Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Woodland Belle

After graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, jewelry artist Mai Mckemy started crafting jewelry and accessories under the name Woodland Belle. Finding her inspiration in nature's own magic, she wanted to create lovely things that make women feel beautiful. Each piece is personally designed and created by Mai in cast metals that are 100% economically responsible reclaimed metals, sourced in the USA. My personal favorites are the little flowers encased in glass vials though... Whether you live in a city or close to nature, wearing Woodland Belle pieces will allow you to always carry around a bit of the free wilderness...


Bella Rustica Antique Bronze Tiny Twig Hair Pins

Antique Pewter Stag Antler Hair Pins

Cherry Blossom Tiny Twig Hair Pins



Pink Peony Flower Tiny Terrarium Necklace

Rare Blue Rose Flower Tiny Glass Vial Terrarium Necklace

Classic Red Rose Flower Terrarium Glass Vial Necklace


Butterfly Collection Necklace In Antiqued Copper

Sterling Silver Luna Moth Necklace

Solid Bronze Silk Moth Necklace

To see more of Mai Mckemy's beautiful creations, please visit Woodland Belle's web site here!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Playsuits! Yay!

Summer is coming even this year - I hope... And with that, temperatures that requires less fabric on our bodies - like, for example, playsuits! Or rompers as they are also called. I like the word romper. It sounds fun, and a bit naughty somehow. The romper appeared in the US in the early 1900s as playwear for younger children. In the 1950 they became very popular among grown women too, who wore them as leisure- and beachwear. During the last few years they have come into fashion again, and can be found in both modern and vintage inspired versions. Nowadays people even wear them to parties, matched with high heels and clutch bags. Here are some of my favorite pics from the web!

This one, from Emmy Design, comes in different colors. But I like it in light pink. It doubles as a swimsuit, has sewn in bra padding, a skirt-like detail at the front, and is made of bengaline - which is true to the swimsuit materials of the 40s.

Here is one with a cat in lace on it! Perfect for crazy cat lady-picnics! It comes from ModCloth.

Another one from ModCloth, the so called Romance Columnist Romper.

This is actually a bathing suit. But together with it's removable faux sarong skirt, I think it works very well as a romper too! It also has a built in bra. You find it at Revamp Vintage.

Another bathing suit that fits equally well as a romper. Also from Revamp Vintage. It has a boned bodice and a removable skirt.

Now I feel like having a romper party! Cocktails for everyone!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fabergé Friday

Since it's Easter, and eggs have a big part in this celebration, here is another Fabergé egg pendant! It was made by workmaster Feodor Afanasiev, around the year 1900!

The little - 1'' (2.5 cm) tall - egg is made of gold, covered in translucent green enmel over a guilloché ground. Around the middle runs a band of opaque white enamel, decorated with green leaves and red cherries. The price for the pendant is 17,000 USD, and you find it at John Atzbach Antiques!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marchesa Luisa Casati

"The door to the room where we sat chatting suddenly opened.  A dead woman entered.  Her superb body was modelling a dress of white satin that was wrapped around her like a shroud and dragged behind her.  A bouquet of orchids hid her breast.  Her hair was red and her complexion livid like alabaster.  Her face was devoured by two enormous eyes, whose black pupils almost overwhelmed her mouth, painted a red so vivid that it seemed like a strip of coagulated blood.  In her arms she carried a baby leopard.  It was the Marchesa Casati." - Gabriel-Louis Pringué.

The quote above is a description of one of the most interesting stars in European society during the first three decades of the 20th century - style icon Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957). 

c. 1905

Luisa and her older sister, Francesca, were born in Milan to a life of luxury. Their parents died when Luisa was still in her teens, and their deaths reportedly made the two girls the wealthiest women in Italy. "I want to be a living work of art", Luisa stated, and set out to become just that...

Photo: Man Ray. 1924

She traveled around Europe, collecting palaces and a menagerie of exotic animals. She spent a fortune on clothes, jewelry, art, and parties, and was for almost three decades one of Europe's most lavish and inspiring hostess. It has been told that nude servants gilded in gold leaf attended her. Bizarre wax mannequins sat at her dinning table, and she wore live snakes as jewelry. She was also known to take evening strolls, completely naked under her furs, to walk her pet cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes.

Luisa with one of her cheetahs.

In 1900 she married Camillo, Marchese Casati Stampa di Soncino. They had one child together, and was legally separated just four years after the wedding. But Luisa had many other lovers during her lifetime - both men and women - and became a muse for many artists and designers. 

Portrait by Giovanni Boldini. 1908

During a visit to Hollywood in the 20s, she caused a sensation, and influenced playwrights and filmmakers both during and after her lifetime. Even today she remains an inspiration. Both John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld have based collections on this intriguing woman. 

As all good things come to and end though, so they did also for Luisa. In 1930 she had amassed a personal debt of 25 million USD. To pay her creditors she started auctioning off her personal belongings. It is said that Coco Chanel was among the bidders. She then moved to London, where she lived in comparative poverty, up until her death in 1957, at the age of 76. She was buried in Brompton Cemetery, wearing her black and leopardskin finery, and even false lashes. Accompanying her in her coffin was one of her beloved stuffed pekinese dogs. On her tombstone is inscribed a quote from Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra: Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite variety.

"Women of the world today dress alike.  They are like so many loaves of bread.  To be beautiful one must be unhurried.  Personality is needed.  There is too much sameness.  The world seems only to have a desire for more of this sameness.  To be different is to be alone." - Marchesa Luisa Casati

Portrait by Giovanni Boldini. 1914

By Ted Coconis

Portrait by Augustus John

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Full Moon


A while ago I found a band I hadn't heard of before. It consists of Croatians Luca Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, and they call themselves 2CELLOS. As you might guess from the name, they both play the cello. But they play it in a way you have never heard before... So for this month's full moon music, I give you the video I first saw with them. Here is Thunderstruck!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabergé Friday

Here comes yet another one of Fabergé's famous egg pendants. This one was made by workmaster Mikhail Perkhin, sometime between the years 1896 and 1903!

As I love the night and the stars, I feel this one would fit perfectly on a chain around my neck! The little gold egg is covered in night-blue enamel over a guilloché ground. It is also decorated with rose-cut diamonds in a falling star pattern. It's dimensions are 0.6'' x 0.5'' (1.6 x 1.2 cm), and it was acquired by Queen Alexandra. It now has it's place in the Royal Collection.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Exquisite Identities

I feel very blessed to have so many artistic and creative friends. It feels like someone is always up to something crazy, beautiful and entertaining, and most of them don't mind sharing their work with the rest of us. One of these people is photographer John Paul Bichard. You have probably seen some of his pictures on my blog before, since he always walks around with his camera, shooting both performers and guests at events such as Fräulein Frauke Presents and the International Stockholm Burlesque Festival - both of which he produces together with his wife Fräulein Frauke.

John Paul has worked with different projects which has been exhibited both in Europe and in the US, and this post will be about one of those projects - one he calls Exquisite Identities. When describing the project himself, he says that Exquisite Identities is "a growing series of photographic works that capture the creativity, personality and aesthetics of some of the great names in the contemporary burlesque and cabaret scene. The focus is on people who go to extraordinary lengths in their professional lives to develop rich, complex and highly constructed identities..." As some of these exquisite identities happens to be friends of mine, or performers I have had the chance to see on stage, I can tell you that the way they have been portrayed by Mr Bichard is the perfect way to get to know their stage-personalities. This is who these people are, and what they do!

Lou Lou D'Vil

Fräulein Frauke

Laurie Hagen

Honey Lulu

Hedo Luxe

Erochica Bamboo

Mr Pustra

Scotty The Blue Bunny

Cleo Viper

Marlene von Steenvag

Vicky Butterfly

Until The end of April you can see seven pictures from this series exhibited at MELT Bar & Restaurant in Stockholm. For more of John Paul Bichard's works, please visit his web site here!

Hyper Smash