Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Thelma’s Gypsy Girls – They love the frills!

Last night I watched the first episode of Thelma’s Gypsy Girls – a channel 4 show where the wedding dress-maker featured in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series offers seamstress apprenticeships to traveller girls. Here’s the blurb: “Dressmaker Thelma Madine, from Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, has a reputation for creating incredible wedding dresses for gypsies and travellers, and has worked closely with the community for over 15 years. But now Thelma’s decided she wants to give something back to the people who put her on the map.”

If you missed the programme last night, I’d recommend you get it on 4OnDemand and catch up, because I’m sure this will be another hit show for everyone who loved the Big Fat Gypsy Weddings series. I enjoyed it simply because we were given an insight into the background work that goes into those big wedding dresses and I was amazed at just how many members of staff Thelma employs – I thought it was just her and a sewing machine churning out all those crazy gowns! But now she’s expanding, and again I was amazed at how much the new factory and equipment was costing her. I’m glad I’m still only a small-ish tutu making business – I certainly couldn’t afford to open a factory like that! Maybe one day though!

Anyway, there was plenty of my favourite thing – the dresses, the bling and the big tulle skirts so here’s a gratuitous look back at some of the amazing traveller wedding dresses featured in the show:

Did you have a favourite wedding dress from the series? What did you think of their jaw-dropping hen-night outfits?? Do you think I could diversify into wedding outfits?!


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In the best possible taste eh, Grayson Perry?

Last night I watched the Channel 4 programme by artist Grayson Perry ‘In the Best Possible Taste’ in which he researches the British class system for his recent artwork: 6 tapestries titled The Vanity of Small Differences. Grayson believes that taste is directly influenced by our class and has created the tapestries to show the differences (and similarities) between the working, middle and upper classes; “The tapestries tell a story of class mobility. I think nothing has such a strong influence on our aesthetic taste as the social class we grow up in.”

I don’t know what this says about us and our taste, but my hubby and I spotted quite a few of our favourite items in many of the homes in this programme. Although we personally favour particularly disgusting 70s design classics rather than some of the ‘middle-class’ cookie-cutter decor, we certainly identified with some of the homeowners featured – but did they know they were creating a kitsch interior or have they had their items for so long that they’ve come back into fashion?? And does our penchant for retro furniture make us middle-class then? I’m pretty sure that our interior decor (mostly sourced at car-boot sales) doesn’t reflect our class-level at all. In fact, I’m not sure it ties us into any group, other than maybe the ‘thrifty’ folk out there.

Grayson Perry said something that I particularly enjoyed in the latter part of the episode, (not quoting directly, I can’t remember exactly!) that everyone thinks they are individual, until they meet a load of other people who are just as individual as they are.

I’ve already missed the first episode on working-class taste, so I’ll be visiting 4OD to catch up with that episode and I’m already looking forward to the final programme of the series on the upper classes. The full exhibition of Turner prizewinning artist Grayson Perry’s tapestries is held at the Victoria Miro gallery between 7 June and 11 August 2012.