Monday, November 9, 2009

Artwear-related Sales and Great Viewing

Quality Fabric Sale!
Tonight I'm doing a bit of artwear catch-up. First, a fabulous fabric sale. The online store is closing and what's left is 75% off. I was too late for the silk dupioni and many other fine fabrics, but I left you some of what's left and there's plenty in colorways that don't appeal to me. I'm considering going back for the cotton baptiste. They're going to send what's left to jobbers so hurry and give your stash a Christmas present.

Kayla Kennington, Bernina designer extraordinaire
Kayla Kennington was at PIQF so we had a chance to chat. She's had a lot going on in her life so she hasn't had time or energy to put up a photo of her latest pattern. But here it is, the Kwan Yin Kimono, #511. I brought it home, had a good look, and can't wait to sew it up. The drawing isn't very clear but it's another of her Modular Design Garments--a type of kimono that ties at the side. Gussets help create that floating points look at the sides. It's more of Kayla's signature style which is to use rectangles of fabric and combine them with little thread tacks (and sometimes beads) to create garments. I'm not explaining this as beautifully as it looks, but if you read Threads magazine, you would have read about the technique ages ago, also her fabric collage technique that creates new fabric yardage from silk scraps. (I tried it and it isn't as easy as it looks!) Kayla had to stop dyeing her fabrics because she was having a reaction to the dyes. Now she has found metal-free acid dyes that don't harm her--Greener Shades. I bought a batch because I'm always aware of the need for safety in using dyes. I especially don't use them anywhere near my cats or birds. These are for animal and other protein fibers and nylon so I won't be using them on my cottons. You can order the pattern and dyes directly from her. Go to her website to get an eyeful!

High Fiber Under Five
The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is running its annual fundraiser, High Fiber Under Five, an invitational benefit art sale, November 3-8. This is your one chance to see and acquire amazing works from some of fiber arts' luminaries. Go to their site to see the details and to see the wearable art by Carol Lee Shanks, Caryne Finlay Mount, and Latifa Medjdoub. Carol Lee always surprises me with her designs. I've been to her Open Studio and she gets mobbed. What looks "different" on the hanger is quite lovely on the body. I always remember her white clothes so was surprised to see these indigo pieces. And as for Caryne, I was there when she created those pieces for a one-woman show. Mostly Caryne works with old kimono which she reworks into intriguing coats. But for that show Caryne created the "kimono" shapes from scratch. The multi-colored patchwork coat she first hand-dyed the fabrics. The white one she crocheted. She worked like a fiend, using all the techniques many of us know and barely use. I wonder if I can find my photos from that exhibit--packed away somewhere. In any case, here's your chance to buy one of these creations for yourself.

Holly Badgley
Yet another sale--Art Reception, Vintage and Ethnic Textile Show & Sale at Sync Salon, 170 Columbus Ave at Pacific, San Francisco. Monday November 16, 5 to 9 pm. RSVP 415-397-1078 or This is a regular art event. I don't know all the participants but I do know Holly Badgley. Fabulous handpainted coats and jackets. I hadn't seen her in a few years and my reaction to what's online is that it's better than ever!

Coco Chanel
Last month I went to a one-woman show about Coco Chanel. I had no idea what to expect, but because I knew mom is a big fan of Chanel, I took her for a night out. She was enthralled! And I was so enchanted by what Annette Baldwin can do on stage, that I want to see it again. Annette Baldwin is a historical actress which means she researches characters she wants to portray, writes the play, and then takes it on the road herself. With nothing more than a simple stage setting of chair and table, she gives us a sense of who the person was. We hear Chanel's opinions and about her attitudes, both about life and her fashion ideas. All this from a woman dressed in a Chanel suit. Then Baldwin presents slides from that life, specifically the clothes Chanel designed. Finally, Baldwin has slides to demonstrate the effect Coco Chanel has had on fashion through the years. We all wear Chanel now. I really liked that final part--and then there was a Q & A session that was also very informative. Annette Baldwin works via her company, Moments in Time. She knows fashion because she worked for Lord & Taylor for many years. I can't remember for sure, but I think she said she used to go to Fashion Week and such, so she was highly immersed in fashion. I recommend her production to wearable art groups, to fashion groups like the ASG, and to fashion departments in schools. She would do well on a large stage also, but I want you to know that this would be suitable for a presentation at a meeting.

Marcy Tilton November Newsletter
Go to Marcy Tilton's website and look for her November newsletter (listed on left side). Marcy talks about her long list of Vogue patterns and recommends fabrics you might use for each one. These are the fabulous, quality fabrics that she sells on her site. She also talks about how she has embellished or enhanced her versions of her own patterns. Interesting reading and lots of wearable art ideas--I have to come back when I can spend the time. I bought her most recent pattern and hope the stretch fabric I have will take stencils. I don't want a shiny all black jacket, but an all-over handmade print would be fun.

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