Interviews

Judy Mitchell

Judy Mitchell

As co-owner of the Lord of the Rings Costuming Website and the F-Costume Yahoo Group , Judy Mitchell is a costuming evangelist. In May, she will head up historic costuming activities at this year's CostumeCon in Baltimore, MD. Judy joins us this to discuss her passion for Scandanavian costumes and to give us a preview of what to expect at CostumeCon.

 

 

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Cathy Hay

This month we ask YWU's founder about her own sewing work, why she started YWU and where she sees the site going in the future.

 

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Mauritia Kirchner of Reine des Centfeuilles

Mauritia Kirchner of Reine des Centfeuilles

This month, we talk to a master of accurate historical costume, German artist Mauritia Kirchner. Her portfolio features a vast selection of the most extraordinary historical reproductions, complete in every detail down to the exquisite hand embroidery and taking an average of six months to complete.

Mauritia agreed to talk to us about her work, her principles, her methods and her dream project.

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Kathryn Stelzer aka Madame Kat

Kathryn Stelzer aka Madame Kat

If you make costumes for yourself, it's important not only to study the past, but to develop a sense of personal style.

One woman who has no trouble combining her own take on the Victorian bustle period with elements of Goth, steampunk and pure fantasy is Kathryn Stelzer of Philadelphia in the United States, known to her friends as Madame Kat.

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Thomas Sjølander

Thomas Sjølander

This month Cathy interviews Danish artist Thomas Sjølander.

You may not recognise his name, but you'll know his work: Thomas did the incredible machine embroidery on the costumes for some of your favourite movies, including Finding Neverland, Phantom of the Opera and most recently, The Duchess.

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Jill Salen

Jill Salen

This month we have the pleasure of having an exclusive interview with Jill Salen, author of the new book "Corsets", which we are reviewing this month.

She shares with us what insprired her to write the book, how she got started and what her next book will be.

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Linda Sparks

Linda Sparks

This month we interview Linda Sparks, owner of Farthingales LA and Farthingales (Canada).

She talks about how she got started, why she started Farthingales and about her book on corsets coming out in December!

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Hilary Davidson

Hilary Davidson

This month we interview Hilary Davidson, a curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London.

 

 

 

 

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Laura Mellin

Laura Mellin
This month we interview Laura Mellin, aka "The Attack Laurel", about her extreme costuming and embroidery work. As someone who not only embraces but actually carries out Holy Grail projects every day, she's an inspiration to us all at YWU!

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Suzi Clarke

Suzi Clarke

British costumier Suzi Clarke has over 35 years' experience working with costume for theatre, including the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal National Theatre, Amsterdam Opera, film, T.V., museums, and for static displays, re-enactors, historical dancers and costumed interpreters.

Friend of both Jean Hunnisett and Janet Arnold, she talks a bit about them and shares some tips with us.

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Lorna Tate (Scotland)

Lorna Tate (Scotland)

Lorna tells us about her life in sewing, from her first minidresses in the Sixties right through to a very modern bridalwear business!

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Laurie Tavan of Daze of Laur

Laurie Tavan of Daze of Laur

This month, our interviewee tells us all about her work as a designer and maker of fine historical costumes.

Laurie Tavan's obsession with costuming comes as something of a surprise to many people, including herself. She trained in the life sciences at Cornell University, diving into study of ornithology and marine ecology with great enthusiasm.

Nobody would have expected that just a few years after leaving school for the "real world," she would be on another track entirely, having fallen completely in love with historical costuming. She approached it with her signature single-minded zeal, personifying the concept that "anything worth doing is worth overdoing."

She brings to costuming a potent blend of rigorous historical research and free-spirited artistic drive.

 

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Shari Atalla (Netherlands)

Shari Atalla (Netherlands)

YWU attracts costumers and seamstresses from all parts of the world and all walks of life, but also from a wide variety of age groups.

This month our Reader Profile features one of our youngest readers. Shari's learning as fast as she can about the costume she loves and how to make it into a rewarding career...

 

 

 

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Viona Ielegems

Viona Ielegems

Costuming projects tend to fall, more or less, into one of two categories: there are those projects in which we strive for historical accuracy and detailed facts, and there are those in which we depart on a tangent, using our own ideas to create a personal but fictional vision.

Neither is a less worthy pursuit than the other, but the fictional is often dismissed as sloppy or simply wrong. Extraordinary Belgian artist Viona Ielegems is here to show us otherwise. Her work demonstrates the enormous value in playing with fact to create a compelling and beautiful fiction...

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Alice McCoy (England)

Alice McCoy (England)

Welcome to the “Looking Glass”. If you find the fine work of the experienced seamstresses and corsetieres a little daunting, then you are in good company.

I started making my first corset last year. I am lucky enough to have found a tutor to work it through with me. I would never have taken the first few steps on my own otherwise. It is an interesting journey.

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Katherine Caron-Greig

Katherine Caron-Greig

Katherine Caron-Greig is the epitome of the obsessed amateur costumer. A teacher by trade, she spends an inordinate amount of her free time collecting and recreating historical costumes for her own amusement.

Despite her taxing profession, she seems to retain boundless energy for her sewing and now boasts a historic wardrobe of dizzying proportions, most of which you can see for yourself at her website, www.koshka-the-cat.com.

With experience of almost every historical period of clothing from the 1550s to the 1950s, Katherine has a special understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities that await the passionate hobbyist.

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Sunny Buchler (Ohio, USA)

Sunny Buchler (Ohio, USA)

In January, Your Wardrobe Unlock'dTM featured an article about personal "Holy Grails", meaning costumes that you desperately want but are impossibly out-of-reach due to time, money, experience, extravagance, whatever. So I find myself wondering, what are my Holy Grails?

I’m Sunny Buchler – I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a bit of a mecca for historical costuming, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio a couple years ago.

 

 

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Bjarne Drews

Bjarne Drews

Danish embroiderer and costume maker Bjarne Drews has a magnificent obsession with the costume and embellishment of the eighteenth century European royal courts. Your Wardrobe Unlock'd caught up with him in Copenhagen to talk about what it is that fascinates him, how he got started and how you can get started too in the intricate art of hand embroidery.

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Vicky Clarke (England)

Vicky Clarke (England)

Hi. My name is Vicky Clarke, and I'm a writer, housewife, bellydancer, and general creative rebel. I live in Cambridge, UK, along with my partner and a quite ridiculous collection of craft materials.

My interest in home-made clothes began in my childhood; growing up in the late 70s it was the handmade clothes I wore (along with mustard-brown Denby crockery and nasty, nasty wallpaper) that formed the backdrop of my daily life.

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Manon Antoinette Gelens (Netherlands)

Manon Antoinette Gelens (Netherlands)

My grandmother had her own atelier where she made fur coats after World War II until they went out of fashion. My mother is a costumer and has studied arts. I studied Graphic Design & Mediation and always loved crafts.

I did not start sewing until after my divorce, when I had to sell my horses I suddenly had time and a desire to do something new and for myself. I used to help my mother with basting and cutting of clothes to make, but never actually used a sewing machine.

I only started in 2004, I made most improvement by one simple rule, sew everyday for at least one hour. First it's to make progress, next it's to maintain your level.

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