Posts Tagged ‘Magpie Vintage’
A little while ago, Louise at Bow Occasions wedding planners did a fantastic ‘Vintage Week’ on her blog. Being a HUGE lover of vintage AND weddings, I jumped at the chance to talk about my 2 favourite vintage eras and give some suggestions for how a vintage bride may pull off the look with shoes, jewellery and headpieces. Here’s the article in full:
Hi, I’m Kate Bowl and I run Queens & Bowl wedding accessories – an online boutique offering gorgeous wedding shoes, jewellery and headpieces. I love vintage style and all of my products are either inspired by vintage fashions and trends or are created from genuine vintage pieces. I stock amazing, award-winning designer names including Rachel Simpson, Halo & Co and Magpie Vintage.
One thing I’m really keen to do on my site is to provide inspiration for brides planning or thinking about having a vintage wedding. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from brides on my ‘Inspiration Pages’ so I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite eras here as part of Bow Occasions’ vintage week!
First up is the 1920s….
I love 1920s for the dramatic change in women’s fashion that took place during this period. Women were asserting the independence and liberty they’d tasted during WW1 and there was a real sense of rebellion in the air! It was also the decade that first brought us the Art Deco movement and screen legends like Greta Garbo and Clara Bow who are still mysterious, enigmatic figures even today.
The most iconic 1920s fashion was of course the Flapper style which became popular in the mid 1920s. This look is probably the most recreated ‘20s look for modern brides and needs these key touches to pull it off:
- A loose knee-length shift dress that shows off bare arms. They were often heavily beaded with a scalloped hemline. The alternative if your figure doesn’t suit this style is to choose a drop-waist dress of longer length. Drop-waists were popular throughout most of the 1920s.
- Mary-Janes with a single strap or T-Bar shoes like the Hettie or Mimi styles by Rachel Simpson
- Pearls – and lots of them. Long length pearl necklaces, made famous by a certain Coco Chanel, are ideal. Our Luxe Pearl Necklace by Stephanie Browne is made of Swarovski crystal pearls and features 2 Swarovski crystal Deco brooch pieces that are detachable.
- A close-fitting headpiece worn low down, towards the forehead. The Tiffany pearl and diamante headpiece by Ivory & Co is perfect.
- Feathers. Headpieces with feathers (try our Vienna headpiece by Ivory & Co) or a shrug like the Paris by Sasso add an authentic 20s vibe.
Finish the look with finger-wave hair and dark red lips, re-applied at regular intervals!
Next up, the 1950s….
….another period of fun mixed in with elegance and I love the pure glamour of the decade. Speaking of glamour, how much more glam can you get than Hollywood screen siren Grace Kelly marrying into royalty in the South of France!
So many enduring icons came to fame in the 50s – Liz Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and of course, Marilyn Monroe. The timeless fashion of the 1950s also became iconic and is very much growing in popularity amongst brides. Here’s what to focus on for a ‘50s wedding theme:
- A knee-length dress with plenty of under-netting to give the A-line shape. If you have a bigger bust, a strapless style top is ideal, if not, go for a higher neckline like a boat-neck or slash-neck. Lace or taffeta were the signature fabrics.
- Pearls – but keep it simple. Go for either small pearl stud earrings or a short, single strand pearl necklace. We have some beautiful freshwater pearl necklaces by Magpie Vintage featuring original vintage ornaments.
- Sparkle. As Marilyn Monroe could testify, the ladies loved their diamonds, so look for vintage-style jewellery featuring large crystals or diamante, such as our glamorous Boucheron earrings or detailed Astor bracelet.
- Bows and lace details. Both were popular in the ‘50s and contributed to the femininity of the look. The appropriately named Marilyn bridal shoes by Rachel Simpson fit the bill perfectly.
Whichever vintage era you choose, you’re sure to have a truly timeless and elegant wedding. For more vintage inspiration, visit the Queens & Bowl blog and feel free to leave your comments!
If you know anything about vintage bridal jewellery, or have even a passing interest in vintage ‘bling’ in gerenal, you can’t fail to have heard of Magpie Vintage. Magpie were the trailblazers when it came to the resurgence in vintage bridal jewellery – sprinkling their creativity and craftwork onto long-forgotten vintage pieces and mixing in new components to create a cocktail of antique decadence with a contemporary twist.
As a recent addition to the Queens & Bowl designer fold, I thought it would be nice to have a catch-up with the creative talents behind the delectable Magpie Vintage. Now in their 6th year in business, here’s my little catch-up with one half of Magpie Vintage, the super-talented Tania Borton….
First of all, could you briefly describe your business and ethos?
Magpie Vintage was formed by the union of the creative talents of Lisa Harris and Tania Borton. Contemporary style combined with a love of Victorian opulence and the timeless quality of antique and vintage materials are reworked with silver to form eclectic one off wearable designs. The range caters for all occasions including the decadent bridal collection-the components of which are various hues of white.
Can you describe a typical working day? What do you like / dislike the most?
Each day I have to keep up with emails and make up orders. Then, depending on what’s going on, we catch up with stockists, work on PR, advertising and of course we have lots of appointments with our brides-to-be.
Who would be your dream client and why? What do you think they’d choose to wear?
Helen Bonham Carter, I love her English, individual taste. I like people who dare to be different and be themselves, instead of following fashion.
She would wear antique collars or cuffs.
What’s your greatest achievement of your career to date?
Every Brides who we bring a smile to.
What are the overriding trends we’ll see in your next collection?
Lace dresses are very ‘in’ this season and I predict that this will carry over next year, we have developed smaller flowers and heavily embroidered beaded headbands to complement those dresses.
What advice would you give to a bride-to-be starting her search for jewellery or a headpiece?
Decide on your dress and hair first and be mindful of the overall look you want to achieve. Then Magpie Vintage can work with you to match the concept and achieve the dream of each individual bride.
What career path would you have taken if you weren’t a designer?
Designing is in my blood, from a long line of designers. Its just how my brain works! I love taking the vision and converting it to reality.
What would you do if you won the Euro Millions?!
Do what we do now! Lisa and I love what we do and the people we meet.
We’ve currently got some beautiful pearl necklaces in stock from Magpie Vintage – perfect for those lace dresses!
Thanks again to Tania for a little ‘look’ behind the workings of the Magpie world!
So, your budget doesn’t stretch to diamonds, but you want to inject some vintage-style sparkle into your wedding jewellery – the options are pretty straightforward, right? Well, with different boutiques and retailers using a whole myriad of terms including diamante, rhinestone, crystal, paste, crystal quartz, Swarovski crystal, Austrian crystal, it seems not!
My post about the different types of pearls used in wedding jewellery a few weeks ago was so popular; I thought I’d have a go at lifting the lid on the different types of ‘crystal’ bridal jewellery.
Before the advent of modern-day imitation jewels, the rock crystals around the banks of the river Rhine were used to imitate precious stones – hence the original term ‘rhinestone’. Since then (and up to the modern day), jewellers and scientists tried to make more affordable and abundant alternatives by creating manmade stones. So despite its original and specific meaning, the term ‘rhinestone’ has become a fairly generic term.
Here’s a rough guide to what’s what:
Rhinestone / Diamante
Basically, these have come to be a catch-all terms for ‘imitation’ precious stones. All kinds of materials are described as rhinestone or diamante, including rock crystal, lead crystal, glass and even acrylic (plastic). For the record: no Queens & Bowl designers use acrylic rhinestones.
Paste was invented in the 17th century and was popular until the early 20th century, so it’s often found on original vintage wedding jewellery. Paste was a glass compound with a foil backing to achieve a twinkle effect. It was often used to create pave-style settings (made up of hundreds of stones) for a reasonable price. Magpie Vintage antique components often feature paste detail, like the gorgeous Art Deco Disc necklace.
Rock Crystal / Crystal Quartz
Rock Crystal (part of the Quartz family) is often confused with lead crystal (see below), but unlike lead crystal, it is not manmade- it’s mined from the earth. Tiny imperfections, found naturally within the crystals, bounce light around within the stone and mean that there is no need for a foil backing as with paste.
Lead crystal is not actually crystal at all – it’s glass, with lead oxide added at the molten stage. The lead oxide makes the glass refract the light much, much more than glass, giving it that diamond-like sparkle. The main production sites for lead crystal are the Czech Republic and Austria. They’re perfect for ultra glamorous, Marilyn Monroe style wedding jewellery.
Austrian Crystal / Swarovski Crystal
Austrian Crystal (otherwise known as Swarovski Crystal) is lead crystal and it’s the most famous brand of lead crystal in the world. Swarovski is acknowledged as being the ultimate quality, owing to the unique ratio of lead to glass (32% lead), giving the best refraction rates and amazing sparkle. Swarovski crystal stones also have more facets than other stones and are always cut glass rather than moulded or machine-pressed.
AB crystals are simply lead crystals with a very thin metallic coating, producing an iridescent rainbow effect. AB stands for Aurora Borealis (otherwise known as the Northern Lights), after which the effect was named.
AB crystals help to give a vintage or antique feel and work particularly well with pearls. Halo & Co have some fantastic pieces in AB crystal this season, including the Anouska Pin.
Hopefully this little post has made things crystal clear! If not and you have a specific question regarding your wedding jewellery, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to help you find the perfect jewellery for your wedding day.
So, all pearls are pretty much the same, right? Nooooo! Did you know that large, high quality, natural pearls can be more expensive than high quality diamonds – often worth thousands of dollars each?
Here’s the quick science / history lesson….
Pearls have long been coveted for their beauty and value. Wild, natural pearls are formed when a microscopic object, such as grit, accidentally becomes trapped within a marine mollusc and irritates the animal to produce layers of nacre (the smooth, hard, shiny substance we know as ‘pearl’) around the object. This process could take up to 10 years to produce a medium-sized pearl and perfectly round pearls were (and still are) very, very rare. Pearl fishermen in the southern seas would fish for hours or days just to find 1 pearl, hence their prized status.
Natural pearls can be found in a variety of colours, depending on the water conditions or the mollusc, including whites, creams, pinks, gold and even black pearls from Tahiti.
Thankfully for the many brides who want to wear pearls on their wedding day (a particular must if you’re having a 1920s or 1950s-themed wedding), there are lots of alternatives, many of which are used by the jewellery and headpiece designers here at Queens & Bowl. So here’s a brief explanation of each one:
1. Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls now far outnumber natural pearls on the modern market. The science / process is the same as the creation of a natural pearl, except the grit or ‘seed’ is purposefully placed into the shells of mussels that are grown in large beds either within freshwater rivers and lakes, or the sea. They are then left to grow and mature.
There are still many variations of cultured pearls, including shape, finish and colour:
- The rounder the pearl, the more expensive – perfectly round cultured pearls are almost as rare as natural round pearls. Almost round, regular shapes are often referred to as ‘Semi-baroque’, ‘Button’ or ‘Rondelle’. More irregular shapes are called ‘Baroque’ and are less expensive but still ideal for a vintage look.
- The fewer blemishes a pearl has, the more expensive it tends to be. Every pearl is unique, so you should expect cultured pearls to have one or two marks, blemishes or small pot-holes.
2. Imitation Pearls
‘Imitation’ or ‘Manmade’ pearls are very often misunderstood. Indeed, some imitation pearls are of poor quality, made of plastic and covered in a thin coating of paint. However, this is generally reflected in the price – if it looks cheap (you’ll be able to tell) and is cheap, the chances are it’s a very poor quality imitation.
At Queens & Bowl, all of our designers use high quality, glass beads rather than plastic. They are then coated multiple times with pearl essence to make a great quality imitation pearl.
Benefits of high quality imitation pearls:
- The glass gives weight, ensuring it hangs like a natural pearl
- Imitation pearls are perfectly round to give uniformity to the design
- Flawlessness – the man-made nature ensures that you can have a perfect finish
3. Swarovski Crystal Pearls
Finally, there are Swarovski crystal pearls. These are also imitation pearls, but rather than glass, the core is Swarovski crystal. The superior quality lustre comes from a unique coating technology developed by Swarovski and gives a unique lustrous glow, as well as flawless finish.
So, even though you may not be able to stretch to genuine natural pearls there are plenty of good quality options for your wedding jewellery!
I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of yet another award-winning designer wedding jewellery brand to Queens & Bowl! This time it’s the turn of Magpie Vintage, the gorgeous creation of the super-talented Lisa Harris and Tania Borton.
These pieces are something a little different to the rest of our ranges, which is all vintage-inpired – Magpie’s pieces are all crafted from original, vintage and antique components, reflecting both Lisa and Tania’s passion for Victorian opulence. Their vintage finds from around the world are reworked by hand with silver and freshwater pearls to form eclectic one off wearable designs.
Tania and Lisa use only naturally grown fresh water pearls in cream rounds and off white baroque. They are not dyed, the pearls simply take on the colour of the water they are grown in, thus being creams and off whites.
Amongst the pieces we’ve taken is my favourite, the Art Deco Disc Original Vintage Necklace, crafted from gold/yellow rhinestones in a pave setting, with a real 1930s vibe. For the moment we’ve taken a very small handful of pieces to complement our necklaces range, but plan to add more to the range very soon.
Remember, each Magpie Vintage piece is a one-off, so when each one is gone, it’s gone – if you see something you like, don’t hang around! To own a piece of Magpie Vintage is to own a piece that is truly unique to you and a genuine piece of history – perfect for a vintage feel to your wedding look.