woensdag 27 februari 2013

About Samplers and Darning Samplers..

At the CraftFair in Zwolle, I coundn't resit to buy the just published book by Berthi Smith-Sanders on "Samplers and Darning Samplers" made by girls during the 18th and 19th Century in the Amsterdam Civic Orphanage. In 1996 she was able to buy 10 samplers from which 9 came from the same family named Sikking. Next to that there were notes and stories transferred from mother to daughter. From that moment the research did start, and with more historical information coming from the Amsterdam City Archives a really interesting book was written.
I had never met Berthi in real, but did follow her blog for a long time and I even did send her a card from the Shetlands which she used in her TextielPost item on her blog.
In real she is even better...funny and witty!!

The design of the book is beautiful. One of the things I like is the use of the color Red.
Bound together with Red Thread..

Words in Red Cross-Stitch..

The color Red is common used to mark clothing and household linen to identify the garments when they were spread out to dry on the bleaching grounds. Alphabets, numbers and symbols were embroidered on those textiles.

One can say the Book is Beautiful detailed.

The Amterdam Civic Orphanage is one of the olderst orphanages in the Netherlands. Founded round 1520 by Haasje Claes Dogter, the institute was privately funded.

At this moment the building is used to show the "History from Amsterdam" and is called: 
 "Amsterdam Museum". It looks almost the same. In the summer the courtyard is used as a terrace from the nearby restaurant.

Orphanage..my first thought was a horrible institute with strict rules were living was not easy at all.
But after reading the book I came to the conclusion that is was in a way the opposite of my thinking. There are moving stories in the book about the care the orphans got, and the possibilities to learn to make a living after they left.
They were able to learn all kinds of textile crafts to be used in work they found after leaving the Orphanage.

In the book is an interesting chapter on the garments the orphans had to wear. Red, white and black in an a-symmetrical dress (reminded me a bit of dresses fashion designers Victor & Rolf made a few years ago)  Those colors could refer to the colors of the Amsterdam Coat of Arms. One can't be totally sure of that, but it seems logical.

I wonder how those girls and boys must have felt wearing the same clothes all day?  Walking in the street one could see they all were orphans. Would they have added little things to make it more personal? 
It reminds me slightly of the school-uniforms still worn in England from which you can see what school is visited.

The main part of the book tells the stories on Samplers..

This one dates from 1799 and is one of the oldest made in the Orphanage. 
Beautiful embroidered by Johanna Sikking at the age of 15. 
How many girls nowadays would have the patience to do this?
One can read the name Elisabet Sikking, who was the sister of Johanna.
Also can be seen crowns, hearts, flowers and at the bottom the date..
The pattern from this sampler is added to the book. 

I like samplers, but I am more found of Darning Samplers.

The book tells that a Darning Sampler is a rectangular or square piece of cloth with holes that are mended by weaving threads back and forth across the holes.

Imagine...You get a piece of linen..
Holes are cut out...and you have to mend them and it must look beautiful..

It had to be filled in exactly as a woven piece of cloth with examples of Plain Weave, Satin Weave, Twill and more difficult ones  as the Goose Eye pictured above. Alos made by Johanna Sikking round 1800 and was made after the sampler above.
It shows so much talent and skill from this young girl..

Berthi has written a really interesting book on this special subject. 
Really pleased I bought a copy

How nice was it to get last Saturday a photo on which a lovely girl is knitting a sock on 4 needles just like her Grandma did.(Thanks Jos!!) 

zondag 24 februari 2013

Signs of Spring...

In  the months before Spring arrives I always get a certain feeling op hope and optimism.
It is not different this year,despite the difficult and often very sad situation we are dealing with.
No more optimism there, but outside there are signs of Spring appearing.

It might be strange, but I was so happy to see the snowdrops blossoming yesterday in the Convent garden behind our house. Every year they arrive, and it seems they are telling that winter is almost over. They show energy, beauty and courage on cold days like today. The circle of seasons show the circle of life. We all go through this circle.

Today I did send a letter to friends and neighbours in which I wrote about our situation. We like to speak open about our feelings. Hiding those feelings doesn't work for us, and in a way it opens the communication between everyone involved.

Some lovely replies came back already. Signs of love and courage. Helping hands and helping thoughts.
We both are aware that he is in the final stage of his life. It might happen everyday, who knows? No one can tell.

I admire him for his courage. He is a brave man to deal with it all. No one can feel what he feels, even I can't. It is heartbreaking to see this from so close by. I can't take it over from him. All I can do is be there for him. With the loving and caring hands around me I will manage.

Signs of Spring....
Here is another one..

vrijdag 22 februari 2013

Crushed by Jean Paul Gaultier....

Jean Paul Gaultier.. 
My Hero when I studied Fashion at Art College.
I remember buying the magazine Marie Claire Bis every season..
And in the where...
The most spectaculair Designs by him. 

This afternoon I found a map full of photo's with his designs from the time I studied Fashion Design.

Combinations no one ever dreamed off..

Chiffon and lace Aprons...

Old Models...

Amazing adverts..

Guess he was -and still is- a big inspiration for Fashion students..
I remember that we had to make an illustration with silk paper and I used one of his designs. I have always kept it.

At the moment De Kunsthal in Rotterdam shows the exhibition: 

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier
From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

I went yesterday..
I had doubts ofcourse because Bram is so weak..
But the nurses told me to go..
Neighbours took care..
Jochum came and stayed the whole afternoon..
And I could take a break from a few hours,. and breath...
I was a bit nervous when I left.. but that went away during the first hour..
It has done me good.

Coming out of the railwaystation one could see that Gaultier has taken over the City..
Trees were covered with the famous stripe..

All the way to the Kunsthal..

I bought a ticket...and..
A breathtaking 2 hours experience followed...

30 years Gaultier..
He is 60 now..6 years older than me..
And I must say: He is still mone of my Fashion Heroes..
I took almost 400 pictures.. and some of them can be seen here..(better see them in Real)

One advice...if you can: GO!!!! (closing the 12th of May)

Presented on mannequins..but with an amazing twist. 
By using beamers faces are projected on the heads.. 
They flirt, laugh, smile...all kind of expressions..
Garments come from Pret-A-Porter and Haute Couture Collections and are mixed together)

The exhibition has 6 different sections and starts with:

Items from collections named: Virgins (of Madonnas) from Spring/Summer 2007
Beautiful details and real craftmanship.

Even a mermaid with crutches apppeared. 
(Watch the shells used as bra and the coral on her crutches)

Next to those extravaganza is his other Signature form Mr. G.
The use of the blue and white striped Bretons shirts.

Ostrich feathers on a striped silk dress. (2000)

And a shirt made of tiny blue and white beads. (1997)
Another striking dress was made of bands of lace.

But this one was my favourite of that section.

Stripes ending in a train. So clever and new. (Spring/ Summer 2002)

Next was: The Boudoir
With corsetery

Items he designed for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour..(Gosh, I love those drawings. I have an article with all of them)

 His Iconic Velvet Dress with Cone shaped Cups..

And the teddybear from his youth...

Skin Deep...entering the world of Seduction in all kind Atmospheres...

 And variations..

After that..it was...Punk CanCan.

With.. La Parisienne

A totally covered women in Pied-de-Poule..

The Skirt for Men (well actually it is a pantalon with an extra flap in front.)

Variations on the Colbert.
(and I found the matching advert)

The CanCan..Ofcourse..

Fabric based on the camouflage pattern..for an evening dress.

Jeans in all his Glory..

 And Punk!!

Next up...Urban Jungle.
Garments based on Different Cultures, Periods, Folk-art etc.. (my favourite part of the expo!)

Being a Knitter...this one got my special attention (Collection Russia 1997/1998)
Must be kmade by a very experienced person..

The combination from Knitting and Crochet..
All the different stitches and Patterns..Irish Crochet, Cables, Lace....etc..

Perfection can be seen in the evening dress based on a traditional Russian Folk Dress.

Bead by Bead..handstitched on the fabric and made after traditional embroidery motivs.... Pure Glittering Beauty.

Out of the Collections: The Great Journey (1994/1995) and Voyage (2010/2011).

I think those items can still be worn..They are AgeLess..
Nomads is a theme by Lidewij Edelkoort. This fits perfectly in that theme..

Another Artisanal Made One..Pieces of crocodile leather crocheted together..

This looks like a leopardskin..

 In real they are tiny beads...

Metropolis is the name of the last section.
Garments made for a Film..or inspired by Film..

 From the Movie Kika by Almodóvar.

And The Dress made from film.

There is much..Much..MUCH more to see..but I don't want you to have the feeling that you see the whole expo in this blog.

Special for me was to realize that a lot of garments from the exposition were designed during my time at ArtSchool. 
And that almost all of them could be worn today. Without a doubt you would look great in it.
When leaving..
I felt Crushed...
Pleasantly Crushed by Gaultier.