This week Kathy S from Illinois visited London with her daughter in law and we were able to meet up for a visit to the V&A Frida Kahlo exhibition. It was a treat for me to go again. Following my first round up of the Dress like Frida sewalong even more friends have come back with their wonderful outfits.
First I want to share some photos from Barbara who is based in Port Stephens, Australia. This whole outfit is full of joyousness – the flowers (from an old T-shirt that she stuffed and attached to a hairband) and the strong red/yellow/blue colourway in her half circle skirt, enhanced by the black backgrounds is very Frida. She also made her own sandals. Well done – this is such a happy look.
And then there is Lara, who didn’t manage a skirt or trousers, but found a suitable monkey, which is far more important. He’s a lovely sock monkey too. I must make one of these with some sensational socks.
Next up is (another) Barbara from Vancouver in Canada. She is coming to London to see the exhibition and I am hoping to meet up with her next month. What a marvellous top in a Frida print. Love the way you have Frida centre stage there, looking thoughtful in a garden of Fridas. Nice pockets and coordinating skirt, and tremendous jewellery. Very artistic and beautifully executed Barbara – in your bamboo bower.
Lauren Harris of @selassew made the next gorgeous outfit. She used a Liberty floral and a Style Arc pattern, and the Japanese rectangle skirt from Studio Faro. I love this skirt, and funnily enough always envisaged the folds at the back! But why not at the front. And I love yellow and turquoise together – so bright and cheery. Well done Lauren.
And I am honoured to have Lisa (@sew_what73) and Judith Rosalind (@Judithrosalind), founder of @sewover50 in the collection. They both managed just a huipil, but aren’t they both gorgeous? Lisa included a lovely Indian block print and some jazzy home-made bias binding, and exhibited her top on a bright hanger next to a gorgeous turquoise door. And Judith’s huipil is made from beatiful old French nightdresses. The embroidery and basic shape is preserved through the clever reconstruction. I love the loose, classic look of this top. Like all the participants they took to the challenge and recycled, or used interesting off cuts, and made a garment that was absolutely in the spirit of Frida.
And finally I got some portraits of me.
For me the final Frida Portrait had to have an interesting background that reveals something about me.
I chose a portrait on me when I was about 22 and living in Manchester. It was painted by a man called Paul Smith, who was an art student at the time. He started with a pencil drawing, then used wax crayons for the second version, finally moving to oils for the third portrait. He gave all three to me. I have lost the earlier two, but remember the wax one melting slighting when displayed too near a radiator.
In front of it is a French antique mechanical toy novelty. The man is an apple picker, and you can make the apples fall from the tree. Nick bought it, and he has a few similar objects around the house. Next to it is a jug I bought at Heals soon after Esme got married. She was given a gift voucher which she sold to me, and I bought two jugs for flowers. Behind my head is a standard lamp, based on a peony. This was made by a local craftsman in aluminium and copper especially to fit in to our Cotswold home. We had lots of pink peonies at our wedding and they are one of my favourite flowers (with roses, sweet peas, hollyhocks and delphiniums). The cabinet drawers contain knives and forks, and white table napkins and candles. It was made by a friend of ours, in maple, designed by my husband Nick, but based on American Shaker designs. I love the joints, the knobs and the simple, elegant design. Finally – the chair. This is an antique (1880) covered in Liberty fabric. I love the look of it and it is nice and deep and fairly low.
The clothes were made as part of the #DresslikeFridasal. I am wearing a blue silk huipil, with an old Chinese embroidered skirt panel from the 1930s or earlier. My skirt is a gathered cotton skirt made with cotton fabric I tied dyed with Indigo. The scarf is hand-woven, courtesy of my friend Bridget. The jewellery is Chinese or Indian, and from the Oxfam shop. And the pom pom Alice band.
In the final picture I have the pastel pom pom Alice band on, and a different shawl. This is actually another embroidered table-cloth I found at my Mum’s.
We are back at college this week so I hope to have some interesting photographs to show you this term.