Sunday, February 7, 2016

Haute Couture Societe


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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!)

45 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! I am sure I am guessing correctly that your presentation was a fabulous success. I would love to see your fashions and hear you talk in person! Being animated is the perfect characteristic to bring to such events! Animation shows passion which inspires!

    Thank you so much for introducing us to Marlene's art. She is very talented. Does she have an Etsy site or web page of her own? Very clever display on the necklaces!

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    1. Thanks so much, Bunny! NO! Marlene does not have a web presence! She makes her art for her own use and for her own fun. She stops using the computer at 9pm, and won't even get a Facebook account! :)

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  2. You gave a fantastic presentation! I've been following your blog for years and it was so fun to see you in person. As always, I left the Haute Couture meeting with all kinds of new ideas I can't wait to try out. I hope you come visit us again!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! It was a delightful morning!

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  3. Hope to see you at Expo Shams! I will only be there Thursday for shopping, and Saturday afternoon + the Seattle ASG "After Expo" dinner. Let me know if you can attend our dinner - love to have you!!

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    1. Hi Maris! Unfortunately, I had to cancel my plans to attend Expo this year! Work scheduled a conflicting event. I am sorry to miss it - I enjoyed meeting you last year!!

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  4. I'm so thrilled for you that you were given the opportunity to speak about your amazing wardrobe. I've had the chance to speak to you about what inspires you and I'm glad you were able to share that with others.

    So do you have a plan for the Paris wardrobe? Is it going to be like Ann's plans? I so enjoy her planning and sewing process before she heads out on an adventure!

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    1. Hi Carolyn! I *do* have a plan for my Paris wardrobe! I've bought a lot of new fabrics and am planning a new color scheme! I just haven't had a chance to really nail it down yet, so I haven't posted about it yet. Margy has been giving me lots of advice, so I've definitely been inspired by her! (I assume you meant Margy, rather than Ann...)

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    2. D'OH! You DO mean Ann! You know, Ann hasn't blogged in so long that I didn't remember that she wrote travel wardrobe posts. Did she? She's still sewing up a storm and making amazing things, but she just hasn't been blogging in awhile. Too much travel, I suppose! She just got back from Wyoming to visit her kids and grandkids, and before that, I think she was in Antarctica...

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  5. Terrific post, Shams! What fun you had in Lodi! They look like a great group of women. Wish something like that were near me!
    Love, love the necklaces and purses by Marlene. What a talented woman!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle! We really have a bounty of riches, when it comes to creatives in California, don't we? ;)

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  6. What a great post! fashion, accessories, tragedy, and puppies!!!! Your life is literature!

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  7. Your presentation at Haute Couture was wonderful, every piece of clothing was well made and so creative, I especially appreciated the hand out with pattern numbers and blog links. I'm so glad you were able to come and share your work. I loved spending that "special" time with you, even with the tire crisis we laughed and were having fun! It's amazing what "bonds" people together. Love all the photos -- thanks for your blogging talents, I love reading it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jonelle! It was delightful to get to know you better!

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  8. Ann! I know her from her Miyake reviews on PR! So happy to know she's too busy to blog.
    TAP Plastics in Seattle is just a block from District Fabrics, in Fremont, if you folks are so inclined!

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    1. Yes, that's Ann! We have several Tap Plastics in the bay area, too, though it's kind of a pain to get there.

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  9. Oh, how I wish I could wander through your wardrobe for a couple hours! I'm too far away to see it in person, so I'm glad you share with us here...
    And many thanks for sharing Marlene's art with us as well. What wonderful pieces and such a great display!

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    1. LOL, Kathleen. Yes, Marlene's work needs a wider audience!

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  10. I also admire Ann's sewing! Nice to know she's still sewing even though she's not blogging anymore. Thanks for sharing the Haute Couture presentation, lucky participants to be able to be part of such an event.

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    1. Thanks, Graca! Blogging is one of those "ebb and flow" things, and it's normal to wonder what's up. But, yes, Ann, Barbara and Dorothy are all fine and actively sewing, even if they aren't posting to Pattern Review much anymore!

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  11. Congratulations on being honored by the Haute Couture Societe! I'm sure your presentation was amazing. Please come to the East Coast and do a presentation or class for us in Massachusetts or RI...please.
    Liz Karp

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    1. Thanks, Liz! Getting my wardrobe to the east coast would not be easy!

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  12. Congratulations on your presentation. I think we all wish we were there! Marlene is very talented, her work would sell very well in whatever venue she wanted. I love the architecture of the church. Wonderful all round!

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    1. Thanks, Valerie! I don't think I've been to Lodi in my entire life and I'm not sure about Stockton either. It's fun to see new places!

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  13. How Lucky the Ladies of Lodi are! I know your presentation was amazing...you are, your wardrobe and sewing skills are, so it's a given! And even with the tire tragedy, you (and Jonelle and Marlene and the AAA garage) prevailed!

    Marlene's jewelry is stunning...I'm so sorry it's not available for sale!

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    1. Aww, thanks, Margy! As always, I value your support! Marlene has invited me back, so one of these days maybe I'll go and do some creating!

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  14. An enjoyable post. I'm not sure who Ann is?

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    1. She was, at one time, very active on Pattern Review ( http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?search=1&ProfileID=997&heading=all_pattern_reviews_by_Ann%20Smith ) and on her blog ( http://annsthreads.blogspot.com/ ).

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  15. sounds like a great presentation. i think you could pull anything out of your wardrobe and have something interesting to say and show about it. you are always looking for a new creative twist and it pays off.

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  16. Shams, your presentation was delightful just as I expected it to be. Although I have seen many of your garments before seeing them altogether made an amazing statement of your creativity and style. Thanks again for coming to Haute Couture. And yes I have done some travel wardrobes as well as lots of Miyake. Still doing them!

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    1. Thanks for coming out to support me, Ann! Now that you've moved, it was a long ways for you to come! And thanks for bringing Dorothy along. ;)

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  17. With all those great ladies out there, the old "Oh lord, stuck in Lodi again" is definitely not apropos! The traffic on the way, though is another story entirely!

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    1. Wendy - I agree! Stuck in traffic to Lodi, and then a flat tire.

      But didn't she do great? - Heather

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    2. Thanks, Wendy and Luckylibbet! I'm glad it all worked out and I got home before my cat was all annoyed with me. ;)

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  18. I would love to have been there. Marlenes jewellery is gorgeous - very covetable!
    I'm sure the ladies of Lodi had a fine time.

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    1. Thanks, ML! Yes, Marlene is really a treasure!

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  19. How I would have loved to come to your trunk show! You have made some amazing things over the years that you have shared on this blog!

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    1. Vicki, it would have been great to meet you in person!

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  20. It was great to see you Shams! Your trunk show and presentation of garments was amazing in all manner of creativity, skill and talent and so very nice to see up close. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment even though I watched quite a bit through your camera lens. You are right…..’you hop around like a bunny!’ I quickly trained myself to anticipate the moment when you would look up and out and caught many of those. So glad to see the montage which captures your vivacious personality. Thanks so much for sharing with Haute Couture and glad you made it home safe and sound.

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Barbara! I was so pleased with all of those pics - you went above and beyond! It was so great to see you but I look forward to another time when we can chat more!

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    2. You are welcome and I look forward to another time to chat more as well.

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  21. I'm so happy that you are doing more lectures/trunk shows. Now your exposure in the sewing world is expanding and more people can see your great talent! Let me know if you ever get the opportunity to come to the Houston/Austin area so all my friends can experience your gift. Marlene's little bags are charming and I wonder if they could be worn as necklaces? Karen

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  22. Sigh... I wish I lived on the West Coast near all this excitement and creativity! How awesome you and all these people are! Sigh.... so far from boring Atlanta....

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