Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lot of Pants

This magazine came out in 1980 in Czechoslovakia (MONA publishing) and I have always thought that the graphic design is something above the time, especially for these latitudes where any sign of extravagance was either oppressed or more likely did not appear at all. The magazine has probably a lot in common with the stuff that used to come out in the west and I bet that the major source of inspiration came from there for this designer (from where else?), it even has few pictures from foreign magazines, one can say just by looking. Anyway, this MONA publishing had other good magazines that are waiting for me somewhere, in some forgotten spot, where I'll save them from destruction.

One interesting thing that caught my eye when checking out the imprint, all the pants designed for the magazine (there are patterns in the magazine) were designed and sewn by one man, Jiří Enoch, so the whole thing is actually an author's issue without mentioning the author at a more visible and appropriate place!  

To see the images bigger, click on them!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mushroom Entry

I like this dress, there is lot of giant mushrooms on it. They have started to appear quite often on clothes, I guess that Japanese design has something to do with it, as far as I am able to say from searching the internet. Maybe I am wrong, does anybody know?

Mushrooms in general are nice subject for design, there are few around my house: a T-shirt (above, 2007), a scarf (follows, 1950s), baby overalls (1980s) and a cup (pre-war), the latter from the time when it started to be a highest scream of kitsch - toadstool and a dwarf or a child like on the cup presented here. It is interesting to trace it back, where this image comes from, apparently from Victorian British painting of fairies and pucks where mushrooms started to appear randomly every now and then. The style of paintings became popular in magazine illustrations in subsequent era and that is how it all started. At least that is how it seems to me after I did some research on it. There were also Bavarian fairy-tales involved in this evolution, they liked red mushrooms with white spots there a lot. And, of course, a mushroom and a frog themselves are much older, mythological, still, the 19th century illustrations gave the image its appearance.

Anyway, the fact that Czechs are tempted mushroom hunters doesn't have any mystical reason, it is a pure education of public through good mushroom guide books published here in larger amount since the beginning of the 20th century. That way people stopped being scared of poisonous kinds and also started to pick other species than just boleti. These two illustrations go with a folk poem from the pre-war time, so are the illustrations, general stuff from my little son's books.

These pictures come from an exhibition in a little school somewhere out in mountains where I come from. I liked how they had it done artistically, not just like a scientific mushroom guide book but also the way that mushrooms could be an inspiration. And they did not mean the psychedelic ones, of course, they just felt there is something creative in them.

Now the giant mushrooms are especially appealing to me right now, they are painted a lot but I haven't been able to find any reference to it in some kind of a written source. If I ever do, I'll let you know. This painting is by Barbora Motlová.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Green Overalls in Detail

Monday, May 12, 2008

Berlin has seen them! Green overalls!

Dominik's overalls framed by Alvar Aalto's building
(Hansaviertel, Berlin)

Made for the little guy out of my old jeans (see below). No pattern, I just cut it after some other waist pants and guessed the rest, a bib and braces. So the bib is from the saddle of the original jeans, I ripped off the pockets and let the blue cloth that appeared beneath make its effect. The rest of the blue "pocket" I reused as a front pocket, so that he has a place to keep his chewing gum, piece of string, ...

Then the back pockets went again in its place on the new jeans. They fit there, they even look like they were always there. The hardest part was ripping off the pockets whereas sewing the whole thing together was the easiest, this old piece of wreck wasn't anything to worry about, if it had turned out bad I wouldn't be losing anything. To know that ahead works well for what you make.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Slovakia through the lenses of Victorian era (beware: art history lesson)

Long time ago I came across these pictures on the internet but I cannot find the site anymore. That way I apologize to its author that I borrowed his images without a permission. They are by a couple of painters Marianne Stokes who was Austrian by the origin, married to the English Adrian Stokes. They traveled to Slovakia and Hungary in 1905 and surmised their paintings in the book called after the latter, Hungary.

I was quite amazed by these as they depict something I have known so far only through images of local painters and photographers, whose style, however professional, realistic and emotional, has nothing in common with this coloring and dignity that so much resembles of Victorian painting in the 19th century Britain. Also the poverty and misery in the eyes of the girls is something that seemed to escape the most of the local artists' attention, as far as I can say. They were interested in their costumes, crafts, rituals, all this newly discovered ethnographic stuff, but the social side of this living had not become the theme yet. Anyway, Marianne Stokes has some of it there, and that is what probably strikes most at these paintings, the way the 19th century was able to give the poverty such an elegance.

Of course, it was part of the fashion painting of the time, which had to do with the likeness of ethnography, images of poor life in country would not sell. Anyway, enjoy the paintings, the life with handmade clothes and self-supplying garden might be like that again.