Tailoring needs endurance, planning and patience – lots of it!

Sometimes making a tailored garment will make you feel like you’re absolutely preparing for a marathon. Same routine every day! Hours and hours invested in building up that good solid foundation. And still, every step has to be taken with caution; How will I preform today? Are there things that will effect my efforts in a good or bad way? Will I be interrupted? Can I fully control everything around me, including me myself? No, of course I cannot – control everything around me. But at least I can give it my best try!

And then suddenly that final day arrives – the long-distance run itself! Or, the fitting of the garment in this case! You will be nervous, naturally. Will it all go as you’ve planned? Can you trust your thorough preparations to pay off in a good way?

The only thing you can do is to head straight into it and hope for the best! Work hard. And yes – usually it works like a charm! Not always as good as you wanted it to be, but hey…! You did good! And next time it will go even better! Hopefully.

So where am I going with all this? Well… to mention that tailoring is by no means a quick fix. On the contrary! It takes an enormous amount of time for even the smallest of projects to be completed. So be warned! But also understand that the emotional reward is plentiful! To make something with your own hands from start to finish gives such a tremendous joy. And the process can almost feel meditative!

So rule no. 1: Always make a good plan!

Rule no. 2: Be sure to give yourself time enough to fulfill that plan!

Rule no. 3: Enjoy the process! Allow yourself to try different things, and make sure to learn from them all.

Rule no. 4: Practice! All the time. Make sure to always have a project or two going, and, important, make sure to also compleat them. That’s the best way to learn.

Maybe I should run a marathon again? It was 10 years since last time! I mean, just to get into practice again. Let’s see… when is the next one?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

Choosing colors

As a kickstart for even more colors in our bespoke tailoring I’m making a men’s cotton jersey Electric Blue Cobalt Turtleneck for the Bespoke Era project.

Choosing colors can be really hard! But then again, one have to start somewhere, right? And then continue the journey. The idea here is to go for colors that match the rest of the collection – or your wardrobe – and will boost the other items planned, or already made.

I will start with this blue, and really look forward to see where it all takes me!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

The light striped summer jacket!

Finally, after photographing and prepping, the Striped Light Summer Jacket is ready to leave the studio for extensive testing by Alexander. I wonder if it will pass the test before being put into production? There are multiple considerations in our own new products’ testing. (Overall use, practicality, movement, detail functionality, travel and packing, durability, comfort…) Otherwise it’s back to the “drawing-board” for adjustments. Even the smallest details. We want only the best for our customers!

There! The jacket is ready to leave the studio to meet the outside world!

The jacket’s front closure detail, with hook and bar tack.

The jacket’s sleeve vent details, with press buttons.

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Tell me what you really wanna be?

Do you trust? Do you care? Tell me are you really free?

The lyrics echoed in my ears during my Marathon training, and I thought – that’s it! The design process is such a tricky thing, just as life itself! You have to decide which way to go.

So what is your goal in creating your own persona? Do you wanna others to decide for you? Or create a more hands-on look for yourself? Consumer, creator, or in-between? Or do you even care?

The first option involves a lot of indulging into what I call fashion propaganda – trying to fit into an illusion of images and products provided by huge fashion brands. (The smaller ones you probably never ever hear about. They neither got the money nor means to promote themselves to a general public.) They feed on you, while you feed of their ideas of how you should look. You have to trust them to know you.

The second choice is a more complex one, I would say. It involves you looking into yourself trying to figure out who you really are, in detail – and who you want to be. And then create that look with help of friends, family, craftsmen and other underground clothes-lovers. It craves practice and time. Lots of time. No instant gratification here! It’s a process.

In both options money is of course needed. But the last one, the creative solution, I would say could be painted in broader strokes, and would have a more long-lasting effect in your own personal development since you actually could end up in designing your own looks, as well as others! Create a network of knowledge. You will trust and learn, from each other.

So are we buying into the idea of a hidden treasure? Or do we want to create our own fortune? Tell me, who would you like to be? The decision is yours. And either path is fine. The question is just, who are you?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

(Thank you to Body Language’s 2016 song Free.)

Why Haute Couture infused luxury brands could be harmful to your creativity.

We are meant to believe that luxury fashion brands are the highest level of craft. Or design. Or maybe both. We are also in some way lead to believe that these brands suffer – that there aren’t enough customers to keep them going. That they need to cut down on craftsmanship. I think this story constantly told, and believed, could be harmful to your own creativity. Why? Let me try to explain.

First, these large luxury brands are no-way near in need – Dior, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Maison Margiela, and so forth. They are owned by huge private or corporate investment companies. (LVMH with Dior. Chanel S.A owned by Alain & Gérard Wertheimer. Kering owns Saint Lauren, OTB owns Diesel & Maison Margiela, and we could go on.) Second, their goal is profit. On any product available. Sold and disguised behind a fairytale-like story about craft and craftsmen. T-shirts, jeans, whatever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a classic fashion house where your whole garment can be made up from the fabric chosen, completely, under one roof, and where you can follow the process and interact wholeheartedly. Isn’t that great! But unless you are one of the extremely few – if any – Haute Couture customers in the world, what you usually get instead is a factory-made garment, not made for you or even with you in mind at all. Just an ordinary, and sometimes even a quite unenthusiastically made, garment. From a factory. With a large logo plastered on top of it.

But aren’t they the pinnacle of craft and design then, these luxury companies? Well, maybe. But why should we even care? Who are they to tell us what quality is? Their ateliers gets smaller and smaller. And the craftsmen more than often are not well paid. If paid at all. The focus is on attention. Stirring the pot. And certainly not on wearability.

So I say, let’s focus on our own path instead! Let’s not get distracted by all smoke and mirrors. Decide who you are, or want to be, and create it yourself! Be you! Create your own level of craftsmanship!

Learn what good quality clothing is, and make fun (or serious) choices about your own personal look. And ask a craftsperson to help you – there are plenty of them out there! Thousands! Let’s be creative together and see the beauty around us! And stop giving a damn about those multi-billion companies.

We can create on our own. Because we are proud of who we are. Right?

– Sten Martin / DTTA