All posts by twolfe

Imke Hille ’02 Designs For Good and Beauty

Courtesy of Imke Hille
Courtesy of Imke Hille

While her time at Williston Northampton School was short, just one year, the experience continues to be an important one for Imke Hille ’02. Now a model with an eye on creating a niche brand of lingerie—a brand focused on design, materials, and sustainability—Ms. Hille reflects on her career, how it evolved from a childhood interest, and the impact a year abroad had on her.

How did you get interested in fashion design and what formal training did you have?
I was always interested in fashion. When I was about seven years old I used to draw little collections, or do collages where I glued fabrics on the women I drew. When I studied fashion at ESMOD (International University of Art for Fashion in Berlin) we actually did those too and called them “volume collages.” By the age of 12 I used to design dresses for my Barbie dolls out of my mom’s old stockings. I still have pictures of that.

What inspired you to start your own company?
Being able to realize my very own style.

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A Great Weekend for Homecoming

(and a wine and beer tour of the Valley)

UntitledWe had terrific weather for Homecoming Weekend, and everyone enjoyed the four terrific food trucks—the Bistro Bus, SugarBakers Cupcake Truck, Chef Bob’s Buns on the Run, and the Holyoke Hummus Company owned by John Grossman ’87. Because of the Shaler Invitational the trucks stayed out on Galbraith Fields longer than planned, but the weather was great and the crowds were enjoying the afternoon. Paul Bricker in the Physical Plant Department deserves special thanks for making sure that electricity got to all the food trucks and staying to make sure nothing went amiss.

At 3:00 p.m., the Pioneer Valley Beer and Wine Tour began. Although it was a smaller group, we had a great time. A Williston bus pulling in to a brewery or winery did get some stares, which was everyone found funny. It was great having Sara Harvey Lapan ’91, P’18 attend with her husband David and David’s parents, along with other alumni and faculty and staff.Untitled3

Our first stop was Mineral Hills Winery (also known as Goddard Farms Orchards) in Florence. They import their grapes from California but also make an apple wine and a honey mead wine from apples and grapes grown in Massachusetts. The owner’s son went to Williston Northampton (Charles Goddard ’09) and is currently studying in Paris. Beyond the wine, they also make their own honey. Untitled2The next stop was Black Birch. The winery is an idyllic setting, up on a hill with grapevines growing in the background and a view of Mt. Tom and Valley. We enjoyed some terrific wines, including Epic, a white blend, and Iced Wine. From Black Birch we headed to Abandoned Building Brewery, which is behind Eastworks. The neighborhood is starting to be home to more breweries, including New City Brewery, which just opened.

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Five Questions for Karen Fawcett ’64

When her husband was temporarily relocated in 1988, Karen Fawcett ’64 moved, begrudgingly, to Paris. She quickly found that she was able to travel around the European Union and parts of Asia with relative ease. Over the next twenty plus years Ms. Fawcett has written for the international edition of USA Today and kept up, a website dedicated to helping American tourists discover the hidden secrets of the City of Light.

Why do you love France, especially Paris, so much?
I’m very lucky to have lived in Washington and Boston, both really lovely cities, but it’s the excitement of Paris that keeps me intrigued. It’s the quality of life, being able to walk everywhere. No matter what day of the week I walk out of my apartment I see something new.

Do you visit other parts of France as well, or just stay in Paris mostly?
We had a house in Provence for nearly 15 years and that was a wonderful experience, but I am not a country girl. I am happiest in Paris.

How did you come up with the idea for
In fact, I inherited the website from a colleague who was returning to Washington. Back then, when I took over, I found the Internet scary. Now, I’m proud to say that was one of the first travel websites recognized by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs press office.

Have you ever felt scared while traveling in a foreign country?
No, but I’ve been challenged. Once, in Istanbul, a man tried to pull a necklace right off my neck. The thing to remember is not to look scared. If you think of it as an adventure, keep your cool, and not put yourself in dangerous situations, you’ll be fine.

Returning to the Pioneer Valley, who was your favorite teacher at Northampton School for Girls?
Mrs. Cantorella, my English teacher, hands down. She was everyone’s favorite teacher because she made English come alive. In her classroom, literature became 3D.

Tips for Travelling:
–  Never walk around with your passport. Photocopy the important pages to carry on your person and leave the real document in your hotel.

–  Take enough cash to get you through a day and have your ATM card on you so that you can get more cash easily.

–  Travel carefully and smartly, and remember just because you’re having a lovely time that doesn’t mean there aren’t pickpockets.