Monday, January 26, 2015

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to Catwalk

17 Oct 2014 — 8 Feb 2015   National Gallery of Victoria

Here are my little iPhone snaps of this rather good show which ends in very soon!

My fashion design student co-worker didn't think much of it. Hers was the throw away, proverbial complaint when it comes to art 'I could have done that myself'. Yet you didn't! My friend and I (both industrial designers and artists) enjoyed it. Gaultier himself was happy with it so that must count for something eh?

Another complaint was the low light levels for black garments and I have to admit, they were significantly lower than elsewhere in the show in two rooms, which made it hard to see the intricate lace and beading. Setting them against a black background certainly didn't help and may have altered perception of lux levels ie a light background would have required less light since it would bounce around. That's the first rule of strong display: set your subject to stand out from a background by using a different colour/tone. The First rule of camoflauge : blend into the background by being a similar colour! The conservation arguement doesn't hold sway because having since researched this show these same pieces were displayed elsewhere in more adequate light.

 photo GaultierBlack_zpsdhryneig.jpg
Left: Virgins Collection?
Right: Virgins Collection
Haute Couture, Spring-Summer 2007

 photo GaultierMermaidCrutches_zpsdnfceium.jpg
Bridal Mermaid, crutches detail
Mermaid collection
Haute couture, Spring-Summer 2008

 photo GaultierMermaidPurse_zpstmmcnxol.jpg
Bridal Mermaid, purse detail
Haute couture, Spring-Summer 2008

The man is more than a fashion designer - he is an artist. The level of detail in the works was amazing. The general public rarely gets to see haute couture this close while the fashionista usually only sees it for a minute at arm's length at best. It's definitely worth seeing this show if you're in town.

 photo GaultierVirginRelique_zpszpl44qas.jpg
Virgins (or Madonnas) collection
Haute couture, Spring-Summer 2007
Chiffon and lame lace gown with ex-voto (an offering to a saint or divinity) plaque appliques and star and sea-shell embellished smoked plexiglass headdress. 
This gown took 315 hours to create.

 photo GaultierVirginReliqueDETAIL_zpspcdtp4wx.jpg 
Ex-voto, detail
Virgins (or Madonnas) collection
Haute couture, Spring-Summer 2007

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Giraffe sticker

Giraffe sticker on pole, Mount Alexander Road, Ascot Vale. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Snail and slug trap Mark III: The Final Design.

I've made a few versions of slug and snail beer traps and here is another one to try.

Take an empty, single serve, lidded yoghurt pot and remove the cardboard outer sheath:
 photo SlugtrapWhole_zps41fe36da.jpg

Remove the lid and cut an aperture in it using a cutting knife or strong scissors/shears. Make the hold big enough to take an adult snail but small enough so that the lid still clips on to keep out most of the rain:
 photo SlugtrapLid_zpsa8accac8.jpg
 photo slugtrapCut_zps6593be4b.jpg

Examples of shapes you can cut into it and some decoration because I can't help myself:
 photo slugtrapV_zps353c88b5.jpg
 photo slugtrapDeco_zpsded2018c.jpg

It situ in my sister's veggie patch, partially buried for stability and access, freshly baited with Carlton Draught
 photo slugtrapBeer_zps389e0d66.jpg

The same idea using a single serve, microwave soup bowl instead.
 photo EscargotInn_zps03a94ccd.jpg
The lid can be a bit trickier to get off and it needs more beer but it works as well as the yoghurt pot version if not better. It's very stable, doesn't blow over in the wind, doesn't need to be buried to capture, evaporation is minimal, it keeps out the rain and water from the hose. One way to improve it would be to cut the hold to the edge like the yoghurt pot for easier lid removal.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Visiting a Zoo - a guide to getting the most out of it AKA Zoo Visitor Etiquette

So you have gone to the zoo and all the animals aren't up to much, they're hiding down the back or in a den, and you can't get a good photo on your phone. Is it the zoo or is it you? Here's one simple tip:
Be quiet, listen, and watch. 
That's all you have to do to get more out of every visit. The animals are more likely to linger nearby and relax into their natural behavior if you do this.

To elaborate:
Read the sign telling you what the animal is,
Listen to the keeper or volunteer if there is one, and
be respectful, quiet and patient,
stay still  or move slowly,
give free roaming animals enough space to move,
speak quietly,
watch, observe, be curious.

This means DO NOT:
tap on the glass or walls/fence
yell or make loud noises
throw things
feed the animals
touch the animals (unless a keeper or volunteer has said it's okay to do so, and then avoid the head)
stick any of yourself or your belongings including your camera/phone within the enclosure space
allow your childen to do any of these things.
Think about how you would feel if a stranger appeared in your frontyard doing things from the DO NOT list. I have heard one parent tell their child "How would you feel if some strange person came and yelled at you in your room? You wouldn't like it would you?" It seemed to be effective.

The animals are not here for our entertainment. It's the 21st century - it's about conservation, education and respect for the amazing world we share.

Also check out the meerkats - they're always good value, never a dull moment, and very photogenic too!

Further reading here, the animal's viewpoint here and the zoo's view here.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sassy, hose wielding lady from the 1980s

The following borderline NSFW image is from an an old Vogue Australia article featuring designer Arabella Ramsay's scrapbook. Not really sure what is going on here [innocent look].

 photo HoseWoman_zps9bf88262.jpg

At a stretch it could be by iconic, 1980s illustrator Antonio Lopez - although his style is usually less overt.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Naughty Mouse

 photo NaughtyMouse_zps1093c685.jpg
The Naughty Mouse.

In a nice little house,
Lived a silly young mouse,
So snug at the back of a shed;
He would spend all of the day
In fine gambols of play,
Then go to warm little bed.

He had a kind mother,
A good little brother,
And plenty of nice wholesome food;
Oh! how naughty was he,
Discontented to be;
He should have been happy and good.

'Tis with sorrow indeed,
I must say he would heed
No word that his fond mother spoke;
If she told him to stay,
He would scamper away,
And think it a very fine joke.

 photo NaughtyMouseDETAIL_zpsc0363e58.jpg
Now one day on the green
His good parent had seen
A cat, fast asleep in the sun;
So to Mousey she said,
"Pray go back to your bed,
And near that fine creature don't run."

 photo NaughtyMouseCAT_zpsc3752407.jpg
But alas! you will find,
No advice would he mind,
He soon went away with a squeak;
For he thought 'twould be fun
Round the big cat to run,
She looked both so tame and so sleek.

But he made a mistake,
For Miss Puss was awake,
Asleep though pretending to be;
None so deaf do appear
As are those who won't hear,
So blind as all those who won't see.

 photo NaughtyMouseDEAD_zps2dc26b77.jpg
Little mouse feared no ill,
For the cat lay so still,
Alarm never entered his head;
So he frolicked about,
Till puss put her paw out,
Gave a pat - and the mousey was dead!

Little people attend
To advice from a friend;
Both love and obedience too,
Ever practice to those
Who you may suppose,
If older, are wiser than you.

Poem by Maria Corbould.
Images by Whymper* (first name uncertain) from The Child's Companion and Juvenile Instructor, Vol. XXXIII, 1893, page 49-50

*Probably Edward Whymper. He was both a professional engraver and a famous mountaineer hence why he is listed as one of the 'etc' illustrators rather than listed by name. The etching signature matches known works.