Thursday, April 30, 2009

Soeli Pedrozo - master manipulator...of fabrics.

It's always exciting to see the work of students a few years ahead of oneself, especially when being shown amongst more established designers at Rosemont Australian Fashion Week. "The innovators" show consisting of 4 graduates from Ultimo Tafe took place directly after the Liso Ho show, further highlighting the contrast between commercialism and innovation.
Christopher Lines, Soeli Pedrozo, Seema Pun, Rachel Sherwood
I was particularly impressed by Soeli Pedrozo's collection. Her cleverly manipulated architectural folds became somewhat of a signature look. 

Her witty take on masculine inspired tailored clothing also worked well, with mens pants pockets turning up in unexpected places. 

And who can say no to a bit of extreme ruching?

I'm sure there will be many others who saw the show that would agree that Soeli Pedrozi is a talent who won't be forgotten any time soon. I look forward to seeing what direction she goes in next.

-Love Kaylene

(images from,,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Losing Faith

So there I was, innocently watching some randomly mind-numbing television (as I am inclined to do on a slow Tuesday evening), when a company called "Lazy Patch" casually strolled into my life. 

Perhaps you've heard of this before. Word has it that Hamish and Andy have already tackled the big issues here. Basically, Lazy Patch designs and makes "Duvet Suits" or "Doona Suits", depending on your word preference.

Classy, right? 

Luckily, the makers seem to have an awesome sense of humour about their product. One of the listed features of the product is its extra large pockets "for life's essentials, ie tv remote, mobile phone, pizza menus". And on their website (  some clever cat has listed all the advantages of such a suit:

* Lazy days on the couch. Waking up on those freezing cold mornings or returning home from work on those dark dreary nights - throw away those old tracky dacks and baggy jumper.

* No need to get out from under the quilt while leaving the couch (great for those quick toilet breaks!)

And my personal favourite:

* Pretend you're in the opening snow scene from The Empire Strikes Back

Will I be buying a doona suit? No.  Certainly not. Will I continue to be amused every time the ad comes on the telly? Yes. Oh, for sure yes.


Pulling Shapes

I admit that colouring my hair is something of a hobby of mine. I love the smell (like permanent markers, glue, petrol, vodka) and afterwards my locks feel oh so very soft. 

Last time I indulged in a bit of Garnier attention, my hair pulled some fun shapes. With the really thick cream, hair becomes like a pot of play doh plonked on top of the skull. I've lost many productive hours making mohawks, asymmetrical cones and curls out of my hair.

I don't know why, but i liked this shape in particular. There is a lot of extra volume up top, and only a thin, shapely tendril tumbling out. I thought it rather dainty. (Gosh, I've never admitted how much I think about this. It's rather embarrassing! Feel like a bit of a w&nker...)
This morning, I thought I would try to replicate the look, using only hairspray and good thoughts. Please excuse my hard-core case of bleary eye. Didn't get all that much sleep due to a desperate desire to have both a social life and a university degree.
And a very long black ribbon to try to "daint" it a bit... 


Love love,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Designer Buzz!

Dion Lee is a designer who i've been following quite closely for the last year (well as close as someone can follow on the internet...some may call it cyber-stalking). After graduating from Ultimo Tafe in 2007, he was given the opportunity to show in the graduate show for RAFW in 2008. Along the way he's been collecting a swag of design awards, including Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year and the 2007 Crosier Evening wear  Award. 

The buzz surrounding Dion Lee's debut solo show this morning was justified. The event was held in the bottom floor of the Kings Cross underground car park, and whilst too intensely claustrophobic for some, the venue suited the collection perfectly. Lee has continued develop his own recognisable look that is both minimal, yet structurally complex - a reflection of the John Chamberlain crushed car sculptures that he notes as inspiration.



John Chamberlain 

In other unrelated news...a present arrived in the mail for me today. A present...purchased by me...for me. Still, no less exciting!

My apologies for the cliché combination of docs and tartan pants. I was actually having a nap in these comfy at home pants when the fiancé excitedly came in to deliver the box like Father Christmas. I couldn't help but put them on straight away and take some photos. 

-Love Kaylene

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shout out to Arianne!

A good friend of mine just pointed out via facebook chat that we've missed an essential example of Mondrian inspired stuff: hairspray. 

Cheers, Arianne, love your work!

The Boiling of Elements

Dear Centine, I've been pondering the following questions you posed earlier:

"If we were to apply Mondrian's concept of boiling art or fashion down to its essential elements, what sort of dress would we get? What ARE the essential features of a dress? And perhaps more importantly, is a so-called 'elementary' dress able to be interesting and viable as a fashion statement?"

I seem to be struggling to come up with a non-ambiguous answer. You see, the problem for me is that all design, whether it be furniture, interior, fashion or other, is comprised of the basic elements of design (line, shape, direction, size, texture, colour, value). So what exactly can we call essential elements? To me all of the elements are essential. So, I'm going to redefine your question Centine. From a fashion design point of view, can garments be more/less "interesting" if the designer places self imposed restrictions on their work. For example, restrictions such as straight design lines, with a minimal colour - black & White, with minimal t0 no variation in texture throughout could result in this:
Narciso Rodriquez SS09

Pronza Schouler SS09

Gareth Pugh SS09
The Gareth Pugh is an excellent example to show that minimal elements does not equal a simple design. 

If we consider another emelent, say value, and add it into the equation the result may be something like:
Hervé Léger by Max Azria SS09

Pollini SS09

We can see that another element has come into play, but to say this makes the dresses more or less interesting would be pointless. 

So, the conclusion i have come up with is this: The number of elements is not proportional to the interest, viability or simplicity/complexity of a garment. Basically, fashion is not so cut and dry. It is subjective, and there is no guaranteed formular for success. 

-Love from a contemplative Kaylene

(all images from

Overall Wonderful!

Anzac day is generally a memorable sort of occasion for me. Usually punctuated by some hardcore dawn services, street marches and memorial services, 25th of April is a tough day for Brass Bands players around the nation. Not this year though! Instead of blowing raspberries through a metal pipe, I've been partying like a trooper. Get it? Trooper? 

So of course, the only thing I wanted to wear while trudging through today's hangover from hell  were these overalls from Zema's line "Kiss Kiss Meow Meow", available at Medieval Disco in Wollongong. Incorporating a harem cut in the pants, and a sleek 'wrap around' shape onthe bust, these overalls are fresh, comfortable and great fun to wear. 
 These photos are actually from about a week ago when Kaylene came down for a visit. Styled with a mint green cameo of the same line, Steven Madden heels and vintage shades.
In my quest for fashion comfort, I stumbled across this very cute outfit on 

I love how sleek and modern these denim overalls seem. And capri-length pants are such wonderful fun. Just through a subtle change in shape, this unknown designer has freshened-up the staid traditional overall. 

In conclusion, overalls > jumpsuits.
Love love,

Thursday, April 23, 2009


There is no doubt in my mind that the aesthetic appeal of Mondrian has attracted numerous and varied designers. And rightly so. The iconic style is appealing, fresh and bright.

And even indirect referencing as the image above still retains a certain crispness which echoes the original work. 

I guess what I am asking is more of a theoretical question. If we were to apply Mondrian's concept of boiling art or fashion down to its essential elements, what sort of dress would we get? What ARE the essential features of a dress? And perhaps more importantly, is a so-called 'elementary' dress able to be interesting and viable as a fashion statement?


Sign o' the times...I'm going to try and include more irrelevant Prince references as titles.

You know, I hate to undermine my discipline, but i get the feeling that a lot of fashion is not created in the same intellectualised way that we as a viewer might percieve it. I'm not saying that is a hard and fast rule, but i get the impression that many designers might draw from inspiration on a more instinctive level, like "ooh...this artwork looks effective hanging on a wall...why can't it be just as effective hanging on a person?". That said, the following examples may not be an exception ( other words a discalimer for contradicting myself).

Yves Saint Laurent has referenced Mondrian directly by imitating the print within the confines of the most simple shift dress, so the focus is not on the silhouette, but the lines of the artwork. Although he actually constructed the dress in panels, we do not percieve them as panelling, but rather as a graphic design

Jump forward four decades to Elie Saab's fall 2008 collection, and we can see Mondrian's iconic paintings referanced and conceptualised in a further developed aesthetic. Saab's dresses are like quotations of mondrian. The recognisable blocks of primary colour, and black lines against a white background are apparent, but then manipulated in different ways to compliment the shape of the garment. The result: more of a subtle nod to Mondrian, as opposed to a full embrace.

If we step back for a moment and look at the differing approaches in context, each designers work makes perfect sense - they are a product of their times. The YSL dress is an artefact of the pop-art era (or at least the tail end when concepts started to filter through to fashion). YSL has placed an image from the "neo-plasticism" movement out of context, and as a result commercialised what would be considered abstract art

Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red. 1921.

Saab however is designing in an era of postmodernism where appropriation is the name of the game. I'm a little hesitant to use the word "postmodernism" in reference to art as it goes well beyond my understanding. So i'll leave that train of thought there.

So Centine, I haven't actually answered your question at all...might have to tackle that one another day with a less frazzled brain. But thanks for listening to my uneducated ramblings!

Love Kaylene

images from,,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

YSL is to Mondrian as Fashion is to the Elements

Hello hello!

Sorry to have been absent so long, but my exam is finally over! Hurrah! And while I should have been paying attention to how "price parity power" is an innovation of the eighth round of the the Doha International Monetary Fund or bla bla bla, I was actually thinking about something very different.

This dress, in fact.

Allow me to preface the following rant with "I love  Yves Saint Laurent, this dress and this brand". The following is by no means a judgement rant. More of a friendly theoretical rant.

Okay, phew, here we go.

The thing is, this dress makes absolutely no sense. The Mondrian concept was a statement of artwork pared down to its essential parts: colour (the primarys: red, blue, yellow) and lines (vertical and horizontal). 

And since YSL's dress, Mondrian inspired pieces have popped up in the most unexpected places and to amazing effect:

Side note: I love these sneakers. And the car. And the dress, coat, bag, hat, flag, wheels, boxes.

Though it is clear to me that these images are representing purely the aesthetics of Mondrian's work, I couldn't help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw moment) how the concept of elementary design would be best applied to a dress. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Kaylene is better equipped and schooled to address these hypotheticals than I am. But I'm going to give it a go. 

So it seems to me that the design of a dress is related to: 

* Shape (lines, panelling)

* Colour (Would this be primary colours as with Mondrian, or would an appropriation of the concept into fashion translate into DIFFERENT initial colours?)

* Material (Potato sack, I guess?)

and variations on these concepts.

So here are two Mondrian-concept dresses that I found:
Christopher Kane, F09,

Contender through strong use of lines (very Mondrian, don't you think?) and colour choice (oooooh so simple!). However, there is a problematically complex use of pattern in the bust/chest region.

American Apparel Dress,

Use of pure black makes colour extremely elementary. Also, classic shape. However, the dress is so simple and paired down that it borders on dull-as-dog-%$#@

I don't know, Kaylene, I just can't decide. What do you think of the matter?

The bipolar personalities of capes (a.k.a - too much time on my hands)

This is the sort of foolery that happens when I'm on holidays. Fear not, as of next week I will be preoccupied with Fashion Week, so you can expect less of the following time consuming ridiculousness. 

Love from a slightly ashamed Kaylene.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Experimenting with bleach Part 1.

Like any cautious D.I.Y-er, I did my research and tried a sample from Lax's old jeans before jumping in the deep end with my bleached jeans project inspired by seaofghosts.comThe sample went swimmingly. So you can imagine my surprise when my jeans turned out like this:

My second attempt with a different pair of jeans was a little less of a shock, and in my opinion a more successful outcome. Just goes to show what the individual denim can make. Now that I have no black jeans left, I am on the lookout for some more cheap ones. I am determined to get the desired finish, like in my first sample.
DIY jeans worn with old Pixies t-shirt, vintage gold embroidered bolero and 70's brogues.

Love Kaylene