With a professional background spanning well over a decade in the vintage clothing trade, followed by six years dedicated to curating contemporary apparel from various brands for Adored Vintage, I have traversed the extensive spectrum that delineates finely crafted attire from its less distinguished counterparts. This journey extends beyond the realm of aesthetics, delving into the quintessential attributes that distinguish a high-quality garment.
There are and should be distinct price points for the differences. My mission is to share the knowledge I have garnered, with the explicit aim of enlightening and informing. My hope is you read these quips and go “Oh, I didn’t know that! I’ll look for that next time!” While Atèlette decidedly does not stake a claim in haute couture circles (obviously), my dedication lies in crafting garments that epitomize excellence, drawing inspiration from the timeless elegance of antique and vintage clothing. Here are some specific design choices featured in our Fall 2023 collection that illustrate these decisions:
1. To avoid elastic for our waistbands, I designed garments with self-sashes, offering a sophisticated means to cinch the waist without compromising comfort or fit. While not all of our garments will feature this detail, this was one way for me to remedy not having to use elastic but still provide comfort and ease of wear at the waistline. The main reason brands use elastic is to allow each of their sizes to fit as many bodies as possible sometimes causing the garment to look ill fitting. I think it is better to buy a size a little larger than you might need and get your Atèlette dress tailored for your exact measurements for a bespoke fit. This is also why the busts and bodices have darts and gathers. Darts allow fabric to "give me" while still creating a flattering silhouette.
2. The Appalonia Dress exhibits a skirt fashioned from multiple panels, referred to as "gores," meticulously crafted to create a full A-line silhouette without excessive flare. It bears mentioning that garments featuring intricate pattern pieces entail higher production costs. Thus, a discerning examination of the inner workings of a garment reveals the investment in craftsmanship.
3. The puffed sleeves of the Florenzia Dress forgo commonplace elastic, instead embracing functional pull-through ties, a design element I initially introduced with the Elanor Top in the Prologue Collection. This underscores my commitment to exploring alternative design elements before resorting to conventional solutions. Though, if I do, it will encased and not be seen as I strongly dislike visible elastic bands. It's so chintzy!
4. For ease of wear across the hips of the Sandrine Dress, I had the fabric cut on the bias, a technique that involves diagonal rather than straight-line cuts. While this method may appear profligate initially, I repurposed the "waste" generated to embellish the shoulders with small pleat & ruffle details and craft the self-sash. So, we minimized waste while infusing the Sandrine with these charming little embellishment.
5. The Appalonia Dress and Florenzia Dress both feature diamond waistlines and in acknowledgment of the added stress these seams may endure, I had them lined across the waist for reinforcement. If the fabrics were sheer I would have opted to line them entirely, but neither required it—a prudent choice that mitigates production costs and in turn results in lowered costs to our customers.
As a final touch, all our garments boast impeccable seam finishes, meticulously sealed with either an overlock or zigzag stitch. These finishing touches stand as sentinels, preserving the structural integrity of our garments over time, ensuring threads and seams remain resolute and unyielding to the passage of time.