It is that time of year LFW, aka London fashion week. Many of you may not have a major interest in fashion but I have no doubt that you are passionate about dresses and garments that are made of beautiful fabric, that are well crafted and stylish. Obviously style is in the eye of the beholder and could be classic and conservative like Daks and Paul Smith showing this week or the stunning prints from Mary Katrantzou or the understated simplicity from Ostwald Helgason.
Buy fabrics like Daks wool coating and suitings
Buy abstract design fabrics
Buy check and plaid shirting and suiting and cotton fabrics
LFW is a showcase for celebrity but fundamentally it is about British and foreign design talent, including up and coming designers at our Universityís. It all looks very glamorous but, there are months and hours and hours of serious graft gone into these collections in an unforgiving industry, so they had better count. I have been there, night after night of no sleep.
Many of these designs will filter down to the high street where my friends will shop, and will brag about how cheap they have managed to buy their new dress or top. Yes they look great but it saddens me because they donít know what goes into making a garment and quite shockingly they donít even know how to sew on a button. I canít help thinking that what we need is a little education so people understand that making clothes is not easy and to make something beautiful it takes patience, skill and time and more importantly that it should be a skill that is admired.
The craft of making fabric and clotrhes is now so far removed form this country and our conscience that what goes into making the outfit one wears is not considered. The only thing that is considered is the price
Maybe it is my age but I am going to try and practice such. I am cleaning up my wardrobe, getting rid of anything that I donít wear, dresses that are made of sub standard fabrics and that are shockingly made (yes Guilty) and I am putting and spare time into making clothes, for two reasons. 1: I can (when given the time after working full time and after putting my 2 and 5 year old to bed) and 2. I need to polish up my dress making skills. I am also lucky enough to have a mother who is very talented who can assist when needed. Oh and a very important third reason I forgot to mention, I am surrounded by beautiful fabrics, forgive the bragging. Mary Portas said we need to learn from our ageing knowledge base of skilled people before it is too late. Sadly, I know my time to learn from my mum is running out and I want to be able to pass on these skills to my daughter even if it is just to show her what wonderful craft dressmaking is. If you know a good design, good fabric and whether something is well made, then that cannot do you any harm.
What has that got to do with LFW, well it just got me lusting after some of the simply stunning pieces, I have just watched the Burberry show live. These pieces cost £1000ís but if you can sew you can have a go at making something very special yourself. There are some fabulous new courses and workshops springing up everywhere to help teach you about dress making and we have some beautiful dress fabrics that would fit many collections at London Fashion week so if you are interested in creating your own dress or style do have a look at Croft Millís dress fabrics and our wool dress fabrics.
If you are interested in advertising on our website please get in touch and email me at carolinecroftmill.co.uk. We are working on a local directory for dressmakers and workshops so people can find you.
P. S. There is no education about the craft that goes into making a metre of cloth or fabric as most people refer these days but I will save that issue for another day.