Sunday, February 7, 2016

Haute Couture Societe


Haute Couture Societe

Have you heard of the Haute Couture Société? Haute Couture (HC) is a sewing guild based in Stockton, California. I have several friends who are members of HC, so I have, over the years, heard about their great programs.

Last summer they contacted me and asked if I would be willing to give a talk in the coming year, and perhaps a workshop. They've had a slew of good speakers in the past, such as contestants from Project Runway, and sewing luminaries, like Kenneth King, so I was flattered to be asked. In January, the guest speaker was Linda Lee.

Noooo, that wasn't a hard act to follow. ;)

I agreed to do a trunk show. At first, I wasn't going to do a workshop, then I was (on unusual pockets), then I wasn't again. It really takes a long time to prep for these things, and I'm short on free time these days.

I brought 44 garments to show

The truth is that I have a lot more self made garments than that!

By the way, I was planning on wearing a skirt and leggings with my Trippens, but in my rush to get to Lodi, I neglected to pack those. So I wore my Trippens with my jeans. Oh well.

The talk took place yesterday and it great fun! Do you remember Ann Smith and Barbara V? They are both longtime members of HC.

Dorothy K, Ann Smith, and Barbara V, taken at Artistry in Fashion last fall

It was great to see Ann and Barbara! And I got to see Dorothy, too! She had called Ann on Facetime, not realizing that Ann was at the meeting, or that I was about to speak. Since she was on a video call, she hung around and watched my entire talk. I was greatly amused by a clever use of technology. And how handy that Ann's phone was charged up!

Dorothy watching my talk

Barbara very kindly took many photos of my talk. She really went the extra mile! Last night I uploaded to pics to see the results of her work and I had to laugh out loud! She had an incredibly difficult task: I hop around like a rabbit and am very expressive. In many of the pics I have a ridiculous grimace on my face.

I found it so amusing that I created a montage.

Thanks so much for taking a plethora of pics, Barbara!

And if you live near Stockton, CA, you should definitely check out Haute Couture! They have a fashion show coming up soon that sounds like a fun event.

Artistry of Marlene

Jonelle and Marlene

I have two other friends in Haute Couture, as well. I've been friends with Marlene for several years and had briefly met her daughter, Jonelle, several times, including twice at Puyallup. Marlene graciously offered to put me up at her house the night before the Haute Couture meeting. After almost 3-1/2 hours of commute traffic on a Friday afternoon (a less-than-2-hour drive in non-traffic conditions), it was wonderful to reach Marlene's home in Lodi where I relaxed in her creative sanctuary. Besides sewing clothing, Marlene also makes jewelry and purses.

I just had to share her artistry and one of her great ideas on how to display her jewelry. Yes, she gave me permission. :)

Marlene decorated the hallway near her bedroom with these lucite displays that hold some of the necklaces she has made. She rotates the necklaces as she makes new pieces, or just feels like a change.

Marlene had the lucite cut in the 8-sided shapes at Tap Plastics. She also had the large diameter plastic tubing cut into lengths. One end is cut straight, and the other end is cut at an angle. She then glued the angled end of the tubing to the lucite, and mounted them on the wall.

Don't they make a great display?

More of her beautiful work

Marlene also likes to make jewelry from bits of paper that she laminates. These are particularly good for travel, as they are extremely durable and lightweight. And that woman likes to travel! She just planned another trip to China—she's been so many times she's lost count.

Here are a couple of her laminated pieces:

She cut out these models based on the colors of their outfits, and embellished their clothing with a metallic silver marker, before applying the laminating sheets.

I particularly liked this abstract piece!

Marlene recently published an article with Threads magazine on making jewelry by fusing fabric and cutting it into leaf shapes. You might have seen that!

Marlene had also just finished two purses. And what beautiful pieces!

Purse #1: side 1 (above) and side 2 (below)

Purse #2: side 1 (above) and side 2 (below)

Marlene painted a plain wooden bead and glued the seed beads to it

I love this pic of Jonelle and Marlene laughing!
(I told them to act like they like each other.)
Also note that Marlene is wearing another of her beautiful pieces.

Thanks so much for hosting me in Lodi, Marlene!

Last Bits

I've already acknowledged Marlene's and Barbara's help, but let me also mention Jonelle! Wow, what a lifesaver she was for me! She had come to her mother's house to drive her to the meeting. I was going to follow in my van. But Jonelle noticed that my van had developed a flat tire. It was blocking Marlene's garage door, so we would have been stuck.

Jonelle immediately emptied the trunk of her car so we could load up my 44 garments. Once we arrived at the meeting place, she ran interference for me as I unloaded the clothes and prepared. She then got on the phone and figured out where to have my van towed after the meeting to fix/replace the tire, and she made an appointment. She kept me supplied with drinks and, during my presentation, she helped manage all of my clothes.

My clothes shoved into Jonelle's trunk

My helper, Jonelle

After the meeting, she drove me back to Marlene's where we met with the tow truck. (Thank goodness for AAA!) She then drove me to the tire repair shop and wouldn't leave until we knew if the tire could be repaired. (It turns out that my van has a weird tire size. If they hadn't been able to repair it, I wouldn't have been able to get new tires until Monday.)

Flat tire!

A MILLION thanks, Jonelle! I felt so taken care of!

One last thing. The meeting was held in a very unusual church—I'm told that this is not their normal venue. It was designed to resemble a whale! (At first, I thought it looked like a dinosaur, but Jonah and the Whale is a more likely inspiration...)

It looks something like a stegosaurus, amiright?

Looking up through the "ribs". In the belly of the whale, as it were.

I hope you are having a great weekend! I spent many weeks preparing for this presentation. Now that it's over, I'm happy to turn my attention back to sewing, and to preparing my Paris wardrobe.

I don't care much about football, but I will enjoy having the Superbowl on while I putter around. Having Superbowl City near my San Francisco office was very interesting! I took a break from work on Thursday to check out the Puppy Bowl, which is pretty silly, but it's cute to watch a passel of puppies in the middle of a work day! (The Channel 5 camera man kept getting in my way!)

And finally, Xīnnián kuàilè! (Happy Chinese New Year!)