Last weekend I visited the 'Thea Porter, 70s Bohemian Chic' exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey. This place holds a lot of good memories for me, as I interned at Zandra Rhodes studio back when I was studying for my degree and her studio and apartment is attached to the museum. I wanted to catch the Thea Porter exhibition before it ended, and it proved to be very inspiring.
I have always had a fascination with 70s Bohemian fashion, and it proved influential for my own personal design work and fashion print collection whilst I was at university. The work of Thea Porter perfectly embodies the 70s Bohemian spirit. Porter was raised in Damascus, which is where her love of textiles stemmed from. After moving to London she began importing textiles and making her own garments mixing the fabrics with antique trims. With a store in Soho, London and Henri Bendel stocking her collection in New York, her popularity rose. Fans included: Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Pink Floyd and The Who.
Thea Porter also collaborated with artists and textile designers to produce exclusive prints for her collection. These collaborators included: Janet Taylor, Sandra Munro, Sheila Hudson, Hannah Meckler and Michael Szell. For me, this is Porters' most exciting work, and the designs that appeal to me the most.
Thea Porter continues to inspire designers today, Matthew Williamson and Anna Sui are both fans. Celebrity collectors of Thea Porter garments include most notably Nicole Richie and Kate Moss, pictured below wearing the iconic 'Gipsy' style dress.
These days a vintage Thea Porter dress will set you back between £2000-£3000. Resurrection vintage boutique in Los Angeles and New York sells her now iconic dresses.
The Thea Porter exhibition has now ended, however I can still highly recommend a visit to the Fashion and Textile Museum. Super easy to get to, it is only a 5 minute walk from London Bridge station. The museum also offers workshops in things such as pattern cutting and Photoshop, so take a look at the website if you are interested in that. Whilst you are there why not go to Borough Market for some delicious food!
Twitter - @Phillippa22
Pinterest - 'phillippadesign'
Instagram - 'PhillippaDesign22'