HOW WE DESIGN & PRODUCE OUR CLOTHING.
'Women are my inspiration, not fashion trends'.
'The creation of a garment begins with the story of who will wear it. Then a sketch is made of an outline of the design. Next comes the understanding of the woman herself, her shape, her life, her needs, her place in the world, her anxieties, her self confidence, how she will feel when she wears it. Will it flatter her? Will it compliment her shape? Will she feel comfortable wearing it? Will she enjoy wearing it?
All the above considerations go into the first details of a new design. The next stage is to produce a sample which we make in our in house atelier. This is where the sketch becomes the finished product ready to be tried on, washed, pressed and put through all the wearability tests before we can say, it's perfect and ready to go on sale.
A run of garments is then made in the size range for the rails in our own boutique and the garment design goes on sale online. We use professional industrial overlockers, ( a four thread overlocker for reinforced seams to keep the shape of the garment during repeat washes) and from pattern cutting to making up, each garment is individually made.
There are four questions I always ask myself before I sit down to design a garment. How will it fit? How will it look? Will it impress the wearer? Would I wear it?
The result? Expertly crafted women's, unique, luxury clothing individually made and handfinished to perfection with a woman's shape in mind. '
THE EVER CHANGING SHAPE OF WOMEN
Article Written By Nina Wornham, Fashion Designer, Writer, Women's Image & Style Advisor. Copyright 2013
100 years ago, the average woman's statistics measured 31-20-32. By the 1940's and during the war years and era of iconic couture dress designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior, women still were averaging a size of 34-22-34 mostly due to the fact that food was rationed with little meat or dairy produce. Everyone had the same food rations so women were mostly the same build and size overall. The nipped in waist, small frame size and weight were maintained purely because the high calorie foods were in short supply so the common shape of women universally was mostly hourglass.
By the 1950's the war was almost over, milk had been introduced into schools and women were enjoying a moderate but healthy weight gain because of the added protein in their diet. The extra calcium also made their bones grow so they grew taller but still maintained an hourglass shape. They were encouraged to show off their newfound curves in time for their men returning from war and hence the popular glamour of the 50's dress style was born.
The 1960's saw the beginning of the consumer society and the introduction of a more liberated way of life. Literally, this is when it all started to go pear shaped as huge changes to our lifestyle occurred due to a more relaxed and prosperous era where many people owned a car, TV, washing machine and vacuum cleaner. As an energetic lifestyle was replaced by push button appliances that made the daily grind of chores and housework easier, women suddenly found themselves with more time and more options. Diet had changed too and with foods becoming more readily available than they were previously, a lot more fried and high fat foods were being consumed. By the 1970's sugar in the form of HFCS's (high fructose corn syrup) was being added to most of our basic foods and the shape of women (as well as men and children) began to drastically alter from the hourglass to what we now refer to as 'pear shape'. By the 1980's our average size measured 36-24-38
Today the average size of women has increased to 38-31-41 for a size 14 and 40-33-43 for a size 16. The ever evolving shape of women has made it impossible for the fashion industry to come up with a universal sizing system that reflects the true shape and size of today's woman as a standard for the norm because there is no norm. This is why sizing is such a myth when it comes to accuracy. The fashion industry have also been reluctantly slow to move from the hourglass shape of patterns to using the pear or triangle cut that represents the shape of many women today mostly because of the economics involved in making such far reaching changes. So far it's been easier and cheaper to carry on producing a standard product aimed at a standard market, ie sizes 10-16. But as many of us know, even this sizing often no longer fits it's intended audience hence the recent introduction of 'vanity sizing, (a size 12 with a size 10 label)
As a small, independent clothing business, we know that in order for our clothing to fit properly and because we also know that no woman is identical in shape or size, we need to produce clothing styles that are both flattering to wear but also flexible in their fit. Huge advances in the technical quality of fabrics, notably the introduction of elastane, now mean that many fabrics have some stretch factor allowing clothes to be produced in styles which are still stylish and fun to wear but which can be worn by women of different shapes and sizes. As a result, our clothing is unstructured, non bulky, softly tailored and made from high quality fabrics in styles that are shape smoothing, shape flattering and shape minimizing for most women. The cuts and sizing represent our Western sizing and we offer two cuts for both hourglass and triangle shapes to produce the best, possible fit.
Without compromising on good styling, and by listening to women and how they want to look and feel in their clothes, we try to come up with beautiful, shape and size friendly designs that represent the majority of women today. We believe that women should be able to find quality, individual clothing that they enjoy wearing and which makes them look and feel their absolute best. This is our sole aim when designing and producing our own independent, studio produced fashion label for women. Please do take a look at our testimonials which hopefully prove that we are getting it right with both our designs and our ethics on producing a shape and size friendly clothing label for women.
All our clothing is individually produced in our own studio in England in limited quantities. Nothing is mass produced, bought in or made in a factory elsewhere. Our team of professional staff work flexible hours in safe and comfortable surroundings producing a high quality British made product. We source our fabrics very carefully avoiding any materials that may have been produced from animals without the highest standard of animal welfare. We do not use fabrics made from angora or real animal fur, and we always try and source the best quality fabrics that have been produced ethically in countries where high standards and safe working conditions are enforced. Most of our fabrics are sourced from Italy, Portugal, Spain and other parts of Europe.
HOW WE CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & THE COMMUNITY
We recycle all of our left over fabrics responsibly. None of our waste materials go for landfill. Instead we donate our scrap fabrics and roll ends to schools, local fashion and textile design students, fundraisers and anyone trying to start and run a creative or craft business from home. We often give away fabrics for the making up of costumes for children's school plays and local good causes. We are proud to help and support the community in any way that we can.
OUR GUARANTEE OF QUALITY
We pride ourselves on excellence and the fact that we only produce our clothing in very small collections guarantees that every attention is given to precise detail and finish. Every one of our garments is individually cut and professionally made up by an experienced seamstress. Fabrics are checked for any faults before being cut and when the garment is finished and pressed, it's rigorously checked several times over for any faults before being dispatched. We pay particular attention to seams and hemlines making sure all loose ends of threads are securely stitched down. Each garment is given a final inspection, signed off as having been checked and then it's packed and sent by registered mail. All our efforts go into producing the most perfectly produced, faultless garment from start to finish. If you take a look at our testimonials page, you can read the many glowing comments sent in by our satisfied customers.
– Nina Wornham