Resa McConaghy, Designer & Photographer

One of the joys of writing a blog is the feeling of community. You get to meet some amazingly talented people, and reading about their passions inspires me to follow my own dreams. One of my blog friends, Resa McConaghy, whom I know as a designer of Art Gowns and a Photographer through her blogs, asked me if I would take part in an interview. I really enjoyed answering her questions and was thrilled with her blog post which you can read here: Soprano Charlotte Hoather  An Art Gowns Interview

I asked Resa if she wouldn’t mind reciprocating so I could share a little about her with those of you who may not have come across her before.  So here are my questions and I hope you find her answers as interested as I did.

When did you first start your blog and what got you into it?

I started my first blog about 8 years ago. I had decided I was going to be a writer. I did reviews about the goings-on and business reviews in my hood. Yes, I have written 5 screenplays and 1 novel. Things changed. That blog became my professional website. Then I started my Art Gowns & GLAM blogs.

What is your absolute favourite costume you’ve ever created?

It is the hero costume for the Raven. You could say it is her Super Hero Outfit she wears when out doing her capers. It was a TV series I did, in 1999. It’s based on the movie, “Highlander”. Then there was a series “Highlander”. Then a spin off, “Highlander the Raven”. The Raven was played by Elizabeth Gracen (Miss America 1982)

The highlander is immortal. You can kill Raven, but she comes back to life. She is a thousand years old. I did a lot of FAB designs on that series, but the hero coat rules. See it at the beginning of the title sequence!

What is the most challenging thing to do in your work? 

The most challenging thing about working in film is feeding the camera. We start out prepping the wants and needs of the director and producer(s). Then satisfying the lead actors with the designs is very important. Then shooting begins. The camera usually only stops on the weekends, but I keep working in a desperate attempt to get and stay ahead of the camera. There are slews of last-minute day players, extras, changing schedules & extra last-minute set requests. I might have an hour or minutes to come up with something. The biggest, costliest sin in film, is keeping the set waiting, not having what each camera needs when it is demanded. It’s very stressful, especially if one is bent on doing the best one can.

Do you ever make your partner’s stage wear?

When he performed a lot, I designed and made all of his stage and video performance costumes. Now, he composes, arranges and produces music for film and television. Lol, one of the Art Gowns, Lady Anne, is made from an old leather coat, and studded leather pants from those days. I dedicated Lady Anne to him.

I love your gowns and your photography site. What would you ideally like to be doing in the next couple of years if every wish could be granted?

Art Gowns being truly recognized, as being art, is my wish. Many like yourself get it. The art is partly in the craft. Art Gowns are made from up-cycled, repurposed, recycled, product out of scraps and time’s abandoned fads in fabrics.

Each gown is draped, and sewn by hand. I was working on a show of sorts, as I have a lot of drawings and 18 paintings of my Art Gowns that would be for sale. All of that is on hold.

What’s your favourite outfit for an artist you’ve designed ever, who wore it and where?

Outfits.. Again, I come to my film work. Helen Mirren portrayed Ayn Rand in “The Passion of Ayn Rand”. I had a lot of research material. Still, there was a lot of extrapolation required. Some of the outfits were styled from vintage pieces that worked for the character in the era. Others I designed, in that spirit. The clothes were built by the talented design room crew.

Vanessa Williams (Miss America 1984) played Hazel Scott, in SHOWTIME’s “Keep The Faith, Baby”. Hazel, a jazz pianist and singer, married Adam Clayton Powell Jr.  He was the first African-American to be elected from Harlem, New York to Congress. Vanessa’s character was very glamorous. I designed gowns and many fabulous outfits for her & her character.

I love your second blog site what got you interested in wall murals have you ever been tempted to paint one?

When my mom was in her last days, she was in a nursing home in Winnipeg. I moved there for her last 3 months, to be near her. Her window had an odd view of a very old hotel’s parking lot. There was a mural of Charlie Chaplin on a wall. He had stayed there in his Vaudeville days. I took a few shots of it. Anyway, I would take breaks from visiting my mom, by taking walks around the home. There were scads of murals. I shot them all. They were a joyful distraction at a very hard time for me. Street Art helped me get through. It still helps me get through other trials of life. I would love to paint a mural of Art Gowns. However, so far I have only painted some street art poetry, by Charlie Zero on one of my doors. The city has painted over it every time.

I would encourage you to check out her blogs if you have not visited her sites before 🙂

59 thoughts on “Resa McConaghy, Designer & Photographer

  1. Dear Charlotte,
    I loved the Blog post on Arts and Blogging is truly a blessing to yourself as well as all the people that it touches. I have been Blogging for seven years now and it helps me to relieve stress from my mental illness. I thank God for you and your Blog as well as your singing. May God bless your marriage and your career sincerely.

    1. Blogging can be very therapeutic Rev. Tim. I love that when I’m travelling or alone in a hotel room or digs I can read blogs from friends in different time zones and connect it is a stress reliever. I have loved seeing Resa’s imagination and skill creating her art gowns.
      To blog for seven years is a big achievement, Resa eight years and next March will be my 8th anniversary so we all started around the same time happy coincidence.
      Thanks for reading and best wishes to you,

    1. I loved finding a little more out about Resa and I always enjoy her posts. Thanks Timothy.
      Best wishes

      1. Resa is a treasure overflowing with happiness, talent, experience and creativeness. I can say the same for you, Charlotte. You two run in parallel artistic spheres spreading joy using your talents to make the world a better place.

  2. Dear Charlotte!
    Thank you so much for this post. It’s like a gift.
    Between the 2 interviews, we have gotten to know each other a bit better. The world is our electronic oyster.
    I adored all of your answers, and those who follow my blog did as well. I hope your followers enjoy my answers as much!
    Well….THANK YOU!!!!!!
    I reiterate, your new blog theme is fab, and how it is presented is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. You are most welcome Resa the gift is you. I loved your questions I’d never thought about some of the questions you asked me before and it’s given me something new to think about.
      I assumed most of your work was for stage productions so I was really thrilled to learn more about your tv and film work and that you have worked with Helen Mirren one of my favourite actresses was a pleasant surprise.
      I’m so happy you like the new blog theme its been fun to work on it.
      Best wishes

    1. I agree Christine, I love to learn about different lives in different parts of the Country and it expands my imagination. Do check out Resa’s blog the outside murals they have in Canada are stunning.
      Best wishes

  3. What a beautiful interview, my dear Charlotte! Resa is a dear friend whose work I really admire. Thank you so much for this… and a wonderful ‘follow up’ from the interview Resa did of you! Many hugs to both!

    1. Thank you Marina, I too love Resa’s gowntoons, designs, eye for beautiful art. It was a great opportunity rather than just re-post Resa’s challenging questions to me. Resa invited me to respond to comments on her blog which I’m never sure whether to do or not she is very kind.
      Best wishes and hugs to you x

  4. I do enjoy both of Resa’s blogs. No, I may not be the biggest fan of gowns in general, but I like how she uses her blog friends in capers with her gowns 🙂 Nice interview. Now I’ll have to run over to her place and read her interview of you.

    1. It s a good thing Resa isn’t in London I’d be popping in to borrow a gown all the time. I love Resa’s gown ideas but like you I also like her take on her new characters drawn from her and some of our blogging friends.
      Best wishes

  5. Charlotte – a brilliant interview with great questions. I enjoy following Resa’s blogs and I am looking forward to following yours. So many great conversations waiting for our arrival in 2021!

    1. Thank you 🙂 its good to have positive things to look forward to in 2021. It’s been lovely getting to know Resa better and to meet lovely bloggers through these interviews.
      Best wishes

  6. Wow, two very interesting interview. Beautiful work art from Resa – And Yes , would be great to listen You and George making Opéra rock – hope we could be some short rock video and pictures next year !!!

    All the best for you and your artist friend !! xx

    1. A rock opera sounds interesting, I’ve never sung in that style although some new contemporary opera can explore new themes. I have been on a real learning curve on indoor video with green screen very challenging if you have any ideas to explore let me know.
      Best wishes

      1. With the green screen you can try to take the camera and the feet and with George make videos in Picadilly, or in the passage of scotland yard, or film the London eye wheel wen it move, or the double deck buses. When you are in the picture, you stay on the left of the frame.
        Afterwards, at home, in front of the screen towards, you view the image and put yourself on the right, or you film george also on the right. then you mix up the images. The result will show you how to play with differences in landscape size, with managing things that move, and you will see that the ideas will come to you on their own. You can do a duet with yourself, george who plays the piano in the street etc, make you giants or liliputians in the city ….. Te best for you

    1. Thank you Cindy. Blogging certainly makes the world a little smaller and allows us to meet people and see things such as those you show in your fabulous photographs that I can only dream of seeing.
      Stay safe and well my friend,

      1. Hi Norman 🙋🏼‍♀️I love that you checked in especially to comment, I loved the poem and photo of you two on Holly’s blog and Resa does talk about you I almost feel I know you even though we’ve not met. Thanks again for dropping by.
        All my best wishes to you,
        Charlotte x

  7. I loved your interview, Blondie and Kate Bush. Two of my fav singers. Different styles and I can see you doing both. Those dress designs would be a stunning combination. Great interview back too. Keep safe. 👍

    1. Thank you, Kate Bush is my Mum’s favourite artist so I grew up listening to all her cds. Actually my Mum’s got a really eclectic taste in music everything from Blondie and Prince to Eminem.
      Best wishes

  8. Oh this is amazing in every way. Loved learning so much more about Resa. And she’s captured you well in the gown. I always think she has this ability with the tiniest brush stroke that way. Wonderful blog.

    1. Even Resa’s detailing in the picture the hatches # that suggest a musical score it would be lovely in a fabric print. I like the picture she drew of my head listening to my music! I’m really pleased you liked the interviews.
      Best wishes always,

  9. Charlotte and Resa, I enjoyed reading your interviews of each other! You are both very talented people, and most importantly, very good people. Wishing you both every success in life! <3

  10. Wonderful interview, Charlotte! Glad to know a Canadian connection in the blogosphere. 😀Resa’s interview of you is enjoyable too. Love her drawings!

  11. Lovely interview and I went and read the interview you did with Resa – what fascinating work she does. I love those Art Gowns. Sewing is very much part of our family life. My daughter in London does work some work for TV shows and House and Garden, so these post chimed for me.

    1. Thank you Hilary I’m glad they chimed with you. Last Christmas I ordered my Mum a H&G subscription she loves that magazine.

      I’ve always enjoyed textile design but the actual stitching especially hand stitching is a test of patience and Resa has it in abundance.

      Best wishes

  12. Dear Charlotte, I am so delighted to find this interview with our finest fashionista Resa McConaghy. I adore her to the moon, she is such a splendid friend and gifted to the max in all she does. Her background in fashion/design is so impressive, I’m always awed when I learn more and more about her past endeavors and projects and she still continues to wow us with her talents in art and story/drama abilities. Is there anything she can’t do…no!! Thank you , you’ve done such a wonderful job and you are truly beautiful as is our lovely Resa. You are quite the pair here. Sending much love and hugsoxoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you, dearest Holly! I adore you to the moon, too.
      I’m honoured beyond words that Charlotte did this interview! xoxoxo

    2. Thank you Holly :), I loved the blog posts you did in collaboration with Resa. I do miss my group musical collaborations so blogging teamwork help to fill that gap in my life at the moment.

      Love and hugs back to you xx

  13. Hi Charlotte,
    Resa’s recollection of the Chaplin image recalls the power of art portrayed in Sandro Kopp’s interview by Andrew Tischler when I believe he was visiting a dying relative in a hospital.

    Auf wiedersehen, Fraulein Mozart

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