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Cartier Exhibition Highlights from the NGA Canberra

As you might have guessed, I have more than a keen interest in style, design and colour – so my recent visit to the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra was a real treat. It is a beautifully curated wonderland of sparkling jewels, exquisite timepieces and luxury items. Every piece was meticulously created and crafted for royalty, celebrities and society’s elite.

The exhibition finishes on the 22ndof July and is definitely worth seeing.

Here are some of my favourite pieces:

Necklaces

Cartier diamond necklace, Nizam of Hyderabad

The Nizam of Hyderabad was a gift from the Indian prince to the Queen for her marriage in 1947.

Cartier Bib necklace 1955

The 1955 Bib necklace features plaited gold, brilliant cut diamonds and turquoise cabochons

1936 Necklace boasting total of 198.45 carats of emerald-cut peridots!

Mystery Clocks

These Asian-inspired Cartier Mystery Clocks give the illusion of floating minute and hour hands. All of the mechanisms that move the two hands are made from transparent clear crystal – amazing!

Cartier Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Cartier Striking Mystery Clock 1931

Striking mystery clock with deity 1931 – 19th century Chinese white jade

Stunning Tiaras

There were so many beautiful tiaras on display at the Cartier exhibition that I found it difficult to decide which ones to show you. I chose these four because of their intricacy of design and the amazing coloured stones.

Cartier Tiara 1905 featuring 7 pear shaped diamonds

This 1905 tiara features 7 pear shaped diamonds

Cartier diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Cartier Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Cartier Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Brooches

Cartier Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Bird Brooch 1948

Uma Thurman wore this Bird Brooch to the Met Gala in 2016

Cartier and Celebrity Glamour

For me, the Twentieth-Century Icons room personalised the exhibition. The photos and stories of celebrities and royals, and the special pieces Cartier had made for them, really bought the pieces to life.

Grace Kelly wearing a Cartier necklace

Grace Kelly

Necklace worn by Grace Kelly

 

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Cartier - Wallis Simpson's peacock brooch
Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

If you’ve enjoyed this article I have also written articles on luxury brands Hermes and Dior.

Here are the links: ‘Hermes at Work’ Exhibition: Artisans share their talents and skills

and

Australia and the House of Dior 70 Years On

 

 

 

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July 10, 2018

Guo Pei: ‘Legend’ extravaganza at the NGV

The National Gallery of Victoria’s impressive inaugural Triennial exhibition features displays of contemporary artists from 32 countries. A stand out for me was the collection of extraordinary creations from Chinese born fashion designer Guo Pei from her 2017 Spring/Summer ‘Legend’ couture parade.

All of the ‘Legend’ pieces are on loan from a private collection. These amazing gowns are feats of one woman’s remarkable imagination and design prowess. Bringing her phenomenal concepts to life took hundreds of skilled artisans thousands of hours to complete.

Pei’s inspiration came from her visit to the baroque cathedral of St. Gall in Switzerland. She was mesmerised by the stunning ethereal murals, its dome and the rich gold ornaments. And so began a two year journey of inspiration and creation leading to these impressive haute couture gowns.

This display is a feast of sparkling crystals, sumptuous embroidery, silk, feathers, metal, PVC, dazzling gold thread and organza.

If you are in Melbourne and have some spare time I highly recommend a visit. Entry is free and the exhibition runs until 15 April, 2018.

Here are some of the photos I took during my visit.

Ensembles

Black chest piece and lace gown Guo Pei

Black chest piece and lace gown

Lantern sleeve gown Guo Pei

Lantern sleeve gown

Deep green and gold dress Guo Pei

Deep green and gold dress

Feathered gown Guo Pei

Feathered gown

Angel gown with gold Guo Pei

Angel gown with gold

Skirt of Angel dress with gold Guo Pei

Skirt of Angel dress with gold

White Goddess Guo Pei

White Goddess

Luminous spirit Guo Pei

Luminous spirit

Fantasy Footwear

Suede and beaded shoes from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Feathered fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection
Gold fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection

Fabulous Fabrics

Sequinned and beaded lace Guo Pei
Red Goddess dress metallic fabric Guo Pei Legend collection
Heavily embroidered fabric Legend Collection Guo Pei
Dazzling emboidered fabric from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Silk, polyester, pvc and emboidery used to make a Guo Pei Legend collection dress
Feathers on fabric Guo Pei Legend collection

The Finale

Guo Pei’s ‘Legend’ couture fashion show ended spectacularly with this Red Goddess gown. Carmen Dell’Orefice, octogenarian and American model, paraded the gown which is said to symbolise blood.  Made from metallic fabric, silk, crystals and embroidery, this sculptural piece makes a dramatic statement as you enter and exist the exhibition.

Guo Pei Legend collection Red Goddess ensemble
Close up of Red Goddess dress Guo Pei
Red Goddess ensemble with train Guo Pei Legend collection

 

Ann Vodicka is a Sydney based image consultant and personal stylist. She believes that all her clients have their own unique sense of personal style and she delights in helping them express it!

Image Confidence was created to help you look your best with minimum effort and maximum impact.

Contact Ann to start your transform to image confidence.

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March 21, 2018

‘Hermes at Work’ Exhibition: Artisans Share their Talents and Skills

Hermes is a family run business spanning 5 generations. The brand is synonymous with luxury and quality workmanship, and that’s why the ‘Hermes at Work’ exhibition at Melbourne Town Hall is so exciting. The general public are being given a rare and privileged look at Hermes artisans plying their crafts.

The exhibition is a wonderful interactive experience. We watched enthralled as each skilled crafts-person explained and demonstrated how they transform materials such as leather, silk, precious gems and ceramics into stunning handbags, gloves, scarves, watches, jewellery, saddles and finely painted porcelain. One of the highlights was looking through the jeweller’s 15x magnifying glass at the piece he was working on; a Galop Hermes bracelet featuring 2,500 plus diamonds – dazzling!

It’s a fascinating world to experience, one which requires incredible skill, time, patience, an eye for detail and a passion for excellence.

‘Hermes at Work’ is at Melbourne Town Hall until 17 March (closed 12 March). If you’re in the CBD it is definitely worth a visit.

The Leatherworker

Hermes artisan makes a Kelly bag

Making the handle of a ‘Kelly’ bag

 

Hermes artisan makes a Kelly bag

Picking up the main bag section

The Tie-Maker

A lady hand stitching a silk tie

Hand stitching a silk twill tie

A lady hand stitching a silk tie

Sewing a single thread slip stitch

The Glover

The Hermes glover at his work bench

Softened leather to be transformed into gloves

colourful leather and the glover

Rainbow of colours to be made into gloves

The Silk Printer

Man using the flat frame silk printing technique

The ‘flat frame’ silk printing technique

Man uses 'flat frame' silk printing technique

The Porcelain Painter

A selection of hand painted porcelain plates

Hand painted porcelain plates

Artisan painting a porcelain plate

The artisan uses a fine sable-hair brush to paint the plate

Ann Vodicka is a Sydney based image consultant who is passionate about style and design. She believes you can be stylish at any age, and loves helping people dress to express their individuality, and, to dress for success.

 

Sticky
March 09, 2018

Australia and The House of Dior 70 years on

The National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘The House of Dior – Seventy Years of Haute Couture’ is in its final week. It is a phenomenal exhibition featuring over 140 exquisite garments and accessories designed by The House of Dior’s seven creative directors.

If you missed this feast of haute couture or would like to ‘re-visit’ the exhibition one more time, I’ve compiled a small collection of my photos below.

 

A Little History

Based at 30 Avenue Montaigne Paris, Christian Dior released his first couture collection in 1947. Dubbed the ‘New Look’ collection, it would change women’s fashion forever. Gone were the utilitarian styles of wartime. In its place: tiny waists, soft shoulder lines and fairytale-like long, full skirts.

The Australian connection began in the following year. David Jones paraded fifty of Dior’s original designs at their Sydney city store as part of their ‘French Fashion for All’ promotion. This was the first time outfits from Dior’s inaugural haute couture collection were viewed outside Paris. Australian women loved it! They eagerly embraced his designs and their adaptations.

And, judging by the lengthy queues and hordes of people viewing the exhibition the day I visited, Australian’s adoration for French high fashion and Christian Dior Couture lives on.

 

Christian Dior (Creative Director 1946-57)

Yves Saint Laurent (Creative Director 1957-60)

Marc Bohan (Creative Director 1960-89)

Gianfranco Ferre (Creative Director 1989-96)

John Galliano (Creative Director 1996-2011)

Couture from Top to Toe

Raf Simons (Creative Director 2012-15)

Maria Grazia Chiuri (Creative Director 2016- )

 

Ann Vodicka is a personal stylist and image consultant based in Sydney, Australia. She has a passion for fashion and for helping men and women develop greater confidence and a stronger sense of self by dressing to express who they truely are. Her desire is for everyone she works with to look and be the best version of themselves they can be.

Ann is contactable through her website https://www.imageconfidence.com.au

 

 

 

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October 31, 2017

Frida Kahlo: The Artist’s Fashion Style at La Casa Azul

Frida Kahlo was an outstanding Mexican artist and a remarkable woman. Her paintings vividly illustrate her irrepressible spirit, her life’s loves and its many tragedies. It was her ‘soul-revealing’ paintings that brought Frida world acclaim.

In 2004 the discovery and unveiling of Frida’s wardrobe further enhanced our understanding of her and her fascinating life. The public could see these items for the first time in 50 years. Nowadays some of this collection is on display at the Frida Kahlo Museum (La Casa Azul) in Mexico City.

While I was travelling in Mexico a few months ago the Frida Kahlo Museum was on my ‘must see’ list. It was amazing to view her art and personal belongings displayed in the house she once called home. The colourful clothes, accessories and ornately decorated medical supports really grabbed my attention. These items revealed a part of Frida I knew little about. I gained insights into her fashion style, her expressive personality, her love of her indigenous heritage, and how she dealt with the many physical challenges she faced.

Inside the Frida Kahlo Museum

Full length embroidered skirts showed Frida’s love of traditional Mexican folk dress, and emphasised her love of colour, pattern and texture. They also served another purpose: to hide her thinner, shorter right leg which was the result of contracting polio when she was 6. The physical and psychological setbacks continued when the lower half of that leg was amputated due to gangrene. She showed amazingly resilience and positivity about the loss of her leg and showed this by painting her prosthetic limb vibrant red. The image below shows the dragon motifs that decorated the boot. This quote sums up her optimistic attitude:

“Pies para que los quiero si tengo alas pa’ volar.”

  “Who needs feet when I’ve got wings to fly.”              

 

Frida Kahlo traditional Mexican folk dress

Frida Kahlo traditional Mexican folk dress

 

Frida Kahlo's prosthetic limb displayed at La Casa Azul

Frida Kahlo’s prosthetic limb displayed at La Casa Azul

Art out of tragedy

In 1925 a bus that Frida was travelling in collided with a trolley car. This accident left Frida seriously injured with an array of broken bones and internal wounds. It was while Frida was bedridden healing from these injuries that her life as an artist really began. The plaster casts that she wore after the operations became a canvas for her artistic talents. She beautified the casts by painting them: transforming practical, unattractive moulds into works of art. And, to conceal the bulk of the casts and orthopaedic corsets, Frida wore free flowing, intricately decorated tops and dresses.

 

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Frida adorned herself with ornate necklaces and head dresses too. These accessories drew the eye away from her ailing body up to her radiant face. Even Frida’s famous ‘mono-brow’, seen in her self-portraits and portraits of her by other artists, served to draw attention upwards.

 

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I spent hours walking around the rooms of the Frida Kahlo museum. Here was a woman who successfully used different mediums to express who she was and how she felt. Everything she wore resonated with her identity, beliefs and values, and at the same time accommodated her physical needs. She made her style her own and I greatly admire her for this.

 

Ann Vodicka is an image consultant who is passionate about helping her clients discover, express and develop their unique sense of style. She is the owner and director of Image Confidence.

For the month of August take up our special offer of $50 off Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Revival Experiences. Ann will make clothes shopping fun and rewarding, and will help you organise and revamp your wardrobe. Email or phone Ann to take advantage of this offer.

 

 

 

 

Sticky
July 31, 2017
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