Thursday, 9 August 2012

A to Z of Polish - A is for a-England

Hi Goddesses

..... and welcome to a new series for the blog - the A to Z of Polishes.  It's like a polish alphabet!  We're going to go through the alphabet brand by brand, and see what's out there in the Polish World.  Why ?  Well partly because there are new brands popping up all the time, but also because in this fast paced world, we rarely stop and just give thanks, so this is me, giving thanks.

We start today with the letter A (oooh, that was like Sesame Street lol) and there are several brands that start with A -
* a-England
* Accessorize
* American Apparel
* Catherine Arley
* All That Glitters (Etsy)

We're going to start our walk down Alphabet Street with one of my very favourite polish brands, a-England.  Created by Italian fashion designer and admitted anglophile, Adina Bodana, a-England has so far released 2 collections, full of sumptuous colours and delicious textures.  It feels like a luxury brand, albeit at a reasonable price.

So why do I love a-England?  The colours.  Oh and the holos.  The depth and intensity of Adina's creations are truly stunning, and she is one of the few polish makers who has perfected a "reliable" holo, that doesn't just give an amateurish bend to the light, but captures it, embeds it and then refires it back at you.   Her polishes are so intense they *almost* overpower the senses.  Almost.

For me it all started with this beauty, Lady of The Lake, a sublime purple holo.

I remember the night I posted this (here) and the reaction it got.  At that time, a-England wasn't quite as well known as it is now; ah, a simpler time, before the Legend Collection, when even Adina herself had the time to comment on your photo :)

Ok, lets embark on our visual buffet, starting first with the Mythical Collection, which was the first collection a-England released.  I don't own all the colours of this collection, but you can check them all out on a-England's website, here.

My second big lemming was Tristam, and actually, maybe he is to blame for my new love of blue.  Before this, I don't think I had ever wanted a blue polish before.  This is very much the twin brother of LOTL, both beautiful in their intensity and aglow with scattered holo.

And then I saw Galahad, and another blue love was born, and begotten and worn :)  A dreamy, but subdued, turquoise.

I also fell hard for Guinevere, a serene lilac, which you can see here.

A lot of this collection was silver and ethereal, colours which aren't really very Crumpety, but this one most certainly is - the divine Perceval, a rich, electric red which smoulders with vibrancy.

Then there's Avalon, a delicious fiery purple, full of molten blues and inner lunar complications.

When Adina told me at the end of last year that she was releasing a new collection based on the Legend of Saint George, my heart skipped a beat.   For me, Saint George means dragon - red, orange, fire! - and yet all of that spectrum is absent from the Collection.  I think the strop I went into at this point blinded me to the true beauty of the collection for a LONG time, but now, a few months on, even I applaud the artistry of these polishes, even if, for me, it focussed to much on the greener side of life.

My personal stand out is Order of the Garter.  An intense, bright, shimmer-laden blue, this is special.  I love this blue so much.  It glows with an inner fire - dazzling.

The 2 most famous polishes from this Collection of course are Dragon and Saint George.   The Dragon here is green (sadly) not red (sadly), but stunning nevertheless.  It's the pure colour of Englishness and grass and fiercely glows with it's holo goodness.

Saint George is darker.  For me, this is still green, albeit dark green, but most people describe this as a teal.  I don't personally get a teal vibe from it, but that could be to do with skin tone.  Again, it's not red lol, but it IS arresting, and makes a perfect companion piece to it's holo brother, Dragon.

A polish more in line with my sensibilities was Ascalon, an indefinable colour which I eventually called Pigeon!  It blurs from grey to lilac and back, and looked beautiful with a matte coat too.

It's often hard to remember that a-England is an indie brand.  It seems to have emerged fully-formed and with no teething pains, and the fact that it feels like such an authentic and well established brand is pure testament to the love Adina's polishes have inspired.   It's also great to see a brand constantly striving for exciting textures and arresting colours - a quality some of the big boys and girls have definitely lost.

I hope you enjoyed our tour of the town of A on our polish map.  If you don't yet own any a-Englands I can heartily recommend them - I honestly don't know of a single person who has bought one and regretted it.

More importantly, thank you Adina, and just because I can't resist, let's end with a glamour shot of Tristam himself, one of the most stunning kitties on the planet.

Enjoy xx :)

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