Pamela Moore

Pamela Moore By Katherine P. Cox Photographs by Christopher David With an extensive background in designing and creating costumes for the stage, Pamela Moore is a  natural for the ultimate theatrical event — a wedding. For almost 30 years she has been making brides the stars of their own shows, whether it’s designing and making a gown from scratch, restyling a family dress or making adjustments to ready-to-wear gowns that float on the racks in her store. A precocious girl who began sewing when she was 4 years old, she first discovered her love of costumes through her high school’s theater department where she designed and created costumes for school productions. That work was a natural extension of another passion of hers, historical clothing, which she pursued with dedication under the tutelage of the Curator of Historical Costumes and Textiles at the Wadsworth Athaneum in Hartford, Conn., J. Herbert Callister. There she learned about the fragility of important garments and how even the most elaborate of clothing was constructed. Moore went on to study art history and textiles at Boston University and the University of Vermont, and in the early 1980s moved to Brattleboro, where she opened a shop and began making clothes. As most of the requests for her work were custom-made bridal gowns, she soon focused her business on that, adding accessories and ready-made gowns. At the time, there weren’t many places for brides-to-be to go for wedding gowns, and Pamela Moore Bridals soon became the salon for those who wanted personalized service and a choice of stylish designs. Moore moved to Keene five years ago, first to the Colony Mill Marketplace and more recently to her new location, 141 Winchester St., on the corner of Winchester and Ralston Streets. Some 300 bridal gowns billow from the racks in her store, as well as colorful special occasion dresses, formal gowns and mother-of- the-bride dresses. The ready-made dresses range in price from $200 to “the sky’s the limit,” Moore said. What sets Pamela Moore Bridals apart, however, is the custom work Moore does, particularly restyling and reusing old gowns. While today a bride who chooses to repurpose a dress might be considered “going green,” Moore has been “recycling” gowns for years. Whether for sentimental or philosophical reasons, brides go to Moore with what she calls “family gowns”— gowns worn by mothers and grandmothers and passed down — to wear on their own wedding day. It might be resizing a gown, using part of the original dress such as the antique lace, or completely tearing it apart to recreate a new look. Regardless of the need, Moore works closely...

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Design Observed: The Hill that Became a House — Living Beneath the Ground

Design Observed The Hill that Became a House: Living Beneath the Earth By Stacey Kors Down a winding dirt road, past a traditional, mustard-colored, New England farmhouse, lies the unexpected: a curving, contemporary glass-and-concrete structure, befitting a museum in Paris more than a home in Putney, Vermont. It’s no surprise, then, that the residence was inspired by the chapel Notre-Dame-du-Haut, an icon of postmodernism built by celebrated French architect Le Corbusier in the mountain village of Ronchamp, France. I went to France as small boy, and later spent a summer there as a language student,” says Tim Cowles, owner and designer of the house. “Le Corbusier’s chapel really inspired me. So you can see who I’m copying!” What makes Cowles’ residence even more unusual is that it’s mostly subterranean, nestled into the steep slope of a verdant Vermont hillside. “It was funny building this,” recalls Cowles, standing on his grass-covered roof and showing off his newly installed solar panels for electricity and additional heat, “because people would hear about this and come out to see it, and it looked horrendous, like a bunker. The crew would go down to the general store to have lunch, and they would hear all these rumors and they would come back and say, oh, the thing has collapsed, or it’s cracked, or some nonsense like that.” Although Cowles is a visual artist with no formal architectural training, his father was an architect (now retired), and influenced Cowles from an early age. “My dad taught himself to draw when he was in architecture school,” says Cowles. “He felt that architects should know how to draw, and many of them didn’t. And he encouraged us kids to draw when we were small. While Cowles ultimately chose art over architecture, “I still always wanted to design my own house.” In a sense, Cowles ended up acting as the contractor for his home as well. “I had to oversee everyone—the concrete guy, the carpenter, etc. And it was pretty hard to find someone to do this. Big concrete guys just weren’t willing to work on something this small.” Sited on 22 acres, Cowles’ sprawling home was constructed in two separate sections: a 2000-square-foot, two bedroom, two bath space with separate office in 1981, and, following Cowles’ marriage in 1987, a 1000-square-foot addition featuring an airy artist’s studio and full apartment, with garage and parking pad above. “The original space was big,” explains Cowles, “but there was no laundry, and no heat in some of it. It wasn’t very well set up for more than one person.” With its mixture of tropically colored, washed concrete walls, knotty pine...

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Carolyn Partridge: Behind the Politics

Carolyn Partridge: Behind the Politics By Joyce Marcel Carolyn Partridge lives many complex lives at once. She is a wife, a mother, a farmer, an artist and the owner of a business that sells woolen yarn she takes from her own sheep and goats. She is also serving her seventh term in the Vermont Legislature as one of two representatives from the Windham-4 District. (She served two terms as House Majority Leader and now chairs the Agriculture Committee.) Carolyn Partridge: Behind the Politics By Joyce Marcel Carolyn Partridge lives many complex lives at once. She is a wife, a mother, a farmer, an artist and the owner of a business that sells woolen yarn she takes from her own sheep and goats. She is also serving her seventh term in the Vermont Legislature as one of two representatives from the Windham-4 District. (She served two terms as House Majority Leader and now chairs the Agriculture Committee.) Keeping all these threads together requires a discipline bordering on Zen. That’s why she is always knitting. “That’s my therapy,” she said. Watching Partridge wrestle a full-sized sheep to the ground and sheer it is so entertaining that she should sell tickets. She dyes the fiber with beautiful colors that she creates herself and sells them in her business, Good Shepherd Yarn (goodshepherdyarn.com). She and her husband, Alan Partridge, live on a farm in Windham among several dogs and cats, 22 ewes, two rams, eight angora goats, eight Scottish Highland cattle and an indeterminate number of chickens. Partridge, who was born in New Jersey in 1949, came to Vermont from New York City in 1972. She said she was burned out by city life. “One day in New York I came upon a man lying in a pool of blood on University Avenue,” she said. “Cars where whizzing by and no one was doing anything. I shouted for help—and he was alive—and people did respond. The police and ambulance came. I walked up to my apartment 100 feet away and realized I needed to find a place that perhaps was more restoring.” Soon she was living in Saxtons River, where she adopted four goats. “The first time I ever milked a goat, there were tears running down my cheeks because it hurt so much,” she said. “You have to really build up your hands.” Next—at a time when wool fiber had very little value—she adopted a herd of 20 sheep. When they were shorn a career was born. “I realized that if I was going to make money, I really needed to create a value-added product from the wool fiber,” Partridge said. “I...

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Marketplace

Marketplace Marketplace Links:  VERMONT ARTISAN DESIGNS — EDDINGTON HOUSE INN — CLEARLAKE FURNITURE — NEWFANE COUNTRY STORE — BEADNIKS — NEW ENGLAND YOUTH...

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