Tag Archives: Women

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. 🤘🏻

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Why sizing is so confusing 


So you are wandering through stores trying on what you think is the right size. By the end of the day you think your going crazy because your size is different no matter where you go. 

Well I’m here to tell you that no your not crazy. Every company has its own sizing charts. They have complicated ways of deciding on the correct grade for their label to fit the target market they are aiming at.

That’s not even the difficult part. The standard sizing chart for Australian clothing have only just begun to be addressed as sizing for clothing was set up in the 1950’s when children, women & men were as you know much smaller. Less hormone pumped chickens and flavourings and colourings etc.
So what size you think you are on average in the shops is actually 1-2 sizes smaller than what you actually are according to standards. This being said now that I know I’m actually a 16 instead of a 12 I’m not horrified because these standards were made more than 60 years ago. Most high fashion labels including Parisian fashion houses and what not still are guided by these old standards as they sell to petite women. Which unluckily I am not. Somehow managed to get all my fathers genes with a dash of my mothers face.

I hope I have clarified sizing just slightly. It’s the tip of the iceberg.

If you like what I have written feel free to saunter through the remainder of my blogs or jump onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to support my label Secret culture.

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Go Daddy newby builds a website with wix and tells you about her amazing story of building her business.


So I didn’t realise how hard building a website is and starting a business until I bought my go daddy domain 4 years ago. Here’s how I did it. First off I used my domain and my friend attached it to my blog until I could figure out how to build the website. Now the best part of Wix is how easy it is to build the website with them. You don’t need to know how to speak the language of html which I still can’t speak either. You just need your photos and the ability to upgrade your account $$$. The wix website editor allows you to add pages and buttons as well as background images. Portfolio pages and even a shopping cart. The thing that is off putting is the cost. A website is something I wasn’t willing to invest in until I was sure I was ready. Since I bought my domain four years ago I’ve completed a diploma in fashion design courses in marketing and management as well as admin inc book keeping. The list goes on. I’ve also worked as an intern for Suboo resort wear. Had some work experience working for we are handsome swimsuits resort wear as well as Jenny rose fashion leather textile designer. I’ve worked for a famous shoe designer in Sydney years ago Donna may Bolinger. I’ve seen the back entrance and the front entrance of fashion. I might not like the social and ecological effects it has on our society but I just want to make clothes and share them with people. I want to make changes in this world. I don’t want to leave a heavy foot print. I want to find a better way to make fashion environmentally friendly and I want to build my own factory overseas with a crèche with training and proper pay. I’ve worked for nothing and worked for something. I’ve been a pieceworker and a dressmaker. I’ve made custom designer outfits I’ve designed and I’ve had to pattern make copies of pictures for clients. I’ve been an advisor for new fashion labels who have no training and I’ve been advised by my mentors. Now amongst working permanent part time as a blood collector and running my business as a pieceworker and custom designer dressmaker. Everything I’ve ever done has been directed to this moment and I feel on top of the world. I might not of been an overnight success but even I realised if you start building something now it will eventually become a success. If you share the passion you have for your dreams with people they will eventually become addicted to your energy. If you fail get back up on that horse. Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever let your fears get the better of you. Be brave. Be humble. Be beautiful. Stress does funny things to people but If you don’t let it get to you then you will succeed. Eventually. Take every single lead that comes your way. The people who fail are the people who don’t try, who give up and forget their dreams. I’m ready and I’ve just launched my website http://www.secretcultureshop.com

If you like what you see please follow my blog, like my facebook link on the right hand side or follow me on Instagram #secretculture or Twitter Ashleighreneepatel.

Don’t forget to live, love and be beautiful;) xx Secret Culture living the dream

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Let’s Talk on Trends


I have just found out you can blog via email!Oh the wonders of the technological age.I am attaching my trend search on mini dresses, pants and skirts.I am not sure if they will work this way so please bare with me.

monochromatic.docx
pants.docx
skirts.docx

Wow!It does work.How truly amazing. Anyway I have attached some images of what I like and think will be around this year for you to look at. They are word documents that can be downloaded and adapted.Don’t worry no spyware or viruses.I am just not that remarkable to add them;)


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