Wednesday 5 September 2012

Oppulent Gypsy Dress

Image copyright to My Fabulous Life
Image copyright to My Fabulous Life
Image copyright to My Fabulous Life
Image copyright to My Fabulous Life

 This dress came about for the Gypsy Luxe shoot with My Fabulous Life recently. I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo and her gorgeous use of colour and the romantic tales of old Gypsies with their rustling skirts.

The gypsy theme is something I have wanted to workon for a long time. Every year since I was younger my Mum and me went to a horse fair on the Mendips in Priddy. It was originally a sheep fair but became a yearly meeting place for Gypsies and Travellers to trade horses and get together.
It was always exciting to see the families all dressed up, babies laden in gold bangles and so many ruffles you could barely find them in their Victorian style prams,  girls with the most incredible lengths of Rapunzel hair and boys in crisp smart shirts and polished shoes.  Beautiful young men and women would leap, bare back  atop spotted shire horses and parade them around the bustling field complete with donkey's, chickens, puppies and all sorts of animals. It was inspiring and romantic and so far away from how people see Gypsies and Travellers today.
I'm not saying there weren't the dodgy goings on (who knows if the 'jack russel' puppies really grew into Great Danes) with trap racing, bare knuckle fighting, all sorts, but it was alive and it was very safe.
Sadly some of the sights and outfits have become toned down, the gold is lacking and the genuine culture has been replaced with dealers, traders and lots of rules. These pictures were taken a couple years ago and hopefully capture some of the mood of the day.

The romantic side is always how I have seen the Gypsy and this is what I wanted the dress reflect, the Gypsy and Frida Kahlo combined for one beautifully independent and fiery woman.

The dress has a square neckline that frames the collarbone and is trimmed in a fine black floral tapestry ribbon. Fitted at the waist with a scarlet red velvet ribbon and bow at the back, picking up the red of the hand printed floral silk. And the skirt, very full, rustling in silk taffeta and ruffled at the hem making this quite the dramatic dress for dancing in.
I initially thought this dress should just be worn with a killer pair of heels and lots of details in your hair but this would also work dressed down with brogues, a silk hair scarf and a heritage tweed coat for Winter. I do love rustling taffeta.

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