Sunday, March 29, 2009

Art Wear Events and YSL Exhibit

"Art-for-Wear" now signifies contemporary wearable art, and "Wearable Art" means jewelry and possibly t-shirts!?? This is my conclusion after spending a lot of time online this past week. Do you understand it that way too? Please tell me what you think under Comments. I might start referring to all of it as art you wear or artwear.

April 25, 2009: This postcard advertises one of my favorite annual events in Palo Alto, CA. It's an intimate gathering of textile, accessory, and jewelry artists. Each has a vending space and when they're not busy selling to patrons, it's a chance to mingle and talk. Across the top you are looking at the work of Maja, Joanne Staniszkis, Anja Broenink, Carol Windsor, and Chris Triola. Bottom row: Jacquelyn Rice & Uosis Juodvalkis, Nicky Falkenhayn, Bonnie Wells, Voline Strand, Susan Kirschner, and Stacy Zink. Among other participating artists are Judith Content, Carol Lee Shanks, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Ellen Hauptli, and Jean Cacicedo--there are 36 contemporary artists involved. Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road (at Embarcadero), Palo Alto. Admission: $10 donation (tax deducible) 10 am to 5 pm.

April 21, 2009: "Diva Luncheon" at the Knoxville Museum of Art adds a fashion show of wearable art. This is part of the expanded Dogwood Arts Festival in East Tennessee. This information courtesy of the Knoxville News Sentinel Co. I'm sorry I couldn't find more information, but if you go, please let me know what you saw so we can tell everyone next year.

Remember the earrings in last week's note? You couldn't click on the link because I had one "n" too many. So please try again: Meg wrote to remind us that she will have a booth (Booth #1825) at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago, April 17-19, 2009 (Donald E. Stephens Center, Rosemont, Illinois). For more information about the quilt festival go to I enjoy the quilt festivals so much that it just kills me to miss them. If you go, please let me know what you saw and enjoyed.

Marcy Tilton sent out her monthly newsletter (March 2009 Newsletter for Everyday Creatives)--always something interesting to read and ponder, and beautiful fabrics to buy. We also get a heads up on new Vogue patterns she is about to publish. Sign up with Marcy so you can get your own reminder by email. Meanwhile, here's the link:

Lois Ericson also sent a note: "Now that the Design & Sew sale is over and we are getting back into our routine, it is time to concentrate on the new website. We have been working on it but it seems to take longer than I anticipated. I'm sure most of you know how that works! The new site will still be so you can find me. The heading on the home page will say 'Lois Ericson Designs Accessories.' I hope you will 'check me out' and see what I've been working on."

The American Craft Council (ACC) puts on annual shows in cities around the USA. (I try very hard not to miss the one in San Francisco, so many beautiful and exciting works on display!) They showcase among the best of contemporary artists in artwear, textiles, jewelry, furniture, sculpture, and more. They sent me the following: Now accepting applications from rising craft artists for our show in San Francisco! (From what I have learned over the grapevine through the years, this has been a difficult show to get into--so this is a great opportunity.) Show dates are August 14-16. Sixteen makers will be juried into this bustling section, which celebrates the innovative techniques and materials of the burgeoning handmade movement. This is an opportunity for talented artists and indie designers to gain national exposure at a well-established show.

Located at Fort Mason Center on the San Francisco waterfront between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, this show features 250 artists and serves a well-established audience of over 10,000 Bay Area craft enthusiasts. The average booth is valued at $1,000 but as part of the Council’s commitment to indie crafters, the cost of participation is just $350, which includes a 10-ft skirted table, electricity and lighting trusses in a shared loft space. Plus, there’s no application fee! Applicants are eligible only if they have NOT shown in an American Craft Council show previously. Embellished commercially-bought objects (e.g., tee shirts, note cards, etc.) are not eligible. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 27.
Please submit: * (3) low-resolution images of your work * A brief description of your work (materials, dimensions, techniques)
* Your contact information (mailing and email addresses). Send submissions and inquiries to Erika at Finalists will be announced in May. You will find several entries in Google, but I liked the wearable art photos here:

The World of Wearable Art is an event held in Nelson, New Zealand. There's no point in me trying to describe it. Just go to their website and look at the photos--in fact, do a search on Google and you'll find both photos and videos to entertain you for hours. What came to my attention is that the creator of this 20 year old show, Suzie Moncrieff, has stepped down. The gentleman replacing her is from the dance world. It will be interesting to see how he changes things.

Linda Teufel at Dragonthreads wrote to announce that Vogue patterns is putting out another Koos design. This one is a caftan, just in time for summer. I didn't have permission to show you the photo of the pieced garment, but I think this will also be a keeper. It will be fun to choose the fabrics and to make. She's also having a sale to sell the last of her copies of the book about Koos techniques and Barbara Olson's fabulous techniques book for art quilters.

Ethnographic Designs. Because I have signed on with Rachel Clark (see last week's note) to make a vest that reflects Polish garment embellishments, I've been looking around and doing research. I was going through my several books on world textiles and to my surprise, there was very little focus, if any, on Polish costumes. Then I went online looking for costumes, and again very little. I hit the bonanza by searching on Polish "design." So if you're doing research for your cultural textiles of choice, try that. Of course at this point my eyes and ears were wide open for more on the topic and up comes an advertising email titled Ethnographic Designs at Peruvian Connections. Check out their website to see how they've incorporated cultural textile designs into their elegant clothes.

This week I finally made the trek to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the De Young museum in San Francisco. It left me speechless and that's saying how fabulous are his garments and this show. The exhibit ends on April 4, 2009, so if you're in the Bay Area and haven't been, hustle, hustle, you don't want to miss this one! The exhibit starts out with mostly black clothing. The lighting was quite low, very dark for my aging eyes--even with spotlighting I couldn't make out the seams in black velvet dresses. That was frustrating, but maybe not so much for all the young people who were there. I studied a draped coral gown but couldn't figure out how he sewed it. I used my new skills of being able to design anything you see in a photograph and figured he'd made a very unusual pattern for the ties that were part of the body, then used a facing that ends and disappears on the underside, but I don't really know. I'll have to play with drafting the pattern myself and see what I get. As a last resort I'll call Sandra Ericson and ask her, "Oh teacher, what do you suppose happened here?"

I went through the exhibit slowly. I was surprised that it was mostly black, then went back to take a second look at details and to take notes and make drawings. I didn't know there were so many variations on the tuxedo look. The pieces that were haute couture listed the famous women who ordered them. There was the little dress that Catherine Deneuve wore in the movie Belle de Jour. Another that Jane Fonda wore and I could just see her in it, ditto for Princess Grace--hers was a simple princess seam dress with bateau neck. These were the clothes of my life! It was actually pretty heady--some pieces were so very famous from photos in magazines. I was running late so I moved on towards the bookstore. And that's when I realized there was another larger room full of brightly colored gowns. My word! But my eyes were banging together by now. I had seen so much I couldn't take it all in anymore. One outstanding piece was a wedding gown for Shakespeare's time, there was the African collection, the Mondrian dresses, on and on, even the tweed suits. I have to go back! Hope I make it.

I did look through the catalog a couple of times. (I tried to find you a source for the catalog--they had piles of them at the museum. The info in the book gives no ISBN number, only the publisher's address and two websites. I have looked high and low and find nothing on the website--this looks to be a special order, but try these: My most favorite thing is his drawings. They speak to me more than do the photos, probably because I like to draw any garment before I make it. I have to create the image so that I can see where I'm heading and whether I have proportions right. One of the museum notes indicated that YSL's drawings were usually right on--what he drew was what you got. That isn't true with most designers. By the time they cut out the design in muslin and identify the requirements of the fashion fabric, the original idea gets modified--but not so much with YSL's clothes. Beautiful as the photos are in this catalog (big, heavy paperback!) they don't do the clothes justice. I have seen so many of them in fashion magazines over the years, and it just doesn't compare with seeing the real thing. One of my favorites is the Shakespearean wedding gown. Standing on that platform it's fabulous, a huge poufy dream of brass-colored brocade and tulle with some light touches of orange. In the book, that photo emphasizes the orange and I wouldn't have given it a second look! I'll try to write more about this show after it ends so that I don't spoil it for anyone else who might go. I didn't find indications of this show travelling elsewhere in the USA. I overheard a gentleman saying these clothes were all going back to Paris. I'll say one thing that I hope to elaborate on later. In the colorful room I felt surrounded by wearable art. There I saw first hand how these designers go to various world cultures to get ideas. In YSL's case, I remember Russia, China, Japan, India, and Africa. I expect I'll discover more. He used beading, heavy embroidery, and then the shapes of the clothes to reflect these cultures. Absolutely fascinating!

1 comment:

rosalie cooke said...

Priscilla Kibbee found the Yves St. Laurant Style, Style, Style catalog for sale at for $31.50. That will be easier to find than trying to hunt it down through the publishers. Thanks Priscilla!