If you were to ask my family when I started sewing, they would say, ‘I was born with a needle and thread in my hand’! A family trait, my granny in Jamaica was a designer and business woman, with a team of seamstresses. My dad always had hand tailored suits, my mum taught me how to sew, knit and crochet.
However, before I was to pick up where granny left off, I would have a varied freelance career in sales, television, fashion and work as a PA. The one constant, I was always sewing, and designing my own clothes, plus my love for fabrics. I was often being asked if I would make garments for others and a small clientele was building. Little did I know this hobby would take on a life of its own, bringing to fruition the atelier of Coral Turner Couture.
The Turning Point
A meeting with Betty Halbriech co-author of Secrets of a Fashion Therapist and Style Consultant at Bergdorf Goodman New York, Betty’s advice to me was to “define the designer I wanted to be”.
Coral at Bergdorf Goodman New York
Then, there was a client who said to me, “wouldn’t it be nice if when women wanted a ready-to-wear garment no-one else had, they they’d say, “I’ll go to Coral’s”.
That’s how the label Exclusive Originals, one-of-a-kind dresses by Coral Turner came into being, and now for a little conversation between you and I.
Why one-of-a-kind dresses? A dress is a statement piece in any woman’s wardrobe. On the rare occasion where I have purchased a garment, I’ve been on the receiving end, turning up to an event, seeing someone in the same outfit as me, I didn’t like it. If that’s vanity, then guilty as charged. I decided after that incident that the dresses and garments I make will be one-of-a-kind.
So the dresses on the website are they one-of-kind, can I purchase now? Yes, each dress on my website has been handmade by me, (unlike granny I don’t have a team of seamstresses). They are available to buy now, in the size listed; just put her in your shopping cart, and she will be sent to you in her own presentation box.
OK, so I like a particular dress but it’s not in my size? You can make an appointment to visit me at my studio and have the designed style made for you, however it will not be in the exact same patterned fabric as on the website. This way I ensure exclusivity to you, alternatively there is bespoke and you can choose your own fabric.
Why not the same fabric as on the website? I believe in exclusivity. I have a collection of fabrics from my travels often a couple of metres, plus I only buy small runs of fabric that aren’t repeated. The only time I use the same fabric would be for a different garment, a top for example.
Are all the dresses on the website? No, at the studio I have more dresses available, along with one-of-a-kind tops for day and evening. You can make an appointment to view the collection telephone 0207 732 7528, if I am not available its because I am working, leave a message and I will call you back.
How would you describe the brand? Like the owner, Coral Turner Couture is a happy, small intimate brand that is all about exclusivity, quality, craftsmanship, unusual fabrics, distinctive detailing. Dresses of true quality and luxury, using skills from a bygone era, worn by individuals who celebrate their unique style of dressing, knowing that ‘you are the only one’ wearing that dress!