Left to right, top to bottom:
Embroidered Apron Top by pgasparotto
Shisha Mirror Hand Felted Cuff by lanadeflor
Belly Dance Benjara Belt by MagicCarpetDanceArts
Beaded Brooch by CrimsonPetalCouture
This shell sat on my desk for about three weeks while I worked out how to wire wrap it without taking away from its natural beauty. I loved the spiral of this shell so I tried to emphasise it with wire curling around it, but it wouldn’t stay put! Finally I worked out that wrapping vertically would not distract from the natural shape and would mean I could attach the shell to a necklace.
I used dark coloured wooden beads and chocolate coloured hemp cord to bring out the dark colouring of the shell. I used copper coloured wire to wrap the shell to add a little colour to the piece and introduced blue glass beads from England to compliment it.
This piece seems very sophisticated to me, with its mix of colours and textures. The dark colours seem to make the blue beads and copper wire sparkle.
This piece is currently available for sale in my store here
While I was in New York I made a visit to the Metroplitan Museum of Art. I went to see their latest exhibition - American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity. If you are in the area I urge you to go see this exhibition. It celebrates the addition of the costume collection, formerly housed at the Brooklyn Museum, to the Met. There are some beautiful pieces on display including my favourite - a rare sweater from 1895 with mutton sleeves!
The exhibition shows clothing from the 1890s to the 1940s displaying them in 'character' groups It begins with the heiress which consists of evening gowns made by French designers, the most famous and prominent being the House of Worth. I took the time to sketch my favourite gown from 1900 - lavender silk satin with lace and tulle sporting a wheat-ear embroidery decorated with beads sequins and rhinestones.
Next came the Gibson Girls with their leg of mutton sleeves and practical linens. I particularly liked a bathing suit in this section that was very nautical in style. Next came the Bohemians with their floating gowns and art deco patterns. One dress dated 1909-11 from France used strands of beads in sections for decoration.
The Suffragists and Patriots were next. I want to research further the buttons and ribbons worn by the Suffragists. Their united colours of gold, purple, white and green and later purple, white and gold interest me and I would like to incorporate it into my work some how. There were several gorgeous beaded flapper dresses to follow. Those dresses are so intricate but so delicate that I hope my $20 donation will go towards properly storing them when the exhibition is over. The final section of the exhibition was dedicated to screen sirens. This section was full of what I consider true American style. Slinky satin dresses cut in the bias with twists and pleats to emphasis the figure. My favourite was by a costume designer called Travis Banton from the movie Limehouse Blues. The gown is a combination of a Chinese cheongsam with a high collar and side opening and a Belle Epoque era dress with a train. It features a huge dragon motif made of gold and silver sequins that sweeps from the neck all the way down to the train.
My only complaint about this exhibition was the wigs used on the mannequins. I am used to displays that have period correct wigs or representations of such. These were not period correct, nor did I think they were even well executed. I expected more of the Met in this department but for the most part it didn't distract from the gorgeous costumes on display.
Go see it - find out more at the Met website here
Well now, It's been a while since I got chance to post because it has been super crazy at work. But finally I can sit at my computer and send you something interesting. This issue has popped up on a couple of the sites I frequent so I thought it would be good to mention it here also.
Apparently our love of handmade has now gone designer! Sublime Stitching's Jenny Hart reported on her website of a Fendi handbag that comes as an embroidery kit. It is a plain canvas bad which you can embroider yourself. However, because of the designer label the price of this kit is $995!! I'll have two of those please, one for the week and one for the weekend!
Recently, Louis Vuitton was asked to stop using a new line of ads by the Advertising Standards Agency. The ads showed models working on the products and claimed that they were 'handmade'. The ASA said "We had not seen evidence that demonstrated the extent to which Louis Vuitton products were made by hand, we concluded the ads were misleading". In response Louis Vuitton sttod by their advertising, saying that they were merely an homage to the artisans that make such products.
What do you think about big names such an Fendi and Louis Vuitton getting in on the handmade action? Are they pulling the focus away from us independent designers or are they making a larger market aware of the possibility to buy handmade?? Leave your comments to let me know!
Sublime Stitching's post of the Fendi Bag
UK Handmade's post about Louis Vuitton
More info on the Louis Vuitton situation on Stylite