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Thea Porter Designs Transport Time and Geography

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What did The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd have in common with Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall and Princess Margaret? The Middle Eastern-inspired fashions of Thea Porter which will be on display at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum from February 6 to May 3, 2015. Entitled, “Thea Porter: 70s Bohemian Chic,” the exhibition features more than 150 pieces reflecting Porter’s career which she began as an interior decorator before graduating into a fashion designing icon of the 1960s and 70s. Renown for her use of exotic clothing such as brocade caftans and the Chazara jacket, Porter was inspired by her childhood travels to the Middle East where she formed an appreciation for patterned silks and other fine fabrics. With her uniquely universal aesthetic, Porter popularized Indian handprints and Islamic textiles such as the suzani embroideries and the ikats of Central Asia as well as Ottoman velvets and the embroidered material of Damascus. “Thea Porter’s ambition was to create clothes that were intrinsically beautiful, and that would last,” states the Laura McLaws Helms, guest curator of the exhibition. “Today, they are appreciated by not only the customers who have treasured them, but also by a new generation of devotees who continue to seek out her designs: Kate Moss, Julia Roberts, Nicole Richie, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen – the appeal of a unique and original Thea Porter dress endures today among some of the most fashionable women in the public eye.” From Islamic tunic tops and loose pants to long skirts and Hijab wraps, Artizara offers a number of mix-and-match pieces which can help current fashionistas achieve a Bohemian Chic similar to the styles Thea Porter made famous.

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