Makers of Melbourne

Welcome to Makers Of Melbourne – the ‘go to’ guide for our technically integrated age.

Makers Of Melbourne has been created to consume and assimilate Melbourne culture. We're male focussed, but not male specific, sorting through the dross to weed out the creative stars, standout events and stylish folk that make this city unique. 

MOM aims to embrace all facets of what makes this city a creative hub. Our aim is to inform without condescending – to keep you abreast of what’s going on without regurgitating Press Releases & to seek out this city’s sub cultures to give our readers the inside scoop on what’s REALLY happening with the people who make Melbourne Melbourne.

Filtering by Category: The Events

The Event: Falls Festival, Lorne 2017

For its 25th birthday, the annual Falls Festival treated itself to a line up complete with a handful of festival favourites, a scattering of international acts and a tonne of home grown artists. Living, breathing, singing, and dancing proof that Triple J’s commitment to Australian music is paying off in spades and influencing the national music industry, programmers and punters alike.

Fans gather to watch Dune Rats perform at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback

Fans gather to watch Dune Rats perform at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback

While this week’s announcement of the 2018 Coachella line up has the international music scene questioning the longevity of the world's heritage music festivals. The popularity of our local performers – with DZ Deathrays, Peking Duck and Angus and Julia Stone pulling crowds on par to those gathered to watch international drawcards Foster the People and The Kooks – indicates that the lifespan of Falls Festival looks set to sustain itself for another 25 years at least.

Shane Parsons from DZ Deathrays performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Shane Parsons from DZ Deathrays performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Here’s the thing. Festival lineups have become a bit samey over the last couple of years, with all manner of experts blaming streaming services like Spotify for influencing the way that we consume music. The standard mix tends to be one big name reunion, a couple of breakthrough indie pop or rock bands and a shed load of hip hop and dance acts. And while only two or three years ago the former tended to sell the tickets, draw the biggest crowds and waft through their set on a wave of nostalgia, it looks like the tide may have finally turned, in Lorne at least.

Danny Beusaraus performs with his band Dune Rats at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Danny Beusaraus performs with his band Dune Rats at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

No band proves the popularity of Aussie music like Dune Rats. Last appearing on the Falls schedule in 2015 when they played a stinking hot afternoon set, this year the raucous trio found themselves with a primo evening slot on the 29th December. Dunies know how to keep an audience entertained. From the moment they entered on razor scooters to Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’, through to their Sponge Bob influenced logo, and the giant inflatable Young Henry’s beer cans that they had bouncing through the audience. While a cynical eye might look at it as a subtly incorporated plug for their 2017 collaboration with the Sydney based brewery, Dune Rats practice what they preach and have worked extremely hard to build up their reputation as a group of fair dinkum, beer drinking, dope smoking ‘slackers’. A sentiment that resonates and translates extremely well into merch sales, it seemed like every other attendee was seen in a Dune Rats t-shirt at some stage over the four-day event.

While Dune Rats started the party on day two, it was Adelaide native Allday who drew one of the largest crowds on the 30th December. Preluded by sets by American Rapper D.R.A.M and British dance act Jungle, who both managed to warm up the chilly audience nicely as temperatures plummeted and sporadic rain fell. Although both were great, these performances seemed like nothing but support acts for boundary-breaking Allday, who successfully mixed both genres during his hour-long slot.

Rapper Allday performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Rapper Allday performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Now based in LA, the young rapper tossed out a majority of songs from his 2017 album, Speeding, and inspired mass sing-a-longs to his eclectic mix of electro-tinged hip hop. In a similar vein to Dune Rats, Allday’s lyrics centre around the themes of partying and getting fucked up. But all is handled with a sensitive touch, his Little Lord Fauntleroy bob and schoolboy docs lending him an air of sensitive new age Rapper.

Liam Gallagher doesn’t seem to be the type of guy who’d appreciate the sensitive new age tag. But his show, which followed on from Allday, was tinged with crowd-pleasing Oasis covers and lots of good banter. While some of us were hoping for that long-awaited Noel and Liam reunion, it looks like we’ll have to keep on keeping on and be satisfied with the younger Gallagher’s semi-regular tours down under. Even though he travelled the country not too long ago with his Beady Eyes, this summer festival run has been billed as Liam’s first official solo shows in Australia and his hour on stage was the talk of Saturday night.  

Liam Gallagher performs on his first 'solo' tour of Australia, at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Liam Gallagher performs on his first 'solo' tour of Australia, at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

There’s magic in the air on new year’s eve. With early performances by Melbourne locals Alice Ivy and Alex Lahey out of the way, there was a collective march up the hill to the Grand Theatre to catch Ecca Vandal, the teeny performer showing off her immense vocal skills and urging the amassed audience to dance as she ushered in evening from her vantage point on stage.

Ecca Vandal performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Ecca Vandal performs at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

If we hadn’t had experienced enough local talent, Wil Wagner and the rest of The Smith Street Band played their hearts out as the sun dipped on the last day of 2017. When Makers interviewed Smith Street drummer Chris Cowburn back in 2014, he praised Wagner’s ability to. “articulate himself really honestly, like no one I’ve ever met before”. And it's this openly displayed passion that continues to draw audience numbers years later. The band closed their set with 2016’s ‘Death to the Lads’, and with lyrics which focus on the plight of the modern world, it sounded like the perfect way to wind up what has been a pretty emotional year globally.

Wil Wagner and The Smith Street band usher in the New Year at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

Wil Wagner and The Smith Street band usher in the New Year at the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne. Image: Kirsty Umback. 

With the new year countdown approaching and the promise of a fresh start, it was time British party band Glass Animals to get our dancing feet moving and shake off any of 2017’s remaining cobwebs. Although they were just in the country for February’s Laneway Festival, it’s always a pleasure to catch a Glass Animals performance.      

But the night wasn’t over and it was left to American hip hop duo Run the Jewels to guide us into 2018. Run the Jewels have amassed a pretty solid tour history here in Oz. In 2014 the played Laneway, Southbound and Falls, they also embarked on a successful run of sideshows supported by Joey Bada$$.

With that previously mentioned Spotify phenomenon apparently responsible for watering down our consumption of music, it’s also pretty fair to assume that it’s given performers a sense of freedom when it comes to experimenting with a variety of genres. Once considered the class clowns of the hip hop scene - in 2015 they released a remix album that consisted of cat meows as beats - the pair has become increasingly political with their raps and rhymes. Working their way through a set tinged with overtones of American imperialism and anti-consumerism, Run the Jewels were without a doubt the perfect way to wave goodbye to the political shit storm that was 2017.

Fans attend the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne.  Image: Kirsty Umback.   

Fans attend the 25th annual Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne.  Image: Kirsty Umback.   

So while the rest of the world may be worried about the future of music festivals like Coachella, it seems pretty clear to this reviewer that there are bigger issues to deal with.
Meanwhile, here in Australia it pretty safe to assume that both the local music scene and travelling festivals like Falls are doing more than ok – a sentiment that we hope shines over all aspects of 2018.

The Event: NGV presents, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture

While the traditional gift given for a seventieth anniversary is platinum, the prestigious couture house of Dior has instead decided to celebrate this landmark birthday with an Australian exhibition. Exclusive to Melbourne, this stunning fashion display is a true collaboration between the National Gallery of Victoria and the House of Dior. More than two years in the making, the NGV has on display over 140 garments designed by Christian Dior Couture between 1947 and 2017. The collection includes toiles, accessories, and illustrations, giving visitors a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of the world’s best-known fashion labels.   

Exhibited over a number of grand, sweeping rooms, each part of the exhibition explores the story of the fashion house through a series of themes, all working in conjunction to celebrate the life of Christian Dior. And rightly so, without the French designer’s legendary 1947 New Look collection, there would be none of the exaggerated shoulders, cinched in waists and accentuated hips that laid the foundations for the house.

‘December Evening’ (Soiree de December) 1955 by Christian Dior

‘December Evening’ (Soiree de December) 1955 by Christian Dior

Dior01.jpg

While a selection of Dior’s original designs takes pride of place in the first room of the display, the NGV has taken great effort to feature works by the six other designers who have helped to shape the brand’s reputation: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The exhibition narrates the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences and his love of floral inspired silhouettes. Since his mysterious death in 1957, Dior’s subsequent designers have continued to push fashion boundaries, infusing these familiar shapes with opulent fabrications and rich colour palettes.

The house of Dior has long held a unique and longstanding affinity with Australia. As if to explain why we have been chosen to host this exclusive collection, on display are seating charts from the historic Spring 1948 fashion parade held at David Jones, Sydney.  The first complete Dior collection outside of Paris, models in the parade wore wore fifty original creations by Christian Dior.

‘Banco’ Evening Dress 1948 by Christian Dior

‘Banco’ Evening Dress 1948 by Christian Dior

Dior04.jpg
Hat by milliner Stephen Jones AW 2007

Hat by milliner Stephen Jones AW 2007

'Look 54' (dress) SS 2015 by Raf Simmons. 

'Look 54' (dress) SS 2015 by Raf Simmons. 

'Climene' (long evening dress) AW 59-60 by Yves Saint Laurent. 

'Climene' (long evening dress) AW 59-60 by Yves Saint Laurent. 

Marc Bohan designs  - Dior head designer 1960-1989

Marc Bohan designs  - Dior head designer 1960-1989

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

John Galliano designs  - Dior head designer 1996-2011

'Baroque Garden' (Jardin Baroque)  SS 2017 by Maria Grazia Chiuri

'Baroque Garden' (Jardin Baroque)  SS 2017 by Maria Grazia Chiuri

'Village Party (Fete au Village)  SS 1955 by Christian Dior

'Village Party (Fete au Village)  SS 1955 by Christian Dior

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture is on display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia from now until 7 November 2017.

 

Images courtesy of  Kirsty Umback

The Event: 200 Years of Australian Fashion at NGV

On now until the 31st of July 2016 at The Ian Potter Centre, 200 years of Australian fashion showcases over 120 garments from more than ninety designers – the first major display of Australian fashion to be undertaken in this country. Since settlement, Aussie fashion has been shaped by geographic, seasonal and cultural variants, and defined by colloquial vernacular. In every era, our designers have consciously defined the character of how we dress according to local terms of reference. Even today, Australian style can be understood as the by-product of independence and impertinence. From the early dressmaking establishments of Brisbane through to the mid-century salons of Collins Street, to the contemporary studios by Bondi’s beaches, 200 Years of Australian Fashion traverses over two centuries of fashion design in Australia.

Staged across four large galleries, this impressive exhibition celebrates this country's unique voice and impact on the fashion industry internationally, showcasing the work of contemporary designers such as Dion Lee, Ellery, Romance Was Born and Toni Maticevski alongside exquisite examples of historic design.

200 Years of Australian Fashion includes outfits drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney and other key collections, as well as a number of essential private loans. The exhibition also includes multimedia footage and interviews, photographs and is a must for any fashion lover. 

The NGV presents 200 Years of Australian Fashion as part of the Cultural Program of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016.

 

The Event: Falls Festival, Mt Duneed Estate 2015

When word spread of bushfires along the Great Ocean Road on Christmas Day 2015, there was little thought spared for the Victorian location of the annual Falls Festival and more concern (rightly so) for the families who had watched helplessly as their homes burnt alongside the dense bushland surrounding Erskine Falls.   

It was only on Boxing Day, as out of control flames still ravaged the coastal towns of Lorne and Wye River that festival organisers knew that they had a very big decision on their hands – make some serious changes or risk the safety of several thousand attendees.

And make some serious changes they did. In a little over 27 hours the folk behind one of Australia’s longest running music festivals managed to relocate the entire event from its longstanding base in the foothills of Lorne and into a safer location, Day on the Green venue and winery Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong.

It was an epic effort by the team and a large group of volunteers who were still busy setting up as festivities got underway on Monday 28th December. While backhoes and cranes silently lifted equipment and tradies were hard at work putting the finishing touches on the main stage, a select group of performers entertained the first wave of ticketholders in the Grand Theatre, getting the audience psyched for four days of entertainment in the brand new space. 

    'Wei  rd   Al' Yankovic performs on night one of the 2015   Falls Festival at Mt Duneed Estate - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

'Weird Al' Yankovic performs on night one of the 2015 Falls Festival at Mt Duneed Estate - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

While the grounds weren’t overly busy it was nice to see the gleeful faces of punters as they strolled through the Mt Duneed entry gates, the majority of whom had no doubt been glued to social media over the Christmas weekend, patiently waiting for news on the future of the 2015 festival.   

As afternoon rolled into evening excitement built around the theatre, as we early arrivers prepared ourselves for a performance by American comedian ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. Although his set was peppered with technical difficulties it was still a great time – no one knows showbiz like ‘Weird Al’ and with fat suits, Segway’s and several costume changes thrown into the mix, everyone seemed happy enough to trade a couple of electrical blackouts for hits like ‘Fat’ and ‘White and Nerdy’.

 

 In the interest of full disclosure there are two things that I need to mention:

1) The ‘new’ location meant that this reviewer was able to travel to the venue everyday from the comfort of her own Melbourne apartment.

2) Sometimes the best entertainment happens in the VIP area (but that’s a story for another time).

 

 After ‘Weird Al’ wrapped, the executive decision is made to hit the road and skip a late night slot by Art vs Science. On the drive back to Melbourne my companion and I listen to a compilation of the best of the worst of the 80s,  the only appropriate thing to do after seeing one of the decade’s biggest cult stars.    

   Enjoying the view. Punters soak up the atmosphere at Mt Duneed Estate, the location of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Enjoying the view. Punters soak up the atmosphere at Mt Duneed Estate, the location of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

Day two, otherwise known as Tuesday, starts off well. After watching lovable larrikins Dune Rats pelt the amassed audience with an array of sex toys and blow up dolls this reviewer is scolded by a fellow member of the media for missing Leon Bridges’ show earlier that afternoon. A couple of minutes are spent contemplating his sideshow at 170 Russell before I’m informed that it has completely sold out. There’s no time to be sad as latest it-girl indie pop princess Halsey struts her way onto the main stage and instantly wins over the throng with a selection of tracks off her debut album, ‘Badlands’. Originally discovered on YouTube, the New Jersey native has attitude to spare and maintains this momentum for her entire 50-minute slot.    

Next on the agenda is Paul Kelly and the Merri Soul Sessions, featuring performances by Dan Sultan, Ash Naylor, Vika and Linda Bull and Clairy Browne. We watch the set while sitting on a patch of dry grass and eating delicious Hare Krishna dinners, content to relax and let the smooth stylings wash over us like waves, not to be confused with Wavves, who storm the stage straight after Kelly, dedicating their set to Motorhead front man Lemmy, who had sadly passed away that morning. After sticking around for a couple of songs I wander back to the VIP area to grab a drink and settle in for some serious people watching. 

Resident DJ Eddie spins classic disco and offers complimentary massages to the motley crew dancing in front of him, some of whom look like they could desperately use a nap after working around the clock to get the event up and running.            

   Danny Beusar, singer and guitarist for Brisbane based Dune Rats rocks out on day two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Danny Beusar, singer and guitarist for Brisbane based Dune Rats rocks out on day two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

   Time out between sets on day two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.  

 

Time out between sets on day two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.  

   Making her Australian debut, indie pop singer Halsey showcased tracks off her album 'Badlands' on evening two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Making her Australian debut, indie pop singer Halsey showcased tracks off her album 'Badlands' on evening two of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

Darkness falls and Wavves make way for perennial favourites Hilltop Hoods. Hilltop Hoods are followed by crowd pleasers Wombats. Their set finishes at around 1am and once again we’re back in the car for the journey home.

Wednesday, day three, is a scorcher. Attendees struggle to keep cool as festival organizers erect shade cloths and security hose down the crowd near the main stage. Melbourne locals Alpine have the right idea; they’ve made their entrance carrying pineapple shaped cocktail glasses, although the group still looks like they’re suffering in the heat.

There’s time to spare before Gary Clark Jnr is due on stage so we hike up the hill to watch an angelic sounding Jarryd James. His set ends and once again we’re thrust into the glaring afternoon sun, there’s a race to get back to the main stage before Jnr’s blues tinged show begins, although the heat makes it feel like we’re wading through toffee. The American performer’s so great that I have plans to stay and watch the entire show, unfortunately the temperature gets to me after a handful of songs and I have to leave the main stage area to find myself some shade. The tracks that I do manage to catch before venturing off sound pitch perfect and I make a mental note to download his entire back catalogue on Spotify.  

There’s a moment every year at Falls when the sun dips and the temperature drops to almost freezing conditions. Amazingly Mt Duneed Estate doesn’t seem to work in the same way as Erskine Falls and once late afternoon sets in we still find ourselves comfortable in short sleeves – for once there’s no need at all to rug up in the usual winter layers.

   Temperatures soar on day three - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Temperatures soar on day three - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

Melbourne Ska Orchestra are trying their darndest to bring back dancehall flavours. The Wednesday evening crowd is digging the beats and follow up performances by Rufus, Block Party and Disclosure means that the night is one giant party.

Usually by New Years Eve energy starts to lag. It’s the classic combo of heat (and freezing cold), lack of sleep and a steady diet of festival food that leaves everyone feeling slightly worse for wear on the last day.

I’m lucky that I’ve had the luxury of going home each night, especially in such dry conditions. Although beautiful, Mt Duneed has morphed into a dustbowl and by night time my companion and I are grateful to be able to wipe the dirt of the day off our shoes and hands.

   Crowd favourites King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard entertain the masses in the Grand Theatre on day three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Crowd favourites King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard entertain the masses in the Grand Theatre on day three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

   Melbourne's own Phoebe Baker (Alpine) hits all the right notes on day three of the 2015 Falls Festival at Mt Duneed Estate - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Melbourne's own Phoebe Baker (Alpine) hits all the right notes on day three of the 2015 Falls Festival at Mt Duneed Estate - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

   Grammy nominated Courtney Barnett gives it her all on night three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Grammy nominated Courtney Barnett gives it her all on night three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

   Kele Okereke of British rock group Bloc Party plays on night three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Kele Okereke of British rock group Bloc Party plays on night three of the 2015 Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

My afternoon begins with a super mellow routine by Meg Mack. She’s attempting to sing while holding on to her sunhat, but gives in and allows the wind to blow the stylish accessory off her head and towards the back of the stage. Mack finishes her show and the early afternoon crowd cheers the heartfelt performance. The temperature is peaking as I ease my way back up to the Grand Theatre to watch Money for Rope. I don’t really mean to, but end up staying for their whole act, they’re good fun and it’s so much cooler in the tent. 

The evening passes in a blur of Kurt Vile, The Maccabees, Harts and Sweden’s own Elliphant, who performs while wearing a Falls Fest volunteer t-shirt.   

2015 is coming to a close and excitement is thick in the air. As night settles in I catch an encore performance by Borns (after the cancellation of The Avener leaves a gap in the schedule). The young rock group are super talented so it’s a pleasure to watch them again – this time playing in front of a much larger and energized pack.

   Festival fashion on New Year's Eve 2015  - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Festival fashion on New Year's Eve 2015  - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

   Feeling the heat on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Feeling the heat on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

   Meg Mac perfroms in style on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Meg Mac perfroms in style on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

Before I know it it’s time for Foals, the London based band chosen to ring in the new year with style. This is the show I’ve been looking forward to the most over the past few days and they don’t disappoint. Lead singer Yannis Philippakis dives off the stage and heads into the assembled mass several times during the show and by the time they wrap things up the crowd seems to have reached maximum hyperactivity – the people are ready to keep the party going. It’s a tough act to follow but Django Django don’t appear to have any issues, they put on a killer set and wish everyone a great 2016.

As Django Django’s last song winds up we sneak out of the grounds via a hole in the fence and wander back to our car. The sun has set on yet another great Falls Festival and despite the unusual circumstances we've enjoyed four great days of music, performance, food, vintage fashion and general people watching. It’s been a fantastic effort by the Falls group and the seemingly tireless volunteers, who have managed to raise over $139,000 for bush fire relief via the release of a one off New Years Eve Appeal ticket, day parking rates and collection tins onsite.

It’s been an awesome, albeit hot, four days and no matter where the show ends up in 2016, you can guarantee that it won’t ever be boring.

   Money for Rope entertain in the Grand Theatre on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Money for Rope entertain in the Grand Theatre on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

   Swedish singer/songwriter Elliphant wears a Falls Festival volunteer t-shirt while performing on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

 

Swedish singer/songwriter Elliphant wears a Falls Festival volunteer t-shirt while performing on New Year's Eve 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback. 

   Waiting to celebrate the New Year, Falls Festival 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

 

Waiting to celebrate the New Year, Falls Festival 2015 - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.

   Yannis Philippakis, lead singer and guitarist of British indie group Foals crowd surfs after ringing in the New Year at Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.   

 

Yannis Philippakis, lead singer and guitarist of British indie group Foals crowd surfs after ringing in the New Year at Falls Festival - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback.   

The Event: Andy Warhol | Ai WeiWei launches at the NGV

 

Ai Weiwei describes Andy Warhol as the "perfume" of the New York art scene in the late 20th century. Even when he wasn't present, Warhol's persona lingered heavily in the air, influencing everyone around him. 

It's a poetic sentiment from the Chinese born artist who never had the opportunity to meet Warhol, instead only briefly spotting him across a room somewhere in New York in the early 1980s. 

On display now and until the 24th of April at the National Gallery of Victoria, Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei features over three hundred artworks (including five pieces commissioned specifically for the exhibition). Surprisingly it's the first time that Warhol and Weiwei have been showcased side by side, illustrating the striking similarities between the two modern artists.

   Forever Bicycle (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

Forever Bicycle (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

This stunning exhibition has been curated to create an open dialog between the two men, Pittsburg native Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, one of China's most controversial citizens.  

In 2011 the editors of ArtReview dubbed Weiwei "the most powerful artist in the world". Although his work has reached world wide status, Weiwei is arguably better known as a living symbol of the struggle for human rights after being held as a political prisoner by the Chinese government - to this day he cannot travel without permission from Chinese authorities. 

Like Warhol, Weiwei's artistic output has merged with his personality, elevating both men to celebrity status -  using a combination of sculpture, film, photography, painting and drawing to express often politically charged opinions.    

 

   Letgo Room (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback   

 

Letgo Room (Ai Weiwei) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

The exhibition features some of Andy Warhol's most famous works, including screen prints of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong, as well as original copies of Interview Magazine (founded in 1969) and a recreation of his famous New York studio, known simply as 'The Factory'. 

Also showcased is Ai Weiwei's 'Letgo Room', the controversial display created out of lego donated by art patrons from around the world after Lego refused to supply their patented bricks for the project. Built specifically for the NGV, the 'Letgo Room'  features plastic portraits of 20 Australian activists including Rosie Batty and Julian Assange, a thoughtful tribute to the power of the freedom of speech.

   Screen prints of Mao Zedong (Andy Warhol) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

Screen prints of Mao Zedong (Andy Warhol) - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback

The Event: Four Pillars Gin opens in Healesville

If there was one event guaranteed to bring Makers of Melbourne out of self imposed retirement, it was the launch party for the brand-new Four Pillars Gin distillery in Healesville.

Housed in a former timber yard, our mates at Four Pillars threw open the doors to their spacious new home on Monday 2nd of November, inviting a select group of media and friends to christen the space and sample delights from the latest edition to the family, 'Jude', the handsome copper still responsible for producing some of Melbourne's finest boutique spirits - named after co-owner Stuart Gregor's mother, 'Jude' is the big sister to 'Wilma', the original Four Pillars still who sat proudly in the company's first distillery in South Warrandyte. 

   The Four Pillars Gin Distillery in Healesville - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback 

 

The Four Pillars Gin Distillery in Healesville - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback 

The new space tops off an impressive two year run for the Four Pillars team - the small-batch gin is now sold nationally through retailers like Dan Murphy's and can be found in numerous bars across the country.

Although Gregor and his business partners will be forever grateful for the use of what was essentially the Yarra Burn back-shed, this strategic move has seen the distillery establish itself smack bang in the middle of the Yarra Valley wine trail, capturing a lucrative market by offering up a fine selection of gin based cocktails and locally produced food, served up in the modern timber finished open-plan dining hall. 

    Four Pillars Gin Distillery launch party - images courtesy of Kirsty Umback

 

Four Pillars Gin Distillery launch party - images courtesy of Kirsty Umback

The distillery will also play host to short courses and other gin appreciation programs, all designed to spread the Four Pillars word to both a national and international audience. The team has plans to bring in the occasional weekend food truck and will continue with their experimental ways of working, blending the traditional Juniper based spirit with a mixture of indigenous botanicals and incorporating the use of wine barrels into the ageing process. 

   Four Pillars Gin launch party - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback 

 

Four Pillars Gin launch party - image courtesy of Kirsty Umback 


Four Pillars Gin Distillery
2A Lilydale Road, Healesville 3777

(03) 5962 2791

Hours
Sun to Thu 10.30am–5.30pm
Fri & Sat 10.30am–9pm


The Event: Bohemian Melbourne at The State Library of Victoria

Now open at the State library of Victoria, Bohemian Melbourne is a stunning exhibition devoted to celebrating the lives of a select group of individuals whose artistic legacies have helped mould the character of this city.

Curated by Clare Williamson, Bohemian Melbourne shines light on a rag-tag bunch of artistic rebels including Marcus Clarke, Mirka Mora, Vali Myers and Nick Cave; mindfully exploring history’s backstreets and smoky salons, while sharing the stories behind the daring poets, artists, visionaries and rock stars who changed Melbourne’s cultural landscape forever.

Inspired by Tony Moore’s Dancing With Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians, the planning of this exhibition started around 2 years ago when Williamson began securing loans from private collections and accessing the State Library’s rich list of resources. The accomplished curator happily confides to Makers of Melbourne that her greatest struggle involved short-listing the chosen few who would end up being featured in the final display.

Clare: “It was tough and as a curator it’s always painful when you have to pick and choose. I could have made the exhibition twice the size that it was, it could have been huge but we always try and angle our collections so that its 80% library collection and about 20% major loans. We always look at how a story can be told visually and sometimes it might be that we have a fantastic person with no material culture to tell their story in a visual way.”

The library’s exhibition, which closes on the 22nd of February, includes a range of   “must show” characters (Barry Humphries, Mirka Mora and Vali Myers) as well as lesser-known creatives like the flamboyant Val Eastwood, proprietor of Val’s coffee lounge. Arguably the birthplace of Melbourne’s ‘camp’ culture (as it was known) in the 1950s, Val’s Coffee Lounge was a meeting place for artists, performers and musicians seeking momentary freedom from society’s conventions.

Val Eastwood at Val's Coffee Lounge, Unknown photographer c. 1950s - Courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives

Val Eastwood at Val's Coffee Lounge, Unknown photographer c. 1950s - Courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives

Eastwood, a well-known figure in the bohemian demimonde of 1950s Melbourne (often seen wearing men’s tailored suits and carrying a silver topped cane) established her café in what is now a Hare Krishna restaurant on Swanston Street. Creating a sanctuary for cultural misfits, Val’s played an integral part in the development of Melbourne’s café culture - To this day hundreds of cafes, bars and coffee shops generate opportunities for people to meet up and share ideas.

Bohemian Melbourne has been created as a place for visitors to engage.  The exhibition includes interactive displays and video monitors’ playing exerts from feature films, documentaries and rare footage, designed to bring the subject matter to life. “There’s great footage of Vali [Myers] in her hotel room at the Chelsea,” Williamson shares, “And [footage of] people coming and going including Debbie Harry.”

Clare: “Vali Myers was a much-loved figure, a lot of people met her in her open studio in the Nicholson building where people were welcome to come and buy a print or have a dance. People talk about how she was such a down to earth friendly character even though she had travelled the world and had met amazing people, she lived in Paris and Italy and met Warhol and Dali and tattooed Patti Smith’s knee.”

Vali Myers in her studio in the Nicholas Building, 1997, photographed by Liz Ham - Courtesy of the State Library Victoria

Vali Myers in her studio in the Nicholas Building, 1997, photographed by Liz Ham - Courtesy of the State Library Victoria

Sydney born Myers (who passed away in 2003 at the age of 72) was drawn to her adopted hometown of Melbourne’s strong artistic scene – It’s a creative culture that has been encouraged and supported since the gold rush, when thousands of foreigners flooded into the state of Victoria seeking gold, fame and fortune.

 What followed was an influx of performers, poets and free spirits drawn to the hedonistic lifestyle surrounding the financial boom. An element of Australian history rarely explored in secondary school reference books.

Clare: “We tend to make a point of things like the 1920s Paris or the Beat Poets or Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the 1960s, but we tend to not be as familiar or know that we had people here, like Marcus Clarke back in the 1860s who was living the life of a young dandy and starting up bohemian clubs where he and his mates would get together and smoke clay pipes, drink beer from pewter mugs, and recite poetry.”

Marcus Clarke, Unknown photographer, 1866 - Courtesy of the State Library Victoria

Marcus Clarke, Unknown photographer, 1866 - Courtesy of the State Library Victoria

Bohemian Melbourne offers fascinating insight into the history of our great city and into the lives of a group of artists not afraid to march to the beat of their own drum.

Clare: “Melbourne is a city that loves to celebrate the people who have the courage to express themselves through their art, whether that was through visual art, literature, fashion design, music and performance. The more that we looked the more we discovered just how rich Melbourne’s history was and how we love to celebrate the individual. Melbourne is a city very proud to embrace and celebrate individual expressions of culture.”

 Bohemian Melbourne runs at The State Library of Victoria until February 22nd. Entry is free.

 

 

 

 

 

The Event: Falls Festival, Lorne 2014

The closing note of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ fades and a palpable excitement builds as a projected clock counts down the seconds, ebbing closer and closer to midnight. Lead singer and drummer from the recently reformed Spiderbait, Kram, is working his way awkwardly around the stage, rhetorically asking the assembled audience when he’ll be asked to host the ARIA awards, before turning his attention back to the digital timepiece and beginning the new year’s countdown.

Kram

Kram

It’s a slightly strange moment on what had been an unusual new years eve at Falls Festival Lorne, with the noticeable absence of the annual parade leaving a hole in the festivities earlier in the evening. But Kram’s midnight announcement is met with thunderous applause from a sea of eager festival-goers. The valley surrounding Erskine Falls echoes back with cheers and catcalls, flares and fireworks explode as the Finley born performer exits the stage and The Presets begin a blistering post new year’s countdown set.

The beloved Aussie duo has been on stage for little over 5 minutes when a flare is thrown into the photographer’s pit. Security swarms as carpet begins to smoke and a thick haze settles on the first few rows of the audience. Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes continue to play, seemingly unaware of the smog and eager to please the hyper throng that has turned out to watch their first performance of 2015.

The Presets'  Julian Hamilton

The Presets' Julian Hamilton

I stand near the stage wrapped in several layers of clothing. Although the day started out at a perfect 20 something degrees (new years eve offered the best weather conditions for the entire festival), the night has turned decidedly frigid; it doesn’t seem to have bothered the majority of the attendees I note, catching a glimpse of a guy dressed in little more than a pair of shorts - My gaze returns to the main stage as I wait for my photographer companion to complete her “three songs and out” duties.  As the herd of snappers makes their exit from the front of stage the sudden decision is made to leave before the end of the Presets set. It’s been a long couple of days and now is the perfect time to head back to Melbourne.

Falls is always exhausting but we’ve had it decidedly easy compared to most, although good food, coffee and some excellent vintage shopping are all fully available to the general public. Not to mention the beautiful surrounds, comedy, face painting, circus acts and music on offer.

Luke Steele from Empire Of The Sun

Luke Steele from Empire Of The Sun

Over the last few days I’ve managed to catch sets from some really great performers (Empire of the Sun, Jagwar Ma, Glass Animals), discovered some new favorites (Big Freedia, DMA’s) and have complied a massive list of albums to download on my return home. I’ve seen musicians get in trouble for smoking indoors, been offered glow sticks while in the queue for the toilets and asked by an inebriated punter if I was a figment of his imagination…Spoiler alert, I wasn’t.

Big Freedia

Big Freedia

Although festivities officially started on Sunday the 28th with performances from a host of bands including Client Liaison and hip hop legends Salt ‘n’ Pepper, it wasn’t until Monday the 29th that things kicked up a notch with headlining sets from The Temper Trap and DZ Deathrays (the latter being added to the bill after the cancellation of Julian Casablancas + The Voidz).

The weather was miserable with scattered showers and chilly conditions but that wasn’t enough to keep crowds away from Melbourne’s own North East Party House who had had a mid-afternoon audience dancing up a storm with their special blend of indie dance music. Unfortunately a real storm settled in toward the end of their set, leaving follow up act Dan Sultan performing to a disappointingly small crowd, as a majority of punters headed elsewhere seeking shelter from the steady rainfall.

North East Party House

North East Party House

By far the biggest buzz band of the day was Milky Chance, the German group have been attracting global audiences with their reggae tinged “folktronica” and their live set solidified their excellent reputation as they performed tracks off debut album, ‘Sadnecessary’. Lead single ‘Stolen Dance’ was the highlight of the show, greeted with rapturous applause from an inspired Monday night crowd.

Tuesday, and the second last day of 2014 had the most varied and appealing lineup with Sticky Fingers, Cloud Control and SBTRKT playing over the course of the day. The weather remained cold and miserable, but the first day of performances in The Grand Theatre gave a chilly audience the chance to keep warm with performances by Run The Jewels, Remi and The Black Lips.

SBTRKT

SBTRKT

John Butler sounded pitch perfect and got things moving with his early evening performance. He was a great choice to play before British electronic artist La Roux took the stage; the combination of laid back jams followed by dance music meant that the assembled crowd was large, varied and up for a good time.

As the sun rose on the last day of the festival it appeared that the clouds and wet weather had left for good. A slightly worse for wear looking crowd took full advantage of the sun, many stripping down to shorts, T shirts and summer dresses, basking in the summer heat.

One-man band Kim Churchill won over the audience early in the day and paved the way for killer performances by Vance Joy, Megan Washington, Cold War Kids and an enthusiastic farewell set from Bluejuice, all before the clock struck twelve. 

English band Alt-J sounded flawless as they performed songs off the Mercury Prize winning ‘An Awesome Wave’ and their recently released follow up, ‘This Is All Yours’. Vocalist Joe Newman’s lilting vocals pitch perfect, blending seamlessly with his bandmates uplifting sound.

Alt-J

Alt-J

 And then it was over.

Time to beat the crowds and return to the city. Back to life with the internet, mobile phone reception and fresh vegetables after a 3 day festival diet of fried food and cider. Thanks again Falls, as always you were an awesome way to usher in the new year.

The Event: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, HiFi Bar 19th December

Victoria’s purveyors of psych-rock fuzz, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard wrapped up the year and a national tour with a corker of a live set at The Hifi Bar last Friday night, supported by Leah Senior, Tonstartssbandht and Adalita, as well as a scene stealing series of psychedelic projections created by mixed-media artist Jason Galea.

 

After receiving international praise for their performances at New York's CMJ Music Conference in October, the November release of I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (their 5th LP in the space of two and a half years) and extensive tours throughout America, the UK, Europe and Australia during 2014,  the young band would be forgiven for subjecting their audience to a lackluster performance. Luckily for us, they remained in high spirits throughout the concert, obviously ecstatic to be back on home turf.

The show at The Hifi would best be described as full sensory overload, visual effects working in perfect unison with the tunes, resulting in a mind-bending cacophony of sound, skill and stamina.

For the uninitiated King Gizz play fuzzy psychedelic rock, with a strong hint of 60s garage. The band lineup includes two drummers, three guitarists, and a sometime harmonica/tambourine/keyboard playing backing singer. What could easily be an overwhelming amount of sound works perfectly together, blending seamless layers of beats, echoes and fuzz with the vocals of lead singer Stu Mackenzie.

Four years in and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have managed to explore a staggering array of genres throughout their brief career; from bubblegum psyche pop (Oddments, 2014), garage punk and Daptone influenced soul (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz was partially recorded at the legendary Brooklyn based studio). With their “more is more” approach to recorded music it’s only fitting that their live shows should follow suit.

Playing a setlist that included a number of tracks off the latest LP, King Gizz kept their performance loose, happy to jam and draw out the running times of several tracks; incorporating drumstick flips, gobbing, tambourine solos and all manor of onstage shenanigans while an enthusiastic crowd whipped themselves into a hyped up frenzy.   

By the end of the gig this reviewer was left feeling both exhausted and elated, although sober I had the overwhelming feeling of having my drink spiked with LSD, Galea’s trippy lightshow embedded in my retinas while tunes firmly echoed through my head.

I made my way up the stairs of The Hifi and stumbled back onto Swanston Street deep into a thick crowd of unsuspecting late night shoppers. Although reluctant to break the live music spell, the reality of a pre-Christmas general public hit me hard as I wandered towards a Bourke Street tram stop, more than ready to see this magical septet perform again at the Sugar Mountain festival this coming January.

The Event: ACMI Presents Yang Fudong, Filmscapes

Launching this week at ACMI, China Up Close is a fascinating look at one of our most polarising neighbours. 

The exhibition - ACMI’s first “Up Close” event - promises to explore this endlessly intriguing society through a thoughtfully curated program of art, film, digital programs, talks and live events.

Chinese screen culture is exploding in the world’s fastest growing economy today. This rapid ascent has occurred in a country with more than 20 per cent of the world’s population, making China the second largest international economy behind the United States. New opportunities for international collaboration and market penetration are now emerging, at the same time that Chinese society is undergoing a dramatic transformation and film audiences are growing.

At the nucleus of China Up Close is an exhibition profiling the elaborate films and film installations of celebrated Shanghai-based artist Yang Fudong. Titled Yang Fudong: Filmscapes. This premiere exhibition boasts three seminal works: Ye Jiang/The Nightman Cometh (2011), The Fifth Night (2010) and East of Que Village (2007) and also features a brand new work co-commissioned by ACMI and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, titled New Women II (2014).

Yang Fudong

Yang Fudong

Born in Beijing and currently based in Shanghai, Yang Fudong trained as a painter before emerging onto the international arts scene in the early 1990s when he began working with multi-channel video installations, single-channel films and photography. Today, Yang Fudong is lauded for introducing multi-screen Chinese film installations to the West.

Drawing on Asian and Western cinema (particularly film noir and the French avant-garde), Yang Fudong’s dramatic and highly stylised film installations are rooted in the traditions of Chinese literature, philosophy and art. ACMI curator Ulanda Blair states that Fudong’s work appealed to the gallery, “not only because he’s working with the moving image; his work is also very reflective, illustrating the way that film makers can tell stories and manipulate our emotions. His work looks at the mechanisms of cinema and deconstructs those mechanisms."

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

Fudong’s extraordinary resume bares a critical relationship with cinema. His first film, An Estranged Paradise, premiered at the 2002 Documenta, Germany’s renowned festival of contemporary art, to rave reviews. Paradise uses a classic montage technique to track the romantic adventures and urban wanderings of a hypochondriac hero. The film was completed in 1997, thanks to funding from a patron who was willing to take a chance on a director barely out of art school and additional financing from Documenta.

It was followed by Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, whose five installments were completed between 2003 and 2007, premiering at two Venice Biennales. Riffing on an ancient legend about seven young culturati who retreat into a sylvan life of drinking and conversation, Fudong’s Bamboo Forest follows the peregrinations of five men and two women as they linger among classic Chinese landscapes, farmers’ fields and modern construction sites.

Blair: “He [Fudong] attended art school in Hangzhou and actually studied oil painting. It’s amazing when you think that his first film, and he didn’t even study film making, for that film to premier at one of the biggest and most prestigious art events in the world is extraordinary.” 

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

The Nightman Cometh (2011)

It’s interesting to note that growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution and the more recent socialist market system meant that Fudong had limited access to Western cinema. The artist has previously spoken of preconceived notions formed through studying the films of Fellini, his imagination influencing his work even before he had opportunity to watch the movies he’d read about at art school.

Blair: “There’s a lot of influences from Western art house cinema, but he’s also been influenced by film noir and Chinese films from the 1920s and 1930s, a time when Shanghai in particular was strongly influenced by the West.”

 With his creative output very much grounded in traditional Chinese culture, Fudong is a rarity amongst his contemporaries, many of whom are now based abroad. It’s obvious that the artist still carries a deep appreciation and respect for his homeland, a theme often reflected in his work.

“We hear a lot about Australia’s relationship with China in the media from a political and economic viewpoint but building our cultural capacities are equally as important.” states Blair, “Chinese art has been incredibly popular on the international arts scene for some years now. But in Australia and more specifically Melbourne, we still haven’t really seen a lot of contemporary art from the region. We have a huge Chinese community here and it’s really important to have a Chinese artist shown. Having said that, we [ACMI] would only work with the best and I truly believe that Yang Fudong is one of the most extraordinary artists working today.”   

New Women II (2014)

New Women II (2014)

Yang Fudong: Filmscapes will exhibit from Thursday 4 December 2014.
Entry is free.

Yang Fudong is represented by ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

 

The Event: Up There Store, Little Collins Street

The boys behind men’s fashion boutique Up There recently opened their third location in Melbourne. They invited Makers down to the newly acquired Little Collins Street store to check out the wares.

Excitingly, the new space is Up There’s first street level store in Melbourne’s CBD and the fit out is second to none. As always, the lads promise (and deliver) the perfect merging of service and product and these guys really know their stock inside out! 

Selling a range of classic brands including Norse Projects, Bleu De Paname, New Balance and Converse, the lads have also thrown American brand Public School into the mix. Having won every fashion award under the sun in the last few years, Public School is the ‘it’ label on the New York fashion scene and is exclusively available through Up There in Australia.

    

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

Up There Store
208 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD

 

 

 

The Event: Mambo, 30 years of shelf-indulgence at the Ian Potter Centre

One of Australia’s most irreverent and outspoken brands - Mambo - has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. With its idiosyncratic Australian sense of humour and perverse national pride, Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence celebrates this iconic clothing label in a retrospective exhibition featuring the largest collection of Mambo works ever assembled at NGV Australia from 6th December 2014 to 22nd February 2015, and a milestone publication of the same name.

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents all the ground-breaking ideas, subversive politics and off-the-wall larrikinism that have made it one of Australia's most memorable brands. The exhibition includes original artworks, never-before-seen developmental work and a retrospective of the most-loved pieces of apparel produced during its controversial history, including its iconic graphic T-shirts.

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo: 30 Years of Shelf-Indulgence artwork by Reg Mombassa

From artist Richard Allan’s infamous dog print to Reg Mombassa’s iconic ‘Australian Jesus’ Hawaiian shirt, Mambo tackled racism, jingoism and commercialism – and even poked fun at the very subculture they were supposedly targeting with their clothing and accessories. 

 Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence presents the ideas and idiosyncrasies that have come to characterise this unconventional brand,” says NGV Director Tony Ellwood. “It looks at some of the many artists who have made Mambo a national household name: from the legendary Reg Mombassa, with his cheeky depictions of an Aussie Messiah, to Maria Kozic’s strangely haunting Goddesses and Richard Allen’s enduring canine – the famous farting dog – which has formed the Mambo logo for more than twenty years."

Ellwood: “The exhibition acknowledges the singular place Mambo holds in this country as a purveyor of fashion, philosophy, art and design.”

Established in 1984 by founder Dare Jennings, Mambo built its foundations on an irreverent combination of art, humour, music and surf. Pitched squarely at the average Australian, under the art direction of Wayne Golding, the label is credited with introducing art and humour to the previously logo-driven and humour-challenged surf wear industry.

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Mambo Etymology artwork by Reg Mombassa

Self-described as the ‘bastard children of surf culture’, Mambo gave rise to one of the most recognisable, authentic, vernacular, politically incorrect yet intensely political brands to rise out of the excesses of 1980s Australia. Mambo’s social commentary and political astuteness is embodied by every one of the 250 artists that have worked for the label over the past three decades.

The brand’s artistic reputation and voice was solidified in 1993, when Mambo was invited by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to exhibit alongside an international collection of surrealist art in the show, Surrealism by Night.  In 2000, the label reached new international heights when it was selected to design the Australian athletes’ uniforms for the Sydney Olympic Games.

Guest curated by Eddie Zammit in collaboration with Mambo’s original art director, Wayne Golding, and current owner Angus Kingsmill, the exhibition and publication showcase some of the finest elements of Mambo’s creative and very distinctive identity. Zammit is also the publisher of T-world magazine, the world’s only T-shirt journal documenting graphics from the past and present.

Zammit: “Here’s a homegrown brand that cares about art. When it comes to Australian brands, no one comes close to the creative energy of Mambo. The exhibition will showcase the enormous 30 year contribution of this icon.”

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square in the NGV Studio from 6 Dec 2014 – 22 Feb 2015.

Entry is free.

The Event: Exhibition opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

This week, Jean Paul Gaultier’s childhood teddy arrived in Melbourne. The fashion designer’s first muse is one of the most touching and personal displays in the blockbusting exhibition ‘Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’, which opened at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday.

The show’s curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot from Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts, hosted the media preview for the exhibition on Thursday morning and Makers of Melbourne were invited along to listen to Jean Paul talk about his career and inspirations, before getting a sneak peak at the multi faceted fashion retrospective.

 

As an only child raised in suburban Paris, Gaultier asked his parents for a doll, but feeling as though Barbie was inappropriate for a boy in the 1950s, his mother and father instead gave him the soft animal he called “Nana.” 

Now tucked away safely in a glass display case, the ursine toy has been noticeably poked, prodded and coloured in. Her most obvious improvements, a customized cone bra, formed from paper and most certainly the prototype for one of Jean Paul’s most iconic creations, Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour cone bra and corset, which was lovingly designed as a playful wink to his grandmother’s lingerie collection.

 

Once labeled the ‘enfant terrible’ of French fashion, it’s this witty irreverence that has become the designer’s trademark. Madonna’s corset – which sold for $52,000 in 2012 – also features in this stunning exhibition, along with pieces designed for Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, Kate Moss and one of Gaultier’s more recent muses, Melbourne born transgender supermodel Andreja Pejic, who made a surprise appearance on stage at the media preview.

Finding beauty in human diversity, Gaultier has championed the use of models of all ages, body types, ethnicity and gender on his catwalk throughout his career. “I was always shy, I always noticed difference. I always wanted to show that there’s more than one type of beauty.”

Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “There is a very strong social message in the work of Jean Paul. It was important for me to stage this exhibition because he really brought non-models onto the catwalk. It was always important for him to show different types of beauty, to show people different body shapes, different colours, different genders.”

 

Visitors have a rare opportunity to admire both Gaultier’s prêt a porter and couture work spanning his 38 year career, including a selection from his most recent (and final) ready to wear collection, staged in Paris just last month.

Gaultier: “You know, I am 62 years old. So, I am a dinosaur. I started working in couture at the age of 18 with Pierre Cardin, I have seen that work and a world that doesn’t exist anymore - The couture way. I have been in this business for 38 years and things have changed, now there is so much marketing, and when I think about it, I don’t have the freedom that I always had, so I think it’s better to quit ready to wear and to concentrate on couture, where I still have that sense of freedom.”

The Melbourne leg of Gaultier’s exhibition has been expanded from its previous international incarnations to include pieces from a crop of home grown muses – Oscar gowns for Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett and tour costumes for Kylie Minogue sit alongside design sketches, iconic fashion images and Gaultier designed movie costumes from films including ‘The 5th Element’.

 Gaultier: “It [the exhibition] was a great opportunity for me to present my work, what I am doing. I must say that I love it, almost as much as I loved to create it. At the time that the team came to me and asked to make an exhibition, for me it was not good, it was like something for the dead people, like when I was little I would go to the museum and the clothes that I was seeing were from the time of Queen Victoria. But now I say, OK if this is my exhibition then I will happily be dead.”

The Event: Coach Launch

If this week has been a local fashionsta’s dream, culminating in Thursday’s launch of the NGV’s Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition, then Wednesday night offered a taster of international fashion, whetting our appetites with the launch of creative director Stuart Vevers’ debut collection for Coach.

Coach, the leading New York design house for luxury accessories, hosted the launch of their ‘Fall 2014’ collection in their new flagship store, housed inside Melbourne’s Emporium. Inspired by “a girl on a journey that starts and finishes in New York City”, this new range is a playful mix of utility and luxury, resulting in a range that feels both authentic and modern.

Co-hosted by one of Australia's leading stylists, Romy Frydman of StyleMeRomy.com, Makers of Melbourne joined a glamorous selection of guests from the fashion, music, art and design industries at the Emporium store, indulging in Patrón tequila cocktails while getting an exclusive peek at the new Coach range.

Throughout the evening invitees were given the opportunity to explore the new Emporium flagship boutique, while enjoying a bespoke soundtrack created by Melbourne based DJ Dena Kaplan, while throughout the evening, Polaroid offered guests the opportunity to print & preserve their Instagram memories as a souvenir to take home from a fantastic party.

The Event: AIR Awards 2014

Now in its 9th year, the AIR Independent Music awards took place last night in North Melbourne's Meat Market building. Hosted by Dylan Lewis, the short and sweet event mixed performances by emerging Aussie talent and a host of relaxed award presentations, including the big one - this year's Global music grant, offering $50,000 towards a band establishing themselves internationally. 

Remi performs

Remi performs

This year's global music grant went to Remi, with the trio also taking out the award for Best Independent Hip Hop Album earlier in the night. See our full list of winners below.

Dylan Lewis

Dylan Lewis

DMA's perform

DMA's perform

Keynote speaker Adalita

Keynote speaker Adalita

Winner of best  Independent Jazz Album Paul Grabowsky

Winner of best Independent Jazz Album Paul Grabowsky

Winners of  Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year, Sheppard

Winners of Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year, Sheppard

Best Independent Album &   Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album winners Violent Soho

Best Independent Album & Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album winners Violent Soho

Meg Mac on stage

Meg Mac on stage

Shihad's Tom Larkin & Dylan Lewis

Shihad's Tom Larkin & Dylan Lewis

Safia

Safia

Winners of the  Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single category Peking Duk

Winners of the Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single category Peking Duk

Winners:

$50,000 Global Music Grant
Remi

Best Independent Artist
Courtney Barnett

Best Independent Album
Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost

Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year
Sheppard

Best Independent Single/EP
Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener

Best Independent Label 
I OH YOU

Best Independent Hip Hop Album 
Remi - Raw x Infinity

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album 
Dan Sultan - Blackbird

Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album
Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost

Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single 
Peking Duk - High

Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album 
RÜFÜS - Atlas

Best Independent Classical Album 
Gurrumul / Sydney Symphony Orchestra - His Life & Music

Best Independent Country Album 
Halfway - Any Old Love

Best Independent Jazz Album 
Paul Grabowsky Sextet - The Bitter Suite

The Event: The Eternal Headonist Launch Party


Last Tuesday night Makers of Melbourne were invited along to the launch party for The Eternal Headonist at The Anna Pappas Gallery in Prahran.

When British born, Melbourne-based Annabel Allen, herself a trained milliner, noted the interest in specialist headwear on the internet, she decided to launch her own online millinery store, The Eternal Headonist.

Custom parfaits created by  Helados Jauja  Argentinian ice-cream  in Carlton

Custom parfaits created by Helados Jauja Argentinian ice-cream in Carlton

The online store stocks a slew of handpicked milliners whose use of materials and technique are helping to bring a new perspective to the industry.  On display at the launch were pieces by Natalie Bikicki, whose progressive work with leather and PVC has placed her on the ‘ones to watch’ list, through to more established milliners including Melbourne’s own Richard Nylon and  a range of vintage items from esteemed designers and milliners such as Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones and Yves Saint Laurent.

Annabel: “We can shop a well curated selection of fashion, lingerie, footwear and cosmetics online, but curated ranges of quality and fashion-forward millinery are not at all represented in this space, so we wanted to change that.”

Milliner Richard Nylon launches The Eternal Headonist at The Anna Pappas Gallery in Prahran

Milliner Richard Nylon launches The Eternal Headonist at The Anna Pappas Gallery in Prahran

Whilst at this stage only an online destination, The Headonist can’t resist an excuse to hold a party and pop-up events leading into the Spring Racing Carnival are imminent.

The first pop-up location is: 37/220 Commercial Rd, Prahran. Opening next Saturday 27th Sept - Fri 7th Nov.

The Event: MSFW Runway 2

MSFW Designer Runway 2 brought us the best of the poets; a hand picked selection of Australian designers who specialize in bold fabric choices, clean silhouettes and contemporary cuts. From Alice McCall’s delightfully girly confections in colours ranging from lemon sorbet and pistachio, through to Neo Dia’s sleek lines and basket woven leather. Wednesday night’s parade was a bold look at the upcoming season.

 With each collection punctuated by a spoken word performance, the stage was set for a dramatic show. And the evening didn’t disappoint, Makers of Melbourne loved getting a sneak peak at the spring/summer ranges from Willow, Manning Cartell and Life with Bird as well one of our favourite local designers Lui Hon.

Alice McCall

Carly Hunter

The Event: MSFW Runway 1

The first parade of this year's Melbourne Spring Fashion Week was a sartorial nod to the romantic. Ready to wear collections from Jason Grech, Aurelio Costarella, Micheal Lo Sordo, Carla Zampatti, Gwendolynne, Nicholangela and Anaessia were themed around elegant silhouettes and detailed finishes. Topped off with a touch of Richard Nylon millinery magic, perfect for the upcoming race and wedding season. 

Jason Grech

Aurelio Costarella

Michael Lo Sordo

Carla Zampatti

Dom Bagnato

Gwendolynne

Nicolangela

Anaessia

The Event: An Evening with Mason & Grace

There are two driving hospitality theories in Melbourne, opposing camps in to which most venues can be categorised. First up are the single-door-stalwarts: think Ronnie Di Stasio and, a newcomer to that theory following the sale of St Ali North, Salvatore Malatesta.

Second? The multi-door-believers. Those that channel the energetic feed of two, three or even four venue stables. The Lucas Group (Chin Chin, Baby Pizza, Kong BBQ) and The European Group (The European et al) may be at the forefront of this pack, but the Publican Group is pulling up as some stiff competition.

Relative newcomers to the Melbourne scene, the group launched Mr Mason in 2012, backing it up late last year with State of Grace and its hidden cellar bar, Fall from Grace.

For any Executive Chef, that’s a decent load to carry, as the Publican Group’s Telina Menzies, explained to Makers last night at a progressive dinner held between the three city centre venues.

Telina: “You just have to make sure that you trust the people that are running your kitchens. If you’ve got the right staff it’s the easiest job in the world, if you don’t, it’s the worst.”

The group appears to be on the right track: after mains of barramundi in saffron bisque and pork belly at Mr Mason, the 27 year old head chef Thiago Miranda was shyly presented to the table to field questions on his near faultless French-inspired menu. 

After mains at Mr Mason , a short evening stroll down Collins Street led to State of Grace for a dessert of pumpkin & hazelnut financier topped with cinnamon sherbet, where the highly considered mismatched décor features a giant giraffe mounted to the wall beside gilt-framed mirrors and op-shop tchotchkes above ornate Louis the XIV-style furnishings. The final touch? A ‘secret’ hidden bar – Fall from Grace – accessed via a bookshelf a la Maxwell Smart

State of Grace

State of Grace

If Telina has any concerns, it is more for the long-term health of the industry as she laments the willingness of current trainees to put in the three-years required in order to gain full qualifications. For now, however, the Publican Group’s Melbourne-based venues look to be in great shape. 

Fall from Grace cellar bar

Fall from Grace cellar bar

The Event: Fell Premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival

With a plotline that revolves around the insular Victorian logging industry, Fell, the directorial debut from Kasimir Burgess, is a striking addition to this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival

No doubt it’s an attention-getting movie: a deft script is tightly wound by Kasimir and writing partner, Natasha Pincus, its focus one man’s journey through the grief of losing a child and his subsequent plans for revenge all set within the controversial framework of Australia’s logging industry.

It’s Makers good fortune to get up close and personal with Kasimir, along with producer Mary Minas, 2nd assistant camera Jensen Cope and actor Daniel Henshall, on a day trip to revisit some of the lush filming locations in the nearby Yarra Valley. With principle filming having taken place just beyond Warburton and its surrounds, we – along with the cast and crew – return to ground zero in an effort to gain insight in to the film and those behind it.

(L-R) 2nd assistant camera  Jensen Cope, Director Kasimir Burgess, lead actor Daniel Henshall & inside man Brett Robin

(L-R) 2nd assistant camera Jensen Cope, Director Kasimir Burgess, lead actor Daniel Henshall & inside man Brett Robin

Kasimir: “[The Yarra Valley] is a dramatic setting and a place where the continuing cycle of life and death is ever present. There are primal themes of rotting and regeneration happening over and over that reflects the nature of our story. That idea of a redemptive and necessary death.”

 Fell revolves around the characters of Thomas (Matt Nable), a sharp-suited city dweller whose daughter is killed after being hit by a logging truck. Logger Luke (Henshall) flees the scene of the crime, but is caught and faces jail time. Thomas retrains as a logger, infiltrating the close-knit community with the idea of getting revenge on the man who killed his daughter.

Though the plotline could read as melodramatic, Fell is a subtle and nuanced piece, brought to life in the skilled hands of Kasimir, whose background in short film has certainly shaped the way he approached his feature length debut. The dialogue is minimal; instead the film focuses on body language, the hypnotizing surrounds and sound to tell its dramatic story.

Kasimir: “The storyline was so emotionally epic and the setting in the logging industry and the violence that surrounds it helped to externalize a lot of what our characters were going through internally, in terms of trauma, loss and grief. Everything was elemental; from the sound of the actors breathing, we hear their heartbeats, we hear the wind. I’ve always listened to characters breath in film, in fact I may have an unhealthy obsession with it (laughter) it feels very expressive to me. ”

 Historically, the Australian film industry has excelled in production of films set in the bush (Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Man From Snowy River), and Fell is no exception to this rule. 

Boarding a mini bus bound for the Yarra Valley, the director explains to Makers how he found the principle setting for the film.

Kasimir: “My girlfriend suggested that I go and check out Warburton and I fell in love quite quickly. It was probably a year and a half before we started filming but I’d started to look for rather specific locations and angles. I brought Marden [Dean, Director of Photography] out there and we both became very excited. Most of our pre-production ended up happening in the car while we were driving around looking for locations.” 

Over a delicious lunch at Rochford winery, Kasimir and actor Daniel Henshall expand on their time spent with the local logging community. Kasimir explains that the crew spent the six months prior to filming getting to know the men who live and work around Warbuton,

Kasimir: “We had a hand opening some doors into the local community and it was a matter of observing and taking away details. I’d come back to Tash (Sic) with photos that I’d covertly taken and stories of this and that, that we ended up incorporating into the story to bring as much authenticity as we could to the world.”

 Daniel: “The actor logging crew also spent time out in the area where they fell trees. We got to know the loggers and gained a great insight as to who they are and where they come from, it was good fun.”    

Cast & crew answer questions at the MIFF screening

Cast & crew answer questions at the MIFF screening

Fell had its world premier at the recent Sydney Film Festival, where it opened to excellent reviews. Much hype has also surrounded the groundbreaking decision by Minas and veteran Australian producer John Maynard to simultaneously stream the film for an online audience at the same time that it has broader release in Australian cinemas. 

 During the Sydney Film Festival, producer Maynard told the ABC Arts program, “the world premiere of Fell via the internet is a game-changer in a multi-screen world. It’s democratic, it’s inclusive and it’s about time.”

Fell is due for broader release this Thursday, 21st August.

Story: Janey Umback

Photos: Samantha Hogan