HOT TREND: MIAMI NEON

March 3, 2011

I have so many flamingos living on my desktop. First, there were two. One day, I looked away and when I returned they’d multiplied and become a ‘micro-trend’, the cheeky little beggars. So, I upgraded them to my ‘Miami’ file. Then, I accidentally dragged my ‘Miami’ folder into a ‘Neon’ folder – and lo, a trend was born. (It’s not rocket science).

Fluorescent colours are HOT on the catwalks this summer, and they’re just creeeeeping into our homes, too. (We’ll see pineapple lanterns at Habitat, palm tree and pineapple cushions at Dwell, tropical colours everywhere else.) Think palm trees, fuchsia pinks, electric yellows, eye-wateringly-bright tangerines…erm, sunsets, Miami beach-front neon signs and a big fat dollop of kitsch. This is Club-Tropicana-meets-Peckham-Nail-Bar-chic. For the first time in my life, I’m ‘bang on-trend’ as they say in the business. *Puts on reflective high-vis cycling vest and pootles off* – Ellie


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HOT TREND: Anatomy

November 2, 2010

If you’re squeamish, look away now. This trend’s gory, medical, macabre and PERFECT for Halloween. Shame I forgot to post it on the 31st really. Hmm. It is now the 2nd of November, alas. In fact, it’s nearly the 3rd. But bear with me…

Let’s kick things off with a quick visit to the mama of industrial and retro buys, Elemental, for stunning vintage ‘Elementary Physiology, Hygiene and Ambulance’ posters. The colours are vibrant, but the diagrams are not for the faint hearted. This is science-chic at it’s peak!

We’ve admired RE‘s skeleton plates AKA Bone China before on here (darn it, I knew I should have saved them…) so let’s move swiftly on to more macabre, medical buys:

Clockwise from top left: Heart model and skull objet from Ben Pentreath; a blingy diamanté-encrusted skull from Dwell; and vintage cream/paste pots and medicine bottles from Retropolitan. I have one of these old medicine bottles in the bathroom. I googled the strange name on it and found it used to contain a kind of medicine for measles. But it still looks very pretty with a flower stem in it!

Phrenology’s always fun at parties. (I made that up). So, I love this Phrenology Print from Mary Evans on Amazon. You can get a large, ceramic Phrenology head from Amazon, too. I’ve studied this head in detail and I still can’t find the area of the brain that controls ‘strange trend-related shopping decisions’, but there must be one. Surely. Here’s a £5 tea towel from RE – ripe for framing, me thinks…

If you like all things gory and live in London (or even if you don’t – there’s a ‘virtual tour‘ to check out!) you must visit the Old Operating Theatre in SE1.

It’s a fascinating place – and the process of ‘digitising’ the museum’s collection of hideous instruments, pill boxes, bottles and operation-related bits and bobs is underway. Sadly, it seems to involve a slightly out-of-focus camera…but you can see all the photos online in their new gallery which is interesting to browse, niggles aside. I’ll spare you the amputation saws and the more scary-looking ‘tools’ in case you’re eating, but here’s a sneaky peep at what’s on display:

Check out the Old Operating Theatre online shop to buy syringe pens, anatomical key rings, life-size skulls and a postcard featuring ‘the absolute cure for an in-growing toe nail’. It’s too horrible to repeat. But it involves a hammer. With this trend, it’s best to stick to just one or two accessories I feel. Unless you’re up for turning your living room into an apothecary shop à la Sibella Court, who pulls it off nicely. If you are, throw caution to the wind – stuff your bell jars full with curiosities, deck the halls with taxidermy, arrange a human skeleton on your sofa and sit back to sip tea from a vintage Victorian sputum mug. Milk? Sugar? TB? – Ellie