Thursday, October 23, 2008

IF – Late

Yesterday morning I was walking along Harwood Street, on my way to the bus stop as usual. I should have been rushing but instead was gazing up at all of the gorgeous leaves, reveling in a perfect sunny fall morning. Some mornings the sun is so bright at the end of the long street, filtering through all of the trees to reach me in a haze. So there I was busy in my head admitting that maybe fall can sometimes be almost as beautiful as summer, and *shock* there was a wasps nest hanging in one of my favourite small yellow-leaved trees, its leaves nearly all dropped to expose the evil bulbous papery thing.

I think it's way too late in the season to have to be confronted with such a thing. Aren't all the wasps supposed to be DEAD by now? If only I was so lucky...

Still it was a little bit beautiful hanging there with no activity, just another texture beside the leaves and trunk, eerie in that hazy morning light, a relic of the passed season.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dresses: classic couture or Shanghai cool?

Besides the iguana, my favourite thing at the ROM was the fashion. I couldn't stop myself from drawing these two dresses. I fell in love with them about half-an-hour apart and in two different rooms, but they ended up on the same sketchbook page, standing beside each other defiantly.

The first is by Zang Da, a designer from Shanghai. I loved his stuff because it had such a basic and effortless feeling about it, but drama too. Neutral, minimalist, elegant, feminine and bold. The dress above was black. I can't seem to find an official website for him, but here's a couple of blog posts about him and his designs if you dig the dress and want to know more: Shanghai Style Icon and Zang Da in his Studio.

This was part of an exhibition called Shanghai Kaleidoscope – "Shanghai as a laboratory for 21st-century urban creation" – which also included some great video work. And again, the exhibition design was interesting, floating mannequins and all.

On the right is the Delphine Cocktail Dress by Christian Dior, 1956/57. I was so excited when I saw this in the textiles exhibit – it reminded me instantly of a vintage black dress I bought a few years ago to wear to a friend's wedding on New Year's Eve. Mine's not Dior of course, but the concept is the same (the sash that folds over and hangs down like a scarf, with a fringe at the bottom), and it was so cool to place it in time like this. How great would it be to wear the Dior one, so red and perfectly pouffed.

In this standoff between classic and cool, I don't really want to pick a winner – I want both. To be both avante garde and put-together glamorous, all at once, or at least in the same week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

IF – String

Just in time...

Click image to enlarge

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Who knew iguanas were so cool?

At the ROM, my Dad and I almost skipped the Darwin exhibit. But it was so great! I surprised myself by being totally into the animals. I watched this iguana for ages. After a while he got bored with me and closed his eyes. Up close, I could see him breathing in his sleep. He woke to find me staring at his belly, smoothly heaving up and down.

The exhibit design was so awesome for this show. I loved how they had big "live!" stickers on each of the tanks that held a live animal (there were tons of stuffed animals and models as well). It reminded me of "As seen on TV!" stickers. I snuck a few photos of the graphics from the show.

Friday, October 03, 2008

IF – Sugary

While spending a week wandering around Toronto with my dad this summer, I did tons of sketching. This is the first one I've coloured (more to come, including lizards and giant sandwiches). I imagine these ladies like their tea sugary. Felt like I got to know them a bit watching them and drawing, sitting in the Bay Cafe high up over Queen Street. After this, we stumbled upon a seniors fashion show downstairs that was so charming and kind of unbelievable.