Bespoke Clothes Designer London, the process...
‘The process is sort of like a short and less intense pregnancy. You see it grow from a conversation, to a few ideas, to a fabric, to a shape to eventually a piece. I say pregnancy because it feels that personal when you put it on. The next time I wear the ANWST piece (that's what I'm calling it), it'll be for a very special occasion. I might wrap my newborn in it one day. The show itself was a highlight of my life, so having something that went through the same process that my band did, to translate me into multiple art forms- was such a honour. I couldn't have asked for a greater experience than the one I had with HOB!’ - Sophia Thakur -
Last month, we had the opportunity to dress one of our very first HoB Women, Sophia Thakur.
We first saw Sophia at an event last October where her incredible spoken word poetry caught our attention immediately, speaking of culture, background, upbringing, family, love- all things relatable to those with global roots. Aside from this, it was Sophia’s all over printed boiler suit that made us feel like she is someone who would embody House of Bilimoria with grace.
Having got in touch with Sophia a few months later, she was thrilled with the prospect of having a garment made-to-measure for her, something she hadn’t experienced before.
The garment Sophia had decided she would like made was a jumpsuit, with this, Shilpa got sketching with Sophia’s spoken words in the background. She sketched freely and came up with 5-6 different pieces. Each inspired by the words and sounds of Sophia.
‘Seeing and hearing about the sketches was really fascinating. The ladies explained how different linings can shape the body, and which designs work best with stage movement. I've taken this information into my everyday shopping! But of course, putting the outfit on backstage and feeling that much more ready and comfortable was a truly unforgettable moment for me.’
Fabric, Silhouette & Measure
On her first visit to our atelier, we got to know Sophia a little better and shared HoB’s journey with her. We found common ground in understanding tailoring as a cultural norm; she had visited Ghana a few weeks’ prior and spoke of how women there still had their clothes tailored for them individually.
We discussed our bespoke process, presenting her with the line-up of varied jumpsuits and on hearing it; Sophia knew a special opportunity to wear it to- her very first UK solo headline gig.
The process began that very day. We showed Sophia through our archive of fabrics, from light silk sarees to heavier ones.
With the event being her very own, she knew she wanted a jumpsuit that created fluid, elegant movement whilst also being bold. With this, she opted for an Aztec print, 100% silk, lime green saree.
Having seen the line-up, a silhouette was chosen with a few variations added from the other styles to make it entirely Sophia.
Measurements taken and details of comfort noted for her, the team had what they needed to begin drafting Sophia’s bespoke block for her jumpsuit.
The toile is the prototype of the final garment, using fabric that resembles the nature of the actual fabric chosen. In the bespoke process, it allows the wearer to visualize and feel the fit of the silhouette before it is made in the final fabric.
For the toile, Shilpa had chosen an equally bold print and stunning fabric to give Sophia the most accurate feel and look of how the jumpsuit would fall.
At her toile fitting, Shilpa was able to gauge where adjustments needed to be made for the jumpsuit to give shape on Sophia, giving her height and optimal room for movement. Often a few millimeters can visually make a huge difference to the line it creates on the person.
With this and the feedback Sophia gave on shaping the neckline, the width of the halter strap, the team had what they needed to adjust Sophia’s pattern block to proceed to make in the final fabric.
Adjusting Pattern Block & Producing Final Garment
After the initial toile fitting, the adjustments were made on the pattern, in some cases; these are made directly to the toile for a second toile fitting. This could be in the form of length, width, shaping or adding features.
In Sophia’s case, from the toile fitting, more volume was added to the hem creating more flare, the waistline was dropped by a few centimeters to sit better and Sophia’s neckline and armholes were reshaped.
Once all these changes are made to the pattern, it is cut into the final fabric and sewn together with luxury finishing to maximize durability, especially with fragile fabrics.
Final Garment Fitting
For Sophia, her final fitting was the first time she saw the jumpsuit in the actual fabric. As she stepped into it, her face lit up immediately, it fit her beautifully.
She paced as she often does whilst performing, she sat to feel the comfort, and with all the functionalities tested, she told us how different a bespoke outfit felt in comparison to ready-to-wear.
‘It made me never want to buy anything of the rack again. Our bodies are so different from eachother and the made-to-measure process celebrates this difference. Shilpa said that clothes are meant to work to fit us, and not the other way around. I've never agreed more.’
Seeing Sophia’s face that day, as we do with all our happy clients, made us extremely proud of the HoB piece that defines us as the brand. We are- bold, vibrant, inclusive, timeless and luxurious.
How Sophia felt wearing the finished jumpsuit:
'So womanly, so long (which was a request of mine) and so so confident wearing something that felt like an extension of me. That comes with picking the fabrics, designing and then editing until it matches your minds idea!'
A day before her show, Sophia had been rehearsing and kept finding that she was placing her hands into her pockets while performing. Realising this, she sent us a message to ask whether we were able to help her with adding pockets into the jumpsuit.
One of the things we tell our clientele is that no change is ever going to be something that we refuse unless it impacts construction, style or timeline.
We strongly believe in making our pieces those that the wearer is absolutely in love with and also to reflect the functionality it’s wearer needs.
With all her experience, details are never too large a task for Shilpa to step in and pick up. She managed to finish the jumpsuit with the pockets for Sophia that evening.
‘I'm a mix of African and Asian, and the outfit print felt like it shared the same mix. The material was so delicate; it naturally made me feel more graceful in my movement. Grace is what I strive to achieve on stage. I also try to wear clothes that show my figure, but not cling to it and this was the perfect piece. The ultra wide legs with the thin waistline was such a great balance of sexy but classy. I've forever got my arms out, swinging them around on stage, so having the freedom to do that was ideal. In fact, a one piece is ideal! It staples me into the stage and makes for amazing photographs!’
Place your order on our Sophia Jumpsuit here
Sophia's book 'Somebody Give This Heart a Pen' is available to pre-order, click here to order
The bespoke clothes designer London, is a process that anyone can experience. Email us, firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.