Pattern Cutting the Red Crystal Dress

Pattern cutting the Red Crystal Dress for the AW2009 Mario Schwab collection was one of the easier pieces I had to do that season.

The idea of the collection is to have the feeling of the earth cracking open and being able to see all the wonderful gems that the earth holds.

The base of the dress is a very fitted tailored fully lined dress and out of the left hand side as worn there is another dress coming out of the side seam and shoulder and  laying on top of the main dress exposing pockets covered in Swarovski crystals. As always there is lots of infrastructure to hold the shape and give it the all so clear lines you see on the outside of the dress. It took 2 toiles to get it to the required look. The rest was up to good sample cutting, a great machinist and a dedicated team of students that did all the beading  under Mario’s supervision. Once it was finished it looked great and it did weigh quite a bit thanks to the heavy crystal beading.


The final result was so good and such a success as this dress was the second best seller of that season retailing at £2,310, it was worn by Sienna Miller, Cheryl Cole, Nadja Swarovski, was on the cover of DAZED & Confused magazine, was featured in Brown’s Window and has appeared in a couple of articles in the press. Success. In today’s world, for designers it is not just a dress that fits well and sells well that is important. What is also important is which celebrity is endorsing their brand by wearing the outfit especially at an event which means it will be photographed and published and how much publicity is there around this dress.

For example this red dress has been worn -in three versions- by three high profile celebrities on three different occasions. Publicity? You bet. Is this good for Mario Schwab? Absolutely. Will this increase his profile in the fashion world? Yes. Will this pull in more high profile clients? Absolutely. This may even spur him onto made to measure one off outfits. Time will tell.

This is a pattern cutting job I did for ASOS back in early 2011 in my London workroom.

Mini skater dress by ASOS Black for AW2011 retailing at £120. Love this dress.

Featuring a contour panelled design, with sheer mesh inserts, and a contrast patent trim, a deep v-neckline, cut outs to waist, a high waistline, with a v-back, and a cut out detailing. Designed with a tailored fit to bodice, and a softly flared, mini cut skirt.

Crafted in structured neoprene this £120 dress for ASOS BLACK AW2011, features a geometric shaped laser cut detailing on the top front and back bodice. A high waistline gives the illusion of longer legs. Designed with a tailored fit to bodice and wide knife pleats, to mini cut skirt.

Bodycon £85 mini dress for ASOS BLACK AW2011 crafted in a stretch neoprene with contrast sheer panel inserts. Featuring a contour seamed design, a round neckline, with sleeveless styling, and curved cut outs. Designed in a bodycon fit and mini cut.

This is quite a funky quirky dress I did for ASOS Revive A/W2011, retailing at £150. In the picture you can’t see all the detail in the dress. The detail sketch below gives you an idea of all the work that has gone into this dress. The fur sleeves add texture and a quirkiness to the dress.

Skater Dresses are big this Autumn winter (2011). Any colour almost any fabric and in a hand full of prints. However this one is one retailing at £100, I think is great and one I did for ASOS Revive range. It is fully lined and the Faux fur looks great.

Love it when the work you and the people you work with becomes a hit.

This is a dress I created the pattern for ASOS Revive. It is a statement dress selling for £120 and has been one of their fastest seller, so much so it is out of stock. Hopefully they will add another production run. Well done to all who has helped create this.

Love this long black dress I pattern cut for the AW2010 Mario Schwab collection.

It is a elegant dress with lots of detail. Originally the toile was approved as a bias cut but if memory serves me right the final garment was cut on the straight grain. It opens at the front with a concealed zip. At the back there is a long vent to aid walking. At the neckline, some of the crystals are hand painted in blue and green to give an amazing detail feature. The students who worked on this collection were very very busy. Thank you for all your help in making this a great collection.

The side panels are made of sheer fabric and are constructed so they sit away from the body at the bust and hip point and sit right into the waist at the waist point. They are re-enforce with a see through wire like material in order to hold the shape. At the base of the sheer fabric by the hip there is horse hair braid in it, in order to hold and create the round shape.

In fact this dress was so great that the lovely Jessika Alba wore it  at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington DC in  Spring 2010. Stunning.


Beautifully fitted bodice with silver hooks to cinche the waist in with lace detail at the front. What you don’t see is the material used inside the garment, what is inside where the hooks are stitched onto that allows for a very clean line/silhouette and the hidden pockets that are part of the drapping. The fabric is 100% silk. On the front skirt part there are little Swarovski crystals all over the skirt which gives it a sparkle. The hidden pockets as part of the drapes are a great design feature. The boat neck is very flattering for all shapes and sizes. Fully lined and a conceled zip finish the look off.

The dress retails for £2,985.00 at Browns.

This dress was worn by Emma Watson for a photo shoot promotion for the Harry Potter DVD in December 2010.

It also featured in an advert for BecauseLondon magazine.


This is one of my favourite dresses I pattern cut for Schwab.

When I started working on it the fabric was not confirmed so we worked on the assumption that it was going to be a woven. However after the first toile that changed and Marios went with a stretch fabric.

The next best thing to do was to toile in the fabric that the final dress was going to be in. At the second toile stage we could see the dress taking shape. One more toile and Marios had the look he was after.  The bodice has a lot of work and the hooks and lace up detail round the neckline create a detailed and sexy décolletage.