Monday, May 31, 2010

Richard Serra: Industrial Sculptor

Richard Serra is a minimalist industrial sculptor who has been in the industry for over 40 years. I love Serra's work and find it highly motivating and inspirational because he creates beautiful shapes and curves out of unconventional materials. The first time I came across Serra's work was while researching the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and its amazing architecture by Frank Gerhy. Both artists use metal as the primary material in their work and they both create lovely soft smooth lines with such unusual materials. While Gerhy’s work is very abstract and ‘new’ I find Serra’s work is more organic, clean and also very warming. How does this all relate to my collection? I want strong clean but creative lines in my collection and I love the multi layers of steel which I have used with layers of fabric. Here is some of Richard Serra’s lovely work.

'The Matter of Time' in the Guggenhiem Museum Bilbao

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haider Ackermann

Colombian born designer Haider Ackermann is a favourite of fine at he moment. After graduating from the Antwerp Fashion Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, Ackermann started his self named label in 2001. Since then Ackermann has slowly been building his name and reputation as a drape artist and a master of leather. His drape is extraordinary because it's structured so a lot of his work is very edgy but beautifully fluid. I especially love the way the collars loop and fold and seem to continue forever. They also make your eye travel around the whole garment and take everything in. After looking at Ackermann collection I was invigorated to look back at the collars in my collection and see if they could be pushed further.

Haider Ackermann Fall 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Glamour women and Scarlett Johansson

The cover story in the May 16 2010 Sunday Life magazine of the Sydney Sun Herald is titled 'The Glamour Stakes'. I just happened to come across this article while reading the paper and I thought it was a good discussion of what I feel my collection is about. The author, Carol Dyhouse talks about glamour being an empowerment for woman and an opportunity to add a bit of fun to life. The article uses actress Scarlett Johansson as an example of seductive glamour. A strong woman who is self-assured, playful, sexy and smart. Dyhouse also speaks about the 'dark' side of glamour and while it is a relevant subject she argues that women choose to be glamorous not confined by it. It's definitely worth a read if you can find it.

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2009 Cosmetics

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010 Cosmetics

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010 'The One' Fragrance


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nigella Lawson...a domestic goddess

Nigella Lawson is transfixing. For some reason whenever her show comes on the TV I can't help but watch. I am not really a fan of cooking shows and I while I don't mind to cook I would never actually make anything she is demonstrating. I think I watch because I am amazed at how comfortable she is in her own skin and her ability to charm and entice the viewer in an instant. Nigella is certainly a voluptuous woman and I think it's great that she is seen as a sex symbol in a era where size 0 is considered the only way to be beautiful. I also see Nigella as a modern 1950's housewife which kind of goes against the wonder woman idea but also compliments it. Nigella has made home cooking and being domesticated sexy. She is a hard working woman who has made millions from her best selling cook books, world renown TV series and her kitchen range. Nigella is a modern Wonder woman of sorts just a different way.

Nigella Lawson

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As a young girl I loved Barbie. I loved being able to dress her up, choosing her outfits with matching shoes and bag and even choosing between taking her Barbie Jeep or the Barbie Porsche for her hot date with Ken. While there is a lot of controversy about Barbie especially her unrealistic body shape and measurements, I see Barbie as a modern Wonder Woman. Barbie is a role model for many young girls around the world and deservingly so. She is an astronaut, an American president candidate, a world cup soccer player, a prima ballerina, a doctor and much more. While I know that Barbie is a fictional character she inspires young girls to dream big, to believe that they can be anything they want to be and look good doing it! Yes, she is a sex symbol and yes if she was a real person she would be anorexic but she is an amazing modern Wonder Woman.

Astronaunt Barbie 1965

Presidential Candidate Barbie 2000

Army Barbie and Ken 1993

Images: Barbie Collector

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vivienne Westwood: Design Inspiration

I first became aware of Vivienne Westwood's work when I attended the opening night of her retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra many years ago. I knew who she was and what her work was like but it didn't really hit me how amazing her designs and creativity was until I saw them in front of me. I like her later work more than the early punk garments, especially her gowns with a historical reference. My design aesthetic has some of the same elements as Westwood in that she loves to play with volume and drape. Her ability to transfer a traditional tailoring technique to an innovative and create design is remarkable. I aim to be able to say by the end of this year, I can do the same, but I feel that's a little way off just yet.

Vivienne Westwood 'Propaganda' dress Fall 05/06

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Beyonce's video clip of 'Single ladies' was on TV today and it reminded of me how much Beyonce is a modern Wonder Woman. The little black leotard costume Beyonce wears in the video clip is so simple yet so effective and not a lot of women could look as amazing as she does in it. I admire Beyonce because she embraces being a curvy woman and makes the most of it. I also think she is a great role model for young girls and all women in the way the conducts herself in the public arena, her songs are empowering and she clearly loves being a independent woman.

Beyonce in 'Single Ladies'

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wonder Woman

For my final collection I am wanting to create a collection for the modern Wonder Woman. Previously on my blog I have looked at women who I see as modern wonder women but I haven't actually investigated who the original Wonder Woman is and why she is so important.

William Moulton Marston created the comic character Wonder Woman in the 1940's as a role model for young girls. There were no other female comic hero's at the time and Marston, a physiologist and inventor on the polygraph, wanted a strong intelligent female character that would inspire and educate girls.

The character of Wonder Woman is an ancient Greek Amazonian princess and warrior, Diana who was bequeathed with super human strength, vast intelligence, the ability to fly, great beauty and a loving heart. Not to mention a very sexy costume that highlights her curves in all the right places.

Basically Wonder Woman is the perfect woman. She is the whole package; smart, strong, beautiful, loving and she can fly! Just like Marston created Wonder Woman in the 1940's to inspire, I want to create a collection that makes women fell just as powerful and amazing as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Smoke Photography

Smoke Photography is an amazing art form I stumbled across while looking for images of smoke. Smoke has always intrigued me and before you ask, no I am not a pyromaniac and I have never smoked. The delicate patterns smoke creates is visually stunning especially from a candle or match that has just been blown out. Smoke photography captures this moment perfectly and enables the patterns to be fully viewed and appreciated. I can imagine the smoke to be fabric and I wish I could create such beautiful curves and lines in my design work. They provide endless inspiration.

Images: Smashing Magazine

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shocking pink and Schiaparelli

So one of the colours I am using in my up coming collection is magenta. I have always found it to be a bold exciting colour that takes a strong and courageous woman to wear it which fits perfectly with my collection. After a little investigation I found that magenta was made popular by Elsa Schiaparelli for the very reason I am using it in my collection.

'The Italian artist who makes clothes' was how Coco Chanel described Schiaparelli and indeed Schiaparelli very much regarded herself as an artist. She was greatly inspired by the surrealist movement and collaborated with many of the movement's great artists, especially Salvador Dali. Schiaparelli believed that women where naturally elegant and stylish so she designed to draw attention. Everything was deliberately designed to be outrageous and amusing, which is why in 1937 Schiaparelli introduced the colour 'shocking pink' to the world. A vibrant bold brilliant pink that would become Schiaparelli's trademark colour.

Shocking pink Schiaparelli tag

Schiaparelli's 'Shocking pink'

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alber Elbaz for Lanvin

I know that I already said that if I could ever work for one designer it would be Christian Dior (I know he's dead and all that but a girl can dream) but it would be very VERY closely followed by Alber Elbaz from Lanvin. His drape work is breathtaking and it looks simple and elegant. I am experimenting with drape at the moment which is proving to be fun but difficult (as always) and I am just in awe of how easy Alber makes it look. His work is bold and strong yet still soft and feminine, just how I want my drape to be.

Lanvin Spring 2009

Lanvin Spring 2009

A new direction for the blog

OK, so this blog is going to be taking a new direction and reflect more about my design process for my final collection in my last year of a fashion and textiles degree. I will be reworking some old posts and I have also changed my blog description to represent the direction the blog is going in. I will probably ramble on a lot about random things but apparently that's what its all about. So here goes.