Monthly Archives: January 2012

This is one of my favourite pictures of an outfit I have pattern cut for a catwalk show. Looks great, fits great (unlike the catwalk model), and it is styled great.

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.