pleats please!

Yes we have gone gaga over fashion this week again.
With our trusty DIY Miyake-style book at our side and seated alongside bolts of fabric, string, plastic tubes, scissors, needles, thread and a ball of elastic bands, we're ready to see what our fashion sensei has in store for us. We invite you to take a quick trip through the latest Miyake couture and ready to wear collections with the ladies of handmade life.





So after you've been wowed by Miyake you may experience a vague queasiness that always seems to accompany inspiration. How can you ever hope to replicate those pleats? Trust us, help is at hand.

The HML team discovered this bible by Colette Wolf several years ago and it is never too far from the sewing machine. Yes we too dream of a life where we have enough time to produce 10 fantastic outfits each season that means we never have to walk into Target for trousers ever again.

The Art of Manipulating Fabric is a no frills instruction manual, complete with grainy black and white photos and line drawings. Like a commonsense cookbook in the kitchen it may be the only textile manual you'll ever need (that and your Readers Digest guide to sewing).

Chapter 6 is all about pleats. Flat pleats, partial pleats, projecting pleats, accordion pleats, wrinkled pleats and double controlled pleats. Not for the faint of heart!

We can't guarantee you'll be able Miyake your frock in the comfort of your own home but you will achieve something magical we promise.


turn to the left...


Abstract Mode: Geometric Fashion and Textiles.

We know we brought this show to your attention on Friday but we find ourselves so besotted with this exhibition we want to double the encouragement for all fashionistas to make their way to the second floor of the National Gallery of Victoria. We revisted the show on Saturday after battling the swarms in Pisarro. His paintings were good (lets face it really good) but they were no match for John Galliano for Christian Dior. Our hearts belong to textiles, what can we say?

We breathed a sigh of happiness as we gazed lovingly over Issey Miyake's genius pleats, swooned at the Pucci print, the Amish quilt and the perfect Commes des Garcons ensemble as designed by the brilliant Rei Kawakubo.

Clearly we can't get enough of the stuff. Get on down St Kilda Road. And dress for the occasion.

NGV International 180 St Kilda Rd. Show runs until Nov 12 (yes that is a long way off but if you don't go now you'll forget about it and the next thing you know it's Christmas).


So spoddy


This weeks spodsploits involved getting the Right Honorable John So into some new mayoral robes. While he struggled a little with the get up at the get go, he soon warmed to the idea that not only he but his entire entourage could enjoy a little winter warming in the SPOD. .. Perfect for those outdoor meet and greets.

We also headed out to Footscray where three of the loveliest ladies of Lonely Planet got spodded. If you look closely you'll see that they also managed to get three plastic mechanical spotted deer to join them for the shoot. A special shout out to Rose, Katie and Janey D. Readers note, no animals were harmed in the filming of this entry.


mental health day


Regular readers well know that we are knee deep in Spod. All roads lead to Spod. Every waking moment is all about getting the Spod show ready.

Spod Spod Spod Spod...

Well except when we take a mental holiday which we did one day this week.

We managed to catch a classic take away lunch in Footscray, consuming probably the finest vanilla milkshake ever made. We did intend to make our way into the city to see the new Marian Hosking show at Gallery Funaki but only made it as far as St Kilda Rd. We got sidelined by two beautiful shows at the NGV:I.

The first was Abstract Mode: Geometric Fashion and Textiles. We never thought we'd see the Mondrian Dress by Yves Saint Laurent (1965) in the flesh. It is more beautiful and more well made than even we could imagine.

The second was American Beauty: Photographs of the American Social Landscape. What an extraordinary show. In the age of digital photography sometimes it's good to go back to the craft as it once was. When the photographer spent time looking. Each one a poem. Like this one by Jose Lopez Southern Illonois 1975.

Tonight team HML is off to the movies to see the latest Yash Raj Bollywood extravaganza Fanaa. Directed by Kunal Kohli it stars Aamir Khan last seen in Mangal Pandey (2005) sporting an incredibly excellent moustache. After his succession of blockbusting historical epics it will be interesting to see how Amir fares back in the modern age and out of a dhoti. Weirdly enough they filmed much of Fanaa in Poland so we'll be curious to see how it looks. Films like this are medicine when life is too hectic and there is no end in sight. For three hours (including intermission) we get to travel.

We promise to get to the Hosking show next week. It runs until June 3

Funaki Gallery website
National Gallery Website


gimme an "H", gimme an "M", gimme an "L" !!!


Pom-Pom necklaces...
they say it's best to work to your strengths, and with this in mind our jewellery making this week featured more precious yarn than precious metals... still the results aren't half bad, especially if you're feeling the need for a cheerleader related accessory to finish off an outfit.


avast me hearties


This new store up the top end of Brunswick Street is fast becoming the hot ticket in town for new and inspiring contemporary jewelry. We here at HML think their website is almost as good as the shop itself.

Like all good jewelers they paid attention to detail. The end result is pretty flash. The website showcases the work of all the studio designers who are made up of new and emerging makers as well as some more familiar faces. Images of the space itself are seductive enough to make you buy your tram ticket to get there.

We only wish all gold and silversmithing students whose ink is still wet on their degrees had enough nouse to get together, form a collective, create a business plan and get on with making things. There is life beyond the graduate show. The website and the shop is a must see for all new designers. Be inspired. These people have raised the bar. Good on em.

Pieces of Eight

635 Brunswick Street north Fitzroy. 9497 8121


from the top drawer


This lovely burnished silver brooch by Melbourne jeweler David Neale came from the Cross Pollination exhibition at Craft Victoria in July-Aug 2004. The show was co-curated by Vicki Mason and Anna Davern, both wonderful jewelers themselves. The show remains one of the finest exhibitions of Australian and New Zealand jewelry in recent memory.

I loved the fact that David had modeled his brooches on weeds, examining their rare and quiet beauty. I only wear it on very special occasions. There is something poetic about wearing a botanical piece, like rosemary for remembrance. What would a weed represent? Beauty in the undergrowth perhaps?

I had admired David’s work from Fresh 04 (also at CV) and knew he was someone to watch out for. David’s work is appearing in this years Colin and Cicely Rigg Contemporary Design Award and also in a solo show at, you guessed it, Craft Victoria this August. I’m saving my coins to extend my Neale collection!

Anna Davern Website
Vicki Mason Website
NGV:A Website
Craft Victoria Website


Memento Mori


Umbra Sumus

The work of jeweler and taxidermist Julia De Ville is at once exquisite and shocking. Combining her two skills, a tiny mouse becomes a brooch, a baby bird is transformed into a gold stick pin.

It's all too easy to be repulsed, even offended by the work but keep in mind that these little creatures met their maker long before Miss De Ville met them. In creating jewelry around their small forms she goes some way to honouring their fragile lives and tiny deaths.

Her work is highly original and will challenge your expectations of what contemporary jewelry is. It walks that fine line between horror and beauty.

Sadly we only just discovered the show and today is the last day. We are certain e.g will hold onto several pieces if you don't make it in your lunch breaks.

e.g etal 185 Little Collins Street 167 Flinder Lane Melbourne City

Age Interview With Julia De Ville



This week we decided to practice our drapage skills on a willing (and immobile) participant in preparation for the SPOD photo shoots. Once confidant we could wrangle the 9 metre beast in public, we headed out camera in hand. First port of call was at the SPOD-PARTY Ramona held for a gaggle of eleven year olds. Here they are trying the SPOD on for size while reading the latest edition of their cutting edge tween tome "Juicy"... Featuring a feminist dissertation on Paris Hilton, and a hilarious collage of Charlie Sheen in regular column 'Really Random Stuff', copies of Juicy are available from the authors for A $1.


running with scissors

going on a virtual round world trip looking at papercuts...

we found them in china where they have been practised since the invention of paper, cut with a combination of scissors and knives and hand colored they were originally crafted by noble women during visits with friends...

we found out that in the middle ages european jewish homes were festooned with papercuts which were used to ward off evil spirits, and keep children and pregnant women safe.

and in poland where folk art continues to flourish we found a wealth of hand colored animal motifs... a favourite of which is the rooster.


scissor sisters


This week we managed to make papercuts, without sustaining any.


grand master, cut faster


This weeks website belongs to the UK's Mister Rob Ryan... a cut above the rest, literally. We at hml have given him the exulted title "Papercut Pendragon "it's a title in it's inaugral year, but now we've put it out there it will be interesting to see if the competition heats up.

The imagery in Rob's work reflects both the nature and the method of his art, embodying the attention to detail and nostalgic references of the genre. But Rob twists them with a dark, sharp and cutting humour, often self referential and always slightly neurotic. His work is full of self doubt and wavers between melancholy and maudlin. This could be the outcome of spending hours alone hunched over a cutting matt, scalpel in hand... or the Irish parents. We love you Mister Rob. We promise.


cut it out


I love you Mr Stanley

Dear readers, we've all got at least three of these little tools lurking about our studios, kitchen drawers and toolboxes. The humble Stanley Knife often goes unnoted, a bit like the phillips head screw driver or the retractable ruler. But this week we honour this nifty gadget as the tool of choice for the renaissance of papercutting currently sweeping the world - well our world anyway. Interesting to note Stanley is just a brand name (like Bic and Post It) and is correctly known as a utility knife.

But to us he will always be Stanley. Always sharp, never dull and the first person to invite to a paper party.

Wikipedia Stanley Knife Page


the first cut is the deepest


A barn for a goddess and other journeys

We have been fans of Emma Van Leest for some time and have been eagerly awaiting her new show opening this week at Westspace. Van Leest has learnt the age old tradition of paper cutting while on her journeys throughout Indonesia and China. She creates complex and intricate works that are exquisitely executed. Evocative of shadow puppets, medieval manscripts and theatre sets. Show runs til May 20



spodsville... population us.


This week finally managed to get the backing onto the 9 metre beast that is SPOD... it took a lot of back breaking stitching through ridiculously thick layers which really probably stretched the 20 year old Janome to its limit... it started making a weird smell by the last metre, and I think I saw a pouff of smoke or two escape from it's whining engine at the end.

In true HML style MUJI, the inhouse 'Spodinspector' decided to pose for this photo with a color co-ordinated chew toy.


takin' it to the streets


hittin' the streets of melbourne, checkin up on the stencil scene...

Around Honkytonks for sly pop cultural themes

Hosier Lane, and the back of Until Never Gallery for namechecks and the scenester shisnit, but you'll need to dodge the rubbish and tourists taking photo's (oh hang on that was us)

legals around rmit

the lane next to Vanbar where the owners have done a deal with artists, you can go crazy with your spray can as long as the front of the building stays clean... nice.




As promised HML hit the streets this week. Cans in hand, trembling in our boots, hoping the fuzz wouldn't bust us (well no, but we like to think we live on the edge).
We made a bit of a mess but were pretty chuffed with the results. We were feeling supercool. That is until we took a walk through the city later that day. But more on that adventure tomorrow...


the writing on the wall...


Stencil Graffiti Capital:Melbourne by Jake Smallman and Carl Nyman documents over 500 images taken from the streets of our fair city. Who would have thought Melbourne could be a world leader in anything let alone such a fine exponent of underground pop culture? Turns out potcode 3000 is the perfect canvas for these innovative souls and their spray cans. We here at HML will be forking out the dosh to purchase in support of this rockin project. But for a peek inside the book (and the scene) you can visit the official website . Word.

Stencil Graffiti Capital:Melbourne


up up and away...


Ramona: Remember when you were a kid and there was nothing cooler than those letter stencils? Didn't they make your old skool projects supercool? I found this airplane stencil quite appropriately in an airport gift shop. I imagine it was designed for kids to take on the plane and keep them occupied 'for hours of stencilling fun!'

The kids are busy playing Super Mario and listening to the Arctic Monkeys on their iPods. Don't they really understand just how rockin this stencil plate is? Yeah I'm pretty sure they do but it's a bit of a naff activity in transit...

Later in the week HML are going to get up the courage to hit the streets with spray cans. So if you see this little plane out there, you'll know it's flown by Team HML.


Say it don't spray it


Iron Giants - The Ultimate Battle For Supremacy

This Friday night HML will be hitting the town, well at least in the early evening to see some of Melbourne's great stencil and graf artists hit Revolver nightclub for an iron chef style spray-off to see whose images rule the most. This will act as a great taster for what will be on offer at the Stencil Festival O6 that opens on the 18th of May at Rose Street artist markets in Fitzroy.

Revolver 229 Chapel Street 6-9pm Friday May 12.


werewolves of spodsville


Instead of our usual weekend edition where we give you a handmade project to complete, for the next month we'll be serving up posts on the progress of SPOD, our upcoming Exhibition at the Melbourne City Library in June.

This week Ramona sustained a staple gun injury while getting our fabric wall panels ready, but as you can see the results are working out better than her southpaw.


women who ran with wolves


The first bowl of borscht from Babka to celebrate the onset of winter. The purchasing of football tickets for the whole family (carn pies), and yes we were women who ran with the wolves but in theme only... there is absolutely no endorsement whatsoever of the book of the same name. just so we're all straight on this.

This weeks hml kicked some serious 'art' goals .

We managed to see a couple of great shows in Collingwood at Victoria Park Gallery.
'Memento' which starred Michelle Tran, Jennifer Banks, Jessica New, Salina Halim and Janita Ryan, was beautiful, nostalgic and melancholy just like a momento should be.

The other was the 'Victims of Drawing Support Group'. Members Jess Johnson, Jordan Marani, John Eaton and Kate Smith showed us the fabulously neurotic inner workings of thier overstimulated brains and fed us "drawings from compulsion, distraction and frustration".

We were also almost overwhelmed with the new "Shelf Life" show down at Platform 2 in the Flinders St Station Arcade... do yourselves a Molly and get down there to witness the fitness ... the pictures tell the story.


a wolf in sheeps clothing


RAMONA: Who would have thought it would be so easy for us to fill the week up with our wild wolf friends? This is a painting on velvet, yes velvet folks embellished with sequins. If there is one thing you can say about me for sure...I may be this far away from a gift shop in Vegas but I know what I like. Lowbrow may be my middle name but working on velvet is suprisingly hard. The results can't be beat. This gentle wolf has already left the studio to adorn a small persons nursery wall. I hope it makes her dream of woodland creatures and not elvis or dogs playing cards...