“Whatever else clothes may be about, I believe they must add to the enjoyment of life. A dress is a failure unless it gives a woman added confidence. She must put it on, feel great, and then forget that she is wearing it and get on with her life”.
Dorothea Noelle Naomi Porter or Thea Porter, as she was known; was a British Fashion Designer, artist and retailer. Last weekend, Julie and I went to see the Thea Porter Bohemian Chic Exhibition at The Fashion and Textiles Museum. After less than two hours of staring, pointing and speaking in hushed tones; I can say it was well worth the £5.50. (Student discount). Thea Porter was a creative genius.
I couldn’t help but photograph nearly every garment and quote; Porter’s clothing was captivating. Exotic and vibrant materials, the woman knew her way around a piece of fabric.
Her way of amalgamating exotic fabrics with modern styles was something London had never seen before and she was passionate about designing clothes that would make women feel empowered. “Her clothes were not merely facsimiles of non-Western garments: they were infused with a modernity that created a mystical aura of exoticism around the wearer, leaving her clients looking and feeling beautiful and seductive”.
Porter would often give her creations to friends as gifts and “relied on fortune-tellers and astrologers for financial advice”; suffice to say she was not business minded.
It was a small thrill to see her original sketches and the most charming letters from friends requesting garments.
Did she leave a lasting impression? Yup. She loved what she did at that was evident in everything she created. I admire anyone who truly loves what they do. A colourful soul with a multitude of talents, I left wishing I could make clothes, speak French and throw lavish dinner parties. Thea Porter led a life rich in “experience, travel and luxurious textiles” and perfectly personified the clothes she so well designed.
The Thea Porter Exhibition will run until 3rd May 2015 at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, London.
The Reception floor at the Museum: Completely unrelated to Thea Porter, but would quite like this in my upstairs bathroom..