Sunday, 18 January 2015

ILLUSTRATED STYLE: GOLDEN GLOBES 2015

Dressed in their finery to descend onto Hollywood's red carpet, attendees of this years Golden Globes looked nothing less the stunning.

Kicking off the season of award events, there were a number of gowns which stood out, setting the trends for forthcoming shows. Illustrated using continuous line and watercolour, here a my favourite picks of the evening.

New Styling | Amelia Warner

This has to be one of my favourite dresses of the night! Designer by London based Huishan Zhang, the minimalist tailoring with a little flair at the bottom created a fresh outlook on the cocktail dress.  I love the subtle colourings and it reminds me a little of an underwater creature; a sea urchin or coral.

 Drapes & Gathers | Amy Adams

Both Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain wore beautifully elegant floor length dresses displaying draped fabric and gathered points, creating Grecian-esque looks.  Wearing both Versace, this looks like a trend we'll see more on the red carpet.

Suits | Emma Stone

Jumpsuits and suits over 'coventional' dresses, look just as amazing proved by Emma Stone in Lanvin and Lorde in Narciso Rodriguez.  The detailing of the bodice on Stone's jumpsuit with a bustle/train attached, similar to those on dresses, gave an elegant twist which reminded me of Emma Watson's Dior dress/trouser look from last year.

Golden Globe Inspired

To summarise this years Golden Globes, taking inspiration from looks worn on the carpet and at the afterparties, this design enscapsulates my favourite elements of the night.

The design: An embroidered floral motif mesh top with bodice and feathered edging, combined with navy satin peg trousers.

Kat x


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

EXHIBIT: MEETING THROUGH POP ART | PART I

Before Christmas I took a trip to visit Saatchi's 'East meets West' and the Royal Academy's Anslem Keifer exhibition.
Celebrating the multitude of art in China, the former Soviet Union, Taiwan, the UK and the USA, some 250 works in the Saatchi reflect the individuality and vibrancy of the 20th c. Pop Art movement.

Split into 6 themes, spread over different floor spaces and rooms, there was a real sense of an understanding of the culture of the time.  Habitat; Advertising and Consumerism; Celebrity and Mass Media; Art History; Religion and Ideology; Sex and the Body - it seemed no element of society was left unrepresented!

Considering Pop Art is such an iconic contemporary movement with the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, mass produced in every form of consumer goods and studied in schools, they have become the epitome of everyday culture.   Typically when I think of Pop Art, I immediately imagine soup cans, comic strips, celebrity icons all repeated in a series of bold colours.  Yet the exhibition displayed the diversity of the movement, examining Western art with its Eastern counterpart 'Sots Art'.  From my overall experience at the exhibition, I felt it intriguing to see how the art from bipolar nations during the Cold War shared similarities; exploiting familiar imagery to connect with the viewer, generating influential movements paving the way for a new generations of artists.
Political Activist Ai Weiwei's 'appropriated' 2,000 year old Han dynasty Urn's dipped in industrial paint, serves to critique the Chinese State's destruction of the historical during the 'Cultural Revoultion'.
'Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank' by Jeff Koons is part of the series 'Equilibrium' underpinning the commercial value and commodification of objects into art.

On first view, Koon's piece seems it has been similarly composed to Damien Hirst's 'Natural History' collection, using a solution of formaldehyde to preserve the basketballs within the centre of the tank.  Surprisingly, this is not the case.  Using the laws of physics and chemistry - with the aide of physicist Richard P. Feynman, the basketballs are floating in the centre of nothing less than distilled water.  Due to the nature of water as a fluid, the basketballs will slowly move around.  Initially created with equal distance between each ball, over time they gradually move to sink to the bottom.  No doubt if you were to visit them now, they would be in completely different positions, reflecting the inability as humans to control their constant state.
It was only after researching Xu Zhen, did I realise I had seen the name before.  A few years back I had visited the Hayward Gallery, London to see the 'Art of Change' exhibition, displaying the 'new direction' of China's art.  Leading the show, Xu's work 'Performa' was mind-boggling impressive, presenting the illusion of people frozen in gravity-defying tilted positions.

Just as impressive but in a completely different form, Xu Zhen's 'Made-In Company' mixed media canvases were particular works which captured my attention.  Textile mixed media develops bold and textural compositions which Xu's application of embroidery and layers have achieved through the creation of overcrowded collages mapping society.  Having incorporated elements of textiles into my own work, I can just imagine the attention to detail in stitching must have been incredibly time consuming! Leaving absolutely no negative space, the chaos created by the plethora of actions occurring in the scene, means there's always something new to discover - reminiscent of 'Where's Wally' books or those impossible puzzles you receive at Xmas!
Walking into a room overwhelmed by 188 national flags lit in ambient light, was a stark contrast to the other Pop Art works displayed around the gallery.  Created by Chinese artist Gu Wenda, the 'United Nations - Man and Space' installation is an astonishing sight, completely made out of human hair. An ambitious project, Gu's piece used hair from around four million people, to demonstrate his interpretation of humanity united.

Artist's reworkings and homages to Duchamp's 'Fountain' and Warhol's 'Soup Can' were also displayed in dedicated rooms.  Vitaly Komar & Alexander Melmaid's Post Art series involving Warhol's iconic can, displays his work as if it had survived a war.  Both Russian artists who helped establish 'Sots Art'; a wave of Soviet noncomformist art, I felt this piece also reflected the repression and degredation of the people living under the Iron Curtain.


Kat 

Monday, 29 December 2014

BOOKS ARE MY BAG

beginnings of new illustrations


Merry belated Christmas! Its been a while.

As Emin promotes, books are indeed my bag.  I would still rather have a weighty book to physically flick through, than an intangible digital copy.  So, adding to my evergrowing-overflowing-shelving of literary and artistic books, I received some amazing hardbacks this Christmas.  

Mostly in illustration and fashion referencing, it has inspired me to do so much more in sketched fashion and designs to post here on my blog.


I've dabbled in some illustration beforehand but for 2015, I can't wait to incorporate more sketches and designs onto Collar Block!

Kat x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

EXPLORING NEW MEDIUMS: PYROGRAPHY

'Writing with fire'.  Its amazing what can be achieved with burning into wood, more commonly known as Pyrography.
If you follow my instagram, (if not, you're missing out!) you may have seen my first attempt at etching into wood.

|I chose a rep of Bambi - keeping a woodland and nature feel theme |



Using only a basic kit I picked up in hobbycraft - a Kirstie Alsopp craft kit no less, I am amazed at the results and effect Pyrography creates.  Once I found my feet, after getting to grips with using the different pen nibs and developing a way of shading, I found using wood and 'fire' an interesting alternative to drawing on pen and paper.

| Etching out the initial outline |

| Adding in the shading |


The set I bought provided a variety of nibs to choose from; including those to draw with and decorative tools.  For the shading, I used a decorative nib which etched in multiple lines I could build up for depth.

Kat x

Saturday, 1 November 2014

AUTUMN FAVOURITES '14

Following on from my last post,  it seems I'm ready for A/W!  Here are my favourite go-to outfits so far this season.
| TWEED SKIRT - M&S | FLORAL SKIRT - Urban Outfitters (sale) |
I recently purchased the tweed skirt above, adding to my ever growing collection of pencil skirts! This '60's mod' style mini I find so flattering and comfy to wear, plus they're a nice change to black skinnies this time of year!
| JUMPER - M&S | CIGARETTE PANTS - ASOS | DRESS - River Island | POLO NECK - M&S|

I absolutely LOVE this houndstooth dress!  It has a very loose skater/swing style cut and the long sleeves give that added warmth when its a little chilly.

Never dismiss a shop! I wouldn't typically shop in M&S for clothes but they've recently made a turn around in some of their fashion.  Their Limited collection has some great wear for A/W, like the roll neck jumper above and you can't beat their basics! 


The brown sheepskin coat I wore LOADS last year and its another guaranteed staple this year.  The grey coat is a new addition,which has an 80's style cut, giving a much looser fit in the arms and body. Sheepskin coats can be a little pricey, so hunting for one in vintage/thrift/charity shops could lead you to a great find!

Layered jewellery in a mixture of gold and silver I'm pairing with lots of outfits this season.  Hoop earrings are another favourite which I'm hoping to get more in a variety of sizes.
| SHOES - KG Carvela(sale) | LOAFERS - Office |

Finally fave shoes! These were the first Kurt Geiger shoes I've ever bought and they are so comfy to wear all day! They have a nice chunky heel but still look feminine and look great teamed with the skirts above.

Patent loafers, or even anything patent for that matter, isn't something I particualrly go for. However, I love these loafers from Office! Beautiful oxblood colour and just so lovely to wear!

Kat x