A Few Shiny Things……

As a follow on to my previous post, I wanted to share a few of Wallis’s jewels…

She was known for her iconic style as much as her fabulously over the top pieces of jewelry, and a few pieces in particular, should be mentioned.

image via fashionandbeautytips1blogspot

This is a magnificent piece (it happens to be my favourite!)which once belonged to Queen Mary, and which was then given to her son Edward(and obviously worn by Wallis Simpson), and interestingly,  then bought by Calvin Klein for his young wife Kelly, in the 1987 auction. It consists of a perfectly matched strand of natural pearls,  with a pendant drop pearl of a massive 18.4mm.

image via stylecourt.blogspot.com
image via stylecourt.blogspot.com

Imagine the thrill of wearing a piece with such a provenance….the magic and history must have been tangible. Unfortunately, the necklace is no longer owned by Kelly Klein and was auctioned again 20 years later, in 2007.

Another wonderful item was this pair of earrings…a black pearl and a white pearl surrounded by diamonds.

image via hello.com

I like the idea of pearls not matching and yet being part of a set…quite quirky and another indication of Wallis’s playful taste in adornment!

image via .designer-vintage.com

A selection of pieces from Cartier….note the iconic Flamingo brooch (or pin as the American’s call it)

I love the picture in the top left corner of the couple jumping….quite eccentric!

image via relasjournal.blogspot.com

Wearing the Flamingo brooch-ever stylish in black and white, with just the bold piece to make a statement.

image via zimbio.com

I mentioned this bracelet in my previous post but go here for an interesting list of each cross and its significance in the couple’s lives…the article also speculates on the possibility that the Windsors may have had a child….of that I am not sure, but it makes for an interesting read!

image via the stylexpert.blogspot.com

The Prince of Wales feather brooch…given to Wallis by Edward ,and auctioned off in 1987..it was subsequently bought by Elizabeth Taylor, as she had admired the brooch for many years and had even asked the Duchess of she and the Duke would object if she had the design copied. As it turned out, she and Richard Burton had felt it inappropriate to copy the piece and it was not done.

And yet another piece by Cartier, designed and made in 1947.

image via steelorchids.com
image via steelorchids.com
image via blog.sharecrystal.com
image via blog.rewarestyle.com
image via steelorchids.com

Another huge brooch on a very simple dress…so incredibly stylish.

image via kaboodle.com

Last but not least, Wallis’s engagement ring…a huge, almost 20 carat emerald engagement ring. The inside of the band was etched with the phrase “We are ours now 27 X 36”, which was supposedly an abbreviation for the day he proposed: 27 October , 1936.

Wallis like to wear large, bold pieces of jewelry and  it definitely suited her…she seemed to have large hands and feet and I think that small, delicate pieces would have been lost ,and would simply not have had the impact these wonderful works of art have.

Madonna’s Latest Production….

image via thedailymail.co.uk

My sister and I went to see this over the weekend…….

image via thedailymail.co.uk

I loved it…while critics have slammed the movie,for me it was a visual feast, with beautiful clothes, people and interiors! I know I sound shallow and perhaps I should demand slightly more from a cinematic experience…. the direction was not the best I have ever seen, but the story line was an interesting take on the classic “love story”of Wallis and Edward.

image via thedailymail.co.uk

I also loved the addition of the modern-day love story which plays a part in the telling of the tale….

image via straight.com
image via http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Wallis Simpson’s magnificent jewelry also features prominently throughout the whole movie, and I remember seeing the catalogue for the Sotheby’s auction back in 1998 ,and browsing through it with absolute wonder…..The Duke showered her with  jewels throughout their life together and her Latin cross bracelet was one of my favourite pieces, along with the pearl necklace featured above. You can see the cross bracelet on her hand….

image via http://madameguillotine.org.uk

And also here on her wedding day.

image via http://reallifeiselsewhere.blogspot.com

And also in this image……

image via reallifeiselsewhere.blogspot.com

The interior decoration was also wonderful….this was one of the few stills I could find with an good interior background. I think  the mustard yellow wall with the portraits is fabulous…

image via http://reallifeiselsewhere.blogspot.com

I LOVE this shot of the very civilised cocktail hour…..as for the peonies….and need I mention the graphic print dress? I thought the costumes were absolutely breathtaking and I  read that Andrea Riseborough had to make 60 costume changes while playing the Duchess….I can imagine that was quite true….every shot was more elegant than the next. It is not surprising that Wallis is considered one of the most stylish women in the world.

image via http://reallifeiselsewhere.blogspot.com
image via allstarpics.com

A very charming portrait of Wallis.

I, like so many other people, have always been fascinated by the story of these two people, who very sadly, never ever returned to live in England, but lived the rest of their lives in exile. This comes across very strongly in the film and I felt very sad for this poor man, who gave up his entire future as King of England, for a woman he was obsessed with. The other surprising fact which came across was the fact that Wallis was not as besotted with Edward, as he was with her. In fact , several of her letters to friends and notably, her ex husband Ernest, relate how terribly lonely she was. This fact really fascinated me and one gets the feeling that she regretted the path she had chosen but she seemed to make the best of their life together and was an excellent partner to the Duke.

I researched several blogs and sites and discovered a few documentaries on Youtube…one in particular: Secret Letters: Wallis Simpson discusses her very personal letters to her ex husband Ernest and reveals the fact that she may have still been in love with him…even after marrying the Duke.

See the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMk13YaDVBg

Two small issues about the film worried me a little – the actor, James Dárcy, was a lot taller than the Duke was…he was apparently quite a short man and he and Wallis were the same height. Also , Adrea Riseborough is a lot prettier than Wallis was….it is well known that she made the best of her looks and was never considered to be a beauty.

All in all though, I highly recommend the film …even if only for the clothes!

How perfectly civilised…..

image via PBS

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 18 months, you will no doubt have watched, or at least heard of, Downton Abbey, the epic TV series from the amazingly talented British writer Julian Fellowes.

image via Telegraph UK

The story line is  wonderful, with twists and turns, romance and heartbreak and a murder or two thrown in for good measure. The setting is the historic Highclere Castle, which since 1679, has been home to the Carnarvon family.The house appears to have been extensively remodeled and re-worked over the years into what we see today-the glamorous and imposing “Downton Abbey”!

The series is beautifully filmed and the screenplay is witty and clever…all of this is set against spectacular interior decoration and the most beautiful costumes.

image via decorchicablogspot.com

I love the soft tones of this drawing room where Lady Crawley is sitting doing her needlepoint…

The attention to detail is incredible-look at the lace , ribbon and embroidery on the garments…it must have been a nightmare to get dressed each day, but then one did have one’s own maid to assist! I just cannot imagine running around getting paint samples and fabrics in these gorgeous frocks…no wonder they did not work for a living…

These soft summer dresses are just sublime….

all images above via islesofjane.com

Many years ago I lived in England for just over a year and had a few opportunities to visit historic homes similar to Highclere Castle….in reality, these lovely homes are steeped in history with the gentle patina of age in worn stone, sometimes shabby furniture and incredible stone masonry. Seeing Downton Abbey really took me back to that time when I was lucky enough to see such houses in “the flesh”…I even spent Christmas and New Year with a friend’s family in their castle (yes, the family castle) in Scotland…now that was interesting to say the least….freezing cold but quite an experience! I will leave that story for another day….

One of the bloggers I follow regularly , Linda Merrill of Surroundings , has done a few wonderful posts on the decor as well as the costumes -all in all, a wonderful read and such a unique look at the series…click on the link and have a look.

Happy Valentine’s Day………

I am back after a long absence,  a few changes to the look of the blog, and  just in time to celebrate the day of Love…apart from the horrible commercialism, it is a great  opportunity to appreciate red and pink …a combination which may not be as obvious as one thinks!

Here are some lovely red and pink images in honour of today..

image via eventtagious.blogspot.com
image via ecelecticrevisited.com
image via Absolutely Beautiful Things
image via http://mylife-myloves.blogspot.com

This gorgeous display is from the wonderful mylife-myloves.blogspot.com-her work is absolutely amazing so do take time to browse through her lovely blog and images…such an inspiration!

image source unknown

And one last one just for fun!

image via habitually chic

Well at least he’s wearing a red jacket….