints, pith helmets, and apothecary jars ~ objects that are

    Accoutrements of the turn-of-the-19th-century leisure class”… “the tiny domed vignettes the Victorians were so fond of (artful arrangements of taxidermied squirrels, for example, in twiggy settings)”…and “Taxidermy, osteological antiques like monkey skeletons and other Victoriana” 

    The Hoveys  are sisters from Kansas City.

    They are not big-game hunters from the 1930′s. They are not taxidermists.

    Hollister works in PR and Porter for a management consulting firm.

     Featured in the New York Times and Elle Decoration UK, Hollister Hovey’s eponymous and very cool blog captures the trend that has been termed ‘New  Vintage’ living.

    This is not the type of decorating style that you can just go out and buy. It is a style of passion.  A lifestyle of visual collage. “It’s a stitched-together, bricolage world, an alternative world,” writes Valerie Steele, the director of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.  Collecting old things is a way of collecting the aura of a passed world or perhaps of collecting the passing of time itself.

    But these are not just any sort of objects.  These are intensely fascinating things. Faded patinas, gilding, whimsical details, furs and feathers, brass knobs, skeletons, aged maps. Each is inherently, potently unique, which – on its own – marks these things off from the endless stream of sameness characterising modern wares.  Each object composing the eerie Victoriana aesthetic of Ryan Matthew’s apartment is irreplaceable and irreplaceably strange, particularly his mummified hunting dog.

    This is more than a “New Vintage.” This is a statement of idiosyncratic individuality. Just as no two pieces of taxidermy will ever be the same (there are no copies in nature), no two apothecary bottles or Victorian pith helmets or vintage mirror will ever be equally the same.  These lifelong collections express a love of texture and detail and the pleasures of beautifully, outlandishly, and outmodedly uniquely vibrant things.

    New York Times

     Hollister muses about her life and her love for Ernest Hemingway, fashion, taxidermy, and traveling on the blog. The Novey sisters abode featured here showcases this antique spirit which is stuffed full of beautiful vintage finds.

    Stepping into the loft is like walking into an exquisitely crafted exhibit of curiosities collected over a lifetime, from someone who has lived a fascinating life. Ms. Hovey has a wonderfully seasoned style that is a unique mix of colonial-end-of-the-empire textures and colors (zebra rug, hunting trophies), apothecary curiosities, ornate & eclectic vintage mixed harmoniously with simple, substantial modern pieces. And a bit of the gothic in there, but maybe that is in the eye of the beholder. Oh I just had a great time looking…finding little vignettes everywhere. Decor adore! Rose Callahan

    Hollister Hovey is a really cool blog. It chronicles the discoveries of Hollister including ‘The Best New York Stores Selling Old-Looking Style’ and  her tumblr site showcases her Objects Of Affection (A Graphic List Of Acquisitions And Desires).

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    Sunday 10 July 2011

    Daphne Guinness + her diamond glove armour


    Contra Mundum ~ Latin for “Against the World” is a 5 year bespoke ‘glove’ project. A magnificent diamond glove by the creative spirit of a fashion icon and jewellery designer.

    Over five years, Daphne Guinness in collaboration with Shaun Leane, created a white gold and platinum glove, studded with over 5,000 pavé white diamonds, set in the shape of a bird formation, and weighing over a thousand grams in 18ct white gold.

    The Glove :: A diamond set armour-inspired piece

    Striking diamond birds cascade around the arm, as though caught in mid-flight.

    The hand is protected with a bold metal cuff, hand-forged and beautifully engraved.

    Made in two parts, the cuff can be worn alone as a hand glove, or extended into an evening glove. Every detail in the piece, including the chainmail, has been carefully constructed by hand to ensure a perfect fit to Daphne’s arm. The glove was molded from Guinness’ own hand, and is a stylized armour made of precious metals, studded with gems.Delicate chainmail forms the foundation of this highly fantastical gauntlet; each ring looped in one by one to create an exact formation tailored to the individual. Striking diamond birds cascade around the arm, as though caught in mid-flight. Skilfully supporting the framework is a shimmering diamond branch that elegantly wraps around the upper arm. The hand is protected with a bold metal cuff, hand-forged and beautifully engraved. Birds are layered on the surface of the cuff amongst the sculpted branches. Carved in gold and set with diamonds, they soar among the delicate engraving as though liberated by the blowing wind. Made in two parts, the cuff can be worn alone as a hand glove, or extended into an evening glove. {Fashion Telegraph}

    Five people worked on this piece, including Shaun – each craftsman was handpicked according to their fields of expertise. So it meant that, for example, the stone setter picked would have to hand set all of the 5000 pave diamonds. One craftsman looped each jump-ring by hand, one by one, to ensure a perfect fit to Daphne’s arm – this process has taken over half of the 5 years. {Fashion Telegraph}

    Jay Jopling hosted an intimate evening in celebration of the completion of ‘Contra Mundum’ at White Cube Gallery. The exclusive launch was attended by Tom Ford, Suzy Menkes, Lily Cole, Livia Firth and Alexander McQueen’s Creative Director Sarah Burton.

    Guests watched Daphne’s beautiful presentation of the piece

    ~ dressed in the bespoke glove and shrouded in white silk tulle, her lie-in state as her gloved hand lay over the tulle and rested on her upper-body and symbolised the concept of the objet d’art;

    Sir Thomas Malory’s compilation of the legendary tales of the Knights of the Round Table.

    As the evening drew to a close, guests were presented with a gift bag containing a solitaire diamond and a beautiful message signed by Shaun and Daphne as a remembrance of a beautiful summer evening. PR Web

    Daphne Guinness was “laid in state” by Gareth Pugh to celebrate her collaboration with British jeweler, Shaun Leane. Daphne is no stranger to theatrical installations, but she outdid herself this time. In typical Guinness fashion she was laid out in a sheer Alexander McQueen bodysuit with an antique veil. The only exposed body part was her arm in a one-of-a-kind chain mail glove made of gold and diamonds.

    This piece is for sale for 1.7 million dollars and is made of 18-carat white gold.

    The background story {Fashion Telegraph}

    In recent years, Guinness has developed a fascination with armour, and it was while she was out one night with McQueen and Leane that she decided to create some of her own.

    ‘We were at one of those enormous events where we were huddled in a corner going, “What are we doing here?” Anyway, I said, “Wouldn’t it be great to have some armour?” And so Shaun said, “All right, then.” And two or three weeks later, there I was, with my arm in a bucket.’

    Once a cast had been taken of her arm, it took four years and many fittings to create the glove they have just completed. It started out as a straightforward commission, a bespoke piece of silver jewellery that Leane would create to fit Guinness’s arm exactly. But silver turned out to be too soft so they went for white gold, and as they added more and more to the piece – chain mail handmade to fit her arm completely, intricate articulated fingers, more than 5,000 diamonds creating decorative birds along the arm – it became a collaboration, funded and owned jointly by the two of them. Now that it is complete, it will be exhibited, then offered for sale.

    For them it has become less a fashion item, more a work of art, something that pushes the boundaries of fine jewellery and symbolises their friendships with each other, and with Blow and McQueen, who was to design a spectacular dress to go with the glove. They have called it Contra Mundum: ‘It’s sort of us against the world. It’s about wanting to watch, but not wanting to be seen. I feel it’s a pact, if that makes any sense. And I’m not sure I could wear it to go out now, because it means too much.’

    {Images 1. & 9. Photographer Nick Knight; 2-4 via Fashion Telegraph; 6-8 via Vitalic Noise}

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