FOCUS FOUR: COLLAGE & MORE EXHIBITIONS

CONTENTS

1.  FASHION COLLAGE, PHOTOSHOP TRAINING

2.  DAY OUT AT LONDON BRIDGE; THE SHARD, DESIGN MUSEUM & GRACE  CODDINGTON

 

FASHION COLLAGE

The first part of my focus week I wanted to relate fashion to a graphic design sensibility. I wanted to create a collage which would become a sort of homage to great fashion designers. I’ve always liked the idea of architecture and fashion as a combined art form.

Often architects have envisioned their houses populated by individuals who dress according to the style of the house. Frank Lyod Wright often would design clothing to fit his style of interior. In a way it makes sense although hard to control, its an idealistic yet attractive idea.

In this collage I combined the classic roman column with a kind of spiritual feeling.  I wanted to create a collage that would put fashion on an alter. It is a kind of play on how seriously fashion people take themselves and their world. I have alot of respect for fashion design as it is as worthy as any other design profession. How we dress and show oursleves to the world is important.

In order to create the collage I used photoshop. There is a new tool in CS5 called Refine Edge which has proceed the previous less advanced version. This tool is excellent in extracting an item or person from a background. Where this tool differs is that the previous extract tool did not have the detailed accuracy.

Below shows how the window looks. With a bit of practice I was able to extract images very quickly and this proved useful when creating a collage with multiple images layered on top of each other.

This image from Sex and the City One, shows Carries in her Vivienne Westwood Wedding Dress. I was able to extract the image here. In the end I decided to use the lower half of the dress as a kind of fabric curtain. Below is the final collage.

The two angel women hold scales with a Jean Paul Gaultier bottle in one and an Alexander McQueen skull in another. I wanted to play with the idea of two designers competing. Of course the central piece is an alter to Vivienne Westwood with her orb floating above like some kind of crucifix. The nude figures are images by Mapplethorpe and the small figure bottom central is a fashion illistration by Mats Gustafson. I have placed the Hindu ‘Om’ symbol on the dress for that added detail and comment on a religious connotation.

DAY OUT AT LONDON BRIDGE

Following on with fashion theme I decided to go to London Bridege to see the Drawing Fashion exhibition at the Design Museum. On exiting London Bridge station I walked down a side street and was greeted by the most incredible view. The new Shard building standing monumentally above the London Bridge area. The building is going up at an extraordinary rate and is looking very impressive. I was stuck by how alien it looked. The pristine glass and overall shape of the building is powerful and very much a glimpse of the city of the future.

From here I walked along the Thames in an south east direction taking in the gleaming More London and past Tower Bridge. I finally found the Design Museum a rather nice building. It was originally a banana warehouse but was altered later in the 1930’s modernist style.

The museum, is small  and comprises of ground floor with bookshop, cafe and two gallery spaces above. The first exbibition I went to see was the DRAWING FASHION exhibition. This traced fashion illistrations from the 20-21st Century.

The first set of drawings were fantastic. They showed that glamour of the 30’s and 40’s. The artists showed fashion as sometimes stand alone garments but often in settings, such as a smokey Parisien cafe. Here are a couple of images by Lepape.

What I liked about the early drawings was how the artist would design a cover image for Vogue. The graphics were simple, yet created a great mood. This was a time when computers and adobe were not available. I liked the arts and crafts way of approaching the covers.

Here Rene Gruau shows an elegant dress but adds a story to his illistration. We get to see a portion of the dress but there is a sense of mystery. Her pose, flirtatious, is inviting you beyond that doorway.

As you move forward in time you hit the 60’s and enter the era of pop art. One of the main artists featured in this section was Antonio. Just Antonio! He seemed like a dynamic character. I thought I’d include a picture of him as he had an interesting look.

Here are some of Antonio’s signature syles. He was known for his ability to change style yet always have a strong bold statement in his drawings.

The art of fashion illistration really has been replaced by photography although every so often a gem can be found amongst the fashion magazines. If I was to consider photography in terms of fashion as an art form, the art director of Vogue New York comes to mind.

Grace Coddington, born in England found her career as a model for Vogue. Later she worked for Vogue and soon became a leading art director for the various fashion shoots. What I like about her style is how she harks back to an era of beauty and glamour. Her shoots, often combining many models are created very much in a style of a painting. There is a story behind the clothes and she is a very creative person.

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