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A quick post to share my excitement. I finally bit the bullet and went ahead and ordered these beauties. I've been wanting a pair for ages but couldn't get my head around the cost. But when I thought about it, I'd rather spend that amount on a pair that will last for a lot longer than a cheap pair. Plus, it's so hard to find stylish women's Wellington boots here without icky designs.
So now I'll be prepared for the rainy season ahead - with snug, dry toes - I can jump in puddles! All I need now is a decent hooded toggle coat and I won't care if it snows (Sydney, as if). These are on order from Net-a-porter.com, and should be here in two or three days. I lovelove love the internet!
So here we are again! I've decided to focus more on the graphic design aspects with these articles - so they should be more focused and helpful (and there's a spiffy little banner too). If I can, I would like to collate all these articles - perhaps in a more depth - into an editorial style document that you can download. But let's get the posts done first, right? This week it's time for Orange...
The name orange derives from the sanskrit word nāranja, previously in Europe the colour was referred to as geoluhread - the old english meaning yellow-red;
Orange Wavelength: 585-620nm;
Common Associations: Desire, Flamboyance, Fire, Warning, Halloween.
Joy Self-Confidence Enthusiasm Independence Sociable Constructive Creativity
Despondency Pride Exhibitionism Frivolity Immaturity Deprivation Frustration
Since it is a combination of red and yellow, orange is stimulating and reaction to it is a combination of the physical and the emotional. It focuses our minds on issues of physical comfort - food, warmth, shelter etc. - and sensuality. It is a 'fun' colour. Negatively, it might focus on the exact opposite - deprivation. This is particularly likely when warm orange is used with black. Equally, too much orange suggests frivolity and a lack of serious intellectual values.
Orange has associations with and within a variety of religions. In the Sri Lankan flag, orange representsHinduism. Orange is often associated with Hinduism because the iconic orange robes worn by Hindu swamis. The colour represents fire, and wearing it symbolises the inner transformation occuring with the person.
Spiritually, orange is said to indicate intellectual ambition or stubbornness in a persons aura.
While still religious, I've categorised the strong association of orange with Protestantism under the Political heading due to the strong political nature of its use. Originally, orange was the colour of the Protestant King William of Orange (1689-1702) and has continued to be used by Protestants in Northern Ireland. (2004-2005) and also by Interestingly, orange was also used as the rallying colour of the Ukrainian Orange RevolutionIsraeli's opposed to the unilateral disengagement plan of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Recently, orange was the colour of protest used by human rights activists leading up to the Beijing summer Olympics in 2008.
On a more historical note, orange has long been the colour of the Dutch royal family (the House of Orange-Nassau, the name and colour being a fortuitous coincidence). It is adopted across a variety of mediums in the Netherlands and is an unoffical national colour. Speaking of national colours - the national colours of Ireland, Niger, Côte d'Ivrire and India are all orange, white and green.
Most people know that orange and black is synonymous with Halloween celebrations (being the colours of pumpkins and nightime). It is also one of the colours associated with the Autumn seasonal change - reflected in the colours of the falling leaves. On the US Home Security terror threat scale, orange is the code colour for high risk - after red. American Indians associate orange with kinship, and China and Japan with happiness and love. Orange is often used for safety equipment due to it's high visibility.
Using Orange in Design
A combination of red and yellow, orange shares some common attributes of those colours. It has less intensity and aggression that red because it is calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow. Studying the psychology of colour, as well as important politcal, religious and cultural associations, will give your designs added impact and relevance.
If you want to get noticed without screaming - orange still demands attention
Soft tones (such as peach) are friendlier and more soothing and less flamboyant, while still being energetic
Citrus orange says good health - think Vitamin C
Orange is great to use in Autumn/seasonal themes materials
Mentally stimulating and sociable - use it to get people thinking and talking
Examples of Orange in Design:
Publishing: The Penguin Books classics
Package Design: EBoost Multivitamin
Advertising: Orange Telecommunications campaign
Web Design: Movida Car Rentals
Corporate Identity: Impédance
Environmental Design: Fort Dunlop Directional Signage
Ok, so this isn't really a Daily Outfit post as such, more of an excuse to summarise a bunch of things. Photo above is from a night out on the tiles. I wore my trusty new black mini skirt from Supre with a pair of tights (that are starting to die - perfect for reviving with some rips and tears!), a too small top that doubles as a bra, a loose raw edge singlet, my killer platform heels from Wittner, and I pulled out my old black beret. Didn't manage to get a full length shot, meh. Nevermind. So this week...
Haven't we all said those words? But with a little help and imagination you can create a hot outfit to hit the town tonight, using what's already in your wardrobe. Taking three wardrobe basics, these articles will show you how to put a twist on them to bring them up to date. First up...
Pull out that old mini skirt (you're bound to have one, mini's come back again and again). It doesn't have to be black, any neutral colour will work.
I read a post over at Nicole Tattersall's blog about the street tours available in Melbourne, touring the underground street art. The Melbourne graffiti scene is the heart of Australian street art - mainly (I think)due to the city's iconic laneways. There really isn't anything to match them elsewhere (in Aus), providing a labyrinthine gallery for artists to showcase their work. It got me thinking. Who are the notables in the scene, worldwide, and why?Here's my Top 10...
Street art has always been a place for creative freedom. Due to its very nature it’s also a maverick art, with the varying and diverse styles found being part of its appeal. From Shoreditch in London where works by the likes of Banksy, Invader and Sweet Toof live side-by-side - enlivening the streets with their subversive and eye catching design, to Berlin, where they’ve turned the notion of graffiti on its head by using jet sprays with stencils to clean parts of a dirty wall, producing a new piece of art. - Casper Johansson, Lost At E Minor.
The most famous. The most elusive.
The man from Bristol, UK is renowned for his humorous, anarchist and satirical stencil pieces. He mentions in his book, 'Wall and Piece', that as he was starting to do graffiti that he was always too slow and was either caught or could never finish the art in the one sitting. So he devised a series of intricate stencils to minimise time and overlapping of the colour. (Wikipedia)
The darling of female graffiti artists. Fafi's work is whimsical, sexy, and unstereotypical. Depicting a series of girls she calls Fafinettes and a little character called Hmilo, Fafi conjures up her own fantasy. Her technique is also quite different - she freehands with light black ink, then colours over, letting traces of her intial sketch bleed through.
She's so popular her style has spawned a wave a copy-cats. Even Adidas caught on and got her to design some apparel. Fafi's website.
The Swedish Melbournite. The Emotive Provocateur.
The intrepid traveller, Sixten has stenciled laneways in Melbourne, Berlin and Copenhagen. His artwork has hung in galleries from Europe, Asia and beyond. His Kiss stencil has been credited as the inspiration for Green Day's forthcoming album cover 21st Century Breakdown.
He first became known for his André the Giant Has a Posse sticker campaign. His biggest moment to date - and one that many people will recognise - has been the Obama posters during the election campaign. This artist has an amazing “take it to the street” mentality. His images have a viral way of spreading across america. Most recently, his Obama Hope posters are images that have shaped the Obama campaign. - CurbsandStoops.
The Shy One. The Sultry One.
Originally from Toulouse, France - she now resides in Barcelona. Recognised by her slow-eyed women, she's one of the pioneer female graffiti artists. In a style similar to fellow-Frenchwoman Fafi, Miss Van's characters are edgier and sultrier; you never know what you’ll find around the corner or at the end of that forbiddingly dark alley. Watching, waiting - les poupées– and of course, whispering: don’t be shy. (Trigger Magazine)
Hailing from New York, this lady with the formal art training pastes up life size cut outs of people on street corners everywhere. Like most graffiti artworks, it's never meant to last, but with Swoon it's in an entirely different way. Wheatpaste prints and paper decay and crumble off the wall, in a subtle commentary on the transient nature of street art.
Sydney Represent. Kill Pixie focuses on indoor art these days - showing artwork at Monster Children Gallery among others and releasing a book.
His strong graphic characters and patterns are delicate, unorthodox, at times absurd and humorous. Kill Pixie presents a prophecy for an abstracted, urban version of folk art. - Joseph Allen, Curator Monster Children.
The Man of Many Mediums.
Using a variety of mediums - from charcoal and acryclic to woodcuts - Elbow Toe is renowned for his figurative work. A Brooklyn native, he has been on the scene for some time now. I'll leave it to him to describe himself and his work... His artwork for the streets is grounded in myth, symbolism and poetry and is primarily executed in woodcut, stencil or large-scale charcoal drawings. His oeuvre is a study of human gesture as communication and he utilizes public spaces as stages for private moments. - Elbow Toe.
Originally from Sydney, Vexta moved to Melbourne where she was inspired by local artists Ha-Ha, Dlux, Optic and Sync. One of the few female street artists in Melbourne, Vexta has a background in screen printing - developing pieces from personal photographs. She dallies with many mediums including acrylic and enamel paint on board, aluminium, found pieces, paste-ups and stickers. She likes to make things with paintbrushes, spraycans, acrylics and pens and can be found, biking through the city late at night listening to beautiful songs about the end of the world. - Vexta.com.au
The Multimediast. The Renegade.
The London man's art can be seen around town as posters, stickers, graffiti-style murals and stencils. He is known for his intricate paintings and cartoon-characters. D*Face has designed hats for Kangol in the form of a bomber helmet. These designs proved very popular and are now extremely rare to get hold of.
I have a dream home in my head. I like to decorate it every now and again. Sometimes it changes place. I think we all have our own dream homes. Somewhere we would like to reach one day. I switch between two usually. One is a converted warehouse studio apartment. The other is a seaside cottage. There are some common elements to each of those places...so if you'll indulge me for a short while...
Wherever I end up I'd like to live in an apartment that doubles as a studio. With decaying paint on the walls. With photos, frames and inspiration stuck all over them.
I've always loved the idea of a roaring fireplace, with a cosy armchair in front. I read almost as much as I create artwork - so a big, plush velvet armchair with throw rugs and scatter cushions would be perfect. And a little rug for my cat/dog/both.
And a snuggly bed too. I'm a big fan of lazing in bed, listening to the rain. In a studio, I'd love to be able to fall into bed at ungodly hours.
Plus lots of second hand mis-matched sofas, throws, cushion, wine goblets, lanterns, candles, books, guitar/s...for friends to stop by, have a vino and a chat till the wee hours.
But most importantly, a giant wooden desk to spread all my work out.
I wanted to share with you all this wonderful designer I discovered some time ago over on Etsy. Rose La Bicheis the label of French designer Lucy, currently based in San Francisco. This is a girl after my own heart - specialising in chic, elegant and fresh t-shirts - her designs incorporate wonderful design flourishes that hit my aesthetic buttons. Or as she so eloquently puts:
Creating this apparel line came out of my urge for elegant yet edgy basics as a refreshing alternative to trendy look-alike mass-produced pieces. I create each new design with the idea of a balance between 'wow factor' and 'everyday wearable'. Creative shapes + sober color for a clean finish to wear up or down : that's what Rose La Biche is about!
Lucy prides herself on quality - testing all her designs thoroughly before putting them up for sale. She also uses the best quality garments from Amercan Apparel - and better yet they are all machine-washable.
Rose La Biche is testament to good design becoming glorious through the art of a beautiful photograph. All her designs are styled beautifully with gorgeous lighting and backdrops - to better showcase the garments. Never under estimate the power of a bloody good image to sell your designs (jewelry, clothing, bags...). People want to buy into an image/lifestyle - not just a product. And there are plenty of people out there who wouldn't know how to put together an outfit either - a great photo helps people visualise your product in their wardrobe.
This quizzy comes to you via jaborwhalky. This is a quick and easy test - developed by G.D Falksen - to work out what your steampunk style is. You can check out the photos for the results over at jaborwhalky's Flickr photostream - I've compiled my own images to illustrate the different results. Take the Steampunk Style Test at HelloQuizzy and tell us what you got!
You are the Gadgeteer, the embodiment of steampunk technology. Ironically, many of the things that most define your style are probably too large to easily carry about, but given the opportunity you would prefer to be seen surrounded by boiler engines, gear-driven calculators, and incredible automata.
Of all the steampunk fashion styles, you place the greatest emphasis on technological accessories, and you are the most likely to create elaborate gadgets that are as much a part of your outfit as your clothes. You probably have goggles, but unlike most people you consider them to be for more than decoration.
Whereas most people might look odd carrying a satchel of tools around, for you they may well be essential. Above all, you remind everyone that what sets the genre apart from Victoriana is simply the level of technology.
Photo: Vol de Nuit - Checking the Weather Conditions by Suzanna
You are the Explorer, the embodiment of steampunk's adventuring spirit. For you, clothing should be rugged and reliable, and just as functional as it is attractive.
You probably prefer khaki or leather, and your accessories are as likely to include weapons as technological gizmos. You probably wear boots and gloves, and maybe a pith helmet.
Most of what you wear is functional, and if you happen to wear goggles people had better believe that you use them. In addition to Victorian exploration gear, your outfit probably includes little knickknacks from your various travels.
Above all, you are a charming blend of rugged Victorian daring and exotic curiosity.
You are the Ragamuffin, the embodiment of steampunk playfulness. Chances are, you approach the genre from a much more casual and lighthearted standpoint than most other fans.
To you, there is always an element of play inherent in the genre, and you may very well enjoy fashion as much for the opportunity to dress up as for the style itself.
You probably wear goggles as an accessory, and rarely as actual eye-protection. Your outfits are likely to incorporate a lot of brown or cream, and combine large boots, Victorian corsets or vests, aviator caps or bowler hats, and gypsy skirts or slacks, simply because you like them all.
You are the Aristocrat, the embodiment of steampunk elegance and poise. For you, dressing steampunk is first and foremost about simply looking good, with accessories and details to follow.
However, this does not mean that you ignore the demands of creating a "steampunk look." Your outfits weave together a balance between technology and style, and between period accuracy and beautiful anachronism. While your fashion inspiration may come from anywhere across the Victorian social spectrum, you always find a way to make your outfit beautiful.
You will probably be found in the clothes of the steam age elite simply because of the greater elegance available to them. Chances are you dress this way because you like it, and you would still dress in this manner even if steampunk was not a popular interest. Photo: This is a test by Magdalene Veen.
You are the Citizen, the embodiment of steampunk's everyday side. You realize that there is far more to a rich, living environment than adventurers and lunatic engineers. For every gentleman-scientist or airship fleet admiral there are a dozen or more "ordinary people" who prevent the genre from devolving into a mass of cardboard caricatures, and you take pride in exploring the great diversity of a steampunk world's population.
Your clothing could easily come from any social group or society, and you are equally liable to dress upper, middle, or working class. However, the unifying feature to your fashion sense is that it does not get carried away with "looking steampunk," instead creating a person who could have just stepped out of the crowd in a novel.
Some people may claim that your style is too close to historical accuracy to be steampunk, but fortunately you know better.
You are the Officer, the embodiment of steampunk's military sensibilities. It is an inevitable fact that advances in technology find some way to advance warfare; indeed, it is often the case that military necessity provides the means of developing new technology.
You may be attracted to the technological appeal of steampunk weaponry, or perhaps you enjoy the glamour of Victorian uniforms. You combine a readiness for danger and a technological aptitude with a very sharp sense of fashion. You may be an army engineer, a mechanized dragoon, or an airship captain, but regardless you approach fashion with military efficiency and with style.
You are the Air Pirate, the embodiment of steampunk fantasy. Admittedly, you would probably be more comfortable in a pulp adventure or Eberron fantasy, but you are able to find your niche in the less serious side of the genre.
You are probably somewhat light on your technological accessories, but the ones that you do carry have a roguish dash to them.
Your clothes are most likely styled after those of Victorian aristocrats or loyal airship officers, the better to show off your wealth and the spoils of your raids. Chances are you prefer to be flashy and extravagant, and frock coats are perfect.
Photo: The Veritas League and the Quest for the Tome of Tangiers: Dawn by tripletiads.
You are the Scientist, the embodiment of steampunk's academic side. Where other technological styles might emphasize the gadgets of the genre, you realize there is more to science than doohickeys and gears. Your accessories are medical bags, test tubes, measuring instruments, and academic papers.
You are more likely to carry a compass, quadrant, or ether-attuned spectrometer than a wrench or welding torch. You probably carry a timepiece, and your prolific reading gives you every right to wear spectacles. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of your style is that it combines the frock coats and bustle gowns of the 19th century with the trappings of Victorian science.
Don't you love it when you discover that an obscure interest of yours actually has a name and a huge scene behind it? Well, that happened to me just recently. I've always been interested in the Victorian era - etchings, vignettes, fashion, silhouettes, stories - everything related. I also have an odd attraction to vintage clocks, pocket watches, compasses, street lamps. When I watched the films The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (by Anthony Lucas) and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - I just about spun myself out over the Victorian overtones stamped all over them.
Now, please don't think I am stupid, but I've only just made the connection between these things and a little term called Steampunk. I know, I know...obvious. But for anyone else who like me has heard of Steampunk, but actually has no idea what it is all about, allow me enlighten you:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality. - Wikipedia.org
Originally a literary genre, Steampunk can now be found in music, film, design, art, fashion, jewelry...it's become yet another alternative lifestyle. It may be easier to comprehend under the name Neo-Victorianism - with a heavy influence from Victorian aesthetic principles. Think Victorian/Edwardian fashion - bustles, petticoats, crinoline, parasols, top hats, long tail coats.
But Steampunk is more than just a Victorian revival. It taps into a sensibility which embraces traditional aesthetics with futuristic endeavour. An easy way to understand this concept is when you see custom gilt frames around computer monitors, typewriter keys for a keyboard, brass cases for iPhones...Take a new technology and Victorianise it.
Still can't get your head around it? Here's a list of resources to help you down the rabbit hole and into the Steampunk mindset: