Sunday, September 9, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #33

Purple Tuesday: Can you find what's wrong in this picture? How about my dress...notice anything unusual? When I was getting dressed Tuesday morning, I foolishly tugged on a little loose string at the bottom of my dress. Once at school, someone pointed out that my hem was coming undone (after I'd snapped this photo). Geez, I wonder why.  A work buddy helped me tape that hem back into place. You get to know someone really well when you lift up the tail end of your skirt in front of 'em. dress: Anthropologie, new with tags, my favorite Goodwill score to date; shoes: John Fluevog
Well, Happy End of the Week to you, kids! I totally enjoyed having last Monday off in celebration of Labor Day. Did you notice there wasn't an outfit photo for Monday? Yeah, I bounced between four different looks that day: pajamas, exercise clothes, yard working clothes and back to pajamas. Thought I'd spare you.

So included in this short What I Wore this Week is one of my favorite fabric designers: Florence Broadhurst. Because I'm toying with the idea of creating my own fabric, I've been pouring over the designs of some of my faves. My bedside table currently has a stack of fabric design books and Florence is at the top of the pile. If you've not heard of her, I highly recommend Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret and Extraordinary Lives.
Florence Broadhurst in her Paddington (an eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia) wallpaper design studio, early 1970's. Her vibrant and outlandish designs were a complete reflection of her character. All images pulled from pinterest.

Florence lived more lives than a cat. Born in 1899, she grew into adulthood during the roaring '20's. In full flapper garb, she toured Southeast Asian and China in various singing and comedy troupes. In her later designs, the influence of Asian art is strong.

Brown Wednesday: That's right, we are still wearing colors this week with kindergarten. This totally helped me get dressed in the mornings...although I've missed wearing my Frenchy-themed garb. dress: vintage, picked up at an antique store in high school; shoes: Frye
Always the entrepreneur, Florence established The Broadhurst Academy where she taught voice and instrument lessons in Shanghai. From there she moved on to England where she married, divorced, remarried and had a son. When World War II hit, she volunteered to help.

One of my favorite Broadhurst designs. At her wallpaper design facility in the late 1960's and 70's, this print could have been purchased on metallic paper. This was completely revolutionary at the time.
Black and White (with a pop of color) Thursday: top: vintage, thrifted. I love it's Matisse-esque design; skirt: Target; shoes: Softee
When reading about Florence, I found that many of the 800 wallpaper designs were not actually created by her. Her eyesight was failing and the task of creating all of those designs would have been impossible.  So she hired graduates from local art schools to come work for her. Some of  their designs she would claim to be her own. For photo ops like the one above, the palette and the brushes where simply props.
That's not to say she didn't have a heavy hand in the direction of the designs. This is another one of my faves.
Wear Your Favorite Color Day: Turquoise! dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: gift from a friend (thank you, Anna!); shoes: Anthropologie
Florence with all of the designs created in her studio. I love her vibrant fashion sense (dyed bright red hair, oh yeah!), even well into her 70's. She was known among her friends for her flamboyant style. Sadly she was murdered outside of her studio in 1977. Her murderer was never found and the reason is still a mystery.
Regardless, her designs are such an inspiration. I find them to be so beautiful and modern looking. Have you heard of Florence Broadhurst? Do you have a fave fabric designer?
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy your upcoming week. Mine is going to be spook-tacular! More details soon.


  1. I love this horse print! What a talented lady this Florence, I've thought about doing my own fabric prints since there seems to be so many times when I can't find a print I want. Good luck!

  2. So many pretty outfits! :D I had to chuckle at the hem fiasco; I have had that happen too! :/ I used to keep a little roll of double stick tape in my purse just in case--I don't now, but probably should (because who knows when a loose hem will threaten to ruin my day?! :p). ;) lol.

  3. i love that turquoise dress! what a cute pattern. :)

  4. Mallory9/10/2012

    Please, please do make your own fabric! Just don't become too obsessed and forget about moi! ha!! It would be so much fun. I didn't even notice the tape editing on your dress on tuesday!

  5. I believe a blog entry is in order for where you keep all this stuff. Maximizing closet space must be a priority. Several of these designs remind me of woodblocks that they use in India to print on textiles and handmade paper. I am making some ceramic plates with a "vintage" one I picked up. I enjoy reading you blog :)

  6. Oh, closet is constantly being worked on. I've thought about a blog post...but I think some would chastise me for my hoarder ways! Aren't these designs amazing? I'd love to learn more about your printing on ceramic plates! Thank you for reading.

  7. Cassandra Dowdell9/11/2012

    Florence was murdered inside her workshop. There is a fabulous documentary directed by the brilliant Gillian Armstrong

    1. Thank you! By the way, you have a BEAUTIFUL name :)


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