This Japanese brand can be translated “for the boys”. Last week I acquired a cute pair of sneakers. The heart with the eye is a symbol the brand uses for its “play” line. I cut these out of the shoe box to do a tribute collage.
When I worked with Kerfe at a certain textile company we had a very stylish and demonic boss named Linda. She used to call high end stores in the city searching for items of clothing; I’m sure Comme des Garcons was one of her favorites. She would call around demanding that they see if they had a certain coat or dress. I was secretly impressed with this. She was well dressed, I’ve got to give her that.
Comme des Garçons is owned by Rei Kawakubo, whose designs are unique. The clothing can be found at Dover Street Market in NYC, Tokyo and at Comme des Garçons stores. No buzz marketing here–most of the line is very pricey. Glad I got the sneakers though.
Not that I have anything by them but I really love this line recently. A guy I met pulled out his Gucci wallet and I asked to take a picture of it.
Gucci: gotta love it.
” I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”
This is often misquoted as “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
days like wheels
plates laundry tasks
to gather and sort and
stitch into layers comfort
warmth symmetry anonymous
generations completing circles
Collage, to me, takes its inspiration from the fiber work of generations of anonymous women. The women in my family knitted, crocheted, embroidered, quilted; they were milliners and seamstresses. I have a legacy. But their work is not signed nor was it ever hung in galleries. Like much of the fiber work of history that provides me with so many ideas, it was made for use by family and friends, made with love and beauty as a way to provide color and warmth to everyday lives.
When I saw the NaPoWriMo prompt from day 3 to write a fan letter, I went through names of people in history that I admired. But really, the largest influence on my life comes from these women who for the most part are known by one name: Anonymous. That Virginia Woolf spoke of the writers who claim that same name adds another dimension to this inheritance.
patterning comfort who was
hand eye this woman
Day 2: a quote in answer to Elusive Trope’s 3-day quote challenge.
About the artwork:
The top stitched piece and the crazy quilt painting were done for a print rep I worked with for a short time in the early 1990s. We had an idea that we could sell print patterns based on traditional fiber arts. The idea did not prove successful in terms of sales, but I ended up with some interesting artwork
The quilts were made by my great aunt Del, sister-in-law to my grandmother, inherited from my mother and aunt.
The collage is from a sketchbook of work based on quilts done in the early 1980s.
I actually went to the Jewish Museum with the purpose of seeing the “Unorthodox” exhibit, which closed last weekend (full of interesting things: for a future post). But imagine my delight as I stepped out onto the second floor and saw this:
Having worked in the fashion industry, Isaac Mizrahi is well known to me. But this exhibit puts his work together in a way that has both surprises and charm. The wall of color swatches that he has collected over his career was just the start.
There were costumes and accompanying videos of performances
walls of sketches
glamour and glitter.
I have always been fond of the totem pole dress and the native American-inspired beaded jacket.
The visitors, young and old, fashionista or not, seemed to latch on to Mizrahi’s exuberance with smiles. The exhibit will be on display until August.
I found an old skirt in the attic. It didn’t fit me anymore but I really like the design and decided to cut it up for a collage painting.
I started by decoupaging the cut out roses onto the heavy watercolor paper I’ve been using.
I painted in the leaves and stems in brown and then just let it happen. Here is a shot of the skirt; it is an interesting textile. I seem to be exploring my old textile design roots but I’m not fighting it!
When Teresa at One Good Thing published a post about knitting, I told her I had made a sweater for my daughter for Christmas, and she requested that I post a photo. I finally got around to taking one, and here it is! I made a lot of sweaters back in the day (oh about 25 years ago), but I hadn’t done one in a long time, so I was a bit apprehensive. My daughter wanted a lobster, blue on red, and gave me one of her sweaters for fit. Even though I made a sample swatch for size, it’s definitely shorter than her sample sweater, but she seems to like it anyway–at least she’s worn it. The neck was what I was most concerned about–a crew neck would have been much easier for me–but it turned out OK too.
Then for her birthday, she saw this Star Wars fabric and requested pillow cases. The fabric was sold out from the original source, but I managed to locate some more. Again…I used to sew, but it’s been so long I had to look up how to thread the machine. On the other hand, pillowcases–the only dilemma was how to construct it: fold at the top, or on the sides. We have pillowcases made both ways. I chose fold at the top, and used an existing pillowcase as a pattern. And actually sewing (a seam anyway–I would not attempt a zipper at this point in time) is like riding a bicycle, it comes back.
My daughter has seen the new Star Wars movie at least 5 times that I know of (once with me). But here’s what I really like: she just assumed I could make these things. And so I did. There’s a little lesson here I think…
I’ve spoken before about the show I saw at The Drawing Center with textiles as its theme (http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/5/exhibitions/9/upcoming/806/thread-lines/). It was interesting to me that a few of the artists used sweaters and sweater graphs in their work, but I was put off by the fact that they used sweaters that other people had designed, once again exploiting the creative work of those mostly anonymous and underpaid textile artists.
It occurred to me that I could exploit myself. I’ve been re-purposing my unsold swatches from my own design work for pillows and dolls–why not make an artistic statement derived from their original purpose? Over the 20+ years that I designed and made these miniature sweater fronts, I must have produced thousands of designs. I have hundreds that were returned from my reps (because they didn’t sell) to choose from.
Animal skin as a motif is perennially popular; I decided to combine some of those patterned sweater designs with my concern about endangered species. I embroidered in black and white duplicate stitch a statement–“there are less than 4000 wild tigers left in the world”–and a ghostly tiger face on top of the knit sweater front.
What do you think?
The quintessential knitter and stripe designer is my friend Kerfe. Yes, this blog post is a bit of shameless buzz marketing. I love my hat and scarf from Kerfe, so pure in color and fun to wear. The scarf is a nice crunchy cotton, the hat a soft wool. I sometimes wear the hat all day on my numerous bad hair days. You can find these items and great children’s hats, as well as other great stuff by Kerfe, at her Etsy store. The link can be found on our home page. Great Christmas gifts! And she will also be selling some of her prints shortly, so check it out!