Before the chill properly grabs hold of us this is a season to embrace. It's an opportunity to have fun with layers and mix court shoes with coats or dresses with boots. With the arrival of the coat comes a few common alterations that gets our machines into overdrive.
Shortening a coat sleeve is something we do at this time of the year. We can alter anything from a puffer to a cashmere coat, regardless of whether there’s a knitted cuff or a zip finish on the sleeve.
If you’re bringing out last year’s coat a new lining in a Fuchsia or Azure blue can make your coat feel like new and make it in to a fashion favourite.
And then there is simply looking over the wear and tear from the last time your coat saw the light of day. A seam that has come undone, a button that needs securing or a pocket with a tear.
Or why not just have a change by adding some statement buttons (www.thebuttonqueen.co.uk) or buckles that can do the trick to revive a firm favourite!
Whatever your coat needs to get ready for the chillier season do not hesitate to get in touch and we can help.
See you soon x
The team at The Wardrobe Curator
We are feeling all excited, it is not just because our studio is full of white fluffy bags and anything from light pink to cream threads. With Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle’s wedding fast approaching we’re all just a bit excited to find out what ‘that dress’ will look like.
A few names have been circulating as the royal wedding gown designer Erdem, Emilia Wickstead, Ralph and Russo, Burberry and Stella McCartney are all widely speculated. I’m sure we’re all expecting something different to the Middleton’s sisters similar gowns. Both Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their romance inspire thoughts of individuality and doing it your own way.
As many different wedding gowns pass through our studio, all wonderful in their individuality, we understand that as a bride to be it is hard to decide what type of design to settle for. We asked some of our team in the studio if they have a favorite style of wedding dress.
Saga, fitter and stylist; I love sleek silhouettes. A typical bias cut gown like Carolyn Kennedy’s is beautiful. One of my all-time favorite is Bianca Jagger’s iconic jacket, skirt and veiled hat combination confident stylish and elegant.
Cornelia, made to measure tailor; My favorite style of wedding dress is a princess cut fishtail dress with a big train and a deep back, and a full veil, it has to be French lace with a cut scalloped edge. That would look lovely for the royal wedding!
Maria tailor; I really like a simple silhouette, something like this is lovely! Maria points at the Alexandra Grecco dress she’s working on. It got spaghetti straps, flowers and beads are loosely appliqued over the hem and train of the tulle layer of the dress.
Miheala tailor; I read that Meghan Markle might wear a jumpsuit and big skirt combination dress, that would be wonderfully original!
Saga; One of the brides I was fitting for Stella McCartney looked lovely dressed in lace jumpsuit with a detachable skirt.
We asked Saga our fitter if she had any tips to pass on to a bride to when it comes to choosing and fitting the dress.
Saga; Try a few different styles, what you initially had in mind might not be as flattering as another style. When getting inspired think of what would suit your figure and coloring. The dress has to suit the venue cathedral, beach or barn? And most importantly when you choose your dress stay true to yourself, the personality should shine through. When you attend your dress fitting bring the right underwear and the right height of shoes. Many strapless designs require a good pair of bust cups sewn into the dress. Otherwise we recommend flesh colored underwear as the white can show up under a white dress. Ask for a finger loop to be attached to the train this will be very useful when it comes to dancing etc. We can do a lot with alterations anything from adding sleeves to re modelling a neckline to lifting the waist or adding gussets but all of this can’t be done the day before. Remember to stop your pre wedding dieting by the time you’ve had your wedding dress fitted.
…Or at least that was officially decided as of the 20th of March.
Does it mean we can relax and put away our winter boots and fur coats or shall we hold on to them a little longer, just in case another “beast from the east” will make its way to us?
Spring has taken a long time coming this year. Daffodils and snow drops have been resilient and many times shaken off their snow coats to rise again in the warm sunlight. We are all a fed up with the long winter. The commuters wrapped up against the cold on Clapham junction platform desperately turn their winter pale faces, towards the warming sunlight as it appears between passing clouds.
Our studio has gone from New Year silent to a sudden surge of activity. And with the awards season well and truly past us we are looking forward to threading our sewing machines with much more than just black thread! With every dark and glittering gown we’ve completed we got closer to welcome spring and with it the abundance of colour!
But luckily there hasn’t just been dark items on our rails. We have altered many wedding dresses some to be ready for travel to beach side locations and other for cooler English countryside venues.
A few of our clients have taken advantage of the slow start to the new year and handed in their favourite dresses for copying, to be ready for the spring and summer season.
I will take the opportunity to remind you all of our unrivaled cashmere repair service. We literally make well-loved items look like new. So before you fold away your knitwear for the summer make sure they will be looking the part.
We’ve also had some changes within our busy team.
Saga our fitter started in February after a longer time off with her children and she’s now back in full swing a couple of days a week, looking after new and established clients alike.
Don’t forget that if you are too busy to visit us in the studio for your fittings, we can always come to your home or office. Maybe the coffee break is the only time you have spare to get those trouser hems fitted. We can arrange for delivery back too.
Saga is also keeping busy updating our Instagram with everything that’s going on in the studio so please follow us there to find out what we are up to.
Cornelia one of our amazing tailors has re-joined our tailoring family, she has over 20 years of experience of tailoring and is a very skilled made to measure tailor.
We are hoping Julia who commutes between the chickens, dogs and husband in the countryside and London will get some better and less snowy driving conditions from now on.
All in all it’s shaping up to be a flowery and busy spring and we look forward to see you in all your spring wardrobe glory very soon!
The team at The Wardrobe Curator
In these days of beautiful appearances on the red carpet, there’s one little secret behind the wonderful looks that we would like to share with you; there are no perfect bodies and no amazing dress that fit like a glove! Having myself fitted many A-listers in their red carpet outfits, you quickly realise that it is not what you wear but how it fits that makes all the difference.
Behind every red carpet appearance there are, apart from the stylist and the designers, the fitters and the tailors and before they have finished working their magic no one would step on to the red carpet.
While watching this year’s Bafta goers dressed in the sombre black of the Times up movement, the right hem length and sleeve length is even more noticeable. Someone who knows her figure only too well and always has her garments fitted to perfection is Salma Hayek, she’s not a classic size by any means but often seen in Gucci as on the Bafta evening, thanks to a perfect fit makes it look like child’s play to get dressed to perfection. The Duchess of Cambridge’s bump would have needed a carefully measured hem to keep an even length. And Rebecca Fergusson’s Stella McCartney train would have been altered to compliment the hem length.
But apart from the obvious hems, many times have I done a series of other alterations too, uneven shoulders, and wide hips, big ribcages etc. make for their own tweaks and tailoring solutions. The beautiful people are not only beautiful they are also normal!
This is a rule that you don’t need to be an A-list celebrity to follow. In fact many are the men who are sartorially savvy enough to have their trouser and sleeve lengths altered so why not nip in the waist on a jacket or lift the strap on a dress. Small tweaks could make the world of difference to our wardrobes.
Most people use alterations as a mending service but how about using it as tool for a beautifully turned out wardrobe. Less items but with a better fit. The savvy shops on the high street and has it fitted. The cash rich shop the fashion brands but still has it fitted! The secret to a glamourous look is in the fit.
As you sit looking at the perfectly hand finished hem of your newly altered dress or the overlocked edge hiding under the lining, there’s a story hiding within these stitches.
The industrial revolution brought the sewing and garment making from the dimly lit crammed private rooms of women (1846 the sewing machine was invented) into the factories.
The textile industry became the biggest employer of women. As families moved in from the country, women became cogs in the factory machinery. They were often labelled ‘the unskilled’ workforce behind the shirt making machinery or laundry tubs, they suffered long working hours but their meagre wages were invaluable to their often growing families.
As the ready to wear industry took off factories produced garments such as coats, petticoats, shirts, trousers, gloves, hats and footwear.
The invention of department stores such as Selfridges spurred on the mass produced goods. Soon the department stores offered made up garments in the latest fashion. Although the novelty of the beautiful shopping experience with tea rooms and restaurants attracted a new crowd, the middle class women often tried on but then let their own seamstress copy the latest fashion. Meanwhile the ladies working the factory floors couldn’t even dream of paying for a cup of tea in the new department stores, the working hours were between 9-12hrs and the pay were even lower than their male counterparts. The conditions were gruelling, the air was filled with floating fibres that caused respiratory problems and the dyes were toxic and flammable.
As the introduction of machinery in the garment industry boosted production and drew down the cost price it also undermined the skills and art of garment making, that we today after decades of a buy and throw away culture revere so highly. Haute couture is once again popular among the ones who can afford it.
There’s now days an appreciation for the skilled woman behind the hand finished hem and the beauty of a perfectly altered garment. And today we are soberly prepared to pay a price reflective of the skill and talent involved. Although it might have been the educated middle classes that drove the suffragette movement forward it was these working women , the foundation of the textile and garment industry in this country and their conditions, that spurred some of the suffragettes on to fight for the right of women.
So when we look at a hem or the seams of our garments next time let’s t remember the history behind them and be grateful to the women who fought to alter the female conditions a 100 years ago.
Here at The Wardrobe Curator we adore the Chelsea Flower Show and the rippling effect it has over our beloved SW London.
Here are a few of our favourite floral displays from Chelsea In Bloom this year.
“If it’s too hot to wear your fur- it’s time to store it!”
Many fur coats are tucked at the back of the wardrobe for more than 8 months a year. Our simple rule is if it’s too hot to wear it, it must be put in the cold to store it. Cold storage prolongs the life of fur so the longer it’s in cold storage, the better.
Keep the life and glamour in your furs by protecting them from moth damage and from drying out. We maintain the condition of your furs by keeping them in a constant temperature controlled environment to protect them from factors that can harm them when not stored correctly.
As the temperature decreases, molecules slow down and the less molecular activity the slower the bio-degradation process, therefore this keeps the skins supple and stops them drying out and losing their fur. The same principle applies to the natural oils, the cooler the garment the slower the natural oils evaporate and these are necessary to keep the skins soft and supple. Once the oils are depleted from the fur or leather, it can tear as easily as tissue paper.
When transported to and from clients’ houses and the storage facility, the garments are always carried in a breathable garment bag as fur should never be packaged in plastic as this crushes the fur and can lead to shedding. When in cold storage, the furs are stored freely without garment bags to maximise the benefits cold storage provides.
5 Facts about our Cold Storage:
STORE YOUR FUR
CARE FOR YOUR FUR
Within the dark corners of your wardrobe, tucked between drawers and hiding in-between cashmeres, all is not is not what it seems...
The female clothes moth, is busy laying 40 to 50 minute eggs between a course of 4 to 21 days which are poised ready to hatch into destructive invaders and commence the downward slope of wardrobe disintegration.
The life cycle of a moth revolves around the laying of eggs- survival of the fittest. Once mating has occurred, the females lay 40 to 50 eggs that hatch into eating machine larvae. These live for an unusually long period of 50 days before they pupate by wrapping themselves in a silken case sealed with excrement and fibre. Whilst pupating they drag their bodies along in their silk turban, eating as they go. Holes appear as the larvae annoyingly choose to eat clean-cut holes rather than spin a web of silk over the food material. Once metamorphosed, the life cycle repeats and the adult moths soon die. The life cycle lasts for about 65 to 90 days, with the female adult moths living for about 30 days and potentially laying up to 300 eggs. Alot of hungry larvae! Unwashed damp clothes don’t have a chance.
The larvae that hatch from the eggs are the ones to target, as the adult moths known as ‘millers’ pose no threat to your cashmeres. It is the larvae that are notorious for feeding on wool, hair, leather, cotton, and linens, silk and synthetic fibres. Practically anything they can get their mouths onto. They do not drink water, so depend on their meal of jumper sleeve for moisture. The dirtier the better, clothing moths adore fabric containing human sweat or liquid spillages as it will provide a perfect feeding site for their hungry hatchlings. The larvae also convert the protein keratin that is present in hair and wool to useful nutrients. Not only do they munch away holes, but also leave their silken cases, silken threads and faecal pellets all over the surface or your garment.
If you do find an un-expecting hole your jumper, chances are that the larvae are at work. To identify them look for moths with white heads and wings about 2 cm wide with a black and cream front and pale grey on the hind. These moths rarely fly infact it is only the males that flutter around locating females that prefer to hop around trying to find food and hideouts. The Larvae are distinguished as cream caterpillars with black heads.
Persistent total wardrobe care is imperative to keep the moths away, however, if you do have an infestation, it is only by destroying the eggs, and disrupting the vicious life cycle that the problem can be solved long term.
If you would like to come and meet Julia and her team in person you can come down to Spirit of Christmas this November. Come and smell some of the gorgeous Total Wardrobe Care products www.totalwardrobecare.co.uk as well as have any of your wardrobe care questions answered!
Also we are offering a 10% discount if you print out this voucher and bring it a long to the fair!
We hope to see you there!
The Fair is perfectly tailored for you to uncover extraordinary gifts of style, design and elegance, with an exciting new collection of independent boutiques, all hand-picked by our expert team and approved by House & Garden. Discover exclusive winter collections the most stylish and unique gift ideas and gain invaluable festive inspiration for the perfect Christmas. So join us to celebrate the festive season at the home of Christmas shopping...
You may have spent many years collecting the ultimate clothing collection that you adore. Until one day you have noticed a small hole in your favourite cashmere coat or your favourite beaded gown has faded. I have devised a list of "wardrobe enemies" and given you my top advise on just how to prevent them and in the worst case scenario, cure them.
The Wardrobe Curator
All the latest news, tips and advice from Julia Dee.