Archive for October, 2011

Eternal Lace (Lace Reinvented)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

This weekend I spent some time wandering through the Love Lace exhibition currently being held at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Expecting it to be an array of different laces & textiles, I was quite surprised at the variation of concepts and influences that far pervaded fashion to the extent of even comparing lace with science and biology.

Many of the works were made from non-textile materials such as laser cut metal, wire etc. The most common element linking these works being the interplay of positive and negative spaces. I was surprised how many of them carried this theme through so strongly, while forgetting or skipping over the delicacy of texture and definition of surfaces so apparent in the famous Leavers and Chantilly laces of France.

While laces these days are starting to be copied by manufacturers in China, what cannot be copied is this incredible variation of texture. True Leavers and Chantilly laces can only be made by weaving lace by hand on a traditional loom such as those 19th century looms still used in France today. It’s this difference in quality that defines true couture – and that’s why I use many original French laces in my designs.

One of the best things about the exhibition however was the text. Sometimes as an artist and a designer I can find language incredibly inspiring – either seen visually or spoken verbally and all of the artists in this exhibition wrote a statement to accompany their work.

Artist Michael Snape (Sydney – Australia) had this to say about his sculpture in water-jet cut steel: “Lace mostly serves to cut the glare, so rampant here, to eyes accustomed to being treated kindly, by gentler places. Lace is made in humility, an activity of repetition, rhythm, meditation as if the act of making momentous decisions only serves to interrupt and rupture..”

There were also some statements I felt could relate to my own work such as that by artist Patricia Harper (Brisbane – Australia) about her work entitled ‘Staccato‘: “The pattern has been cut through each panel’s surface so the spaces become the (music) notes, allowing the environment to take part in the creative process.”

As a designer, I am all about creating sculptural beauty with fabrics, while being constantly aware of the figure that will be wearing and inhabiting my design and giving it life – so I really appreciated what Patricia Harper was saying about her work.

A work I found particularly clever and could have uses applied in modern textile technology was by artist Michele Eastwood (Perth – Australia) entitled ‘Shadows of Memory.’ See below:

Photo: Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

Michele Eastwood took images of members of her family and interlinked the shape of the figures with threads, thus creating a form of lace work.

And a clever step towards sustainability by Laura Anne Marsden (Hatfield, Hertfordshire – UK) who developed a textile she calls ‘Eternal Lace‘ – a hand-stitched lace made using plastic bags woven together by a needle. This particular work, is entitled ‘Eternal Lace Wedding Dress.’ Well we too want you to keep your wedding gown forever, I hope that you will treasure your gown and even pass it on as a family heirloom. (But we we’ll be using silk instead of plastic bags). See below:

Photo: Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

 Other works I liked:

Joep Verhoeven, DEMAKERSVAN Studio (Rotterdam – Netherlands) ‘Lace Fence’ I love anyone that thinks outside the box and can utilise industrial design to beautify the natural environment. See below:

Photo: Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

Loved this work below by Anneliese Vobis (Santa Rosa – California, USA) entitled ‘Patterns of Frost.’ The photograph just doesn’t do it justice:

Photo: Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

And adored this work by Alvena Hall (Adelaide – Australia) entitled ‘Ediacara Laces.’ See below:

Photo: Sotha Bourn © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

And I found this work particularly impressive (and also one of the few textiles based lace works in the exhbition) Douglas McManus (Melbourne – Australia). His work was an amazing camouflage “lace” hoodie entitled ‘Pelvic CT Scan Camoflage Lace Hoodie.’ It was made from screen printed clear gel ink, cotton and glue. Amazing! See below:

Photo: Marinco Kojdanovski © Powerhouse Museum – Sydney

And finally I’ll share a story written by artist Griselda Gonzales (Itauga – Poraquay):

“The naduti (spider web) legend tells of two Guarani boys who competed to win the heart of a beautiful girl. One boy searched the woods for a gift for her and saw a beautiful lace in a tree, but found it was only a torn spider web. His mother dedicated herself to making an identical web of lace. She studied the spiders movements and began to copy it using her needle and strands of her white hair.”  

– Did he get the girl? She didn’t say..

For more information about the exhibition and for further information about the artists you can visit the Powerhouse  Sydney website: Love Lace.

x Sarah

Bridal Couturier New Look..

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Hello to all my lovely brides,

I hope you love the look of our new website and are as excited about it as we are! We feel it truly represents our brand & also gives you a taste of what is instore for bridal design in the future.

Keep checking back often for new images & sketches posted for more wedding fashion inspiration. If there is something that catches your eye, but maybe you’d like it with a different skirt or neckline – then email or call us and we can chat about it and begin creating your dream dress!

When I started this business, my main aim was to create a whole branded image. I had felt very suffocated by the lack of spectacular design in the wedding gown industry. Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier aims to fill that niche.

We are high fashion bridal – the ultimate in couture design. When I design your gown – you can rest assured that with my experience as a Head Designer for international bridal labels, I can take my knowledge of wearable, timeless elegance and blend it with a little of the fun and frivolity that is a signature in my designs to give you a wedding gown that makes you shine!

Our aim is to make you feel like you sparkle inside and out. I will develop a design that will show your inner beauty so that your gown really complements you – not the other way around. Of course we work with all different figure types and I enjoy getting to know my clients so I can create something that will really suit your personality.

When I tell my clients that “You’re most precious memory will be in a Sarah Alice Andrews’ gown” it’s because if you feel confident and beautiful than you really will have an amazing day – and create the best memories ever!

Here is a glimpse of some of my recent illustrations – just a page torn out of my notebook of some designs with sleeves that illuminate and frame the face and neck:

As I write this blog, I’ve been listening to Margaret Throsby’s interview of Edwina Ehram, the Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. You can listen to the interview by following the links Here.
Sarah x