“Live Your Creative Life”- Yohji Yamamoto

“Live Your Creative Life”


He is a designer that is deeply motivated by the creative act.  He talks about being hungry, wanting change for society with a new vision for dressing women. How do you engage with the ‘creative act’? Is it to bring about greater change or is it for a different need inside you?

What inspires me about him is his reminder to keep our heads out of the process, keep our hearts married to our craft, there will be highs and lows, doubt, stay out of the mainstream, focus, just start again.

“Live your creative life”

Thank you YY.


Rei Kawakubo- always refreshing


She is fun, courageous, eccentric and inspiring. She is absurd, ridiculous, playful and innovative. She is dark, feminine, makes the terrifying possible and thus she is a game-changer. Her style endures the embarrassing without shame. She is the definition of abstract, a poem and the striker on a soccer field.  Her scores reverberate again and again with the unconventional. You can’t miss her. She will make your anxieties pass out of fear and into the realm of acceptance. One couldn’t be cooler.




shoe paintings

The Second Shoe BY SAM TK oil on leather



My paintings here are influenced by Rococo’s iconic corset and the ruff. I alter these examples by the fusion of simple and abstract cuts and shapes of garments into other imaginary surfaces, so that the finery of patterning in Rococo and l’ancien regime gets transformed into a less delicate and more turbulent sensuality…

I am interested in filling the threshold between garment as material object and as vehicle to the immaterial. Color, surface, texture and ambiguous space are key elements to the poetic interaction they tell. My paintings are done in oil on canvas, linen or wood panel, and the effect is one of direct, bold appeal which can be either playful or serious. I see clothes as objects that filter and consume energy in a process of transformation with the hope that through my work they begin a new identity, move through another passage, and become another idea.





oil paintings by sam tk- clothing as vessels

corsetry- vessels of energy- oil on linen, 4 ft by 4 ft

GARMENT DISTRICT is a series of paintings that reflect a formal and conceptual investigation into corsetry and ruffs from 18th century Europe. Clothing is vessel to me, as much as it is shelter. Clothing can protect and reveal. I am interested in exploring the corset and ruff as passages and conduits of energy where the boundary between the exterior and interior can either collapse or stabilize.






Garment District- paintings by sam tk



Ruff Connection- ruffian logic

RUFF CONNECTION- oil on linen – paintings by sam tk

All of these paintings from the Garment District series vary in size.  More are visible on my website at www.samtalbotkelly.com. If you live near Burlington, Vermont and feel the urge to make a day of art feel free to drop along Pine st to 431 at the Maltex Building to see them in person. Looking at art intimately is the real way to feel it out. Prices are there on site. You can also contact Kate at Burlington City Arts via email kashman@burlingtoncityarts.org. Parking is around the back of the site if you are coming from a day at the beach. There is plenty going on in that neighborhood, as it is an easy stroll to shop, eat and gaze.

I have plenty more to share with you next time!


Lately I have been reading about the ‘uniform’ and how it has shaped social differentiation among classes in culture during the Industrial Revolution and into the Modern era of mid-nineteenth century Europe and North America. Diana Crane mentions in her book called Fashion and its Social Agendas that the uniform delivered the ability to distinguish occupations among the working classes such as that of the public servant, clothing of the factory labourer  and that of the servant in upper class homes. Wearing the uniform is a form of social control. This subject is complex and wide in scope but for this blog entry I am sharing some clothing connections I have made with regards to the medical profession. I am in the process of creating my own designs of a Victorian Sci-Fi physician for the Florence Biennale and in my research I stumbled upon several images regarding the attire of a nurse. Haute couture designers are famous for culling ideas from other regions of culture. In this case I am sharing today, they have implemented designs from the medical industry which consequently blurs those boundaries of occupation with regular attire in the effort to democratize fashion. Let’s glimpse through the following images together…

The first image is of a help advertisement asking for Red Cross medical aids during WW2. The figure in the centre is essentially wearing a white apron and a cap with veil draping behind her head. This garment refers to the monastic scapular of the Christian order and is similar to the  Nun’s habit. Nuns were known to take care of the sick or the injured hence the similar uniform however, their garments changed design after the 1940’s.

Red Cross HELP poster



This is by Herman Roeg. A Soviet-like World War I-era poster from the Red Cross. (1917)The RED CROSS asks for help during the First World War. A poignant image projecting the mission that was needed at the time. The attire of the nurse still reflects the nun’s habit.

WW1 red cross nurse outfit

Above is a WW1 red cross nurse outfit. Prada Black suits below embody the uniform from the military medical world of both World Wars.

Prada Black Suits

Prada Black Suits

WW1 nurse aids

WW1 nurse aids in full outdoor attire carrying the wounded to local hospitals off the battle fields.

This is an acrylic painting done by contemporary artist Richard Prince who did a series of works on the ‘nurse’ from around 2002-2008 (still finding dates on them). Projecting nurse  imagery from pulp fiction novels into his computer which then get transfered via inkjet printers onto canvas, he explores the dark and racy side of the nurse stereotype.



A sailor grabs a nurse spontaneously and kisses her in Times Square celebrating the end of the WW2. The nurse uniform at this time changed to include more whites. What a fantastic moment of love!


U.S ARMY NURSE CORPS 1942 wearing Whites and masks during a military gas/smoke drill on the fields. In white they are visible on the battle ground and clean while fulfilling their duties.



Avant- garde fashion designer Pierre Cardin version of whites, 1970 hmmm…extra-ordinary for the operating room shall we say? Form presides over function obviously.


The Budget Uniform Center. The Styling Peggy in 1955. 

Below MArc Jacobs’s nurse attire: translucent white plastic lab coats with black lace masks  for Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2008 ready to wear collection. He too expressing the naughtier edge of the medical profession. Navy/ nurse headwear combo’s and Richard Prince texted bags as  le ‘mode’ on the runway.  LVss08

Prada examines the medical  ‘scrub’ and implements this in her male and female collections Spring 2011.prada1

Designers often catalyze standards of dress to change. Maybe one day nurses and doctors will come out in slimmer skirts, full scrub dresses and shorts. To me the point for Prada is that it is more fun blurring differentiation between regular attire and the medical uniform, where distinct edges are less visible and diminish categorical referencing that fashion be relegated to strict code. To put it the other way around as can be seen here with PRADA’s green and black stripe (middle) regular attire can include, liberate, adopt and fuse with conventions that spring from garments within the medical practice. mens-prada-template