Rise of slow-fashion brings hope to traditional craftsman.

Are you tired of endless scrolling online searching for wedding outfits? If you don’t buy it, you will have to ignore targeted adds that follow you for weeks and weeks. Two weeks of targeted adds until you buy it, that is not the kind of slow fashion I am about to introduce you to. Save yourself from endless scrolling online, that only leads to boredom.

  • Slow-fashion is a new term that refers to traditional craftsmanship.

  • It is more than just a dress, it is a life story, surprise and joy.

  • Secret list of London’s fabric stores.

Scattered around London’s historic market streets is a secret network of workrooms, studios and shops. Yes, they are still here, tradition withstands time and change, just like true love. From button holes to fabric covered buttons to specialist pleats and hand embroidery, of course the cherry on top is the fabric stores with almost endless options. Some have been there for decades other for over ten decades. It is so exclusive that even with google maps it will be hard to find. How do you join this secret club? How do you piece it all together? You will need a bespoke designer or couture dressmaker.

“My mother was an actress; she had her clothes made. Very elegant, beautiful cloth and exquisite design. My life is very different, I hardly ever wear dresses especially after the accident. But I consider myself very lucky to have discovered Ieva.” Sue

It is more than just a dress. It’s the whole process of conversations, gathering ideas, getting to know fabrics and yourself. Visiting stores and stopping for a tea to discuss the ideas. Later trying on calico sample and moving on to specific details and finished garment. Whole process can take from three months up to nine months or longer if a worldwide pandemic happens. However, it is always just in time for the family wedding.

“I had breast cancer; I don’t like shopping. All I see is how the fabric hangs loose where I used to be. It’s my daughter’s wedding and so far I have not enjoyed the outfit shopping. It was second calico fitting, again my eyes where down looking at my breast. Both my daughter and Ieva said look up! Suddenly I forgot everything… that collar and neckline changed everything. I was excited about wearing a dress for the first time in long time.” Maria

Bespoke traditionally means “when the cloth has spoken to you”. This is why we invite clients to experience the full journey of fabric shopping. Ten out of ten there will be a moment of silence, twinkle in eye and a smile. Shortly followed by a question how many meters do we need? Is there enough? Panic is soothed as we are right there with you to advise to purchase only what you need.

Liberty has a nice selection of printed fabrics both cottons and silks. Just around the corner is Berwick street – a host of several fabric shops. Although numbers have changed after a year of lockdown, some have relocated. Passing through Marylebone must stop at VV Rouleaux ribbon shop and then a short taxi ride to Church street where Queen gets her fabrics from. Joel and Son fabric store holds a Royal Warrant as official supplier of fabrics for Her Majesties vibrant wardrobe. It’s exquisite experience. Millions of options. How do you even choose? But remember that bespoke moment we mentioned earlier? You will know it when you see it.

“I’m new to the couture experience, but would like to try. I am looking forward for shops to re-open again soon, so we can go fabric shopping.” Kay

 Ieva Poriete is an independent fashion designer who follows the tradition of couture dressmaking. Based in historic Windsor, Ieva runs her studio from enchanting Theatre Royal building. History meets the tradition and has a ball in modern day.

Since 2013 Ieva has grown the business, established a network of craftsman, trained interns and employed dressmakers to keep the skills exercised. Ieva is an advocate for fostering creative talent and mastering traditional skills.

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