Claude Monet is indeed known for his love of water lilies! His adoration of nature and light and colors made in into pretty much every painting he has produced during his incredible life. An avid gardener, Monet maintained a large estate in Giverny, France, and the water lilies he grew there became the center of his paintings and observations of life.
I had the pleasure of visiting Giverny and walking around observing the blooming lilies and enjoying the sun and imagining Monet used to walk where I was stepping ... I also made it a point of visiting Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, France, that devotes an oval-shaped room to Monet's water lilies. His painting covers all walls of the room so you are surrounded by shimmering colors and light and movement. Everything Monet aimed to capture.
On a recent trip to New York City, I fell in love with water lilies again. The Museum of Modern Art houses an immense piece (see the last picture) - one has to stand far away to be able to really take the artwork in. Then, it is important to step closer in and delve into the various sections of this painting. There is so much to see!
When I look at a piece of art, I watch my reaction - I go by feeling and what the painting brings up in me. And Monet's water lilies, for me, are all about flickering light, dancing colors, and the feeling of happiness. I can almost feel the sun under which Monet painted. I can sense the summer breeze. I can see him stepping back from the canvas and shifting his eye sight to the pond with lilies. I can feel his inner excitement to be able to experience the beauty and to be able to capture it and share it with the world.
Even so many years after Monet painted water lilies, they are loved and I bet they will continue to be!
Photographs of Claude Monet's paintings by Martina Sestakova. New York City, NY. November, 2014.
I went to a book signing in New York City for a newly published "Seventh and Madison" featuring photographs by William Helburn. Upon walking into the gallery, I was surrounded by fashion photographs and had a chance to watch Helburn sign his book and interact with his fans.The best place to be!
Helburn was primarily active in the 1950s and 1960s and his fashion photography, as well as marketing work, was published in Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Esquire, Town & Country, just to name a few. His work was playful and as he himself put it, shocking.
“I tried to always, always, always do something a little different. I would put a girl on a couch in Times Square – put it in the middle of the avenue there. I would take girls out in the middle of a snowstorm naked under a fur coat and have them strip naked in the middle of a street – and do a shot. Shock value was a term that was used. And I meant to shock people as much as I could.”
As Helburn was signing his book (assembled in collaboration with Robert and Lois Allen Lilly), I took a look at the photographs on display. The one that caught my attention is from 1956 (below, left column). It has a bit of a magical feel to it - Dovima, an American model, is dressed in an exquisite Dior gown and seems to have just appeared in the city, under the track's of Chicago's L. A policeman in the background looks startled by her presence - the rolls of rich fabrics add to the mystery!
Helburn, who is in his 90s, has definitely made a mark on the fashion industry. Interested in his work? You can purchase the book here.
My latest Graphic Design in Fashion project is complete!
I already shared my process and my inspiration - read all about it here. In summary, I was tasked with rethinking creative messaging for an established music band and with designing promotional items (e.g., tote, t-shirt, pin) for their tour. I decided to work on creative for a Czech band named Kabat.
For inspiration I studied music and sound waves and thought about how these waves could be made tangible and interpreted into the band's logo. I ended up recording a sound wave of the word 'Kabat' and using the visual of the sound wave to redesign the logo. You can see my moodboard for the final presentation below.
The first redesigned logo retains the existing typography but breaks up the letters with the actual sound of the word. Thus, the viewer sees and 'hears' the band name at the same time.
The second option eliminates the typography - I used the sound waves to rebuild the logo but to stick to its overall shape and feel. There is definite energy in both options.
Et voila! Here is the final collection of promotional items for Kabat. I used the first logo option on the t-shirt and the tote and the second one on two pins. I played around with scale and proportion and negative space to reinforce the idea of music and the sound waves it comprises of.
Let me know what you think! Would you wear the t-shirt or carry the tote?
Tunics have been around for centuries and both women and men have enjoyed wearing them for their simplicity and comfort. So, I have sewn one for myself!
I came across this lovely burgundy knit and designed a flowy tunic. The body is a rectangle with wide sleeves. The shoulder seams land midway through the arm length allowing for a free movement of my arms. The wide sleeves are gathered at the wrists - the gathers add interest to an otherwise simply draped garment.
I most often wear this tunic with leggings or skinny jeans. I also sometimes belt it for a dressier and more pulled-together look. It goes great with tall boots or colorful flats.
Want one? Let me know!
You can check my projects and creations on Pinterest.
Graphic design is essential in messaging and creating a public image. I am currently working on graphics for a music band. This college assignment is a great opportunity for me to explore music and come up with ideas on how to brand this band to its audience. The goal is design a tote, a t-shirt, and a pin.
For this project, I decided to 'work' for Kabat, a Czech music band. They are quite popular in the Czech Republic and are one of my Mom's favorite bands. Their logo, which you can see below, definitely conveys their music well; they adjust it for their covers and tours.
In my sketchbook, I have been developing several ideas but the core idea is to explore sounds waves. I listened to Kabat's music and sounds waves and how sound is created came to my mind. I did some research and found a statue in which the artist is trying to make sound 'solid.' This artwork led me to recording, in my voice, the sound of Kabat. I captured the sound wave and sketched ideas on how to add it to the existing logo to marry the visual with the feel of Kabat's music.
I am almost done with this project and will be sure to post my final development!
I am a beginner when it comes to fashion illustration in Photoshop. I have been practicing my rendering skills and have focused on the proper illustration of the fashion figure and representation of the fabric. Last semester at the Academy of Arts University, however, I took a class that focused on the use of Photoshop in fashion design.
The program is certainly amazing for moodboards and other presentation boards for fashion collections. This time I learned about the endless possibilities for fashion illustration. I sketched a simple figure by hand and then scanned the outline in to open in the program (you can see the original figure on the left below). The figure on the right demonstrates my experimentation with color and texture.
I worked to show dimension in the hair with different shades of brown and played around with beige and nude colors to catching the skin properly. In the fabrics, I created a pattern and then applied it to a front section of the dress.
I have a lot of learning to do but am an avid learner and looking forward to making my designs and sketches look professional through the use of Photoshop.
Fashion, art, and travel - my passions - interact and are such a wonderful source of learning about the world around us. I often open an art book and find clues about fashion and lifestyle.
And Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, as it turns out, is a wonderful observer of his time, in particular, of women and their fashions. Take a look at the insightful views into women of the 19th century by this famous French artist. Toulouse-Lautrec came from an affluent background but ended up striking friendships with people of all social groups. His portraits of women include high society as well as Parisian commoners and artists.
My favorite element of his work is his depictions of everyday life - we get such a close look at people's experiences and at the same time we can learn about what they wore. Below you will see colorful dresses, blouses, skirts, and coats. The paintings communicate the popular silhouette of narrower waist and the emphasis of oversized skirts and the wide hip.
During social events, women adhered to a fashion protocol of being well put together. Their look would include elaborate hats, small handbags, and gloves. At home, the look would be a little more relaxed. We can see blouses that allowed for more comfort.
Toulouse-Lautrec appreciated women and gives us a lovely insight into their lives.
Heading north? Consider visit the Breakers, a designated National Historic Landmark located in Newport.
I took a tour of the Breakers several years ago and the moment I stepped through the front door, I was reminded of the grand European palaces. Having grown up in Europe, I had the chance to see many a palace and castle. The Breakers - built by the Vanderbilt family - is an interesting example of their social and financial status in the 1890s and on the tour you will learn about their lifestyle and family relations.
This landmark is a commission to architect Richard Morris Hunt. He assembled an international team of artisans and created a 70-room palace. He was inspired by Italian Renaissance. The furnishings came from France; other decorations were supplied from Austria and the U.S. The influence of Europe is strong and as you stroll through the rooms, you may imagine men in tuxedos and top hats and ladies in afternoon tea gowns ... You will hear the water hitting the land and may 'hear' the sounds of the Vanderbilt children playing outside ...
Travel and learning about history is one of my passions and I think you would appreciate a quick visit to this architectural treasure.
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
Check back often, as creativity never sleeps (well, almost never) and surround yourself with joy!