Friday, March 22, 2013

It's been a long time between blogs.

It's been a long time between blogs, just trying to find five minutes these days is next to impossible. Some of you may know I have been flying back and forth to Sydney every few weeks, it has been exhausting trying to keep on top of Hot Couture and juggle everything all at once but it is starting to all come together.
We have been talking about printing our own fabric for some time to set us apart, so that is one of the reasons for our Sydney trips, it's taking a lot longer than I would have imagined but when it is all go it will be worth the wait.
The other reason is my husband Deane has been working on a film up there, he's up there a lot as well so we manage to see each other and hang out with our friends and kids up there. Our eldsest daughter Gypsy just left to live in L.A. for a while so I was happy that I had managed to spend quality time with her before she left.
Just before she left for L.A. she had an exhibition that pretty much sold out it was amazing and I will attach a photo underneath. I couldn't be prouder of my three kids they all amaze me.
The other thing that has been happening at Hot Couture is we have been doing a lot of made to measure which I love. I adore making one only gowns especially and recently at the Miss Pin Up Australia competition we had 3 beautiful gowns in the finals, just a little bit excited about that. Mind you the girls were all stunners so that helped. We also had a few day dresses and a playsuit that made an appearance.
I have also been making a lot of made to measure garments for favourite customers up in Sydney, we have a good fan base now, in fact so much so that we could just make our regular clients garments and be happy. One of our best customers is Sarah Doyle from Porteno ( you probably either know or have heard of her and her husband Elvis). Anyhoo Sarah is just the best P.R so when we go up to Sydney we normally have orders for her to try on and adjust or whatever. Last time I was up which was only 2 days ago we took 4 frocks capri's and a top all for Sarah's trip to Vegas, she look stunning in every piece of course. I'm only going to put photo's up of the back of the frocks because I want don't want to spoil any surprise appearances she night want to make in Vegas.
I found rolls of the most incredible lame in gold, silver, lilac, pale pink and black and Sarah is the first one to have garments made up. The zebra fabric is her own and boy do we wish we could get our hands on some of that fabric, it is just gorgeous and good quality as well. While we were in our Sydney apartment trying on stuff Myffy called in as well, another really good H.C. customer below is a pic of Sarah and Myffy having fun.
I was supposed to be going on the Vintage shopping trip in two days and then on to Viva Las Vegas but because of an old injury I can't fly for a bit. I am hoping I will be on top of it by next year and then I can do Austin and New York as well, might as well do the lot I say, maybe it was meant to be. Sorry Little Richard you will just have to miss out on meeting me, hehe.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Adelaide Vinage Expo.

Last weekend we had our very first Vintage Expo organised by Cassandra Liebeknecht and I have to say I was very impressed, not only with the turn out but with the way the whole thing was put together. A few of my friends had stalls and they did amazingly well, especially Sass and Liam from Two Bit Villian’s who not only had some great stock but were also selling my favourite soda’s. Liam hand makes these incredible soda’s the likes of which you would have only tasted in the fifties at a soda shop. My fave is the root beer, actually they are all my favourites. If you go to their shop in Adelaide Arcade you can try for yourself.
The Lindy Charm School ran a few workshops and Chrissy and Sam had half the place looking fabulous with curls, up do’s and flowers. Next year I’m sure we will have to make appointments as they had customers lined up. There was a barber shop and tattoo parlour and even a Marilyn Monroe exhibition. Someone had cleverly made reproductions of a lot of Marilyn’s gowns and they were spot on.
My absolute favourite stall was Coutura, in all my years of collecting and selling vintage I have never ever seen gowns and summer frocks and hats like it. Lena, the lovely lady who ran the stall was so helpful and full of good information about Vintage, she had been in the business a whole lot longer then me. I saw so many cute girls all dolled up in fifties frocks, it was wonderful. I asked one particular cutie if she would mind having her photo taken with me and it turned out she was one of the girls off of Winner’s and Losers. The next day when I saw her all of these people were asking to have their photo’s taken with her, then the penny dropped. Duh!
I’m really hoping Cassandra will have the Expo again next year as a lot of my friends in Sydney I’m sure will be very interested in a stall.

 Lucky Seven and The Villenettes played on the Friday and Sunday and I know there were other great bands as well. Belinda from the Satellites had a stall selling some amazing stuff. Ginger my daughter bought another one of Steve’s Hawaiian shirts and a gorgeous apricot beaded cardy that was Belinda's. Gorgeous Rene from In Love Again Vintage had a great stall with lots of vintage wedding gowns. I ran into so many people I knew and a lot of my customers were there wearing Hot Couture. In fact 3 of The Villenette's were wearing H.C. Awww way to make a girl happy Villenette's. The only thing I would have liked was a better selection of food as Hot dogs and chips aren't my thing but for a first time Expo it was pretty darn fine. I have only ever had a stall at the Fifites Fair in Sydney but I would definitely look at having a stall at the next one, it looked like a lot of fun. Speaking of vintage fairs I hope all my fellow stall holders in Sydney have a wonderful day tomorrow, I can't make it this year and  I will miss you all. XXX Joy

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Emma- Kate Wood visits us.

WOW!!!!!!!! Where do I start. I haven't written a blog for ages we are soooooooo busy even to grab 5 minutes is almost impossible. We did however grab 5 minutes to have a champers with Emma- Kate Wood when she was here last month. In fact we took pretty much the whole of Saturday afternoon off which is unheard of to meet up with Emma- Kate, who used to work at Hot Couture before she flitted off to London to pursue her dreams. I love that she did that, just took off and took a risk. Here is what Emma Kate has been up to over the last 12 months.
Em is working in a fabric shop in Soho whilst putting together a small collection of 1920's/1930's evening dresses which she will soon sell through her website and hopefully in some boutiques around the UK. Go Emma-Kate.

Apparently this year in London has been very quiet for costume making, but EK did do a big job for Colgate making some mascot costumes for a Jubilee event they held. Last year was really busy and exciting for her she got to work on a big budget film '47 Ronin' working in wardrobe. Next year Em is aiming to pick up some more film work once she gets her driving license! But for now she is just focusing on her label...
I'm so proud of all of my girls that have worked for me, I always encourage them to go off and live their dream.  I LOVE that they all visit me when they come home, some of them even coming back to H.C.H.Q to work. XXX Joy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Karise Eden and Hot Couture

Five months ago an old friend of mine rang me and told me about Karise Eden.
Joey was mentoring Karise at channel 9 and thought of me when Karise told her she had no clothes suitable to wear on the show. Joey told me how amazing Karise's voice was and how she had been living in a refuge and had been picked to go on a new show called The Voice. I had no idea who Karise was or what the Voice was but I did know that Joey knows talent when she see's it and I felt as though I had to help in some way. I agreed to make her clothes to get her through to the next level and then if she still needed Hot Couture we would see her through to the end. I'm always a sucker for a sad story as well and this kid had really done it tough. I was flying up to Sydney the week after so agreed to meet up with Karise and Joey, still no idea of what lay ahead for Karise. I then started to watch the show and the first time I saw that gorgeous girl sing I knew she had a real chance of making it through to the end. WOW she was powerful. So we made her first Hot Couture frock a gorgeous blue rose full skirt. I flew up and met Joey and Karise at one of my fave cafes on Crown St and I sat there thinking this perfectly gorgeous humble girl has no clue what's in store for her.
 Right then I knew I was in the presence of a star. I religiously watched the show after that and along with a few million other Australian viewers became quite obsessed. I stayed home on Sunday night to watch the Grand finale and when Karise won I jumped right out of my chair and burst into tears all while clapping. Talk about exciting, I can't wait to see what is around the corner for Karise now the world really is her oyster.
Sadly for Hot Couture Channel 9 wanted Karise to look Boho which come to think of it is a good call and Boho we are not. Still in the end I'm just so happy to have met a rising star. We wish her well, she has had a tough run so far and it's about time things went her way. XXX Joy

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another trip to Sydney

My daughter Gypsy was having goodbye drinks on Sunday before heading outback on the Priscilla bus around Australia working on a new T.V. show.
Anyhoo I decided to surprise her so I flew over on Saturday, I had other things to do as well one of was going to this amazing textile place where they print up your own fabric, something I have been wanting to do for some time.
My husband Deane was already there working on a film so I had a nice hotel to stay in, we met on Friday night and went to dinner with an old friend, just happened to run into Sarah and Pete from Deadbeat on our way to the restaurant, always great to see those two.
On Sunday morning we met up with out son Eddy and went to the Narnia exhibition. Gypsy worked on Narnia 1 and 3  so it was really cool seeing all the amazing costumes and film of behind the scenes. It's a fantastic exhibition, my favourite bit was walking through the huge wardrobe and climbing through fur coats and out the other side.
Gypsy's goodbye was in the afternoon at a local pub, Gypsy has a really nice bunch of friends, mostly in the film business so it was great to hear what they were working on or moving on to, so much talent in one room. Gypsy was so excited about going outback, they are headed off to Broken Hill for a few days of filming, it's a reality T.V. show involving drag queens so I'm sure it will be a lot of fun. We had a really fun night and said our goodbyes then as Gypsy was off at 6.15 in the morning. Happy Trails Gypsy.
Caught up for breakfast the next morning with Stav who used to work for us she always looks so fabulous. Stav's off to Europe with her flat mate Charlotte at the end of the year, one of the producers has offered his apartment in Paris while he is away. Christmas in Paris, wow that will be a fun. Stav told me our friend Carla was in town so I called her and we went Wheels and Doll shopping. I must have watched her try on at least 10 outfits she looked amazing in everything. The new store is so beautiful I've always loved there designs, Melanie certainly did something right there.
I also called into my fave restaurant Porteno to meet up with the girls to try the new uniforms. It's so fun going there in the afternoon. I got there about 4.30 and they were all having dinner downstairs, if I was younger that would be where I would want to work, they really take care of the staff. Sarah was so happy with the uniform it's a simple 50's frock just perfect I think. So we have a lovely big order to get on with next week.
I had left all of my appointments till last other than Porteno and sadly I got sick on the last two days. I was watching the news while getting ready and they were talking about this dreadful flu and what do you know, someone sneezed and I caught it from the T.V. I had to cancel a fabric design place I was really excited about. It's all good gives me another reason to go back. The only thing with going away is coming back to a zillion e mails and orders.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I have a lot of people write and ask what the kids are doing so I thought I should include them in my blog even though Gypsy and Ginger have their own.

GYPSY is traveling around the outback at the moment working on a new television series about drag queens in the desert, yes desert not dessert. Gypsy got back from Mexico a couple of months ago and hadn’t had a ton of work except Pearlie the kids books that she illustrates. Being a lot like her dad she is a bit of a work-a-holic so working 7 days a week, with drag queens is the perfect job. 
Gypsy also gave a talk at The Powerhouse Museum just before she left. There is an exhibition all about Narnia and the making, Gypsy worked on 1 and 3 as costume illustrator. There was an amazing photo in the Sydney paper of her with the queen’s gown but I can’t seem to get my hands on it.

EDDY graduated from NIDA and has been working at this amazing place called EARTH where they have been making huge dinosaurs for a traveling show and How to Train Your Dragon stage production, I called in there when I was last in Sydney, the place is incredible and Eddy is right at home. I’m so happy to see him doing what he loves, he was the only Taylor kid I worried about having chucked it all in 2 weeks before he graduated high school. Next month he is going to be working in the prop’s dept on Wolverine.

GINGER  was working at an Animation studio last year but in her words “ I can’t stand the quiet and everyone has on earphone’s so you can't talk to them, it’s driving me insane. ” Needless to say Ginger prefers retail where she gets to hang out with like minded fun and noisy people. She is so much like me. She works in a hip shop in the city three days a week. and gets so much free stuff because of her sales she could start her own shop. The other 3 days Ginger works for a recruitment firm. That way she get’s the best of both world’s and doesn’t get bored easily.
Ginger is still making her skulls which she sells at Derby and to a few shops around in the city, she is so clever I’m sure there is a business right there. Just like Gypsy she is always busy.
Who knows where life will take our lovely kids but their proudest achievement as far as I am concerned is that they are just really nice people. That’s why we love them xxx Joy

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Where's Willy

The first time I met William Lazootin was when my daughter Gypsy first introduced us in Sydney. Gypsy had been working on Chronicles of Narnia and William had made one of the main characters patterns.
We all had breakfast together and William told me he was moving to Adelaide to be with his family while he had treatment at the R.A.H. sadly Willy had cancer (which is now in remission) but at the time was a dreadful shock to everyone.
I was hoping we would catch up when he was a feeling better and told Gypsy to tell him I was happy to meet up with him anytime or hang out at the hospital.
I had been a huge fan of Project Runway of which he had been a finalist. Not only did I know a few of the contestants but I love the show anyway and I didn’t miss a single episode of that particular one. I felt as though I knew William even before we met  but does anyone really know William.
 He is so eccentric and so out there you never know quite what your going to get.
To cut a long story short Willy text me and we caught up. We talked about P.R. fashion and all sorts of stuff  and quickly realised how much we had in common. We hit it off from the start, I told Willy how much I would love to have someone like him at H.C.H.Q. but there would be no way I could afford to pay him what he had been paid  on film and working for Collette Dinnegan, Sass and Bide, Marc Jacobs ect.
Willy didn’t seem worried about the money at all and said he just wanted to stay busy so we came to an arrangement that suited us both and William set about making patterns for the new website. Every Monday we would go see a movie and have lunch and as William got better I kept thinking he will be leaving any day now but 15 months later he was still making me laugh.
I have so many wonderful memories of William dancing down the stairs in a pink tutu, spinning around the room with a mannequin or laughing so hard at lunch we nearly choked. My favourite memory will be of him coming in first thing in the morning and rolling around on the floor in his velvet jacket with our cat Chico.
You may have guessed already but William has left us now, we’re so happy he came into our Hot Couture lives like the whirlwind that he is. Willy is heading back to Sydney at the end of June, I know that’s where he belongs.
We will miss him but life goes on at H.C.H.Q we already have someone fabulous starting tomorrow. SHHHH!!!!! I will let the cat out of the bag in the next blog.
In the meantime Willy have a wonderful, wonderful life we wish you all the best with your next adventure. XXX Joy

Up close and personal with Lanie Lane

Wow! Sometimes the universe just opens up and drops a whole lot of wonderful in your lap.
Lovely Sarah Doyle from Porteno in Sydney asked if we would make a few outfits for Lanie’s new video clip. It was being filmed at Porteno last month and sadly was cancelled because of sickness. I still sent the outfits anyway as they were made for Lanie and I was excited at the prospect of  her wearing Hot Couture in her video clip or otherwise. I had heard about her from my daughter Ginger who is a huge fan and several friends who had raved about her from the last gig she did in Adelaide. I watched her video “That’s what you get falling in love with a Cowboy” and fell in love with Lanie too. One of my friends Sharon had Lanie sign a poster for me at the last gig that I couldn’t make, I WILL be framing it.  I didn’t miss this gig however, Lanie gave me a few tickets and myself Ginger and a few friends all went along.
Elly picked me up and on the way Lanie called to see if I could swing by the hotel to pin in the pants and skirt.
I was not cool it’s true and I was a little excited about meeting her but realised that Ginger would be absolutely beside herself when we told her. I made a very mean joke about calling into the hotel before we picked Ginger up but that would have been too cruel. The hotel was on the way and when we got there Lanie was standing at the door in tiny little shorts playing a blow up pink guitar with matching blow up microphone. She gave me a huge hug and I could hear Ginger stifling a squeal behind me. I have to say Lanie could not have been more chilled. We met the other girls who were just as adorable and I set about pinning and trying things on Lanie. I have only met one other person in the music industry as humble and unaware of their fame and that is Pat Cappocci whom I equally adore.
As we were leaving Lanie offered us more free tickets but I didn’t want to put her out so I asked if it would be OK for Ginger and Elly to have a photo with her instead. Lanie said she would text us after the show and we could go backstage for photo’s, I don’t know how Ginger got through the rest of the night really.
The show was incredible and Lanie certainly delivers, this little gal has one powerful voice, I love all of her songs and her band is dynamic.
As promised, Lanie text and we went back for Gingers and Elly’s photo.
I feel very lucky to have been a part of last night Lanie’s star is rising fast have a look at her wonderful clip and see for yourself.
Love Joy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pia and Peter

Sixteen years ago I had the most wonderful girl working for me at my costume hire shop in Sydney. It was like having Snow White work for me, she was beautiful, always happy and she sung all the time. I'm sure little blue birds circled her head whn I wasn't looking, I loved her.
This week a Peter Alexander catalogue is out and Pia Anderson my gorgeous helper has styled the whole thing. It's quite wonderful, I can see Pia's magic all over it.
Pia took a big a risk, went out on her own and started her own company at the age of 30.
I love love love that she did this. Pia worked in a Vintage shop in the Rocks for years and put her heart and soul into it. When that all turned to dust and the owner did a runner Pia picked up her bundle and bravely went off to make her own way, just like Snow White and just like Snow White it has paid off for her too, she has quite a few incredible jobs under her belt. Like the time some land owner who owned a huge sheep station called her up to see if she could organise a parade. They flew Pia and her friends up to the station put them up, fed them paid them lots of money and asked Pia and her band back to perform a few months later. You can read all about Pia and her wonderful life and see what she has to offer on her website her blog is definitely worth a read.

If ever you wonder if you should take a risk and start up your own business doing what you love take a look at what Pia has done, no money and all on her own. It just goes to show that working hard and doing what you love pays off in the end. Well done Pia Anderson we are very proud of you. X Joy