wrapped up

100% merino wrap – worn bib-style and fastened with a brooch made from vintage kimono fabric.

I’m all about colour lately.

When I was growing up, nobody wore black except for italian or greek widows – in their shapeless layers, sensible shoes and sometimes with headscarves.  You would see them tending to their gardens or carrying bags of vegetables back from the shop.  Black felt like a desert. Or – on the flip side, dangerous.  Bikies wore black, and Sandra Dee on Grease when she was transformed into uber-tart.  ‘Slack black’, we said in the schoolyard.

100% merino wrap – worn shawl-style and fastened with a brooch made from vintage kimono fabric.

Nobody wore black.  And there was such a focus in the 70’s and early 80’s on colour.  Vibrant, in your face, eye-popping mismatching wild, wild colour.  I had purple jeans when I was 8.  Lots of us did.  A white belt, white shoes.  Orange was king.   But there was colour-fear too.  I wasn’t a pink kid.  Really, never.  I remember playground taunts; ‘Ink pink, you stink‘.  Luckily not in my direction….   Oversized hand-knitted colourful jumpers.  Red Doc Marten boots,  Jewel bright shirts and cropped t-shirts.  Neon fads that suited no-one.  White frilly shirts with pastel jeans.  That’s probably too much information eh….

100% merino wrap – un-fastened and suitable for layering under a jacket for an extra layer of warmth and visual detail.

When I left high school there was a revolution.  Black started sneaking in – not just for goths or punks, but for the early-adopter mainstream too.  I remember the huge relief of being able to take anything black out of the cupboard knowing it went with anything else that was black.  Loads of us dressed entirely in black and channelled Japanese designers with edgy minimalist detailing.  Design pared back to its purest essence. We were all so serious in the 90’s…

100% merino wrap – worn bib-style and fastened at the shoulder with a brooch made from vintage kimono fabric.

Black is a tempting lover – making bulges invisible and a cheap fabric look better. In Melbourne, in has become de riguer.  Which doesn’t make it bad – there are times when ONLY black will do, and one of my favourite shops is almost entirely black.  It’s an expensive shop and I can’t afford it, but it’s lovely going in and seeing the sea of black – it’s calming somehow.  Allows one to focus on the detail because the lack of colour is no distraction.  And I do enjoy that too.

100% merino wrap – worn as a bolero vest – tied behind the back.

But it’s also an energy sapper for me.

I find too much black on a daily basis makes me lethargic.  And I’m positive in my case it’s because what I’m seeing peripherally isn’t feeding me.  But after wearing black for so long, it can be difficult to work colour back into ones wardrobe don’t you think!

100% merino wrap – worn vest-style and fastened with a brooch made from vintage kimono fabric.

So I struggle with it but am determined to make it an everyday thing.  And on the days I’m wearing colour I am happier, more inspired and nicer to be around – perhaps because I’m wearing something cheerful, but also because change can be a very, very good thing, especially in the wardrobe department.  When I’m wearing colour I absolutely get more smiles.

This wrap (my own design) was made by me on a Vintage Brother Knitting machine.  They take a while, but are thoroughly rewarding and such a joy when the colour pooling starts happening and random stripes appear.  They can be worn so many ways and are a great layering piece.  I’ve knitted a quantity in a wide variety of colours (and one black/grey) and they will be available at The Canterbury Art Show – in their Gift Shop here this weekend from 4-6 of May along with some of my paintings and a whole lot of other goodness from local and interstate artists and crafts people.

And if there are any left, I might even put them in an online shop…  Wouldn’t that be fun!


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