Monday, 30 April 2012

That's my philosophy

A little while ago, I received a very generous care package from the good folks at philosophy. This was an exciting one for me - not just because I'd just run out of face wash, but also because I've been meaning to try their goodies for a while now. 

Typical blogger Instagram photo - follow me at 'frankieisswell' for more typical blogger pics!

To quote their website, philosophy is a brand that "that approaches personal care from a skin care point of view, while celebrating the beauty of the human spirit". This ethos appeals to me greatly because, to be perfectly honest with you, my poor skin gets put through hell on a somewhat regular basis. I wear make-up nearly every day (apparently far too much, according to my dear Mother), I'm fairly certain I exfoliate too often (it just feels so good!) and I suffer from the occasional but nonetheless unpleasant break outs. It's nice to know that someone out there is thinking about the good of my skin as well as my "inner beauty", as it were.

I was extremely excited to try philosophy's famous purity cleanser. Not only has it won awards, but it also promises to "to gently cleanse, tone and melt away all face and eye makeup in one simple step, while lightly hydrating the skin". Sounds pretty good, eh?

I've been using the cleanser on and off for over a week now, and I must say I am very impressed with it. It smells lovely, foams and rinses off well and somehow manages to leave my skin squeaky clean yet supple and moisturised at the same time. It definitely helped with an untimely pre-lady time break out too, and it did it in a nice way. It didn't dry out my skin to get rid of them, it just gave it a good ol' clean deep down. 

After using these philosophy products, I am officially a convert to philosophy products as well as their way of thinking. And the best part is I can continue to wear lots of make-up as I know my purity cleanser can handle it - score!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Monday, 23 April 2012

Best of British

As most of you fellow Brits will know, today is St George's Day. I've never been 100% sure why the day a saint allegedly killed a dragon has become a day to celebrate English pride, but instead of questioning it I've decided to go with it. I am British after all.

We English do a few things pretty well - afternoon tea, tennis matches, inventing clever slang swear words that American's can't pull off - but there is one thing I think we do bloody brilliantly. Any guesses?


Not only is the UK, London in particular, famed for having a unique and diverse style, but it's also home to so many incredibly talented designers with a seemingly endless amount of new ones popping up all the time. We all know and love the big ones (Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen - I could go on and on...), but today I want to share my love for five emerging designers that I am mildly obsessed with. I can't tell you how hard it is to pick just five. If I had more time, I could write about hundreds!

Be prepared to fall head over ultra high heels...

Draw In Light
If you ever read my styling blog (*cough* Frankie Murray Styling *cough*), you'll already be fully aware of how much I adore this incredibly innovative design duo. Each of their ever so dreamy pieces is printed using free-hand silk-screen techniques, which is why each item is completely individual. Not only is everything they make insanely beautiful, but their pieces are also incredibly comfortable! I am lucky enough to own one of their dresses, and it feels like wearing a very light and stylish nightie. Their Autumn/Winter collections never fail to make my secret inner goth's heart skip a beat and dribble a bit. Too much information? Sorry.

Charlotte Taylor

Yet another designer that I talk about a lot over on my other blog (just go and have a look already, then maybe I'll shut up...)! Charlotte Taylor has recently become massively sought after and loved for her adorably quirky and unique prints, which seem to get even cuter season after season. I mean, who wouldn't want a dress covered in sweet little bumble bees that won't sting the crap out of you?! I defy you to look at Charlotte's pieces (ideally over at my favourite website, and not fall in love. Go on - try it!


I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love fashion that tells a story, and no one tells a story quite like Mr Longshaw. Whether it's a haunting tale of a murdered loved one or the biography of the much-loved Maude the fashion mouse, David creates a surreal and magical world to draw his fashion inspiration from. The result? Unbelievably beautiful pieces made to fashion forward designs. I've been lucky enough to use some of David's pieces for a photoshoot I styled for Tantrum Magazine (coming VERY soon!), and I can't tell you what an absolute joy it was. Each item is truly a work of art.

I must confess that I may have a slight bias towards this brand as they are looked after by the lovely people at Push PR, but that does not detract from the genuine love I have for their beautiful leathery goods. The very clever folks over at TUSTING have been working with leather for over 130 years (that's beyond vintage!), so it's safe to say they know what they're doing. For years I wanted a Mulberry handbag, but now I'm saving for a Kimbolton of my very own! But the question is, which colour to go for?! There are so many options!

Ayten Gasson
Last, but certainly by no means least, is my favourite lingerie designer Ayten Gasson. Not only is the woman behind it all, Ayten Roberts, a very good friend of mine, but the woman is also bloody talented! Her pieces are all about luxury, mixing sweeping silks and lace trims to make lingerie that is unashamedly sexy, yet perfectly refined and elegant. As if that weren't enough, all of her goodies are designed and manufactured right here in the UK, which she was doing way before the likes of Mary Portas. Go and have a look at her site right now! Your underwear drawer will thank you...

Who are your favouite UK designers? I'm always on the lookout for fresh and delicious British meat, so please do share!

Until next time...

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 15 April 2012

I make jewellery

Sometimes I forget that I make jewellery. Sometimes I forget that it was the reason I started this blog in the first place. Initially, this was going to be the place where I wrote about my designs, charted my progress and showed cheeky behind the scenes photos, but the more I blogged, the more it developed into something broader. In recent years, my blog has become a fashion blog, which is something I had never even considered when building it. Although I am happy for this distinction, I feel that I need to go back to my roots and start doing what I set out to do - make jewellery.

I've been so busy since starting Swell Vintage all those years ago, and for a while other things took priority - my styling work, for example. As much as I enjoy styling, I have decided to return to my first love and give Swell the proverbial kick up the ass she so needs.

To get things started, I'd like to share some new pieces with you! Check 'em out, and please excuse my very amateur photography:

So what do you think? As with all of my jewellery, each piece is made from authentic vintage and antique parts, complimented with pretty shiny things such as freshwater pearls.

All of these pieces will be up for sale on the Swell Vintage website soon, but in the meantime I'd love your feedback! Please be honest with me, I promise it'll be great appreciated.

Until next time!

Much love,

Swell Vintage