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Threads of a Fairytale – my handmade clothing label

green fairy wedding dress

How to make a woodland fairy wedding gown – The story behind the dress

If you’re new here, I should begin by saying that I make dresses for my business, Threads of a Fairytale. My husband, Chris and I had the photoshoot in mind before I even started making the dress, so I knew exactly what I wanted to begin with, which is fairly unusual for me! So the dress originated as a vintage pure silk Indian tunic that more-or-less fitted me. It’s a gorgeous mottled moss green pure silk fabric with lovely metallic dots – called Mukesh work – which give a beautiful shimmer in the light. Then I went round my various stashes of fabric round the house, gathering bits and pieces that would blend well with the colour…..

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Oshun dress

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion. Should it really matter?

 

If you know me, then you’ll know I am a person who happily trundles on in life, getting on with things as pleasantly as I can, doing as much as possible to avoid drama or confrontation. However, I think someone linked to a blog post I wrote over year ago, as I’ve come back from holiday to a flurry of angry comments on the post called OSHUN – THE STORY OF MY CLOTHING BRAND, AND THE YELLOW DRESS INSPIRED BY BEYONCE’S IN LEMONADE. I thought I would respond to those comments in a blog post, rather than reply to them individually, as hopefully I will explain myself and my opinions in a more complete and thought-through way. So to understand what I’m about to talk about, you might want to have a look at that post first and have a read of the recent comments below it. In summary though, it was written at a time when Beyonce appeared to be channeling the ancient African deity, Oshun, so I wrote a bit about her for those who hadn’t heard of her before, and explained how I came to choose her to name my clothing business and a dress after. I wrote a brief message a couple of days ago addressing this on my Threads of a Fairytale website, and if you don’t mind, I’ll quote it now as an introduction:
“Hello! I’m back from holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Acropolis and other ancient remains and ruins around Greece and Albania and have come home full of inspiration. Three new goddess dresses influenced in design by ancient Greek attire will be appearing in the Threads of a Fairytale shop very soon – one in pink, one gold, and one in a mottled green and grey – all pure silk chiffon. I will continue to be inspired by religions and cultures from all around the world; ancient and modern, because that’s the way art grows, develops and nourishes one’s soul and interest. The term “cultural appropriation” seems to be more in fashion than fashion itself at the moment….If you’re a regular visitor to this page, you’ll know that I changed my clothing business name from Oshun to Threads of a Fairytale a couple of months ago and explained my reasons here. And no, the change had nothing to do with cultural appropriation because I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree that it’s a problem here. We have been influenced by our neighbours of all colours and heritage since time began and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Segregating oneself and not allowing this to happen comes from a place of ego, not from a place of good”.
If you are going to comment here or on facebook (or anywhere), I would appreciate it if you take the time to read this whole piece to fully understand where I’m coming from, and hopefully even take a minute to think about some of my points. I haven’t written this to try to get anyone to change their opinions – of course we’re not all going to agree, but I want to say at the beginning that I have listened to your comments; looked into them further, and really given it some thought from all points of view before writing this……

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Game of Thrones costume ideas

Winter is coming and that means halloween is creeping up on us, so I thought I’d start you off with ideas for costumes from the famous HBO series, Game of Thrones. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get into it straight away – I think we gave up on it after a few episodes because I thought it was too violent and gratuitous and already characters I liked got killed. Then I knew I was going to meet Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) as she was going to judge the competition where we made items of clothing from old books. So I had to watch it, just in case it came up in conversation! So we ploughed through, and it wasn’t until the third series when I actually started enjoying it. Then I really got into it! Here are some ideas from Etsy….

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Why I’ve decided to turn down work

This post is about my Oshun clothing business that you might have heard me mention one or two times, or have spotted the links on the right hand side there! I thought it might give food for thought or be useful for anyone else running a handmade craft business. I have recently turned down the opportunity to make a whole family different Clash of Clans costumes, and have since had two more requests for the Witch character’s costume for Halloween. This is why I said no….

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Weekly Wardrobe – New Forest Fairy Festival

This the event of the year for my Oshun clothing brand. It is the day after the New Forest Fairy Festival and I am utterly exhausted! It was an amazing weekend; incredibly busy; the sun shone and it was a complete success. Unfortunately it was so busy, I couldn’t leave my stall at all so I only managed to briefly visit one of the people I interviewed before the event. It’s a real shame I didn’t see the others, and that it the only down side of the weekend – other than that, it really couldn’t have been better. Everyone is so friendly and the atmosphere is lovely, so what better place to bring you my weekly wardrobe pictures from! Only one outfit this week as I was too occupied with getting ready for the festival beforehand. I’ll tell you more about the festival in my Monthly Memoir post at the end of the month….

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Oshun

Oshun – the story of my clothing brand, and the yellow dress inspired by Beyonce’s in Lemonade

I still have the notebook in which I brain-stormed possible names for my clothing business sixteen years ago! I was particularly interested in goddesses at that time and wrote several down, but the name Oshun resonated. When I found out more about her, she seemed perfect to name my brand after. She is a water goddess of love; a deity of the Yoruba people of West Africa and is associated with femininity, sensuality and the power of women. She has come into the news lately because there are rumours that Beyonce wore a dress in Lemonade which specifically represented her….

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Sustainable Fashion – a talk with Livia Firth

If money weren’t an issue, I would have been up and down to Bath all through its Fashion Week, and despite entering every competition I could find, I did not win any tickets to the fashion shows. I did however buy a ticket to see this event with Livia Firth in conversation with fashion writer, Avril Groom. As you probably know, I make and sell clothes by recycling/repurposing/reclaiming/upcycling (insert favourite buzz-word here) unwanted fabrics with my clothing label Oshun, so sustainable fashion is something I am very interested in….

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A photoshoot visit to Nunney Castle, nr Frome, Somerset

I have been on the look-out for good photoshoot locations for Oshun recently, and you’d be surprised, when you take a bit of time to research, what you can find. We’ve already scouted out an abandoned farmhouse that was literally just up the road; and then we found Nunney castle – only a fifteen minute drive and looked perfect for a gothic wedding photo shoot…

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Farm Festival review, Bruton, Somerset

Farmfest7Oh my goodness – apologies for not posting in absolutely ages! One of the first things I was busy with was Farm Festival  which took place 1st – 2nd August. This review is from a trader’s point of view. We arrived about lunch time the day before the festival opened, and set to work putting together our stall. I don’t know how it took so long to do this, but it managed to take several hours! Although we were ready by nightfall, we quickly realised that the festival wasn’t anywhere near ready….

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The Glastonbury bag dress

Recycled clothing

Recycled clothing

When you walk through the entrance of Glastonbury festival, this is usually the scenario: You’re pulling some kind of trolley or cart stacked up with camping paraphernalia; it’s wobbling precariously, but so far the bungee cord is holding. The rucksack on your back is killing your shoulders and the bag full of cans of cider and snacks is cutting into your hand. Your hoodie, which you only just remembered is tucked under your arm. Your free hand clutches your ticket and by the time you’ve reached the turnstile you realise you’ve over-packed again. You get through the gates and you’re given your programme, then your fine guide; a policeman offers you a collapsable water bottle; someone else gives you a recycling bin bag and then someone from Yeo Valley hands you a tote bag…..

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