I am pleased to announce I am participating in a 3-month intensive course by Brenda Sue Anderson for jewelry design with the goal to launch a new line at the end. For the first month, thirty seven students including myself, have begun exploring our personal styles, jewelry history and have fast become friends.
Are you looking for a way to give a 'pulled together' appearance with a minimal amount of fuss in your morning? A great way to make getting ready easy is to use a big block of solid color, then accent with bold jewelry or accessories like this bracelet I made using an antique steel cut shoe buckle (available here). A 'big block' could be a simple pullover dress, tunic or layer such as a draped sweater. Add your bottoms, jewelry and handbag and you're out the door!
On the subject of handbags, in my younger years I was constantly changing my purses to match outfits. I eventually went to a black leather bag for a while to avoid this, but just wasn't happy with it...it was kind of blah. Going with something like the tooled leather bag in the outfit above or a vintage tapestry purse with several muted colors is a perfect way to add some fun AND give you multiple options with a single accessory. Have fun 'getting ready quick!'
Want to see more beautiful inspiration in Pantone's 2016 colors? Check out VintageCravens 'Vintage Meets Modern: Pantone 2016' board on Pinterest!
I have been busy working on a new blog post for Pantone's 2016 colors of the year (see here) and wondered about how to start wearing these colors now. While it may be possible to find fashions warm enough to brave our chilly winters, I find mixing warm, rich colors like hot cocoa, mulled wine and deep tan with pastel accents much more comforting. Try a light scarf with your sweater, a pastel belt with a wool dress or, in this case, a beautiful piece of spring fresh jewelry (available at VintageCravens here) with winter's latest trends.
With heart and belly full from a terrific Thanksgiving Day with family, we headed to the fields to cut down this year's Christmas tree and began decorating. I adore vintage and antique ornaments for decorating the tree and developed quite a crush on these sweet elves at a lovely estate sale over the summer. After getting the girls home, I promptly began researching their history and patiently waited until after Thanksgiving to let them appear in the shop.
These adorable pixie-style elves would likely have been made by Lefton in the late 1940s/early 1950s given their pink and green outfits and facial expressions. I decided to name them Bitsy & Betty and hope you enjoy seeing their sweet orneriness as much as I do.
Amber is rich honey, golden sunshine and russet leaves all rolled into one - the perfect 'stone' for fall! Naturally occurring, amber is fossilized resin from ancient conifer trees. Resin isn't tree sap, but rather, the substance trees will create to protect themselves, heal wounds and in some cases, repel and/or attract insects. As the resin fell to the forest floor, insects, leaf matter and other organisms would settle and, over time, the substance would harden and eventually become fossilized under pressure.
I purchased this beautiful Baltic amber ring, made in Latvia of 800 silver, and was drawn to the beauty not only of the jewel but of the artisan's crafting of the setting. It is a stunning piece of jewelry and looks wonderful with other fall colors as assembled here. This ring is available at VintageCravens here.
Long sleeve dress
I am a big proponent of adding basics to my wardrobe that are high quality and offer many years of wear simply by updating a few key accessories. This beautiful navy heather blue dress by Talbots is a perfect example of such a piece. While it is stunning on its own for office wear with a few pieces of minimalist jewelry and pumps, it can work equally as well in a casual setting. Here is not one way, but two to take this classic beauty out for casual Friday, Saturday brunch with friends, or a Sunday afternoon stroll through town this fall!
We love tiny things and miniature brooches are the perfect way to stud a collar, handbag or belt. Geek-chic is one of our favorite trends and the mini brooch adds a bit of sparkle to your intellectual styles!
My husband's parents were children of the Great Depression. During that tumultuous time in American history, many families learned to make due with the meager possessions they had. As time went on and the people of our country re-built wealth, many of the habits of the generation remained. Mark, my husband, tells stories of his Mom using bread ties to not only tie bread, but as tools to repair her sewing machine, as guides for her delicious tomato vines and even as wire to arrange beautiful flowers in summertime bouquets!
Today, we are thankful to be living in a time of plenty. However, one of our favorite challenges is finding multiple purposes for single items. When writing my original #FallOfTheBrooch blog post (here), I could totally relate this this fall's trend of 'thinking outside the lapel' and finding new, interesting ways to wear timeless vintage brooches.
I adore Austro-Hungarian art and jewelry - ornate designs, lots of swirls, flowers and layers. I picked this beautiful Czech glass and brass pin not only for it's lovely style, but for the glass flowers in Cadmium Orange. A perfect combination for fall!
And here they are: five new ways to wear your favorite vintage/antique brooch - #BroochHack!
I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I have writing it. What other fun ways do you like to wear your brooches?
Brilliant cobalt blue sets the stage for late summer/early fall and is a perfect canvas for pastel floral accents in this stunning outfit by Delpozo*. An easy way to get this look is to incorporate vintage Mid-century enamel flower pins - one or a few - on your flowing blouses.
Looking for a way to accent your bold fashion choices in a new way? Derek Lam* hit the nail on the head with this look. An abstract vest and pants with large zipper pockets leave little room for accessories. I love the sweet round brooch peeking out above the vest on the base of this model's turtleneck. There is a special place in my heart for rolled gold Victorian and Edwardian brooches in many shapes and sizes. While many are ornate, they tend to have strong design lines such which compliment their delicate engraving and would be perfect to re-create this look with an added measure of grace.
Do you see a brooch in this picture? Technically, Rodarte* didn't include a pin on their choker, but this is one of my favorite ways to wear small antique/vintage pins. Simply use a short leather choker or a ribbon tied around your neck and clasp your brooch onto it. Simple and chic!
I love the simple lines and geometric accents in this ensemble by Suno* - they remind me of one of my favorite eras, Art Deco. Wearing a bold brooch on a well constructed vest or poplin shirt is always a classic fashion style. Try pairing an Art Deco brooch with your vest in contrasting colors like Suno does here, or similar shades of the color for a subtler look.
Dolce and Gabanna* pairs gold and black in this stunning ensemble. During the 1950s/1960s, several leading designers produced pins similar to these. Some of my favorites are goldtone brooches accented by faux pearls and rhinestones by Crown Trifari, Coro, Hattie Carnegie, Weiss and Lisner. To get this look, try using multiple pins on a black sweater or heavy jersey shirt. These pins would also look great on white as summer fades into fall!
I hope you've enjoyed some new ideas for wearing your brooches this fall and look forward to hearing from you!
I am Chris Cravens and I manage all aspects of VintageCravens including photography, research, shipping, making and more.