Tuesday, 19 July 2016

franz xaver winterhalter

Have you seen how bewilderingly realistic marble sculptures of humans can be? How can stone, chiselled steadily away, be able to mimic the give of flesh? Accurately portray the rigidity of muscles or the softness of hips? And yet, it exists. Just like these impossibly realistic paintings of couture that capture details far more intimately than any DSLR in this age can. 

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (20 April 1805 - 8 Jult 1873) was a German painter and lithographer, his name associated with fashion portraiture. What is rather inspiring was that the best of his works were created two decades from his passing. Don't give up on your craft. Hone it and be renowned for it. 

I'm calling it now. All you artists pre-19th century, you're all time travellers who left photographs in your name to mess with us, right? The only possible, logical conclusion. These are paintings. They needed to be posed for. How on earth did he manage to capture that much detail? The way that light bounces of satin, the transparency of tulle, the shadows that are entrapped by the folds of the fabric, the intricate lace ... 

Just how on earth? Nevermind a photograph, you could almost reach through the sceen and feel the fabric yourself. .. Franz Xaver Winterhalter painted these. But the real question is, what is the art here? The gown or the painting?



Sunday, 17 July 2016


Thrust me into Tokyo with only 24 hours, Swankiss is the first place I'd go to. Sorry spinns, you've been dethroned. Although, why would you travel to a place for only 24 hours? I digress. Swankiss is undoubtedly feminine but with enough unique embellishments to warrant a second look and a devoted life following. It's a sweet amalgamation between youthful and ladylike sophistication with a hint of fun and flirtiness. How is that even possible? Basically, if you've outgrown Liz Lisa and are in the need for something toned down but not matronly. The only downside is that it's rather pricey. But with an emphasis on pastel, unexpectedly cohesive layered looks and somehow longer-lengthed garments that don't drown your body is the stark trade-off.



Monday, 11 July 2016

[throwback collection] Alice Auaa F/W 2013-2014

Alice Auaa's origins began with punk, new wave and gothic influence. This eventually refined itself into a form of elegance and became a major provider of Gothic Lolita. The 2013-2014 Fall-Winter Collection is a feast for the senses. There's a heavy haunted house owned by a witch aesthetic. Spider webs that lurk in every corner, veils that fall wispy across figures all swathed in black and grey. How to conduct a show to leave an entire audience spellbound? Follow its example.

The gentle twinkling of a music box-like music descends upon the crowd. The models walk,  the way the light in that brief moment casts a captivating spotlight, softly illuminating before shrouded in darkness once more like witnessing something sacred . The shadows that fall make their faces appear more hollowed, leaving no doubt for the existence of witches. This is theatre in action.

Halfway through the show, there's an abrupt change in dynamic. As they parade the more avant garde pieces, their standout features flaunted. True to lolita fashion, the embellishments are undoubtedly dollish, in their bell shaped silhouettes and the ruffles.

Just when you think the arachnid motif is subtle, out saunters a very shiny, very realistic abdomen of a spider worn. This dress is done much more tastefully, appearing as if it was knitted from its silky web instead. 

I have a great weakest for the coat-dress hybrid. Particularly if it is designed to be extremely high-waisted and cascading into a long skirt. So much height is afforded that way, and the silhouette immensely flattering. 

The grand finale, the veil swept dramatically, billowing behind her. Majestic. Endng the show with a flourish, by way of the webs descending upon, That's true courage right there. With the morbid doll nestled in one arm, now if this doesn't conjure horror movie flashbacks...

Every piece has been orchestrated immensely well. A refined elegance that only gothic lolita can achieve.



Saturday, 9 July 2016

the magic of doxiequeen1

Have you ever encountered someone with such a startling amount of talent that you just sigh at your inadequacy? Angela is one of them. She uses her blog as a platform to document her progress as she makes costumes to form her portfolio. She's not human and as to drive the final nail into the coffin, she's almost predominantly self taught. Simply put, she's remarkably skilled and extremely thorough in her process - both in the research and explanation process. Her creations are extensive, ranging from cosplay to recreation of historical garbs and artworks. Historians would adore her, and her works deserve to the line the halls of museums. Mere words don't illustrate this, so let the pictures be your guide.

Royal Milk Tea by Sakizo. Process. Honestly, I'm in awe. Typically, when something complex is broken down into digestible pieces, it becomes manageable. Even simplified, it remains mystified. I want to sit her down in order to see how her mind works in order to begin dissecting how to begin her craft. 

I'm convinced that in order to create the multitude ruffles of the skirts, she has some device that allowed her to sew clouds to the underlining of her fabric. 

The painstaking effort for socks! She even says as much as well. Another reason to love blogs, for the most part, there's no sugarcoating how much a step can well and truly suck.

Butterfly bodice. I've always been enamoured with unconventional prints and since I've seen a drawing of a skirt formed by interlacing butterfly wings, I've been obsessed. This bodice is equally as stunning and if you have the skill for it, the customisation allowed is neverending. May I suggest sapphire or amethyst? I swear she looks like an enigmatic fairy figure from epics. 

Recreation of Renaissance painting of Isabel De Requesens. Do we need to comment on the amount of effort extorted on the intricacy of the chemise? It's mind-boggling.  The finished work itself is breathtaking. You'd assume that the dress fell out of the frame. 

Elsa. Rhinestones are a girl's best friend. 

Even Cinderella. Disney needs to hire her stat. 

Diaphanous Flower Dresses. She's ambitious, I love her. The Gothic variation has distinct roots in Halloween that make it adorable. Like a witch trying to blend into a human crowd. Only, instead of roses tucked into the tulle, it'd be things like rat skulls for easily accessible potion ingredients. I have a borderline obscene affection for 3D ornamentation in fashion. So no surprise that I latched onto this like a drowning man a life buoy. 

Christmas Angel Costume. I would describe this as a long drawn out sigh of wonder. Saving the best for last. Although seriously, that kind of ranking is moot when essentially everything's she's made qualifies as the best. This would not have looked out of place at this year's MET Gala where the theme was Manux x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Did I mention how much I love blogs? Especially for the anecdotes during construction. Like the true match between Newton and the apple. If you burned your hand or sewed your fingers to the fabric due to sleep deprivation, I want to know. Anyway, a spider had made a guest of itself within the skirt which is probably more humorous in retrospect. Ah! In a gown like this, you'd be the belle of the ball.

I'm beginning to see how Medieval, Renaissance etc influence was phased out of fashion and why Alexander McQueen is so highly regarded. The amount of work, that Angela has put in is immeasurable and she deserves every once of respect her way.



Thursday, 7 July 2016

darker than night

Whilst I appreciate the versatility of black, I found that to have it as the main focal made it overbearing. That and when I had my hair black, I had the irrational belief that wearing my hair down along with my entire outfit black, it would appear as though my head was hovering in space. Thank god that was quelled at last. So how did I see the light? Basically, living out of a suitcase forces one to be creative with outfits. For my month travel, I had a single pair of black jeans and for the hell of it, I decided to pair it with a black jumper and as it was subzero, a knit back cardigan and found myself admiring the sleek streamlined effect that the black radiated. Huh. 

Even after that success, I still found myself hesitant to indulge the monochrome. But Stephanie Brown from FAIINT is gleefully swaying me to the darkside. How can she coax so many styles from one colour palette? Textures. Brilliance. Insanity. 

I'm pretty sure this is love. I'm really adore that some of her outfits have that post-apocalyptic aura. Just that casual, yeah, the world's in ruins, but that doesn't mean my fashion sense has to be.