Who is Gayle Schliemann?
Gayle was the little girl who asked her parents every year for a sewing machine and got every present under the sun BUT a sewing machine. Ironically, when she purchased her own high-end European made machine, she loved it so much that she started working for a store that carried the brand. Several years later, Gayle is the Marketing Manager at BERNINA of America responsible for national promotions and sponsorships. She’s worn many hats in the sewing industry from owning her own quilt shop, being a BERNINA district sales manager to her current position. However, her sewing passion began in costuming and garment construction. She graduated from Theatre VCU and after that, She was self-employed as a custom dressmaker which evolved into designing and creating themed wedding and bridesmaid dresses with a theatrical flair. Naturally, Cosplay has re-energized her origins.
She made her first Cosplay, Leeloo Dallas from the 1997 film, The Fifth Element, for the 2015 New York Comic Con. Wearing the costume in public was unnerving at first, but one step into the Javitt’s Center and Gayle felt like a celebrity. It was “Leeloo” this and “Leeloo” that. She must have stopped for over 100 photos just in the first hour. Instantly, Gayle understood the appeal of Cosplay. Since that first experience, Gayle makes around four costumes a year to debut at various cons.
In addition to Cosplay, she also make costumes for other events. Recreationally she takes flying trapeze classes. Like recitals, each group of classes ends in a show put on for friends and family. This event requires a different sort of costume construction; items that will allow her to hang upside down, get her legs around a bar, etc. Chicago is full of celebrations and there are many themed parties to attend at the holidays, which have different themes every year; steampunk masquerade, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch and others. Last year’s BERNINA Christmas party was a Charles Dicken’s theme one. Naturally, she dressed up and that costume has evolved into my Mary Poppins creation.
Gayle Lives in Naperville, Illinois with her little fur-baby, Camilla Barker Bowles – an English bulldog with a sassy attitude, who often models Gayle’s creations.