Friday, September 29, 2006

The Manson Family Embroideries | Hippies In The Big House

It wasn't until Kenny mentioned her in a recent blog post that I've felt compelled to learn more about Squeaky Fromme. Little did I know the Manson family had created such lavish garments! Have a look at these vests created for Charlie by the girls. I've added in a few quotes I found at Squeaky's site.

I've always been a huge fan of these chunky embroideries that are so indicative of a really wonderful hippie spirit. But, when the face coming out of the otherwise cheerful cloud is that of Charlie Manson, it's just downright creepy.

This one, referred to as Mason's Ceremonial Vest, has locks of hair and long braids stitched on as fringe. Those girls really loved their Charlie.

"In this mind is the face of Charlie, but MANSON is the Mind. The Shaman, the seer, the visionary. He wears all crowns from thorns to precious gems and metals to cloth and beads, feathers, bone, sinew, fiber, and the dangling windwisps of whispered spirit and breath. He is the mind of all, of much unseen, unimagned or unrealized, of all we don't understand and all we fear."

"The horse is a thought carrying a symbol out of the mind, and is of itself a symbol of greatness. The symbol in its chest is known as the "Solar Swastika", signifying the four equinoxes and solstices and the turn of the year. Within the heavily breathing horse the solar symbol is to me the natural force of energy in quivering, pulsing flesh, unlike the power of machinery in iron and steel. The train is a great thing, but this power clothed in the weaker body of the horse is an even greater thing."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How I Would Handle Dispensable Income If I Had Any

A Personal List of Fashion Priorities
(in order from most to least important)

-Cream colored cowboy hat (We've all seen how great George Strait looks in his)


-New heels on my dressy Fluevogs

-Black Cowboy Boots

-Burgundy and gold necktie, ascot, pocket square and suspender set

-Chocolate brown felt fedora (with a shorter brim than most)

-Another pair of straight legged 514s

-lapelled brown cotton velvet vest with 4 welt pockets (2 welts would pass as well)

-Black suit in light weight wool; flat front slim legged trousers, a lapelled vest with mint green lining, three button coat with a high closure and custom tailored torso...None of this off the rack stuff. Lining in mint green satin with my monogram set in as decorative brocade in the weave. Alternative: hand sewn monogram on inside welt pocket.

-White leather boots with rhinestone detailing

-Chelsea boots with Cuban heels. MUST have the Cuban heel.

-All existing wardrobe elements from the Liberace estate

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Time To Rend | A Time To Sew

As my summer comes to a close and the seasons change, so has the title and pulse of my blog. I've made the move from A Seamster's Summer to A Seamster's Season.

As fashions come and go, we hope the driving pulse stays the same. Afterall, being a seamster is never out of season.

Turn, turn, turn...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Helpful Hints | Ah, Misogyny | Long, Long, Short-Short, Long, Long...

While two-stepping and ten-stepping at the Little Red Hen tonight, Anna and met a really friendly dance instructor named Stu who was more than willing to give hints that have already proven themselves to be immensely helpful. The most memorable, perhaps, came by way of this story of his:

"My mama always told me that there were only three things I needed to be good at if I ever wanted to make it in life: cookin', sewin', and dancin'. And then she said if I was REALLY good at the last one, I'd never need to do the other two."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today's Dance Card | Call and Response

From Erk's Timecard to today's dance card.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hold My Lolly, Would You Please? | A Lean Cat or Two | Putting Living Before A Living

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Acquisitions | Tepco Tomato

A beautiful set of three Tepco cups and saucers. This line is called Adobe Ware. Oh how I love them!

A tomato from Rachel and Jacob's garden that looks as though it has been stitched together. Surely it is going to taste better than the rest!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Places I Wish I Could Have Visited | Flout

"Fashion, together with pop music, became Britain's most spectacular export. Like music, it flouted the rules of propriety and gender." - V&A Museum

I Was Lord Lord Kitchener's Valet, Carnaby Street, London

Granny Takes A Trip, Kings Road, London

Lord John, Carnaby Street, London

Friday, September 08, 2006

NO MATTER WHAT! | Catching Up


My most sincere apologies for not posting more frequently these days. I hope you and Little Richard and have been keeping one another company while I have been away. I've had him to dinner twice and he's been a joy at the table both times.

After spending the past days fussing and unnecessarily laboring over my resume, I decided to bite the bullet today and begin scouring Seattle for work. And, I am happy to say that after filling out 8 applications in one afternoon, I have some promising leads. Keep your fingers crossed that something interesting (or at least mildly inspiring and well-paying) will turn up soon.

Job applications for high end retail clothing sales positions talk an awful lot about customer service. It makes sense, I suppose. These jobs are much more about selling the clothes and keeping customers happy than the actual designs on the racks. That's probably why I am interested in this kind of work in the first place. My own creative work is going to continue no matter what ( I said NO MATTER WHAT!) and I rather like the idea of having a part time gig that will help me get a better sense of why people wear what they wear, how they want their clothes to fit, what they're drawn to, how presentation and finesse in sales can help, etc.

In the midst of this day of research, I have begun to realize that in one way the fashion industry has nothing to do with fashion at all. In fact, many people who are part of this scheme could care less what the designs look like. This is both encouraging and disheartening to a young designer like myself. How on earth can you find a home in the industry if so many structures are already in place, so many rules already set?

I guess this is why I am always most excited by shops that set the bar high for themselves in the type of merchandise they carry, but still represent artists and designers who are independent and still making a name for themselves. I've handled enough clothes to know what's good and what's bad. I've also made and shown enough work to have a sense of why designer clothing costs what it does. I still remain perplexed, however, about the very high end in fashion. The four hundred dollar cashmere scarves and seven hundred dollar driving gloves have me at a loss. I know hand weavers who work with the best fibers available, and even they cannot justify these prices. Maybe it is because I have never had the money to afford these things. Maybe it is because I have no sense of what really goes into making garments of this sort (I'll cockily say that I doubt that's the case, though). Maybe it is because customers with that much money to spend are simply searching for fast and easy ways to get rid of it because being rich is such a drag. Maybe it is worth it because we're paying for history and legacy, not to mention superb materials. Maybe being cool just costs a lot more than I had thought. Maybe we are supporting an international labor force that costs a ton of money to maintain. Or maybe it is just a plain old rip off.

I don't know. Thoughts?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lookin' Freaky

Not A Single Day Goes By When I Don't Think About Little Richard. And here's why:

Friday, September 01, 2006

Applause, Please | For Wilted Susan | Golden Lids

I'm so glad I am back in Seattle. On a daily basis I'm given reason to smile and enjoy the aesthetic triumphs of the men in this city. Of course there is still the flock of ordinary guys roaming the streets in their cargo shorts and tees or other hum drum this and that, but all in all, I'm frequently treated to the wardrobes of guys who really have it they've been doing it all their lives.

There's "Never Say Die Dandy" in my neighborhood, for instance. While his physical and mental health may not be what they once were (he's clearly 80+), he still pulls out all the tricks from his closet. Yesterday it was an emerald green wool blazer over a burgundy shirt and navy blue silk ascot...completed with brown wing tips, a straw hat, and the saddest little wilted yellow Black-Eyed Susan on his lapel. My guess is that it was Monday's flower.

Or there's the construction worker who's heading the project on the Ave between 47th and 50th. His silver pompadour is perfect...even with the steady on and off of his hard hat. The deal is sealed by a few carefully charted tattoos and the fact that he could pass for Tony Ward's twin brother.

And even after having the pleasure of dressing them in my own designs, my friends Marty and Patrick manage to surprise and delight on a regular basis. Effortlessly, Marty can put a rough and tumble vintage european motorcycle jacket next to the dressiest side-zip leather boots (sans Cuban heel, sadly) and have it all make perfect sense. And Patrick takes the Utilikilt, generally a Seattle tragety, and makes it look like couture. He brings it out of context. No other young homos sport it. Its usually reserved for big guys with bleached perms...over 35 body builder/construction worker types. It means something completely different, and looks completely different when Patrick wears his.

The two guys outside the new Buddhist meeting/performance space up the block made their mark. My favorite was in a great combination of hipster bicyclist and wanna-be-master-yogi garb; short, tight, cut off jeans and an irridescent peach colored collarless shirt. My inner hippie squealed when I saw that shirt! He trimmed it all out with oversized wooden beads, an anklet, a shaved head, and a fearlessly placed mark of gold paint between his eyebrows...which, quite beautifully, was running onto his eyelids as he sweat. He said "Hey, how's it goin'?" as though he really meant it. It was nice.

The only sad thing about this all is that I have no images of these outfits to share with you. Until I come up with a keen and discreet way to photograph, I'll trust that your imaginations are taking over.

Thank you, daring men of Seattle. I take this all as a sign of hope; a reason to forge ahead!