Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Friday, December 12, 2014

Millinery Meetup in Tennessee

" The United States' premiere millinery education event, designed and planned by milliners
Jan Wutkowski and Diane Shagott... "
was sold out almost immediately.

In June 2014 I implored Diane to place me on a wait list
and every month I emailed asking if there was an opening ??
October 8th I got the call that someone had canceled and I could go.
Start date of Millinery Meetup: October 18, 2014.

So I scrambled my schedule, booked a red-eye to the lovely state of Tennessee and arrived in the early AM to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts for the first day of a wonderful four day utopia;
Millinery Meetup            

The four instructors were fabulous; from the far right is
  • Wayne Wichern from San Francisco ( who I have taken classes with )
  • Daria Wheatley from Washington State
  • Lina Stein from Ireland ( a recent move from England )
  • and Eugenie van Oirschott from the Netherlands

Unfortunately each class was one entire day so the schedule only allowed three classes.
I did not get to take Lina Stein's class Silks, Satins, Sinamay 

The first day was devoted to arrivals and the Millinery Marketplace.
The big names were at the marketplace including 
Hats by Leko, Judith M, Louise Green and many more. 

It was so hard to resist the gorgeous vintage hat model heads. 
But, I was there to learn; not to spend ( okay, just a little )

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts  ( ) is a beautiful campus in Gatlinburg, Tennessee that was founded 100 years ago to promote education in the arts.
There is a constant schedule of different art events and classes;
 I just was fortunate to go to the Millinery Meetup

Students stay on campus in dorm style rooms so it's just a short walk 
to the dining hall and all the classrooms.

My first all day class was Who's Afraid of Straw Braid ? taught by Eugenie.

I don't think I'm afraid of straw braid but, 
it was my first time ever working with it so I was definitely intimidated.

As with most European craftspeople Eugenie was highly skilled at her craft.
It is so nice to have a experienced person tell you the little tips and nuances that make the difference between success and a mess.

Or as Eugenie tried to say
" Your hats are all domed "
What Eugenie said;
" Your hats are all doomed "

This is my finished first-ever straw braid hat.
It was an interesting and educational experience but, not really my style hat.

In addition to the classes many of the approximately 50+ milliners brought hats for a hat contest. 
I was so last minute that I didn't know about the contest or I would have entered one of my hats because I actually have a few that I'm not embarrassed by :)

The hats were as diverse as the milliners.

I think the theme was suppose to be Autumn...

Everyone got one vote and then there was a hat parade and this was the winning hat.
The girl said she almost didn't bring it because it wasn't very " Autumn "
It is much more attractive than the photo.

My second all day class was A Circle, An Oval, A Rectangle-Flat Patterning for Hats
with Daria. I was really excited about this class because I most enjoy sewing hats.
And my table mates were really hilarious.

Again, the voice of experience can simplify concepts. 
And Daria was great at explaining and demonstrating how to manipulate basic shapes for a plethora of hat options !!

She brought in boxes of her own designs made by the methods she taught us.

I really liked all her hats.

And you may learn techniques but, good designs and fresh ideas are harder to develop

This is my finished felt hat from one of Daria's shape manipulations.
Her approach definitely lends itself to lots more experimentation.
I'm always just glad to finish a hat.

Last half day of class for me because I had to leave early :( 
was Amazing Scrap Trims with the wonderful Wayne Wichern.
I try to take classes at Wayne's whenever I am in San Francisco and often I go just for his class.

Wayne is so incredibly generous with his knowledge, so skilled and just so nice.

This bow was one of my favorites from the dozens of trim ideas Wayne showed us.

Of course he let me dismantle it so I could see exactly how the cute droopy bow was made.

Right before I had to leave a professional photographer came by to take a group picture.
Wayne lent me a cool scrap flower to pin to my not-quite-finished class 2 hat for the photo.

And then Millinery Meetup was over for me.

Whenever I am around milliners it's like I find my tribe.
Our humor and common interests makes everyone a new friend...

and I did spend a little on ALOT of great stuff.

Time to get busy making hats!!

One final word about Gatlinburg, Tennessee;
 there are at least 4 stores making fresh carmel corn.

Carmel corn is my personal kryptonite.

I know I left the gorgeous Smoky Mountains of Tennessee a little bit bigger.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's a Really Big ( costume ) Show! Hollywood Costume

Costuming has always intrigued me. 
It's a garment but, it is also a visual narrative.

So last week me, my friend, and my funky harem pants headed to 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art complex
to view the amazing multimedia exhibition 
Hollywood Costume

The exhibition was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 
and consists of over 150 of  ' the world's most iconic costumes ' .

The entrance of the current Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
is a tribute to the epic costume designer
 Edith Head;
whose 60-year career of designing costumes for almost 500 films resulted in
35 Academy Award nominations and eight wins.

Displayed are her actual eight Academy Awards...
An impressive introduction to a really big ( costume ) show ! 

The exhibition is not just costumes on display but, 
a thorough explanation of the process of creating a character through costuming.

" Costume is the Character " -Martin Scorsese

The exhibition combines costumes and video in inventive and informative ways.
Conversations, movie clips, and talking heads are a few of the highlights.

But, ultimately  Hollywood Costume is all about the actual costumes 
from the most memorable, iconic films imaginable.

" Costumes are so much more than clothes - costumes embody the psychological, social and emotional condition of the character " - Deborah Nadoolman Landis


With my head still spinning from two solid hours of costumes, 
the next stop was a one-night-only panel discussion led by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, 
an accomplished costumer, educator, author, and a curator of the Hollywood Costume exhibition.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis discussed with three Oscar nominated costume designers their costuming techniques and challenges.

The costume designers were

  • Danny Glicker, nominated for Milk ( the autobiography of Harvey Milk starring Sean Penn )
  • Judianna Makovsky, nominated for Pleasantville, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Seabiscuit
  • Michael Wilkinson, nominated for American Hustle

Modern mythology is an accurate description for the stories that are 
told through the magic of motion pictures.
And costume designers design the characters that inhabit the motion pictures.

Hollywood Costume 
closes on March 2
and is a must-see for anyone 
that has ever loved a movie.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mood Fabrics NYC

Thought I could afford a short four day trip to New York City in August

and on day four I finally hailed a cab and made the journey to…

the NYC Garment District!

First stop was the iconic 8 foot bronze " The Garment Worker " by Judith Weller
The sculpture was placed at Broadway and 7th in 1984 and the artist based it on her father; a tailor. 

But, my real destination was the famous Mood Fabrics !!!!

Located on the third floor at 
225 W. 37th St. NY

It is 40,000 square feet, three floors of fantastic fabrics.
Jack Sauma is the founder and a designer that switched to wholesale fabric sales in 1991.
In 1993 Mood opened its doors to everyone 
and in 2001 it moved to its current location.

Mood Fabrics has an amazing selection of fabrics that are clearly marked 
and the variety of fabrics boogle the mind !!!!

Apparently there are no free samples :)

And although the variety of fabrics is unimaginable, the staff is extremely helpful
and the store is not overwhelming.

I truly planned on just visiting the most famous fabric store in NYC thanks to Project Runway.
But, my daughter feel in love with a silk fabric and a cashmere fabric that were 
shockingly reasonably priced!
So one silk blouse and one cashmere scarf coming up :)

All in all Mood Fabrics was a great experience !
The prices were surprisingly low,
the selection was fantastic,
and the salespeople were great !

And now my darling daughter and I are off to our next adventure.