indie art & design blog

capes & capers: new fashions from grazed youth

Red Capelet by Grazed Youth

Red Capelet by Grazed Youth AUD $99 from the indie art & design store

Super cute new Grazed Youth fashions from the Make, Believe collection are in store now at indie art & design! Designer Amelia Thompson has such a flare for quirky, clever designs and each piece is made beautifully. Amelia describes her collection very appropriately, "Like a small child sticking bubblegum in their sister's hair; Grazed Youth garments are compelling in that they play between a sense of fun and a darkness lurking below the surface."

Grey Check Cape by Grazed Youth

Grey Check Cape by Grazed Youth AUD $120 from the indie art & design store

I absolutely love Grazed Youth's capes and capelets! Not only will they keep your neck lovely & warm during wintery weather, but you can imagine yourself as a storybook character - perhaps Little Red, or even a devilish reinterpretation of Snow White... Pop the hood over your head for extra cheekiness!

Tartan Ruffle Cape by Grazed Youth

Tartan Ruffle Cape by Grazed Youth AUD $179.50 from the indie art & design store

Fans of tartan will adore the Ruffle Cape pictured above, and the Crochet Cape in black (below) offers a lighter, delicate version which you could wear with almost anything. We also have in store Grazed Youth's lavish Edwardian Collar Ruffles with their contrasting black trim & white lace, accentuated by a cameo brooch at the front & small strings of imitation pearls!

Crochet cape in black by Grazed Youth

Black Crochet Cape by Grazed Youth AUD $120 from the indie art & design store

In addition to the capes & collars, we have a selection of Grazed Youth garments & jewellery. The Slouch Tees are made from 100% merino wool and are so soft. The fabric drapes beautifully, & is perfectly suited to Amelia's sweet, loose-fitting style. Love the screen printed playing card suit details - the Ace of Spades for the red Slouch Tee & the Ace of Hearts for the cream. This theme continues with the gorgeous Spades Pocket Print Skirt...

Slouch tee in red and Spades Pocket Print Skirt by Grazed Youth

Slouch tee in red (left, AUD $210, also in cream, 100% merino wool, belt not included) and Spades Pocket Print Skirt (right, AUD $155) by Grazed Youth, available from the indie art & design store

You can shop for all the Grazed Youth garments pictured above, as well as more of Amelia's jewellery & accessories right here at the indie art & design store! Most styles are easy to fit, making them perfect for ordering online...

For more info, visit - definitely a label to watch!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

i love lenko!

Lenko shop front

Designer Dana Lenko has been injecting colourful cheekiness into Melbourne fashion for over a decade. The Lenko boutique, which moved from Melbourne Central into the lovely Cathedral Arcade a year ago, stocks local, interstate and international designers as well as the Lenko label.

Lenko Vanity Wall
Super-chunky knitwear by NZ designer Salasai

Super-chunky knitwear by NZ designer Salasai available from Lenko.

Limedrop brooch from Lenko

Russian-inspired brooch by Limedrop available from Lenko.

While studying art and film at the VCA, people would approach Dana to ask where she bought her skirt, jacket or top, only to discover that the garments had been made by Dana herself. Was this a sign? She soon turned to creating 'cute clothes with a dark side', for girls and guys, and now ships to customers internationally.

Lenko guys rack

Plenty of great tops, jackets and tees to please the guys available from Lenko.

Dana's use of delightful fabric, both new and vintage, pair well with Lenko's quirky designs. The floral leiderhosen short-shorts from Lenko's last summer range sold out in no time!

Lenko ladies rack
Lenko skirts

'Blue Lily Drop Skirt' & 'Flower Power Skirt' skirts (AUD $139.00ea).

Without a doubt, Lenko is an animal lover. Camels, poodles, fruit bats and sloths are just a few of the creatures who've been honoured on tees and sweaters for both guys and girls.

Tragic Magic sweatshirt by Lenko

Funny printed tees and sweaters are a (collectable!) Lenko staple. Tragic Magic Sweatshirt currently on sale from Lenko (AUD $69).

Lenko are about to release the next range of hand-cut-animal sweaters. Fans of Lenko were invited to vote for their favourite animal - now four lucky creatures are being morphed into a Lenko collectable as we speak! The toucan, seal, unicorn (yes, it is real) and lemur will grace the front of these very-limited edition sweaters - only 30 of each are being made! Each animal is hand-cut from several pieces of fabric, stitched together, than sewn onto each sweater. They're so cool they even get their own launch party on June 3rd!

Lenko Zombie Mural

The zombie that graces Lenko's wall, business cards and swing tags is an illustration Dana did for a t-shirt a couple of years ago. The 'flesh eating zombies ruined my birthday' tee was such a hit, the zombie has become a permanent fixture. "He reflects the persona of Lenko; a bit dark, cute, awkward and a bit random," says Dana.

Famous-faces brooches and necklaces from PHILOS-o-FACE

Famous-faces brooches and necklaces from PHILOS-o-FACE available from Lenko.

Lenko is so much more than a Japanese parsnip. It's 'for lovers of randomness' and for those that appreciate a playful, home-grown Melbourne style.

Lenko cloud face
Lenko is having a studio sale on 11th & 12th of June. Dana shares her Collingwood studio with another Melbourne creative, Hannah Chipkin - the gal behind Chip Chop totes. Hannah's bags will be joining the sale too!

For more info & unique finds, visit the Lenko web site and online store at
For launches, sales, news and updates, visit the blog:

Lenko is located at Shop 5, Cathedral Arcade - Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

All photographs by Emma Starr.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

to the zine fair we go

MCA Zine Fair logo

This Sunday, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is hosting its third annual zine fair as part of the Sydney Writer's Festival. It promises to be an extravaganza of self-published, mini magazines, with over 40 zine creators stepping into the light to show their work. Zines will be available to appraise, buy or swap, and to compliment this zine-fest, MCA will also be hosting gallery floor talks, panel discussions and live music. Tempted? Me too!

MCA Zine Fair logo
The Zine Fair is on Sunday the 23rd of May from 11am until 5pm.
The Museum of Contemporary Arts can be found at 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
Entry is FREE.

All images courtesy of MCA.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010.

more from ladies first!

"Ladies First" opens at 6pm this Friday night, 21st May 2010! The girls will come out to play, and show off an amazing collection of original artworks.

Curated by Melbourne's Tessa Yee, the show will be a unique and light-hearted exploration of the ways in which female artists represent their ideas of femininity - both the dark and the light, the naughty as well as the nice.

Artwork by Monika Viktoria - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"The Contemplation" by Monika Viktoria, 2010, watercolour on paper, 19 x 14 cm.

MONIKA VIKTORIA "My current body of work 'of lace and moss' is a series of delicate portraits depicting transient moments in time.

The girls in my portraits are captured glimpses: a parting glance before a departure, a blink, a sigh, a hesitant decision. They are caught in the brief moment between a breath, a second of silent contemplation before a transformation.

When I think of lace and moss I imagine silent places deep within the woods, and forgotten attics guarding the remnants of a decadent bygone time. In my drawings I try to depict the ephemeral waifs who might equally inhabit both places.

Layers of delicate watercolour washes create a softly glowing space; an achingly fragile world filled with longing and intermingled memories.

For 'Ladies First' I will be exhibiting a selection of the latest portraits in the series."

You can see more of Monika Viktoria's work on her blog or browse her Etsy store at

Artwork by Emma Leonard - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"A perfect mess" by Emma Leonard, 2010 is a pencil on board illustration, AUD $360.

EMMA LEONARD If I had to use a word or phrase to describe my work it would have to be wabi sabi, the Japanese worldview of transience, incompletion and imperfection. More often than not my female figures are in a state of melancholy solitude, although they are not necessarily unhappy as such, just thoughtful. I prefer to use transparent mediums such as pencil and watercolour to invoke a sense of fluidity and movement in figures that might otherwise appear still and usually work in the style of realism. My inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, but particularly from Mori girls, Japanese magazines, holga photography, botanical illustrations, and natural history museums.

From a purely aesthetic perspective, many women derive their basic sense of beauty and femininity from their hair. You can cut it and dye it but it is always a part of you. Throughout history long, flowing hair has been a symbol of femininity, whilst cutting it short an attempt to appear more masculine and in this collection I have attempted to explore how women use their hair to convey beauty and softness.

You can see more of Emma's work at or browse our selection of Emma's prints right here on the indie art & design store!

Artwork by Caitlin Shearer - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"Mary takes the poodles for a walk" by Caitlin Shearer, 2010.

CAITLIN SHEARER is a 20 year old illustrator and fine artist from the nsw central coast. Her work relies on soft watercolours and stark lines to depict people who don't exist in the real world. Escapism, the feminine form, vintage fashion and cinema and the occult inspire Caitlin's work, and her womanly depictions capture girls in the midst of private revelations, reverie and womanhood.

You can see more of Caitlin's work on her blog at

Artwork by Jo Dyer - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"The Girls" (detail) by Jo Dyer, 2010, mixed media on paper.

JO DYER is an emerging artist from Newcastle, NSW. She likes to create dreamy-eyed girls in mixed media worlds.

You can see more of Jo's work at or browse her Etsy store at

Artwork by Josephine Bradley Scott - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"Mufit" (left), 2010, Pen/ Ink/Digital Collage printed on framed tile, AUD $190 and "Ode to the muses" (right), 2010, Ink Original framed in table, AUD $350, both by Josephine Bradley Scott.

JOSEPHINE BRADLEY SCOTT Australian artist and body image activist Josephine Bradley Scott provokes us to re-visit our ideas of beauty through her inner child illustrations. She has developed artwork for use in infant clothing ranges to Sportsgirl campaigns and maintains an ongoing relationship with respected charity The Butterfly Foundation.

The Melbourne based artist grew up in Whyalla, an industrial city nestled between the outback and the sea. In 2007 she graduated with a degree in Illustration at the University of South Australia and began drawing from her own journey of overcoming an eating disorder to create works of hope.

Borne from pen, ink and contemporary digital illustration techniques Josephine’s pensive yet playful characters act as a medium to encourage self acceptance. Though intriguing, they are purposeful and through them flows a sense of contentment, a wide eyed optimism.

"It has become unnecessarily common for us to be cruel to ourselves and others by the default of comparison. I hope to change this by offering an opportunity to reconnect people with what it is that makes them unique, interesting and beautiful."

With access to a weird and magical place somewhere between dreams and reality, Josephine creates customised artworks and runs small workshops aimed at addressing self esteem through art, body painting and self expression.

You can see more of Josephine's work at or browse her online gallery of prints for sale at PanelPop.

Artwork by Helani Laisk - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"Beatrix" by Helani Laisk, 2009, lithograph, chine-collé with two stones, AUD $300.

HELANI LAISK "I give my attention to the 'every day': the mundane is transformed into surreal imaginings through a kind of storytelling, focusing on objects or situations considered ordinary or 'unprecious'. Different ideas concerning the body are fundamental themes in my work: the body in parts, the body in transformation, the body as a house, the body transfigured as an animal, the body divided against itself, or engaging with another in some way. The idea of metaphor is central to my work; one thing standing in for another thing, or taken out of context so as to be reconsidered or given different values or meanings. The home as a living space, a symbol of routine and ritual and family, a safe place of rest and shelter invoking a sense of security and comfort - as well as having unconscious connections to the anatomy of the body or mind - is an important symbol of the everyday to me and is a prominent theme in my work."

Helani lives in Canberra and is currently completing her Honours year at ANU School of Art in the Printmedia and Drawing workshop.

You can see more of Helani's work at

Artwork by Meredith Earls - to be exhibited in the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

"It existed, but was hard to put into words" by Meredith Earls, 40cm x 56cm.

MEREDITH EARLS "The collages in this exhibition are collections of treasures and keepsakes from the past. They are small moments and memories that were once part of a bigger narrative. The act of combining them forms a new story, yet like memory this can be nostalgic or seductive and not always completely true.

I also work with found materials in my paintings as they bring their own story to my work. Stains and wear and tear may not be conventionally seen as pretty, but are tiny reminders of the previous lives of the material. This is also the idea behind the females in my pictures - it is their imperfections that bring them character and beauty."

You can see more of Meredith's work at and

Flyer for Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries

The exhibiting ladies are: Caitlin Shearer, Courtney Brims, Emma Leonard, Helani Laisk, Jessica Stewart, Jo Dyer, Josephine Bradley Scott, Marie Larkin, Megan Dell, Meredith Earls, Monika Viktoria, Rhiannon Mowat, and Sylvia Newton.

For more artist profiles, see our earlier post, "ladies first at bsg"!

The Ladies First exhibition continues until 3rd June 2010 at:
Brunswick Street Gallery
322 Brunswick Street,
Fitzroy, 3065.
The gallery is open 7 days from 10am - 10pm.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010.

shop handmade canberra

Shop Handmade storefront in Canberra

The independent design scene in Canberra consistently rumbles, but perhaps not as audibly as it does in our larger, and assumed cooler, cities. The recently opened Shop Handmade however, is turning some curious eyes towards the nation's capital.

Inside Shop Handmade, Canberra
Established by the avid women behind Canberra's popular Handmade Market, Shop Handmade labels itself a designer collective; a retail space offering indie designers a unique opportunity to sell their creations. Shop Handmade showcases both local and interstate makers in a dynamic retail environment right at the heart of Canberra's CBD. The two-fold brilliance of the shop is it offers designers a much needed retail space to have their work seen, and allows the public daily tangible access to these independent products, something that was previously limited in Canberra. (Two already existing but petite places of note however are the Hive Gallery in Braddon and the Craft ACT gallery shop).

Handmade products at Shop Handmade, Canberra

Utilising a rent-this-space system, there is an ever-rotating collection of handmade products on display at Shop Handmade. At any one time there will be work from around 80 individual designers available, meaning the breadth and variety of treasures is superb. Products range from recycled lamps and hand-printed textiles to customisable cookies, and are made using intriguing techniques such as letterpress or silver-smithing. Each designer that sells their wares is selected through a detailed application and interview process, aiming to ensure integrity of the items being sold. Another endearing quality of the store is the mix of established makers and debut designers being shown simultaneously. Admired products previously seen floating around can be found here, or sensational new talent can be discovered.

Cabinet display at Shop Handmade, Canberra

The ambience of Shop Handmade is sweet and pretty. The space purposefully acts as a blank canvas, (and a glossy one at that), to appropriately feature the product designs. Small details such as wall-papered panels and cute little cupboards give the store a fanciful feel, and this dewy glow fuels a desire to seek out some raw and challenging products in contrast. Importantly, Shop Handmade is welcoming and one can either take a thorough and satisfying investigation into each shelf, cubicle, hanger and cabinet, or engage the help of the knowledgeable staff to pinpoint an exact item or designer. Overall, the unwavering dedication to independent art and design that Shop Handmade revolves around means it is an alluring concept to be involved in, whether a shopper, a maker, or both.

Shop Handmade is located at 20 Allara Street, City Walk Blvd Canberra, and open:
Mon - Thu 9.30am to 5.00pm
Fri - 9.30am to late-ish
Saturday - 9.30am to 2.00pm

To take a virtual look inside visit the blog at (This also provides information on applying to retail).

Enquiries can be made by emailing or phoning: 02 6156 3274.

All images courtesy of Shop Handmade.

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Monday, May 17, 2010.