verbal croquis

sally nichols

Posted in people i know by verbalcroquis on August 13, 2008













The photo above was featured in W magazine back in 2002, my senior year of school.

Left to right: fitting notetaker, me, Joe McFate (Bob Mackie Design Group Executive Design Coordinator), Bob Mackie, my teacher Sally, the model, Laurie, wearing the first muslin of my dress, and our department chair Rose Brantley.


Sally was a studio professor of mine my senior year at Otis.  She helped me construct my Bob Mackie dress and I learned so, so much from her.  She was incredibly knowledgeable in constructing the highest quality garments, but still modest enough to allow me to bounce my own ideas off of her superior brain. I still fondly remember our conversations picking apart the dress, tackling the construction issues, and also just rambling about our daily minutiae.

One time, I set the dress on a mannequin and crawled under it to do some handsewing to the innards. (The thing has about 80091 layers.)  I was so tired I fell asleep under the dress, my head on the mannequin stand, needle still in hand. Some time later my head snapped awake to the sound of Sally calling out, “Zoë! Where’s Zoë?” I wiped my drool and popped my head out of all 80091 layers of skirt and in my most alert voice, I called out, “Sally! I’m here! Hemming!”  

Today I received notice that Sally passed away after a long battle with cancer. Otis has lost one its best teachers and the world, a kind, generous and patient heart and a knowledgeable brain. With a heavy heart, I am spreading word of her memorial service, in case any of my SoCal readers wanted to attend.


This Friday, August 15 at 12:30 pm

Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn

The Church of The Hills, also known as the White Church.

6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles 90068

One Response to 'sally nichols'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'sally nichols'.

  1. David Nichols said,

    Hi, Zoe —

    I’m David Nichols, Sally’s husband. A cousin of mine found your posting online and forwarded it to me. Thank you so much for your kind words about Sally and for helping to get out the information regarding her memorial. I hope you were able to attend. Over the past few days I’ve heard so many wonderful comments from Sally’s students. I know she cared greatly about all of you and was so proud to think that you were carrying what she taught you out into the world and expanding on it. Again, many thanks and all best wishes…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: