london fashion

I’ve always engaged on some level with fashion design. you would have NO idea from the way i dress (or my wardrobe that fits within Ryanair luggage restrictions), but i regularly admire and covet high fashion.

You’ve probably seen random posts of mine about Hussein Chalayan, Ann Demeulemeester, McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, my work trying to integrate fashion and interactive art (which has been put waaaaay on the back burner) and perhaps wondered how I always end up at Dover Street Market.

The exciting thing about London is that I can properly engage with that aspect of my life (and practice) again. I don’t have a fashion design background AT ALL. But I can still appreciate and learn on the fly. Actually, I plan to do that a whole lot more here, because I can

Even in the week I’ve been here, I’ve able to visit DSM (which is where I can get up close and personal with some of the designers I like), check out the Issey Miyake range, apply for work with Westwood, McQueen and Chalayan.  I’ll check out St Martin’s soon and keep an eye out for local designers (like the amazing Tanique Coburn stall at Portobello Market – watch this space for this girl!).

Once I’m settled and financial again, I might even do something to properly upskill in this regard, but in the mean time, i’m going to learn from the public intellect – the V&A, libraries, working studios and fashion on the street.

Yay!

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fluorescence.


(Or Neon in Germany).

LDN19




It’s not a wild insight of mine to notice the resurgence of neon/fluorescent colours at the moment. I think you’d have to be colour blind or wearing blinkers to not pick up on the bright fashion, the nails, the accessories, Doc Marten shoes, web-graphics and printed posters all in bright bright colours.

It’s that 80s recycled thing again and on one hand it makes me crave the odd socks i used to wear: one neon yellow, the other neon pink, carefully rolled down to my white espadrils with short jersey shorts. On the other hand it has me pondering exactly what the significance of this resurgence might be.

If it was just an 80s redux in fashion thing, I probably wouldn’t take too much notice. But the point that sent my analytical mind into a bit of a spin has been the use of neon/fluorescent colours in Art. Capital A.

There was a show in Melbourne recently that featured 5 or 6 artists who use fluorescence in their work (that didn’t include  some of the others i know like Dell Stewart and Anita Cummins, for example).

So i thought maybe it was just an Australian thing, until a few weeks ago, i walk into  the Christian Nagel Galerie in Berlin, a fancy pants commercial establishment. The large abstract expressionist paintings by Stefan Müller all had significant elements of fluorescent in them. And not in a graphic ‘kapow!’ pop kind of way either. But in a subtle, abstract, touchy feely kind of way.




Of course, it could be just an artist riding on an aesthetic trend for commercial gain, but I kind of doubt it. Especially not at the kind of price point these paintings sell at.

I might suggest that financial crisis might be linked, if the fluoro bombs from the 80s weren’t before the 1987 wall street crash.

It could be a reaction to neo-conservatism: ‘hey! look! there’s other, useless and fun stuff in the world, not just boring elitism and econonomic rationalism’, but the US is currently floating a supposedly progressive system, as is Australia and France (although admittedly only just), Germany is, well, technically not progressive, but comparitively is.

I can’t find anything formally written about the theoretical significance of fluoresence in art and a few google searches link to either art galleries that are under blacklight, or connect to the link between fluorescent spores in bacteria (careful when you include the word ‘culture’ in your keywords, kids).

The first wave of fluoro fashion was probably also a boast at new technological advancement: pigment developments –  ink and dye techniques that could be used in plastics and fabric so they almost glowed. But this recent wave isn’t about boasting or flexing innovative muscle – they’ve been available for 20 years or so.

In biology, fluorescence (or bioluminescence) is used to attract mate or prey, and perhaps this is an explanation, as a result of tightening belts (prey) or declining populations in rich western countries (mate). Now i really think i’m reading too much into it.





**If anyone reading this has anything properly insightful to add, or a reference I obviously should have read, 

image: mark grubb at hermit concrete in london

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low visibility workwear

this kind of hi-visibility workwear is popular in the high-litigation contemporary workplace – half of Perth was covered in it.
but i’m interested in developing a uniform for a listener. 
what might be low-visibility workwear?
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shopfront: garments for listening

Garments For Listening: Electrofringe 2011

as i sit in the second iteration of my installation that combines fashion with sound/listening, i realised that it’s now officially a ‘thing’ i do and now i need to find more efficient ways to do that ‘thing’ more often.

this install took a whole lot more out of me than the last one. it’s in the existing construct of a shop, which i thought would make it easier to install. not so, actually.

but, thanks to the brilliant peeps of electrofringe and the owners, sue and robert regan, i’ve been able to create a little shopfront install in newcastle.

it’s a small range of “stock” – objects that support, fetishise or distort the listening gesture/act, through some of the ways fashion is used: t-shirts, jewellery, handbags (for your headphones), all surrounded by loud music, design, text, fixtures, opening hours, signage, etc, etc.

i’m learning a lot more about retail language than i thought i would when i first started this idea (which was first done at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.

I hope visitors to the shop get a picture of the ways in which fashion and sound intersect and perhaps change their thinking about the place of sound – especially listening – in pop culture.

** i also think it might be time to rename the ‘shop’. now that it’s a ‘thing’.

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boom box

i saw this picture on the satorialist and although i go weak at the knees in bookshops, my first thought was ‘i want those boombox pics’.

they’re not clever, but they’re big and awesome.

that is all.

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