All posts filed under: Travel

Costume College Gala 2017 thedreamstress.com

Costume College 2017 – the Great Gala Photo-a-thon

This years Gala at Costume College was amazing.  Last year was spectacular, but I swear that the caliber of costumes this year was even better.  (and the food was definitely better, and they didn’t make you announce yourself on the red carpet, which I approved of!) I took so many photos, because there were so many gorgeous things to take photos of.  I’m just going to share the more spontaneous, ‘what it was like to be there’ ones with you, rather than the really posed costumes shots, because most costumers will hopefully be posting about their costumes in detail on their own sites. Admiring dress details while waiting in line for the Red Carpet. Taylor of Dames a la Mode and Merja of Before the Automobile have “Oooh, your dress” moments while Jenny La Fleur looks on. Cleverest solution ever to the eternal ‘How to carry all your stuff while looking historical?’ question. I love the way the blue in Teresa’s be-you-ti-ful 1660s jacket brings out the blue in Merja’s hand-painted gown.  There was a …

Visiting Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington

It is bitterly, bitterly cold in Wellington today – it even snowed a little bit, which is extremely unusual in the capitol.  It’s not going to be a great deal better for the next few days either, so I’m thinking longingly of summertime, and warm days. That, and all the blogging I’ve been doing about visiting other places, reminded me that I have a local visit from this summer which I’ve never covered. This is Wellington, centred around Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson, or, to be even more accurate, Te Whanganui a Tara): Right in the middle of the harbour is an island: Matiu/Somes Island.* Prior to Western contact, Maori used Matiu Island as a place of refuge during war.  Post-Western contact, the New Zealand Company took possession of the island.  In 1866 the first harbour lighthouse in NZ was built there, and it was home to the lighthouse keeper and his family.  The 1866 lighthouse was replaced circa 1900, and its replacement still stands on the island. In the 1870s the island was used as a …

A (not totally overwhelming) tour of the LA Fabric district

Heading off to LA for Costume College, lots of people told me that one of the things I must do is go to the Garment/Fabric District. The only people who didn’t tell me this were my sewing students who had been to the Fabric District in the last couple of years.  Every single student who has been in LA and gone has come back and reported that everything was either 1) polyester (blech) or 2) 3x the price it would be in NZ. Most of it looks like this: tons of stretch lycra, tons of minky – not so much my thing.  Like this: It really didn’t seem worth the fuss. But pretty much half of the Costume College attendees go to the Fabric District in the days before and after the conference, and everyone there said I definitely should, and with local guides, at least I would see the best stuff! So, with Lauren of Wearing History, and Beth of V is for Vintage at the helm; Ginger of Scene in the Past, Jenny-Rose of Jenny …