Saturday, June 26, 2010

Coppélia and My Lil Star

This post is lovingly dedicated to my father,
Keith Carlyle Boyce, born February 22, 1923- June 26, 2009

Coppélia has long since been my favorite ballet. I read this comic Balanchine story while listening to Delibes many times over to Estelle. So you can imagine the joy when a letter from the Pacific Northwest Ballet came to our home addressed to my Lil Star welcoming her to the cast.

Although I do not think of my little girl as just a dancer, I knew from day one that a star was born. The first day of her life, she stretched her tiny 5 lb body out as the doctor weighed her and held her head up. Yes, held her head up from her swan-like neck. She wasn't going to be ordinary, just extraordinary. Even before she was born, Estelle would dance in the womb. There were no high kicks but gentle, graceful nudges from her arms and legs that glided through the inside of my body; Just like a ballerina.

As soon as she could walk, she would dance for our guests without hesitation. Estelle has always been and will always be a shy girl but for some reason performing provides a cacoon protecting her from the outside world. There she can be as grand as an opera singer without anyone knowing her real identity, she is protected some how.

James Moore and Mara Vinson at dress rehearsal. Photo by Kam Martin of needle+thread

On the night of the Coppélia performance, I watched the 1st and 2nd acts with delight. Rachel Foster, for me, could not have been a better choice for the precocious Swanilda and the charming Coppélia. Ms. Foster's identity is seemingly protected within her dance too. Or is it? I have had the privilege to see and speak with this rebellious ballerina and she is every bit the mischevious girl that her part portrayed. She made the audience laugh out loud and cheer for more.

Rachel Foster at dress rehearsal. Photo by Kam Martin of needle+thread

PNB Students dance at dress rehearsal. Photo by Kam Martin of needle+thread

When the 3rd act began, my mother sat beside me anxiously awaiting her granddaughter's entrance. I know that she and I both wished that my father could have been there too. I was on the edge of my seat and minutes into it the Dedication of the Bells began with the Waltz of the Golden Hours. At that moment, I discovered that my daughter and her young classmates were not budding dancers; On this special night, they had arrived! No they weren't 'en pointe' but please, they were marvelous with their display of gestures only a trained ballerina could know. Their timing was impeccable, their grace astounding and each child's personality shone in the special, very individual way they smiled.

And my Lil Star, stretched her tiny 78 lb body out and held up her swan-like neck to dance.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Graduate: A Letter to Rainbow

click on this image for a closer look!

My Dear Little Rainbow:

You took a different path when finishing your high school years. You enrolled in the local community college estranging yourself from the plastic world of teenagedom and thrusting yourself into the young adult world of collegedom. What happened next was quite remarkable; From failure came success, from humiliation came pride and from isolation came openness. Your graduation and accomplishments are much to be proud of and your very different path is something that I could have predicted being your precocious, ever rebellious aunt. I would like to share a few of your thoughts about the last days of THIS part of a long, strange journey:
... The coming summer is already jam packed with plans for self discovery, hot yoga, vacations, unfinished novels, and unadulterated romances. Plans to move out of my parent’s home has for a long time been my go-to fantasy on sleepless nights and empty days. As I complete my final projects and exams I feel a small amount of weight being lifted from me. I’m beginning to notice what little things I had no time to appreciate as a student. Smells, tastes, and sounds now seem magnified to me. I feel this sense of excitement and empowerment that has laid dormant in me for the past three years. Everything I've done during this time was leading up to this point. I've played with the idea of joining the Peace Corps, with visiting the elephant nature parks in Thailand, moving to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and driving from ruin to ruin on the boarder of South America. Each fantasy was more potent and more inspiring then the next while ultimately I've decided to establish myself somewhere in Portland with a job, an apartment, and a boyfriend. I think I'll let my fantasies turn torpid before I take that terrific leap across oceans and desserts and what not. Graduation takes place on the forth of June, the day after my nineteenth birthday. Hopefully I will acquire some sort of photograph or memento to remember these final days by and how exciting and wonderful they've been despite the problems I've adopted in my personal life.

... I firmly believe that I can have anything that I set my mind to.
I hope these images are just the memento you wished for and I KNOW that you can and will accomplish anything you set your mind to. Congratulations to you my little Rainbow! What comes next is purely up to you.

Your Loving Aunt,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Best Revenge Is: Peace

Day two of my Revenge, I decided to make “Peace”. The meaning was clear here, a green gun exploding a flower and the words, “The best revenge is peace.” Go ahead, make my day!

This soft heather tee hugged my body and came down mid-thigh. I never thought recycled plastic bottles would feel this amazing, but it did! The checker at the grocery complimented me on the tee and when I told her what it was made of she commented, "Oh, must be expensive." When I told her it was only $32, she couldn't believe it! I think this eco-friendly company has another new customer thanks to Adelita Style and Fancy-Green.

Two organic, recycled tees from a company with strong social and environmental commitments are now mine. I’ll wear them well and with pride because fashion is pretty, eco is all the rage and a statement can be worn thanks to Revenge Is.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Revenge Is: Saving the Rainforest

I was picking up Fancy-Green’s publisher for a walk and she surprised me with two darling little tees for me to wear-test! Revenge Is makes hip recycled material t-shirts with eco and social content. And as if that isn’t enough, they donate 10% of their profits to charity.

The next day, I was saving the rainforest! A creamy smooth scoop tee and slightly puffy sleeves in sage green with a block-print of a tree, a cloud and raindrops topped off my jeans perfectly. The tee was a bit longer, the way I like it, so it peeked out of my cotton blazer ever so slightly. The whimsical print made the message I was wearing smart and chic!

In fashion a message is only effective if it’s great looking. Revenge Is makes powerful statements with delightful t-shirts that feel great too.

Eco Creds: Organic, Recycled Material, Green

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Click on the collage above for a glimpse into my father's endeavors.

I found a quote from an anonymous person- “I slept under a roof my father owned, in a bed my father bought. Nothing was mine except my heart, and my fears, and my growing knowledge that not every road was gonna lead home anymore.”

My daddy loved quotes and often clipped them from magazines and newspapers. I long for these little things now that he is gone and miss my father dearly but celebrate his memory and spirit every day. I remember his words and his love. I inherited his passion and intuitive nature. I admire his life and accomplishments as a man and father. Happy Father’s Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Business Major, Fashion Minor

click on this image for a closer look at the students!

As a recent graduate, you may be thinking of what comes next. And since you visit my website often, I know that you may be thinking about Fashion as a future career. But, let me put a little twist in your thinking. Have you thought about Business as your major with a minor in Fashion?

I recently visited a business competition/fashion show for UW students attending the Foster School of Business. OM/MKTG 490: Supply Chain Management in the Apparel Industry has a 10-week course with research and design where six teams present their business plans, sample garments which are then made in a California factory and demonstrate their apparel line plans to a panel of fashion and marketing judges including the Director of the course (Mary Ann Odegaard), Assistant Director (Theresa Olson) of the Retail Management Program, Dr. Sam Eldersveld (Information Systems Management), Steve Richie from Union Bay and Shannon West from Costco (to name a few).

The presentation was held at Union Bay’s headquarters overlooking Lake Union. As I was off to another event during the competition I was only able to get a glimpse of the competing teams, Green, Yellow and Purple.

Nervous young men and women presented their designs and marketing plans and answered a 5 minute Q and A. Each of the groups had an amazing opportunity to show industry leaders their new ideas. No, there weren’t any budding Versace’s but maybe an aspiring Junior Executive for Eddie Bauer. Seattle, after all, is not known for it’s cutting edge Haute Couture but it is known for it’s multi-billion dollar corporations. But if you really love fashion and have a head for business, think of the possibilities!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Project Red Dress: The Fashion Show

The winning dress by Rebecca Beesley! Photo by Sean Watson

My good friend Sean Watson and I arrived at the Fairmont hoping for a night of elegant fashion to match the opulent hotel. A petite set of stairs carried us to cocktails and flashbulbs. “May I take your photo?” an event photographer asked.

“Of course!” I kindly replied. Apparently we looked liked something special. I wore a lace mini dress that I found at Queen Anne Dispatch, some darling little lace-up boots and Sean was kind enough to lend me a black necklace he had at his studio. Mr. Watson looked smashingly current in a fabulous pinstriped shirt and blazer. Attendees dressed to impress in their sexy one-shoulder dresses, cute vintage frocks and elegant cocktail dresses. With all the best dressed, it was certain that we would run into a friend or two and we did.

As we perused the giant sketches from the eleven contestants, we saw Luly Yang. Luly has a beautiful shop in the Fairmont with delicious formals for that oh-so-special occasion. I remembered that the last fashion show I attended at the Fairmont was, in fact, Luly Yang’s. A very dear friend of mine has worked along side this local celebrity for years.

Project Runway Season 5 alumni Blaine and his entourage were there as attendees. He typically dresses one of his girls in a wildly original creation complete with accessories. Have to say- love the shoes girl! Were those his too? They weren’t neon so, hmmm?

Of course, Nick Verreos from Project Runway Season 2 was also present as he was one of the judges. His faux-hawk was particularly perky that evening but not as perky as the MC Notorious Portland Drag Queen Poison Waters arrived in diva-style with feathers, sequins and stacked ‘petite’ 14 heels. All of them took their place along side Seattle Met’s Laura Cassidy in front of the logo wall. Sean and I snuck a photo in of me while they weren’t looking. Shhhh.

Good lookin people. Photo by Sean Watson

The show took place on a long well-lit runway. I wondered if they could not have turned down the house lights a little; such beautiful surroundings but very little drama. Except of course from Poison Waters who managed to get a few chuckles out of me. Each judge was introduced and took their turn down the runway as well as each designer. Psst. Rehearsing is always good. Except if you're Mr. Verreos who most definitely doesn't need any runway instruction, he seemed born for the job!

Designers, the lovely Monir Zandghoreishi, judges and a cute pooch! Photo by Sean Watson

Finally, the show. As each model came slowly, slowly, ever so slowly... I checked out the corner where the designers were biting their nails, you know, I was trying to guess whose dress belonged to who. But, they were all so nervous, I couldn't get a read.

After the 11 models took their places backstage again and Ms. Waters spoke with each designer who then explained their design inspirations, Poison spoke with a few of the judges which felt more like staling. Ever the impatient one I just wanted to know who won!

There were a couple of competitions, people's choice and the judges' pick. We all had little slips of paper with the design numbers on them so we could vote for our favorites. Clearly I have some very different taste. I liked number three by Jordan- it was original but also reminded me of something that Miss Marie Antoinette might wear today, poofy drama. Love, love.

Everyone else, audience and judges preferred Rebecca Beesley's sophisticated take on architecture. (Personally, I think I was having a prom flashback. It looked a little too much like me and my mother's emerald green creation, my Apollonia moment.) Congratulations to all of the designers, your elegant fashion did indeed fit the opulent surroundings!

10 creations from the competing designers. Photo by Sean Watson