Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Silk & Satin/ Ali Frankhouse
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Silk & Satin/ Ali Frankhouse

Kristy Kurjan - January 24th, 2011
Silk &Satin: Meet custom wedding dress designer Ali Frankhouse 1/24/11
By Kristy Kurjan
What is a bride to do when the gown she craves doesn’t exist? Have one made.
 Enter Ali Frankhouse, a Northern Michigan designer who creates custom
gowns for the bride-to-be. Her one-of-a-kind wedding dresses have
graced weddings from New York to Northern Michigan.
The couturier designed her first official wedding dress just after
graduating from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles with a
BFA in fashion in 2001. Her attention to detail was displayed in a
gorgeous white lace wedding gown for a close girlfriend. Since then,
clothing design has been her passion and word-of-mouth advertising has
established her name in the wedding industry.
The process begins by creating a design based on a picture,
silhouette, or sketch. Clients often have an exact dress in mind or a
basic idea of what they want. Frankhouse will sketch a vision and the
process begins. Before cutting any fabric, she tells her clients to
“try on a lot of dresses first to know what looks good on their body
and what they like.”
Next, she drapes an initial shape on a mannequin in muslin, an
inexpensive fabric, of which she creates a sample for the first
fitting. “At this point it doesn’t have any bells or whistles,” says
Frankhouse. “It is just the basic silhouette, to get an idea of what
the dress will look like and how it will fit.”
The dress is then cut out of the actual fabric made of delicate fibers
like silk, satin and lace. Frankhouse’s brides have the option of
choosing from swatches or bring in their own fabric.
From there, the designer finishes the dress in steps, requiring
multiple fittings along the way. “I’m picky so I do a lot of
fittings,” says Frankhouse. “Depending on the style of dress I can do
anywhere from 5-10 fittings on a wedding dress. Even a simple sheath
dress might require five appointments.”
For the designer, one of the most difficult aspects is dealing with
her perfectionist tendencies. “I stay up late, sometimes until 3
a.m.,” she says. “It is stressful, but it’s how I get things done.”
Once all of the beads are in place and the hems are tailored, her hard
work pays off when the blushing bride’s dream becomes a reality.
“Everything comes together and fits perfectly,” the designer explains.
“It is a relief to know it worked out the way it was supposed to, and
it always does!”
The experienced designer advises to keep wedding gowns classy. “Some
brides want to show too much and are looking for a backless and
strapless dress, which is impossible to make. I would tell those
brides that they can be sexy without showing everything.”

In 2008, Frankhouse designed her own wedding dress with inspiration
from her father’s Spanish heritage. “I knew I wanted ruffles, and the
flamenco look, so I researched Spanish wedding gowns, both recent and
as far back as the early 1900’s,” she says. “A long time ago black was
the wedding dress color in Spain... Initially, I wanted an all black
dress, but decided against it, went with a white dress, and then added
a black sash.”
How much does a couture creation of hers cost? The designer charges a
base price of $1,000+ depending on the complexity of the gown in
addition to fabric cost. This price includes all aspects of the dress
creation from the initial sketch to the alterations which usually
takes about six months. Also in her repertoire, custom
mother-of-the-bride and menswear.

For quotes and availability contact: Ali Frankhouse at 231-409-3770.

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