For the Love of Design

This year is going to leave me at a bit of a crossroads. I have the choice to pursue either a Liberal Arts or Fine Arts education, and to be honest, I have no idea which to choose. On one hand, I want the stability and recognition that comes with a BA. I want to be able to pursue a career in business and feel just as adept as my counterparts. However, my passions simply aren’t addressed in most academic settings. I want to study colour theory and aesthetics and the history of art, fashion, even advertising. Parson’s actually offers the perfect course (Art & Design History & Theory) but I detest New York, especially if I’d be living there as a ‘just starting out’ young adult.

While I continue to ponder what to do with the rest of my life, here’s some examples of design that compels me. Welcome to the inside of my head:

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Yves Klein Blue

For someone who claims to be art obsessed, I don’t spend nearly enough time as I should researching artists and determining what I look for in a piece of art. Recently though, I think I’ve determined who my current favourite artist is, and why I find him so intriguing.

urlI saw this piece on Pinterest a while back, and despite not knowing who the artist was, whether they were famous or not, I instantly fell in love. I adored the juxtaposition of new and old, classic and modern, and I loved the fact that it tied in to the current fashion trend of this vibrant royal blue. I stumbled upon Yves Klein as an artist while I was researching mixed media artists for art class, and as soon as the Google Image search turned up an entire page of blue, I was sold.

url-3Molly and I were actually fortunate enough to see this piece in person, as it was featured at the last special exhibit at the High Museum. Most of the passer-bys seemed to pass it off as childish or too simple, but we were instantly captivated by the simultaneous vibrancy and simplicity of it. While the immediate response of some may be “My child could paint that” the reality is that their child didn’t paint it – they didn’t intend to paint that way for a specific reason. Klein didn’t cover a canvas in blue paint in order to say ‘this colour is pretty, you should look at it’, but perhaps to say ‘this colour says so much by itself, it doesn’t require shapes to express an emotion’.

Looking at it in person, I simply got lost. I felt encompassed by this perfectly selected shade of blue. To me, it represents a sort of loss of direction and isolation. I imagine myself in the painting; with no markings to determine up from down, left from right, does direction really exist at all? I picture myself surrounded in an entire world of this blue – an open empty mass. If it were white, perhaps it’d feel sterile, but the blue is far dreamier. The blue encompasses you and swallows you whole.

Perhaps my interpretation is far off from what the artist intended, but that’s the beauty. I feel like art is less about the works of the artist, and more about the relationship between artist, art piece, and viewer.

xo, Syd

Letting The Eye Travel

We have this art teacher – Mr. Allen – who is God’s gift to our artistic journey. He’s always there to help out, push us along, and help us develop and create new ideas. I’ve recently been feeling very stuck, and my recent art pieces have felt very forced, but one particular conversation with him really seemed to get me out of my rut.

So far this year, most of my pieces have been very mono-focular – there’s a distinct fore and background, mostly literal pieces, rather than abstract interpretation – but Mr. Allen told me to make something where the eye has the opportunity to travel. For whatever reason, this statement really stuck with me, and I’m now beginning to look at my works as stories; every element of the whole thing is contributing in some way to the idea that I want to present.

For me, the most obvious way to do this was using collage-like techniques: layering paint, found images and other medias to create a piece that is more dimensional (both figuratively, and literally). I went to Goodwill to find old books with a history and meaning behind them, and I’ll be using bits and pieces of those to add further meaning to what I have so far.

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I’ve been working on this piece for maybe a week now, and already I feel a lot more free. I’m not setting any boundaries for myself, and the entire thing is a really relieving journey. It’s nowhere near finished yet, but I’ve already had a few challenges, and thought of new and creative ways to fix them. For example – I want the piece to represent my cynical view of today’s society (particularly America), but the army colours that I used for the background were really throwing me off with their literalness. To combat this, I added my favourite colour – a salmony pale pink – to give the whole thing a sense of innocence and the signature girliness that I try to enstill within every piece. The end result works really well, in my opinion, and I’m proud of myself for being able to overcome my usual ways and go beyond.

xo, Syd

 

To The Street

In 2010, a crew of anonymous people used the Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin as their canvas, dumbing 500 liters of water-based environmentally friendly paint straight onto the asphalt. Nearly 2000 cars passed by on this road, allowing the paint to spread and create a work of art. I thought the concept was super neat, taking something as simple as dumping paint on asphalt and using the passer-by’s as their paintbrushes. Heres the link to the video of it happening.

http://painting.iepe.net

A movement that rose in modern culture in the mid 80’s, street art has gone to extraordinary levels. Street artists have changed the way we view art, something that previously could only be seen in galleries, homes, and stores, is now accessible to any passerby. I find it incredible what these artists can do with a side of the building. Many incorporate their surroundings, juxtaposing their creations specifically on infrastructure that enhances the image as a whole. Many times the art is intended to set a spark in its viewers, call out a message or complaint. Whether the objective is something of political nature or simply for the beauty of creation,  I am constantly in awe of the results of artists installing their work into complete exposure. Here are some of my favorites at the moment:

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xxMolly

3 Beauty Looks

Most people who know me are aware of my intense makeup and beauty fascination. Molly calls it vanity, and although I know it’s true, I like to think of it more so as an addiction to aesthetic cohesion and the need to implement design into literally every element of my life. This being said, I’ve always thought of makeup as a fun hobby, and as cheesy as it sounds, playing around with beauty products has been the greatest distraction through some of the more difficult times in my life.

Makeup is one of my favourite accessories, and I love playing around with different looks to make any outfit more fun. Here are some of my favourite looks and current beauty trends.

13 9810837288Bold Lips, Bare Eyes

I’m usually more of an eyeliner girl, but seeing pictures like these make me want to ditch the cat eye and go for a bold pop of lip color instead. I love the contrast of the stark eye with the bright lip, as it almost reminds me of a young girl trying on her mothers lipstick for the first time. The look is incredibly modern, but also reminiscent of vintage makeup looks, when the classic red lip was the main focal point.

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Coloured Eyeliner

This is one trend that I myself haven’t mustered up the courage to try out. Designers have been doing it on the runway for a few years now, and each time I think about how incredible the thin sweep of bright colour looks just above the lashline. I think the easiest colour to begin the trend with would be cobalt – it’s similar enough to navy, and blue is a colour commonly worn on the eyes – but more neon shades like bright yellow and orange also look incredible if you’re brave enough to try them out.

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Bronzed Eyes

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a black cat-eyeliner girl for quite some time now, and it really took a lot for me to focus in on a bronzey eyeshadow instead. However, the end result is gorgeous, and I now reserve the look for nights out or sexier occasions (which, who am I kidding, I have none of). This gilded, brown eye is completely universal and wearable for every woman, but the look never ceases to be exciting, sexy and sultry. I personally prefer the look paired with contoured cheeks and a nude or pink lip, but any deep red or berry colour (as in the second image) works beautifully as well for the colder months or more dramatic occasions.

xo, Syd

Dramatic Whimsy

After Molly posted about her dream collection (Heidi Merrick Spring 2013), it really got me thinking about what S/S 2013 collections I’ve been enjoying. As my personal style is rather undefined and constantly changing, I decided to look more so at the artisanship and aesthetic beauty of higher end designers, rather than considering wearability and trendiness. After trolling through some of my bookmarked pages, I noticed that all of my favourite designs were more or less consistently pretty, whimsical, and light – very fitting with the attraction to pastels I feel every consecutive Spring season. This being said, the 4 collections I’ve chosen are all fundamentally different, and unique in their own right.

1. Oscar Carvallo Couture

url-8 url-7 url-5 url-6 CDkJG_pjDXGFor me, this was definitely the ‘Sleeping Beauty Warrior’ collection. Every piece was extremely soft and gentle at first glance, but there was a consistent element of strength in each look. The collection featured a great number of metallics, corsets, and intricate laser cut detail, while still maintaining a princess quality that most any girl would swoon over. My favourite piece was this pink chiffon dress, which at first glance could pass for a victorian nightgown. The rear, however, features this incredible spine detail running down the length of the open back. The juxtaposition of the soft and hard is nothing short of beautiful, and gives the wearer such a fragile, yet daring quality.

2. Chanel Couture

url-10 tumblr_mh44d71qj41ry5y49o1_500 url-11In my opinion, this collection was far less about the clothing itself, and more about the entire experience and production. The runway was constructed to look like the pathway to a secret garden, and the models made up to look like dead porcelain dolls; incredibly soft and delicate with an unwavering sense of darkness. The concept as a whole is incredible, and slightly excuses what I thought was a disappointing line of dresses. The aesthetic was very Chanel, but I felt that the garments themselves were lacking the innovation of the RTW collection.

3. Christopher Kane

url-9 Christopher Kane Spring Summer 2013 leather jacketChristopher Kane EASILY had the best SS13 collection, in my opinion. I may be biased, as the colour palette and cut of his clothing closely fits my personal aesthetic, but the collection felt simultaneously classic and innovative. The pieces definitely looked 1960’s inspired, without looking literal or costumey. The exquisite cut and fit of the pieces were extremely flattering to the models without being overly sexy, and the combination of girlish colours and womanly shapes really allows for wearability regardless of age. The collection stays young and fresh, but still appropriate and classy. Kane nailed it, and I only hope I like his F/W collection as much.

4. Hugo by Hugo Boss

Hugo by Hugo Boss SS 2013 SS13 BERLIN FASHION WEEK url-12Taking it in an entirely different direction, the Hugo by Hugo Boss collection was extremely modern and trendy while still maintaing the classic wearability and minimalism that Hugo Boss is known for. Holographic patterns and textiles are a huge trend at the moment, but Hugo Boss managed to give the passing fad a sense of security and simplicity. The pieces are all extremely light and fun, but could still be worn by a number of women. My personal favourite is the tunic with the holographic belt and strap, but I could easily see anyone from Miley Cyrus to Tilda Swinton wearing these dresses on the Red Carpet.

xo, Syd

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Sportswear

I’m clearly not one for athletics, but after attending my second school sporting event of the season, my infatuation with athletic inspired pieces have been renewed. I hate feeling overly prim and put together, so adding a more casual, classic sportswear inspired piece makes any look more wearable, comfortable, and accessible. Also – these could be great options for looking theme appropriate but not too literal at any Superbowl party!

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Stripes are the utmost in classic, but I love how an unconventional cut can make them feel fresh and trendy. This cool top from Asos has an interesting cut, and the hot pink contrast neckline adds a very modern feel.

Perhaps an entirely stripy outfit is a tad overbearing, but both the striped blouse and trousers from Zara would look fantastic paired with comfortable jersey pieces.

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I’ve recently been searching aimlessly for the perfect bomber jacket – one that is relaxed and comfortable while still remaining classic. I adore both of these options from Asos, and I could easily imagine them paired with a slouchy t-shirt, statement jewellery, some skinny jeans and a great pair of sneakers (Cream Bomber, Camel & Black Bomber).

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Molly is the absolute queen of making sweatpants look sophisticated. Although I’ve only got 1 pair nice enough for public wear, I’ve still taken inspiration from her and love them to death. I’ve been ogling this subtle skull patterned pair from Topshop, but I also love the faux leather tuxedo detail on this pair from Asos.

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Perhaps one of the greatest necessities when trying to emulate an athletic style is a fantastic pullover. Both of these pieces give off such an effortless vibe, and could be styled for almost any occasion. Dress up this Zara sweater with some boyfriend jeans, a chunky gold chain and a great pair of loafers.

I’m absolutely in love with this sweater dress from Asos, and I think it’d look great with a cluster of bracelets, maybe a cool beanie in an oxblood colour, and once again, some sick sneakers.

xo, Syd