My Summer of 84 in NYC

My talented friend and Artist, Nancy Scheer​​ reminded me on Facebook that this is the 30 year anniversary of our summer at Parsons School of Design in NYC!
It was quite a hell hole back then, with a very high crime rate, but it was the unmatched epitome of fashion and music in the 1980’s.
At 17, I was let loose in NYC, with an electric guitar, some leather pants and some art supplies!
We attended art classes Monday To Thursday.
I took a Communication Design class in the days before computer graphics even existed. Commercial Art back then, consisted of using vinyl graphic Letraset type fonts and photo editing was literally cutting off someones head in one photo and paste it to another body! We had art by day and party by night.
I flew to NYC with a fellow artfag from High School, Chrisula Constantine.

My 1980's Birthday, Probably 17th.

My 1980’s Birthday, Probably 17th.

Chrissy and I had fully intended on moving to L.A. after High School to find the rest of our metal band we had already name “Latem Tar” (Metal Rat spelled backwards!) but then boys happened and I ended up moving to Florida, where I have remained since 85.

We shared a lofted Union Square apartment. Our bedroom, was basically two beds, up a 8″ ladder and the room below contained 2 wardrobes for our stuff and a small desk. We had a giant window that over looked the street and the building directly across.

We shared a kitchen and eating area with Vivian and Beth, who had a bedroom like ours. There was a common living and recreation area, shared by other students, down the hall and a pay phone. Most of the time the elevator was broken and we had to walk or stumble up 11 flights of stairs. We walked everywhere and had blisters for weeks!

Within a day or so, we noticed people across the street spying on us with cameras and binoculars, Chris and I went out and bought a giant Judas Priest poster which became our “curtain”, but since the open window was our only air conditioning, it stayed open 24/7. You could hear the riff raff on the streets, and smell the garbage from the 11th floor.

Our bathroom was notable and became a tour stop on our floor. Somehow we managed to get the handicap room with a giant walk in shower and toilet with bars on the side. We all took turns worshipping it.

We had the weekend to do whatever we wanted. I think I learned more on the weekends than I ever learned in school!
It was off the chain, we drank, bought food from vendors on the streets, partied, and carried on like rock stars. We went to a theme party that was a mock funeral, Coffin and all.

With the right amount of cash and looks, you could get into all the hot clubs like the famous Danceteria from the Movie “Desperately Seeking Susan”. It was there, where Madonna was, that I got squished into a tiny elevator with a hot guy, I would later fall in love with and not see or hear from again, until he found me 25 years later.

@ Michel's NYU Dorm Room

@ Michel’s NYU Dorm Room

NYC back then was the home to Studio 54, The Limelight, CBGB’s, The Underground, The Peppermint Lounge and more. The local news paper was “The Village Voice”. The famous shops were “Trash and Vaudeville” and resale stores with clothes to die for! We visited all of those places.

I went to a concert and saw Ratt, Twisted Sister and my hero at the time, Lita Ford on the Pier. I was wearing purple spandex pants and some jerk put his cigarette out on my leg!

Lita Ford's Guitar and Roadcase

The elevator guy looked like a rock star, he was attending NYU and later became a famous Heavy Metal DJ at L’Amour’s, Michel Gutman, he still has the epic CD collection to prove it! (in 2009, he returned to the states after living in Israel, we lived together for about 9 months in Hot Springs AR, then split, but that’s another story!)

Chrisula and I would get dressed up each weekend to attended the midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Live performances with the famous guy on the record, Sal. I bought an Adam Ant record at Bleeker Bobs, some purple leather pants at CC Stars and ate Pizza at Ray’s. One day my art teacher (whose name, I can’t remember) was eating something I had never seen before, it was Sushi, she let me try some and I’ve been hooked ever since. She threw a party at her loft apartment in an old dockside factory, we traveled by the Twin Towers and what I think was the Brooklyn Bridge to get there.

I just realize, wow, I still am wearing, at this very moment the black rubber vacuum cleaner o ring bracelet I bought in a store across the street from the famous Electric Lady recording studio built by Jimi Hendrix, where Chrisula Constantine and I were stalking, to get a glimpse of KISS who was allegedly recording there.

I saw the Gay Parade march down 5th Ave and the Statue of Liberty covered in scaffolding as that was the year they did some restoration work on it.

I remember walking down the street one day and someone stopped me to ask where the Empire State Building was, I turned and looked at the skyline and realized I had been living only blocks away, all this time!

I spent the 4th of July on Tar Beach, the roof of our building watching fireworks and the Macy’s parade.

In 1998 I got a 3am motorcycle tour of NYC and rode by the building I once lived in on Union Square, the former lobby had since become a restaurant and was all fixed up. A lot had changed for the better.

The experience of living in New York City for the summer of 1984, was priceless. It was truly one of the best summers of my life. I am sure it was scary for my parents, but I’m glad they let me go. It was an amazing adventure.

Meeting of the Heavy Metal Stagewear East Coast Minds!!

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Kim Kylla Dylla and her side kick Laurie were in the house at Fashion Incubator Design House, home of Psycho Seamstress and Gina Ms Demeanor!

Kim Kick Ass Kylla Dylla and I have been talking, texting and Facebooking for nearly a year now. We have collaborated on a few projects over last year and finally got to meet each other in person on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise. Her assistant Laurie, now VP of Kylla Custom Rock Wear and I got to work together as crew on the cruise.

Check out Kim’s page at: https://www.facebook.com/kyllacustomrockwear

and mine if you haven’t yet at: https://www.facebook.com/psychoseamstress

We’ve got some interesting projects we are working on so stay tuned!!

2014 Encore Cover Model Costume by Fashion Incubator Design House

Cover Model Avery Richey

Introducing the 2014 Encore DCS Southeast Regional Cover Model Winner ~ Avery Richey, Congratulations!!! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152019376717779&set=a.10150260288687779.323909.168153707778&type=1&theater

Wow, I wasn’t expecting this!

We knew when we were hired to make costumes, we knew they would be worn by 2014 Encore DCS Cover Model, Avery Richey, but we weren’t expecting my first official design for the competition dance teams “Box of Chocolates” routine to be the first public release from the photo shoot!! This was as always another one of those things that has already exceeded my exceptions!!

When I first proposed the concept to Gaymarie, she had never even heard of Steampunk, but when she asked for some “outside the box” designs, this was the first thing that came to mind for me. Steampunk is a hot trend right now and after I searched through all of the top competition dance costumes catalogs and didn’t find a single hint of Steampunk anywhere, I knew it would be a show stopper! We have yet to see how this number will do on the Competition Dance Circuit Judges, but I have a feeling it will be winning some awards this year!

So much work went into this little Steam Punk number, but I could not have pulled it off without my fearless and talented business partner Gina Renee Benevides!! I am sooooo glad she quit her day job to come work with me on the birth of our Design House’s first official project.

This is quite an honor and great kick off to what I know will be an amazing year for Fashion Incubator Design House!

Please contact us if you would like us to design costumes or stagewear for you! http://www.facebook.com/fashionincubatordh website coming soon at http://www.fashionincubatordesignhouse.com

DoggieSack is born!!!

Doggiesack

Congratulations Jennifer Donaldson on the birth of DoggieSack!! Today she received the factory sample, which is now approved for production!! It’s a specialty bag for all your dog walking and day trip needs including some room for your iPad or other things to keep you entertained while your dog is doing its business!!!

What color do you want?

Dweezil Zappa’s Pants!

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I, like many people in the music business, have a lot of friends on Facebook, despite never having met them. In 2010, I became Facebook friends with Dweezil Zappa.

In April, I set up a page for my Fashion Incubator Design House (www.facebook.com/fashionincubatordh)
One day I got a massage on my page from Dweezil Zappa and about fell off my chair!
I’ve been working wardrobe for A List performers for a couple of years now. As glamorous as it sounds, most of the time I only catch a glimpse of the Artist themselves, the rest of the time I am laundering, ironing, steaming, repairing and altering costumes and stagewear in their backstage dressing room. Although I’ve made costumes for Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber’s dancers, that was basically a contracted sewing job. I didn’t design them, I just sewed them together, per someone else’s direction and then had to find photos of my work later online.
This time, I was finally given a chance to design and sew something from scratch for the Artist them self! It was an amazing opportunity. Dweezil, who lives in California wanted some custom made bellbottoms for his upcoming tour “Zappa plays Zappa”, covering his famous father, Frank Zappa’s album Roxy & Elsewhere.

We emailed back and fourth, I sent him some concept drawings from my Design House Partner’s Gina Renee. We decided we would meet at my Design House during his upcoming visit to Orlando.
When Dweezil and his family arrived in town on vacation, I didn’t want to cut into their family time, so I offered to come to him instead.
My pattern maker Gina Renee and I headed over to the resort where he was staying. We were introduced to his wife Megan, their kids and proceeded to measure him, some of his good fitting jeans and discussed the design further to make sure we were all on the same page.
Gina and I then headed to the fabric store, gathered supplies and then went to work on pulling it all together.
A few days later I coordinated a fitting, again at his hotel. My friend Laura tagged along, as my car was in the shop and I needed a ride. He tried on the pants, we worked out a few adjustments to the design and agreed on details for 2 pairs for the tour.
After altering the pattern, I made the two more pairs of five pocket denim jeans with a flare bottom. When I stitched them together the seam allowance was different. I knew one pair might fit better than the other, but I had a friend in LA who I knew could fix them if needed.
I sent the pants and indeed one pair was off. I was working wardrobe for Bruno Mars at the time, but it was fortunately a slow day so I had some time to make some phone calls.
Thanks to Al Bane 4 Leather of North Hollywood, his shop was only a few minutes away from Dweezil’s. house.
Al agreed to go to Dweezil house, see what the fit problem was, take the pants back to his shop, alter them for me and return them back to Dweezil the next day.
After Al and I talked on the phone about the project he invited me out to his shop in LA to intern for him and work together on some of the projects I could use his help with.
Another amazing opportunity for me.
After all was said and done Dweezil posted a big thank you on my wall. That was pretty awesome.

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