Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It is done, my friends. It is done.

Ms. K and I met with the dressmaker today, and washed our over-stressed, over-reaching hands of the dressmaking affair. We handed some custom to a slight, charming and seemingly very competent Cambodian dressmaker from a long line of silk weavers and garment makers. Sovanna (or "Sovan," as he goes by, because "Sovanna" is either too difficult for Amis to get out of their mouths, or because, like me, it makes them assume he's a woman) and the K Lady walked me through fabric choices and styling details this afternoon. For $280, I'm getting a custom fitted and made silk dress, fabric imported from the village where he, himself, grew up and used to climb mulberry trees to pick the cocoons as a child. Or so the story goes. It sounds good to me.

What astounds me is that he is running this business, "Cocoon Silk" -- with two brick and mortar shops in Portland's Pearl and NW 23rd -- to help pay his way through a business management degree at Marylhurst. Wow. Whatever happened to waiting tables? Or stripping?

Just as a reminder, this is the vintage number I'm having reproduced (with some slight alterations). And guess what? Forget the peach....

Mary is getting married in a RED dress, baybee. Oh yeah. Uh hu.


Next stop: shoes.


Dee said...

Va va va voom is right! A red dress, even! I like "mulberry" better and the fact that you're supporting this guy's home village (or maybe even his family) by buying silk from him is great! I love that story, too.

Gotta love globalization, in this case. I don't think you're buying from the Big Bad Wedding Industry.


MisAnthropology said...

That's what I'm thinking... No doubt his background is one of relative privilege -- the capital for this venture had to have come from somewhere -- but it all seems connected to close relationships. His is definitely an interesting story.