Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dr Zhivago Dress

See Dr. Zhivago Dress; Part Two, Please.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Dr Zhivago Dress; Part Two

So far I'm failing at trying to find a full front shot photo of the suit. The movie star was Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin's daughter, and even though she wasn't one of the two main characters, her character Tonya's clothes were better, I think. More stylish.
Please look here for a studio picture, the best I could find.
Here's another attempt at guessing how a dress is made. This client has always loved the movie Dr Zhivago and especially the train station scene and the suit that Mrs. Tonya Zhivago wore when she returned to St. Petersburg.
My client lent me the double-box video (gasp), forwarded to the particular scene (thank you!) so I could get a good idea of what to do.
Heidi is especially tiny, maybe 100lbs, and that makes it easier.

PLUS, I get to see her as often as I want as she works at the local hospital as a recovery room nurse. Her husband, Russ, was my financial advisor until he retired last year.
We tried to imitate the look as closely as we could. I made the dress out of a soft pink, patterned velour, as close to wool worsted as we dared in Southern California!
The collar and muff were both made from a taupe Poodle Fleece.
The Cossack Hat was bought on eBay at The Winter Palace . A really nice eBay store that has lots of other neat Soviet stuff too, like KGB hats.
She and her husband went touring in Russia this last Summer. As he doesn't know he's buying this outfit for her yet, she surreptitiously shopped for ankle boots and a fur hat while there. Not a thing. Duh, it was August in Russia, too.

The gloves, well, I needed to dye them to match.
I started with a plain white pair I'd picked up at Claire's.
Since I was attempting to match the taupe muff color, I started with coffee.
Too brown and too pale. Then I added a bit of liquid black dye.
Too gray.
I finished it off with strong tea.
Just right.
When they dried it was a perfect match.
I just hope the orange pekoe scent fades soon.
She loved them.

This past Thursday she came especially for a photo shoot.

Hubby was taking her out to supper, so she dressed in the whole get-up to surpise him.
He was so pleased he called me yesterday to thank me for making her (and him) so happy. He was delighted and very surprised. Yay!
This is the best part of my job.

I Wouldn't Want Her Job, Either (or Thank the Lord for Nephews)

In case you're from the Northwest or Canada. or even a tropical rain forest, I need you to understand that in California, rain is rather rare. That said, last night was definitely a doozy for us.
If the Japanese are calling themselves blessed because of their claim to the rising sun and to being the first recipients of the Earth's weather patterns (as in; chosen by the gods to exist nearest to nature), we in the South are really the opposite. I would think that being a weather-man in Los Angeles must be the most boring and uneventful job in the world, with a temptation to make stuff up. Or use a lot of satellite photos and talk about 'possibilities'.
Ooooh! Look at that cloud formation over Hawaii!
Yesterday at about noon we started a storm that was to last well into the night. Buckets of rain, Seattle rain. All was well and good, I thought, until I went into my cutting room (an interior room, mind you) and I heard the rain dropping on my ceiling in there. Uh... The building is one storey, has a flat roof and the adjacent shops are 15 foot high garages. This means that our end has a four foot crawl space between us and the roof and that means there should be no rain dropping sounds on my ceiling.
I kept an eye on the ceiling plaster from time to time and, as you might expect, growing patches of wet.
With no sign of the rain letting up, reports of a long ( oh, alright, two days ) storm front, and the beginning of the weekend, I knew I had to take action. I have several thousands of dollars in client's clothing and work-product in that room.
I called the on-site manager.
Now, to give her credit, it's times like these that cause her phone to ring right off the hook. I understand that, but if there is anything I've learned over the years I've been in business, it's that most of the time when folks have problems, folks want solutions, not excuses, apologies and defensiveness.
I wasn't blaming her for the rain, or for the fact that it happened on a Friday (not a labor-convenient day like Wednesday) nor did I want to hear how bad it was in her hallway in the main building. I didn't want to know how hard it was going to be to get someone here, how you can never tell how much the roof will leak until it rains, how we have to wait now, until it's dry, and then she'll seek out a repairman, because, after all, he can't see anything now. I suppose this was all true, but what I wanted to hear was how she was going to fix it and when was she going to fix it.
I was getting less and less patient. I made an effort to judge my fleshy attitude and got busy. Especially after I noticed her car was gone.
Remember, this is non-rain (and thus, we can't deal with any weirdo wet-like weather or we panic) Southern California and any roof man available was certainly going to be booked, as of now, until next Spring.
Calling on nephews! Thank the Lord for nephews! I called on nephews #1, 2, & 4, (it being mid-afternoon) only to find out #4 was ill and #2 was out on an errand for his boss.
I knew I could count on Nephew #1. He was still at work, but would make it there sometime after 5:00. He arrived, tools and flashlights included, a little after Nephew #2 had shown up. Together they perused the situation, climbed ladders, crawled around in the dust, knocked off alot of cobwebs and came up with a plan.
Mind you, while #1 had the ladder inside at the crawl-space access, #2 was on the roof already, having attained it without the assistance of such mundane equipment as ladders. The emergency roof access ladder is ten feet off the ground, you know. I checked. (he always was a monkey, scaling whatever interested him)
Plan in hand, #1 and I sent #2 home, and then went to Lowe's, bought wet-day application roof patch tar stuff, trowel, and gloves. I want you to know that it has been raining cats and dogs by now. Bless his heart, he went up and down and all around in the cold, pouring rain, patching and smearing sticky black goo. This is love. For all his goofy rough edges, he loves his auntie.
By 7:30pm he was done.
Cold, wet, still his cheerful self, and done.
I zipped over to Starbucks for an extra hot Grande Peppermint Mocha, (and put some $$ in his pocket) and then took him home.
I know I could try to extract the expense from my December rent. Who knows how successful I will be or if I will still have the self righteous energy by Monday.
I had a good night's sleep.