Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't  S h o o t  Me

Everything went as smooth as it could have gone today with our mobile phone shoot. We had set up the backdrop yesterday, and prepared the paper clothes, so it was just left up to technology and having a consistent flow of shots, to follow the storyboard. We also had the most amazing model anyone could ask to work with -Eve. She was so patient, had a laugh at us when we were being ridiculous, and sat on set reading her French book while we adjusted props and re-taped the mobile to a crate, or a chair etc. 

Our one main fault, which I have no idea how it happened, but the film started to get shot in portrait, instead of landscape, with my blackberry you have to hold it in portrait but it automatically films landscape to fit the landscape screen that it has. Our teacher pointed out this problem at the end of the day once we had just finished filming credits, model had gone, one class mate had gone to work, and for the two of us left -our brain's were already fried from lack of sleep, and constant thoughts. So we now have a limitation that we plan to turn into something creative and make it a feature of the film. Let's see....

Our 'wall' before...
...and after the paper explosion

The Paper Pants

We decided pants would be more playful than a dress, and less common too.

The outfit (minus the daggy orange wollen socks haha!)

Paper 'interiors'

Some behind the scenes snaps of our beautiful model Eve

The story is based around the concept of large paper earrings, we see a girl who has got a large ear hanging on her wall, and sees it as bare. So she decides to make some paper earrings for it, and gets carried away with mass consumption -instead of just one pair, she makes about 12 pairs. The film explores texture and colour as it's main focus and depicts the girl exploring the texture of the ear on the wall, the folding of paper etc.

An earlier storyline I had suggested was based around feather jewelry vs. smooth marble like jewelry, and would have had two girls passing each other their own style over a fence using those old tin phones (two tins joined together by a long piece of string). In a way I am glad we went for a simpler approach, it made us spend more time preparing props and setting up our studio and less left to chance of mucking up on the day; in regards to weather, models, having a continuous flow of scenes etc.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Romantic Grain

Image: By Eve Arnold, source Photoaxe
Image: By Eve Arnold,  source unkown

There is something very romantic about old grainy, black and white photographs. Being left with this task of filming a 3 - 4 minute film with our mobile phones initially was disappointing, because I love the light that canon G11 captures, so I thought with natural light and that camera, the film would transfer a fresh, romantic feel just through the lighting -and I was excited to use the video option for the first time. I'm not someone who needs the latest technology, the best of the best (I still go fishing with a stick attached to fishing line when we go camping). So once I realised it was so that everyone in the class was limited to the same technology, and should be imaginative to use disadvantages as advantages, it all made sense. Being the only one to shoot with a blackberry, that is much more grainy than an iphone, I thought once again how great it would be, because it would reminisce an old black and white photograph, maybe one like Eve Arnold's amazing photographs of Marilyn Monroe (as shown above). But once blown up to fit the computer screen, the image got too distorted and just looked dull -so a huge thanks to my brother who lent me his iphone4, we sorted out our technology hiccup.

An example of why the filming on the blackberry just wouldn't work, the dead pixels draw too much attention to themselves when blown up, as well as an overall lack of clarity in regards to the definition. There's nothing romantic about that footage. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If the world was made from paper ...there would be no trees

We've finalised our storyboard for our paper earrings/to-be-titled film this Thursday, Felicity has picked up the magical jewels and we've found our location! So it's all happening! With a quick trip to reverse garbage this afternoon (I made the girls swear not to let me buy anything apart from what we needed for the project! I have a serious hoarding problem when it comes to clothes and crafts). We left there with a fantastic rolls of pleated paper (with a bonus of pleated black fabric inside!!) A roll of heavy weight tissue paper, two rolls of plain paper, some envelopes and Earth coloured A4 paper sheets. 

The goal for tomorrow is to make our model a dress to wear on Thursday's shoot. We all have no idea if the dress will be of a simple silhouette, an elaborated silhouette with added texture, or even a pair of pants + singlet. Tomorrow morning will reveal all....

Check out some inspiration pics. below

Jum Nakao's paper dresses

Images: Inewidea 

These are a bit too geometric an structed for our concept, but I think the contrast of negative and positive, with the cut outs work really well.


Kristina Sevostyanova

Greta Constantine
 Above two images: Design Float 

We have from 9am until 1pm -so let's see what we can accomplish!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hollywood Glamour vs. European Chic

A very good friend of mine in Greece, a wonderful fashion photographer that knows more about music and film, than anyone could even imagine, taught me some European basics. Thanks to him my eyes opened up to music culture and film. He introduced me to some cultural basics, pixies, Betty Blue, Bitter Moon (Emmanuelle Seigner, who is one of my favourite actresses, despite her very out-there sexual scenes, her personality portrayed in the characters she plays at first bewildered me, but now it amuses me, she's wonderful)...

Emmanuelle Seigner in Bitter Moon (1992, directed by Roman Polanski)

Image: Aveleyman

Emmanuelle Seigner with Harrison Ford in Frantic (1988, directed by Roman Polanski)

...the list continues: wearing converse shoes before they became cool again due to the media who over-exposed them and thus helped the fast fashion industry turn them into a fad. The list continues... Serge Gainsburg, Jane Birkin (Je t'aime moi non plus), their beautiful daughter Charlotte Gainsburg -with 5:55 being a favourite of mine. The list goes on... the main point is that living in Australia can make knowing some of these European favourites a bit tough, we get culture that are weathered down from the US in my opinion. I knew who Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were much before I even knew the name Juliette Greco or Jean Serberg, who were introduced to me today in our lecture; and seem to have done some interesting work. 

This concept is based around the Hollywood Glamour vs. European Elegance -which can still be shown today, just open up an Australian (or American) fashion magazine and compare it to W from France, it will show you exactly this comparison! There are models who simply work better in Europe, than they do in Australia -I won't compare America here as I have never been in that context. 

Juliette Greco, as told by Pamela Church Gibson, is that the black jumper look that she was famous for, was expressed as a political protest, it radiated black humour. However, Audrey Hepburn apparently 'cleaned up' this look (i.e. fashioned it), and became famously associated with the black jumper look, even more so than Greco.

Juliette Greco 
- I Am planning to find out more about her over the next few weeks!
Top image: Muzzique
Bottom two images: Fanpix 


Audrey Hepburn
Image: ABC

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday's Inspiration Pic. 
C a p t u r i n g   T r u t h

Jennifer Connelly as Maddy Bowen, in Blood Diamond (2006, directed by Edward Zwick). This image shows Maddy capturing visual truth of inhumane conditions in Sierra Leone's Civil War in 1999, depicted in the film. 

Image: my own film still taken from the film, Blood Diamond.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

M A S C U L I N I T Y 

Our lecture by Pamela Church Gibson pointed out some interesting details about masculinity yesterday.

The 1950s had a burst of youth cultures, and a questioning of traditional gender roles. Steven Cohan is known to have called the 1950s the age of the chest <---Click to read an extract from his 1997 book Masked Men:masculinity and the movies in the fifties.

And then the 1980s could be considered a revolution for menswear, as they started shopping for themselves -menswear stores opened, grooming products marketed for the man emerged, as well as having men in advertisements on billboards.

(You've got to excuse the rest of this post if it looks a bit too much like a 1980s teenager's bedroom wall)
The best visual translation of this 1980s menswear revolution can best be shown in the American Gigolo (1980, directed by Paul Schrader) scene where Richard Gere, who plays Julian, lays out his different outfit options and then chooses the one he wants to put on. As well as that we see a 'designed body', one that has been trained with physical fitness. As a note, this was the beginning of the menswear revolution, as this scene was not common at the beginning of the 80s.
Youtube video

This scene also reminds me of John Travolta, who plays Tony Manero, in Saturday Night Fever (1977, directed by John Badham). You can see him in his nickers, while music plays, choosing his shirt and pants, putting two gold chains on, and spending a good amount of time blow drying his hair into shape. It's not as clothes conscious as the American Gigolo scene, but it still displays an importance in how he plans to fashion himself for a night out.

Original images before converted into a digital polaroid, were sourced from -
left: filmfather  right: libarising

The next bit of inspiration was based around the hotel bedroom scene in Thelma and Louise (1991, directed by Ridley Scott) with Brad Pitt as J.D. and Geena Davies as Thelma. The interesting point, which was noted by Gibson in our lecture, was that there was a lot more of the male body shown, compared to the female; which is quite unusual for Hollywood. Below are some pics of Brad Pitt, in this scene.
Image: BradPittWorkout
Image: Zuguide
If you'd like to watch the scene, click HERE

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Telling a Story

The rest of the class watched Sabrina (1954, directed by Billy Wilder) this afternoon (I watched it for the second time on Tuesday night, while mum and I had dinner). I have always said I cannot watch most movies more than once or twice, but it's amazing how that just does not apply to classic Hollywood films. I felt a bit lost leaving the lecture theatre today, I felt like staying and watching Sabrina again, but my head reasoned that it would be a waste of time when there is an Essay to research and write, and a film project to be thinking about.

The transformation in  S a b r i n a  is just so magical. Audrey Hepburn plays a young woman, Sabrina, who is sent away to Paris to get over a childish love, which actually not only makes her grow up, it helps her discover her power of femininity, while also adopting Paris elegance in her dress and mannerisms. As Pamela Church Gibson pointed out in our lecture this morning, Audrey Hepburn [was] never sexualised in the way typical for the startlets of that era -her image on screen seems to be constructed to appeal to the female gaze. Although when Hepburn is in her couture character, and especially with her short hair in Roman Holiday, she is nothing but sexy! A sophisticated sexy though, which may also have to do with her being brunette, as brunettes tended to be assigned sophisticated/serious roles -which is also very obviously presented in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953, directed by Howard Hawkes) in particular the dressing room scene, straight after the first introduction performance. 

Gentelmen Prefer Blondes, Part 1
Youtube video
See from 4:25 to 7:16 for the dressing room scene

Audrey Hepburn with Humphrey Bogart -Sabrina
Image: whatdvd
The other note on Hepburn, which Pamela brought up this morning is that she was always presented with men that were old enough to be her father, or even, grandfather! Somehow I never quite noticed this, it didn't hit me as odd, I guess because being paired with an older man, especially for a sophisticated woman is quite a norm for me. These men seem to compliment her. What do you guys think? 

The Fifth Element
As a final note, another absolute favourite movie of mine is The Fifth Element (1997, directed by Luc Besson). However, I never realised that the costumes in the film were designed by Gaultier, who got really involved with the film. It makes such a difference when the costumes are actually designed for the film, rather than just being a feature; one of the strong, obvious and appreciated differences between a narrative film and a commercial. 
Captivating Leeloo, played by Milla Jovovich
Image: famousmonstersoffilmland
Some of the most powerful costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for the film
Image: fashioninthemovies
This scene of the Gaultier designed Alien is just incredible, the colours, silhouette, over-all style mixed with the powerful classic, yet very modern music just kept my eyes and heart glued to the screen.
Youtube video.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

T r a n s f o r m a t i o n

Pretty Woman (1990, directed by Gary Marshal) was admittedly my favourite movie as a young girl, we had it on video (what's that? It's a big boxy rectangle thing that we used to use before DVDs and BluRay took over the video stores! I can't joke too much though, because yesterday I went to borrow Betty Blue from our uni library and as joy rushed through me when I found it available on the shelf, absolute shock quickly took over once I discovered the casing was not extra protection for the dvd inside, it was actually a video! Thus I had to leave that one behind, but am now really wishing we still had a VCR). The point is though, that I fell in love with the fairy tale story in Pretty Woman  -working woman (literally!) finds a handsome man who is nothing but amazing to her, and transforms her world into one of love and luxury. The most interesting part being Julia Roberts' transformation from call girl to woman of great elegance. It's even more interesting though to see earlier films which would have influenced these transformation narratives.

Today's class screening of Roman Holiday (1953, directed by William Wyler) features an on-screen transformation with Audrey Hepburn, but this time it is a Princess transforming herself into a different identity. A beautiful, yet conservative looking 'girl next door (princess next grande door?)' gets her hair cut and rolls up her sleeves of her dress, to release a new sexy, modern and 'cool' woman. (The youtube video below shows the haircut scene, with the hairdresser displaying so well the stress behind a risk; going from 'safe' long hair, to stylish new short hair).

These scenes on transformation seem to further push the concept of consumerism -a way of encouraging women to spend money on haircuts, new clothes, and accessories, so that they could fashion themselves into a desired 'personality' that corresponds with film stars. 
The film industry was often seen as a partner to advertising in the promotion of style-conscious consumerism (Berry 200, page 12). 

The other extract we watched was the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961, directed by Blake Edwards where the concept of couture dress as 'spectacle' is displayed so well. The contrast of high fashion being worn while drinking a morning coffee and eating a pastry, while standing on the street looking in the Tiffany store window is just incredible -not so much for our generation of film, since we have grown accustomed to seeing such scenes, but imagine yourself in 1961 watching such a juxtaposition! The lighting in the opening scene was the first thing to inspire me, it is that fresh, early morning light that gives compliments any flaws that midday sun has no mercy for -also makes the taxi's front lights look like slight sparkles of glitter as it rolls down the New York street. (See youtube video below)

Reference: Berry, S. 2000 Screen Style: Fashion and femininity in 1930s Hollywood. off to work on my essay question and finish a reading for tomorrow (I can confidently dub myself slowest reader at UTS -maybe even the world).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

F a s h i o n  &  F i l m

As naive as it is, I finally watched my very first film starring Marilyn Monroe last week -I always knew who she was and how much of a star she was, but I never took the time to appreciate why. Being completely gobsmacked by the beauty of the 1954 film There's No Business Like Show Business (directed by Walter Lang), inspiration rushed through my veins and I haven't been able to get any of the images from the film out of my head all week. I also finally watched Cleopatra 1963 (directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz) starring Elizabeth Taylor, and for the first time felt completely nostalgic. Knowing someone has passed is always sad, but after watching the film I really understood the true weight of this loss. This morning's lecture confirmed my nostalgia by discussing that Elizabeth Taylor is considered by many to have been the last Hollywood star, as these days we deal with celebrities rather than stars.

 A Little Overview
  • Film began in France, and flourished in the 1920s. There was no talking until 1927, although music was utilised, it was played in the cinema theatre
  • There were only two magazines around 100 years ago, Vogue (first issue 1892) and Harper's (first issue 1850), so a way of encouraging women to the cinema was to produce films on fashion -particularly the latest Paris Fashions
  • Fashions in film included cars, cigarettes, interiors etc. not just make-up, hair styles + clothes (make-up in the beginning was only worn by prostitutes and actors/actresses)
  • The concept that Hollywood created consumerism came about (Charles Eckert was famous for claiming this). Page 198 of Gabrielle Esperdy's 2007 journal From Instruction to Consumption: Architecture and Design in Hollywood Movies of the 1930s ( explains this concept
American movies....were also a form of mass marketing that attempted to mitigate the social and economic crisis of the Depression by exploiting the standards and mores of the burgeoning consumer culture. Charles Eckert analyzed this phenomenon with respect to women's fashion in his 1978 essay "Carold Lombard in Macy's Window." He observed that almost from the beginning of the cinema movie makers and manufacturers recognized "the full potential of film as a merchandiser of goods" (Esperdy 2007, para 1. and 2.)

  • During WWI the world came to a stand still, except for America who kept producing films
  • Elsa Schiaparelli quoted: what Hollywood designs today, you will be wearing tomorrow (Bruzzi 1998)
  • Specific costume elements ot be aware of consist of: line, texture and lighting (sequins, beads, tinsels)
SCREENINGS Inspiration Notes
We watched extracts from It (1926, Directed by Clarence Badger) which starred Clara Bow. This introduction to Bow had me awestruck  -she is one of those 'character beauties' a woman with unique features that captivate you. It by the way refers to it as sex appeal.

Clara Bow
pincurlmag, 2011

The film showed a scene where she and her friend cut up her dress, while she is still wearing it, and re-create another dress. You see the end result in the preceding scene. I imagine that may have been the beginning of the concept of 'transformable garments' -maybe scenes like this inspired reversible garments too? There is no talking in this film, text communicates the parts that body language cannot, and music heard encourages emotion. I could never have imagined that a film in black and white, without spoken dialogue, could ever have captured my attention so strongly as this film did. I already want to watch the parts that we missed out on in class.

The second film explored was Gone With the Wind (directed by Victor Flemming, 1939). The dresses in this film are just incredible, they reference the tiny waist, and flamboyant hoop skirt-dresses, that moved with such grace as the women walked, danced and even sat.

Internal Structure of a Hoop Skirt

It's naive to notice just the clothing in a film like this, but the movement of all garments were definitely what captivated me the most. The first scene featuring Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, saw her in an incredible, voluminous, layered white dress (see pic. below)
Image: fanpop

The size of Scarlet's hat was presumably the largest I noticed, the volume and grand silhouettes of fashions in the film were pleasant features. I also noticed that Scarlet was frequently fashioned in green, which could have to do with complimenting her green eye colour.
Image: cinematicpassions, 2009
I'll sign off here for now, as there's quite a bit of reading to get through + an essay question to put into context. Have a good night!

Reference: Bruzzi, S. 1998 Cinema and Haute Couture

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rainy Nights = Movie Nights

With buckets of rain thrashing onto our streets here in Sydney, it hasn't been very inspiring to leave the comfort of a warm doona and tv screen. I watched There's No Business Like Show Business the other night and was completely inspired -the women, the curves, the costumes, the etiquette -everything! Here's some snaps of the lovely Marilyn Monroe and Mitzy Gaynor who star along side the lead, Ethel Merman.

Marilyn Monroe
Image taken from
Beauty Bombshells
Mitzi Gaynor
Image source:
The Vintage Film Costume Collector
Marilyn Monroe
Image source:
Get Film

Monday, June 6, 2011

  A Touch of  VAN CAMP Inspiration  

 Just came across this pic. that I did for my friend Danielle Van Camp's final year collection  ...a year and a half ago (yep I know, I'm getting old!) But it just goes to show how ahead fashion students really are -because is definitely the exact hue, textile + texture that is a huge part of fashion right now!

Fashion: Danielle Van Camp
Photography: Joe Molines (Danielle's sweet boy)

Friday, June 3, 2011


Some may argue that this is not fashion related -but realistically it IS. We have a very large issue at front in Australia at the moment, with cattle being exported to Indonesia, and slaughtered in the most horrible ways imaginable.

There is an urgent cry for help, with almost 200, 000 Australians signing the petition on GetUp to ban live exports, without making politicians flinch with such a petition, they are now trying to push an ad (second video) to mainstream t.v. Any donation could help let these animals be heard by more than just the 200, 000 that signed the petition. OR if you're a bit short on cash (which I frequently am) at least add your name to this cry for help HERE. 

WARNING -this video is full of so much heart-renching truth, that it may affect you in a serious manner. As upsetting as it is to watch, I believe it is truly necessary to know what is actually happening to our animals, so that we can help change and eliminate this cruelty!  (Recommended vieweing ONLY for persons 18 years and older)

Really thank you for reading and ESPECIALLY thank you if you watched even some of the videos. Ever since reading the book by Kate Furnival, The Russian Concubine, where she describes a young Russian girl being caught and kept in a cage for days, with cold water poured by the bucket loads inside, and reaching the point of not being able to stand up when let out for a few minutes for 'games' I can only see these animals as other human beings -the difference of pain between 'us' and 'them' is no different.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...