Friday, 17 May 2013
I felt that the womenswear group worked well as a collective, with similar ideas, good communication and a willingness to compromise. I felt our prints worked well together and our designs fitted well as a collection. Attendance in general was good meaning we could discuss ideas and developments regularly which was useful.
However I felt as a whole, there were some domineering personalities within the group, with an unwillingness to compromise, to the detriment of our overall designs and presentation. I felt that I was one of the only people to sample as well as contributing fabrics to the fabric board and buying and sharing fabrics to sample with. It was a difficult task to combine mens and womenswear as well as 6 peoples individual concepts which meant cooperation and compromise was key in creating a well-gelled collection. I wasn't particularly pleased with the result and was disappointed that Paul and Sarah thought the same.
I printed Vikki and Jess' designs onto jersey and organza as they aren't inducted into the print room and we wanted print samples for the presentation. I also printed my own print design. Print design and sampling was my main role as well as designing and combining everyones concepts. I also focused on defining and illustrating the muse, trying to make sure she fitted with the DKNY brand and aesthetic. I felt the presentation went ok and that we spoke well as a group and coherently but i felt the boards were too cluttered and had a 'home made' feel and that it could have been more professional. I also felt the designs were too busy and agreed with paul that important ideas had been overlooked. However I did like the hook fastenings which Paul felt weren't DKNY. I feel there were not enough sampling to illustrate Nicci's ideas which is perhaps why they didn't seem to work for DKNY.
I want to continue Sarah's pleats inspired by architecture and Vikki's triangle print into my own designs and final line up as I think these ideas work well together and we all had similar shapes in our initial designs. I have learnt that I want my presentation to be minimal and clear and have learnt a lot about presentation of samples and presentation in general. It was useful to see the selected groups final boards and designs as inspiration and a learning curve.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
I saw Alice McCall's new collection today on Vogue's Facebook page. I've never looked into her work properly, put was struck by the bright colours and varied hemlines. Alice McCall took her inspiration from Russian babushka dolls for Spring/Summer 2012, with bold floral prints, embellishment and a colour palette of white, blue and red. The clean edges combined with traditional, folkish detailing are what I really love, making her theme modern and wearable.
Saturated needlepoint floral motifs, romantic cotton voile lace, complete with miniature applique buds, 'fit-and-flare silhouettes and prim elbow-length sleeves were a nod to traditional Hungarian dress'. But my favourite details the stiff scalloped edging, sheer under-skirts and over-layers and floral digital prints and neon colours.
I want to work out my signature style.
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Today my boyfriend showed me Brian Eno's "Thursday Afternoon" on Youtube and I found it to be an absolutely fascinating piece of video art.
He calls it a video-painting and also composes the music to accompany the images. Video for Eno is like a form of painting with light. The images shift slightly and slowly, then fade in and out. The images themselves are very carefully selected. In "Thursday Afternoon" showcases the body and face of a woman, in different postures and poses. It's really relaxing and helps the viewer to sit back and focus on the slow transformations that take place throughout our lives.
It was made in 1984 and features seven "video paintings" of actress and photographer Christine Alicino, a friend of Eno's, and has a running time of 82 minutes. It was filmed in "vertical format" which meant the viewer had to turn the television on its side which, in many cases, affected the picture tube's color purity adjustments. The DVD reissue presents it in both portrait and landscape formats so that this is no longer necessary.
The content is a series of images that stay static for some time and then slowly move forward, often to pause again. Various video techniques were implemented, such as image feedback, to create a very different interpretation of video and the nude.
"I was delighted to find this other way of using video because at last here's video which draws from another source, which is painting .... I call them 'video paintings' because if you say to people 'I make videos', they think of Sting's new rock video or some really boring, grimy 'Video Art'. It's just a way of saying, 'I make videos that don't move very fast"
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Today I had a film developed that I took with a wide-angled lens on my Konica Minolta SLR, whilst expploring the Northern Quarter during the snow. I am intrigued by the knocked down or decaying buildings of this area and the hidden back alleys that are often ignored. These images are really useful in developing ideas for the new Unit X project based in the Northern Quarter. Our project is based upon the graffiti and artist groups around these streets and highlighting the back alleys, making unseen places exciting, waiting to be discovered. These pictures highlight the areas we want to base our work within and I'm really pleased with how they came out, considering it was the first time I had used the wide-angle lens.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Today I went to the Manchester City gallery once again with a friend who had come to stay. I saw quite a few new and exciting exhibits this time, including a stunning Vivienne Westwood wedding gown opposite to an authentic 18th century dress, a beautiful Victorian doll's house and a fascinating retrospective of South African photographer Roger Ballen.
The two pieces that really stood out to me though were a painting by James Dickson Innes called Bala Lake and the work of Valette, which I had never seen before. Bala Lake is in North Wales, where my father is from and that I have visited many times, and was painted in 1911. I love the broad, fluent brushstrokes and bright colours, which perfectly capture the lushness of Wales. The combination of burnt orange and muddy teal blue are so beautiful along with the dark lilac, three colours I would never put together.
Valette's work really fascinated me too. He perfectly captured the miserable, yet atmospherically beautiful nature of Manchester's streets and canals and it was fascinating to see paintings of All Saints park all those years ago. My favourite paintings were of the canals on their tall rectangular canvases which seemed quite modern for their time. I hadn't realised Manchester had it's own impressionist artist, but the more I think about it the more perfectly suited Manchester is to Impressionism.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Friday, 23 March 2012
Monday, 19 March 2012
My boyfriend and I took a trip to Salford yesterday in the hope of going to the Sunday market at Islington Mill. However, it was completely deserted so we decided to explore Salford. There didn't seem to be alot to do on Mothering Sunday in Salford so we left pretty quickly but not before I snapped these picture on my Konica Minolta analog SLR, I got my film developed today. I was inspired by the once beautiful but now dilapidated buildings and the high rise council flats stark against the skyline. My favourite building was the Old Bank Theatre (3rd image down).
This is a comment on a local blog from John Tindall:
"I used to work for The National Bank Ltd in Piccadilly, Manchester. Every now and then I would have to travel to the National Bank, Chapel Street, Salford, to stand in for staff on holiday. This is the building that became the theatre. But originally is was an Irish bank that carried most of the Roman Catholic accounts in Manchester including those of the cathedral."
This could be an exciting venue for future collaborations, exhibitions or events...
Saturday, 17 March 2012
A friend and I recently visited the cotton exhibition at the Whitworth Gallery, mainly because I was desperate to see the work of Yinka Shonibare. Sadly I was a little disappointed by both its displaying and scale.
But there were many other interesting pieces in the gallery such as a projection onto two flowing draped pieces of silk. Then projection was of sari fabrics being swirled through the air and slowed down to create beautiful bold colours that flowed into one another gradually.
Another exciting work was a length of fabric created by artist Anne Wilson and Lancashire and American communities. The fabric is said to "address the vast disconnect between,
buyer, product, maker and wearer". This is an interesting idea and I want to look into more socially conscious concepts and aspects in my work. The colour combinations in the weave were also inspiring and showed lots of experimentations that worked really well. I would like to explore weave and its techniques further.
I was also thrilled to see Paula Rego's prints in the flesh from the downsized "Dark Matters" exhibition. The attention to detail and quality of line were just stunning, the speckled background would make a beautiful fabric print, and her illustrations would be perfect inspiration for a dark twisted collection based upon fairytales, which are very popular within cinema at the moment.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Today we were lucky enough to get tickets to see Matthew Williamson in conversation with Colin McDowell as part of Fashion Fringe and it was so inspiring! I'm not a massive fan of Williamson's work but I found his story really inspiring and motivating and made me reconsider my approacch to the course at the moment.
His mmain emphasis was upon self belief and motivation. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you expect others to buy into your ideas and designs? He also had a lot of support from his family and partner, with his parents moving into his tiny bedsit to help stitch and label his first deigns under his own name, after leaving Monsoon to set up the Matthew Williamson brand, which recieved such success that they struggled to keep up with the demand both in production and financially. It just showed to me how much you need to be willing to sacrifice in order to gain success and the risks he was willing to take, a drive I feel I have lost this year by being held back by other things.
It was also interesting to hear about his work experience in his 3rd year, in New York with Zhandra Rhodes, something I need to organise for the summer, or atleast next easter. He created his final collectuion mainly from offcuts he found in Rhodes' studio which I found quite amusing. "Waste not want not". It was during his work experience that he became fascinated with Indian culture and the idea of "turning something poor into something really rich". He left Central Saint Martins in 1994 and spent 3 years with Monsoon, then leaving to begin his eponymous label. I found it reassuring when he commented that only students ask what grade he graduated with, that employers are focused upon your portfiolio and experience. I took many helpful tips from the talk, aswell as a lot of inspiration.
Thursday, 8 March 2012
The much anticipated Marni for H&M collection was released in selected high street stores today and I'm pleased to say one of them was in Manchester! I was there at 10.00am queuing up to enter the Marni part of the store which had been sectioned off with barriers, a guard and a queuing area! The first lot of shoppers were allowed in as they had come earlier to get their wristbands and were given 10 minutes browsing time and 5 minutes to try on garments, but were allowed to take in one of each item, which was then swapped by an assistant on the shop floor if it didn't fit. This controlled mania for clothing seemed so bizarre! I tried to imagine what it would be like to have the general public pining after an item by your label, and waiting from 7am to get their hands on it. I wasn't that dedicated, but still went pretty early in the hope of getting the black chunky flower necklace for myself and the mustard PVC and grey jersey t-shirt or mustard leather bag for my friend Willa who kindly reminded me and placed her order the night before... I managed to get both the necklace and top and know they were both money well spent!
The pieces all featured typical Marni motifs, print, cuts and accessories, a summary of the brand and why consumers adore it distilled into one collection. I love how the clothes are cut, in particular a dress with batwing-esque sleeves that became voluminous towards the back to add a quirk to a simple cotton dress. I want to try out more minimalist shapes but add certain detailing and cuts to make them stand out as my own designs.
Thursday, 1 March 2012
"There is no other industry more entwined with escapism than fashion.
It is essential to fashion's appeal and commerciality. From advertising to the catwalk, magazines to street style blogs, the selling power is in fantasy and creating a brand vision. Fashion is all about experiencing escapism and self expression through the outlet of clothing.
It is the show that creates a fantastical aura around the clothing and brand they are showcasing, with otherworldly models, dramatic lighting, emotive music and of course the catwalk itself.
Over at London Fashion Week McQ by Alexander McQueen presented their very first runway show for the spin off label, in a hope to bring it up to the design aesthetic and quality of the main label, rather than as a casual diffusion line. The runway was dusted with autumnal leaves, and intense lighting as ghostly models floated through the rustling leaves. Suzie Lau of 'Style Bubble' described the finale, with lead model Kristen McMenamy "emerging on to the dried leaf covered catwalk and standing there, illuminated like a Titania-esque statue with leaves falling from above. She then looks up bewildered and lost and finds nestled under the leaves, a rope that guides her to a dramatic reveal of a woodland scene and into a curious looking hut."
New York Fashion week saw the models at Marc Jacobs' show wandering through an exquisite ruined castle formed solely of paper. The magical set cast haunting bold shadows across the stage and took a day and a half to construct and two days to install. It was designed and created Rachel Feinstein, a sculptor who has previously modelled for Jacobs. He recruited her as set designer after seeing the installation 'Puritan's Delight', a dark and mythical wooden sculpture of a broken carriage, like an image straight from Grimm's Fairytales. Feinstein explained “He said, 'No castles, no fairytales—I want ruins, I want grottoes, I want, kind of like the Marie Antoinette version of a ruin.'"
Of course I have to mention last season at Chanel, where Lagerfeld plummeted the Grand Palais underwater, complete with coral, giant fish and Florence Welch emerging from a giant clam to perform. All this done in a palette of stark white. Would you expect anything else? Although the collection was a little disappointing, it was the catwalk show that kept the bloggers writing and the image of an underwater paradise that will sell the collection this spring.
Perhaps fashion is more about presenting an escape through clothing, than the actual garments themselves?"
Friday, 24 February 2012
We have just held the MOSI fashion show and it feels like all our hard work has finally paid off.
Fashion Show Evaluation
For the MOSI fashion show I was part of the catwalk group. I help by sourcing wine glasses to use for the reception before the show, contacting Gorton Tesco and Fallowfield Sainsbury's about their free glass hire and the deposits required. We later decided that the deposit of £210 for 280 glasses was too high. Instead I contacted John Hobson, a relative who works at the Hollings campus as a lecturer for the Hospitality Management course, to see whether it would be possible to borrow the university glasses at a lower deposit fee. At this point it was decided that we would be allowed to use plastic cups to serve the wine so I was able to source them from an events supply company for £13.13.
Another aspect I contributed to was suggesting fitting music for the catwalk. We wanted darker music, with a build up to a heavy beat to set the models pace, which was in-keeping with the theme of industry and machinery. I know there were a few issues regarding several DJ's cancelling however this was quickly resolved. We discussed the ordering of outfits as a group, organising them into the more floaty or dreamlike garments as the opening garments, leading onto the brighter outfits and finally into blacks and greys. The first and last outfits were by Amelia Ashley and Aimee Barrow, which i think worked well as the structure and size of Amelia's is gave a dramatic opening and the flowing fabric and length of Aimee's linked to the couture shows that traditionally close with a long (typically wedding) dress. Next time I would perhaps swap Alice and Aimee's ordering, making Alice's garment the closing outfit due to the original design and stage presence perhaps having more effect.
On the day of the show, I helped to move the speakers down into the changing room. I worked backstage dressing and assisting models and rearranged the racking order with Marianne, by grouping the outfits in order by which model would be wearing them for each change to avoid confusion when they were initially removed from the rails in complete running order. I also set up and served the wine. We originally wanted to hand out one raffle ticket to each guest on the list which would entitle them to a glass of wine. Due to only having one guest list, which Samantha required, it was a slow process handing out the tickets and guests became bored and confused waiting in the lobby. We decided to discard the idea as there were plenty of beverages and it was better to run out than have wastage. Another issue was that the wine bought was two variations of white, rather than the usual red and white. Next time we would obviously have both types and it would be discussed in the group before purchase.
Reflecting upon our first indoor show, I feel it went well despite the minor glitches mentioned. The music and ordering ran smoothly and the spacing meant that there was time for models to be dressed and on the catwalk even if they had up to three changes. Next time I would like more involvement in the PR side of the show as I didn't seem to touch upon that. We would also have more organisation regarding greeting guests and arranging where they could wait before being seated as there was a lack of communication or planning regarding this.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
"An evening that had the potential for sparks to fly didn’t disappoint, as iconic bassist Peter Hook met with long term friend, colleague and occasional rival, Kevin Cummins, the legendary photographer responsible for documenting Joy Division and the images within the current incredibly popular EXEMPLAR exhibit, currently on show at Manchester Photographic.Alongside representatives from the BBC, MEN, local press and the families of both Peter and Kevin, one hundred and fifty fortunate ticket holders were in attendance to witness the event, compared by Liverpudlian author and former manager of The Farm, Kevin Sampson, who carefully directed conversation, beginning with the origins of the band as Hooky reminisced over passing up the chance to be called ‘Stiff Kittens’, before choosing Warsaw and then finally Joy Division.Conversation flowed, as Peter discussed the focus of the band in the early days, taking their music far more seriously than some of the avant-garde acts that they shared stages with. Appreciating that they needed to develop their sound, their work with producer Martin Hannett was not accepted by the whole band to start with, however, the dark brooding atmosphere created on Unknown Pleasures set the band apart from their peers.It was then Kevin’s chance to disclose his role in developing the bands image through his iconic photography. The story goes that on the day of the infamous photo shoot in the snow streets of Hulme, Manchester, he was supposed to be at Maine Road to watch City play in the FA Cup, only for the game to be cancelled due to the weather. Within the resulting photoshoot, Kevin was to take the defining pictures of the band, capturing the bleak and sparse atmosphere that worked so fittingly alongside the music.Culminating in a short Q&A session, giving the audience a chance to quiz Peter and Kevin any burning questions, and to Peter’s dismay, he discovers that some train spotters are also Joy Division fans.The evening drew to a close with a book signing and an opportunity for fans to meet their heroes. It was clear that those present are still enthused by the band, and this evening had witnessed something extremely special, as two of Manchester’s greatest icons offered a rare insight into a group that retains it’s cult status. Joy Division continue to enthral each generation that discovers their unmistakable music, and their influence lives on after over 30 years, in many ways thanks to the iconic photographs that documented their plight as musicians and individuals."Written by Simon Bray
Saturday, 18 February 2012
I recently visited friends in London and we went to many exhibitions, including Grayson Perry's show at the British Museum and the Dazed and Confused exhibit at Somerset House, however it was the Wallace Collection just off Oxford Street that I really loved. I have been waiting to see it for years but never got round to going. I was not disappointed. The Rococo rooms upstairs were spectacular, extravangantly furnished and decorated, the walls crammed with paintings by the most famous 18th and 19th Century artists. They were not particularly well displayed but reflected the Wallace family's obsessive collecting and showmanship.
However the rooms containing Francois Boucher's work were carefully planned out and beautifully displayed. They certainly did not disappoint. It was brilliant to see the paintings in the flesh and i noticed so many details you simply don't see in books. My favourite was the portrait of Madame de Pompadour, who has long fascinated me since my fascination with 18th century France began after watching Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette". I also loved the poster in the next room, advertising a 'yard sale' at Versaille Palace during the French Revolution, where the family purchased several of Marie Antoinette's tea-sets amongst other items, which were displayed alongside.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
This week I have focused on developing my digital print on Photoshop for my final piece. I have combined a brown motif of an atomic mushroom cloud with yellow marigolds, selecting the flower to tie in with my colour scheme. As you can see I have tried to vary the scale of the motifs as it had quite a flat and uniform look to it previously and this has given it a camouflaged look, tying in nicely with my theme of war, peace and the atomic bomb.
I am going to experiment with using filters on photoshop to create a more abstract pattern as well as the blurring tool. I also need to get rid of the white gaps you can see, but don't want to just plonk a layer on top as it will ruin the subtlety built up by the under and overlaying.
The digital print workshop helped me greatly when considering my print, its scale and colour. Next I need to look into fabrics and costings.
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Recently I have become fascinated with three posters I purchased from the Chinese Craft Centre in China Town. They seem quite bizarre to western eyes, featuring naked babies riding koi-carp and holding fruit. The man in the shop couldn't tell me alot about them, saying that they were just traditional posters, but I googled 'Chinese baby poster' and found more information.
"The New Year picture (nianhua 年画) was the most important influence on the propaganda posters produced by the Chinese Communist Party. Employing various elements of folk art and symbolism, these pictures catered to the tastes and beliefs in the countryside, expressing wishes for happiness and good luck. According to the Chinese nianhua specialist Wang Shucun, "During the New Year festival, more than 20 varieties of New Year prints would be stuck on the front gates, doors onto the courtyard, walls of a room, besides a room's windows, or on the water vat, rice cabinet, granary, or livestock fold. Colourful and floral prints would be
everywhere in the house to express the hopes and joy of the festival.""
Whilst walking in the Northern Quarter a friend and I also spotted an advert for an upcoming exhibition at the Richard Goodall Gallery of Maoist art."The Richard Goodall Gallery, on High Street in the Northern Quarter, is displaying the Maoist propaganda art until 7 April.
The collection of 30 art-works were produced from 1969 to one year after Deng Xiaoping’s incumbency in 1979, but some are representations of older eras as far back as the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949.
To walk into the Gallery is to see the entire history of Chinese Communism documented all around you.
Gallery owner Richard Goodall says he’s been fascinated by the posters for ‘years and years’, even going so far as to enquire at the Chinese Embassy.
He got in touch with a Shanghai client who came to the UK to promote an upcoming exhibition in London.
“We have enlisted the help and expertise help and expertise of the finest art restorer in the country to remove the foxing and acid from the paper [and] having them linen backed which made them archivally safe and virtually as vibrant as the day they were printed,” Mr Goodall said."