Thursday, August 26, 2010

What is Art?

While looking through my old blogs it dawned on me that I never really researched into what is Art.  Here I have stumble across "What is Art?" by Shelley Essak through google.  Essak quite the humorous. I found myself chuckling more than a few times reading her thought on this subject.

I especially like her unrelated reference to students such as myself who have decided to google the answer (last minute of course).

By , Guide

There are also some great facts in her article about what art is...

""Art is form and content" means: All art consists of these two things.

Form means (1) the elements of art, (2) the principles of design and (3) the actual, physical materials that the artist has used. " (Shelley Essak 2010)

So again with my argument that Fashion is and can be consider ART!  ;)

Why has it taken so long for everyone else to catch onto this concept?

Attached are some great examples of Fashion/Art. (coming soon)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Fashion Art?

 In the recent article from the Sept issue of the Australian Vogue Is Fashion Art?, Journalist Mitchell Oakley Smith talks about his findings on the way to publishing his new book on Australian & New Zealand Fashion Designers. After some time researching and interviewing for his book he came to an interesting conclusion about fashion and art.

"...It's not worth talking about one without the other..."(Oakley Smith). 

This statement completely sums up how I feel about fashion. I also agree with Oakley Smith's statement questioning the concept that we are quick to call something that is unwearable art. Should we be so quick to categorize? Perhaps when we can see that there is thought put into a design whether is be wearable or not will not make it art but the idea that a good concept and creation is just as creditable as an Artist's work is. 

The Fashion industry is constantly striving to reinvent itself season after season.
From a designers perspective; Fashion like Art involves "creation" and perhaps where the two disciplines differ is; fashion is trend driven. But because we have trends to follow doesn't mean we can't be creative about it. Trends thus, in essence give fashion designers a "creative boundary". A boundary interestingly enough that artists do not set for themselves. 

In order to be successful in this highly competitive industry of fashion, designers have to cleverly combine innovation with trends. Perhaps to be even understood by the end consumers; designers need work with trends so that there is a united theme that gives the end wearer the ability to cohesively coordinate different pieces together. Not only does this create a benefit for the buyer but it also creates a much more commerically viable product. Good for the buyer.  Good for the Designer.

Other industries such as grahic design, illustration, photography are also essential trend driven.If we were to apply this question to these fields most would agree that; yes they are art. One only needs to flick through magazines to see the common design trends present between these mediums.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ReFrock - Designer Clothing Sale

On the topic of sustainable fashion, recycling and upcycling I recently participated in Refrock.

Have you heard of it?  

I hadn't... until my friend mentioned she was selling her clothes at them. 

It's basically a market type set up where people set-up a stall to sell their designer clothes. What a great idea right! I am please to announce that I sold a total of $400 worth of unloved and unwanted designer wear.  

Refrock is a great venue to sell garments that you happily want to get rid of.  Try not to sell anything you for more than $100.00 for as people only bring cash and they will always haggle you down.  For those amazing garments you want well over $100.00 for Ebay will be a better avenue. 

Just to give you and idea of my pricing I sold shoes for $10, jackets for $50, shirts/blouses anywhere between 10 - $30, dresses for anywhere between $20 -$60.  This time I will look at bringing along my more expensive items.

I also found that I priced a few garments higher the ones I wasn't quite ready to let go of.  If they sold they sold; and if I didn't I didn't care. Cause I secret still wanted to keep them; they were still garments that came out of my wardrobe and had a little spin from time to time.

The way I decided to cost my garments were on a keeping two things in mind.  What my cost per wear has been and what it would cost me to replace this garment again. On garments I had no desire to replace I sold extremely cheap and on the others that I knew I would need to replace with a newer fresher option I sold a little higher, still keeping in mind that I had loved and worn the garment so well I didn't have the stomach to give it another season to sit wastefully in my wardrobe.

Make sure you don't price your garments too cheap as you will get haggled.  People will find flaws to talk about. I had one lady complain to me about the smell of my jacket and that she would have to dry clean it.  It was vintage so it had a naturally funky vintage smell. As I had priced it quite reasonably I wasn't willing to haggle and basically told her that I still wore the jacket and if it didn't sell for that price on the jacket, I wouldn't sell it as I still loved it.  She spent a good 10 minutes complaining and haggling with me and eventually she got $10.00 off as I really just wanted her to leave.  Watch out for old ladies!! They are good!!! Maybe even price point things $10 dearer so you can knock that off to sweeten the deal.  A lot of people will ask for money off if they are buying more than one garment too.

Make sure you also don't price them too expensive especially if you really want it to go.  Just remember if you sell it it going to a good home, where someone is going to love it as much as you once did. I have to keep telling myself this with every transaction as the urge to re-neg is quite strong. 

Needless to say I was very impressed with the money I made on garments which were taking up way too much room in my wardrobe.  Most garments I sold were definitely ones that would make much on Ebay and would have turn out to be more hassle than there sale value.  Refrock is the perfect avenue to off-load in one day.  

You will require the following items for this event;
1.)  A float 
      We had a $400 float to give people change. Made up of mainly $5, $10 notes.

2.) A portable rack or two.
     Depending on how many garments you want to sell.

3.) A friend to do it with
     Friends are great for toilet breaks, discussing what discount to offer, 
     even just to help with the whole set up and back up.

4.) Cardboard, pens and paper
     For signage and swing tags.

5.) Food and Water
      While there was coffee available little snacks like cookies 
      are a great way to keep up your stamina.

6.) Clothes
      Most importantly go through you wardrobe a few nights before the event check them over for any spills that you might be able to get out before the event and go through and price them up.  (I was a little dissorganised and was stappling price tags to my garments as people were shopping.  I think a few people got an especially good bargain.)

The last Refrock held on the 15th of August (which so happened to be my very first) had an extremely disappointing turn out. So I was told by many other booth holders. The previous month was so phenomenally busy that you pretty much had to buy as soon as you saw something you liked or it was scooped up by the next person. You also had to fight the crowd just to walk through the venue. This time it was described to be like a ghost town which was due to the organizers moving the date and not re advertising the new one.  This time they have  promised to advertise better, which in turn should draw a bigger crowd. I can't wait! 

I did also find it really hard to not buy a few things for myself. I ended spending $100.00 and purchased 3 amazingly beauitful hats from a lady who calls herself GoGirl. 
Look out for her stall at the next Refrock.  She has so many beautiful vintage pieces from opera gown to crocodile clutches.  If I had more money I think I would have pruchased her entire stall.  but the ojbject was really to make money and not spend it.

Check out my cute purchases below!!

The next...
Sunday the 12th of September.  
at the Windsor Table Tennis Hall, 
86 Green Terrace, Windsor 

Admission only $5

Aren't my hats adorable!!  The first I call my Yogi Bear Hat.  It makes me smile everytime I look at it.  Today I tried wearing it to uni but felt like my outfit looked like I was wearing fancy dress.  Need to figure out what to team with it...

Yogi Bear Hat

Vintage choclate velvet bow fascinator

Addoreable 1950's hat!! 
I just need a race day to attend and I will be all sorted.

The find out more about Refrock go to their website.

So... there are plenty of avenues for all of us to contribute in our small way to being sustainable It doesn't just have to be buying organic cotton shirts or designing biodegradable clothing but perhaps smaller things can make a difference; like buying secondhand garments or holding a stall  at Refrock.  Not only will you find great things to buy at a fraction of there retail value you will also be helping to minimise landfill.  (although I would have to say none of the clothes at Refrock will end up there! Way too beautiful to be tossed!!!) LOL!!!

Make sure when you attend the next Refrock bring a bag! 

Sustainably Conscious

Looking back of my previous fashion subject sustainability has become a “fashionable” topic of conversation. In the subject “Intro to Fashion” KFB103 we briefly touched base on this idea of sustainable fashion. The message is coming in loud and clear and there seems to be some common answers to the question; “How do we make fashion sustainable?”

Authors Janet Hethorn &  Connie Vlasewicz of their 2008 book “Sustainable Fashion why now? : A conversation about issues, practices and possibilities” gives a great insight into the whole topic of sustainable fashion. I found their book an interesting read with many thought provoking statements;

Below are few interesting extracts I discovered from their book;

“Ethical Consumerism – Clothing with a conscience”

“Most want to wear clothes that are made in “responsible” ways and that do not harm the planet."

“Most would agree that sustainable fashion is some what of an oxymoron. After all, sustainability is about longevity and fashion is about change.”

“Sustainable” is a concept not fully embraced by fashion…”

“How do we resolve this? How do we design, develop and wear fashion in sustainable ways and still participate with fashion as we know?”



“Consider ways that processes can be changed and sustained in relation to news ways of approaching fashion.”

“Environmental concerns and opportunities are closely tied to fashion. Since garments are made of material eg (fibers and fabrics) there are direct physical environmental impacts connected to the use and reuse, resilience and sustainable actions that surround fashion.”

“By purchasing and wearing clothing, people express choices about their own ecological footprint.”

“Product processes have a major impact on the planet.”

“Clothing has the potential, when designed thoughtfully, to better sustain people as they go about their everyday lives.”

“How can we, as designers and producers of clothing impact the many possibilities for sustainable outcomes?”

Sustainability means something different to each different person. It is up to each of us to sort out our own unique course.”

“People who design, produce, market and consume fashion must be informed and be apart of the larger conversation on sustainable issues and practices.”

“Fashion provides and opportunity of awareness for sustainability.”

Although there is a lot of confusion about what is sustainable. I believe every small effort counts. I also believe we need to keep searching and researching for new answers and different avenues to achieve the best outcomes. As time will tell more and more designers of the future will develop amazing new ways to make fashion a more sustainable industry. In order for sustainable fashion to thrive; we as consumers, producers and designers need to make a conscious decision to be informed. The more we know the more we can contribute to the sustainable cause. It is everyone’s responsibility.


Friday, August 13, 2010

who is FOR US BY US? in their own words

Here is more insight into what For Us By Us is about by "For Us By Us"

"For Us By Us is a collaborative project between 26 fashion design students and 6 local emerging artists. Inspired by the work of each artist. The designers will create garments that will be exhibited in a fashion film. The premiere will take place on the 29th of October, 2010 at the Tribal Theatre in Brisbane.

The collaboration will also be the subject of a feature-length documentary film exploring the themes of (1) creative capital and popularity in fashion and art and what cross-disciplinary collaboration offers in this respect, and (2) the viability of raw creative economy in underdeveloped cultural hubs like Brisbane..."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Docos about Art and Fashion

As apart of this assignment our class is being Documented for a film. During one interview session with Marc Close I was asked something along the lines of how do I find using my artist's creative process for inspiration? I found this question quite puzzling at the time and made the silliest of assumptions. I assumed that everyone in our fashion class had previously studied art during their secondary studies. My thinking was this; of course it makes sense, I apply the exact same design principles and processes whether I am painting a picture or sculpting as I do when I am designing fashion. It wasn't until this interview was over that I started thinking more about this question and that perhaps Art it's not so intertwined in everyone's creative process as it is for myself. 

Perhaps to explain better I need to clarify my history.  My first recollections of loving fashion was when I was five I received a Barbie drawing toy which allowed me to change Barbie's head, torso and legs. I would sit for hours with my crayons rubbing them over the pieces changing them and doing it all over again. I loved this toy so much I have since been searching for it on Ebay in hopes that one day it will appear for me to buy. (God only knows how much it would cost!) But since then I have had a great fascination with Barbie and of drawing and the two hobbies have always played a strong part of my life.  

Art took on a really strong roll throughout my education as a child didn't take ballet classes or participate in any group sports but instead attended art classes with Mrs Tully every Saturday morning. There I learned traditional techniques in oil painting, drawing in charcoal & pencil and pottery. 

The idea that "For Us by Us" is basically trying to achieve the concept of bringing creditability to fashion is an interesting notion and something I feel that has perhaps been lacking in the fashion industry. But what I understand from my own personal experience and journey through life is that I have a strong appreciation for all creatives. Whether they be an artist, a musician, or a chef, the idea of "creditable creativity" being exclusive to the art world is an absurd notion. One which I find very peculiar and perhaps invented by someone who is not a creative thinker.

 I realize that I am no expert in this subject but would love to know what you all think of this?
Tell me your thoughts.

Deconstruction continued...3

So I have detached the ruffle from the bottom of my favourite skirt. I really had a hard time destroying something that was already in perfectly functioning and usable condition. The idea of deconstructing a garment and cutting it up, is wrong and stresses me. But I guess that is the whole point of this assignment. Experimentation.

My lectures Marc and Jane both gave me a big nudge today.  "Just go for it", says Jane.  "This project is suppose to be fun", says Marc. 

It's funny that they have both grown to know me so well and tell when I'm stalling.  I would prefer to remain mysterious and aloof but a lass I'm not that hard to figure out really.  

I know I am usually slow of the mark ( as I am just a big thinker and always... thinking...thinking...thinking) but the end product is always well worth the wait...


Just see what has come out of today. 

So I'm liking this... Above image. :)

 Now I getting somewhere.  It is very Easton Pearson esk I know? I do have an affinity with patterns and colours clashing them together.  It's too much fun to be dull. 

What do you think??  Fans out there somewhere.  Would love to know what you think!

Deconstruction continued...2

The original shirt is so ordinary. The fabric is so beautiful. A very old school, old lady look.

For this blouse I have taken of the sleeves.  In the picture below I have turn the shirt upside down and created a collar by turning 10cm of the fabric back. Armholes are still used.
This one is wearing the shirt upside down. Not sure what I think?
Blah! Interesting. Very mainstream...but I like it.
In the strapless dress I have attached the 3/4 sleeves at the front of the waist and used the collar in the band above the bust.

Deconstruction continued...1

After playing with this amazing zebra print skirt I am almost too tempted not to actually cut this up and just wear it as is, like a kaftan top. Oh too much fun!!
I would wear this one. (above).
I actually tired this on like this image. Pretty cool. Doesn't even Look like a skirt anymore. (above).
Okay so this one's a bit weird.
This just look way too old fashioned.

Now this definitely says..."Bad fashion!"


Today I had a lot of fun. Playing with the mannequin dressing up in the the garment I received from the Salvation Army.
The two images above are one of my favourites.  Here I have used the skirt side zipper and had it the front feature of a short mini dress I have then pinned up the skirt hem detail at the front but allow the fabric to balloon at the back. This image above is a continuation of the first dress, however I have then pulled the ruffle hem up higher to cover the shoulders turning it into a blouse.
I do like this idea... 
Still very simple but I like it. What a cute little short dress. This project definitely makes me look differently at the clothes I could buy at an OP Shops.  Especially when looking at the embellishments on them. Such a great way to save money.
This one looks a little like a bush turkey to me.  hehehe.
I love love love this skirt fabric.  Can't wait to turn it into something amazing.  Today I was brave enough the cut the band of batik work off and will be wearing as a scarf over the weekend to a few drinkies!  Already received a compliment from my housemate about my new scarf!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mark Neighbour T-shirt Designs - What an Awsome Idea

Along with the multiple underwear I noticed in the unprocessed bags from the Salvos. I also notice a lot of worn-out old T-shirts. A thought I had on the day was wouldn't it be great if we could make them into something new.  This Idea didn't really stick with me as I didn't particularly like the idea of the worn out shirts and had workout in my mind how you would be able to get logo T-shirt to fashionable and not "crafty".

After our visit to the Salvation Store in Red Hill our Lecturer Mark Neighbour talked to us about a sustainable concept he had been working on the previous year except Mark made his garments out of new material. But in the principle of his idea could be applied to secondhand T-shirts.  Instead for Mark's project he used  X-Large men's white T-shirts from Big W that he redesigned into women's origami-like fashion garments. Apart of Mark's designs was the use of all the original garment as possible. He redesigned these shirts by taking more than one shirt and constructing them together.  

T-shirt dress/tunic by Mark Neighbour. ( Image courtesy of Mark Neighbour)

What a great Idea! 

Why didn't I think of that?

It's so ingenious!

... and so on the same wave length I was on when I looked at all these unwanted T-shirts except I was hesitating to move forward as I wasn't quite sure how I could achieve a level of sophistication using random coloured shirts with cheesy slogans and logos plastered all over the front.  Perhaps a project I will brave at a later stage when I am feeling more adventurous and creative with crappy materials.  

At this point of time... I am very aware of my need for beautiful and interesting fabrics for inspiration. The whole idea using dirty, smelly, old looking shirts were are huge turn off in the design concept. I kept having visions of "Derelict" from the movie Zoolander in the scene where he walks down the catwalk wearing trash, just plain old bad fashion.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Artist - Louise Tahiraj

Analogue Dialogue, video still.

Artist Statement:  By Louise Tahiraj

My practice constantly renegotiates female identity in an investigation of drawing persona's in contemporary video art. I explore the construction of subjectivity through layers of auto-biographical, social and sub-cultural creative narratives in attempt to reconfigure day-to-day physical and psychological experience. Through web-cam technology I capture and layer my own image against hand drawn elements to produce clunky videos which are constantly re-shaped through editing, allowing multiple persona's to re-emerge at each iteration. The deliberate ‘lo-fi’ aesthetics occur in parallel with what I identify as ‘spaces of boredom’ that arise out of excess possibilities at my disposal, which is coupled with a self-limiting inability to access all of these possibilities. It is these personal idiosyncrasies that I critically investigate that become points of reflection on my shifting sense of identity. 

Body College, video still.

Go to Louise Tahirjai to find out more about the Artist Louise Tahirjai.

When Artist Louise Tahirjai introduced herself and her artwork to our class I was instantly drawn to her creative process. I also found a few words which stood out from her introduction which were; "playful & fun", "clunky", "identity as a process".  I was also drawn to her medium of blue screen , drawing and technology and online social networking.   What I also took away from viewing her work is the multiple layering, the tranparenties, reflections, repetitions, the eyes, the connect between Louise and her self, the audience interaction and reaction, and the online culture and experience perceived.

There is beauty with in simplicity of Louise's work. It has an organic nature to it as it is unscripted. The layering in her filming adds complexity, which creates almost a white noise effect, like the noise of everyday life.

Here are some links to her work on youtube below;

Salvos Garment no.7

No Label brand, sheer button down blouse polyester like fabric with glitter leaf pattern.
Size - unknown. Made in China.
Salvos price $20.00.

Salvos garment no.6

Suzannegrae navy cotton dress with cotton lining.
Size 12. Made in China.

Salvos garment no. 5

Callan Designs devoure beige red and sheer button down blouse. 
Size 14
Made in Australia.
Salvos price $10.00.

Salvos Garment no. 4

Handmade garment which appears to be of an indian design. fabric feels like a cotton/polyblend.
No Size.
Salvos price $10.00

Slavos Garment no.3

Rockmans black and creme cottom animal print peasant skirt with cotton lining.
Size 12.
Made in China.
Salvos price $8.00

Salvos Garment no. 2

Katies black cotton peasant skirt with white applique flower border trim.
Size 8.
Made in China.
Salvo price $5.50.