Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Haute Couture and the Chef


So now that I have put in about a year and half of Culinary School spending upward of 12 hours in labs, a minimum of 4 hours of homework daily, writing req sheets and menus for Lab, served my time in the dish pit, learned proper dining service waiting on customers for AB Techs Thursday lunch and Dinner, steward in the storeroom, and I have volunteered whenever a opportunity to work with Chefs doing Culinary Events come up....For example the Asheville Wine and Food Festival Chef Challenge.
I think I have qualified myself to design Chef and Cook apparel...
Many designers, (including me) go to school to learn cutting, sewing, sketching and textiles, what I decided to do after a long career designing Velvet dresses and Suits for Hollywood types was to take my education a step further....I wanted to jump ship from Musicians to Chefs....
(I have heard people consider them the new Rock Star...I really hope not, its the soul of the Chef that inspires me)....
And I knew from my experience hanging out with them that they would most likely not take me too serious if I came to them suggesting a new Coat...The white coat is trademark Chef, it sets them apart, you recognize and know who is in the kitchen by that double breasted white lab coat....only the high profile chefs seem to have theirs tailored a bit and neatly pressed to perfection.....
When I was approached by my sister 2 years ago suggesting I design a elegant Chef Jacket for woman, I wasn't inspired...why? I never gave much thought to it, in fact when looking at a Chef it never was the coat/jacket that stood out, it was the lack of style I usually noticed......KEY POINT..lack of style.
 

My sister is the Executive Chef of a wonderful little Bistro in La Jolla California called Delicious. She and her husband have owned it for years, and she refuses to wear the traditional Coat....She could see that I had put my career on hold due to a grieving process after loosing my husband in 2005...She also knew that I was very good at fitting a woman's body, by cutting the fabric to lay against the body like paint..After a little persuasion trying to convince me to design a coat to hug her curves, I agreed.

I knew I had to take this serious so I enrolled in Culinary school summer 2010..
it took one day of wearing that hideous jacket for a light bulb to go off in my head, and not only a rush of light but a river of creativity streaming rapidly through out every fiber of my being...."who wears this" not me, that's for sure as I rushed to discuss my idea with my adviser. She welcomed the idea and encouraged me to pay attention to the heat in the kitchen and make my alterations accordingly...and so I did it! and here I am sitting at my computer writing all about it....I have designed a Chef Coat, and it is lovely. The reason I have titled this post Haute Couture is because that is what this coat is..Couture means custom made, Haute means expensive, so of course it also is not for everyone due to the higher price point...

I figured if I did what I do well, design a well cut Jacket made in a lightweight natural fabric that breaths and is comfortable, The Chefs and cooks who take pride in their appearance and have an appreciation for fashion, and style would eventually take notice.....and they have... believe me.


The client is measured and a mock up for fit is made, then once adjustments are pinned and noted The fabric is hand cut and sewn.



*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -

Haute couture (French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking"; pronounced: [ot kutyʁ], English pronunciation: /ˌoʊt kuːˈtʊər/) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.[1]

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