was successfully added to your cart.

Basket

Monthly Archives

June 2018

Hit the headlines by wearing a scarf

By | Fashion | No Comments

The double delights of Wimbledon and the World Cup are now upon us (see my earlier post for fashion tips on what to wear to Wimbledon). Last month tennis ace Rafa Nadal made headlines for wearing a scarf at a football match. Sadly it wasn’t a unique design by BlueFlamingo but a ubiquitous football scarf. What made his choice a bold one was that it wasn’t his favoured team’s scarf, Real Madrid, but that of rival Atletico Madrid, playing at the time.

Female nude with modesty covered by football scarf

How to be daring with a scarf

 

In April, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards wore a ‘half-and-half’ scarf to a football match to support her boyfriend’s team and the team also playing, earning her some headlines.

Last month 47 year-old TV presenter Melanie Sykes made the news posing for a photo wearing only a scarf.

In the run-up to the Royal Wedding there was also some fashion writing on the head scarf, as sported by the Queen throughout her long reign. Scarf prints have also been parading on recent catwalks, topped off with a head scarf à la Reine.  

Hair scarves are also big fashion news. The Independent already predicted hair scarves will be this season’s accessory.  For the young, headband bandanas are currently all over TV Hit ‘Love Island’, and for the more mature lady Helen Mirren caught attention recently in her colourful hairscarf.

pretty girl in a red head scarf

Headscarves are bang on trend and can be worn in a variety of ways

In the last few weeks stars everywhere have been noted in the press for wearing scarves as accessories: fashion icon Alexa Chung at the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party at Kensington Gardens, Claudia Schiffer out with her daughters in New York, actress Tina Fey at the opening of the Tribeca film festival in New York and actress Michelle Williams during filming of ‘After the Wedding’.

And now, over to you.  How will you wear your BlueFlamingo scarf to stand out from the crowd?

Picture of the Frida Kahlo scarf design in pink and blue

Stand out like artist Frida Kahlo gracing this design from shopblueflamingo.com

 

You can show us how it’s done by sending selfies in our scarves for our Look Book, and any comments are welcome here.

The History of Sloane Square in London

By | Fashion | No Comments

Sloane square

 

 

Like many shoppers in Chelsea, I took a break from the hustle and bustle of Kings Road one day to enjoy the oasis of tranquility that is Sloane Square in summer.  I sat and absorbed the serene trees gently waving in front of the well-known Peter Jones department store.  Even the bikes were resting gently in their racks. 

 

And even though this is a little haven now, 250 years ago this was a really peaceful place; it was all fields.

 

The land, between Knightsbridge and King’s Road, belonged to Sir Hans Sloane, physician to three monarchs and inventor of drinking chocolate – which he sold to Cadbury’s.  A far cry from today’s doctors who’d rather you laid off the chocolate.  When the builder and his architect son, both named Henry Holland (most famous for the Brighton Pavilion), entered into an agreement to build a new town, they called it Hans Town. Sloane Square was laid out as a crossroads in the 1770s as part of this development.  When Hans died, his fabulous collections were offered to the nation, forming the British Museum.  The land passed to the Cadogan family on the marriage of Hans’ daughter and today belongs to the 8th Earl of Cadogan.

 

During the early 19th century the area became more densely built up and by the mid-19th century, Chelsea was a haven for artists such as Turner, Whistler and Rosetti.  In 1868, Sloane Square Station opened, linking Chelsea to the metropolitan railway and driving modernisation of the area.  In 1874 the river embankment at Chelsea was finished, to the residents’ delight as it provided a pleasant promenade for carriages and pedestrians and further gentrified the area.

 

By the late 19th century much of the Georgian and Queen Anne style buildings had become dilapidated and were replaced by a new redbrick style that was so iconic it was named after the street – “Pont Street Dutch” style.  Some of these buildings can still be seen in Sloane Square today.

 

But the majority of what you see in the square today is from the development of the 1920s and 30s.

 

In 1929 the road layout of Sloane Square was transformed from a crossroads to a ’roundabout’ which created an island which was then paved with Yorkstone – from the Pennines near me in West Yorkshire – and planted with plane trees.

 

Most of the older buildings were replaced by commercial buildings and blocks of flats (the buildings getting higher along with the price of land).  The only side of the square which still survived from the mid-19th century was the Peter Jones department store, but that too got a twentieth century makeovr and was rebuilt as 6 storeys of art deco glass and steel, a design concept totally unique in London in the mid-30s.

 

A modern tube station was built, though this was bombed in 1940.  The rebuilt version sports a ‘hat’ of a modern office block on its roof these days.  The square also contains the Venus fountain and the Chelsea War Memorial and is home to the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Court theatre, with the Cadogan Hall concert venue just a few steps away.

 

I love visiting Sloane Square, and it’s not surprising I’m not the only artist who’s been drawn to the area over the years. 

 

Like the “Pont Street Dutch” architectural style, and the first example of a highrise glass building in London, why don’t you be unique in my “Sloane Square” scarf design (see below in pure silk) from shopblueflamingo.com?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Sloane Square and Hans Town, my information came from:

 

https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/sloane_square_urban_garden

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol12/pp79-90 

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol12/pp47-51

https://www.cadogan.co.uk/the-estate/our-heritage 

www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfbrxs/Homepage/walks/SloaneSquare.pdf

As always, I love to hear your comments about this blog, please leave them below and I will get back to you.  Thank you. Jude x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to wear at Wimbledon

By | Fashion, Seasonal | No Comments

What to wear at Wimbledon

We’re just a couple of weeks away from one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar: Wimbledon. It’s an exciting mixture of world class tennis and a feeling of fellowship as we unite as a country to cheer on our British sportsmen and women. All topped off with more pride and patriotism as we indulge in the quintessential strawberries and cream with Pimms or Pommery.

I’m also eager to see the outfits that will be sported across the court.

For a recap of last year’s outfits, see Vogue’s article.

Most of the male spectators wore suits ranging from the casual look of Stormzy in his jacket with white t-shirt to the more traditional styling of Eddie Redmayne. What made both of these outfits stand out to me were the pocket squares. They really do add a cutting-edge or sophisticated finish to your outfit according to the look you’re aiming for. Most squares were disappointingly plain for me, though Johannes Huebl wore a beige checked number in a grey blazer over a striped shirt and fleur-de-lys tie with white chinos, hitting a perfect note of contemporary, sophisticated and relaxed.

Sir Ian McKellan also layered his patterns, albeit less successfully than model and husband of Olivia Palermo, Johannes. But Sir Ian definitely stood out in his light-coloured suit with men’s silk scarf draped elegantly over.

Due to the (hopeful) July heat, you do need to keep your suit lightweight and light-coloured. But you can embolden your cream, light blue or light grey jacket with the Blue Abstract, Stripe, or Cerise Hibiscus pocket square.

Stormzy

 

Eddie Redmayne

Johannes Huebl

 

Blue abstract design Stripe Design Cerise Hibiscus design

It’s a strict rule that all players must wear white and many celebrities enjoy the challenge of following suit in style. Why not imitate Stella McCartney and her husband who co-ordinated in monochrome suits. Fellow fashion designer rocked an androgynous look in a men’s style suit last year. Male or female, you can copy their look but add a unique touch with BlueFlamingo’s matching black and white Abstract silk pocket square and tie set.

Stella McCartney and her husband Black and white abstract pocket square and tie set

 

For a more feminine look, Lady Helen Taylor and Olivia Palermo both took on the white dress but made it ‘pop’ with a bold accessory; a geometric monochrome jacket or a brightly coloured flower respectively.

Harper’s Bazaar has just published their tips on what to wear this year. There’s something for all tastes in there – stripes, checks, florals…

My favourites are the yellow sun dress by Gioia Bini or the white Ellery crepe flares with blue and yellow side stripes and Mango yellow check blazer, any of which you could really make pop with BlueFlamingo’s Champagne ladies, Pink and blue flamingo or Sandy Shore designs, all pure silk.

Champagne Ladies Design pure silk scarf Pink and Blue Flamingo Design pure silk scarf Sandy Shore Design Pure Silk Scarf

To keep in with the white look, the H&M cotton dressMango jumpsuit or Max Mara blazer would really pop with BlueFlamingo’s Mode, Heart String or Frida Kahlo design pure silk scarf.

Mode Design Heart Strings Design Frida Kahlo Design

Not only is a scarf a great partner for an elegantly plain outfit to create a truly outstanding look, it’s a great accessory to have in case the sun goes in or there’s a cooling breeze. Made of pure silk, BlueFlamingo scarves have the great quality of warmth when you need it but are breathably cool in the summer sun.

Now you’re all game and set for the match. Don’t forget your brolly in case it rains, and a hat in case the sun shines. Oh, and flat shoes or wedges for walking on the grass (flip flops are forbidden though).

Details on how to watch Wimbledon in person or on TV are here: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2018-06-13/wimbledon-tennis-2018-live-tv-how-to-watch/

www.radiotimes.com
How to see matches for free on the BBC – and via Eurosport – plus details of tickets, seedings and injuries

 

Leave a comment if you’ve any fashion or accessory tips for a successful Wimbledon outing.

 

Being a Creative Person

By | Fashion | No Comments

Being a creative person

I came across this article in Psychology Today recently.  Whilst it’s very technical, I was drawn to it by some keywords in the opening passage that really resonate with what Blueflamingo is about, and how my life’s journey lead me to create it:

“Divergence opens up possibilities, creating the flexibility to be extraordinary, to stand out from the crowd and enliven others with a spellbinding display of wit and artistry. When attuned to the environment, when humor is working well and the timing is right, the ideas flow… When out of step, the creative process can spiral into loneliness, even despair, leaving you feeling excommunicated and dead inside.” [Psychology Today, 2018.  The emphasis is my own.]

 


The gist of the article is that scientists are now able to look at scans of brains ‘at rest’ and identify whether the person is highly creative or not.  They may be able to develop this into an ability to stimulate our creative networks so in future we may be able to use a literal “thinking cap” device on our heads whenever we need an ideas boost.  Although an invention like that would raise ethical issues around meddling with our minds – our sense of self and identity – it’s quite exciting to think that artists who’ve hit a dry spell could be swung straight back into creative mode, or we could flick a switch and suddenly be able to solve a problem that’s been bothering us.

More importantly, I think, is the possible therapeutic benefits of a device like that.  It’s long been known there is a link between creative people and mental health.  Creative people are more likely to think deeply about their experiences, their place in the world, and the world itself, for long periods which can lead them into a depressed state.  Van Gogh, Degas, Gaugin, Pollock, Michelangelo, de Goya, Miro and Rothko are artists known to have suffered from bouts of depression, some of them very severe.

Whilst there’s no real evidence that the reverse is true – that depression makes you more creative – it has been found to be therapeutic, and that has been so true in my own experience.

When I moved to Cascais, Portugal, in the 1990s with my husband and two toddlers, I was suffering from postnatal depression.  I was blessed by finding some inspiration and motivation in my new surroundings and culture and I signed up for a workshop in the local tradition of tile painting.  I found it so uplifting that I started a business painting tiles and installing them in bespoke wrought iron tables and chairs which I sold.  I developed an interest in other areas of art and when I moved back to the UK I became a mature student, gaining a BA in Fine Art in 2014.  My family is so proud of me – as am I!

My creativity continued to help me rise above all the knocks that life deals us all, and it found an outlet through my art-inspired home textiles and personal accessories which I sold in the UK and US.  And that lead to me creating Blue Flamingo in Autumn 2017 as a platform to sell my unique, art-inspired, pocket square designs for men and scarves for women in the UK.

Here are three pieces of my work which inspired some of my silk scarf and pocket square designs onvshopblueflamingo.com.

I’m so happy that I found art – or that it found me.  And I’ve also found many people in similar boats sailing up this turbulent river.  We’ve exchanged our stories which is not only incredibly supportive, but so fascinating and inspiring for me to find out what others have overcome, and how they’ve followed their dream.  In fact, I’m so inspired I’m launching a Facebook platform, “Passion Talks” for us to share our experiences live with anyone who’d like to listen.  But more about that another week.

How about you?  Have you had any experiences with depression and/or creativity that you’d like to share?  Please leave your comments; I’d love to hear from you.