Mary Quant – V&A

Entrance to the exhibition

Mary Quant was the second major fashion exhibition I attended at the V&A within a fairly short space of time. Born in London, Quant revolutionised the British high street in the 1960s, making high fashion available to everyone and popularising the famous miniskirt. I have to admit that on a personal level, the clothes aren’t really my style – I prefer longer skirts and dresses in general, and the Dior-influenced vintage look is much more my scene. In fact, my favourite piece in the exhibition was a maxi dress from the Seventies. However, there’s no doubt that Quant’s clothes had a huge influence on style, and her practical, fun pieces helped to democratise fashion.

Quant sailor dress
Quant sailor dress
Mini dresses
Mini dresses

The exhibition takes us through Quant’s career and showcases the pieces that made her famous, including monochrome daisies, coloured opaques, practical underwear, and even modern makeup (I could tell from the style of the marketing that Lush was influenced by Quant’s makeup range). I really liked that the museum got the public involved, requesting people to send in their own Quant clothes. I went to the exhibition with my auntie and I enjoyed hearing about her own experience of the brand – wearing a minidress to meet her future in-laws and worrying that the skirt was too short!

Makeup range
Makeup range, decorated with the trademark daisy
Red maxi dress
My favourite piece from the exhibition

I thought it was cute, too, to showcase the mini, Barbie-style Quant dolls, dressed in miniature versions of popular fashions. A way to get younger girls interested in the clothes so that they could covet them for themselves when they were older.

Daisy doll
Daisy doll

Overall, the exhibition is definitely worth a visit – for the social history as much as the fashion.

Dior: Designer of Dreams – V&A

Introduction to the exhibition

I was very excited when the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition was announced at the V&A. The styles are exactly my kind of thing: I’m a vintage lover, and for me Dior epitomises the ‘vintage look’ of nipped-in waist and full skirt. This is one of the most popular exhibitions in the V&A’s history, and most tickets sold out way in advance.

Dior ball dress
Beautiful ballgown

Dior became famous with the ‘New Look’ of 1947, when the privations and rationing of the war years made the full skirts and luxurious fabrics of this style seem particularly exciting. The exhibition begins with a single suit on display, epitomising this look with its nipped-in waist and generous skirt.

Early Dior 'New Look' suit
Early example of the ‘New Look’

The House of Dior began in 1946, set up by Christian Dior, born in Normandy in 1905, up until then a fashion illustrator. It has continued up until the present day, with a number of designers helming the company since Dior’s death (one of whom was Yves Saint Laurent). One room of the exhibition was devoted to these designers, including Marc Bohan and John Galliano, although for me nothing compares to the classic Dior designs.

Row of Dior dresses

The exhibition is beautifully laid out, with different rooms devoted to different themes: I particularly liked the floral room.

My favourite dress in my favourite room - the floral dress
My favourite dress of the whole exhibition

The exhibition runs until 2 September and has a high recommendation from me.

End of the exhibition

Jewellery brand of the month: Oh So Flamingo

My jewellery brand for October is the UK-based


So far, my only purchase from this brand has been the special poppy brooch made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. All profits are donated to the Royal British Legion. I purchased the small brooch, the picture below shows the large.

Lone Soldier Poppy Appeal Brooch
Lone Soldier Poppy Appeal Brooch

What first drew me to the brand was a cute cupcake brooch I spied.

Cupcake O'Clock Brooch
Cupcake O’Clock Brooch

I also love the range of Hollywood-inspired brooches: this one was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor.

Lizzy Brooch
Lizzy Brooch

This squirrel brooch is super cute.

Squeaks the Squirrel Brooch
Squeaks the Squirrel Brooch

The brand doesn’t only produce brooches: I adore this rose necklace.

A Rose By Any Other Name Necklace
A Rose By Any Other Name Necklace

Oh So Flamingo can be found at:





Carnation Collectables (UK-based stockist):

Jewellery brand of the month: You Make Me Design

I can’t believe I haven’t chosen this brand as my brand of the month yet, as they’ve been around for a while and I own several of their pieces. The brand is:


You Make Me Design is run by Emily, who is inspired by all things cute, vintage and kitsch. She makes all her pieces in her North East coastal studio (another reason to love this brand, as I am also from the North East!).

My absolute favourite item from this brand is my Scared Pumpkin Brooch, now available once again for a limited time for Halloween.

Scared Pumpkin Brooch

These Medusa Statement Earrings are new this year, and they’re on my wishlist.

Medusa Earrings

I love this super fun Monster Crunch Crisp Necklace, too.

Monster Crunch Necklace

This Party Tiger Statement Brooch comes with a detachable magnetic mask. (His friend the Party Cheetah comes with a detachable party hat!)

Party Tiger

The Pasta Statement Necklace is colourful and cheerful.

Pasta Statement Necklace

You Make Me Design can be found at:



Not on the High Street:


Jewellery brand of the month: MukkaChunks

This month I’m celebrating a relatively new British brand:


MukkaChunks is run by Rachael, a designer and maker based in Yorkshire (but soon to relocate to the Midlands!). I’m yet to purchase any of her beautiful pieces but I’m sure I will get my hands on at least one by the end of the year.

Top of my list is the beautiful Sweet Patricia Forget me Not Brooch. £5 from each sale also goes to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Sweet Patricia Forget me Not Brooch

The Peeping Penny Fieldmouse Brooch is super adorable.

Peeping Penny Fieldmouse Brooch

I love this incredibly detailed dragon brooch.

Dragon Brooch

The Misty Mountain Brooch is part of the Going on an Adventure collection, inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Misty Mountain Brooch

I love the shade of acrylic in these Green Moonshine Earrings, part of the Sorcery and Illusion collection.

Green Moonshine Earrings

Check out MukkaChunks at:




Jewellery brand of the month: Iris De La Torre

My brand of the month for July is:


Iris was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to the UK to study. Her jewellery is inspired by traditional Mexican crafts as well as colourful 1960s design.

I’ve chosen to showcase her work this month chiefly because of the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A: Iris has been commissioned to produce a number of designs specifically for the exhibition, which are available in the museum shop in person and online.

Antonio the Golden Sun (Antonio el Sol Dorado) is a favourite brooch of mine, gleaming brightly and cheerfully.

Antonio the Golden Sun brooch

He can be paired with the Moon (La Luna), who shines with a silvery shimmer.

La Luna brooch

The Cat (Gato) brooch is adorable.

Cat Brooch

So is this deer brooch, representing Frida Kahlo’s pet deer.

Deer brooch

Speaking of Frida: this beautiful Frida Flower Crown brooch is unique to the V&A.

Flower Crown brooch

There is a whole range of exclusive jewellery available, but this parrot brooch is top of my list for when I visit the exhibition.

Parrot brooch

Check out Iris De La Torre’s work via the following links:





Jewellery brand of the month: Curious Carousel

This month’s jewellery brand is the lovely


This brand is the creation of Lisa Bell Reid, who is originally from Edinburgh and was inspired to create her beautiful carousel brooches by the Christmas carousels on Princes Street. Now based in Australia, she designs beautiful brooches and earrings suitable for both the collector and the wearer. I’m yet to buy any of her designs, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Cassie is the original carousel horse brooch, available in a few different colours. I’ve chosen this one to show here because I love the hearts in her mane and tail.

Cassie the Carousel Horse

Arabella is a beautiful unicorn, also available in several different colourways. I love the fairydust acrylic used for her mane.

Arabella the carousel unicorn

Arabella is also available as a bust-style brooch as an alternative to the carousel style.

Arabella bust brooch

This gorgeous robin brooch, named Noelle, was released at Christmas 2017.

Noelle robin brooch

There are also seasonal carousel-style designs: Amelia is a bunny rabbit, released specially for Easter.

Amelia the rabbit carousel brooch

I’m also fond of the fabulously flamboyant Florence, a flamingo brooch.

Florence the flamingo carousel brooch

In addition to these amazing brooches, Lisa has created some amazing earrings: my favourites are these gorgeous Alice in Wonderland dangles.

Alice in Wonderland dangles

Check out Curious Carousel via the following links:




Curious Carousel products are also available from various online stockists including Lottie & Lu (UK) and Broochaholic (AUS).

Jewellery brand of the month: Pandacat Productions

For May’s jewellery brand I’ve chosen another UK brand, the relatively new, Glasgow-based:


This brand is the brainchild of Jess Milne and was only started this year. I’ve bought one piece already – the Second Star to the Right Necklace, which I wore to a theatre performance of Peter Pan.

Second Star to the Right Necklace

I’ve also got my eye on this lovely Venetian Mask Necklace.

Venetian Masquerade Mask Necklace
Venetian Masquerade Mask Necklace

This lamp post brooch is very Narnia.

Winter Lamp Post and Robin Brooch
Winter Lamp Post and Robin Brooch

Christmas or not, it’s always a good time for a Mince Pie Brooch.

Mince Pie Brooch
Mince Pie Brooch

These baby dragon brooches are adorable.

Baby Dragon Brooch
Baby Dragon Brooch

Check out Pandacat Productions via the following links:


Instagram: (I particularly recommend following on Instagram for sneak peeks of new collections including a forthcoming Wizard of Oz range!)

Jewellery brand of the month: Working Clasp

For this month’s jewellery brand I’ve chosen the UK-based:


Working Clasp jewellery and accessories are designed and produced in Birmingham by Rebecca Cowley.

It’s a shame St Patrick’s Day has passed, because I love this Father Ted-inspired Father Jack shamrock pin.

shamrock pin

These cameo earrings are beautiful and subtle.

cameo studs

I love this vibrant poppy brooch.

poppy brooch

This star necklace is very Eighties.

star necklace

While this vintage floral necklace is delicate and subtle.

vintage floral necklace

Check out Working Clasp via the following links:






Jewellery brand of the month: The Storybook Rabbit

As it’s nearly Easter, I thought it would be appropriate to pick a brand that focuses on that well-known Easter symbol, bunnies. This month’s jewellery brand, therefore, is:


The brand is the creation of Kelly White, who is based in Sydney, Australia. Her designs mostly involve animals, are incredibly cute.

‘Shy bunnies’ are some of the best-known brooches in the Storybook Rabbit range. I particularly like this little Red Strawberry Bunny.

Red Strawberry Bunny

Articulated bunnies made from different acrylic pieces are also prevalent. St Patrick’s Day has just passed, but I think this Lucky Clover Bunny Buddy would be an adorable brooch for that occasion.

Lucky Clover Bunny Buddy
Lucky Clover Bunny Buddy

This Lop Rosette Bunny is made with white pearl acrylic, but he is available in lots of different colours, and matching rose brooches are available too.

Lop Rosette Bunny
Lop Rosette Bunny

It’s not just bunnies though – this Pretty Kitty Brooch is super sweet too. Molly the cat comes with an extra, tiny kitten brooch.

Pretty Kitty
Pretty Kitty

My favourite is possibly this gorgeously detailed Shadowbox Brooch.

Collectors Shadowbox
Collectors Shadowbox

If you like the look of these creations, check out the Storybook Rabbit via the following links: