The Old Order is changing.
In these exciting times every individual has a voice. As a tiny company (there are only 10 of us) we can be seen by the entire world. Gone are the days when we had to show our collection in London, Paris, Milan or New York – and then rely on the few buyers that we met to order something. That would be all we would get for a six month period. It was always a very nerve racking time, we had to survive strikes in Paris, luggage lost on the way to New York etc. A terrifying few days sitting around in hotels hoping that enough people would turn up and place an order.
For business we had to rely on the whims of the shops. For publicity – we had to rely on the journalists and magazine editors being able to fit our style in with their story.
The new order means that through the internet we can talk directly to the customers about their needs and those customers in turn can publish their views about what we do. The power of individual people rather than the power of the exotic and controlling influential members of the press and the buyers.
We would like you, in turn, to tell us what you think (as long as it is kind!) and how the clothes make you, as a person, feel when wearing them. Yes I have always appreciated kind comments made by people in the press, but the most moving is when an ordinary person (who is not necessarily a size 10) suddenly feels feminine and gorgeous and expresses that pleasure directly to us.
It has been very difficult for us, as designers of a rather unique range of clothes, to be accepted as exhibitors at major exhibitions. A couple of years ago, because business was dwindling so dramatically after 9/11, we thought we should exhibit again in Paris to re-generate interest in what we did. We were turned down and told that we were not a designer collection. This threw me completely, but several months later after licking my wounds and feeling affronted, I convinced myself that indeed in modern terms we were not ‘a designer collection’. That term has been high jacked by the big conglomerates that get a name – brand it – get the products made in the Far East for pennies and also have massive sums to support their PR campaigns. They pay ‘stars’ to wear their clothes at red carpet events, can buy huge amounts of advertising space and thus control the entire industry. When ‘stars’ have worn our clothes to events like the Oscars – they have bought them from us at a retail price.
So we are here now – at the point where we can show you as an individual what we can make for you. The online shop will give you many ideas of the variety of things available. Another website that we have created www.designer-collection.co.uk will show many more styles and suggestions as well as showing what is available from our new agent in New York and what is available in the ‘Plus Department’ of Harrods in London.
Gradually we will include pieces that are totally unique (we have, for instance, a small collection of fabrics that are no longer made – we bought these many years ago from a company in France that has gone out of business) – these pieces will just appear on the site as and when they are made. There will be a section that will feature pieces that we want to discount, or experimental things that are what we call ‘apprentice pieces’. We are hoping to make it a changing feast so that you can look every few days and find something new and interesting.
The computations of how we can work are huge. If you have a gown that you love and would love an identical replacement – you will be able to send us a photograph and we can go from there. So even if the outfit you want is not actually on the shop list – you can add it to your ‘wish list’ – send us an e-mail about your ideas and we can talk it through.