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 hole 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

In 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 hole 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.