Saturday, July 17, 2010

Noemie Goudal, Les Amants (Cascade), 2009

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing as a Generative Tool:

I undid the garment and went in/I opened the door and wore the room. I undid its buttons like the turning of a door-handle. As I pulled it open and heard the sides of it touching fabric separate. I put my left arm through the door, its archway moving up and over my shoulder like a sleeve-head. I put might right arm through the door way, as I pulled my wrist through the threshold of the door, I jolted it over the threshold of outside through to inside with extra force, so as to push through the tightness of the ribbing. I shut the door, doing up all its buttons. I pulled its wall down, so it lay straight along my back and over my hips.

I looked around the room. At the edges of where each walls met I could see seam lines. Not all walls are finished like this, some are lined. Along the bottom of these walls, where they meet the floor, you will see a pleat, an allowance of lining before they are sewn to the carpet. The walls of this room have overlocked edges with 2 cm of seam allowance fabric pressed open into each corner.

Its pretty dark. The two smaller windows of the room are covered with pocket bags, there frames are jets. I can see a big 12 sided disc in one - its my change from the bus ticket this morning. In the other one if a big crumpled up ball. As I feel it through the pocket bags, its a bit furry, probably a tissue that went through the wash. One window isn't covered. Its open. Its framed with a collar. I unfolded it, so it travels straight up from the collar stand. Trying to keep my neck warm. I grab my scarf and wrap it around the frames edge. Now I’m warmer. I lift my hood up over the chimney, warmer still. I unbuttoned the door again, and pulled the two walls either side of it tight around me. The room it snug against me, the seams of its corners and edged are pulled tight, some of them separating slightly revealing gaps between each stitch point.

I loosen my pulling of the walls around me and let them slacken. The room now hangs off me. I start to see some rippling in its surface, the light from the collared window picking up and allowing me to see the surface and depth of its folds. Someone once told me, “If inwardness manifests itself outwardly, then surfaces are always signs, forms of the substance of reality,” he also said to me “thus the truth of every surface is found in its depth, the significance of outwardness is discovered in inwardness.” It hard to know what part of my body is underneath these folds. If I could get outside myself i’d know, I would be able to see wear I was whereing. Its hard to know what is rooming under there. I don’t know what it’s covering and hiding.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The tests in projection have taught me a lot - like a slap in the face with a big wet fish. I am struggling a huge amount with how things look - there is not enough connection with experience. After projecting the films of unfolding fabrics onto a mannequin, I found some of the outcomes interesting. I like how you can show form through light. Looking at a form when it is projected is most effective when its shown onto a fairly flat surface. This is wear fit and drape play against each other. I like that you could look at fitted garment - but when folding is projected onto it - its form becomes different - I like this mind whack and trick of vision. This could possibly somehow be pushed further into more effectively showing how you experience space.

HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE SPACE: the way in which you come to understand space it predominately through sight and looking, also its simultaneous connection with touch. Thats what interests me in wearing - how you posit your self in space.

Once I had finished projecting the form onto the mannequin, I went and stood in front of the projector - as above all I am trying to create an experience for the wearer. Putting myself in the experience gave me nothing. It wasn't a dynamic experience. I stood looking at the projector lens and squinting in the light. It gave me no sense of wearing. It gave me a sense of being looked at - which is perhaps part of wearing - but not really a part that interests me and not enough. So know thinking about different ways to set up projector to create an environment to experience. Can garments or screens of translucency be used effectively.

Also what is the significance of the content I am projecting. How am I showing the practice of wearing, how am I showing how wearing delineates space, how am I showing an inside/outside relationship. Creating a worn environment which is both inside and outside.









Doff and I experimenting with lighting in which to best pick up impression of folds.

Ended up making 3 short clips from the footage. The first used methods of draping half scale of jacket on floor with the filming of its folds then being unfolded. Expansion and retraction of a fabric wall. Stills of film below:

If Im looking at how fold create space, does it matter if they're ordered? I wondered and doubted this. So this is just a random fabric throw.

Doff suggested stringing up the cloth and him panning the camera upwards as I pulled its form out flat. We also muddled with the contrast - maybe this will project better, when its projected.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have a bit of a backlog of posts, so some of these ideas are a couple of weeks old, but here they are non-the-less;


“The visible about us seems to rest in itslef. It is as though our vision were formed in the heart of the visible, or as though there were between it and us an intimacy as close as between the sea and the strand. And yet it is not possible that we blend into it, nor that it passes into us, for then the vision would vanish at the moment of formation, by disappearance of the seer or of the visible. What there is then are not things first identical with themselves, which would then offer themselves to the seer, nor is there a seer who if first empty and who, afterward, would open than by palpating it with our look, things we could not dream of seeing “all naked” because the gaze itself envelops them, clothes them with its own flesh.” MMP, The Visible and the Invisible, pg 130-131

How do you experience wear? Can you wear light? I have been looking at methods of projection in modes of exhibiting. Maybe using projection of forms, animation of drape. Last weekend I went to the Screen World Exhibition at ACMI. It was mostly non-engaging. Except for one magical room, displaying a work by Anthony McCall.

My Experience of the Work:

On entering I came to a heavy dark curtain, which I proceeded past to a dark room. On entering the room, it took a while for my eyes to adjust and get a sense of space in the darkness. On one side of the room, two curved lines of light were slowly moving past and amongst each other. On the opposite wall, I realized their origin of their projection. A smoke machine created dust particles in the dead air space between these two sides meaning the traveling light was picked up and given a matter for retention.

At first I instinctually found myself moving away from the lines when they approached me. I tried to place my body within the alcoves of the light walls. I had a heightened awareness of the two sides of each line. The length of their projection made me more aware of the space of the overall room, and the moving possibilities of the way the curved lines cut and segmented it.

Quite literally, I was wearing the light, and the boundaries of this wearing were changing.

I have been thinking a lot about materiality. Can I form drape with something other than fabric. Can a curtain or a wall be transparent in the way it delineates space and creates a form. I think this Merleau-Ponty quote is interesting in thinking about, and can be applied to McCall’s instillation, “The completed object is translucent, being shot through from all sides by an infinite number of presented scrutinies which intersect in its depths leaving nothing hidden.”

Light it translucent and therefore the way it creates a form is transparent in a way. Nothing is hidden when you look at it - everything is knowable. However, there is still something which has to pick up the light - smoke particles, a wall, a curtain, a garment?

Viktor and Rolf’s ‘Bluescreen’ collection also uses projection. In this collection parts of their garments are fabricated in Blue which has the ability to digitally pick up projection. In looking at their catwalk - the retention of a 2D image on a 3D form is really interesting. Merleau-Ponty talks about how the screen has no horizons. The image of a filmed object become in a way flattened and 2D, when projected onto a form. For example the way the gathered neckline of the dress.

Here are a couple more crucial images in building up this projection feeling. The first is of a Galliano dress in which an air brushed image if drapery is superimposed on a dress which is also draped in some areas. It also, to an extent, gives you a sense of fit - in that the image os of loose folds, but the actual garment is so glove-fitting.

The second image is a Balenciaga skirt, in which the fabric is printed with loose flutes of drape.

I've also been looking at ways to rigging up transparencies. Much like the AFAR Project, shows at Off The Kerb Gallery late last year - a collaboration between Alexi Freeman and Aaron Roberts from Room 11 studio. The Project uses one of Freeman's print patterns on repeated hanging transparencies. I like the idea of superimposition which if viewable from multiple angles. The pattern is of a scale which relates to the body, thus the instillation can be worn by it's viewer. I'd like to do some experimenting with still shots of drape or garments in this form. Perhaps again layering this with projection.

Theme of the week - translucency. I think I need to be relating it more to experience though.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The SYDnificance

I have returned from Sydney. The week was spent attending RAFW shows, finding interesting nooks, places and people in Sydney, observing what Sydney had to offer me in the way of fashion and further ways of showing/communicating fashion. Constantly throughout the whole experience everything we saw and did triggered the voice in my head to think 'how will I appropriately show and display my work?' I actually didn't take that many photos throughout the week, but here are some of the ones I did take with some verbal unravellings in this post:

Observing Australian Fashion Week taught me many things. From viewing a number of shows it is easy to see that they are more about production than content. When exiting upon a Fashion Show people talked amongst themselves about the look of the show. They commented on the effect of extraneous trivialities like hair, music and shoes. I don't blame them and I myself found this unavoidable when watching a show. During the parades I found myself distracted from the actual clothes by the phenomena of its staging, and I kept on having to remind myself to look at the garments. I never left a show feeling significantly impacted by the way the garments used space or the body in communication. I understand that every form of fashion has its own place in the spectrum with appropriateness to its content and intention. However I strongly question weather I would ever want to be a part of a catwalk fashion show in any way, ever. Though I do completely value garments being viewed and experienced on a fleshy body, maybe this is the participants body though? How does this body have a dynamic, challenging and unassuming relationship with the space around it through fashion?

On Tuesday I went to a talk by Philip Fimmano, assistant to Li Edelkoort of TREND UNION. I had seen Mr. Fimmano talk at on of the Victoria Design Festivals in (I think) 2005, so it was interesting to see how the trend presentations that they compile and develop had changed in five years. Their image prenetations make use of a 'double page' - a split screen combining two images, which I really find effective. Fimmano talked of 'iconographic research' which is something I think a lot of people, including myself, do in development and the power of these images as a standpoint when words become to oversewn. He also kept of referring to how many people who work for TREND UNION have a heightened sense of intuition and how really trend forecasting is based on creative intuition. Fimmano said that, "everything we do is an application of intuition and reason. We follow intuition to its end and then put this into practice with pragmatics." This is similar to how we develop our studio work. Research, feelings and intuition - and now is the time to start being pragmatic, testing and editing. I struggle with intuition and knowing it.

After this presentation on Tuesday I had a kick around UTS and hit up their library, which has a lot more books that RMIT, it was pretty awesome. On a wall of a building next to the library was this circular window with clothes inside behind the glass. Nice use of space, transparency, looking and garments.

On Wednesday night we went to the Romance was Born show at Sydney Uni. The most thrilling thing about the show was the shenanigans of sneaking in. They had one of those inflatable halogen lights above the catwalk, as it was held in a dark hall. I like these.

We went to the Art Gallery of NSW and walked though Hyde Park on the way home. Here a some pictures of a street performer blowing huge bubbles. They were beautiful and transparent.

On Thursday morning we went to Gaffa Gallery, a gallery for emerging and intependent artists, with studio spaces available upstairs. When we visited, they were holding the fourth series of thier MAKE exhibtion - showing artworks by artists who have worked for Object Galley - another gallery in Sydney. In the exhibit were works by a man named Stephen Goddard, who from what I can gather from internet stalking is a photographer/graphic designer. He has a consultancy business - Stephen Goddard Design. His two works at Gaffa were effective and beautiful.

He uses the shape of text as an overlay and also to take the form of a cutting line of a garment layer. I like the use of a cut associated with questioning words, as cutting is a form of asking questions and unveiling.

Friday arvo we went to the Centre for Contemporary Photography. This pic is by Mark Greenland.

At the begining of the week I was really hating the idea of going to sydney and having one less week to do work. But I think it has done some good, in having some time of less intensity and slight separateness from studio work. I know the next draft of my skeleton/proposal will be different as a result of the things I have seen.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Trying to write a skeleton = trying to give birth.
Chopping off flesh is like giving away puppies.

Found another truly amazing fantastic Merleau-Ponty quote, which may help with what I mean by consciousness of a garment (may just confuse me even more). Definitely calling my first son Maurice. He says:

“The whole life of consciousness is characterised by the tendency to posit objects, since it is consciousness, that is to say self knowledge, only in so far as it takes hold of itself and draws itself together in an identifiable object. And yet the absolute positioning of an object is the death of consciousness, since it congeals the whole of existence, as a crustal placed in a solution suddenly crystallises it.”

(Merleau-Ponty 1972, pg. 71)

Maybe what I mean when I say "consciousness of a garment" is the way in which clothes delineate space on a person in an effort to posit oneself in form, however this is never fully achieved - its a dialogue - a push pull. So lost.

Here is my Skeleton thus far. I hope it's a conciseulation thinspiration - it feels pretty off, especially the concept lines.



  • What effect does drape have of experience of wearing
  • creating and/or undoing boundaries in a garment
  • Showing how clothes delineate space and posit the form of a person
  • How do you hide and reveal wear and form through drape (and possibly edges/ internal cutting/translucency/projection - this is hazy)
  • creating (and maybe revealing) a garment through hidden space
  • using grading to control space/or generate patterns?
  • finding a process to generate drape?
  • finding techniques or materialisation or methods of display to reveal internal space?
  • wearable garments connected or in the setting of an instillation
  • a heightened sens of space and wearing

Sunday, April 25, 2010


In an attempt to better understand what I like about methods of unbroken pattern cutting, the way it holds and creates space and its outcome in drape - I have compared a Vionnet Dress to a Tailored Jacket.

Vionnet's patterns use expanses of uncut fabric ordered in geometric and curvilinear shapes which when sewn and left to drop on the wearers body, form drape. The pattern used was created in 1936. It is a dress pattern, but I have cut it short to create a type of cape/top, so as to focus solely on upper body. It uses two quadrants of a circle each with as extension to form a sleeve. The pattern was initially been inspired by a monks habit. The dress uses a combination of kimono and raglan sleeves. It uses considerably less seams in its construction compared to those of the tailored jacket, only side seams, shoulder seams, and the seaming in of a diamond gusset in the sleeve base and furthermore the quality of the lines are more fluid and gradual.

The tailored jacket is one I found in an op-shop. On it's label at the center-back neck it says "Coronet - fashion at work", so it was probably a standard workwear jacket for a banker or some kind of corporate professional during the nineties. It is composed of ten separate pieces, three pairs of panels in the torso and one pair in each sleeve. Its pattern lines are intricate and worked compared to the Vionnet flat pattern. Its form also relies on a number of secondary shapings such as horse hair, fusing, shoulder pads, shoulder rolls etc.

There are a number of things which I find more pleasing about the techniques of the Vionnet Pattern. However saying this, they are most fully appreciated in contrast to and amongst the techniques of tailoring.

The jackets shaping is achieved using a number of darts, and fusings considered in placement and measurement. The dress relies on the drop of its bias cutting to create drapery and fluting. It has a box pleat at its centre front, which shows a condensing of the patterns fabric, an expanse of measurement which has been left in . The neck of the cape is gathered, I used curtain tape to do this - again something adjustable and not fixed. This in opposition to the jacket, whose form is achieved through the subtraction of value. The Vionnet dress, is as a result more complex to look at. The figure underneath is distorted, hidden. As I look at the dress being worn, I'm thinking about how the form underneath fits into it, where is fills and where it billows.

The Vionnet top allows flow and movement, allowing fit to a number of variable and complex forms. As its form is based in unfixed drape, it can easily change and give way through movement, allowing freeness is movement, which in turn effects wearing consciousness - much like that described; “...monks have invented a habit that, while fulfilling, on its own, the requirements of demeanour (majestic, flowing, all of a piece, so that it fell in statuesque folds), it left the body (inside, underneath) completely free and unaware of itself...ennobling it, released it, was free to think and forget about itself.”- (Eco, U. 1987). Futhermore it presents a number of possible permutations. The fabric could be interpreted through temporary fixations by its wearer, pinning it, clasping it etc.

The patterns base in classicism and antiquity can be seen as a form of functionalism. As described by Harold Koda "Classical dress could be submitted to the functionalist criteria of modernists: the attempt to pare all expressive qualities of their work to the elements and process of fabrication and signs of utility." - (2003, pg 17., Goddess: The Classical Mode). This can be seen in the pattern which bases all of its aesthetics and significance in its minimal uncut method of creating form. In this way it has a type of transparency in how it uses measurement and shape, which may therefore create more of a dialogue and understanding with it's wearer. The workings of a tailored jacket are hidden underneath its linings and through the pattern of its seams.

Azzedine Alaia draping a Vionnet dress.

- Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895 1983)

I have been thinking a lot about what integrity means. It is a notion of consistency and alignment with initial or underlying crux which can be applied to a range of ideas, forms, concepts, beliefs etc.

Looking at a number of definitions it is described that; “inter-lying as a concept it has to do with consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes.” Another definition, in the contexts I’m looking at, describe it as:

1. Adherence to principles

2. The quality of being unimpaired, soundness

3. Unity / wholeness, from an etymological / latin based stand point, it means wholeness or perfect condition - from the latin ‘integer’ meaning whole.

Of course the filament or membrane that constructs a fold is whole - unbroken - un-seamed, however it will always have an edge, but maybe this cant be distorted, or completely hidden?

In two dimensional form I guess the shape with the most integrity is the circle (one sided), in three dimension, its the sphere which when flattened makes the ellipse. However a circle is still closed, can it somehow be open? This kind of makes me think of this Merleau Ponty quote;

“If one wants metaphors, it would be better to say that the body sensed and the body sentient are as the obverse and the reverse, or again, as two segments of one sole circular course which goes above from left to right and below from right to left, but is not but one sole movement in its two phases.” [1962, pg. 138]

The circle is of course constructed from one side, however is moves in two sets of coupled directions, up and down (y axis) side to side (x axis). By splitting the two types of a circle and making their path lie in one continuing direction we create a fold. Two sides of a circle - split them open so they are visible? Makes a fold?

Here is another Merleau Ponty quote which shows the arrangement of closed circle in experience. The idea can relate to form and display.

“There is the circle of the touched and the touching, the touched takes hold of the touching; these is a circle of visible and then seeing, the seeing is not without visible existence; there is even an inscription of the touching in the visible, of the seeing in the tangible - and the converse; there is finally a propagation of these exchanges to all the bodies of the same type and of the same style which I see and touch - and by this virtue of the fundamental fission or segregation of the sentient and the sensible which, literally, makes organs from my body communicate and founds transitivity from one body to another.” [1962, pg. 143]

Allowing the sentient if be seen through the sensible - cutting the circle - un-folding the fold - pulling back the curtain. Much like this diagram from Deleuze [1993. pg 120]

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ephemeral Modulation

Some believe fashion is based in a binary code of 'in' and 'out'. As you may have noticed, Im all about the complexity of dualisms. However I only find notions 'in' and 'out' useful when applied to structure of form, not of validation. I want the garments to be experienced with an amount of phenomenal interpretation, this possible spectrum of singleness and separateness in the look of wearing being interesting in translating into an overall communication. I want the garments to have a type interpretation. I read this and perhaps recognised this idea,

"If we took all these participations into account, we would recognise that... in general a visible, in not a chunk of absolutely hard, indivisible being, offered all naked to a vision which could be only total or null, but is rather a sort of straits between exterior horizons and interior horizons ever gaping open, something that comes to touch lightly and marks diverse regions of the ... visible world resound at distances, a certain differentiation, an ephemeral modulation of this world..." (Merleau Ponty, M. 1968)

I've been really troubled with how on earth to generate a pattern from everything researched. I don't think this coming exercsie was particualrily useful, maybe, maybe not. I undertook grading a basic bloc disproportionaley. The amounts of grading I placed at each cardinal point was complete chance, with no reference to anything. I recorded the rules in a table below:

I think recording like this may be helpful in dissemination later? Or maybe it's a way of people recording how they wear or how they experience their interpretation of a garment?

I also started thinking more about drape in flux. How do you order flux. I've been trying to think of other objects or things that are in flux? What the Flux? Maybe if I understand their form, I can better understand how to apply this to drape? Also after presenting last week, during the afternoon workshop, Pia suggested I interpret the one sided aspect of a fold in terms of a "filament." These two ideas made me think of hair (this does not mean I will use hair literally in my clothes in ANY way.) Hair is a bunch of filaments in flux. How do you order hair? With bobby pins? Hair pinned up to reveal the neck. Of course the Chiton and Peplos were held together (and perhaps interpreted) with fastenings - much like a bobby pin in a way. So I applied this idea to the graded block, its probably still a bit choppy and literal:

Curtain by dutch interior designer Nicolette Brunklaus

Above - Artemis of Galbi, 4th Century B.C. - fastening Chiton

Jean Auguste- Dominique, Study of the Apotheosis of Homer, early 19t century