Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Today's Ramblings

It’s lovely and sunny but not as warm as it ought to be today. The sun is fairly warm but the wind is cold. Still feels like spring and not summer for sure. No pictures today since Blogger doesn't feel like posting any for me.

I just finished reading (and ogling!) this book that I got from my fibre arts guild library: Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion. It was a very interesting book meant as a catalogue for a gallery show last year in San Francisco. Author and curator Melissa Leventon managed to write a very lucid account of how artwear (or art to wear or wearable art) fits in between fashion and art. She avoids using “artspeak” or words of too many syllables and gets her points across very deftly. The only quibble I might have is Canadian fibre artists are virtually ignored by being lumped in with “North American” work. She singles out Australia and New Zealand which do have great textile artists creating wearables, but are we Canadians so lost in the great American pool that we don’t have our own voice? Maybe just nobody with a big enough presence to be noticed.

One name that stuck out for me in this book whom I’d never heard before was Kaisik Wong. He was a photographer and art clothing designer from San Francisco who passed away in 1990. A book about him is due out shortly by Cameron Silver (owner of a chic vintage shop called Decades) and judging by the price (US$75) it should be quite a coffee table tome. From what I can tell, Kaisik was quite a character and had an amazing colour and design sense. He’s become most famous recently for a scandal involving Nicolas Ghesquière creating a vest for Balenciaga in 2002 that was a close copy of one that Kaisik Wong made in 1973 and published in 1974 in a book called “Native Funk & Flash”. Kaisik’s family doesn’t seem to have been too concerned about a rip-off of his work, just that he’s getting some much-deserved recognition. One version of the story is here. I guess alls fair in love and fashion, eh? Or maybe that’s anti-fashion?

I got my Complex Weavers Kumihimo Group swap in the mail today. What a fun bunch of braids! The theme this time was a braid to embellish a greeting card. It sparked quite a lot of different approaches and the folder was like the Griffin & Sabine book by Nick Bantock with all the little envelopes and fold out bits to discover. Well, ok, not as good as Nick — nobody else is that good! But like a grownup pop-up book anyway. The fall swap is Thick and Thin. We’ve done that before but there’s quite a lot of scope for discovery in braiding with thicker and thinner elements. It changes the look of the braid completely and it’s a lot of fun to see what happens. Our swap mistress has also given a heads-up on the theme after next (spring 2007) so we can start thinking about it. It’s going to be an art piece to be exhibited online which is quite exciting. We only have to make the one so it won’t be multiples (thank goodness!) and there is no other direction as to what we can do apart from it having braids as the primary focus or as a structural element. Verrry interrrresting…

Off to spend a little while beading on my doll, Mu Ni. She needs a lot more beads to cover her and I have a deadline to meet.

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