Friday, December 25, 2009

Through the looking glass.

Here is a peek into my leather maker's studio. In the heart of Sydney, he's been located in this dusty old building for almost 40 years now after immigrating from Sicily. Some things never change. I've been working with him for 4 years now, starting off as an apprentice to the master and learning European techniques in leather and tailoring. Everything I know about leather comes from this man. He's been a tailor for as long as he can remember, specialising in motorcycle jackets and handbags. He would help me during my days at East Sydney, staying up and finishing strict deadlines while he'd calmly tell me stories behind the beautiful Italian operas we would listen to for hours. Soon he will retire. He is probably one of the last original craftsman of this industry.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pulvis et Umbra

we are but dust and shadow...

Spanien c1630
Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin Deutschland

Liberae sunt nostrae cogitationes

"Our thoughts are free" - Cicero
During my research trip to Europe, I discovered a gem in the city of Berlin. The Lipperheide Kostume Bibliothek consisting of over 35,000 volumes and magazines of costume history and over 70,000 prints, photographs, graphics and manuscripts dating back as early as the 16th century. Everyday for almost 2 weeks, I travelled to the library located in Potsdamer Platz nestled between the Philharmonie Concert Hall and Mies van der Rohe's Neue National Galerie (my favourite building in the city). After several attempts in understanding their incredibly strict German system and dealing with the merciless attendants in actually obtaining these rare books, I was constantly searching and studying for hours focussing on the roots of C15th costume. It was easy to be detoured off the subject, being surrounded by such an array of information and inspiration from their in-depth collections of everything to do with dress and costume over humankind. My self study on general Latin, thankfully was put into good use at the library as they were traditionally catalogued accordingly at times when my German had failed me.
I was particularly interested in finding old patternmaking and tailoring books, detailing the cut and construction of the High Renaissance dress, including collars, ruffs and doublets, thinking how I might fuse the little details into my modern collection. This place is truly special and really is where ideas and creativity can be endless.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Melancholic Monday

Land of Talk - It's okay.
I am so glad I stumbled upon this one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

In the beginning...

An inspirational journal of thoughts, sounds, images and an insight into the production processes of creating the womenswear label Dannika Zen, conceived in Sydney, Australia. Constantly moving around the globe where ideas stem, in order to gain new techniques and sourcing unique materials of the utmost quality. The label's primary focus is to create a product that returns to the pure basics of vestis: simplicity, versatility, functionality and timeless beauty.

Dust series by Ujin Lee x Tom Edwards