Curious Coincidences: Wendy Brandes vs. Topshop

curious coincidences, jewellery, topshop, wendyB

Swear rings, Wendy Brandes (created 2008)

Swear rings, Topshop (2012)

How very, very curious.

Please check out Wendy’s original post here, and feel free to boycott Topshop in solidarity with a noble (I would never have reacted so calmly) and talented designer.

I get angry enough when they copy beloved vintage pieces, but this…

This post is brought to you by Miss Peelpants’s Curious Coincidences, it’s turning into quite the series!

Edited to note that Topshop have now removed the offending articles from sale with a decidedly formulaic apology.

Duffy and Squiffy

bloggers, brian duffy, christine keeler, grace coddington, ossie clark, wendyB

Since returning from Paris, I’ve managed to do considerably less work than I ought to have done. However, it has been in the name of enjoyable vintage-related shenanigans so I don’t mind too much. I am working on new listings now, so I will let you know when they go up!

On Thursday night, I was at the launch of the new Brian Duffy book (published by ACC) which I will be reviewing (or salivating over, if you know me at all) soon. Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch are having an exhibition and sale of Duffy prints, which are all superb. I particularly adore the picture of Grace Coddington with her boobs out, and Christine Keeler….also with her boobs out. A pattern is emerging, methinks.

Talking of boobs…. As lovely as these photos are, I have seen them all before. This meant that I was a smidge distracted by the howling, and I really do mean that, typos on the captions beside each image. It brought out my worst side, Miss Pedantpants, and here is my gallery of shame (I’ve highlighted the worst offenders…). The book doesn’t have these typos, I hasten to add, so the Idea Generation lot really need to buck their Ideas up. It’s not a professional look. Unless they really do have Yoda writing for them…

Pedantry aside, it was a great evening. The photos are well worth having a gander at, even if you can’t afford to buy a print, and it’s a lovely, airy exhibition space. I would recommend peeking into the smaller side room, since there’s a glass covered table full of Duffy ephemera and smaller, less well-known photos on the walls.

We also ended up having a little chat with Brian’s younger brother (why on earth am I so terrible with people’s names? Shameful. He was a dude!) who was genuinely lovely and happy to talk about his big brother. I was unusually sober, unusually for such an event, due to the fact that only beer was on offer. A state which was not achieved when I attended the 4th Annual Transatlantic Blogger meet-up on Saturday.


It’s become tradition to meet, eat and drink [Pimm’s] when the gorgeous WendyB visits London in the Summer. It’s also my tradition to forget my camera and rely on other people’s photos afterwards, so thank you to Wendy and Kate for providing me with a few shots to share (if you haven’t already seen them on their blogs!).

It was as lovely as always to see gorgeous laydeez Kate, Margaret and Sharon Rose, and an absolute joy to finally meet the legendary MrB. Needless to say, conversation came around to recent newspaper events, and there was much gossip, advice and a valuable and hilarious education in blunt euphemisms from the brilliant Kate.

I was wearing an Ossie Clark crepe skirt and a pink and yellow knitted top by Erica Budd. I’ve seen Erica Budd as a name in my Petticoat and Honey magazines for years now, but never possessed or even seen one. So I was chuffed to find that particular beauty. The Ossie is an absolute staple of mine, and the shoes are the most insanely comfortable wedges (comfortable given the 5 inch heel anyways…) from Marks and Spencer. I realise I lose cred for them being M&S, but they look and feel good so I don’t give a hoot! But I did have a hoot on Saturday (even if I did pay for it with a Pimm’s headache) so thank you ladies!

Cleo, Camping, Bloggers and Pimm’s

bloggers, carry on films, florence, pimm's, wendyB

It’s been a bizarre and lovely few days since I returned from Florence. After a quick return home to sift through emails and post out items, and after a delicious Latte Macchiato (my new ‘thing’) at the highly recommended Belmondo cafe in Orpington, I shuttled myself across South London to Bromley’s very dinky (as the name might suggest) Little Theatre to attend a performance of Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (originally a National Theatre production about, unsurprisingly, the Carry On films). I haven’t been to an am-dram production of anything for a seriously long time, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Despite the heat and the patchy performance (I’m being kind there) from one cast member who-shall-remain-nameless, it was a rather good, clean, fun evening out. The actress playing Barbara Windsor deserves special mention for perfecting Babs’s delightful giggle and for successfully recreating the bikini-popping scene from Carry on Camping.

I was attempting not to recreate such an event on Saturday when Five Bloggers Went Pimm’sing in London.

Wendy, Kate and Margaret have blogged about the event already, and I was brilliantly useless as ever with my lack of camera facilities, so please do take a look at their blogs if you want to see how frazzled I was looking – even with my cut-out Lee Bender sundress. I don’t do heat very well. Pimm’s does a mighty fine job of cooling you down though, as does the great gloomy British pub. Al Fresco? No thank you. I should like a dark, damp corner please…

It was ever so lovely to meet Margaret, Winnie and Disneyrollergirl for the first time, and as delightful (if not more so because there were no irritating children or waiters around this time) as last time to see the lovely Wendy and Kate.

For both these sweaty post-Florence events I managed to completely forget to take my fan. I purchased on my birthday in dizzy desperation, and it was definitely the best €4 I’ve ever spent. The best €2 you could ever spend would be on Florence’s very own black and white photobooth, which is positioned near the Santa Maria Novella train station. It’s nicer if you just ‘happen’ upon it, but you can look these things up online as well. Click the photo to become a ‘fan’ on facebook. A-ha-ha. I am funny.

Cleopatra and France

gorgeous customers, marie france, website listings, wendyB

If you can see your way past the ‘hell kind of birdsnest’ on Roxy’s bonce, and have a yen to look like a goddess or a Queen, then please do take a look at the Marie France dress over on the site. And if you want to complete the look, there’s little better to add than one of WendyB‘s amazing Cleopatra pieces.

If you aren’t already aware, the gold earrings are set to feature (dangling from the noble lobes of Kim Cattrall) in the new Sex and the City film. Wendy herself has a very similar Marie France dress, bought from Vintage-a-Peel a few years back, which she wore with the Cleopatra necklace and Toni Colette arm candy.

There’s a very lovely silver version of the earrings as well, which I would probably choose. Given a choice. And given unlimited funds. Because, weirdly and purely personally, I’m more of a silver kind of gal. I would, of course, accept platinum as a substitute though. Ahem.

p.s My apologies for the slower-than-usual updating of the blog and website. I’ve now been distinctly under the weather (Truthfully? “Positively consumptive”.) for 18 days (and counting) since a chilly Sunday walk around Worthing. Not that I’m blaming Worthing or anything, but fresh air doesn’t always equal good health. That’s all I’m sayin’. 😉

Anyway, antibiotics have now (reluctantly) been accepted and I hope to be back to normal very soon.

I Dream of Wendy


Last night I had the most vivid dream that WendyB’s Tie Breaker ring magically appeared in my life. I think it just randomly showed up in the mail and I had no idea if it was a gift, or a mistake…. But truly, my dreams are quite limited aren’t they? Admittedly I was dreaming about it because I had spotted it last night on her site and totally fell in love (I’m not a big wearer of rings generally, but I would make the exception for anything by Wendy), but if I’m going to dream about a Wendy ring randomly turning up in the mail….it OUGHT to be the Queen Min, for that is so very ethereally beautiful and far more expensive. Le sigh.

Anyways, if anyone wants to anonymously buy me a WendyB ring, they’d be very welcome. Otherwise I will just have to save up for the Tie Breaker myself (I know my limits).

Pimm’s and Bloggers

Foale and Tuffin, pimm's, wendyB

It was so delightful to spend the afternoon with the gorgeous bloggers (all four of them) WendyB, Sharon Rose, Samantha and Kate at Harvey Nichols today. Grumpy waiters aside. Five hours and two pitchers of Pimm’s definitely wasn’t enough, especially when I returned home to find Wendy had forgotten to tell me she likes Foale and Tuffin. Well, I could have bored for England on that subject….next time, next time.

Thank you ladies, especially to Wendy for coming over in the first place and organising it – and to Sharon Rose for the gorgeous Bus Stop blouse (which fits perfectly) and Mary Quant scarf. The former may get a debut while I’m on my Duran Duran odyssey next week. More of that in due course…

WendyB in OssieC from Vintage-a-Peel

celia birtwell, gorgeous customers, ossie clark, wendyB

I hope the lovely WendyB doesn’t mind my re-posting her photos of her (and her Zang Toi arm candy) wearing her latest Ossie (to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, no less!) which she bought from Vintage-a-Peel. I don’t often get the chance to see photos of the frocks being worn, although lovely customers often email to tell me where they’ve been worn and it’s always a delight to hear! Check out her blog post here.