Thursday, December 11, 2014

In the current Age of the Anthropocene, defined by human interference with nature, material exploration reverts common man-made materials back into those resembling nature. And with plastics set to be the new fossils and our oceans host to the plastisphere, these new materials give the illusion of wilderness in a constructed environment. See the transformative and textural work of Sophie Rowley or the crafted, fragile destructions of Faustine Steinmetz.


Alessandro Puccinelli | Intersections
Maja Salamon by Agata Pospieszyriska | Vogue Ukraine Ocotber 2014
Sophie Rowley | Material Exploration
Elisa Sednaoui by Peter Lindbergh |  Vogue Italia, September 2012
SS15 Rodarte by Lea Colombo | Dazed Digital
Jenny Sinkaberg by Julia Hetta | Rodeo Spring 2011
Ilona Stolie by Adam Katz Sinding for Le 21eme | Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia SS2015
Draped sheet | Sasha Kurmaz
Thomas Ruff | m.a.r.s. series, 2013
Striped dress | original source unknown
Stones & River | original source unknown
Faustine Steinmetz SS15 by Philip Trendgove | Dazed Digital
Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri  | ISH 2014

views of now

Friday, December 5, 2014

We live in a visual culture yet our experience of our selves is limited visually. I can feel the expression on my face, but it is others who see them. Similarly, I can use clothes as an expression of self but it is other's who view this expression the most. My view is fleeting and obscured, with glances angled from above or a posed reflection. We see in partial what others see in full; the morning's control rather than the day's abandon.

So with a limited view, we experience our dress as much through other sensory stimuli. The swish of fringing, unexpected air gusts, or fabric swirling around your legs. Feelings of being bundled, feelings of moving freely, rippling the surface of the fabric like a duck ripples a pond. The sound of corduroy thighs or sequins jostling for a glimmer. Pulling at a pilling knit. Hitching, adjusting, smoothing and twirling; this is how we experience clothes.

Textural fabrics continue to dominant fabric trends, perhaps balancing our current visual overload with the sense of touch. Rugged knits, slubbed and nepped jerseys, natural state wovens, crafted abrasions, needled-punched denim, all offer the wearer heightened texture.

Future technologies will take the experience even further with the development of smart textiles collecting data and negotiating between our bodies and our environment, bringing us greater understanding of ourselves (Amanda Parker). We've already seen Ralph Lauren incorporate biometrics into their Polo Tech tee unveiled at the US Open this year. And today $3.5 million was granted to the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Tech in New York. This is such an exciting area of development, exploring through technology what the experience of dress could be in the future.

Henri Matisse | Papercut 1947
Carmen Kass by Philip Gay | Marie Claire Spain, July 2014


Monday, December 1, 2014

Artificial is not confined to the false or contrived with the created often an homage to the naturally occurring. The synthetic dystopian futures we imagined remain grounded with mineral textures, aged patinas and gently weighted dips and folds.

Sienna King by Agnes Llyod-Platt | Fashion Futures
Tan Ngiap Heng | long exposure dance photography
Francoise Morellet | Quadrature du Carre No. 1, 2007
Recom Arthouse and Tom Price | Liquid Simulation
Takuro Kuwata | sculpture
Amanda Murphy by Benjamin Alexander Huseby | V #92 Winter 14/15
Olafur Eliasson | Riverbed, 2014-15
Ann Sofie Back AW14 by Benjamin Mallek | Thisispaper
Alexandre Francois/ CCCLXXIX | Annees-Lumiere
Style Heroine | Flipping Sides, October 27, 2014
Martin Azua | vase with stone
Julia Bergshoeff by Karim Sadli | Poetic Justice for The New York Times T Style Winter Luxury 2014
Alexandre Francois/ CCCLXXIX | Annees-Lumiere


Thursday, November 20, 2014

My two favourite things:
1. Oxidisation. When the the fabric hits the air it blushes from lime to turquoise to denim blue. I could watch this all day.
2. Texture. While I appreciate the stitching skill required for a good resist, if it looks like the sky or resembles a stripe, I love it. Wrap it, dip it and hello doughnut.

Shibori, natural dye and organic indigo dye workshops are held at the Plant Craft Cottage, Royal Botanical Garden, Melbourne. 


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A spiderweb of shredded denim and a corset rising from a sea of ribbons. Destruction and elevation of the ordinary.

The beauty of Jean Paul Gaultier is the hope he gives the ordinary. It is worth going to the exhibition just to see the exquisite detail of each piece, but what I really love are his ideas. This is not a prescriptive fashion. This is not same, same but different. This is the variety of the ordinary and the beauty of the different found in all of us.

Once was not enough for me.
Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Open daily until February 8, 2015.

Also on the highly recommended list is the Advanced Style documentary featuring seven gorgeous women who make ageing look damn fine. I saw this before going to the exhibition and the same spirit of defiance against definition exists in the two. There is a freedom that comes with creativity and style that often can be missing in fashion.

Own images of the exhibition.


Thursday, October 30, 2014


Menzi Burgler Architeketen, photo by Rasmus Norlander  | Evangelical Reformed Church, Wurenlos
Margrethe Mather | Combs, 1931
Giedre Dukauskaite by James Macari | Cover Me for Marie Claire UK, September 2014
Michael Pfisterer | Arbeitsplatz #3, collage
Chillhiro via flickr | Potted Plants, June 23, 2011
Querelle Jansen by Sigurd Grunberger | La Panthere Rose for Grazia France, 29th August 2014
Shinichi Maruyama | Nude #1, 2012
Ryan Lauderdale | Metaxis, spraypaint on glass, 2012
Kirsten Owen by Josh Olins | Dazed & Confused, September 2013
Colette Griffin | Folded sculpture
Alicia Galer | Forestry Print
Harry Roseman | Folded Plywood 15
Simon Astridge Architects | The Plywood House
Laura Daza | Cosmetica


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When contemporary work is made, at what point does time require it to belong to the past rather than the present?

As a temporal medium, dance must be performed to remain in existence. But whilst the work remains relatively unchanged, time enters the relationship, shifting and influencing perceptions and performance.

Over the weekend I saw a retrospective of Trisha Brown repertoire, with works spanning from 1983 to 2011. As a postmodern choreographer, she gave herself 'permission to invent'. To invent indicates newness; searching for unknown answers. I wonder what she thinks of her older works now, works that have shaped the language of contemporary dance performed to audiences that have become familiar with her form. No longer contemporary works, but holding such value as moments in time.

Fashion has a similar temporality to dance. It is bound to a time and season. Created and worn displaying parallels with created and performed. It is when there is permission to invent and freedom to move fluidly through the references time provides that true newness is discovered. Raf Simons for Dior has done just this. Susie wrote a beautiful summary over here.

Dior | Spring/ Summer 2015
Malgosia Bela by Josh Olins | Shape Shifters, WSJ, June 2013

keep everything

Monday, October 6, 2014

Everyday fragments confettied, celebrating the undoing of editing.
With so much to filter, we have become adept at choice. What happens to the creative process when the outcome is to keep everything?

A designer and a choreographer both asked the same question.
Phoebe Philo for S/S'15 Celine was interested in the risk of uncertainty in the creative process as freedom from our obsession with editing. Whilst some saw this as a lack of cohesion, I really like the idea of allowing for creative chaos as a way of revealing latent synapses in the search of epiphanies and sense. It reminds me of one of my favourite dance works, Antony Hamilton's Keep Everything for Chunky Move.


Sam Rollinson by Alasdair McLellan | The Gentlewoman #10, Autumn/Winter 2014


Saturday, October 4, 2014

When clothes are reduced to categories, disconnect for me begins. In analysing catwalk trends there is a danger of sorting, explaining and reducing what is seen. And while my livestream seat is excellent, the filtering of sensory experience through a screen is a kind of mimesis. A glorious portal, but a reality once-removed, perhaps contributing to my disconnect. Even if I was there, chances are I'd be a back seat viewer, which makes me wonder which I would prefer, to see the clothes or to see the show?

The tension between the two is an evolving conversation and I'd recommend Angelo Flaccavento and Alexander Fury for further reading.

As humans we desire newness. From the fashion industry, we demand it. So the pursuit begins, ending for many with the catwalks. That is why I find myself filtering inspiration to be produced and then sold. It is a business first. Last week, I got lost ticking trend boxes, making connections between products, assimilating ideas. I forgot why I chose this.

It's never going to be just about the clothes. For some that is their love. For me, it's about humanity. It is our creativity, expression and practicality. Clothes are important because someone has created it and someone wears it. As simple and complex as that. 

I'm interested to read this book looking at these questions:

Gary Hume | Older, 2002
Osma Harvilahti | Laundry, Kenya, 2013
Hiro (Yasuhiro Wakabayashi) | Black evening dress in flight, NY, 1963
Osma Harvilahti | Pool, Dioulasso, 2014


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

There are just so many clothes. 
I worry that by helping in the creation of choices I'm not helping people choose. 
All I want to do is sit on the grass and stare at the clouds.

See the making of the beautiful mossy carpet used in Dries Van Noten's show here.

Alexandra Kehayoglou for Dries Van Noten | Spring/Summer 2015 
Luisa Brimble | Wattle
Zara | Blouse

Brush strokes

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Emma Oak by Stefan Zschernitz | Stylist France #58, 28th August 2014
Lisa Sorgini | Captum Orchis
Iana Godnia, Dasha Gold, Carly Moore and Anna Piirainen by Driu & Tango | WSJ, September 2014
Sean Woolsey | Art
Ana Beatriz Barros by Jason Lee Parry | Malibu Magazine, September 2014
Roksanda Ilincic Backstage | Fall/Winter 2014, London Fashion Week


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Digipressionism? Psychedelicate? A remastering of borrowed images, disrupting the visual order and confusing the authorship.


Katrin Thormann by Erik Madigan Heck | Into the Woods, Harper's Bazaar UK, September 2014


Friday, August 22, 2014

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Pre-Summer 2015 |
Michael Chase, Area of Interest | Peeling paint
Simon Davidson | Burnouts
Pierre Soulages | painting
Vodafone Building Porto, Portugal by Barbosa & Guimaraes | Concrete close-up
Nicholas Alan Cope & Dustin Edward Arnold | Process Journal
Carmelo Blandino | Painting
Marco Reichert | Painting
Lada Kravchenko by Sven Baenziger | Lo Sport for Grazia Italia, 25th June 2014


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The human image is increasingly being viewed in 2D. Our selves are turned into selfies; our multi-sensory world filtered to focus on screens.

The first human captured in a photo was in 1838 in Paris by Louis Daguerre (AnOther). We currently live in a world of around 7.25 billion people, with just under 3 billion having internet access. Over 20 billion photos have been shared on instagram, 83.1 billion posts on tumblr, 30 billion pins on Pinterest and 100 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute. There is more content than people to see it.

In our increasingly visually literate culture, what does it mean to transform our human likeness into flat, 2D images? Benjamin Schwartz for the New Yorker asked "Hey, would you mind taking a quick sculpture of me and my family?" Do we become less human because an image is static, a captured reflection in time? And if so, has the woman in a photoshopped editorial become purely image, a constructed shape on a page?

Jacquelyn Jablonski by Glen Luchford | AnOther Magazine, F/W 2010
Louis Deguerre via AnOther | Tish Wrigley, The World on the Street, AnOther, August 19, 2014
Current world population | GeoHive
Internet statistics | Internet Live Stats and Internet World Stats 
Instagram | Press page
Tumblr | Digital Market Ramblings
Pinterest | Digital Marketing Ramblings
Youtube | Youtube Press
Benjamin Schwartz | Conde Nast Collection


Monday, August 11, 2014

Rugged surfaces make for adventurous playgrounds, be they in paint or fabric.


Anna Jagodzinska by Lachlan Bailey | The Gray Lady, WSJ, September 2014
Conrad Jon Godly | Paintings including o.t.studien, sol, sol studien 

Future Sailors

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Deep space and oceanic depths hold dark oases of mystery, launching our next frontier communities and creative endeavours. Seasteading creates independent, self-ruling floating cities; the preparation to colonise Mars is underway. And back on earth, time has shattered from linear chronology to an amalgamation of moments and references.

Fascination with the past and the future is nothing new. We travel in and out of time, collecting references as we go. It's just that at each moment we stand at the furtherest point out into the unknown, accumulating more and more time behind us, accumulating more historical data from which to draw from. While some seek out new frontiers, we all live on the precipice of time.

See Raf Simon's collection for Christian Dior Fall Couture 2014 for an excellent example of blurring chronologies and the creation of new forms from the past and imagined future.

Catherine McNeil by Benjamin Lennox | Magnetique, Numero #155, August 2014
Seasteading | The Seasteading Institute
The Mars Mission | Mars One
Christian Dior Fall Couture 2014 | Collection and Review
And a bit of Boosh... | Future Sailors


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A uniform marks you as belonging to something. There is an identity, whether by choice or prescription. Tribes, teams, students and inmates all are identified by uniform elements. Does the sense of identity differ if the decision to belong is made for you? Is being swept up in a team victory any different from becoming faceless in a school assembly? I'm curious if the perceived worth of particular emotions override the loss of individual identity. And even if the lessening of individuality is in fact a loss.

Uniforms not only give the wearer an identity, but also to some extent, equality. Within your tribe, you are all marked the same. Your visual identity is consistent. To what degree you accept and uphold this consistency must surely rest on whether you chose to belong. Just ask any school student the myriad of  modifications they can make to subvert uniform policies. So even then within large tribes, smaller tribes form, further marking themselves. Creating a uniform identity.

In Huxley's Brave New World, the idea of prescribed identity and uniformity is foundational to their society. Fascinating and terrifying, and providing me with plenty of clouds in my daydreams.

Nicole Pollard by Georges Antoni | Rush for Elle Australia, July 2014
Aldous Huxley | Brave New World


Friday, July 25, 2014

Long-worn clothes become part of our identity. The preservation is not in the physical garment but in the wearing and becoming part of us. Because in the wearing, comes the fading and decay. Textures evolve; they become bonded, they fray. Colour fades, the spectrum seems to narrow in on a dirty medium. Ximon Lee was inspired by the dress of Russian street children for his Parson's graduation collection, creating the proportional and textural juxtapositions of found and worn remnants.

I particularly liked his use of monochromatic layering of indigo, adding depth and shadow to the sandwich board shapes, whilst allowing the textures of the seemingly scavenged fabric to be revealed. 

This shadow play is also found in the Japanese resist dyeing technique Katazome of using rice flour paste and stencils to create layered textiles. Well worth further research here or here or here.

Naito Hideharu | Katazome dyeing on linen
Ola Rudnicka by Richard Bush | Numero #152 April 2014
d-Arkroom | Centuplum, Was ist Metaphysik?, via behance
Michael Chase | area of interest, 13 May 2012
Michael Chase | area of interest, 22 May 2012
Michael Chase | area of interest, 1 May 2012
Nicholas Hawker | Observations, published 16 July 2014


Friday, July 11, 2014

Moss cushions its surrounds, providing a sense of calm and age. For this reason its use is encouraged  in Japanese gardens. We interact increasingly with the hard surfaces of technology so it's no wonder that we seek stillness and softness, wrapping ourselves in brushed knits, blurring silhouette lines.

Andreea Diaconu by Josh Olins | Isabel Marant Pre-Fall 2014 Lookbook 
Photo of Tree Bark | Google Images, origignal source unknown
Michael Chase | Area of Interest,14 jun 2012
Jean Campbell by Bruce Weber | Meet Me in Montauk, UK Vogue, October 2013
Jonathon Levitt | Grass
Michel Belleua | Verticalite

Lena Koller | Photo of vegetables


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Graffiti gives us a public form of declaration. Literally meaning scratched, from the Italian graffiato, it etches its design into the surface providing a state of permanence. Perhaps this permanence counterbalances the temporariness of life. We want to declare our existence, our love and our loyalties.

But it seems like it is no longer enough to say I woz here. Now we seek out witnesses by asking follow@me. Pseudonym tags like hipster slayer and alien wizard are sharing wall space with follow@jacinta312. Declarations are no longer cloaked in mystery for only some to understand, they are seeking a connection. Maybe the permanence offered through etching your existence on a wall is no longer enough. What is a declaration if there is no response?

Jess Gold by Nicole Bentley | Her Story, Marie Claire Australia, July 2014


Sunday, June 15, 2014

To splice is to join or to insert, altering the current structure to form a new combination. It can disrupt a previously seamless whole to become something fragmented and abstracted. The new seams cannot be hidden even with the smoothest join. But rather than scar the new formation, surely it is preferable for it to become part of the new, like smile lines worn through the decades. Lines that are worn, not hidden.

Some great resources that imagine how our current structures of society may look when spliced with new ideas:
Viewpoint magazine, the article-based cousin to Textile View. My favourite.
NewPhilosopher magazine
And of course, anything by Lidewij Edelkoort or The Future Laboratory.

Coat Tails | Lina Zhang by Marcus Ohlsson for Marie Claire, June 2012
The second image I could only track down as far as tumblr (where many good images go to live uncredited) but here it is on pinterest. If you know the credits, please let me know and so I can update. Thanks!

Mouvement de Mode

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Square pegs and round holes are a perfect visual match, with one balancing out the other. Balancing is not a static activity. There is movement and pause, tension and harmony. The roundness of one interrupting the the angled planes of the other.



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Force of Nature | Nathalia Oliveira by Nicole Bentley for Marie Claire Australia, June 2014
Margaux Roy | Photography
The Incinerator by Acme & Co, Sydney | via Yellowtrace
Beth Hoeckl | Black Arches
Pauline Chardin | The Voyageur
Timo Weiland | Fall 2014 Inspiration, via NY Mag 


Friday, May 30, 2014

A salted sea palette, faded blues and bleached sand.

Two excellent visual references for palette inspiration:
Salt by Emma Phillips, a collection of photos featuring the crystalline white landscape of the Australian salt mines. The textural contrasts of white under a blue sky are particularly soothing.
Margaux Roy's beautiful minimalist photography.

Collage References
Santa Barbara | Ashleigh Good and Andreea Diaconu by Josh Olins for UK Vogue, June 2014
Margaux Roy | Photography


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In a world of brands and personal brands, the concept of the anonymous maker seems dated. There seems little commercial sense in being unable to claim profits or popularity. Yet by removing the maker's mark you are left with the identity formed in the product.

Whose identity speaks loudest in most of our products today? Without a label or logo, could we tell which brand or designer it belonged to? Copyright is a pervasive issue facing the fashion industry, as are the issues of ethical manufacturing and sustainability.

Anonymity releases us. It can release us to focus on the creative process, like Phoebe Philo who avoids media attention as everything she has to say is in her product (American Vogue, March 2013). But it can also release us of responsibility. We marked the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy last month. This is an issue we all share and one in which there are no benefits to anonymity.

For further reading on Rana Plaza you could start here:
Rana Plaza | Clean Clothes Organisation / Rana Plaza Arrangement

And these thoughts were prompted by a visit to the Fashion Detective exhibition at the NGV. It looks to uncover clues in the discovery of couturier's unmarked work. Exhibition on until 31st August, 2014.

Sojourner Morrell by Steven Pan | Double #23 Spring 2012
Russell Leng | Painting, New Nature Systems 8
Also, Russell has a great tumblr for further inspiration.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions. Coco Chanel.

To play with proportions plays with our sense of ease. Volume can equally create space for visibility or invisibility. Cocooning can feel comforting or claustrophobic.

The relationship between fashion and architecture exists because of the centrality of people to the creative purpose. Both practices negotiate the space in which we live, whether it is the larger space in which we exist or the smaller one that we wear. Both deal with creative and commercial constraints. And both, at their most successful, achieve space for us to revel in our humanity, in all our variety and splendour.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

American Gothic | Edie Campbell by David Sims for Vogue March 2014

A study in Surface

Friday, February 14, 2014

To consider colour, one must first consider the surface to which it is applied. Refracted light creates shapes and shadows which move in time with the light source. Light dancing on the surface of gold is almost impossible for the eye to ignore.

Jeneil Williams by Txema Yeste | On the Rocks, Numero #150, February 2014
Chris Wiley | 20, 2012, via Nicelle Beauchene Gallery
Shu Pei by Bojana Tatarska | Glass Magazine, Fall/Winter 2012
Giles Miller Studio | Innovative Surface Design
Georgia May Jagger by Nick Knight | Always & Forever, Garage #6, Spring/ Summer '14


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lindsey Wixon by Greg Kadel | Numero #150, February 2014

A study of movement

Movement can only be suggested in an image, yet by remaining static allows the viewer to to be in control of the possibilities. We see the gestural brushstrokes, evidence of physicality, or the consequence of natural forces, and then that image becomes whatever we imagine. The artist hands over the possibility of movement to the viewer.

Daria Werbowy By Daniel Jackson | The Face Of Beauty Now:  For Harper's Bazaar February 2014
Michael SchlegelStreaming through Black Sand II - Iceland, 2011
Doris Salcedo | Shibboleth, Turbine Hall, Tate, 2007
Seon Ghi Bahk | Water Plate
Photograph | Bloom #14
Amy Judd | Beautifully Obscure
Kate McGwire | Flail, 2013
Mariacarla Boscono by Peter Lindbergh | Vogue Italia, January 2014
RUVEN AFANADOR | Exhibition: Mil BesosEstudio de Baile Alicia Marquez, Outside of Sevilla, Spain, 2007
Pierre Soulages | Painting
Li Xiao Xing by Johan Sandberg | Rodeo Magazine, October 2013
James Booth | Spotlight Taken at London Zoo, July 22, 2013, via Flickr
Karl Martens | Bird
Zelir | Black Orchid, via DeviantArt
Raegan Bird | The Rush of Melting Igloos, March 27, 2011, via Flickr
Whitney Ott | Photography, Food: Dark


Audrey Marnay by Herb Ritts | Enchanted Evening, US Vogue, September 1999
Alex Wek by Gilles Bensimon | Elle USA, March 1999

A Study in Shape

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A line is an unbroken stretch upon which the eye can travel. Travel straight and there is a sense of definition and completion, while arch lines seem softer, mimicking natural forms and undulations. Repetition stimulates and soothes through pattern recognition.

Fan Ho | Approaching shadow, Hong Kong Yesterday, 1954
Michael Kenna or on Artsy | Conical Hedges, Versailles, France, 1988
William Keck | Reflection and Mirroring, 1939
Catherine Wales | Project DNA 
Angela Lindvall by Karl Lagerfeld | Chanel Fall, 1999
Izis Bidermanas | Lagny, 1959 
Gwen Los by Michael Sanders | It's a breeze, Marie Claire, UK, January 2014
Marlene Dietrich by Milton H Greene | Photo 1952

A Study in Texture

A study in texture becomes a study in contrasts; soft, linear folds enveloped by nubbly tufts, the cool drape of one encased by the coarse warmness of the other. Or is the pile plush rather than coarse? Either way, a contrast of texture within the same palette allows the eye to freely explore differences and gain relief without the competing factor of colour.

Vanessa Jackman | Street Shot
Bradley Walker Tomlin | No.8, 1952
Chad Wys | Arrangement in Skintones 8, 2011
Michel Blazy | Bouquet Final Installation, via Afflante
Satsuki Shibuya | Photo
Rick Poon for Cereal Magazine | Griffith Observatory, LA
Dimitris Lantzounis | Shipwreck @ Zante, Aug 12, 2012

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