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?
What great outfits, each quite different but wonderful in their own way and all vibing the Frida look. Impossible to pick a favourite!
What a lovely inspiring and creative group of women. Makes for a great impact when grouped together like this Kate. Hope you see more next week! Fabulous!
Joyce, from Sudbury
I could not begin to do any of these. The creativity in these outfits is just amazing. So well done all, have really enjoyed the Frida projects.
Oh my, what a round-up! When you proposed this sew-along, I was less than sure that this style was mine, plus, as I commented earlier, there is a big fuss right now in Montréal about cultural appropriation – merely everything is considered cultural appropriation – and that’s very unnerving and paralysing. However, you eased my concerns with your clever reply: “why not search your own cultural background to reinterpret Frida’s style?” Quilting is a huge part of Québec’s crafting heritage, so I dipped my toe and really got into it! Now I owe you a huge thank you and a big hug for hosting this very inspiring and mind-opening sew-along. xxx
There a big debate here about a chef – Jamie Oliver – culturally appropriating “jerk” to describe a rice dish, when it is strictly a Jamaican spice rub for meat. I really think the world is going mad. All cultures take from elsewhere, all art is stimulated and inspired by the environment including the art of others. The subjugation of slaves, the appropriation of lands from original people, the oppression of the poor and powerless all over the world – these are issues that need concerted political action. As I describe in my book wearing clothes from other cultures and eating food from elsewhere can increase our understanding and break down cultural, racial and religious barriers. I love that you investigated your Quebecois roots Helene – with stunning results.
A truly inspiring outcome to a most interesting challenge. It is fascinating to see one central idea interpreted in so many flattering and unique ways. Kate, thank you for organizing and developing the idea – I really enjoyed following this series of posts!
Each and every outfit is totally fabulous!
I cannot tell you ‘Thank You’ enough Kate for organizing this Frida sewalong! It’s been one of the most enjoyable learning experiences and creative journey for me, and to see the collection of outfits in this way, and to be included in such a group of creative and talented women is humbling. Thank you. Lisa
This was such fun Kate, thank you. I am quite a shy and introverted person so posting photos of myself is not something I enjoy so what a hurdle for me to jump to see my photo on your blog! I enjoyed so much gathering the materials and thinking about my style and Frida’s. When I visited her home in Mexico City I felt so at home with her colors and treasures. I wanted to time travel back and sit at her table with all of her interesting friends and enjoy the environment. My skirt is indeed becoming a caftan! I liked wearing the skirt for the outfit photo but long skirts are impractical for my daily life. I love the deep colors and think a caftan will be a great upcycle of the fabric.
Again, thanks for making my summer so much fun!
I am gobsmacked by all the inspiration here. I want to make heavily embroidered espadrilles. I love the skirt that will become a caftan. The Indian shawl that became a huipil is so beautiful. The black pants with the print at the bottom are delightful. Everyone did such a stellar job. Blissikins, as a friend would often say. Utter, utter blissikins.
Thanks for the shout out- we’ve been away over the weekend but the blog had a nice little boost from the link here! Fabulous pictures- it really is great to see so many different interpretations and such clever detail work. I like the idea of DIY braid, so many scraps to be used up, so little time….
PS, it ain’t a day of the dead print, but an outrageous japanese tattoo pattern, but it gives the same vibe. I wore it to breakfast every morning at the hotel to try to kick start my brain before changing into…yes, corsets for the day. Well, it was a steampunk weekend!
Oops. Anyway I am glad your Japanese tattoo skirt is getting a good work out!!
I agree Kim. Their elements are wonderful in everycase, although the shawl and head-dress is probably a bit much for everyday!
All looking really good – and surprisingly wearable. Thanks for sending out the challenge Kate 🙂
The portraits of these ladies dresses Frida Kahlo style are very inspiring. I have really enjoyed reading all your Frida Kahlo posts (as well as everything else I have read on your blog!)
I still have some ideas that this series has inspired in me that I hope to bring to fruition over summer. I will post them on Instagram with the hashtag #dresslikefridasal when I do it. Sorry to be too slow to be included in the group!
Hi Lauren – thank you. I am sold glad you have found the sewalong interesting and that it has prompted your creative thinking. I would love to feature your outfit, so if you put it on Instagram I will find it. Also you can send me a photo for the blog on kate (at) fabrickated.com.
Fabulous turnout and results! I follow most of these ladies on IG and have seen some photos there, too. I was sorry not to participate, and especially now seeing all the gorgeous outfits. (I didn’t know Elaine was involved and what a marvelous she did) There is one thing about Frida that particularly intrigues me. An undeniably strong and dynamic woman, she was so tiny and much more delicate than she painted in her self portraits, would you agree? I have a print on my living room wall that I enjoy very much. So lovely meeting you. What a grand challenge this was.