Tag Archives: dress

Authentic Creatives & designers a dying group

Designers and original makers are dying out. We are going extinct and being replaced with big machinery and cheap overseas labour. Not only that whenever we make something that is authentic it is copied. That I don’t mind. I just want to let people know that working with our hands and a sewing machine is an art form and the fact that you meet someone who can sketch an image, draw their own pattern, cut and sew from start to finish is rare nowadays and I’m amongst the youngest in this field in Australia that can make anything from the beginning.

When you look at a dress in a retail store that costs $350 it has went through so many hands for each piece and the fabric sourced all over the world but made in less than an hour. When an authentic creative makes you something for $350 +++ it would of taken many more hours or days to produce. The sewing of retail clothing is hardly done in Australia nowadays and is mostly done in India, Bali, China, Phillipines, Turkey etc where the dollar is cheaper. I don’t mind that but do not compare an authentic designer or creative who makes one off designs or capsule collections to the mass produced market or to something you buy from the retail store.

For 19 + years I have been slowly learning my craft. Just bits a pieces here and there picking up every piece of knowledge that I can from people, from books and just generally learning as much as I can of anything at all that I can apply to my field. It is my obsession and my dream. I am young to be running my own business as a Designer Dressmaker but I created my job because I saw a need in the market. Plus until I started calling myself The Designer Dressmaker nobody else had put those words together. The decline of dressmaking and especially dressmakers that make their own patterns is obvious in Australia adding further value to what is left. We are a dime a dozen. Help contribute to Australian dressmakers or local dressmakers if you aren’t Australian because otherwise we may just die out and who shall you buy an authentic designer dress from.

I’m going to rock this year. You should too. ūü§ėūüŹĽ


John Galliano

Picture from Jan welters

Born in Gibraltor and I know your like where the hell is Gibraltor or I was anyway so I looked it up. It’s a territory on the edge of Spain that is British and a part of the UK. 
John Galliano is both British and Spanish and his outgoing creativity and attitude to life has made him so very successful! 

Named British designer of the year four times and ran Givenchy in 1995 Christian Dior in 1996 and John Galliano 1988 to 2011 followed by Maison Margiela which he is currently running.

Juan Galliano whose mother was a Flamenco teacher actually was teased a lot in English boys grammar because of his clothes being flamboyant and interesting. 

Galliano graduated from Saint Martins school of art in 1984 with first collection “les Incroyables” being inspired by the French Revolution. Which was a great success and was sold at Browns the retailer.

After some time with his own label John Galliano went bankrupt in 1990 and even though he was financially at wits end he knew what he wanted and he didn’t give up! He moved to Paris and began again with financial backing from Moroccan designer Faycal Amor.

His first show hit the runway in 1989 as a part of Paris Fashion Week. 

In 1993 Amor cut his backing and Anna Wintour Vogue editor in chief  and Andr√© Leon Talley European correspondent for Vaniry Fair introduced Galliano to a backer Sao Schlumberger, John Bult and Mark Rice. They backed his label and gave him credibility to market his designs amongst the Parisians. 

Amongst all the social drama and the wild party life John Galliano is an amazing designer and will be in the history books of fashion forever. 

Here is his latest collection for Maison Margiela 

My latest custom designer formal gown for a year 10 formal

The dress is beautiful. Absolutely stunning! Embellished in gorgeous Swarovski crystals and fine lace. The silhouette is off the shoulder panelled with a gorgeous fishtail with lace and Swarovski detail. The bodice is covered in lace as well and embellished lightly in each flower with Swarovski crystals.


Bell of the Ball a Gothic Audrey Hepburn inspired Designer Dress

So I was very excited to have Kimberley in my studio this morning for her very first fitting of this Gothic style Audrey Hepburn designer formal dress. It looks absolutely fabulous. There is still a shoulder wrap to sew on and straps as well as roulette loops and a back panel but WOW she looks fabulous already! Here’s some photos. Sorry about the quality of the photos. I didn’t have time to take too many so just a quick couple off Kimberley’s phone. If you like what you see please follow this blog, Facebook page on the right hand side column or just search secret culture on Instagram!



Size 14 Asian Elegance!Double Bow Tomoko Nagamichi inspired cocktail dress”One off”

Here we have an Asian style Tomoko Nagamichi (famous Japanese Pattern Maker)inspired Cocktail Dress. It is joined at the Waist with Double darts on the back of skirt and side darts as the fabric has been wrapped around the figure to remove side seams.Front Tucks for added comfort as you and I both know stomachs expand and decrease. This will mean you will have a little extra room and your dress isn’t likely to pop when you have an extra spring roll at the party.The dress is fitted mainly to the hip and arm and has extra fullness in the bodice for women with a larger bust size.The sleeve has inverted pleats allowing extra room and comfort of movement.On the front bodice we have the Tomoko Nagamichi inspired double bow. This can be tied however you like.There are French darts from the side seams to add extra elegance and poise to the design.The design is fully lined in a black polyester with an invisible zipper.

To Fit:


Waist: 80cm

Hips: 100cm

If you like this design and want to follow Secret Culture’s blog please go to http://www.secretcultureshop.com

This is Design 8 in Secret Cultures 50 Designs in 50 Days Challenge!

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50 designs in 50 days 8 002 50 designs in 50 days 8 005 50 designs in 50 days 8 007 50 designs in 50 days 8 009

Buy it now $144.95

Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200877355835#ht_665wt_1186

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120110759/size-14-asian-elegance-double-bow-tomoko

Size 10 Strapless Floral dress “Cup Size B Bust” with top stitched detail on boned structure

This is design 7 of Secret Cultures 50 designs in 50 days challenge!

50 designs in 50 days 7 004 50 designs in 50 days 7 006 50 designs in 50 days 7 008Here we have petite Size 10 (small make) with measurements 

Bust: 84 cm
Waist: 60 cm
Hips: 84 cm
It is a Strapless Floral dress “Cup Size B Bust” with boned structure.

This is a one-off!!!!
The skirt is a lovely crepe which is gathered to the bodice at the waist. The bodice is made of a polyester.
This is design 7 of Secret Cultures 50 designs in 50 days challenge!If you like what you see follow this blog to find out what will be tomorrows design!
Buy it now $74.95
On EBAY: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200877116875#ht_679wt_1186
On ETSY: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120053556/size-10-strapless-floral-dress-cup-size


Pink floral Raglan sleeved sun dress for fuller figured women 50 designs in 50 days challenge day 4

This is what I designed for day 4 of my 50 designs in 50 days challenge:

Here we have a lovely pink floral dress that has an elasticated waist. I have added a bright pink vintage satin belt at the waist to accentuate your womanly figure. It has a very pretty feminine floral pattern. It is   made with a crepe fabric that has a very slight sheerness about it. Although not sheer enough to reveal your underwear. This is suitable for wearing to the beach or around the house. The qualities of the fabric make it very comfortable. 

50 designs in 50 days4 001 50 designs in 50 days4 002 50 designs in 50 days4 003 50 designs in 50 days4 004

The sun dress has been sewn in rasant thread which is very good quality and will ensure the longevity of your garment.


The elasticated waist of the garment combined with the wide neck and raglan sleeve means it is suitable for any size from a 14 to an 18 and the waist belt should be tied to suit your personal fit

Available for $39.95

On Ebay:


On Etsy:



Pretty Lilac Rose Peplum Dress

50 days 50 designs 004 50 days 50 designs 007I decided to design a peplum dress with a twist suitable for a standard size 10.Inspired by the summer heat I wanted it to be pretty and light weight although a stable weave with airy qualities due to the heat that Australia is currently feeling.


This is a one-off and I will not be making another one. 

50 days 50 designs 005

This will not be mass produced.
It is a standard size 10. 
To fit~
Waist: 58cm
Hip: 86cm
Bust: 85cm
Available for Purchase for $59.95
Purchase on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200874973393#ht_674wt_1186
Purchase on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/119571237/pretty-lilac-rose-peplum


Colour my Collection

Hi wonderful fans this blog is me asking you what you want!!!!Please leave a comment and have your say on what you want!

Have you ever wanted to buy a dress or a shirt in one particular colour so badly and not been able to find it……..The theme of my up and coming collection is Eden and so I am trying out a dark and seductive color selection. What colours would you like to see in my up and coming collection?

What is the most money you would be willing to pay for a cocktail dress and full length formal/evening dress if you were going to buy one in the future?

If you like leave a comment saying what colours you would not like to see or what you would not pay!

Ten Rules For Buying Retail

  1. If you are more than a size 8 do not buy anything with a pattern bigger than the palm of your hand. Large patterns make you look large.
  2. If you know your going shopping for this seasons clothing make sure you do your own trend research before you go….Definitely read a magazine or have a squizz on tumblr to see what is coming in now!Remember what is up in high fashion must come down to retail.
  3. The bigger it is the harder it falls…I guess you have heard this saying too.Have you ever noticed that something that is a big trend now in two years is always a no go zone. A great example is shoulder pads in the 80’s…Fantastic look for powerful women in their power suits.Went out of fashion until recently.I remember never wanting to ever wear shoulder pads all through the nineties.So if your investing in a wardrobe piece that you want to have in 5 years time and not shriek at every time you see it.Please invest in something that is on trend but is still not what everyone else is wearing.Try a classic look with a twist perhaps.
  4. If you know the type of woman who is your idol you may more or less have something in common with taste so if you love say Nicole Kidman,¬†Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn monroe why don’t you look either one of these fabulous women up and see what kinds of trends they have worn and maybe have a look at current trends that remind you of these women and their timeless style.
  5. Bring some textiles into the equation.Who wants exactly the same thing everyone else is wearing.That must be the biggest cliche of all time used in so many different movies and television shows.A woman turns up to a party and is wearing exactly the same thing as another woman.This is why trying a more textile based look in retail might prove a friend rather than a foe.The problem is finding a retail store that sells more textile based items…Boutiques are fabulous for this although sometimes can be a little more expensive.definitely worth the buy.
  6. cost means nothing.It is look that matters.If you can find a dress that looks great and is $60 it can last just as long and look just as good a $500 dress.It is you that has to look after it and make sure it lasts and that it still looks good by adhering to care instructions and making sure your purchase is a good quality in the beginning.Does it feel nice.Generally if it feels nice and it looks good it is good.The main problem you might have with a fabric is if it has been overloaded with dye.Make sure you wash it separately the first few washes.
  7. Take a photo.Message it to your mother asking if she likes the dress. A good mum will let you know straight away that you are wearing something shocking.If you choose to message it to a friend they will end up messaging you some reply about how it looks great even if they think it looks shocking because they love you also.I know it sounds funny to message it to your mother but really so many girls nowadays are looking so trashy because they want to look like sexual objects to attract men.It is almost a proven fact that trashy girls don’t end up in long term relationships for long because men don’t want a girl who says yes to everything and looks like a tart 150% of the time.Seriously if the dress is for picking up on the weekend then make sure it is either breasts or leg exposure not both.Men want a woman that has a little mystery about her.(and if you are after more than a pick-up make sure you do not go home with “the one” on the first meeting.7 dates is the perfect amount of time to make a man want to keep you and sooner and your giving it away for nothing)
  8. Don’t buy a dress just because you have seen it in a magazine!Who is to say it will suit your figure until you try it on.
  9. Pay it off.Paying a dress off means you have time to think about whether you really want it.I know the exact feeling when you have just been paid and really want to go shopping.The first dress you see that you like you buy without thinking about the cut or whether it suits you.You just think about how much money you have in your pocket and how pretty the dress looks on a hanger.Now paying the dress off means you have a second or third chance to decide if you really like it or if it really does suit your body!
  10. Buy to suit your wardrobe.When you are shopping look for something that will suit what you already have and compliment it. Maybe some new skinny leg orange denim jeans might suit your yellow smiley shirt……etc

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