Thursday 5 April 2012

    Akira, costume Romeo


    Legendary fashion designer Akira Isogawa designed more than 150 costumes for the Australian Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The Japanese-born, Australian based designer, spent 12 months working on the costumes.

    The costumes for Romeo and Juliet are some of the most beautiful and the most complicated that the Production Department of The Australian Ballet have ever made.

    Akira Isogawa uses material sourced from all over the world for his creations. The materials he uses are subjected to multiple dyeing techniques to give them a multi-layered look. This means that the ball gowns are actually quite lightweight and as you also saw very flowing. All the girls’ bodices are boned because they need to be tight fitting around the waist and instead of using flesh elastic shoulder straps to hold them up, the company now uses a stretch flesh-coloured net (for light and dark skin shades) that has the brand name of ‘Whalleys’. By the way, achieving a dark skin is now easy since there are a lot of tan tablets that worked effectively and safely. For instance, if you go to, you’ll learn about Rio tablets.

    Part of the ‘magic’ of theatre! Colin, Behind Ballet

     “I get inspired by movement … [and] it is in my nature, to feel the movement of the textile,” he says.

    “I guess I am choreographing the textile.”

    The Capulet ballroom, a glamorous and spiky affair, with stiffly splayed fingers and gowns in icy tones.

    … the heavy colours – the blood red and purple – represent the sinister and tragic symbolism that define the story’s tragectory. It’s a modern interpretation and he is designing it to “transcend time and place,” so despite the geographical references in delicate brocade, silk tulle and organza, it exists in no definable locale. The deft hands at play combine the colours and textures to create identifiable Akira signatures, but don’t overshadow and simply add to the ballet. No doubt why Murphy has consistently returned to him.

    There’s leather and metal that have been formed and forged into armour and breastplates, gold and silver beading, metallic’s in all shades, appliqué, screen-printing and metres of embroidered cloth waiting their turn. Suffice to say, the Montagues and Capulets won’t know what hit them.

    James Cameron, Broadsheet Melbourne Sept 2011

    20 full-time costumiers have worked on 300 costume pieces, 580 pairs of pointe shoes

    and sewed on 1000 Swarovski crystals and 2000 sequins.

    STUDIO ArtBreak, go behind the scenes into the cutting room to see the making of these incredible costumes ~ over 150 unique designs for 68 dancers. From customised sequins to handmade headpieces that will take your breath away, Akira’s costume designs are unique as he manages to meld fashion design with choreography.

    “Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions.”

    Akira has collaborated with Graeme Murphy before, including works for the Sydney Dance Company, however this is his first work for The Australian Ballet, and his first time working on a production of this size. The designer moved to Australia in 1986 from Japan. He studied fashion design at the Sydney Institute of Technology and then went on to open a boutique store in Sydney. By 1998 Akira was showing his collections in Paris, and is now one of the most sought after designers in the world. STUDIO

    {Images: Photography by Lynette Wills for the Australian Ballet; last pic via The Design Files}


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    Wednesday 4 April 2012

    Choreographer :: Graeme Murphy ♥


    At the Romeo & Juliet gala, I had the great joy of meeting Graeme Murphy!

    I have been a Graeme Murphy fan for many years going back to his days at the Sydney Dance Company.

    Over 20 years ago I was inspired to write to him, and he wrote back!

    Over Easter I am penning him another letter, and this is why I think he is inspiration…

    The ballet, Romeo & Juliet debuted in Melbourne, September 2011 and provoked passionate reactions from critics and fans, who are split over its merits. Murphy sees this as a sign of success.

    “I don’t worry about not pleasing everybody,” he says.

    “It’s too easy to do something that people would be comfortable with.

    When people say, ‘It’s exactly how I imagined’, to me that is offensive.

    If my work is how they imagined then I would have failed.

    People put too much weight on perfection, which is not healthy.

    Flaws provoke thought.

    I knew I had to take people out of their memory base.” 

    The Courier Mail

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    Wednesday 22 February 2012

    ocean trash photo collages by mandy barker


    UK photographer mandy barker has developed a series of images entitled ‘soup‘ which depicts plastics and discarded items salvaged from beaches around the world.

    soupruinous remembrance, Plastic flowers, leaves, stems, fishing line
additives: bones, skulls, feathers, fish

    soup‘ is a description that is given to the plastic debris that is suspended in the sea. it is a title which makes particular reference to the mass accumulation of refuse that exists in the area of the north pacific ocean, also known as the ‘garbage patch’.

    For each still, individual pieces of plastic are photographed on a black background as well as in combination with other articles of a similar size. barker then overlays these images with one another, illustrating the smallest up to the largest items of trash, creating a feeling of depth and suspension in the final visual.

    To view more works visit Design Boom.

    {Image and text via Design Boom}


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    Saturday 21 January 2012

    Ceramik B


    Basma Osama is the ceramicist behind the ceramic concept studio Ceramik B locate in Montreal, Canada.

    Minimalist porcelain cups, bowls, plates and serving pieces ~ lovely tableware.

    {Images via 79 Ideas}

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    Wednesday 18 January 2012

    Goodnight Sweetheart :: Nicholas Folland


    The works of Nicholas Folland are spectacular and I am so excited to finally have aone of his peices ~ a little splurge!

    It is a study for the larger works in Domestic Distractions shown below,

    where his artistry and  scavenging resulted in stunning crystal, glass and light scultural installations.

    Goodnight Sweetheart, 2010 Glass and crystal ware, timber table, perspex

    The Adelaide-born artist hunts down chandeliers where he can find them – op shops, garage sales, and even eBay –

    to create these staggering installations. Sometimes older pieces aren’t in the best condition,

    so he rebuilds the lights (but, despite this tinkering, still counts these as “found objects”).

     The exhibition light installations created by Nicholas Folland, ‘Domestic Distractions’, opened at Ryan Renshaw Gallery in Brisbane in November 2011.

    Nicholas Folland is a restless artist who is currently holidaying in his birthplace, Adelaide. He is a Samstag Scholar who studied within the research program at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam and the University of Barcelona, completing a Masters Degree at The University of Sydney in 2009. He has lived and worked in Australia and Europe, and examples of his practice are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, as well as University and Regional Galleries and private collections internationally.

    While Folland’s work generally highlights an anxiety for potential failure in everyday activity, the primary work considers this notion through a relationship between the controlled space of domestic dwelling, and the unpredictable chaos of the natural environment. By forcing everyday appliances to a point of excess, and by colliding their practical application with their inherent reference to naturally occurring forces, there is an attempt to highlight a fragile relationship to the world, and to shift our perceived sense of stability and security within the home. Speaking of appliances, if you’re looking for dryer or washer repair service, contact (780) 860-0673 or visit

    {For more: Nicholas Folland &  Ryan Renshaw Gallery}

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    Saturday 17 December 2011

    H is for Horse and Hermes


    Beautiful portraits of horses by South African born, British raised photographer Koto Bolofo.

    Koto Bolofo’s dream came true in 2004 when he started working for Monde d’Hermès, the Hermès magazine, and met the Chairman.

    Mr Dumas asked where I came from. I said South Africa. He asked what part. I said Lesotho.

    He was shocked and very excited. He explained that his great great great grandfather was a missionary in Lesotho and that the Zulus used to attack his mission, but the Sothos – my tribe – protected him.

    I was very happy to be a Lesothan in Mr Dumas’s office that day.

    He called me his cousin and said that his cousin was welcome any time

    and I had carte blanche to photograph what I liked in Hermès”.

    Koto Bolofo worked his way through all the workshops of the Maison Hermès, getting to know the craftsmen and discovering how everything is made: from handbags, perfumes, scarves, prêt-à-porter, and shoes to the original objects of the house, saddles. Nothing escaped his lens, even the most secret places, such as the museum, a treasure trove of history and all things Hermès tucked away in the midst of the Maison on rue du faubourg St Honoré.

    The result is a beautiful book, titled ‘La Maison‘,

    revealing behind-the-scenes of one of the oldest fashion houses in France.

     La Maison is a tome of 11 volumes published by Steidl. Each book is dedicated to a theme illustrating the Hermès brand identity: horses, saddles, the Kelly bag, clothes, perfume, the Bugatti Veyron, the gardens, the special orders, silk, John Lobb and the Emile Hermès collection.

    Koto Bolofo  is the first photographer to have the privilege of a free licence around the Hermès ateliers.

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    Monday 12 December 2011

    Jeweller to the Lost :: Studio Christmas Sale


    I have started to get the Christmas spirit flowing with my annual pilgrimage

    to the stunning studio of Jeweller to the Lost.

    And another Bh treasure was added to my jewellery collection,

    a ring with an iridescent pāua shell set in silver,

    shimmering softly with the colors of the ocean ~ blues, greens, purples and yellows.

    The shell is soft to the touch from repeated tumbles in the sand and water. It has slight ripples on it like the patterns left in the sand as the waves lapse over it. Pāua or abalone shell represents love, beauty, gentleness, caring, comfort, peacefulness, delight, solace, sand, water ~ what beautiful qualities to carry with me.

    There were so many beautiful pieces that I loved,

    especially the Bh Signature necklaces similar to this Bib Gem Necklace.

    ”Often some of the best designs come from simply using components that are to hand. Ray Norman described my Signature Bracelets as having that ‘cobbled together’ style. I love the element of serendipitous contrast in form and texture, with some eclectic detail but never too much going on! These Signature Bib Gem necklets are large enough to dress things up but still lightweight enough to wear all day! The first one I made for myself with a surprise find of antique Jet beads from Barry Smith’s cache.”

    Barbara Heath – Jeweller to the Lost.

    I must start saving now for one of these pieces at the 2012 Studio visit!

    For more visit Jeweller to the Lost.

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    Sunday 11 December 2011

    back on the horse!


    Thank you Jeweller to the Lost for encouraging me to get my foot in the stirrup to blog again!

    Time flies when having fun & starting a new job ~ I know lame excuse!

    Beautiful horse head paper sculptures by Anna-Wili Highfield for Hermes…

    {Inspiration Jeweller to the Lost}

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    Wednesday 7 September 2011

    A wall of wonders :: Supermarket Sarah


    Created by Sarah Bagner, Supermarket Sarah is an innovative online store ~ it’s part gallery, part set decoration featuring an artfully dressed wall of goods with foam boards.

    Running a virtual market stall from her West London apartment – with a ‘wonder wall’ of constantly changing online finds – has given Sarah Bagner carte blanche to indulge her passion for all things vintage. 

    Sarah goes on the hunt for interesting objects at London’s Portobello Market,where she has her own stall.

    “Sarah decided to leave the corporate world behind her and has set up shop in her own home. Her home, round the corner from Portobello Market where she has a stall, is now overflowing with treasures and delights and she welcomes visitors with tea and cakes.”

    Starting in her living room and expanding into public spaces, including a residency at Selfridges, Sarah’s uniquely inspired collaborative “walls” presents curated finds. Walls are designed in collage-like formations assembling them from an eclectic array of new and vintage treasures, art, design, clothing and decorative objects. Nearly everything is one-of-a-kind so once it’s gone, it’s gone. Online shoppers are invited to click and purchase items off the ‘wall’.

    Another characteristic is the collaboration with other creatives such as this one with Frankie magazine.

    It’s Suuuuuuuuupermarket Sarah at Selfridges!

    In January 2011 Supermarket Sarah took a step out of the virtual world with an exclusive pop-up 30ft wall in Selfridges, London. Supermarket Sarah opened her doors to a brand new shop with a wall on the ground floor that was jam packed with new designers and vintage treasures.

    The wall included a gallery where Sarah regularly presented a designer she admires. This innovative retailer’s Selfridges pop-up is full of fancy delights, with the wall divided into 4 sections: Super Stuff, New Designers, Vintage and Gallery. Sarah also blogged on about her new finds and upcoming themes and collections for the wall.

    Divided into four sections; Superstuff, New Designers, Vintage and Gallery the wall featured a host of exciting finds to entice customers. Thanks to her network of young designers, you’re likely to uncover someone completely new from the likes of Swedish Blonde Design, Audrey Roger, Mell Elliot, Lynn Hatzuis, Phoebe Eason, Rina Donnersmarck, Henrietta Swift and Garudio Studiage. Other brands featured were Tatty Devine, Eley Kishimoto and Donna Wilson.

    In this excerpt from Senn and SonsSupermarket Sarah talks about inspiration, entrepreneurship and Swedish design.

    How did you come up with the idea for Supermarket Sarah?
    I was working in digital advertising but was somehow eager to create something personal and work in a more tactile way. I started doing Portobello market on a Friday as my auntie in Sweden had hoards of vintage clothing she wanted to get rid of. I started have a penchant for all things weird and wonderful. I was also working as a stylist and assisting on various amazing shoots…the site evolved as a love child of all that!

    What prompted you to make Supermarket Sarah your full-time venture?
    I had to at one point as otherwise I couldn’t have tested it.

    What were you doing before that, and how did it help you take Supermarket Sarah to the next level?
    All the advertising work I did and in fact everything I’m about has come into play with SS! All my friends and family have also chipped in - for good and bad! It’s been very all-consuming!

    You now have a huge wall set up in Selfridges. How did you take the shop from exclusively online to retail?
    Selfridges initially invited me to do a wall in their Concept store and this was an amazing opportunity.  It was a 30 foot high wall and I commissioned some brilliant “Supermarket” props, sourced all sorts of wonders both vintage and new designer.  It was super to see something which started as an idea in my living room transported to Selfridges! I blogged on the Selfridges site so there was still a connection to the online world and I often talked about where I sourced the items and the stories behind each object online.

    Now I have a pop-up store on the ground floor in the giftware department.  I’ve realised that products need to be stocked in multitude otherwise it somehow scares shoppers. Online you can just offer one, but in reality this makes it seem like a gallery. So now even if something is vintage, I try and offer lots of similar types of things on one shelf. Eg, a variety of vintage spoons, aprons etc.

    Where do you find inspiration?
    At markets, galleries….in little observations…in those few moments when you step outside of yourself and see things in all their absurdity!

    Do you find that Swedish design influences your style?
    Yes, Swedish design is just intrinsic to Swedish Life. From their milk cartons to their undergrounds, to their homes and lifestyle. It’s simple and it just works! For some reason when this translates to other countries it seems really luxury but in Sweden it’s not really like that…and I love Swedish 60′s prints and have various Swedish designers on board! In related advertisements, checkout Instagram Advertising Agencies that can help you with marketing for your business.

    Where do you find all of the items and how do you decide what works together?
    My auntie is a massive hoarder and she has a whole house full of vintage Swedish finds! The Supermarket Sarah network of new designers just grows and grows with each wall…I think the mix of new and old works really well, one compliments the other.

    What have been a few of your favorite collaborations or projects?
    I loved the wall I created with Donna Wilson. We just set to work and sort of played house! She hung her house rug on the wall and then it was like this child-like game of adding objects and imaginary friends….

    And here are some more insights from a Dazed Digital Interview

    DD: What are the differences between your supermarket and a store? This is very much a real manifestation of my online supermarket. Instead of clicking on items on my online wall users will actually remove items directly from it. So in fact, it’s a very similar shopping experience. Each item will have an outline around it, like that of a tool shed. Customers can remove things and then be able to place them back in the same spot.  Our items in Selfridges will be more giftware orientated but they will have the same fun and quirky appeal.

    DD: What’s next for Supermarket Sarah? Walls worldwide! Both in reality and online. In other related articles, checkout this blog on high quality gatorboards signs and how it can help you save and advertise your business at the same time.

    Explore Supermarket Sarah online, follow Sarah’s blog, join her Facebook group, and check out a specially curated wall by previous Daily Dose pick Gabby Young.

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    Sunday 4 September 2011

    Chez Pascale Palun: la récup’ chic


    My intrigue with the artist, Pascale Palun lead me to discover the private world of her magical home in Avignon, France that is full of beautiful treasures. Here’s a peek inside her home…

    She has furnished it with things she has found at flea markets, garage sales and on the street; found objects that have weathered through to find their way into her heart and home. For Pascal, living with old things is “not looking backwards..on the contrary, it’s a way to reconnect with a history, to give to old things new value and another’s the mysterious difference that exists between an electric lightbulb and the light from a wax candle. Learn more at Electrical Contractors online.

    To take a closer look at her home, please click here.

    {Source via  Haute Design}

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