Monday, August 24, 2009

a weekend writing retreat...

...that was somewhat railroaded by food poisoning. I nevertheless managed a solid start on the edits as mentioned in the last post, and a two-hour walk around the Cape Byron Lighthouse on Sunday morning.

The view north, from the forest walk from Byron Bay proper to the lighthouse:

The view south:

Another northerly view across the Bay from the lighthouse:

Two humpback whales making their way north - when they should have been going south - between two kayaks:

A closer view:

Whilst these two kayakers were taken somewhat by surprise (the whales simply swam straight for them), about ten minutes earlier an idiot from a larger group of kayaks made a beeline for the whales, despite clear regulations to stay away. Anyway, there were another two whales further out to sea, as well as a pod of about fifty dolphins that went majestically past the lighthouse.

A somewhat fearless Laughing Kookaburra also watching the whales and dolphins:

An Australian Brush-Turkey at the car park; these guys were everywhere:

A Masked Lapwing at the beach; their calls were incessant, night and day:

It's spring for everyone, including these Greater Crested Terns:

A farewell message I stumbled upon yesterday morning:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

no-waste and less-waste fashion designers

The aim of this post is to provide a bit of a list for anyone interested; please do email me about anyone I've missed. I'm more than happy to update.

Holly McQuillan emailed me yesterday; her recent zero-waste garments are now online. I actually saw the process work when Holly was here for Fashioning Now and was completely blown away by it - truly inspiring! Have a look:
Precarious Cut

I actually saw this mentioned on Clara Vuletich's blog last year but somehow didn't check it out until this week: Flora2. Download the book, it is well worth a read. I think Dorothy Burnham would be delighted with the work, too.

Siddhartha Upadhyaya first emailed me last October and thankfully again this week about his work. In particular, the idea of fabric getting woven for a specific garment resonates with me, as a complete contrast to how things generally occur. Have a thorough look at August.

At the Fashioning Now symposium (we'll be uploading all of the speakers' audio on the website in the next few weeks) Susan Dimasi spoke of the system Materialbyproduct (the other half is Chantal Kirby) use to cut their no-waste garments. Of particular interest was their approach to sizes; unlike conventional manufacture, each size of a Materialbyproduct garment is not a replica of the sample size in terms of design. This has been a hunch of mine for a while - what is wrong with making each size slightly different - and I admire Susan and Chantal for doing away with that rule. One could say that each size is designed rather than graded. Sure it may slow things down, but on the upside, arguably each size of a style receives an equal amount of love from the maker.

At this point I should note that all of the above will require some rewriting of a thesis chapter, but I am quite excited about it. Each designer is addressing waste and each designer's handwriting is completely unique; no-waste isn't limited to a particular aesthetic.

And here's a list of people I've mentioned in the past:

The pioneers of no-waste and less waste:
Zandra Rhodes
Yeohlee Teng
Julian Roberts - not strictly a no-waste designer but his method of designing and cutting (is it possible to separate the two?) lends itself beautifully for considering fabric waste.

The more recent forays into same:
Sam Formo, a student of Lynda Grose at the California College of the Arts
Andrew Hague, also a former student of Lynda Grose; Kate Fletcher featured his no-waste shirt in her book
Mark Liu

Oh and me. Here are two garments from Bad Dogs last year:

I'm sure I've forgotten a designer or two; do let me know.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

journal writing: how-to and then, not

The Ideal:
Drawing from Owain Pedgley, what is on my office wall:

The Ugly Reality:
What the last two pages of my journal looked like before Bad Dogs opened, now more than a year ago:

Analyse that.

a friend in need

Over the past year I've been blessed with post-it after post-it from Zoe. I don't want this to sound like a whinge because it isn't, but since the beginning of April, I've had three weekends. I passionately love what I do but Fashioning Now has been a time-consuming project - time well spent, nevertheless! In particular, it was a delight to hear Kate Fletcher speak, ditto for Susan Dimasi (one half of Materialbyproduct), and it was really inspiring to meet Holly McQuillan (more on Holly soon). But rest has been scarce - and I'm writing this on a Sunday night at the office. My last real holiday of more than four days was in 2005. I don't think last October in Finland counts; a month I spent first watching mum slowly lose the battle, and then burying her with my siblings.

So, amid all the hard work the post-its from Zoe have been such welcome little breaks from the grind. Usually I find one on my door after a meeting or a long day of teaching. Zoe is well aware of my passion for birds (see first photo) and recently she added the interweb to the gift-giving (that's how I regard this). The site is odosketch; I love how the sketch appears on screen:
And another finch:As a charming anomaly, the following finch emerges through (traditional) collage:

The following two return to the traditional format. The brain is her latest blog post, but I am proud to declare myself the guardian of the original post-it.

I should note, too, that Zoe contributed to Fashioning Now through Alison's project. If I could draw well, I would draw Zoe a wall full of giraffes. If I was rich, I'd buy her a trip to Tanzania.

(As well as engaging Zoe as an illustrator, Alison's work highlights the screenprinting skills of Steve Woods and embroidery by Helen Parsons.)

Thank you, Zoe.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

some more photos from Fashioning Now

The three pattern diagrams for my garments:

We commissioned Silversalt Photographic Services to photograph the exhibition and the following photographs were part of that commission:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Q: What does it take to be a real man?

A: Put animals in a cage and shoot at them. I mean, just look at Bob McComb:

Off-topic, sure, but I just wanted to clear that one up.
(Image from The Sydney Morning Herald)

Monday, August 03, 2009


I love a bad photo of me and this should make the all-time top five:

My head on my no-waste shirt. A thesis cover, perhaps?

The photo is by Aram Dulyan, and I should point out his photography of the event is outstanding; much of it will be on the Fashioning Now site soon. I suspect this one was very much intentional...