Designers and original makers are dying out. We are going extinct and being replaced with big machinery and cheap overseas labour. Not only that whenever we make something that is authentic it is copied. That I don’t mind. I just want to let people know that working with our hands and a sewing machine is an art form and the fact that you meet someone who can sketch an image, draw their own pattern, cut and sew from start to finish is rare nowadays and I’m amongst the youngest in this field in Australia that can make anything from the beginning.
When you look at a dress in a retail store that costs $350 it has went through so many hands for each piece and the fabric sourced all over the world but made in less than an hour. When an authentic creative makes you something for $350 +++ it would of taken many more hours or days to produce. The sewing of retail clothing is hardly done in Australia nowadays and is mostly done in India, Bali, China, Phillipines, Turkey etc where the dollar is cheaper. I don’t mind that but do not compare an authentic designer or creative who makes one off designs or capsule collections to the mass produced market or to something you buy from the retail store.
For 19 + years I have been slowly learning my craft. Just bits a pieces here and there picking up every piece of knowledge that I can from people, from books and just generally learning as much as I can of anything at all that I can apply to my field. It is my obsession and my dream. I am young to be running my own business as a Designer Dressmaker but I created my job because I saw a need in the market. Plus until I started calling myself The Designer Dressmaker nobody else had put those words together. The decline of dressmaking and especially dressmakers that make their own patterns is obvious in Australia adding further value to what is left. We are a dime a dozen. Help contribute to Australian dressmakers or local dressmakers if you aren’t Australian because otherwise we may just die out and who shall you buy an authentic designer dress from.
I’m going to rock this year. You should too. 🤘🏻
English: Margaret Olley at the Reopening of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am absolutely fascinated with Margaret Olley so much so that last study period I attempted to paint her face on my textiles visual diary…You can buy them with canvas nowadays……Which is awesome:)
Back on topic.Margaret Olley is fascinating mainly because of how she lived and how she painted.Her works span back from the last 60-70 years at least.She would set up a space in her home and paint and then set up another space and paint.She might leave those sets as they are for some time and not move her subjects so that she continue painting
her perfect set
when she has time. Arguably it has been said that she actually got better over the period of her life which I heard somewhere or rather is unusual because we should all be good while we are young and peak in talent instead of peaking as we age.I hope that I am the same. I know with studying print making
aswell as management, marketing and now finishing a diploma in fashion for the next 4 months my work load is humongous. Let’s not forget my husband expects a clean home and dinner on the table…….I took from Margaret this sense of joy and excitement that she never let anyone get in the way of what she wanted to paint and what she wanted to do.She was hard working and often woke up early in the morning to climb to the obelisk in Newcastle to make some painting of the water or whatever might take her fancy.On the 24th there was an amzing documentary
on ABC called Margaret Olley “A Life in paint”.
You can purchase a copy on the internet from Catherine Hunter who created the doco (www.artbrief.com.au) or contact her privately via email email@example.com she is very lovely and has made many more documentaries in the past!
All her films can be found at the Art Gallery of NSW and various other galleries.
If you would like to pay money for this documentary it is awesome.If you are like me and watched it already she is a fantastic artist to research just for her spirit and love of art. Her dedication to Australian artists and portfolio of paintings may just inspire a print. Who knows her spirit might wash over you like I feel it has to me.It is strange because she is from the same age as my nan and looks and reminds me totally of her although my nan didn’t paint because she was more submissive and domesticated and the perfect wife.She was more a cooker and cleaner. My pa was the painter and he would paint for hours in his little room.He would first take a photograph of what he wanted to capture and then amazingly transfer that to a painting.He painted with watercolours whilst I am quite sure that Olley painted with acrylics although don’t quote me on that one.There was a part of the documentary that talked about artists and how they paint. This idea is transferable to print and to us!No matter who you are you have your own personality and your own order of thinking. Your own way of organising.How you lay your roller. How you roll on the ink. How much pressure you press into the tile or on the paper. What technique you like to use the most and even though you have been taught other ways you still think your way brings the best image and en-captures what you are trying to encapsulate. You will always have your own style when creating and that is what makes your art have meaning.When someone sees a good print they will first think wow that is a good print and then wonder how they printed it.The majority of our research has been based on how another artist has printed the picture and that meaning transfers another image to mind of the process.I am not sure if this is just me but when I see art that I like I imagine the artist creating that piece. What tools they used. How lightly they pressed those tools, how delicately pressure was applied to create that stroke or cut that stone.when I see a garment I like I think of the pattern pieces that were used to make it and how it was sewn. I think of where their inspiration comes from. This all seems to happen like the jolt of energy that we usually call a brain wave immersing my brain with images that somehow inspire me to create my own art.With Margaret Olley the idea of her life and dedication to art has excited me more than any other about art and her inspiration is something that we all can use a piece of. It is something that brightens the eyes and lightens the brain. You almost feel like your floating on a cloud of inspiration and whilst watching the documentary I almost felt like pulling out my own painting set and creating immediately although had to withdraw from that idea because I have so many other projects that are under way at current.I hope this might inspire you all and might help you find that sparkle in your eye for now and into the future!
I attended Fashion Palette recently as a V.I.P for displaying my white silk satin gown that Paige Freeman modelled for me. If you would like to view the gown it is on display in my previous blog post.Here are a few photographs of the highlights of Fashion Palette 2012.The moments where my heart really did skip a beat. Where the room felt alive with the bright lights shining on the 6 foot tall models as they glided down the white catwalk to the mesmerising sounds of Lana Del Ray.
The Ballerina was 2 metres from me dancing the most beautiful dance that I have ever seen.Each costume had it’s own point of difference.The designer sat on a long couch on the catwalk as she watched her own models dance so beautifully. If I were her I would be very happy at the amazing performance!No doubt she would of made many sales on that day!
- I almost cried it was so beautiful!
- Fashion Palette Highlight!
When I saw that white dress with the black bow it just seemed to make sense and stood out from all the rest!
First and foremost Secret Culture owes credit to the team who made this photo-shoot happen.
Paige Freeman who was modelling (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=644756382)
Mike Baker’s Photography ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-Bakers-Photography/180973365286324).
Let’s not forget Cherie Freeman who did a gorgeous job of make-up on the morning. Paige and Cherie both have their own Make-Up Company called M.A.D Artistry http://www.facebook.com/M.A.Dartistry and can be contacted on 0422 640 352.
For almost a week we waited for the rain to pass and the clouds to part and the sun to shine down again. All in the name of Fashion. We couldn’t have everything we wanted and what we did have we made the best of.
It was just before Sunrise we gathered at the well known Merewether Baths to capture the perfect picture, of a dress that I had made especially to be displayed at Fashion Palette this year in Sydney.I wanted Paige to look natural and gorgeous as she always is. I love how her hair how is so long and straight. Her hair is usually blonde although she dyed it brown for this photo-shoot and I think that she looks absolutely amazing!
Mike truly had all odds against him when the sun was rising on the morning and the barest light was parting from the skies.This was our last chance to get a proper photo-shoot of the dress before I delivered it to Fashion Palette in Sydney.
I have decided to sell the couture gown that I made for Fashion Palette 2012! If you know anyone who would like an all white couture gown for a wedding or special event please feel free to share this link with them!!!!!
I found this wonderful video that sums up what it means to be a designer working for yourself and owning your own brand and label.Thank you to Steven Wheeler
Everything I Learned in Design School in Under 4 Minutes from Steven B. Wheeler on Vimeo.