Zenith

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In Melbourne, street fashion is growing faster than ever. Bomber and puffer jackets have dominated clothing racks in retailers and oversized sweaters paired with tights and sneakers have been the go-to winter outfit for many youngsters. Celebrities collaborating with designers such as Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons and of course the likes of my favorite girl band 2NE1 are endorsers of  this street style.

With this kind of influence, it’s no question why we’ve seen the birth of Giuseppe Zanotti in David Jones and Raf Simmons with Adidas in selected boutique sneaker shops. New retail stores like Sneakerboy   and  Republic Boutique  are the few street fashion hubs across  Melbourne and Sydney.

A store selling luxury street fashion does not yet exist in this city….until July 9th that is. Zenith is a new shop situated in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. It’s a condensed version of Collins St all under the one roof and I had the privilege of  getting  my first look at the opening.

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It’s a small space and from what I’ve observed, most of the items they stock are sweaters, t-shirts, bags and bag charms. I also wouldn’t have been able to find this gem if it wasn’t for my dear friend, June Chen, who was working with the Zenith team to create a  series of hand sculptures for a wall installation. June is a fellow artist who I connected with from a uni friend and  although I love street clothing, I was mainly at the opening  to see her work. The street clothing is of course a bonus!

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I thought the hands looked very realistic and were executed perfectly. They are moulds taken from real hands! She told me her  models had to sit in a chair for half an hour, in order for the hands to set before they could get taken off. It goes to show you how much patience and energy any sculpture requires. The worst thing is knowing that there’s a high possibility of breaking them as they are incredibly  fragile especially after they’ve dried, they’re prone to cracking if not moistened enough. From my past  experiences creating sculptures in my art classes and external projects, every  sculpture I ever made had cracks and annoying fingerprints. Only with the right skills, tools and bucket loads of patience will you have the ability  to deliver at a high standard. 

Whether you’re into funky luxurious streetwear or an art or interior design enthusiast, Zenith is always open for you to see. Go have a look and don’t touch the hands! 

Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

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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.

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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:

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Madonna with Gaultier’s cone corset

haute couture 2014

JPG Haute Couture 2014

fall 2009

Fall 2009

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Fall 2008

spring 2014

Yellow is the new Helvetica

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I often mention in my posts how time flies quickly and I’m gonna mention it again. I realized it’s been a month since I made my last post and it seriously hasn’t felt  THAT long. This past month was pretty crazy with Chinese New Year gatherings,  freelancing, a new job, new art ideas and new purchases to keep me inspired. I recently bought  Pantone on Fashion  because I was interested in seeing how color developed in fashion over the years and how notable luxury brands use color to revolutionize their brand.

I first came across this book while waiting for the plane in Jakarta airport last year. I didn’t end up buying it because admittedly, I didn’t have enough cash on me at the time. So instead, I spent a good few minutes flicking through the pages. The first thing that caught my eye was the cover…that bright yellow cover! The book didn’t have the cover case in the airport store but when I saw it online I noticed the casing  is actually  this really cool image:

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They say never “judge a book by its cover”…and  I just did. This book is exactly what I expected when I saw the yellow. The color  has rapidly grown on me  and it’s already  my favorite color. It’s versatile with design, especially in web where you’ll see  black, dark blue and yellow color combos frequently. Speaking from a psychological perspective, it’s a no-brainer yellow is friendly, inviting, often  connoting nature and positive energy.

When I was working at Jin & Co. I usually gravitated towards yellow for a lot of the designs we did. My research is to blame for this as I’ve seen tonnes of yellow on the web and in print. It’s like using Helvetica for everything, my friends and my lecturer used to say “when in doubt, use Helvetica”. In this instance, yellow IS the Helvetica of color. In the first photo of this post, I wanted to point out that a lot of my favorite  possessions are in yellow, I unconsciously pick these things without noticing the yellow. That’s how effective  the color is haha! No but really, when putting these together I didn’t realize how common the color is in my room.

1. Keep Calm and Be Happy frame is a gift from my sister. An artwork of Kaws’ bearbrick portrait.

2. I’m a collector of keychains. The Pom pom and mini gameboy color is part of the collection (the gameboy works too)

3. Miniature  mario, minion and golden mushroom toys. Minions came from McDonalds (another brand showing yellow prominently).

4. Sometime further down the track  I hope to be  proficient in Mandarin. The desire comes along with my  love of watching popular Chinese TV shows,  The Brain and If You Are The One. Part of it is also because my grandma wanted me to learn so I could communicate with her better. I regret not learning earlier as it is too late now. I got this mini book with 500 words in Chinese to memorize so I can take it everywhere.

5. Yellow paper and a dulux swatch. Yes I collect these things too!

6. I have lemons with water every morning.

7.  Yellow box packaging. I went to NeNe chicken and did takeaway for the first time, the packaging is just as good as the chicken…I even asked for an extra box to keep for myself. I have a cupboard at home that keeps all my favorite packaging, from empty food boxes to clothes and cosmetic wrapping, whatever is unique I’ll definitely keep.

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8. One of my favorite clients was BJ Balls Paper back in uni when asked to design a piece that highlights the awesomeness of their new paper range, “YUPO”. YUPO had yellow branding and I loved incorporating it into my design. It’s my take on a Snakes & Ladders board game classic, only with YUPO counters, and paper and ink as the primary visuals of the  game mat.

As I said, yellow is versatile and is seen being  applied to a lot of  contemporary  designs. Below are some discoveries  I saved when browsing the web. Goes to show you how nice and effective yellow can be!

Kristinas_guide_to_hello_yellow_2From Kikki.K’s blog:  Kristina’s Guide to Creating a Positive Work Space

IMG_3514Paper fruit by Design studio ‘Safari Inc.’

downloadBrianne Boland’s Yellow coffee branding

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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