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Teachers

 

Alex Tour recently moved to New Orleans from Seattle and has become an expert in and specializes in tightlacing men. Alex graduated with high honors from Interlochen Arts Academy, where he started his path of creative design and focus on flat pattern making. Alex moved to Seattle to be immersed in the culture of performance arts and began his journey making corsets and costume ensembles, and went on to create custom pieces for Drag Queens like Bob the Drag Queen, Trinity Taylor, and Gia Gunn. He continued his studies in Seattle with a variety of mentors, including Marie Cooley, where he also learned extensive hand beading techniques. Alex Is honored to be the ONLY corset vendor at Rupauls DRAGCON NYC 2017 and will be a special guest at Burlesque Hall of Fame 2018. 

 

Julie Winn has been a costume designer for over 30 years and has been sewing for even longer. She has worked in theatre,dance,opera,film and has toured professionally as a wardrobe head. She taught costume design and sewing for 15 years in a high school for the creative art. She is the current costume designer for the New Orleans Opera.

 
 
 Monika Grist-Weiner grew up in the green mountains of Brattleboro, Vermont. As a teenager she was introduced to costumes through the local children's theater, The New England Youth Theatre. Similar to ricRACK's philosophy, her costume training in Vermont began with repurposing clothes or old costumes to create something new. Her and her peers where often given full reign in the design and construction process. With tight budgets, they learned to think on their feet and out of the box about costume-making.      
After graduating high school she went on to study costume design at Savannah College of Art and Design. In college she developed a love for costume and fashion illustration, bead embroidery, and fabric painting. Post graduation life has included stitching, wardrobe, and wig styling with the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Monika continues to return to Vermont to design and teach costuming for theater productions at the New England Youth Theater but is also very excited to get rooted in the New Orlean's costume community through ricRACK.  

 

 

Laura Michele Shrewsbury has spent over 25 years as a costume and fashion professional, working in live theatre, film and television. Former employers include Ballet Hispanic of New York, New York City Ballet, Motown the Musical (Broadway), Bridges of Madison County (Broadway), Beauty and the Beast (Broadway), Mary Poppins (Broadway), Cinderella (Broadway), and Les Miserables (Broadway) and assisted both the Royal Shakespeare Company and Le Comedie-Francais at the Lincoln Center Festival. 

She has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, MoMIX, The Royal Danish Ballet, Ballet San Francisco The Australian Ballet, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, and many others. 

She is also a professional tailor. Clients include Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, (under the direction of The Atelier In-House), Alec Weck, Vitamina, the Greyers fashion catalog (under the direction of Arts and Motion), Kea Ho, Gina Ruiz for Pierce Brosnan, and the Breitling watch company. 

Ms. Shrewsbury is a member of IATSE Union local 764. She is love life in the Big Easy. 

 

 

Robin Spinet My earliest memories of stitching start at age 6 when my Mother taught me how to  cross stitch. We didn’t have much money - If I wanted clothes I had to make them. I turned a degree in come up to me and ask, “Where did you get that?” I always lament, “Oh you can’t buy this I made it”.My earliest memories of stitching start at age 6 when my Mother taught me how to  cross stitch. We didn’t have much money - If I wanted clothes I had to make them. I turned a degree in painting and sculpture into a Jewelry Design concern, 75 galleries, plus two major department stores (Saks Fifth Avenue and I Magnum in Chicago) represented my work. Two car accidents three years apart made me change careers. I attended Tulane University in New Orleans receiving a Master’s Degree in Business, and have been living here since 1995. After graduate school, I began sewing again. When I wear something I made, people come up to me and ask, “Where did you get that?” I always lament, “Oh you can’t buy this I made it”. I have been in the fashion industry professionally many years now.   It’s a tough business, getting tougher all the time.  I am sitting now and pondering what my next chapter will be.  So as not to get rusty I am learning pattern draping and design which is keeping my head and heart, where it belongs, with my sewing machine. My collection, RobinDS engages elegance and sophistication while using trendsetting fabrics coupled with beautiful elements and an acute sense of garment construction. The women I design for are ever present in my mind to maintain the look and sophistication that is always expected. In short, "Slip into a Robin DS and feel like the perfect, accomplished woman."

 

Thayer Abaigael splits her work-time between costuming film and television productions and costuming several local Mardi Gras dance krewes. Outside of volunteering with ricRACK, she is also involved with a sewing project for The First 72+ program as well as animal rescue relief work. In her spare time, she collects Mid-century Tiki and Aloha wear and dances with Les ReBelles.

 

Briana Henry is a native New Orleanian who began as a visual artist. She attained her BFA in photography and graphic design in 1997 and her MFA in graphics and photography in 2002. While maintaining a career freelancing and teaching art at New Orleans Charter Middle School and digital photography at Dillard University, she started to seek out her other apparent affection, fashion and accessory design. She then moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. After taking studio classes in woven design, draping, footwear, handbags, millinery, corsetry, and surface design, she wanted to focus on accessories. She obtained an associate degree in accessory design in the 1-year program from FIT in 2006. Briana worked at Coach Leatherware, Inc for 5 years before moving back home to become the Fashion Design Instructor at The Fashion Institute of New Orleans and the Fine Arts Director at Joseph S. Clark High School. In July 2013, Briana opened New Orleans, Design, Development, & Manufacture, LLC (NOLA DDM), a fashion and accessory design, development and manufacturing company dedicated to providing independent designers with the resources to streamline their product development and production processes.

 

April Clark recently relocated to New Orleans after spending 20 years in NYC. She grew up in Virginia and was taught to sew by her grandmother. In addition to being an experienced sewist, April is a designer with a decade of fashion industry know-how, having worked with handbag design teams at Coach and Kate Spade. She has been teaching kids to sew for over 5 years and is sharing her sewing talents with NOLA in the child and adult classes.

 

Linda Gardar has worked in clothing design her entire career, starting with high fashion and later costume design and supervision for theater and film as well as music videos and TV commercials.  Born and raised in Iceland, she apprenticed with Stella Dottir, fabricating custom-made clothing (including vintage and Gothic) sold in exclusive stores in New York, Los Angeles, and throughout Europe. Later, Gardar began working in the film industry in Iceland, where she discovered her true love while making Viking costumes. After completing a master’s degree in costume design for theater at Cal Arts, she worked as a set costumer for many films, including “Interview with a Vampire,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” ‘Deja Vu,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “Imagination Movers,” among others.

 

From London to New York, from circus tents to movie studios, Alison Parker's career in the entertainment industry has taken on many creative facets of the costume department.  However, here in New Orleans she has found the costume mecca, and she is super excited and honored to share all of her experience and love of costuming with the kids of New Orleans through the non-profit ricRACK.  During her career, Alison became aware of the amount of waste and disregard of unwanted clothing and fabrics.  Her secondary goal is to teach children the value of repurposing and the true costs that cheap fashion has for our planet.

ricRACKnola@gmail.com

2359 St. Claude Ave (next to St. Roch Market)
ph. 504 218 5205
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
Closed on Sundays

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