Monday, 23 November 2015

The Singing Tree

I promised outfits in my last post and here I am in an outfit! It's been bitterly cold here the last few days. I've had to resort to layers and layers of clothing and have even found myself pulling out jumpers (they are not my favourite). The cold weather has had one use though, it's been far too cold to venture very far so my mind has been whirring. I've thinking back to Budapest and the clean, crisp air there, and reading everything I can about Hungary. My mind has been turned particularly to folk tales and fairy stories, the Hungarians certainly know how to write good ones and the illustrations that go alongside are wonderful. Due to this new found inspiration I've been dressing very much like a character from a Hungarian fairy tale - think long plaits and lots of colour (not that dissimilar from my usual get-up really!)

There are so many wonderful illustrators from Hungary, my favourites are mostly from the early to mid 20th century. I love Kate Seredy's work in particular: how wonderful are these book covers?

Source: 1
Source: 2
 and my other favourite is Willy Pogany. His style is so sumptuous and colour rich I feel I could just walk right into one of the scenes! 

Willy Pogany from the Tisza Tales
Source: 3
Willy Pogany, from the Tisza Tales
Source: 4
My own fairy tale ensemble was a little inspired by these and a little by the wonderful costumes I saw at the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest. They were all incredibly richly layered and intricately detailed that each time I looked there was something I hadn't seen previously. That is always my aim for a good ensemble - to draw people in so they have to look several times to understand it all. 

The beautiful embroidered waistcoat I'm wearing I bought in Budapest (you saw it here first) and I've hardly taken it off since I arrived home. It's wonderfully warm and goes with almost everything I own. It's actually a recycled piece of embroidery that's been carefully stitched to a piece of hessian, reinforcing it and reviving it for a new life. The collar at the back is my favourite bit, it improves my posture and makes me feel ever so slightly regal - high collars always do I think it has something to do with this painting.

The skirt is another new purchase. I found it a few days after I arrived home from Budapest in my most local charity shop, which is a sort of vintage/up-cycled chazza (not always my favourite establishments due to the tendency to hoik up the prices). I rarely find anything I like in there but this skirt leapt out at me from a sea of beige polyester and at £6 I knew it had to come home with me. It's my new favourite, the pattern is utterly perfect - after ogling so much lace in Hungary it sort of seemed like fate that I found it! Oh and of course the headdress. I bought two of these in Hungary. They are not terribly practical but they are such a delight to dress up in that I don't really mind I just have to make sure I don't move my head around too much as they tend to fly off.

Linking up with Visible Monday because I feel excellent in this outfit!

Outfit Details

1970s cotton lace printed skirt - Charity shop
Green wool polo neck - Uniqlo
Embroidered waistcoat - Vintage shop, Budapest
Embroidered headdress - Central Market, Budapest
Choker necklace - Penny MacBeth
Earrings - very old Topshop
Knee-length leather boots - Bertie


Saturday, 21 November 2015

All Day Breakfast

I mentioned a while ago that I had begun writing a cookbook. Well, I've spent the last few months testing, writing and editing recipes for the first chapter. It's been an enormously enjoyable experience. Cooking is my second greatest love next to clothes so spending time writing about it has been an absolute dream! I'm very lucky to come from a family of editors so it's now being sent off  for several rounds of proof-reads and then off to the publishing houses I go to try my luck. Whatever the results I'm very happy to be back in the swing of writing, and I feel immensely proud of what I've put together. 

As part of the first chapter my mum and I shot photographs for a select few of my favourite recipes. Although I'm not going to reveal the final images I thought I'd share a few behind the scenes pictures from our day snapping. We had such fun taking the pictures and then eating all the food - what a dream!

The weather has been truly truly awful in Cornwall this week so I have to apologise for no outfit posts but one will be coming soon I promise. Then at the beginning of December I'm off to London again for work and a little bit of pre-Christmassy cheer. I love London in December more than any other month: the crisp air, twinkly lights and misty mornings - it's magic. If anyone is around and free send me an email and maybe we can grab hot chocolate at some point. 

Outfit Details

1980s lace top - Dorothy Perkins via my mum

1970s cotton lace print skirt - Charity shop

Green children's ski t-shirt - Lidl


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Budapest: Part 3

The third, and final, selection of pictures form Budapest. On our final morning my mum and I rose early and hurried over to the supermarket to buy chocolates and interesting Hungarian cooking ingredients. One of my favourite things to do when in another country is check out the supermarkets, I love learning about the food and packaging - a bit of an odd holiday past time I know but I love to re-create all the dishes I've sampled when I get home!

 After this we all hot footed it on the tram over to The Applied Arts Museum
Apologies in advance this is a VERY picture heavy post. The museum was just so beautiful. The building itself was completed in 1893. Designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos it is an ode to an East meets West architectural vernacular, Lechner studied in the UK and was influenced enormously by The V&A. The roof and ornate interior were designed and completed by the world-renowned porcelain company Zsolnay

After posing about and snapping hundreds of photographs of the amazing entrance hall (look at that ceiling!) we bought tickets and waltzed around the main collection and their temporary exhibition on Islamic textiles.  The collection was wonderful, a beautiful selection of ceramics, textiles, furniture and other delights. It was much sparser than our own applied arts equivalent, The V&A, but for once I rather enjoyed that as the the building was so breathtaking.

I really really really wanted this 18th century Austrian suit, I think it might be the perfect ensemble. 

After taking all this in we were ready to womble off for a coffee prior to going to the airport however, on our way out the lovely curator of the collections Krisztina Gerhardt stopped us and asked if we had time for a quick behind the scenes tour. We had time to spare so of course we said yes! I am so glad we had time. It was incredible. Not only did we get to see the building from every angle and learn more about it's turbulent history but we also got a sneak peek at some of their collection of Zsolnay ceramics! It was a design nerds dream come true. I just kept thinking this would never ever happen in the UK. In order to get an appointment at The V&A you have to book 6 months ahead, and even then everything is carefully under wraps - I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, it's just a very different and more bureaucratic environment.

First we ventured outside where we learnt about the dome below that used to sit on top of the building. During the revolution of '56 the building suffered wide-spread damage, this originally hollow structure was filled with concrete to secure it however unfortunately it made it much too heavy. It was taken down several years ago in order to properly restore it. 

Then it was on to the Zsolnay collections. Oh my were they amazing! There were hundreds of pots, vases, ornaments etc etc. I could have happily spent hours plodding down this corridor gazing at them. Alas we only had half an hour!

Cabbage plates! My one true love! I didn't know they were also made in Hungary, another type I'll have to look out for. 

 There were cases and cases of bits of broken porcelain. What a mosaic they would make!

So that's it! Hungary is a country I'll definitely be exploring more I feel. It has so much culture and history to offer I can't wait to delve into it more. My next trip I'd like to visit Vienna on the train too and maybe also Pécs - the home of Zsolnay. 

Next up will of course be some pictures featuring my new purchases from Budapest!

Outfit Details

Embroidered Hungarian shirt - Central Market Hall, Budapest
Hungarian felt hat - Central Market Hall, Budapest
1930s pink satin slip dress - Car boot sale
1960s paisley wool scarf - Car boot sale
1990s boots - Flea market