For me, New Year always brings with it the setting of intentions or clarifying of thought, both personal and work based. A lot of it is just reminding myself of my business and what it is. That may sound daft, but micro businesses like mine need regular staff meetings – which means talking to myself and refocusing. So here’s some recent thoughts about my wedding work. It’s a bit stream of consciousness, but hey, that’s how I roll sometimes!
The wedding industry is part of the fashion industry and influenced by it. The pressures on women to look and behave in a certain way are immense and I try not to subscribe wholly to this, and to keep it real and authentic.
In a recent interview in the Observer Magazine (16.12.18) stylist Grace Woodward said of fashion, “It’s an industry, not an art”, meaning in part that this is what it has become in the context of disposable, fast fashion and how it is promoted. Of course fashion has always been an industry and this has been important economically, but this tapped into something about how I have been thinking about my wedding work recently, and how I see it going forward.
In this world of mass production and wasteful fashion, I provide a slow service. I’m really into this right now. I’ve always been into that. It doesn’t mean I work slowly! But that this is a service that takes many hours of work, and is therefore not a quick fix service.
This is an artisan dressmaking and design service for wedding dresses, wedding clothes and occasion wear. An art, not an industry.
(Or more of an art than an industry: a cottage industry.)
Made to order, made to fit, custom made, custom designed, bespoke. Wedding dresses are very often one offs, but I have often altered gowns for my brides after the event, or re-purposed them for into a more everyday-wearable garment. What could be made from your dress?
I’m a designer and dressmaker, or seamstress. But I hate that word – the fact that it applies only to women and has the word ‘stress’ in it! Is there such a thing as a seamster? (I’ve just looked it up and there is – apparently it’s a gender neutral term! I am a seamster!)
I specialise in designing and making bespoke bridal gowns and wedding outfits for brides and mothers of the bride and groom, and occasion-wear for that special party you are planning.
When I first set up my business in 99/00 my business strap-line was ‘Bridal-wear, Ballgowns and Party Dresses’ and this is just as relevant now as it was at the start.
I make each dress individually for each client, using couture processes, lots of hand and machine sewing, sketches, and making paper patterns and toiles (prototypes) for each individual client to check the fit and design are perfect.
You don’t have to fit a category, look, shape, size or age of woman to have a dress (or other occasionwear) made by me. I like to cater for all – I am fascinated by people, non-judgemental and I enjoy a challenge! So just show up as you.
Your wedding clothes or bridal gown is an opportunity to express yourself; to conform, or not, it’s entirely up to you. I will be there to guide and assist you on your journey, and to help make it a fun and reassuring experience. I want you to feel great, and to look and feel beautiful – however that works and defines itself for you – on your wedding day or at your event. We are on a bespoke journey together towards a unique outcome – you looking and feeling fantastic, in a garment that fits! Yay! 😀
Here are some FAQs about my bespoke service if you’re thinking of going down the bespoke route.