Mauve Mistrust

>> “Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons.  It always means that they have a history.” Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray

I’m not going to be to the liking of Wilde’s character Lord Henry Wotton as I’ve ticked both boxes of being in the mood for mauve and also nearly reaching thirty and showing no signs of dislike for pink ribbons.  Still, it’s as good a quote as any for a shade that has permeated this outfit first with a swathe of super soft feathers on a Louis Vuitton paisley lined stole, which I bought with some long overdue gift credit, and second with the iridescent steely grey sheen of a S/S 12 Christopher Kane organza shirt, picked up from the sample sale on Friday.  In actual fact, this is an assembled outfit of sample sale buys and new bits and bobs, which I’ve felt like tarting up with passing thoughts of Cottingley fairies, winter gardens, moody Deborah Turbeville and Ellen Rogers images, Ivory and Merchant films, memories of tattered Cicely Mary Barker books and more recently, being overly obsessed with Farrow & Ball paint colours and interior schemes that involve pastels tempered with big doses of grey.

All of that just happened to manifest in one outfit with the big dose of grey courtesy of Tome‘s enveloping flat form grey felt cape.  It’s a cape of the best sort; one that allows your arms to move and it’s demonstrative of the sort of deceptively simple and yet highly charged way with fabrics that New York based Tome are becoming known for.  A visit to the surprisingly excellent and bargainous Opening Ceremony sample sale in London’s Truman Brewery (sorry for not informing – I only found out on the day from my sister who happens to be interning at OC) this past weekend yielded a heavily reduced S/S 13 Toga top featuring an amazing crystallsied floral design that glints in the light, and a knotted and twisted chiffon halter dress by Argentinian label Fauna, designed by Paula Selby Avellaneda and Juan Hernandez Daels.  That’s to go into the drawer in my wardrobe, which I’ve dubbed “Things Made Out of Tulle and other See-Through Things Too.”  The other day at a Motilo cocktail, which I hosted along with Lulu Kennedy and Leigh Lezark, someone did poke fun at the fact that I was one of the few people in the world that would look at a giant swathe of tulle (in that particular case, it was the Molly Goddard x ASOS dress) and defend its wearability because it’s a “useful layering piece.”  I maintain my line of defense.  This Fauna dress with its halterneck shape and lack of underskirt/dress is crying out for layering.  A pair of Calla jeans and the Chrissy Kane florals under and over the dress, completes the whole wintry floral narrative.  And there’s that fluffy mauve thing that Wilde would pour scorn on if he saw it today.  Futher musings on mauve can be read on this really old Guardian article by Simon Garfield.  Turns out the colour became a bit of a London fad in the 1850s-60s, as witnessed by the journal All the Year Round as mauve took over hair ribbons and crinolines, “all flying countryward, like so many migrating birds of purple paradise.”  That to me is surely reason enough to keep on “mauve-ing.”  Sorry.  Couldn’t help myself.

P.S. Nothing to do with Oscar Wilde hating on mauve, flowers or winter but Tabitha Simmons’ colloration with Toms, otherwise known as #TabiToms, is pretty ace.  Like for like, the same cricket stripe fabrics that Simmons has used in her mainline collection have been applied to two Toms shapes (the classic slip-ons and a desert wedge ankle boot) at a fraction of the price.  I’m not one to do Crimbo gift guides but these would be a good bet and obviously has a charitable aspect to it as well with Toms’ “One for One” initiative.


Ellenrogers_wildling_211012_2730Photography by Ellen Rodgers

Howards-end-bluebellsHowards End


Tumblr_mgik3grVz61qbidlso1_1280“Face in the Mirror” photographed by Deborah Turbeville in New York 1984




Cottingley_6Cottingley Fairies photograph series taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths in 1917


Tumblr_lw1xhauoM61qa214go1_1280Karen Elson in Christian Dior Haute Couture A/W 1997 photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth 



9780141349053L_003Flower Fairies” illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker





Tumblr_mx1gm9kLiV1t3i3bco1_500Frozen flowers images from Tumblr


Persephone-bookshop-london-thefabuloustimesPersephone Books


Paperpotplant_1_shop_product_2 Paperpotplant_2_shop_product

PictureWallDeborah Bowness wallpaper


ImageHandler 100270_1Images from Farrow & Ball



Ellenrogers_january..._290313_3365 Photography by Ellen Rodgers



IMG_5734Wearing Tome grey felt cape, Toga top, Fauna tulle dress, Christopher Kane shirt, Calla jeans, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, Louis Vuitton feather stole


Tumblr_m9olo3YrkY1qgvdcto1_1280“A Winter in Saint Petersburg” photographed by Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia July 2006

22 Replies to “Mauve Mistrust”

  1. Hey…I am 42 and I am fond of pink ribbons LOL…great pictures my dear.
    November Outfits Recap…new blog post on:

  2. Such a beautiful outfit, I was obsessed by those girls who found fairies as a child. The tulle and grey fur are really magical

  3. I have seen the stole in brussels, i even touched it! it was hanging in a beautiful vintage suitcase of vuitton (doesn’t matter where it was hanging actually). The collection at the store in brussels was pretty limited, haven’t seen a lot of the marc jacobs collection. LV was already in some kind of cruise mood. anyway, stunning stunning color, looks amazing with your dark brown hair and olive skin. not sure if everybody would look good wearing that color, but it absolutely looks amazing on you

  4. Your cape is out of this world cool. And these photos are so beautiful, I’m in love with “Face in the Mirror”, I really adore seeing old photos of past lives.

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