Thursday, August 30, 2012

Millinery Class at Wayne Wichern's Studio--California

This will be the last post about my incredible week spent teaching in the San Francisco Bay area in late July.  Posts about the French Flowermaking class and the Sinamay Fascinator class are further down this blog.  THIS post is about the fabulous one-day class I taught at master milliner Wayne Wichern's studio in Redwood City, CA, south of the Bay Area.  If you don't know who Wayne Wichern is, let me tell you a little about this wonderful milliner.

Wayne is, without at doubt, THE foremost West Coast millinery instructor and certainly one of the most knowledgeable milliners in the US.  He is a generous, talented, influential milliner and friend.  He is also the man behind the Millinery Artisan Guild, what was a West Coast millinery guild, primarily Pacific Northwest, but due to his vision, foresight, direction, and leadership,  now encompasses most of the Northern Hemisphere, as evidenced by this year's Hat Camp in Los Angeles.  (See past posts here on this blog.)  If you get a chance to take classes from him, either privately in his studio or through the classes he teaches at Canada College in Redwood will be a better milliner.  Trust me.

SO!  Wayne and I met last year, when I was teaching at Lacis.  He graciously invited me to visit him in his studio after I finished all my classes.  We had a fantastic time talking all things hats before I had to leave for the airport and my flight home.  We briefly talked about me teaching in 2012 in his studio.  I was so honored he would ask. 

Later we met again at this year's Hat Camp and further got talking about classes.  Alas, we worked out all the details and made arrangements for me to teach when my classes were finished at Lacis this year.

Class title:  Abstract Shaping.  And wow, did we have some gorgeous hats come out of this VERY full class at Wayne's studio.  Thanks Wayne, for offering the class to your many followers and students.  I think it was a pretty cool class and I loved working in your studio for the day.

Below...some of the amazing pieces that came out of the class.  Enjoy!

I love the above shot.  Not only is the hat gorgeous, but I love the picture of Wayne in the back taking a sneak peak!  Couldn't have set this shot up better if I'd tried.  :-)

 After I left Wayne's that afternoon I headed BACK to San Francisco to have dinner with long-time friend, former student, and current millinery shop owner (Hats On Post) in downtown San Francisco--Peg Purcell.  Peg is!  I love her to pieces!  We always have a great time talking about hats until our tongues fall out...or I have to head to the airport!!!!  Dang if that wasn't the case this time. 

I packed so much into this trip to the Bay area--teaching at two venues, meeting wonderful students and practicing milliners, fabulous Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit, shopping for vintage millinery materials in Oakland, and taking in all that I could pack into my once-a-year California trip.

I'll be back again next year!  So keep your eyes open for 2013 class dates!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fascinating Lacis

Hello, again!  This post is about my second class at Lacis in Berkeley, California, in late July.  The first class (French Flowermaking)  is further down the blog, past Jean Paul Gaultier. 

Fascinating Fascinators:  Sinamay Headpieces, was the first time I've taught a millinery class at Lacis.  It was a one-day class, specifically about using unstiffened sinamay to create abstract and whimsical fascinators.  

Unstiffened sinamay can be harder to find than its cousin, stiffened sinamay.  However, you cannot create the free-flowing curves, loops, and twists with stiffened as you can with the unstiffened.  Unstiffened usually comes in natural, white and black, although you can sometimes get it in other colors.    Seems that right before class, as we were ordering materials, we couldn't get anything but natural.  Some students brought their own unstiffened yardage, but natural was about all there was to find on the market at the time.  That is why you see so much natural in the following pictures.

 The bias of sinamay is what gives it the wonderful curving properties needed to get shapes.  Above, Donna starts the process of using the bias to create line and shape.  You will see her finished piece further down the post.

 Miko brought in ombre black/grey sinamay.  Here you see her creating some beautiful loops and bows for a lovely finished piece.

Queen brought in a brilliant red.  Using the balsa utility head as a base, she created a great headwrap.  See the finished piece further down.

Check out the following pieces.  Finished except for the final sewing together.  The design is complete.  Not much embellishment needed for these type headpieces as the curve of the piece speak volumes as to style.

So pleased with the progress and finished pieces everyone did.  Most students in the class had no millinery experience.  I think they did a fabulous job of using a millinery medium most do not use to full advantage. 

Donna in her finished piece.  You saw her just beginning the piece up at that first picture.  Oh, and that huge and smashing flower? ....created in the flowermaking class she took the two days before.  Wow!  Love it, Donna!

Ok, ok, I promise...the class at Wayne Wichern's coming up next.  Right now I'm busy packing for my annual teaching week at John C. Campbell Folk School.  That post up after I return...and after the post for Abstract Shaping at Wayne's.

Happy hatting and thanks for reading!  Tell your millinery friends about our blog.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier in San Francisco

While teaching in the San Francisco Bay area in late July, I was lucky enough to score tickets to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park.  I was fortunate enough to see the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit there in 2008, which was incredible, and I knew this exhibit would not disappoint.

If you aren't familiar with his work, you will at least be familiar with his work with the artist pictured JPG.  Madonna during her Blonde Ambition tour in the '90's.

Lots of pictures in this post.  Lots.  So grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen.  Enjoy!

I was in this exhibit for 2.5 hours and I have friends who were there for over 4!  Lots to see and I've only posted about 25! (Oh, pictures WERE allowed in the exhibit, so I didn't violate any museum policy by taking these.  FYI.)

Below, while not part of the Gaultier exhibit, this fabulous sculpture hung at the elevator entrance to the exhibit.  Pretty cool, and soooo hat like. (That's the shadow in the background.)

White board greetings from the man himself, who was on-hand for the opening.

 WARNING!  Actually, I didn't see anything too exotic.  :-)

 The jacket/hood piece below was the very first thing you saw as you walked into the hall.  I absolutely love this and think it may be my favorite piece in the whole show.  But that might be naive of me.  I loved many of the pieces, especially the hats and headpieces, of which you will see quite a few in this post.

OK, I can't even describe the mannequins...who had moving facial features, almost holograms but not really.  I had been told about them before I got to the exhibit, but nothing quite prepared me for the awesomeness of these ladies and gentlemen.  Oh, and they sang...and chanted... and spoke...and cried...and laughed.  Incredible!

Love this ethereal photo.  All gauzy and angelic.

Gauzy and angelic.  Only two adjectives to describe this beautiful piece.  Smashing!

Another of the talking mannequins.  Love her hat!  So 1940's!

Close-up of the hat.  Felt.

Another 1940's inspired hat, also felt.

Beading!  Lots of beading!

You are going to see that I was mesmerized by the following headpiece.  You'll see it from many angles.  All wire and tulle and lace.

And the beautiful shadow it cast below.

Couple of Eiffel Tower shots. 

Street fashion.  Note that the dress is a black plastic garbage bag, the bracelet is a tin food can, the necklace is comprised of tops from tin food cans, steel wool scrubbies, and a tea steeper ball.

Madonna and Jean Paul with the 'infamous' Blonde Ambition corset.  Corsets are a favorite of Jean Paul's and a whole section of the exhibit was dedicated to corsets.

Below...iconic Jean Paul Gaultier!

I loved the whole Friday night at the deYoung!  There was a jazz band playing when I got there, then about 50 tango couples showed up to dance in the lobby (they are so serious!), and of course the exhibit.  So much electricity throughout the building.  If you are ever in the Bay area on a Friday night, I highly recommend...they are open late each Friday night for all kinds of events.

Next post will be about my second class at Lacis (first class is the last post here on the blog) and then later a post about my class at Wayne Wichern's millinery studio.

Monday, August 6, 2012

French Flowermaking Class---2012, Berkeley, CA

This post is about my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area--Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and Redwood City.  Lots to report over a few posts.  This post is about the Berkeley part. Stay tuned for more!

 If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know I love the airplane view landscapes while traveling.  This mocha scape reminded me of lace for some reason.  Bleak, remote, but beautiful.

Not sure where this is, other that about 2 hours (by aircraft) outside San Francisco International Airport.  I think this must be a salt lake but not THE Salt Lake.  Anyone have any ideas?  Again, stark and beautiful.

 Sierra Madre Mountains?  Note that in August, our hottest month in the USA, there is actually snow on top of these peaks.

OK, so the class was held at Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley, California.  This is an incredible museum and retail store where you will find many obscure sewing, lace-making, tapestry, textile books, implements and enthusiasm for what might be considered dyeing arts.  Classes offered on a continuing basis. Check 'em out.

 Antoinette starts the process of putting the flowers together.  We started with natural fabrics, stiffened them, cut out patterns and then began the process of actually making the beautiful flowers.

Close-up of the assembly process.  You will see finished flowers further down this post.  Pretty!

 Cori and Reba work on their flowers.  We made 3 'exotic' flowers in this class.  All patterns came from a book I am the English Technical Editor for.  Editing all started last year after I taught flowermaking at Lacis.  I'll be posting more about this later...and where you can buy the book!  Stay tuned!!!

 The following pictures are of a few of the beautiful flowers made in class.  Depending on many factors:  fabric, sizing, shaping, the flowers all came out a little differently, just like Nature.


 Below, Mother Nature tempting me on the way to class one morning!

   Lacis had curated an exhibit on hats while I was there.  Lots of amazing examples of hats through the ages.  Interestingly, the name of the exhibit, That Hat!, was the name of my first online website!

 Above, a smashing lace cloche!

Next post will be about the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit I saw while in San Francisco...and the other class I taught at milliner Wayne Wichern's studio in Redwood City.

Happy hatting and thanks, always, for reading!