[ POSTCARDS FROM CHINA ] Canal Town Illustrations

In aid of China's current 11 gold lead at the London Olympics (still rooting for you Team GB!!), I thought we'd give them a bit of a shout out with these intricately illustrated postcards I picked up whilst visiting the tiny, highly picturesque village of Xidi (西递), Anhui province, last October. Long time in posting, I'm well aware, but scanning gets a little difficult during a life on the road... I don't possess the ability to read Mandarin so I can't be certain which towns the artworks represent but they certainly bring to mind the charming canal town of Tongli (同里) which lies in Wujiang county, just outside the more well known city of Suzhou (苏州). Which postcard is your favourite? 

Want to see my own photographs from the Huizhou Villages of Xidi and Hongcun (宏村)? Go visit the Huizhou set on my Flickr page. You can also see more images from my wanderings around China on Flickr by clicking here, or more posts on Wandering Threads about China by clicking here


[ GLOBAL FASHION OLYMPICS ] WT's Top 5 Opening Ceremony Uniforms

Parade of Nations 2012, Team uniforms 2012, Opening Ceremony Fashion 2012, Team GB, Olympic Fashion
You couldn't have a Parade of Nations without a Wandering Threads feature on global style choices, it just wouldn't be right. In fact, even whilst watching the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night my own friends were making predictions for this here post. So here we have it: a compiled list of Wandering Thread's Top 5 Opening Ceremony Outfits, featuring the teams whose uniforms most successfully captured an essence of their own country's traditional spirit whilst maintaining a contemporary sense of style. And before you mention it, yes I am unfailingly rooting for Team GB, but I have to hold my hands up (along with the rest of the country) with a 'WT*?!'. Should have left the job to Stella, Next

All images by Yahoo Sport. Graphics by Wandering Threads.

Parade of Nations 2012, Mexico Team uniforms 2012, Opening Ceremony Fashion 2012, Team Mexico, Olympic Fashion, mexican poncho
5. Mexico
In true Mexican spirit, the team paraded party spirit for the occasion. Donning brightly coloured ponchos and garishly embroidered and appliqued shirts, the Mexican team certainly radiated festive energy. It may not be Olympic chic, but hey, it's authentic, its colourful and it got a great reaction from the crowds. Viva Mexico!

Spanish team Olympics, Opening ceremony fashion 2012, London 2012 Olympics, Spanish style
4. Spain
From a distance, looking almost like a parade of Spanish national flags themselves, Spain kept true to their country colours with a coordinated red and yellow ensemble. Paying attention to detail, the women's yellow jacket and pleated silk skirt uniforms were accessorised with red waist belts and traditional Spanish patterned, fan-shaped cross body bags, whilst both genders wore custom printed neck ties. One of the few European nations that just managed to steer away from the dull 'flight crew' look, Spain comes in at number four for its traditional inspired embellishments and custom designed accessories.

Cameroon boubou, Cameroon Kabba, African fashion, Cameroonian team Olympic fashion, Opening Ceremony Cameroon, Olympic fashion 2012
3. Cameroon
At number 3 is West Africa's Cameroon. Clad head to toe in traditional dress (also worn on a daily basis by many Cameroonian's), the team's heavily decorated women's kabba and men's boubou's, embellished with sunset hued embroidery against a stark black background, really set the team apart. Ethnic style props to you Cameroon!

Team Indonesia 2012 Olympic Games, Indonesian Batik Olympics, Olympic Fashion London 2012, Indonesian style
2.  Indonesia
Renowned for their skilfully crafted batik, its no wonder the Indonesian team chose to dress their female team members in brightly coloured version of the wax-resist dye technique. Paired with a smartly tailored red silk Kebaya, in keeping with the colours of their national flag, Team Indonesia certainly created a winning combination of contemporary meets traditional.

Olympic Fashion at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, Indian turbans and Sari, Parade of Nations India Best dressed, Olympic fashion
1. India
Mixing traditional brightly coloured Indian dress with an air of tailored western chic, India definitely stole the show with their elegant choice of an (auspicious) canary yellow/navy sariturban and suit combos, despite the gatecrashing red jumper and jean glad random 'leading' in the nation in front! 

Which country do you think most successfully combined tradition with contemporary style for the Opening Ceremony? Leave your comments below!


[ MR DANNIJO ] Eye Spy Man Repelling Arm Parties


Like thousands of other women here and across the Atlantic, I have a bit of a girl crush on Leandra Medine, aka The Man Repeller. But now there's but another justification for such crushing in the shape of ethnic style eyes. Confused? Yes, thought you might be. Well, to better explain, The Man Repeller teamed up for a second time earlier this year with New York based design duo, sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder, Aka Dannijo. Their collaborative 'eyes' for fashion culminated in, well, just that actually. A line of super summery, neon crystal and beaded rings, necklaces, earrings and of course, the coveted arm parties (that's a load of bracelets for those unbeknownst). Totally in tune with this seasons ethnic/tribal trends, they paraded their Mr Dannijo 'Eye Spy' collection round New York posing for the above featured lookbook, shot by Naomi Shon. And to tip it all off, Dannijo has partnered with a Rwandan women’s cooperative who hand-make all of the labels packaging under ethical conditions whilst being paid a fair wage. Eye say!

Enough of the puns. Go visit DANNIJO to eye up afforementioned arm parties et al. 

All images by Naomi Shon 


[ WINNING SPIRIT STYLE ] Get The London - 2012 Olympic Games - Look

Olympic Games London 2012 fashion, Team GB fashion, Union Jack Olympic Fashion, Opening Ceremony Outfit, Team Great Britain London 2012 Fashion, Vivienne Westwood London 2012 dress, Lulu Guiness Union Jack Lips, Liberty London Union Jack
1.Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Tuck Union Jack-print silk-chiffon dress 2. London Sole Henrietta UK Flag Design 3. Monica VinaderJubilee Fiji sterling silver bracelet 4. Topshop Moto Floral Union Jack Bralet 5. Cath Kidston Antique Brass Tiny Union Jack Heart Pendant Necklace 6.Large Liberty London Liberty Print Union Jack Scarf 7. Union Jack Snakeskin Lips Clutch 8. Emma Cook Printed silk crepe de chine tunic 9. Cath Kidston Be A Good Sport iPhone 4/S Case, Multi 10. Mulberry Union Jack Lock Lily Bag 11. London 2012 Olympic Games 1948 Medium Shopper Bag 12. 2012 Team GB Woven Bracelet, Red

Well, it's about that time again, yes it's TEAM GB time! First we had the Diamond Jubilee, when I gave you all a great deal of red white and blue Barbour Heritage to get you and your patriotic wardrobe through that long weekend. And now the time has come to dig out those colours once again, this time not for Queen Liz (GSTQ!), but to support the whole of beautiful Blighty! It may not be ethnic inspired, and, no, if you aren't British you'll be clicking right off this here page and on to some more country specific colours, but for all of you Brits out there, here's some inspiration to get you pumped with some TEAM GB winning spirit style, ready for this Friday's Opening Ceremony. Let the games begin!


[ NOVELLA ROYALE ] Sun-Basking Boho Wear


The sun is shining, I'm sun basking in my garden, and with my current ethno-bo style spirit still in full swing I couldn't think of a better piece of style inspiration for the coming weekend spent lounging lazily in the country, sipping Pims in the long grass and cooling feet in crystal streams. I love this new lookbook by Californian boho rock chick brand Novella Royale. One time accessory designer turned full-scale fashion star Mary Meyers' has ticked off the top 3 boho must haves: super pretty Indian paisley prints, my recent re-lust obsession: crochet, and to vamp it up whilst still keeping that soft focus hippie vibe: lace-up suede. Here's to a dreamy bohemian English summer (lets just hope it holds out)!

If you've also just fallen head over heels for Novella Royale, you can shop the collection here or view their blog here.


[ ON FILM ] The Painted House at Latitude Festival 2012

I'm very excited to share with you this culmination of events from The Painted House at Latitude Festival 2012. Shot by Lahla Smart of Design Tap, this charming little film documents some of the workshops and exhibits of the festival's now three year running fashion strand, over the course of the 13th-15th July 2012 weekend. With voice overs by Curator Imogen Eveson and Set Designer Samara Tompsett, the concept and future hopes for the space are explained whilst focusing upon some of the weekends top contributors, including, of course, Wandering Threads

We'd all love to hear what you think, so please share your comments below!

Visit these sites and support friends of WT's!


[ BOHEMIAN SUMMMER ] & Lessons in Ethno-Bo-ing

Bohemian style, ethnic fashion, bohemian meets ethnic, indian skirts, crochet top, bralet, arabic jewellery

Ethnic accessories, ethnic jewellery, indian bangles, nepal ring, arabic necklace, jaipur ring, turquoise ring, Bohemian style, ethnic fashion, bohemian meets ethnic, crochet top,

ethnic indian skirt, embellished indian skirt, indian peacock skirt with sequins, crochet top, arabic jewellery, ethnic jewellery, ethnic accessories, ethnic style

ethnic gypsy style, ethnic bohemian style, crochet top, asos bralet, ethnic statement jewellery, ethnic style


If you've come far enough in this post to warrant reading this, you're probably looking to find out where you too can purchase the above compiled myriad of ethno-bo threads (bohemian meets ethnic for those not down with the kids - AKA me and my made up lingo). Unfortunately such an endeavour may prove a little difficult if you're looking to completely recreate the above featured outfit as the majority of pieces are all wandering originals - that means I've picked them up in un(re)identifiable places around the world, rather than from actual shops with signs and rails and 'helpful' employees.  

So, my advice to you is to take one of the following options:

A) OFF THE RACK-IT. If you can't be arsed to mess around, want to turn into an instant ethno-bo and a have a bit of extra cash in your wallet: visit ethno-bo/gypso-bo saturated online retailers such as Free People, Spell & The Gypsy Collective, Novella Royale and Spanish Moss. 


B) CUSTOM SEARCH-IT. If you like your clothes with a pinch of story & a little more soul, have a hankering for a creative style challenge, get kicks out of haggling you're hats of in markets and/or are, well, just a little bit poor, do the following: 


1. Get on Ebay. Search for 'embellished Indian skirts', 'crochet vests' and 'fringed tops' 

2. Go jewellery shopping in local markets on your far-flung destination vacations, haggle hard and smile sweetly. 

3. *FLY TO INDIA! Buy up all the embellished, hand printed, embroidered clothing you can get your hands on, then ship it back for twice the price you paid for it.

4. Hang out in sun-drenched fields wearing floaty skirts paired with lobe-stretchingly large earrings, super-sized necklaces and other such items purchased after reading aforementioned tips.

*WARNING: not advised for people with unhealthy spending habits, a furious addiction to bargain hunting and pre-existing money problems*


If you are about to frolic down the path of option B (like a true ethno-bo) here's a few hints to get you started, in the form of 8 not so accurate descriptions of all the items featured in my very own ethno-bo outfit above:

1. Crochet vest - £3.50, Ebay
2. Indian Sequined Peacock Print Skirt - £8.00 (approx), Market find, Kuala Lumpur
3. ASOS Black Bralet - £4.30, Ebay 
4. Hand Painted Earrings -30p, Kerala, India
5. Green Metal Bangles - 50p, Pushkar, India
6. Arabic Style Statement Necklace - gifted by my mother
7. Turquoise & Silver Ring - £20, Jaipur, India
8. Blue Stone Ring - £1, Bhaktapur, Nepal

Go forth and wander for threads!


[ GREEK PRIDE ] Vogue Hellas July 2012


A nod to Grecian goddesses and golden, sun drenched shores, this months Vogue Hellas editorial by photographer Thanasis Krikis will get you primed for that upcoming summer break, even if the English weather persists on grey skies and perpetual misery. Divine, amazonian-like bodies accessorised with bronzed, mythic headpieces and super-sized statement jewellery - Grecian sea siren couture at its best. 

Ros Georgiou by Thanasis Krikis for Vogue Hellas July 2012

All images: visualoptimism.blogspot.co.uk
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