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

i love danielle

Posted in people i know,personal by verbalcroquis on June 18, 2008

I just got off the phone with Danielle, aka Final Fashion, and I just needed to yell from the rooftops that she’s amazing!  Long story short, I’ve been feeling incredibly beat down and low and generally filled with self-loathing lately and we had such an interesting, fun, funny roller coaster of a conversation on the phone and now I feel like I can conquer the world, including tackling the mess that is my house.  Woohoo!

party party party

Posted in fashion shows,people i know by verbalcroquis on July 31, 2007


Celebrate in Style

San Francisco Fashion Week

with The 615 Project, Hangar One, and farmerbrown

Tuesday, August 14, 8-11pm

farmerbrown, 25 Mason St. @ Market

$5 Hangar One specialty cocktails

Farm-fresh soul food small bites

P.S. Hell yeah, I’m gonna be there! It’s my girl, Jeanne!

dear w,

Posted in people i know by verbalcroquis on June 8, 2007

I recently found out that the Queen of England has weights sewn into the hems of her skirts so they don’t blow up in the wind.  Totally thought of you.  Hee.


Posted in people i know,personal by verbalcroquis on May 4, 2007

Usually, one writes a fashion blogger these types of questions, but y’all already know I’m not your typical fashion blogger.

So, a friend is getting married this year, and we have both agreed that a black velvet blazer, not too formal looking, would be excellent for him to wear at the reception.  He’s around 6′ tall, and I would guess a 2XL or 3XL.  Does anyone know of any meatspace or online retailers that can accommodate our needs?  Of course, I’ve googled, but I’d also love to hear friends’ recommendations too.  Thanks!


Posted in love is in the air,people i know by verbalcroquis on March 16, 2007

jeanne's black vesper

jeanne's red fiona

These gorgeous silk jersey gowns are the work of my friend and colleague Jeanne, of The 615 Project.  That red one is just *sick*, but I really covet the black one on top, since I never go sleeveless in public (women like me exist and we’re not all 65 years old!).

Photos are by new-to-the-Bay-Area photographer T. Shane Gilman and you can check out more of his work here.

i’ve been tagged…

Posted in people i know,personal by verbalcroquis on January 17, 2007

…by Miz Julie at Almost Girl.

Here’s how it works:

1. someone tags you,
2. you post five things about yourself that you haven’t already mentioned on your blog,
3. you tag people you’d like to know more about

This is more difficult than it looks, folks. I try to keep this blog mainly professional with some personal touches here and there. The very reason I don’t blog more frequently is because I run out of stuff to say. Well, about the industry and anything related. I can just hear my friends shrieking with laughter right now because I’m usually the one they can’t get to shut up.

1. I have weird obsessions with food. I’ll fixate on something and eat it constantly for a few weeks or months and then let it go. Currently, it’s spinach. I’ve been putting spinach in everything I possibly can. My favorite right now is to toss ravioli with some baked chicken and spinach in olive oil, some spices and garlic. The husband hasn’t complained yet…

2. I gain strength and energy by having conversations with people I like. I’ll be sick as a dog (which I was over the weekend) and if I can muster enough stamina to call someone and maintain a steady conversation, I can hang up feeling much less sick.

3. I used to practically be a Luddite. I sketched by hand unless forced by employers to use Illustrator or Photoshop, didn’t watch TV, checked my email once a week or so, shared a computer, had a camera that required film. No blogging, no googling, I even had a cord that ran from my computer to my printer. Music off the interwebs??? I had a tape deck in my not-that-old car! I read books and magazines. I handwrote everything. This was just 2-3 years ago. I blame the husband. I move in with him and all of a sudden I’m in a tech gadget warehouse with 6 computers, 3 digital cameras (not including the phones), 2 iPods, and an airport express in a sea of CD towers, plugs, cords, antennae, USB thingamajiggers, and and and. We weren’t even dating a year before he “decided” that I would be “a brilliant fashion blogger” and started sending me links to fashion blogs as inspiration.

3a. I have this running joke with my friends: before I got married, I was Girlfriend #4. I compared my life with A and all his laptops to a futuristic Raise the Red Lantern. G1 was his main laptop, a Vaio that ran Linux. G2 was his little 12″ Mac that he got on a whim while I was out of town. (How shady! heh.) G3 was his other, slightly (like 6 months) older Vaio that ran Windows. I was G4. My own laptop was G5. The joke was G5 was for threesomes only, therefore her low status. (Threesomes=the boy fixing something while I hovered.) And then there was the Big Wife–the server. If she got cranky, none of us got any play. Now, Peter (my new iMac) is Boyfriend #1, mine and some of the husband’s oldest laptops are retired, but Wife #1 is still the server, lording over us all. No pun intended.

4. I have a younger sister, C, and a younger brother, J. Along with my husband, they are the loves of my life. C is an Environmental Science, Policy, and Management major, minoring in Applied Economics and Political Science at the University of Minnesota. She regularly makes me laugh like a crazyperson. She used to chase me around the house if I was drinking a soda, waiting for me to hurry up and finish it so she could recycle the can. J is a straight-A freshman in high school who turned it all around after almost flunking out of junior high. He’s 15, and spends equal amounts of time playing his XBox and reading George Orwell. He also keeps me in steady stock of super soft fluffy socks.

5. I haven’t done laundry in 3 years. Did I mention I love my husband?

Okay, time to tag people.  I tag Danielle, Adrian, (oh, jeez, who hasn’t been tagged yet?) S. at Do This Don’t, Maria, and S. at The Bling Blog.

happy birthday, danielle!

Posted in people i know,personal by verbalcroquis on September 29, 2006

Hey kids, Saturday (yes, tomorrow) is Danielle of Final Fashion’s birthday! So if you love her as much as I do, don’t forget to run over to her blog to wish her a happy birthday!


(Danielle and me in New York. She’s on the right. Sorry, this is the only picture we have together.)

lookit what i found!

Posted in my work,people i know by verbalcroquis on September 1, 2006

I love catching up with my friends’ blogs.  I was tooling around earlier and I came across this photo I forgot completely about!  I had been mildly annoyed that I didn’t have a good photo of my Michelle Mason dress, and I found one!

My friend and sometime model S, on the right, wearing the infamous Dress of 8 Remakes:

Notice how she has a completely different body type from the model on the runway (S is much more hourglass) but they both fit into it beautifully?  That’s the result of my anal-retentive perfectionism.  (Sorry to sound so cocky–I sometimes like to pat myself on my own back.  heehee.)

i’m not a photographer

Posted in my work,people i know by verbalcroquis on August 22, 2006

Not by any means. To call myself a photographer would do the actual pros a great injustice. Consider me a fiddler of cameras and bows, if you will.

My friend M happens to be a fantastic burlesque performer and sometime model who was wanting to play around with some new concepts. So I had her come over and this is what we came up with. Or, at least, these are some of the more “clothed” shots.








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