Dress by Patrick

One of the more unique designs sent in was this one by Patrick of Chicago. He has an unusual other-worldly backstory for his design:
patrickMy name is Patrick O’Connor. I’m a retired academic dean, living in Chicago and a long-time reader of LUANN. After I retired, my daughter and wife encouraged me to join the Chicagoland Costumers’ Guild. Your character, Gunther, especially resonated with me as a guy who has taught himself to use a sewing machine.

My fellow-costumer (and President of the International Costumers’ Guild) Phil Gust (your contest winner!), has encouraged me to write my story, regarding my entry number 272.

Since I retired, I’ve done some costume design for masquerades at science-fiction conventions, and even won a few prizes with my entries. At present, I’m vice president of the Chicagoland chapter of the Guild. I’m also their webmaster (www.chicostume.org) as well as printing the International Costumers’ Guild’s newsletter, and having been its editor for several years.

Before I retired in 2007, I had been Dean of the Electronics and Computer Technology program at (DeVry University) the second-largest university in Illinois, and was in my 40th year there teaching STEM and technical writing courses when I retired. I was also a published author of Prentice-Hall textbooks with titles like ‘Digital and Microprocessor Technology,’ and ‘Voice/Data Telecommunications.’

Costuming has been quite a change from my former life, but I wasn’t too old to re-invent myself…

Design 272 has its roots in a science-fiction trilogy I self-published on Amazon Kindle Books. When doing the cover design for NaDii, the heroine on the cover of Good Vibrations, Book One of the HaChii Concatenation trilogy, I wanted an ‘off-world’ look for her outfit. That multi-layered look was what I elaborated into Toni’s wedding dress for my entry. Toni said she wanted a white wedding dress, so I didn’t use the colors NaDii wore in the cover art for my e-Book.

I enjoy science fiction and various kinds of designing (I designed Ray Bradbury’s Hugo Award) and am a fan of the space program in all its aspects. My wife and I were lab partners in nuclear physics in college, have been married for 47 years, have two daughters and seven grandkids, including twins who were born on the day the New Horizons mission launched to Pluto. Attending last Summer’s Pluto Flyby as VIP guests of the Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Lab was one of the high spots of our lives as ‘techies.’

I didn’t put Toni’s likeness on the dress design since I was afraid it would be an infringement of copyright, which was forbidden in your guidelines. I did my own artwork for the book cover, though…Take a look on Amazon I DO know how to draw a face…really!

I hope that wasn’t too long a story,


Pat O’Connor