The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum was fantastic – and photos are allowed, as long as you don’t use flash! I hadn’t realized that, or I would have brought my camera. 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. There are a lot of construction details that aren’t visible in the printed photos, and what a stellar collection of 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! Pure amazement. (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. 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. (We do have an air conditioner, but it doesn’t cool the entire house and we haven’t installed the whole house fan yet.) 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! I’m totally jazzed about this. 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! And I can color and recolor it, add repeating patterns, and…stuff! Lots of stuff! I’m super excited about the power of Illustrator and Photoshop, and plan to keep working through tutorials. 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. I’m using matching gold-to-red gradient colors in the sleeve and the bodice, and a red-to-gold gradient in the drape. 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. 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. 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. 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! How exciting is that?!?