20 August 2012

All Things Gypsy

So I have just caught up with the final episode of Thelma's Gypsy Girls and I must confess I was hooked! I love My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding too! I am a big fan of both programmes and i'm fascinated by the lifestyle portrayed of the travellers depicted, as well as some of the controversy regularly stirred up regarding the representations of gypsy life.

I also admire Thelma Madine, not only because she is a grafter and her story is one from rags to riches but mainly because most of her dresses are simply magnificent... pieces of art! Admittedly, some of them quite shocking and downright ugly such as the pineapple and palm tree dress for a wedding... like seriously???

thelma's gypsy girls pineapple dress palm tree dress

Overall though I do think her dresses are very pretty, excessive and very expressive... almost fairytale like. It must take hours making the dresses, especially when gluing on all those crystals! 

Now I know that the traveller girls leave school at an early age to stay at home but I was very shocked to see how uneducated they were, even basic things like using a calculator or
saying the alphabet seemed like something from another world to them. At the beginning of the show, the girls did come across as ignorant, mouthy and very childish but as the series continued, you saw them getting stuck in. I am not a big fan of how they dress on a daily basis as it's very revealing for their age, especially the very young ones who are practically toddlers! However, I do like the fact that they have very high morals and values and are very family orientated, which I think is lost in our "country" world. 

Thelma's gypsy girls thelma madine

So each week the girls learnt new skills and by the middle of the series they were making their own outfits. My favourites were Shannon- who lied about her aged at the start and Margaret. Both girls were very feisty and quite aggressive but they seemed to calm down and get fully involved with the tasks over time. 

shannon and margaret thelma's gypsy girls

Shannon won the overall show, securing a job in Thelma's studio when she turns 16. This is her winning design, which she was the only girl to actually do any pattern cutting for her garment, so well done to her!

gypsy fashion style gypsy wedding dresses thelma's gypsy girls

Here are some of her big dresses that I like...

gypsy pleated wedding dresses thelma madine my big fat gypsy wedding

kerry katona pink gypsy wedding dress thelma madine fairytale princess wedding dress

thelma madine wedding dress

I've just finished reading Thelma's autobiography, Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker, which i thoroughly enjoyed. Thelma gives us a frank look at her life, the highs and lows. The financial troubles, 107 foot trains, divorce, sequins and her stint in prison! See what it takes to have regular business dealings with the gypsy community and what it took to build that relationship. It shows one woman's struggle to make it in life and how hard work and determination can do it. It was an easy read and one that I finished in almost one sitting.

tales of the gypsy dressmaker thelma madine

1 comment:

  1. Hi my name is noah, I just want to ask is someone would tell Shannon for me, i think she is so beautiful and she smiles like an angel. I just think she deserves to be told thank you. X