Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

Photo-13-03-2016,-11-54-02-AM

There hasn’t been much promotion going on around Melbourne but I do want to point out the awesome 20th annual event of Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival. The event took place  from  March 7th to the 13th and it was one hell of a week filled with elite  runways, seminars and workshops for aspiring fashion designers and fashion enthusiasts around Melbourne, particularly myself. Thanks to Creative Victoria, I was extremely fortunate this year to book a  seat  at my first runway show, and it couldn’t get any better knowing  it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s show for Target.

Photo-9-03-2016,-7-47-40-PMPhoto-9-03-2016,-6-43-29-PMPhoto-9-03-2016,-7-47-40-PM

Whenever someone asks you to define “Haute Couture” you should tell them to google Jean Paul Gaultier. His designs are a  vehicle for driving haute couture to the highest limits, without Gaultier there are no couture shows that are comparable to his. If you love architecture and fashion then he’s your guy – most of his prominent works blur the lines between these two fields of practice. His crazy outlook on the world, over-exaggerated costume ideas and success had previously landed him a role as a creative director in Hermes for over 7 years. After Hermes, Gaultier’s  name kept surpassing the list of best designers in the world,  an exhibition was even held in Montreal to celebrate his prodigious  career. You may have also noticed his exhibition at the NGV last year, The Fashion World of Gaultier. I’m disappointed I didn’t get a chance to go but my friend who went did learn that his first runway shows featured men wearing skirts. Hah how cute!

It came to my surprise earlier this year  to hear Gaultier doing  a collaboration with Target Australia to create an affordable range of clothing as part of the ‘designers for Target’ movement. Seeing a designer who’s so used to doing  cutting-edge designs and now creating a simpler range is a pretty challenging move.  Last time there was Roberto Cavalli which seemed to be a success. After seeing the runway I thought Gaultier  executed the Target range quite well, I spotted a bit of Gaultier with the trademark corset and cone bra designs sewn onto  some of the garments. I didn’t get to take many photos but  when I did, they were mostly blurry and unusable for this post. I should’ve brought my DSLR! Here’s a quick look of JPG’s notable playful aesthetics:

madonna

Madonna with Gaultier’s cone corset

haute couture 2014

JPG Haute Couture 2014

fall 2009

Fall 2009

49b6fb35c6a9ad8905a764a1f61e25e48

Fall 2008

spring 2014

Ai Weiwei x Andy Warhol

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

If you’re down in Melbourne and trying to find something to do this summer, I recommend seeing  the Andy Warhol x Ai Weiwei  exhibition. Even if art isn’t your thing, it’s still a joyous experience that will leave a lasting impression when you exit the doors…or maybe I’m a little bit too biased because I love Warhol but seriously, most of my friends went here last month and seemed to have enjoyed it (as evident in their Facebook and Instagram photos) and so did my Mom!

To be honest I had no clue what the exhibition was about. I thought it might’ve been a series of commissioned paintings that Weiwei and Warhol did together. It actually was not. The exhibition features Warhol’s iconic works taken directly from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh mirrored with Weiwei’s 21st century works – it’s a contrast between American culture and Chinese culture, with both artists drawing major inspiration from another artist, Marcel Duchamp.

Photo-16-01-2016,-1-23-42-PMPhoto-16-01-2016,-1-25-39-PM

What surprised me was that Ai Weiwei never met Warhol despite both being in New York at the same time in the 80s. Both are nearly the same age, only that Warhol was an established artist and Weiwei wasn’t. The first English book Weiwei read was “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol” which pretty much influenced  Weiwei in his artistic ventures.  What I got out of this gallery was that both lived two very different yet similar lives. Throughout the exhibition you’ll see the parallels between Beijing and New York City, both cities having such a large impact in their lives – Warhol was fascinated with Mainland China and visited Beijing whilst Weiwei was born in Beijing and lived in New York for 10 years.

Photo-16-01-2016,-1-27-30-PM

A triptych featuring Ai Weiwei made in knock-off Lego blocks. Probably over 1,000 used for each panel?

Photo-16-01-2016,-1-38-20-PMPhoto-17-01-2016,-12-33-13-AM Photo-17-01-2016,-12-34-10-AM

These flying golden alpacas and red twitter birds is Weiwei’s 21st century interpretation of  Warhol’s Silver Cloud installation from 1966. This interactive installation was hilarious!

Photo-16-01-2016,-1-45-21-PM Photo-16-01-2016,-1-46-54-PM Photo-16-01-2016,-1-47-25-PM Photo-16-01-2016,-1-48-58-PM Photo-16-01-2016,-1-51-34-PM Photo-16-01-2016,-1-51-42-PM

The ‘Letgo room’. Weiwei’s commissioned piece for the NGV is a room featuring portraits and quotes of Australian human rights campaigners, again made entirely in fake Lego blocks.

Photo-16-01-2016,-1-57-43-PM Photo-17-01-2016,-12-17-59-AM

Photo-16-01-2016,-9-17-41-PM

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

The exhibition had a great mix of interactivity, loud evocative art coming in various forms and mediums such as photography, screen prints, sculptures, film and video. It ends in April so there’s still plenty of time to head over.

SIS Art & Technology exhibition

Photo-9-11-2015,-7-05-08-PM

Aside from sitting in front of my macbook  checking emails and downloading fonts all day, as an artist and designer it’s always a thrill being  asked to speak in front of an audience as part of your job. Last Monday I was honoured to be invited as  the guest speaker for the opening night of the 2015 Southern Independent Schools Arts & Technology Exhibition. Just after the  2NE1 SS15 Collection had ended, Sharon, the executive secretary of SIS, called me and requested a  speech that covered my road to year 12, as well as the success I’ve had after year 12. Reuniting with my 2012 Top Arts artwork behind me brought back memories of high school, it almost felt like yesterday but actually  it was almost 5 years ago since I graduated year 12!

The final year of high school was when I promised myself I wanted to create the best artworks I’ve ever done because I knew if I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t be able to set myself up with the career I have today. I didn’t want to leave with just an ATAR score, I wanted to leave high school with a  memory I could take with me forever, and that is exactly what my Top Arts artwork “Go Forth and Prosper” offers. I have a framed copy in my room but the original art piece was acquired by my high school, Nazareth College. Since then, the piece lead me to  an interview on a radio show, an article in the local newspaper, recognition from Goldman Sachs and has made its way into people’s homes. Here’s one of them:

IMG_4270

Public speaking was never really my forte because I used to be very shy and I thought I could get away with designing in my room forever, not ever finding the need  to talk to anyone. My perception  of that changed when  I started freelancing in uni. I had to go out of my way to build my circle of  online and real-life networks.  It was almost like going out on multiple dates, I had to get the clients to like me, the more they liked me the better the relationship was. Communication with clients was so important in marketing me and my work, now talking to either one  person or a group of people  has  become  very natural to me and I  love  meeting new people all the time……cue more  dates! This kind of confidence  brought me to speaking to larger crowds. The last one I did was in front of uni students talking about my Oxfam Design For Change campaign.

IMG_8788

Photo-12-11-2015,-11-45-40-PM

Zart Art sponsored the SIS event and they gave me some unique supplies from Japan. I have no idea what this Aquash pen does but I seriously can’t wait to try it. ZIG Kurekate pens are my favorite and I mainly use them in my artworks.

Photo-11-11-2015,-2-00-58-AM

Speaking to representatives and students of 16 schools last Monday hopefully inspired them to  strive to be the best in their chosen profession.  I’m glad I could inspire the parents too! I didn’t think the parents would compliment my speech or even take a photo with me afterwards.

“And my advice to parents, stay close to your children every step of the way because you are their biggest role models. If it wasn’t for my mom and dad, I wouldn’t know  what hard work is.” 

 

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I live and breathe all things art, design, culture and fashion. You'll find me documenting my life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and a bit of food.

More about Mon