Swancon36 » retro-futurism http://2011.swancon.com.au Get ready to party like it's Easter 2011 Thu, 05 May 2011 07:14:06 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.6 en hourly 1 Not long now! http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/04/not-long-now/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/04/not-long-now/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2011 04:56:01 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=1075 It was almost thirteen months ago that we launched Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty, and now we have less than a week to go! Here are a few last minute announcements, reminders and links!

Firstly, we are very sad to announce that Lyn McConchie and Mary Victoria are no longer able to attend due to unforseen events. We were so pleased when they said yes to being invited guests of the convention and they will be missed.

However (look away, Lyn and Mary!), we have so much for you to do and see that you should really start sleeping all day and night to prepare. If you haven’t already, take a look at our mintox program, and see more details of the Academic Stream and the WriterStream.

Thursday night is free, and you’ll be able to bring your friends to sample the Swancon experience. The hilariously geeky BRENT! will launch the convention with some end-of-week LOLs, followed by a debate over the assertion that “We are Living in a Computer Simulation”. Then join Eric Ripper, SF fan and Leader of the Opposition, who will be launching the Future Imperfect Art Show. There will also be gaming and various panels, plus the Hyatt bar will be open for business if you just want to catch up with everyone.

Before the convention opens, you are invited to Meet Our Guests over lunch at Mai’s Vietnamese Restaurant East Perth. Places are limited, but there’s still some seats available if you get in quick!

If there’s one thing that fans love most of all, it’s Having Opinions. If that describes you, make sure you get your votes in for the Tin Duck and Ditmar Awards. There will be printed ballots available at the door so you can vote once you arrive. Check the links for eligibility criteria. Then join us for cocktails at the Orbit | Gollancz Natcon Fifty Awards Ceremony, for the presentation of these awards and more!

Saturday night is Masquerade night! Airbrush Tattoos WA are trading in the Dealer Room all weekend. They specialise in full colour and glow in the dark, waterproof airbrush tattoos small and large! They are also available for full costume tattooing – if you want something a little special for the Masquerade or any other program item, you are welcome to book ahead by email to make your appointment.

Lastly: Swancon only survives on the kindness of volunteers. If you have a strong attention to detail and a few hours to spare over the convention weekend we would love to hear from you.

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Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty Program http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/04/swancon-thirty-six-natcon-fifty-program-2/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/04/swancon-thirty-six-natcon-fifty-program-2/#comments Tue, 05 Apr 2011 07:40:20 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=940 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SociologicalImagesSeeingIsBelieving/~3/A8H313e0Nbg/

The draft Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty program is now online. While we are making every effort to make sure all details are correct, we cannot guarantee that items won’t change. We also have plenty of space for last minute program ideas, so if the mood strikes and you want to organise something, we’ll help provide you with space to do it.

Contact us any time in the lead-up to the convention, or speak to a committee member once you arrive.

View the full program, or see each day individually: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Image from here

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oooh… fashion! http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/02/fashion/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/02/fashion/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:14:05 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=619 Taking a little break from the words today, in favour of pictures. Lots of beautiful pictures of how designers thought we would dress, and what science-fiction inspired fashion looks like today.

Show notes from the Ohne Title RTW Fall 2011 Collection said their fall line was influenced by “the shape, volume and details in early Apollo mission spacesuits:

From the Ohne Title RTW Fall 2011 Collection From the Ohne Title RTW Fall 2011 Collection

Katie Gallagher’s RTW Fall 2011 Collection leans towards the dystopian with mesh and leather and messy lines:

From the Katie Gallagher RTW Fall 2011 Collection From the Katie Gallagher RTW Fall 2011 Collection

The Giorgio Armani Privé collection in Paris joined in the retro-futurist fun:

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Retrofuturist Hemlines: June Hudson http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/01/retrofuturist-hemlines/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2011/01/retrofuturist-hemlines/#comments Mon, 17 Jan 2011 09:54:50 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=476 Tansy Rayner Roberts is the author of Power and Majesty (HarperCollins Voyager) and Siren Beat (Twelfth Planet Press). She blogs at Stitching Words, and podcasts at Galactic Suburbia.

I’ve always been a sucker for fake future fashion. As a fantasy writer, I love the use of clothes to express the culture of imaginary worlds – but there’s a limit on how far you can take that, in fiction. In TV and movies, though, costuming is one of the key ways to express another world, and particularly in science fiction, to shape and convey the vision of the future.

And then twenty years pass, and suddenly the vision of that future’s clothes is HILARIOUS.

Quite recently, it occurred to me that there have been a zillion books about the making of Doctor Who with particular focus on the writing, production, monsters and technology of the show, but apart from one 1980’s pattern book (make Tegan’s boob tube! Make your own badge for mathematical excellence!) there has been very little on the costuming of the show’s history. If someone was to write and research a massive coffee table tome about the making of the clothes in Doctor Who’s history, I would be all over that, and I suspect so would the many cosplay enthusiasts who run around making TARDIS frocks and K9 handbags.

Cosplay - Dalek & TARDIS frocks

And, I have to say, I think it’s pretty likely that the absence of such a book is because the makers of Doctor Who merchandise still haven’t come around to the fact that there are a lot more female fans of the show than ever before. Which is not to say that women are the only ones who would be interested in such a book, but they would certainly represent a large percentage of those interested.

Since I came to that realisation, I have been keeping an eye out for any information about Doctor Who and costuming, particularly in the classic series. I was delighted a few months ago when Doctor Who Magazine published a shared interview with Tom Baker and June Hudson, whose name I had always heard in relation to the show as a major costumer. I was surprised when it turned out she had only worked on eight of the Fourth Doctor’s stories – but each of those stories were ones that immediately conjured up strong memories of the costuming style.

She was responsible for several of Romana’s most iconic outfits (both Romana I and II), and in particular is credited with the final redesign of Tom Baker’s costume in his final season, keeping the same hat, coat, scarf style but reinventing it in dark reds, to fit his gloomier and more serious persona. I was rather pleased to hear her snarky impatience at the question marks on the shirt, which John Nathan Turner insisted upon, and her opinions on some of the less appealing costuming choices the show had made.

I then discovered that this feisty, creative woman was the head of costume on Blake’s 7, and it was hard to restrain the fangirl squee, because when I turn my mind towards future fashions, and the importance of clothes in science fiction, Blake’s 7 is always the first TV show that I think of.

Every episode provides moments of sartorial brilliance, horror and hilarity. Avon in red leather. Avon in black, silver and studs. The fur-lined parkas with a dial on the front, which provided climate control high-tech enough to allow our heroes to wander across a snowy planet. The episode with the giant brown vinyl smocks. The episode where everyone dressed like they were in Revolutionary France. Cally. Jenna. Dayna. Soolin. The women of the show were rarely given as much to do as the men, but my gosh they got to wear the most extraordinary clothes. (Though to be fair, they never looked flashier than Avon.)

Above all there was Servalan, the serene and vicious Supreme Commander who rose to be President of the Federation – Servalan and her many extraordinary outfits, her monochrome ensembles, her startlingly short haircut, her high heels in the desert, and the one time she wore the most extraordinary red dress ever designed.

The decision to put Servalan all in white, “like Marilyn Monroe,” was June’s. This costuming choice worked marvellously, on many levels, contributing subtly to Servalan’s image. Even at her most dangerous, she was supremely privileged, and showed this with her outfits which became more and more outlandish.

The crazier her costume, the more snootily she ignored that she was wearing anything out of the ordinary. She only broke the all-white rule once in the first two seasons, when she was “in disguise” on a gaming planet, and wore a sports-car-red ballgown, just to lounge in. Also, early in season three, we see her down on her uppers, which is expressed through a borrowed mauve dress. It fits perfectly, of course, but the colour is so wrong, it shows how desperate things have become for her, though she would never admit it.

June discussed her love of monochrome outfits in the DWM interview, to which she wore an all-blue outfit. It worked as powerfully on Servalan as it did on the Doctor. In many ways, Servalan is the ultimate retro-futurist. While Jenna and Cally’s outfits often screamed ’seventies,’ and there was something unmistakably 80s about Dayna and Soolin’s shiny girl soldier ensembles, Servalan eclipsed them all with the dramatic use of costumes which looked like they came off a catwalk in the 1780s, or at the very least, the 1930s. Her all whiteness, never showing the dirt, showed that she was the kind of military commander who never got her hands dirty, who created death at the push of a button rather than at the end of a ray gun or bayonet. Later, her presidency was likewise one of glorious decadence, at the heart of a Federation that otherwise maintained the pretence of austerity. When on the run, without her power base, as the vicious Commissioner Sleer (who most certainly did get her hands dirty), her all black outfits conveyed that change without a word of her performance needing to change.

Likewise, the male personalities of the show were reflected in their clothing – Avon’s spikiness and secret desire to compete with Servalan at everything, Vila’s desire to stay hidden from sight at all times, Gan’s medieval chivalry, and the stupid, brash heroics of Blake and Tarrant, who both took turns echoing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

While June wasn’t responsible for all the clothing choices of Blake’s 7, she certainly set the tone in the early days. She not only established Servalan’s look, but she also put the crew of the Liberator in leather, something which made the appearance of the show and the characters quite unforgettable. Her use of colour as well as strategic non-use of colour gave the show a very coherent appearance that, while time has rendered much of it more amusing than enviable in the fashion stakes, certainly provided a powerful image of a future society, and one which owed much to catwalks past.

Among other things, I have learned in my brief researches online that I now have to get season 3 of Blake’s 7 on DVD, and Doctor Who: The Leisure Hive, because both contain June Hudson interviews/retrospectives! I might well have a new obsession on my hands.

Doctor Who episodes with costume design
by June Hudson:

  • The Ribos Operation
  • Destiny of the Daleks
  • Creature of the Pit
  • The Horns of Nimon
  • The Leisure Hive
  • Meglos
  • Warrior’s Gate
  • Logopolis

June Hudson’s alternate designs for Doctors Six & Eight as well as Romana and Fitz.

Who wore this coat best, Romana or Servalan?

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Tell us what you want (what you really really want) http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/10/tell-us-what-you-want/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/10/tell-us-what-you-want/#comments Mon, 04 Oct 2010 06:15:43 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=388 Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty is now 7 months away. We’ve been busy preparing the framework for one of the best cons ever at the beautiful and spacious Hyatt. Now we want to hear from you. Share your ideas for presentations, discussions, panels and entertainment events, suggest awesome people who may not volunteer themselves, and tell us what you’d like to see more (or less) of.

To help make it easy for you, there are lots of ways you can contribute:

  • Comment and join the discussion on the programming post
  • Tweet us @natcon50 (use #natcon50 to allow others to follow the discussion).
  • Email our fearless leader at girlie.jones@gmail.com.
  • Come to the first of a series of real-life meetings next Tuesday 12 October, at 7pm at the Mighty Quinn on Wanneroo Rd, Tuart Hill. We’ll be holding a few meetings in different locations over the next few months so don’t worry if that location’s not convenient for you.
  • Register with our online sign-up form.

Need more encouragement? Share your ideas with us by this Friday, you’ll go into the draw to win double passes to the premiere of Let Me In at Event Cinemas Innaloo, Monday 11 October, 6.30pm

Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl from Kick-Ass) stars as Abby, a mysterious 12-year old girl, who moves next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road).

Owen is a social outcast who is viciously bullied at school and in his loneliness, forms a profound bond with his new neighbour. Owen can’t help noticing that Abby is like no one he has ever met before. As a string of grisly murders occupy the town, Owen has to confront the reality that this seemingly innocent girl is really a savage vampire.

Let Me In, a haunting and provocative thriller written and directed by filmmaker Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and produced by legendary British horror brand Hammer Films, is based on the best-selling Swedish novel Lat den RatteKomma(Let The Right One In) by John AjvideLindqvist, and the highly-acclaimed film of the same name.

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Future Imperfect Artists http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/08/future-imperfect-artists/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/08/future-imperfect-artists/#comments Tue, 31 Aug 2010 06:30:21 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=325 Natcon Fifty will host ʻFuture Imperfect: Exploring the future from the pastʼ, a semi-professional art show to be held over the Easter weekend in 2011 in Perth, Western Australia.

ʻFuture Imperfect: Exploring the future from the pastʼ will explore the way people have historically imagined our present, bringing the past and the future together in new and interesting ways. Here are our participating artists.

Participating artists

Sandy Gaskett


Gas Bomb Girl | Facebook page

Jenna Downing


Evil Genius in Residence

Kathleen Jennings



Christopher Phillips

The Cage


Lisa Rye

El Pendulo

Lisa Rye

Pia Van Ravestein

Red Riding Hood

Ravenari | Gallery

Gaston Locanto

50 Years of Typography


Kathryn Linge



Christina Lorenz

The Killing Joke


Nancy Lorenz

The Fourth Doctor


Future Imperfect: Natcon50 Art Show

Please direct any enquiries about the show to Kate, or keep an eye on this site for updates throughout the year.

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Future Imperfect Art Show http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/06/future-imperfect-art-show-4/ http://2011.swancon.com.au/2010/06/future-imperfect-art-show-4/#comments Tue, 08 Jun 2010 06:03:08 +0000 swancon36 http://2011.swancon.com.au/?p=291 We’ll be announcing the artists participating in the Future Imperfect art show over the coming weeks. Take a look at the wonderfully creative people that we’ve announced so far:

Participating artists

Sandy Gaskett

Gas Bomb Girl | Facebook page


Evil Genius in Residence

Kathleen Jennings


Christopher Phillips
The Cage


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