All posts by mirandapencil

Lo-Fi Gothic: The Orphan’s Arms

I’m really feeling The Orphan’s Arms right now.

But who wants to pay £80 for a sweater? NOPE, NEITHER DO I, so praise be that there’s an outlet store! It’s way better than their official site, anyway.

They say:


Yawn. Or: “Melancholic, wryly casual threads in statement prints for the thinking misanthrope in your life”. They should get a new copywriter and it should be me.


Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

As a documented rabbit enthusiast I’m big into the “Follow” print they do, now available in two versions:

FollowNew_FollowAww yissss.

The pros:

  • A complete steal at £18. I’ve already got one in grey and I want more in black (so the White Rabbit can actually be white, you see).
  • Real talk, it’s a wonderful soft-touch, cosy quilted material with a bossly-flattering scoop-neck.
  • Get the more detailed design in a lighter shade, and the White Rabbit transforms into the BLACK RABBIT OF INLE, offsetting the delicate pastel hue with subtly morbid bunny vibes and gothic script.

The cons:

  • For now you can only get black pullovers in size S. I’m still waiting for the black ones to come in in size M or L because a) I am never a size S; b) when you are a hyperbuxom style monarch you want your prints to not get lost under the majestic shadow of your boobshelf; and c) COME ON, I LIKE TO LAYER IN WINTER. The nice people at the warehouse say I have to just keep checking back. I really hope there’ll be more soon. 😦
  • There are no other cons. This is the perfect statement sweater.

Moving on!

Girl Mysterious

I also recently nabbed this drop-shoulder raw-edge pullover featuring a massive and unsettling print of a Victorian girl being held up high by ghostly hands:


The pros:

  • Holy shit this print is a definite statement. It’s huge. Never a subtle creature, I’m OK with that.

I’m teaming it with flared jeans when I’m feeling lazy and a big ruffled skirt when I’m feeling effortful.

The cons:

  • One Size is a foul lie and we all know it. Shoppers of distinction, and ‘alternative culture’ types in particular, are fucking bored of it. Fuck One Size in the bin. The body of this top fits me fine, but the arms are very clingy, so the whole “drop shoulder” effect isn’t really going on for me. I still like the top, but the shape is totally different to how I visualised it – and this is the sort of shit that’s a total gamble with this brand, because they use very few model-photos, and those they do use are all wearing size S. (I’m a curvy lady, but my arms are not especially wide, either.)
  • The print on this line is rough and not as nice as it is on the ‘Follow’ quilted sweater. This is probably because they’ve got different techniques for white-on-black, but it’s noticably not as lovely.
  • Raw edges: I am on the fence about raw edges. When they roll up and need a bunch of ironing, they’re really annoying. So we’ll see how this garment ages, because as a matter of necessity I’m far too busy being fabulous to iron shit.

T-shirts, though. Let’s TALK about T-SHIRTS.

Hogwarts Schmogwarts

Let’s talk about the fabulous “London School of Sorcery” print!


The pros:

  • Longline, but fitted on the arms even in size L! Bum-covering and loose, but not a sack! Love it.
  • Soffffffft, oh so soft

The cons:

  • No real cons. Maybe they could state how longline this is, though. Some people are gonna be after something else.


  1. Screw the main site; it’s all about Outlet.
  2. Get in quick or it’ll all sell out.
  3. Remember Outlet = Some Experimental Variation Going On.
  4. Be careful you don’t end up bankrupt. I own four things from these people already.
  5. Team these predominantly loose garments with stretch pencil skirts and an understated pair of boots. I recommend Triumph 1914s or something with a witchy chunky heel, as usual.

One last image before I close: the Tea For Two design, with unsettling backprint.

Tea-black (1)

“It wasn’t until after
I had poured the second cup
That I realised
I was alone.”

I like to think that’s because the tea companion was a ghost.

In T.O.A. gear, you actually look like you rule the night, on a practical basis. You know, getting shit done while you rule the night. Having a wry literary joke while you get on with the business of night-ruling. That’s the look here. These pieces need minimal accessor-effort, because the prints really do do most of the talking.

Unlike that dude in the frilly shirt with flocked bats all over it who hasn’t yet gotten over the cultural death of LiveJournal. His screenname is probably Hades1977 or something, but in gear like this? You’re the real Persephone.


Jewellery To Talk About

The words “conversation piece” are overused in the fashion press in my obviously-very-sage opinion.

That said, though, I genuinely do describe these new pieces of jewellery I’m about to show off as conversation pieces. Genuine actual conversations have been generated. They have even been ENJOYED.

They’re made by Alice Saville, AKA Raddington Bear, who is wonderfully creative. Her jewellery often features hand painted, collaged or drawn images which she then laquers in resin. In her own words, she’s inspired by “animals, the circus, children’s fiction and Victorian ephemera. My pieces are original illustrations brought to life with handpainted detail and precious metal leaf.”

More specifically much of her imagery is drawn from the birds and beasts of medieval manuscripts.

I got this necklace – it’s inspired by the background architecture in illuminated Chaucer manuscripts, which the Canterbury pilgrims are depicted riding towards or past:


It’s one-of-a-kind, as far as I know, but check out her shop on the links below!

I also got one of these amazing mermaid brooches, which aren’t on her Etsy shop (but as she says in her blogpost there, if you message her about them she can probably sell you one):

mermaid brooch 3

(Click that one for a close-up, because the tiny mermaid drawing inside is LOVELY.)

Here are some of my other favourites from Alice’s Etsy store:


Greek vase pendant, £15


Medieval serpent pendant, £10


Waxwing bird resin brooch, £14


Tiny elephant pendant, £15

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep

This is my first post on board the delightful HMS Faschionism and I’m celebrating by making it all about cute fluffy animals.

The woodland trend which hit its stride in 2012 doesn’t show much sign of letting up just yet, and London label Louche, one of the house brands at Joy, are currently offering a ‘Wildwood’ collection (not to be confused with the ‘Wild Things’ collection, which is where all their leopardprint is at).

Woodland can be slightly deceptively tough to do well if you also want to avoid either a) looking like you’ve only just cottoned on about brassy articulated owl necklaces (seriously, nice as they are, they’re becoming ubiquitous); or b) going too twee.

Now, since I’m genuinely hoping to reincarnate as a first edition of The Wind In The Willows when I die, neither is really a problem for me. Truth be told, I have a very high twee threshold where woodland animals are concerned, so the high volume in recent years of cartoon animals on jumpers about the place has pleased me no end. Including owls. (Maybe especially owls.) But we’ll doubtless get to my dorky jumper obsession in another post – this is something a bit classier.


Louche offers us this dress as part of the Wildwood take on the animals trend, and it’s much more Autumnwatch than Animal Crackers (only without Chris Packham’s super-sensible wellies).

Given that I am a very hourglassy size 16 I’m slightly bamboozled by how much I like this dress. Shift dresses tend to make me feel like all my look is missing is a couple of guy ropes and a bag of tent pegs. But it’s got everything I like on it!

In the Wearably Appealing British Wildlife stakes, it’s got an ALL STAR CAST, featuring the delightful hat-trick of foxes, badgers and rabbits (plus bonus stoat, I think?) in muted, autumnal tones that call to mind a well-loved illustrated edition of Watership Down.


How on earth do I wear this fine ecosystem?

Yes, well, this is a question, isn’t it, perhaps particularly for those of us who aren’t sure about either shift dresses or big prints.

This is still a bit of a full-on deal as prints go, despite the subtle colours, so I’m inclined to agree with the accompanying blurb that to carry it off well, your best bet is “styled simply with opaque tights and a sprinkling of jewellery”.

I’d be tempted to pair it with my Darcie boots, myself – hit the witchy trend at the same time, modern woodland shaman-stylee.  But I also think it’d go nicely with plain flat brogues and a leather satchel.

Show your ire at the badger cull, your childhood appreciation for Richard Adams, and your big-print bravery in one go. (For £65, you might as well get your money’s worth.)

Woody Woodland Tunic by Louche