Our signature "Frida Dress" since 1997

I have been recently asked to talk about our "Frida Dress" for American Television.

It reminded me how many stories i have collected over the 21 years of importing from Central & South America — here is one for you.

This Dress's origin is a small town in Puebla which i have visited more times than i wish to count, the Dress has continued to be one of my most popular selling dresses.

The Frida Dress became popular for me through my Warehouse Store & Markets in the Byron Shire during 2003-2011 Where i was supplying the locals and visitors with a steady flow of the styles i was importing and my retailers were selling throughout the rest of Australia.

It has been a staple with many Artists for many Summers and worn by the Flower Girls at one of our favourite follower's Wedding 

Michi Girl, one of the first online zines in Melbourne, picked it up and one of my retailers @cottageindustry was featured in it, its glorious floral design & indestructible ease being paramount to my love of promoting it.

Frida_dress_by_Michi_large.jpg

Here is how the garments come together, communities working together, women and men alongside each other in the process.

Firstly someone traces the patterns that are used onto the fabrics, then the work is given to the women who are wanting to embroider. They often will just embroider the base of the dress or the bodice.

The women work in various smaller towns around a central town where there are women who put the garments together for them. I have been at homes of women who assemble the garments and there is a constant flow of women handing in parts of the garments which are then sized, ironed and sewn together. The last process is the crochet around the necklines.

This town is the most advanced town that i have sourced from and has many "tallers" where the garments are assembled and sold in various qualities of fabrics. The Mexican Tourism market relies heavily on this particular Dress — that's why i named it the "Frida Dress" (easily identified as a Mexican icon), in its town it is known as the "Chanel", each year being created & embellished by women who have passed down the tradition thru their generations.

Each one embroidered with the choices of thread that a particular woman has put her hand on at the time as she embroiders the flowers and sends her love into each flower she embroiders, creating a beauty that we are able to enjoy throughout the long life of the Dress.

I still have a few of my original Frida Dresses washed so much that the stains have even faded but the Flowers keep smiling and enveloping me when i wear them. I hear the same all the time from my customers who gladly tell me they are still wearing dresses they bought from me a decade ago.

It has always been my intention from the beginning of this business, to continue to support the Artisans and assist the towns to generate income, always maintaining a wardrobe full of the prettiest clothes for myself whilst doing so *-*

Zara Elwood