Monday, March 16, 2009

Lets Celebrate Fashion

The runway shows are now on in Europe and every morning it’s a treat to read Suzy Menkes’s coverage in the International Herald Tribune. It also helps Elaine and I get inspired for the
nuno felted silk and wool scarves and wraps that we make under the label FELT 4U.
According to fashion trendsetters, next autumn will see scarves almost touching the floor! And the cowl neck is also still a big fashion statement.
I also loved to see the way men are also wearing their scarves. David Beckham and Leonardo Di Caprio were wearing theirs in recent photo shoots (both gorgeous!). Perhaps it’s time for
FELT 4U to stop ignoring the male market – but somehow we are getting more and more involved in extending our line into women’s fashion (note our new wrap shirts on and soon to be marketed Kimono wraps!)
But this is a digression from what I really intended to write about. I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky we are that fashion has becoming so relaxed. Think back to a few decades ago when you were tied to a certain length of skirt or width of trouser leg depending on the fashion of the season. Colors were also set – if red was out, you wouldn’t be seen dead in it!
Nowadays there is very little considered to be a fashion faux pas. Colors can be matched whichever way you choose and you can realize your most eccentric fashion fantasies. Retro style lets us become as nostalgic as we want, boho chic means bringing out the hippy in us and gothic is a trendy way of just letting black abound in our closets. I love it!!! The only constraint is probably age – but that’s a subject that deserves its own lengthy diatribe.

So, this posting is really to say to all of you out there, feel free, enjoy whatever style and image you dream of having. Let’s celebrate the age in which we are living.
Best wishes to all of you out there in blogland

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Curious Conversation

My journey some years ago en route to Curious Conversation started with the idea of creating a merino wool wet felted sculpture, possibly a hollow vessel out of which would emerge a needle felted head. I liked the idea of creation, and birth and wanted to string them together somehow. That was before we started FELT 4U
Did I know how to wet felt a sculpture? No, but I was sure keen to learn. As a student of hands on learning through books, internet and experimenting, I checked out wet felting vessels and thought it looked easy. Oh dear how wrong I was!
After five layers of black and white wool tops over a large copper milk can, that I had bought at a Flea Market in South Africa in the 1980's, I wondered how on earth I was going to wet it down as it had turned into a kind of unwieldy monster.
I read somewhere about using pantyhose when wet felting. As luck would have it, my sister had given me a bag of her old ones. I found something that looked suitable and tried in vain to cover the monster by myself. I was really panting and sweating profusely, but to no avail.
So I invited a couple of friends and together we managed to tame the monster into a flesh colored pair of used pantyhose. .
I hosed it down with soap and water and rubbed for days on end, as it gradually morphed into a
floppy lopsided grey creation with unexplainable openings.
In the meantime I needle felted a head which evolved into a Sci fi bodiless alien from all the
pricking. Certainly not the newborn's head emerging from birthing as I had envisaged.
But I was not yet finished. My floppy lopsided creation needed some weights to ground as well
as to round it, so I felted a dozen balls and put eight inside.
Aha, now we were getting somewhere, the vessel, the head, the balls and me.
To elevate it to its rightful place I put the vessel on a iron thing that I had found somewhere
(I love collecting junk, but that is another story) and put four balls to resemble a baby pram.
Finally the head completed the ensemble or so I thought. But I was wrong. Something was missing. My eyes scanned the horizon of the mess in the workroom and there I found it.
My Egyptian Cat, just waiting to have his say.


SPRING ......
2009 is flying.
"Stop the world I want to get off". Is that a song or a movie?. I'm not sure.
What I am sure of is that spring is in the air.
I can smell it in the scented blossoms of the almond trees.
I can hear it in the soft call of early migratory birds heading homeward.
I can sense it in the vibrancy of the fashion colors now dotting the shop displays.
But mainly I feel it in the yearning to be newly creative.
Like two busy bees, FELT 4U's Elaine and Elana are rocking and rolling as we craft our latest merino wool nuno felted garments for Spring/summer 2009.