There’s a fashion quote which resonates with me “Don’t change to fit fashion, change the fashion to fit You” Inescapable Beauty. Other than a working uniform as part of a job, I’ve never been the kind of person who has wanted to dress the same as everyone else, and I know there are other women out there who share the same sentiment.
There’s also the dreaded, turning up to an event and seeing someone else wearing the exact same outfit as you; I know from personal experience how mortifying this can be, but funny enough I’m OK when it comes to shoes, however for my dresses, tops, coats etc., its a no-no.
I also don’t believe in ‘throw away fashion’, did you know there was a time when the majority of women would go to a dressmaker and have a garment made, and it was not for a special occasion? Men are still going to tailors to have suits made, my Dad always had ‘handmade tailored suits’ and he looked amazing. My mum would either make some of her own outfits or have a dressmaker make her garments. One of my aunties was renown for making the most glamorous of evening dresses with stunning bead-work that would take weeks, I would watch her in awe. I still have one of those dresses, whatever happened to those days?
Today we talk in terms of ‘fast fashion’, I understand that our lives are lived at a much faster pace, but does that mean we throw quality to one-side, and individuality is a buzz word, or dare I say it a hashtag?! I like my fashion the same way I live my life, with a conscious and purpose.
Now here’s another ‘did you know’. Did you know there was a time when people used to save up to buy a special outfit? Who among you have seen the film ‘Mrs Arris goes to Paris’ with Angela Lansbury? Without giving the story away, ‘Mrs Arris’ saves up for years to buy a Dior couture dress, (there’s also great scenes of London for a trip down memory lane). The story is also about how the dress ultimately makes her feel regardless of its practicality for her lifestyle, her dream come true. It’s remarkable how our clothes can make us feel, I see this transformation in a clients face, when they have commissioned me to make a garment for them, especially the final fitting as I get ready to hand the garment over to them, that smile, the twirl in the mirror, for me is priceless.
‘Yes you can’ have the best of both worlds; I will always be grateful to the client who suggested that in addition to customised dressmaking, I should design and make a ready-to-wear collection of dresses that are unique, appealing to women, for whom dressing the same as everyone else is neither an option or consideration.
Thank goodness for the independent fabric shops and my travels. I am drawn to the most unusual of fabrics, bright colours, distinctive prints and texture; I’ve been an avid collector of fabrics, the same way people collect fine art. The caveat being, some of the fabrics I have purchased over the years and placed in my ‘collectors stash’ are limited in yardage as well as being vintage. As for transformation, these distinctive fabrics will either become a ‘one-of-a-kind dress, a stand-alone statement piece’ or where there is fabric remaining part of a ‘mini capsule collection’ to include, a dressy top which is always a great wardrobe staple. I’m talking investment pieces, quirky designer dresses, that are couture and handmade in London England, this to me is one aspect of ethical fashion, championing the artisan craft of sewing.
In return, you will stand out from the crowd with confidence, you will look different to everyone else, you are as you are meant to be, ‘Unique’. Diane Bertolin of The Collective Publishing Company shares her views of the Coral Turner experience, click on the link to watch the YouTube video https://youtu.be/liXSIESpZ-0 .
You can either shop online or visit my London studio by appointment to try on the dresses beforehand, plus there’s more to see. Telephone 044 207 732 7528 I will set up a date for you to pop over to my little atelier, alternatively I also provide a couture dressmaking service.
(If I am not available to take your call its because I am working, leave a message and I will call you back as soon as is possible).