Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wool, paints, plastic & the gang : T.A.A. Manchester

The T.A.A. in Manchester was ...

Temporary; the building was a primary school which will be torn down in 2 weeks

Autonomous; strictly speaking it was a squat and well, yeah it was a squat

Arts; in the widest sense going from painting walls to poetry, unicycling, pagans and knitting with plastic-bag-yarn (plarn) for the junk fashion show

Although this was on during my work hours and I could not spend every day all day there; cycling through estates in typical Mancatraz cold drizzle rain after a tiring day was worth seeing how a bunch of creative, enthusiastic people can turn an unused building into whatever they want. In this case there was hardly an inch of wall space without paint, poster or any other colourful material. There was poetry reciting, independent film showings, a junk fashion show (that I missed, boo!) and a big Cabarave to end it with a spectacular bang.

I contributed in Obermaier's Junk fashion and crafts corner, doing origami (erm with a little/lot help from my friends) until being infected by the "but I want to make that .... and that! .... and everything!" - virus... knitting, jewelry making, sock monkey making, and upcyling in every form took place. All materials were donated and all participants volunteers. What felt good was creating things that was the opposite of what virgin products do and did it feel good to be making fashion in that otherwise consumerist and profit driven world.
And was it inspirational. ... to be less conventional in work and life. Knit some plastic! Paint on the walls! I'm no punk or painter but it's strangely liberating.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Forbidden Arts Manchester

>> Inspired by London collective ‘Random Artists’, over the past few years collective groups in Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Brighton have been coming together to create a cultural, interactive, autonomous space where people are free to be, free to create, and free to express themselves.

We want to exhibit all forms of artwork: drawings, paintings, sculptures big and small, photography, installations, designs and more. Showcasing poets and vocalists, films and performance, words and concepts.

Born out of the free party underground movement, these spaces of reclaimed freedom have been making a significant contribution to an alternative art world and Manchester Forbidden Arts are bringing it back to Manchester this NOVEMBER: 4th – 7th 2009!<<

Call 07762 599453 for directions ... it's a pretty awesome space, a school that will be torn down in a few weeks time and easy to get to.

I went there yesterday as I am part of the junk crafts corner; I was appointed to do origami. Janine had seen me make my trademark sail boat and assumed I was a pro... but that is the only one I can do! None the less, I printed out diagrams, collected paper and have already attracted another origami semi-pro at the event who will be my co-origamist. Should be wild.
If you're in Manchester - come, it's well worth popping by and having knit, fold, paint on the wall (so liberating!) or learn to unicycle! Or in the evenings...
THU 5th: Independent film night
FRI 6th: Junk Fashion Show / Interactive Dance & Performance
SAT 7th: Cabaret
Go to the forbidden arts website or T.A.A.R.T. for more info. Photos will follow, will be exciting to witness how the space will grow and develop.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

sew do you

I found someone amazing: ...verypurpleperson! I am a purple person making stuff myself and we share the Indo connection: she's an Indonesian living in Tokyo who "just can't stop making stuffs". Came across her on where a batik dress of hers was featured. Very inspiring, desipte my personal taste being less cutesy. The styling with the bright tights brings out the blue in the fabric and the minty contrast colour shows attention to detail on the second dress. The other printed fabrics she uses, allover tonal cats for example are amazing and Japanese of course. Very personal style, sleek and tastefully presented. She has a shop and blog.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Melissa's plastic dreams

A link to share...

where I also discovered that the supercool rubber shoes that I adore by Melissa work with a zero waste policy, recycling all their waste from production! I own a pair of Melissa ballerinas myself; they smell of hubba bubba.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Josh Keyes

Distinctive style and hits the spot, doesn't it just?
Artist's website here.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Walking Cats in London

sass & bide

Totally my bag. Their stuff isn't always but often is and this time for sure. That last dress could be my wedding dress. Ethnic inspirations translated into geometric shapes in drapey silhouettes.

richard nicholl

Fringing and reinterpretation of Hawaiian floral&triabal patterns. Geometrics. Got my love.


Definately not any old boyfriend cardigan. It's intricate and it's pretty. And it even looks warm&comfy.

mark fast

Textures&shapes remind me of the sea side. A pretty sexy sea side though.

louise goldin

Miss Goldin makin golden clothin. Almost creamy golden tribal pattern on pastells, dreamy.

julien macdonald

Crocheted layered cobwebs. Works.

eley kishimoto

Wearable colorful pattern combos.

Lonond Fashion Week, Spring/Summer '10. Completely ignoring reviews and what might be attached to the big names; here are a few personal faves. Also realized this is the first actual proper fashiony entry. Woohoo.

Bloggin' celebs

... i.e. bloggers who are famous in the blogosphere.

There are different universes within it; my pluto-sized planet of blog rotates around the sun that tends to shines out visual/graphic/photographic/fashion/textile/travel/designy/ making stuff kind of stuff.

Some people write more specialized and regularly which may capture interest and gain popularity. I don't know much about increasing traffic etc. Anyway, one of the first things I did this morning was have a quick glance on the guardian website, as I do on quiet midweek mornings and BOOM the most viewed article on this website in the last 24 hours is about a 13-year-old fashion blogger, yup that's her below with nobody less than Yohji Yamamoto.

Tavi with Yohji Yamamoto. Photograph: Jemal Countess/ Getty Images for Y-3 from

Seriously. Now popping up all over the 'fashun' world, it's insane. TBH she is insanely good, yes, very dedicated and waaaay beyond her age. But I am instantly worried that she will be hooked on coke by the time she is 14 like Drew Barrymore (only she was 12) partying in fashiony NY. And she looks innocent and fragile like a little elf. Click here for the Tavi's blog. Aw. And awe.

These images above are from an "old" blog fave of mine who mysteriously stopped posting last year without any warning, explanation or good-bye. The blog still exists here. She did recently get a pet pig (arrr) and also married, so maybe a change in lifestyle has occurred but I was so sad that a googled it and saw other people discussing the disappearance of Agathe. And nobody knows. Her blog is personal, stylish but relaxed and I do love her Scandinavian way of combining vintage designer/customised thrift store worn with H&M. Check out those shades?! Oh mama.

And then there's a non-blogging 'Yakooo' with noticable internet presence; as her press folder on her flickr profile containing 20 images reflect. The most recent, and so far most important, feature was on the MTV website. I came across her featuring on etsy; her chain necklace grabbed my attention, which isn't surprising; it's farking amazing. So different. May attempt one at my knitting circle, may just etsy-buy one.

Not too long ago I also got an e-mail from the MFN (Manchester Fashion Network) inviting me to an evening to discuss "the power of the blog". It was in London, so I couldn't go. But yes, the power of the blog. And the power of internet in fashion in general, I guess. The power? Yeah maybe, the possibilities interest me more, I'm not that into power.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

i like you sew much!

The idea of a sewn love letter is metaphorically clever as you want to make those words last as long as possible and fabric is longer lasting than paper. Well, you do have the unpicker in case of mistake or heartbreak.
I also like the sound of the needle piercing paper making a the irreversible hole (even if it makes a needle blunt, oops). I have experimented with the paper/thread/sewing/embroidery combo before, for example making a photo album and sewing in the photos while embroidering little bits around the photo. Cause don't you just find it annoying when the glue comes loose and they just fall out the album and in the worst case the photo gets lost? And the thread (&holes) adds lovely texture and colour.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Photographic embroidery increases number of inspo-cells

Suffering under lack creativity lately which has been leading to symptoms such as non-blogging, these images have healed me and induced my return to the incredible land of inspiration. I like people, art, artists, objects that don't take themselves seriously, yet aren't just blatantly comical.
These photographs from almost a century ago have been embroidered in way that has made the object into a beautiful artful caricatures by having its features highlighted and exaggerated by colourful thread.
For the last few weeks I have been in the process of scanning in photos from albums I inherited from my grandparents, who were born in 1910/1911 so they are secured digitally and be shared with other members of the family. By scanning each single page, I get to look at the single photograph more closely and can even zoom in on details that I have not noticed the many times I had flicked through. Maurizio Anseri's work has inspired me to not only value these insights but reinterpret them with my own media... I can see some cut&paste work happening with some colour input and fabric application...
... jeez, ... art sure is a matter of interpretation. I showed my housemate these images and his instantanious reaction was that that the faces had been deformed and looked like they were diseased with growths etc. Nothing in that disection had crossed my mind at all! But then he is an illustrator who love to draw skulls if that says anything.