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Archive for the ‘Daily Art’ Category

Moving

Naomi’s art, design, and writing is now housed at tumblr.

See everyone there.

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Hay guise! I started a tumblr, to chronicle my design research. Right now I am working on two projects (or possibly two aspects of one), both of which I elaborated on last post. I’m going to keep adding as the discourse becomes more complex and as I gather more information. : )

Enjoy, all!

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Experiments

For the past few months, I’ve been heavily interested in knits and their behavior. Woven, skins (leather), and knits behave so differently. We design students are primarily trained on wovens, but Americans mostly wear knits. I don’t knit yet — I crochet. I like its sequential, stitch-by-stitch nature. It reminds me of my old Calculus 3 classes in engineering school… the potential for graceful curves on a computer-generated graph. (Turns out that some mathematicians/crochet enthusiasts think the same way)

Paired with my knit fascination is a recent obsession with wool. Wool is like magic. A 2-D piece of fabric can be coaxed and steamed to perfectly fit a 3-dimensional body. This is why bespoke tailors love wool so much. You can even add heat, water, and friction, and the fibers will inextricably bind themselves together, forming felt.

I’ve been experimenting with math, wool, and crochet lately. I want to create fabrics that don’t lie flat. I want to be capable of machine-knitting exactly the shape I want. Fabrics that literally mold over the body, instead of stretching over it.

In another life, I might have been/become a topologist, but my present brain looks at anything with an integral symbol and shudders. :) I like crochet (and knitting, what little I know about it) because I can readily see it programmed (which many companies do). My experiments have yielded some interesting results:

This is an experiment with ratios in double crochet (American system), in acrylic yarn. The first row has twice as many stitches as the foundation chain. I continued in this way for one more row. For about a third of the next row, I increased x1.5 stitches (up to the orange marker). For another third, I didn’t increase at all (up to the green marker). And for the final third, I decreased x1.5 stitches. (Hopefully that all made sense… )

Not bad for a first try... :)

On my next experiment, I used a gray wool “tweed” yarn, crocheting in the round. I increased each row x phi, or 1.618… or the golden ratio. I sort of expected a sphere, but I got a disk instead. After a few rows, I decreased by phi until I got a small hole. I threw the little thing into the washer and dryer to felt it, and imagine my surprise…!

A wonderful little seed pod shape. Appropriate, considering how often the golden ratio appears in plant life.

or an exotic fruit shape. Or a rare flower. Or a brain. Or...

On the way back to NYC, I attempted to achieve a specific shape. A simple shape nonetheless, but one that is integral to the sculptural, freeform dress designs that I was churning out late December (more on that later).

Pulling a Miyake on this one...

After a couple false starts, I achieved this abstract, bulging triangle by single crocheting the outer thirds, half-double crocheting the middle third, and decreasing by one on each row. “Think of what needs to grow or shrink,” I wrote in my notebook while figuring out the stitch pattern.

You can see what I was going for in the sketch on the left.

I had so much fun playing with this on the airplane after I was finished… my row-mate must have thought me mad. :) It’s interesting how it tends to curl.

The first few rows of single crochet, curling. Maybe I'm doing something weird at the end of each row... :/ I understand this is what blocking is for, but I want to understand this behavior.

It’s a humble little shape, but figuring this out was just what I needed to put my designs to the next level… I think.

With the bottom rows "flipped" downward.

I can’t wait to see how this one felts…

I encourage you, dear reader, to experiment with this as well. If you’re industry and you can give me some insight on how to automate this sort of thing (so far all I can imagine is to link WholeGarment knitting machines with Matlab programs somehow :/ ), I would really appreciate it. Heck, hire me and we can experiment together.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.

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Hey all, I’ve been pretty busy with contest work and projects… and I got a cold on Thursday night. >_< But after spending all of Friday resting, I bring you a fresh crop of amazing fashion from the Flea Market today! :3

I keep meeting the most awesome people here. I glimpsed a Comic-con badge on one of the visitors as he was leaving.  (Perhaps he was stopping by in between panels. xD)  I’d love to go, but maybe next year I’ll have the extra cash…

Punk/Goth is one of my most consistent sources of inspiration. This man caught my eye just as we were coming in to the market. He works in fashion, too. :)

I love Benny's style - casual elegance meets 80's New Wave. Apparently his weekend style is usually much more over the top!! He works as a podiastrist.

Stephan Keating wears one of his custom-made masks everywhere he goes. The complex brass joints and welded circuitry make a shocking contrast with his "normal" clothes - "as though I was in a car accident", he chuckled. I think his style is a perfect blend of Metropolis and good-ol Steampunk.

He let me try it on, too. :3

Of course, the flea market isn’t the only place to find epic street wear in NYC. It’s not as localized here as is in, say, Tokyo, but you never have to go far to find something interesting…

Thomas is a fellow student here at FIT. Most of his wardrobe is either vintage or carefully-chosen retail. He's a huge fan of steampunk and army memoribilia.

And that’s all I have for today. I’m getting more confident asking people for their pictures – so expect even more awesomeness in the future!!

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.

 

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… you don’t just sit and let it pass. You write it down, sketch it out.

And you don’t stop there. You don’t just record the idea, you make the idea into reality. Use whatever resources you have at hand, no matter how meager.

Don’t wait to be taught how to do it. Ask someone, or figure it out yourself, and do it. Play.

Leftover strips of fabric… 3 weeks of classes… and an open classroom.

I know that I am taking a great risk, putting a novel idea out on the internet for anyone to look at, but sharing ideas and inspiration is “the change I wish to see in the world”.

So this plus this:

Van Gogh's "Starry Night"…yields this idea:

…and this fledgling reality.

The left front of the bodice-to-be. Right side will come later...

I imagine the finished dress in crinkled strips of blue, gold, and purple silk arranged on a black organza underdress... but strips of muslin pinned to a dressform will serve for now.

This shall be a sort of cross between a low-backed evening dress and an elegantly revealing halter. I think showing a little of the "side boob" adds the perfect touch of quiet sexiness. :)

Tendrils coming down the back, a preview of the full effect. There will be a crinoline for the finished dress; but for now, I just want to see how the wrapped and tacked fabric might look. It looks better than I had imagined!

detail of the curls at the small of the back.

I so desperately love this sort of work. I could cut and sew beautiful dramatic things for-ever. I want to make costumes and wonderful things… I want to dress all sorts of people people for the most beautiful moments of their lives. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to live and work with joy and dignity.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R. (The Forgotten Doll)

 

EDIT: Added watermarks to images.

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I am so glad I brought my camera with me yesterday morning, because I met these lovely ladies:

The young lady on the left’s outfit reminds me of the Natural Kei or Dolly Style that’s been gaining popularity in Japan. But when I asked, “what do you call this?”, she said she doesn’t call it anything at all. :) Whereas Ms. Right’s outfit whispers “quiet, elegant chic”, something I doubt I’ll ever attain. ^^; Thank you so much for letting me photograph you, ladies! :)

Friday night, I went to a small, informal fashion show put together by three young designers, one of which I met at Fashion’s Night Out last Friday. Her name is Arpana Dasgupta, and she is an FIT graduate (!) who is working on her own designer line. The cut, styling, and quality of each piece is impeccable – you have to really hold the clothes to see how well they are made. She produces everything right here in NYC, a business practice I really admire. And the look is riiiight up my alley:

From her A/W 2010 line. Gorgeous!!

Ms. Arpana gave me a good tip at FNO: if you want to really learn fit, study Intimate Apparel. You’ll gain a complete understanding of the body and how clothing fits around it. Hmmmm…

The show itself was pretty good. I could tell most of the models were really having fun walking to the Riverboat Jazz/Techno fusion music. (and I was having fun swaying to it. :D ) I didn’t stay long after, but here are some sketches of what the audience was wearing that night:

Text reads (top to bottom):

Exposed shoulder pads. [The wearer] Just ripped out the sleeves on a jacket!! Wonderful “elegant punk” <3

Beautiful light gray Rayon [?] knit. I’ll take this to Prof. Nier and ask how to do it. Very elegant.

Blue w/ white for a woman who wears her large size well. Would work even better in a Japanese indigo [tie-dye] print. :) (back)

Tonight’s outfit: “McGregor” tartan, apparently. The person I stood behind in line knew about Scottish plaids. [I’ll showcase those epic shorts here eventually]

And here’s a sketch from today’s adventures:

"blue/green tartan (flannel) shirt w/ pale chiffon skirt <3 "

You’ve just got to love that combo of mannish and super-feminine. <3 I saw one more awesomely-dressed person today, and I really (REALLY) wish I’d asked for his picture too, but just picture “casual urban steampunk with an attitude” that goes beyond brown-with-a-vest. :D

What do you think of this format, with the little street fashion sketches? Does it look silly on a blog? Or does it give insight? Please let me know~

Love and blessings,

Naomi R.

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Since it’s officially been a month since I moved here, I decided it was time to make the Epic New York City post of Epicness. My Uncle gave me a camera, which I’ve using a lot, and I took pictures above the clouds of Texas, in the forests and meadows of Indiana, and the gridded-off chaos that is NYC. Orientation is now a distant memory, 3 weeks of school are done, I went to a Lolita picnic, and I miss Eli terribly. I haven’t had much time to work on personal projects… they work you hard here. But then I see the incredible gowns some students finish after studying here for only two years, and I know it’ll all be worth it.

Between cloud layers, from an airplane

After an early breakfast...

an enchanted morning with Eli begins...

Eli is tall, but the trees are taller.

hay bales in meadow

sometimes, the world really does look like a Bob Ross painting.

Eli's mom looking over flowers

As the morning grew, we found something wonderful...

...a butterfly tea party.

I wanted to capture the extreme fluorescent blueness of these flowers, but I guess that's the limit of my camera.

And to go from all that nature to this:

Downtown Manhattan cityscape

...it'd almost break your heart.

It’s not so bad though… the first week I was here, I’d stare down this street and think, in awe, “wow, I actually live here now”.

cityscape near the flatiron building

There's some really cool stuff here. The architecture of this "Flatiron" building is very famous.

I'm really not sure what's up with this artwork. The hole up top sometimes spews steam.... O_o;

I think this image really expresses how dense Manhattan is.

You know, St. Mark's Place has really changed its character (it's mostly ramen shops now), and tattoo shops and weird tee-shirt stores are the last vestiges of its history as a subcultural mecca. You still find awesome stuff like this purple wall, tho.

...and this awesome little bookshop I need to re-visit. :3

So, I'm a huge nerd. I spent a good 10 minutes wandering around the park down there, looking for some concentric circle benchs, so I could pretend to be Neil Gaiman's adorable "Death" character and go, "Peachy Keen!". Eh, good enough. xD

Next time, I’ll post my pictures of the various religious buildings around here… the juxtaposition is astounding.

Or perhaps I’ll post some street fashion photos! There are some really interestingly dressed people around here, and I’m not just talking about the Lolitas. :3

And to finish things off, I’d like to share my newest discovery in the FIT area…

Best. Tag. Ever.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.

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