Thursday 26 July 2012

MSIT Fashion Graduation Parade

Another busy week - garments have been posted to WA, WoW bookings have been confirmed (Squeee – 8 1/2 weeks to go!!!) and StudioSvenja and SvenjaCouture labels have been received! Slight error in one of them, but the lovely Fantasy Labels has no problem with getting them redone, and apologises for the error, and hopes it does not inconvenience me too much! Good grief – is this…… I can’t believe it….. good customer service?!! Nay, excellent customer service, as they notified me when they were initially shipped and apologised for the slight delay!

Last night I was a guest at the MSIT graduating fashion student parade, and had a wonderful time! I wore my shibori corset from WoW last year, and my fab Zu boots. Held at the Victoria Park Marquee, it was a vast improvement on previous parades held at TAFE. Loved the chandeliers!!

Congratulations Robyn and Helen on organising a very successful & glamorous evening! Unsure of where I was going, I simply followed those wearing awesome shoes until I found the entry!

The show began with a 3 piece collection of Dr Chin Wei Lin, inspired by Chinese paper cuts , apparently made with commercial red felt. Stunning.
I was in the perfect position, front and centre at the end of the catwalk, and was very impressed with many of the works. I was also very happy to be seated next to my Millinery teacher, Robyn Smallhorn – it’s so nice to have someone to comment to! It was also pleasing to hear the two student representatives acknowledge the dedication of the amazing TAFE teachers, who do so much more than their job – I think these ladies have a vocation, not just a job!
The Avant Garde section was wonderful - many would have been at home on the stage at the World of WearableArt!
It was a treat to see garments on the catwalk that I had seen in the construction process at TAFE.

I was pleased to for once concur with the judges on the major prize winner, Mitchell Hayes, who received a $16,000 scholarship towards further studies. The stunning headpieces in his collection really gave him the edge. 

Congratulations to you all, I hope you were thrilled to see your creations alive on stage – I know I was! It made me wish I was going to see my garments on the catwalk at the Flair Awards! But, you can’t haz it all!

Monday 23 July 2012

A new chapter begins....

Just when I thought it was over – most of the week was spent finishing off the bridal collection – sewing in identification labels and hanging tapes, putting each one into its own garment bag with a separate bag for accessories, and of course, extra beading. 
Handwritten labels!
Dresses grouped with accessories and garment bags
It doesn’t sound like much, but it sure took a long time! For those who have requested detail shots – I had every intention of taking some, but……  
After stuffing them into 3 satchels and delivering them to Australia Post at approximately 4:50pm, I came home, sobbed a bit, said ‘never again’, downed four Japanese Slippers, went to bed, and slept until 9:30 Saturday morning! I’m happy with the result, but I’m unhappy that some aspects were rushed and therefore not as good as they could be. A great new direction found, though!
Saturday was spent catching up on several weeks worth of cleaning, including 2 post-explosion looking studios! Sunday started with a long overdue visit to the markets to stock up on citrus for cocktails, followed by a delicious brunch at Merthyr Road Café. This was my view of the journey in Bruce the Studebaker.
Matt then went to Studio 5A to work on the Daytona, whilst I went shopping. We found this chilli wreath as a table decoration at a furniture shop. At my favourite fabric shop Trad’s I found this glorious fabric, I bought only 5 metres!  The question kept being asked - 'what are you going to make with it?' Answer - 'No idea. But at least I have it'.
Mermaid dress, anyone?!
The weekend ended with drinks on the lovely deck of our new neighbours from Kansas City.
Although we behaved, Monday morning arrived to a very unenthusiastic audience. I slept in until 8am!! Maybe I am learning how to relax?! We broke up the day with a pub lunch at the local, and a nice email arrived inviting me as a VIP to the TAFE Fashion Graduate Parade on Wednesday night! The afternoon ended with some happy mail – our information packs from WoW!!
Wow info pack including designer name tag and commemorative brooch!
Love the classy silver name tag, and the funky rocket badge – great for the boys to wear too! We’ll be signing up for all the designer activities – we’re starting to get excited! We’re also starting to toy with ideas for next year…. I can’t believe it!!
I also received notification that my ‘SvenjaCouture’ and ‘StudioSvenja’ labels have arrived!! When I pick them up tomorrow, I'll send the nuno felted garments that went to Tasmania over to the WA Craft Quilt & Stitch Show August 3-5, 2012.
I received this lovely email from Jennie Abbott who organises this display:
This exhibition of Art 2 Wear, showcasing garments created by exceptionally talented artists from across Australia must be the most prestigious showing in Australia today.
I am delighted to extend to you an invitation to participate in this exciting event once again.
The garment you choose can have been exhibited previously, even here, as your work is a much loved favourite and should be selected as a prime example of your own individual style.
All in all, not a bad Monday on the planet!
Rock on, July!!
Ciao dahlinks!

Tuesday 17 July 2012

SvenjaCouture Bridal Collection

SvenjaCouture Collection
The month of July has passed in a blur of feltmaking and stitching. After successfully sending off Euphony Iridaceae to NZ in April, then Mirror Mirror to Sydney in June, and being totally re-inspired with feltmaking by the workshop with Vilte, I decided that I could manage an entry in Fashion Flair for the end of July. Which turns into mid July when you accommodate a photo shoot. A five piece bridal collection. With cobweb felted bride’s skirt. With textured felt and flower headpieces. With a felted flower bouquet. Yeh.

As per my previous post, originally the plan was to do felted dresses with the new Vilte technique, but I was unhappy with the limitations regarding fit. When I saw Yiqing Yins' draped work, I was inspired to use draping, which is when the project turned into one requiring boned, lined, proper under-dresses, and became a much bigger project than anticipated.
Yiqing Yin's work - awesome photo shoot, too!
Each dress was made of two triangular pieces of felt, which were almost as big as my table to start with. After dyeing the fibres and fabric, they took about 3-4 hours to lay out, 3-4 hours to felt, 2-3 hours to drape, and almost a day to stitch the draping in. Then each one had a fully lined and boned dress to sit over and get stitched too. Plus some beading......... for which I needed a good light so I could stitch at night - thanks Matt for the lead light taped to the broom handle - perfect!

So, after pretty much taking the last few weeks off work (after organising all the end of financial year guff at work!) I was still sewing on Saturday morning as the models arrived at home.  I’d even roped in Miss Jenelle to help finish stitching skirts on! We had planned to shoot at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, but Mother Nature was being a little moody, so we decided that our dining room sans table was big enough. So, as I sewed, let down hems, and applied makeup, the set was assembled and Matt & Miss Jenelle organised the food, and kept the drinks coming! I think we were all glad in the end that for our first large shoot we were in a safe zone! Having five models is a totally different experience to just one!

The beautiful bride, Miss Melina

Like beautiful flowers!

Misses Genna, Katjia, Emily, Melina and Elle looked absolutely fantastic and did a great job! I was extremely grateful that Miss Genna was a makeup artist, and was able to apply the false eyelashes onto everyone – they looked awesome! It was amazing to see my dresses on real live girls – it’s really quite different to mannequins, where you only have the torso to consider! I noticed that a lot in the dress length – what seemed alright on the mannequin was very short on a real girl!! Well, it makes for a very different bridal collection! The girls thought there was a definite Midsummer Night’s Dream feeling to them, which I would have to agree with.

Miss Genna

Miss Emily
Miss Katjia
Miss Ellie

Big thank yous to all the beautiful girls, Mr Matt , Miss Jenelle for dropping everything to come and help me and pat my head (although I was for once reasonably calm!). And a big congratulations to you, and to us for receiving word yesterday that I finalists in the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt 2012!! Roll on September!!
Jenelle and I taking the obligatory commemmorative 'selfie', result below!

Sunday 1 July 2012

Imagining Shoes, & a Bridal Collection

Two weeks ago I had the great honour of opening “Imagining Shoes” at Gallery 159. This was an exhibition that was conceived at a TAFTA board meeting at my house, when the board members got to see my collection of shoes, and there was a space in the exhibition calendar…….
Beautiful shoes by Jenny of Hobart
My shoes! Missing In Action.
Admiring shoes
Myself, Janet de Boer, and Luna Newby
Combined with the innovative creations of Luna Newby and her students, my collection amazed and confused many. It was a great thrill to open an exhibition with a subject I am so passionate about, and I enjoyed being able to share the fabulous words of Edward Monkton:

 Shoe: Look at me. Am I not wonderful?
Lady: You are the most wonderful shoe in the world. I fall to my knees and weep with pleasure when I am with you.
Lady: You are beauty. You are truth. In you I find my salvation.
Shoe: Thank you. You are a nice lady.

Many thanks to my two fabulous handbag, Matt for supporting, and transporting me, and recording the event! The afternoon was pleasantly rounded off with drinks around the fire pit with our new neighbours from Kansas City! 

Last weekend saw the soiree at Club Lush to farewell our beautiful model Jess, as she leaves the fair land of Oz to venture forth with her new husband to her native home of Canoodia. A great night full of new friends, interesting cocktails as we emptied their liquor cabinet, and much excellent hat wearing!
Grant and Jess
Along with end of financial year stuff at work (aaaaghhhhh!!!) I have been finalising my nuno felted bridal collection, so it’s been a busy time. It’s a bit scary that the photo shoot is two weeks away, but it is so exciting that I don’t mind working this hard! I am so tired, and am really looking forward to a break after this is finished. Most of the felted material is made, which is a good place to be, and this weekend I designed and dyed the organza overskirts with good results. During the week I took some time off to stay home and stitch the first felted bodice together – 4 hours later…..

3 hours of felt layout, 3 hours felting, 2 hours draping, 4 hours sewing….. and this is before I have even made the 3 layered, boned underdress, attached the felt, beaded it, attached the bustle skirts, and made the headpieces! Truly a labour of love.
Dear Miss Jenelle dropped by today to help me work on the flowers for the bouquet – we had a lovely time laying out our pure white ‘warm fuzzies’ and gossiping! 
Miss Jenelle, Warm Fuzzies, and Golden Girls!
Jenelle exploring/being consumed by the cobweb felt veil material!
She also assisted yesterday by answering my phone call to consult with my favourite Design Bunneh on skirt lengths – AND gave the right answer!!
Thanks to the team around me who encourage me, support me, and play with me – my life would be poorer without you.