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Vintage Dresses by Katherine Robinson


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Whirlingturban   Bombshell   Dresses   and   Pinup   Couture   are  made   in   a   small,   custom   design   studio   surrounded   by   an  orchid-­‐dripping   and   dragonfly-­‐humming   tropical   garden   in  exo<c  Bali.

With   a   <ny   staff   of   Bali’s  best   seamstresses,   and   with   the  help   of   local   fabric   dyers   printers   and   weavers,   we   make  garments   lovingly,   by   hand,   one   at   a   <me.   We   recreate  "Vintage  Greats";  the  most  desirable  and  hard  to  find  styles,  using   hand  work   and   construc<on   techniques  which   are  no  longer   prac<cal   on  modern   factories.  We   offer   an   array   of  sizes  that  only  a  small   shop  which  can  afford  to  cut  one  by  one  can  offer,  thus  giving  our  customers  a  "Movie  Star  Fit".

Vintage  styles  were  so  oOen  custom-­‐made,  or  they  were  made  in  the  early  years  of  factory  produc<on  when  fashions  s<ll  depended  on  the  personaliza<on  that  dressmakers  could  offer.   It  used  to  be  that  everyone  could   afford   the  services  of  skilled,   "neighborhood  dressmakers"   and   fashions  depended   on  and  reflected   this  resource.  Nowadays,  nearly   the  only  folks  that  can  afford  the  customiza<on   that  makes  these  styles  fit  so  beau<fully  are  movie  stars,  ordering   from  the   few  remaining  couture  workshops  that  serve  the  entertainment  industry.

Katherine  Robinson,  with  experience  gleaned  from  ManhaTan’s  fashion   industry  and  Hollywood’s  entertainment  industry  (and,  whoa!  does  she  have  some  names  to  drop!)  opened  this  "Dream  Workshop"  where  she  could  make  the  services  she  formerly  provided  to  Hollywood  available,  affordably,  to  other  vintage  clothing  enthusiasts  like  herself.  All  of   our  crea.ons  are  one  or  few  of  a  kind!

Below,  one  of  our  seamstresses  s5tching  a  custom  made  dress  form,  using  an  individual  customers'  measurements  and  body  pics   in  order  to  replicate  her  own  unique  shape.  We  will  create  her  pa>ern  and  "build"  her  dress  on  this   form.  This   is   the   same  technique  used   in   Hollywood   to   fit   stars   for   the  big   screen;   a   medium   for   which   a   perfect   fit   is  required.

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*Starring* in your own wedding?Most  of   our  styles  turn  magically   into  wedding  dresses.  You  may  want  long   and  white;  you  may  want  tea  length  and  powder  blue.  All  of  our  brides,  clearly,  have  their  very  own  ideas!  If   you'd  like  to  order  a  ready-­‐made  dress  in  order  to  save  money  or  because  you  are  an  easy-­‐to-­‐fit  size,  ask  us  about  our  ready-­‐made  wedding  dresses!

Here are some of our styles, please contact us with any questions you may have!

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About Katherine Robinson...My  first   fashion   job,  at   20,  was   assis<ng  Clifford   Olson,  a  designer   who   supplied   swingin'   bou<ques   and   their  celebrity   clientele   (Tina   Turner,   Aretha   Franklin,   etc.).   I  learned   to   loved   the   excellence   of   craOsmanship   and  crea<vity  possible  in  a  small  studio  se_ng.  I  then  worked  in  Manha>an   for   eight   years.   I   ran   the   design   and   custom-­‐made  studio   for  North  Beach   Leather  on  Madison  Avenue,  in  the  heart  of  the  Upper  East  Side  amidst  the  world’s  most  famous  designer  shops,  where   shoppers  included   a  parade  of   celebri<es   (Andy  Warhol...   oh,   don't   get   me   started!)   I  also   worked   for   free-­‐lance   fashion   clients   like   Geoffrey  Beene   and   Bill   Blass.   (Golly!   Aren't   those   guys   are   dead  now?  Dead  or  not,  their  standards  were  famously  exac.ng!)

Next,  I  moved  to  L.  A.  and  opened  another  small  workshop.  For  ten  years,  I  made  garments  and  costumes  exclusively  for  Hollywood’s   entertainment   industry.   The   crea<ons   that  came  from  my  studio  appeared  on  a  diverse  spectrum;  from  actresses   such   as  Uma  Thurman,   Salma   Hayek   and  Halle  Berry   (just   to   name   a   few   of   the   more   delicious   ones),  bands  like  the  Foo  Fighters  and  U2,  commercial  clients  from  Intel   to  Chiquita  Banana  to  Apple  Computers,  movies  such  as  Steven  Spielberg’s  Amistad  [costumes  nominated  for   an  Academy   Award],  and   T.V.,   including   a  Be>e  Midler   HBO  Special  which  won  the  Emmy  Award  for  Best  Costumes.

When  I  went  on  vaca<on  to  Bali,  I  fell  completely  in  love-­‐  as  a  craOsperson-­‐  with  Bali’s  limitless  crea<ve  resources.  For  three  years  I  went  back  and   forth,  L.A.  to  Bali,  crea<ng  fashions  which  I  then  I  sold  to  Hollywood  while  concurrently  learning  to  conduct  business  in  Asia.  I  then  said  good-­‐bye  to  my  workshop  in  Hollywood,  made  my  business  base  in  fashionable  Boise,  Idaho,  where  Mom  could  manage  stuff,  and  now  spend  as  much  <me  as  possible  fussing  over  dream  clothes  in  this  beau<ful  tropical  garden  studio.

I've  always  been  a  vintage  clothing  fan  and  a  student  of  fashion  past  and  present.  Hollywood's  exac<ng  standards  helped  me  refine  my  eye   for   the   finer   points  of   authen<city  as  well   as  helping  me  to   see  how  aTen<on   to   detail,  and  par<cularly  fit,  is  what   turns  mere  mortals  into  stars.

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My  Interest  in  "Vintage  Style  Wedding  Dresses"  and  "Vintage  Reproduc<on  Dresses"

I  have  an  interest  in  many  aspects  of  fashion,  certainly  not  limited  to  the  fashions  of  the  40's  and  50's.  But  Whirlingturban  has  found  a  home  with  collectors  and  there  is  certainly  enough  rich  material  in  this  historical  period  of  fashion  to  keep  me  busy  for  a  long  <me.

What  I  have  discovered  while  working  in  this  vernacular  is  that  there  is  virtually  no  other  company  making  authen<c  reproduc<ons.  It  is  expensive  and  difficult  to  do  quality  reproduc<ons,  so  most  folks  in  this  field  have  to  content  themselves  with  making  a  polyester  "reference"  to  a  period  garment  and  calling  it  a  reproduc<on.

If  you  are  a  bride  looking  for  a  reproduc<on  style  wedding  dress  or  are  a  lover  of  "The  Great  Era  of  Hawaiian  Dresses",  what  you  will  find  "out  there"  can  be  disappoin<ng.  If  I  was  the  customer,  I'd  want  the  details  and  materials  that  aTracted  me  to  the  magic  of  vintage  to  begin  with,  so  that's  what  we  strive  to  create.

Even  though  many  of  the  the  dresses  we  emulate  today  were  not  expensive  in  their  day-­‐  such  as  the  Shaheen's  and  other  Hawaiians,  the  amazing  designs  of  Frederick's  of  Hollywood,  and  the  souvenir  Mexican  skirts-­‐  it  is  much  more  expensive  to  reproduce  those  *well*  today.  Polyester  is  ubiquitous  nowadays  and  cheaper  than  the  great  coTons  and  beloved  rayons  used  in  mid-­‐century  fashion.  It  takes  more  <me  to  construct  garments  using  the  older  sewing  techniques.

It  is  the  old  construc/on  techniques  and  those  authen/c  fabrics  that  give  the  vintage  garments  the  look  we  love  so  much  about  them!  Part  of  it  is  the  cut;  yes,  of  course.  But  the  charm  of  the  vintage  greats  is  achieved  by  *all*  the  details,  not  just  a  smaTering  of  them.  The  price  we  can  offer,  since  we  are  located  in  Bali  and  not  Paris  or  New  York,  makes  these  details  accessible.

There  isn't  a  single  garment  produced  in  our  liTle  workshop  that  isn't  "fussed  over".  Every  costumer  we  have  represents  someone's  trust  in  us.  We  value  that  trust;  we  consider  it  a  privilege.  We  are  small  enough  to  answer  every  email  personally  and  to  discuss  our  customers  here,  amongst  ourselves,  by  their  first  names.

 All  the  Whirlingturban  Girls  here  in  our  workshop  and  I  sincerely  thank  you  for  your  interest  and  support!!!

Katherine  Robinson

Contact  Us!www.whirlingturban.com

We  have  a  US  phone  number  that  reaches  Katherine’s  computer:  1  (208)  608  5634(If  when  you  call  it  is  night  <me  in  Katherine's  <me  zone  you  will  get  our  voice  mail.  Katherine  is  usually  in  the  Bali  <me  

zone,  in  Asia.)We  also  SKYPE!  Please  feel  free  to  add  us:  KISMETCALLS