venerdì 23 gennaio 2015

Kate-Inspired Purchase Review: Mirabelle Gold Plated Loop Earrings

Hello everyone, and welcome back to a new repli-kate review post about the Duchess of Cambridge's gold loop earrings. Just thought I'd share some photos of these beauties with you all as the Kate community was abuzz with speculation about the origin of this particular pair.

The Duchess debuted a new pair of earrings on Friday last week, 16 January, for an event hosted by The Fostering Network in Islington, North London. 

Photos via Daily Mail and Mirabelle.
While I can't say I was a huge fan of the brown-dress-and-black-accessories combo, I really loved the earrings, delicate, go-with-everything gold tone hoops and, in my search for an ID, stumbled upon these on the Felt website which seemed a pretty close match:

Via Felt.
Described on the Felt webiste as "gold plated brass earrings, consisting of three entwined hoops with hammered finish sides" and retailing at just £25 (about $38 or €33 at today's exchange rate), plus £10 shipping to Europe ($15 or €13), I quickly snapped up a pair (they're available in a silver plated finish as well). It was later clarified that Felt, a contemporary and vintage jewellery mini boutique in London's Chelsea, is actually just the stockist of these, which are by hand made, fair trade jewellery company Mirabelle. There was discussion as to whether the earrings actually worn by the Duchess were one of two similar designs available to purchase on the Mirabelle website, the Lolita or the slightly bigger Gina. For the lowdown on this, you can read the brilliantly informative post Anna from My Small Obsessions wrote on her blog.
The bottom line is, Felt came out saying they had sent the earrings to Catherine as a gift. The protocol of royal gift-giving is a bit blurry to me here, as I thought members of the Royal Family could only accept gifts from private individuals, not businesses, but of course we don't really know the circumstances of this particular situation and I'd say it is entirely possible that the Duchess paid for these anyway.
Today I was thrilled to find this envelope from Felt in my mailbox (by the way, the address was beautifully handwritten, a definite plus in my books when receiving mail from a business!).

The earrings were (appropriately) packaged in a soft grey felt logoed pouch tied with a plush royal blue velvet ribbon:


I'm pleased to report these are way more gorgeous in real life than they looked on the web. Both on the Mirabelle and Felt websites, the earrings looked rather dark, antique gold, even a bit brassy on the Mirabelle photo (first one in this post). In person, they're very delicate and lightweight, a beautiful yellow gold colour.

The three intertwined hoops measure exactly 4 cm long, with the largest hoop being about 2 cm in diameter and the smallest about 1.3 cm. They have a hook fastening which makes the total lenght about 5.6 cm.

The hammered sides have two different finishes, as you can see in the photo above: one has a sort of delicately bubbly, slightly raised finish (right-hand side of the largest hoop), the other looks more like a sort of tiny horizontal stripes (left-hand side of the largest hoop).

This is how they look tried on:


The earrings remain available to buy from Felt, while it's currently possible to pre-order them from Mirabelle. 

On the whole, I love my new earrings and I'm very, very happy I discovered a new retailer in Felt, as they stock some seriously gorgeous items (among them, another favourite with the Duchess, the Double Leaf earrings by Catherine Zoraida) in a wide range of prices, like these Peace Symbol, Star and Disc Charms, from their Affordable Diamond range:

Or this Sea Green Calcedony Charm:


domenica 11 gennaio 2015

Kate-Inspired Purchase Review: Really Wild Clothing Company Silk Scarf in Autum Partridge

As soon as I saw the Duchess of Cambridge step out for church on Christmas morning accessorising her brown tweed "Turpin" coat by British label Moloh with the most fabulous printed silk scarf, I just knew I had to have one, if we ever got an ID on it.

Turns out I was in luck (an with me, undoubtably, were a number of Kate fashion followers!) as, only a few days after Christmas, Berkshire-based company Really Wild Clothing published the above photograph on their Facebook page, identifying the scarf the Duchess wore as their own "Silk Scarf in Autumn Partridge" (currently unavailable, although I'm pretty confident it will be restocked sometime soon, as the above photo still features prominently on the Really Wild homepage).

It's worth noting that Catherine first wore a Really Wild item in public on Christmas Day 2013, when she made an early morning church appearance wrapped up warm in the company's Cashmere Mix Wrap in Claret (available for pre-order here).

Having put my name on a waiting list for the cashmere mix wrap last year, I'd been thrilled with the customer service at Really Wild: attentive, efficient and offering prompt reply to enquires.
I'm sorry to say I was significantly less impressed this time around. By the time I saw the original Facebook post from Really Wild, the scarf was, predictably, sold out. So I commented on the photo asking whether they were expecting any more stock.
No reply was given. I then emailed them with the same question. Again, silence.
Anyway, as I was really interested in the scarf, I kept checking the website regularly for updates and, sure enough, on 30 December more stock was listed and I was able to purchase the scarf!
Afterwards, I noticed my Facebook comment had just been deleted without reply after the scarf became available again. My email enquiry, on the other hand, received a reply only after the item had been delivered to me, having therefore lost all relevance by then.
Moreover, they state on the website that you'll be notified by email when your items are shipped, but no such email was received in this instance, leaving me to wonder whether my parcel was already on its way or still sitting around in a Berkshire warehouse  - so, well, not so very happy with customer services this time around!

But never mind, as my scarf eventually arrived, wrapped in Really Wild tissue paper and complete with glossy catologue, and it is gorgeous!

The scarf retails at £125 (about $190 or €160), plus £12 (about $18 or €15) for shipping so, for me at least, definitely on the expensive side for a scarf, even a silk one.
Happily, I love it in person just as much as I did on the website, and I could justify the expense as it will go beautifully with my Hobbs camel coat!

As for what to accessorize it with, I'll be taking a leaf out of the Duchess' book and pair it with gold-tone jewellery, namely my Catherine Zoraida Double-Leaf earrings (reviewed here) and Asprey Woodland Charms replica by The Looking Glass Shop (reviewed here).

As for what nail colours would suit this beauty, I've come up with a selection in gold and earthy tones from my stash:

Clockwise from top centre: Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 579 Paparazzi and 639 Exception, Estée Lauder Pure Color in M1 Buffed, Guerlain La Laque Couleur in 400 Coque d'Or, Dior Diorific Vernis in 241 Gold Equinoxe, Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 625 Secret and 569 Emprise, Butter London 3-Free Nail Lacquer in Goss, Nails Inc. Nail Polish in 041 Cadogan Square and Dior Vernis in 223 Trench.

sabato 3 gennaio 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge's Complete 2014 Lookbook

1. Late Januray 2014 (photos published in issue 1314 of HELLO! magazine, dated 10 February 2014) - Arriving in Mustique with Prince George.

2. 4 February 2014 - Walking in Kensington Gardens with Prince George.
Barbour Ladies Waxed Defence jacket, now discontinued; 5:11 Tactical black baseball cap; navy J Brand skinny jeans; Prince George was in his Silver Cross pram.


3. 11 February 2014 - Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Ink blue silk tulle gown by Jenny Packham, first worn in October 2013; new necklace: Nizam of Hyderabad necklace on loan from the Queen; diamond earrings thought to be a wedding present from the Prince of Wales; "Cosmic" pumps in black suede by Jimmy Choo (Daily Mail article here).

4. 13 February 2014 - Walking Prince George in Kensington Gardens.
5:11 Tactical black baseball cap; unidentified black yoga pants; unidentified aqua knitted top; unidentified cream long sleeved top and scarf; Asics running shoes (Popsugar gallery here).

5. 14 February 2014 - Opening of the ICAP Art Room at Northolt High School, Ealing, London.


6. 17 February 2014 - Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate the Queen's 60 years as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Bespoke red Alexander McQueen dress with pleated skirt, first worn at the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in June 2012; bespoke " Maud" clutch in ink black satin by Anya Hindmarch; "Temple of Heaven" yellow gold earrings by Cassandra Goad; black satin pumps by Prada (Daily Mail article here).

7. 1 March 2014 - Leaving Bunga Bunga nightclub in Battersea, after the birthday party of close friend Louise Aubrey Fletcher.
"Odele" black shearling coat by Temperley Londonblack leather locked cosmetic purse with brass details by Mulberry, first used in 2011, right before the royal wedding (Daily Mail article here).


8. 17 March 2014 - Attending the nnual St Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks, Aldershot.
New coat: Green Hobbs "Persephone" coat in rayon/wool blend; structured green beret with bow by Gina Foster Millinery, first worn on Christmas Day 2013; "Valerie" court shoes and "Natasha" clutch bag, both in carbon suede, by Emmy London, both debuted at the "African Cats" premiere in April 2012; green mock croc leather belt; Kiki Classic green amethyst and diamond cushion drop earrings; Tissot watch; Cartier gold and emerald shamrock brooch, on loan from the regiment (Daily Mail article here).


9. 29 March 2014 - Attending the wedding of close friends Lucy Meade and Charlie Budgett in Marshfield, Gloucestershire.
Black felt "Fairy Tale" beret by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock & Co.; tweed coat by M Missoni, first worn in 2012; "Temple of Heaven" yellow gold earrings by Cassandra Goad; "Bella" blue multipetal bodycon silk mix dress by Whistles, first worn during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012; "Angel" black suede platform court shoes by Episode; black suede Mulberry "Bayswater" clutch (HELLO! magazine article here).

10. Released 29 March 2014 as a pre-tour official family portrait, photo by Jason Bell.
"Rodeo" blouse by Temperley London, first worn in Calgary in 2011.

11. Another pre-tour official photo, taken during the same shoot as #10, but made public in November 2014.

12. 1 April 2014 - Shopping at GAP Kensington High St.
"Maria" skirt by Whistles; unidentified black top; black suede boots, most likely her Russell & Bromley pair.

13. 7 April 2014 - Stop-over at Sydney Airport.

14. 7 April 2014, Arrival at Wellington Airport at the start of the New Zealand and Australia tour.

15. Being driven to Government House with Prince George.

16. 9 April 2014, Royal New Zealand Plunket Society playdate at Government House, Wellington.

17. 10 April 2014, Wreath-laying at Blenheim War Memorial.

18. 10 April 2014, State reception at Government House, Wellington.

19. 11 April 2014, Visit to Royal New Zeland Air Force Base Whenuapai, near Auckland, and sailing competition on Auckland Harbour.

20. 12 April 2014, Visit to Rainbow Place Children's Hospice in Hamilton and opening of the National Cycling Centre of Excellence and Avantidrome, plus visit to Cambridge.

21. 13 April 2014, Palm Sunday Church service at the Cathedral of St Paul, Dunedin.

22. 13 April 2014, "Rippa" rugby match at Dunedin Forsyth Arena.

23. 13 April 2014, Visit to Amisfield Vineyard and rafting trip on the Shotover River.

24. 14 April 2014, Engagements in Christchurch.

25. 16 April 2014, Visit to the Royal New Zealand Police College and departure from Wellington Airport for Sydney.

26. 16 April 2014, Welcome ceremony at Sydney Opera House.

27. 17 April 2014, Visit to the Blue Mountains.

28. 18 April 2014, Royal Easter Show at Sydney's Olympic Park, "Bear Cottage" Hospice and Manly Beach visit.

29. 19 April 2014 - Visit to RAAF base Amberley, Brisbane.
New dress: L.K. Bennett "Lasa" poppy print dress in snorkel blue; new bag: "Odeion" clutch in indigo leather by Australian brand Oroton; navy suede Alexander McQueen pumps; sapphire and diamond earrings; Cartier Ballon Bleu watch; "Fortune" white gold mid-lenght necklace by Mappin & Webb (Daily Mail article here).

30. 19 April 2014, Rugby match between NWS Warathas and South Africa Bulls at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.

31. 20 April 2014, Easter Sunday service at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydeney.

32. 20 April 2014, Visit to Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

33. 20 April 2014, Arrival in Canberra.

34. 21 April 2014, Relaxing in Government House, Canberra.

35 & 36. 22 April 2014, Visit to the National Indigenous Training Academy at Uluru.

37. 23 April 2014 - Arrival in Adelaide.

38. 24 April 2014, Visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Canberra.

39. 24 April 2014, Evening reception at Government House, Canberra.

40. 25 April 2014, ANZAC Day ceremonies in Canberra.

41. 25 April 2014, Departing Canberra.

42. 29 May 2014, A day of engagements in Scotland.

43. 6 June 2014, D-Day Landings 70th anniversary commemoration at Gold Beach, Normandy.

44. 10 June 2014, America's Cup event at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

45. 10 June 2014, Buckingham Palace garden party.

46. 14 June 2014, Trooping the Colour.

47. 15 June 2014, Watching Prince William play at Cirencester Polo Club.

48. 16 June 2014, Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle.

49. 18 June 2014, Visit to Bletchley Park.

50. 19 June 2014, Private visit to EACH Hospice.

51. 27 June 2014, Taking Prince George to Bucklebury Farm Park.

52. 30 June 2014, Attending the annual Place2Be conference in London.

 53. 1 July 2014, Visit to Blessed Sacrament school in Islington, London.

54. 2 July 2014, Watching the men's quarter-final match at Wimbledon.

55. 5 July 2014, Official launch of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

56. 6 July 2014, Attending the Gentlemen's final at Wimbledon.

57. 22 July 2014, Holding Prince George in one of his official 1st birthday pictures (photos were actually taken on 2 July at the Butterfly Exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, but released to coincide with the Prince's birthday).

58. 22 July 2014, Driving back to Kensington Palace ahead of Prince George's birthday party.

59. Late July 2014, Attending a friend's wedding.

60. 28 July 2014, At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

61. 29 July 2014, At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

62. Early August 2014, Walking Prince George in Kensington Gardens.

63. 4 August 2014, World War I Centenary commemorations in Belgium.

64. 5 August 2014, Visit to the "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" art installation at the Tower of London.

65. 30 August 2014, Enjoying a dinner date with Prince William at the King's Head Hotel in Great Bircham, Norfolk.

66. Early September, Arriving back at King's Cross, London.

67. Mid-October 2014, Leaving her gynecologist's office in London.

68. 21 October 2014, Ceremonial welcome of the President of the Republic of Singapore in London.

69. 21 October 2014, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award at the Natural History Museum.

70. 23 October 2014, Action on Addiction autumn gala.

71. 8 November 2014, A day of engagements in Wales.

72. 9 November 2014, Remembrance Sunday.

73. 12 November 2014, SportsAid athletes workshop in Brentford, West London.

74. 13 November 2014, Attending the Royal Variety Performance.

75. 19 November 2014, Presenting the Wellbeing in Schools Award for Place2Be at Kensington Palace.

76. 25 November 2014, Visit to EACH Hospice in Norfolk.

77. Late November 2014, Out shopping in Norfolk.

78. 4 December 2014, Attending a board meeting and reception for the 1851 Trust at the Goring Hotel in London.

79. 7 December 2014, Arriving at The Carlyle Hotel in New York.

80. 7 December 2014, Private dinner hosted by Sir Martin Sorrell benefiting the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

81. 8 December 2014, Visit to Northside Child Development Center.

82. 8 December 2014, Attending an NBA game.

83. 9 December 2014, Visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

84. 9 December 2014, Attending a reception honouring British creativity, as part of the GREAT program.

85. 9 December 2014, St Andrews' University 600th anniversary gala dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

86. 13 December 2014, Attending a friends' wedding.

87. 16 December 2014, Engagement with the 23rd Poplar Beaver Scout Colony in East London.

88. 17 December, Arriving at the Queen's Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace.

89. 25 December 2014, Christmas Day service at Sandringham.