Cristian Grossi – 150,000 results and counting…

I seem to be blogging about illustrators of late and this post is about another one, Cristian Grossi.

His works came to my attention back in June via another WordPress blog Chicquero and a post titled Insect mood. Some of the images were mildly animated (as it were) and I was not sure what I made of that but the illustrations otherwise made a striking impression. The insects incorporated into the fashion, more as accessory than horror-invasion.

Insect mood Cristian Grossi

Chicquero post

He has a website with various sections for his fashion commissions, artworks, commercial/editorials, exhibitions, kids-work and the obligatory prosaic information.

Cristian Grossi website screenshot roBOt

Website Home Page

And if you Google (or are you a Binger?) this Italian Illustrator’s work can be found on Facebook, Vimeo & Tumblr. Or on Twitter if you want his thoughts in bite-size.

But something else you can do with Google (and quite possibly Bing too but I am a Googler so enough already!) is search on images. I did this just now and it returned 150,000 results. Actually when I first thought about doing this a few weeks ago there were 145,000 results returned so they continue to multiply.

Google Image search screenshot for Cristian Grossi

Google Imaged

Now Cristian Grossi may be quite prolific but almost certainly he is not that prolific. Almost certainly there is a core of images which are then endlessly repeated as others have used, borrowed with and without permission, the original works. That is quite an accolade though I think. 150,000 endorsements of your works.

Does Google include every image from his aforementioned website? Quite probably but I am certainly not going to be trawling through the 150,000 images to find that out.

Google Images does though take those images/works/art and dislocates them from their original context. Makes of them a sprawl, but through sheer force of the scale involved, a fantastical sprawl for all that.

In the screen-capture I have provided above of the first slew of results you can see a selection of his works and in their midst two photographs of the illustrator himself – click on the picture again and then on the 1880 x 901 link to see it in screen size if your eyes need it!

Sandra Suy

Sandra Suy, actually

You can also be sure that of the 150,000 results attributed to him that not all of them will be correct. There will be a share of false attributions.

Or yet others listed because of some connection however tenuous to him, such as the one image above which actually is the work of Italian Illustrator Sandra Suy which on the page that features her work lists Cristian Grossi as a ‘Related Post’ (though this particular site does not provide further details about her work).

So there we go – Google lists not just an artist’s own work but works that another artist or critic considers comparable to them.

I assume that these images are not listed in a completely random order, that they are listed by the most popular. Popular of course is not the same as best, but can you prove that?!

And Google popular is not quite the same as dictionary definition popular either rather it means the images that are the most search engine optimised – urgh!

His illustrations can feature blocks of vivid colour or a two-tone palette – I like his work in both but prefer the former and it is those I will feature here.

Little Chimp Society featuring Cristian Grossi

Little Chimp Society website

The first above features also the site from which Google grabbed the image from, this site going by the name of The Little Chimp Society!

Insect mood by Cristian Grossi

Do you agree with me that you would not be disconcerted by such insect interest but instead delighted about how their integration adds to your ensemble? Or perhaps I have witnessed too much film horror and am jaded to its effects!

Unnamed work of Cristian Grossi

Cristian Grossi Unauthorized

I said I would cite the original posting page but the one above gives an ‘Unauthorized Request on Page’ message. Staying with insects, Google refers to its automated searching agent as a Spider – and has saved this image in its web despite the original site either having made the page private or retired from business as it were.

Which means though I present the image to you I can provide you with no further information, not even a name. But do you really need such information anyway, as often extraneous?!

But anyway with Google the image will be awaiting you further along and here it is again present as a triptych – it was from his work with Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana work by Cristian Grossi

Dolce & Gabbana fashion illustrations

Though much of Grossi’s work is minimalist he can also get busy as with this next featured on The Thumbtack Press – not a WordPress blog though, one of those other ones. Their strapline being ‘Authentic Affordable Art’.

The Thumbtack Press featuring Christian Grossi

As featured on The Thumbtack Press

Titled ‘The Fabulous World of Sfigati’. Sfigati is an Italian word for ‘not cool’ (not cool as in unlucky I understand though think too something has been lost in my Italian translation).

The Fabulous World of Sfigati - Cristian Grossi

The Fabulous World of Sfigati

Mind, I would have liked it if it were a completely made up word too!

This would make a great wallpaper print. On this particular blog you can buy this and other of Grossi’s works as prints with or without frames.

This next Google image took me to a Tumblr page.

Tumblr images of Cristian Grossi


Finally I don’t believe in vampires – well aside from all the figurative ones – but I do believe in the Carmilla Vampire website layout. The original Google image itself took me to a blog Unmatched Style and a post from January 2010 titled Rosso Carmilla’s Vampire – clicking on the header image then took me to the website.

Rosso Carmilla's Vampire by Cristian Grossi

Rosso Carmilla’s Vampire

Treat Google as a journey not a destination. Well treat it as a destination but don’t forget it can be a journey too!

Phoebe Claire Riley – green man and silver birch costumes and other such things

Phoebe Claire RileyPhoebe Claire RileyUniversity of the Arts London Showtime site – in effect a market-place for their students of fashion, art  and design to share their works with the world.

At a time when they are still developing their art and finding their muse as it were. I will be interested to revisit some of these posts years, hopefully not too many years, from now to note how many of them have gone on to fame and fortune. It is important afterall that their art is seen by the widest audience possible – what good is art and fashion if no eyes ever alight upon it save the artist’s and close friends and accomplices.

Not that I am under any illusion that this humble blog of mine will contribute too much to their fame or fortune either – but who knows what post will go viral and what sink into the cyber-void…

Of course there is fame and there is fame, there is fortune and there is fortune. Only time itself will reveal whether they are the next Alexander McQueen, the next Sam Taylor-Wood.

The artist that caught my eye this week was Phoebe Claire Riley. She has a BA Honours Degree in Costume for Performance. I have always had a liking for costume design and consider it a pity that its leading exponents are not better known and courted, shunned instead for their more glamourous haberdashery clan-members of Couturiers and Ready-to-wear Designers. 

Phoebe Claire Riley

Hansel & Gretel, The Witch

Their work is more famous than they are but then perhaps that suits too – letting their work grab the limelight while they go quietly about their business unbothered by intruding microphones and camera lenses.

Their work for example quietly appearing in many a period film or TV costume drama – too many to mention – but what a gift Jane Austen has been to their tireless trade! Not that all costume work is 18th Century Gentrified Fashion I should quickly add!

So with Phoebe Claire Riley it is her work that may get more of the media attention than she herself.

There is but a brief biography of her on the showtime site thus:

I am an aspiring costume designer and a competent and creative maker and supervisor.
I enjoy working collaboratively and I am keen to learn and develop my skills further within employment.

And what a difficult time to be seeking employment too.

Though her bio is brief interestingly and perhaps instructively the tags she gives to this page are not – there are many and I am not going to list them all as you can see them for yourselves save just to list some of the more intriguing ones – Facebook like, St Exuperry’s King, conceited, Hansel and Gretel, costume cora, prunesquallor, boiled sweets – whether these tags resonate with you or are just too opaque I do not know!

On show is a sample of her work and her inspirations. I present a sample of that sample.

I shall do my best to keep up with her work – even if this might mean squinting through the rolling credits!

Phoebe Claire Riley

Cheeta’s Fuchsia, Titus Alone, the Gormenghast Trilogy

Kylie Jenner modelling Abbey Dawn – too young to strut?

Abbey Dawn 2010 Avril LavigneShould Kylie Jenner at 14 years of age have been making her runway debut for Avril Lavigne’s Abbey Dawn? This question currently seems to be exercising some sections of the media and web.

And their concerns are not about the nepotism involved – that Kylie is the younger sister of Avril’s boyfriend Brody Jenner. No it is her age. She is too young they feel. Is she?

Not too young to have an interest in fashion? Girls have a love of fashion before they have a love of boys?! Wanting to dress up and strut yourself on the runway for most boys a nightmare, for most girls a dream.

Perhaps she being fourteen years old there could be accusations of exploitation but I would hardly think so – she is going to get much more out of it from Abbey Dawn and New York Fashion Week than they will be getting from her – the kudos count is all in her favour.

Abbey Dawn 2010 Avril LavigneIf she were modelling Victoria’s Secret or a more provocative adult collection then I would share their concern.

Abbey Dawn though is young fashion and going by the 2010 collection of Hoodies, t-shirts and jeans not something to cause a parent any prudish concern for their young beloveds.

Perhaps the more pertinent question to be asked is whether Avril Lavigne should be showing at New York Fashion Week? Has she gotten a free-pass purely because of her celebrity status? Would an unknown up and coming designer have got themselves a slot at Style 360 in the Metropolitan Pavilion, Chelsea, Manhattan with the styles to be found in Abbey Dawn? Was the greatest credential for Avril Lavigne showing there her name Avril Lavigne?

I am a big fan of Avril Lavigne and her music – well at least up to her third 2007 album Best Damn Thing – her fourth, this year’s Goodbye Lullaby, is more Avril-by-numbers – one for us fans only not likely to get too many new fans onboard.

Abbey Dawn 2010 Avril Lavigne

Just because you like Fashion does not mean you can do Fashion.

It is all part of the celebrityville – you are not a great rock star or actor or writer or fashion designer you are a celebrity – and singing, acting, writing, designing are all just celebrity activities one and the same to you!

But then so goes our celebrity culture. We watch programs about ballroom dancing and surviving on desert islands that we may not otherwise watch if there was not a celebrity waltzing across the dance-floor or strolling across the beach in a swimsuit…is that then what lies ahead for future fashion weeks, more and more ‘big-names’ from music and Hollywood, less and less high couture names?

As if Rodarte, Alice + Olivia or Oscar De La Renta were not enough for us!

And please don’t misunderstand me – I like Avril Lavigne’s Abbey Dawn range and is why I have peppered this post with photographs from her collection of last year.

But worthy of New York Fashion Week?Abbey Dawn 2010 Avril Lavigne

Sandhya Garg – a party of bold colours


Sandhya Garg Kathputli Look 1

Kathputli Look 1

Sandhya Garg is another alumni of the London College of Fashion, specifically a BA Honours Degree Graduate in Fashion Design Technology Womenswear.

Her Graduation collection along with its development work and illustrations are available to view on the University of the Arts London Showtime website.

Sandhya Garg

I do not know much about Sandhya Garg – I sought her on Google and Facebook and could not find her here, I sought her on Twitter and LinkedIn but could not find her there!

I only have to go on what she says about her collection on the Showtime page. Her training was at the Alexander McQueen Design Studio and Alice Temperley.

Sandhya Garg Nina De York 2011 Finalist Illustration

Nina De York 2011 Finalist Illustration

Sandhya Garg Kathputli Look 6

Kathputli Look 6

She describes the use of vintage techniques to hand-craft her final collection, in particular the hand-crafts of India. Going on to say that these intricate crafted techniques are then juxtaposed with blocks of bold primary colour.

The tags she uses for her collection are interesting and as insightful as her prose desription – these included hand-made crochet lace, vintage silk draw-strings, turban twist jacket, crystals, transfer print and pagri construction.

I posted yesterday about Mary Katrantzou and her bold statement ready to wear courtesy of creative print designs. Sandhya Garg has also produced a bold statement ready to wear collection – this time with colour.

As noted I do not have any more information about her but hey a picture speaks a thousand words and here come a mess of them!

The photography is by Vikram Kushwah, the model is Nimisha Desai.

Sandhya Garg Drawstring Detail

Drawstring Detail

Mary Katrantzou – seeing is disbelieving

Mary Katrantzou Model Kristy Kaurova

Model Kristy Kaurova

Mary Katrantzou Model Renee Germaine van Seggem

Model Renee Germaine van Seggem

I have blogged before about Fashion as Art which I consider it is – the Haute Couture of Alexander McQueen and Rodarte being but two obvious examples. I had never considered the cross-over of fashion and architecture.

Certainly fashion can be architectural in terms of its structure, but Greek Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou utilizes interior and exterior décor for the actual design prints of her collections.

She has been showing collections since 2009 and not Haute Couture either but Ready To Wear – if perhaps a brave Ready to Wear with for example her Spring 2011 collection being about ‘the room on the woman’ rather than ‘the woman in the room’! This collection took its inspiration from back-copies of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors where images from them were laid over exquisitely fitted silhouettes.

She gives as her design heroes Coco Chanel, Miuccia Prada and Balenciaga, however even this illustrious triumvirate of design genius won’t prepare you for her own creative collections.

You can see the collection on the London Fashion Week website if in a disappointing grainy stream rather than High Def Video. The clothes are modelled on the runway to the sound of the ‘Polonaise’ by Japanese musician and composer Shigeru Umebayashi – you might know him from film scores such as House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower – his music adding to the exotic things-not-being-quite-what-they seem feel of it all.

Mary Katrantzou Model Ming Xii

Model Ming Xi

The pictures in this post are taken from her Spring 2011 collection – each collection though is worth checking out in great detail as a pure visual and creative feast. And of the collection featured here, with 26 pieces in all, the difficulty was what to leave out – you can see the entire collection though on Style.

Mary Katrantzou Model Karolina Mikolajczyk

Model Karolina Mikolajczyk

Some of her designs play visual tricks on the eye – a model is wearing a necklace but is it a plain necklace with the brass fixtures part of the print on on her top, or is the brass fixture her actual necklace – 2D or 3D that is the question!

The prints themselves may run the entire length of the dress or be two different prints, one for the bodice area, one for the skirt area. I could provide descriptions but these though are pieces best seen for yourselves to make your own mind up about what it is you are seeing, what it is you think you are seeing.

On the London Fashion Week site there is a profile q&a with her – currently she has no website – or rather one under construction (and which you can download a pressbook which is well worth doing so presenting as it does her work to date in the printed fashion press in pictures and words) – and on the question of what is next for her brand she answers ‘a new website’.

I cannot wait for what is sure to be a website not quite what it seems.

Mary Katrantzou Model Olga Cerpeta

Model Olga Cerpeta

Mary Katrantzou Model Charlotte Wiggins

Model Charlotte Wiggins

The House of Eliott – ITV Return

The House of Eliott ITV 3British period fashion drama The House of Eliott returns today to ITV 3 for a weekday afternoon and evening run.

British telly in the 1990’s gave us fashion comedy Absolutely Fabulous – it also gave us the more serious-minded fashion drama ‘The House of Eliott’, both from the BBC.

Whereas Absolutely Fabulous was also set in the 1990’s, The House of Eliott was set in the 1920’s.

The Eliott’s being sisters Beatrice and Evangeline. Bea, the older sister, played by Stella Gonet, who runs the business with occasional forays into dress-design – whereas younger sister Evie, played by Louise Lombard, designs most of the clothes. Bea is the more conservative of the two Evie the more radical – this leads to occasional tensions in their work together and their designs.

The House of Eliott Ball SceneThe show follows the death of the sisters’ doctor father who leaves them without a penny, due to speculative stock purchases on the markets, this being before the crash of 1929, he also leaves them an illegitimate son, a brother they were unaware of.

Bea lands a job to a society photographer who later helps the sisters to fund their fashion house.

Their fashion house being established in a still predominantly male-run environment – they also have to overcome class prejudices – both sisters being from mere middle class backgrounds whereas business was still seen as both an upper class and male domain.

The series was written by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins who also had come up with the brief for the original Upstairs, Downstairs from the 1970’s.

The House of Eliott Fashion ShowThere was more to the show than haute couture – the social and political backgrounds of the time were explored – women’s suffrage, the life of the working and non-working poor. It was well written but perhaps its pace a bit sedate for today’s tastes. But even if you did not care too much for the characters and the plot if you loved fashion and had an interest in its history this show was a must-see.

I myself enjoyed its portrayal of British fashion in the 1920’s – the design process, fashion media, fashion shows – the latter being in dining salons where the fashion press ate and drank as the models moved about the tables – a preferable practice perhaps to the current runway set up!

The first season focussed on their work and run up to their first fashion show, and its critical reception and commercial consequences. Most of their fashion pieces did not come on full display until seasons two and three.

I am looking forward this re-run and am hoping the fashions were as good as I remember them.The House of Eliott Logo