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Elvis jumpsuit
Photo by Glenn Olsen /Nanaimo Daily News

Seamstress to the Kings

Innis alumna suits up Elvis tribute artists

When Eleanor von Boetticher strode out of Convocation Hall with a political science degree tucked under her arm, who would have guessed she’d become famous for her Elvis costumes? Back in 1990, the Innis grad wasn’t big on the King, but she did love to sew. After earning a costume studies certificate, her measuring-tape skills cinched her contracts with the National Ballet and, later, the X-Men 3 and Catwoman films.

After an Elvis tribute artist asked her to create an outfit, von Boetticher’s business began to shake, rattle and roll with replica requests. Her top-seller is the Aloha jumpsuit ($1,750), which has an American eagle emblazoned in studs on the chest and back. She double stitches the seams so they won’t blow out when Elvis tribute artists perform his famous pelvis swivel.

“The term ‘Elvis impersonator’ isn’t liked,” she says. “These artists don’t want to be Elvis, they want to keep his memory alive.” To view von Boetticher’s portfolio, visit

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