I was recently asked during an interview how long it takes to turn one of my designs into a reality. In thinking about the answer, I realised how much our in-house approach to the process adds a wonderfully handcrafted luxury to the product. We are all so used to factory produced items that we rarely consider the process involved.
The answer is that of course it depends very much on the piece. Some items are more straightforward in terms of construction, but my style of design always seems to make the process more complex! I do all the pattern cutting and toiling of garments myself, because I enjoy it, and because for me it’s an extension of the design process. When your drawing comes to life on a mannequin you see it from a new perspective and it gives you the opportunity to move around the body and explore the design in a more sculptural way.
I can spend days working on the design of each piece in this way. Then the sampling process begins, cutting and sewing multiple samples, adjusting the fit and detailing until I’m happy with the result. Even then there is still a lot of work getting the luxury finish inside the garment. Whether it’s lining, binding or hand finishing the internal construction, these details that are generally unseen are just as important to the woman wearing it, and in complex styles it can take a surprising amount of problem solving.
Once all of the sampling is complete and patterns graded, the process of hand making the piece for a customer is done by a skilled seamstress in England. Instead of sending it to a factory, where each machinist makes a section of the garment, before sending it down the production line to the next, Mya Rose pieces are carefully cut and sewn, from start to finish by one skilled seamstress who can give that piece the love and attention a luxury product deserves.
As well as quality, this process adds a little bit of romance to the garment, and in the world of mass-production we live in, I am very proud of that.