Archives for the month of: August, 2010

Yes clothes are all good and fine, but nothing makes clothing more desirable than an on-point editorial.  My favorite editorial is one that entertains as well as draws your eyes to the clothing. One editorial that jumps to my mind and probably has jumped to yours is the 2009 Tim Burton inspired editorial shot by Tim Walker for Harper’s Bazaar.

But there are other interesting editorials to be seen other than the ones inspired by the night-master.  Such as “Identity” by Blanq for WestEast Magazine photographed by Liang Su.  ” This is a chronicle progression of a woman. A woman who morphs from innocence to struggles, and back to innocence. From a state of purity, when there is no good and bad, to sophistication, which comes with seduction, greed, debauchery amongst all other evils that dominate the world. On the verge of decadence she struggles, for individuality, for virtue, for her soul. In the end amidst all chaos, she unites with peace of mind, living with a sober fact that she is just one of them, and she can’t hide. That is her IDENTITY, whether she likes it or not.” – (Quote from trendland.net)

I have found that the most impressionable editorials do hint along the “dark side”.  My thought is that airing on the side of darkness gives editorials that slight edge it needs to go from cute to daring.  Because lets face it, everyone likes a good action movie…right? Vogue Italia knows this, and in 2006 shot an editorial called “State of Emergency” photographed by Steven Meisel.  Not what you would call “subtle.”

But perhaps these editorials are too dark for your taste there is another kind of editorial that never fails to catch my eye, the “fantastical editorial”.  These editorials never are around quite enough for me.  The photographs are stunning and the concepts of each picture sends my imagination reeling.  One I love in particular is “Alice Under Waterland” photographed by Elena Kalis.  Guess which picture is my favorite…

…if you guessed the photo above, you would be correct!

Magnificent. I would totally but that Alice dress now, though it probably would be way too small on me.  On another note, the blog will go on a little vacation until September 9th, as the entire operation will be on vacation.  We hope that this will not disappoint you, rather encourage you to go find some inspiration in these last precious days of summer.  But when we come back we will be in full force, for we have Fashion’s Night Out and our Opening Party happening in September.  A really exciting month, and we hope you will be able to join us.  Till then, Happy Vacation.

In a world of skimpy skirts, 5 inch high heels, layers of makeup, and some of the lowest cut dresses I have ever seen it is nice to see that some of the ideals of retro clothing is coming back. I have always been a more conservative dresser myself, that value was instilled by my parents my entire life and I am thankful they have.

Television shows such as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire are in eras where women reveled very little skin and held the air of sophistication and sensuality.  Designers like Alexandra Grecco design using these eras as her influence, and the clothing is must-have.

You can also purchase Grecco’s design on Etsy.com or if you are just looking to browse vintage designs my favorite site would definitely have to be ModCloth.com which has become a go-to shopping site lately.

Even the music goddess, Beyoncé Knowles, is keeping it retro-chic with her music video, “Why Don’t you Love Me.”  Check out those sky-high shoes.  My favorites are those patent red and neon yellow heels she wears when “clipping hedges”.

Movie from http://www.youtube.com

But one of my favorite retro indulgences has to be hats, Dior hats to be specific.  If you want to be the completely envy of women everywhere this fall having one of these hats in your possession will one-up the competition.

I mean honestly, who wouldn’t want to have a red feather concoction on their head?

And of course what blog entry can talk about retro clothes and not talk about retro shoes? Though I could just show pictures of Chanel’s impeccable line of vintage shoes I want to show you a more affordable and easier to access line of shoes by J.Crew.  I love these retro inspired looks for fall.

So it has been a dreary week here in New York and my energy has been lacking lately.  I blame the pouring rain, it doesn’t inspire any energy.  So I wanted to pick an artists whose whimsical designs and bright colors makes me want to stop and take a moment to enjoy another’s imagination.

The beautiful paper illustrations by Yulia Brodskaya is a perfect example of images that make me happy on rainy days.  Her work uses the Victorian technique of quilling, in which ribbons of paper are wrapped around a quill and are employed to create intricate designs.  This technique was used by the women of the 19th century who needed to fill up their time between tea and gin. Though Yulia would describe her work more as a type of paper graphic.

One of the drawbacks Yulia says is that her work is a 3D form, however, most of those who encounter her pieces only see it in the form of a picture taken of her work.  The detail and complexity that the 3D does give her work is not able to come through in a photo.  Though photography does allow her work and paper arts in general to receive much more exposure.

Yulia is internationally recognized for her work.  Her list of clients is extensive and includes: Neiman Marcus, Hermes, Starbucks. Nokia, Lubin perfume, Cadbury, and Target.  She has also been featured in many publications including the New York Times Magazine, Martha Stewart, and Wired.  But really, who doesn’t like clean designs such as these?  On rainy days I wish I had a Yulia Brodskaya piece in my workspace to stare at in awe.

So I am so excited that I found this amazing artist, Jason Mecier.  What Jason does is completely different from any other art created by ecological artists.  Jason asks celebrities to send their old, used junk to him and in turn Jason creates their portrait out of the junk.  He has gotten dozens of celebrities to do it already.

I mean the creativity that goes into seeing little bits of junk as paint on a masterpiece is a notion that completely escapes me, which is why I am so fascinated by his work.  I think my favorite piece is the Donald Trump portrait which is made out of old cellphones, money, buttons, and hairspray.  Classic.

He is clearly talented.  He never uses the same materials twice and yet he still has the ability to create masterful portraits that embodies each wacky character.

With that being said it is time (I’m afraid) for a little celebrity montage.

Andy Warhol

Charo

Elvira

Nicolas Cage

Scissor Sisters

Anna Nicole Smith

Stevie Nicks

Conan O’Brien

P!nk

and of course…Lady Gaga

…poor little Kermit.

Jason’s art isn’t only limited to the discarded items of the celebrity caliber.  He also uses mediums such as candy, beans, yearn, other various foodie items, pills, household objects, work items, etc. etc.  I have a feeling this man could utilize even the most insignificant of objects.  To see more of Jason’s collections visit his website.

I love multi-textured and architectural art.  By layering pieces, colors, and different degrees of sheer fabric on top of each other creates new ways of seeing the fabric.  Lindsay Taylor is another individual who understands the principles of layering and has put it to practice in her sculptures and jewelry.

Lindsay resides on the Isle of Wright in England.  Her works have been featured in many publications including Selvedge, Design Edge, and Country Living.  All of her works begin with hand dyed fabric, mainly silk or merino wool.  Then multiple techniques are applied usually over one another to create what Lindsay describes as “magic”.  Many of the techniques used are devoré, felting, appliqué, heat manipulation, freehand or machine embroidery, batik, wire and bead work.  The final product is nothing short of highly innovative, textured, and extremely beautiful.

Every little detail that you can imagine are present in her work.  The lines of the butterflies are carefully stitched into the wings, giving each individual butterfly character of its own.

One of the designers that never ceases to astound me is Alexander McQueen.  His quirky, visionary mind had no possible bound, he was always pushing the envelope.  Though I find his collections accessible for special occasions and when one would want to take a splash, his wearables are harder to incorporate into an everyday wardrobe.  But hey, if I owned one of his pieces I probably would wear it everyday…even if just in front of my own mirror.

I really don’t need to talk about him, his works speaks entirely for itself.

Fall/Winter 2010


He had an extraordinary gift for creating pieces that tipped on the side of costume in the most elegant way.  Then you look deeper and see the hint of edginess and darkness his look inspires.  If I were financially able, I would be a collector of McQueen’s pieces.

Resort 2011 (Note: Designer – Sarah Burton)  This collection captures the essence of McQueen though it was designed after McQueen’s passing in Feb. 2010)


You have a mere 2 days left to make it to the Fiber Art International exhibit in Pittsburgh.  Sadly, I did not make it to the exhibit as I was overdue in having my baby the weekend of the opening and have since been dealing with an insane summer and a new babe in my life. So I am sad that I cannot truly review this show.

Dorie Millerson

But in receiving my catalogue in the mail I was beyond delighted and so excited to see my work amongst such talented and extremely relevent fiber artists. There where plenty of familiar faces such as Dorie Millerson’s awesome crochet works and Tilleke Schwartz’s embroideries. But I was most excited by the fact that most of the work and artist’s were new to me and looked forward to researching their work further.

Erin Endicott

Of course, the incredibly beautiful Healing Sutras piece by Erin Endicott  got tons of exposure in the press and reviews as she took home the Best in show prize.  But my favorite works tended be a bit under the radar.

I love the narrative and emotional charge of Caroline Kirton’s embroidery and applique pieces that explore the time of life that her teenage daughters are in.

But perhaps my favorite work was by Ayelet Lindenstrauss Larsen.  Her work titled Embroidered Scribbles on a Page in My Notebook simply took non-sensical language &  formulas and “doodles” that might be found in a chemistry majors notebook and recreated it through stitch.  Something about the simplicity, the color, and the ambiguous nature of the text just grabbed my senses and pulled me in. I was beyond disappointed when I was not able to find any other images of Ayelet’s work online as I WANT to see more but apparently she is busy teaching mathematics to college students.

Katherine Webb

Without seeing the actual show I feel like I still got a good sense of the overall exhibit and was impressed with how well it was curated in being able to include such diverse work but also feeling quite cohesive. It seemed there was a overwhwelming amount of incredible embroidery work and quite shortage of sculptural or 3 dimensional work.  So it may simply be that these are the trends of current fiber work but I know of so much exciting work being done by men and sculptors that I hope this show  gets on their radar so that next time they can add to the diversity of the exhibit.

Claire Taylor

A few trends that I saw in the show was the number of artists that were creating narratives & political work through their fiber practices.

You can see a substantial review int he current issue of Fiberarts magazine and Embroidery .

You can also see all the work in the exhibit here and order the awesome catalogue.

Until next time keep your needle threaded!

Joetta Maue is a full time artist primarily using photography and fibers. Her most recent work is a series of embroideries and images exploring intimacy. Joetta exhibits her work throughout the United States and internationally, and authors the art and craft blog Little Yellowbird as well as regularly contributes to Mr. X Stitch. Joetta lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, baby son, two cats, a goldfish.

Lieve Jerger’s blood is laced in history, creation, and modernization of lace.  From the time that her mother taught Lieve how to hand-make lace to her current stay in San Pedro, California where she teaches L.A. based students how to make lace.

But what Lieve is really know for is her invention of copper lace: the same technique of making lace using thin copper wire as the thread.  The work is breathtaking.  You have all the delicate wonders of lace yet the effect of crafted jewelry.

She creates beautiful sculptures and windows carefully and methodically.  My favorites are her windows.  Beautiful and still, their presence changes with the dawn and dusk.

Look at the fascinating way she had to envision the spaces in the lace.  Most of the time artists are looking to fill spaces with more stuff, more noise.  Lieve uses the spaces to her advantage, they become the center of the focus rather than the afterthought.  With lace it is all about the space between, about being able to see through the piece as well as have the environment behind the piece to pierce through.  Almost as if the work is suspended in the environment. Amazing.

Her lifelike sculptures are something to behold.  Her hand creation looks almost life-like, you just want to shake it.  Or her delicate floating leaf.  Makes me look forward to the changing trees and the “crunch, crunch” when you take an Autumn walk in Central Park.

One of her  larger sculptures is the Quantum Lace Cube.  A second sun on the horizon.

An interesting fact about copper, it’s an antibacterial!  It instinctively kills potentially harmful pathogens.  Copper is able to disinfect itself every 8 hours. Thus having one of these beautiful sculptures around would benefit your health and your surrounding aesthetic.

If you have been following the Textile Arts Center’s events you may have noticed that it is obsessed with Bags for the People

Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that is reducing the use of plastic bags through sewing workshops.  These workshops are designed to educate communities on green environmental practices though creative thought.  By using donated fabrics from donated bolts, old clothing, and scraps one will sew their own reusable tote.  If you don’t know how to sew that’s ok because BFTP provides knowledgable instructors to help with basic sewing skills and tote bag patterns.

All over NYC you see stray plastic bags.  In the parks, on the sidewalks, gutters, subways, everywhere…  Furthermore, plastic bags are not an easily degradable substance.  Conventional polyethylene plastic bags do not biodegrade, however they do photo-degrade, breaking down into tiny toxic particles which can be even more harmful to the environment.  So Bags of the People have made it their mission to correct this terrible wrong.

Bags for the People was started in 2009 by 3 friends who worked at the Union Square Farmers Market and observed an unethical waste of plastic bags.   They began to hold these sewing mini workshops in the market and it took off.  The organization now collaborates with art institutes bringing their mission straight to the creative pods.

Recently, Bags for the People has secured sponsorship from Mood.  Mood will now be providing fabrics for their workshops.  Their next workshop is this Friday at the Textile Arts Center from 6pm-9pm, another in their series of workshops at the Textile Arts Center.  Only with help are we able to reduce the problem.

For more information on the plastic bag problem and how BFTP is helping to resolve it visit the BFTP website.

The Victorian Era.  When I think of the Victorian Era I always think about the magnificent dresses adorned in pearls, lace, gold brooches, feathers, beads, and ribbons.  Layer upon layer of silk, satin, and velvet in rich, royal colors: all the robin’s egg blue, scarlet red, eggplant purple, evergreen, ballet pink, and ivories you could ever desire.  Ugh, I was born in the wrong era. Though I am grateful my mother never tried to put me into one of those corsets.  Torture devices is what I would call those. I could never risk the ability to breathe deeply in order to look like an hour-glass.  Sigh…but the way fabrics were manipulated and transformed into fantastical waterfalls of fabric just mesmerize me.

Thank god I can still taste a little bit of this era with these beautiful textile necklaces.  They can be worn with any little black dress or with a plain white tee-shirt.  Either way, they make a statement on their own, “I feel pretty.”

Katherine Wardropped is an award-winning 3-D textile designer.  Her goal is to organically develop her “sculptural fabric technique” to a range of creative disciplines.  Particularly her brooches and necklaces all remind me of swirling wedding cakes.

However these necklaces are only available in London-based boutiques, though you could commission Katherine to create a masterpiece for you..if you are willing to pay a Victorian price.

If you don’t want to break the bank, then you should check out the necklaces created by Laura Su for her website Prismera.  Laura takes chiffon and other fabrics, sculpts them into ruffles, and applies vintage-style satin, ruffles, and sequins creating a modern take on Victorian high-style.