Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

I went on a whim.   No one has ever called me ‘fashionable’ when it comes to clothing!

I went not knowing what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised at what I encountered.   The majority of the exhibit consists of dresses designed by Christian Dior from 1947 to 1957.

people looking at the Christian Dior exhibit at the ROM, Royal Ontario Museum

Christian Dior was born in a seaside town in northern France in 1905.  He began his career in fashion by selling fashion sketches in the early 1930’s after a failed attempt to run an art gallery.  This led to a job as a design assistant with Paris couturier Robert Piguet.   His career took off after WW2 when he started his own business, House of Dior (Maison Dior), in 1947.

a red knee-length dress in the foreground, a black one in the background, also a black and white striped dress, part of a museum display of Christian Dior clothing

below: This simple but classy two piece dress with black cummerbund is from Dior’s 1948 autumn-winter collection.   It is made with black velvet with iridescent bead work.  The bottom part is a mid-calf length skirt with the same beading.   Actually, the words simple and classy describe most of the dresses here.

two headless mannequins with black dresses, upper parts only are shown, part of a ROyal Ontario museum exhibit dress in foreground has iridescent beads sewn on it

below:  Embroidery with beads and stacked sequins in intricate designs.

close up shot of the back of dress that is heavily ebroidered and beaded in blue and purple floral motifs

below: The fabulous colours of fabric samples – this is only a small part of the display of fabrics with “a silk warp and a dupion weft”.  Warp and weft are weaving terms – warp refers to the threads that run lengthwise down the fabric while weft refers to the crosswise threads.   Dupion is similar to silk but it is thicker and more uneven.

silk fabric samples of many different colour

below: This dress is made from the silk fabric described above.

pale blue grey silk Christian Dior dress in the background, a red and a black dress are in the background, ROM exhibit,

beige suit, jacket and skirt. Jacket has tailored waist and 6 very large mother of pearl buttons,

Christian Dior’s success as a designer and a businessman continued until 1957 when he died while on vacation in Italy.  Yves Saint Laurent spent a few years as the Artistic Director immediately after Dior’s death although he was only 21.  There have been countless designers and many changes since then but the the company still exists as part of LVMH.   I was surprised to learn that the full name of the company is LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.  I also hadn’t realized that many of the luxury brands that we recognize the names of are actually controlled/owned by 3 companies: LVMH, Kering, and Richemont.  If you have a few minutes, take a cruise through wikipedia.

part of an orange dress with cloth covered orange buttons on both the front and side

below: There was a small display of jewelry, including this necklace by Maison Gripoix.   It is a string of lily of the valley flowers made from green and white handmade glass paste.   Glass paste, or pâte de verre, is made by mixing finely ground glass, binding agents, and colour.  The resulting ‘paste; is molded and then kiln fired.  Apparently the lily of the valley was Christian Dior’s “lucky flower”.

Dior necklace with green glass leaves and white flowers made of beads, gold as well, large and short

The exhibit is presented by Holt Renfrew and you can find it on the 4th floor of the ROM…. until 18 March 2018. In the meantime, you can find more information on the ROM website.

 

#ROMDIOR

four sections of four different brain sculptures

The second annual Brain Project is now on display across the city.  These are only a small sample of the brain sculptures that form the exhibit.  In total there are 100 brains in about 20 locations around the city.   There is a map on the Brain Project website if you are interested in visiting some of them.

 

below: One of the locations where you can see some of the brain sculptures is Nathan Phillips Square.

a line of sculptures on display, podius standing in the water of the fountain, arches, and 3D Toronto sign in the backgruond.

Descriptions of all the brains on display around the city, as well as notes on the artists responsible, can be found online.    You can vote online for your favorite brain.

below:  Circles of beads and sequins – circles representing wholeness and totality come together to form a complex mosaic like the brain itself.  “Unleash Your Mind” is by Kara Ross.

a brain sculpture on display in front of the 3D toronto sign, decorated with colourful circles of sequins

below: Sitting on top of a blue and teal brain is a blue jay in a nest – a sculpture by Ted Hamer that is called “Thinkubator”.  Here the brain is shown as an idea incubator where the bird symbolizes the idea.

close up of part oa brain sculpture, the brain is painted blue and teal and there is a blue jay sitting on a nest on top of the egg (the bird is part of the sculpture)

below:  “Vitale” by Molly Gambardella is dedicated to the artist’s grandmother who died of Alzheimers in 2016.   Vitale was her maiden name.

a sculpture of a brain decorated with hundreds of coloured pencils, some are point up and some are blunt end up, the colours of the pencils make shapes and lines on the brain

below: Three of the brains on display at the Distillery District.  In front is “Red Head” by Anitra Hamilton who glued pieces of chicken eggshells to the surface of the brain.  Red acrylic paint highlights the spaces between the eggshells.   In the middle is Cindy Scaife’s “Food for Thought”.  Broccoli, avocado, apple and walnut, all healthy foods,  play in the park.

brain sculptures as part of the Baycret Foundation's Brain Project on display outside at the Distillery District

below: Also at the Distillery District is a brain by Laura Bundesen, “Not Forgotten” is a collage of fabric embellished with lace and embroidery and beads.  It is in memory of her stepmother who suffered from dementia.

close up of a fabric collage on a sculpture, bits of fabric with flowers on it, some embroidered leaves and flowers, lace and trim too,

Part of the goal of the project is raise awareness of diseases like Alzheimers that affect the brain.  Another goal was to raise money  – the sculptures are sponsored by various people and corporations (such as Telus).  As well, most of the brains from last year’s exhibit have been sold.  Funds raised through this project are donated to Baycrest Health Services.

below:  Keight MacLean’s “Loss” illustrates the idea of memory and memory loss using a portrait of a person, a loved one.  Paint as the memory loss, obscures the picture.

outdoor display in a clear acrylic box, a sculpture in the shape of a brain, with the picture of a woman's face on the side, yellow paint drips down from the top of the brain.

people looking at brain sculptures.  one is pointing to them, the other is taking a picture of them.

Take one ordinary semi-detached house on an ordinary street in Leslieville…
and add a decoration or two…

the front yard of a semi detached house is full of toys and stuffed animals, signs and flags, and Christmas decorations,

The above photo was taken back in November whereas the one below was taken a couple days ago.  Many, many items are the same.  The biggest change is that there a few more Christmas decorations now large candy canes, another Santa Claus, a couple of angels and an elf or two.

a massive collection of dolls, toys, stuffed animals and decorations fill a front yard of a house

Call it cute. Call it creepy. Call it fun.  Call it fascinating. Call it a mess.

below: Some of the dolls and toys are attached to wooden stakes that stand upright in the yard.

a small smiling doll with her arms up is attached to a wooden stake in the front yard of a house

below: The fence is packed full with toys and dolls and the like, including this creepy clown and ghoulish green faced doll.   The pink Powerpuff girl (Blossom?) looks happy and even Elmo doesn’t seem to mind being behind bars.

peering between the metal bars of a fence is a creepy clown doll and a green faced zombie doll, a string of Christmas lights is across the bottom of the fence

a mickey mouse plastic figure is sitting on a wire fence, his chin is his hand and he's looking upwards, other toys out of focus behind him - circles with happy faces and a couple of frisbees

below: A red candle fence lines the entrance.

frontyard of a house is full of toys and decorations, the front walk is lined by large plastic red candles, the front door is in shadows.

below: The retaining wall is also covered.  Welcome to our Garden, Boston Bruins, more Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Season Greetings and a frisbee or two or three.

under a metal fence, a retaining wall that is covered with frisbees, plaques with words on them and other plastic bits

I wonder how it all started?  And where is it going?

Shrek is between two snowmen, all plastic toys and decorations, behind the metal bars of a fence, a lot of toys and dolls and stuffed animals behind them.

I wonder what the neighbours think.

a white plastic gnome and a Disney princess are among a large collection of toys in a front yard

a red plastic toy in the foreground, a doll in a purple dress in the background

a plastic Santa Claus, a plastic angel and a pokemon

a stuffed plushie creature is attached to a pole with black electrical tape around his face such that it covers his eyes

a toy flower with a green stem, petals made of pink fabric with white polka dots, red lips and large white and blue sunglasses.

a faded blond doll with blank eyes looks down, she is attached to a wooden stake with black electrical tape

“Apparel oft proclaims the man” Shakespeare in Hamlet I iii.
or as Mark Twain said, “Clothes make a man”.

“Workware, Abiti da Lavoro”  is an exhibit at the Harbourfront Centre Art Gallery.  It is curated by Milan-based designer and artist, Alessandro Guerriero and co-produced by the Istituto di Cultura of Toronto and Triennale di Milano.  A lot of the artists who participated in the show are fashion designers

below: “Dress for a Crop-Raising Girl”, 2014, by Elio Fiorucci

a straw hat hangs with a dress made of green fabric, sleeveless, with two big shiny red hearts that would cover the breasts of the woman who wore it.

Some of the words on the wall – “Some time ago, the cowl did make the monk, the metalworker and the lawyer. Our clothes were the direct representation of our role in society and its related image. Originally, however, clothes were something else altogether. In the Biblical story of the apple, as He cast Adam and Eve out of Paradise, God made garments of skin to clothe them, saying, “Go but remember that you are just a man and that you need protection because you are limited.””

below: Hanging on the wall were a line of dirty work coats, each labeled with a job: cobbler, draper, glazier, saddler, carpenter, and hatter.    None of these jobs would have involved a coat that looked like this, i.e. that got messy in this way.

a row of dirty well used workcoats that used to be blue are hanging on the wall of an art gallery. under each one is a label with a job name, draper,

below:  left to right – “Work Shirt to Paint Dreams” 2014 by Alberto Aspesi, “Dreamers Clothes” 2014 by Angela Missoni,  “Clothes for a Carrot-Picking Girl, 2014 by Colomba Leddi,  and unfortunately two that I forgot to take note of.     The red dress is just so little red school house – so literal.  Not quite as literal as the carrots for the carrot-picking girl…. so if she’s finished picking carrots and wants to pick beans next, does she change into her bean dress?

a row of designer clothes as part of an art gallery ehbiti, a paint splotched covered blue long sleeved shirt, a red mid-calf length red dress with white polka dots with little red school house shaped head on the mannequin, and and holding a small red schoolhouse in her hand, a sleeveless dress with carrots in many pockets

More words on the wall – “This original garment was a gesture of love – protective as well as representative and foundational of the human condition. But as society rather than the sacred came to define the balance of power, these two meanings were upset so that clothing changed from being a mark of fragility into a social function and sign. Today, our individualism has once more changed its meaning making clothing an expression of the self.  It is now a way of disguising our thoughts and of giving them a new shape.”

I decided just to repeat the words verbatim.  I will let you decide their worth.  I just can’t do it.

below: “Extreme Film, AW13 Collection”, 2013 by Issey Miyake

a mannequin in shiny gold pants stands with its feet apart, in between its feet are a pair of shiny gold boots

below: “Adam and Eve are Going Shopping in Costume” 2014, by Frederique Morrel.   Eve is standing in the shopping cart

two mannequins covered in patchwork of tapestry needlepoint with pictures that sort of match the anatomy of the mannequin.   The faces dont quite line up,   a man and a woman.  the woman is standing in a shopping cart

below: Some of  tapestry placements are just a little too literal.

 close up of part of a mannequin dressed in tight fighting fabric made of a patchwork of tapestry pieces. The piece shown in this image is of a brown cat

below:  “Clothes for a Dithering Monk” 2014, by Denise Bonapace.

black netting in the shape of a cross on a wall. within the cross is more black light weight fabric in the shape of a person whose arms in the horizontal parts of the cross.

below: Part of “Clothes for the Chaste Pornographer” by Gentucca Bini

a coat made of blue mesh hangs in front of a display of old dirty workcoats that are hanging on the wall

below: Close up of part of “Mirabelle Shining Star” 2014, by Melissa Zexter

part of a dress made of black and white pictures printed on fabric, and knitted squares in orange and red yarn

Last paragraph of the words on the wall – “This exhibition is not a display of “work clothes” but of garments for hypothetical, invented, coveted, imaginary jobs that actually invent new jobs for a new and different society. Today’s designers, including the 39 in this exhibition, work amid epochal changes – the decline of the myth of great masters and of the small factories of fine Italian design on the one side, and on the other, between the giant global entities of eastern virtual design and the complete subversion of centres of post-economic and post-industrial geography.  Nevertheless, there are those who attempt to discover new territories – empty spaces, experimental, staggering, radical and unknown. What would clothes look like not only for bakers, carpenters and tailors but also for an email eraser, a butterfly engineer, the one who looks for a needle in a haystack, a healer of the healthy, a survivor, or a quarreller?”

…. And now I think I am going to design an outfit for a ‘skeptical photoblog writer who has read too many words’.

Exhibit continues until 23 April

Nuit Rose,
a festival of queer art and performance

On Saturday night events were held at a number of venues that were concentrated in two locations, along Queen St. West and in the Church-Wellesley village area.  I hung out around two parks in the village, Norman Jewison Park which runs east of Yonge and Barbara Hall Park on Church street.  In hindsight, I wish I had had more time, or had been more organized, to get to more of the events.

Red Pepper Spectacle Arts led a Light Parade that started at Norman Jewison park.    A small contingent, most wearing or carrying a light-emitting object, walked through the park, along and then back down Church Street.  From the  – sparklers, glow sticks

people walking in a night time parade for nuit rose, down Church St., one man is holding up a light stick, a woman is holding a sparkler, other people have lanterns and glow sticks.

to the more elaborate

Two guys in drag with lights all over their costume, holding large fans

a man holding a large pole with a bird head on the top of it, with rainbow coloured fabric, meant to be the bird's wings.

below: and an eagle on stilts

A woman in a flowing costume with eagle head, up on stilts, in a night time parade for nuit rose

below: Note to self: for night time parades take more photos at the start of the parade because once people start moving it’s more difficult to get them in focus!

people walking in a parade, glow sticks, some costumes, a woman with pink butterfly wings

a paper lantern in the shape of a floating flower, out of focus

below: Where else would you be able to sit on a unicorn and get your picture taken?

two people sitting on unicorns to have their picture taken with a person in a red wig hamming it up in front of them, nuit rose, night time.

A young man is sitting on a pink unicorn

below: And after a unicorn pose, have your photo taken standing with a well-lit couple.

a man with lights in his shirt poses beside two statues that light up

below: 360 degrees by Iain Downie, 360 stars, 60 in each of the six Pride colours in the garden.

under a tree in a park, with roses in the background, many coloured 3D stick shapes that have been covered with yarn, lie on the ground.

a group of people stand around a stage watching a dance performance

below: Dance performance, ‘By Chance’ by Janessa Pudwell and Tanya Svazas Cronin.

We pass by hundreds of people on a daily basis who we may never see again. Sometimes we share a glance that lasts a bit longer. This piece is about the relationships that could be created if we acted on those glances. These are the fleeting chances, exchanged through our eyes that will never be fully realized. Instead these people may only appear once in our lives as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

two women performing a dance on a stage., one is seated and the other is standing, some people are sitting beside the stage and watching the show.

Dancers performing in front of a video playing on a screen, night time performance, some of the dancers are partly blurry

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blog_dancers_line_close_up

dancers performing in front a screen that's showing a video, night time, nuit rose performance

a hand holding a camera, two dancers out of focus in the background.

#nuitrose | #nuitroseTO | #nuitrosetoronto

Get your head wrapped!

Considering the cold temperatures, not to mention the rain, snow and hail, there was a great turn out for Turban Up! at Yonge Dundas square today.  The event was organized by the Sikh Youth Federation to help raise awareness about Sikh religion and culture.  There were martial arts demonstrations, food, an art exhibit, and other examples of Sikh culture, but the main event was the turban wrapping.  Numerous eager and friendly volunteers were available to wrap a turban for you in your choice of colour.  A few people sported black and dark blue turbans but bright colours were very popular – colours like turquoise,  bright greens and blues, as well as pink, orange and red.  A veritable rainbow of turbans.

blog_turbans_yonge_dundas_square

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. Choosing magenta fabric

a man is wrapping a seated woman's head with a blue turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. A toddler gets a pink turban while her mother holds her

tables with piles of colourful fabric outside at Yonge Dundas square with the signs and billboards of the Eaton Centre behind. Many people are in the square.

blog_wrapping_purple_turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. An Asian woman smiles while she gets a pink turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. A father and son with matching light blue turbans

blog_smiling_yellow_turban

a man is having his head wrapped in a yellow turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. A man gets a green turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. A boy with a black turban and his face painted with a black beard and mustache watches others get turbans

blog_sikh_youth_federation_turbanup

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. Three people pose to have their picture taken after getting turbans

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables.

blog_turban_up_pink_turban

A young girl gets her head wrapped in an emerald green turban

People having their heads wrapped in a turban, many different colours, at an event at Yonge Dundas square run by the Sikh Youth Federation. Sikh volunteers are making the turbans using stacks of fabric laid out on 5 long tables. A woman gets a red turban while her son looks on

below:  He’s out of focus but I like his gumption.  Thanks for the smile!

a man in a green turban is close in the foreground and is out of focus. He is wearing sunglasses and is giving the peace sign with both hands
#sikhyouthfederation | #turbanup | #ydsquare

The title of the exhibit is ‘Surrender’ and the words on the wall say this:

“Liz Magor’s art invites us to reconsider our relationships with the things we encounter every day.  Through subtle shifts in materiality and context, her works reveal the important role that objects play in our lives: they can allow us to conceal ourselves or to express our identities.  In her sculptures and photographs, Magor explores how we depend on domestic materials to develop a sense of self.”

Nothing is mentioned about surrendering, or why the exhibit has the title that it does.

In the first room there are boxes on the wall.  Each box looks like a carefully wrapped sweater or jacket that has just been purchased.  I can envision a middle aged saleslady taking her time to package your purchase, like in an Eatons store thirty or forty years ago.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - two walls with many open boxes on them. The boxes are made to look like they've just been opened to reveal a sweater or top folded neatly inside, including the tissue paper that often accompanies a new purchase. The clothes have all been decorated with different objects.

On closer look, most boxes also have a hand print, or shape of a hand with index finger pointing at something and little details are amiss…  a ketchup package for example.

blog_liz_magor_cornhuskers

The second room has a number of smaller installations.

A garment bag left over a chair.
Neatly folded blankets hanging on a wall.
A platter of chocolates and left overs.
A tweed jacket on top of a liquor bottle.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - in the foreground are two long narrow tables. On one of them is a platter with chocolates and a platter with the remains of cheese and crackers.

A husky under a blanket (of snow?  on a bed?)
A coat and purse hanging on a hook.
The contents of a room boxed and ready to move.

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - 3 pieces. First, a pile of moving boxes and other items that look like they are in the midst of getting ready for the movers. Second, a large white blanket bed sized that has a hole in the middle of where the pillows should be but instead there is a wolf curled up inside the whole. Third, what looks like a jacket hanging from a hook on the wall

art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Liz Magor - two hangers with plaid blankets folded over them hanging from hooks on a wall. One of the blankets has a clear plastic Creeds bag over the top part of it

On closer look, some of the details on the blankets are wrong
including the labels that are sewn on back to front.

The label on a plaid blanket is sewn on backwards so that the writing on the label faces the blanket.

I was interested in what people’s reactions were to this exhibit so I had a chat with a couple of the employees about it.  According to them,  there was no reaction.  Most people showed interest in the boxes but when they walked into the second room they rarely stopped to take a closer look.

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As for surrender, I did find reference to it in the description of the exhibit on the AGO website, ” In this exhibition, everyday objects and forms, as well as the natural world, function allegorically by evoking the human need to surrender to desires, compulsions, fantasies.”  Once again, I will leave it to you to decide if this description fits.

Exhibit continues until 29th November.