Sunday, March 28, 2010

"That is why the lower depths of the monad are so dark. Since it does not exist outside the monads that convey it, the world is included in each one of the form of perceptions or 'representatives,' present and infinitely minute elements. Still again, since the monad does not exist outside of other monads, these are minute perceptions lacing an object, that is hallucinatory microperceptions. The worlds exists only in its representatives as long as they are included in each monad.

... It is a lapping of waves, a rumour, a fog, or a mass of dancing particles of dust. It is a state of death or catalepsy, of sleep drowsiness or of numbness. It is as if the depths of every monad were made from an infinity of tiny folds (inflections) endlessly furling and unfurling in every direction, so that the monad's spontaneity resembles that of agitated sleepers who twist and turn on thier mattresses."

*quote from - Deleuze 1993, The Fold, chapter: Perception in the Folds, pg 98.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Putting the ...Um? in

In reflecting on Triumph, I think it has been a good generative exercise to initiate studio work early in the semester. A "showpiece" is not something I would usually embrace and therefore throughout the design process I often found myself being critical about what I was producing being able to fit into this context. This is also good in some ways, as I guess the constant emphasis on "how your work being displayed/experienced informing its content" is sinking in and now second nature.

In approaching the Triumph brief initially, I broke-down their explanation blurb on "Shape Sensation." I interpreted the notion of SENSATION in relation to wearing as a type of self-concious corporeal body. I then tried to look at how this is shown through SHAPE in terms of build, configuration and construction. Overall I aimed to used methods of refiguring and deforming to show an interplay between the body shape and the ideal shape, the physical body and the aspirational body, corporeal space and physical space.

I looked at images of plastic surgery - which is I guess literal body reformation. I also looked at a few surrealist images using displacement including Hans Bellmer's deformed "Die Puppe" dolls and also Man Ray's "The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse". My process involved taking apart bras, displacing and bulding them on the manequin, then overlaying these forms with knit which was darted, folded etc. I tried to make use of a construction method in which the underlayed fabric of a dart is extended beyond the underwire point to further the fabric and form body covering, thus a fold being exposed - hopefulling revealing a type of inside/outside. This kind of worked, but I didn't really make the fold edges very clear in my technicals. I also tried to displace underwires to other parts of the body to show a non-traditional sense of border, 'support' and definition

The use of some type of folding showing a duality in form is something I would like to continue in my studio work.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

DAI FUJUWARA Lecture - The Endless Garment

The lecture by Dia Fujuwara was last wednesday evening as part of the Endless Garment Exhibition, was wonderful. Very engaging and inspirational, I feel very lucky to have been given first hand insights into the Issey Miyake design studio and the processes of designing and creating that they use. I have also developed a small crush on Mr Fujuwara.

I thought it was interesting and apt that one of the first things that Fujuwara said in the lecture was to state that A-POC was “not clothes, not object, it’s a solution of design.” This reiterates that if you are a concept driven designer, a ‘solution’ is the main outcome searched for, before (and if) it translates to something worn. After hearing Fujuwara talk it is obvious to see jut how strong the Miyake studio is in having their own type of studio-language. They know their methods and their approach to process so well, this leading to collections and solutions which are given their own autonomous philosophies, communicative structures and design languages. For example the way in which A-POC uses the four acronyms as its main essences of crux;

A-POC (a piece of cloth)

A-POS (a piece of string)

A-POM (a piece of machinery)

A-POE (a piece of education)

The design of how their solutions are communicated, is just as strong at the solutions themselves. See nifty clip (

The process and rigor through which the studio works is something to note. Fujuwara said that if the concept or garment needs more then 3 toiles or 45 meters of fabric and still doesn't work, then it is lost ... “it must perform.” It must but hard at times to have this rule of self-editing. Its was also interesting (and often humorous) to see some of the experiments used as design and concept generation, in their process. For example the miniature catwalk in a bottle being sucked away by the vacuum - “vacuuming fashion”. The painstaking hours of colour matching swatches for the ‘Colour Hunting’ collection. I also really liked the image of the development for catwalk instillation for the latest show in Paris where the mathematical web was created on display racks.

From all the images and clips of film that Mr. Fujuwara showed us, it is also very easy to see their strong notion of 2D to 3D. Cloth to form. This is something that is very apparent in the way they display their garments too. For example, there was that image of an exhibition display where the fabric was hung up vertically, with the shirt that had been cut from it held up, shrunken (from dye/heating) in its center. Again this can be seen through the way in which A-POC is displayed, often strung from the ceiling with long lengths of flat cloth presented. And then when cut out, the positive forms of the pieces and negative spaces of the un-used flat knit is very apparent. Or again when we see the models wearing the A-POC Galaxy denim collection, their garments still joined to the flat fabric it came from. This notion of worn space is a garment as created from 2D forms was made again when Mr Fujuwara gave the example of a pocket in a garment. “People cant wear by themselves, their is space is your pocket and you wear space.”

* all images from:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The bombardment ( of this first week and a half of Uni has been inspiring, scary and constant. In the studio/brief of Expressing Fashion, many options of methodology, exploration and presentation are exciting. Two main things have been running around my mind this week, they are now both very tired & thirsty and inevitably both will influence my studio work. I shall elaborate/ramble off about them:

NUMERO UNO - "Distinctions between design fields are disappearing"

Cross disciplinary practice is an idea I have always found
immensely attractive. The results are usually products that speak to a broader field of design with more thorough interrogations. A possible discipline I would like to further explore is Pattern Grading. Weirdly, it was a subject I always liked when learning in 3rd year advanced pattern-making. Mainly because it used rules and system.
Looking at the way space and volume is held within a garment can be done in a number of ways. Sizing and grading are common, commercial systems of doing just this. I would like to further look at the way a hypothetical system of disproportionate grading can generate or become part of a design process. Common grade rules work in systematising the size of the garment against the physical body. Perhaps I can develop a system which sizes the garment against an imagined body, or not a body at all?, Some other type of form? Maybe it will be a system which tries to grade the space of wearing? Whatever that means. Hopefully I can approach some marker making businesses who may put up with me pestering them. I could wipe the 5 mm thick dust
of my first and second year notes open the door of the
dreaded Gerber Room and try to remember how to digitize
a pattern and then grade it in a distorted way.

NUMERO DUE: - "Producing an experience of [a fashion] article"

Dissemination of fashion is something the studio is encouraging us to look at critically, which in the past I have given little thought to. Overall an exhibition is something I think I would like my work to be presented in, though still the possible options of how this is done are vast. Over the week I have been collecting many things, including images and examples of past exhibitions of work which I find effective and speak to me. One of the displays I really found effective was of a piece called PIPES by Gordon Matta Clark. Here Matta Clark has used an image of exposed industrial pipes. Images of the pipes have been placed in the alcove of a wall where vertical pipes at one time rested, along the side of the elevated wall and the rooms overhanging infrastucture.

The photos give a sense of different levels of relief within the room and elude to the prior function of the cut out space in the wall. The way in which the function of space particular to that section of room has been used and the way it has now changed is effective. It gives a sense of revealing the internal structure of the building beneath the walls surface, giving a notion of inside and outside. I think similar ways of display could be applied effectively to a fashion space.

Another exhibition I really admired was the Envelop - Kwodrent x Farmwork collaboration, which was shown at RMIT gallery in 2008. In this exhibition practitioner Grace Tan uses rectangles of fabric which she then pleats and folds in different ways to create wearable pieces and visual objects - making up Grace's kwodrent series. ( She then measures the distances between stitching points of each pleat. These numbers were given to Peter Sim, a director at an industrial practice called Farmowrk ( Here the numbers are used to form small paper tiles which when put together create a paper curtain.

The main thing I took from this exhibition was the notion that objects/garments/sculptures etc. can have multiple discourses, apart from their actual form. I like the idea of further communicating a garments sense of space through a series of numbers.

This week I went to an LMFF event. It was called Fashion Racquet and is was presented by Comeback Kid ( at the Penthouse Mouse ( space for this year, which is The Former Naval and Military Club in Coates Lane. The event itself was kinda meh, but the space hosting PHM was quite effective. The cite of the former club is made up of a number of floors, the bottom floor having to squash courts, an aerobics room with a full mirrored wall, a little bar to serve drinks and some display cabinets. The retro fit out of wood panelling and printed carpet was cute, and the general theme of sport is something which has obviously rested well with the commercial fashion industry over the last couple of years. I liked the way in which the old trophy cabinets were used to display jewelry, fashion, art etc. A good example of how a space can be re-appropriated.

These are my current thoughts, not really a great deal reflection of actual studio work, but more of some current studio inspiration and ideas about how to use space is development and dissemination.