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    Lisa Walker, fabric supplier and sewing/textiles teacher


    Lisa Walker

    Fabric supplier & sewing and textiles teacher
    The Dancing Queen
    www.thedancingqueen.com.au

    What is your professional or training background? 
    Professional dancer! I'm a classically trained dancer who worked her way down to cabaret. Cabaret is where I fell in love with the art of costume design and began sewing. My parents owned the Remnant Warehouse in Prahran and I worked there in between overseas dancing gigs on and off for 10 years. Working there proved a wonderful foundation for running my own fabric business.
    What do you make, create or do? 
    I sell fabulous, unusual fabrics that you won't see everywhere else and in my shop/studio I take small sewing classes and for those who give a hoot about how to identify fibres and the difference between a woven and a knitted fabric I hold "Fibres and Fabrics" workshops.
    What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time? 
    I enjoy teaching and am in the process of developingFashion Design "short courses" to start January 2012. Ideal for those interested in developing/acquiring skills and unwilling to commit to a three year diploma course.
    What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
    Handling so many different fabrics, daily for 15 years has helped me learn and love what I do. Coping with the highs and lows of being involved in retail AND the ragtrade is a constant challenge.
    List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
    Teresa Dair - www.dairing.com. Teresa is a purveyor of unusual yarns and knitted garments...she is definitely inspiring to me. I love the way Teresa has (kind of) re-invented knitting... ("craft" = dirty word)... her label Dairing attracts CROWDS at the Craft Shows. Her take on knitted garments not to mention knitted accessories is so contemporary and stylish. Nothing pastel or nanna in sight.

    Helen Kocis Edwards - www.helenkocisedwards.com.au. I adore a painting I have by my visual artist friend Helen Kocis Edwards. Fifteen years ago when I first opened the Dancing Queen Helen gave me a painting that is her interpretation of The Dancing Queen business logo. The painting is entirely covered in a range of carefully selected Dancing Queen fabrics, over which Helen painted a version of the leg lamp. Customers admire it constantly, often standing mesmerized just gazing at it. I sometimes think that if (god forbid) there was a fire and I only had a minute to salvage something I'd grab the leg lamp, the painting...and the dog. 

    Vivienne Westwood for her designs, often selecting a combination of fabrics that leave me breathless with envy.

    Pierre et Gilles. I find the highly stylised photography of French artists, Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard - "Pierre et Gilles" - beautiful and disturbing (at the same time).

    David LaChapelle - www.davidlachapelle.com.Photographer and director who works in the fields of fashion, advertising and fine art photography, and is noted for his surreal, unique, sexualized, and often humorous style.

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
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