Adrian “Woo” Wu!!

I am Scarlet Black’s Muse.  All of last week Scarlet Black waved her press pass attending Fashion Week in Vancouver with zeal and determination to bring the latest to her blog. Fashion writing drives up our desires and makes us want to live in the world we see in print. When my subscription to Scarlet Black’s blog arrived on the threshold of my Mac there was no time to cross it:  I fell in love with Wu and was swiftly carried away.

Outstanding and Individual; Wu’s work is the most exciting since I fanned Yves St. Laurent ‘s magic years ago.

Adrian Wu's Black/White Gown

Magnificent!  And who but Wu would add notes to the symphony of his designs by deliberately placing heavy black-framed eyeglasses on his delicate models !!!

Adrian Wu's Fabric Sculpture

I’m just as impressed with this teenager’s outlook toward his fashion, family, life and education as I am by his unstoppable creativity!  I have always been flawless at spotting new trends and artists.  I scored again with Wu:  so many viewers are trying to access his website I cannot get on it today. High regard for women and the history of fashion comes naturally to Wu.

Beautiful Back View - Sweet Toffee Gown

Wu:  “I never design my dresses; I just take the fabric that I have and try to make it beautiful.”

"Bella"

Adrian Wu and Model

Wu is self-taught and plans to further his study of fashion design in England this fall… he has been accepted into the “Instituto Marangoni” in London.

For a link to Wu’s website and up-to-the-minute fashion reporting on Vancouver Fashion Week by Scarlet Black click on the following:  http://scarletblackfashion.wordpress.com/about

Province Newspaper Interview with Adrian Wu at:  http://www.theprovince.com/life/Designer+Adrian/2766169/story.html

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

iPages

"Frenchie"-Tulle over Fur

I consider my journals a collection of me! – in a visual and voiced format.  A formation of me; a framework generating a material composition of my days.

Working my way through fashion magazines reminds me of my teens when I reverted into them for place and inspiration.  Each glossy page announced the promise of a beautiful future.  I spotted people I needed to adopt as role models.  The pages whispered of excitement and destinations like Paris and New York.

"Lanvin & Peonies" - I Want it All!

If you see something in a magazine that makes you think of a friend, clip it out for them, and send it off with a hand-written card or note.  My friend Sonny always reaches into her handbag as soon as we sit down together for coffee out, and produces a small sheaf of magazine clips for me, to inspire me.  I rework hand-me-down jewelry into new designs by re-assembling elements from multiple pieces.  Sonny’s thoughtfulness has led me to new ways of seeing and inventing.

My friend Elaine provides me with three huge shopping bags of fashion mags and one of Vanity Fair annually.  She passes them along to me because she knows I need them for collage, and subsequently, I pass them along down the line to friends who are also artists.  I keep beautiful floral file folders available for the parts of mags I’m saving. One for articles, one for writing prompts, and one for design tips and ideas.  Oops… there’s more:  one for creative ideas for paintings and the fifth one is for photographs I admire for their lighting, composition, or novelty subjects.  Magazines make excellent reference tools when you slip a piece of silk ribbon or a lovely bookmark into the pages you’re interested in re-visiting.

Begin this art exercise by cutting out things you are attracted to for just twenty minutes. Don’t think about it.  Pretend you’ve won a shopping spree and you’re just grabbing everything you can and throwing it into your basket.  Have a pretty basket beside you and drop your clippings into it.

These will be, what I call your ipages, or your VIP’s:  Very Important Pages.  Spend ten or fifteen minutes arranging these on a few large pieces of paper.  Choose any background to attach them to.  I like pure white or lined, but you decide on the color that best resonates for you and then take a gluestick and secure them neatly to the papers.

Now lay them out and contemplate what you’re seeing.  How do you like this glimpse of your inner workings??  What shapes repeat themselves?  What colors dominate your collages? Are there ways for you to make changes in your wardrobe or environment using these ideas and objects.  A new tabletop display perhaps or outrageous accessories to liven a conservative outfit.  Take time; sit down and record your thoughts and feelings about the work you just accomplished.

"Toney Three-Button Cropped Sleeve and Leather Gloves"

Flower and garden magazines offer beauty in landscape that can be cut out and pasted over a nondescript book or journal to enhance the cover.  Used bookstores have so many bargains jumbled on shelves or tables you might want to pick up a good solid one. When you get home with it you can paste or staple a fresh sheet of paper over a page and make it presentable for attaching particles of fabric, color swatches, ribbon, stamps, photographs; the choices are unlimited.  As an alternative, gesso can be brushed over the page and left to dry, and now you have a plain white sheet to work on.  Yes, it may be a little imperfect, but in art that’s all the better to show life in matter.

Go inside your ‘new’ journal, your source and improv book, your altered book, and live between the pages for awhile.  Photograph some of your results and post the pictures inside.  Send me images to post here and we can all be inspired.  Failing that show them to your friends and help them try something new; bring them to my blog to view these examples.  I remember when I bought my first journal; I could hardly think of what to do, or write down in it, or even what to collect in it.  Now the family is horrified wondering how many truckloads it will take to clean out my studio when I… well, you know when.  How many trucks it’ll take is open for debate.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Fur King Fast Food for Moths

I was buzzed into the apartment building and I barely got my foot in the door of the suite before Zilli pulled me into her diningroom to show me the ‘National Post’ laid out on the table. There was a picture of a male model:  white boy from White City, Saskatchewan: Population 1,000. “Oh boy, white boy, white city boy, be my boy; My Boy Toy,” Zilli chants. “Forget the Love Shop Stop… how can I get one of him?!” Zilli demands, and quickly adds, “Look at those eyes… those lips!” “A little too photo-shopped for me,” I respond.  I remind Zilli that I like a rugged male with a slight odor of danger around him; like My Guy. Feigning disbelief in my conviction, Zilli turns her attention to pulling on her driving gloves and black belts the keys to the Benz into her Birkin.  She commands me to go shopping with her. What a surprise!

White City Boy

Zilli and I zip into a vintage shop on Main Street and 22nd Avenue where I spot a photograph of Elvis on a high shelf – his sulky features are all I need to trigger a string of fantasies; those sexy eyes and lips… and hips which were censored on ‘early’ Television Shows (no low camera shots).

Elvis Aaron Presley
Fifties Sexy

Sex aside we kept busy looking and saw a faux leopard three-quarter length coat that looked just like the one Zilli has.  We suddenly spotted the ‘frowzy fur’ and howled over which one of us should buy this bargoon and transform it into a “look.”  I wouldn’t even embarrass a stuffed animal by making it out of this coat.  Who had been the owner??

Fur King Fast Food for Moths

I pointed to some dresses standing apart on display and said, “This looks like something Miss Cain would have worn.”  She was the fearful grade four teacher.  Zilli said there were stories of her outbursts; some weren’t true, but she did throw chalk.  When Zilli and I graduated into the next year’s grade five class, Zilli’s Dad told her Miss Cain was a cousin of his – she was quite a bit older I think or maybe she just got that way from her mind… and her ‘old bird’ hats and shoes and dresses.  We killed ourselves laughing when we looked at these:

Miss Cain's Original Suit
Miss Cain's Evening Wear - Blouse Never Worn!!!
Miss Cain's Summer-Weight Suit - Worn on the Last Day of School Annually
Pot-Shaped Hat worn Regularly

Zilli and I  know how to laugh together, shop together, and even how to end up agreeing with each other:  Zilli would remain a ‘White City Boy Woman’ and I’d stand firm on Al Pacino.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=517346 Link to:  Taylor Fuchs from White City

“Baby Man!”  Wet your pants, man!  Not for me though.  I like the Al Pacino type:  a guy who looks like he’ll rip your blouse off once you’ve given him the look – the visual yes! White City white boy does not look like someone who would rip your blouse off.

Jack the ripper.  Did he begin his career in life intending only to rip off women’s blouses and then depravity pushed him to extremes. One rip led to another, and another, until it all became, R-I-P, R-I-P.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Hollywood’s Hottest

Excerpt from my Journal:  June 3rd, 2008.

Yummy Mummy Boys and Girls Names:

Boys:

Heathcliff

Titus

Maximilien

Ravenel

Zachary

Sawyer

Ford

Girls:

Sea

Teddy

Ivy

Sadie

Coco

These aren’t names:  they’re statements! Couples being punchy and cute.  Non-authentic, who-will-out-do-who!

A lot of the names in print now are unpronounceable and very long; they are likely computer designed.

All I can add is, “With names like Heathcliff and Titus these boys better be bigger than 5′ 4″ when they grow up.”

How are the celebrities doing.  Since the sixties they have been mining unique names for their offspring.

Zimbio has ranked some of Hollywood’s hottest pairs, and parents, based on their levels of success, attractiveness, popularity and staying power. “Discover  who’s making bank, who’s dominating Google searches and who’s destined for lifelong romance.”

Zimbio brings us a juicy, gossipy list of the 100 Hottest Celebrity Couples.  Click on the link below and enjoy all your favorites.  Clear photographs and well presented insider-info impressed me!  I broke my habit of not paying attention to entertainment articles or reading about celebrities in the spotlight.

A video clip is included in each couple’s profile; sometimes from a spot on Oprah or from a performance.

http://www.zimbio.com/100+Hottest+Celebrity+Couples/notes/1/100+Hottest+Celebrity+Couples+Full+List

'Couple Number Nine'
'Couple Number Forty-Six'

BTW – I encourage choosing names that you really love no matter how new they are to our eyes and ears.  Eventually we adopt them all. Nicole was a very strange name when I was in school and now I enjoy meeting many of me.  Although it does surprise me that they don’t ask my permission to use MY name or offer modest royalties on it…

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Faux Cab

Taxi!

I really like this shot!!  For some hidden psychological reason I identify with it.

“What,” you say, “That coat’s not even mink.”

“Nevermind!  It will go with my cardboard grips, my Polish-Ukrainian roots, and a babushka.”

“Impossible to bicycle to Grandma’s for cabbage rolls in those shoes.”

“I need a dog.”

“What kind?”

“A big dog with a rough coat, and high heels to match mine.”

“I wonder who specializes in Mother and Dogter Fur Coats.”

I check the New York Times Fashion & Style: “Fur Takes Centre Stage Again”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/fashion/10iht-rfur.html?src=twt&twt=nytimesfashion

No mention of mother/dogter fur coats. Hmmmmm…however:

Fake fur is being celebrated.  Some designers are exploring the aesthetic and textural effects of artificial fur by working with a lot of furs mainly used for Steiff teddy bears.  This can result in attractive and rustic appearances to the furs.

"My God! We're being hunted now for our coats!!"

See more of Teller’s Photography at the following link:

http://www.designboom.com/portrait/teller.html

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Introducing Colorjet and Zimbio

All eighteen of me managed to produce 100 posts since mid-November 2009.  Yesterday I hit that 100 Target.  Hence the Tweet:

Production Check-up: The three-toed sloth sleeps or rests on average 20 hours a day. Count my toes…I’m no sleeper!

I’ve heard that if you work hard at your blog, it will begin to bloom after three months and it is!!!!!!!!  Thanks goes to my fabulous Viewers!

I have joined Zimbio and installed a Badge at the bottom of my Home Page in the left-hand column. “What is Zimbio,” you ask?

Zimbio is an Interactive Magazine with over Twenty (20) Million Readers A Month.

My Public Profile contains Articles (My Published Blogs), Wikizines (Articles I can Recommend or Write in Future), Polls (Vote for the Pigeon you prefer:  Sid or Midge), and Kudos (Please Leave  Me a Kudo up at the top left under my Username:  Colorjet).

Just above Colorjet the magazine lists Pictures (Stars and Entertainers), Lookbooks, TV, Music, Games, Oscars and More; more being categories galore.

There’s a reason Zimbio won a Prestigious Award as announced in the link below:

http://www.zimbio.com/Zimbio/articles/w-ogwJ_PvoK/Zimbio+Wins+Red+Herring+Award

I just have to make a few comments on the dresses worn to the Oscars last night.

Thumbs Up for Oscar de la Renta on Cameron Diaz

"A Perfectly Gorgeous Fit"
"Sequins & Silver"

Demi Moore exudes “It”

"Every Line Reflects Intent"

Thumbs Down for Victoria Beckham’s Own Design

"zzzzzzzzzzzz"

This design does not properly fit even a perfect figure.  Poorly draped and what I call a “bunchbag” around the stomach.  Can you imagine the vision you’ll create wearing this dress if you are over 98 pounds.

Jennifer Lopez in Quilted Pink Cellulite

"A Six Foot Train"

The hairdresser and stylist made a very pretty Lopez turn out looking…like she shouldn’t have looked.  Tell me what you think!

Check out all the Stars, Celebrities, and ‘Moi’ at Zimbio!

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

A Colorful Past: An Uncertain Future

Snooping through “Nat’s” (Natalie Goldberg’s) book, ‘Wild Mind,’ reminds me of writing in my journals. Goldberg calls it practice writing when you sit down, “take your hands out of the air,” and write.  Daily it becomes a compilation made up of thoughts and memories, visions, stories, and impressions.

Goldberg’s friend is a jeweler whose beautiful deco jewelry had its origin in the art deco hotels that filled the Miami Beach of her childhood.  This leads to me thinking about my “Gravity Collage” bracelets sculpted with buttons and guided through a process of intuition.

Yesterday I posted a thank you to the Fashion Writing Class at VCAD and here is their letter to me:

Dear Nicole Rigets,

On behalf of my fashion writing class at VCAD, I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit our class. Often times when one looks at art, it is taken for face value, and critiqued poorly. Having you come to our class and meet us has given us great insight in to the story, and world behind the art work.

I can safely say that we have all become inspired by your visit in many different ways.  Thank you for answering all of our questions.  You did so with grace and we found your answers very informative.

We especially enjoyed the pieces of Jewelry you brought in to show us. The pieces of jewelry seemed to reflect the environment of our class, many different pieces from many different backgrounds working together to form something beautiful.  We gained great insight in to your world, and your work.

We wish you all the best in everything you do, and know it will turn out great.  Thank you again for coming to see us we really enjoyed your visit.

Respectfully,

Wesley Barisoff (on behalf of VCAD, Fashion Writing Class)

A beautifully written letter by students with a promising future.  Their analogy of dissimilar buttons and unique beings was so well described in the letter there’s no need for me to elaborate on it.  It’s first class the way artists and writers cheer for, mentor, and sincerely support each other.

Now thinking back to my childhood and how intrigued I was by the antique container with a little “character” sitting atop the lid.  This china ornament was always displayed on Mum’s dresser. It held her buttons and some small cowrie shells.  I inherited my love of jewelry from my Mother.  Buttons are little objects: little sculptures that show up in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. They herald style, craftsmanship, industrialization, and social mores.

"A Colorful Past"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

It’s All Art!! Fashion Writers @ VCAD

VCAD – Jannette Maedel:

Dropping by to thank you and your students for inviting me to visit the class last Wednesday.  This was a superb opportunity for me to speak about art and how far it ranges; even so far as to include fashion writing.

When a beam of light passes through a prism it decomposes, and this action produces a spectrum.  We can use the word spectrum to imply a broad range of categories applied to a single title:  Art.

One broad category is fashion.  Fashion design and fashion writing go hand in hand and very distinctly relate to art.  Writers and visual/media artists are expected to create a feeling or a sensation in their readers and in their viewers.  All forms of art are expressive and meant to evoke a reaction or a response; whether it be positive or negative.

When the students looked at “Gravity Collage” wearable sculpture (jewelry), they openly expressed verbal feelings to be later transcribed into fashion writing. Under the heading of art it is now possible to link or conjoin two categories:  fashion writing and jewelry.  I’ve always believed in a mosaic approach to life and art:  when being creative draw from all subjects and cross-pollinate your work using diverse elements. Interconnections add drama and I sense that a fashion writer needs to adopt drama as his or her best friend.

The atmosphere was keen and inspiring as the students asked all the right questions. Some of my answers were a real surprise to me!  Thank you all for providing me with a fresh new spectrum to take home.  Nicole Rigets, BFA

I’m an Author on another Blog: http://www.fashionwriting.wordpress.com

This Blog is where you will be able to read a sampling of fashion writing that students are producing in Jannette Maedel’s class at the Vancouver College of Art and Design in Downtown Vancouver, B.C.

Samples include writing about the following designers:

Alexander McQueen (RIP)

Jessica Biffi (Plus Sizes)

Talula – Aritzia’s Best

Drew William (Opposing Forces in Pattern Cutting)

Eco Elroy (Fashionable Organic Streetwear)

Evan Biddell ( Saskatoon’s Fashion Sensation)

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Colors of Halston’s 1978 Runway Show

Like Coco Chanel, Halston began his career as a milliner.  His international fame began when he designed the “Pillbox” hat worn by Jackie Kennedy to the Presidential Inauguration.  From then on Halston became the First International Fashion Superstar.

“At a time when fashion shows were still stiff and formal affairs in which models walked down runways holding numbered placards in silence, Halston had instructed his models to strut down the runway to music, holding up copies of “Valley of the Dolls.” The clothes they wore — casual, free, functional and strangely pajama-like — seemed to instantly embody the feminist and egalitarian spirit of the era.”  (Excerpt from: www.salon.com)

One of Halston’s early Runway Shows in 1978:

Diana Vreeland attended wearing a black cashmere t-shirt, and slacks with a red cashmere scarf tied around her waist and another tied around her neck:  All Halston.

This outfit was accessorized with her own jewelry designs including the “Ivory Tooth” and “Ivory Cuff”.  All was topped off with a magnificent sable coat.

The air had the dryness of black paper taffeta.

The eighteen foot ceiling was paved with mirrors.  Deep oxblood carpets reflected from the floor.

A profusion of potted Calla Lilies adorned Parsons tables and guests sat on chrome folding chairs.

Halston’s color palette included:  purple, lilac, lemon, red, navy, cobalt blue, green, black, grey, and white.

"Halston 1978 Palette"

“Simply Halston” by Steven Gaines (Putnam, 1991)

The fashion world is not nearly as malicious and degenerate–i.e., interesting–as it once was. Today’s designers, ever conscious of the bottom line, are indeed disappointingly sensible and well behaved. In “Simply Halston,” Steven Gaines reminds us of the days when hubris-riddled designers went on cocaine-fueled rampages. “In 1978, Dionysus had hired a press-agent and New York was headlong into an era of staggering permissiveness.” After you read this book, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will seem like a trip to the Mormon Tabernacle.  (Excerpt from: “The Wall Street Journal” – Saturday, February 20th, 2010.)

Copyright © Nicole Rigets

Fortuny – Dress Pleated in Felt

"Fortuny in Felt"

Wikipedia

Fortuny pleats are crisp pleats set in silk fabrics by designer Mariano Fortuny in the early 20th century, using a secret pleat-setting process which is still not understood.

I enjoy playing with felt markers to make colorful designs and in re-visiting this image I visualize a long transparent veil frothing out and down her sides to just below the flower gathering.

Mario Fortuny 1871-1949 was a Spanish painter and inventor.  He designed scarves that paid homage to ancient Greece and Crete.  Later he experimented with pleating fabrics so that they draped over the female body. The minutely pleated silk was a secret process and the glorious colors were produced using vegetable dyes, a change from the crude aniline dyes that had been recently used.  (Fashion Era)

Describing the great aristocrat, the Duchess de Guermantes, Proust wrote: “Of all the indoor and outdoor gowns that Mme. de Guermantes wore, those which seemed most to respond to a definite intention, to be endowed with a special significance, were the garments made by Fortuny…Is it their historical character or the fact that each one is unique that gives them so special a significance that the pose of the woman wearing one while she waits for you to appear assumes an exceptional importance?”

$12,000.00

Fortuny silk Delphos tea gown with original box, 1920’s

The pleating is so tight it hides the seams.

“…faithfully antique but powerfully original” is the way Marcel Proust described Fortuny.

Fortuny was a Renaissance man who stated: “Art is my life’s aim”.

http://www.vintagetextile.com/

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Beautiful Collectible: Pure Alchemy