Sapphic Sewing Circle

My Dream Sewing Circle

Who would be in your Hollywood Sewing Circle / lesbian Parisian salon?
In my timeless, dream queer sewing circle...


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Lesbian Sewing Circles & Lesbian Parisian Salons

Bring back lesbian sewing circles. Swiping, utterly, sucks! Tipsily, I've registered on dating sites but next day, lost my mojo on interacting. Bring me back to sipping fizz with my fab sewing circle pose in Soho gay bars, First Out... queer indie clubbing at the Ghetto & Popstars and, being introduced to sewing circle friends of friends or eyes meeting across the dancefloor...

Though relieved to be born in this time - WOW, I would have liked to have hung out in the Hollywood Sewing Circle and Natalie Barney's salon (without any dramas - me, a good girl) ......

Natalie Barney's Salon:
Openly out, Natalie Barney (a wealthy American poet and writer) ran a weekly salon from her home in 20 rue Jacob, Paris, where many of the coolest 20c artists, intellectuals and writers hung out, from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. Fabulously over the years, she hosted hundreds of famous guests including Colette, Gertrude Stein, Isadora Duncan... as well as artists Auguste Rodin, poet T.S. Eliot, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, and arts patron Peggy Guggenheim, among others. Dance performances, literary readings, musical concerts and plays were held there. Perhaps this inspired my fav Pet Shop Boys video / track "Being Boring" and their lyric "She was never being boring, as she was never bored" (a quote from Zelda Fitzgerald)?

The Hollywood Sewing Circle:
There is contention as to who came up with the term "The Hollywood sewing circle". Alla Nazimova (a Russian-American actress) is credited as coming up with term "The Sewing Circle" as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses. Thereafter, Marlene Dietrich secretly called her group of Hollywood lesbian and bi women stars, her "Sewing Circle". As documented by Axel Madsen in his book The Sewing Circle (1996), this included a surprising array of key Hollywood stars: Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankhead, Katherine Cornell, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford. Others whose secret lives were divulged, include: Maude Adams, Lynn Fontanne, Myrna Loy, Edith Head, Janet Gaynor, Jill Esmond, Elsa Lanchester, Isadora Duncan, Laurette Taylor, Libby Holman, Marjorie Main, Agnes Moorehead, and Dame Judith Anderson. They met at one another's Hollywood houses for lunch, conversation and... aye! Mercedes de Acosta (a playwright...) seems to have struck it very lucky there.

Caveat
Holy Moly! This Lockdown 2 project got so much bigger than I intended! I am a collator & cropper - certainly not a writer :( Please forgive any unbeknown favouritism. I confess, and so not meant rude, I am into multi visual cinema and sound beats but lack the attention to read and watch, few-scene theatre. Moreover, and shame on me, I am a still a behind the scenes supporter on all things. My dream lesbian sewing circle is v personal to me but not meant detrimental to all the stellar woman who have stood so gallantly for our lesbian community.

Special Shout Out...
In my dream Sewing Circle, to... Annie Leibovitz who appeared at her opening during an Edinburgh International Festival. She autographed a beautiful postcard of her slick pic of Olympic Diver, Greg Louganis, for me. Of course I was too tongue-tied to say how awesome I thought her work was (had no idea she was cake!). Hurrah, she spelt my name wrong (it is Germanised) so she wrote a v sweet and treasured, sorry amendment. Blown-up, it is displayed in my flat so hugely, proudly. Thank you Annie Leibovitz - you so rock!

Sewing Circle: Adèle Haenel

Adèle Haenel

Too... tongue-tied (no pun intended) to speak :(

Actress: 1989

Sewing Circle: Guinevere Turner

Guinevere Turner

To... hug her for tipping... me over, the edge.

Actress: 1969

Sewing Circle: Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

To... encourage me to be a sassy beecharmer.

Actress: 1939

Sewing Circle: Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

To... escort me to schwul Weimer cabarets.

Queen of The Sewing Circle: 1901 - 1992

Sewing Circle: Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

To... slam some tequilas on Día de Muertos.

Artist: 1907 - 1954

Sewing Circle: Romaine Brooks

Romaine Brooks

To.. nuture me on sounding cool at art openings.

Artist: 1874 – 1970

Sewing Circle: Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith

To... help me suss a whodunit.

Author: 1921 - 1995

Sewing Circle: Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters

To... get lowdown on Victorian Sapphic slang.

Author: 1966

Sewing Circle: Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma

To... hmmm, I would be too in awe, to speak!

Film Director & Screenwriter: 1978

Sewing Circle: Dorothy Arzner

Dorothy Arzner

Saw 1st movies, talkies, colour, Hays code...

American Film Director: 1897 – 1979

Sewing Circle: Greta Schiller

Greta Schiller

To... brainstorm new Sapphic docs - soooo many!

Documentary Filmmaker: X

Sewing Circle: Irene Sharaff

Irene Sharaff

To... talk catwalks and, design me slick wear.

Film Costume Designer: 1910 – 1993

Sewing Circle: Rachel Morrison

Rachel Morrison

To... debate the slickest cinematographic flicks.

Cinematographer: 1978

Sewing Circle: Gia

Gia

To... talk fashion rocks and, drugs sucks :(

Model: 1960 - 1986

Sewing Circle: Renata Borgatti

Renata Borgatti

To... seduce me, reduce me, play me Debussy.

Classical Pianist: 1894 – 1964

Sewing Circle: Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Sonia Wieder-Atherton

To... play me mellow cello pieces.

Classical Cellist: 1961

Sewing Circle: Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp

To... reminisce over indie muzic subcultures.

Singer: 1966

Sewing Circle: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

For... ,with her pose, boozing, blues battle offs!

Singer: 1894 – 1937

Dream Sewing Circles: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

To... sing me the blues under a blue moon.

Singer: 1915 – 1959

Sewing Circle: Joan Jett

Joan Jett

To... rock and roll the nite away.

Singer: 1958

Sewing Circle: Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker

To.. hug her for being a French Resistance agent.

Singer: 1906 - 1975

Sewing Circle: Julie d'Aubigny, Mademoiselle Maupin

Julie d'Aubigny, Mademoiselle Maupin

To... serenade me and then, fence me!

Opera Singer: 1670/1673 - 1707

Sewing Circle: Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

To... illuminate brightness and contrast, to me.

Photographer: 1908 - 1942

Sewing Circle: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

To... teach me composed image composition.

Photographer: 1949

Sewing Circle: Sappho

Sappho

It's my timeless soiré :) Sappho!

Poet: c. 610 - c. 570 bce

Sewing Circle: Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein

To... master me on onomatopoeia and alliteration.

Poet: 1874 - 1946

Sewing Circle: Dorothy Patten

Dorothy Patten

To... dis the Hollywood Hays Code.

Theatre Producer & Actress: 1905 – 1975

Sewing Circle: Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova

To... ask if she does eat v yummy Pavlova.

Stage Ballerina: 1881 – 1931

Sewing Circle: Mercedes de Acosta

Mercedes de Acosta

To... divulge Hollywood deviancies.

Queen of The Sewing Circle: 1892 – 1968

Sewing Circle: Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney

To... reveal salacious salon scandals.

Queen of Parisian Salons: 1876 - 1972

Sewing Circle: Mummy

Mummy

To... be alive, and hang out with some Sapphires.

Mummy: X - 2010