Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Wineglasses (Dress 139)

Dear Wineglasses,
I have a confession to make: I don't really like wine. I've tried, I promise, all types, and just 'drinking through the taste' trying to find why it's so appealing to others- I really can't get it. At most I'll finish one glass, but it's really tough. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I'm missing out gastronomically, maybe my tastebuds will refine. Until then I will be content to drink fruit juice (as long as I'm allowed to drink it out of a wineglass.) There is something classically beautiful about a well made wineglass, and the new varieties of stemless ones are stunning! It's really irritating when a restaurant won't let you drink out of the wineglass, it's one kind of glassware or another, and i'm not going to miss out on beautiful design just because my tastebuds are low-tech!
Today's dress has a silver 'hoop' in the outline of a stemless wineglass, to which a white (synthetic) material is affixed. over the white, synthetic black threads are bound around the bodice, and then zigzagged down the front of the skirt part of the dress. another clear fabric is fitted over that layer, and they are fused together on a mannequin specifically designed to be warm, and therefore ensure even warmth and shrinkage.
(NB: this technique was made up for this dress, and may or may be physically possible... Oh well!)
All my love,

Dear Pentel (Dress 138)

Dear Pentel,
Without you I would have no mechanical-pencil-lead. Something about the tube- a black rubber cap on a case in a brown no-one else would ever dream of using, has become a part of my keys-wallet-phone-diary-drawingutensils leaving-the-house checklist. For all it's pigment-related-shortcomings, it really is a rather pretty shape. And today, as i sat down to design the dress, it seemed fitting.
All my love,

Dear Dianne Wynne-Jones (Dress 137)

Dear Dianne Wynne-Jones,
Your books were such a focus of my childhood- You were the author (along with Roald Dahl) upon whom I could always rely to transport me, sick, home from school, into another world without the mild headache or minor stomach upset (that, to a child seems plaguelike in proportion). One particular image (among many) that remains embedded is that of a tribe of strange elfin creatures that wear the (traditionally Gaellic? Welsh? English?) neck-jewellery, the Torc. Today's dress is in honor of that forgotten necklace.
(The drawing on the left is a view of the back. The Torc itself is made of silver, as are the balls at the end of the ribbon at the back. The ribbon is knotted around the Torc, and is part of the plain backless sheath dress part.)
All my love,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Scrabble (Dress 136)

Dear Scrabble,
I’m nerdily fond of a good game of Scrabble, or Upwords or whatever.
So shoot me.
This dress comes with a fabric marker (and no filled in letters.)
Go wild!
All my love,

Dear Phil and Susan (Dress 135)

Dear Phil and Susan,
You are a lovely couple: kind and interesting and gentle, with two gorgeous sons. In my first memory of you I’m being asked to be your flower girl- although I wasn’t sure who you were at the time, you’d met on the internet, countries apart, spoken often, met, and married. Phil became more than our web designer, he was our friend. Susan became my mothers design co-conspiritor, and their sons my miniature companions. One particularly intense memory is the younger son, Casey, at no more than eight months showing great promise of continuing the familial lineage- impressive English stock where six foot is nothing unusual- so solid that, bouncing on my knee for an hour or so he left an impressive mark- the ghost-weight, as if he was still there, even twenty minutes later. In their first Melbournian house they had the unenviable task of stripping a sedimentary history of wallpaper- from subdued Victorian patterns to the garish and gently furred monstrosities of the eighties. So great a task, in fact, that they wanted to leave it, but peeling strips of wallpaper proved otherwise.
All my love,

Dear Renault, (Dress 134)

Dear Renault,
My Dad somehow got it into his head that I should have a car, and since we’re financially rather comfortable right now (which for artists is more mirage than reality) he’s been looking around for one. Recently he heard of a friend selling an ancient Renault for (apparently) peanuts (ok, not ancient. But older than me by a good decade or two.) I’ve since been unable to stop my eyes a-wandering every time I catch a glimpse of an older car. And therefore:
A dress in honor of ancient (and not so ancient) cars. May unnecessarily large grilles be always in style.
All my love,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Collectors Everywhere (Dress 133)

Dear Collectors Everywhere,
You have these strange obsessions- you require the most meticulous of specifications in your collecting- autographs must be framed, and mounted, and photos, and strips of film; oh my! Even though he only collects books (which doesn't count. Really! It's exempt in every way... can you tell i'm justifying my own, embarrasing National Geographic collection?) Jorge has a couple of autographs- bought from those collectible poster stores I imagine, and they have little strips of film in them from the films the actors starred in- kindof silly when they're mounted on blue board and you can't see what's on them!
Silly it might be, but it's responsible for today's dress.
All my love,

Dear Donnini's (Dress 132)

Dear Donnini's,
Your pasta is freaking amazing. You've been selling it on Lygon Street for who-knows how long... And every time I go in there I remember why I want a pasta machine. Gorgeous, delicious ravioli in every colour and flavour (my favourite: Beetroot and ricotta, purely for the aesthetic appeal of translucent creamy parcels with their vibrant fuschia filling.) I thought a ravioli dress would look ridiculous, but that's not all you sell! You've got regular hand-made pasta too, fresh and everything. There is nothing lovelier than bunches of pasta, half-looped- the neckpiece of this dress would be silver reproductions of that pasta (detatchable for use as a necklace), with three or four wisps around the waist. The dress would be cream crepe over a light blue cotton (inked version to come later.)
All my love,
nom nom nom

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear 365ers (Dress 131)

Dear 365ers everywhere,
You're freaking AMAZING! Some of the things I've seen are bloody intense. Particularly entrancing is the work by Brock Davis: One piece of creative work made every day for 365 consecutive days. Exactly the spirit in which I started my project- to be constantly creative. Brock's work is varied, funny, interesting, and often breathtakingly beautiful.

Particuarly his work for Jan 3rd. This image played on my mind for ages, until I couldn't help but make it today's dress.
I know it's not intensely original, and were I to make this dress it would have to be with his permission; but I just thought it was such a gorgeous image it would make a lovely dress (although, due to penfail not a great drawing on my behalf.)
Done in ribbon on cotton fabric.
All my love,
P.S. A shout-out to the lovely Lucy, an old friend who I don't see as often as I'd like, who (when I bumped in to her in the city) said she reads this, and totally made my day! Which, considering the day I had was a mean feat! Time spent with Jorge, and the delightful Tess in City Hatters, nomsome soup, heavenly pistachio cupcake, cheap and pretty silver shoes, not having my bike stolen when I locked it to itself but not the pole, an Outsapopable stripy jumper, Heston Blumenthal on Masterchef (don't judge me! He's amazing.) and now, a cup of earl grey while I write the blog are just some of the reasons today was simply brilliant. Knowing that people are out there enjoying it is a wonderful feeling, (GoogleApps tells me there are people reading this in Russia! and France! And one lovely lady in the US!) Thankyou- to Lucy specifically, and to others, those I know, and those i'm yet to hear from. Please, if there is anything you'd like to see, anyone you think I should take a look at for inspiration or anything you're not happy with, let me know. I really appreciate the time you take reading, and voting, and commenting- it helps me keep this going more than you could know!

Dear Phyllis Dietrichson (c/o Barbera Stanwyck) (Dress 130)

Dear Phyllis,
In high school I studied your film Double Indemnity, an intense and visually gorgeous Film Noir, tagline: From the moment they met it was murder!
(image credit)
Nothing sticks from the student of Film Noir like the good ol' Venetian Blinds trick, signifying mixed emotions and internal crisis...
In honor of Phyllis, queen of mixed signals and the tiny touches that make an outfit complete (remember... this is the 1940s, when sexual repression meant an anklet was the height of titilation!)
A dress fit for a murderous widow; hand-painted, each dress is individually 'shadowpainted'. White dresses are made, and then put on plastic-covered dress forms, each dress is taken to a white room where a light is shone through a filter that imitates venetian blinds- the dress is then hand-inked at a particular angle and with a unique light focus (some dresses would be sharp focus, meaning that the light is close to the blinds and very bright, or soft focus is achieved by soft light a distance from the blinds.)
All my love,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear 1980's (Dress 129)

Dear 1980's,
Clothes then were sodding horrible. At the secondhand shops near my house they sell pattern sets of ready-made outfit-sets. Every. Single. One. Horrible.
All clashy prints and big lapels and really, really, really, really hideous hair.
And then there's games of the 90's- which are all strangely cool now, like Prince of Persia, which I remember playing on an ancient Mac... how things have evolved.
So in memory of big lapels, and the sands of time,
In affectionate nostalgia,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dear AvantCard (Dress 128)

Dear Avantcard,
You're freaking awesome. I have a stack of postcards from you, and when I get bored with my room instead of doing huge alterations I just re-do my postcard board. Here in its' new incarnation, a rainbow(ish):

There isn't really an explicit link between the board and the dress, but I was trying to find a swimsuit (now that they are cheap) because I left mine behind in Israel, and I saw awesome monokinis (which is such a ridiculous name) and one of the postcards is a autumnal tree that looks like it's on fire.
The colours came out too bright- i wanted them much more muted.
All my love,

Dear Dad (Dress 127)

Dear Dad,
'though I'd never tell you- you're probably the coolest dad I know, you brought me up on a diet of Radiohead, Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers, a strange understanding of mechanics, and a love of backgammon. When you went to Japan last year you brought back a whole lot of interesting things to hang off your rear-view mirror, amongs them; a plastic sushi, a metal koi, and a plastic space invader.
Your support of this project, and your faith in my abilities makes me prouder than you'd know.
All my love,
P.S. in this dress the space invader would be less insane looking... fyi.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear Rostand (Dress 126)

Dearest Rostand,
I love that play. I love that film. I love those words and those settings, those plots and those characters- and most of all I love that moment. That quivering vine from Roxane's hand all the way down to sweet enamoured Cyrano unerneath her balcony, whispering his love and praises of her through the lips of a man he cannot compete with.
I'd love to use traditional book-plate-printing techniques for this dress' design.
The image is Cyrano reclining in a book, from whence comes the wall, vine, balcony and window.
All my love,

Dear AFP (Dress 125)

Dearest Amanda F***ing Palmer,
I cannot express how much you inspire me. Your skill and artistic integrity mean you have the opportunity to work with some of the most interesting artists, musicians and performers in the international scene. You're not a sudden star- you've worked (and continue to work) hard, constantly to be where you are now, with your collaborative project with Jason Webley Evelyn Evelyn now touring internationally.

I saw you perform in Melbourne's Forum Theatre earlier this year- and I will never forget what that did to me. You took to the stage, vibrant, engaging and wildly charming, sang your soul out for two hours, and then- as promised, serenaded us from the gorgeous balcony with Radiohead's Creep. I cannot help but feel that every person in that audience was buoyed by that anthem of the disconnected.
What happened afterward is something I will always remember, and treasure. I waited to speak with you, and thank you, and after meeting you, I walked away shaking, and crying- because as much as I love your music, your artistry, your creative path- that's what enthralls me.

Your manager comforted me, and asked my name, and let me know that yes: you can do it. He manages your tours in the southern hemisphere, and he was in five films last year... So why not? That even your tour manager is an awesome bloke just cements my perception of you as a collaborator, these people come together to make something amazing because you bind them with charm, talent and ambition.
You are a role model for artists everywhere to go and do what they want; with whoever they can get; and do as much as they can with what they are given.

Not just all this... you're also about to marry one of my favourite authors, the incredibly skilled wordsmith, Mr Neil Gaiman. Damn.  When his book Coraline was adapted into a film, and the film was nominated for an Oscar for animation you went along, and in true ballsy fashion- wore this:
Which was brave, funny, clever and stunning- and prompts this beaded dress over a silk slip (I'm not that brave.)
The beads are strung on long fine strings that are formed into that configuration as they are beaded.
Thankyou for your courage, your skill, and your generosity,
All my love,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear Alice (Dress 124)

Dearest Alice,
They've finally given you a name, and now i'm well on my way to making your mobile, three felt bunnies (half size) from the pattern at Hazlenut's Blog and lots of felt carrots coming out of a felt lettuce... it's a challenge.
So no wonder I have carrots on the mind:
not my fault.

Dear Tom 'n Jess (Dress 123)

Dear Tom n' Jess,
You're ridiculously cute you two; both together and apart I'm really very fond of you. You're not one of those icky couples (to be honest, I didn;t know you were dating until a month+ afterwards!) but there is one gorgeous photo of Tom's birthday kiss that's just adorable.
In honour of your sweetness, and Banj's mad photoskills,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dear Darryl (Dress 122)

Dearest Darryl,
We used to go to your lifedrawing classes, my mum and I, every wednesday of my year 12. I don't remember his name, but there was a fellow there that did a lot of hypercolourful works in conte chalk and paint. I remember his teeshirts at the end of the three hour artwork extravaganza were covered in psychadelic smears of paint- the product of a brush absentmindedly cleaned in an almost feathery pattern from right hip to left shoulder. Why not make a dress a palette? I'd love to make this dress in plain white, and just let artists go wild in a range of them- have someone do action paintings, pollock-esque, or rennaisance oils, or dusty brilliantly coloured conte chalk.
This drawing is a little on the simple side in terms of colour, it's meant to be an example of what you could do with a white version of the dress.
The 'hole' on the right is meant to be a hole to the skin, but I think I drew it a little to large, if it were smaller i'd like it to show just a little of the under-breast.
All my love,

Dear City Hatters (Dress 121)

Dear City Hatters,
When I have a million billion squajillion dollars I will not be so frightened of going to you.
As it is now, I can't afford a 300$ Top Hat, but i'd happily make a 30$ or so alternative.
(Matte Satin with a beaded feather embellishment)
All my love,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Breaking Bad (Dress 120)

Dear Braking Bad,
You're a really awesome TV show, the first six episodes of which i'm rewatching to get the BF up to speed so we can watch the rest of it together (we ran out of Fringe. Don't judge me.)
All this science etc. got me thinking about all that dumb trivia- the heart is the same size as your fist, the skin in your lungs could cover a tennis court, your intestines could circle the earth
Ta Da!
P.S. anyone that knows any more trivia? I got stuck after three, which seems kindof weak.

Dear Metro (Dress 119)

Dear Metro,
you don't deserve a dress.
'Cause you royally suck.
But who else am I going to dedicate a Train-based dress to?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear Safta Haya, (Dress 118)

Dearest Safta (Grandmother in Hebrew),
It's strange, I only see you every ten years- and yet I feel I know you. We're remarkably similar, you and I- Our love of making things, of textures, and most particularly, of scent. A personal obsession of mine, the art of perfume and the chemistry of scent. Since reading The Emporor of Scent, by Chandler Burr i've been entranced by the collective power of the aesthetic and aromatic that is a flacon of perfume, and it's contents. You have a collection of old perfume bottles, mainly empty- for practicing your glass painting on.
When I was in Israel you gave me a half-full bottle of J'Adore, you said my grandfather (who passed away ten years ago) gave it to you. For all that you love it you said it is too subtle for you, too gentle- strange, for a woman of such delicacy, you look like Jackie Kennedy in the photos I have from my mother's childhood.
You handed me this beautiful little golden bottle, the gold colouring on the wire of the neck faded with age, and, wrapped in silk scarves i'd bought in Israel, it came all the way across the sea with me. And now, when I need to be reminded, soft clouds of pearly scent surround me.
Today's dress is corset-topped, wrapped in an even layer of bronze wire, the ends of which are bent over tiny silver beads, the back of the corset laced with silver ribbon. The skirts are navy silk, three layers, edged with the same silver ribbon used for lacing.
All my love,
P.S. Today is DAY 100! We've made it! Happiness and Delight! Rar.

Dear Koko Black (Dress 117)

Dearest Koko Black,
You make candied orange slices that are happiness and delight. Did I mention they're dipped in dark chocolate?
All my love,
(pieced silk with a double-belt with a bow.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dear Antoine (Dress 116)

Dear Antoine,
Your book was a central influence on my childhood, now, as it gets cold, I remember snuggling up in my cushion corner (I made one every winter next to the heater for reading) and reading the hours away. Your story entranced me, and enchants me still.
The dress is cotton dyed yellow with light blue printing.
All my love,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dear Ma (Dress 115)

Dear Mum,
I've always taken your art for granted. Growing up amongst beautiful things and amazing creative people. How lucky was I? Thanks.
A couple of years back you did an exhibition in Queensland where you made engraved ice columns (three) at intervals of two or so hours, so that there was always a highly detailed column, a column that had melted a fair bit and had little or no detail, and a column that had melted down until it was beginning to fall off the pole that held each doughnut-shaped 'brick' together. The columns melted into a giant glass boat, which in turn filled until two holes near the top of the boat, from whence water spilled into two bowls on the floor, each filled with various spices.
The spices just looked so stunning, and since my great-aunt sent us spices from Israel our kitchen smells heavenly, no wonder I can't get it off my mind!
Jersey T-shirt with soft printed spices.
All my love,

Dear Ilana (Dress 114)

Dearest Ilana,
You're lovely. I mean it- really truly lovely. You wrote me a sweet letter a fair while back that made my day when I needed it most- not just with the sweetness of the sentiment but the presentation too! Calligraphy monogram and your insanely pretty handwriting-all your style is like that- strong lines and intense contrasts. Yesterday after our class performance you were getting dressed for a party, and you were wearing this stunning satin backless creation that looked just amazing... so in honour of backlessness and the prettiness that is 1950s contrast:
(White satin, black calligraphyesque 'pool' lines, and  half-strawberry (with cream) brooch.)
All my love,

Dear Kishkoosh (Dress 113)

Dearest Kishkoosh,
You were my mum's pet really, she absolutely adored you- clever and beautiful, and a lovely creature. I was so young that I was frightened of you- you were this big bird with a powerful beak and you didn't like me because I moved so quickly that I frightened you. Silliness. I realised how much a part of our family you were when the next-door-neighbours' dog killed you. I remember when my dad came to school to tell me- still shaking- he held you while you passed and buried you himself.
When Annie (my ex-drama teacher, and family friend) brought Charlie to us I felt like it was a chance to start fresh- but that didn't work out, because he hated men and kept trying to bite my Father.
I still think maybe one day I'll get my mum another Cockatoo- I know she misses you.
(Inked linen with a satin lining to structure it.)
All my love,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Reader (New Poll)

Dearest Reader,
Here are the dresses up for voting this month
Dear MTC/Malthouse (Dress 69)
Dear Maya (Dress 70)
Dear Gabrielle Adler (Dress 71)
Dearest New Pillow (Dress 72)
Dear 13/5/10 (Dresses 74, 75, 79, 80, 82, 83)
Dear Honeybee (Dress 86)
Dear Tramdrivarr (Dress 87)
Dear Wright Bros (Dress 88)
Dear Beautiful Red-Headed Girls (Dress 90)
Dear Sally (Dress 92)
Dear Ater (Dress 94)
Dear Patternmakers (Dress 99)
Dear Jorge (Dress 100)
Dear Kate, Stevie & ? (Dress 101)
All my love,
Happy voting!

Dear Reader (Poll Results)

Dear Reader,
The poll results are in and:
1 vote for Dear Monfash (Dress 50)
3 votes for Dear Young Queen Elizabeth (Dress 53)
2 votes for Dear Melbourne Dandy (Dress 56)
and 1 vote for Dear Winter Night (Dress 61)
So Dear Young QEII it is!
New poll will be up soon.
New feature: multiple votes accepted.
All my love,

Dear Lucy, (Dress 112)

Dear Lucy,
The first time I met you you were wearing a man's shirt and a pair of tights.
Damn brave.
This one's for you:
(The 'tails' are the back of the dress. cotton.)
All my love,

Dear Half-Way Mark (Dresses 102-111)

Dear Half-Way Mark,
You're killing me.

I) flat metal cutlery on a mesh strap. dress is white linen (like tablecloths at a nice restaurant)
also comes in chequered red and white and with a white napkin under the cutlery.

II) flat copper studs on a red dress, or black? opaque crepe.

III) wire reinforced hood in greyblue crepe on a grey crepe dress

IV) as inspired by PonyRider Bedspread

V) orange peeling. cottown with wire reinforcement and ribbon 'zest'

VI) linen and handmade matching buttons

VII) white opaque crepe with mesh windows

VIII) White cotton with fine ribbon over a reinforced hole .

IX) reinforced mesh shoulders and mesh panel

X) brown opaque crepe around the neck, covered in a crepe halter, cotton underlay under the major part of the dress printed with the message scroll.

All my love,