According to historian Siun Carden, quoting Anthony Patterson, Aran jumpers have become synonymous with ‘Brand Ireland’ – as ubiquitous as Guinness, shamrocks, leprechauns etc. If you walk into any Irish gift shop across the island of Ireland, you will see Aran jumpers or other woollen items inspired by Aran knitting. Aran knitting is synonymous with the traditional image of Ireland and Irish people. Though the Aran jumper you bought for fifty euros is probably not knitted on the island of Ireland and most certainly not from wool from Irish sheep. Aran jumpers are a timeless, fashionable, and practicable addition to any wardrobe as they never seem to go out of fashion.
Recently a friend returned from a trip to Dublin to inform me she had seen a plaque to Hanna Sheey-Skeffington (1877-1946) Irish Nationalist, Suffragette, Activist, Teacher, Editor, and Politician at Dublin Castle. The plaque commemorated Hanna smashing windows on 13th June 1912 to highlight the right of women to vote and which resulted in Hanna spending a month in prison. I have always been interested in the life of Hanna Sheey-Skeffington and cannot think why I have not featured her in a blog post until now! View Post
One of my favorite female artists is Jessie Marion King (1875-1949) a member of the Glasgow Girls group of designers and artists that studied at Glasgow School of art in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Glasgow Girls included Margaret and Frances MacDonald, Bessie MacNicol, Helen Paxton Brown etc. Jessie M. King is famous for her fluid art-nouveau stylistic depictions of faerie tales found in books, on jewelry, on ceramics, and for being an illustrator for books most notably books for children.
As always I cannot say ‘no’ to visiting either a good local museum and if that local museum just happens to have a fashion exhibition on when I visit I am doubly excited. This happened last month when I visited Hamburg to meet friends and spent a morning in the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (Museum of Fine and Applied Arts – I think!). This museum had a summer exhibition entitled ‘Dressed. 7 Frauen – 200 Jahre Mode‘ or ‘Dressed. 7 Frauen – 200 Years of Fashion’ (the exhibition closed on 28th August), which told the story of fashion from the past 200 years through the clothing of seven women either from Hamburg or other parts of Germany.