The Underwire

Michele Keffen’s Art Set to Go Global

It’s been an interesting year and a half since Michele decided it was time to return to one of her abiding passions – Fine Art. With more than a passing nod to Abstract Expressionism and Gestural Abstraction her large and often colourful paintings are proving popular with those who can afford them.

Any who know her personally, is not generally surprised that in her typically merry, yet thought-provoking fashion she is throwing caution to the wind and unleashing the both the colour and darkness that lives undoubtedly inside her as she delves into the many and varied experiences of her highly complex and often alarming past.

Having survived a number of muggings and physical attacks, survived a stalker, given aid at refugee camps in Africa, helped a missionary avoid detection on a hostile border patrol, worked in genetic research groups, sewn and styled for a number of Royal Families, plus a whole gamut of other weird and wonderful experiences, some of which are far too sensitive and extraordinary to publish here, Michele has a lot to draw from.

She has an encyclopedic library of Art reference books and is a dedicated student of art history, enjoying any opportunity that arises to spend time studying the greats as well as her favourite, not-so-well-known cross culture artists.

Already her art is attracting the attention of a number of high profile buyers and galleries around the globe. Her intention is to launch her first exhibitions later in the year and at least for the time being, put fashion to one side. She also intends to focus on conceptual works including installation sculpture during the year ahead.

For the time being, keep track of her work at and



The Wedding of Katie and Ben Nwaeke

As usual we are a bit late in catching up with wedding news, but we’ve just got some new photos to share.

Our belated congratulations go to Katie and Ben Nwaeke who were married on Saturday 20th October 2012 at the Church of the English Martyrs, Streatham. The reception was held at Hampton Court House.

Michele helped Katie with alterations to the dress, designed and made a complementary headpiece and restored a veil that held sentimental value for her.

We are sure that you would agree, they make a great looking couple.


A Visit to the UK Dance Championships

A wonderful day spent at the UK Dance Championships. So much to see and take in. It was great to see the celebration of colour moving across the dance floor. A great relief for us moving into dance from the bridal industry which is predominantly a pale tonal range.

There was the usual critical analysis of designs and fashions, what works and what does not, what flatters and what does not, the “oh my goodness what were they thinking” and the “I am so annoyed I did not design that” moment. There is definitely a movement in colour trends, obviously influenced by the new colours that have been added to the Swarovski elements collection.UK-Championshiips

It was lovely to see this wide cross section of people from across the world celebrating this art and dance form. The lovely little nods to the their cultures and traditions not only in the designs and colour choices of their outfits but also,their way of dealing with other competitors and spectators.

For instance, the choice of many of the Asian competitors to use silks and fabric painting which so akin to the area’s cultural history. If there is any hint to culture of a competitor and their choice of outfit to show their personality on the dance floor, it must be their use of primary colours. We have to say that we are so looking forward to applying this new refined insight into design for dancers from all over the world.

Needless, we loved watching Stefan Mctighe and Emma Marie Sweatland in their first amateur competition. From a designer’s point of view it was good to see the designs working in context and speaking personally, there are so many ideas and concepts floating in my head I am heading straight for the sketch pad and pencil.



Excellent Results in Blackpool for Stefan and Emma

We were thrilled to hear that Stefan McTighe and Emma Marie Sweatland attained 2nd place in the Pre-Amateur competition at the Champions of Tomorrow event in Blackpool on Saturday.

Having only recently moved up to this level, it’s a fabulous result and is a testimony both to their teachers and all the personal hard work and dedication they have put in themselves.

They were sporting their latest outfits from Michèle Keffen Dancewear. Emma wearing the ‘Orion’ dress and Stefan wearing the ‘Matisse’ shirt.

We certainly wish them all the best for the UK Dance Championship being held at the Bournemouth International Centre (21st-23rd January).

Images Coutesy of Mandy Cockram.

Wardrobe Check Photoshoot With Stefan McTighe and Emma Marie Sweatland

Hello Everybody. What a rainy week it has been!


Well, after quite a number of wardrobe malfunctions on TV recently, I have become slightly paranoid. This is the result, an informal photoshoot and wardrobe check before Emma Marie and Stefan compete in Blackpool and other upcoming competitions. Due to the bad weather, we had to have a last minute change of venue. Thanks to the  Collingwood Hotel for accommodating us at the last minute.


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However, it was a productive evening despite things not going according to plan. Here is a sneak peek at some images of the first outfits.

Special Announcement

As you may know, if you have been following this blog or our Facebook page, we have been building up for a special announcement today.

In a nutshell the announcement is: Dancewear….or should that be:


Too sparkly? Not for dancewear… think Bling!

For the last few weeks we have been preparing to enter the world of dance costume and dance dress for both men and women. This makes us very excited!

The Michele Keffen Dancewear website won’t be ready until some time in March, but we are already taking orders for new outfits. We will also be running an outfit hire service.dancers

Michèle is not new to this as she used to make dance outfits for clients when in South Africa. Having said this, fashions change and it is going to be fun coming up with lots of new designs. During her time in Durban she designed ballroom dresses mostly , but she is now focusing primarily on Latin Dancewear.

We are pleased to already be sponsoring up and coming dancers Stefan McTighe & Emma-Marie Sweatland, who we feel are going to rise extremely high in the Latin dance world. We will be featuring some of their outfits over the coming months and would like to wish them well on their journey to the top.

Michèle is also planning to release a range of high quality practice dance outfits for both men and women as well as a range of dance accessories.

Watch this space!



Three Days to Go

Hello Everybody, I hope you have all got a bit of R and R. It is 3 days and counting before we announce our new venture. We are working hard at getting everything ready for this new outlet for our creativity.


Here is a photograph of one of our recent brides. Erin looking radiate in her bridal gown which complimented her Art Deco theme for her wedding.


Excitement Is Building

 After a day of fittings and fun, dresses for the New Year parties have been collected and a big step forward in getting ready for our new venture. It is all getting very exciting!




Breaking News

Our breaking news will be announced on the 1st of January 2014. We are truly excited about all the possibilities for unleashing our creativity on the unsuspecting public.1510442_10201042385690073_510335267_n