Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Erling Wold's Mordake Video

Costumes by KathleenCrowleyCostumeCouture
An opera by Erling Wold.


One More Reason Why I Do What I Do

Dearest Ms. Kathleen,
No photo could capture the joy it was to wear your bloomers in my
wedding... how they swooshed and swayed to the sounds of bluegrass in
the redwoods..how they flounced in moments of ceremony...and most of
all made me feel like the Queen Bride all night long... the
pantaloons are super playful like creatures of their own, they like
redwood branches...I wore them for days on end...us country mice went
to san fran for a few days as a honeymoon.. went to the De Young
Museum with the rufflies and people photographed us saying we were
an exhibit ourselves...super fun...I have worn them for days on
end..and washed them by hand in a big bucket. They took forever to dry
yet are bright and lovely again.. thought I would send you a couple
of picks so you could have image to my voice... thank you so much


Monday, July 28, 2008


I was shopping at Clothes Contact on Valencia St. yesterday and I saw "Prairie Glam" over one of the racks. This reassures me as Ive been wondering if I made this term up or if I stole it from someone. I dont get out much.

I think I first saw it used on Etsy for something cute and patchworkie.

The label makes something previously unwearable new and fresh.

Wear whatever you want.
Wear it whenever you want.
Love what you wear.

Model: Samantha Hasthorpe
Photo: Kristine Adams


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cab Waiting

It is Saturday morning - 12:30 a.m. and I'm on a roll. I'm in one of those moods where I cant stop what I'm doing, but I must. I must go home and go to bed.

I'm working on a wedding outfit to be worn in England, in a church, one month from now. I'm sewing stripes and tulle and petticoats and silk - making a corset and a jacket and I wish I could just sew all night long and not have to go to sleep .....I could sew til I drop. Well, I guess I'm about to drop at any moment as I sit here waiting for my cab to take me back over the hill to my home in the Mission.

This also has very little to do with sewing. I sew because it is what came to me fairly easily and I developed a skill that few have any more. What this is about is the art of creating. I could just as easily have a glue gun in my hand right now. I could just as easily be stenciling the outside of a building. I have to create. Or I might as well be dead.

What else is going on this month? Ive been cutting out skads of Sampants and Bum Ruffles. Leg Ruffles, garter shorts, and a pantaloon or two are waiting on my dress rack to be photographed and posted on Etsy. Ive got orders in various stages of completion - almost ready to ship.

I have another wedding dress and several corsets to finish for fall weddings.

I have photos to post and repost (sorry Ive been so slow with this Kristine)

I have to cut my hair because I just cant stand it anymore.

There are mock ups for fabulous suits and blouses, alterations, and visits from out of town friends.

Samples of new, fun wearable things are being formulated in my mind and on paper - hoping I can tackle these in the next couple months.

Pattern making is also very much on my mind.......as in a packaged pattern that will be sold so that you can go out and make Fluffie Rufflies of your own - if you can afford to. I'm pretty sure most are not aware of how much fabric is involved in making these. Still......I want people to go out and buy fabric so that the fabric stores don't die out all together. Is anyone actually aware (outside of the garment industry) that most fabrics are now made in China and have to be imported into the U.S? And if we aint sewin ladies and gentlemen......good luck trying to find it in the future!


July has turned out to be very busy. August seems like it may be doubly so. I'm happy. I'm tired. The cab is finally here. I'm going to bed.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chris March Day In San Francisco

Last Saturday, I got to hang out at the 5th Annual SF Fashion on the Square. I had a great time sitting up front by the stage with my long time buds, catching up with friends I dont see very often, watching the models walk by, catching rays, trying to look nonchalantly glamourous while not getting sunburned, and wondering why, oh why can San Francisico not pull off something that seems so easily done in NYC?
And I was a bit put off by the announcer's insinuations that she would like to jump every male model.

Paleeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzz can we have a little class here!

But all in all, it was fun and had something for everyone. And of course, I was happy to see Chris again. Mayor Gavin Newsom declared July 19th as officially Chris March Day by proxy. Tammy from
Beach Blanket Babylon came out in her red finale dress and sang "San Francisco". We cried. We laughed. We rolled our eyes. We hoped the model jumping comments were over.

Chris March's mini-line was very pretty and interesting. He used organic/sustainable silks. His clothing draped and moved well on the models. I enjoyed seeing his work up close and personal. I wish you could see the details in the photo. His designs had a lightness about them that was refreshing and perfect in the outdoor light. I cant remember the gentleman's name, but Chris used a San Francisco designers' handbags on his models. I'll post that later if I can remember to get it. They are all made of pop tops - very clever and I wanted one so bad! OOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo I loooooooove the digital printing on the sheer gowns that Chris does!!! Ethereal Spleandor!

In general, there was a mix of clever and dullsville throughout the whole show and Chris was saved for last because he was the guest designer.(save the best for last!) I love being Down Town, a good crowd was entranced, the day was very entertaining, then I got to take a day off and go shoe shopping with Susie afterwards.

I didnt get to visit with Chris til the next night when we all just hung out at Matt James and dished the light fantastic like old times. Happy Days. Sometimes you can go back for a moment or two until you have to go back to the real life. Everything changes and everything stays the same.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Queen Harish is Coming!

Queen Harish dances in drag

Sandip Roy, Special to The Chronicle

"I like to copy the Bollywood actresses," Queen Harish says with a chuckle. "But not the new kinds with the very short, short clothes." She prefers the colorful, traditional full skirts of her native Rajasthan. After being featured in the musical documentary "When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan," Indian drag sensation Queen Harish has become quite the jet-setter. New York, London, Barcelona, Tokyo - "the dancing, whirling, desert drag queen," as she calls herself, is everywhere, flying in for celebrity weddings, giant outdoor concerts and gay parties. "They were hot," she says after performing at the packed Desilicious pride party in sweltering New York this year. "I have to make them more hot."

Harish is also married and a dad. He goes to his local Hindu temple twice a day. And he says he'd never even heard the term "drag queen" until he came to the West.

In his hometown of Jaisalmer, a desert city in Rajasthan, men are known for their machismo and fierce, curling mustaches; the women veil their heads and wear armloads of bangles. As a boy, Harish loved to watch Bollywood films on TV, copy the actresses, choreograph their songs. "But I did it in my head," he says with a giggle on the phone from San Diego. "The whole family was watching together. I wasn't alone."

Then his teacher chose him to play Lord Krishna for the school concert. "My teacher noticed I loved to dance, but knew I can't perform as Harish. I was too shy," he remembers. Playing the blue-skinned god, bedecked in jewelry, Harish realized that no one could recognize him. It freed him. "Even now if you know me as Queen Harish and Harish passes by, you won't recognize me," he says.

Friends suggested he should try women's clothes because his features were "nice." When he looked at himself in the mirror in full makeup, he was amazed. "Before that I didn't know I am beautiful," he says. "After I took off my makeup, I could still smell it all night. It was beautiful."

But Harish was embarrassed about his dancing queen alter ego. He held down a daytime job with the telegraph office and only did private shows. His parents had died while he was still in his teens, leaving him with his two sisters. "I had to take care of many heavy things," he says. He realized that dance could help support the family. "My hobby became my profession. God was behind me."
The star attraction

Arnaud Azzouz was definitely behind him. The manager and director of the Musafir and Maharaja Gypsy dancer collective included Harish in the troupe and took him on shows abroad. He gave him the name Queen Harish. Soon Queen Harish's acrobatic, fast-paced folk dances became the star attraction.

"It's not just a change of clothing," Jasmine Dellal, director of "When the Road Bends" which comes out on DVD next month, said by e-mail. "When Harish is on stage s/he totally becomes the dancer in the sequin dress. I remember one day our cameraman was flirting with Harish playfully, not realizing that 'she' had been a man just an hour earlier." (Indian film director Basu Chatterjee once offered Harish the part of a Rajasthani woman in his film, not realizing he was a man.)

Dellal accompanied Harish to his hometown of Jaisalmer. She was surprised to find that in that conservative traditional corner of India, "they respected the fact that he is making his living this way. And he has a nice house to show for it." When Harish was about to get married, he says his would-be in-laws "watched" him for six months. "They listened to my whole community," he says. "It's not like we just chat online and get married."

But he still tries to keep his professional and private lives separate. His wife and he don't go shopping for dresses together. "I have my own designer," he chuckles.

"He is always flirting but very sweet," says San Francisco composer and world musician Cheb i Sabbah, who just did a gig at the Getty Center in Los Angeles with Queen Harish. Sabbah says he knew of him but they had never met until Harish e-mailed him through MySpace. Queen Harish was coming to New Jersey to dance at a wedding and wanted to perform with Sabbah somewhere. "We spoke on the phone, but we had no time to rehearse until we went in for sound check," Sabbah says. "But he just danced from the heart. And when he whirled on his knees, it was like 'Wow.' "

Dellal isn't surprised that Queen Harish turned a wedding invitation into a full-fledged U.S. tour. Harish, says Dellal, is the kind of enterprising person who can find Indian food within a short distance of any theater while on tour.
Can't stay mad

"Not only that, he would steal my interns when I wasn't looking, to help him collect the food," she recalls. But she says it was impossible to be angry with him. He'd just run around backstage saying "No tension, no tension."

Nowadays, Harish is busy launching his solo career. But he says he won't forget his awkaat, where he came from. He makes sure the tailor who made him his first costumes still gets his business. Twice a year he walks to a temple 500 miles away to dance for free all night. "And when I dance, I am clean of heart and clean of body," he says seriously.

But do men fall in love with his onstage courtesan persona?

"Come and watch the performance," he says, instantly flirtatious. "That answer I will have to give face to face."

Queen Harish: 9:30 p.m. Wed. Bollywood Cafe, 3372 19th St. (415) 259-8629, www.electricvardo.com. Workshops: 1-2 p.m. Sat. at Clandestine, 3435 Cesar Chavez St. $45; 4-6 p.m. Sun. at Fat Chance Belly Dance studio, 670 South Van Ness Ave. $45. queenharish.eventbrite.com/n.

To view Queen Harish at the Desilicious pride party, go to sfgate.com/ZEGA.

E-mail Sandip Roy at datebook@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page E - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pretty Things

Sherri Wheatley just sent me this photo that was shown in the L.A. Times - shot at a gig with Lucent Dossier. Thats Sherri posing...... What a fab photo!

What an awesome costume! I can only claim the Leg Ruffles and garter shorts as my design, but what a lovely combo - and what a gorgeous lady!

Tooting my own horn here, I create pieces that interact well with other designs. Mixing and matching to create your own look is great fun and creates a unique look to set yourself apart.

Bra and bustle: Medina Maitreya
Harness: Marisa Youlden


Friday, July 11, 2008

In Honor of Bridal Season.......

I just couldnt resist.......

After another happy bride left my establishment this afternoon with her beautiful gown in hand, I went on youtube to have a coffee break and have a little brain drain moment. I found this. The show that changed my creative life!

I'll post pics when I get some.....its the dress I made from her grandmother's embroidered linen tablecloth and matching napkins.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Betsy Ross

I have a thing about Betsy Ross.
I don't consider myself overly patriotic except for the fact that I like where I live and want the best for everyone despite how our rulers feel.
She was quite a gal. She was a rebel and she seemed to have her own mind. She worked hard, had plenty of men in her life and seemed to be hanging with the people who were doing things. She earned her living as a seamstress, ended up with her own business and worked til she was an old woman. I can so relate to her. We have some parallels. I am fascinated with colonial life in America and the 18Th century in general. I wish I could know her. Maybe I did.

"America for Me" by Henry Van Dyke
'Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings, --
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.
So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars

Oh London is a man's town, there's power in the air
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.
I like the German fir-woods, in green battalions drilled
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!

I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free, --
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.
Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prairie Glam

I don't know....Ive been on this Holly Hobby goes Hollywood vibe for quite a while now. Now I'm hearing the term "Prairie Glam" and I embrace it whole heartedly. It goes so well with the Steampunk thing that is becoming the word of the day. Wild Wild West goes Jules Verne. I So Love it!
And my collection goes very well with it all.

Now, I personally am not into polygamy for myself, although if someone wants to put all that stress of dual relationships onto ones' self, who am I to interfere. Ive juggled a boyfriend or three in my day, but more wives??????? Sorry. I gotta be Queen Bee. That's all there is to it. End of story.

Back to where I was going with this..........
These FLDS Ladies have on what I would call a "mock up". The base of a good idea in crap fabric. With that mock up, you get the fit down and work with the idea to get a good story. Here, its like the start of a dream and they didn't get to wake up. Its just bad, bad 80's. But with a tweak here and a tweak there they could have a really cute dress! Very Laura Ingalls - and I'm all about that right now. Calico and lace and fun modern fabrics. I know I'm on to something here! I know it!

And actually, I like these Ladies' website. I like the children's clothing and they seem to have priced their products intelligently. I would totally dress my kid like this once in a while - at least a piece here and a piece there.I wouldn't have a problem wearing some of the style myself mixed with other things - Good basics. I would just have way more fun with it. And that hairstyle has to go. And the shoes.........my eyes! My eyes!

I believe there probably was abuse - there is plenty in "normal" homes, so why would this place be any different. Especially when there is so much repression going on - you see it all around us every day. It has to come out somewhere. And it usually comes out in very, very bad behaviour. Humans with poor self esteem gather together and let other humans with overinflated egos (or whatever) dictate. What are you gonna do.......its so much more complicated than all this. Its all very easy to be tongue in cheek about the whole thing, but basicly, the weak let others run them around. The strong break free.

But they sure are interesting!

This all makes me think of my grandparents living on the prairie - Ive got a photo of her in a similar dress. HOWEVER - it looked like it fit her, so she gets my vote.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ordering info


A form fitting capri with bias ruffles below the knee that curl up the side of the leg a bit for that piratie flair!
These are made of 4 way stretch velvet for a buttery soft feel!
These are great for yoga, excercise, dance practice and for streetwear!

XS hip 31-35”
S hip 33 - 37”
M hip 35 - 39”
L hip 37 - 42”
XL hip 40 - 45”

Black, Deep Purple, Dark Brown, Light Olivie Green , Dark Green, Silvery Grey are the colors most available at the moment.

Bum Ruffle™

A hip wrap with bias cut ruffles that go with your Sampants or Fluffie Rufflies OR dance and practice skirts!
One size fits all
4 way stretch velvet
Sam color availability as the Sampants above
Garter Shorts

XS hip 31-35”
S hip 33 - 37”
M hip 35 - 39”
L hip 37 - 42”
XL hip 40 - 45”

Black, Ivory, White only

A wonderful short with heavy duty vintage-style garters attached
Inseam aprox. 4”
I can make them up to 2” shorter upon request

Leg Rufflies™

The Ruffles without the upper pant!
A two” band at the top of the ruffle lets you attach these to your garters!
Aprox. 26” in total length
Please inquire about making them shorter or longer!
thigh measurement about 18.5”

Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants™

Fluffie Rufflie Dance Pants : a form fitting
yoga-style, low-rise stretch knit pant with 5 layers
of cascading circular 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 40 -45 “

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 and hip department, so just let me know if you need another 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.


Fluffie Rufflie™ Pantaloons

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

S hip 31-36:
M hip 35-39”
L hip 37-44 “
XL hip 42 -49”

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........Info that I need:

Shipping address--
Email and paypal email address if the two are different--
Item(s) that you would like to order--

~If you have a color/color combination in mind, I will let you know if a particular color is unavailable. Black, white, ivory are the most available colors at the moment for all the Rufflies. ~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 or Global Priority. USPS Express and Global Express Guaranteed are more expensive, but your package can be tracked ONLY with this service.

You can also send paypal payments and your order through kathleen.crowley'at'yahoo.com . I will invoice you if more postage and/or tax is due.

I do not take credit cards, but will take checks and money orders. I have to give time for checks to clear before starting your order.

~I prefer using these email addresses: kathleen.crowley'at'yahoo.com or kc.costumecouture'at'gmail.com for correspondence as well. Otherwise I cannot be responsible for any mixups should Tribe or Myspace go down. Please make sure that I have your phone number just in case!

~ As soon as your order comes up in line, I make your
garment ( unless we have discussed another arrangement).
I send you your new Rufflies and
you jump up and down for joy!

Because I make each pair by hand and each item of costuming that I make is one of a kind, the timing will vary on delivery unless we discuss this when ordering. Right now, there is a wait of around 2 months for Fluffie Rufflies.

I often get requests for contrasting colored ruffles
and if the fabric is readily available, I will gladly
do this for $25.00 extra.

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


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hadley Northrop

What Ho! July is filling up with lots of fun things to do!
Hadley Northrop is having a show starting this week!
Her work is filled with warmth and life and when I
finally have walls to put art on again, hers will be there!

828 Valencia Street, SF, CA 94110
(Valencia between 19th & 20th St.)
Wed. - Sun., 12 - 9pm
415 970 9900
Opening Reception: Thursday July 3, 7 - 10pm
Exhibit on Display: July 2 - 27, 2008 (open Independence Day)