Thursday, October 27, 2011

My first day at H.C.H.Q.

Day one at The Sherbert Studio: An introduction to gingham and dots.

I stepped down the stairs into the sherbert-pink den that is Hot Couture Head Quarters, with H.C queen Joy leading the way and sighed with relief; finally a job that was going to be more fun than work.

Joy hands me a camera and tells me to get snapping. “Lets write about what’s going on here!” She proceeds to hum along to Marilyn Monroe as she starts her cutting work for the day. I raised an eyebrow suspiciously, it was all seeming to good to be true…

I’m a fashion student with big dreams of living a life engulfed with fabric, like Joy, and that’s why I’m here! Not entirely sure what my role here will entail just yet… I’m never going to be a super amazing cutter, as I’m left handed, and I’ve only just commenced study at TAFE, but I know how to make things look pretty, and let’s be honest, that’s what Hot Couture is all about!

The Sherbert Studio, as I’m going to name it, is stuffed full of goodies and oozes glam style. Sitting behind the desk here I’m feeling pretty lucky. I’m surrounded by polka-dot fabric of every colour, there are Vivienne Westwood shoes and bags every where I look, a stack of vintage Barbies in their original boxes to my left, and a toy revolver in front of me. I’ve died and gone to Aesthetics heaven.

Joy calls up the stairs at two H.C customers to come down and join us in the Studio. As I sit in the main office organising some networking stuff I hear laughter as Joy bombards the two girls with stories of a dangerous zoo visit whilst she measures them up. This little space is full to the brim with fun and charisma, and it’s a little infectious.

I’d say for a first day I’ve had a pretty charming glimpse at the H.C world, and I’m excited for more..

Stay tuned H.C lovers!  XXX Chloe

Monday, October 24, 2011

Emerald Fontaine/ Burlesque Queen

One of our favourite London based customers now has her very own website We have been selling garments to Emerald now for the last five years and just recently made her Baltimore costume for her stage show. This particular frock will be on the new website, we had so many inquiry's about it after putting it up on facebook. We're delighted that Emerald has named Hot Couture as one of her favourite places to shop for vintage inspired frocks. Have a look at her site , she is fast climbing the ladder in the burlesque world, I hope she doesn't mind us comparing her to Dita Von Teese but all of us at Hot Couture think she is just as beautiful and we're all die hard Dita fans. Thank you Emerald we adore you XXX Joy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chris Isaak story.

I first heard of Chris Isaak in the early 90's, we were living in San Fransisco at the time as my husband Deane was working on a film. Chris was performing a lot at the clubs over there and I had been told that he lived nearby. I was completely smitten, seriously who doesn't like him, not only is he gorgeous to look at but he is just the nicest guy.
We moved back to Sydney in 1993 and I started to tell my friends about his music, it seemed no one had heard of him except the odd person who had seen Blue Velvet. Chris came over to perform at The Enmore in Sydney in '95 and I talked all my friends into going along. The theatre wasn't even packed and I was really upset for him. Honestly he couldn't have cared less, he was so happy to be here and talked a lot about surfing and how fun it was to be here in Australia.
After the show we waited around to get an autograph, I asked him to write on my T/shirt " Joy will you marry me" I figured if he signed it, it would be a legal document. He wrote " Joy will you have my baby" talk about smooth. I was completely hooked, what a doll. I have since seen him schmooze every girl he comes across, it wasn't just ME. Reporters go weak at the knees, I don't know what it is that he does but it would be a scary world if every man sent us women into a spin like that.
The next time Chris came back to Sydney I managed to buy tickets right in the front row. I went with my daughter Gypsy who was 18 at the time and her friend Emma. This time the Entertainment Centre was packed. Yay, finally word was out. When he came on I pushed my way right to the front, Gypsy and Emma were up the other end of the stage right underneath him but I didn't want to get a neck ache so I stayed put. Thank the Gods for that one because I was right by the steps and when he ran up the back of the auditorium and headed toward the stage, I was right in line with where he was headed. I can't even tell you how I felt when he past me and turned around, grabbed my hand and pulled me up on stage with him. He was wearing his mirrored suit and let me tell you he was dazzling in it. I was mesmerised I have no idea of the song he sang to me, I thought I was actually in heaven, I'm sure clouds were swirling around my ankles. Then out of the whole audience the lead guitarist pulled Gypsy up on stage, there we were either side of Chris and neither one of us to this day knows what song he was singing. Gypsy and I were all dressed up 50's with petticoats and full skirts, they asked us to stay on stage and dance, after the show everyone was asking us if we were part of the show. BEST NIGHT EVER!!!!!!!!!! Somewhere is a photo of Gypsy and I with Chris. I have been completely in love ever since. It's O.K. Deane understands and likes him too, he does think I'm a little obsessed though.
I went to many more concerts and had close encounters of the fan kind.
Then one afternoon I was working in my costume hire shop and he came on radio, he happened to be in town so I rang the radio station to see where he was headed, the lovely girl on the switchboard who was just as smitten as me told me that he was headed to the city for a signing of his new album Baha Sessions. ( Now my favourite  record. ) I closed up shop and caught a cab into the city where to my dismay was a line all the way down Pitt St Mall. I needed some quick thinking, I went to the entrance where there was an escalator going down and the other was stopped and people were lined up. I know this is unfair but I couldn't help myself I went down the escalator, it was 5.25pm and the security guard said they were closing shop. I told him I had to buy a CD for a present and begged him to let me in. He said Chris Isaak was signing his new album so of course I said " WHO" he let me in.
I hid behind one of the counters, I told you I was obsessed. Chris came out with Kenny ( he's a doll as well) and sat right opposite me. I'm sure Chris recognised me, he looked scared. He started singing before anyone even came down the escalator. He sang Sweet Leilani and I almost melted, it was as though he was singing just to me. I know, I know, he wasn't but it felt like it. So happy I went.
In between were a few more concerts and The Music Awards which Gypsy managed to get tickets to.
I don't know if this is the highlight but it sure comes close. a few years ago Chris was coming to Adelaide where I now live. A friend of mines band was supporting The Chris Isaak Concert at one of the winery's. He asked if I wanted to come along and hang out, I had to pretend I was the band's manager which was lots of fun I even got to take up water on stage. There was a VIP area set aside where I hung out for most of the day. It was over 40 degree's I wouldn't have done it for anyone else, gosh it was a long day. At around 6pm his entourage turned up and I hung out the rest of the night with one of the girls who worked for him, Gillian. She had been working for him for years, doing his wardrobe,now there's a job I'd like. We all had dinner together and when Chris came out to dish up his dinner I was right next to him and couldn't say one word. I had spoken to over 800 people that day but couldn't think of one thing to say, What a schmuck. It was the most beautiful night and the music was lovely wafting over the winery. It couldn't have been more perfect.
Maybe if I had spoken to him then it would have been perfect. That's my Chris Isaak story. XXX Joy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Last night I went to see one of the best shows I’ve seen in years, my only regret is that it was the last performance in Australia otherwise I would have been e mailing everyone I know telling them to go.
You might not know this about me but it’s not just the 50’s I adore, I have a collection of old swing and have been an avid fan of the big bands from the 40’s for a very long time.
 I was transported along with every other person at the performance to the war years and the years of all of that fabulous music and dancing. The band were here from New York and had toured to packed houses all over Australia. I first heard about it from a friend of mine who insisted I fly up to Sydney for their one night only performance at The State Theatre. I was going to do just that on Gerry’s recommendation but they had sold out, luckily Adelaide was on the tour as well. 

In my 30’s myself and two of my friends performed Andrew Sister’s music to poor unsuspecting people at our parties ( Actually I tell a lie I think they may have suspected.) We ended up performing at The Trocadero in Sydney which was amazing in itself. The photo is of Linda, Doris and I at my 30th birthday in Sydney.
Back to last night……..The band started off by playing Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. The singers were absolutely wonderful, the three girls did a lot of Andrew Sister’s and I had to hold back from jumping up on stage and joining in. One of my favourite parts of the whole night was when one of the girls came out dressed in a nurses uniform from that era and a sailor and swing danced like I’ve never seen before. At the end the sailor tilted her back and kissed her just like the famous photo in Times Square the day the war ended.
I hope that wasn’t lost on the audience, it was beautiful. I of course was overwhelmed by the whole thing and burst into tears. XXX Joy

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rockabilly Rumble/ website news and more.

There's been so much happening this month at H.C.H.Q I'm reeling. The website is taking longer than expected which in one way is frustrating but in another is a good thing. This website will be up for some time to come so we want to get it right, sadly this means waiting another month.
We had our fabulous ad in this month's Deadbeat that we are all amazingly proud of. Harmony Nicholas did an incredible job and it was well worth the wait. We were also lucky enough to have photo's of the very sassy Aspen in the same issue wearing one of our summer frocks.
We have been incredibly busy, making of all things Hot Couture bridesmaid dresses, I thought it would never end but just last week we finished the last of them. They are all October and November weddings so we should have some great photo's of them soon.  One in particular is a cowboy themed wedding that we are invited to Yeehaw to that.

We also had Smokin Betty's Rockabilly Rumble this month which just like last year was way too much fun. Last year we had a fashion parade but because of being really busy and not having our fabulous Stav to help out we decided not to do the parade. We did however have an unexpected parade of girls wearing Hot Couture, once word got back to us how many girls were actually wearing H.C to the R.R.we decided a prize was in order to say thank you. I had nothing to do with the judging as it would have been a bit bias, I pretty much knew most of the girls who were there. Tia who was wearing one of our lovely new frocks "Vivienne" won the prize of a made to measure Hot Couture frock. Congrats Tia it couldn't have gone to anyone sweeter. Thanks Jessi, Phil and Two Bit Villians for making it all happen.
Two Bit Villian's had a great parade and included a couple of H.C frocks which looked stunning on the girls. Christina really rocked the red Bardot. The funniest part of the night, was as Willy and I were leaving my studio I was madly tearing the place apart looking for a bolero to go with my sarong frock. I has 15 minutes and clothes were flying everywhere, I have 3 bolero's but of course couldn't find one. I screamed at Willy, " I'm going to have to run one up and ran into the cutting room and started to madly cut fabric off. Willy just laughed and held up the bolero he had made while I was in my panic. You gotta love a man that can not only read your mind but can whip up a bolero in 15 minutes. Thanks everyone who came along in Hot Couture, next year if it's OK with the organisers I will make it official, everyone in Hot Couture wins a prize.
Wow! What a month September was, can't wait to see what Frocktober brings. XXX Joy