The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum wasÂ fantastic – and photos are allowed, as long as you don’t use flash! Â I hadn’t realized that, or I would have brought my camera. Â I did manage to snap 40-odd photos with my cell phone, but I’m planning to go back to the exhibit next weekend, better camera in hand. Â There are a lot of construction details that aren’t visible in the printed photos, and what a stellar collection ofÂ ideas!
I’m not even going to begin trying to describe the exhibit until I have better photos – but if you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, and you’re in the Bay Area, RUN to the De Young Museum and see it! Â Pure amazement. Â (And don’t miss the film at the end!)
Anyway, Sharon and I sorted out the details of the Celtic Braid Coat’s construction over lunch, and also went through my collection of design sketches. Â We agreed that the one with the strong diagonal lines interested us the most, and that I should proceed with sketching (and possibly even draping!) some of it.
When I got home, it was still way too hot indoors to even think about working with the Celtic Braid fabric, which is thick, warm, and positively stifling in this weather. Â (We do have an air conditioner, but it doesn’t cool the entire house and we haven’t installed the whole house fan yet.) Â So I fired up Adobe Illustrator and started working through a few tutorials on how to use it with a Wacom tablet/pen (which Mike gave to me for Christmas a year or two ago).
And (after some fiddling), it worked! Â I’m totally jazzed about this. Â I feel like a whole new world has opened up…I can draw! and if I don’t like it, I can undo and redo it! Â And I can color and recolor it, add repeating patterns, and…stuff! Â Lots of stuff! Â I’m super excited about the power of Illustrator and Photoshop, and plan to keep working through tutorials. Â I’ve barely scratched the surface, I know.
Here is the revised sketch of the “wing” design:
I got rid of the curlicues around the shoulder and one of the bell sleeves, balancing the design instead with a single shoulder strap that descends into a drape. Â I’m using matching gold-to-red gradient colors in the sleeve and the bodice, and a red-to-gold gradient in the drape. Â This puts the most assertive color (golden yellow) at the top of the shoulder and at the mid-thigh – the eye will naturally enter at the yellow on the shoulder, be drawn diagonally down by the “feathers”, and end in the yellow of the drape.
The pants are also a color gradient, from bright orange-red at the waist to a darkish red at the bottom. Â Sharon suggested narrowing the top of the legs slightly to make my legs look longer – though not too much, to avoid looking like a ’60s refugee.
I’m really excited about this conception, and can’t wait to try draping the bodice. Â I’ll need some horsehair braid to give the feathers body, though, so I’ll have to order some.
And there is the Celtic Braid Coat, of course, which has a deadline. Â I’ll probably focus mostly on the Celtic Braid Coat for the next few weeks, then (once it’s done) go back to Phoenix Rising.
But I can draw in Illustrator! Â How exciting is that?!?