Tyne O'Connell

July 26, 2014
The History of Millinery

The History of Millinery

“Clothes may maketh the man, but t’is millinery that maketh the woman”
by Tyne O’Connell 


The history of women has been a long list of hotly fought battles over milliners.

Given mankind’s predilection for beauty it seems unlikely that hats were first used merely as a form of protection for the head. Paintings in tombs of Ancient Egypt and Greece abound with drawings of elaborate head dresses and wigs. read more

July 26, 2014

My Life In Hats

“Clothes may maketh the man, but t’is millinery that maketh the woman”

by Tyne O’Connell©

I grew up in the 1970’s before designer Cordwainers (fashionably savvy cobblers) were “names”.  Like all teenage girls back then, I flicked through Vogue, Tatler and Harpers & Queen, circling the hats that excited me. Before Louboutin and Choo elevated girls in six inch heels, Stephen Jones and David Shilling were the names making a girl’s pulse race. read more

July 26, 2014

Lamenting Salon Life

Like many modern gentle-women, I lament the passing of the days of Salon Life. Salons were hosted across Europe many years before the fashion reached London in 1660. Salons were usually held by women often in their boudoirs which were of course much larger set of rooms and considered a private area for the lady of the house to host private functions without the formality required in other areas of the house. These salons were occasions of lively discourse. Celebrated poets philosophers artists and composers were frequent guests. These occasions gave little known artists et al to find an audience amongst gentlewomen who could then spread the word and further their career. read more

July 20, 2014
Mayfair Spies

Spies & Authors

by ©Tyne O’Connell

The basis of all drama is secrets, not necessarily nefarious secrets, just secrets. Secrets are the beginning and end of all stories which is why authors have doubled up as spies throughout history.

Even as a small child I found the notion of secrets intriguing. Earwigging is such an essential pastime for both authors and spies and with secrecy the currency for both, the two have always been linked. read more

July 19, 2014
The Order of the Crown of Stuart 1371

The Tiara Imperative

Tyne O’Connell©

London Author, Mayfair eccentric

There is something beautifully forlorn about viewing a tiara separated from its Duchess. Walking down Piccadilly I am compelled to stop and gaze upon Bentley & Skinner’s poignant window display of tiers of tiaras.

Twinkling from their velvet cases they evoke a lost age of fragrant tulles and muslins, of women dancing gracefully about the chandeliered grandeur of Britain’s great ballrooms; many of which are in walking distance of the Bentley & Skinner shop itself. read more

July 18, 2014
Tyne O'Connell - British Boarding Schools

The British Boarding School

A Potted Guide to Boarding School Life

By Tyne O’Connell ©

Everything you wanted to know about boarding school and a few things you didn’t.

So what’s the big attraction with British Boarding school and why can’t stories of disgusting food, cold showers and cruel head masters, dilute their allure in the collective imagination of children everywhere?

How have British boarding schools reinvented themselves so thoroughly that children around the world are begging their parents to give up their pension funds and pack them off to England? Is it just the PULLING PRINCES & HARRY POTTER effect? read more

July 18, 2014

Sexism v Misogyny

The Difference Between Sexism & Misogyny

by ©Tyne O’Connell

The question – are you a feminist? Makes many young women uncomfortable. My mother would have given a resounding “yes” but the term has become loaded with connotations many women are uncomfortable with. Feminism is no longer a sisterhood championing one another’s rights to safety, respect, dignity and equatable financial renumeration for toil. read more

July 15, 2014

The Historical Theft of Women’s Achievements

It was once thought the theory of relativity was discovered by Albert Einstein….

By Tyne O’Connell ©

However I was educated by nuns who having endured two world wars were rather cynical about men whom they felt, more often than not, were responsible for messes which women were inevitably left to clear up.

History has shown us repeatedly that many discoveries or inventions claimed or assumed by men, later turn out to have been entirely – or at least in part – the breakthrough of a woman or women close to him. read more

July 14, 2014

In Search of the English Dandy

A Lost Week in St James’s; In Search of The English Dandy & Dandizette

By Tyne O’Connell ©

In the words of Shakespeare, “Apparel oft proclaim the man” but girls don’t need a man to tell us what we have long known: that we live and die before a mirror.

Baudelaire defined a dandy/dandizette as “one who elevates aesthetics to a living religion”. He considered the Dandy’s very existence a reproach against the middle classes. While some take up arms to fight their cause, the English prefer to take up their cravats. read more