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Stylin' 918

Author: Alyx Gorman
Friday, 8 August 2008
NEWS

Those sick of watching their incomes bleeding away on international fashion mags will be pleased with the arrival of new website fashion-ation.net. From the Melbournian mastermind behind coolhunting.com, this website delivers the best of international fashion shoots and street style to one stable, online hub. We’re currently loving the sartorial showdowns, where readers can vote between two street-style shots from global cities. The website’s core concept is to bring the world’s best fashion editorial online, and plenty of magazines are jumping on board – Italian Vogue is already offering shoots before their issues hit the stands. Plus, because the website is new, they’re yet to attract advertisers, which makes the layout incredibly slick and sexy.

Sydney is moving up in the fashion world, a recent study discovered. The results, released by the Global Language Monitor, show that the media is mentioning Sydney more and more in conjunction with fashion. New York, Rome, Paris, Milan and London still dominate – they’ve been the top five cities since the survey began, but Sydney has leapt up several places from 12th to 7th. We’re just behind LA as a fashion hotspot and miles ahead of other stylish cities in the Asia Pacific region like Tokyo (10), Hong Kong (11) and Singapore (14). Also making leaps and bounds is Stockholm, which appeared on the list for the first time at number 19. Melbourne, our chief style rival in the Antipodes slipped down three places to a fairly pathetic 18. While we acknowledge the need for grace in victory, we feel it’s important to commemorate this occasion with an all-caps SUCK IT.

Proving that you don’t have to be sober to have a sense of humour, Lindsey Lohan has just released a new line of leggings. Apparently based on her wayward icon Marilyn Monroe, the line starts at the bargain basement price of $50 AUD for a pair of skin tight, leopard print legwarmers. Yes, you read the cost and description correctly. Hollywire reports that the line is tanking, but we find it hard to believe given that one pair of hose in the line-up is probably the most perfect item of clothing ever created. Called the “Mr President” leggings, these babies are black, tight and practically decorated… with kneepads. Perhaps a strange choice of comfort for a newly loved-up lesbian, but we guess LiLo can remember her bad old hetero days of kneeling in nightclub toilets for minutes on end.
 
Speaking of leggings, another celeb clothing line that we’re way more excited about is MIA’s upcoming offering. While the details of the Sri Lankan born singer’s range are still sketchy, we do know it will feature leggings, bomber jackets and a nu-rave take on ethnic prints (Ravestock, anyone-). Sure to be loud, bright and in your face – just like the singer herself – it’s speculated the clothing will be sold for a short time only. For a glimpse at what the clothes may look like, check out the electroshlock nightmare video that has taken over MIA’s official website (miauk.com). MIA first caught the mainstream fashion world’s attention when she starred in the SS08 campaign for Marc by Marc Jacobs. For impatient fans seeking out her signature style, look no further than Sydney label Romance Was Born. MIA is a huge fan of the Australian designers, and has been spotted in their holographic leggings onstage and off.

FEATURE

A terrifying trend has swept the streets of Sydney – it seems, without nary a glance to the catwalks, orange backpacks have swooped in and become this Papal visit’s must-have item. Not far behind in the newly modest style stakes come wimples – also known as nun-helmets - and crucifixes (strictly non-goth mind you). And if you think it’s just the tourists blighting our streets with orange, pope-shoe red and the bright, bright blue of organizer tracksuits (rainbow comparisons will result in a $5500 fine), think again. Even local pop stars are in on the action.
Just because you’re young, religious and painfully virginal doesn’t mean you have to say no to branding. Guy Sebastian, the ex Idol who fortunately never had a second coming, certainly isn’t opposed to a catholic cash-in. Along with the official World Youth Day anthem, the fro-haired Jesus fan is also releasing a range of commemorative gear – perfect for decking out disciples. The hoodies, tees and caps are emblazoned with an “I love…” slogan and the pinnacle of logo-chic, the Guy Sebastian signature smiley face. All of which are available from the 18 official merchandise outlets.
Target too, is feeling the light of the lord. It has plenty of World Youth Day merch for sale including WYD slogan tees and sweat pants –available in <strike> all the colours of the rainbow</strike> not pink.
But if all this makes you think that Catholics can’t be chic, think again because Il Papa  - much like his main rival – wears Prada. Well, not quite, but his custom cobbled Papal footwear, soaring hat and ermine and velvet trimmed vestments aren’t a far cry from the Paris couture shows. I guess all that tithing makes it hard for his faithful to follow in his stylish slipper-steps. While Vogue Italia maybe the Pope’s style bible, the pilgrims seem to prefer Big W catalogs.
Co-ordination has been key for North American pilgrims. We were particularly impressed by the father and son we saw in matching blue-checked western shirts, they even had matching spare tires to go with.
There’s been more Aussie flag-waving than you could shake a Cronulla Riot at, too. But our international Christian brethren can’t be expected to understand the fear Two Dollar Shop Australiana strikes into the hearts of homosexuals, Muslims and… actually on second thought maybe they can.
Just as volume begat body-con, this wouldn’t be a full-on trend without backlash. The No To Pope coalition are fighting faith with fire on a sartorial battleground, spruiking slogan shirts like “Pope Go Homo” and “Pope is wrong, put a condom on”, subtle it’s not. The brave souls even threw a runway-style protest, with a fashion show to celebrate their last rites to freedom of speech before the new “no annoying the Catholics” laws came in.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the lead-up to World Youth Day it’s this – people are right when they say gay men are better at fashion, and you sure can tell the Catholics don’t like homos.

GALLERY INTERVIEWS
There are two great exhibitions coming up at China Heights over the next couple of weeks. Both promise a well-mixed blend of street, design, fine art and even a touch of fashion thrown in for good measure. We caught up View of Courage creative director Robyn Wilson and Mambo designer and artist Phil Harkness to find out about their works and shows.

ROBYN
What is the idea behind Three Teens Kill Four-
Well Goran named the show, from a newspaper headline he once saw and has kept in his head. It’s about the uprising of the underdog, the underbelly of society taking over the mainstream. It’s about the ending of teenagehood and our growing into the harsh reality of adulthood.

Tell us a bit about who will be showing-
We’re just a few creative ratbags really but here’s a bit more…

Goran Tomic, also known as CITY ZEN, has been actively exhibiting in various galleries in Sydney for the last two years. His artistic practice includes performance art, video installations and decollage/collage. His influences come from Art Brut (outsider art) and the New Realists from France in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Robyn Wilson is known as an agile creative visionary with projects spanning across the fashion, live installation, video and illustration worlds. As creative
director of View of Courage Studios, her ability to adapt to and conquer varying contextual mediums is stunningly apparent. Her work has a strong, edgy graphic sensibility influenced by the work of numerous visual, video and sound artists.

Sascha Raeburn is inspired by movies, cartoons, video games and popular culture. With a rich background in dramatic arts, Sascha's work is strong in memories, mood and movement. The characters she creates and uses in her work act as a whimsical yet secretly complex, visual representation of the mesh of influences that make up her world.

What sort of work can we expect to see there-
Works spanning from decollage to paint on canvas to sculpture to illustrations on drum heads!

What is the most exciting thing about putting on an exhibition-
Getting to buy lots of beer and have all your friends come!

Who do you expect to see in the crowd-
The Pope, he RSVP’d, he’d better turn up.

Anything else you’d like to plug-
You can check out more of our upcoming events and projects on the View of Courage Studios blog at viewofcourage.com.

PHILLIP HARKNESS
When did you realise you wanted to be a designer-
My brother and I used to make fake guitars as kids from off-cuts of timber my Dad would leave lying round our yard. We’d draw the strings, scribble skulls, flames and Gunners logos on them and then rock out to Icehouse in our lounge room. I finally got a real guitar and realised I was too shit to become a rockstar. So art and design seemed like the next best thing.

What is it like working for a household name like Mambo-
Mambo’s great, I get to work with a diverse group of talented artists – Jeff Raglus, Mark Drew, Bob Moore, Rinzen – people that I’ve looked up to for years – not to mention the in-house team. We’ve got the swimming pool on the roof and bourbon on tap in the mini-bar, plus I’m in the process at the moment of trying to convince our MD Angus to build a half-pipe in the back room – for “team morale”. Plus you get to put on shows at cool gallery spaces.

What is the difference between art and fashion-
I could say something like “Fashion and art are the same. It’s art that is displayed on the streets”, or go on some toss about commercial trends and all that shit and end up sounding like a real tosser. Art goes on walls. Fashion goes over your head. Sometimes art goes on tee shirts.

Describe your typical workday for us-
Ok, wake up at 7. Grab a coffee and some banana bread from the cafe round the corner from my place. Roll into MAMBO round 9ish. Normally there’ll be 900 emails from artists to answer. Look at the range that we’re currently doing and see where the gaps are, what’s working, what’s not. Another coffee, check Facebook too many times. Fit samples on models. Swim at lunch. Maybe pump some graphics and yardages out in the arvo. Head home. Maybe surf if it’s daylight saving, and depending on how busy I am. Work up some illustrations or throw some paint on board. Finally hit the hay round 12.

What would you do if you couldn’t draw-
Probably start my own wicked mash-up DJ collective remixing hits by Big Audio Dynamite and the Cranberries.

Three Teens Kill Four showed at China Heights Gallery this weekend. ³Scratch the Surface² is showing at China Heights Gallery in conjunction with Trent Edwards, and opens on 25 July 6.30pm-9.30pm it will run till 30 July.
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