“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
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
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
Part of the fun of being a granny is returning to those days of dress up on Sunday afternoons when assisted by my loyal spaniel I would rummage through my mother’s sartorial past. Parading around in Mummy’s wedding dress, petticoats & ball gowns from the 1930‘s & 40’s all still redolent with the scents and romance of her youth remains my most vivid and intoxicating memory. read more
Regretfully, as an aspirant punk in my teens, I eschewed white tie balls, choosing instead to spend my evenings embroidering safety pins in elaborate gold and silver crewel stitching across my jeans. You can take the girl out of finishing school, but not even anarchy can wrestle her needlework off her. My daughter Cordelia however, like her grandmother before her, adores balls. They are, quite simply, her idea of heaven. read more
Like many mothers bringing up young children I used to dream of escaping the chaos of family life with its school runs, fractious children and meal time madness by escaping to a hotel. When my children left home heading to Oxford, gap years and jobs I began to hibernate a plan for a gap year of my own. Though unlike my gap year in 1980, this time I would be living in hotels rather than hostels. read more
Every time my taxi pulls up at the historic Randolph Hotel in Oxford I am struck by the distinctive style of the city’s students.
I’ve spent a great deal of time here in the past eight years as first my son and then my daughter took four year degrees here
A common misconception is that the Dandy originated in London’s St James’s but the birthplace of the Dandy is actually the United Kingdom’s oldest university town: Oxford. It is no coincidence that both Beau Brummell & Oscar Wilde were students here. Brummell boasted that in his time at Oxford he made cotton stockings for men and what he called “stingy cravats” a thing of the past!” read more
By ©Tyne O’Connell
How often does one look at an otherwise breathtaking chap or chappess and think, “shame, that such an otherwise pretty girl or boy should be bereft of a muff”.
The Muff and the fan have inextricably been linked to fashion since Ancient times and it remains the essential item of every wardrobe. Life without a collection of intricately jet beaded, velvet or ermine muffs is cauchemar. read more
A lady should be surrounded in mystery and perfume should be part of every girl’s charm. Perfume lingers on a man’s clothes and linen and therefore in his memory long after the girl has escaped his embrace.
There is even a word to define the memory of a smell: redolent. Which is why your scent must be unique and individual to you. Ensure you aren’t wearing a perfume another girl could conceivably purchase. Why not go to Paris to indulge in the dark arts of perfume alchemy at laboratories such as L’Artisan Parfumeur. Private workshops cost 370 Euros and seated at your private perfume organ the staff will guide you through the stages of creating your own fragrance while explaining the techniques and raw ingredients. read more