Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inspired by Lanvin


     A few years back, while I was working on the Toronto production of the Lord of the Rings, the costume Designer Rob Howell brought for a reference a beautiful album of Couture by Lanvin, that took my heart.
     The gowns of course were incredibly beautiful and elegant but what got my attention in the first place were the amazing embellishments and the fine craftsmanship invested in their creation. 


     Since I can hardly ever resist such a temptation, I decided to try and somehow reproduce one of them. I choose part of the embroidery on a gorgeous velvet evening jacket designed in very oriental, Japanese style, tweaked it a little bit, just so it has a more completed look and ended up with the motif that you can see here. 

     It might be hard to believe, but the most challenging part of this project, was collecting the materials I needed for it. I found out that almost 100 years after the original was made, it was extremely difficult to find the wide range of good quality threads, sequins and other materials necessary to reproduce such quality.
     There are too many flashy, cheap looking and simply garish trinkets, filing all our craft stores nowadays, but hardly any that can compare with the quality of the fine notions of the past.

     Finally, with all that I needed in hand, I got to immerse myself in the work itself. Even though it was a very slow and finicky process, it was a real pleasure trying to achieve the same finesse that was invested in the original, but of course I’ll leave you to judge how well I succeeded with this goal. The only thing I’m sorry about is not having a better picture of the original that will do it better justice, but nevertheless I decided to post the only one I have, so you can at least have some idea of what inspired me to take on such a project in the first place.  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bela Borsodi


            There is a lot of good still life work out there but I would have to say that the majority of it although technically brilliant lacks the personality and appeal that other forms of photography hold for me. That is except for the work of Austrian photographer / artist Bela Borsodi. He turns his lifeless objects into wonderful characters, creatures and sculptural forms combining a variety of medium and techniques.

            Bela Borsodi was born in Vienna and has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1990s. He studied fine art and graphic design with a great interest in psychology but often incorporated photography in his projects. When his friends started working at magazines and asked him to take photographs for them, Borsodi became more interested in photography. This led to an early career as a photographer where he shot portraits, reportage, and some fashion for editorials in Austria and Germany.

            Through combining aspects of fine art, graphic design, craft, and psychology, his work offers a surreal imagery that makes clothing and accessories 3-dimensional. Borsodi’s award-winning editorial and advertising photography is truly exploratory, combining unexpected still-life elements with fashion, styling and set design. Objects come to life in his playful fashion stories.

            Borsodi says of his work “I love making things and putting things in an unusual context incorporating various visual languages coming from art and graphic design. I wanted to further explore what one can do with objects; in which different ways I could look at them to discover their alternate perspectives and psychologies. Many objects are perceived in a way that is immanent and bound to their basic function or obvious status in our world. I wanted to question those perceptions and find different ways to explore objects themselves. So I started to play… doing things wrong on purpose, or putting things in weird contexts, adding more layers… trial and error by play. All this led me to integrate disciplines and to try out other visual languages with elements such as illustration or set building.".

            Bela Borsodi’s work has appeared in publications such as V Magazine, Vogue, Wallpaper Magazine, and Another Magazine. He has worked with fashion brands such as Uniqlo, Baume et Mercier Watches, Hermès, and Selfridges.