The Season of Van Gogh

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It is literally the season of Van Gogh.

Louis Vuitton  released an art range of leather goods in collaboration with artist, Jeff Koons, to celebrate humanity through the works of Da Vinci, Rubens, Degas and Van Gogh.  In Melbourne, the Van Gogh and the Seasons  exhibition is still buzzing as part of the NGV Winter Masterpieces collection. The artwork “Wheat Field with Cypresses” is featured in both Louis Vuitton and in this exhibition. It’s also one of my favorite  works by Van Gogh so I stared at it for as long as I could before the crowds got in the way to get a photo of the painting.

 

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I went to this exhibition twice, both on a Sunday afternoon just past lunchtime. The first time was during the first weekend of the exhibition aaaand that was a bad idea because it was too packed! I went again a couple of weeks later to which I kept telling myself “it wouldn’t be packed, it wouldn’t be packed”.

I was wrong.

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However, this crowd was a lot less than the first one.  Bear in mind that you might have to queue up twice if you happen to visit anytime soon – one for purchasing tickets and the other to get into the exhibition. I waited about half an hour to get in only because I pre-purchased my tickets.

Don’t scroll further if you don’t want exhibition spoilers.
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You can tell from the very beginning Van Gogh was always inspired by looking at other artists’ artworks, which is also often the case for me. The Seasons exhibition starts off with a room full of prints he kept all his life as his go-to “bible” for inspiration. His  biggest collection were Japanese prints dating back to the Edo period.

The only way to get to know Van Gogh is by reading his letters that were exchanged with his best friend and brother, Theo. Having prior knowledge of  Van Gogh’s backstory was helpful and when seeing his works you begin to make connections to his life as told in his letters.

A massive introvert, mentally unstable individual living a dramatic life (much of it is due to his non existent interpersonal skills), I still think Van Gogh is a great guy even if he still was around today.

Tales of a Trench Coat

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A few days ago my High School Art teacher messages me about the “Tales of a Trench Coat” exhibition in Chadstone Shopping Center. I first heard about it being showcased in Singapore’s Burberry store last month and I had a  gut feeling its next stop would be in either Sydney or Melbourne. Well, thank goodness the Chadstone Burberry store got renovated in Melbourne because it’s a good excuse to host this exhibition on its opening day last week! The installation is fixed with the store’s space and is only on for a period of time (21st May) before it gets taken down and replaced with Burberry goods.

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As soon as I walked into the store, I was already paranoid of knocking over the mannequins and creating a messy domino effect. It doesn’t help that it’s in an open space and they stand on tiny platforms. I finally witnessed the trench coat Emma Watson wore during the 2010 Spring/Summer Burberry campaign and that was the exact time I was first consumed by Burberry aesthetics.

 

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Some things you’ll see and learn is that Ernest Shackleton wore Burberry on his fleets, which I didn’t know about until now. There’s a workbench and cardboard patterns on display along with heavy duty tools to craft the proper trench. Looking at the patterns took me back in time 6 years ago to my last year of high school making the trench coat. All the pieces were so familiar because during my research that year, I made sure my cutouts matched Burberry’s.

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Would I make a trench again? No. Would I design one? Of course, I’d design many and in my head, I still think about new designs that could work on a trench today. Thanks Thomas Burberry, after experiencing making a trench coat I do feel your craftsmanship is unparalleled.

A date with Viktor & Rolf

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The National Gallery of Victoria have housed some big artists and designers with the likes of Warhol, Degas, Hockney, Gaultier and Monet. They continue to do so as next year’s event calendar looks promising. When I got an email from the NGV team telling their subscribers that they’re bringing The House of Dior  in 2017, I was over the moon. I’m THAT excited I could book tickets right now!

After visiting the Ai Wei Wei and Andy Warhol exhibition  this year I immediately heard talks of a Viktor and Rolf exhibition coming into town. I revived my subscription to NGV newsletters so that I was completely up to date with all of this. If you’ve seen their creations on TV, you’ll know how mesmerising they are.

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The tour guide explained how experts today didn’t know how  those holes were cut so perfectly on that red dress. Up close it looked like a million stitches done to each layer of chiffon. I stared at this for a long time and nearly accidentally touched it.

This is literally wearable art. While they do have ready-to-wear collections, Viktor and Rolf’s speciality lies in haute couture. The dutch duo continually re-invent the wheel, using fashion as a core tool for artistic expression. The saying “Fashion is Art, Art is Fashion” is evident in their body of work and remains at the forefront for the trends we’ve seen the last decade. The Viktor and Rolf: Fashion Art exhibition is held at the NGV until early next year. I highly recommend sparing a few hours for your entertainment – they even have a kids hub much where you can take photos with different backdrops that turn into animations!
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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.

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