Repurposing, Recycling and Reusing Creates Fashion

“When You Don’t Dress Like Everyone Else, You Don’t Have to Think Like Everyone Else”

—Iris Apfel

Both Frida Kahlo and Iris Apfel are fashion icons in my book.  I follow both of them in exhibits, fashion influences, lectures and inspiration.   Their mark on our world of fashion and art has been copied, inspired and built upon by many.  I love when I get dressed in the morning and think I’m getting my Frida fix or thinking that when I’m as old and wonderful as Iris, I too can wear what she is wearing. 

Creative minds find treasure with resale

Did you know that Iris Apfel is a professor at the University of Texas’ textiles and apparel program?  Can you imagine sitting in one of her classes and learning from her experience in the world of fashion?  There are some lucky students out there who get to learn from her where she is an integral part of the program.  Her guidance to fashion and to me is to wear what you want as long as it makes you feel beautiful and gives you confidence.  I love that she combines her treasures from her travels and knows their history to promote artisan craft from around the world.

Vintage, Museum and a bit of History

Frida did this too with her loyalty to Mexican traditional clothing, whether it was Aztec beads, rebozo shawls or the headdress known as a “resplendor.”  I’m paraphrasing a bit from a New York Times article introducing Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up, which was an exhibit in 2018 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  This exhibit then moved to Chicago; however, it was much smaller because of Covid and my plans never worked out to see it.  Luckily, I was able see another exhibit this year in Albuquerque called Frida Kahlo Diego Rivera and Mexican ModernismThis exhibit felt like a mix between the Victoria and Albert and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston exhibits, as both focused on Frida and Mexican artists. 

I could write all day about how these two ladies inspired me, but what I also think is great is the opportunity to buy a jar of bulk jewelry from the Guild Shop to create mixed media art.  A Houston artist often comes to the Guild Shop to buy craft jewelry and creates some amazing pieces.  These jars are a bit like treasure boxes as you only see some of what you are getting.  The goodies inside are a range of different necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings and more.  If they were sold at an auction, they would be considered “lots.”  I think it is a lot of fun to see what you can create.  I’ve seen canvas art, Christmas trees, wreaths, recycled jewelry, photo frames, hat bands and more.  Artists and artist-wannabes should come see what you can create with these fantastic prizes!

May you find your treasure,


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