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Autumn Accessorising

By | Fashion | One Comment

After the exceptional heat of the summer, the time to don warmer clothing is upon us, and fashion commentators have identified silk scarves as ‘the’ autumn fashion accessory. In an autumn nutshell, they are a great way of keeping warm whilst looking cool. For men, now is the time to add a versatile day-to-night pocket square to your wardrobe for the darkening evenings.

autumn chic silk scarf on trend

When does autumn start?

There are two autumns! A meterological one which is based on average temperatures. It also aligns neatly with the Gregorian calendar, and runs from 1 September to 30th November. This is to enable consisent year-on-year weather data comparisons.

The autumnal equinox is the more traditional date for the start of autumn. It can vary by a few days each year as it relates to the earth’s orbit around the sun which takes a little bit longer than 365 days (hence our leap year to catch up).

Sunday 23 September 2018 is the date this year when the earth’s axis doesn’t tilt away from or towards the sun. This means that the sun shines directly on the equator.

The official term for this is “equinox”. It also happens in Spring – the Vernal Equinox. And for my readers in the Southern Hemisphere, the two seasons are reversed.

The term “equinox” comes from the Latin meaning ‘equal night’, as the length of day and night is nearly equal around this time. (At the equator it’s always equal). However, the actual date when you experience almost 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night varies depending on your latitude. People living only a few degrees north experience the date several weeks after the rest of the hemisphere.

women's fashion for autumn accessories leaves

Autumn Fashion Accessories for Women

A recent article on stylecaster says everything about why silk scarves are the best of autumn fashion accessories:

“I used to swear by chunky knit scarves … but my silky go-to has done more in the way of temperature regulation than any of my bulky knits have… all that fabric does a lot for insulation—plus, since it’s wrapped around your neck (one of your body’s quickest-cooling points), it’s pretty efficient, too.

And the best part is:

Silk scarves are cute. You can stay warm while looking pretty damn trendy

—and you don’t have to weigh yourself down with outfit-obscuring layer after outfit-obscuring layer. Silk scarves are the perfect solution to particularly breezy fall days…”

Blue Flamingo scarves aren’t flimsy chiffon as with many high street options. They are quality medium weight silk to keep you warm, are made in the UK and are hand-finished. They are large enough to style in a variety of ways to create many different looks to complement your autumn fashion. And at just £65 including P&P, they don’t come with the price tags of the designer labels in the Stylecaster slideshow.

Autumn is a season of such variety: gloriously turning leaves, Keats’ “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, and shining lights in dark evenings. Here are three scarf designs that encapsulate each of these aspects.

lovehearts silk scarf for summer in orange and pink

Heart Strings: the feel-good brighter side of autumn

Sloane Square Ladies Scarf colleague gift professional

Sloane Square: season of misty and smokey hues

black and grey scarf professional colleague gift present suit accessory

City: dramatic nightscape with ochres and greens

Autumn Fashion Accessories for Men

Recently The Debonair praised my City pocket square for its “Autumnal colours”.  The Debonair reviewed the City pocket square last winter, and said:

“The great thing about about the City Life pocket square is its versatility.

By simply folding the square in an alternative manner, you can achieve a completely different look. It’s almost like having two pocket squares in one, which is highly useful especially in the city. Leave this one in your desk drawer to class-up your suit for important meetings, or switch from green to gold as you leave work and head to the bar.”

The Downtown design was added to the collection after The Debonair’s review, but it also oozes sexy city styling with its golds and bronzes of downtown office lights streaking by. Definitely one for a dynamic go-getter.

trendy pocket square prisms of light and office blocks multi coloured

City: autumnal colours and multi-way versatility

Downtown Gold Silk Pocket Square

Downtown: sexy city styling with dynamic golds and bronzes

bright and light autumn fashion accessory fireworks bonfires pocket square

Star: bright city lights or colour flashes on fireworks night

Sloane square london gift idea trees bikes peter jones

Sloane Square: season of misty and smokey hues

Star also reminds me of bright lights, and fireworks.

As with the ladies scarf, the Sloane Square pocket square with its bare tree design in muted greens, blues and ochres captures that misty, smoky feel to the season.

Special Offers

Buy a scarf and pocket square set in Sloane Square or City and save 10% – yours for just £90.

Autumn getaways

Of course, if you’re escaping to warmer climes, see my blogs on how versatile silk scarves are for beach cool, and how men can style up shorts.

Men’s holiday fashion

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Hot weather, hot styling

The summer may be slipping away in the UK, but it’s a great time to get away now the schools are back and holiday prices have dropped.  My previous blog looked at how female fashionistas can keep cool in Blue Flamingo silk scarves in a heatwave or on holiday, but what about men’s holiday fashion?

Hot weather can be challenging in terms of style.   Here are some men’s holiday fashion tips from Jake Cawthorne, adapted from his editorial about Blue Flamingo pocket squares originally published on The Debonair.

Stripe Cerise Turquoise Pure Silk Pocket Square

Summer suiting?

 

For me, the keyword for men’s holiday fashion is ‘casual’. When the heat rises, in my book it’s ok to style shorts! As long as they’re well-fitted and possibly have a pleat down the front. As a rule, go for chino or linen fabrics. Recently I’ve been balancing my summer suits with block colours; particularly with lightly-coloured jackets. If you don’t want to go full Costa Brava then I recommend using blues over whites and beige. However, personally I’m a fan of both!

Let’s talk pocket squares

In my last blog on Shop Blue Flamingo, I wrote about the ‘City Life‘ pocket square with dark Autumnal colours and geometric tower block patterns; perfect for city nights in rooftop bars.

In comparison, the bold ‘Stripe‘ square is likened to a rich sunset over the ocean; the intriguing mix of horizontal turquoise stripes with magenta, cherry and cerise gives off an ‘evening cocktails by the beach feel’.  Perfect for men’s holiday fashion!  Depending on how fancy you’re feeling, I’ve recommended two folds that I believe show the colours off best.

Stripe Pure Silk Pocket Square

 

How to balance the short suit

The pocket square is very important when wearing a casual suit. All of the Shop Blue Flamingo pocket squares are made from luxury silk. So, just like an elegant wristwatch; the squares add to your sophistication levels and take attention away from the casual t-shirt and shorts you’ve chosen for your men’s holiday fashion. I recommend using neutral, block colours to keep things clean cut. Then layer with a light jacket and a pop of colour in the breast pocket to achieve true balance. Allowing you to stay cool and look sharp, even at the most sophisticated summer events.

city life pocket square multi coloured rectangular prisms worn by stylish man
City Life Pocket Square

A brief history of swimwear…

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…and how to stand out like Ursula Andress

On the subject of UK lidos (in my blog last week), as I lay in the grounds of Ilkley Lido, surrounded by the modern day ringing in my ears or tried to swim whilst dodging the unsupervised dive-bombing children, I couldn’t help but hark back to how it must have been when it opened in the 1930s. Society was certainly very different back then, as was swimwear fashion – it was only just starting to look like the costumes and bikinis we’re familiar with today.

Pre-20th Century

Nude swimming, whilst still practised by men in rivers and lakes, first gave way to bathing wear in the 17th century, with gentrified male and female spa bathers wearing canvas outfits which billowed in the water to conceal the body’s outline.

Victorian billowy bathing dress

1858 Bathing Suit

Edwardian bathing costume and bathing machine

Edwardian bathing costume and bathing machine (Source: Wikicommons)

With the development of the railway permitting travel to spas and beaches, bathing became more popular. Nude male swimming was made illegal in 1860 and men wore drawers and waistcoats, which developed into the iconic all-in-one. Female Victorian bathing outfits were neck-to-ankle billowy dresses or tunics and bloomers to conform with ideas of decency. Bathers were wheeled right into the sea in bathing machines to further preserve their modesty.

Early 20th Century

Edwardian female costumes became a bit lighter, consisting of a tunic and shorter length bloomers. 

But swimming as a sport, rather than merely bathing in the waters, was becoming increasingly popular in the new century – and female swimmers in particular were hindered with their yards of fabric in tow.

In 1907 Australian Annette Kellerman borrowed the form-fitting style of a British male’s bathing suit and was arrested in the US for public indecency. She changed her one-piece to cover more skin, but the form-fitting style remained and became standard.

Annette Kellerman's controversial swimming costume

Annette Kellerman’s arrest-worthy swimming costume

Annette Kellerman's decent costume covering shoulders and legs

Annette’s revised costume

Modern swimwear

As freedoms for women increased, costumes shrank to a short suit, or occasionally a two-piece as long as it covered the navel. In 1928 an Australian company invented a racerback costume which allowed greater arm movement and faster swimming speeds. An employee dubbed them “Speedos”, and the company changed its name to the same.

Suitable fabrics were still a problem as rayon didn’t fare well when wet. Silk and cotton were used until the invention of nylon and latex in the 1930s. Many people continued to knit their own suit though.

By the 1930s it became acceptable for men to bathe bare-chested (again) and due to fabric shortages during the second world war, swimsuits needed to use less material. In 1946 “the world’s smallest bathing suit” was invented by a French engineer – the bikini. It was so risqué models wouldn’t wear it at the unveiling so the job was given to an exotic dancer.

 

Men's racerback swimming suit

Men’s racerback swimming suit

The world's first bikini

The world’s first bikini modelled by exotic dancer Micheline Bernardini

After the war, the practice of sunbathing, rather than water bathing, became more common, and so swimwear continued to become more visually arresting both in design and adornment. A more famous image than the 1946 bikini launch photos is that of Ursula Andress in the 1960s James Bond film.

Now we’re fortunate enough to be able to choose a swimming costume or bikini that says something about us (okay, and maybe one with stomach control technology and back-to-the-past skirts to cover up our wobbly bits).

But we can still all channel Ursula Andress and stand out from the crowd not only with our choice of swimwear but by accessorising it with a statement piece silk scarf from Blue Flamingo. See my blog for tips on how to wear your scarf as a cover up, and there are some examples below.

Blue scarf silk sarongs beachwear pool wear designer gifts for her gifts
hibiscus scarf worn as sarong at ilkley lido
Scarf worn as a halter neck top

The images in this blog have been sourced from https://commons.wikimedia.org/ 

UK lidos – lounge by the pool in style this summer at home

By | Fashion | 2 Comments

If you were ever to have a staycation or come on holiday in the UK from abroad, this is the year to do it. The UK has everything you could possibly want to see or do, and this year we even have the weather. And before you say “But I like lounging by a pool – you can’t do that in Britain”, there are 127 UK lidos (outdoor pools).

UK lidos have featured in plenty of travel articles this year – as optimistically early on as April in The Independent. Putting in a regular appearance in UK “top lido” lists is Ilkley Lido in Yorkshire (pictured below), where my house is. It’s a gorgeous lido with acres of lawns to lie on whilst you gaze up at Ilkley Moor and the famous Cow and Calf rocks before having a dip to cool off. It was built in the 1930s and, whilst not as beautiful as some of the art deco UK lidos, the cafe is a testament to the era, remaining largely unchanged, and it should stay that way, as the lido, cafe and changing rooms are all Grade II listed. The Friends of Ilkley Lido say up to 4000 people pass through its doors on a sunny day.

hibiscus scarf worn as sarong at ilkley lido

Most UK lidos were built in the 1930s when people first saw the health benefits of outdoor pursuits, eagerly taking to activities such as hiking. The 1920s had seen the first women swim across the Channel (fifty years after the first man) and changing attitudes allowed women to wear suits that “changed bathing into swimming” (the advertising slogan of Jantzen swimsuits), and so swimming as a sport had taken off.

Bizarrely, many UK lidos were built by the sea and filled with salt water. The reason was that although bathing machines had ceased to be used (wheeled cabins that allowed bathers to get straight into the sea without publicly displaying their bathing attire), it was still considered indecent to be in bathing wear beyond the beach and councils insisted bathers used, and paid for, their changing cubicles or paid to erect their own tents. Bathing was also forbidden on occasions when the councils deemed the sea was too rough.

Since sea swimmers had to pay anyway, lidos became very popular as they were often cheaper and guaranteed to be open once you got to the seaside. They usually had the added attractions of fountains, slides and diving boards, and the water was constantly pumped out, cleaned, and pumped back in.

Otley Lido in the 1920s

UK lidos were, of course, closed during the Second World War, and some didn’t reopen. Attendance dropped in the 1960s due to the accessibility of foreign shores and cheap package holidays, triggering a series of closures into the 1990s, including the lido in one of my nearby towns of Otley in 1993 (pictured above).

Otley is a lovely Yorkshire market town, famed for being home to furniture designer Chippendale, and the inventor of the Wharfedale Press which revolutionised printing. The lido is situated amongst the formal gardens and amenity space of Wharfemeadows Park along the picturesque banks of the River Wharfe. It’s now looking very sorry for itself, but the Friends of Otley Lido have plans not just to restore it, but to make it better than before with added facilities for the community. They held an Open Day last weekend to show their vision to the public, hear people’s memories of the old facilities, and obtain feedback on the new plans.

Fortunately many other historic UK lidos have already been saved or restored. Tinside Lido in Plymouth has been listed and restored, as has Saltdean Lido (pictured below) which was going to make way for a block of flats. Cornwall’s Jubilee Pool in Penzance, built in an unusual triangular shape to withstand the wind and waves, was also restored, saved from making way for a fun park.

Saltdean Li

Other UK lidos have been saved from closure by being maintained and run by volunteers such as Portishead, Hilsea and Stonehaven pools.

Why not support your nearest community’s effort and enjoy our Great British heritage and try one of the UK’s outdoor pools this summer?

How about the UK lido which is farthest North in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire? Or the UK’s highest heated outdoor pool in Shap, Cumbria at over 1,000ft above sea level? Or the UK’s deepest pool, Hilsea Pool in Portsmouth, Hampshire where Britain’s swimming team trained for the 1936 Berlin Olympics?

And don’t forget to take your Blue Flamingo scarf to protect you from the sun or sea breezes. My last blog looked at some inventive ways you can use my pure silk scarves as a cover-up. Here are some of my designs that remind me of a pool’s beautiful blue waters and the gold ribbons of the sun’s reflection.

Blue flamingo design unusual gift different gift
flamingos scarf trendy gifts fashionable gifts birdlovers presents
Silk scarf sea life
silk scarf blue marine gift for sailors

Do you have any memories or experiences to share about UK lidos? Please comment as I’d love to know!

Girl about town, beach, pool, bar… Summer scarf styling tips

By | Fashion, Seasonal | 2 Comments

The school summer holidays are upon us and many of us will be packing our beachwear and jetting off to possibly-not-warmer climes given the summer we’ve had so far here in the UK.  Most of us like to take a beach dress, sarong or other wraparound for wearing over our swimwear on the way to or from the beach. But you don’t need to buy one from a beachwear department; just pack your Blue Flamingo scarf. One of the scarves’ strongest points is their large size which makes them ideal to wear in a variety of styles as totally unique tops around Monaco or as bold beach cover-ups at Cannes – or whichever holiday destination you’re strutting your stylish stuff in this summer.

Blue scarf design blowing in the sea breeze

Time to embrace the sun, sand, and sea breezes on your summer holiday

Another feature of Blue Flamingo scarves is that they are made from pure silk. Unlike high street summer scarves which are made from low-cost synthetic fabrics such as viscose and satin, the natural fibres of Blue Flamingo scarves are breathable, and they feel soft and cool against your skin. They are so soothing to wear after a hot day at the beach when your skin can feel dry and irritated from the sun, sand and salt water.

But in case you find the evening breeze a little too cool as you sip your romantic sunset aperitivo at the bar, the pure silk of Blue Flamingo scarves offers great protection from the elements, again unlike lower cost options.

Below are some suggestions for how you can style your Blue Flamingo scarf over your bikini, or wear comfortably about town all day long so you stand out from the crowds.

 

1. Skirt

Tie the scarf around your waist for a classic lower body cover up.  If you’re lucky enough to have great legs, go for the shorter option as shown in the first image.

Scarf worn as a sarong shortScarf used as a sarong

2. Wraparound

Tie it tight, or hang it off an ample bust!

 

3. Halter neck #1

Start with the scarf behind your back and pull the top corners in front of you.

Twist the corners round each other in front of your neck.

Tie the ends behind your neck.

Scarf as hal

4. Halter neck #2

Start with the scarf behind your back.

Cross the top corners over in front of you and tie the ends behind your neck.

Scarf worn as a halter neck top

5. Halter back

Fold the scarf in half.

Take the new top 2 corners and tie in a very small knot.

Open the scarf out and you will see two armholes which you slip into from behind.

scarf worn as top with armholesscarf worn as top with armholes

6. Grecian

Tie the top two corners over one shoulder, tight enough so the scarf doesn’t sag on your chest, and the bottom two corners under your arm.

Scarf as Grecian top

7. Shawl

Oh so many ways to do this one – let your imagination run wild!  

Scarf worn as a beach shawlScarf worn as a short beach shawl over the shoulders

It’d be great to hear your own styling ideas for wearing your shopblueflamingo.com scarf as a skirt or top this summer.  Add your comments to this blog, or send in a photo of yourself for my Look Book.  Cheers, and Bon Voyage!

Scarf on the beach with a glass of prosecco

What a scarf can say about you

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Wearing a scarf isn’t always a fashion statement.  Choosing to wear a scarf, and the type of scarf, tells the world a lot about you; your origins, your capabilities, your values, your social and financial status… Through your choice of scarf, you can fit in, anonymise yourself, or stand out.

Scarves that mean you fit in

I was in Cambridge the other week on Graduation Day. I felt a bit sorry for the graduands and Vice-Chancellor in their heavy gowns, hats, and fur hoods in the summer heat. If you were fortunate enough to be able to see the shop windows through the crowds, they were still comically full of the thick woollen scarves for each college. As far as I know all universities have a scarf and students love to buy them.  They are a useful souvenir of their time there, a potential means of finding something in common with people they meet, and an advert to the world about their intellectual status and elitism depending on the calibre of the institution.

Wearing your favourite team’s scarf, whether it be football or any other sport, demonstrates your passion for the sport and your support of that team. It can instantly unite you with other sports fans and fellow team supporters, or set you against a fan of an opposing team. Showing who and what you support can also give away information about your geographic and cultural background.

Scarves and politics

Scarves are also often used to display affinity with a political cause.

Jaqmar propaganda silk scarf from World War Two

Jaqmar propaganda scarf from World War Two

In World War Two Jacqmar of London sold silk scarves as propaganda which allowed individuals to display their patriotism whilst funding the war effort.

Depending on the regime or the legality of a protest, a scarf of any kind can be worn over the face to protect the identify of the protester. But often protesters wear their scarf around their neck which is a standardised design or colour to show unity for a cause. Suffragettes wore white ‘votes for women’ silk scarves with green and purple stripes which were the colours of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). More recently, Manchester United fans wore scarves in the club’s historical green and gold colours to demonstrate their anger with the club’s owners. Currently green scarves are worn in Argentina as part of the campaign to legalise abortion. The scarves are such effective branding for the movement that it is dubbed ‘the green wave’.

Votes for women suffragette silk scarf

No ambiguity as to what this scarf said about its wearer

Scarves and status

Scarves can also signal your financial status. Many leather goods or equestrian companies are now known for an entirely different product and category – fashion through their scarves. Hermès, for example, produces hand-printed luxury silk scarves, which along with a price tag of hundreds of pounds, creates the brand’s cachet.

Whilst Hermès fashion scarves lack exclusivity since they aren’t in limited production each season, customers will feel relatively assured that they aren’t going to bump into someone wearing the same outfit and scarf combination, and so wealthy and fashionable women enjoy purchasing and wearing these scarves to stand out from the crowd and display their success.

Scarves are now seen as a power symbol for women. Theresa May and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, are often noted in the press for wearing scarves. With so many prints and ways of tying a scarf to choose from they are a great way of adding a unique touch of ‘pzazz’ and personality to what is otherwise very standard business attire.  For more on using a scarf to get attention see my last post Hit the headlines by wearing a scarf.

As noted in ‘The Conversation‘:

“It’s no surprise, then, that sociologist and image consultant Anna Akbari makes “Put on a scarf” the first entry on her current list of “5 Simple Ways To Hack Your Image”, recognizing their potential for instant uplift and an infusion of individuality.”

The article makes interesting reading for more meanings behind wearing a scarf.

Display your high status through a scarf

Why not instantly make your clothes into a power woman “outfit” and enjoy the luxury of a Hermès scarf but with added exclusivity and without the price tag. Shopblueflamingo.com is a boutique scarf designer, creating genuinely limited runs of unique designs, printed on high quality silk within the UK.

What do you think your scarf says about you? I’d love for you to leave me a comment and let me know.

Shop blue flamingo scarf boutique logoIn collaboration with textDipitus web content Writing Services

Hit the headlines by wearing a scarf

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The double delights of Wimbledon and the World Cup are now upon us (see my earlier post for fashion tips on what to wear to Wimbledon). Last month tennis ace Rafa Nadal made headlines for wearing a scarf at a football match. Sadly it wasn’t a unique design by BlueFlamingo but a ubiquitous football scarf. What made his choice a bold one was that it wasn’t his favoured team’s scarf, Real Madrid, but that of rival Atletico Madrid, playing at the time.

Female nude with modesty covered by football scarf

How to be daring with a scarf

 

In April, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards wore a ‘half-and-half’ scarf to a football match to support her boyfriend’s team and the team also playing, earning her some headlines.

Last month 47 year-old TV presenter Melanie Sykes made the news posing for a photo wearing only a scarf.

In the run-up to the Royal Wedding there was also some fashion writing on the head scarf, as sported by the Queen throughout her long reign. Scarf prints have also been parading on recent catwalks, topped off with a head scarf à la Reine.  

Hair scarves are also big fashion news. The Independent already predicted hair scarves will be this season’s accessory.  For the young, headband bandanas are currently all over TV Hit ‘Love Island’, and for the more mature lady Helen Mirren caught attention recently in her colourful hairscarf.

pretty girl in a red head scarf

Headscarves are bang on trend and can be worn in a variety of ways

In the last few weeks stars everywhere have been noted in the press for wearing scarves as accessories: fashion icon Alexa Chung at the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party at Kensington Gardens, Claudia Schiffer out with her daughters in New York, actress Tina Fey at the opening of the Tribeca film festival in New York and actress Michelle Williams during filming of ‘After the Wedding’.

And now, over to you.  How will you wear your BlueFlamingo scarf to stand out from the crowd?

Picture of the Frida Kahlo scarf design in pink and blue

Stand out like artist Frida Kahlo gracing this design from shopblueflamingo.com

 

You can show us how it’s done by sending selfies in our scarves for our Look Book, and any comments are welcome here.

The History of Sloane Square in London

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Sloane square

 

 

Like many shoppers in Chelsea, I took a break from the hustle and bustle of Kings Road one day to enjoy the oasis of tranquility that is Sloane Square in summer.  I sat and absorbed the serene trees gently waving in front of the well-known Peter Jones department store.  Even the bikes were resting gently in their racks. 

 

And even though this is a little haven now, 250 years ago this was a really peaceful place; it was all fields.

 

The land, between Knightsbridge and King’s Road, belonged to Sir Hans Sloane, physician to three monarchs and inventor of drinking chocolate – which he sold to Cadbury’s.  A far cry from today’s doctors who’d rather you laid off the chocolate.  When the builder and his architect son, both named Henry Holland (most famous for the Brighton Pavilion), entered into an agreement to build a new town, they called it Hans Town. Sloane Square was laid out as a crossroads in the 1770s as part of this development.  When Hans died, his fabulous collections were offered to the nation, forming the British Museum.  The land passed to the Cadogan family on the marriage of Hans’ daughter and today belongs to the 8th Earl of Cadogan.

 

During the early 19th century the area became more densely built up and by the mid-19th century, Chelsea was a haven for artists such as Turner, Whistler and Rosetti.  In 1868, Sloane Square Station opened, linking Chelsea to the metropolitan railway and driving modernisation of the area.  In 1874 the river embankment at Chelsea was finished, to the residents’ delight as it provided a pleasant promenade for carriages and pedestrians and further gentrified the area.

 

By the late 19th century much of the Georgian and Queen Anne style buildings had become dilapidated and were replaced by a new redbrick style that was so iconic it was named after the street – “Pont Street Dutch” style.  Some of these buildings can still be seen in Sloane Square today.

 

But the majority of what you see in the square today is from the development of the 1920s and 30s.

 

In 1929 the road layout of Sloane Square was transformed from a crossroads to a ’roundabout’ which created an island which was then paved with Yorkstone – from the Pennines near me in West Yorkshire – and planted with plane trees.

 

Most of the older buildings were replaced by commercial buildings and blocks of flats (the buildings getting higher along with the price of land).  The only side of the square which still survived from the mid-19th century was the Peter Jones department store, but that too got a twentieth century makeovr and was rebuilt as 6 storeys of art deco glass and steel, a design concept totally unique in London in the mid-30s.

 

A modern tube station was built, though this was bombed in 1940.  The rebuilt version sports a ‘hat’ of a modern office block on its roof these days.  The square also contains the Venus fountain and the Chelsea War Memorial and is home to the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Court theatre, with the Cadogan Hall concert venue just a few steps away.

 

I love visiting Sloane Square, and it’s not surprising I’m not the only artist who’s been drawn to the area over the years. 

 

Like the “Pont Street Dutch” architectural style, and the first example of a highrise glass building in London, why don’t you be unique in my “Sloane Square” scarf design (see below in pure silk) from shopblueflamingo.com?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Sloane Square and Hans Town, my information came from:

 

https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/sloane_square_urban_garden

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol12/pp79-90 

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol12/pp47-51

https://www.cadogan.co.uk/the-estate/our-heritage 

www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfbrxs/Homepage/walks/SloaneSquare.pdf

As always, I love to hear your comments about this blog, please leave them below and I will get back to you.  Thank you. Jude x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to wear at Wimbledon

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What to wear at Wimbledon

We’re just a couple of weeks away from one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar: Wimbledon. It’s an exciting mixture of world class tennis and a feeling of fellowship as we unite as a country to cheer on our British sportsmen and women. All topped off with more pride and patriotism as we indulge in the quintessential strawberries and cream with Pimms or Pommery.

I’m also eager to see the outfits that will be sported across the court.

For a recap of last year’s outfits, see Vogue’s article.

Most of the male spectators wore suits ranging from the casual look of Stormzy in his jacket with white t-shirt to the more traditional styling of Eddie Redmayne. What made both of these outfits stand out to me were the pocket squares. They really do add a cutting-edge or sophisticated finish to your outfit according to the look you’re aiming for. Most squares were disappointingly plain for me, though Johannes Huebl wore a beige checked number in a grey blazer over a striped shirt and fleur-de-lys tie with white chinos, hitting a perfect note of contemporary, sophisticated and relaxed.

Sir Ian McKellan also layered his patterns, albeit less successfully than model and husband of Olivia Palermo, Johannes. But Sir Ian definitely stood out in his light-coloured suit with men’s silk scarf draped elegantly over.

Due to the (hopeful) July heat, you do need to keep your suit lightweight and light-coloured. But you can embolden your cream, light blue or light grey jacket with the Blue Abstract, Stripe, or Cerise Hibiscus pocket square.

Stormzy

 

Eddie Redmayne

Johannes Huebl

 

Blue abstract designStripe DesignCerise Hibiscus design

It’s a strict rule that all players must wear white and many celebrities enjoy the challenge of following suit in style. Why not imitate Stella McCartney and her husband who co-ordinated in monochrome suits. Fellow fashion designer rocked an androgynous look in a men’s style suit last year. Male or female, you can copy their look but add a unique touch with BlueFlamingo’s matching black and white Abstract silk pocket square and tie set.

Stella McCartney and her husbandBlack and white abstract pocket square and tie set

 

For a more feminine look, Lady Helen Taylor and Olivia Palermo both took on the white dress but made it ‘pop’ with a bold accessory; a geometric monochrome jacket or a brightly coloured flower respectively.

Harper’s Bazaar has just published their tips on what to wear this year. There’s something for all tastes in there – stripes, checks, florals…

My favourites are the yellow sun dress by Gioia Bini or the white Ellery crepe flares with blue and yellow side stripes and Mango yellow check blazer, any of which you could really make pop with BlueFlamingo’s Champagne ladies, Pink and blue flamingo or Sandy Shore designs, all pure silk.

Champagne Ladies Design pure silk scarfPink and Blue Flamingo Design pure silk scarfSandy Shore Design Pure Silk Scarf

To keep in with the white look, the H&M cotton dressMango jumpsuit or Max Mara blazer would really pop with BlueFlamingo’s Mode, Heart String or Frida Kahlo design pure silk scarf.

Mode DesignHeart Strings DesignFrida Kahlo Design

Not only is a scarf a great partner for an elegantly plain outfit to create a truly outstanding look, it’s a great accessory to have in case the sun goes in or there’s a cooling breeze. Made of pure silk, BlueFlamingo scarves have the great quality of warmth when you need it but are breathably cool in the summer sun.

Now you’re all game and set for the match. Don’t forget your brolly in case it rains, and a hat in case the sun shines. Oh, and flat shoes or wedges for walking on the grass (flip flops are forbidden though).

Details on how to watch Wimbledon in person or on TV are here: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2018-06-13/wimbledon-tennis-2018-live-tv-how-to-watch/

www.radiotimes.com
How to see matches for free on the BBC – and via Eurosport – plus details of tickets, seedings and injuries

 

Leave a comment if you’ve any fashion or accessory tips for a successful Wimbledon outing.