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The History of Sloane Square in London

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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

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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

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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 of 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 Blueflamingo in Autumn 2017 as a platform to sell my unique, art-inspired, pocket square designs for men and scarves for women in the UK.

Below are three pieces of the artist’s work from ShopBlueFlamingo.com which inspired some of her silk scarf and pocket square designs.

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.

 

 

This Blog is written by Dipitus Writing Services for Shopblueflamingo.com 

                                                                                                               

Hibiscus Flowers and their Symbolic Meaning

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I first saw the hisbiscus flower whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon in the late 1990s.  I was so struck by its vibrancy, along with the brilliance of all the other native flora, that I experienced my own blossoming as an artist.

I recently designed a scarf reflecting the various pinks that hibiscus manifests itself in, and it made me want to find out a bit more about this enchanting flower.  It has some really interesting meanings and uses, and I thought I would share a few of the facts that I discovered with you. 

The word hibiscus comes from the Greek word Hibiskos, meaning mallow, as the plant is from the Mallow family.  It grows in hot, humid climates and there are over 200 varieties.  The red variety is known as the Rose of China/China Rose.  In China the hibiscus is associated with wealth, glory or fame.

All hibiscus flowers are short-lived, and so in many cultures they symbolise women and youthful or delicate beauty or perfection.  Conversely, in South Korea, they represent immortality, and in Malaysia, they seem to have a bit more vitality as they are known as the celebration flower.  For these two countries the flower is so significant it’s represented on national symbols or currency.

But the hibiscus is perhaps most famously associated with Hawaii where it is the state flower, and the one used to make the famous welcome gift of the lei.  To the Hawaiians the flower symbolises power, respect and hospitality.  Though interestingly, women also wear it behind their ears and which ear they choose communicates a message about their availability to men. 

In Africa and the Americas (amongst other places) the hibiscus flower is widely drunk as a tea.

The health benefits of hibiscus tea or Agua de Jamaica, according to the website organicfacts, include its ability to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disturbed digestive and immune system, and inflammatory problems.  It helps cure liver diseases and reduces the risk of cancer (allegedly).  It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants and helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.

N.B If you are going to try this please make sure you buy it from a reputable health store and seek their expert advice before taking the tea, particularly as it can interact with other medications.

In Britain the hibiscus was widely used as a decorative design in the Victorian era.  In fact, it is still a common motif on many fabrics and objects worldwide, like these beautiful clothes and accessories.

So there you have it; around the world the hibiscus flower variously symbolises health, delicacy, beauty, glory, immortality, power, respect and hospitality.  For me, it means inspiration, and journeying.  To everyone, it’s an iconic, stand-out emblem, and always in fashion.

Why not stand out in your own luxurious hibiscus scarf or pocket square and discover what the beautiful hibiscus flower means to you?

The three hibiscus designs above at shopblueflamingo.com/shop/womens  are: 1) Hibiscus on silk scarf, 2) Hibiscus on cashmere and 3) Hibiscus on silk pocket square for men.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog.  As always please leave your comments below.  I love to hear from you. 

Jude x

The Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan Markle and how to take inspiration for your wedding outfit

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The Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Saturday May 19th 2018

 

Did you see the stunning Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? I was equally enthralled by the wedding guests’ arrivals to see what they were wearing.  I have compiled a list of the most eye-catching celebrities further down this blog, and some tips on how you can incorporate their look into your own wedding outfits if you are the lucky recipient of an invite this year.

I felt like it was as intimate an occasion as a royal wedding could be whilst still being inclusive due to it being held at Windsor Castle which enabled the joyous crowds to line the long route to the chapel. 

The gorgeous Meghan Markle arrived stepping elegantly out of the Phantom Rolls Royce wearing a stunning creation by Clare Waight Keller who had earlier in 2017 been appointed the first female artist director of Givenchy — a brand Markle had been a fan of for many years. While a French couture house may not have been the most obvious choice, Keller ticked the most important box — a Birmingham-born Brit who could fly the flag for British fashion at the most-watched royal wedding ever. – HarpersBazaar.com

Now for those showstopping guests, below from left to right: Serena Williams in a gorgeous blush pink Versace ensemble.  Oprah Winfrey looked amazing in blush tone dress with matching shoes and hat.  Apparently Oprah had a very last minute change of heart with her beige outfit, deciding it was a “no no” colour for the wedding photos so Stella McCartney’s team worked over night on Friday to get the new  dress ready for the wedding!  Oprah’s beautiful hat was a Phillip Treacy creation which had been in her wardrobe since 2005; only new feathers were added for this occasion.  (Stella McCartney got a second look-in on the wedding as she designed Meghan’s halterneck evening dress).  Gina Torres, Meghan’s co star, chose a red and white embroidered tulle dress from Costarellos’ Spring 2018 collection topped off with soft pink hat.   Joss Stone wore a floral number with a cream fascinator to finish it off.  She also carried a pink scarf/stole which I think really added a touch of elegance.

 

 

 

Here are some equivalent dresses you can find on the high street or on line: from left to right: Calinda soft pink Ted Baker Bardot dress £189 at houseoffraser.co.uk,

Biba ruffle dress in blush pink also at houseoffraser.co.uk  Red lace plunge fishtail dress £45 at missguided.co.uk and the Ivory floral print hem dress £69 from sosander.co.uk

 

 

Why not imitate Joss Stone and hold your scarf? Or another trick to look chic is to tie it around the handles of your handbag.  What about trying the look with the Frida Kahlo design and have your partner wear the matching pocket square for a winning combination? There are many other mens and ladies designs to choose from at shopblueflamingo.com.

For me, the prize for best-dressed guest was carried off by George and Amal Clooney.  George wore a tie and pocket square in gold tones which matched his wife’s stunning golden yellow dress.  It goes to show how powerful the little details can be – choose the right accessory and you can truly stand out from the crowd.  The dress below right is from River Island.  Bottom left Champagne ladies silk scarf from shopblueflamingo.com and bottom right gold pocket square also by shopblueflamingo.com

Thank you for reading.  I hope you enjoyed this blog.  As always, I love to hear your comments.  Please leave them below.   Who were your “best” dressed celebrities or guests at the wedding? What did you like about the Royal Wedding?  What did you not like?  

Jude x

A Flamboyance of Flamingos

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I feel I cannot have a website called Shopblueflamingo.com without paying homage to these wonderful birds and explaining where the name ‘blue flamingo’ came from!

Firstly, why flamingos and what does that have to do with fashion?  I was drawn to these stunning birds when I first visited Flamingo Land in Yorkshire as a child.  I remember being totally mesmerised by them.  They just didn’t seem real.  It was as if they were meant to be in a children’s book as a fun loving character, but no, here they were, right in front of me elegantly, nonchalantly doing what flamingos do.  So what do flamingos do?  Well here are some facts:

 

  • They are gregarious birds, preferring and thriving better in larger flocks.
  • Flamingos are wading birds but are genetically close to grebes.
  • The word flamingo comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco”, meaning fire, a reference to the birds brightly coloured feathers.
  • The Pink flamingo (there are also grey and paler versions) gets it’s colour from the food it eats: shrimp, algae and insects. The shrimp contain carotenoids which give the pink flamingos their beautiful colour.
  • To eat they tun their bills upside down in shallow waters and scoop the food up, filtering out the water.
  • They are monogamous and lay only one egg per year.
  • They are often seen standing on one leg with the other tucked into it’s plumage to keep it warm.
  • When it appears that the flamingo is bending it’s knee, this is actually it’s ankle.
  • In the wild they live up to 20 – 30 years, in captivity 50 years or longer.
  • It is acceptable to call a flock of flamingos a flamboyance of flamingos – How cool is that?!!

So, I think you may be starting to get the picture of why at least I chose flamingos as part of the name for my shop.  Their gregarious nature and flamboyance totally emulates what shopblueflamingo is all about, wearing unique, not on the high street, accessory designs on luxurious silk and cashmere – so you feel like the special person you are.   However, I hear you ask? Why blue?

Ok, so blue is my favourite colour but that isn’t reason enough to just throw it into the name of my shop!   In my vivid imagination (some may say weird, but that’s okay, weird is good, it’s extraordinary!!), I imagined a flamboyance of pink flamingos and one of them felt different.  He/she wanted to stand out from the crowd and be ‘blue’.  Blue, just happens to be – yes, my favourite colour – the colour I first painted with in the late 90’s, living in Portugal and embarking on an Azulejos tile painting course (see previous blog for more info).  

So, back to the blue flamingo.

He/she is strutting his/her stuff in the flock and certainly gets noticed.  The meaning behind this is that, oftentimes in life, we try to “fit in” with the crowd even when inside we feel “different”.  Our personalities and passions can often be hidden away as we fear being labelled “weird.”  How do you feel about this?  Do you conform to be accepted?

I was always creative, but it was the easier option, for a while, to conform and “fit in”. So, I hid my passion away for years.  The problem with that is you can only keep it up for so long because it is soul destroying, suppressing that creative energy.  Eventually, my true colour burst out and I started a business in ceramic painting.

I loved it, I felt like me.  My passion was finally out there.  Today, that business is no longer (more info on my website) but I have found my path into the world of using my creative skills to design on ladies pure silk scarves and pocket squares (oh and more recently ties) for men.  It has combined my love of art, design, fashion and entrepreneurial skills in a way I could never have dreamed of when I first picked up the paint brush to do my first design, in cobalt blue powder paint on a bisque ceramic tile all those years ago.

Well my friends, I hope you now understand the meaning behind Shopblueflamingo!

The mantra, or catch phrase I use always is: Be bold, Be unique, Be extraordinary because just like the blue flamingo we are all bursting to show our true colours.  Is that true for you?  

Blue & Pink Flamingo silk scarf Blue Flamingo silk scarf Blue & Pink Flamingo pocket square Blue Flamingo pocket square

So, please let me know you comments on this blog in the comments box below. 

How the beauty of tile paintings in Portugal has inspired the fashion world

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Looking at the designs below you cannot fail to see how unusual and unique they are.  Take a look around the next time you are shopping and see if you can spot similar influences on clothes, shoes, bags, ear rings, nails and even home accessories.   So where do these ideas come from?   Surprisingly we need to go back into Portuguese history to look at tile painting, or Azulejos painting as it is known, to understand more.

A small selection of beautiful “azulejos” inspired designs in fashion:

A brief history of Azulejos painting in Portugal  •  By David Whitley – 24 May 2014

The Museu de Nacional in Lisbon (left) and a Portuguese tile painter (right)

“The blue-and-white tiles that line the church of Lisbon’s Madre de Deus convent complex tell stories in engrossing detail: Moses and the Burning Bush, the life of Santa Clara, the works of St Francis of Assisi. The tiles, called azulejos, are not only compelling, they are also uniquely Portuguese – which is why, in 1971, the convent became the centrepiece of the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, a museum dedicated to preserving tile art from around the country and across the centuries. The word azulejo comes from Arabic roots and means ‘small polished stone’,”  In the 13th century the Moors invaded what is now known as Spain and Portugal the tiles were much less elaborately painted and quite small pieces.  The technique took a foothold in Portugal in the 16th century.

Read more at here

My Connection with Portuguese Azulejos painting

I first came into contact with this style of painting when I moved with my husband and my (then) 2 small boys to a fishing village near Lisbon. One of the things you couldn’t fail to miss was the huge tile painting on the outside and inside of many buildings. I was intrigued and decided to embark on a tile painting course with a neighbour. I have never looked back. It was my introduction into the art world. After a 3 year stint in this country we had fallen in love with, we returned to the UK and I started a business called Ceramicart, where I painted tiles and incorporated them into bespoke wrought iron furniture.

Three of my own tile paintings framed and now hanging in my home in Portugal:

 

Today I am still working on my passion for art. It is no longer ‘ceramicart’ or tile painting but designing pure silk scarves for ladies and pure silk pocket squares and ties for men, here on shopblueflamingo.com.  One of my latest silk scarf designs takes inspiration from the magical time when I painted on tiles in a workshop with a Portuguese artist, near Lisbon.  This beautiful design pays homage to the traditional azulejos craft, which often depicted images of Caravels (Caravels, small, highly maneuverable sailing ships, were used by the Portuguese for the oceanic exploration voyages during the 15th and 16th centuries in the Age of DiscoveryPrince Henry VIIVasco da GamaChristopher Columbus, and Bartolomeu Dias all used caravels). 

I have added my own contemporary twist with an abstract woman’s face peering through, in the background, to emulate the loved ones who were waiting for their partners, husbands and sons to return safely from their often treacherous journeys.  

The Blue Marine design ladies pure silk scarf that was inspired by the traditional azulejos paintings of Portugal:

Let me know what you think about this blog and the Blue Marine ladies scarf design in the comments below.

Silk Fascination

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Silk, shiny, comfortable to wear in Summer and Winter, breathable, sensual to the touch, luxurious, dyes beautifully – no wonder we are so fascinated with this stunningly beautiful natural fabric.

China is the leading producer of silk. It produces 74% or there about of the world’s supply of raw silk. In many places the dead silkworms are seasoned, cooked and eaten. So nothing goes to waste!

You may well have heard of the “Silk Road”, as silk was transported all over the world as a luxurious item made from, predominantly, the silk worm.   Way back in history the Chinese protected their silk production for over 3,000 years and anyone caught trying to smuggle the caterpillars and mulberry leaves they fed on were punished by death.  

Silk Today

The silk used for the ladies scarves and pocket squares for shopblueflamingo.com is produced from the best growing regions in China and it is top Grade AA quality. The undyed fabric is printed in the Adamley Mill, which is located in the village of Langley 2 miles outside Macclesfield.  Adamley has been printing fabric for over 50 years.  They still do screenprinting, also rotary and most recently digital.  The printed fabric is then sent off to France to be hand finished (rolled hand sewn edges) before being packaged and sent back to the distributor in Macclesfield to be checked and sent on to the Designer.

So, if you take into the equation the time spent by the designer producing his or her designs for this stunning material you can see that by the time you receive your beautiful unique scarf or pocket square it has literally “gone through the mill”, pardon the pun!!

 

                     

The silkworm cycle                                                      The silkworm and the pupae                                   Weaving the silk in China

Silk pocket square and tie set
Hand woven silk tie and silk pocket square set. Pink and Blue flamingo design for ladies scarf and mens pocket square

 

Hibiscus design ladies pure silk scarf

Let me know what you think about this blog in the comments below.

Frida Kahlo is Hot in Fashion this Spring and Summer

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The iconic artist Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, the iconic artist is having a huge impact on the fashion world this Spring and Summer.  She is well known not only for her amazing art but also for her mono brow and her colourful and unmistakable fashion style.  She also wore exotic flower braids and crowns in her hair and adorned herself with her uniquely self designed jewellery. Her  beautiful dresses and swing skirts were flamboyant and full of colour too. (As flamboyant as a flamboyance of flamingos!) Designers are all over this style at the moment, buzzing like bees around a honey pot.  She is HOT!

The opening of the Frida Kahlo exhibition in the V & A on 16th June, named “Making herself up”, will show case her personal items which have been stored away for over 50 years.  They have never been shown outside of Mexico.  I won’t be in the UK unfortunately to see it but if you are a lover of fashion, and this iconic lady, I urge you to go.  I will be “green” with envy but I am sure it will be all over the press nearer the time of opening.  I for one will be watching and wearing my Frida Kahlo inspired scarf design!

Now, if you are not a fan of the full on all over patterns but, like me you absolutely love the colours and cheerfulness of her designs then don’t fear!  You can still wear her inspired designs in the form of accessories.  A silk scarf, vibrant jewellery, some sassy red or bright coloured shoes – and a bag to match and voila! – Frida Kahlo eat your heart out.  If anyone were ever to epitomise my shopblueflamingo.com mantra – “Be Bold, Be Unique, Be Extraordinary” – Frida Kahlo does in bucket loads.

 

Let me know what you think about this blog in the comments below.