Monthly Archives: August 2010

Ben and Brenda

A heaven couple, whose combined talents create a crazy amount of creativity. Ben Briand, an award winning film director and Brenda Harvey who designs accessories for her label Benah, fittingly complete our “artist & muse” week.

Brenda Harvey shot by Ben Briand

An intimate film by Ben of a conversation he has with Brenda about how their individual inspirations affect on the other’s creative process. A very personal look into their artistic relationship.

Benah, is a high end fashion brand with a focus on understated accessories. Drawing on a nomadic upbringing, collecting objects here and there and a love for subtle luxury items with a past history. Benah is her long term passion project realised by Brenda.

Ben is a creator of films, commercials, music videos and video installations. Recently, the Cannes Young Director Award winner completed three short films back to back, ‘Apricot’, ‘Castor & Pollux’ and ‘Some Static Started’. This trilogy explores Briand’s favourite themes of memory and identity. With a background in fine arts, he possesses the ability to form delicately crafted visual images whilst also generating honest human warmth from his characters. (Oh yes and he’s the brother of recently posted, equally gifted, Nic Briand)

Nic and Susien

Nic and Susien are lovers and the creative pair that formed the aptly named fashion label Lover.

Photo of lovers Susien Chong, Designer and Nic Briand, Creative Director.

“More often than not Nic and I will give each other books, DVD’s or CD’s to each other as presents. We love how inspiring they can be, and they always end up referenced into a collection, somewhere, somehow.  Last Christmas we gave each other books, that became the starting point for our new Spring Summer collection, ‘Untitled’.” Susien

Image from ‘Man Eater’ by Aurel Schmidt, a book given to Nic from Susien.

“Nic gave me a book of photographs by Lewis Carroll, most famous for his masterpiece ‘Alice In Wonderland’. The photos have a beautiful Victorian feel about them, with many of them being of his muse Alice Liddell, who inspired the book.” Susien

From these books sparked the idea of creating a collection that was based around the female artist, with touches of tomboy and Victorian beauty.

Gibson and Renee

This young couples ‘artist and muse’ relationship is intertwined- they both inspire each other. Art Student and Photographer Gibson Fox and his girlfriend Renee Warne documented a recent road trip, where elements of the experience influenced the design of Renee’s jewellery collection and the creative synergy of the trip formed these images for Gibson.

Photo’s by Gibson Fox and his partner, Renee Warne below.

Gibson’s photographic work was recently shown as part of the China Heights Gallery ‘This Is How We Roll’ exhibition, a diverse documentation of the skateboarding/art scene across different states & cities. Renee is the designer of recently launched artisan jewellery label, Billy Bride that I posted on StyleMeRomy last week. We love her rings!

Sam and Bianca

How fitting a couple to profile next. The romantically inspired fashion designer, Bianca Spender and her partner Sam McGuiness, an environmentalist who inspired her spring/summer collection.

Photo of Bianca Spender in Paris by partner, Sam McGuiness.

A storyboard in Bianca Spender‘s office of her “love among ruins” collection. The references were born from a holiday with her partner Sam and son, Domo, to an overgrown farm that had an entrancing, enchanting and romantic mood.

“I was drawn to the work of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones whose mythical settings evoked the same dreamy atmosphere. The scenes in his paintings were rich in costumes with their artistic draping and armor details providing a myriad of inspiration.” Bianca Spender.

Meet Bianca herself for a personal insight into spring/summer collection at her store, 9 Oxford St Paddington, Thursday 26th August. 6.30-930pm

Radge and Natalie

My Artist and Muse story inspired me to find modern day versions of Stieglitz and O’Keeffe.

Photo of Natalie Wood designer of Something Else by boyfriend Radge

First up, music man Radge, a DJing member of the infamous Clam Bake crew, is busy inflicting his music tastes on people through the Clam Bake beach parties and his own podcast series. Natalie his muse is an artist herself of fashion label Something Else- a cult brand that draws in a loyal and devout following from all corners of the globe. She’s a purveyor of beautiful objects, places and people.

Listen to Radge’s inspired mix for Natalie. Click to listen here to Beachside Sundays or press here to download. A sweet tribute to his muse.

Artists and their Muses

I made a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW to see Alfred Stieglitz photographs which inspired thoughts of the wonderful romantic connection between artist and muse. Stieglitz photographed his second wife throughout his life more often than any other photographer, until he put his camera down in 1937.

Equivalent 1924, photograph Alfred Stielglitz

Georgia O’Keeffe 1920, photograph Alfred Stielglitz

It was a powerful first ever held exhibition in Australia of Stieglitz’s photographs that included a rare selection of images of his lover, muse and wife the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Exhibition will be on till the 5th Sept 2010.

The raw beauty of Stieglitz photographs of O’Keeffe made me curious about their relationship. I asked Judy Annear, Senior Curator Photographs, Art Gallery of NSW and she suggested A CHANCE MEETING , a book that recounts and meditates upon the personal connectedness of some of America’s greatest artists- including that of Stieglitz and O’Keeffe.

Billy Bride, get your rocks on!

Billy Bride rings, so hot and all one of a kind. Just one more purchase needed to heat up the last days of winter. Priced around $300.

Our New York Fashion Angel

Malcolm Carfrae, Vice President of Global Communications Calvin Klein, has more than a huge title under his belt. He’s Australia’s fashion angel bringing opportunity to Australians in the fashion industry and facilitating their bite into the Big Apple.

Images courtesy of LIFEwithBIRD

Malcolm Carfrae’s LIFEwithBIRD story …

“Francisco and I met Bridget and Nick from LIFEwithBIRD in a bar in Melbourne, whilst visiting, during Fashion Week. Nick walked over to Francisco and said ‘I know you. You’re Francisco Costa’. We ended up spending all our time in Melbourne with them, having fallen in love with their talent, energy, music taste and great sense of humour. When they told us they were coming to New York we really wanted to help them organize a dinner and introduce them to some amazing fashion people in New York – press and retailers. Of course everyone loved them”

Nicholas Van Messner’s, of LIFEwithBIRD story of the same evening…

“After the opening of our first store at the GPO we all headed out for a much needed drink at Cookie in Melbourne.  We were at the bar and I recognised this guy who’d just walked in, who looked a lot like Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein. I didn’t believe it was actually Francisco, so I quizzed him on his latest collection and sure enough it was him. We ended up having a crazy night on the town and they loved what we were doing with LIFEwithBIRD. Malcolm and Bridget began to scheme this NYC dinner to open some doors for us in the big apple. It was a golden opportunity not to be missed and now writing this email, we’re several hours away from meeting some of the heaviest hitters in the NY fashion scene.”

Francisco Costa, Creative Director Calvin Klien with Bridget (bird) McCall and Nicholas Van Messner, of LIFEwithBIRD

The key to the  city, Meredith Melling Burke, Senior Market Editor Vogue’s place card at LIFEwithBIRD dinner in NY organised by Malcolm. The key was actually a USB with LIFEwithBIRD press kit on it.

Since the dinner it is looking promising that Saks and Neiman Marcus want to stock them next season.

Co founders of Australians in New York Fashion Foundatio, Julie Anne Quay with Malcolm Carfrae

Another of Malcolm’s projects, Australians in New York Fashion Foundation.

“The philosophy of the AINYFF is to help young Australians gain world-class, hands-on experience in New York, and return home with internationally recognized training and contacts. By opening these doors and creating this platform, we believe this will not only assist these individuals but also serve to further expand and enrich the future Australian fashion industry. We’ve become by default the go-to Aussie fashion headquarters in New York, which is funny but fine with us.” Malcolm Carfrae

One Last Buy

Spring is almost around the corner but there’s always room for a few more winter purchases.

Stella McCartney hat from Robby Ingham

Gucci sunnies and bag

Model, Hermione Cahill, Chic.

Hermione came over today to help me model my latest Stella McCartney purchase. We had a laugh and chatted about her understated style, which she says is nearly always black. Oh and she’s a clever chick, studying at UTS. It’s not quite fair really!

A couple more cyber hotspots

We asked some couple experts what their favourite websites are..

Edward Coutts Davidson, Ideas man and Guy Ritchie’s best friend

Sibella Court, Interior Stylist/Author and about to be marry Ideas man

Christine Centenera, Fashion Editor Harpers Bazaar and style blog regular

Josh Goot, Designer and Christine’s boyfriend