Art Deco Inspired Jewels From Rock My Vintage

Vintage has become a big news story in fashion in recent years, and Rock My Vintage is one of its greatest exponents/ Based in Birmingham’s Custard Factory, the brand stocks a range of items under the vintage umbrella, from true pieces from the past, to faithful reproductions, vintage inspired pieces, and beautiful accessories and jewellery that have that feel of being found in granny’s jewellery box.

For me, when it comes to jewellery, I love the style, shape and colours that are linked to the Art Deco era, which had its heyday in the 1920s. Art Deco was exciting, flamboyant, geometric and super stylish, but due to a resurgence that began in the 1960s and never really ended, true Art Deco pieces are becoming harder to source, not to mention, very, very expensive.

The Green Art Deco necklace and matching drop earrings from Lovett and Co are just one of the jazz age styled items stocked at Rock My Vintage. (You can view their full range here). The necklace is a beautifully delicate piece with diamante stones that reflect so prettily, framing green opal stones that catch the light perfectly. The chain is antique plated brass that is 40cm in length, but can be extended a further 6cm through the adjuster.

 

 

 

These are really versatile pieces of jewellery, that can be worn as a matching set, or styled separately. They can be worn with really dressy outfits, or just to add a touch of retro style or bling to a simple daytime outfit. I love the fact that the pieces are really well made, but are also light and delicate – this made them perfect to pack in a suitcase to take to my brother’s recent wedding in Cyprus. I wore the earrings with my wedding outfit, and. as you can see, they were a perfect match, with the drop being so elegant.

I’ve worn the necklace on a different night out, and, it sits so nicely just below the nape of the neck. The opals look great with a wide range of colours.

Rock My Vintage is definitely worth checking out if you like jewellery of the vintage kind, it has so many lovely pieces that you will be able to wear for years and years.

Headz Up Business Fashion Catwalk

Last Friday I was a guest at the Headz Up Business Women in Business Expo, held in Birmingham’s beautiful Council House. Part of the Expo was taken up with the Fashion Business Catwalk, which meant I got to sit front row and enjoy some fabulous fashion. The event was organised by Pushpa Alexander, the inspirational whirlwind behind Headz Up Business, who organise networking events, conferences and Expo’s for women in business, focusing on digital and social media technology, and allowing women to network with similar professionals in a host of different settings.

With Dave aka Mr Brum Hour.

The Women in Business Expo was a great success, with the centrepiece being the Fashion Catwalk.  This runway show was managed by former Mr Birmingham Joshua Williams, who is also the brains behind the Elite Fashion Show. The show showcased some local designers, from Jewellery Quarter based Dolls of Decadence, new Birmingham label Vaughan, Elvira Lee Couture, heavily influenced by 1970s glamour, El Monet, which is both designed and manufactured in the second city, and Kiss Me Kate, the destination for beautiful evening wear in Birmingham.

In addition to the designers and their stunning collections, the catwalk stage also hosted talks from Ruth May, an up and coming jewellery designer, Sally Klein, an inspirational lifestyle coach, and West Midlands Police, who were there to talk about Cyber safety in the modern age. All the guest speakers also hosted their own stalls so you could talk to them in more detail if you wished.

The Women in Business Expo was the most enjoyable of events, a way to make some valuable contacts whilst having a coffee, browsing the exhibitors and taking in some fabulous new fashion. It also raised funds for a brilliant local charity ‘Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer’ and it was wonderful to hear Veronica Kumeta from the charity speaking so passionately about her vision for helping cancer sufferers and survivors in Birmingham.

Fashion Catwalk at the Women in Business Expo

Dolls of Decadence

Vaughan

Elvira Lee Couture

El Monet

Kiss Me Kate

Three Short Ballets from the Birmingham Royal Ballet

Last night saw the opening of the second show of the Birmingham Royal Ballet summer season for 2017. This time audiences were in for a treat, as a triple header of three short ballets charmed, thrilled, amused and shocked in equal measure. The ballets performed were Arcadia, a new ballet from BRB alumni Ruth Brill, the classic haunting Le Baiser de la Fee’ and the Gilbert and Sullivan inspired ‘Pineapple Poll’. Each ballet was wonderful in its own way – three very different ballets in very different styles.

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Arcadia

Arcadia is the story of Pan, the god of Arcadia, and has a wonderfully earthy central performance from Brandon Lawrence. Visually striking, scenes like the nymphs dancing and ignoring Pan, where the dancers Brooke Ray, Yijing Zhang and Delia Matthews are silhouetted against a stunning Arcadian backdrop, are vivid and linger in the memory.  The stunning costumes in colours that echo the forest of Arcadia are also pivotal to the ballet.  The ballet is further enhanced by the soaring saxophone solo by John Harle which creates a score that is almost Gershwin in tone. Ruth Brill has really done a great job with creating a stunning tableau that has passion and emotion.

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Le Baiser De La Fee

Where Arcadia is a ballet filled with hope, the classic Le Baiser De La Fee is a haunting experience. A woman is lost in a  snow storm, trying to protect her baby, when she is ambushed by a fairy and her attendants. The woman tries to protect her baby, but the sprites take the child from her and the woman dies in the snow. The fairy kisses the child on his forehead but is then disturbed by villagers who find the child and his dead mother. Many years pass, and the child grows into a young man, in love with his soon to be bride. However, happiness is not to be there’s as the fairy returns to claim the young man. She tricks him into believing she is the bride by wearing the veil and he is horrified to find that he has been tricked, but is powerless to resist her charm and beauty.

This is a beautiful haunting ballet which truly transfers you to a world of snow and ice. There are lighter, exquisite moments, like when the lovely bride (Momoko Hirata who dances so prettily, an utterly charming performance) dances with her attendants in her wedding veil. This is a scene that is enchanting and lovely, such a contrast to the passionate, almost tortured scenes with the young man (Joseph Caley) and the Fairy (Jenna Roberts). Joseph Caley once again shows himself as a dancer who can express so many emotions from happiness to fear, passion and delight, a real leading man. Jenna Roberts is exquisite as the rather dangerous fairy, a glittering and glamorous presence.

This is a ballet that is filled with powerful moments, and the denouement, when the fairy has finally ensnared the young man, and his heartbroken fiancée is disconsolately searching for him, is as disconcerting a moment as you will find in a modern ballet.

Just beautiful in every way.

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Pineapple Poll

Pineapple Poll is a delight, a superbly funny piece of ballet in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan.  The Birmingham Hippodrome stage was transformed into Portsmouth in the Victorian Era as the handsome Captain Belaye charms every woman he meets, including Poll, who sells her trinkets by the quayside. Captain Belaye has the same effect on other woman too, as Poll discovers when she stows away on his boat disguised as a sailor. All the other wives and girlfriends of the sailors have had the same idea and have also stowed away, leaving the Captain with a ship crewed entirely by women. Much hilarity ensures as the woman try to keep up their disguise whilst swooning over the dashing captain.

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Poll was danced wonderfully by Nao Sakuma, who showed a wonderful sense of comic timing, especially in the scene on board ship where she faints twice, first from the sound of the cannon, and then in a swoon for Captain Belaye. The captain is also wonderfully danced by Mathias Dingman, who plays the role with his tongue firmly in cheek, but dances a dream, particularly in the hornpipe inspired dance. Balaye’s fiancee Blanche (Laura Day) is also hilarious, playing the pretty, pampered princess like a wind up doll to brilliant effect, whilst Kit Holder as Jasper, the pot man in love with Poll, gives the ballet emotion in the scene where he believes Poll is drowned.

Pineapple Poll is such a lovely, funny experience, it leaves you with a wonderfully warm glow.

Le Baiser de la fée, Pineapple Poll & Arcadia.

Thu 22 – Sat 24 June

Click here for ticket information