I always really liked the classic “couture house” idea from the turn of the last century. Meaning when everything – almost everything – is made under one roof. It makes the garments created there extremely coherent and very personal indeed. The customer and the tailor(-s) and other craftsmen involved will jointly and passionately work together on a vision, where all have a say. Never “oh well, this is what we could get”. And never “oh well, this is what we got”. Instead, always, “this is what we want, and will create”!
Custom embroidery is a huge part of this “couture house” feel and process. To being able to create an absolutely unique look and pattern in beads, pearls and stitches that fits exactly to the customer’s body and the dress created – where every bead and pearl is thoroughly and separately fastened one-by-one on a fabric, before it’s cut and stitched together into a garment. It gives an amazing effect when it sparkles discreetly whilst still looking effortlessly made. And yes, it takes forever and ever to make! And is also therefore, remkebly durable.
One of the fascinating things with custom embroidery is, that you can make the embroidery seem to transcend the edges and seams of the dress. This is of course made by hand-stitching extra beading on top of seams after they are sewn, or, by making the entire embroidery on a see-through tulle that continues over the full dress fabric, as an ekstra layer. It gives an unbelievable light effect, and again, giving the illusion of effortlessness. Although being a multi-layered garment underneath.
So what’s really the biggest difference then, between ordering a “ready-made” dress or a custom/bespoke one? Question asked since the pricetag could be hugely different? Well, I can’t speak for every tailor and/or design studio, but for me it all comes down to comfort. You should feel comfortable and free in your dress. Not restrained – unless that is exactly what you want, of course. (But then it would be a “comfortable restraint” at exactly the area you would like it to be!)
The other thing usually focused on is, what we call understated luxury. The feeling of richness had by you. Things others not nessessairly see or know about. Comfortable lining, good quality fabrics that breath, good boning that follows the body, and of corse, quality closures that can restrain both dancing and dinner!
And what about that “couture house” idea then? What was so great about that? Well, again, it all comes down to be a part of a process! A process where you know the person who made your garment, and where it was made. A process where nothing is or were hiddden – where you know and understand your garment inside-out. A place where things can be allowed to evolve into new ideas and other new garments. A whole. Isn’t that fantastic? Instead of fitting into a dress – the dress just fits you. It’s actually as simple as that!
But, if this process attracts you – be sure to be planning ahead in good time! These garments are not made over-night. Or even over a week. They can take months of intense work. Just so you know. But then, again, the reward for the wait… is tremendous. An original design, made for you! Just you.
– Sten Martin / DTTA
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