It was like discovering a hidden pirate’s treasure, for fashion lovers and art lovers alike. After more than half a century, museum curators have unlocked the doors to Frida Kahlo’s closet, at the same time unlocking many secrets of her life.
When Frida died in 1954, her heartbroken husband, famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, locked the doors to her closet, capturing inside it hundreds of her personal items just as they were on the day she died. Before he died three years later, the couple’s close friend Dolores Olmedo promised to protect the contents of the closet, keeping it locked her entire life (she died at 93 in 2002).
The day Hilda Trujillo Soto, the director of the Frida Kahlo Museum, finally opened the closet, the scent of Frida’s cigarettes and perfume still clung to her clothes. Can you imagine what that must have felt like? As though Frida’s ghost stood beside her in the room.
In wonder, they slowly explored the items inside: more than 300 items, including love letters, photographs, makeup, jewellery, shoes, and an extraordinary collection of dresses that were well ahead of their time and, according to ABC News, both a political and a cultural statement.
For example her beloved, vibrant ‘Tehuana dresses’ were made by indigenous artisans, and represented Frida’s tribute to the matriarchal Tehuantepec society, whose women were traders and considered equal with men.
Hello dear friend. I hope you’re having a good week so far. I’m Naomi and I write little messages in bottles here.
I have spent the past two weeks watching an episode of Downton Abbey every afternoon, while cuddling my baby daughter before her bed time. And I can’t seem to get this fabulous family or their equally fabulous downstairs staff out of my mind.
“They had a soup like this in Downton Abbey,” I say while reading a cafe menu.
“Why isn’t my life more like Lady Mary’s?” I wail to my husband, while vacuuming the carpet.
And, when people tell me my baby is getting big, I respond, “Not as big as Ethel’s baby in Downton Abbey!”
I am willing to admit this habit is probably becoming very annoying for those around me.
And then there is the fashion. Oh! The fashion! If you’re suffering Downton Abbey withdrawals while waiting for Season 3, like I am, how about drawing some style-spiration from the New York Public Library’s collection of early 20th century fashion?
Recently I came across the Autumn/Winter 2012 look book for Fleur and Dot, and it made me thankful all over again that I have a little girl to dress in pretty things. I’ll take one of everything, please. Also, this photo shoot is killing me. So beautiful! And the little girl. Swoon!
I never was all that interested in dolls growing up*, but it sure is fun to dress up your very own little girl, when there is children’s fashion like this around.
*OK in the spirit of full disclosure, I did have three dolls when I was quite little. One was called Doreen, and she had belonged to my mother as a child. Doreen was a very large doll, dressed in a silk wedding dress that I liked to try to squeeze into myself, and she had silky hair (until I tried to wash it one day and ruined it forever). Then there was a little baby doll who yawned and had a pull-tab to say things like “Mama,” and the manufacturers named her Drowsy but I renamed her Janet, which was apparently my preferred nom du jour. And finally there was the cuddly doll I named after all my favourite people: Betsy-Ann Amanda Aunty Rose. And I insisted that she be called by her full name, all the time.
I had a different post planned for this evening but, when I saw Luli’s sweet post on The Time-Traveling Fashionista (which looks like SUCH a fun read by the way), it reminded me of this incredible little video of a time-travelling couple who dance their way across a century in East London. And as the world has just focused its attention on London for the past three weeks, I thought there would be no better time to share it with you.
What did you think? Which era did you like the most?
Morning guys. Lelanie here from of Beauty and Love. How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything interesting? We moved into our new home this weekend, so things have been pretty crazy. I feel like I haven’t touched the ground since it all started on Thursday. I have so much to do today as I neglected my laptop a bit over the weekend. So, I thought I would leave you with a bit of inspiration from Catherine’s Sheppard’s amazing styling portfolio, to get you week started off right. I will hopefully be back to more in depth posts from next week.
And these are images of her own, lovely home.
Have a lovely Monday,
It is that time of the year. The weather in London has been bad for months. You feel overworked, tired and in need of sun. In short, you are in need of vacation. Or, rather, I am in need of vacation. Having only had a few weekend trips home, I feel very excited by the fact that I am going to Milan in exactly two weeks time! I can’t wait to escape the busy life of London and exchange it for a calm swim in Lake Como followed by Italian food in a small restaurant somewhere. I always enjoy visiting new places, hearing new languages and observing the daily routines of other cultures. It leaves me inspired, refreshed and full of new ideas. Do you have any recommendations for Milan? Where are you going for your holidays? Let me know your travel ideas here or tweet me @ginandmilk. Love Jenny
A girl needs her shoes; there are no two ways about it. I hereby regretfully inform you that I nearly do not have as many shoes as I really need, much less, deserve. I do a lot of research on footwear (foot clothes, if you must) and I spend a lot of time thinking about them. I love them ‘coz they are pretty and love them ‘coz they protect me, but mostly I love them ‘coz no matter how big or small I get, they always fit me. And they never, ever judge.
A girl needs her shoes. And there are different situations and phases in life that necessitate each one.
For instance, every girl must have a pair of ballerinas for the moments in which nothing but a pirouette can tell the world what your feet really feel; for the moments when nothing else is pretty enough.
Every girl needs a pair of heels that is lusciously tall and red; one that is classy and foxy and sensuous and bold at the same time. If luck was a lady, she’d be in red heels.
My mother once told me wisely that if you’re a girl, you need to have on you some lace peeking out from somewhere. Lace is to a girl as frogs, snails, and puppy dog’s tails are to boys. And you gotta have a pair of lace shoes. One way or another!
And on one day, if you wake up and feel like, lets say, getting married or going to space, you’ll surely need a pair of gold sandals. This is what I’ve got. It completes me in many, many ways.
Now, this is what I can’t live without. Flip-flops. I wear them to work everyday. Life’s alright if you can wear flip-flops to work.
And once in a while, every girl needs to walk around aimlessly in a park. Or in a mall. Whatever rocks your socks. That’s when you need strappy flats that love your feet and never, ever let you down.
Boots. Any shape. Any size. Any colour. The more the merrier. Need I say more?
But can I tell you what I think makes happy feet happier than all . Being barefoot. It is a state of being that humanity is slowly forgetting… the pleasure pf being barefoot. I don’t know if anything can ever beat that.
I think I’ve got Audrey’s vote. Who else is with me?
p.s. If you click on the pictures, you will be taken to their sources.
Jubilee fever has swept across England. Everywhere you look there is Union Jack bunting. From shops, to restaurants, to whole streets. We are celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary on the throne. Pretty impressive. There will be street parties, parades, installations, shows and a giant pageant on the river Thames with more than one thousand boats. What a party it will be. If you are anywhere near, don’t miss it!!! Jenny x
Of course retailers are cashing in on the party, see some of the results below.
Picture credits: First & Last – via Daily Mail. Bag, wellies and scarf via the Telegraph. Towel – House of Holland.
Hello all from Jenny, a short post again. London is scorching hot and people are out enjoying the sun, drinking and having loads of fun at all the cool outdoor festivals going on at the moment. Here is a film I wanted to share with you. It is Prada’s short film that debuted in Cannes last week, directed by Roman Polanski and featuring Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Ben Kinglsey. It is really well done with excellent acting performances and a brilliant ironic undertone. LOVE IT!
Appearing Fridays on the English Muse, Jenny of Freedom & Thoughts.
I love riding my bike. It’s not a dream bike, but it will do for now. I love the feel of sun and wind on my skin. I like to ride fast. I sometimes have the impression I am almost defying gravity. I like to smile when I ride my bike. I shock everyone by smiling at them. I am smiling at everyone and no one in particular–I am smiling at the world, life, myself. Riding my bike has helped me overcome a debilitating fear of driving a car. Now I love it and drive with a smile! Such a miracle for me to be driving and thanks to my bike. What other blessings are in store for me while I ride my bicycle?
I like wearing nice things while I bike. Not exactly skirts–they reveal too much when I’m speeding, but a nice shirt, nice jewelry, stylish shorts, effortless yet cute hairstyle. Do you ride a bike? What do you usually wear? What is your definition of cycle chic?
Happy Friday Everyone and Smiles,
This is my dream bike–in white and with a basket, looking elegant and casual at the same time. And retro.
Marta, appearing Fridays on the English Muse.
Dear readers, Jenny here again. I actually wanted to talk to you about something else this week but I will have to postpone that until next week because I don’t have the time at all and I would like to write a longer post. Anyhow, I wanted to share Opening Ceremony’s Spring Summer 2012 short movies with you because they are very funny and unique. Other than admiring the beautiful clothes, I loved the way OC decided to mirror the Godard -like style but make fun of it at the same time, using dummies instead of stunt doubles and add an unexpected twist to the usual love storyline. Londoners are very excited to be getting their own OC store- the first one in Europe!!! Here are the videos:
[vimeo 38984507 w=500 h=213]
[vimeo 38984508 w=500 h=228]
[vimeo 38984509 w=500 h=281]
P.S I love it when you comment, please keep on doing that, I am always so happy to hear about your thoughts, I just don’t always have time to answer, but I hope this doesn’t put you off. Lots of love x Jenny
Hello my friends! Same ol’ Jess here- the only difference being that I am missing a good inch or two of hair since my last post.
I have quite long hair, very straight, fine, brown (possibly boring) which I am trying to grow out for ‘Locks for Love’. My 91-year-old grandmother is going through chemo and lost her hair so we went wig shopping. I tried to convince her to get a pink one, but apparently she doesn’t like the Katy Perry look. She joked that she wanted a few inches of my hair, which is what inspired me. You must donate ten inches and my hair is my security blanket of self-esteem, so I need it to be as long as possible before it’s officially snipped.
I recently went to the Paul Mitchell Salon here in St. Louis and when the stylist asked me what I wanted, I told her ‘just a little trim on the ends to keep it even and healthy’. Know what she suggested I do?
Dye it ombre. Add extensions. Then she told me that I needed a spray tan.
Now I am quite aware of my paleness and that I don’t have Sophia Vergara’s thick luscious hair. I am not designed that way, and I don’t feel a huge need to change this. There is nothing wrong if people want to do this stuff, if it makes anyone feel better about themselves, I’m not going to judge. I enjoy makeup too much for that. If I were going to completely embrace nature then I would have to tell my Grandma to walk around bald. Not going to happen! I just don’t like the idea that it’s a necessity to alter so much of ourselves to be considered ‘beautiful’. I shower and brush my hair and I think the natural, clean, healthy version of what I was born with is just fine.
I believe in taking care of nature, and presenting it well. To further demonstrate the art of carefully arranged nature, please enjoy these lovely works from Charleston based artist, Lulie Wallace.
What lovely compositions. I also think the fact that I did not yell, ‘Are you calling me ugly?” at the stylist is a tribute to composure, even if, truth be told, it went totally against my nature. There are some things, like a truculent nature, that are ok to change. “A rose with a different complexion would still look this Grumpy”
Until next time- xo from Jess
Hello, dear English Muse readers! It is Gulfem from All Happy Things Around, gladly writing guest posts for you… Today’s post will be dedicated to a genius and his works!
I am skeptical about hats, usually. I think it has to do with the fact that I encounter no occasions to wear extremely beautiful hats. However, watching Royal Wedding last year is enough to realize that designing hats is true art. Philip Treacy designed more than 30 hats just for Royal Wedding.. As I love his works(from the perspective of appreciation of art) and his personality, I wanted to dedicate a post to him!
I believe that passion defines everything in one’s life. If you do know what you have passion for, you should pursue in that way. It’s plain simple. Follow your passions! As Philip Treacy did… He tells his passion towards designing and sewing clothes/hats in his official bio, “I started sewing when I was about five. My mother had a sewing machine. I was never allowed to use it. I’d use it when my mother went out to feed the chickens. There was like five minutes to get it out.”
Don’t you agree that passion delivers great results!
Have a great week, everyone!
Marni is one of my favourite designers. They do such impressive, unique patterns which also fit together, even though completely different. Of course most of you know Marni did a recent collection with H&M. That collection truly reflected the Marni patterns and typical colours. Did you manage to buy anything? I bought the beautiful green and orange bracelet. Well, what I wanted to show you today was Marni’s AW12 collection. It is simply gorgeous!!! It feels very arty. It is easy to see how fashion and art are related, this is a perfect example. Enjoy your weekend and see you next Friday! Jenny
Pictures from Fashionologie
Hello! Jenny here. I hope you had a nice week. Today I want to talk to you about style. How did you find your personal style? Were you inspired by fashion magazines, street style, the nature, your friends, your parents or maybe movies and music? I remember one summer, when I was 7-8 years old, I was so excited by fashion, that I created a whole schedule of different types of clothing combinations I was going to wear every day. I just loved experimenting and being creative and I guess I loved dressing up.
As I grew older, however, I started feeling the need to conform and admired what other girls (the cool girls) in my class were wearing. And the same thing happened when I started reading fashion magazines. I was never happy with my own style. It’s not until I actually started university and moved to a bigger city (Copenhagen) that I started experimenting again. The more I tried out, the more I learned about who I was. Today, I think I have finally found the forms, colours and materials that I feel comfortable in and that is a great pleasure. But having said that, I also love looking at other people’s style choices and getting inspiration from cool, independent women with unique style (the ones we often see at Garance Dore and the Sartorialist). Here are some of my favourites, I hope you like them!
Whose style do you admire?
Have a nice weekend and see you next week!
(You can find all picture credits here)
Note to self: Never again take Beauty Advice from Hermione Granger!
Actress Emma Watson is the spokesmodel for a line of Lancome lipstick and was quoted saying that ‘Midnight Rose’ Rouge in Love was her go-to shade. In an act of pure brilliance, I bought this product after trying it on under the shiny flourescent lights of Sephora and not in a normal situation( like a Yule Ball or anywhere with non-laboratory lighting). I figured, ‘She’s
pasty fair-skinned, I’m pasty fair-skinned, and this is the girl that aced Arithmancy. Surely she can work out an acceptable beauty regiment.”
Pure fiction! At least as it applies to me. This shade would indeed probably be nice on someone with a neutral skin tone who can wear both warm and cool tones like Ms. Watson, but I think it’s a bit too bright for someone with my level of blue undertones in the epidermis. Do you think she could transfigure it into a better color for me?
Perhaps because I’m a dancer, I love the idea of playing a character and being in costume even in my everyday life. Unfortunately Hermione’s color scheme doesn’t work for me, so I’ll take a leaf out of her book in another way- hot-off-the-runway! A look I call, ‘Fresh From the Library’.
This little book-turned-bag comes from artist Karla Staley and her line ‘Bagitude! Handbags with Attitude’. Each individually designed creation starts with a book cover, magazine, game board, playbill, or even album record and is completed with lining, closure, and a choice of beads or strap for handle.
One of the best things about being an arts writer is having the opportunity to collect a jumble of playbills and programs from the many wonderful shows that I’m able to see. When I particularly enjoy a performance, I tend to hold on to the paperwork as a memento of the experience. I’m considering sending a few of these to Ms. Staley to see if she would make a laptop-sized bag for me, all of my books, and all bad makeup decisions. I want to carry all of my favorite characters and performers around with me. If Ms. Stanley could partner up with Hermione and enchant said bag to be weightless, it would sure be a load off of my shoulders!
Which fictional character would you take beauty advice from?
See you next week- or come visit me! x0x0- from Jess and Hermione