Friday, July 23, 2010

off to LA!

I've been working on all kinds of things for my trip to LA. There's works in progress all over the studio and a nice group of pieces I'm really pleased with to take with me. Here's a glimpse of a couple pieces I finished yesterday. . .

Hopefully my trip will be productive and I'll have much more to share . . . . .

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mel's veil

My friend My Phung made Mel's dress and she suggested I make her veil, since I've been playing around with festive "hats". But mostly she thought, I could use the same fabric as My Phung used in her dress. Mel was game to have another person join in on her fittings and it turned out to be a really fun and totally new kind of collaboration (just for the hat, My Phung had the dress nearly complete when I came in!). The collaboration between bride, dress designer and "hatter".

I made the veil and the flower as separate pieces so post ceremony and post wedding Mel could continue to wear the flower in her hair. I love these pieces that can be worn after the day. . . continue the celebration on into everyday life. . .

It did seem like a grand celebration! Here's to the lovely Bride!

Photos by photographer Douglas Levy, you can see more of his work here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oregon-ization . . .

I was talking to a friend of mine last night and I mentioned I'd recently bought an A/C. I said, "My inner Oregon girl fainted. I think I just became a real New Yorker." Really I bought the A/C for my studio, it's difficult to work when it's too hot to turn on the lights, let alone the sewing machine and iron. It's a business expense, right? I still feel a little guilty. "Portland is the greenist city in the county", I said. You can take the girl out of Oregon but you can't take the Oregon out of the girl.

So he mentioned to me that he's just read an article about the Oregon-ization of the country. This article about the Artisanal movement seems to be growing across the county. (The article is here if you're interested.) Apparently my goal of having a Portland lifestyle in Brooklyn (or anywhere else) is not just mine. This idea of having something unique and hand made instead of mass produced is growing in popularity. Hallelujah. It's true I grew up in the DIY-er's corner of the country, where people remodeled their own houses and made their own jam from the local berries. We didn't call it Artisanal back then, but this idea is very ingrained in me. Now when my family gives homemade jam or liqueurs for holiday gifts it feels like pure luxury. It's beautiful to see it spreading around the country.

After working in the corporate fashion industry I missed the world of making only a few of something and working directly with the person that was buying the dress, bag, pants or hat I was making.

So this is why I left my full time job to start my studio, to work with the people that want something handmade. It feels like the next step to being challenged as a designer and to try to live in a more sustainable world. Apparently I'm not alone. Hallelujah.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

me and Fifi

I'm not a costume designer . . . except when my dear friend Peggy Queener has a great idea of what one of her characters will wear and I convince her to let me help her create it.

Fifi La Grange is such a fabulous character. when I heard about the dress Fifi would need to be wearing in the final scene of Peggy's one woman show, Fifi La Grange; The Road to Fabulous!, I only said, I'd love to help you! In the end, it turns out I meant, "Please give me all your inspiration and let me do this! You can watch!"

Peggy was gracious enough to let me bring her character to life and do something much bolder then I am normally inclinded to do on my own. I love working in this kind of collaborative way.

Her show went off as a wonderful success. If you missed it, you can follow the story of Fifi here.