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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going Custom...

I don't think enough people realize the options out there for reproduction clothing that is actually custom sewn to fit! My favorite of such sites is Whirling Turban.

Let me tell you about my experience: Katherine of Whirling Turban was an absolute DEAR, when I ordered my first dress. She helped me select the style (I chose the Hawaiian Heaven, mainly due to the clean line of the bodice) and fabric, keeping in mind the 1940's aesthetic I love, and made it very clear to me what I needed to do in order to get the proper fit. The website describes the measuring process in great detail (the company is based out of Bali, which is why they can offter custom creations like this, for only a fraction of what such companies in the US Market would charge) and let me tell you, it can be a humbling experience. What you are doing, in photographing yourself in your skivvies and trustingly sending said photos off to total strangers, is providing the dressmakers with an old fashioned 'dossier', befitting a Hollywood Starlet. The brilliant ladies will now have all of your measurements for future dresses/outfits and you have only done minimal work to provide them w/ those numbers. In the future, unless weight gain or loss is drastic, only minimal information will be needed in order to get your dress started and on its way.

The fabrics are available in a wide range of colors and textures; all of which are of the highest quality and impressively unique. The prints are STUNNING, to say the least. I chose a teal on navy floral motif, very Hawaiian...very Vintage. After my fabric was chosen and my measurements turned in, I received a gentle note from Katherine and Honey (another associate), informing me that they had all the necessary information and that I should now be patient while they do their 'stuff'. To be honest, the short weeks that passed were hardly noticeable...probably since it's starting to get cold here and the dress won't really be in season for some months.

Whirling Turban's Dresses are all impeccably designed. The Shaheen Dream, a tribute to fabulous designer-Alfred Shaheen, is one of their most popular designs. It beautifully and lovingly mimics his gorgeous sarong style wrap dress of the 1950's, also paying glorious attention to the curves of the female form. The dress can be customized w/ a full skirt, petal bust bodice, and removeable halter strap. Accessories like a coordinating wrap or bolero jacket (which I chose and psychotically love) are also available. The Hawaiian Heaven is a twist on the Shaheen style but has a simpler bodice instead of the wrap details accross the front. There are also 'Chinese Bombshell' options, featuring exquisite brocades that rival any I've seen. In addition, the ladies at WT offer seperates, darling playsuits, mens' shirts, and even sequin/rhinestone trims for a more glamorous look. Their wedding shoppe is phenomenal as well; don't overlook them if you are planning your own.

When I received my dress, I was first exhilarated by the sheer fact that it came in a BOX...a clean flat box-just like the dresses the ladies brought home in my favorite classic films! No bags for Whirling Turban. I felt instantly spoiled as I removed the ribbon. The dress was gorgeous...everything I thought it would be and more. I ran into my room to try it on and uh-oh...a problem! I couldnt get the thing zipped! I was almost devastated, to say the least, but I held back tears, held my breath, and looked more closely at the dress' construction. The zipper is extremely sturdy and the elastic panels at the sides of the design made it clear that there was plenty of give. So crossing my fingers (difficult while grasping a zipper), I tried again. It zipped! And amazingly, everything just kind of 'sucked' into place! My breasts sat obediently in their designated cups (nicely lined and super supportive, even w/out a bra), my waist was enviably small, my hips sleek and smooth. And here's the kicker: NO EVIDENCE that the dress was too tight or ill fitted. No rolls, no pinched areas...nothing. Is it difficult to breathe? A little. Do I care? Not a fig!

Incidentally, when I told Katherine about the fears I had when I tried on the dress, she stated there is supposed to be a sheet of paper included w/ the dress, explaining the possible necessity of having someone ELSE zip up the frock. Mine wasnt including that information, that I know of, so naturally I was a little worried.

In closing, I'll just say that I have yet to be as happy w/ any item of clothing I've worn...including my wedding dress. I feel so feminine, so desired by my husband, and SO thankful to Katherine and the girls for making all this possible! Look for a hairstyle inspired by my dress on my channel, Lisa Freemont Street, within the next two weeks.

'I've died and gone to Whirling Turban'.


Miss Jess said...

Oh my, I've been wanting to buy a Whirling Turban dress for so long. I guess I need to save my pennies, or maybe ask for one as a super special gift! Thanks so much for detailing the process, great write-up!

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

That's great! I've ordered a couple of dresses from a Brittish site where you could get the dress sewn to your bust-waist-hip measure but it was just slight alteration, not really custom fit.

Btw I'd love to see you do the hair orchid so please go ahead :)

Amy Jeanne said...

I love a perfectly-fitting dress that makes you stand up straight and hugs your ribcage a bit. That's why I make all my dresses from actual vintage patterns -- they FORCE you to be ladylike and confident-looking with their amazing cuts!

MUAinTheMaking said...

Thanks for the great write up. Who wouldn't want one after reading your experience??? :)

Zelzega said...

I wish I could dress in vintage reproductions, but I simply cannot afford EVER $179 for a dress. Unless someone gives me free money I'll never be able to afford it. I've been trying to find good vintage clothes at thrift stores (I know it's like a needle in a haystack), but still searching. I wish vintage reproductions weren't so expensive.

jewlover2 said...

Awww, Zelzega...I feel you. But something I've discovered is that by saving up the money I was spending on thrift or lesser quality garments, I get alot more satisfaction from my purchases. I may only be able to buy a couple of dresses a year (Most repro dresses average about 100.00)or even just one . But at least I know they will last and I don't have to worry about them going out of style. My seperates, I mostly buy from inexpensive places such as Target or Old Navy, dressing them up when I can with retro accessories. I don't have any quality vintage stores close by me so online is usually my only option for actual vintage...and I find that after shipping and possible alterations, the 'deal' kind of flies out the window. :(

Amy Jeanne, I WISH I could sew. I totally agree about vintage patterns or re-working actual vintage. Amazing stuff and truly unique, that way. :)

CMK2 said...

I am digging on ebay right now for PATTERNS. I figure if I can't buy the reproductions I will just start making mine. Gotta a great mom-in-law how use to do this so figure why not try right. But I love the stuff on the site's you have listed in you vid's. Trust me when I do get some extra money I will be getting something new.

Fleur de Guerre said...

I love my WT! I want another, but the bank says no. :(

Actually I want a wrap top and trouser set even more!

Anonymous said...

Great dress! They have beautiful wedding dresses too! Enjoy it!

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