Monday, May 31, 2010

Cher Chez La Femme

I found this photo of Sherri Wheatley performing at Tribal Fest 10 in her new nude colored Fluffie Leg Ruffles. She is soooooo on trend as nude is going to be the new black! This is such a great picture! Sherri is a beautiful woman - inside and out and a gorgeous, very talented dancer. I dont know who took the photo though. If you contact me, I'll credit you!! you can see how great these look in motion! They really do float around your legs!

Here is another photo of her in a pair of Leg Ruffles that I made for her a while back. I dont know who made the rest of her costume.....Medina? Im not sure. Very lovely though.
And here is Sherri modeling an off white backless halter dress of mine on stage at the Tribal Fest Afterparty last month. Sequoia Emmanuelle took some lovely photos of everyone in the worst lighting ever - this attests to her skill. Some of the photographers gave up and wouldn't even bother. Ok. that was our one SNAFU.  But we tried to get the stage lit better, we really did! Next year, we're on it!
 The hat was made for this dress by Medina Maitreya. I am so blessed to work with such talented people!
Photo of Sherri at the Afterparty: Sequoia Emmanuelle

The Stuff Of Dreams

I don't think we actually set out to create a fairy tale wedding, but it turned into one anyway! And why wouldn't it with these two. They have always had an air of drama and an otherworldly flair  about them. Im so glad they finally tied the knot!  It was the sweetest wedding, ever!

 I was lucky and honored to make the  wedding attire for my friends Lynne Rutter and Erling Wold.

For Lynne, I made a black taffeta "poufy dress"  with a scooped neckline. It was somewhat based on a fifties look with a twist. The fabric was fun as it never really wrinkles and it can be poufed out and stay that way - or be calmed down and stay that way. Thank you microfiber (or whatever the hell this fabric is!?!) I took apart the train from the wedding dress of her first marriage. It was a beautiful lightweight ivory silk and I made a jacket with this silk to go over the black  dress. The old wedding dress had English Cotton Netting used as a lining for the lace sleeves. So I took off the sleeves of the old dress and used the ECN as a lining for the bodice of the black dress. It worked out really well. We revamped the old dress a bit and now she can  put it up for auction on ebay. It will make a cuter than cute modern wedding dress now for some lucky lady! These new and remade garments will be worn many times again, which is great,  and the jacket was a bit "green", which made us both happy. I like being able to reuse materials when I can.  And for the marriage ceremony itself, I took loose weave scrim and made a blinged out fairy tale dress to go over her black gown. I didn't plan on focusing on any particular theme, but when I saw the set that Lynne was painting, I knew I was on the right track. She wore a tiara stuffed with her veil from the previous wedding - and voila! Classy lady turned into Fairy Empress!

 Here are I and my friend Erica (also wearing a silk velvet coat that I made for her wedding several years ago!) We were Lynne's attendants on stage and I am wearing a dress that I found in a thrift store - I threw it in a dye pot the day before! I'm also wearing my little Fluffie Bloomers. It was cuter in real life - really - bad photos.....and the camera adds pounds......right?

And those are vintage Fortuny drapes btw. Nice touch for the old Slovenian dance hall.

For Erling, I put ruffles on one of his red shirts, constructed a vest with epaulets that he could wear over   his tux and with his shirt later on. We thought something versatile, fun, and a little silly yet manly would give this party some extra drama! And I gave him a fancy cummerbund. We did buy some new trims, but I went into my stash and used a lot of what I had - and I was glad to as I have way too much stuff!

Lynne is such an amazingly talented woman. Well, they both are extraordinarily creative, but Lynne just whipped out this set in a few days. It was magical. Here is the black and white outfit. I swear I'm going to get some good photos. She was simply stunning, but I'm in the mood to blog and I couldn't wait! However, not too bad for an iphone. I maybe should have waited to take pictures before I started sipping the whiskey though.

Here is Lynne in the background with her black and white outfit. I'm praying for some better photos down the line. In the foreground is Erica in a Poiret inspired coat that I made for her wedding several years ago. This was a beautiful taupe silk velvet from Thai Silks in Los Altos. Why am I giving you my source? Because its where you should go for your silk. Period. Except that I just found out that if you need heavy stretch silk in colors, Silk Road in Oakland is the place to go. Good to know, because I thought they were gone. Lynne etched this pattern on the back of the coat. Awesome as always.

I just finished a wedding dress yesterday for my nephew's fiance'. So these projects and Tribal Fest royally kicked my ass. I feel as though Ive been running a marathon for two months! I'm again behind in getting orders out the door, but most everything will be done next week and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Its all cut and bundled or partially put together. I was able to breathe this last week and actually have a little fun again. All work and no play make Kathleen really hard to deal with. I'll take Memorial Day off as well. Shock. Nuff said.

So next week is going to be filled with getting caught up again, answering all those messages and emails, dealing with all those stacks of paperwork piling up around me and just getting enough sleep.

Sleep, blessed sleep!

P.S. You should contact me as early as a year in advance for your wedding attire as Spring is when I am busiest! And it can take me a while to get back to you - although I'm working on that!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh Tribal Fest.........

I think Princess Farhana said that going to Tribal Fest is like stepping into Brigadoon every year. And it is. It is always different yet always the same!

This year, the design collective that I am a part of (Salome's Suitcase) vended at the Beats Antique show, vended at the Tribal Fest Afterparty 2 nights, and put on  a very glamorous fashion show on Friday night. Every model looked stunning. There were no exceptions. I am so proud of all of us. We all have horribly busy schedules, sometimes we can be a little scattered with all the daily juggling, we all have our own special style and vibe - and we pulled it all together. We had a lovely fashion show that went off without a hitch - AND set up to vend - AND manned the booth - AND wheedled, negotiated, cajoled, and manipulated to get what we needed in a very pleasant manner - All at the same time. Without fighting. Without trauma. Without turmoil.  In cramped quarters. In the freezing cold. We rock! We are all professionals! I am woman, hear me roar!

I'll post more photos later ............

And while vending late into the night was a little hard for me - this just is not my schedule any more - it was great, because we got to wander around Sebastopol and Bodega Bay during the day, hang out and schmooze at Tribal Fest, check out the competition and  even get work done or for some, go to school or work the next day. I think I like this better.

So now its back in the saddle again...........Ive got two more weddings to finish up, orders to finish and send out, and see about restructuring how I do things. I may just have to up my custom prices to what they should be and take on a lot less work so that I can pursue my other interests. I may have to source out the basics (locally) and really do small manufacturing correctly. Why haven't I been doing that all along? Why because Ive been trying to give everyone something special. This started out as a labor of love. I love my dance community, but the love just got too big!  And "special" takes too long to make and some just don't get that. It stresses me out when someone doesn't get it despite all the education I try to do on the subject and the stress isnt worth it. I would rather get paid well or not make it at all. Life's just way to short for that.

So changes are a comin. Some will benefit and many will not. But that's progress. Right?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco De Mayo Sale!

Im having a little sale today - everything in my Etsy shop is at least 10% off! Some things a little more - clearing out and making way for new!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tribal Fest Afterparty!!!!!

Its that time again everyone! Tribal Fest and all that goes with it! People travel from all around the world to attend this dance festival - and hopefully you will be no exception!

The design collective that I am proud to be a part of - Salome's Suitcase - will be the featured vendor collective at the Tribal Fest Afterparty!!!! Do not miss this! We will be having a fashion show on friday night, May 14th.

We will be vending at the Afterparty ONLY!!!!!!! So come out and share your pennies with us!!!!!

Salome's Suitcase is represented by the following artists:

Black Lotus Clothing
Kathleen Crowley Costume Couture
Katherine Summer
HiBeam Bindis
Medina Maitreya
Yasimin Yildiz
Minerva's Antennae
FoolProof Studios

Salomes' Suitcase

F*#K You Mercury!

I went to bed last night wondering how Im going to accomplish everything I set out to do this month. Projects are getting log jammed despite my best efforts. Despite having started them at a good clip a while ago. I'm going to blame it on Mercury having gone retrograde. Damn you, Mercury! You are supposed to be my friend!! I guess you have to have the bad to balance out the good. Right?

Well, May is packed with goodness and fun for me - Im not going to let the planets ruin everything! By sheer will, I will carry on and get things accomplished! Even my worst attempts at making something quickly are better than some!!!!!!!!

I have wedding attire to finish, weddings to go to, gigs to perform at, A fashion show to make stuff for, the Tribal Fest Afterparty, the Beats Antique show to vend at - and if I dont have much to sell, I can say hi and take your orders..............because the load will lighten up after this month and its business as usual!

Ive decided to not vend very often after this month. I'm not going to say "never", but in case you are not aware, vending is quite an expensive project and very time consuming. The last few venues that I traveled to and sold at were either not well attended, or the market was just inundated with ruffles - and stuff "inspired" by what those in the design collective (Salome's Suitcase) that I'm a part of had started ages ago. In fact - I just found the photo above of me working on the prototype for all those ruffles that are now filling the market. Flipping off the photographer. I must have seen it coming!!!!!! (I'm grateful, don't get me wrong!)

Its time for me to use my time more wisely now. I have patterns to make. New ideas to create. Orders to work on. And new roads to go down. I need to not forsake my bespoke roots. I don't want to lose everything Ive learned over the years. And I feel that Im starting to. Use it or lose it. And I need the time to keep up with marketing and emails. Ive spread myself thin - so no vending for a while!

Just to clear up some misunderstandings - I will NOT be vending at Tribal Fest!!!!
I WILL be at the Tribal Fest Afterparty!!!! It is gonna be amazing this year! And our models are off the hook drop dead Gorgeous!!!!!!

So dont spend it all at Tribal Fest, folks! Save some for us!!!!