10 Aug Supporting the Sisterhood – Kiwi Women in Business: Linda McCarthy Studio
As a full-time burlesque performer, there are a huge number of facets to my job. I simply can’t do everything myself, so I regularly outsource some tasks/aspects to experts.
Sometimes we collaborate to create art together, sometimes I commission custom designs, and sometimes I just have a project I need help with. Wherever possible, I like to support local small businesses, and especially my fellow self-employed women. I’ve decided to write a series of blogs introducing some of the amazing Kiwi women that I work with, who help me keep my brand running. Over the next 10 weeks, I will be profiling each of them individually. I look forward to sharing them with you, darlings. I know burlesque is built on a very DIY attitude, but remember, when you support your friends, it means they can afford to live their dream jobs, too!
Linda McCarthy, Seamstress and designer
Linda McCarthy Studio
I love the aesthetics of vintage designs, but sometimes it’s hard for me to find items in the fabric and style that I want. I especially love modern fabrics for their stretch and washability, so in order to marry the two, I often find it easier to simply commission replica pieces. That’s how I came to work with Linda.
I was trying to find a vintage jumpsuit and was having no luck, when friend suggested I ask Linda to make me one. We combed through her extensive selection of authentic vintage patterns and found the perfect style that, with a few minor alterations, was exactly what I wanted. It had a matching jacket, and as I adore coordinating sets, I was sold. I handed over the material I’d selected, and Linda created a beautiful reproduction item for me to wear to the Vintage Day Out.
Since then, Linda has been my first port of call whenever I need alterations to any vintage items I’ve purchased, or complete reproductions. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience, having trained in costume design at Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM), and worked for many years for Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox Studios.
Her meticulous attention to detail and extensive experience dealing with costume and couture pieces mean she is the perfect person to trust with delicate (and expensive) items.
Linda has made me many beautiful items, including a stunning sequinned gown based on a 1930s pattern, as well as a reproduction of my favourite Diane von Furstenberg dress. Most recently, she altered a beautiful vintage gown that I had been given, bringing it in at the waist and repairing the hem, as well as re-beading, by hand, the intricate glass beads that were scattered all over it.
She is currently working on her own range of reproduction vintage items that will be available for purchase on her new website, as well as creating beautiful gowns for her extensive list of clients both in New Zealand and overseas.
On the blog next week: an Auckland-based nail artist who will make your wildest nail dreams come true.