MAKING FRIDA UP AND WORKING THROUGH IT ALL...

Hello Awesome Sources...So I thought it would be poignant to elaborate on the process of my 'Everything Frida' Frida Kahlo capsule collection, which consists of a multitude of ideas and partly a painstaking process of bringing it all together.

In the beginning I thought it would pretty simple to condense and fulfill my visions of what I wanted to make. You know..... like you see on Facebook and Instagram...... All the shiny things ....how wonderful everything is...how super amazing, things are going...If the truth be known, it was an inspiring process to go through inclusive of massive lows. It also highlighted dramatically, how I operate, how my mind tries to trip me up and how I work through it all. During the process I met with massive self doubt, a massive amount of asking for validation, making people tell me what they thought . I even made a whole garment with completely neat finished edge, using a  twin fucking point needle! Then I was like..ok rewind, what was it that I wanted to make right back at the start of the process. Retrain my mind into reaching for the next best thought.

However the whole shabang helped me to come to a massive realisation! I MAKE ART FOR CLOTHES AND ART TO PUT ON CLOTHES AND WALLS. Its the art, the process of the art, the medititive qualities of art, the therapeutic process of art that makes my pieces so good. I really love painting too, something that I have strayed away from for far too fucking long. So what you will find with my clothing products is that they have raw edges which is a bit like me. My brain does not work laterally, its slightly chaotic and has so many ideas oozing out of it, sometimes its hard to control.  Instead of hiding away from that, I am embracing all that is me and will continue to do so.

I am very excited to complete more painting, then be stitching all over it, adding text, then sewing over it again. However art and making art is not always a pleasant experience. Creative people that make art, like myself, quite often are expressing whats inside themselves, instead of going bat shit loopy doops, crashing low into the realms of non- negotiable subdued states. It supports me throught times when I feel pretty rubbish, lifts me through anxious periods and is a massive means of self expression. So I've decided in this blog to drop my 'Look at me Im so together and......I have made this stuff so easily.....'

It took me most of my AL to get 'EVERYTHING FRIDA' up on my website. I had to ignore my partner and my kids for half of it. Updating Facebook and Insta was a fucking nause and I'm so sick of hashtags, tagging people, uploading stuff. I spend so much time on my phone, sometimes I feel that I have no fucking idea what I am doing. People talk about having a social media strategy- Im like..... whats that FFS??? I have a nervous twitch, of a click, to see who has looked at my posts, who has bothered to comment, whether people are interested if at all. Let alone actually having the time away from my four day a week job to make ALL the shit that I've put up on here. Don't get me wrong I feel totally blessed with my life and I open to receiving all the opportunities that are coming my way, at the same time shit just got real.

Thanks so much to Frida Kahlo, who obviously has passed away, I have become attached to her massively throughout this journey. The life she led was painstaking and brilliant, all at the same time, for me feels relective of my own. She has brought in more colour and light. Viva Frida!

AN OATH AND FRIDA COLOUR WALK 'MAKING HERSELF UP'...

As I said this journey has been with its ups and downs. The next stage that came about was deciding what to make with the images that I had painted and drawn of Frida Kahlo. What style? what to sell/ how would it look? I have been so saddened by the state of the planet recently- all the plastic-I made a massive decision to buy only organic fabrics from now on. I am going to make use of my fabric stash- of which I  have loads, in addition I will be sourcing fabrics from cutting room floor- I've already had bag fulls of gorgeous sequinned, glittery love from Plus Equals. I will also buy already worn or vintage clothing from secondhand retailers, of which I have been looking for more of, in Brighton and Hove.  Its a bit of a rabbit hole once you start thinking about all the items that you have to buy for your business to stay eco-friendly and sustainable, however I will do my best and learn alot along the way, I'm sure.

Ok, so back to Frida....I wanted to design really simple Frida skate tees or a Festival Frida tee dress. I based the design on a t- shirt I already own, which is basically two rectangles. I took the measurements and then had to work out how to make the size right for the width of the GOTS Certified Organic knit ultra fabric, I had found on Spoonflower. This was no simple task, adding borders for seam allowance etc so there was no white fabric. I got there in the end with the help of the tech head of the family. I was happy to find the bricklay option where you could create loads of Frida heads in a row. (Why is there not a Frida Kahlo emoje???) I ordered the fabrics and when they turned up I was so excited when the package arrived. I opened the box to find the ravishing evidence inside. Now I was truly ready to make my art to wear.

So my fabrics had arrived and I was over the moon. They looked truly awesome and delicious. I was truly thrilled to be going to the Frida Kahlo colour walk and visiting the  Making Herself Up Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert organised by my friend Kathy Okeefe 

Now what to wear????

I got to work on designing my Festival Frida tee dress with Frida Red on the front and the bricklay on the back. Believe me I've been all around the houses designing this limited edition piece. I'll tell you  more about it later. the final edition will be unveiled next week.

At Cuppa Joes- a cool cafe and vintage clothing shop in Kemp Town- I had previously bought a Vintage Chinese Silk coat. I used the coat for the base of my La Catrina jacket. Day of the Dead was very much part of Fridas life, facing death often throughout. First I drew the skeleton onto the white silk and freehand machine embroidered over the top and surrounded her with vintage flowers, black and red lace.

I used the rest of the vintage Chinese silk to make a Frida Kahlo bag. There will be more ornate, decorated bags in different styles in my 'Everything Frida'  capsule collection. I had two Frida designs printed onto GOTs certified organic cotton, to use in one off bepoke pieces. Printing these designs in a smaller size enables me to work freely with my fabric stash, making bags and accessories and also to upcycle second hand clothing. I will be uploading Frida Freedom jackets, bags, cushion covers, decorative cushions and scarves to the website this week.

The Frida Kahlo colour walk was full of colour, flowered headresses, long flowing skirts, belts, buckles and  so much fun. It was lovely to catch up with Florent Bidois, Ruthy Mandry and Kathy and Derek O' Keefe all looking beautiful. I met many other lovely Frida fans that day who were all there for the colour walk too.

The 'Making Herself Up' exhibition was so awesome and extremely moving. I dont wanna say too much about it in case you haven't seen it. If you have a ticket you will LOVE it, if you dont have a ticket and know anyone with a card for the V and A, make it your top priority this year especially if your loving the Frida vibes. Below are a few pictures from the day. Thanks so much for Kathy O' Keefe for arranging it all.

It was with an infinite amount of joy that I met my mum on Frida Kahlo's Birthday July the 6th just gone. Guess who has a membership card to the V and A? My freakin' awesome mum.  She loved 'Making Herself Up' as much as I did, as you can see below. Watch this space for the launch of my 'Frida Everything' collection coming this week. There will be Frida, Frenzy Fashion- The Frida Festival Tee Dress, Frida skate tees and Frida, Freedom Jackets and accessories. O my god its too good to be true!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Viva Frida thanks for everything! (see below for the beginning of my Frida Kahlo journey...)

Barbary Lane- remembering Mouse..

Well hello, all the lovely people. I've missed you. Its been a hell of a long time since I have written anything at all and a hell of a lot of awesome additions to my life have occurred.

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At the beginning of May I was lucky to get together with Richard Kaby, exquisite photographer of the colourwalk and meet his inspiring wife Helena, in Brighton for the festival. We met in 'Cuppa Joes', an excellent cafe and really affordable vintage and 2nd hand clothing store.  Richard kindly introduced me to Lynne Gillett who owns and runs Barbary Lane. Walking in I met a sparkly, glittery, super, multi faceted, other wordly colourful, bundle of a shop in Kemptown, Brighton- 95 St George's Rd, Brighton BN2 1EE. So much I wanna buy in there!!! Totally worth a visit.

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BADASS JACKET- THIS ONES MINE TO KEEP LOL......

Meeting Lynne was more than a pleasure and the shop was a treasure trove of clothing, hats, rings, bags, headresses- too much to name and lots of awesome designers work installed. @mentalembellisher from France- scarves, shoes, jackets: the wonderful and totally inspiring @SophieCochevelou- crazy, cookie jewellery and art to wear, @dianegoldie- kimono legend, local hatmaker Clae, headresses by @diamantequeen, @Halfanoctopus from Wales, local jewellery maker @Fwaylawn and Lady Zooty- knitter, who I've definately seen out and about on the bus in Brighton. Lynne invited me to upcycle some jackets with my digital prints and bespoke embroidery designs for the shop. I was more than happy to indulge. What an honour. So to add to that list is @Cassandra_Whitfield Whoot!!!

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Richard took some incredible shots of my work. These jackets are all available to buy at Barbary Lane apart from the orange one- not surprising it went- it was my favourite. People have such good taste!. All pieces are good examples of what I can make for you, as bespoke commissions. Get in touch at my contact page, I'm happy to talk about ideas and make magic out of fabric and thread. Have a look at the ingenious shots @richardkaby took for me in and outside Barbary Lane. Big thanks to Lynne.

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UPCYCLED FITTED, BIG BUTTONED, KALI- DIGITAL PRINT WITH ADDITIONAL EMBROIDERY JACKET.

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DAVID DIGITAL PRINT, SURROUNDED BY SEQUINS ON BLUE LINEN WAISTCOAT, FRONT WITH LIGHTNING DETAIL.

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LILITH LIPS- UPCYCLED DENIM JACKET WITH ADDED SEQUINNED FABRICS AND EMBROIDERED LIPS. SMACKERS.....

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KATE- DIGITAL PRINT, GOLD QUILTED JACKET.

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THIS ONES GONE... 'HEAR NO EVIL'- DIGITAL FABRIC PRINT, WITH ADDED EIGHTIES LOVE. FABRIC PRINT STILL AVAILABLE TO ADD TO SOMETHING THAT YOU OWN. GO TO PRINT

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CHECK OUT MY BUMPERS THEY MATCH THE JACKET...

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WE GOT ADDICTED TO THIS YELLOW LINE...

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Much more to come at Barbary Lane and on my blog. Soon to unleash the frenetic, fantastical, fashion shoot that me and Rich and Suzy, one of my besties in Brighton did. Some super sweet shots of my jackets in and around Brighton. Old Spitalfields, Colourwalk,  silk series, classics with @suekreitzman, @meihuiliu8 and @timyipstime and My Frida Kahlo sustainable capsule collection- 'Everything Frida,' running alongside the Frida Kahlo Exhibition #makingherselfup at the V and A. Wow what a combination...I can hardly contain myself. 

Winter: Sewing Circle Rethread 2017

Well its been a long time since I wrote anything on here. However I feel it will be a seasonal thing. October through to December was a busy period for me. The Sewing Circle Rethread 2017 at The St Pancras Gallery in the hospital, was a major event with some truly brilliant artists. This was a Stitch focussed exhibition with everything from textile art, to fashion pieces and costume jewellery. It was a glorious mass of colour and flowers and eyes and toys and fur and crazy carpets, souls and expression, spread all over the place. The opening night was a big success and feedback from all that came to visit over the three months was extremely positive. 

Peter Herbert and Elaine Harper manage The Arts Project and put on the event, Sue Kreitzman curated alongside them. Big thanks to them all and the volunteers. I would also like to thank all the artists that I met. I have not been introduced to a more welcoming group in a long time. Your work is truly inspiring. Check out Anna Bowman's awesome film, which is all about the artists and sewing and stitch- a powerful healer and a wonderful medium to work in.  

JANUARY 2018: INSPIRING TALKS BRIGHTON- MY SEWING STORY- HOW ART HELPS TO HEAL MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

January 2018 I told my sewing story at the Inspiring Talks Brighton. This event is hosted by Sally Garozzo at the Grand Central in the Nightingale Room. I spoke out about the healing power of art and how it has helped me to overcome my mental health issues. I met some other brave articulate people there- Nige Atkinson spoke about breaking the vow of silence for men , Kirsty Norton the power of the breath, Helen Thatcher about hugging and how it makes you feel good, Georgina Tasker- Simm getting in touch with the inner child. Russ Callaghan- Grooms, music and dementia and Ann O'Keife about the joy of laughter and laughter yoga, who were the risky biscuits. It was a heart opening event, with all that spoke about their truth and place in the world. The evening was filmed and my talk is below for you to see.

DECEMBER 2017 BRIGHTON ARTISTS OPEN HOUSE: 

 

December was full of the Brighton Artist Open House for Christmas. I showed my stitched fairy dolls for the first time and launched my range of sustainable and ethically sourced gloves and hand warmers. 

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Here below is a collection of my bespoke embroideries and prints, embellished and regenerated on upcycled and reinvented fashion apparel. I am open to discuss individual bespoke commissions to meet your needs. Contact me here


David’ Reconstructed, upcycled top:  This was one of the first tops I made out of recycled t shirts and white muslin. The image is a print of my original bespoke embroidery called ‘David’ which was commissioned by one of my London customers. ‘David’ is part of a triptych alongside two others ‘Annie’ and ‘Grace.’ (prints all available in my store.) 


Angel in the Wind: This is an original freehand machine embroidery sewn onto silk with cotton and metallic threads and embellished onto a cotton vintage jacket.  This embroidery was part of a series of angels, with inspiration taken from the elements. Most of these pieces were sold as textile art to be hung on the wall. Here I am evoking a sense of movement in my work.


Aztec Amazon: Aztec Amazon was an illustration I created after buying some fine line pens for myself as I really missed drawing. I added watercolours and a border, influenced by the circles in life. I found the jacket in a sale and reconstructed it and added the silver quilted fabric to the shorter arms. I heavily embellished the feathers, which I also drew, sewed them onto the jacket and put the lining back in.


Candy floss fun at Brunswick Festival this Summer: These little denims were passed onto me via friends of mine. I love the one with the diamante studs at the top. I added prints of two of my bespoke embroideries to the backs. ‘Eve was framed’ sold as textile art in a previous London show, 'Psychedelic Berlin' is still available to buy in the textiles section and there are various versions in the drawings/ prints section in my store. Personally she’s one of my favourites.


 ‘Hear No Evil.’ And ‘Geisha 1’: Look at these little beauties rocking the discotheque. ‘Hear no evil’ was obviously inspired by the three monkeys and part of a triptych you can guess the other titles! This chick has headphones on and was inspired by Manga images, 80’s Athena prints and my love for music... loud music. She is also featured on some of my new work coming soon.  ‘See No Evil’ is a beauty.


‘Kali’ Hindu Goddess, destroyer of evil forces. Upcycled jacket and embellished print with lace and big buttons:  I picked up this turquoise cutie in one of my favourite 2nd hand stores-  The British Heart Foundation in Brighton. We donate most of our 2nd handers to this shop on the Western Road. The staff are always dead friendly. This is a print of an original set of Goddess embroideries with a twist. I got really into Goddess cards when I was developing my style. I was looking for the similarities in fashion today and Goddesses of old.


‘Sin City’: This is me in my ‘Sin City’ top which is a print, embellished and sewn onto recycled net blouse.  I added some black muslin to create a similar effect on the sleeves to the ‘David’ upcycled reconstructed top. The original embroidery was bought by Dan owner and chief designer of Irregular Choice and my collection was sold in the Irregular Choice flagship store in Carnaby street, London.