A Story From My Closet #1 - A Dress from Reclaimed Hosiery

Image by Harry Leonard Photography

I have so many special pieces in my wardrobe that I know I will have to write more than one story for this series. But I will try to space them out with many stories from others between.  Today I offer the story of a dress from reclaimed hosiery that took years to come into my closet.

I met fashion designer Katherine Soucie of Sans Soucie when my daughter was 16.  She wanted to do some modeling, so I helped her connect with a few local designers to do try from freelance work to gain her skills.  Katherine was amazingly kind and really mentored my daughter for which I will always be grateful.

Her work was also intriguing. As as student a Capilano U., one of her projects was to create garments from reclaimed items such as coffee filters.  But it was her technique to stabilize reclaimed hosiery destined for the dump that caught her instructor's eye. He encouraged her to build on it. And she did.

The fabric is stabilized so it doesn't run, it is dyed, then silk screened. Pieces are pinned together on a dress form one at a time with straight pins until an original garment is formed. Then they are sewn together.  A project while working on her MA led to also incorporating embroidery as a construction technique in some garments. What she produced was a wide range from makeup bags, socks and scarves at the lower price end, to one of a kind dresses, coats and jackets at the high end. My budget was super limited. so I kept watching for the one special garment that I just had to have - that embraced all that she was about and spoke to my soul. 

One day it happened. She shared a pic of the dress I am wearing in the photo and I was transported.  For some reason I can't explain, I am strongly drawn the the colors of rust and turquoise together, BAM! And the shape worked for my body.  It took a decade, but I finally found my one piece of hers that would become a lifelong treasure in my closet.  But when I reached out to her, I found it was travelling to England for some event. I asked her to let me know what happened, but was sad as I was sure it would be sold. 

Another wonderful Sans Soucie
garment I have in my closet!

Sometime in the fall, she sent an announcement that she had a huge sale going on in her Etsy store.  I missed the closing date but thought heck, I'll give it a look anyway.  There is was - MY dress. It hadn't sold.  So I reached out to Katherine and said can you extend the sale for me. We had been friends supporting each other for over a decade, but I didn't want to assume. Fortunately she said yes. 

When I went to her studio, I also picked up a pair of complimentary print leggings to go under it that completed the look. Then I found those amazing mid-heel boots.  When I put this garment on the first time to wear at Vancouver Fashion Week, I felt amazing. I felt all the creative energy she embedded her work, as well as my great love for her as a friend, our long connection and her story as a designer. 

To this day, every time I see this garment in my closet it warms my heart. I truly can't wait to wear it again. 

Note - A Story From My Closet is an open series looking for submissions. Do you have a garment or accessory that has a great story? Please submit with image to justbusiness1@gmail.com with A Story From My Closet in the subject line.