About a dozen of us have been participating in the Dress like Frida Sewalong. Inspired by artist, Mexican revolutionary and creative dresser Frida Khalo we made tops and bottoms, belts, scarves and shawls. We put on jewellery and swept up our hair, including flowers or other ornamentation.
And here are ten portraits that have come in already!
Lisa is in Carolina, USA, and didn’t want an obvious Frida look. But she was so inspired by Frida and I love the red/yellow combination, the really nice floral top and the way Lisa’s gorgeous grey hair and silver jewellery complement not just her lovely outfit but also the interesting striped, antique chair.
Michelle (Grannieinstitches), from East Anglia, UK, has been seen on this blog before, in her gorgeous Elizabeth Zimmermann sweaters. When considering the sewalong I know she was not at all sure that she could get away with a huipil. But what do you think? Big success, yes? What a lovely mix of pinks and turquoise, braid and borders, green bangles and jade earrings. And the flower crown is so pretty. I imagine the sari-silk skirt and checkered top could be worn very happily with a T-shirt or jeans.
Helene is a marvellous sewist and knitter and works hard to support and lead the sewing community from Quebec in Canada. Helen has her head-dress wound around her wrist, and made her own espadrilles! On their own the shoes would have surely been enough. The motifs and shapes are so Frida-ish – Frida decorated her own shoes and boots with embroidery, ribbons and bells. Helene made her huipil braid by joining small pieces of left over cotton to create a patchwork effect. Lovely, isn’t it? In fact, having discovered this completely charming effect, Helene is going to make up a full quilt.
Raquel is based in Taiwan and made several, super outfits. I had not met her before but was so impressed with her energy and verve. Have a look at her Instagram for a whole variety of outfits. This one is made from woollen Kimonos. Aren’t the colours, including the shawl draped over her bag, beautiful together? Well done – such lovely work.
Based in the Midlands, England, my dear friend Elaine aka Demented Fairy, does lots of dressing up – usually in corsets and a range of items more common in the Victorian age. She used a Mexican Day of the Dead print, beautifully matched with red floral headpiece, green beads and blue rebozo. She also included a stuffed penguin (?) in some of the shots. Why not? Here in her lovely garden, with a beautiful, simple blouse she looks serene and powerful. Thanks for joining in DF – you are such an enthusiast.
Sue is a trouper and always game for a community event. Based in Perth, Australia she has a super blog where she has outlined her approach and thinking for this challenge. Don’t her full legged trousers look good with a huipil? She made more than one huipil, several hand painted T shirts, a couple of crowns and even dressed up in an authentic Mexican outfit (see Instgram). She worked out two unique ways of making the headdress and printed her own tea-towel huipil. I love your shoes too Sue – totally Frida appropriate. Do go and look at Sue’s blog for lots of idea – she completely went for this challenge.
Mary is someone I have met through instrgram, who is based in Portland, Oregon. I love Mary’s Instagram and it would be fair to say that she normally wears very simple, Japanese and shift type dresses in quiet colours. And she rarely shows her face. So this was a wonderous picture of her in the full Frida garb. The blouse is made from a thrifted skirt with lace inserts. I think she looks very regal (in her local jungle) and I love the skirt (although I think is now becoming a caftan).
I had not met Jess before, and I think she is fairly new to Instagram. But what a triumph her outfit turned out to be. Look at her posts to see the evolution of this outfit and some especially gorgeous Spanish needlework and dancing outfits. Jess put lots of thought and care into her outfit which she says she didn’t intend to wear together, but it has gone on holiday with her to Spain and I am sure it the two items will work well with other items too.
Janet @sewdalriada from Scotland, is another new friend, met through the sewalong. Janet is a pro, and isn’t this outfit just perfect! I love everything about it, but especially the way the colours co-ordinate with such subtlety, really enhancing Janet’s fair skin. Every element is so beautiful. I love the white border, the embroidered huipil and the crown made with silk scraps sewn into buds and blooms. What a fantastic photograph Janet – so full of joy and creativity.
And finally, someone who doesn’t have a blog, but is a friend in real life. Linde Carr has featured on this blog before.
Linde has kept to a simple black and white palette, enhanced by brightly coloured embroidery, charity shop specials and crochet work. Don’t you think the patterned trousers are gorgeous, peeping out below her skirt? And the bag looks so authentic too. With her long hair Linde could easily create a very nice hairstyle and her earings set it all off so beautifully. Thanks for coming to see me at work Linde, dressed appropriately for work, but also with such a strong individual vibe. Lovely.
There maybe more in the works. Do send me a photograph if you would like to be included in the second post, due next week.
I think this sewalong has been a huge success, driven by the energy and enthusiasm of a group of women, all over the globe. Thanks to Frida who got us going, the V&A for inspiring me, and all of you who watched, unsure if this look could work for you. As you see it works well for so many different personalities, body shapes, ages, backgrounds, areas and colourings. Strong, passionate women; body confident and full of life.
I know I was challenged in a range of ways and my thinking and creativity expanded. How was it for you?