Friday, 24 June 2011

Yohji Yamamoto Exhibition

Yohji Yamamoto Black Ink Illustration

Japanese pigment paint - used to make the prints for Yamamoto garments

Preparation - Mannequin figures

Preparation - garments wrapped in tissue paper

Womenswear - Green Pleated Coat A/W 1986-87 - Wool and Metal

Yellow strapless dress and oversized coolie hat S/S 1997 - Silk


Menswear - Let's be vagabonds - A uniform for the well dressed man in the creative industries.

Fashion in Motion

Fashion in Motion

Another exhibition I recently attended at the V&A was Yohji Yamamoto. A exhibition and fashion in motion catwalk. It was a very interesting exhibition in the way it had been curated. Many people visiting would at first glance think of it to be a minimlist exhibition. However there was a lot of effort put into the bringing the display together. The minimlist look, is appropiate to the aesthetics of Yamamoto. The bright lighting and no glass cases, allows visitors to appreciate fully the clothing in great detail. The exhibition has been compared to his flag ship store.

Also it was interesting that there were some pieces on display within the permanent collections. I think the menswear pieces displayed to look into the courtyard worked the best. As visitors looked at the back of the garment from the gallery. As well as looking through into the gallery from the courtyard, to see the front of the suits, a voyeuristic feeling from both angles.

The scalfolding gave the layout of the space structure, without this I feel with the outfits not being in case would appear cluttered. I like the fact that once the exhibition was installed, Yamamoto went around the walls and painted illustrations of shadows of the manequins. It was not planned out for him to do this, and I think the illustrations give a extra depth to the display.

I had many favourite pieces, including the Yellow strapless silk dress and oversized coolie hat covered with draped silk, Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 1997. This outfit harked back to Christian Dior's fifties new look, but with a contemporary twist. From the use of the vivid yellow, and the draping of the fabric. Yamamoto's garments are all made with high quality fabrics, a lot of the garments look quite heavy compared to high street pieces.

About the exhibition
: presented the work of Yohji Yamamoto, one of the most influential and enigmatic fashion designers of the last forty years. Yamamoto became internationally renowned as an idosyncratic and ground-breaking fashion designer in the early eighties. He challenged traditional notions of fashion by designing garments that seemed oversized, unfinished, played with ideas of gender or fabrics not normally used in fashionable attire such as felt or neoprene.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cult of Beauty Exhibition

Castellani brooch and matching hair ornaments - 1875-1895

A Venus - 1869 - Albert Moore

Reading Aloud - 1884 - Albert Moore

Couch - 1893 - Alma-Tadema Lawrence

Symphony in White No.1 The White Girl - 1862 - Whistler

Gentle Spring - Frederick Sandys

Proud Maisie - 1868 - Frederick Sandys

Vivien - 1863 - Frederick Sandys

Mors Janua Vitae - 1861 - Harry Bates

Esther - 1865 - John Everett Millais

Cult of Beauty - Liberty Window display

One of the recent exhibitions I attended was 'The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900'. Being a member of staff at the V&A is wonderful, as I am surrounded by world class exhibitions. I visited the cult of beauty at least three times, it was quite a big exhibition, so it was great being able to take it all in slowly.

It was curated by Stephen Calloway, there was some quirky illustrations of him in the form of wallpaper in Liberty's windows.
I have put up pictures above of my favourite pieces. Mostly the oil paintings stood out to me, due to the high quality workmanship.

his exhibition charted the development of the Aesthetic Movement in art and design through the decades from the 1860s to the 1890s. As well as paintings, prints and drawings, the show included examples of all the 'artistic' decorative arts, together with drawings, designs and photographs, as well as portraits, fashionable dress and jewellery of the era. Literary life was represented by some of the most beautiful books of the day, whilst a number of set-pieces revealed the visual world of the Aesthetes, evoking the kind of rooms and ensembles of exquisite objects through which they expressed their sensibilities.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Featured in New Book

I am soon to be featured in a new art book, titled 'Making Dolls' book. The publishing company is A&C Black Publishers and the author is Ruth Sleigh-Johnson.

The blurb/summary of the book is: This general introduction to making modern dolls features a varied selection of original projects by contemporary designers and makers. Projects to inspire you include rag dolls, a papier-mâché doll with vintage clothes, a knitted and wired pair of Barbie and Ken style dolls,a cashmere dolly, dolls and creatures that are crocheted and dolls made from recycled materials such as scraps of fabric, old tights and pipe cleaners.

Techniques for the construction of the dolls is explained in simple illustrated steps, and surface application such as hand sewing, appliqué, fabric painting and machine embroidery are used to create beautiful dolls that you won’t want to give away...

Ruth Sleigh-Johnson lives in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex and is a mother of three. She has worked as a freelance stylist and fashion editor for magazines, catalogues and TV and radio items. She has lectured at colleges including London College of Fashion, and currently teaches art and textiles at a girls’ grammar school. She is the author of Practical Textiles Techniques and Practical Sewing Techniques.

Coming out soon, November 2011, the book is available on pre order on amazon, the link is:

Monday, 20 June 2011

Inspiration - Tamara de Lempicka

One of my inspiration is the work of the artist Tamara de Lempicka. She produced art deco fashion paintings, the faces she portrayed had a archetectural feeling. From the cubes she used to make up the images. Also she uses a rich colour pallette, of greens and reds. There is a wood like quality, of the texture of the hair. Many of her works are self portraits, she was very glamorous. Her quote on the home page of her website is, 'Among a hundred painting you could recognize mine, my goal was do not copy. Create a new style.'

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Work - Dolls for Sale

Kate Leopardprint

Meadow Chic

Naomi Butterflies

Roxy Kimono

James Swish

Geoffrey Pirate

Missy Sleek

Chloe White Bunches

Olivia Blue Shoes

Veronica Pearly Buttons

Chantal Chain Bag

Jade Party

Grace Fur

Bethany Tweed

Phoebe Trinkets

Stephaine Shiney

Lola Stripes & Naomi Safetypins

Fluer Happy & Betty Heels

Estelle Velvet

Cherry Sparkle

Sarah Sequins

Lottie Sunglasses

Rory Chesnut

Blue Springtime

Millie Make-up

The life size Harvey Nichols fashion textile dolls, are now available to buy. These dolls I specially made for Harvey Nichols, which were used as mannequins instore to display the designer clothing and accesories. The dolls were on display from 2009 - 2011, around most of the Harvey Nichols stores nationwide. Each doll is unique, there are only 26 available listed above.

For more information, on pricing and ordering, please email: