Sunday, August 31, 2008

大 紅 色 = Big Red

By Jen Paulousky of Blue Alvarez Designs

The title of this blog post is Mandarin for "Big Red", which is exactly what I thought of when I saw this building at the corning of Columbus and Clarendon:

I rode past it on the bike last Sunday (on my way to eat super tasty 月 餅 (moon cakes)) and promised myself I would go back to take more pictures. So on Tuesday, while I was waiting to practice my 中文 (Chinese), that's exactly what I did.

Now, I am not a photographer by trade or hobby (which I think these pictures can attest to). I was drawn to this building because of my love of all things textile. I was struck by how similar the affect was to gauze or organza from far away. I think this is illustrated really well in this photo:

You have to also kind of imagine that it was swaying in the breeze at the time, so the motion helped to complete the illusion.

The other reason I was so taken with this is that it wasn't all one hue, but rather many reds, which gave it a tiered look, reminding me of a many-layered skirt or gown.

And this same effect, when viewed from the side, actually revealed this seemingly random placement to be a quite orderly stripe:

The oranges, reds, and even almost purples (augmented by the blue bars behind them) really took me. I love these images and am hoping to use them as inspiration in my newest collection.

However, I think my favorite thing is putting those delicate, wafting layers in context with this parting shot:

Deep down, or rather up close, we all know it's really coarse, plastic mesh, built to withstand intense wear & tear in varying elements. And I just love this as a metaphor for being a woman in today's western culture, and it will surely be in the front of my mind as I'm designing the clothes for exactly those women - myself included.

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