Stanley Kubricks Masterpiece Barry Lyndon Returns to the Big Screen

25 Jun

Today’s blog post was written by my brother Matthew, about a press screening we went to a few weeks ago…

Just like my sister Catherine, I’ve always wanted to travel back in time. I’m fascinated by history and art, which is why I became a curator. I spent my teenage years obsessed with the 18th Century, spending hours pouring over the music, paintings and beautiful clothes of the era.

However, sometimes this wasn’t enough… sometimes I just wanted to feel as though I was actually in the 18th Century. At times like this I would watch Barry Lyndon.

BARRY LYNDON PIC 2 -® 1975 Warner Bros. All Rights ReservedStanley Kubrick’s 1975 film is going to be re-released nationwide by the BFI on the 29th July and Catherine and I were lucky enough to see an advance screening at the BFI on London’s Southbank. What would it be like to return to my obsession after many years, and to finally see it on the big screen? I wasn’t disappointed.

The film follows the fortunes of a no-good eighteenth-century anti-hero, Redmond Barry, from rural Ireland to the highest levels of English society. Don’t believe the flashy new trailer for it, this film is a perfectly structured masterpiece. As each scene unfolds we follow Barry through his scrapes with danger, lucky breaks, deceptions, romances, vanities, follies and tragedies. You can’t decide if you’re on his side or not as he does nothing but serve his own self-interest, but you’ll want to follow his story every step of the way.

BARRY LYNDON PIC 8 -® 1975 Warner Bros. All Rights ReservedThat’s not why I loved this film when I was a teenager though. Did I mention that this is one of the most beautiful films ever made? Kubrick closely studied the paintings of the era and every shot looks as though it was painted by one of the great artists of the time. It’s as though the paintings of Hogarth, Gainsborough and Zoffany have come alive before your eyes. Kubrick’s attention to detail is extraordinary. He even developed new ways of filming with revolutionary lenses to capture the full beauty of scenes lit just by candles or daylight.

BARRY LYNDON PIC 4 -® 1975 Warner Bros. All Rights ReservedHe filmed in real eighteenth-century houses and gardens. It’s so authentic that a curator friend of mine uses the film to illustrate her talks on eighteenth-century dining. If you’ve ever gone to a National Trust house and wondered what life was like in it when it was built, then watch this film. Seeing the film on the big screen, you’ll fall in love with the stunning costumes and be mesmerised by Lady Lyndon’s haunting beauty. You might be sat in the cinema, but you’ll feel as though you’re among the sumptuously dressed aristocrats losing their fortunes at the gambling table, or with the soldiers risking their lives on the battlefield. This is why I’ve always loved it – it’s as close as you’ll ever get to stepping back in time.

BARRY LYNDON PIC 9 -® 1975 Warner Bros. All Rights ReservedGo and watch it this summer. As the film closes, and Handel’s dramatic Sarabande plays over the credits, you really won’t want to return to the 21st Century.

Find out more about the release on the BFI website.

Matthew Story is a curator at Historic Royal Palaces, he is an art historian with a specialism in historic art and decorative art. 

My New Cath Kidston Celluloid Style Bangles

23 Jun

I think we are all aware that I’m in the throws of a huge vintage jewellery obsession at the moment! I’ve done two jewellery hauls on the blog this year and have bought a few more bits since. As well as buying original early plastic pieces, I’m always really happy when I find modern pieces to accessorise my vintage outfits. When I spotted that Cath Kidston had some new bangles, which pay homage to vintage celluloid bangles, I knew I had to have some.

Cath Kinston Yellow and Pink Moulded BanglesI chose the yellow and pink ones, because they go really well with some of the original vintage bangles I have. I love the pretty floral mouldings on the bracelets and when compared to an original early celluloid piece from my collection, you can definitely see where the inspiration came from.

Cath Kidston Celluloid Style Moulded BanglesThe patterns are really similar, and although the design on the older original is slightly more intricate and has sharper details, they really do all go very well together.

Cath Kidston Reproduction Celluloid BanglesThe Cath Kidston versions are quite a bit thicker ad stronger and are made with a modern plastic, which is more robust than older cellulite. They are also less flammable, as celluloid is  renowned for being dangerous around flames, so always take care when wearing it. I love the more modern brighter colours as well, rather than being a replica they are a lovely updated version of an early plastic classic.

Cath Kidston Bangle ReviewUnfortunately I can’t see the bangles on the Cath Kidston website, but I am pretty sure they are still available in stores. I’d love it if they made these in more colours, so I can build a stack.

Cath Kidston Celluloid Style BanglesI’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Cath Kidston’s jewellery ranges in the future, with the hope that they start making more gorgeous pieces inspired by real vintage jewellery. Imagine if they made something to look like carved bakelite, that would be amazing.

Cath Kidston Moulded Floral BanglesI’m really looking forward to incorporating these into lots of outfits to share here on the blog. Mustard and coral shades have always been two of my favourite colours to wear, so I know I’ll be wearing these loads this summer.

Cath Kinston Yellow BangleI also wanted to say a  big thank you to my friend Holly for picking these up for me. I love them!!!

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Home Inspiration – Tropical Paradise

22 Jun

Recently I’ve been making plans to give my house a little revamp. Having lived here 4 years, my inner interior designer is telling me it’s time for some changes. When we bought our house we did a full renovation, totally gutted everything and started from scratch. Most of the rooms were decorating in very neutral colours and I still don’t feel like we’ve made our mark on the place. So over the next few months I’m going to work on each room one at a time and I will definitely be documenting everything on here.

Todays post is inspired by the Debenhams Spring Summer press day that I went to at the end of last year. I love going to press days for interior inspiration. It’s great to see rooms laid out, using all the products from that particular store. I’m going to be doing lots more interior posts and although I won’t be recreating the exactly I will definitely be taking lots of inspiration from the gorgeous curated home looks. I’m breaking the posts up into themes to make it easier!

Exotic Tropical Home InspirationTropical: If you’re bored of neutral colours and all things cream and beige, then you can’t go wrong with an exotic tropical look. I love bright colours and rich textures, which are perfect for creating a warm cosy environment. Take inspiration from all over the world with sumptuous deep colours and opulent finishes.

Exotic Tropical Inspired Living Room DebenhamsI love the mix of red and blue tones in this gorgeous living room, as well as the inlaid wood furniture. The look is inspired by travel and warm climates. This look is from the Butterfly Home range by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams.

Exotic Tropical Interior ideas DebenhamsEven if you don’t change the colours of your walls or your furniture, you can add tropical touches with richly embellished textiles and bright home accessories.

Exotic Tropical Bedroom DebenhamsThis gorgeous bedroom features the beautiful pink and turquoise colour tones which feature in many Matthew Williamson designs. I love the digitally printed bedding combined with the traditional throw. My favourite piece would have to be the palm tree lamp on the bedside table.

Exotic Tropical Inspired Textiles DebenhamsAgain mix and match cushions really finish the look, I love all the pom pom trims, which could easily be recreated yourself very quickly.

Exotic Tropical Garden Entertaining DebenhamsIf you don’t feel like updating your decor, the tropical theme also works really well for entertaining. I love the idea of a tropical themed barbecue or garden party.

Debenhams Tropical Matthew Williamson Butterfly Home WishlistGet the Look: 1. Palm Tree Lamp £80 – 2. Orange Bird Cushion £20 – 3. Embellished Cushion £25.60 – 4. Paradise Vase £14.40 – 5. Pom Pom Throw – £80 6. Cuba Bedding Set £36-£62 – 7. Embellished Cushion £20.80 – 8. Pom Pom Cushion £20 – 9. Bird Appliqué Cushion £25.60 – 10. Embroidered Cushion £22.40 – 11. Pink Sequin Cushion £28 – 12. Tall Glass Vase £26 – 13. Swirl Vase £16 – 14. Jungle Bird Mirror £40 – 15. Bird Print Cushion £20 – 16. Tropical Cushion £17.60 – 17. Pink Photo Frame £12 – 18. Mimosa Scented Candle £8 – 19. Candle Set £8 – 20. Pink Box £11.20 *some items are currently reduced, so prices are correct at time of posting but may change.


ARK Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque Review

21 Jun

I am always busy, be it running my kids around, cleaning the house, writing blog posts and lots of fun things like going to events and sourcing vintage for my business. The negative side to always being busy, is that I get really tired all the time. Now I’ve turned 30 I’m more aware of the negative impact this can have on my skin. I do eat very healthily and try really hard to drink enough, but I also try to have a really good skin care regime too.

ARK Skin Perfector Mask ReviewAs I’ve mentioned many times on the blog, I’m a bit of a skincare addict. When shopping for beauty products it’s always skincare items that I enjoy buying the most and will invest slightly more of my budget on. I was recently offered a new skincare product to review. I have been aware of ARK skincare for a while, but had never tried any of their products. They produce a beautiful range of specially formulated for different aged skin. They also avoid harmful chemicals in their products and favour natural ingredients, which is always something I look out for when choosing any kind of beauty product.

ARK Hydration Injection Masque ReviewI was sent the Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque, which is aimed at all ages of skin. This product is perfect for the summer months when a mixture of sun, late nights and cocktails can get the better of us, especially during festival season. This SOS rescue masque is designed to instantly rehydrate the skin and get it back to its former glory.

ARK Natural IngredientsIt is packed with lots of lovely ingredients including; Vitamin A to help keep skin supple; Vitamin B5 for smoothness; Vitamin C for brighter-looking skin and Vitamin E for antioxidant protection. Hyaluronic Acid Booster drenches skin with moisture, optimising the circulation of water through all skin layers and providing 24-hour protection against water loss. Sugar Beet and Abyssinian Oil intensely nourish the skin for a plush, luxury skin feel.

ARK Age Aware Skincare ReviewThe product is easy to apply, you just smooth a thin layer over freshly cleansed skin. The amount of time that you leave the product on depends on your age. Having just entered the 30s bracket, I left it on for a full 10 minutes. I then gently removed it with a muslin cloth.

ARK Skin Perfector ReviewSo what did I think? My first impression was how much I liked the formula, it has quite a thick honey-like consistency, with a lovely natural smell. It feels really nice on the skin and I found it easy to relax and read my book for 10 minutes while the mask worked its magic. After removing it, I could definitely feel a huge improvement in my skin, which felt soft and less tired. Appearance-wise my skin definitely looked brighter and less tired after using the mask.

ARK Skin Perfector Mask ReviewI’ve been using the product once a week for the last few weeks and I still absolutely love it. The quality is fantastic and I am really seeing and feeling a difference in my skin since using it. I will definitely be re-ordering this one and adding it to the few favourite products which I use every week. I’d also love to find some other items from the ARK range to try.

Find the full range on the ARK website or find a local supplier in their list of stockists.

*This product was sent to me for the purposes of review. All options are my own and I only recommend products that I have tried for a few weeks myself and have really loved.

The Pin Up Pop Up Comes to London This Weekend

11 Jun

Around the same time that I started this blog just over four years ago, I met a lovely lady called Ronke, who had just launched her first collection for her brand Love Ur Look. I instantly fell in love with all her beautiful dresses, which were vintage inspired, but also fun and quirky. Love ur Look dresses are made from beautiful fabrics and always have loads of interesting details and four years on I have quite a few in my wardrobe.

13308322_1220204077999454_7711865981558834745_oRonke’s latest venture is a collaboration with several other vintage inspired brands. The Pin Up Pop Up is a fantastic selection of independent brands, all gathered to together in one pop up shop, to provide everything a vintage enthusiast could possibly need. The pop up is running until this Tuesday and if you can get yourself over to Shoreditch before then it is an absolute must visit. I popped in yesterday to have a look around and I found myself in clothing heaven.

Love Ur Look Pin Up Pop UpBrands included in the fabulous line up include;

Love ur Look: for gorgeous beautifully made dresses and skirts in stunning prints.

Pin up pop up love ur lookLady K Loves: for the best jeans ever (I live in mine) and fabulous vintage inspired separates.

Lady K Loves Pin Up Pop UpSilly Old Sea Dog: for fun quirky dresses in lots of fabulous novelty print fabrics

Pin Up Pop Up Silly Old Sea Dog Inna Box: for cute quirky jewellery and accessories.

Pin Up Pop Up Imma BoxIf you’re on a budget, there is also a sale section in the shop, with lots of bargains to be had. I came home with a lovely new dress from Love Ur Look and a new wrap top from lady K Loves, which I’m sure I’ll be sharing on here really soon.

The Pin Up Pop up shopMy favourite thing about this shop, is that it supports several small businesses all run by inspirational women who have worked really hard on their businesses and have come a long way to get to this point. I am really proud to be supporting their brands because they are all fantastic!

The pop up runs until Tuesday 14th June and can be found on Dray Walk, which is just off Brick Lane. Full details on the flyer I have posted above.

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