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Art Design

Sculptural Metal Jewelry by Ewa Nowak Helps Wearers Avoid Being Tracked by Facial Recognition Technology

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s metal jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.

The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.

Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website and Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 



Art

Second Hand: Ceramic Dresses, Shorts, and Other Faux Garments Created From Found Ceramic Tiles by Zhanna Kadyrova

August 23, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Image courtesy FOAF Prague

Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova creates sculptural representations of clothing from found ceramic tiles which are often displayed in situ. She began the series, Second Hand, while in Sao Paulo in 2014 after discovering the rich decorative patterns of tiles used to cover Brazil’s shops, cafes, and residential buildings. For her first works, she bought several styles of “second hand” tiles which she then constructed into garment-like objects which were displayed on standard wooden hangers.

For the series, Kadyrova has also worked with a silk factory in the Ukraine in 2015, and sourced tiles from the Film Processing Department of the Kiev Cinema Copy Factory in 2017. This year, she produced an installation for the Galleria Continua in Cuba which runs through August 25, 2019, and will have work on view at FOAF Prague later this month. You can see more samples from her series Second Hand, in addition to finding more ceramic sculptures of everyday objects, on her website. (via Trendland, Visual Fodder)

 

 



Design

A Dyed Wool Cloak Made From Scratch in the Chinese Countryside by Li Ziqi

August 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Li Ziqi (previously) presents pastoral glimpses into daily life on her farm in the countryside of China through her Youtube channel. She records common projects and necessities with precision and care, often focusing on the tasks needed to created a multi-course traditional meal or demonstrating the ways she prepares for the region’s harsh winters. In a video from earlier this year, Li walks her audience through the steps of knitting and dying a floor-length purple cloak with wool sourced from a neighboring farm. The five-minute film follows her journey across the snow-strewn mountains, watches as she inspects and brushes out the gathered wool, and features cameos by a few puppies and a very tiny lamb. You can view more snippets from her life on Facebook and Youtube. (via swissmiss)

 

 



Illustration Photography

Playful Doodles by Shira Barzilay Add Stylized Dimension to Classic Portraits

August 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Tel Aviv-based illustrator Shira Barzilay creates expressive line drawings on top of editorial style portraits to provide a more exaggerated expression for the subject, or produce an entirely new face on the back of their head. The digital illustrations are created via iPad, and range from simple lines to filled in multi-color shapes that give the pieces an almost cubist appearance. You can see more of her photographic illustrations, in addition to recent clothing and handbag collaborations, on her Instagram. If you enjoy Barzilay’s itinerant illustrations, also take a look at Shantell Martin’s work.

 

 



Art

Intricate Beadwork Adorns Handmade Mardi Gras Suits by Demond Melancon

August 11, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For the past three decades, Louisiana-based artist Demond Melancon has created highly detailed Mardi Gras Indian suits using millions of hand-sewn small glass beads. Each suit takes several months to create and features custom patches that tell stories about African and American history.

Images of Nyabinghi warriors, Haile Selassie, African nature scenes, and slavery are strung together bead by bead to form decorative costumes that weigh up to 150 pounds and are worn from 9am to 6pm on Mardi Gras. Frills and feathers frame the complex beadwork and sequins to complete the one-of-a-kind single purpose suits.

Melancon tells Colossal that in junior high school his friends “masked Indian” and that he followed them into the craft. He was chosen by the elders to learn sewing techniques as well as the history of Black Masking Culture in New Orleans when he was 14 years old. After masking as a Spy Boy for 15 years with the Seminole Hunters, Melancon earned the distinction of becoming Big Chief to his own tribe. In addition to leading his community and passing on traditions to the next generation, the honor is expressed through the size and intricacy of his suits, which can take over 4,000 hours to complete and are only worn once.

“I study our history and historical narratives to create my pieces [with] many different references,” Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters explained. He added that as a “bead master,” his style involves using the smallest beads available to pack in as much detail as possible.

Melancon’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. A new documentary short about his life and art titled “All on a Mardi Gras Day” (dir. Michal Pietrzyk) was the Documentary: Grand Jury Prize Winner at Seattle International Film Festival and has been shown at other festivals across America, Germany, and Denmark. For a list of upcoming screenings and to see more of the Big Chief’s suits, visit his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

AfroArt Photo Series Challenges Beauty Standards with Young Black Models

August 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Images: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. Styling by LaChanda Gatson, Shanna Thomasson and Angela Plummer

Husband and wife photography duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography capture images of children that celebrate the beauty, culture, and heritage of afro hairstyles. Often dressed in ornate African-inspired garb, Black girl and boy models are crowned with afros, twists, and braids as symbols of strength and grace.

The Bethencourts, based in Atlanta, have been working together for 10 years and began photographing children with natural hair in 2013. The “AfroArt” series began when they noticed a lack of diversity in the industry. The way the children in the series are styled and posed against warm backgrounds recalls the regal oil portraits painted of upper class men and women during the Renaissance movement. “We decided to showcase kids with natural hair to empower them (and others in the industry) to embrace it and for the kids to be proud of their culture and natural curls,” the photographers tell Colossal.

“When we first started out we were primarily working with child models, but now more than half of the kids have never modeled before,” they added. “Many parents hire us so that their child can get the experience of feeling empowered for the day. We will typically guide them on set to make them feel comfortable. Most of them just see it as a fun experience, but they usually leave the studio feeling a little more proud and self-confident.”

CreativeSoul Photography has an online shop where images from the AfroArt series can be purchased as prints, calendars, and other products. They also recently signed a book deal, so keep an eye out for that at your local bookstore. In the meantime, follow CreativeSoul Photography on Instagram for more striking images and future updates.

 

 



Photography

Flower-Filled Portraits by Diaja Celebrate Natural Beauty in the African Diaspora

August 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer and designer Ceres Henry embellishes her portrait subjects with floral body paint and fresh blossoms in her Adam & Eve series. The New York-based artist hand-painted each person before the shoot, inspired in the moment by the flowers she had pre-selected, and then worked the three-dimensional blooms into the composition. Henry, who goes by Diaja, explains that she seeks to counter negative narratives and stereotypes with Adam & Eve. “The significance of this series is to highlight the Black and African diaspora as works of art to be admired and celebrated,” she says.

In addition to Diaja’s work as a photographer, she also founded and runs a nonprofit, Artists of Today, which offers pop-up gallery and grant opportunities to emerging artists. The next gallery event is on August 17, 2019, and tickets are available here. See more from Diaja’s multi-faceted creative practice on Instagram.

 

 

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