Each and every piece we create is a true labour of love, the product of months of research and careful attention from our female led studio based here in the North East of England. Keep reading to learn more about the process behind bringing one of our most special pieces - Adelia dress - to life!
Research and Concept
Based on our love of handloom natural fabrics, Isabella began to elaborate on the idea of a feminine – wear anywhere summer dress. Elegance and simplicity served as inspiration for the holistic design process. The team sketched several silhouettes considering the balance and proportions of the bows and drop hem. The placement of the cut and sew gathered hem is placed just above the knee to allow ease when walking, gently sloping towards the back of the dress.
Simultaneously, we carefully researched different button types, playing with size, width, colour, and wood and shell variations. With a soft, delicate palette as our guide, we settled on natural mother of pearl shell. The glimmering patina interacts beautifully with the different handloom fabrics -- from blue- grey meadow stripe to the subtle rainbow threads in our crayon stripe cotton.
We ended up choosing three different kinds of handloom cotton for our Adelia Dress this summer, most recently adding classic black to the style as an instore exclusive at our Fenwick Pop-Up Boutique, with only 5 pieces made for the collaboration.
For the Adelia Dress, we wanted to use a fabric that felt crisply cool and comfortable for daytime wearing. Handloom cotton is our signature fabric for a variety of reasons: produced responsibly on a wooden handloom it has a gentle hand feel that becomes smoother and more lustrous with washing. We work exclusively with natural fibres and intentionally choose low impact artisanal techniques. We have exciting goals for our autumn collection and beyond to continue expanding on this work.
In addition to its low impact qualities, cotton was chosen for its structure, which increases its ability to maintain and uphold the adjustable bows and gathered hem. All our styles are wash tested to ensure that the quality of the garment and any detailing, such as hand ties, gathers, and buttons, meet our wash and colour standards.
Fitting and Final Design
While we sketch to envision the design at different scales, sizes, and colours throughout the design process, we also use a historic technique: moulaging fabric samples on a dress form to get an accurate sense of proportion and presence. This approach also helps us reduce our impact, requiring fewer samples and less transport, while also giving our team a true visual sense of the full design. Once we’ve finalised with these low-tech tools, we then cut and sew fabric samples in our handloom natural cotton -- which, are then prototypes for the sewing of our production.
In the end, our Adelia Dress is a forever piece, with carefully considered details and a classic silhouette that will last a lifetime.