A New Portfolio, A New Day

Finally my new portfolio has arrived after weeks of hard work and hours upon hours of being a slave to all Adobe has to offer. It was well worth the stress, and the wait. Now it is time to move onto the next chapter of my life, the next phase in my career.

Armed with a hard-covered collection of selected works and a revamped resume, I am hitting the pavement, in search of the unknown, the almost (but never) impossible… a job. Where this will take me, that is unknown, but I am excited, anxious, and readily willing to give my whole heart to whatever is in store.

This is just a preview of what I have compiled, please feel free to check out my full portfolio here.

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Filed under Art, Design, Fashion, General, Not That Young, Photography, Sketches

Pitti Uomo Resurrected Me…

This morning I woke up to the sweet smell of style, slightly muffled by my instant coffee (a big sarcastic thank you to my out-of-business coffee maker). Really, what I should have been doing was lighting a fire under my italian Moka, because Pitti Uomo in Florence just gave me a huge shot of inspiration.

Tommy Ton’s collection of photos from Pitti Uomo this past week is making me miss being in Milan, which coincidentally is where Mens Fashion Week is going on right now (insert stake into my heart here please).

This ensemble above is the highlight for me of Ton’s portfolio of photos. In many ways, this is what Italian fashion is all about. It’s bold, dynamic and luxurious, a perfect balance of the unexpected.

What makes this look even stronger is that it is being sported by an older man, the perfect accessory is a salt and pepper beard after all. This unbelievable style is something he was born with, its embossed into his DNA, and it is something he has perfected effortlessly over the years. Even though his face is cropped out of the shot, you know he is wearing the clothes and not the other way around. That’s the trick.

Cuffed khakis, cognac leather work boots, and layered sweaters… I want to be this guy… or be with him, that makes more sense. The defining detail, the slightly off-colour knee patches. The intensity of the boots could easily overpower the entire ensemble if these pants were plain. Instead, these knee patches accent the high-end work wear style, balancing the design flow from head to toe.

I am feeling the itch… I need to get sewing.

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Filed under Design, Fashion, Inspiration, Street Style

the wilderness downtown…

I’m pretty speechless after watching my childhood home play center stage to a custom Arcade Fire music video. The concept is relatively simple, focusing on a nomad of sorts, running through the city streets as the wilderness begins to invade concrete, bursting through the roads with such exuberance and force.

Incase you have been living under a rock and haven’t given this a go, check out Chris Milk’s groundbreaking video for We Used To Wait by Arcade Fire, The Wilderness Downtown.

I started writing this entry a few weeks ago, and then I let life take ahold of me and knock my socks off a bit with my work. I neglected writing because, well, I felt I wasn’t doing anything worthy enough to write about. Over these weeks I didn’t see any exhibits, haven’t ventured off around the city. Instead, I have stayed within my private world of  Natasha, the workaholic. It is really easy for me to get lost in my work, to put up my blinders to that which is around me in order to meet deadlines.

It feels like fate to return to this lost post. These past few weeks I found myself locked into my personal concrete world, cut off from beauty, from nature.  Now it is time to create some wilderness downtown so to speak. For me to step out and visit the city, let it bloom around and within me.

Sometimes a push is necessary. Here is my push.

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Filed under General, Inspiration

the zeppelin zoo…

Morgan M. Morgansen… try saying that little number five times fast. The name of the title character is just a small sample of the linguistic tricks writer Sarah Daly tosses out throughout this ambitious seven minute tale. The script reflects perhaps a dose of Dr. Seuss intertwined with the like-minded beat of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. The entire visual projection of this short is mesmerizing, and is somehow maintains an aesthetic that is both modern and vintage. Curated in the mind of Director, Narrator, and the short’s star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this short expresses itself in an absolutely timeless way.

Debuting during SXSW this year, Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeeth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo was the second installment of Morgan M. Morgansen’s escapades for his true love Destiny. Morgan M. Morgensen and His Date with Destiny debuted in January at Sundance, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Both films exercise the use of imaginative illustration. Composed of a variety of styles, some very sketchy, some with simple colour blocking, the overall story remains completely relevant and cohesive. This combination of creative illustration and live action creates a unique realm that feels like it can only plausibly exist within the universe of Morgan M. Morgansen. Combed together with an antique, yellowed wash over the film, there are minimal hints of colour which make this world more enticing and believable. Sometimes when limits are place, to regulate some kind of order, the fantastical is transformed into the possible.

Watching these shorts I can’t help but feel wide-eyed and hopeful. They have a quality that is so magical, comforting, and inspiring about them, it is something familiar while being completely new and innovative.

Both these films were made possible because of Gordon-Levitt’s ingenius collective website, hitRECord, which he started five years ago. It is a platform that has evolved into a completely collaborative production company. Here is where editors, producers, composers, writers can come together and actively work on projects through the use of this website. Rather then just showing what each person can do it or is doing, you can come to hitRECord and create work together.

It is movements like hitRECord that are revolutionizing the creative world. Instead of every man for himself, there is a community created here, a focus to create for the sake of creating, to make beauty in any way possible.  I can only hope this method begins to spread, developing these collaborative hubs in every aspect of the creative and design industries. It is communities such as this that are the future, it is time to embrace the success of one another and stop fighting this battle alone.

http://www.hitrecord.org

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Filed under Art, Film, Inspiration

art battle of a century, or at least july…

Art battles… why not?!?

Last night I attended Art Battle 7 here in Toronto at The Great Hall on Queen West. Unsure of what the night would bring, I opted to be just a watcher, paying the extra 5 dollars to save myself from being selected as a painter. Not really sure of what it entailed to be a participant in the night, I was a bit nervous. Come the night’s end, I wish I had thrown caution to the wind and added myself as a painter to participate more fully in the chaos of the evening.

Started back in October of last year, Art Battle is exactly what it sounds like, a night of competitive live paint-offs. Three rounds of four painters. The first two rounds of artists are drawn from a hat with names entered to be painters in the event. The rounds, lasting 20 minutes, are then followed by audience voting. The winner of the first two rounds moves on to the final master round with two previously chosen artists…. dun dun dun.

Another great feature of Art Battle is that all the paintings can be yours!!! After each round, and its winner crowned, these works of art are displayed at the back of the room for a silent auction that is ongoing the entire night. The all-seeing announcer encourages you to “bid high and bid often” because 75% of the amount each piece is sold for goes directly into the artist’s pocket. Pretty sweet deal for just your average Tuesday night out if you ask me. Of course there is a catch. There is always a catch. If a painting doesn’t receive any bids by the end of the night… they destroy it calmly with a chainsaw on the premises. Like I said, just your average Tuesday night in Toronto.

Being present at such an event is incredibly inspiring. Not only do I want to now host such an event in my home, but it recharges your creative juices in general. It is easy to find yourself in a rut, doing the same thing day in and day out. Attending Art Battle, you don’t know what to expect… what the art will be like, who will be painting… is someone’s work going to be decapitated. You are participating in this event of complete unknown, its refreshing.

Looking back on the battles’s history, it appears as though this ancient sizing up between men/women and their paint goes on roughly once a month. Oh August, sweet August, let there be Art Battle 8!

http://www.artbattleto.com

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the memory of a garment…

Memories are our most cherished possessions. Without them we are left with truly nothing. The fear of losing who we are, what we have accomplished, survived, and struggled for, lives within all of us. It is something that is beyond the physical. And we can’t stop it, cure it, or rebuild it once lost. The power of forgetting can indeed be our most detrimental vice.

Beauty exists in the remnants of our memories. The footprints we leave through our daily life. Perhaps this is why we cling to the vintage. We are desperately grasping at the past, to not forget the history of those who have lived before us, and those before them. These memories, leave us with an impression, an imprint. It is rare that we can recall every detail, every solitary moment, but we know the feeling, the bones of it, the inside.

When settling down to develop my next pieces for Not That Young, I felt very strongly bound to this idea of the memory of objects. How could I represent in a tactile way the impression of a memory?

Without delving too deeply into the details of each garment, I wanted to show its structure, its inside. At its core, what held it together. Similar to how we recall memories, details are left out and blurred, only selected moments are visible. Our memories are sewn together, and we remember the focal points. The imprint of the stitches holding the garments together reveal the story of each garment, showing its craftsmanship and identity.

I have developed some t-shirts around this concept. Using the method I developed in the Fingerprint Experiment, I have taken the most prominent features of garments, sewn samples of each and placed them on my shirts. Using my fingers I push fabric paint through my sewn samples. Once the sewn pieces are removed from the shirts, we are left with an impression, a memory of what was once there.


All of the shirts I have made so far are samples… but are for sale. Prices range between 35-45 per shirt.

You can customized with each order, such as shortening the sleeves, v-neck or crew neck collar, details on pockets or vest, and paint colour. Any shirt can also be transformed into a singlet (tank top). The objective is to create shirts that are unique to each customer, put your spin on it, create the imprint of your memory.

Single pocket t-shirt – small 35.00

Mini vest and pocket t-shirt – large 45.00

Henley front shirt with two patch pockets – medium 45.00

Single pocket with buttonhole – medium 35.00

Vest with single pocket – large 45.00


Please feel free to contact me with any requests, questions… anything at all.

Long live NOT THAT YOUNG!!!

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Filed under Design, Fashion, Not That Young

from natasha with love (and sweat)…

I love to work. Period. I think this is pretty clear since I feel the need to schedule every minute of my time, taking on side project after side project. I love what I do and I am happy to fill my time doing exactly that.

Over the past few years I have been designing and making custom garments for some private clients of mine. I just finished some pieces for my friend Joel. Each piece I design and make is unique to the person it’s for. After all, if you are paying to have clothes custom made I think its important that they should be catered to you, your personality and style. I try to not repeat any fabrics or exact garment design from client to client to maintain this level of exclusivity.

Of course I have my staple designs that have come to be my signature of sorts over the years. My flannel button ups have become my trademark. Now that the weather is blazing hot, flannel shirts, to say the least, would be a bad choice. However, my lucky charm kicked in and I came across a super light-weight cotton in this bright plaid. Ta-daa… the perfect way to update my classic button up shirts for the summer time. The fabric is unconventionally sheer. Along with the bright, refreshing colours, this plaid modernizes the esthetic of the typical button up shirt.

Singlets are probably the only garment humanity can comfortably wear in this heat. Standing in the shade I am covered in sweat, never mind actually having to function and accomplish simple daily activities. I discovered this snake skin jersey on one of my fabric hunting trips and I felt it was perfect for Joel. A bit off-beat, a bit 80s, while understated in simple shades bouncing between black and white.

Function is always key in my designs so unless requested not to, I like to add patch pockets to my singlets, especially along the hem. There can never be enough pockets. Okay, yes there can be too many pockets, but one is an acceptable amount so just go with it!

A simple white singlet can be updated with bright colours in the stitching details, an off-kilter patch pocket with button details, and a mock label at the back in a bad ass graphic print. I especially love this singlet with the hem that dips down in the front and back, kind of a throw back to the way baseball t-shirts were cut. Just because the humidity is through the roof doesn’t mean our style should suffer!

If you are interested in having some custom pieces done please feel free to contact me. We can discuss your style and esthetic and put come up with some great pieces together.

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Filed under Design, Fashion