This is a little emotional for me because months ago when I was thinking about putting a competition together I had at least two people I wanted to be judges. One I knew "had my back" as always, and the other, although I wanted her to be one of my judges, I felt as if I was imposing on her; she too has been so supportive over the past several years. I didn't want to ask her and put her in a position of declining my judge request. Even after I asked and she accepted I still felt the need to protect her, asking her if she really wanted to do this. I would have more than understand if she had declined. Plus I didn't know if she, a world famous milliner, would really want to be associated with being a judge for a contest given by an unknown lady that practices millinery as a hobby.
|Harper's Bazaar Arabia/Ruven Afanador|
Twice Anya has brought tears to my eyes: when she accepted my judge request, and when she sent me an invitation to Fashion Week in New York. I'm so sorry I couldn't make it. I think I'm so touched because, not only is she a wonderful person, but she is a confident, caring, and sharing person. This is hard to find amongst many milliners, sorry to say.
My next judge is Mrs. Essie Edward. Those of you that follow my blog know Mrs. Edwards as one of my millinery instructors. Mrs. Edwards has well over 60 years of millinery experience. She worked for the school district her in Southern California for over 40 years. She is an excellent seamstress and milliner and just an all-around beautiful person.
As far as being a good judge, well let's just say that she is more flexible than I am and much more fashionable also. She taught me how to be more flexible in my dealings with millinery, while maintaining the highest of quality in my work.
My final judge is Shurie Southcott. When I sent out a hint Shurie immediately volunteered, and I thought wow! My response came because Shurie is into couture steam punk millinery. I had seen some extremely beautiful steam punk hats made in another contest by other milliners that were above exceptional--the hats were extremely well made, the trim was exquisite, and the designs were awesome--not too far out, right in my "sweets spot." None of those hats even placed. So Shurie will complement this team. I really wanted a team made up of milliners that would represent as many tastes as possible.
Shurie teaches millinery and she also works at Clockworks Couture here in Southern California. Actually, it was a book I ran across in the bookstore written by Clockworks (the owner) that led to my understanding of Steam Punk millinery and clothing. Naturally, I purchased the book. Shurie is also published in another book. One last thing, Shurie and I had the same millinery instructor, at least I took a block carving class from her mentor and instructor, the late Jill Pfeiffer, perhaps a decade or so earlier.
Thank you so much ladies, and let it be known that I deeply appreciate and admire all of you.