Well there is no pretending that for most of the world 2021 was another challenging year in many ways just like 2020. Also it was a difficult time to make plans due to frequent pandemic surges & related guidance updates, but I was determined to make the best of it like everyone else!
Although the first few months of the year were not as hectic as in previous years where work was concerned, it certainly wasn't entirely uneventful by any means due to having some family things to deal with instead!
For me the year started slowly but gave me a chance to absorb various fashion shows online especially the couture shows in Paris which always inspire me. The usual fashion calendar had been disrupted and was readjusting to the global events which still loomed over everything until the first vaccines were available & subsequently gave us more freedom to mix.
There was a growth in the interest of creative programmes like The British Sewing Bee & Repair Shop during lockdown as making, altering & repairing clothing & other items was now trending as well as the growth of swapping & selling second clothing apps like Vinted & Depop...
If you didn't know already, I can also offer an alterations & repair service for those people who bring shop bought clothing to me. Off the peg or ready to wear clothing is great value and can offer the latest styles, but often if you don't fit the standard sizes, the garment can look cheap simply by fitting badly.
It can be useful to find a local dressmaker, like myself, who can fit the garment properly to you, even an inexpensive dress looks much better if it fits properly. If you want to look your best, having a good fitting garment for a special occasion will always improve the finished overall image of the wearer.
I was grateful this year to celebrate my seven year business anniversary which could only happen with the help my loyal client base. I am lucky to have several returning clients whose projects are unfortunately sometimes projects I can't share with the public due to client confidentiality & sometimes it feels like I have nothing to show for myself but this is obviously a necessity in the fashion industry!
I have completed two such projects which can take several weeks or months to complete. Both projects were for British fashion brands & it's great to be part of the creative development of these brands.
Speaking of British brands, in July I was really lucky to show my own capsule collection at The Oval in London in association with #kiaovalevents #creativeuk #fashionshowlive & #londonfashionweek.
Although the timing slightly threw me as it would ordinarily be held in February, due to the pandemic it was put back to July. The next show was September reverting back to the normal fashion show schedule, but I decided to wait until next February 2022 before I show my next collection so watch this space!
Sustainability & ethics are important in the creation of my occasion wear brand & critical in decision making as I develop my business, it's at the heart of everything I do.
I feel it is an important value to have in everyday life as we all should try to think of ways to reduce our waste, our carbon footprint & to be mindful of our impact on the environment, especially in a year which dubbed COP26 as our last chance to save the planet...
For my latest collection Spring Summer 2022, I mainly focused on using deadstock or circular fabrics, although it was mainly silks, which are already made & within the supply chain & often left over from production runs from big brands. I can source these fabrics fairly readily at limited quantities, however I had sourced some new gen fabrics to use in this collection but have decided to use them on future projects instead.
I created a simple silhouette to make the pieces have a more classic, wearable & interchangeable feel as well as exploring ways in which to use smaller usually wasted fabric scraps within the design.
My Spring Sumer 2021 collection is available on a made to order basis to reduce waste rather than cutting fabrics which might be wasted.
I had spent some time during the spring months working on my online shop & website with some other exciting planning going on behind the scenes for the coming year too!
Moving fast forward now to some of my favourite bespoke projects of the year & it turns out that November & December ended up being the highlight of my year! I was thrilled to be asked to make a bespoke gown for the Love Island finalist Faye Winter in collaboration with the celebrity stylist Jeff Mehmet who has styled many of the Love Island contestants plus many more celebrities. The event was for ITVs Palooza event in November which was a star studded red carpet event!
Pictured here is Faye winter in her bespoke silver bustier gown with Teddy Soares if you didn't know that already!
Finishing the year with a lovely winter solstice bespoke wedding was perfect although I usually say to people I don't really do weddings... but what I love is working on unique modern stylish weddings & garments which this absolutely was!
Not only did I make this gorgeous ivory satin strapless swing dress but I made a matching satin and velvet hooded cape, long velvet gloves, his & hers matching face masks & a tie for the groom.
This dress to the untrained eye looks very simple and perhaps some might think easy to construct, however underneath the full circle outer layer is all the hidden work to make the dress not only hang perfectly but to give the support & structure necessary for the brides comfort & modesty. This was a great project to work on & I am grateful that so often word of mouth finds me interesting people & projects to work on!
I hope you enjoyed my brief round up of the year 2021 in my studio.
Thank you to all my clients & everyone else who has who has helped make it a great year for me, I wish you all a happy new year!
I look forward to 2022 with gratitude for the past & positivity for the future.
photo of me @janemucklowphoto