Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Canned Creativity

Canned Creativity

Lin Schuler

So many times,
In a month,
In a week,
In a day,
I hear,
"You are so creative,
How do you do it,
What is your secret,
You are so lucky."

I smile,
Shake my head,
Shyly say it's nothing,
Because that,--
This is what I'm expected to say,
That is their illusion.
They don't want it broken,
The truth,
Might rock their reality.
They might have to alter
Their expectations of themselves.

They want to believe,
I go home at night,
Take a can opener,
Open my mind,
Drop in a suggestion,
Stir a second,
And -- instant idea.
They want to believe,
It works that way.
They want to believe creativity,
Is a gift,
Given to a chosen few.

I have the strongest urge,
To take them,
Shake them,
Tell them they live,
In a greater fantasy than I do.
Creativity is not a gift.
Gifts are free.
Creativity is so damned expensive,
It takes everything you are,
Then demands more....

I found this online somewhere. Its perfect. Most people have no clue how things are done. How things are made. What goes into the process. The sacrifices involved. And then they often want it for next to nothing.


Monday, November 26, 2007

A Wedding Under The Redwoods

I have been to many weddings and I have to say that weddings in the redwoods are the best Ive ever seen. It cant be anything other than beautiful! Bianca was a gorgeous bride and everyone, including the camera, just loves her.

Bianca bought her dress online and brought it to me because it was a little small up top and too long. What I did was shorten it, take the fabric from the leftover scraps, take out the zipper, cut away some of the back, add self fabric loops, a ribbon and modesty panel, and created a lace up the back look that fits like a glove! Then I covered a couple buttons for the center back and added a loop to hook on the buttons, and Bianca was able to "bustle" up the skirt in the back when she wanted to run around and enjoy her party, and have it down for the ceremony.

I also created a wrap with silk and silk velvet, which she ended up using all the time as it gets quite chilly under the trees this time of the year.

I do this all the time to wedding dresses. It solves a lot of problems, gives a great fit, is adjustable and flattering to all shapes and sizes, and can be done to almost any dress. While I adore and much prefer making you a dress to fit that you can pass on down through the ages, I understand the need to sometimes work within a realistic budget. This is certainly one way to do just that.


Photos: christina Russ

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mother Of The Bride

I don't usually do Mother Of The Bride outfits because for some reason most mothers think they have to look conservative and frumpy and I don't do frumpy unless its for a particular reason. Women can and do look glamorous and beautiful at any age. Mothers should look stylish and can step out of that box that society likes to put us in. This is what you should be wearing. You should have me make it for you because it will fit and flatter as off the rack seldom does.

Marsha's jacket is of a burned velvet and silk shantung. Fall colors, textures and tiny details go with Marsha's coloring and personality! It is cropped to compliment the high waisted brown silk skirt that I made to go with it. Both skirt and jacket have self covered buttons. You cant tell by the photos, but the skirt has a halter styled strap that buttons at the neck. Under the jacket, I made Marsha a blouse of a semi-sheer silk jaquard. I was inspired to use the sleeves from a 1930's blouse pattern that have shirring at the shoulder and neckline. Just gorgeous for an autumn wedding in the woods!


Factory Of Fluff

Fluffie Rufflies™.

I am now offering the Fluffie Rufflie™ Dance Pants in sizes!

Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants : a form fitting
yoga-style, low-rise stretch knit pant with 5 layers
of cascading ruffles that start above the knee and
fluff down to the floor.

XS hip 31-35
S hip 33-37
M hip 35-39
L hip 37-42
XL hip 39-44

Inseam Sizes:
Wee 28-29
Middie 30-31
Regular 32-33
Tall 34-35

I know this isnt going to cut it for everyone in the inseam department, so just let me know if you need another inseam size and I’ll work it out for you. These are the most asked for sizes at this point in time. I’ll still do custom orders - inquire about pricing or larger sizes. I should now be quicker at getting these out for you with this sizing system.

Fluffie Rufflie™ Pantaloons are in sizes now also!

Fluffie Rufflie Pantaloons : a loose, comfortable
cotton/ woven pantaloon style with 5 layers of ruffles
that start above the knee and cascade to the floor.

S hip 31-36
M hip 35-39
L hip 37-44

Hip to Hem:
Ittie 33-34
Bittie 35-36
Average 37-38
Amazon 39-40
Glamazon 41-42

Im still doing custom orders. Inquire about pricing.

How to get the ball rolling........
Give me your zip code and and any colors or extra details you would like to have on your pants. I will let you know if a particular color is unavailable.Black, white, ivory are the most available colors at the moment. I will figure out the whole amount for you and send you an invoice through paypal.I happily will mail to Europe via USPS Global Express.

I do not take checks, money orders, or credit cards.

I prefer using this email addresses: kc.costumecouture@gmail.com for correspondence . Otherwise I cannot be responsible for any mixups should Tribe or Myspace go down (if you have been contacting me through sites). make sure I have your phone number just in case!

I then send you a measurement chart that I will need
you to fill out and send back to me as soon as you

As soon as your order comes up in line, I make your
garment.I send you your new Rufflies and
you jump up and down for joy!

I often get requests for contrasting colored ruffles
and if the fabric is readily available, I will gladly
do this for $15.00 extra.

Feel free to ask questions and inquire about any
other costuming needs you may have need of!



In Honor of Dickens Faire Season

I would KILL to get my hands on fabric like this!!!!!

Just thought I would share some photos that I collected for inspiration! This is my goal .....to finish my Dickens Faire Costume that I have been working on forEVER!!!!! I am always working on everyone Else's projects instead of mine. Its like the doctor with the sick children ..... my projects take to the back shelf. I'm not complaining......I love my life. Instead of traveling this year, I think I should take the time and $$$ required for recreation and just finish the things that I have started and actually let everyone see up close and personal that of which I am capable.


These pics are from a recent auction. Its a basic shape for mid 19th century, but I love the side view and esp. the pleating in the back - and the vibrant color. That purple watermark fabric is killing me! The dresses this woman had collected were just amazing.


Union Chapel, London - Derwood Green

Derwood Green has been my all time favorite as long as I can remember hearing and dancing to it. Its just got the right combination of mystery, build up, sensuality and kick ass move it and grove it energy! And to think Phil Thornton had to fight to get it on the album!

Yours Truly, Wendy Marlatt from Rashani World Fusion in Ireland, Donna Gardner and Leslie Hogg of Pedralta Dance in England performing at the Union Chapel, London. October 2006. We opened for Hossam Ramzy, his amazing musicians, and his beautiful wife, Serena.

I thought then that I could die and go that brilliant dancers' pavilion in the sky!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fusion Schmata

Belts and bras and dance panels......oh my!


Frock Me!!!!!

Wool Cashmere frock coat and trousers using Laughing Moon Mercantile pattern #109. I did my best to get a better pic from the guy, but just like a bride after the wedding, I found it hard to get him to deal with it afterwards. He was the groom - so there you go. I'm sure there is something floating around somewhere............will post when I have the time to chase the man down! He was very lovely aside from that!

but it was splendid on him! I lined it in grey silk. We made him a silk cravat. We gave him a silk brocade vest. Yummy!!!!!!

This would be perfectomundo for Dickens Faire!


Living Outside The Box

While these are not professional quality photos by any means, you can see what a corset will do for a man's physique!

Erling Wold showed me a photo of a leather corset - like vest that Tupac was modeling. We fashioned this on the same idea, only we used a black brocade instead. We gave it adjustable straps that snap in front. Instead of buttons, we used a front busk and laced it up the back. The vest still has the classic useable front pockets and under a jacket, gives the look of a "modern" waistcoat. This is a perfect addition to the wardrobe of a man who refuses to live inside the box. You get a waistcoat and vest all in one.

Erling, we are going to have to grab you and all your fabulous garb and have ourselves a proper photoshoot. These cheap prints cannot do justice to your spendor! (but I really like the velvet painting!)


Friday, November 23, 2007

Pilgrims' Progress

Every year I have this compulsion to dress up like a pilgrim and carve a turkey. I did do that very thing one year but I never did it again. Too bad. Maybe next year I will have a Dress Like your favorite Pilgrim or Exterminated Native American party. Well.........its true........they were......nice myth though!

This year I made soup and ate ice cream and stayed in bed and watched 3 movies:

Angela's Ashes : this had potential as a film, but if you were not Irish or had read the book, I think it would have left you a little confused. And while it isn't now as dismal over there as it once was, its still pretty grey in parts. And the people just as glum- yet with the best witty banter. The green is the finest green Ive ever seen. And they have good ghosts and tell great stories. This film made me grateful to live where I do and have the life I do. Well, actually, the film wasn't making me feel any of that - the recollections of the book were.

Perfume: A good concept gone dreadfully wrong. I liked the feaux orgy scene. It was cute.

The Queen: I was expecting a story of the recent Queen Elizabeth's life. It was just a lame story about how she didn't like Diana. Yawn. I like Helen Mirren though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Supposedly, this black dress with fab white polka dots belonged to Ginger Rogers. Look at that teeny tiny waist! Dear God!

While, I probably would have preferred not to do anything to Ginger's dress and left it as is for posterity's sake, my client wanted a fresh new dress for resale. The result is cute and probably more suitable for today's young lady. It had rips near the hem, so we took the bottom part of the dress and ruched it up in parts. The arm pits were yellow and ripping so I cut down the armseye a bit. The belt buckle had been eaten away by time, so I took part of the hem and reworked the buckle : good as new!

I really like the idea of salvaging the old and recycling our garments to be wearable again. This is what most folks had to do before we made mass production so damned cheap and easy to throw away. But as we are all beginning to know now, the world cannot take too much more mass consumption. I don't have all the answers, but I do know that we have to look at other ways to achieve new looks and get more mileage out of our wardrobe. Its what our grandmothers and their grandmothers would have done. Whats good enough for them is good enough for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Meeting Luxury

Wow if I do say so myself! I absolutely adore velvet. If I could, I would just make almost everything I own out of velvet. I would sleep in it and wear it to work and go to the gym in it if I could. I tried doing that for a while in the early 90's. I worked at Discount Fabrics on Haight street. I think I tried looking a royal freak queen or princess at least 3 times a week. The rest of the week was simply appearing undead. But perhaps that's just in my imagination. I do glorify my youth! I remember lots of black and corsets and pointy shoes and crazy hair. I remember vast amounts of tutu and large voluminous skirts and ripped and shreddy things. And I remember having to stop for lots of photos for the japanese tourists. Which is quite funny, really, cuz look at whats going on there now! Talk about the cutest and most original kids on the planet! You just cannot top the Japanese in the cute department. You cant. They win hands down.

But I have pets and you cant wear velvet everyday without cat hair all over it - at least not in my house. Unsightly. And alas, velvet is not in right now. All the more reason to wear it again.

I actually saw a video today that showed how to look good during the day. A good pair of jeans and a good hair elastic to pull your hair back into a ponytail.

Now why didnt I think of that.

Here are two views of an amethyst watermarked silk velvet coat that I made from a teens/early 20's Butterick pattern. I made it a bit longer. I added more buttons and closures. I still pull this out and wear it now and then. I'm tempted to sell it on occasion and then I over price it on purpose. I don't even think you can get this fabric anymore. It was "vintage" when I found it and vintage it will stay. This is the most luxurious velvet I have ever met.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Tap Pants!!!!!

As well as the slip dresses (see below), I was making and selling silk camisoles and tap pants. I'm very fond of the tap pants - they are great and comfy under dresses and skirts or on their own. Id like to be bringing these back as well. So much to do! I need twelve hands!


Im Biased

Just found this photo of a black silk charmeuse slip dress that I was manufacturing about 15 years ago. They sold very well. They flew out the door like hot cakes and then my partner and I went our separate ways. Oh, wait - they were stolen. But thats another story............Perhaps I should think about bringing this back since I'm back in a vintage state of mind. email me with your inquiry's please - I just found my patterns!

This is bringing back memories of when I was working in the basement of a warehouse that the Tubes used to rehearse in. The basement was haunted , A local corset company worked upstairs and there was a pattern maker/designer upstairs above all of us. I vaguely remember some discrepancy I was having with the pattern maker. I have a memory of her and I having a push and pull fight on the top of the steep flight of stairs going up to her loft. I think people were on my side about the argument. I dont remember winning the fight, but I do remember being embarrassed and thinking that this kind of drama isnt good for business and that I had been very close to falling off the stairs and killing myself! Oh, the backstage glamour of the fashion biz!

Anyway, the corset co. and I decided to get the hell out of that space as there was nothing but bad vibe in it. And then they taught me how to make corsets better than I had been making them. Then we all got in a fight and went our seperate ways. Then we made up.

The End


Stripey Stretch World and the Glorious Ms. Brice

These striped dance pants were made exclusively for Rachel Brice and Samantha Hasthorpe. I cut and sewed the stripes myself because I just couldnt find a stripe that I liked out there in stretchy stripe world. This was a labor of love, but the affair is over and I wont be making any others unless I find the right fabric. Pretty cool, though, dontcha think?

I lied. Money talks for stripes. :)



As much as I liked the old guy...he got away without a full on photo.


Christmas Is In The Air

I am being reminded now of Christmas and Dicken's Faires and Christmas shows of Past. This is just a little example of what I can do with some cool fabrics and a little direction. I did not design these. They were made for Christmas With The Crawfords years ago and I tweaked some retro patterns and came up with this. A robe is a robe..I just made it better. The shoulder pads in this baby are massive!

Rumour has it that Thierry Mugler saw the silvery dress on stage in New York and thought it was authentic vintage. Well......Im believing it at any rate! Kudos to me and the man who picked the fabric!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vintage Reproduction

I took this off an old 50's day dress pattern. Blue retro print cotton with a self belt. I added a little fullness in the back for some extra style. Sweet and simple and totally wearable for today. I am so inspired by 50's couture right now. I caught the Golden Age of Couture exhibit at the V&A in London a couple weeks ago. While, I wasnt crazy about some of the dowdier of the suits that were shown, I was once again enthralled by the cut and padding and detail of that era. I guess having been born in that era, I dont get very excited by the visuals of the time, but when I get to see it up close and in action, I am always reinspired. The little Theatre De La Mode dolls that were dressed in the latest fashion were fantastic! That alone was more than worth the price of admission. And the foundations! As soon as I have the time, I am going girdle shopping. Im obsessed.


Black Magic

Well, maybe this isnt the most original title, but the dress is pretty amazing. A Silk charmeuse slip dress that laces up both sides. Perfect for that special evening in - or out. Hand painted detailing in the back by Jon Weiss.

Model: Kristine Adams


Me, Me - Its All About Me!

Here are a few photos from the Tarab gig in Birmingham, England last week. Im just posting the ones with me in them right now because its my blog, Im vain, and I can do what I want. Everyone in Rashani World Fusion and Pedralta Dance and Saaidi were gorgeous and glorious though! It was a great show and my dear friend Phil Thornton did some amazing visuals for the background and did much of the music.

Usually we are all much more decked out with big old hip belts and tons of jewelry. But logistics forced most of us to keep it simple. Its too much to lug all that heavy costuming around the world and customs has a field day with me as it is.

England Rocked. I spent two weeks on the southern coast and was taken to bonfire nights and castles and the Long Man of Wilmington and all over the sea and countrysides. Every town is Elizabethan or older in that part of the world. Everything is OLD and I loved it so! I know they are sick of the word "quaint". But compared to our burly ways, it is Quaint to the Extreme. Most everything is Wee. And yes, the food sucks. But it would in comparison to San Francisco anyway. We are soooooooooooooo spoiled!

On my way to the airport, I was burdened with tons of luggage and going up the tube steps was horrendous. The locals helped me though, bless them! I also accidentally knocked over a kiosk in the airport (don't ask) and by the dirty looks I was getting from the airport personnel, I thought I was going to be pulled aside and given the full on inspection. But they didn't! I'm sure they assumed such a clod as I could not ever be allowed to be on a terrorist or drug smuggling team!

Then I got a migraine and threw up in Canada.

Then despite my migraine, I went and bought a big old fat burrito - just for the hell of it.
Its all about me.


My Favorite Contestant

Hands Down.