15 May 2016

The Freakish Yellow Skirt pays Italy an elevating visit



I'm very excited to be the honoured writer of a blog post featuring The Freakish Travelling Yellow Skirt. Now, some of you will already know her; but I'm guessing that most won't, and so you'll be suspecting me of overdoing the LSD here ... so let me quickly explain. 
There's a voluminous, dazzlingly bright-yellow skirt which tours the world spending time as the pampered guest of lucky Bloggers all over the place. She was sent to me here in Italy from Germany where she'd been gracing different hostesses with her presence. Before Germany she'd been in Spain, and before Spain it'd been America. Her Tour Manager and original owner, artist Melanie Kobayashi lives in Vancouver from whence she directs The Yellow Skirt's movements. Whether you're a blogger or not you really should visit Melanie's blog, Bag and a Beret. I'm not being glib when I say I love her; (I do Melanie ... I LOVE you!!!) Her writing is intelligent, creative, original and humorous with a touch of authentic eccentricity. But contacting her directly I've found she's much more even than that. Melanie, thank you for your consistent kindness, generosity of spirit, presence, reassurance and encouragement. And thanks for considering my blog worthy of featuring this salubrious yellow visitor.  
As soon as I learned I would be given the chance of styling The Yellow Skirt, my first thoughts turned, ambitiously (and impractically) to Venice as my location for the photo shoot. I envisaged myself by the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge rising in the background, my Creative Team keeping meandering tourists from wandering onto "the set". But, when I took Umberto to the Carnival this year I witnessed the palaver a real photoshoot entails, so discouraged I set my sights just a notch lower and considered the Roman Arena in Verona for my backdrop. What was I thinking? The Arena in Piazza Bra is always heaving with visitors (my Creative Team would also have it's work cut out here, keeping tourists out of the picture!) and I don't have a decent camera anyway. I felt dejected. The Yellow Skirt was used to VIP treatment. Was Italy going to fail her?
Then ... EUREKA!!! What about the Villa Pellegrini, 5 minutes up the road in Castion? Our friends are the Custodians there; and together with Martina, a Photographer schoolfriend of Camilla, and Marzia, Umberto's Art Therapist (and also Artist and Sculptor) as Artistic Director, I really did have my Creative Team, AND the perfect location too. 


The Villa Pellegrini Cipolla in Castion. The sun is beginning to set, and with the shadows lengthening, Marzia does a recky of the location.


I was to be the "bronze statue" that would anchor the Yellow Skirt  as she viewed the World from altogether new angles










We moved closer to the Villa as the shadows crept in












In a corner of the facade there was a last patch of evening sunlight




And when the front of the villa was enveloped in shadow, we moved around to the back


The deal with having the Yellow Skirt to stay is that the host or hostess has Melanie's permission to enhance it with something artistic/creative. I asked Umberto to create a signature artwork to attach to the skirt. When we did the shoot I still hadn't sewn it to the skirt but you can see it here with Umbi, draped over the statue's foot.


The title of the artwork is "732 Days a Year" ....  I'd better explain ...
About six weeks ago, at the beginning of April, Umberto had spent the day with his Dad. When he brought him home (and Umbi had skipped indoors) he hovered in the doorway for longer than usual. After hesitating a moment, he said, "Thanks for what you do for Umberto". I must have looked surprised and confused. After all, this was the very first time my sacrifices for, and dedication to, Umberto were being openly acknowledged by his Father. So he continued, "Well, it's World Autism Awareness Day today!"
I thanked him. I was touched. Anyone who knows the history of our separation, also knows that this seemingly simple gesture of his was momentous. 
But how could I possibly have missed "World Autism Awareness Day"? I missed it because EVERY DAY is an Autism day. Each individual living in Autism does so 366 days a year (you'll forgive me for erring on the side of abundance here!). And Autism also comes around 366 days a year for the Carer of that individual. So, while I'm sure we're grateful for any crumbs of "awareness" we can get, I have to point out to the creators of "World Autism Awareness Day" that they are off in their calculations by a full 731 days a year!


Umberto painted "732 Days a Year" during his Art Therapy with Marzia, using acrylic paints on viscose fabric



My Technicolor Son


Finally I sewed it to The Yellow Skirt, and she was ready to travel to her next hostess in the United States. She had been a gracious, accommodating and unforgettable guest.


A Technicolor "Repose"
at the end of an amazing
Technicolor Day

This blog is pro-autism


Post Script: Thank you everyone - I received so much help to create this post, not only from Marzia Sandri my Artistic Director, Martina Colloi my Photographer and Irene and Mauro Piras, the villa Custodians, but from many others too. Martina took over 370 photographs, and as it would be sacrilegious  to waste decent pictures now I've actually got some, I'll do "The Making Of The Freakish Travelling Yellow Skirt Post" very shortly ..... you HAVE been warned :)

49 comments:

  1. An amazing interpretation of the TYS! Pinned it and everything ~
    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/

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    1. You've pinned me? ... I can't believe anyone would ever actually "PIN" me!
      I'm so flattered Tami, Thank you,
      Baci Sxx

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  2. Gaaa! Of course WOW!!! Magnificent. Stupendous! Thank you so much, Sally, for taking part and infusing FYS with your brand of joy and coolness. Thanks, too, to your wonderful team: Marzia Sandri, Martina Colloi, and Irene and Mauro Piras. Mwah. The villa is the perfect location. And of course huge gratitude to Umbi for his beautiful painting for the skirt. Love this so much!

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    1. I honestly began to hyperventilate when I saw all these wonderful and unexpected comments Melanie, and my right index finger trembled as I pressed "Publish" again and again!!! And I know I owe it all to you. Thank you, THANK YOU :D
      Baci SalXXXXX

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  3. What an AMAZING post!!!

    Seriously fantastic!!!

    Aa art installation of molten gold suspended by a cloud of sunny bubbles hiding a sexy redhead in vertiginous red souled stilettos.

    There is so much wonderful creativity here. Your son's addition to the skirt is the finishing touch.

    Blown away!

    Bravo my dear. Bravo!

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Marvellous Suzanne ... I'm tempted to replace the original title for this post with your beautiful, evocative poetry - "molten gold", "cloud of sunny bubbles"! Thank you - you Sexy Redhead. And you're so right about the many different strands of creativity which happily collided to make this all happen. I'm so grateful to my wonderful friends.
      Baci Sxx

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  4. O. M. G. You capture the crazy joy of the skirt and its travels so completely. It is morning here in Nz and now I shall float forth as if also buoyed by helium balloons, thank you xo

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    1. Dear Maryanne, thank you for the bouyancy of your lovely comment. Crazily joyous or joyfully crazy - I'd happily embody either.
      Baci Sxx

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  5. This is totally exquisite.
    I have made myself travel-sick with all the scrolling up and down to see the photo-shoot unfurl again and again lol!
    You look like a beautiful flowering mermaid with that gorgeous bronze train; and Umberto's artwork is every bit as magical.
    Can't stop grinning - and that last photo is just fabulous. Thank you so much xx

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    1. Ah, dear Tralala! Thank you. "beautiful flowering mermaid" is so lovely; I looked at some of those shots and wondered how my lower body could ever have contorted so successfully into a metalic tornado!
      Baci Sxx

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    2. Here you are! xxx
      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=raoul+larche+loie+fuller&espv=2&biw=1109&bih=502&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjkwZDaqOHMAhWpIMAKHdi5CXIQsAQIGw&dpr=1

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    3. Here you are! And hopefully this won't appear twice (comments hate me at the moment lol)
      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=raoul+larche+loie+fuller&espv=2&biw=1109&bih=502&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjkwZDaqOHMAhWpIMAKHdi5CXIQsAQIGw&dpr=1

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    4. Good God ... THERE I AM!!!
      Sxxxxx

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  6. This is such an amazing photo-shoot! Sal, you are gorgeous and I love your creativity with the balloons and the bronze fabric. What a wonderful addition to the skirt Umberto's art is! I added the gears and keys - hello from Sheila in Victoria, BC, Canada!

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    1. Hello Sheila. Thank you for your lovely words :D Hahaha, those unweildy gears and keys complete dictated how I could (or could not) fold her up when she was being readied for travelling again.
      That skirt has great powers of connectivity :)
      Baci Sxx

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  7. you look like a beautiful vase full of yellow flowers. And that villa's not to shabby either.

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    1. Thank you Thorne, the artistry was all in the hands of my lovely photographer. You're right, that villa's anything but shabby, but when I do my "The Making of ..." post you'll see they only bothered to paint the obviously visible facade. Isn't that so often the way?
      Baci Sxx

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  8. Hello Ms. Sarsaparilla. Everything you have said about Melanie is true and one of the nicer things is that through the Magical Yellow Skirt we all the have the opportunity to meet new beauties...like you! I am blown away by your airborne skirt. Sooooooo gorgeous and clever. And you have a technicolor son. How wonderful is that? Of course I had to go flip through your wonderful blog and I'm so happy that I did. You are stylish and funny and soulful and just the right amount of nutty.

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    1. Dear Connie, thank you, you're so kind!
      "Magical" is an adjective which perfectly suits what the Yellow Skirt has become - and her inspirational powers are continually increasing. When she got to me it felt surreal to finally weigh her in my hands and sense her depth; the knowledge that wherever she's alighted she's been imbued with a little more love. From the humblest origins, she has risen to iconic heights - inspiring indeed.
      Baci Sal xx

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  9. I think you did such a marvellous job. This was the kind of creativeness I was after when I got the skirt. Only I lack such creativity but I did what I could. You on the other hand have brought it to the next level and beyond. Really terrific.
    Your son is a beautiful man and I hope he enjoyed this day with you.
    Greetje

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    1. Thank you Greetje, but I really love what you did with it too; contrasting this flamboyant skirt against the stark austerity of an old master. I have fun imagining you at the gallery, dressed in chic black, and then surprising everyone as you pull on The Skirt and pose for your photo shoot.
      Baci Sxx

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    2. It was the other way around. I wore the skirt going in and pulled up the skirt to reveil the jeans underneath haha. I just have no shame.

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  10. totally gorgeous!!!!
    words fail..... sending you big virtual hugs from germany! xxxxxxx

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    1. Dear Beate, thank you so much. YOUR handling of The Yellow Diva when she was your guest was great fun too. Such fearless, bare-limbed frolicking in the snow; AND I'd been wondering which of my predecessors had added the wild-boar artwork (and now she's given me a "hug" :D )
      Baci Sallyxx

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  11. This is a marvelously creative incarnation of the Travelling Yellow Skirt! Love the balloons holding her aloft, while anchored to the earth by a bronze goddess with flaming hair. Gorgeous photos, and your son's addition to the skirt is just wonderful. Congratulations to the entire creative team!

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, The Team just worked so well together. When everything dovetails so seamlessly, without having to "push", you know it's meant to succeed.
      Baci Sxx

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  12. These pics of you in the yellow skirt are absolutely stunning!!!!!

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    1. Hi Becky, thank you so much :)
      Baci Sxx

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  13. Just fabulous! Amazing styling and a wonderful addition from your son.

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    1. Thanks Jane, I'm so touched by how many people liked this enough to comment; and your praise of Umbi's addition to the skirt is very kind. Thank you again.
      Baci Salxx

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  14. That is utterly brilliant! The skirt looks beautiful in this setting and what a touching addition to the skirt!

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    1. Thanks Kezzie, the villa is in a wonderful spot, and I was so lucky to be able to use it; and then everything else just converged perfectly - the weather, the availability of my friends who were willing to help me! I didn't have to "fight" for anything that would force it to work. I LOVE when that happens :D
      Baci Sxx

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  15. amazing and fabulous post, and even more fabulous that I've found your blog through delightful Melanie!
    So many things to enjoy, all those creativity and expression and Art!!, I'm loving everything!!besos & gracias

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  16. Hi Senora Allnut, pleased to meet you too; and thank you so much for your compliments. I popped over to your blog just now, and I think I worked out from your photo locations that you blog from Spain. Am I right?
    The Yellow Skirt is a great connector, but you're right that wonderful Melanie herself is an even more effective one.
    Baci Sxx

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  17. Gosh this is magnificent! I've been following that yellow skirt and I have to say this might be my favourite of it's adventures yet - you have elevated it to new heights! XX

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    1. Lally! Thanks so much for such a wonderful compliment. That yellow Diva certainly gets about! If only we could all be "obliged" to continent-hop just like her, knowing we'd be welcomed with gleeful open arms wherever we landed.
      I nipped over to your blog and was fascinated. I'll be back :)
      Baci Sallyxx

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    1. Thank you Bonnie, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
      Love Salxx

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  19. Venice's loss is totally the Villa's gain. A much better location and worthy of the skirt. Your photoshoot for it was like a Visconti production! Congratulations.

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline, I really was lucky to have the opportunity to make the villa my location.
      When I first contacted Melanie to request the skirt, I assured her I'd be taking The Yellow Diva to Venice to show her a good time, but I hadn't thought through the practicalities of my idea. The most I might have managed would have been a few quick snaps (do people in England still say "snaps"?) in poor lighting down a back street. But when she arrived it was clear she expected (and deserved) better :)
      ps you've raised my curiousity - must just go and Google Visconti Production
      Baci Sxx

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  20. I adore what you did with the famous yellow skirt, and you definitely looked like a golden statue. Tell your son his art work is beautiful, I bet you are very proud of him.
    PS: I had the skirt in New Zealand a while back, where I live.

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    1. Thank you Sue. Yes, I am proud of Umberto - in fact I'm grateful to all three of my children whom I hold in the highest esteem.
      I'm so pleased you stopped to introduce yourself here. I visited your blog - and I loved everything :)
      Baci Sxx

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  21. What a wonderful post! Your creative interpretation is divine. You look like a golden goddess admidst a sunburst of moulten bubbles. Your setting couldn't have been more elegant and hurrah for your team in helping bring your plan to fruition. Umberto must have been so happy to have made his personal contribution to the fabric of this beautiful piece of art too. 732 days indeed. None of us can really look on into the window of your life and begin to imagine what it must be like living with autism. Umberto's love is your reward.
    Anna x
    www.annasislandstyle.com

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  22. Thank you Anna - what a wonderful comment! You've summed things up perfectly. Umberto really is a gift; not only to me but to whomever chooses to allow him to "touch" their lives.
    Love Sxx

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  23. You look like a golden goddess Sally! Fantastic photos and story and great for Umberto to be a part of it!
    Ivona x

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    1. Thank you Ivona ... for once I had nothing to do with the photography - and I can be proud of my pictures :D
      Sxx

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  24. You look like a golden goddess Sally! Fantastic photos, story and great for Umberto to be a part of it!
    Ivona x

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  25. I love your writing! ... I simply do ... and you already know how much I love your style. great post, my compliments to the creative team - amazing job, can I join? :) I didn't know Bag and Beret and now I do ... what a cool lady!
    ps I think you must be the most amazing mum ever
    xx

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    1. Dear Sasha! isn't it wonderful when expressed admiration is genuinely mutual? Although I don't always comment, every one of your blog posts knocks me sideways with awe - and I have to remind myself you're Italian, your English is so superb. You even wrote "bugger it" in a recent post (my Grandfather would have approved)! What a woman!!!
      You're the embodiment of your own exceptionally creative "team" - but if you want to join ours, we'll have you like a shot!!! :D
      Yes, Melanie is wonderful; I'm glad you've met her now.
      Love Sxx

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