leigh bowery

my friend and performance artist (in a printer’s body) marcus brown, mentioned leigh bowery a while ago and it has taken a while to sink in.

today i happened upon a book of his fashion shoots with fergus greer and i have been instantly obsessed.

i’m craving a bit of OTT identity/gender-bending mischief in the fashion/performance style of things at the moment. there’s a whole lot of stuff that just feels kinda vanilla. maybe i’m just jaded and restless. maybe i’m too gen x slacker for my own good.

as fabulous as her costumes are, lady gaga just doesn’t really cut it for me – she’s still doin’ the ditsy diva with the pretty clothes business; american apparel and vice mag for the kids tried to pretend they were pushing boundaries but really, they were just perpetuating the same old skinny lolita pervert bullshit for the white middle class douchebags of the future. our own schapylle scragg is a breath of fresh air, but she doesn’t get as much playtime as she used to (ahem. mayhem).

anyway, enough of my ranty business, i’m gonna go back and buy the book i spent an hour poring over and i’m looking forward to reading more about the sunshine kid, watching the legend of leigh bowery and making up for my terrible ignorance to date.

images: leigh bowery from from the inside out and fergusgreer.com

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shirt woot

how fire extinguishers work

i can’t remember who told me about these guys, but they’re rad.

i bought the shirt that everyone was posting about, but i don’t care. it’s red, it’s funny, it was pretty cheap and the shirt woot kids are ace.

so there.

ps. the packaging has commissioned artwork on it. take that UPS.

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fashion + mathematics = fashematics

thanks to the hussein chalayan blog, i’ve discovered my new favourite blog: fashematics.

it’s not really a mashup between fashion and mathematics (that would be too much for my poor little heart right now), but it’s at least basic arithmetic on the catwalk (1 + 1 = 2).

UPDATE: this one is especially for raphael, simon and dunjatello.

here are a few hot ones from march:

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most of you who know me know that i’m not very stylish. i do my own thing, but if i manage to look well-put-together, it’s by accident, rather than design.

however, i have always had a secret love for fashion. of a particular ethos. i love the stuff that pushes the boundaries of form and function. of shape and image. of wear and wearable. and, now more than ever, i’m interested in the action of fashion – the behaviour of wearing and the codes of the industry.

and the reason that i’ve had this very small, but burning love is because, when i was 18, i saw a short interview with alexander (lee) mcqueen. vivienne westwood may have been the godmother of punk (and she still is, really), but it was young alexander who showed me that fashion and clothes, and sculptural form could be as seditious as a bar chord and a molotov.

sadly, his suicide has taken another shining, flammable beauty from the world. and, as a friend said today, ‘if an amazing and beautiful genius like that can’t make it in this world, what hope is there for the rest of us?’.

vale alexander mcqueen.

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a few weeks’ back, the lovely ladies at handmadelife did me a favour and recommended two fashion shows, currently on at the NGV: draped and together alone. i managed to pop along to draped and boy was it ace!

i am pretty damned daggy, when it comes to my sartorial credentials. this has been confirmed by my flatmate, orri henrisson. and he should know.

however, i have developed a love of fashion processes and codes, through my friendship with the curator and orri. in the last few years, a lot of my work has embraced a lot of the gestures of fashion (measurement, wearable architecture, decollete adornment, etc) and i’ve developed a heavy-breathing-type fashionation with roland barthes and his fashion system.

so it was with an eager step that i popped along to see draped – a show which touched on the trends of drapery in fashion over the years, separated into two main types – clinging and elevated. one which is all dignified and ancient, the other about gettin’ it up in there.. (my words, not theirs).

honestly, i would LOVED to have seen this as a seriously extensive thematic survey at somewhere like the V&A. but, for the smallish show in the textiles gallery at the NGV, it was still pretty rad.

there were stunning works by versace, lanvin, D&G, paco rabanne, along with some small ancient draped figure sculptures, to put the concept into an historical framework. however, i gotta say, my love attack was for three works that are by my favourite designers and fashion rebels:

Hussain Chalayan at the NGV, yo_webJPG

the galliano for dior boned inside-out dress – one of my favourite and one which i spent a lot of time drawing and studying; rei kawakubo’s black ‘tornado dress’ for commes des garçon and of course, my main man, hussein chalayan. his show was so amazing at the london design museum – changed my life and seeing just a small piece of his here reminded me of his relentless and prolific practice.

1990s vs 1890s bodyshape
one interesting thing i noticed was how different the shape of mannequins have changed through the ages, reflecting the desired body type. note the difference between 1990s Versace decollete, and the 1890s Victorian shape. And i guess, as an institution, somewhere like the NGV has to keep and keep up with the mannequins of the time period – can’t fit a Versace dress onto a Victorian model, it’d be all wrong.

so if you need your fix after seeing this week’s couture run from paris, head to NGV. it will be just enough to satisfy until the loreal melbourne fashion festival kicks off in march.

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at our most public

Cone of Silence on a Bike

“Indeed, when we dress up, when we’re on display and at our most public, these are the times when our costumes get the most pretendy – we get married dressed as princesses and officers – then go back to our everyday lives dressed as squaddies, rockstars or resting athletes.”

a beautiful quote by russell davies in his fabulous post about pretend, costume, fashion and a whole range of ideas around playing roles.

i’ve been cycling around ideas of fashion, headphone culture and their roles in public, so this is perfectly timed, as usual

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