Thursday, July 22, 2010

Despite the pervasive grey of July in Melbourne, I keep coming across lovely vignettes of natural beauty all across the city. Texture, colour, and the cold, almost European light in Melbourne brings a clarity that's really refreshing.

I also love the rhythm and form of the many succulent plants that are grown in botanical gardens, in borders and massed as vast ground covers. The colours and shapes are really interesting. I would love to have the time to transform these into the basis of a collection.

And then there are just the pretty flowers..

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovely things

An excellent source of American cool, Flavorwire has this beautiful image featured, and other works in their "Best of Art Chicago".

Lillian Bassman, Fantasy on The Dance Floor, Barbara Mullen, 1949. Gelatin silver print, 24 x 20 inch. Courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica.

This image shows the model, Barbara Mullen, in a 1949 Christan Dior gown, of course.
The New Look silhouette is shown at its most exaggerated in this spiraling silk ruffled ballgown. Its hard to believe the war and rations had only finished four years before.

Lillian Bassman is one of many women I am discovering lately; trailblazers and more modest women of accomplishment whom I find inspiring. Lillain was born in 1917 and had a remarkable career in fashion, but she came to fame later in the 20th century when her work was "re-discovered".

Bassman's (predominently) black and white works show to me a world of fashion that is not so dominated by the male viewpoint. The fashion items are of course consistent with their respective periods, but I find her work conveys an altogether different tone to that imbued in the dominant male photographer's perspectives. The subjects are calm and in control, relaxed, even when active. There feels to me to be a liberation from the"capturing" and "being captured" paradigm that guides other fashion photographers.

Anyway, check them out at..Lillian Bassman on Flicker

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Winter Thralls

Well, here we are again, in the thrall of Melbourne's winter. And my studio is so cold!

Despite this, some excellent far-sighted clients have had me sewing away on some lovely little projects that really show what winter dressing is about!

This boiled wool cape is lined with black cotton voile and has a rink collar. It buttons down the centre front, on the inside. Made to order.

I love it particularly because its such a good example of a client wanting an old-fashioned garment, but with such a modern feel to the aesthetic.
Credit must also go to my colleague Jaimi Kark, for her inspiration to the client from her eponymous label, and the collection, the Interview, from which this concept was derived.

Also happening a lot this winter are requests for"pinny dresses". These kinds of garments fall into the "new utility" trend that's taking off in Europe; they are stylish and simple to wear. Pinnies are excellent for layering, and if made in cotton, they are transferable to one's summer wardrobe.

Geometric print cotton pinny, high-waisted with invisible front patch pockets. Made to order.

Also happening this season is the ever-comfortable knit.
As a dress, long top, leggings or layered cardigans, the wonderful range of softest merino and other good quality knits is really exciting. My favourites are at the Fabric Store on Brunswick Street,
because it has a huge range and good prices.

Lissom Yarn will shortly be stocking a range of knitted dresses-slash-tops made for winter layering, as right, in the black merino herringbone knitted dress. Also available in khaki, charcoal and gray marle.

Stretch rayon knit wrap dress with black and white printed cotton collar. Made to order.

Merino knits are also great because they are a natural, sustainable and far superior (in my opinion) fabric to many other knits that tend to pill and look tatty

Stay tuned for more winter ideas, and with spring on the way, I'm hearing wedding bells and other indicators that brides are out and looking for gowns!
We'll be looking at the origins of "the wedding gown" and why our bridal stereotype is culturally a little bit strange. Yay!