January 17 2022 – Rachelle Love
I've made dresses forever, since I first began sewing in my mid-teens.
My process used to be as such: an idea floats into mind... I head to the cutting table. I sew, until satisfied. No pattern. No samples. I just make what's dying to be made, full-send. I've missed this process dearly, and am beginning to see it come again in a new way.
Not all the dresses in the photos below are practical. And they aren't curated, because you can't curate a wild force. They weren't all made for me, but they had their purpose at the time, and I had so much fun creating them.
I want to start showing more of my sewing skills to those that don't yet know I have them. Recently, I began noticing that to some people, I'm known to sell bras + undies under a brand, and to others, a rogue clothing designer. I started Earth and Elle because I made clothes for myself. Through that, I roped myself into doing runway contests and magazines. This kind of fashion world is not where I come from, nor who I am in any way, though it was fun to visit. Definitely a fun fantasy to play in, but not real life to me. After some excitement and success, I realized I could, and should have a business.
Since I wanted a business, I went with bras and undies — something everyone needs. I love the bras and undies business dearly. Though almost everything about them is for others. The colours, the design process, the photos, is all based on the needs of the customer. Which is both fundamentally necessary, and fulfilling in its own way. They've also attributed to major growth in my experience, knowledge, aspirations, and have actualized my business. It warms me up knowing so many people wear and love them now. And I need to feed my artist soul, too.
The evolution I see tangibly coming is:
Bras, undies, and dresses to wear on top. A few self care things, too.
Bras, undies, and self care items are always accessibly priced, and ready to ship.
Dresses are made-to-order, working closely with the client for fit.
With the resources I have, I can't foresee the possibility of a clothing collection made with our manufacturing partner in the near future - so I'm loving this idea. I make a dress for myself, on my own timeline, because I want it. I offer the design in a small batch of 4 or 5, made to order, custom fit to the client. This is how clothing was made in the old days — so I love this aspect.
I'm catching myself wondering how I'll pull this off. But then I think about how quickly I made some of these complicated designs in such a short time — a mix of excitement, commitment, and not a gram of pressure for specific outcomes, and definitely not an ounce of care in the world about what others would think.
I believe that as we collectively move into a new era, we move into new versions of ourselves. We can jump freely, or drag our asses. For me, I feel strongly that I no longer want to play small, and that my creative work in the coming years will be a reflection of that.
We'll see what comes.There will be no calendar or schedule for this evolution of my work.
Above & below, 2016 — Story of Fashion Magazine (Toronto)