Goth Glamour in 3D

I was seduced by the opening of Rising 5 – by the promise of an exclusive event and 3D fashion photography. I wasn’t sure what to look at: the clothes, the models, the 3D photographic effect or the other guests. It was like some strange kind of goth nightclub, with a DJ, hundreds of people, boys in black dresses, strangely dressed women and security at the front except that nobody was dancing. All this was for a little fashion photography exhibition in the Atrium at Federation Square.

Mark @ Rising 5

Even looking at the photographs I wasn’t sure what I was looking at: the fashion, the styling or the 3D effects. The 3D photography by Mark Ruff didn’t require special glasses to see, it was like the lenticular 3D effects of the old postcards with the image separating into distinct several layers. It was difficult to look at the photographs in the diminished light of the Federation Square Atrium; the partitions did not have spotlights illuminating the images and the 3D effect was going out of focus.

A passing photographer showed me a sharp image on his camera that he’d taken earlier of the 3D photographs and he recommended seeing the exhibition in daylight to enjoy the best of the 3D effect. There were two videos where the 3D effect could be seen but these were just compilations of the existing images and didn’t add anything new.

A passing make-up artist involved with the project (was it Shella Ruby?) told me that the models were all photographed in front of a blue screen and the backgrounds were added in digitally. She also told me that it was all for charity so it was important that I got the names right (Beyond Blue, but how I don’t know; nothing was for sale and I wasn’t asked for a donation).

Although Simone Ling and Izabel Calgiore’s art and styling emphasized the goth look; with backgrounds including Melbourne University’s carpark (that was used as a set in the original Mad Max film). The fashion of Lui Hon, Dhini, Richard Nylon Millinery, Nadia Napreychikov, Cami James and Alistar Trung ranged from 80s cocktail dresses to ball gowns that could have been designed by Alexander McQueen. Some of it, like Metal Couture jewellery is hardcore goth, all of it was over the top.

Not that it mattered on Friday night. Almost nobody was looking at the dozen photographs and two videos anyway – mostly they were air kisses, schmoozing and posing for photographs in front of them.

Rising 5 is part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and I was a guest of Madam Virtue & Co.

About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

15 responses to “Goth Glamour in 3D

  • JC Lloyd-Southwell d'Anvers

    My days are very full with important matters to attend to and projects to work on, however, whilst I would normally not react or respond to what I see of little value or interest, I thought I should take the time and, for the benefit of your readers (to whom a great disservice has been made by this posting of yours), thus I find it necessary to address your infelicitous comments.

    Rising 5: a 3D exhibition on fashion, film and photography at The Atrium in Federation Square runs from 19 March to 1 April. The exhibition presents the work of a number of influential Australian fashion designers in an innovative 3D format, the work of acclaimed photographer Mark Ruff, styled by Simone Ling and Izabel Caligiore.

    The project received no funding but huge support from a number of designers, make-up artists and hair stylists, Federation Square and sponsors all of whom worked tirelessly to help the very talented Mark, Simone and Izabel put the exhibition on show and publicise the important work of Beyond Blue (the national depression initiative, which you failed to explain).

    An invitation was extended to you for the VIP opening soirée in the misguided understanding that you were an art critic, little did we know that this was not the case. And it is very regrettable to see that you are providing your readers such a huge disservice with the misinformation you included as part of your ramblings in your post.

    Mark Ruff is an acclaimed photographer who is the only one in his field in the world to have developed a special technique that captures 360 degree views of the subjects. The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent of both designers and photographers.

    Unless you were providing an opinion piece on some other show, none of the designers involved included a single garment that could possibly be considered as ‘goth’ not even by the least conversant person in matters of fashion. Your posting alludes to ‘the goth look’ emphasized in the art and styling of Simone and Izabel, nothing could be further from the truth and your seeming obsession with all things goth, or your concept of what goth is, are quite alarming. Were you trying to convey some sub-text to your readers that you have a goth fetish?

    One would have assumed that an art critic will refer and reserve his/her opinion on the actual art being reviewed but perhaps because you are not an art critic, you must have felt compelled to make assumptions and comments on how the guests were dressed for the event. By your own admission ‘I wasn’t sure what to look at’ (no professional art critic would have made such a faux pas), you preferred to share your own views of what fashion is. This is naturally quite amusing since not only have you anointed yourself as an art critic (something you clearly are not) but also a fashion expert.

    You probably do not read industry writers or even fashion journalists like Janice Breen Burns who only a couple of weeks ago so eloquently and professionally explored how fashion is taking shape and changing, with particular attention to Melbourne. Oh, there’s a well written piece you mustn’t miss if you wish to emulate professional writers.

    Amongst other things, the job of an art critic is to educate themselves first in the art they will write about, your posting shows you failed to demonstrate any preparation or knowledge. It is indeed a shame because a press release would have certainly assisted you in writing a better text accurately reflecting the truth. Sadly, you also missed the opportunity to make contact at the event with any of the organizers or designers involved.

    And whilst some guests at these sort of events do engage in ‘air kisses, schmoozing and posing for photographs’ (end of quote), I do note that you too very readily and eagerly seem to have followed suit and feature your own photograph ‘posing’ at the event, right after your very first paragraph. True art critics would normally prefer to show images of the actual art rather than publicly engage in narcissistic behaviour.

    The ‘little fashion photography’ exhibition you refer to is the result of a huge joint effort by a number of leading industry professionals who preferred to give to the cause. Unlike other events in Melbourne L’Oréal Fashion Festival (MLFF) which were ticketed, Rising 5 is a free event which gives the public at large the opportunity to view and admire a number of disciplines all at once (fashion design, photography, hair and make-up, styling) for free, and to help publicise Beyond Blue. As to the question of not being asked to give any money, it would have been in poor taste to ask you for money on the night, so feel free to contact Beyond Blue and make a donation, you certainly don’t need any VIP invitation to do this.

    Finally, rather than appoint yourself as an art critic and fashion expert (both of which you clearly aren’t – as demonstrated in this regrettable posting of yours), you should take this as a learning opportunity if you are to continue similar postings, for there is much you clearly need to learn.

    As for the boys in black dresses and the strangely dressed women, oh what a shame I was overseas on the night, my attire would have certainly given you at least a couple more paragraphs to help expand your (shall we be polite and call it) ‘article’?

    I wish you the best in your educational pursuits, both in the fields of art, fashion and least but not last, manners and etiquette.

    JC Lloyd-Southwell d’Anvers,
    Buyer and Designer
    Madam Virtue & Co.

    • Mark Holsworth

      Thank you Madam Virtue and JC for invite to the Rising 5 opening and for taking the time to write a defense of it. I’m indebted to your explanation about how Rising 5 supports Beyond Blue – it did puzzle me. All that black lace, corsets and other lacing did look goth to me although I didn’t intend to imply that the fashion was goth only the art and styling had a goth influence. I know that the exhibition is a big thing for you but for me it is just another little fashion photography exhibition.

  • Alexander Mitchell

    This post doesn’t make any sense. Allot of statements are unfinished and lead no where. You fail to make any real point at all, and the few assertions that you do make are only supported by further non-sequential observations.

    You sir are an idiot. This is exactly the sort of post i would expect from someone involved in the Melbourne Stencil Festival, you are doing the “organisation” proud.


    • Mark Holsworth

      Rising 5 did not make a lot a sense, like you said “a lot of statements that lead no where”. I didn’t think that the exhibition was worth more than those observations.
      Thank you for you ad hominem arguments I’m sure that they exhibit something about your intellect.

  • JC Lloyd-Southwell d'Anvers

    Yet again another uneducated, poorly written response, use a spellchecker if you lack the linguistic ability, You are an ignorant bully, a homophobe and an absolute wanker, get yourself an education and a life but please this hobby of yours does you no favours, how sad, worst of all you dare ask for donations in your post? How pathetic!

    Please don’t bother responding, no further correspondence shall be entered into!

  • sharon

    Dear Mark,

    I think that this blog is a serious waste of time. I had an enjoyable night. Clearly you have a problem with the ‘fashion crowd’ so do us a favour and please next time don’t accept a VIP invite. You are a bore. I would have much preferred someone else more interesting to be in your place. But then again I guess it is your job to watch, observe and report (for this blog!!!) so you must always feel a bit on the outer. Just don’t treat your blog like a shrink and place to vent. Very sad. Putting others down on a ‘melbourne art and culture blog” LOL (how cliche) must be important to you but is so insignificant that you just shouldn’t bother.

    Ps. Why are you recognised as a critic just out of interest as this was the most uneducated rant I have ever read

    • Mark Holsworth

      Dear Sharon,
      I now think that this particular crowd is remarkably thin skinned, to the extent that it hurts your sensitive nature not to be praised. Thank you for commenting but I find this whole response rather paranoid. What exactly is your problem?

  • Steph Marks

    I am positive that I speak on behalf of everyone whom has made a rebuttal previously, when I say that our exact problem Mark, is you.
    Your pathetic post, your smarmy smirk and the fact that you are possibly the worst writer to ever pen such a load of nonsense.
    As for ‘this particular crowd’ and our ‘remarkably thin skin’; I think you will find that people in the fashion industry are quite the opposite and are (as you can see here) in fact incredibly resilient in the face of adversity.
    Our defence stems not from paranoia but from absolute passion to support and inspire young people like Izabel and co. They are doing fantastic things and being proactive to further their very bright futures within our exciting industry.

    Didn’t your Mother ever teach you that if you had nothing nice to say then you should say nothing at all?
    Well mine did, and I am passing on that advice to you now completely free of charge.

    Bonne nuit.

    • Mark Holsworth

      Steph Marks, I think that there are some other problems here. Compared to these ad hominem arguments the photographs that I saw at were Rising 5 works of genius. Maybe you should read what I actually wrote. Maybe you don’t understand the word and the role of a “critic”. Maybe you think that everything should be a gushing promotional puff piece.

  • Steph Marks

    You confuse me Mark Holsworth and before you drop AD HOMINEM into one of your poorly constructed sentences please have a look at my link below. That might help.

    • Mark Holsworth

      Steph Marks, I’m still confused about what you consider to be so terrible about what I wrote? Maybe you should stop insulting me and think about what you are you are complaining about. Do you think that I should be gushing about the photographs because it was in support of a good cause?

  • My two cents

    I would love to take a different approach in responding to your blog. I truly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and one may express that as vocally as you wish.. (in this case, a blog)

    BUT… In this instance, I believe that ignorance plays a huge factor in your blogs sizable unfavorable following. As a critic you should educate yourself before writting such a peice about an event you clearly knew very little about…

    If you knew you were intending to write a peice about a ‘VIP Launch’ for ‘Photography’ showcasing ‘Leading Australian Designer’ then why didn’t you research further?? Also looking into why it wasn’t an event were donations were excepted on the behalf of Beyond Blue. This was all very much accessible to you.

    And finally if you are going to critic something or someone at least make it witty or fun, this piece to me, was neither.

    That’s my two cents…

    • Mark Holsworth

      Do you have any proof that I did not do research? Is your claim that I didn’t do research simply because that I did not believe and regurgitate the hype about the exhibition? Or didn’t report on it with the gushing praise that you think it deserves? I think that it is more important to write what I observe than to use words, like “leading”. I do research all my blog entries. I simply wasn’t particularly interested in the charity part – so many exhibitions have a charity aspect – any more than I was interested in the DJ.

  • Lisa

    From what I can tell, these people invited you to advertise their project favourably. You didn’t write the fluffy puff piece they were expecting and they are monsterously pissed off. It is not an exhibition aimed at people who are ‘educated’ dahhrlings! It is aimed at people off the street, who happen upon it, or those who care and come deliberately to see it. You wrote about the evening as you experienced it, Mark, which I think is perfectly valid. Also this is a blog, no one pays for it, if you are writing rubbish people will stop reading it, but I think there are a lot of people who want to read honest opinions not filtered through the pecuniary needs of big media.
    We know a lot of work & actual love & care goes into art and exhibitions, it doesn’t mean your audience are all going to love it or have the experience that you think you are creating for them. Sorry, but get used to it. Everyone comes with their own taste and background. This is going to be especially true for a free show in Fed Sq. All the hard work and hours put in – and a lot of people are going to look at it briefly, walk away and never think of it again. But who knows it might also inspire someone some time.
    What are JC Lloyd-Southwell Danvers etc so mad/frightened about? Is it because they forked out for an extra glass of champers or something? Or is it because they put all that work and effort into this ‘in the name of a charity’ (as the elite often do – oh aren’t they so caring!) but with the real aim to further their careers? The point is JC Lloyd-Southwell DAnvers: Stop getting your knickers in a knot and being so damn embarrassingly condescending. In this age there is no division between a ‘professional’ and a critic. We are all critics and ALL opinions are valid as far as I’m concerned. It’s up to readers to discern who they agree with or trust. I know Mark is educated and experienced in what he writes about. I might not always agree with him, but he has as much right to write for the public as you do to exhibit to the public. The beauty of this new age of the internet is that we consumers are no longer tied to the monopoly of fashion & Art mags that tell us what to think or what is ‘important art’ or ‘good fashion’ because they have been schmoozed and pandered to by small circles of the elite. We can see a much wider range of art, fashion and ideas and choose for ourselves.

    • Mark Holsworth

      Thanks sums it up Lisa.
      It is not as if I am the only critic with a position in the only local newspaper – people can read me or not (hundreds choose to read my blog everyday). I think that there should be a greater diversity of critical voices, not just people inside a particular scene commenting on the work of their friends and colleagues. It is a shame that I’m the only person who wrote about Rising 5 – if there had been more than JC et. al. might have felt less frightened by it.
      I understand how passionate artists are about their work and why even an average review can be upsetting. I can see why Chortle/Groggy Squirrel doesn’t have comments on the review but I like the comments; I occasionally get some very informed comments and having professional experience in replying to online comments the rest are like water off a duck’s back.

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