Ornament Magazine

VOL37.1 2014

Ornament is the leading magazine celebrating wearable art. Explore jewelry, fashion, beads; contemporary, ancient and ethnographic.

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get so interested in the realm of fashion and design, let alone in world travel? Click had always harbored an interest in putting together fabrics and ornamental trims, which likely grew out of observing her grandmother sew dresses from printed cotton flour sacks. She made her own miniature doll clothes using a toy sewing machine, until she finally got her first full-sized Singer during eighth grade, when she learned the fundamentals of basic stitching and tailoring skills in her home economics classes. 56 ORNAMENT 37.1.2013 MAURITANIA BLUE JACKET of hand-dyed linen from Mauritania, vintage sari border trim. Jewelry by Gretchen Schields. Photograph by Karen Harley. Attiring oneself properly for church attendance was de rigueur in rural Texas, and for Easter, she enjoyed getting a fresh ensemble each year, replete with new shoes, hat and purse. This prompted the admittedly shy girl to otherwise express herself through those annual fancy outfits (and to continue to enjoy both creating and wearing elaborate hats and caps in her adult years). Family summer vacations to Colorado exposed Click to the Southwest's souvenir shops which displayed Navajo rugs, silver and turquoise jewelry, beaded moccasins, cowboy boots, decorated shirts, and fringed deerskin jackets, which no doubt added to her cultural memory bank and stimulated some of her future predilections. An embroidered Palestinian taqsireh jacket made of black velvet couched with sinuous metallic embroidery, which her father had brought as a gift for her mother upon his return from World War II duty in Egypt, made a strong impression upon the girl's youthful imagination, and she delightedly paraded in it while playing "dress up." She later inherited and still values this special garment for having germinated her lifelong interest in tribal cultures and costume—it has clearly served as an influential example and signpost for her notions of style and embellishment. Click began her career directing a fashion design program in Atlanta; then moved on to designing for junior sportswear companies. In New York during the 1980s, she worked for Wrangler jeans, where the perks included trips to Europe to field for new trends. Manhattan provided the opportunity to delve into the museums and galleries and benefit from cultural activities, while residing in the newly thriving Tribeca loft district. Transferring back to San Francisco to work for Levi Strauss, she then finally settled in Los Angeles. After ending her thirty years in the commercial apparel industry—and giving considerable thought to acting upon her pent-up desire to bring her ambitions and more personal designing interests to fruition—in 2001 she established her own eponymous wearable art clothing company. From her initial offerings of delicate scarves and feminine shawls with vintage sari borders, frilly feathers and translucent beaded fringes, she has expanded to a wide variety of garments, treasure bags and most recently has added decorative pillows. These items are each designed, cut and tailored one-by-one in her studio, and are all sewn in Los Angeles. She subsequently added another venture called Two Girls Dancing, consisting of a casual line of fitted stretch

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