Creative Gibraltar : Rock Fashion Rocks!

For the past few weeks the Gustavo Bacarisas gallery in Casemates Square has played host to haute couture. The Rock Fashion Rocks exhibition has now sadly come to an end but last week I took a few minutes out of my day to pay it a visit. From the moment I set foot in the building it was clear that this wasn’t your average exhibition!

Described as a retrospective exhibition celebrating fashion design in Gibraltar over the past forty years, I was looking forward to finding out a lot more about the Rock’s fashion heritage.

The first section of the exhibition was dedicated to the work of two of Gibraltar’s fashion designers who are now no longer with us; Eduardo Viotto (1961 – 1994) and Johnny Pearce (1946 – 1987).

Eduardo (or Eddie as he was known) first came in fashion through designing costumes for theatre productions in Gibraltar and in 1984 won a competition to design the Miss Gibraltar National Costume to be worn by the winner at the Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Europe pageants. He studied in London but returned to Gibraltar and worked here on a number of collections and for clients.

Johnny Pearce, a Gibraltarian designer, who travelled to London to work, secured a job in the 1960s with the British fashion designer, Norman Hartnell (who designed clothes for the royal family). He later returned to Gibraltar and went into partnership with another designer, Nalanie Chellaram to form their own collection known as JOANAL which sold to clientele which included Baronesses, Countesses and Princesses.

The next section, was the one I am most familiar with, it featured work created by my dressmaking teacher, Dorcas Hammond:

To find out a bit more about Dorcas’s story, please take a look at this post, which I wrote about her last year. In her section of the exhibition were a number of beautiful gowns which she designed and created, including the one below which was worn by last year’s successful Miss Gibraltar contestant Jodie Garcia.

Dorcas has won several designer competitions including the Agulha de Ouro (Golden Needle) in Portugal, back in 2004. Her trophy of a golden needle was on display in the exhibition too. To see more of Dorcas’s current designs, and maybe even buy one for yourself, check out her online shop.

Sharing this section with Dorcas, was another designer who has made many outfits for Miss Gibraltar pageants; Priscilla Sacramento. Priscilla did her dressmaking and design work alongside her day job as a teacher and ultimately the headteacher of St Martin’s Special School in Gibraltar. Her vast portfolio includes many hats and fascinators, as well as the beautiful gowns below:

Next up was Jane Langdon. Jane trained as an artist in Florence and Madrid before returning to Gibraltar. She now turns her beautiful art work into fabric for garments and accessories:

Jane Langdon
Jane Langdon

Tiana Langdon (daughter of Jane Langdon) is also an artist and designer. Having studied at Central St Martins, she worked with John Galliano at the House of Dior. She later worked freelance for a number of fashion houses including Loewe, Emanuel Ungaro, Mala Mujer, Revillon, Roberto Cavalli and Missoni.

Tiana Langdon

Giorann Henshaw is well known in Gibraltar in the Arts & Crafts scene, she’s a founder of the Gibraltar Arts & Crafts association, as well as being an artist and art teacher. She was accepted for a one year foundation course at Royal Worcester Porcelain when she was seventeen and there learned how to paint china and porcelain. She later graduated to work in the factory painting dinnerware, and other ceramic items. Giorann loves to paint flowers and landscapes and began painting shoes for her cousin Dorcas Hammond, who needed a pair to match a dress she had painted. She continued to paint satin shoes after that along with clothing and soft furnishings.

Willa Vasquez was born in Gibraltar to a family of artists, and over the past 40 years has taught many adults and children to paint. She has also designed dresses and wedding gowns, along with jewellery. She recently launched her own brand of 100% silk scarves featuring designs from her own art work.

Paul Perez (designs featured below) first began sewing under the tuition of his grandmother, he later went to Epsom to study Fashion Design. He designs luxury clothing as well as teaching young people in schools in design based subjects.

Gabriella Sardeña knew from early on that she wanted a career in fashion. She learned to sew as a child and studied for a Textiles GCSE for which she created a hand painted kimono. Gabriella later worked at Dorcas Hammond’s studio where she learned pattern cutting and precision sewing before heading to Manchester School of Art to study for her degree. Winning an internship at ‘Old Navy’ in San Francisco during her final year, and then a six month paid  internship at French brand Celine on completion of her Masters, who knows where the years ahead will take her.

Gabriella Sardeña

Christel Mifsud Victory set up her own label ‘Shorji” in 2013 and went on to open Gibraltar’s first sportswear boutique in September 2015. Originally, Christel started designing due to the lack of clothing she found available for petite women like herself. Her best selling items are leggings and she has a fascination for print and bold colours.

Gail Howard (below)  has had no formal training in Art and Design, but still managed to win the Runway New Designer Competition 2016 in Gibraltar, she then exhibited in London Fashion week in February last year and her collection was very well received. Gail is another designer to look out for in the future.

The final section of the exhibition featured two outfits created by Dorcas Hammond, firstly the Gibraltar National Dress which is worn by Miss Gibraltar contestants when they represent the Rock in international competitions such as Miss World:

And the dress worn by Kaiane Aldorino when she won the Miss World crown for Gibraltar in 2009.

Until I set foot into the exhibition I really didn’t have a clue about the amazing heritage of fashion design that’s here on the Rock. What an amazing place to live, amongst so much talent and creativity. Thank you so much to both the designers and the organisers of the exhibition – it was truly eye opening.

Sunday Sevens #123 18.2.18

Hello there, I hope you are enjoying a chilled out Sunday. I’m making the most of the Little Postcards being engrossed in something to dash this out to you. Here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens:

Farewell Queen Elizabeth

On Monday morning the Royal Navy’s brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed past our home on her way to sea trials after making her first ever overseas port of call in Gibraltar. Here she is pictured passing the old naval defences of Parsons Lodge.

Dressmaking class

At my first dressmaking class for a fortnight I was able to get back to working on the dress I began designing before Christmas. It’s got an asymmetrical neckline complete with a frill, so in order to work out how it will all work out I have made a toile out of curtain lining fabric.

I am now trying to make the frill out of a jigsaw of scraps to figure out exactly what shape and size it needs to be before cutting any fabric for real. It’s been fun, but I am on a steep learning curve and have no idea how it will end up really!

Valentines Day sunshine

Valentine’s Day brought with it some glorious sunshine! I really enjoyed this lovely sunny time out and about while the boys were at school.

Watercolour class

No prizes for guessing the subject of my latest watercolour and ink creation! I enjoyed working on my irises last time that I decided to try another spring flower.

Rock fashion rocks!

On Friday, I managed to get to this fabulous exhibition of fashion. It featured work by Gibraltar designers over the past 40 years. The beautiful dresses above were created by my Dressmaking teacher, Dorcas Hammond. Hopefully there will be a blog post coming soon with a few more pictures of the gorgeous creations there.

Another project finished!

So this week, I finally managed to finish this crocheted shawl. It started life on the plane to Rome last summer and was worked on in a gîte in Carcassonne in southern France too before being forgotten about when we returned home. Over the past week and a bit I’ve been working away at it and I’m thrilled that it’s finished. I love how the colour of the Scheepjes Whirl yarn gradually changes. That’s my fourth WIP (work in progress) completed so far this year! 😊

By jingo Batman you’re in a fix!

I know I shouldn’t laugh, and no doubt this Batman balloon was meant for someone’s birthday party, but I had a bit of a chuckle when he caught my eye in the carpark yesterday. You would’ve thought that a superhero would be able to get down from up there wouldn’t you?!

I hope you have had a good week, I wonder what the next seven days will have in store for us?

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday Photo Challenge (Week 7) Heart

This week’s Friday photo is ‘heart’. My photo is combination of hearts & wall art from last week. I spotted this graffiti on a wall behind Casemates Square and thought it rather lovely.

And here’s a little bit of crochet too, a granny square heart from Crochet by Redagape’s CAL.

Want to join in with the Friday photo challenge? Here’s the upcoming prompts:

Sunday Sevens #122 11.2.18

This week, Gibraltar was paid a visit by a very esteemed visitor; the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. She called in at the Rock on her first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. Also this week, I’m very pleased to say that I’m well on the road to recovery after a nasty bout of bronchitis. I’m still coughing but slowly day by day I’m getting a bit more energy – hallelujah for that. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens.

Storm damage

In last week’s Sunday Sevens I mentioned the stormy weather we experienced at the start of the week. On Sunday, while I was tucked up in bed Mr Postcard headed out for a walk and took this photo of some of the damage caused at Camp Bay. The force of the waves must have been immense to send those rocks and chunks of concrete so far!

Happy mail

My Instagram feed has been filled with beautiful rainbow crochet projects of late and luck would have it that a certain Little Postcard has requested a rainbow blanket after his brother received his green granny square one a few weeks ago. That gave me the perfect excuse to order some new brightly coloured yarn! It arrived on Monday – just right kind of pick me up after a weekend of feeling pretty rough. I just have to resist the temptation to rush headlong into another project without finishing some of my half done ones first!

Another project completed!

My New Year’s resolution to complete all of my on going craft projects is continuing apace. Work-in-progress number 3 is complete! This started life in the summer of 2016 when I had been planning to make a blanket to match the new colour of our bedroom walls (mint green in case you were wondering). Inspired by the colours of the beach huts at Southwold I started hooking up these solid circle in a square granny squares.

It soon became apparent that you need an awful lot of these to cover a king size bed, so I ran out of steam and enjoyment for the project. Recently I heard about a children’s hospital in Romania which a friend of mine regularly visits. She volunteers over there and cuddles babies who are in need of some love and affection. This blanket will be joining her on her next trip.

Sunset after a very grey day

Mid week was a rather grey affair. We did get a nice fleeting sunset on Wednesday evening though.

Watercolour class

I felt well enough to return to my watercolour class on Thursday. I finished the painting I started a couple of weeks ago. I’m pleased with the finished result and think I’d like to try this technique again.

Welcome to Gibraltar Queen Elizabeth!

On Friday morning HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Navy’s new aircraft carrier arrived in Gibraltar. It’s the first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. She’ll head off on more sea trials when she leaves here. It was quite a majestic sight to see as she cruised into the Bay.

I tweeted the photo in the bottom left hand corner (above) of the ship coming into view around the Rock . I may have gone viral (well viral for my usual standards) as I type, it’s been viewed over 12,000 times – crikey!

An early start to the weekend

We were up bright and early yesterday dropping someone off to catch an early coach to Malaga airport. Where we live, facing west we only get to see the sun setting. Yesterday we were lucky to be able to see this lovely sunrise. Even better, we went back home and got back into bed for a bit! 6:30 is too early to get up on a Saturday!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a good week.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & Bobbins for the Sunday Sevens weekly blog series.

2018 Friday Photo Challenge (Week 6) Wall Art

This majestic octopus is the main reason why I chose wall art as one of the prompts for this photo challenge. It appeared on the side of a building in the Upper Town in Gibraltar last year, but it wasn’t until early January that I found myself face to face with it for the first time.

I had seen it on so many Facebook, Instagram and local media posts but it was quite something to see it for real. Measuring 22 metres long, it was painted by artist Jessica Darch and took 10 days to paint. This isn’t the only piece of wall art in Gibraltar though, last spring this work created by the British artist Ben Eine appeared on the side of the Inces Hall…

It certainly proved to be a talking point over here, with divided opinions on it’s design and the appropriateness of its situation, on the side of one of the town centre’s historic buildings.

The most impressive piece of wall art I have seen though, has to be this creation in Toulouse in Southern France. While on holiday in the city last summer, we were wandering aimlessly along the old streets when all of a sudden, we were face to face with this:

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Wall art in Toulouse

 

Monthly Meet Up – February : Warm

Appearances can be deceptive. The above photo looks pretty warm doesn’t it? It’s of the beach at Tarifa in southern Spain, the southernmost tip of Europe as a matter of fact. The water is the Atlantic Ocean. It was a sunny but bitterly cold day in January a couple of years ago.

Ah, that’s better! Same ocean, different country. This was taken on our stay in Portugal last summer, believe me – it was warm!!

I’m linking with Wild Daffodil for this Monthly Meet Up

Sunday Sevens #121 4.2.18

Hello there, I hope you have had a good week. Mine didn’t exactly go to plan, it started well, but ended with me under the weather with bronchitis :-(. Needless to say there are no glorious photos of the Med Steps this week, as much of it has been spent flat on my back in bed! Never mind, these things are sent to try us and I’m slowly getting better. Onwards and upwards….

Stormy Sunday

Last Sunday we saw the beginning of a period of stormy weather. We decided to head to the cinema in the afternoon as it certainly wasn’t a day for the park. By the time we had emerged tree branches were strewn across the road, at one point an entire tree was sitting chopped up  on the pavement after coming down in the gale force winds and closing a road for a time. We had managed to miss all the drama, oblivious in the cinema!

On Sunday night the winds came back with a vengeance. We were remarkably sheltered where we are positioned as the wind was coming from the east and we were protected by the Rock. In the North District, at Europa Point and in town, however, it was a totally different matter. A roof was rippped off an industrial building close to the foot of the Med Steps, a wall of scaffolding several stories high was blown down from a tower block which is under construction in Ocean Village and many trees and buildings sustained damage. It was quite a storm. Amazingly just one person was injured, and that wasn’t seriously. Just a few hours later and the roads and pavements would have been busy with school children and people heading to work, it could’ve been so much worse.

Cosy crochet

As it was too dangerous to attempt our usual Monday morning trip up the Med Steps I was able to complete the latest section of Eleonora from Coastal Crochet’s Crochet-Along. I’m really enjoying this project as it’s being drip fed to us twice weekly in small manageable chunks. On previous attempts at such things I have fallen by the way-side a few weeks in, unable to sustain the momentum to complete the 20 or so rows each week. You can find the details for this project in my last Sunday Sevens if you fancy joining in yourself.

Stormy skies

On Tuesday morning I wasn’t able to park in my usual car park of choice as it was already full at 8 minutes past 9! Presumably people had left their cars overnight as the traffic problems caused by Monday’s storms were rather bad. The commercial entry to Gibraltar from Spain was closed in order to try and ease some of the traffic problems. Several roads were closed because of the scaffolding collapse and that caused chaos.

I digress, anyway I ended up parking on the road surrounding the small boats marina as I couldn’t find anywhere else to park. I did so with a touch of trepidation as the day before had seen high seas and big waves crashing into buildings close to the sea. Would my car still be there when I returned at lunchtime from my sewing class?? Yes, thank goodness it was, it looked like it had had a bit of a drenching from a wave or two but it was otherwise intact.

It’s finished!!

Just one year late, I finished my wedding skirt at Dressmaking class. The hem is done (believe me there’s a lot of hem on the skirt and the lining – I was taking forever!). I’m really pleased with the finished article. It’s too late for last spring’s two family weddings, so it’s on standby for the next big occasion.

Super blue blood moon

Heavy cloud and rain overnight meant we didn’t get to see the super blue blood moon on Wednesday night. We did, however, see it over the Bay on Thursday morning. It didn’t have the orangey red tinge of the dramatic photos from elsewhere in the world but it did look a lot closer and very bright.

Plenty of time to read

So I mentioned before that I ended up in bed with bronchitis. I had been coughing since Saturday but by Tuesday afternoon (after dressmaking) I was feeling decidedly rough and it got worse from there. I spent an awful lot of time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday asleep when I possibly could. And when not sleeping, I read. I’m not a huge reader these days as I often spend what free time I have doing crafty stuff, but I couldn’t really be bothered with that at all.

This week I managed to start and complete Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood which was really gripping and I’d recommend it. I will now seek out the Netflix series of the same name to see how it compares to the book. I also began a book which has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read for a while; Shadow of the Rock (Spike Sanguinetti) by Thomas Mogford. The story follows an investigation carried out by a Gibraltarian Lawyer (Spike Sanguinetti) and it’s quite refreshing to read about a place I now know so well, as the first part is set in Gibraltar itself.

Blue skies return!

I began the week with a photo of the Bay of Gibraltar and I will end the week with one too. This was taken late yesterday afternoon as the sun was setting on a beautiful warm day. I spent a bit of time sitting out on the balcony reading as I didn’t have the energy for much more than that, but it was lovely to feel the warmth of the sun after a week of pretty miserable and cold weather.

I hope the next seven days are good for you, and I hope to have a few more inspiring photos for you next week too. Hopefully I will have a mid-week post for you as well, I ran out of steam on that this week…. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie at Thread & Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

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