Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress

Every now and then we get an email from a customer that reminds us WHY I do what I do. It's not so much the dress designing, but more the inspiration to have fun. Yesterday Genevieve (my right hand wom) received this email from a customer...

Subject: Thread
Hello Genevieve,
My name is Kirsten Durocher and my sisters and I are huge fans of your line. We have enjoyed watching your company grow from the cool bags and accessories to some really awesome clothes and more specifically some very unique dresses. Unfortunately my reasoning behind emailing you was that one of my very favorite dresses from your collection has had a bit of an accident. This is a dress that has gotten more compliments than I can even explain and has been borrowed by just about every one of my girlfriends from Boston to Los Angeles. Honestly, the dress has been a bit of a "sisterhood of the traveling pants" as cheesy as that is and when my friend recently wore it to Opening Day at Del Mar Horse Track in San Diego she said strangers were literally seeking her out across the room to compliment her (my CK Bradley) dress and ask her who the designer was. Needless to say, each and everyone who has worn the dress, including myself has been thrilled to death with the compliments and are always immediately thrilled to spread the good word of CK Bradley. Anyways, long story aside, its most recent wear was at a wedding where one of my friends may have been too aggressively performing her "moves on the dance floor" when a strap on the dress broke. It is a perfectly clean break and should be easily fixed, however upon first attempt we have not been able to track down the specific colored thread and the mend is currently a bit noticeable (at least to me the owner of the dress). The dress is totally wearable, but as a bit of a perfectionist, I was hoping that I might be able to track down a bit of the blue thread used to sew the straps on so that my tailor could perhaps fix the dress in a less noticeable way. I have attached a picture of the dress (pre-incident), as I am not 100% sure what its official name/style was. I would appreciate any advice/help you could provide with this matter. On a side note, do you have any of these dresses still kicking around in either this specific pattern or anything else. I am part of a rather small chested/small waist/larger bottom club and this style could not fit my body more perfectly. I wanted to pick the dress up in the blue/green combo (size 6), but didn't manage to find it in time. Thank you again for your help and my apologies for sending such a lengthy email. I look forward to continuing to shop the CK Bradley brand and having recently moved from Boston to Los Angeles, I can't wait to wear all my CK wear out here. All the best. -Kirsten Durocher -- Kirsten Durocher

Let's rehash this a bit. Does "...too aggressively performing her moves..." include shaking and or stomping? I ask because I, the namer and designer of the dress think it might have had something to do with the dress, not your friend. Can a dress inspire behavior you ask? I think so. The dress in question here is called the Bamba Dress after the dance and song La Bamba...and the origin of that according to Wikipedia "... has no direct English translation, but is presumably connected with the Spanish verb, bambolear meaning "to shake", or perhaps "to stomp". So...could I be at fault here for not making a dress with super heavy duty thread knowing that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE not to want to dance while wearing it?

Even before the dress was put into production...we danced with the idea of no straps as you can see above, but opted for straps in hopes that that would lessen the occurrence of a surprise peep show. Other dresses also inspired by dances....

Kirsten. We are on a search for your thread. Stand by....

-On my way to delve into the CK Bradley dress archives on a hot and sticky day...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quest Article: American Vacations

I was recently asked to write about a road trip by a friend at Quest Magazine. It came out in the June issue, and I thought the topic would remind us that though Summer has been downright soggy thus far, it is still WARMER than winter....so here we go..an escape from the sogginess to the cold that awaits.

It was 6pm on a Friday night and I couldn’t wait till Manhattan was a glimmer in my rear view mirror. A couple thousand miles lay ahead, and only 1 point left till my drivers license would be revoked. Would I make it? I didn’t know. But I thought my chances were better off at night. Plus, I’ve had my share of sweet talking the cops, especially with my famed parrot Tigger as my co-pilot.

So off I went, bound for the beckoning plains of the Lazy E-L Ranch in Montana. I have done plenty of cross country road trips and I have always chosen the southern route merely chasing warmth and delectable Southern accents.

If you think the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere or the biggest ball of twine in the world are worth seeing on a trip cross country, I beg to differ. That’s where EVERY tourist goes. The only thing you will be looking at is the back of a motor home as you try and sneak a view of the coming attraction. I prefer the unexpected attractions. The sneaky ones, that shock you. Talladega, Alabama was one of those for me.

Imagine 10 miles of campers and motor homes lined the Interstate which paralleled the Talladega Speedway. Forget weekends in the “Country”. This set already lived in the Country. Weekends for them were an escape aboard their second home on wheels. Prime real estate has more to do with how early you get there than how much you have to spend on it. There were no hotel rooms, beer or ice for 60 miles. Talladega, I will remember you.

But this trip I decided to leave the tumbleweeds and speedways in the dust in search of moose crossings. The cold route awaited me.

There is such a peace of mind that comes from driving cross country. Every exit leads to a life I have never known. My ipod doesn’t stop playing. But on these journeys, I choose the radio. Country music was all I found on the local stations, and I LOVE country. I liked this route. Farmers outnumbered bankers and pickups outnumbered sedans. Diners are a good bet, and nice farm equipment is a status symbol. You just feel more American.

I’m not the most patriotic person. I celebrate the fourth of July, know a bit of America’s history, but it wasn’t until I got out into the far reaching parts of this incredible country, into the towns I had never heard of, and may never pass through again that I got a real sense of American pride. Though I live in one of the largest cities in the world, I have never felt smaller then when on a road trip through our vast Country.

Five days, no speeding tickets, nine tanks of gas and one of ethanol later, I reached my destination: The Lazy E-L Ranch in Red Lodge, Montana. One adventure down and a few to go. The National Ski Joring Championships now had my full attention.

Ski Joring practice: Skiier: Ben Mackay

Race Day: Yes, a skiier being pulled by a mighty fast and nimble horse

After a few days at the Lazy E-L, I packed up my bags, Tigger and some new belt buckles. Now I had to make it home…

-Awaiting the next road trip, Bradley

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CK Bradley Photo Shoot aboard White Wings

Sometimes the best things happen without much planning. This particular day began with the SUN! Shocking, I know. Clothes were quickly shed for optimum skin to sun ratio. We (team CKB) decided to leave work as we know it and head to the Newport Shipyard for yummy treats and SUN.
I ran into Donald Tofias, owner of two beautiful W-Class Sailboats: White Wings and Wild Horses. The W-Class boats are new boats designed by Joel White, but oh so classic with details of sailboats from the golden age of sailing. You can charter them for a leisurely cruise or race them against each other. Either way, you'll be wondering why all sailboats aren't this beautiful.

So what better activity for a long awaited sunny day BUT a CK Bradley Photo Shoot!
CKB and Ashley wearing the Tamanaco Dress
Our mouths were open here because of the fear factor, not the fun factor...

Donald Tofias in blue and his dapper crew
Ashley, who is actually crew on Wild Horses, helping lower the main...hot. Girl in CK Bradley dress on a W-Class Yacht? Hotter.

And hotter still? Girl in CK Bradley dress jumping off White Wings into the frigid harbor. Why? For bragging rights of course.

This is not exactly classic W-Class yacht behavior...

CKB soaked to the bone in 55 degree salty water in the Islesboro Dress

Thankfully the crew aboard White Wings were armed with cozy blankets and strapping poses

And the photo boat caught the action thanks to Sailfly
We happened upon these beautiful sloops for a photo shoot...but Wild Horses and White Wings (above) are available for charter. They evoke the spirit of tradition along with the soul of the past with their timeless lines and masterful construction. If any of you are moved to take up yacht racing (and want to be in the BEST looking boats), are already a seasoned sailor, or just want to relax with friends, family, clients, whomever, the W-Class yachts have been chartering for afternoon sails and sunset cruises, photo shoots, special events, and racing in New England, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Check them out at www.W-Class.com or call Amy at 401-225-3098

-Still Salty, Bradley