Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things I've Done Recently - April 22, 2010

I'm really enjoying the whole process of wedding dress-making - I love working with a bride on a design and choosing fabric and sharing tips (most valuable tip for any bride: even if you love your mom/mother-in-law and get along with her really well, you should ALWAYS appoint a trusted friend to act as a "mom wrangler" - well-meaning moms tend to add an element of stress to an already stressful day).

The best moment is when we get to the point in the design process where the bride looks in the mirror and unconsciously smiles at herself - that's how I know that we've designed her perfect dress. And then it's off to the races with all the fittings, trying-on, and more fittings. And then more fittings, tweaks, tears (usually from me), lint-rolling, and more fittings. During the months when I am working on a wedding dress (I only do one at a time), my living room is covered in a maelstrom of pins, fabric scraps, spray bottles, stray scissors, spools of thread, and newspaper. Truly, the life of a designer just oozes glamour.

I wouldn't trade it for anything though - I had two weddings and tried on squillions of dresses before having my former assistant make mine (and what a job she did, yowza!)I just can't speak highly enough for having someone make you your dream dress. Knowing that an off-the-peg dress, even if
it is gorgeous, is going to cost as much, or more, as a custom-dress, it just makes sense to have one made.

I made this wedding dress for a fellow Brooklyn-to-SF transplant last year, and I'm really proud of it (and I really need to find out who took these photos so that I can give her some props, are they not gorgeous???).
This bride is rocking some serious retro glamour. The dress is silk shantung with a lightweight cotton muslin underlayer. My favorite detail is the back bow, which is a detachable obi belt that I beaded with flowers from the bride's grandmother's veil.
The wedding was held outdoors, in the Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park.
Let me know if you want your own!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And...We're Back for 2010

The sun is out which means that it is time for me to peek my head out from under my rock and bask in it a little bit.
The other day the wife turned to me and asked what was on my mind, and i waited a few beats before saying "mischief. that's what's on my mind". Spring is a time when I typically get super-restless and want to change up my routine, not just a little bit, but completely. I took a second job as the buyer for the Museum of the African Diaspora, which has been challenging and exciting, but I think the sea change that my world needs is even bigger.

My travels around the country (and the world, like PARIS!) seeking out fabulous finds for the MOCFA has given me the chance to unearth some of the most incredibly talented, charming, wonderful artists and bring their goodies to the larger public.

This has made me realize that I really want to resurrect the Ladies Independent Design League here in the Bay Area. Anyone who knew me in New York might remember LIDL from the heady days of 2003-2005, when we collaborated, shared, and even planned a fun craft fair, IndieLicious. We even got a mention in the Handmade Nation book!
The most exciting thing about LIDL was the chance to meet other crafty business ladies to talk shop, commiserate, and everything else. It was the business version of a Stitch and Bitch. As I meet more women who are talented but unsure of how to take their businesses to the next step I want to find something, notably a FREE something, that we can use to help each other, and ourselves. With drinks.
So I'm putting out a call to women who want to start or further a business to please contact me. Let's get started!